Tag Archives: 1980′s

Why Can’t We Revive That 80s Style Adult Swim?

Gen Xers Remember Adult Swim - we hated it... now we wish they had it!

In the past 30 years, many accepted practices have changed. What people considered normal and safe back then — transporting your newborn in the front-seat, having a latchkey kid at age 6, and letting them explore the woods with no parental guidance — is pretty much grounds for arrest these days. But, in that simpler time they call the ’80s, there were some great ideas that I’m thinkin’ we should totally revive — the way Disney Channel stars have brought back overly-sequined attire, off-the-shoulder shirts, and leopard print day-glow leggings!

Thanks, Shake It Up, I can barely look at my daughter without retinal strain!

 

In honor of the passing of Memorial Day, I’d like to start with re-instituting “adult swim” (not the one on Cartoon network).  No, I’m talking about that 15 minute span when anyone who wasn’t shaving yet, had to evacuate the water and allow the older generation to have a civilized dip? AKA the worst part about going to the pool when you were a kid.

Now, as an adult, I realize Continue reading

50 Like Totally Random Things I Remember as Like a Child of The 80s

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After writing a recent post on 15 things I’d never know if I weren’t a Gen Xer, I came to realize that as a child of the 80s, I’m some kind of Generation X genius. I mean, I could be the “Rain Man” of the Gen X set. Seriously, throw some quotes on the floor, I’ll tell you who said them. OK, that test may not work as well as it does with toothpicks in the movie.

But I now see that I’m somewhat stuck in the ’80s, and I kinda like it there. So I thought I’d share some of the most random stuff I remember as a Gen X poster child.

1. Being fairly certain you would one day marry: Scott Baio, Shawn Cassidy, Leif Garrett, River Phoenix, one of the Coreys, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Jason Bateman, Kirk Cameron, Matt Dillon, Ricky Schroder, or Tom Cruise.

2.  Jumping on the eyes of the alligator with Pit Fall Harry.

3.  Thinking Flash Gordon had the best special effects ever.

4.  That coffee-flavored sucking candy all elderly people had (before anything coffee flavored was cool).

5.  The random Super Friends like the Apache Chief, Gleek, and Samurai.

6.  Screaming, “Oh my God, the girl in Sleepaway Camp has a penis!” Continue reading

Because Chachi Loved Joanie, Not Me and Other Reasons I Made Out With Posters in the 80s

Why Does Chachi Love Joanie and Not Me? Reasons We Loved 80s Hearthrobs

Stop leering at me like that … I was 10

Why Does Chachi Love Joanie and Not Me? Reasons We Loved 80s Hearthrobs

If only this was a
pillowcase!

Why Does Chachi Love Joanie and Not Me? Reasons We Loved 80s Hearthrobs

Yes, 1000
times yes!

Look I got why Joanie loved Chachi, didn’t we all? The better question is, why did Chachi Love Joanie … and not me, not us? I went through much of the early 80s asking myself this very question. Why didn’t the 80s heartthrobs I so desperately wanted, not love me back? Because we never met? Maybe. What did Joanie have that I didn’t have? A frizzy boy-cut? A square but endearing older brother?Boobs?

For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why that muscle shirt wearing bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks with the “cool” genes of the Fonze and looks of perfection, wasn’t dating me.

I was sure Scott Baio was just as awesome as Chachi in real life and may have been even better looking, since he seemed to dress more on trend in his 2 page spreads in Tiger Beat. Every one of those posters made it to my wall, where he winked or glared at me in a way that I was pretty certain he wouldn’t do for any other 9 year old girl. (Little did I know, those leering looks he gave me from my walls could have gotten him arrested. Not to mention the kissing we did. I don’t want to brag but Continue reading

50 More Things I Remember as a Child of the 80s

garbagepail

After writing Tuesday’s post on things I’d never know if I weren’t a Gen Xer, I came to realize that I’m some kind of Generation X genius. I mean, I could be the “Rain Man” of the Gen X set. Seriously, throw some quotes on the floor, I’ll tell you who said them. OK, that test may not work as well as it does with toothpicks in the movie.

But I now see that I’m somewhat stuck in the ’80s, and I kinda like it there. So I thought I’d share some of the most random stuff I remember as a Gen X poster child.

1.  Being on a wait list for a Cabbage Patch Kid and not even being able to pick the one you wanted (bonus points if you remember its name — mine was Mitzy Shirley and she had the dreaded short curly hair).

