Wednesday, April 30, 2008

my little angels





I am not sure my regular two cups of coffee limit will suffice today. I am pretty sure it is going to be a two pot day.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

tee hee...i think he's twitterpated


Flower: [about two birds fluttering around] Well! What's the matter with them?
Thumper: Why are they acting that way?
Friend Owl: Why, don't you know? They're twitterpated.
Flower, Bambi, Thumper: Twitterpated?
Friend Owl: Yes. Nearly everybody gets twitterpated in the springtime. For example: You're walking along, minding your own business. You're looking neither to the left, nor to the right, when all of a sudden you run smack into a pretty face. Woo-woo! You begin to get weak in the knees. Your head's in a whirl. And then you feel light as a feather, and before you know it, you're walking on air. And then you know what? You're knocked for a loop, and you completely lose your head!
Thumper: Gosh, that's awful.
Flower: Gee whiz.
Bambi: Terrible!
Friend Owl: And that ain't all. It could happen to anyone, so you'd better be careful.

Have I mentioned that we go to speech every Monday, due to the boy's very interesting articulation. No? Oh, well we do. No need to panic, he simply has been slow to properly articulate words and so being the hovering parents that we are, we dumped him in speech when he turned three. The word Apraxia was thrown around loosely for a little while, but since  he has made vast improvements and according to his therapist he most likely will be done with therapy by the fall.  Hallelujah. 

During this hour long session baby girl and I wait in the lobby and make messes. We used to observe the boy in the secret room behind the window that looks like a mirror  (you know, like you see on Law and Order..duh duhn...that was the Law and Order sound.) But baby girl was getting a tad too loud and it was no longer a secret. So we were banished to the lobby. All kinds of distractions walk through the door. One in particular as far as baby girl was concerned. A teenager, and actually as far a teenagers go a fairly attractive one, maybe 16? Baby girl all of the sudden got in command of her feminine wiles and started to FLIRT...shamelessly too I might add. She was smiling and giving the kid the doe eyes, then she would, no lie, blush and bury her face in my shoulder. It was cute and a tad bit weird at the same time.  Her Daddy was ready to clean the guns. 

But then...

We were at parent teacher conferences for the boy, yep they got 'em in preschool too, and we found out that he had kissed a little girl. His teacher said it happened during an unfamiliar to me verse of If You're Happy and You Know It...which goes "if you're happy and you know it kiss the air." He, instead of kissing the air, ran over and kissed *Lacey* (name has been changed due to possible Internet whack jobs.) His teacher was quick to point out that it was all very cute and innocent. We have been told by *Lacey's* family that she may harbor the same feelings for the boy. And the cutest part of all was last night when the boy stated out of nowhere "*Lacey* is prettier than all the princesses." He says that about me sometimes, and I then remember why he is so adorable...but it is spring and it appears that both kids are twitterpated. I could freak out about it, but I won't, it is too cute, but in ten years there will be some major freaking out going on. 

Monday, April 28, 2008

thwapt thwapt thwapt thwapt thwapt thwapt......


Hey, what is that sound? That is the sound of millions of helicopter parents trying to land, but haven't been given clearance by air traffic control. 

The Dear Manny sent me a link to an article. Usually I save all Newsweek articles until Nudie Magazine Day. (def. Nudie Magazine Day is when the Newsweek arrives at Jennie's house, this usually occurs on Tuesday. She waits patiently by the mailbox until the precise moment when the Newsweek arrives, shuffles the kids into their bedrooms for their naps, and devours it. She is very happy when Anna Quindlen writes the last essay. She is very displeased when Nudie Magazine Day does not occur on Tuesday, but somehow ends up being on Wednesday. When someone else (i.e. the Manny or the Husband) retrieve the Newsweek first and read it all before she does, she pouts and sulks, the nudie magazine has lost it's luster and newness and she is no longer interested in it. She stole this phrase Nudie Magazine Day from the movie Billy Madison.)  What the hell was that about...oh well, let's move on.

So this link was about my favorite topic, neurotic parenting. A mom let her nine year old take the subway home, by himself. Gasp!  She has since started a blog called Free Range Parenting. I am at times a neurotic parent. I am not sure how this happened because both of my parents are very un-neurotic. I was pretty much allowed to roam freely. I was taught "self reliance" (that sounds way better if said with a Sean Connery accent.) This was before the awful term: playdate became part of everyday vocabulary. I am blaming the media for my neurotic parenting behavior, hell why not, they get blamed for everything why not my behavior too. Parenting has reached a pinnacle of new craziness in recent years. I say this because parents are now managing their children's college schedules. People, this really will not do. Yes, I am aware that you are most likely paying for the college...Heaven forbid the little angels got into some debt of their own, but they will never be full-fledged adults while you are managing things for them. I hope I don't do this later in life. It really is embarrassing. 

But I am very afraid of what my behavior will be in the next couple of years. I was explaining to the husband on Friday evening about how there is a stroller brigade from the streets of our neighborhood to the elementary school (we are exactly .6 miles from the school) every morning/mid-day/afternoon. These strollers pick-up not only the little kindergartners, but I am pretty sure the fifth graders as well. For the children who are not "lucky" enough to have mommy home in the afternoon to provide the snacks there is the after school program. Once again, many of these kids are 10/11 years old at this program. Oh, of course there are the day care buses there as well. I was a latch-key kid starting halfway through third grade. Granted it was in Iowa, but seriously what has changed? What really has changed? 


