Category Archives: 90’s…livin the dream

The Facts of Life

Childhood Passtime:  Hungry Hungry Hippos and Madagascar Character, Gloria, will never be viewed the same in my eyes.

I’m here this afternoon to lay some very important knowledge on you.  As a child growing up, I was led to believe that hippos were very nice, friendly, and most important, hungry animals.  Slow movers, eaters of small white balls that come in a variety of colors, and that’s about it.  My initial beliefs were then confirmed as a young adult when Madagascar came out and I saw just how funny, caring, and fun a Gloria the hippo was.  Well It has recently come to my attention that all of this is FALSE.   I found out that not only are these games and movies misleading, but they are so far from the truth it’s not even funny.  Why are people harboring this important, not to mention life saving, information?  Apparently, hippos, who can grow to be weigh over 7,000 lbs.  The largest on record was over 9,000…and let me tell you…they’re not using their “big bones” to roll horse around with other jungle animals.  No.  These animals are apparently viscous and kill more humans each year than any other jungle animal – lions and snakes included. Their jaws, which contain K9’s that can grow up to a foot long can apply the pressure of 8100 N (1821 lb).  Which is basically enough to chomp you the hell in half.  Seeing as how these animals are apparently “herbivores”, I’m not really sure why they need such large and powerful jaws.  Maybe so they can pull off stunts like this:

Now that’s a Hungry Hungry Hippo…

I understand the desire to make a scary animal less terrifying, but lets be realistic here.  Now some poor kid in Africa is going to go up to a hippo thinking things are going to be “cool” not knowing they have met their match.  Now, coming from a newly self-proclaimed Hippoexpertamus, my advice to anyone who is in a situation where the may have to encounter this beast you need to do one of two things:  Either swim out somewhere deep.  Despite the fact that Hippos spend a lot of time in the water, including that they are born in water, they sink like a rock in water deeper than where they can stand. Your other option is to climb a tree.  However if you’re like me you wont be able to pull your own body weight up fast enough to escape the Jaws of non-life.  Both of these options include serious risks, most of them being other poisonous or otherwise viscous animals, but given the situation, you will really have to weigh your options.  The one thing you do NOT want to do is RUN.  Don’t let their short stocky stature fool you…these turds can run over  19 mph, and will easily outrun you.   So, next time you are in Africa, make sure you remember these points.  Hippo = death.  See hippo = swim or climb.  You’re welcome.

Jock Jams

So recently I started listening to the “Jock Jams” station while doing my p90x workouts, and almost immediately I became OBSESSED.  In fact, I like it so much I’ve been listening to Jock Jams all day at work recently too.  It’s such fun music that really pumps you up.  You gotta love the classics like Technotronic’s Pump This Jam and 2 Unlimited’s Get Ready For This. Then of course there’s other great hits that you can’t help dancing to, even when you’re sitting like 69 Boys’ Tootsie Roll, and Quad City DJ’s C”Mon ‘N Ride The Train.   Luckily the train dance is pretty easy to do even while sitting.  I even get taken back to the good ‘ole days of 5th grade socials with gems like Freak Nasty’s Da’ Dip.

I do have one qualm with this station though.  They don’t know where to draw the line.  All of the above mentioned songs and artists really pump you up and make you want to work hard.  Somewhere along the line this station got confused and started sticking in music by Michael Jackson and the Allman Brothers.  While I enjoy both of these artists, they are not exactly what “pumps me up”. I mean really, when was the last time you heard Black or White and said to yourself “you know what, I suddenly have a ton of energy to complete a plyometrics workout”??

Luckily these songs come on less frequently than the REAL Jock Jams, but Jesus, when they do, I feel the same way that I did when I went on a 7 mile run and my iPod seemed to ONLY play Sara Bareilles…

Afternoon Delight

If you grew up in the late 80s and early 90s like I did, the sweater shown here probably looks like something you had in your closet at one time.  And, you probably wore it with some stirrups and keds…while singing along with Right Said Fred’s I’m Too Sexy.  It was really popular at the time…it’s similar to today’s legging/long shirt look, even closer now that neons are “back in”, but there is one big, stiff difference.  Shoulder pads.  Out of all of the outrageous fashions that have crossed my path in my 26 years shoulder pads are one thing I will never understand.  Who was the genius that decided they should take a delicate woman and transform her into an offensive tackle?!

