Friday, September 27, 2013

Angel is the centerfold.

As a kid, my love of birthdays was legendary. 

I loved celebrating my brother…
Hulk in the Rage Cage!
A rocket!
"a nice suit."
My best friend Susie…
"Bugger King."
But mostly I loved celebrating my own birthday.
In 1982 I got a lot of stuff for my birthday - a stuffed rainbow to hang on my wall,
Kliban cat sheets, Clown-a-Rounds and a few Smurfs.

But really, I had my eyeballs on one gift and one gift only. 

I wanted the 45, "Centerfold" by the J. Geils Band.

The video was on MTV on a loop. I had it memorized so when I heard the song on American Top 40 I could play the video in my head along with it. I really wanted Peter Wolf to come into my classroom at Brookside Elementary, sit at a little desk next to me and then get up and dance around in his gold shoes.

I wanted to wear a shitload of black eyeliner, have big frizzy hair and walk around him in a circle, wearing only a sweatshirt while clutching my composition book.
I kinda still want to do that today.

And I'm home alone 'cuz Dad's at work
and Mom's at her Catholic Update meeting.

I pleaded with my diary...please let me get what I want - 
like my diary had the power to go out to Sam Goody and buy me a 45.
Opera is boring
"I told you everything I want, and I hope I get it."
Judy the babysitter let us stay up until ten and watch Popeye.
But more importantly...
That was totally worth writing down. 

Hello Kitty Friendly Diary came through.
It either used mental telepathy on Mom and Dad or it went to the record store.
 It happened.
We had pizza, ate a delicious cake and then we danced like maniacs to this:

When I hear this song today I still replay the video in its entirety in my head.
The girls in their black bras and white slips, in their negligées, swearing the girl with the short dark hair was
my hometown hero Martha Quinn, the drum full of milk, all of it.
I never got tired of it, I still love it. 

"Yuckey" weather.
I can't believe it's over.
Only 364 days until my birthday.



Friday, September 20, 2013

Catch me I'm fallin'.

Fall is here – my favorite time of the year!

Halloween is coming.
I walked through some crunchy leaves this morning.
Ummmm….pumpkin spice lattes?

As far as predicting falls arrival, I am like Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day.
Except if I'm wrong, I don't get to go back to sleep for three more months or whatever.
Stupid/lucky Punxsutawney Phil.

Here are some telltale signs that everything autumnal is upon us. At least in my world.  

I am wearing this sweater today:
Orange and gray is everywhere this fall so I slapped this big 'ol flower on this pumpkin sweater.
Bing, bang, boom, I'm hip like all the girls in the magazines.

This purse:
I ceremoniously changed purses last night and moved into my favorite big orange bag. 
It's my favorite because of the color, the price (like a $400-something bag I got for under a hundred bucks)
and the fact that inside it's a big open cavern where my giant wallet and lip glosses fit.

Seasonal handsoaps:
Because it's fall. And in the fall, it's not enough for my hands to just smell like pumpkin, they need to smell like
sweet cinnamon pumpkin. And a pumpkin cupcake. And maple syrup. My hands need to smell like maple syrup.

This dumb lotion:
Because in the fall, I need to smell like a non-existent place, straight out of Willy Wonka.
Like the ASPEN CARMEL WOODS. Dumb, but delicious.

This fancy powder:

This compact by Hourglass is all glowy, luminous and pretty. It doesn't have much to do with sue me.
The guy at Sephora did say it recreates the most flattering light — like moonlight or candlelight.
That's kinda spooky, like Halloween. And the packaging is purpley-brown, like a maple leaf.
There I did it, this compact has everything to do with fall. BOOM.

Ugh, Candy Corn:
It's not even October 1st and a whole bag of candy corn has already been consumed.
Well, shit.

This pumpkin in my garage.
This bad boy is from a friends garden and has been hanging out with my skateboard and the shop vac since late July. I'm always so impressed when anybody grows anything.
Especially something like a pumpkin.