According to Newsweek "Nationwide, stranger abductions are extremely rare; there's a one-in-a-million chance a child will be taken by a stranger, according to the Justice Department. And 90 percent of sexual abuse cases are committed by someone the child knows. Mortality rates from all causes, including disease and accidents, for American children are lower now than they were 25 years ago. According to Child Trends, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research group, between 1980 and 2003 death rates dropped by 44 percent for children ages five to 14 and 32 percent for teens aged 15 to 19."  Are these good numbers because we have become a nation of wussies? Or are they the result of actual safety measures that make a difference such as car seats, seat belts, air bags, vaccines, safety gates and such. Are these numbers the result of schools totally wigging out and outlawing tag. I highly doubt it. 

I wasn't being completely sarcastic and snarky when I said I blame the media. It is a horrible awful thing when a child is in an accident, seriously injured, abducted or dies. Horrible. But the media in all of it's money making schemes really does play on people's rational and at the same time irrational fears. We hear about every single crazy thing that happens in this nation. With wall to wall media sensationalism, you feel as if you are being a bad parent if you don't pay attention to these "warnings."  Bad toys, bad food, bad schools, bad playgrounds, bad vaccines, bad over the counter medicine,  bad, bad, bad EVERYTHING!

What I think has started to happen is people lose trust in their own parenting instincts. They  forever see their child as helpless, and never take the time to help the child gain independence and courage because they are too busy dousing the child in Purell or strapping a helmet on the toddler because he falls down when he walks.  They are afraid that anything will happen to their kid and they will be to blame.  I was afraid to leave my son with my husband when he was a newborn...actually this went on longer than the newborn stage. The husband is a good parent, has never harmed or put our children in danger, but I had a mindset that ME, MYSELF and I was the only person that could take care of him. All day every day, to the exclusion of HIS OTHER PARENT.  That is not good. My goal as a parent is to make sure that they can make it in the world all on there little lonesomes, AT 18!!!  Not at 25, 34, 47, or 65 for crying out loud. At 18, when they can legally go to another country and fire a large weapon at someone in a war. 

crackle. crackle. 

"control tower this is helicopter Jennie asking for permission to land."

"permission granted helicopter Jennie. you may sleep peacefully now." 

"rodger that. over"

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Kermit was right, it is not easy being green...I am a couple of days late, but, Happy Earth Day.


Let Food be your medicine ~ Hippocrates

I heard that quote on NPR this morning (I am an NPR junkie) and it I fully believe in it. I believe the better the things you put into your body the better your body will be. We get to live in this body once, might as well make it a pleasant stay. 

I have no medical training, these are my experiences keep that in mind while reading. Thanks. Oh, and this post is LONG.
Last year under the advice and a physician I began to take 12 ibuprofen pills a day for a week. (Due to hip pain...hip pain was due to running a half marathon five months after having a baby...this is not recommended for the novice runner or someone that pretends to be a runner...me.) Something felt off  in me for a while after that and I just couldn't put my finger on it, eventually I was in so much pain I went to the ER and was diagnosed with an ulcer due to all the ibuprofen I had taken. I took it with food too, it was just way too much for me. I remember this "off feeling" before and never realized it was stomach irritation.  Ibuprofen is a drug that is widely used and used frequently by many and yet it causes a lot problems for a lot of people...such as ones with sensitive stomachs, intestinal problems, or  problems with kidneys. In fact one should not use ibuprofen before running marathons because it is so hard on kidneys and you need your kidneys working top notch on marathon day. After this little experience of mine I was told not to use ibuprofen and haven't for over a year and rarely due I get reflux anymore (which was becoming a real problem...only if I ingest WAY too much coffee, chocolate, or tomato sauce). I generally don't get headaches and when I get a really bad one, I go easy and simply take Tylenol. Either way, this drug that is touted as being pretty benign, can be rather hard on the system. Everything in moderation, folks.

Other things that are really rather good for you can, in fact, trigger unpleasant side effects. Salmon and other fish have this effect on me. I always knew that shell fish created not so pleasant occurrences on my skin to appear. But until this year I had never really though about other marine food causing, um, blemishes to appear. After reading some articles about iodine and acne it struck me that the three main foods that I had been eating: Salmon, spinach, and yogurt were causing my teenage-like appearance due to their high iodine content. I had been trying everything and I do mean everything to clear up my skin. But, it was the iodine in the food and since cutting salmon out and cutting back on the others my skin has vastly improved. I do not buy the conventional wisdom that food has no affect on acne. 

So I am only supposing that chemicals and hormones are also affecting people's health. This, and lifestyle. Do hormones added to milk cause early onset of puberty or is it that girls are more sedentary and thus have more fat (estrogen and fat go hand in hand) that is causing three year olds to start to show the early signs of puberty? I am not sure, scientists aren't sure what the exact cause is either. But, I am not one for saying "Oh sure add some more hormones to cows and then I will take them...hopefully they won't bother my OWN (at times out of whack) hormones."

 Here is another example of chemicals in things bothering hormones: bisphenol-A. This is a chemical in plastic containers that mimics estrogen and there is an on going debate about long term health problems associated with it's widespread use (prostate, breast cancer, and once again early onset of puberty). BPA is in  Nalgene bottles (Nalgene just recently said they were going to stop using BPA) and baby bottles (Walmart just announced they would not sell baby bottles containing BPA.) Our good friends to the North (Canada) have been discussing an all out ban on BPA. This is where I am bad, however. I still use a Nalgene bottle (hey no plastic water bottles here thanks) and the kids use sippy cups that have BPA in them. There are non-BPA water bottles and sippy cups on the market, but goodness gracious they are pricey, and we lose sippy cups like none other. So my one of my Earth Day resolutions is to buy them and try like hell not to lose them.  The other is to be white trash (thanks for the idea C) and dry my clothes outside. 



