Polling. My Newest Obsession.

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What’s Happenin’, Hot Stuff?

Normally I wouldn’t worry about having games to occupy adults at a party.  After all, we are so engrossed with our own lives and our kids lives that, when we do have the opportunity to get together, we can (typically) entertain ourselves just by hanging out and catching up.

However, planning a party around the 80s calls for a breach of protocol!  This is a celebration encompassing all topics from a decade that produced some pretty bad-ass stuff…

Hands Across America.

The Reebok Freestyle Hi.

Step Aerobics.

I wanted a pair of these so badly!

Certainly, I am not suggesting you recreate any of these during your party.  Especially the aerobics.  You could end up pretending you are a cheerleader and majorly wipe out in front of your friend who will laugh so hard at you that neither of you can breathe.  Not like I ever did that (yeah, I totally did; just about 5 months ago).  I wish you could have been there.  It was so funny; I’m giggling about it as I sit here writing this.

What am I suggesting?  Since the theme party is all about nostalgic sentiment, it would be fun to incorporate those memories into the festivities.  Aside from horrifying fashion trends and some cringe-worthy fads (i.e., Rat Tails), the 80s did birth some of the silver screen’s most iconic movies.

Ahhh, movies of the 80s….

Star Wars Trilogy – I was never that fanatical about the series, so I don’t feel as though I am qualified to expound upon the topic.  Besides, hasn’t there been enough said about the topic?  I’ll just say that Hans Solo was hunky.

Indiana Jones Trilogy – Hmmm… Indy was pretty hunky too.  Imagine that.

Why, yes, Dr. Jones.  You can dig through my archives.

E.T. –  Perfection on film.  Sweet, tender Elliott.  Adorable little Gertie.  Somehow that genius Steven Spielberg knew how to make us love an ugly alien.  And it incorporated a scene about Halloween, which is my favorite holiday, so that makes the film all the better.  I actually caught this on cable a few weeks ago.  Sucked me right in.  3 hours later (thanks to commercials) I’m bawling like an asshole in front of the tv.  Thankfully Spielberg knew better than to create a sequel.

Footloose – Sorry, I didn’t get it.  I know lots of my girlfriends did though, so it got honorable mention here for you, my dears.

Karate Kid – A movie about kicking ass is something I can get behind!   Poll: Who didn’t leave the theater thinking they could round house kick some prick at school?  Especially when loveable Daniel Larusso, with his big brown puppy dog eyes, proved he could take on those cock suckers from Cobra Kai.  “YES SENSAI!”  Puh-leeze.  In your face motherfuckers.

Airplane! – Silly and goofy; right in line with my inner 12-year-old boy.  “I am serious.  And don’t call me Shirley”.

Ghostbusters – I’m a pussy when it comes to scary movies.  That shit stays with me.  Then, if I wake up to pee in the middle of the night (which ALWAYS happens the nights I’ve seen a scary movie) and after my business is done, I end up launching myself into bed in order to prevent the thing under the bed from reaching out and grabbing me when my feet get within its range.  This movie let me watch a story about ghosts without pissing myself.  How could I not love it?

Caddyshack – Rodney Dangerfield dancing to Journey.  Bill Murray tee-ing off on the mums “455 yards away using a 2 iron”.  Put them together in a movie about golf and I’m sold!  Simply hilarious.

 


Breakfast Club – Angst among white, middle-class suburbanite teenagers.  Since it isn’t a comedy it was never one of my favorites.  I know, I know, critics and people who think they know everything about movies consider it to be the greatest teen film ever.  Truth is, I could never understand why a school principal would waste HIS Saturday keeping kids in detention and not actually supervise them.  What kind of punishment did he think he dishing out?  If he wanted to make their lives miserable he should have required their parents sit there with them.  Now that’s a fucking nightmare!  Give 16-year-old me a whole Saturday away from my family and I’m ALL IN, baby!!

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – Serving as the fantastical catalyst for blowing off school since 1986.  He was cool and had the world by the balls.  Even if you ditched school and it was totally lame, Ferris Bueller gave you the hope that it could be the best day of your life.  I still want to be his girlfriend.

The Outsiders – Francis Ford Coppola’s gift to teenage girls everywhere.  It was NO mistake that the casting included Patrick Swayze, Matt Dillon, Tom Cruise and the ever dreamy Rob Lowe.  I truly believe Mr. Coppola intended to take S.E. Hinton’s classic novel and teach us a lesson about gang warfare and its devastating effects.  Instead, it just encouraged us to masturbate.

 The Greasers.  All kinds of dirty hot.

So why not steal borrow someone else’s creativity and hard work and turn it into a game for your party?

