Sunday, May 30, 2010

Remember Garbage Pail Kids?

When I was growing up in the 1980's there were some fabulous toys and novelties out there. This of course was before the electronic age of gadgets really took off. Today you look at kids and their toys and there are portable gaming systems, "smart" phones, a million bells and whistles, little brightly colored plastic things that have their own hard drives! We had the Walkman. That was mind blowing to us. The first Nintendo Game Boy wouldn't even be out until late 1989. Let alone the Discman, and now your PSPs and DVDs and Leap Frogs and....

We had things like baseball gards, GI Joe action figures, and yes, Garbage Pail Kids. The Cabbage Patch craze had been in full effect and the Topps Chewing Gum company, who supplied me with most of my baseball card collection at the time, came up with the next great thing.

In true 80's fashion each package of cards was accompanied by a thin and ultimately tasteless piece of chewing gum that lasted maybe five seconds if you actually dared to eat it. But the real joy came from the fact that you never knew what funny, creepy, slightly demented imagery would be yours to behold.
Maybe you got one with the name of a friend, or even better a playground foe, and therefore instant ammo for the immature name calling sessions that might accompany recess.
Though I still find them creepy and sort of disgusting, perhaps even more so compared to when I was a kid, I certainly can't deny that I still think they are genius, creative, artistic, and satisfyingly tactile.
...and perhaps still apt in terms of some of their social commentary. hmm, yeah, maybe that's a bit of a stretch....
Garbage Pail Kids were created by series, each series about 80 cards, forty unique drawings with two different name options, "a" and "b". If you were serious you had all the cards in a given series.

These are just a few from series 2, 3, and 4 (circa 1985-1986) which I found digging through some old photographs the other day. I couldn't help it, I had to give them a quick scan. Hopefully they will strike a chord with other kids of the 80's out there and provide a laugh down memory lane.
Peace man!

(Garbage Pail Kids are the creation of the Topps Company Inc. Protected under copyright, All Rights Reserved)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Gotta Love Queens

I live in a very Greek neighborhood in Queens and the big fat weddings that happen at the local church are a real sight to behold. These families go all out and they never cease to amaze me. I usually mock the strangers that photograph these weekend wow fests but alas, today I became one of them. Today's highlight: the two male trumpeters in full medieval regalia playing a variation of the "Rocky" theme as the groom and his massiv-mo entourage get out of their extended stretch Land Rover limo with gull-wing doors. Honorable mention goes to the second stretch Land Rover limo with the bridal party, and these guys. Gotta love living in New York City.

...and no disrespect but I am so glad my wedding is not going to look like this. Wow.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Goes Well with Sunday Morning Coffee

In the 80's when I was growing up my older brother had a VHS tape of "Friday Night Rock Videos and Interviews". It had an interview with a young Mick Jagger that was his reason for having the tape but I loved all the videos and would watch them over and over again. I remember Huey Lewis and the News with "The Heart of Rock and Roll" at the start of the tape, and Duran Duran's "Save a Prayer" at the end, and of course ZZ Top blowing my young mind with "Legs". Hello! ...and then there was this video. The night after my dad taped it for us we watched it back in the living room and when this song came on I remember my brother being psyched. I paid attention, and the tune stuck out to me too as something sensational. I came to know The Icicle Works well, but alas that would be their only hit in the US (in the UK they had many more chart makers). This is a great combo of songwriting and lo-fi rock video work, today a wonderful flashback to a simpler place and time. This is The Icicle Works with "Whisper to a Scream (Bird's Fly)" from 1984. Enjoy.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Plant of the Day: Nectaroscordum

These pictures are actually from last spring but they are of a plant that has just begun blooming. This is Nectaroscordum, a close relative to the ornamental onion, both members of the onion family (Alliaceae).
--genus consists of 3 species of bulbous perennials
--Alliaceae family
--(I believe) also commonly called ornamental onion
--USDA Zones 5-9
--native to southern Europe, western Asia, and Iran
--plant in well draining soil in full sun
--flowers late spring to early summer, and can reach a few feet tall
Thanks to Flora, A Gardener's Encyclopedia

And one last quick note. In the garden this year the Nectaroscordum is just beginning to bloom. These photos were taken late May last year and are closer to what people consider the typical bloom time. ...which means we are still a couple weeks ahead of schedule do to these warmer temps.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sunday: Go Outside

Windows open, warm breeze blowing, post side client work and front stoop summer planting, grooving tunes on the stereo, chillaxing, thinking about BBQs and the season to come.

The Specials with "A Message to You Rudy" off their self-titled debut album (1979).