It just seems like women are always trying to look smaller, so I’m not really sure where this idea came from.  So I did some research…apparently in the 80’s shoulder pads became a defining fashion statement, similar to the length of the point on stilettos in the early 1900’s (I’ll talk about that another day).  This  came to be known as “power dressing”.  Those who had the best pads had the best status.

I’m not really sure what I think about this one…All I do know is that when I was a kid I had a few sweaters with shoulder pads in them and I absolutely refused to wear them until my mom finally cut them out.  See, even back then I knew what was up.  Just sayin!

Electronic Pets

Remember Tamagotchis?  I will never forget being a kid and wanting one SOOOO bad.  They were so cool!  Who wouldn’t want a digital pet that they could also attach their keys (if they had any) to.  Those Japanese are pretty smart, and I think they really were on to something with this plan:  You get your kid a digital dog – one that will probably die over night because you didn’t throw the ball for him enough or give him enough food, and when the dog dies (which is a bit of a dramatic way to talk about a fake pet, but hey, it is what it is), you, as the parent, can use that as leverage as to why you can’t get a real dog.

Anyways, like I was saying, I wanted a Tamagotchi so bad, but they were $17.99 at the time and my mom refused to buy it for me because it was too expensive.  That, and she knew that a peanut had longer attention span than I did, so she wasn’t going to waste her money.  She did, however, get me a Giga Pet, which is the generic version, but it’s just not the same.  It’s like having Fruit ‘Os instead of having Fruit Loops, they taste basically the same, and although without the box most people probably couldn’t tell the difference, YOU know it’s different, which somehow makes it not as cool.  But, you gotta take what you can get, so I dealt with having a Giga Pet.

In the end, it was probably the best decision because I don’t even know what happened to it.  I remember wanting this toy much more than I remember using the toy, or liking  the toy when I did have it.  I mean there’s only so many times that you can “pet” a fake dog before you decide that “losing” the Giga Pet is the best idea you’ve had in a while!

McDonald’s: Their Road From Stealing Health to Stealing Children’s Books

I’m not sure if anyone else’s parents read them Gregory the TerribleEater when they were a kid, but I know my mom did.  This book, pictured on the left, is about a billy-goat who initially eats very healthy.  He loves fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains.  His parents, who are scavengers and eat whatever they can find at the dump, including, but not limited to:  car tires, sweaters, tin cans, buttons, and bottle tops, strongly look down on this and encourage their son to eat like them…until he likes and eats EVERYTHING.  Then, they decide that his eating healthy eating habits weren’t such a bad idea.

Now, it may be a stretch to say that McDonald’s “stole” this idea, but if you’ve seen their new commercial, everything from the basic idea to how the goat looks reminds me EXACTLY of this book.  Yes, the last time I read this book was over 20 years ago, but I’ve got a memory like an elephant, so I don’t think I’m too far off…if i do say so myself…and I do. 

Take a look for yourself!  I have embedded both Gregory the Terrible Eater (if you’ve never read this book, you should probably listen to this audio copy…it is a classic after all) and the new McDonald’s commercial below:

Gregory, The Terrible Eater from George Zeis on Vimeo.

Llife Lesson Ladies Can Learn From Little House on the Prairie

So, since Ben is away for the weekend, I’m left to my own devices…which for me, meant a 4 hour Little House on the Prairie  marathon.  It’s not that Ben wouldn’t let me watch it, or even watch it with me, but since he lets me choose what we watch 100% of the time, except Sundays 9-10PM (becaue Ax Men is on), everytime I pass Littine House on the Prairie when channel surfing, I scan right past it.  One man can only take so much…you know what I mean?

Little House on the Prairie has special meaning to me.  As a child my mom read the chapter books to me, and when I was old enough, I even read them myself.  I also distinctly remember “playing” Little House on the Prairie.  We would collect different berries and such store them inside the forts we made, and play school and help “built our house” and all sorts of other things.  It was a lot more fun than it sounds…I swear.  Anyways, this little house located on a prairie is a very wholesome place to be…and personally, I’m a fan.

As an “adult” (I use quotes because by age I guess I have to be an adult, but you’re only as old as you feel right?? and most of the time I feel like I’m about 16…whoopee!)  watching The Little House on the Prairie,  I can see that all women out there can really learn a lesson from Caroline Ingalls (the mother).  She really has her ducks in a row.  Episode after episode, while she is submissive and obedient to her husband, she secretly is getting everything she wants…the smart way.  What do I mean by this?  Oh, well that’s easy.  She either starts a project without telling her hubby, and then tells him once it’s to the point where he’ll happy about what is happening, or she just tricks her husband into thinking that what she wants was HIS idea…it’s really a genius plan.  Either way, she gets what she wants WHILE making her husband feel like he’s the ring leader.   Everyone gets what they want.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I definitiely think that this manipulation of the “weaker species” is both smart and necessary for a long and happy relationship.  Not one that I would ever implement in my own life though…never!  Not me! 😉  Oh, and girls (and guys if you’re man enough), if you wanted to catch up on some more tips like this, Little House on the Prairie play about 18 out of 24 hours on the Hallmark channel.