Any 80s party should definitely have a drinking game.  I was trying to think of a good one the other day and it hit me – Combine it with Sixteen Candles!  Without question, Sixteen Candles is my favorite movie from the 80s.  Fantastic story, top-notch dialogue and characters that transcend all time – The Geek (a.k.a. – Farmer Ted), Samantha, Long Duk Dong… Jake Ryan (she said with angels stringing their harps in the background).  Do you know anyone who cannot recite every line from this movie?  I don’t.  Hell, my 13-year-old daughter can!  So test your guest’s knowledge:

Before your party starts put the DVD into the player.  Get a few attendees to play along once the party fun is at its’ pinnacle.  At certain points, pause the film.  Have everyone write down what the next line is.  Players should read their answers aloud.  Whoever gets it wrong has to take a drink.  Hopefully you will have someone at your party who is silly, has a designated driver and makes shit up that has nothing to do with Sixteen Candles.  These are the best answers.  This is a particularly good game to play if it rains the night of your party.

And if you’re going to offer prizes, make it worth it.  Maybe an iTunes gift card??  That way your guests can download some of the, like, totally awesome songs they heard at your 80s party.

Next year is the 30th Anniversary of the release of The Outsiders.  I wonder if there will be a special anniversary edition?  Will it be packaged in a black leather case?  With a switch blade on it?

Maybe they should just sell it with a vibrator.

I *borrowed* pictures off the internet courtesy of:  Reeboks – ILoveComfortShoes.net;  Indiana Jones pic – See Rebecca Sew;  Caddyshack pic – Blogue.us;  Caddyshack – Youtube “Caddyshack Clip”;  The Outsiders pic – GradeSaver.com

I’m So Happy About This I Can’t Even Stand It!

My friend, Tony, sent me a picture.  I made him laugh with my post about Pac-Man cookies he was all kinds of excited and started looking around his mom’s house to see if he still had the Pac-Man Fever 45 record.  Instead, he found this little gem…

 

It's so bad-ass that he found this!

 

I think this is a good segue into my next topic about fun stuff to do/games to play while hosting an 80s themed party.  Stay tuned.  I gots ideas, people.

 

I wonder if he has the actual Attari player too???

Tony, if you’re reading this, you need to look for it!  I have an old tv that may still be compatible with Attari.  You can bring it over and we will have a play date.  I will even make the Pac-Man cookies.  🙂

I Can’t Think Of Anything To Write So I May As Well Just Post Embarrassing Pictures Of Myself Because At Least That’s Funny

Writer’s block is a funny thing.  I’ve heard writers speak at length about how they have nothing to say (irony at its’ best).  But me?  Not be able to write something related to a party that is clever, sincere yet witty and self-deprecating to boot??  Ppfffttt!  No way, not me.

Alright, I admit it.  I got cocky and thought it could never happen to me.  After all, I absolutely LOVE parties and I have so much to say about them.  How could I possibly have nothing to say about the topic?  Well, it happened.  Why?  Life got in the way.

Over the last week and a half I’ve been on 6 airplanes, busted my ass to get a TON of yard work done, negotiated a deal for a fantastic new job, prepped to teach my very first aerobics class and tried to keep up with my normal mom/house/life stuff.  I knew the topic I wanted to write about – more food items for an 80s theme party – but when I sat down to write I just couldn’t come up with anything.  At least nothing I was willing to publish.  The story part wasn’t flowing.  I temporarily lost my edge.

But on my way into work this morning I was saved.  Waiting for the light to turn green, bored and in a fog (literal and figurative), I plugged my iphone into the car to listen to a few of the 700+ songs stored there.  How could I be saved from my own lack of imagination by hitting shuffle?  Who could have snapped me out of my wordless funk and resuscitated me; breathing renewed creativity back into my existence?  Only Ad-Rock, MCA and Mike D, that’s who.  Paul Revere to be specific.

You know you love them too.  1986 and the world was just waking up to the brilliance of the Beastie Boys breakout masterpiece Licensed To Ill.  That album was perfect (ok – I do skip over Fight For Your Right now).  It still holds up.  Go ahead, I dare you to plug it into your stereo system and not dance and sing along or, at the very least,  just feel fantastic in general.  I have such fond memories of listening to that whole album at parties with my 2 best girlfriends from high school, Jenni & Denise.