2.  Jumping on the eyes of the alligator with Pit Fall Harry.

3.  Thinking Flash Gordon had the best special effects ever.

4.  That coffee-flavored sucking candy all elderly people had (before anything coffee flavored was cool).

5.  The random Super Friends like the Apache Chief, Gleek, and Samurai.

6.  Screaming, “Oh my God, the girl in Sleepaway Camp has a penis!”

7.  What kind of G-news Gary Gnu shared.

READ MORE:  (Right click and open the READ MORE in a new tab or window, so you can come back and read Part One – 15 Things I Wouldn’t Know If I Weren’t A Gen Xer)

The Most Embarrassing 80s Moment You Never Had | But I Did

Actual skates - oh, I keep them for parties and stuff! No, seriously.

Actual skates – oh, I keep them for parties and stuff! No, seriously.

The other day I was attempting to parlay these NBC segments I’m doing into a piece for a national magazine.  As I typed away, touting myself as an “expert,” trying to seem way more important than I actually am, and rambling on about my amazing qualifications to an Editor in Chief (whom I shouldn’t have been writing directly in the first place), Eddy Grant’s “Electric Avenue”came on and I was immediately transported to SKATELAND in Cockeysville Maryland, circa 1984.

It was Girl’s Skate and the disco lights had taken over the floor.

Now, if you’re unfamiliar with roller skate culture, Girl’s Skate is the precursor to Couple’s Skate.  During Girl’s Skate, your job, as a girl, is to look as totally awesome as possible.  You have to rock your Flashdance style off-the-shoulder-shirt with splatter paint detail, and your acid-washed jeans.

The boys watch from around that short wall AND If they likes what they sees, they put out a hand for you to slap.  The “hand out” also implies that they would like to Couples Skate with you.  SO, if you think the boy is cute, you slap his outstretched arm, buuuut if you think he’s too dorky, you hold your hand super close to your body in an overly dramatic fashion that says: “I’d rather be caught dead than be seen skating with you.”

Yep, it’s an exercise in fostering self esteem.

On this particular day, I had my eye on a very cute older boy; he may have even been a preteen!  I spotted him from across the crowded rink, as my dad laced up his skates trying to catch up to my speedy entrance.

Oh, I didn’t mention that my dad skated with me every week?  How could I forget that detail, this story is about how cool and awesome I was, right?

There I was, doing my best tricks:

  • The speed up and glide.
  • The Shoot the Duck (crouch down and stick one leg forward).
  • The professional leg cross weave around the corners.

I looked around at the outstretched arms, while Electric Avenue played in the background.  As a sensitive kid, I was an equal opportunity slapper.  So, I’d slap the hand of anyone that put it out there.  Well, unless they were super nerdy and everyone else was avoiding them, obviously!

Then I spotted him, that cute preteen.  He looked bad.  I mean, good — bad. He probably drove there on his motorized bike…  Skates hanging from the handle bars and a switchblade style comb in his back pocket to flush up his mullet.  He was definitely from the wrong side of the tracks. You know, like Matt Dillon in Little Darlings

Matt dillonI noticed that he wasn’t really offering his hand to too many girls and in a defensive action, started to skate towards the middle.

As I got closer, he did it.  He eyed me and then threw out his hand.

Holy crap, that’s for me and now I’m so far on the inside I’ll never make it, and then we won’t get to Couples Skate.  I won’t be able to hold his hand, which I’m sure will be cool and big, not small and sweaty, like the other boys I always couples skated with.  He may even be good enough to do the envied backwards hands on hips skate! My life is officially over.

Move Jenny, move!

I weaved through a few of the slower girls and reached as far as I could to touch even a fingertip.  Then in a crushing blow he pulled his hand back and pretending to slick his hair.  Holy shit, he gave me the “psyyyyych,” before the “psych” was actually invented!

To add insult to injury, my arm had overstretched to meet his teasing gesture.  I felt myself going down.  Think slo-mo in some cheesy 80‘s film, “Ohhhh Nnnoooo.”  I grabbed at the short wall to pull myself in ricocheted off it and slammed straight to the ground a few feet away from him.

Yep, COOL, I was!  (if you say that with a Yoda accent, it has the truest effect.)

I got up quickly and ran to the bathroom to cry in a stall, while Couple’s Skate started without me.  Seriously, it just began like normal, as if the most horrifying incident had not just occurred on that concrete slab of rejection.

I remember the song perfectly, it was Air Supply’s, “All Out of Love”  I also remember the pain.  Oh, the pain and the “uncoolness.”

“I’m so lost without you.”

Apparently, you can’t get too cocky in Cockeysville or anywhere, because someone will put you right back place. Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, I’ve been put in my place more times than I care to remember.

