Monday, May 22, 2006

Back to the Future

Warning: the following is a HUGE Geek Check.

I went to the Rick Springfield concert last night! That's right, Dr. Noah Drake is BACK and he still looks good (okay, I think he had his eyes done and his neck was a bit crepe-y). More importantly, he still rocks! Those who've known me since I was a kid know that this is a huge deal. I never got to see him in his Working Class Dog hey day, so I was pretty pumped to see him last night. I tried to be cool, but when he started heading into my section of the audience, well, if he'd come close enough to touch, I might have really freaked out. Seriously. I was screaming along to the hits (I've Done Everything for You, Don't Talk to Strangers, Love Somebody, my favorite Love is Alright Tonight and of courseJessie's Girl) as was every woman in the audience. It was a great show and my teen dream came true!

What is it that makes me freak out over someone who hasn't even been on my radar for the last 20 years? I had the same reaction watching the Super Bowl when the MacGyver Mastercard commercial came on the screen (told you this was a geek check. I'm Patty and Selma combined when it comes to MacGyver, ask anyone). More importantly, has anyone else noticed the number of 80s stars that had seemingly vanished but are now turning up all over television and movies? Obviously, Johnny Depp is the gold standard with his Oscar nominations and his living in France with that Vanessa Paradis, but there more out there than we realize. I'm not even talking about the folks populating the Surreal Life and other unwatchable yet totally addictive reality shows. I'm talking about actors who were hugely popular in the 80s and are now on hit shows and big movies and winning awards. It's great and a little strange all at the same time. Let's review, shall we?

Jason Bateman: I love Jason Bateman for many reasons: the freckles, the squinty smile, the willingness to play over the top characters as if they were normal and the fact that he never really went away. Some consider him a poor girl's Michael J. Fox (I was also a huge MJF fan)because of the Teen Wolf Too thing, but he's had a great career. He started out as one of the Ingalls' many adopted children (take that Brangelina!) on the Prairie, then played that jackass Derek Taylor on Silver Spoons (I wanted him to kick the Ricker's ass and punch out that Tap Dance Kid). The short lived It's Your Move (remember?) was followed by a role as the oldest son on Valerie Hogan's Family or whatever the hell it was called. He had a lot of tv movies and bit parts, but he came back strong with that announcer part in Dodgeball (notice the flaming dodgeball tattooed on his neck). Which brings us in a roundabout way to his Golden Globe winning performance as Michael Bluth on the late great Arrested Development. PS: still adorable.

Kiefer Sutherland: Kiefer went from being known as the guy who got dumped at the altar by Julia "Runaway Bride" Roberts and one of the Young Guns to being Jack Bauer, the most kickass dude on TV. In between, he managed to be in enough movies and TV shows for me to consider creating a Six Degrees of Kiefer Sutherland game (no disrespect to Mr. Bacon). Career highlights include A Few Good Men (with Kevin Bacon!), Lost Boys and my favorite Three Musketeers (with Charlie Sheen, Oliver Platt and Chris O'Donnell who are all still working thank you very much). Donald's son has done well indeed.

Patrick Dempsey: Yeah, yeah he's Dr. McDreamy now, but he will always be Ronald from Can't Buy Me Love to me. You might also remember him as Corbet in Heaven Help Us (with Andrew McCarthy and Mary Stuart Masterson,still working hard on stage and screen!) or as Meyer Lansky (seriously) in Mobsters (with Christian Slater and Richard "Booker" Grieco...anyone?) More recently he was left at the altar by Reese Witherspoon in Sweet Home Alabama and went on a few dates with Will Truman on Will & Grace.

John Stamos: Uncle Jessie will not go away people! He started out, much like Rick Springfield, on General Hospital as Blackie Parrish (abc daytime is so good to so many), a kid from the wrong side of the tracks. Then he ruled Friday nights for what seemed like an eternity on Full House (you all watched him in his henley shirts, leather vests and tight ass jeans, so don't even front!). Now he's Jake in Progress, unless that's been cancelled already. He's done some Broadway too (Cabaret, Nine, How to Succeed in Business), so maybe Coulier is asking him for money now.

