Monday, February 28, 2005

A Few of My Favorite Things


Monkees Song: "Daydream Believer" (the Anne Murray version is great, too!)
Beatles Song: "With a Little Help From My Friends"
Carpenters Song: "Merry Christmas, Darling"
Frank Sinatra Song: "Summer Wind"
Moody Blues Song: "Once Upon A Time (In Your Wildest Dreams)"
U2 Song: "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"
Bing Crosby Song: "Moonlight Becomes You"
Bruce Springsteen song: "Born to Run"
ABBA Song: "Fernando"
Eagles Song: "Desperado"
Smash Mouth Song: "All Star"
Norah Jones Song: "Sunrise"
John Mayer song: "No Such Thing"
Train song: "Drops of Jupiter"
Bangles Song: "Manic Monday"
Aerosmith Song: "Don't Wanna Miss a Thing" (and I HATE the movie "Armegeddon" : 0 p )
Madonna song: "This Used to Be My Playground" (I DO like "A League of Their Own" ; 0 ) )
Nat King Cole Song: "Avalon"
Supremes Song: "Someday We'll Be Together"
No Doubt/Gwen Stefani Song: "On Sunday Morning"
Louis Armstrong Song: "I Was Doin' All Right"
Ella Fitzgerold Song: "I've Got a Crush On You"
Rolling Stones Song: "You Can't Always Get What You Want"
Rosemary Clooney Song: "Hey There"

Song released within the last year: "Accidentally in Love," Counting Crows

Song written for a live-action film musical: "Singin' In the Rain," "Hollywood Revue of 1929"
Song written for a Disney musical: "A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes," "Cinderella"
Song written for a non-musical film: "Boardwalk Angel," "Eddie and the Cruisers"
Little-known movie soundtrack: "Eddie and the Cruisers"

20s Movie Musical: "The Broadway Melody"
30s Movie Musical: Tie - "Naughty Marietta" and "Top Hat"
40s Movie Musical: "The Harvey Girls"
50s Movie Musical: Tie - "Singin' In the Rain"; "The Band Wagon"; "Oklahoma!"
60s Movie Musical: Tie - "The Music Man" and "Thorougly Modern Millie"
70s Movie Musical: Tie - "Grease" and "The Muppet Movie"
80s Movie Musical: "The Muppets Take Manhattan"
90s Movie Musical: "Newsies"
00s Movie Musical: Tie - "Chicago" and "Moulin Rouge"

Action Movie Series: "Indiana Jones" (Honorable mention - "James Bond")
Sci-Fi Movie Series: "Star Wars" (Honorable Mention - "Men In Black")
Comedy Movie Series: "The Road To..." (Honorable Mention - "The Marx Brothers")
Mystery/Suspense Movie Series: "The Thin Man"
Comic Book Superhero Movie Series: "Superman" (Honorable Mention - "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles")

Little-Known Comedy: "Office Space" (Honorable Mention - "Brain Donors" and "Show People")
Little Known Science Fiction: "The Last Starfighter" (Honorable Mention - 80s "Flash Gordon")
Little Known Drama: 1937 Janet Gaynor version of "A Star Is Born" (Honorable Mention - "Love Me Or Leave Me")
Little Known Musical: "The Pirate Movie" (Honorable Mentions - "Head" and "The Pirates of Penzance")
Little-Known Western: "Tall In the Saddle"
Little Known Mystery/Suspense - "Out of the Past" (Honorable Mention: 1919 serial "The Woman in Gray")


Anime: "Sailor Moon"
Loony Tunes Characters: Pepe Le Pew, Daffy Duck, Foghorn Leghorn, Prissy
Classic Disney Characters: Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, The Nephews, Goofy
Cartoon Network Show: "The Powerpuff Girls"
Care Bears: Tenderheart and Good Luck
Strawberry Shortcake: Huckleberry Pie and Miss Strawberry herself ; 0 )
Rainbow Brite "Color Kid": Red Butler (notice a theme with the red colors here? ; 0 ) )
Winnie the Pooh Character: Pooh
Nickelodeon Cartoons: "Rugrats," "The Wild Thornberries," "Hey Arnold!", "As Told By Ginger," "Rocket Power"
Other Favorites from the Theatrical Short Era: Woody Woodpecker, Chilly Willy, Betty Boop, Superman (the 40s cartoons), Popeye, Tom and Jerry, the Tex Avery spoof travelogues
Other Childhood Favorites Not Yet Mentioned: Thundercats, Voltron, The Wuzzles, He-Man, She-Ra, Jem and the Holograms, Pac Man, Richie Rich, Raggedy Ann and Andy, Garfield, Duck Tailes, Tale Spin, Dungeons and Dragons, Tiny Toon Adventures, Inspector Gadget, Pirates of Dark Water, Care Bears Family, A Pup Named Scooby Doo, The Real Ghostbusters
Other Hanna Barbara Favorites: Hong Kong Phooey, Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, All-Star Laugh-A-Lympics, most variations on "Scooby Doo," The Jetsons, The Flinstones
Oldest Favorite Animated Character: Felix the Cat (Debuted in silent cartoons in 1924 and still pops up today - how about THAT for nine lives? ; 0 )
Most Recent Favorite Animated Character: Disney's "Kim Possible"