Jenni and Denise are quite possibly the two funniest people on the planet, and somehow, I was lucky enough to have the stars align in 1984 when I transferred to public school and was seated next to Denise in homeroom.  She had tickets to the Like A Virgin tour that night and was dressed in all white lace, just like Madonna.  As a fellow wannabe I was awestruck.  How could you get away with wearing that to school (my mentality still revolved around wearing a uniform)?  How could you convince your parents to allow you to go to the Madonna concert?  It was apparent in a split second that she was bold as hell.  I was terminally self-conscious and dorky, but she took pity on me and talked to me anyway.  I fell in love with her right then and there and knew I had to be friends with her or at least die trying.  As the weeks and months passed it became clear how special she was (‘special’ said like Dana Carvey’s Church Lady).  She was all kinds of fearless with reckless abandon.  She wasn’t afraid to make fun of herself, or anyone else for that matter, but she did it in a way that made you love her all the more and loathe yourself a little less.  That year she accepted me into her inner circle and my life would never be the same.  I can’t tell you how often I lost her in the mall, only to find her dressed in department store clothing standing on one of the department store platforms pretending to be a mannequin along side the other actual mannequins.  Or the number of times I watched her sneak around gym class, stalking for prey and then launch her attack by pulling the guys shorts down to the floor.  Who the hell does that??  Jesus it was funny!

Gene Simmons? Nope, just me and Denise. 1988-ish, I think.

Through Denise I met her partner in crime, Jenni.  I don’t recall the first time we were introduced, but we hit it off and ended up spending many vacations together (noteably, Senior Week and Spring Break).  She was also ballsy, just a bit more reserved than Denise.  Not by much though.  Loud, obnoxious and never one to censor who she was, Jenni carried herself like the Queen of Egypt.  I admired her confidence and honesty.  She was fiercely loyal, warm and caring; she loved deeply and hated deeply.  She’s held my hair while I puked and comforted me through breakups.  And despite the fact that I was a douche to her a couple of times she still hangs out with me today when our schedules allow it.

Jenni and I - The Wonder Twins. As in "I wonder what made us think we looked good in neon tie die jumpers?". Doesn't she look great here?

Ahhh memories.  The light finally turned green and all of a sudden my brain started to churn.  What did I ponder?  I’m glad you asked.  Writing this blog, of course.  After tapping back into the archives of my mind for memories from the 80s and with the Beasties and Jenni & Denise serving up inspiration, I wondered…can you associate a certain type of food with a decade?  Yeah, I know, the Pac-Man cookies were like, totally radical, but a whole party’s worth of food?  Why the heck not?

Here’s some 80s theme party menu ideas…

Pizza:  Essential.  Plus it pays homage to Jeff Spicoli.  And it’s easy.  Sorry, I meant, like, TOTALLY easy.  Besides, I’m pretty sure it was the official food of the 80s.

Pac-Man Cookies: Since the pizza is so easy it would be nice to have a homemade touch.  Go back and read my previous post Blinky, Inky, Pinky and Clyde if you missed how to make these amazing little creations.

Potato Skins:  Definitely an 80s food.  I made these one night this week for dinner because I wanted to have pictures for you because you mean so much to me.  Here’s how to do it…

First, lift the recipe off the internet from someone you don’t know.  I lifted mine from the following site –   Simply Recipes

Clean potatoes and rub with olive oil.  Bake the potatoes in the oven for about an hour at 400°.  While the potatoes are doing their thing, cook the bacon in a frying pan until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Let cool and crumble.  You could even get crazy if you want to and use Sizzlean.  HAHAHA!!  Do they even sell that anymore?

Once the potatoes have cooled, cut them in half horizontally.  Using a spoon, carefully scoop out the insides, leaving about 1/4 of an inch of potato inside the skin.

It seems wasteful not to use the rest of the insides, but since this is for an 80s party I'm giving you permission. The 80s were about excess and waste after all.

Increase the oven temperature to 450°.  Brush or rub oil over the potato skins, inside and out.  Sprinkle with salt.  Place on a broiler pan (this can take the heat; a cookie sheet will warp).

Getting ready for the final touches.

Cook 10 minutes on one side, then flip the skins over and cook for another 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool enough to handle.  Arrange the potato skins skin-side down on the broiler pan.  Sprinkle the insides with freshly ground black pepper, cheddar cheese, and crumbled bacon.  Return to the oven.  Broil for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly.

My husband said, "I'm not big on potatoes, but bury them in enough cheese, bacon and sour cream and I'm gonna eat them". I take this as an endorsement.

Remove from oven.  Use tongs to place skins on a serving plate.  Add a dollop of sour cream to each skin.  Sprinkle with green onions if you want to.

TIP: Put the sour cream in a sandwich baggie and drizzle it over your potato skins. Otherwise it looks like someone just nutted on them.

 

Jello shots:  These are also essential.  No party should ever be without them.

Fluff n Nutter Sandwiches:  Easy and fun.  You can cut them into Pac-Man or glove shapes also.  Of course, Wonder Bread is the only acceptable bread to use for these.