I could go on forever like this, what with Doogie Howser turning up in Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle (lap daaaance!), Kevin Arnold (Wonder Years) getting busted on Law & Order SVU and Duckie from Pretty in Pink moving in with Charlie Sheen on Two & a Half Men. And I didn't even touch on any of those teen princesses from back in the day (Molly Ringwald was on Medium last week!). All I'm saying is good for them for staying in the game. Oh, and Scott Baio? Whenever you're ready, Chachi... I'm here for you.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Girls' Day Out

It finally happened. My mom and my sister came to visit, together, for a whole afternoon! It meant so much to me. Spending time with the two of them is like having my "whole" mother with me. It does my heart good. It's unnerving and thrilling all at once. Unnerving because I spend the whole day before cleaning like a crazy woman and trying to decide what I'm going to wear that won't make me look "fat" to my mother (her pet name for us, her beloved daughters, is "gordy." That's Spanish for chubby. Do we look chubby to you? Didn't think so). Thrilling, because they're coming here! To see me! Please note the a slight family resemblance. My whole life, I've had a pretty good idea of what I'll look like in 12 years, or in 36 years for that matter. Not too shabby.

They arrived on the noonish train loaded down with treats. A cheesecake flan (yes, it's true, cheesecake AND flan, together in one glorious dessert. Jealous?); tamales, fried hunks of pork, pound cake, plaintains and flowers (not carnations! YES!). My mother is incapable of coming here empty handed. She is under the impression that we need flan and poundcake, and I suppose on some level we do. I'm not going to argue. I'm going to chalk it up to "that's just what moms do."

We had lunch at a hibachi place in Hamden or, as my sister put it, "dinner and a show!" After lunch, we went for a walk around town. Ok, we went shopping. Well, Ann Taylor Loft was having a sale, and we were walking right by it...why wouldn't we go in and look? Turns out they had the jacket I had bought on sale in my sister's size! Yeah, she bought it. I told her to buy it. It was 15 bucks and it fit her perfectly, how could she not buy it? And really, what are the chances of us showing up at the same place at the same time, wearing the same jacket. She lives in New Jersey and I live here, so yeah, pretty likely that one of us will show up at the other's house wearing the jacket. My money's on Thanksgiving. But you know what? We'll both look supercute.

Every time my mom visits, I learn something new about her. Whether it's an old story about Cuba, or a new quirk that's been driving my siblings crazy, there's always something to be learned. This time, I learned that she is easily bored in stores (unless it's a dollar store) and will make her boredom known by wandering over to the entrance and looking like she is about to make a break for it. Apparently, this is not so new. "She does it all the time. It drives me nuts!" my sister said. I had no idea, probably because she usually comes by herself and I'm totally focused on keeping her engaged. With my sister here, really for the first time without being rushed, I had to divide my attentions. My sister and I would be talking about a set of earrings or looking for a particular size skirt ( you know, enjoying a leisurely shop), when we'd look up and there she'd be, at the door, her body language clearly saying "NEXT!" My sister told me she had decided to wear sneakers instead of sandals because she planned on running after my mother half the time. Smart move.

We had some time before their train, and I thought a bit of a rest would be good before the train ride back, so we came back to the apartment...and watched the end of the Yankees game. Not so much restful as shout-y. Poor Mike. Three Cuban women sitting in his living room screaming at the television is not his idea of a lazy Sunday. Our team won, though, so it's all good.

Does my mother make me crazy? Sometimes, yes. Does she make my sister crazier? Of course. Does my sister balance that craziness by knowing what I'm thinking and communicating with a single look a reassuring "I know. But she's ours." Absolutely. Am I already planning their next visit? You know it.