Friday, January 31, 2014

Hard habit to break.

Last Sunday evening, while patiently waiting to see what was going to happen between Anna and Mr. Bates Downton Abbey, I decided to stop on the Grammys to see what the hell is going on in the world of music today. 

In my brief viewing time I made these few observations:
  • I think I like Macklemore.
  • Madonna totally looked like the Quaker Oats guy.
  • Daft Punk is two robots.
I got excited when I heard “And right after the break, CHICAGO…” 

They sounded great, doing a medley of their ‘70s hits with Robin Thicke of all people.
Hey, hey, hey...it totally worked.

My Dad listened to the old school Chicago - the horns, the “Does Anyone Really Know What Time It Is”, the “A man selling ice cream…singing Italian songs…” Chicago.

Can you feel it?
Yes, I can.

But my Chicago, the songs and lyrics that truly have stuck with me are the sappy-sweet, 1980s, Peter Cetera-era Chicago.
FIRST CONCERT EVER.

With Valentine’s Day just a few weeks away how can you not put on one of the following songs and be transported to a school dance, a first date or a romantic dinner. Or if you’re me the back of a big yellow school bus, in distress bawling your eyes out.

Hard to Say I’m Sorry.
I was like 12 when this song out and my family was prepping for a move from NY to FL, this song always makes me think of that time in my life. That super-difficult transition during tween-dom, not a kid anymore…not a teenager yet (a perfect time for a move across the country.) It talks a lot about being “far away” and going on a “holiday” and how “I just want you to stay.” Waaaah.

SOUL CRUSHING LYRIC: 
“Couldn’t stand to be kept away, just for the day, FROM YOUR BOOODY.”

Hard Habit to Break.
Standard crying on the bus fare here. I had just broken up with my first actual boyfriend Albert, back in ’82 when this tearjerker came out. The local radio station had a call in show in the evenings where you could dedicate songs to others and I dedicated this song to Albert. A LOT.

SOUL CRUSHING LYRIC: 
“Being without you takes a lot of getting used to. Should learn to live with it. I DON’T WANT TO.”

You’re the Inspiration.
Ahhh, the King of the crying to Chicago on the bus songs! Also released in 1984 and also makes me think of the aforementioned ex-boyfriend Albert. Cried to this one in a different way since it’s not a break up song…more a song for what could have been between us if he hadn’t of blown it by breaking up with me. 

SOUL CRUSHING LYRIC: 
“You should know, everywhere I go, you’re ALWAYS on my mind, in my heart, in my soul…baby.”

In retrospect the move from NY to FL eventually worked out well - good God, I never would have met Albert if we hadn't moved, right?

Oh, and Albert and I would never have made it - we had nothing in common. He and his family were from Cuba so around them or his friends he barely spoke English to me, which wasn't the best foundation for a relationship. He mostly just made out with me.
 
But our love wasn't meant to be...it wasn't the kind of love that lasts forever.
 
 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Disney done right.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how bad I want to take my kids to Disney – they’ve never been and are at what everyone tells me is THE PERFECT AGE to go.

I have never been to Disneyland - I’m a Disneyworld girl.

Being a teenager in Tampa made Disney pretty easy – when company came to visit, we went to Disney.
On summer vacation, we went to Disney. On my brother’s birthday, we went to Disney.
People can say 6 and 8 are "the perfect ages" to go all they want.
But in my book, the perfect age to go was 18 - back in May,1989.

GRAD NITE.
Here’s the deal; the park shuts down for one night open only to high school seniors.
FROM 11 AT NIGHT UNTIL 5 IN THE MORNING.

21 smackers - all night party.

There were rules to Grad Nite, especially when it came to what to wear:

Even Mickey was unsure.

I had enough trouble figuring out what to wear to school on a daily basis.
Now I had to put some serious, prom-level thought into another outfit? I was in heaven.
 Could this be more 80's? The polka dot dress! The Clair Huxtable shoulder pads!
The suspender guy jumping! Paisley ties!
The slutty girl with the off the shoulder sweater and leggings is not amused.
 
After many sleepless nights I settled on this outfit, and well, here I am "modeling" it.
My b/f/f Susanne and I would hang sheets in my living room and take
pictures of each other like we were fashion models. Lord. 
Dear fashion industry, HIRE ME. Love, Lori
I LOVED this get up – the top had a built in vest, the material was
all shiny and flammable and the skirt was long with a jagged hem at
the bottom that was all different CRAZY lengths.
 
This was my girl gang for the evening.
Here we are getting ready to board the party bus to Orlando:
Can we talk 80s fashion right now please?
Look at Jocelyn’s all white ensemble, and Valerie in the middle - I’m surprised Mickey let you through the gates with that short little dress on. And look at Sharon in the red, that giant fringy belt that I coveted!
 
Here's me and my Susanne, all Disney’d out with our ears on that are messing up my perfect hair:
Susanne was stylish in a light pink ensemble paired with a chic
navy giant belt that had a giant gold disc weapon on the front.
 
I love the way this cop is looking at her:
Probably wanted to question her about that belt.
 
We rode Space Mountain at 2:00 a.m. in our fancy clothes!!!
We hollered at boys!!!
WE SAW INFORMATION SOCIETY IN CONCERT!!! 
Pure energy.
What a great picture - seriously, this is in a photo album.
 
And I don’t know how we managed to do it but there were no boys in our little gang cramping our style.

Maybe because none of us had boyfriends at the time? I don’t know.
But I do remember it being a crazy fun night in the 80s with the girls.
Giant rulers and pencil cups! Because we're seniors!
 