Cheez Whiz:  Who am I to pass judgement on your taste buds?  I don’t think I know any adult who could actually eat this goo anymore, but if you are nostalgic enough to offer it as a dip with nachos, go for it.  For myself though … Like, gag me with a spoon.  This won’t be at my party.

Any type of dessert involving graham cracker crumb crust:  Because this was the shit to have in the 80s.

Now the important stuff; A BIG bowl of the following:

Candy Necklaces/Bracelets

Blow Pops

Big League Chew

Nerds

Fun Dip

Carmello Bars

Skor Bars

Bottlecaps

Jolly Ranchers

Bubble Yum Bubble Gum

Reese’s Pieces

Snapple

Cherry Coke

And of course, Pop Rocks (Just don’t eat them while drinking the Cherry Coke.  Your stomach will explode.  Fo’ realz.).

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for.  The really embarrassing stuff…

Remember how I told you I was gangly and wore yard sale clothes?  Here’s the proof.  I’m on the left.

Janice and I around 1981. Note the brown sneakers. As if the fashion itself isn't mortifying enough, some genius thought it was a good idea to make us sit on giant penises. Maybe this explains why I'm not wearing pants in the next picture.

Nice side/top ponytail with crimped hair, huh? You're jealous, aren't you? I can tell. Could I have thought pants just weren't fashionable in the 80s? I must have been going swimming. It's the only explanation. Either that or I was just slutty. Now stop looking at my Woo-Woo.

Erin Go Bragh meet Bowl O’Turds

Last blog about a topic other than an 80s theme party for a while, I promise!  I couldn’t pass on the opportunity though to write about something related to St. Patrick’s Day.  I mean, it IS on a Saturday this year.  Perfect excuse to have a shindig, don’t you think?

While some people fully embrace the idea of St. Patrick’s Day I have never been one to get too excited about March 17th.  I blame the Third Reich for this.  You’ll see why in a minute.

My heritage does include some Irish as well as some American Indian and a lot of Poor White Trash, but mostly, I’m German.  The fact that I don’t do the lineage celebration thing has to do with going to Germany with my family for 2 weeks when I was 15.  The first part of the trip was fantastic.  The quaint villages were romantic and the grand castles were majestic.  The hills were alive with the sound of music (we crossed over into Austria for a day) and the locals were amazingly friendly; I’m sure it was because of the time of year I visited – it was early October.  In Germany.  There was a lot of beer drinking going on.

Then, my father got the bright idea that the trip had to be *educational* too.  Feel free to join me in eye-rolling and heavy sighing.

3 days left in the trip and my dumb American ass gets to go to Dachau Concentration Camp.  Oh joy!  I won’t bore you with the details, but that shit will wipe out your vacation high and knock you sober in seconds flat.  This was supposed to be vacation!  Even at 15 I knew vacation is the greatest invention in the history of the planet, maybe even the whole universe (sorry Stephen Hawking), and I had to spend a day of it at a fucking concentration camp?!?!  Maybe this explains why I am the way I am.

So there you have it.  Those Nazi dicks stole my ability to have pride in the family Coat of Arms.  Thanks a lot Hitler.

No more!  This year I have decided enough is enough!!  After all, I love a party and everyone is Irish this coming Saturday, right?  I plan to celebrate the 1/16th Irish heritage coursing through my veins this weekend, despite the Nazis.  I will probably meet up with friends at a bar to enjoy the festivities, but in case you are throwing a party at home, here are some ideas for your celebration…

Irish Beer is a must, of course, but don’t forget about other Irish liquors.  Total Wine has catalogued all of their offerings into this lovely little St. Patty’s Day selection.  Useful, organized, efficient.  Oh how I love Total Wine!

I’ve never done the corned beef and cabbage thing.  Mainly because I’m not a fan of getting the gas.  Or of my husband getting it either.  What I can share with you on the food front though is Irish potatoes.  I’ve had this recipe for ages and think I actually got it from my grandmother.  If it happens to be the same recipe you posted on the internet, I swear I did not steal it!  Relax, ok – I’m pretty sure it’s fairly common.

Irish Potatoes

1/4 cup Butter

4 ounces Cream Cheese

1 teaspoon Vanilla

1 pound Confectioner’s Sugar

7 ounces Shredded, Sweetened Coconut

2 tablespoons Cinnamon, plus extra for covering “potatoes”

Using a mixer, cream together butter and cream cheese in a large bowl.  Mix in vanilla and sugar.

No calories, I swear.

*TIP – Do not put all of the sugar in the bowl at once!  It will create an enormous dust cloud and then clean up will suck.  If you don’t clean it up fast enough, your neighbor might show up and think you are a coke head.  Then you will be shunned from neighborhood parties.  Just pour a little sugar into the bowl at a time to save yourself a HUGE headache.  And possibly visits from the DEA.

