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Cutting and Pasting and Obsessing

14 Nov

My mom is moving and has begun bringing my boxes of very important memorabilia to my house. I love looking through this crap that I hold dear, and even though I haven’t seen this stuff in years, even though I’d plum forgotten about it all, now that it’s in my hands again I remember being an obsessive eleven-year-old sitting on her bedroom floor with stacks of Teen Beat and Bop, scissors and tape and a fiery passion for celebrity boys. I can never let this stuff go. It’s too disturbing.

I loved Michael J. Fox. I loved Kirk Cameron, the Coreys, John Stamos, Johnny Depp, that kid from Our House, Chad Allen (?), too. But, long term… I was going the marry MJF.

For me, every year was The Year of the Fox.

I boned up on his vital statistics, learning his birthdate, his siblings’ names, his filmography. I then rented everything I had not seen from Family Video and scoured each week’s TV Guide for those movies or series I couldn’t rent. I was quite successful at this and can proudly say that I have seen everything on this page. Not easy to do in the mid 80s without premium cable or, you know, the Internet. Class of 1984 was particularly terrible.

So, nothing out of the ordinary obsessive preteen crush. Here’s a nice Family Ties spread.

Here is where the book delves into MJF’s personal life. You know, he dated Nancy McKeon. Jo from The Facts of Life, which I just couldn’t understand because she wasn’t “the pretty one.”

And here is where it gets weird. That’s me, my head on Molly Ringwald’s body.

I’d like to point out two things. 1) the aspect ratio is spot on, and 2) I did this with scissors and tape!

This one is particularly meaningful as it masks his now wife, Tracy Pollan.

I would move from rudimentary, no-tech Photoshopping to transcription, spending nights one summer transcribing my audio tape recording of The Secret of my Success.

Hey, Boo-Boo!

10 Aug

Yogi Bear Campground, Elmer, NJ, 1984

Yep, I’m the one in the pic-in-nic basket, me with my home perm and glasses. I was usually the one who would do something weird.  This is a Girl Scout camping trip to Yogi Bear Campground in Elmer, NJ.

It is 1984, so slouch socks, Keds, and Olympic Fashion abound.

Here is a whole episode of Yogi Bear!

I was once a dancer.

5 Aug

When I was young, I attended the South Jersey School of Baton and Dance.  I liked dancing, and I guess that’s what matters.  Didn’t matter if I was good, because I sure wasn’t.  I was always a step or two off, or performing my interpretation of the moves in the routine.  Our dance teacher, and owner of the place, was a woman who seemed as though she could have been a former Southern beauty queen.  She had a long, lazy drawl and a smoker’s voice.  She died in 2009.

She smoked cigarettes and drank iced tea in the studio, which was the front of her house. I took jazz.  In my class, she wore her high-heel jazz shoes, a one piece black leotard with an elastic belt, black tights, and pink leg warmers. I imagined how fun it must have been to wear that outfit all day, changing shoes as needed, jazz to tap, tap to ballet. My mom always made me take my leotard off once I got home, and I never had jazz shoes.

But that did not stop me from grooving, from performing for audiences of stuffed animals to routines involving jump ropes, my desk chair, and a costume change, one in which I began as a shy, nerdy-type, but once I felt the groove of Hall and Oates’s “Private Eyes,” I just couldn’t help but let my hair down, rip off my glasses and strip off my frumpy clothes to reveal a sleek and shiny bathing suit, (since I couldn’t wear my leotard), that could just let myself go in.

I also took baton twirling lessons with her, but never excelled at that in the special way I excelled at dance.

I'm third from the left. (Click to make bigger.)

In this photo, I’m the one wearing the wrong color shoes.  They were not the requisite white Capezzio jazz shoes, which were, like, forty bucks. I wore my velcro sneakers.

Check out those super-flash-dance, one-piece, flourescent costumes. They came with satin b-boy hats.  (I can only blame flourescent fashion of the 80’s on cocaine.) I think this is 1983.  God, I wish I remembered what song we were dancing to.

Please also note the man in the audience wearing no shirt. Our recital was on the Music Pier on the Ocean City boardwalk, but really there’s no excuse for not throwing a T-shirt on for your daughter recital.  Maybe a muscle shirt, or a cut-off?

How to Tell if Your’re the Coolest Kid on the Block

3 Aug

My birthday, 1985.

1. Giant glasses. Check.

2. Jordache sweater. Check.

3. Neon orange hat. Check.

4. Jeans with pink stripes to match Jordache sweater. Check.

5. Hot pink Conair phone. (With pulse mode option for families without touch tone service.) Check.