Even if Mickey wouldn’t let me wear my studded choker/acid was jeans/bolo tie.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Who's bad?

Recently, I was reminded of one of the bazillion stupid things I did as a teenager.

The other day somebody mentioned that their kid had crashed the family car and I was like…oh yeah...been there done that. Except I backed my dad's new car out of the garage INTO my mom's car that was parked in the driveway.

She laughed and it seemed to make her feel better.
I felt a little sick to my stomach and a little proud at the same time.
I thought of some other stupid things and I wondered if they were dated, 80’s stupid things or if teenagers today still partake in any of the following activities:
Piercing ears with ice cubes and potatoes.
My b/f/f Susie and I would sit on the couch watching MTV for hours painfully numbing our earlobes with ice cubes. Then we would pierce each other’s ears with straight pins while holding half a raw potato behind our ear. I think the potato was precautionary so we didn't shove a needle into our neck? I don’t really know what the potato was for. I had three holes in each ear and Susie had like six or eight. Many a feather and shiny lacquer lightning bolt was worn in those holes. We’d emerge from the TV room victorious, dripping with cold melted ice and blood. Pretty! My parents never seemed to mind or question that we did this; they just kind of shrugged their shoulders confused, and handed us towels.

Fresh off some piercing, Susie and I ready to listen to some
"Hard Habit to Break"/snack break that involved Crisco.

Setting the alarm for 2:00 a.m.
I didn’t set my alarm to study for the big test in the morning, I set it because we had HBO and classic films like Porky’s and So Fine were on in the middle of the night. I lay on the couch in front of our television in the living room looking at boobies and butts, scared to death that my parents were going to come downstairs and catch me.
RYAN O'NEAL!

Changing on the bus.
Before school, Mom put the kibosh on several outfits before I walked out the door to catch the bus. Not a problem. I’d go upstairs, change, put the offensive outfit in a bag and change back into it in the waaay back of the bus while my friends held up their Members Only jackets to shield me. One truly inappropriate outfit consisted of a Madonna Like a Virgin concert t-shirt which I had cut into a stylish half-shirt, denim mini skirt and fishnet stockings. Suitable eighth grade attire.
Not sure why my mom had a problem with this.

Sneaking out/staying out all night.
I would say I was spending the night at Tracy’s house and she would say she was spending the night at mine. Some nights we had a plan, a party, somewhere to go. Some nights…we did not. Those were long nights. Lots of walking around, sitting on sidewalks, scaring friends by knocking on their windows in the middle of the night and make outs with boys. I was the worst at sneaking out of my house, I got caught each time but like a trooper (and an idiot) I kept right on trying.

Me and Tracy on the bus.
Plotting, planning, changing into the above referenced Madonna t-shirt.

See...these things were stupid, but in the big picture of stupid stuff I did (shoplifting, changing the grades on my report card, wracking up charges when I thought I was calling "free" 976 numbers...) these really weren't that bad.
That Madonna t-shirt is pretty tame by today's standards.
And I'm guessing the modern teenager wouldn't risk getting in trouble for
watching a movie about jeans with holes cut in the butt.
This song has been playing in my head on a loop since 1981. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Gee 2014, you smell terrific.

Oh my goodness I’ve missed you. It feels like it has been forever!
It kind of has. Here’s the skinny on what’s been going down in my world:

I put up a new website at the end of November called Drawn to the 80s where Sam, my five-year-old, draws his interpretations of songs from the greatest decade in music. It went viral and got crazy love from Jezebel and BuzzFeed. Wang Chung and Martha Quinn (!) tweeted about us. They even talked about us on Good Morning America, it was totally nutty.

I did a play and got to work with some wonderful people both onstage and backstage, made some new friends and had a lot of fun.

I’ve also been doing some blogging for The Huffington Post which I am super excited about. I'm writing for their Parents section which is fun, honest and challenging.

Oh and Christmas. Yeah – that happened.

So back to business...I got some great loot!
Santa knows my crazy love of all things that smell, feel and taste delicious. 

Here are a few of my favorite things that I’m obsessing over/flipping out over/fall asleep thinking about:

I didn’t ask for this, had never tried it and now I love it.
It’s thick and super creamy like custard and it smells warm and yummy.
Have to admit I don’t really know what bergamot is…a flower?
A spice? A food? A tea? Maybe an orange?
Who cares, it smells fantastic.

I can’t stop smelling my arm.
This is vanilla heaven. 

I could smell this puppy through the wrapping paper it was in, smells like summer to me.
It’s so pretty and smells so good I will probably just leave it on my nightstand
and admire/smell it when I need a pick me up.
Maybe someday I will wash my bod with it but for now it’s a
pretty/smelly/admirable knick-knack.

Ummm, I got a giant box of my favorite cookies ever:
 
That sweet smell and taste of anisette, all licorice-y, I just love these
dunked in coffee or milk. Or on their own. Or dunked in nutella. Or peanut butter.
These are really good no matter what you dunk them in/smear on them.
I can’t buy them in Portland so my husband ordered them off Amazon.
Best. Present. Ever.

I feel excited for what 2014 holds, like something really good is close.
 
Once again I remain hopelessly optimistic that this year I will be able to make a living doing something I love – something creative, that’s still the goal. Until I scratch off that winning scratch-it, I'll just keep plugging along, moving forward.

Whatever ends up happening one thing is for sure,
I’ll be smelling fantastic.