Stir in coconut and 2 tablespoons cinnamon (keeps the mixture from being too sticky on your hands when shaping the “potatoes”).  Form about 2 tablespoons mixture into potato shapes.  Roll in extra cinnamon.  Place on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper and chill for 12 hours in refrigerator.

Ummm, this was not the way they were suppposed to look.

Now that I’m examining them closely in the picture I realize they look like turds.  Nice.  I didn’t mean for them to look like this.  I guess sometimes shit just happens.

Not a rainbow of marshmallow surprises.

Payback Sucks

“Honey, when people tell you the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, they’re lying.  It’s through blowjobs.”

~My Grandmother

 

Urban Dictionary defines Steak and BJ Day as follows:

“Celebrated on March 14th, Steak and Blowjob Day is a holiday for men, celebrated the month after Valentine’s Day — a holiday for women.
The idea is simple: no cards, flowers, candy or other whimsical gifts. Ladies (and gay men), you simply bestow your partner with a steak and a blowjob. Not necessarily in that order”.

 

And so, there you have it.  This Wednesday is a day devoted to a party for 2.  I do have some good recipe ideas for the former.  For the latter part – the only thing I will say is this:

 

Ladies, if you suspect your significant other might hear the Jaws theme in his head whenever things start getting hot and heavy, you may want to consider consulting your very own gay about the topic.  The gays are where it’s at when it comes to such tutoring.  Don’t worry – there will be no actual physical exchange (they are NOT interested in you sexually).  Just some poignant advice and a lot of giggling.  Oh how I love the gays!  I consider myself an extreme fruit fly.  Let Moses have his Israelites; I have my gays.

 

And guys, please understand and be patient.  There really is more to it than you think.  Samantha Jones from Sex & The City said it best:

“You men have no idea what we’re dealing with down there. Teeth placement, and jaw stress, and suction, and gag reflex, and all the while bobbing up and down, moaning and trying to breathe through our noses. Easy? Honey, they don’t call it a job for nothing.”

 

That said, onto the recipes!!

 

March 14th Steak

 

2 Steaks – preferably NY Strip or Filets

1 Vidalia Onion, sliced

1 lb Mushrooms, sliced

3/4 Cup Beef Broth

1 Cup Wine – any cheap cooking wine will do

1 Tablespoons Butter

1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce

2 Teaspoons Cornstarch

Fresh Thyme, chopped

 

Melt butter in large skillet.  Cook onions and mushrooms until soft.  (You may want to cook these separately.  Also, don’t crowd the mushrooms in the pan – this causes the liquid from being able to escape and the mushrooms will get mushy.  If you cook half at a time they will be much tastier.)  Add 1/2 cup wine and the broth to the skillet; cook 5 minutes.  Remove the mushrooms.  Cook wine mixture and onions until the liquid is reduced to about a 1/2 cup.   Return the mushrooms to the skillet.

 

It smells really good at this stage.

 

Grill the steaks. 

 

Where's the beef? In my kitchen!

 

Meanwhile, combine the soy sauce and cornstarch in a small container.  Add the remaining 1/2 cup wine to the skillet.  Boil.  Add the soy/cornstarch mixture and thyme to the skillet.  Cook over medium-low heat until thickened.  Place steaks on top of vegetables for 5-7 minutes, flipping halfway through the time.

 

Are you salivating yet?

 

Serve with either a baked potato or Rosemary Red Potatoes and Asparagus.

 

Rosemary Red Potatoes

 

8-10 Small Red Potatoes, cubed

Butter to taste

Salt to taste

Rosemary, fresh is preferred, but dried works just fine too

 

Add all ingredients into a container.  Microwave for 5 minutes.  Stir.  Add more butter, salt and rosemary if desired.  Microwave another 3.5 minutes until soft.   *Alternate method – Add all ingredients to aluminum foil.  Place on the grill for 20-25 minutes.

 

Tip - go get yourself a ceramic knife!! Best knife I've ever had.

 

 

All dressed up (with butter, salt & rosemary) and no where to go but in my belly!

 

 

Asparagus – thanking my bff Kristin for this way easy, delish recipe!

 

1 Bunch Asparagus, green or white

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

 

Add olive oil to heated skillet.  Cook asparagus until crisp tender.  Season with salt & pepper.

Yes, your pee will smell, but it tastes soooo good.

Blinky, Inky, Pinky and Clyde

It was 1981; my childhood still intact.  Days were spent in the uniformity of Catholic school and every weekend was spent cocooned in the safety of my Grandmother’s warm and loving apartment.  My parents were members of the lower middle class and spent all of their money on our parochial education.  My Grandmother provided anything else my sister and I needed or wanted when she was able to.

