Tag Archives: 80’s

The Jan Brady of Generations

I don’t fit.

According to the “scientists” at Buzzfeed, I don’t fit anywhere. Specifically, Buzzfeed experts told me I’m “the Jan Brady of generations.”

See that Buzzfeed? That’s my Jan Brady side eye telling you to watch your step from now on.

But I get it. I really don’t fit in. I’m neither Generation X nor Y. I am somewhere in between.

I can’t really blame Buzzfeed. I mean, here’s just a smattering of the data they had to work with…

Things That Make Me Somewhat Generation X

  • I played with Popples and Pogs as a kid
  • I listened to En Vogue and Smashing Pumpkins
  • I wore a lot of side ponies, stirrup legging pants, and curled my bangs (picture it, I’m HOT)
  • I was spanked and hit with a wooden spoon (and no one could’ve cared less)
  • I typed my school papers on a word processor (that I believe was possessed by the Devil – but that’s for another blog post…)
  • I downloaded songs on Napster
  • I had a MySpace page
  • I watched movies like Reality Bites and Singles and The Truth About Cats and Dogs over and over again…on VHS
  • I had an email that ended in @magicfishfood.com (WTF? really?? Yes, really.)

Things That Make Me Somewhat Generation Y

  • I want all the things and I want them now
  • I like Taylor Swift songs and Katy Perry songs
  • I had a Tamagatchi pet
  • All my school supplies were decorated in Lisa Frank artwork
  • I want all the things and I want them now
  • I grew up with computers in my school
  • I had a plethora of beanie babies
  • I now share my entire life on social media and I like taking selfies
  • I got my best fashion advice from Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (let’s talk butterfly clips, shall we?)
  • I owned about 100 Dr Pepper Lip Smacker chapsticks over the course of my early teen years
  • I want all the things and I want them now – (Seriously, where are all my things? Shouldn’t I have them by now? Ugh…waiting sucks.)

So, what am I?

Fuck, I am the Jan Brady of Generations.

I was born smack in the middle of the 80’s, as an oops baby no less, which means I was raised by my Gen X siblings while my Baby Boomer parents worked all day and only had enough energy to instill two rules. 1) Say please and thank you around all grown ups. 2) Drink coca cola. (But I’m partially Gen Y, so I rebelled and prefer Pepsi when given the choice.)

Now that I’m an adult, I look around at who my friends are, and apart from the handful of High School chums I still see around major holidays, my two best friends are exactly the same ages as my older sister and brother. How weird is that? That I picked the exact number of years in age gap as what I grew up with? This sets my besties firmly in Gen X. That means I can count on them to throw a super rad 80’s party, to never being afraid of playing with eyeshadow, and to tell me when it’s appropriate to cuff or not cuff one’s pants. (Of course, I’m part Gen Y so they’ve gotten use to me documenting all of this.)

2013-01-17_19-35-45_936Oh gosh, how did that get there?

I can’t claim total belonging to just one group, but I can claim just enough of the good stuff to make me believe that I’ll always have someone talk to. And that I won’t have to eat my lunch from the inside of a bathroom stall. And I think that’s winning.

How about you? What generation do you fit in?
Let the experts at Buzzfeed be your guide.

 

Sweet Jesus, What Did We Just Watch?!

I wanna rock!!!

I wanna rock!!!

Welcome to my 80’s party dudes and dudettes!  I know we’ve all been anxiously catching Oscar flicks and madly discussing who the big winners will be come awards day, but all that cinematic mumbo-jumbo needed a rest!

It was time for something fearless!

Something with some flair!

Something along the lines of a…

Guilty Pleasure, Baby!

Oooh yah, yours truly had an impromptu 80’s party at her place last night and the film to be seen was none other than the Hollywood montage Rock legend mash up hysteria that is:

Rock of Ages

Sweet baby Jesus, have you guys seen this film?!

I can’t decide whether this homage to Rock Gods and their classic jams is brilliantly epic or a tragic wasteland of sticky floors caused by the tears of naive women who wear denim corsets to rock concerts.

While the film is studded, often literally – note* even the microphones! – with several stars:  Alec Baldwin, Julianne Hough, Tom Cruise, Paul Giamatti, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Bryan Cranston, Russell Brand, Malin Ackerman, Mary J. Blige, one really gets the impression that shooting this film was a marriage between awkward escapist journalism done out of the back of your mother’s minivan with Saturday Night Live practice sketches gone horribly awry.

There’s a sick, twisted underbelly to the characters in this movie that makes me think they all enjoyed making this film.  And for that reason, it’s really hard to say I didn’t like it.  It may have won me over.

Could you say no to this?!

Yah.  Pretty amazing, right?  It’s like curled bangs and colored glasses amazing!

2013-01-17_19-11-09_50

The fact that this movie is sooo over the top makes me forgive its complete and utter cheese factor and just enjoy the ride.  Tom Cruise is a greased up, tattoed Rock God who embodies every cliche’ known to rock musicians.  He has the girls, the band who’s not as cool as he is, the fans who will love him no matter what, the creeper manager, a broken heart, and best of all, a baboon who responds to the name “Hey Man.”

For reals.

Julianne Hough plays Sherri, a girl who dreams of becoming a singer.  Oddly enough, she doesn’t achieve this, her boyfriend does, only she’s the one who helps him get there…  But I suppose if this movie were a rock concert, her stolen dreams are nothing a shot glass and some sweaty leather won’t fix!  Tubular!

Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand come in to play as the owner/staff of The Bourbon Room, a once star making venue but soon to be shut down and sold if they can’t make some money soon.  Dang, that’s like grody to the max, man!

