Monthly Archives: May 2012

State of Grace

I loved, loved, loved this show. It premiered in 2000, before the channel Fox Family became ABC Family, and starred Mae Whitman (Parenthood) and Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development) as two best friends growing up in the 1960s. Hannah (Alia) is a Jewish girl who moves from Evanston, IL (whattup Northwestern!) to Ashmore, NC and attends a Catholic school where she meets free-spirited Grace. “Older” Hannah narrates the episodes, looking back at how they grew up.

In a nutshell, it was basically the girl version of The Wonder Years, but hey, it was good. I kind of wanted to be them, mostly. Also, the theme song was “Do You Believe in Magic” by The Lovin’ Spoonful, so how could you not love it? Speaking of, here’s the opening to jog your memory:

WHY CAN’T I BUY THIS BOXED SET?! Rude.

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Jesse McCartney

Adding on to my Dream Street post, I just wanna chat about JMac for a bit. Why isn’t he more famous? And isn’t it kinda crazy that he was the cute one in Summerland and Zac Efron was the awkward one with the weird teeth?

Like I said before, he was on Summerland then he did a guest stint on Greek. I really liked Summerland (Aunt Becky! Jason from True Blood!) Plus he did pretty well for himself in his solo career with hits like Beautiful Soul, She’s No You and apparently he co-wrote Leona Lewis’ song Bleeding Love? His most recent movie was Chernobyl Diaries and besides some voice work, he’s got nothing else lined up. That is disappointing.

And let’s just talk about this music video. I discovered it last summer on a YouTube nostalgia music video watching extravaganza and ended up watching it on loop for weeks. The scantily clad girls, his fitted suit, the leather jacket. Jesse’s all grown up. Also, doesn’t he have a Leo DiCaprio vibe going on in this vid? Seriously, someone get him in some more movies or TV shows. He’s so dang cute. He and Zac should team up again.

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O-Town

Remember these guys? They were the first band, ever, to be made on Making the Band. To be honest, I only remembered one of the guys’ names: Ashley Parker Angel, just because he tried to have a career after O-Town and had a reality show to document his journey from a teen star to a legitimate (?) singer. I also remember this because he named his child Lyric. Yes, Lyric.

Anyway, they really only had two songs that was danceable/enjoyable (sorry, fans.) One was called All or Nothing, which was a pretty awesome ballad, and their first song: Liquid Dreams, which name drops pretty much every famous female singer at the time. Smart tactic. What better way to get publicity for your song then trying to get other, more famous people to mention how flattered they were to be in a song?

Personal anecdote: I saw these guys in concert. At my local 4-H fair (MAKING IT BIG, GUYS!). It was pretty magical, though I really didn’t know all the songs like some people. Also, they pulled a girl I knew on stage to serenade her and I was FILLED with jealousy. Seriously, they didn’t see me in the bleachers? Rude. Possibly the best part of this was that a band called Youngstown opened for them. [Insert “towns” pun here.]

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Dream Street

Anyone remember this sweet jam? Dream Street popped up at the end of the boy band phenomenon so maybe that’s why they weren’t really popular. Plus, they were all younger than 15, so that was kind of weird. And they were marketed towards the Radio Disney crowd, so that didn’t really help them go mainstream. They broke up in 2002 because of a legal dispute between their parents and their managers. Awkward. Maybe Dream Street could have been more popular if they were formed in 2008 – present. Hello, Jonas Brothers, One Direction, Biebs? The tweens would be all over them.

But really, we have to thank Dream Street for Jesse “Beautiful Soul” McCartney. Yes, he was one of the members. We all know what he’s been up to: Summerland (with an awkward looking Zac Efron), an okay solo career, a guest-starring role on Greek and most recently, the lead role in Chernobyl Diaries. So what about the rest of the guys? Well I did some Wikipedia-ing and I found that all of them are still trying to do the music thing, one of them recently performed with Aaron Carter and one of them auditioned for Glee, and they’re all 27 years old.

Let’s just enjoy the music vid and those sweet tanks and cargo pants they’re wearing. And the dancing on the Brooklyn Bridge and on a boat. And the girl with the Nickelodeon magazine. And baby Jesse!

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S/S Saturday Selects: The 90s Toy We Hated

As kids, we loved toys. But there were some we also despised. Here are our picks for the WORST 90s toy.