This year we have also made a real commitment to eating a mostly organic diet and in the summer months we try to buy local. (If you need inspiration read Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle)  Once again this year we will have a garden, in fact I already have some garlic coming up, big planting weekend will be in two weeks. I. can't. wait. I really try hard to eat a lot of vegetables and whole grains and very rarely drink soda. I am an active person by nature and living in Colorado we are always finding ways to get out.
We are spoiled with awesome summers and mountains to play in in the winter. Plus, we have lots of sun! Living her really does make it easy to be GREEN, we've got lots of farms just to the east of us, lots of earth friendly cattle and buffalo ranches, plus chicken farms where the chickens are not alien bird life. Most of the stores around here carry an ok selection of organic food, with more and more natural grocers moving in. We recycle, changed the light bulbs, and even got an eco-friendly sliding back door when the other one's seal broke. The new appliances are supposedly efficient as well.  I have areas to work on too, like my SUV has a drinking problem and is right at this moment hiding in the garage afraid to show it's face to the Prius living next door. (I am trying to cut down on useless trips.) Like I mentioned before I am going to upgrade the sippy cups. I should shop more at thrift stores, but have an aversion due to past childhood experiences...I am not going there, don't worry. I have decided that my quality of life doesn't depend on having lots of gadgets (we have plenty already) or lots of pricey vacations (although I do love them), but it instead depends on being able to give my children (and yes spouse too) QUALITY food and not just junk. And while global warming and too many chemicals in the environment may not give me cancer  it may bother others people's bodies and you can believe that my grandchildren WILL be affected by global warming and extra chemicals. I am trying to be the change. But it is tricky, and pricey. I encourage people to try and grow a vegetable....its not that hard. Try to buy organics when possible, bring those re-useable bags to the store, change light bulbs. One thing I am curious about is organics grown in China...I mean with all the bad press lately on China is this even possible to do?...and this is what I found out. According to The New York Sun and Business Week, many large organic food companies (Whole Foods, Stonyfield Farms, even Costco) send people to China to inspect, but that it is not 100% fool proof. While organic food grown in the US is more regularly inspected there is always a problem with pesticide drift from other farms. Our drift is not quite as toxic as China's potential drift because they still use DDT. An interesting thing was noted that foreign growers seem to have an all or nothing theory when it comes to pesticide use:  food testers find either insanely high levels of pesticides or none whatsoever. So I think for now, I am going to check my labels, try to support Colorado farmers, and love my own garden. Oh, and I just yesterday got all new Eco-friendly cleaning supplies, they smell nicer and aren't quite as harmful to pets and to the water system. I will be keeping the big guns around for sick season though. 

One last thing, take your green test by clicking here: http://www.greeniq.com  
I got a 68, I could do better. 


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

do you see what is wrong with our education system these days?







Who's crazy idea was it to let them play with flour? Oh yes, now I remember, it was the preschool teacher. The husband said it best, "you can't listen to preschool teachers, they are crazy dangerous individuals who hang out with lots of four year olds everyday." The boy and baby girl sure had fun, and since I didn't receive the "EEK there is a piece of lint in the middle of the floor, scrub down the whole house now!" gene from my very clean to the point of OCD mommy I didn't care much about the flour mess, just a quick vacuum. In terms of household cleanliness I have TWO pet peeves:

1. Dishes in sink
2. Unmade beds

If those two are accomplished the rest of the house can wait for the 1x weekly cleaning. In fact, the laundry has been known to get so fed up with sitting in the basket it drags itself down to the laundry room pleading with me to put it out of it's misery. Usually I come up with better things to do, poor laundry.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

mercy mercy me

Quick I need some SAHM (i hate acronyms) LOVE dear Universe. Would I somehow be a more productive member of society if I were to pay other people to do what I do now...so I too could make oodles and oodles of money for a large corporation or small corporation. Is what I do worth a damn in reality? Or am I just foolin' myself and stroking the ego? Huh? Universe, is this my GREAT BIG PURPOSE in this one short life? Did I really just go from having my parents support me to having a husband support me? Should I just hire an illegal alien to watch my kids and then I could REALLY and TRULY offer the world my services? Is this life that I lead now going to come back and haunt me when I have no money in my own social security fund? Is what I do even a job? Oh and tell me again Universe why did I study hard and get that degree? So I could be a cop-out and be one of those SAHMs bitching about my life?????? I WANT ANSWERS!

Here is my resume for your consideration



Jennie X


ACADEMIC EDUCATION
Degree GPA Institution
B.A. Useless Liberal Arts Degree 3.8/4.0      University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV

WORK EXPERIENCE
-Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinic                X Air Base, Germany
Medical Technician- Red Cross Volunteer
Handled neurotic pregnant and non pregnant women’s urine samples, blood pressure, handed instruments to doctors for cootie collection

X TITLE CO.                                           Las Vegas, NV
Escrow Officer
Made borrowers sign loan documents that they in no way understood, then notarized such documents. Then received large sums of money from FDIC backed banking institutions through the Federal Reserve and funded not understood by borrowers loans. Fielded awful horrible phone calls from strippers turned mortgage brokers.


SAHM                                                    Suburbia, CO
Ass Wiper Extraordinaire/ Volunteer Sucker
Had two children surgically removed from my abdomen. Fed said children with homemade milk. Woke up multiple times a night to feed and diaper children. Took showers so I wouldn’t smell like rotten milk for husband. Cooked homemade, non-boxed, corn syrup free, organically, locally, expensively grown food for family. Was responsible for cleaning up ten-trillion toys each working day. Wiped bottoms, faces, hands during crying, wiggling, wailing sessions with co-workers. Washed dog, dishes, children, floors, counter tops, toilet bowls, bathtub, car, walls, railings, doors, couches, ceilings, and clothing every working day. Got suckered onto being the Treasurer for MOMS Club, on staff parish committee, and now on board for preschool. Made people take naps. In charge of landscaping. Made sure I was appropriately dressed and not wearing sweat pants when Mr. Man with the Cash comes through the door each evening.


