Firsts and Lasts with Angie from Childhood Relived

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.

angie banner

Angie, the self-described ‘bratass’ from the blog, Childhood Relived, put a humorous spin on 1970s and ’80s pop culture using her own special blend of Pop Rocks and Riunite on Ice.

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.

Sha la la la, indeed.
Sha la la la, indeed.

And I’m almost certain she had a bit part on Saved by the Bell: Screech’s Puberty Years

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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.

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Meanwhile, it’s time for Firsts and Lasts with Angie!

FIRST:

Blog Post:

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.

Poltergeist_swimming_pool

Childhood Memory: 

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.

Editor's note: It's very nice. I might leave the veggies behind, though.
Editor’s note: It’s very nice. I might leave the veggies behind, though.

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.

LAST:

Blog Post:

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.

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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.

Indulgence: 

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.

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Thanks for playing along, Angie! You really rock those pearls!

*     *     *

Be sure to check out the other Firsts and Lasts interviews with these other
groovy bloggers of the month.

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92 thoughts on “Firsts and Lasts with Angie from Childhood Relived

  1. Ohhhh this interview was as bittersweet as a plate of fish lies. Come back to us, Nnng. Come back. I’ll never let go. You complete me. I’m just a girl, standing in front of a girl, asking her to blog.

    I’m going to start saying “I love you” instead of “Thank you.”

    I don’t know which sounds more desolate: Living in Alaska or starring in Screech’s Puberty Years. Why didn’t I know about either? Clearly you need to come back to blogging and fill me in more thoroughly. Please let Darla supply the visuals.

    1. I second this comment. All of it. At the very least, Angie can come back and do Saved By the Bell: The Peri-Menopausal Years.
      We love you so, Angie Z. (I’ve never seen The Jerk in its entirety, don’t hate me)

      1. I’m taking this nkotb hat, this lamp, this rainbow horny wing, this photo of Angie and Boner, this chair, this salmon and I’m going to sob in the corner. I feel like this is an end of an era.

    2. It’s funny to see Screech and Alaska in the same sentence because most of the cruise ship tourists around there wear the same crazy shirts with bright suspenders. Sometimes with anchors on them. Oh, everyone’s a sailor when they sail the seas.

      I’m not going away. I will always live in your heart.

    1. She doesn’t know it yet, but I’m considering popping in and taking over Darla’s blog from time to time, sort of like a spinoff of a sitcom, except I’ll be more like Fraiser and less like Three’s A Crowd.

  2. Thank you for this post! I went right over. I’d somehow missed it and didn’t realize about the babiezz (I have to spell it this way now, sorry to you and any English teachers reading). I too hope she comes back, though with three little kids including a newborn I think my head might explode. Though we would all read her head exploding post, of course, along with anything else she managed to send our way. Good interview. I’ll have to look at your old ones. 😀

    1. I thought the same thing–with two little kids plus a newborn, of course she’d have zero time to blog. Although… she COULD blog while breastfeeding, I’m sure that’s easy!

      And I’d read her head-exploding post for sure. Isn’t my willingness to read her posts more than enough reason for her to put off raising her own kids?

      1. Sounds reasonable to me. I have done a lot of typing on the computer with at least one child in my lap. I didn’t breastfeed, but I hear the little suckers attach themselves pretty well, so you know, she could just wear it and type. No biggie.

    2. You all are making me realize just how crazy I am. Why am I quitting my blog? Why am I having another baby? Why am I not in a mental ward? Someday when you all are famous authors, I will make this kid realize that he is the sole thing that stood in my way of fame and fortune. Maybe he’ll start a childhood blog to complain about it.

      1. Thanks for cutting straight to the chase about the fame-and-fortune-as-a-writer part that, it turns out, is NOT part of the WordPress Bloggers Contract.

      2. Okay, I’m with Nancy, here. Don’t dash my dreams of blogger stardom! And fortune? No money, where are the blog gods when you need them?

        Enjoyed the interview! Sorry to have been away. Again! And I don’t even have a pregnancy to blame. Been busy working on my memoir. Excuses, excuses! Right?

        Hugs from Ecuador,
        Kathy

    1. Yes, please do! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did when I linked up an image of The Byronic Man in a red dress and heels or the time I transformed Angie Z. into a prepubescent Screech. All good times.

    1. Well, Golly Wally! I also think the Beav was just swell. Good wholesome entertainment. Much like Angie’s blog. Which she should never abandon because that would be like saying no to apple pie and kittens.

      1. Did you hear Wally/Tony Dow is now a world famous sculptor that art critics compare to the likes of Rodin? I mention this because I’ve waited for months now to insert this factoid into social situations and have found no appropriate opening.