Favorite Disney Traditionally Animated Film: "The Rescuers" (Honorable Mentions: "Cinderella," "Beauty and the Beast," "Tarzan," "Hercules," "Sleeping Beauty," "Alice In Wonderland," "Brother Bear")
Favorite Disney/Pixar Flick: "Toy Story 2" (Honorable Mentions - "Toy Story" and "Monsters Inc")
Other Favorite Animated Films: "Cats Don't Dance," "Charlotte's Web," "Chicken Run," all of the Care Bears movies, "An American Tale: Fivel Goes West," "Anastasia"


Pure Sitcom: "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (Honorable Mentions: "Perfect Strangers," "Bewitched," "I Love Lucy," "Cheers," "Night Court," "Get Smart," "Fraiser")
Musical/Variety/Comedy: "The Monkees" (They weren't QUITE a normal sitcom...I don't really know where else to categorize them) (Honorable Mention: "Laugh In" and the early "Saturday Night Live" eps)
Drama: "Law and Order" (Original)
Hybrid/"Dramady": "Remember WENN" (Not quite a normal sitcom, either...) (Honorable Mention: "Moonlighting")
Action: "MacGyver" (Honorable Mentions: "Magnum PI" and "The Dukes of Hazard"


Strawberry Shortcake Rag Doll (early 80s)
Lady LovelyLocks Dolls (mid/late 80s)
Original My Little Ponies (throughout 80s and into early 90s)
Roger Rabbit doll (late 80s)
Jem Dolls and cassettes (mid 80s)
Happy Birthday Barbie (mine was early 80s)
Barbie Dream House (early 80s with yellow trim)
Gray plastic typewriter (mid 80s)
Huge Paddington Bear (early 80s)
She-Ra action figures (mid/late 80s)
He Man action figures (early/mid 80s)
Cabbage Patch Doll (mid 80s)
Sweet Roses Barbie and PJ (early 80s)
Pound Puppy (mid-80s - I named him "Buster")
Barbie doll in fancy heart-trimmed dress (Don't remember actual name, but the dress was awesome - early/mid 80s)
Barbie Ice Cream Shoppe/Ice Cream Maker (once again, not actual name) (Late 80s)


Favorite Mystery Series:

Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters
"Cat Who" series by Lillian Jackson Braun
Kinsey Milhone series by Sue Grafton
Phillip Marlowe series by Raymond Chandler
Thomas and Charlotte Pitt and William Monk series by Anne Perry
Daisy Daryrumple series by Carola Dunn
Mrs. Murphy series by Rita Brown
Regan O'Reilly series by Carol Higgins Clark
Goldy Bear Schultz series by Diane Mott Davidson
Maggody series by Joan Hess
Amanda Pepper series by Gillian Roberts
Miss Marple series by Agatha Christie
Most of Dashiell Hammett's novels, especially "The Thin Man"

I'm sure I'll remember more after I finish here...maybe another time. : 0 D

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Material Girls

If you were a girl who grew up between 1980 and 1992, do you remember...

The Rainbow Brite specials?
The My Little Pony specials and "My Little Pony and Friends?"
The Yum-Yums? (Stuffed animals with glittering, candy-scented stomachs)
The annual Strawberry Shortcake specials?
Rose Petal Place?
Lady LovelyLocks?
Maple Town?
Jem and the Holograms, and the dolls and their awesome wardrobes?
The original Care Bear Family cartoon?
Plastic chain-link charm bracelets?
Slap bracelets (before adults decided they were dangerous)?
Neon shoelaces?
Your first scooter or pink or purple, of course?
Having your own Debbie Gibson hat that you wore everywhere, no matter what the occasion?
Working out with your own "Get in Shape, Girl!" equipment?
Getting dressed up in a frilly, high-necked, almost Victorian-style outfit, complete with shiny leather shoes, to go out to dinner with your family or for a special occasion at school?
Wearing dress-ups (maybe Mom or Big Sis's 60s and 70s hand-me downs) to dance along with Madonna, the Bangles, the Go-Gos, Tiffany, Pat Benetar, Olivia Newton-John, Heart, Joan Jett, Whitney Houston, Tina Turner, and Wilson Phillips (on your own tape player or record player, of course...or, if your folks had some money, CD player)?
Watching "Full House" because you thought John Stamos was really hot?
Reading "Sweet Valley High," "The Babysitters Club," the American Girls books, Christopher Pike horror novels, "The Nancy Drew Files," or various short-lived "Sweet Valley" imitations like "Hart and Soul?"
Grabbing the newest "Choose Your Own Adventure" story the moment it hit the library?
Playing "Mall Madness" and "Girl Talk" at slumber parties, then watching a video of "Who's that Girl?" or "Sixteen Candles"...and gossiping when Mom said "lights out?"
Talking about boys and life and dreams long into the night with friends or siblings?