CAREER ACHIEVEMENTS
• Dean’s List at UNLV
• Language intensive study abroad course in Cuernavaca, Mexico, 1998
• Volunteer of the Quarter X Air Base, Germany, 2000
• Cum Laude
• Major GPA 4.0 because those Useless Liberal Arts classes are so easy a monkey could pass them.
• Got some bonuses at work
• Thrown up on
• Pooped on
• Peed On
• Ran up Credit Card Debt
• Loved most by two small children and weird man
• Being suckered into volunteering too much
• Ran two marathons


PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS
MOMS CLUB – Treasurer
Losing my identity and self respect – Class President
Ass Wiping Club - Secretary




PERSONAL INTERESTS
Foreign Languages*
Running
Cycling
Camping
Skiing
Snow Shoeing
Horseback Riding
Hiding in Bathroom
Being a Smart ass 
Reading self help books


*Conversant in Spanish, intermediate ability in German, fluent in toddler tantrums, crying jags, and KLANDese


Monday, April 21, 2008

um, excuse me, that award is f-r-a-g-i-l-e



"what is that gawd-awful noise coming from the bathroom?" 

"goodness, i haven't a clue. it kind of sounds like a cat in heat. let me go check." 

knock knock.

I open the bathroom door and peek my head out. "can i help you?" 

"um, Jennie what are you doing in there?" 

"besides hiding, what does it sound like i am doing. I am SINGING! duh. you know that catchy lollipop song by Mika, that is lodged in my brain and won't remove itself."

"ah, singing you say." 

"yep, i am pretty sure i am ready to be on American Idol. I mean i know the tile lends to better acoustics here in the bathroom, but i am sounding pretty darn good. someone call Simon, this is going to be my big break." 

 "um, yeah. riiiight. ok and why are you singing my perfect wife jennie?"

"hey, you sounded like that schmoe from Office Space. and I am singing because I got this major award":




"its like electric sex gleaming in the window, careful its fragile."

"oh, your blog I should have known. and who might i ask gave you this major award?"

"none other than Eat Play Love but now it is time to pass the love around. so i am ripping the award into two equal halves and giving them to Kathleen after last weekend's fun she needs some Mc Lovin, and also to M  because I MISS you and I love hearing about what you are up to these days in Virginia."

"how very nice of you, jennie." 

"yep, i know and now I am going back to my yowling."
Mika - Lollipop lyrics

Friday, April 18, 2008

Come on Eileen...its 80s music time

This is by far the hardest 80s day for me. There are just so many 80s bands to choose from and it is so hard to pick. So let's just get the big hair bands out of the way. 

 Pour Some Sugar on Me, Girls, Girls, Girls, and Livin' on a Prayer...if only we could forget!
OK so the big hair bands really came out of the late 70s heavy metal bands, you have Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Quiet Riot, AC/DC , Alice Cooper, and I wish we could just forget about KISS but we can't. Sorry. Out of all this glam rock of the 70s came the 80s big hair bands. To my little "I am not a heavy metal fan" ears there seems to be little difference except of less make-up more AquaNet and maybe a power ballad or two ( i want to know what love is.)  So it seems to this girl that the major 80s hair band icons are as follows. Van Halen, Motley Crue, Def Leppard, White Snake, Poison, Guns N Roses, Skid Row, and last but not least Mr. Jon Bon Jovi. Maybe we will but Joan Jett and Heart here too. Now if only Headbangers Ball was still on t.v.....
Personal favorite: Aerosmith's Ragdoll
Here are the big hair youtube selections watch if you like otherwise let's just move on.





OK now that we have that out of our system. 

Do you really want to hurt me, Tainted Love, Take On Me, 
Now we have come to my  favorite: New Wave (you know synthesizers (its not a KEYBOARD), sing and dance all around to music, a bit post punk, but more pop...although I do like me some Punk as well). So here we have Flock of Seagulls, The Cure (i know they could be punk too), Eurythmics, Culture Club, Soft Cell, a-ha, Pet Shop Boys. I think this genre more than any other is what the 80s is known for and when you think 80s you tend to think machine sound with a synthesizer and some florescent articles of clothing on people wearing top hats. Or at least I do. 





bitchin' camaro, make a bird house in your soul (1989 thank you), blister in the sun
OK now what to do about "College Rock" or the 90s Alternative Rock. So in 1986 MTV debuted 120 minutes which proudly played the indie/underground/post punk not making it on Casey Kasem's Top 40. This is what gave way to what in my humble opinion is the greatest music ever...90s "alternative/grunge," but we all know it is not really all that alternative" rock. So these would be They Might Be Giants, Violent  Femmes, REM, Butthole Surfers, and (I do love) Sonic Youth. Oh, and I am putting the Dead Milkmen here as well. 


Its Tricky, La Di Da Di 
The Golden Age of Hip Hop (Yo MTV RAPS) Run DMC, Grandmaster Flash, and LL Cool J  are the most iconic of this group and like Hip Hop today was constantly changing. However, this genre was started by Afrika Bambaataa. The one group that sticks out in my mind here is the Fat Boys, because they could make crazy noises come out of their mouths. oh, and the breakdancing that goes with Hip Hop. Really, that. is. cool. 


Brass Monkey, Girls, Fight For Your Right (to Party), Hey Ladies
the band that I can't fit into anything: The Beastie Boys. OK so they were sort of punk, sort of hard rock (fight for your right to party) they are instrumental, they are hip hop, they got some drum machines and synthesizers going. Either way they are awesome and I love them and they made it in the 80s. 'nuff said. Watch the video.