So you see? It's here!
All the signs are here! The smelly soaps, the candy corn, the compact for God's sake!
Catch you guys later, at the Aspen Carmel Woods.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Home box office.

As a little girl I was obsessed with certain movies that I would watch continuously on a loop on HBO at my Grandma and Papa’s house.

Rocky, Mommie Dearest, The Champ, Mask, The Elephant Man, American Graffiti and of course…

Grease was the word.

Looking back at my list above it’s a little kooky for a young girl, isn’t it?

Lots of boxing, a strong focus on the 50’s & 60’s and terrible deformities.


We had free HBO (and Cinemax!) this past weekend so of course I was furiously scanning the guide on the DVR to record anything and everything that looked decent (it was FREE!) it got me thinking back to these fine films, sitting on the poop brown pull out couch in the “den” at my grandparents.

Why I love this movie:

  • It’s the ultimate underdog story.
  • It’s beautifully and naturally acted.
  • It sparked an interest for me in both boxing and in Sylvester Stallone.
  • It made me want two turtles I could name "Cuff" and "Link."
  • Duh, “Yo, Adrian.”
"Ain't gonna be no rematch."
But there will be five sequels.
One with a robot.
Mommie Dearest.
Why I love this movie:

  • It’s the campiest movie...ever.
  • A rational, well thought out argument against wire hangers. Also inspired me to immediately scrub everything in sight with Ajax.
  • It had one of the best mother/daughter fight scenes in film history.
  • It made me grateful that I always got to keep all of my birthday presents.
  • Duh, Faye Dunaway.
"Don't fuck with me, fellas."

The Champ.
Why I love this movie:

  • More boxing to feed my “now I like boxing” obsession.
  • It made me cry like so hard I had to leave the den and go into the bathroom for like an hour. I had one of those crying headaches for three days.
  • Jon Voight. And more Faye Dunaway!
  • Duh, Ricky Schroder - holy crap.
Three. Day. Headache.
Why I love this movie:

  • True story.
  • Cher! Laura Dern! Eric Stoltz!
  • Dozer.
  • “My mom says I look like a lion.”
  • Duh, Sam Elliott as GAR.
Moustache rides.

The Elephant Man.
Why I love this movie:

  • True story.
  • Beautifully acted, and beautifully filmed in black and white.
  • Oh, how I loved Anne Bancroft in this.
  • Again, made me cry and leave the den to go into the bathroom.
  • Duh, David Lynch.
Aaaand I'm crying again. Thanks a lot, Elephant Man.

American Graffiti.
Why I love this movie:

  • Hey, it’s Shirley Feeney and Richie Cunningham!
  • Introduced me to the concept of cruising for boys/carhopping/convertibles.
  • I loved the poster for the movie, I could stare at it all day.
  • Mackenzie Phillips! Suzanne Somers! Richard Dryfus! Harrison Ford!
Where were you in '62?
Umm...not born yet.
Why I love this movie:

  • Wop ba-ba lu-mop and wop bam boom! Where do I begin??? The cast, the music, the dancing = PERFECTION.
  • Further introduced me to the concept of cruising for boys/carhopping/convertibles.
  • The original 30-somethings-playing-teenagers-in-high-school-movie.
  • “There Are Worse Things I Could Do”, Cha Cha Digregorio, “Where ya goin, to flog yer log?”

But I also wanted a hickie from Kenickie.
There are sooo many others, Popeye, Kramer vs. Kramer, The Shining, Breakin’, Fatso,
Fatso! Why didn't I write about Fatso!?!
I could go on and on.
I’ll get to work on the sequel.
HBO Childhood Movie Post: Part Deux. The Return.
The Revenge. Electric Boogaloo.
Starring Jon Voight, Sylvester Stallone, Jack Nicholson, Wolfman Jack, Faye Dunaway, John Travolta,
The Elephant Man, Robin Williams, that guy who played Dozer in Mask, and Lori Ferraro.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Vision quest.