Sam’s pick: Furby 

Honestly, could toys get any creepier? This could stem from the fact that these toys look like Gremlins-come-to-life, but it was a bit more than that (even though, I think that’s reason enough). First, they sensed when you were around. Second, their eyes made this weird robotic sound when they opened. And third, they started out with their own language and could “communicate” with other furbies. UM, GET OUT OF MY ROOM.

Seriously, I was not a fan. I know they sparked like this craze and people paid mad money to get these, but I call those people suckers. Honestly, give me my Teddy Ruxpin that tells me cool stories as opposed to these demon creatures that look like effing monsters under my bed. Seriously, no thanks.

Sarah’s pick: Skip It 

Yeah, you read that right. I was not a fan of the Skip It. It might be beloved to most, but for me, I just didn’t know how to use one properly. Therefore, I was frustrated and hated the stupid toy. When I was little (and this probably goes for my adult life too), I didn’t have good hand-eye coordination. I didn’t really like playing outside all that much (Barbies and Polly Pockets indoors was my ideal playtime). I wasn’t very physical and I hated sports. So you see why a Skip It and I wouldn’t be the perfect match.

And before you say that I didn’t give it enough tries. I DID. I really wanted to like Skip Its. They came in cool colors and had a cool theme song “Skip It, Skip It…” I just couldn’t do it and when I tried I would bruise my legs and feet because that damn counter thing/ball would end up hitting me a ton of times. Also, if you’re smart and are putting two and two together. Since I was terrible at Skip It, yes, I’m bad at jump rope too.

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Friday Fashion Flashback: Toe Rings

Sorry for posting a photo of feet. They skeeve me out too. Unless you have a foot fetish, feet are not pretty. So why were we showing them off with toe rings? I don’t understand why everyone felt the need to put jewelry on their gross feet, but we did. Yes, I was a big fan of the toe ring when I was a pre-teen. Apparently I thought it really pulled my look together.

I normally put them on my middle toe or the one right next to me big toe (I don’t even know what that’s called). I had a few toe rings, but most of them were silver, had some sort of flower design and a gem and were from Claire’s. I wore them with my platform flip flops all over the place and of course, I wore them with an anklet (that’s for another post). Remember those exotic ones that were attached to an anklet?

 

Do people still wear toe rings anymore? I was Googling toe rings and I saw that Jennifer Aniston wore one on the red carpet a few years ago. I really don’t know if I can get behind this trend if it every becomes popular again. But I guess you can never say never.

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Endurance

Anybody remember this reality show in the 2000s? It was banking on the huge popularity of Survivor and it had kind of the same format, but it was for teens. These kids get dropped off in a remote location, have to compete in a challenge to stay in the actual competition, and get put into boy-girl teams. At every episode there’s one mission where each team has a chance of winning a Samadhi which they can give to another team to weaken them. Then the teams compete in a temple mission and the winning team gets to choose who goes to the elimination round. The teams that are selected go to the Temple of Fate where they play a rock, paper, scissors game but instead it’s wood, water and fire. The team that wins two out of three rounds gets to stay. The losing team gets to give their pyramid pieces to the team of their choice (in Season 1 it used to go to the winner of the mission in the next episode). In order to win, one team needs all the pieces. The winners get to go on an amazing vacation with their families (this I find hilarious, but these were teenagers so adult supervision was needed).

The premise was pretty simple and nothing really new. But the best part was the teen drama. It was like Degrassi meets Survivor meets Real World, if you catch my drift. There was a lot of backstabbing, fake and real relationships, unrequited crushes, popularity contests, etc. It was so entertaining.

Fun fact: if you go on Wikipedia you can find out where some of the cast members are today. The girl that won the first season was on Real World: Cancun, The Challenge: Rivals, some other reality show on TruTV and in a LMFAO music video. Another kid from the first season was on an episode of Intervention where he was battling an addiction to bath salts because of his stage mother. Some of the other contestants in other seasons had bit parts on TV shows and movies and one even appeared on American Juniors.

After reading all of that, I came to the conclusion that Endurance was actually Mickey Mouse Club meets Survivor. It was a breeding ground for wannabe child stars. Now I’m questioning every thing on the show? Did they really have to sleep in those huts? Did they ever have to hunt for their own food or were craft services around the corner?