 

Classmates would chatter about the latest and greatest novelty they had been given.  I would sit and listen, stewing with envy.  All hope wasn’t lost for me though.  Fortunately, I had a friend who was the only child of well-to-do parents.  She had everything a girl on the cusp of being a teenager could want and, by extension, I got to experience it all for a few hours after school.  Cabbage Patch Kids, Madame Alexander dolls and Merlin, The Electronic Wizard could all be found in her playroom.  She even had the coveted hand-held football game ~ Coleco’s Electronic Quarterback.  I LOVED going to her house.  Her mother was brilliantly beautiful with big blue eyes and frosted hair like Farrah.  And she was just as kind as she was beautiful.  Before my arrival she would make fabulous, delectable snacks for us girls to munch on, chat with me as if what I had to say mattered and then turn us loose around the house.  Some days we would spin to the point of sickness on their tire swing.  Other days we would still play with Barbies (although we would NEVER have admitted it to anyone else).  But most of the time the girl wanted to play with something I hated – Smurfs.  She was a big fan of Smurfs and had all the little figurines and even Smurfette’s cottage.  I thought they were dumb, but would play along because I was afraid I would offend her if I stated my true feelings and, subsequently, never be invited back.  I felt happy and at ease in that house; like there was more to life than what I had experienced on a daily basis.  I wasn’t gonna blow it by opening my big, stupid mouth.

 

One day I went to her house and there was a black & brown box sitting in the middle of the floor attached to the tv with long black wires.  There was a strange name written on the front of it: Atari.  I remember asking what the heck it was.  The girl looked at me with wide eyes and said, “It’s Atari… you know”.  I had no clue, but didn’t want to seem like an ass wipe so I played along, pretending to be cool.

 

And I couldn’t have been farther from cool.  I was gangly and had a bad home perm and a weird retainer instead of braces.  Because I was the offspring of lower middle class my street clothes were purchased at yard sales (remember, all their money went to Catholic school) and I wore these terrible brown sneakers.  Oh, it was a sight!  I don’t know if I can find any of those pictures to show you.  I think they all may have *accidentally* burned.

 

Sitting in front of that tv with our butts on the floor and our backs on the bottom of the sofa, the girl put a thing resembling a small 8-track into that black & brown wired box.  What popped up on the screen was the beginning of a new era.  The image on the tv looked like a maze and there were these little ghost looking characters in red, pink, turquoise and orange colors.  She grabbed another gadget that looked like a stick and hit start.  My brain glazed over at that exact moment.  I think we battled for 3 hours that day to see who could get more points.  She won of course.  I didn’t care though.  I was hooked!

 

When Christmas came that year the only thing I wanted was Atari with Pac-Man.  My skin ached I wanted it so badly.  And like Ralphie with his Red Ryder BB gun I found myself daydreaming of ways I could make it happen.  Lo and behold, there it was under the tree that December 25th.  I think I even cried from relief and sheer joy.

 

So what does this have to do with having a totally righteous 80s party?  Last night I was searching the internet for party ideas.  Pac-Man was at the top of my list of memorabilia.  I was thinking it had to be pretty easy to make Pac-Man cookies.  Sure enough, you can buy Pac-Man cookie cutters on Amazon.  But I’m cheap and thought there had to be a more economical alternative to spending $10-$15 in order to make these cookies.  I kept looking and came across this site: Snack or Die

 

I totally copied this woman’s idea of using the upside-down tulip cookie cutter for the ghosts.  I got one at AC Moore for about $3.  I don’t have a circular cookie cutter so I used a can and a the bottom part of a heart cookie cutter (that I did have) for Pac-Man himself.  Here’s my cookie recipe and how they turned out…

 

Sugar Cookies

3/4 Cup shortening

1 Cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/4 Cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Dash salt

 

Cream together shortening and sugar.  Beat in eggs & vanilla.  Combine dry ingredients and add to creamed ingredients, mixing well. 

 

Flour a flat surface and a rolling-pin to roll out dough to about 1/4-inch thickness. 

 

It's a messy job, but so worth it.

 

Cut into shapes and place on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.  Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes.  Cool completely on wire rack.

 

Don't forget to cut the little stem off the tulip.

 

See how I did that?

 

While the cookies are cooling, make the icing. 

 

Wilton Buttercream Icing

1 Cup solid white vegetable shortening

1 Teaspoon Wilton flavor (I use the butter flavor, but they also have vanilla and almond)

2 Tablespoons water

4 Cups confectioners’ sugar

1 Tablespoon Wilton Meringue Powder

Pinch of salt

Food coloring

 

Cream shortening, flavoring and water together.  Add dry ingredients and mix on medium speed until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed together.  Blend an additional minute until creamy. 

