Tag Archives: Rick Springfield

The Indisputable Proof That I Was a Child Nerd


While straightening up a bit around here at ODNT, I came across an old draft of a post I abandoned last July. I neither have any idea why I started writing it nor, for that matter, why I stopped. But when I read it tonight, it made me laugh. Maybe because I’m just as dumb as I was last summer. Or maybe just ’cause it was a shitty day. Either way, please enjoy my late night ramblings. I assure you that, once you’re done, you’ll be no smarter for having read it.

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1. I shaved my underarm hair into a mohawk. On the right side only. I’m not very hairy so it didn’t even show. But it was itchy.

2. I had double pierced ears and decided that one of my ears needed a third hole. So I did it myself. With a needle and a cube of ice. On a ferry boat.

3. A friend and I wanted to embarrass a boy we knew so we sent in a request to Casey Kasem for Air Supply’s Every Woman in the World to Me. We sent it from him to us. And it was played. Man, were we cool.

4. I tried to sneak into Officer and a Gentleman but accidentally bolted into the wrong R-rated movie and got stuck seeing Scott Baio in Zapped instead. (Fun fact: Also in Zapped? Willie Aames.)

5. I impersonated Shirley Feenie with a friend dressed as Laverne and together we performed their theme songmoves and all … in front of my whole grade school.

6. My campaign slogan for 7th grade Vice President was a bastardization of a Rick Springfield song: “I’ll do everything for you … if you vote for me.” I lost.

7. I got a concussion in high school because I hit my head on the tampon machine in the girl’s bathroom. I am not in my yearbook that year because of this injury.

8. A friend and I heard Lee press-on nails couldn’t catch on fire so we put that theory to the test. While wearing them.

9. I made a sculpture out of meat with a friend and left it anonymously on a teacher’s portable classroom stairs.

10. I impersonated Mick Jagger and lipsynched to Satisfaction with an American flag tied around my neck for roughly three thousand people.

11. The first time I tried shaving, I dried shaved the entirety of my arms and legs with a disposable razor.

12. I once painted all of my fingernails and lips with Liquid Paper.

13. I attempted to convince my mom that I didn’t cheat on my Science test even though she was holding my cheat sheet in her hand. Then I fainted during my closing argument.

14. I saw a scene in Gone with the Wind where Scarlett gargled with perfume so I tried it. Don’t ever try it.

15. I had a shiny pink satin jacket with purple trim that said Roller Disco in raised rock glitter across the back.

16. I had semi-professional recordings made of myself singing Old Time Rock ‘n’ Roll, You Needed Me and Sister Golden Hair as a kid.

17. I attended speech therapy for my Cindy Brady lisp.

18. Because of #17, I had something called a “tongue cage” affixed on the inside of my bottom teeth that required neck-gear when I slept.

19. I snuck and slept on the floor of my parents’ room every time I saw a horror movie through the end of high school.

20. I attended sleep-away guitar camp. Two years in a row. And, yes, I have seen American Pie.

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An oldie but a goodie by my girl from last year’s If Nerds Could Be Superheroes. It just seemed fitting.

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Let’s embarrass me. Topic: Famous Crushes


For most of you, last weekend was merely the Easter holidays. In my household, however, we also celebrated another big event – the premiere of a new iCarly episode. They’re like red carpet affairs around here and my kids wouldn’t dream of missing one. Fortunately for them, I actually like iCarly. It’s clever and pop-cultured for my generation. And don’t even get me started on Spencer. The man slays me. So, in addition to our usual Easter Eve traditions, my family also took in this new episode, featuring the latest and greatest teen sensation, One Direction.

Later that same night, they were on TV a second time as the SNL musical guest. They’re just starting to take off in America and I’ve decided to excuse the fact that they’re classified as a boy band because their British/Irish accents are so cute. I suspect we’ll be seeing them covering bedroom walls everywhere very soon. (I miss Tiger Beat.)

Anyway, it made me start thinking about all of the famous faces I’ve fallen for over the years. Some names have stood the test of time while others … well, I’ll let my teenage bedroom walls do the talking.
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What can I say? My parents were obviously very cool.

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So, at the expense of my dignity, I’m sharing a sometimes-embarrassing-but-always-honest glimpse at some of my favorites over the years. Please enjoy laughing at my childhood.

Donny Osmond (1976-79) And I’m not ashamed to admit it.

Shaun Cassidy (1977-78) Okay, I’m a little ashamed.

Christopher Reeve (1978-1983) Who doesn’t love SUPERman?

