I Learned by Watching Kermit


Piggy and Kermie - Froggy Love

Most of us have heard of the book, Everything I Know I Learned in Kindergarten.  I actually never read the whole book.  I have this bad habit of getting into a book and if it bores me for more than two pages or I find something else an octave more exciting to do, the book gets put down.  I am sure all the books I have put down half way through have their own support group going at this point.

BPDBD Group – Books Put Down By Darlene (she really did like you!)

Ok, I’m getting loopy.

My point is… almost everything I have learned in my entire life, yes, my entire life, I learned from watching Muppets.

Sharing, caring, winning, losing, spelling, grumpiness, selfishness, hedonism, lust, jealousy… yeah, it’s starting to sound like the throwback pile for the dwarf that would not be.

I learned obsession and cruel jealousy from watching Miss Piggy swoon and curse over Kermie.  I remember one episode when Kermit was to do a duet with a woman (Linda Rondstadt I think) and Miss Piggy locked her in a closet! Miss Piggy… why?  I loved it when Kermie went virtually insane that he would run screaming off the stage or set, arms flailing… AHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I learned spazzing from Grover and Animal, grouchiness from Oscar and the goons in the balcony, Silliness from Ernie, Seriousness from Bert (which sounds and acts a lot like Squidward of Spongebob Squarepants).  And I learned all about feelings: happy, sad, hurt, angry from the one and only Big Bird.

But my most favorite Muppet of them all is and will always be Kermit the Frog.  He is on the November 11th cover of Entertainment Weekly.  Go!  Check him out in all his handsome greenness.

Remember…. “it ain’t easy being green.”

Were you able to identify with any Muppet characters when you were a child?  How about as an adult?

Have a happy weekend 80’s heads!

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Classic 80’s Horror Movies – Watch Them Again.


image courtesy of: halloween-wallpapers.blogspot.com

Spooky Spooky!

October is here!  Time for jackets, apple cider and corn mazes (make sure you have your cellphone on you!) to really bring out the autumn in us all.

October is time for something else.  Halloween.  Halloween means…. Horror movies.  Now, I know we can watch horror movies any time we feel like.  However, there is something special about curling up on the couch in late October with a giant bowl of popcorn and a fuzzy blanket to watch movies that scare the crap out of us.

What’s up with that?

Here are some classic 80’s horror movies:

Halloween – Released in 1978, this movie became a cult classic in the 80’s.  I like this one because Jamie Lee Curtis is not a sniveling “woe is me” protagonist.  She is quite the match for Michael Myers and is not a cocky bitch about it.

Amityville Horror – Actually released in 1979, it is based on a true story (creeeeepy).  Dad goes nuts in an evil house and kills his family.  Anytime I see a house with attic windows like the house in the movie I am instantly freaked out.

Poltergeist – Family moves to new house, house is creepy, family calls in even creepier lady to see what the heck is going on.  “Go into the liiiight.”  “Stay out of the liiiight.”  Make up your mind lady!

Cujo – Rabid dog goes apeshit.  Only Stephen King could write this story so well that it isn’t cheesy.  Made into a damn good creepy dog movie.

A Nightmare on Elm Street – Johnny Depp is in this one and if you weren’t a Depp fan, you might not even realize it.  Why do we sleep?  For rest!  Well, if you are a child of a person that lynched the ‘evil dream guy’ you might never wake up.

The Shining – Leave it to Stephen King to write an amazing story about a cooped up writer.  Jack Nicholson nails the part of the “writer gone bananas” in this classic flick.  Shelley Duvall is perfect in the mealy-mouthed wifey poo part.

Yeah, Stephen King’s “awesome novels made into awesome movies” got two picks… he is the King of Horror after all.

What are some of your fave 80’s horror flicks?  I know there are a ton of creepy horror movies.. like Zombie movies, which my dear blogger friend Sonia G. Medeiros blogged about earlier.  Check out her wickedly cool zombie post!

Happy Spookiness!

The Cowbell: Propelling Music Forward in the 80’s


Christopher Walken: “I got a fever… for cowbell.”

The cowbell.  Even on cows it sounds good.  Who would have thought… somewhere along the winding road of music an artist would say, “This song is great.  But… it needs something.  How about… some cowbell?”

In the Cowbell Skit on Saturday Night Live featuring Christopher Walken and Will Farrell (which is hilarious), Will Farrell and crew are covering Blue Oyster Cults “Don’t Fear The Reaper” for Walken.  There is a lot of cowbell in Don’t Fear The Reaper.  Perfect Cowbell.

My first memory of cowbell in a song is Loverboy’s Working For The Weekend.  The cowbell hits me in the face:  doink! doink! doink! smash!  And the music begins.  When I listen to this song.. the lyrics do not make much sense to me.

Random Lyrics From The Song

Everybody’s working for the weekend

Everyone’s looking to see if it was you

Everyone’s trying to get it right.

You wanna piece of the show, c’mon baby let’s go!

But the song is so damn catchy.  I don’t think many care that the lyrics are so random.  I don’t.. that’s for sure.  “Everybody’s Working For The Weekend.”  That is the only part that matters.