 

The consistency will be very stiff and hard to stir.  So separate the icing into the number of colors you need.  The best way to do this is to add about a 1/2 – 3/4 cup of the white icing to a Solo Cup then add the food coloring.  To make the icing easier to stir add 1 teaspoon of water to the icing in the cup.  If it is still too stiff add another 1/2 teaspoon and so on. 

 

An alternate use for the Red Solo Cup.

 

Once the color is blended to your liking put the icing into a sandwich bag.  Snip off a little bit of the bottom corner and trace the outside of each cookie then fill the rest of it in.  An angled cake icing spatula works best to smooth out the icing, but if you don’t have one just use a knife. 

 

Cheap and easy pastry bag.

 

Let the icing “set” for about 30 minutes or so.  For the eyes, take a little bit of left-over white icing and water it down a bit.  I used one of Emma’s old medicine droppers to apply the white part of the eyes to the cookies.  I didn’t have mini chocolate chips on hand for the black parts of the eyes so I had to use black gel icing.  Not the best for a party, but it worked in a pinch.  You get the idea. 

 

Don't move 'til you see the whites of their eyes! Not a good Pac-Man strategy.

 

Here’s the finished product.  I love them!  Now you can love them too when you have your very own 80s party.  Heck, if you live close to me you can even borrow my tulip cookie cutter.  But be warned, if I don’t get it back I’m good at stalking and I’m not afraid to cut a bitch.

 

You know you totally want to make them right now.

 

P.S. – Ohhh, I just thought of this!  Another fun idea would be sparkly white glove cookies!  I just Googled it and Amazon, indeed, has a Hand Shaped Cookie Cutter!  Michael would be so proud knowing you made glove cookies.  Craft stores have edible sparkly glitter. 

 

P.P.S. – Kinda-sorta related funny story.  Last January it was announced that my company would be closing the location I worked at and moving all operations out of state.  We had until the end of June before we were unemployed.  They also announced we still had 5 sick days to use in that time.  My boss was cool as shit and thankfully now, she is just my friend.  She allowed the team to use the sick days without question.  So, in an effort to make her laugh when she checked her messages on the mornings I decided to call out sick, I used the following illnesses:

 

Sick day #1 – The Plague

 

Sick day #2 – 24 hour Elephantitis

 

Sick day #3 – Temporary Polio

 

Sick day #4 – Complications As a Result of Vasectomy

 

Sick day #5 – PAC-MAN motherfucking FEVER.   

 

 

Damn, I’m good at this.

Jenny, Jenny, Who Can I Turn To?

 

You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting to use that title. 

 

Since my last soliloquy about my new, fabulous, I-can’t-even-stand-how-bad-ass-these-are cocktail picks, I received a nice amount of feedback from you, my lovely readers.  Here’s the funny thing though – the feedback was all about having an 80s party. 

 

And Rick Springfield. 

 

Apparrently, no one gives a shit about my drinky-winky cocktail picks.  You know what I think about that?  GO WITH IT!!!  If 80s party ideas are what you want, then 80s party ideas you shall get!  My purpose here is to spread joy after all. 

 

And what can be more joyful than revisiting your youth (unless you were like the Waldo kid in the Van Halen ‘Hot for Teacher’ video, then it’s a goddamn nightmare)? 

 

“I’m nervous and my socks are too loose”.

 

Given your response it has has become abundantly clear to me that the sheer thought of being the most totally awesome host of an 80s party can send women in their 30s and 40s into a side-ponytail and Ray-Ban Wayfarer frenzy.  It’s as if we are rabid with the thought of throwing on an oversized jacket with the huge shoulder pads, jumping into Professor Emmett Brown’s DeLorean with Marty McFly and heading back in time.  Somehow in the last 30 years, we have forgotten how totally bogus neon t-shirts with ‘Frankie Says Relax’ written on them, perms, rubber bracelets, turned up collars, rolled jeans, Don Johnson and skinny ties were.  Yes, these are all back in fashion with full force & have become acceptable in public again.  

 

Personally, I vacillate between sentiment and repulsion when I’m out shopping and see these little nuggets of my past.  I’ve found myself wondering … “Could it really be possible?  Were those legwarmers on that mannequin?”  I’ve even begun to entertain that I may be talked into wearing an inside-out sweatshirt hanging off one shoulder.  But let the record state that I DRAW THE LINE AT STIRRUP PANTS!  That shit needs to stay in 1985.