 Now for the ICONS. 
Madonna, Michael Jackson, Billy Idol, U2 (mmm Bono)Cher (um, Yikes!) Phil Collins, Cyndi Lauper, Depeche Mode, INXS, Huey Lewis and the News, Janet Jackson, Prince, yep I'm throwing in Debbi Gibson, Peter Gabriel, Police, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Palmer, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder (i just called to say i love you was soo big) and George Michael. There is an incomplete list. These people were HUGE some still are, some not so much and some are living in Dubai.







Like I said music is the hardest to do because there is just so much of it and people are oddly territorial and personal about music, but I  hope you enjoyed the clips.  Thankfully, we've already covered music in the movies.
 
80s trivia: who's number is 867-5309?

below is a "I heart the 80s music" compilation


and just for you dad;

Thursday, April 17, 2008

80s Global Events ~ tear down this wall



(yep this song made into the blog too.) 

Vietnam was over, the hippies had become yuppies, the pendulum had swung back to the right. An actor became president, in 1985 homelessness in the US was at the highest since the depression. While the 80s are not thought of as a "turbulent" decade like the 60s and early 70s, and while there was not a full on war going on anymore, events that occurred between the years 1980-1989 have forever shaped our world and some days it seems as if we are rehashing mistakes made from the 80s over and over again in this decade. Here is a brief discussion of major events and some noteworthy news thrown in: 

In 1980: Operation Eagle Claw was a failed military operation to free the 53 hostages in Iran. These people we not freed until January 20th, 1981 almost to the minute after Reagan was sworn in as President.  Mt. St. Helen's erupted killing 57 people. That pesky Iran and Iraq war that we here so much about these days started this year. The US decided to boycott the Olympics being held in the USSR (because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan...WOW!) John Lennon was shot to death.

1981: THE MANNY WAS BORN! Iran released the US diplomatic hostages. Air traffic controllers went on strike and were ordered back to work by Reagan due to the "peril of national security."  Pope John Paul II was shot thus creating the Pope Mobile. Scientists identify the AIDs virus. Charles and Diana wed. Ten members of the IRA died while on a hunger strike. Reagan authorized support for groups trying to overthrow the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. Reagan survived an assassination attempt.

1982: After much debate the groundbreaking ceremony for the Vietnam War memorial takes place (oddly enough involving H. Ross Perot.) That pesky Falkland Islands Debacle occurred. Someone put cyanide into Tylenol bottles killing 7 people. 

1983: The US embassy was bombed in Beirut. An IRA bomb explodes outside of Harrods. Reagan introduced "Star Wars" or better known as Strategic Defense Initiative. Tom Brokaw begins anchoring NBC Nightly News. 

1984: USSR boycotts the 1984 LA Olympics. US pulls Marines out of Beirut. President Reagan during a voice check for a radio broadcast remarks "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes" and then he was re-elected. Crack cocaine starts to become quite an annoyance. Ma Bell was broken into the Baby Bells. 

1985: Gorbachev becomes leader of the Soviet Union. Live Aid concerts raise money for Ethiopian famine crisis. The hole in the ozone layer discovered. A blood test for AIDS was approved by the FDA.

1986: US bombs Libya. The Soviet reactor in Chernobyl explodes and people start to think nuclear energy may not be so good after all. Gorbachev introduces Perestroika and Glasnost. Halley's Comet zoomed past earth. The Challenger explodes after launching into space. A bombing of a West Berlin nightclub happens (the night club was popular with US soldiers.) Greg Le Mond wins the Tour de France. The Iran Contra Affair (weapons for hostages) was reported by a Lebanese magazine. Reagan denies involvement. Mad Cow disease is first discovered. 

1987: Black Monday (US stock market drops 508 points)  Margaret Thatcher is re-elected for a third time. Reagan tells Gorbachev while in Berlin to "tear down this wall" The First Intifada begins between Israel and Palestine begins.  The drug Prozac was approved by the FDA.

1988: Iran-Iraq war ends, so Iraq gasses the Kurds.  A bomb explodes on Pan Am flight 103 killing 270 people. The USSR withdrawals from Afghanistan.  George Bush is elected President. North and Poindexter were indicted on conspiracy charges for their roles in the Iran-Contra affair. Iran Air Flight 655 is shot down by missiles launched from the USS Vincennes. Benazir Bhutto is sworn in as first female PM of Pakistan (and first female leader of an Islamic state, and yet we haven't had one...oops this is the 80s.)

1989: 12 European nations agree to ban CFCs. Exxon Valdez spills 240,000 barrels of oil. The Berlin Wall comes down.  There were free elections in Poland and thousands of Chinese students fill Tiananmen Square. ...and Seinfeld premieres. 







Which city was devastated by an earthquake in 1985 and then hosted the World Cup in 1986?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Its the eye of the tiger...80s movies

(note: there are lots of Youtube clips, sorry if it took 20 minutes to load the page, but click on them anyway...it sooooooooo fun) 

There are just WAY too many movies from the 80s to possibly talk about them all. But what I have noticed is the iconic one have theme music, making them oh so much more memorable two (yes gasp! two) decades later. Granted there are many just plain strange 80s movies, such as these three (Big Trouble in Little China...and yes Manny I know there is a South Park about that movie, Strange Brew, and Space Balls), and others that don't have theme music but are just as iconic (ET, Goonies, Gremlins) But the one's with nice youtube clips that I can sing and dance to are way more fun. 