Welp, glad thats over!!

So here I am doin a little Friday Afternoon Thinking…you know, instead of cleaning my bathroom as planned.  I’ve been perusing the internet and Facebook and came across something so horrifying I’ve gotta talk about it!  I landed on some pictures of gauchos and I thought to myself…”ouch”.  No, seriously…gauchos are just one of those things that look terrible on everyone.  Skinny, fat, short, tall, or any combination of these descriptions…they all look awful.  I’m just not sure how they became such a big fashion statement…because if I remember correctly, they were pretty popular!  I think maybe they are like teased hair or parachute pants…bigger is better.  Bigger is better, that is, until someone finally admits that less actually IS more and the whole undertaking crumbles.  One thing I can say is that I’m happy I never fell into this unfortunate trend and even more happy that it’s over.  A little word of advice for those of you who still own them…do yourself a favor and move on already!

Child’s Play

Quick morning story:  When me and my sister were little kids, we used to play “boat”, where the couch was out boat and everything else around it was water. So, whenever we would have to get off the couch to go eat dinner or go to the bathroom we’d have to hold our breath and “swim” there.  I always seemed to make it out of the water unharmed.  What was weird was that most times after I made it to safety, there would be a shark attack and my sister wouldn’t be so lucky…That may be why there was a lot of this growing up:

Dial Up Internet

Over the weekend, I was talking to a couple of my girlfriends about something that only people of our generation will really understand…dial up internet.  Our parents didn’t use internet in middle school and high school and even those who used it as adults in their everyday work life didn’t use it like our generation did/does.  Internet will be about as common as flipping on a TV to our kids…in fact, its likely that they won’t believe that people could survive without them-similar to the way our generation is appalled by the thought of TVs that are only made in black and white.

I still remember when we would get the “Free Trial Disk” from AOL in the mail (real mail) about every week.  I wanted it SOOOO bad.  All my friends had AOL, and my family only had stupid Netscape.  For years I was bummed that all my friends could hop on AIM and since I only had Netscape and a Hotmail account I couldn’t.  That is, of course until I discovered that I could download AIM and chat away!  This “chatting away” that I just mentioned was short lived though, because of course my family had only one phone line.  Come on, did you honestly think that the family that had Netscape instead of Real-Deal-AOL would have a separate line for the computer??  My parents only got call waiting a year or so ago for crying out loud!  Ahh…I digress…where were we?  Oh, yes…dial up internet.  So, since my internet was strictly limited because of the one-phone-line situation, I had to come up with plans in order to make sure that I could get my chat on.  You know, like sneak into the computer room really late at night when my parents were sleeping and go on AIM (all the cool kids were always on-even late at night…their parents had a special line just for the computer haha).  Even a “buddy system” if you will, where your BFF would call you to let you know so-and-so was online so hurry up!  When someone would call you to come online, it was always stressful because with the damn dial up, it took so long to get on that you were always worried you’d miss the person you wanted to talk to.  When you did finally get online, even back then there was politics .

Situation:   You are online, and your crush comes on.  Action:  Obviously you can’t IM them right away.  Optimally, they will IM you, but if that doesn’t happen right away, you have to wait at least 3 -5 minutes before IMing them to avoid looking like a stalker.  The funny part about it is that after putting all this work into the wait, undoubtedly the conversation would go something like this:

Me: Hey!

Crush: sup?

Me: nm u?

Crush: nm

Then, its like “shit…dead end…what do I say now?”   In no more than 11 letters, you have said hi, asked how each other were doing and determined that you both have nothing better to do with your time than sit at a computer and electronically talk to your friends.  In a good situation, someone will come up with something to say, but most of the time, that small interaction will be enough to talk to your friends about for a while.  And this worked out for people for years, until, of course, it was eliminated via the force of survival of the fittest.  While there are probably still people out there that use the original AIM or AOL (sounds crazy to me, but I have seen it!), lets leave it at that was a simpler day where the only way to e-stalk people was through the quote in their away message.

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