Greg Evigan (1979-81) He worked with a chimp. What was not to like?

John Schneider (1979-82) Don’t judge. He was the style at the time.

Christopher Atkins (1980) Remember the naked guy from Blue Lagoon?

Rick Springfield (1981-85) For his music and the General Hospital thing. Truth be told, I just saw him again in concert in 2008. Oh, and in 2009 & 2010.

Maxwell Caulfield (1982) Remember the British guy from Grease 2? Yeah, me neither. When I learned he was married to an actress who was 18 years his senior, I moved on. He was 23 and she was 41. I guess Demi isn’t quite the pioneer she’s credited to be.

John Stamos (1982-83+) As long as I was already watching General Hospital, right? And he’s actually one of the few who still hangs on for me today. He’s just so pretty.

Adam Ant (1982-84) I loved his two big albums of the early 80s and some of the earlier Antmusic stuff. Alas, I never got to see him in concert when he came to New Orleans. I had a ticket to the show but was punished (for a sizable infraction, I might add) that very night. Fortunately, I somehow managed to pick up the pieces and get on with my life.

Duran Duran (1982-85) All five of ’em. I once won a contest for being able to rattle off the names Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes and the Taylors (Andy, Roger & John) in rapid succession. None of the Taylor boys are related. You know these things if you’re a real D2 fan.

Rob Lowe & C. Thomas Howell (1983) I saw The Outsiders four times at the movie theater. And with prices averaging $3.15 per ticket that year, that means I spent more than $12 on that one film! I can still recite from memory every word of the Robert Frost poem used in the movie. But I honestly never saw the allure of the other five guys. I don’t think they did much of anything else after that anyway, right? (Wink.)

Bart Conner & Mitch Gaylord (1984) What? I had Olympic fever. I think it was very patriotic of me.

Kevin Bacon (1984) But only in Footloose.

David Lee Roth (1985-87) From VH’s Jump to his own Just A Gigolo. I have no idea why. Please forgive me.

Davy Jones (1986-87) Thanks to MTV’s decision to air his old series. I loved these guys and even managed to see them in concert on a few reunion tours. (ODNT Trivia – They played, ironically, at the Audubon Zoo here in NOLA back in the day and one lucky girl got to kiss him for a photo. Guess who? Don’t tell my Dad!)

Harry Connick, Jr. (1990-93+) An amazing New Orleans talent who actually ran in similar circles to mine in high school. I listened to his music a lot back then and even used it at my wedding. And I loved his stint as ‘Leo’ on Will & Grace. He still hangs on for me today, too.

Johnny Depp (1993+) I’m not even going to put an end date here as he’s stayed at the top of the list. He didn’t catch my attention in Elm Street or Jump Street. But once he appeared in the back-to-back films Benny & Joon and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape I was sold. And I’m still buying nearly 20 years later.

Brad Pitt (1998) But only in Meet Joe Black (which oddly I never even saw in its entirety). Although all of his post-Katrina New Orleans work has put him back on the list in recent years.

Ewan McGregor (2001-2003) His song and dance stuff like Moulin Rouge & Down with Love are what put him on the list.

Orlando Bloom (2003-2007) But only in the Pirates movies. He’s Johnny Depp, Jr.

Sportacus (2004) From the God-awful children’s show, LazyTown. Not the (Icelandic) actor, the character. Make of that whatever you want.

Hugh Jackman (2004+) And, oddly, it all began with his unpredictable turn to play Peter Allen in the Broadway production of The Boy from Oz. What can I say? I love a song and dance man. Apparently, even a flamboyantly bedazzled one.

Patrick Dempsey (2007) But only in Enchanted.

Zac Efron (2007) He’s the new Rob Lowe.

Will Arnett (2009) It wasn’t until after Arrested Development ended that I learned to really appreciate this guy. Sorry, GOB.

Robert Downey, Jr. (2009) Honestly, he’s probably been on and off the list for years, but I’ve only recently started to admit it.

Bret McKenzie (2009+) The cuter half of Flight of the Conchords.

Robert Pattinson (2009) When my friend dragged me unwillingly to see New Moon. Fine, whatever. I’m Team Edward.

Josh Duhamel (2010) Starting with Ramona & Beezus. And my girl wonders why I’m willing to watch that movie again and again with her.

Flynn Rider (2010) From Tangled. What? Is it THAT weird that I’m including a cartoon character? You know what? Don’t answer that.

John Gordon Levitt (2011+) Based purely on his likable character in 50/50.

Wow. You’re still here? Well, if you actually made it through MY whole list, I want to know about YOU. Who was on YOUR walls? Boys can play, too.