Even as an adult, a simple song can bring back an experience that sends you to rock in a corner.  I guess you’re supposed to dust yourself off and get back in the ring or the rink as the case may be.

So back to my pitch:
Dear Editor in Cheif – I AM A kick ass writer and I’m not half bad on a pair of skates…

PS : I got that job – eat your heart out mullet boy, everyone knows rat tails are like way hotter anyway!

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Total Humilation on the Roller Rink, circa 1984

You know when you’re feeling a little big for your britches? (Using that phrase alone should nullify anything I’m about to say.)  Then you get a flashback, a glimpse of some past experience that is earth shatteringly embarrassing and the universe puts you right back in your place?

Well, here I am trying to parlay this “CBS Expert Mom” thing into a piece for a national magazine.  I am at my laptop touting myself as an “expert,” and trying to seem way more important than I am.  Just as I am rambling on about my amazing qualifications to a senior editor, whom I shouldn’t be writing directly in the first place, Eddy Grant’s “Electric Avenue” comes on the radio.  I am immediately transported to Cockeysville Skateland circa 1984.  Its Girl’s Skate, the disco lights take over the floor.

Now, if you are unfamiliar with roller skate culture, “Girl’s Skate” is the precursor to “Couple’s Skate.”  During “Girl’s Skate,” your job, as a girl is to look as cool as possible.  You have to rock your shirt with the iron-on decal, those jeans with a comb sticking out of the back pocket, and those leg warmers you shoved up over them to add a “Flashdance” effect.  The boys watch from around the rink and if they likes what they sees, they put out a hand for you to slap.  The hand out also implies that they would like to Couples Skate with you.  If you think they’re cute, you slap their out-stretched hand.  Yes, it is an exercise in self esteem.  Years of this did quite a number on my psyche.

On one particular day, I had my eye on a very cute older boy; he may have even been a preteen!  I spotted him from across the crowded rink, as my dad laced up his skates trying to catch up to my speedy entrance.  Oh, I didn’t mention that my dad skated with me every week?  How could I forget that detail, this story is about how cool I am right?

Here I am doing my best tricks: The speed up and glide,  the crouch down and stick one leg forward, the professional leg cross weave around the corners.  I look around at the outstretched arms, More than a feelin, should be my background music.  As a sensitive kid, I am an equal opportunity slapper.  So, I slap the hand of anyone that puts it out there, unless they’re really dorky and everyone else is avoiding them, obviously! Those poor kids go home and make “kill lists,” or comfort themselves with their Star Wars figurines.

Then I spotted him, that cute preteen, he looked bad.  I mean good bad. He probably drove here on his motorized dirt bike with his skates hanging from the handle bars and a switchblade hiding in his pocket.  He was definitely from the other side of the tracks. You know, like Matt Dillon was in Little Darlings. I noticed that he wasn’t really offering his hand to too many girls and in a defensive action started to skate towards the middle.  As I got closer, he did it.  He eyed me and then threw out his hand.  Holy crap, that’s for me and now I’m so far on the inside I’ll never make it, and then we won’t get to couples skate.  I won’t be able to hold his hand, which I’m sure will be cool and big, not small and sweaty, like the other boys I always couples skate with.  He may even be good enough to do the envied backwards hands on hips skate! My life is officially over…Move Jenny, move. I weaved through a few slow girls and reached as far as I could to touch even a fingertip.  Then in a crushing blow he pulled his hand back and pretending to slick his hair… Shit, he gave me the “psyyyyych.”

To add insult to injury, or in this case injury to insult, my arm had overstretched to meet his teasing gesture.  I felt myself going down think slo-mo in some cheesy 80’s film.  Ohhhh Nnnoooo, I grabbed at the wall to pull myself in and slammed straight into it, then ricocheted off, and slapped to the ground.  I am SO COOL!  I got up quickly and ran to the bathroom to cry in a stall, while reading about who is ez, and who loves whom 4-ever.  “Couple’s Skate” started without me, as if the most horrifying incident had not just occurred on that concrete slab of rejection.  I remember the song perfectly, it was Air Supply’s, “All Out of Love” or maybe Journey’s “Open Arms,” or some ballad  by Foreigner or Styx.  I also remember the pain, oh the pain and the uncoolness.  Apparently, you can’t get too cocky in Cockeysville, cause someone will put you right back in your insecure, struggling, awkward place… where you belong.  Unfortunately, I’ve been put in my place too many times than I care to remember.  Even as an adult, a simple song can bring back an experience that sends you to rock in a corner.

Dear Senior Editor- I am a lowly writer, eh forget get it.