In 1987  Guns ‘N’ Roses broke ground with their album Appetite for Destruction.  I was fourteen years old, looking to rebel and there was Guns ‘N’ Roses blowing hair metal over the cliff like a tree in a windstorm.  Their epic tune “Night Train features a perfect mix of cowbell, screaming guitar and a still screaming Axl Rose.  The song is about getting wasted (I think?).

Random Lyrics From The Song

Wake up late honey put on your clothes
Take your credit card to the liquor store
That’s one for you and two for me by tonight
I’ll be loaded like a freight train

Guns ‘N’ Roses helped artists of the 80’s put down the hairspray and get a little more serious about the music.  There is a picture of Axl Rose on the AFD sleeve with cautiously poofy hair.  He has it there and a few moments in the “Welcome to the Jungle” video… never saw it again.  He probably figured there was cowbell on the album, so poofy hair was redundant.  Probably not.

Mötley Crüe, or Nikki Sixx rather (bassist for Crüe) wrote “Live Wire” in 1981.  I recently read The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx (which is an awesome, disturbing read) and he talked about this song.   I got the impression that he was basically warning the world that a bunch of bad asses were coming and no one.. NO ONE would stop them.

This song became one of their classics and is in my top five Crüe songs of all time.  There are two instances of cow bell in this song at just the right moments.

Random Lyrics From The Song

Take my fist to break down walls
I’ll top tonight, no, no
Better turn me loose
Better set me free
‘Cause I’m hot, I’m young, running free – little bit better than it used to be

These are my cowbell song mentions.  Do you know any others?  Do you think the songs I listed need more or less cowbell?

\m/

I Need A Hero!


HEROINE.  No, not that kind that fucks up people’s lives… the kind that makes us feel better, comes to our aid, helps us out.  I have been going through some stuff with my daughter, who is 16. She is so precious to me.  At one time she wasn’t.  She was expendable like everyone else in my life.  Everyone was there to serve me.  If you were unnecessary, you were expendable.

When Bonnie Tyler (singer of “Total Eclipse of the Heart – written by Jim Steinman) released “Holding Out For A Hero”, I liked it.  This tune was also written by Steinman.  Footloose helped the song become popular.

Okay, I had to throw all that in there, because every time I hear the line “I need a hero” that song pops in my head.

Focus, Darlene.

In the 80’s, my heroes (heroines.. whatever) were people like Laurie Strode (the protagonist in  Halloween, played by Jamie Lee Curtis).  She was fearless when protecting the little boy she was babysitting against that monster, Michael Myers.

Madonna! I fell in move with Madonna because she broke new ground for adding sexiness to music (along with some sluttiness  – my mother loved that part… not.)  She was sassy, controversial and took chances.

My daughter is nothing like Madonna, but at 16, I am noticing something about her.  She sticks up for the underdog.  She stands up for the kid that gets picked on.  She sides with the bullied girl.

I put my daughter through hell from the age of 9.  I got sober in 2006, when she was 11.  But those years of me finding myself, staying sober and focusing on my program, were still no walk in the park for her.

She stood strong.  She kept her head high.  She never gave up on me, even though for years I had given up on her.

My other two daughters, who are older than my 16-year-old, deserve a mention here as well.  They have been through their share of hell courtesy of me… something I am not proud of.   They didn’t have the chance for a mother to be there for them in their formative teenage years.  My middle daughter pretty much got her smarts on the street.  My oldest daughter trusts no one.

One thing I notice in all of them:  they stand up for what is right, and most importantly, stand up for themselves.

My daughters are my heroes.

Who are your heroes?

Epic Vocalists of the Epic 80’s


As I sit here and recall the hundreds of vocalists of the 80’s, I am becoming dizzy. Thank the fuzzies I have a cup of decaf next to me to help me chillax.  Yes, I just said chillax.

Of course I won’t go through all of them.  That would be tedious and time-consuming.  Not to mention… booooring!

When I think of epic voices that reach out of the radio (or ipod these days) songs like “I Remember You” and “Fight the Good Fight” jump out at me.  Skid Row happened onto the 80’s scene at the tail end and were never really considered “hair metal”.  Still, Sebastian Bach has one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard.

Triumph, born out of Canada (a trio – like Rush!  but not really) boasted the high-pitched vocals of Rik Emmett.  One of my favorite songs by this triumphant trio is “Fight the Good Fight.” A very inspirational song that I played repeatedly in 1987 on my tape deck.  It totally changed my mind about taking my life.

Let’s not forget Geoff Tate of the amazing band Queensrÿche.  Queensrÿche was born in Seattle, WA long before Grunge Music was even a thought.  Their compilation album Operation Mindcrime is a classic that can only be appreciated when listened to from beginning to end.   But Geoff’s most amazing ear massaging comes from the song “The Lady Wore Black” off of their EP, originally released in 1982.