Cold War Themes: Top Gun is my personal guilty pleasure. I still watch it. I still drool and I mean wipe spit from the side of mouth while dreamy eyed look on face drool during the "volleyball scene." When I was eight and this pleasant film came out I remember my good friend Monica telling me "that this was Kelly (her sister) and long forgotten boyfriend's name song" while hearing Take My Breath Away on the radio; and at eight that seemed like the best love song ever. And maybe that is why i found that man above so attractive.  Stripes is another great Cold War movie. 


Dancing: Footloose, ok the premise of the movie is a little off, a town that outlaws dancing?....but good 'ol Kevin Bacon can change all that. Flashdance was another crazy dance movie, as was Dirty Dancing (it was also a personal favorite).







Beat 'em Up: Who doesn't love Ralph Macchio in The Karate Kid, he is so dorky and finally beat up the bully and gets the girl. Or ALL OF THE Rocky movies, I mean Sylvester Stallone is so eloquent. Another great Stallone film...Rambo





Teen movies: The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller, Pretty in Pink, Say Anything, Can't Buy Me Love (with a very young McDreamy) and  more of an actual coming of age movie Stand By Me




Talk about theme song: Ghostbusters I and II (II not so good) but that song will get lodged in your head for days...I ain't afraid of no ghost...




Then we have your remembering past people/eras movies: La Bamba (another favorite), Good Morning Vietnam, Platoon, Great Balls of Fire, and I am going to put  all three of the Back to the Future movies here.  ah doc. and marty. oh, and I guess all of the Indiana Jones movies too they were set before the 80s. Oh and speaking of Michael J. Fox, remember Teen Wolf?

and lastly: the horror genre with Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, and  Halloween being the most noteworthy.

and  I know that the Stars Movies, Star Trek, and Superman movies had movies in the 80s, but they just seem so, um, 70s. 

So here are my childhood favorites (aside from those mentioned above) 
1. Flight of the Navigator
2. Annie
3. Adventures in Babysitting
4. Princess Bride
5. Coming to America (oddly enough we were allowed to watch Eddie Murphy)
6. Never Ending Story
7. Harry and Hendersons
8. PeeWee's Big Adventure




p.s. "So it's sorta social. Demented and sad, but social."

What movie is that quote from and what is demented and sad?






Monday, April 14, 2008

...and I am a material girl....80s fashion craziness.





you get to pick from two, that's right two, very great 80s videos for this post...go ahead click the arrow, i'll wait...are we ready....ok...)

Whatever decade one is presently in has the absolute best clothes of all times and anything previous just seems so silly and dated, and now that we are quite a few years out of the 80s, say like 18 years, we can look back and laugh at ourselves instead of hiding our faces in shame. Although some of these looks are STILL shameful and yes, quite embarassing. Being a small child for most of it I remember teenagers around me having certain "looks" and in the late eighties I was trying to emulate these looks. But most of the time I was just concerned with getting Guess jeans, an Espirit sweatshirt, and when I was quite small, the absolute perfect velcro shoes. (However, I was a punk rocker one year for Halloween...because they were only called PUNK rockers.) Let us start with the easy and move on to more questionable looks, shall we?


The Preppy: This is the Lacoste, pastel, "boat shoes," sweaters draped over the shoulders with the cuffs joined and rolled twice to keep it on. Remember to flip up the collar for pete's sake. One's hair was not big at all, maybe some nice straight bangs (put a head band in) , and um, no mullets for the gentlemen, thank you.


The Flashdance/Olivia Newton John "Let's get physical" Look: you know that one, legwarmers, the large sweatshirt with it's neck cut out and then worn with a shoulder exposed and you have to listen to the Footloose soundtrack at all times. 


For the Young Urban Professionals: Ladies, shoulder pads are the way to go here. You may think that they make you more manly and thus be a force to reakoned with, but that very large bow at the top of your silk shirt screams "do NOT take me seriously, I wear both bows and shoulder pads." Men, your ties shall be striped and VERY skinny, when going out at night wear sunglasses and a tie that looks like piano keys. (after some doing some "research" I was informed that pin stripe suits with suspenders made a comeback for a brief period, my research being Michael Douglas in Wall Street.)


OK here is where it gets interesting or just wierd depending on your brain's wiring.


You can do the (a.) Madonna Look: big fluffy skirt over leggings, bodice style top, blonde with roots, lots of rubber bracelets, net fingerless gloves and a Crucifix or two (b.) The Michael Jackson Look: the red (or maybe black) leather jackets, very tight jeans (or leather pants) a white t-shirt works well, once again a glove, and if you were able, a jheri curl. and (c.) The Miami Vice Look: this is NOT a good look for anyone, Don Johnson included, white suitlike jackets with an electric blue shirt underneath, really bright colors are a little scary on grown men. (d.)and then there is George Micheal....

Now for some accessories:
ok, each of you NEEDS a swatch watch (with the very nice face protector that comes in many colors for mix and matching), some Ray-Ban Aviators, for the ladies jellies and the banana clip. If you are subscribing to the large hair look (I will be covering Hair Bands and THIS odd phenomenon later) you should only use AquaNet, nothing else will hold or become quite as crunchy, except if you were to mouse first and then AquaNet the hair. Hot pink lipstick and blue eye shadow are an absolute must! Whenever possible wear high tops and occasionally throw in the flourecent socks.


Other oddities: Members Only Jackets, KangaROOS shoes (they did have that cool side pocket), Keds, and Ocean Pacific.


But, I suppose if you are really cool and could pull it off, get a picture of RUN DMC and dress like them.
p.s. what name does the mermaid choose for herself in the movie Splash?


these are just for Kathleen's brother 

Sunday, April 13, 2008

day two- After these messages, we'll be RIIIIIGHT back!