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Wanna see this post in dreamy Tiger Beat technicolor? Click here, ODNT readers!

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One of the Many Reasons that my Mom Rocks


Remember how in the 70s women could solve all of their problems with a stupid bubble bath? Well, I don’t know about you guys but a warm soak in an oversized, Greek-inspired bathtub just isn’t cutting it for me anymore.

Enter my mom.

She’s been trying to ‘take me away’ from everything since the Great Tumor Scare of 2011. I guess it’s sort of a “Thanks for Not Dying’ mother/daughter trip. But lots of things … and life in general … just kept getting in the way. And all of the bigger plans we contemplated (NYC, Chicago and the like) kept getting swept under the rug until we could “find the time.”

So, tired of waiting on me and my sad excuses, she booked a room at a hotel on the Gulf Coast only about an hour and a half away from where we live and gave me two days notice for the kidnapping. Which was good. I had only two days to worry about whether I’d get everything done before I left. It’s so hard for the mom to step out of the family equation. Part of that is real and part of it we do to ourselves. I knew dirty laundry and frozen pizza wouldn’t hurt anyone while I was gone. So I left. On Sunday afternoon. With my mom. For only one day. One great, relaxing, unplanned, nobody-pulling-on-me kind of day.

Talking the whole way up, we arrived in no time and checked in to our hotel, Beau Rivage, which is also a casino. For anyone unfamiliar with these parts, the Mississippi Gulf Coast is a big casino destination. Some of them are a little dumpy, but others are actually very nice and attract the kind of entertainment that (sadly) is becoming more and more representative of my generation. (Case in point, I’ve seen Rick Springfield there several times with friends. Don’t judge, please.)

We went up to our room on the 25th floor to drop off our luggage and get settled in. I’m not a huge germaphobe so I kicked off my shoes immediately and walked across the carpet to put my stuff in the bathroom. I was about halfway there, curious as to why the floor felt so cold, when I realized my feet were almost completely underwater. The carpet was soaked which, you can imagine, was a pretty gross discovery to make considering I had no idea just what I was stewing in. After a few phone calls, a return trip to the front desk, and an elderly lady passing out cold in our path to the elevator, we were settled in our second room, now on the 11th floor. I glass-is-half-fulled it and decided that it was at least nice to know that they cleaned the carpets from time to time.

Because I was starving, we had dinner early at the Brazilian Steakhouse (a South American Churrascaria) nearby. My kids love that place so I felt a little guilty being there without them. But we only got the soup and salad bar so they didn’t miss much. The cream of poblano soup is a meal in itself. And I got my requisite Caipirinha cocktail. If you’ve never had one, click here for the recipe. And go get the rum out of your liquor cabinet.

Stuffed like ticks, we returned to our hotel and walked over to its neighboring property, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, to work off some of our dinner until we could breathe again. And until it was time for Desperate Housewives. (Again, don’t judge. DH is significant to me, and I’ll explain why in May when the show airs its final episode. Check back with me then.)

When the show was over, my mother said she wanted to go to the casino. She’s not a big gambler and I’m even less of one, largely attributed to the fact that I never win. But this night was about relaxing so, being the kick-ass mom that she is, she suggested that I hang back in the room to read, write and veg in front of the TV (I chose D, ALL of the above) while she went to lose her money on her own. (I’m kidding. Unlike me, she sometimes actually wins. But not this time. Except that she did score a couple of drinks, including the one she brought up to me in the room. That’s service.) We talked and watched TV a little before finally surrendering to sleep shortly after midnight.

The next morning, she slept in a little. I tried, but my stupid brain wouldn’t shut off so I got up and took a long bath and read more of my book, the last of the Hunger Games trilogy, until she woke up. We dressed pretty quickly and went downstairs for a late brunch, light gambling (I lost $20), even lighter shopping (I spent $10) and a brief stint in the arcade. (About which I knew my kids would be pissed, but I brought them my ticket credit for the next time they visit and they want to bring home another stuffed six-foot, green-spotted snake. So I think I’m good.)

Realizing it wouldn’t be long until my kids got home from school, we checked out, packed up the car and headed out … but not before seeing this sign we somehow missed on the way in to the hotel.

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We laughed at it … then she took off her “do-rag,” I unrolled my left pant leg and we got the hell out of there.

I wasn’t gone long, not even 24 hours, but it was nice taking a break to do nothing in a relaxing setting with my mother. And did I mention it was all on her? Next time, Mom, we’re going to the spa. Love you … and thanks.

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