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Oh, and incidentally, Skylar's fine. I way overreacted (as usual) back in August. He's growing like a cute little weed and is the darling of his mother's, grandparents', and uncle's eyes. ^_^
Memories of the Tube

Reading my friend Linda Young's TV site and wandering through K-Mart's DVD section reminded me of some childhood tube recollections of my own. Yes, I liked live-action TV shows, too. We've had cable since the early 80s, thanks to Dad's couch-potato habits, making our viewing choices wider than many kids at that time. Some of these shows are better in hindsight than they are now (case in point - Full House), but they were the ones I loved then...and that still retain some fascination now.

21 Jump Street - One of my first "grown up" shows, I really only watched this because I had crushes on Richard Grieco and Johnny Depp in the late 80s. It was also the first and only Fox show I was ever a fan of before my family's cable was turned off in March 1992. I enjoyed the tough storylines and even tougher characters. It was also my first foray into violent TV shows that wasn't handled with the light touch of earlier favorites like Magnum PI.

Battlestar Galaxia and Buck Rogers - My sister Rose and I adored the re-runs of both these popular sci-fi series. Galaxia's Starbuck was one of my very first TV crushes, and we envied the tough, smart Wilma on Buck Rogers. Twiki, as voiced by Mel Blanc, was fun, too. The best parts of both shows, however, were the wonderfully outlandish storylines and the fine special effects and wonderful casts who took us to "galaxies far, far away"...without leaving our living room.

Three's Company - It's considered silly and innoccous now, and it was hardly cutting-edge then, but Three's and it's spin-off The Ropers have long been some of my favorite just-plain-silly shows. My sisters and I, of course, didn't understand the sexual underpinings then, and we often didn't get what the fuss was about (though we laughed anyway). We saw Jack Tripper as the ultimate older brother. After all, he was cute, funny, and cooked like a dream. John Ritter never had a better vehicle - he's still sorely missed.

Laverne and Shirley - More underrated sitcom fun from my early childhood. The girls and I related so much to this sitcom about a pair of dissimilar best friends who share a room in Milwaulkee in the late 50s and early 60s. We even used to play "Laverne and Shirley" (I was always Laverne ^_^). What we really loved, though, were Lenny and Squiggy, two more awesome big-brother figures. They may have driven the girls crazy most of the time, but they were really nice guys at heart who usually just wanted to help out...and the fact that they were cute helped some, too. ^_~

Alice - Another favorite we related to, as Mom was still dating Dad when it was on the air in the early 80s - like Alice's son, we lived with a single mom and knew how it felt. We were also familiar with the diner setting, thanks to the many in Cape May County. (There's even a tiny but very popular place in the Villas called "Mel's Diner.") Mel, Flo, and Alice acted so much like the women and men who worked (and still work) in every tiny dive we'd ever been in that this was one show that felt very much like home.

It's a Living - This syndicated show was, in some ways, a more glamourous version of Alice, following the lives and loves of the staff of an upscale resort hotel. As residents of a real-life resort, we were familiar with waitresses, smarmy lounge singers like Sonny, and cool hostesses like Nancy.

The Jeffersons - I picked this one up from Daddy, who watched it all the time in re-runs in the early-mid 80s. Daddy loved outspoken George Jefferson, probably because he related to many of his worldviews. I prefered Florence, the equally outspoken maid, and sweet Louise "Weezy" Jefferson, who almost never had an unkind word to say to anyone, black or white. I was very sad when I heard Isobel Sanford, who played Louise, passed away last year. She will forever be of my favorite mothers ever on television, if only for being able to handle her husband. ^_^

Bewitched - I watched this one faithfully in reruns throughout my childhood. Samantha was not only a witch, but also a very smart woman at a time when most women on TV were either cute ditzes (like Jeanie, another female TV magic-maker) or battle-axes. Even when her magic caused trouble for her, her perpetually henpecked husband Darren, and later her children Tabitha and Adam, she usually managed to get herself and Darren out by the end of the show, either by her magic or by her wits. Even more fun than Samantha's magical abilites were the members of her wacky family. Who could forget Agnes Moorehead as Endorra, the ultimate nasty mother-in-law who would occasionally drop by to make life harder for Darren, whom she hated, than it already was? Or soft-spoken, very timid Aunt Clara?