(once again click the arrow so you get the full eighties love)

Aside from Seinfeld and Friends, 80s network television shows stick in my mind more than any from the 90s and or the current decade. Granted I was a child so for some of the shows the theme song is my only memory, but they are memorable. Laying in bed as a child  I remember listening to whatever show my parents were watching, running out and asking "what's that?" only to be shooed back to bed. This is now a familiar site in my own house. But others I have clear memories of and looked forward to their weekly time slot. Probably the two most distinct theme songs that remain in my head to this day are to Dallas and The Love Boat (is this where I talk about Miami Vice?) Another one that I have only a small visual memory of is the Thorn Birds, which was a mini-series in 1983, I very clearly remember my Mom talking about it...a lot. (oh, and just for the husband's sake, Knightrider). 


Prime Time shows that I remember watching as a child were :

1. The Cosby Show (of course)

2. Family Ties (Alex P. Keaton and his love for Reagan)

3. The Wonder Years (Lend me your ear, and I'll sing you a song...an 80s show remembering the 60s...hmmm)

4. ALF (um, yeah?!?)

5. Who's the Boss? (My stepfather taught Tony Danza in college and in one episode Tony mentions Dubuque, we were so proud)

6. Growing Pains (Teen Beat and Kirk Cameron)

7. Head of the Class (I don't think it lasted too long)

8. Cheers (this didn't happen until the very end of the 80s)

9. Punky Brewster (how could I not mention that one?)

10. and...Doogie Howser (what, it could happen!) 
I never was a big Facts of Life fan, I did watch a little Diff'rent Strokes though.

How could I have 80s week and not mention Saturday morning cartoons? Somehow this concept of parents sleeping in while children watch ooddles of television every Saturday morning has died out. Sure there are cartoons on t.v. on Saturday morning, but there are cartoons on ALL DAY long every single day now. Saturday morning is no longer special t.v. day. Every Saturday my brother would wake up extremely early followed by me about an hour later, bothering our parents "can we watch cartoons now?" "can we watch cartoons now?" "can we watch cartoons now?" I clearly remember smiley face pancakes on Saturday mornings too. What couldn't better than Alvin and The Chipmunks, Mr. T (with a real Mr. T during the
commercial breaks), The Smurfs, Captain Kangaroo (only a little tiny memory), Muppet Babies, and The Hulk for hours on end. Oh, and watching every single one of those PSAs in between commercials...this is your brain on drugs...and the commercials, which were all for TOYS. Oh and I NEVER was allowed to watch You Can't do that on Television, never ever...the only time I could was at daycare...gotta' love that daycare we had t.v. time.



this sticks out in my mind

i couldn't resist
 
just for you love

oh, and tell me what was alf's favorite thing to eat? 

Saturday, April 12, 2008

80s Toys ~ More than Meets the Eye


(ok, here's the deal you click the arrow and listen to the song while you read, it really is better that way. kids like balloons don't they?)

What's fun about playing with a building? ~ BIG (you know you wanted to play on that piano)


It seems like the 80s was when marketers finally woke up to the idea that kids were a demographic and their parents (being yuppies) had some cash to splurge. (This was before those same marketers, and 80s children all grown up, realized that infants were a demographic  that could also be targeted) Happy Meals were introduced in 1979 and by 1981 were reveling in their toy promoting glory. Make sure you collect all four kids. What I loved were the toy commercials, because the toys on it were so much cooler than the piece of crap that you actually brought home. Oh, and let's not forget that really cool kid that plays the Simon game in the park, or wherever they are, and then beat it!


 I, being a girl, was truly in love with  Strawberry Shortcake. Her hair smelled so good. The problem with her was if her arm came off it just would not go back on, unlike, say, Barbie's leg. Then you either had to put up with an armless Strawberry or beg and plead for a new one. I also really loved those My Little Pony and was overcome with absolute eight year old joy one Christmas morning when the Pony Perm Shop was dropped off by Santa. That's right you could perm the ponies' hair. Really it was just some curlers and some hairspray. But everyone needed a perm including the ponies. I have to mention the Care Bears as well here because they are such an 80s icon, but I never owned a Care Bear.  I just LOVED the movies. (I have two of them today and, by today's standards, still seem a little scary for the boy, but baby girl owns a Care Bear.) 


So after consulting with the Manny I have a male input about the greatest boy toys of the 80s. The first being Transformers, I remember Transformers fondly. This was a boy cartoon I could actually watch and the toys were intriguing, I was always trying to put them together only to have my brother tell me I was doing it wrong then show me how, complete with transformer sound effects. The next would be He-Man in my book. I remember asking the dear brother once if he liked He-Man better than God. To which he replied, "of course." This may explains some things.  Then finally, G.I. Joe and his arch nemesis Cobra. These were the cool plastic action figures, not the plush doll like ones I have seen in the stores recently. Those things were all over the house. Absolutely everywhere. Of course all of the best 80s toys came with matching cartoons that were on Saturday mornings and right after school. 
Here are some other 80s toys worth listing:
1. Popples (I had a bed tent with the Popples on it) 
2. Thundercat
3. Cabbage Patch Dolls (I had three, I knew some kids that had eight...I was so jealous.)
4. Pogo Balls (these was actually quite fun)
5. Pound Puppies (still have one)
6.  Hugga Bunch (never had one just dreamed)
7. Poochie
8. Micro Machines
9. Rainbow Brite (I was NOT a Rainbow Brite fan)
10. Jem and the Holograms (the toy was awful like a overgrown Barbie, or as the cynical husband said "that is just an 80s Bratz doll", but I LOVED the cartoon)
Like most kids in the eighties I went to day care where there was a lot of board games being played. Of course Candy Land comes to mind, but I also coveted Connect Four, Pig Pong, Operation, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Battleship, and that aforementioned Simon game. Plus, we colored and this was the decade when the jumbo box of crayolas came into being (didn't it have something like 96 crayons?) complete with the crayon sharpener in the back which, never ever worked.) I cannot finish this post without mention of a Lite Brite, which just seems so odd now. I am sure that I could fill pages and pages of 80s toys, I just loved them all, but here a  couple of toy commercials for you all to enjoy. 

p.s. don't forget to vote...top left.
 



 that simon one i kept talking about

 a smattering of boy commercials

barbie and the rockers

my little pony

Friday, April 11, 2008

And She Splashed Into the 80s Pool

 
you know you had a birthday party there too!