This past weekend I did a ton of cleaning around the house.
The garage was cleaned out, toilets were scrubbed, holy crap, I even dusted! I felt good about what I accomplished!

Until I came across this - which kinda made me start to question some things I haven’t accomplished:

For those of you who don’t know what this is, it’s a “vision board” that I made about four years ago.

A vision board is a board (duh) that you take and write on/decorate with photos and quotes that express a vision - things that you would like to come into your life.

It’s a pretty loose concept – it can be what you want tomorrow, what you want ten years from now, things you want to work on, things you are proud of having accomplished and want to expand on.

It can be artsy-fartsy or it can be hooey-dooey. It can even be artsy-dooey if you like.

Upon completing this board and having a lovely evening (along with several cocktails) with Julie, Laura and Kristen this board sat on my dresser, right behind my perfume bottles and jewelry box – in a place of honor, where I could look at it every day and envision myself in this positive place, fulfilling all of the dreams so beautifully decoupaged onto the white background.

It sat there for at least a good year or so – then something must have happened that made me move it
from the spot of honor to the new spot in the back of my closet.

A pretty dramatic change from being front and center, maybe I was having a bad day? Frustrated that I was still working at a job I didn't enjoy? Or maybe it was just the last time I dusted? I’m not sure, but it’s been back behind the laundry basket for a good long while now.

Seeing it again made my heart race, in both a good and a bad way. Good in remembering the creation of it, the night with my girls, pretty colors/pretty quotes, etc. and bad in an “oh shit, what have I accomplished/what am I doing with my life/I am a failure” kind of a way. No big whoop.

A few things I wrote made me smile - I felt really good about them:
I love my boys. I love the traditions we have created as a family, from our holiday traditions, annual beach trip and "Pizza Friday" every damn Friday night come hell or high water. And come to think of it, I have come a long way baby...and now that they are a little older, I am sleeping better. Huge bonus for that, even if it's kind of out of my control, I mean the kids are older and just sleeping better. But I envisioned it and it happened. Yay, me.
A few things I wrote made me roll my eyes:
Travel? To Italy? London and Hawaii? HAH!
Although we did go home to New York for Grandma's 90th birthday. Yay, Grandma.
A few things I wrote made me laugh out loud:

A few made me feel inspired:
Hooray! I've done a couple shows and set to start rehearsing a new one later this month.
As stated above four years ago, THIS IS IMPORTANT.
I feel creative, and I don't feel guilty doing what I love. Check, check, check.

And a few just made me feel kinda depressed:
 Ugh, still obsessing about food, thinking about food, worrying about food, pasting things on my vision board about food. Everything on the board is very positive, common sense, on the up and up - but considering where I am in my relationship with food at this moment, it bothers me. Probably because I am doing the opposite of the bullet points listed above - eating bad, obsessing, being really mean to myself and not liking what I see in the mirror. Then I work out like a crazy person and starve to try and undo the damage done. 'Eff you vision board.
As far as the classes above go, I've taken zumba which I love, and I should do more.
And yoga, yeah, by the time I get around to doing that on a regular basis it won't be hip or cool anymore so...that's good?

One thing made me feel really good.
It was like the tiniest little afterthought vision on the whole damn board:
See waaaay over there toward the edge of the board over there what it says? It says "write!!" And I'm writing. And I like that, it feels good. Writing was just a tiny little "maybe I'll try that someday" vision with two exclamation points to fill in some space.

I'm glad I took something and ran with it. I love this blog. I'm writing other stuff too, guest posting on my favorite 80's website and working on something that I hope someday will turn into a book. Or a play. Or something fun and truthful to read.

I shouldn't feel badly about what I haven't accomplished. I put the vision board back in the place of honor. It's been a few days and I like seeing it again everyday.

And I'll continue to envision Italy.
And London.
And Hawaii.

Yoga? Not so much.