 

Anyhoo, while looking for something completely different on the Today Show’s website last week I happened upon a segment about parties.  I watched it and it was ok, but really nothing I haven’t already heard about or thought of before.  Thankfully, there were a bunch of other clips on the side and one of them was all about having an 80s themed party.  It was like destiny!  Watch it (sorry about the 30 second ad at the beginning, I can’t do anything about that).  You’ll have to muster the strength to stomach Hoda & Kathy Lee dressed like Valley Girls, but there is good information for throwing an 80s party in the clip:  Today Show 

 

You back?  Good.  Did you catch the look on Kathy Lee’s face when the lady started talking about Bartles & James wine coolers??  Priceless!! 

 

So my plan for you, my dears, is to conquer this topic slowly over time.  Offering tips and recipes for a party of this gnarliness can only be broken down into small parts over the next few weeks due to the fact that so many of my 80s sisters, like, totally freak at the thought of hosting/going to an 80s themed party.  I don’t want to rush this or have you to do anything you aren’t comfortable with.  I promise to be gentle.  First, I’ll tease you with some cool menu items.  Then we will explore decorations and entertainment with each other.  Finally, we’ll get to the ear-gasm crescendo … the music.

 

See how I did that?  Yeah, I rock. 

 

I will also continue to try to find embarrassing pictures of myself from the 80s so you can laugh at me along the way.  Like this one:

 

How did I get my hair to that height?  Behold, the power of Aquanet!

How did I get my hair to that height?  Behold, the power of Aquanet!

 

Feel free to comment, share your ideas and, if you want to, send me equally embarrassing pics of yourself to post (names excluded, of course), I will be happy to include them too.  This should be fun!

 

So stay tuned…. 

Word to your mother.

I Gotta Fever…

And the only prescription is

 

SUMMERTIME!

 

Granted, it hasn’t been cold at all here in the Northeast this winter, but still – I’m so ready for summer.  I’m tired of hibernating and wearing sweaters and gray skies.  I miss warm breezes and reading a book in the hammock and the smell of freshly mown grass.  Usually by now I am itchy to plan a party.  Wine and cheese night is perfect this time of year as is Girls’ Night In.  I’ve even been thinking of doing an ’80s theme party complete with Duran Duran, Madonna and Rick Springfield.  Not in person, of course, just their biggest hits.

 

Then again, maybe I could get Rick here.  He’s enough of a slut for the money.  Just imagine…

 

*cue the sound of harps playing and enter dream sequence*

 

Dr. Noah Drake in my house.  Sigh.  All my girlfriends here; so excited for Rick Springfield to sing Jessie’s Girl to us in my living room.  Then the fallout after we see what has become of him…..

 

I so totally had this poster.  This is who we would be expecting.  Yummy.

 

Rick Springfield

“WHAT THE FUCK???”  “Who invited Beelzebub?”  “Who the hell did his veneers?”

This is what we would be thinking while trying to be polite and not make him feel bad about his plastic surgery choices.

 

 Anyway – It’s getting closer to summertime.  I can tell because when I’m running errands and happen to pop into stores that have party related items on the shelves, the change in color is salient.  Burnt oranges, mustard yellows and espresso browns have been replaced by flamingo pinks, lime greens and ocean blues.  The businesses are finally starting to look brighter and more cheerful in general.  I FEEL so much better just seeing these colors!  It gives me hope that the last few dreary weeks of blah weather will soon be behind me and I will be able to turn my face toward the sun to feel its’ warmth (with sunblock on, of course.  I’m not getting cancer.  Or worse yet  ~  wrinkles!).

 

Last weekend I popped in to Pier 1.  I’m hit or miss with Pier 1.  Sometimes, I’m like – eh, nothing in here is turning me on.  Then there are the times where, if I didn’t exhibit self-control, my credit card would spontaneously combust from the stress I exert upon it.  But last Friday night I found the perfect balance:  Adorable.  Relatively inexpensive.  Small, as to not take up too much space.  Cool as shit.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you, the most delightful and fun, yet utilitarian, party accessory you never knew you needed, but will all of a sudden have to have cause you want to be as awesome as me….

 

I can't even stand how happy these make me. I mean, they just SCREAM summer, don't they?

 

And they have them in swizzle sticks too.  It brought a tear to my eye.  Pier 1 lady understood my exhilaration.  She walked past me, put her hand on my forearm and said, “It’s a sure sign of summer”.  I held her down and frenched her right then and there.  Really, I didn’t, but if I swung that way I totally would have.

 

Dear Lord, please don’t let me age poorly.  I know I’m going to hell for making fun Rick Springfield (and a bunch of other stuff I don’t care to mention here), but can’t I at least look good until joining the cast of Dante’s Inferno?  Maybe if I put up an embarrassing pic of myself from the ’80s it will help you realize I’m just trying to be funny.  I mean, is it really that bad that I’m just trying to make people laugh.  I’m just a simpleton.  Even you, God, realize that I’d have to be slightly retarded to admit to having  hair like this at some point in my life… 

 

circa 1989-ish