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Wild & Crazy Kids

This Nickelodeon show aired from 1990 – 1992, and basically involved groups of kids (who were wild & crazy) to compete in physical challenges. They wore different colored shirts and were led by one of three hosts: Donnie Jeffcoat, Omar Gooding, and a girl (one season it was Annette Chavez, the other it was redhead Jessica Gaynes).

While I did love Omar, and Jessica rocked some awesome bangs (sorry Annette), Donnie was my favorite host. It could be because he was dreamy. I mean, take a look:

sharp dresser

(Did I mention I never went through a “boys have cooties” phase?).

Anyway, he later became like a legit actor, but he’ll always have a place in my heart as a Nick host.

Here’s the season one intro, enjoy:

Sidenote: I was in the Kappa Delta (KD) sorority, and for a solid, straight year I tried to get them to make Wild & Crazy KDs shirts. They never went for it. KD SISTERS, GET ON IT.

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Lunchables

Oh Lunchables, they were so exciting when I was a kid. Now I’m wondering why I ever ate them/why my parents even allowed me to eat them. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a smart concept in cool packaging — of course kids would love them. I was a big fan of them. You were cool and got some street cred if you brought Lunchables to school. Here are all the combos I can remember:

-Basic. These had some sort of deli meat (I always went for ham or turkey, bologna is sick), crackers and cheese (I never ate the cheese, this was before I knew about the wonders of cheese). Sometimes it came with a cookie, other times it didn’t.

-Deluxe. These had the same as a basic one but there was Capri Sun AND a mini candy bar or cookie. Those ones were the best in my opinion, why go for basic when you’ve got a drink and a dessert too?

-Pizza. This was where Lunchables got a little crazy with the offerings. Pizza! I don’t even know why this was good because it wasn’t hot pizza and the “dough” part was not very good. They gave you some cheese, pepperoni and a little packet of sauce and you could be your own chef during lunch time. If I ate them at home, I used to microwave them. It defeats the purpose, but it tasted better. Wouldn’t just some leftover cold pizza from dinner last night be way better? Also, there were some packs they came with a “dessert” pizza so you put some chocolate syrup or frosting and candies on it. Um

-Taco Bell. Now this is making me a little sick just thinking about it. For the beef tacos, they gave you the filling in a little pouch. IT WAS COLD. Why was this appetizing? What was this “beef?” It was probably pink slime. They also had a nacho one that was much better. It came with queso and salsa and little round tortilla chips.

-Hot dogs and burgers. Again, why would you eat this stuff if it was cold? I never tried it, I think this stuff started to debut when Lunchables weren’t cool at my school anymore.

I looked on the Lunchables website and I think they’ve gotten rid of the questionable beef tacos, they still have the nachos and pizza (excluding the dessert pizza thank god) though. They have sub sandwiches, chicken nuggets and tortilla wraps too. I think they’re trying to stay on the healthy side since every kid nowadays either has an allergy, is on a gluten-free diet or some other bizarre health thing. I don’t know about you, but where’s the fun when Lunchables are actually healthy and don’t have crazy food combos?

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Teddy Ruxpin

Can we talk about Teddy Ruxpin for a second? Now, I’m not one to love stuffed animals (baby dolls and Barbies were really my toys of choice), but man did I love this bear. My sister had one first, and I loved it so much that my parents caved and got me my own (well, also, the tapes were getting effed on the first one. Also, it may have been my grandparents who got the second one. In any case, I got one for myself. This is really the main takeaway here.)

Teddy Ruxpin is “the world’s first animated talking toy.” It would move its eyes and mouth to “tell” stories. You would load its back with a cassette tape, and he would talk and you would follow along in a book. It was, in a word, awesome.

I guess later on, Hasbro bought it out and replaced cassettes with these things that kind of looked like 8-tracks. Then some other company bought it and brought it back in the late 90s, then some other company brought it back around 2005 and then stopped producing it. I’m going to go ahead and call that some other company is going to bring it back in like, 2020. WHO’S IN ON THIS?

Anyway, to give you a little insight into the version of the toy bear I played with, here’s the original commercial and ORIGINAL Teddy Ruxpin.

Also, Teddy Ruxpin had some friends, one of which was named Grubby. Grubby was an orange octopede. There was apparently also a cartoon based on Teddy Ruxpin and his bestie, but it aired before I was born. I did have the plastic toys that went along with this. Here’s what they looked like:

Who else remembers this toy? (Also, are you getting that I really just loved books?).

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