Each character faces their own antagonist, be it a slimy, double-crossing manager with no business on top but too much party in the back (Paul Giamatti), a Fairy Godmother/Female Hustler who dresses like a genie and has more ‘do changes than Sean Combs’ had names, you know P. Diddy, I mean Puff Daddy (Mary J. Blige).  Or it could be the vengeful ex-girlfriend on a mission for all conservatives out there, and that is to shut down your bar (Catherine Zeta-Jones).

But I dare you to watch this film and NOT sing along! 

I don’t think it can be done.

So for that reason, even though I fully admit it’s a bit of a dud.  You may even ask, Where’s the beef?  But this 80’s rock musical is totally rad.  And take a chill pill anyway, we’re not talking Oscar noms here!

What’s a totally terrible movie you love?  Go ahead, indulge!  I won’t judge you.

Wait…you like what?!  Gag me with a spoon!

I Know You Are, But What Am I?

It’s Guilty Pleasure Friday again, and I needed to add one more movie to the list of Strange Films You Watched as a Child.  I can’t believe I forgot this one!  So, it’s getting it’s very own post on Guilty Pleasures.

     Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)

     IMDB describes this movie as: Eccentric man-child Pee-Wee Herman embarks on the big adventure of his life across the US mainland, as he sets out to find his beloved bike, when it is stolen in broad daylight.

He’s childish, naive, a crazy inventor, and his favorite thing in the whole world is his bike.  When Pee Wee gets a visit from his arch-nemesis, Francis Buxton, he learns not only is it Francis’ birthday, but that his one birthday wish is to have Pee Wee’s bike.

Imagine his great surprise then, when in broad daylight, while Pee Wee is buying a new bike horn, his bike is stolen!  A man without his bicycle is no man at all.  So Pee Wee sets out on a cross-country adventure to track down his sweet ride.

This mission is no easy task.  If Pee Wee wants his bike back, he’ll have to wage a war against super scary clowns, meet with a psychic, hitchhike with Large Marge, get to the Alamo, survive a rodeo, work as a dishwasher, outrun Andy the jealous boyfriend, crash through a couple of Hollywood film sets, pretend to be a nun, and battle Francis.

Here are a few great scenes you may remember.  (Technical issue:  Some of the clips require a second clink on the youtube link to view.  Sorry for the inconvenience, but enjoy the clips!)

Pee Wee’s Bike Flip

I Know You Are But What Am I?  (I know I used this tactic against my siblings on occasion.)

Pee Wee Battles Francis

Large Marge

Tequila!

And then there are the quotes to remember.  I don’t know about your house, but we quoted a lot of these at mine.

Mr. Breakfast: Good morning, Pee-wee!
Pee-wee: Good morning, Mr. Breakfast!
Mr. Breakfast: Can I have some Mr. T cereal?
Pee-wee: Okay!
[imitates Mr. T as he prepares his Mr. T cereal]
Pee-wee: I pity the poor fool who don’t eat my cereal!

Pee-wee: There’s a lotta things about me you don’t know anything about, Dottie. Things you wouldn’t understand. Things you couldn’t understand. Things you shouldn’t understand.
Dottie: I don’t understand.
Pee-wee: You don’t wanna get mixed up with a guy like me. I’m a loner, Dottie. A rebel. So long, Dott.

Pee-wee: The mind plays tricks on you. You play tricks back! It’s like you’re unraveling a big cable-knit sweater that someone keeps knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting…

Simone: I know you’re right, Pee-wee, but…
Pee-wee: But what? Everyone I know has a big “But…? C’mon, Simone, let’s talk about *your* big “But”.

Pee-wee: What did you do?
Mickey: Well, I lost my temper and I took a knife and I uh-. Do you know those “Do Not Remove Under the Penalty of Law” labels they put on mattresses?
Pee-wee: Yeah.
Mickey: Well I CUT one of them off!
Pee-wee: Jee.
Mickey: Yeah, I have a real bad temper.
Pee-wee: Boy, I always thought that was the dumbest law.

What makes Pee Wee’s Big Adventure so iconic is the story behind the creation.  Pee Wee played by Paul Reubens began the The Pee Wee Herman Show after failing to make the cast for Saturday Night Live.   He received $3000 from his parents and support from the acting group, The Groundlings, and set up The Pee Wee Herman Show in the Roxy Theater.  It was sold out immediately.  Interestingly enough, he’s hosted for SNL a number of times as Pee Wee Herman.

Photo courtesy The Distracted Globe

The original idea for a Pee Wee Herman movie was a take on Disney’s Pollyanna, a feel good movie where Pee Wee moves into a sleepy little town and makes everyone happy.  But when touring the set, Paul Reubens noticed everyone there had a bicycle.  Suddenly they were starting from square one.  Once Tim Burton got involved, the rest is history.  The wacky sense of art direction that is typical Burton got an early start with Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, which was made three years before Beetlejuice and five years before Edward Scissorhands.

Critics loved Big Adventure.  It did receive a PG rating in the end, which I credit a nod to Burton’s influence, but the humor appealed to kids and had subtle jokes for parents too.  It had adventure, comedy, romance, and let’s face it, great lines of dialogue for fighting childishly.  “I know you are, but what am I?”

Do you remember watching Pee Wee’s Big Adventure?  Or Pee Wee’s Playhouse?  Ever get into a fight with your own Francis Buxton?  What are your favorite scenes in this movie?  Or perhaps you’d like to take a moment and tell me about your big “But”.

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