Honarable mentions go to:

  • Don Dokken of Dokken. Dokken wrote some of the best ballads of the 80’s and will always hold a special place in my heart.
  • Chrissy Hynde of the Pretenders!  Love that chic’s voice.

They are my top vocalists of the 80’s.  Who would you nominate?

Mötley Crüe/Poison/Dolls


I have loved Mötley Crüe since I first discovered them in 1986 when I bought the “Shout at the Devil” cassette tape solely based on the album cover and name.  I had no idea who they were and no idea that they would change my world of music forever.

Poison was awesome when they stepped into the limelight in 1986 with their debut album Look What the Cat Dragged In.  The radio hit off of the album was “Talk Dirty to Me.”

Don't Need Nothing.. But A Good Time!

I went to see these two bands perform live at the Susquehanna Bank center in Camden on July 16, 2011.  Now, I saw Mötley Crüe before, but never Poison.

Neither band disappointed.

Before I go any further, I think it is fair to mention that the New York Dolls were the opening band, but my friends wanted to tailgate in the parking lot, so we missed them.  I heard they were great though.  My pal Katie was upset that she missed The Dolls… we were hanging in the parking lot and taking pictures.  Katie took two pictures of me in front of Nikki Sixx’s Sixx Sense tour bus.

Brett Michaels sounded awesome as he hopped around on stage belting out lyrics to “Fallen Angel” and “Ride the Wind”.  The band also did “Something to Believe In” and the very popular “Unskinny Bop.”  My friend Katie hates that song!  But she managed through it.  They did “Nothing but a Good Time” which I still seem to know every word to, surprisingly!

Ooh, and they did “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” – a total classic 80’s ballad!  Lighters unite!  Well, these days it is cell phones… but I saw a few people getting old school with lighters, and yes, I was one of the old schoolers!

Poison wrapped it up.  I was definitely impressed with their performance.  Could Mötley Crüe really top them?

They could… and they would.

They opened with Kings of Los Angeles, which we missed.  Grr.  Katie, was upset.  Again.  Poor gal.

They played a bunch of other spectacular songs like “Shout at the Devil” and then…

Tommy Lee did an amazing drum feat.  There was a giant ring at the back of the stage that Lee’s drum kit seemed to be centered in.  Well, all of a sudden there is a light show of sorts on the back drop behind the drum kit and them Lee’s drum kit starts swinging from side to side.  Wicked!  As if that wasn’t spectacular in itself, the damn thing starts spinning and then stops upside down!!

Then they called this guy upon the stage to go on the drum kit with Tommy.  I thought that Tommy just picked a random dude named Tony, turns out the guy won the contest on WMMR.

Saw-weet!

There were fireworks and I have to say the weather was so perfect.  It was definitely worth the traffic and the $20.00 parking!

Let The Light Shine!

In the end, Mötley Crüe rocked so hard they blew the sound system.  My guess is that they didn’t do an encore for that reason.

Oh!  One of the best parts!  Katie took a picture of me in front of the Sixx Sense tour bus (Nikki’s Sixx’s bus) and I must say, I looked pretty alright.   We got inside and saw an email address to send fan photos too, and Katie did just that.

Oh yeah.. me and the Sixx Machine!

While the band played “Home Sweet Home”  they flashed the photos up on the screen in the back I was one of the fans!

A truly epic evening.

Hulkamania!


Hulk Hogan has won the dubious award a record ...

Hulk Hogan

Does anyone remember the days of most epic time in professional wrestling?  I’m talking about Hulk Hogan, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Andre the Giant, Rick Flair.   There are many others.  However, my brain is already starting to hurt.

Rick Flair used to slap his opponents bare chest and yell, “Wooooo!” Ha… loved it.

I grew up on these characters, and loved every moment.  The thing that strikes me as I type this blog is that my parents let me watch it!  Yes.  My mother and father let me watch men being body slammed, choke held and slapped in the chest.  It was no big thing.  I had already been taught that what I saw on television was not real.  Certainly professional wrestling wasn’t real.  I mean, how does someone get hit in the head with an aluminum chair and manage to stand up thirty seconds later?

Whatever the case, wrestling in the 80’s was fun.  It was my Sunday morning treat before I ran outside to play on the last day of the weekend.

If I asked you to name a wrestler from the 80’s, most of you would probably name Hulk Hogan.

What was so great about Hulk Hogan?  First of all, even though all wrestlers beat  the crap out of each other, there were the “do-gooders” and the “bad guys”.  Hulk Hogan was the star of the show and probably one of the biggest names in wrestling in the 80’s.  He was a “do gooder”.  He never played dirty and seemed to be the “wrestler with a conscience.”

His fans, Hulkamaniacs, were told to say their prayers and take their vitamins.  Basically, be good little boys and girls! And yes,  I listened to the Hulkster and did just that.

Hogan would remain a good guy until 1996, when he would turn heel.  A heel is basically a non-do-gooder of wrestling. Boo!

There are many other wrestlers of the 80’s, but if I got into them all, I’d be sitting here for a week and you’d be looking for the escape hatch.

Did you watch wrestling in the 80’s?  Who were some of your favorite characters?