    2. I have forced it on my kids, too, Karen. They love it and are always eager to find out what kind of pickle the Beaver will get into this time. And they have finally stopped complaining that Wally and the Beav never wear anything that isn’t black and white.

  3. Oh my god, the #@!@%^# storycorp. I remember listening to one about a couple who met later in life. The old man loved his wife so much and hoped someone would be there to walk her down the aisle at his funeral because, of course, he was dying.

    1. Okay, in StoryCorps’ defense, not all of the stories are about someone dying. No, sometimes they have nothing to do with dying and then, after the interview recording is over, the NPR commentator makes special note that the person died shortly after taping the interview.

    1. Oh, Katie, I can’t say enough about her and her bratass-iness! Just the post about her coining the term ‘bratass’ was a gem (click on the link). She is one of those bloggers that makes you spew your coffee with every single line.

    2. When I see a void in our english vocabulary, I step up to the plate. It’s tragic….before I invented bratass, millions of bratass children were wrongly labeled “sticky-demonic.”

  4. Oh Ang, you are such a Jerk! I’m out of here . . . and all I’m taking is this chair. And this lamp. And all of the pop rocks! :p

    And I can see your salmon aversion. Pretty much how I am with cotton candy. Spend an entire summer in a tiny booth with only you and a ginormous cotton candy machine, leaving you coated from head to toe in a hard sticky candy shell at the end of each day, and you wouldn’t be so keen on that pink stuff either. So, I feel you, is what I’m saying. We should start a club. The No Pink Food Club. It will be bigger than that Babysitter’s one, for sure.

    1. Ooh! Ooh! (my Horshack impression) I’ll join! Me me me!! I used to be coated head to toe in pink candle wax from working four years at Yankee Candle. To this day if someone so much as lights a match I scream.

    2. Don’t forget the thermos. One of those babies is apparently worth all those things combined. Holy crap! Cotton candy smells disgusting enough to me as a non-former-cotton-candy employee. Since you saw behind the secret curtain, tell me, Misty — is it really just wall insulation and mixed with corn syrup?

    1. My blog refuses to believe it too. It keeps begging me to not pull the plug on its life support. Maybe if I just trip on the cord and make it appear to be an accident.

      1. Hmm….I just realized something….this little interview was pretty much the kiss of death for you, wasn’t it, Angie? It was me! I’m the reason you’re quitting blogging! It’s like when an A-list celebrity agrees to go on Entertainment Tonight only to be interviewed by Honey Boo Boo. What’s left, really?

  5. Congrats on the impending little “nubbin” Angie and on making Darla’s Blogger of the Month.
    I love salmon, but recoiled to anything fishy when I was pregnant.

    1. Wow. No idea who that guy is (you were testing me on my reality TV-free claim, weren’t you)…but when I just now googled him, I saw he smokes cigars and has been known to wear the occasional ascot. Obviously he has royal blood.

  6. Oh, Zelda. You’re a doll. (And since I can’t comment over at your place, I’ll just add here that Every.Single.Time. the phone book is delivered, I run to the curb shouting, “The phone books are here! The phone books are here!” It never gets old. For me anyway.

    1. Aw shucks, thank you. Sad that the landline phone is going away because that phone book listing provided us common people with such a burst of personal significance. Like, “Things are going to start happening to me now.” Cue the deranged serial killer.

    1. Thanks, Ashley! Rest assured, your following me won’t litter your blog feed with my constant new posts. Given my current rate of production, you might even forget you followed me at all. 🙂

  7. Poltergeist royally messed me up when I was a kid. PG, my ass. I know it’s not as scary as I remember it being, but it still pops to mind when the question of “scariest movies ever made” come up.

    And, Angie, you need to do at least one more post in which you basically recap the 80s, and your childhood. A meta-post to bring it all together. Otherwise, you’re a quitter.

    1. As a general rule, if I still wet myself watching it as an adult, my kids won’t get to watch it. Ever. Which is why they won’t be seeing Wizard of Oz any time soon.

      A recap? Like complete with a musical montage set to flashbacks and intermittently broken up by sentimental daydreaming of those past episodes? You’re talking my language. I hold a degree in 1980s sitcom gimmicks commonly used to fill creative voids.

  8. How fun to meet you! Gonna definitely head over and check out your blog. But, if you’re leaving the blog-o-sphere, maybe I shouldn’t torture myself by becoming hooked. Anyway, I am so proud of you to make your wee one pick up their gum. Yes, I have been in Singapore back when I was working on ship, and they will arrest you, and probably cane you for ditching your gum on the sidewalk. I had a twisted childhood friend, who thought it quite funny to give me 2 multipacks of gum, knowing that I had to fly to Singapore to meet a ship. I sweated my way through customs, and they never found my contraband.

