One fine day a couple years ago, I stumbled upon a humor blog that was hipper than Mrs. Brady’s polyester pant suit, cooler than Shrinky Dinks, and funnier than the fact there was a character on the sitcom Growing Pains named Boner.
Her brilliant writing never failed to make me laugh. Plus rumor has it she was once cast as an original member of the beloved Keaton family.
And I’m almost certain she had a bit part on Saved by the Bell: Screech’s Puberty Years
Then something big happened. After being Freshly Pressed numerous times and ruling the WordPress Recommended Humor Blog page for months — she had to go and get pregnant.
Much like the time when Chrissy Snow left Three’s Company at the height of its popularity, Angie’s top-notch blog would have to be put on indefinite hiatus. Apparently, making a human being trumps blogging.
But I’m hoping now that she’s my August blogger of the month, she’ll come back one day and we’ll have a reunion special. Maybe she’ll phone in a blog post or two from a separate studio à la Suzanne Somers.
Meanwhile, it’s time for Firsts and Lasts with Angie!
Uncensored Cinema. Back then, most of my blog posts took the form of personal essay. I wrote about when my mom dropped off me and my brother at the theater when I was 6. We ended up seeing Poltergeist, which in 1982 was rated PG. Today it would be NC-17 and only available on pay-per-view. I started my blog because I wanted a way to sort of exorcize these kinds of childhood demons. Which, no coincidence, look a lot like skeletons emerging from an unfinished backyard swimming pool.
One is of me sitting in a dimly lit Chinese restaurant, twirling a bamboo drink umbrella between my fingers. Another is of me spinning around on a coffee table on my stomach for an adoring crowd of onlookers. I have these and several other memory snippets from when I was 3 and living with my family in Chicago, or possibly from my former life as Zelda Fitzgerald.
Moment I met my significant other:
I was just out of college and eating at a café where my husband waited tables. My friend requested to him that her chili not have a lot of beans in it, so he offered to ladle some out for her. We were impressed and I knew he was marriage material. Kidding. I thought, “30% tip for him!” I formally met him at a bar the following year, and, like crazy kids in love, got married 10 months later.
Possession I would take if my house were on fire:
My collection of Le Creuset red-enameled cast iron cookware. Which is an unfortunate choice, I realize, because it’s heavy enough that I probably couldn’t escape while carrying it, and, ironically, it would probably be the one thing I possess that could survive a fire.
Job I had:
At my dad’s Ace Hardware store when I was 8. I can put price tags on paint cans like nobody’s business.
Disco may be dead, but I’ll be damned if it sucked. Possibly my blog’s swan song. [editor’s note: Noooooo!]
Thing I cooked:
Last night – salmon. This is significant because I’ve come a long way with salmon since OD’ing on it while living in Alaska. I was 19 and working at an upscale retail store. For a sophisticated touch, we’d serve salmon appetizers to obnoxious cruise ship tourists who’d say things like, “Oh sugar beets! I can’t buy this carved totem because I only have American money with me,” and “Where are the penguins?” Every morning I had to start preparing their salmon at 9:00 a.m. It took 15 years before I’d eat it again, but I still hate Alaskan cruise ship tourists.
Movie I saw:
The Trip, which is an inde British flick about two old friends who take a trip through the backcountry of Northern England – one of my favorite comedies of all time! And even though it’s only been a year since I first saw it, I can already declare “of all time!” because I pretty much want to watch it every day until the sun burns out. Sometimes I just play it on Netflix to keep me company because the characters are like jolly old chums to me now.
Book I read:
To Marry an English Lord. It inspired the series Downton Abbey. My husband and I got addicted to Downton Abbey, so I bought this book for him for Valentine’s Day – because nothing says love like opportunistic marriage. So far, I’m the only one of us who’s read it, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why he refuses to read it on the plane when he travels.
Reality TV show I watched:
Never! I swore off those things in 2005, back when I was on a steady binge of Survivor, The Amazing Race, The Bachelor, The Surreal Life, The Apprentice, et al. That was somewhere in the mist of the final days before the Roman Empire fell, and we cancelled our cable subscription so we could go outside again.
Time I cried:
Listening to National Public Radio’s StoryCorps on the way to work. A given. I cry through pretty much all of those 5-minute segments on Fridays. (If you haven’t listened to NPR StoryCorps, you can sob/listen to them online!) The most recent one I heard was prefaced by the NPR announcer as a father interviewing his young daughter about her cancer. I started crying before the interview even started.
Time I laughed hysterically:
Yesterday. I was buying aforementioned salmon and this woman working at the fish market gave my son a sticker. Like a dutiful parent, I asked him, “What do you say to her?” And instead of “thank you,” he accidentally replied, “I love you.” He’s almost 4 and old enough now to feel and appear horrified by socially awkward moments. I take pleasure in witnessing this.
Good deed I did:
It’s a little thing but I made my daughter walk back a block with me and retrieve her gum from the sidewalk. I can’t stand public littering of any sort, especially when stepping on it might ruin a person’s morning. I also know in Singapore she’d be caned for that.
Yesterday when I watched Leave it to Beaver. My husband will attest that I watch an episode nearly every day. Some people have internet porn, some have the McRib sandwich – Leave it to Beaver is my guilty pleasure. And I do feel guilty for loving it because I’m pretty sure those pearls doubled as a noose around June’s neck.
I used to watch it to relax after a long day of being pulverized by junior high school. The Cleavers’ household seemed unbelievably tidy and sane, and I liked disappearing into that controlled environment each day. I’m probably drawn to it now for a similar fix. That and I firmly believe that every meal should end with a chocolate layer cake.
Thanks for playing along, Angie! You really rock those pearls!
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Be sure to check out the other Firsts and Lasts interviews with these other
groovy bloggers of the month.