The 80s! Really what is not to love about them? Big hair, big disasters, mass production of toys, cartoons, MTV debuted, as did HBO. This was a time before we had even heard of Starbucks (55 stores in 1989 versus 15,756 in 2007) and drank $62 billion "worth" of their coffee. We had yet to hear of the internet, youtube, google, DVDs, carbon-anything, only Kermit was green, and cell phones didn't make their appearance until the very end, were HUGE, and they were only for the rich and famous. Your t.v. was not flat (mine still isn't) but your microwave was probably as large as it. Records were being phased out to bring in the cassette tape and hundreds of thousands of mixed tapes were born. We were ecstatic when we won a hockey game against the Russians and then by the decade's end saw the wall come down. Gas prices ranged from $1.03 in 1980 and $1.08 in 1989. No one drove a SUV (if you did it was a Suburban but no one called it a SUV) , the mini-van was introduced, people loved their station wagons and later their hatchbacks. Kids didn't ride in car seats in the family truckster, nor did they wear bike helmets, but rode bikes, trikes, and roller skates in the street. I don't remember seeing a small dog dressed in clothing and being toted around in a purse either. People knew the number 867-5309, the fraternity Lambda Lambda Lambda, and every one knew what a flux capacitor was. People wanted to know who shot JR, if Oliver North was lying, if baby Jessica would ever get out of that well, what was Vanna going to wear that night, and a dingo stole a baby. If you wanted to watch a talent show it was Star Search not American Idol, there wasn't reality television to speak of but there was Cheers, The Cosby Show, Love Boat, The Muppet Show, and one of my personal favorites Fraggle Rock.

So this week i am going to remember the 80s, in its entirety. Toys (I was a kid), Music, Television, Movies, Politics, Fashion, Food, and miscellaneous stuff (read:Garbage Pail Kids) and just plain old childhood memories. Hope you enjoy.

80s media for the post.


this song is special to me, i did a dance routine to it when i was five. 


a young drew barrymore and a wonderful movie



i loved this as a kid!!!

I Heart the Eighties

(this is a shameless commercial for the up-coming 80s week extravaganza)

in between my manicure and pedicure this morning, mid bite into my bon bon it occurred to me...we are going to have 80s week here at The Soapdish, and it is going to be rad. I was born at the tail end of the 1970s and I do mean tail end so I am definitely a child of the eighties. i fed the children a bunch of sugar and then locked them in a padded room while i brainstormed the eighties. the manny and i covered four sheets of paper and then decided i probably had enough for the week. in order to take eighties week to the max you ACTUALLY have to click on the youtube links to hear the totally awesome songs and movies. oh, and for you lurkers out there, i want your 80s memories too...leave me a comment about your favorite song, movie, cartoon, toy, leg warmer, 80s memory. so put in that banana clip slip the feet into some jellies and check out the youtube movie clip and the quintessential 80s sound byte to get you like totally pumped for my coming nonsense. 







two classics.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

she is one sassy mo fo this week

the t-shirts are spilling out of the drawers. we have boxes of them too. just can't seem to get rid of them. i am not really sure why. they just seem to accumulate. when i go through one of my throw-every-single-thing-we-own-in-the-trash phases somehow the t-shirts survive. they come sneaking back in the drawers when no one is looking. they are t-shirts from this race or that bike ride that and we just can't part with them. "remember when we ran that....or rode that....or went to that concert...that tour de france race...and so on. hell, we have 6 shirts in varying sizes from KLAND's family volunteer day. even the kids have them. we have ratty old t-shirts from the early nineties clogging the house. there is one though that i just can't seem to part with. there is a quote on it that goes something like this:



"Because a women's work is never done and is underpaid or boring or repetitious and we're the first ones to get fired and what we look like is more important than what we do and if we get raped it is our fault and if we get beaten we must have provoked it and if we raise our voices we're nagging bitches and if we enjoy sex we're nymphos and if we don't we're frigid and if we love women its because we can't get a "real" man and if we ask our doctor too many questions we're neurotic and/or pushy and if we expect childcare we are selfish and if we stand up for our rights we are aggressive and "unfeminine" and if we don't we are typical weak females and if we want to get married we're out to trap a man and if we don't we're unnatural and because we still can't get an adequate safe contraceptive but men can walk on the moon and if we can't cope or don't want a pregnancy we're made to feel guilty about abortion and...for lots and lots of other reasons we are part of the women's liberation movement."



i purchased this very um, opinionated shirt while in college and wore it without thinking twice. i wore it while my belly was very large with children in it. never once did i think i may or even care if i offend someone with it. but the other day, i paused and did not put it on before going to the gym, but instead wore some other nondescript white shirt. i am not sure when this change in me took place. but i am in one of those "moods" this week and just may wear the shirt for the next five days. 

oh, and the kids have done nothing blog worthy lately,  they simply sit in the corner pick their noses and eat crayons.  no, not really. 

(the poster is from around 1899 when bicycles were used in women's liberation campaigns, i do love bicycles.)