(Incidentally, this is the only TV show adaptation I'm looking forward to this year. I've read a little about it, and not only do they seem to have the right idea with the script, but I think Shirley MacClaine would make a fabulous Endorra. ^_^)

Perfect Strangers - My sisters and I are about as different from each other as sisters can be...hense the reason we loved this long-running favorite. Balki and Larry were cousins, but they were quite the set of opposites. Balki was a laid-back immigrant; Larry was very much the American schemer (especially in later episodes). Balki was sweet and goofy. Larry could be sweet and goofy in his own way, but he was more than often tense and jittery. The slapstick comedy that resulted from this clash of cultures included inspired uses of such time-worn plots as dragging a piano up a flight of stairs, getting stuck in a snowstorm with the opposite sex, and putting in plumbing when you have no idea of what you're doing.

Moonlighting - Dad had a crush on Cybil Sheopard. Mom had a crush on Bruce Willis. Despite their insistance, the excellent reviews, and hearing the wonderful theme song all the time on the radio, I didn't get around to this screwball comedy/drama/mystery until late in it's original run. Even though the show's glory days had passed by the time my interest was piqued, I still enjoyed what was left, including the first dramatic show I ever saw make light of a writer's strike.

MacGyver - Another show I still regret not getting interested in until late in it's original run. MacGyver is my kind of guy - smart, savvy, insistant on using his brains and wits instead of his fists. I only saw the last season, but as with Moonlighting, that was enough to make me a fan.

Full House - Unlike most of the shows on my list, this family sitcom really hasn't stood the test of time. I, too, lived in a "full house" at the time and related to the adventures of the Tanner sisters (and envied the fact that one of their uncles was John Stamos, whom I had a big crush on, and the other was Dave Coulier, who did a lot of great cartoon voices in the 80s and 90s). Unfortuantly, I discovered when I revisted it on TBS around 2001 that what had seemed cute and fun in the late 80s now appeared overly treacly and contrieved. The attempts at "issue" episodes come off as too cutesy, and the overexposure of the Olsen twins is no help. The show is at its best when it handles simple family issues with the older girls or the uncles and father Bob Saget.

Magnum PI - Tom Selleck was another one of Mom's 80s crushes, and she turned me on to this Hawaii-set mystery series. Magnum reminded me a great deal of my equally rugged stepfather, a commercial fisherman who even had a similar mustache (which probably explains Mom's interest). Magnum was the ultimate in 80s cool. He hung around with fun friends like Rick and the butler and his dogs, drove a great car, and lived in exotic Hawaii, handling comic mysteries with a touch of topical drama (Magnum was a Vietnam war vet, a subject that was just being explored in the early 80s).

Get Smart - I owe the emergence of Nick-at-Nite in the late 80s for my discoveries of this hilarous comedy-action show and Laugh-In. Maxwell Smart was, despite his name, not a very smart agent. His girlfriend and fellow agent (and later, wife) 99 was often the real force behind the cases. We loved watching Max blunder through another crazy caper, often with the help of 99, the ever-frustrated Chief, and later Hymie the Robot. I've always liked satire, and Get Smart was satire at its silliest and most delightful (it's kind of obvious Mel Brooks worked on this show).

Charles In Charge and Who's the Boss? - The cool dad/big brother figures were what attracted me to these popular sitcoms. What kept me were the fun supporting characters on both shows. I far prefer the second cast of Charles to the first - the kids were more memorable, and Grandpa and Charles' mother were great additions. Mona was my favorite character on Boss - her wisecracks cut the sugar level and added glamor to a show about an ex-ballplayer, a neurotic ad executive, and their kids.

The Monkees - The CDs Lauren sent me last year revived my interest in this wild late 60s comedy. It ran for Nickelodeon for years, and my sisters and I always looked forward to seeing what crazy adventures Davy, Mike, Micky, and Peter would get into next...and what enjoyable classic rock music we'd be hearing this week. For many kids of the mid-late 80s, this show's MTV and Nickelodeon runs were their introduction to classic pop and rock...and loony 60s psychodelia. I think this show and Get Smart mined more stories out my parents than any others.