    1. Gum is contraband In my household in fact. Your clever friend sounds amazing.

      I have two years’ worth of old stuff going to waste over at my blog if you care to dig through the archives. The funny thing about nostalgia content is it was never really new to begin with.

  9. Ah, the old pregnancy razzle-dazzle. Super-effective for avoiding stuff. Works every time but the side effects are long-lasting.

    Does Netflix suck or am I just being a big baby? Evenings are spent scrolling through page after page of movies I wouldn’t watch for free. And I’m paying for them!

    I tried my hand at opportunistic marriages via dating masseuses and airline employees. Killer fringe benefits. Failed on both accounts.

    My daughters watch I Dream of Jeannie. What’s the harm?

    I heard StoryCorps exactly once. I respect it but that was more than enough for me.

    1. I wonder if our species would survive at all if not for the fact that pregnancy can get us out of doing things (and later causes amnesia about the long-lasting side effects). I might continue having kids just to avoid cleaning the litterbox, never mind the fact that I’d have so many kids that my cats would leave town.

      My daughter loves I Dream of Jeannie. The “yes, master, no, master” stuff got to me until I finally switched her to the more diluted version of the show — Bewitched. Same great taste, less filling.

      1. After witnessing the birth of both daughters I am astonished that humans still procreate. At one point my wife actually turned to me and said SHUT UP. Can you imagine! I was only trying to help.

        While warching Jeannie, I asked my bride to call me master. You can imagine how that went over.

      2. Wow, I said SO much more than ‘shut up’. I think at one point I was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for saying the most amount of swears in the shortest amount of time.

      3. And yet—AND YET—you guys turn right around and do it again. Can you see why we can’t figure you out? Can you blame us? Let me tell you something; if I burn my hand on the stove, I don’t touch the stove again. That lesson is apparently lost on you gals.

  10. A couple of months ago I drove 100 miles and stood around at an auction for 4 hours just to get my hubby that red, Le Creuset covered pot on the left in the back, cuz the older ones are better and I can’t afford the new ones. I paid $40 for it and he was thrilled.

    I’ve never seen Poltergeist all the way through because it was too scary. I still think so.

    But that’s not the important thing here. The important thing is..
    Noooooooooooooo (pause for breath) oooooooooooooo! Don’t leave forever, Ang!!

    Baby come back…you can blame it all on me…I was wrong, and we just can’t live without you.

    p.s. I’ll still love you, even if you do retire.
    p.p.s. How are you feeling?
    p.p.p.s Mad, mad photoshop skillz, Darlz. You are now officially a maestro.

    1. Oh, Peg…you know so well that nothing says love like a Le Creuset pot. I love that you bought it for the hubby. What does he make in it? I buy my Le Creuset at discount stores on clearance. Which is still like $250 a piece, youch!

      I will miss you terribly, along with your yellow photoshopped hair.

  11. Man, I laughed WAY too hard at that Saved by the Bell picture. Hopefully that’s not the episode when Jesse takes too many speed pills.

    I’m jelly of your cast iron cookware. I’ve recently gotten into cooking, and I’ll tell you, nobody boils water better than I do.

    1. I’m surprised anyone found it that funny since I had to do a double take to realize it wasn’t actually Screech in the photo. We could be twins. (Although, Screech himself is pretty damn funny.) My widow’s peak finally gave it away.

  12. Here, here on crying re: Story Corps… I think that we all do. I bawled this week listening to Jeff Duncan-Andrade talk about kids and inequity.

  13. June Cleaver raised two fine boys, and as far as I know, she never quit her blog. And you’ve already shut down the cable TV — what are you doing with all that extra time?

  14. I love you, Angie. Er, uh, I mean THANK YOU for your humorous perspective. And Darla, you are the shiz. I’m not around much anymore, but you two are my bloggy heros. 🙂

    PS, Darla — My iPad auto-corrected shiz to whiz. I almost kept it.

    PS, Angie — However hard your veggie friends hound you, don’t read the book “Four Fish.” The story of salmon is a sad one.

    1. How can it get worse than baby seals used to make mukluks? Tell me it doesn’t get worse than that. Tell me the salmons’ mothers aren’t standing by watching or I just can’t take it.

      I love you, Shannon. And I love Cheez Whiz.

  15. […] Over yonder at the fantastic humor blog She’s A Maineiac, Darla, one of the greatest people I know that I’ve never actually met before, featured me as her blogger of the month!   And, as such, I participated in her monthly interview, Firsts and Lasts!  Check it out here. […]

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