December 28, 2012 § Leave a comment
To understand a person and how they came to be the person that they are today (though you never truly understand a person) you have to trace back to every day of their existence. Every day is a brick, a chair, a room with a trampoline as a floor since my lifehouse can have that, its my lifehouse metaphor. You may not understand the theme of this article by me only giving you a little bit of background into my upbringing, it simply will not suffice, but I can try.
I was raised by a single mother from the time I was 3, though I am sure she was always raising me alone from the time I was born, since my father had other places to be. I have one sister, four years older, and she was cursed with a curse that all sisters have: She is a girl, and girls, especially ones that are four years older, do not want to hang out with their brothers. When my sister was 10 and I was 6, she wanted to be 16 and I wanted to be 6. That’s just the routine for young boys and girls and so I did not play with my sister very often.
In fact, I can’t recall a single time that I did so without her feeling forced to do so.
So what is a boy left to do during his formative years without anyone telling him how to form? Watch movies. And when there is no television, as we canceled cable several times for financial purposes, make shit up! I spent countless hours jumping around the couch shooting imaginary bad guys with my imaginary guns. I put my action figures into action. I will never forget the time that I was having a funeral for one of my toys, a G.I. Joe lost in battle that was being given an epic send-off, and humming Taps as the other action figures carry his body to the grave, except for one fatal error: It turns out that I did not know Taps, or at least I had gotten confused, because my mother came by and asked why I was humming the wedding song.
*pulls tight collar away from neck and says ‘oh. boy.’*
But that was my childhood. Not the part where I accidentally passed a gay marriage bill for my action figures, but the part where I was living in a reality made up of either movies and television half of the time, or whatever war, adventure, or game-winning sports play that I deemed to be possible for the rest of the time. It’s not that I, at the age of 4 or 8 or 16 or I-should-probably-stop-now, actually believed that I hit the game-winning shot for the Seattle SuperSonics in Game 7 of the NBA Finals (or that they actually allowed me nine attempts to hit the shot) because I am not a psychopath or completely delusional, but I did live with the idea that the world is whatever I want it to be.
I did not choose the reality as we know it. I did not create the Earth, the Sun, the Oceans or the iPod. Those realities are out of my hand. But whenever I want to, I can create a different world, a world where anything is possible and I can be anybody. Who would not want to live in that world?
In movies like Pan’s Labyrinth or The Science of Sleep, these imaginary dreamscapes are better described than what I could explain, but it’s something like that except without really seeing these worlds, settings, or characters. You just have to believe it. And so when I had time to myself as a kid, which was plenty often, I could be whoever I wanted to be and live where ever I wanted to live and the rules of science and math and physics only exist as I allowed them to exist. I don’t live in these worlds much anymore (I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t caught a few game-winning Seahawks touchdowns in my bed over the last couple of years) but that does not mean that I don’t still believe. Whereas I created these Universes* as a child for the purposes of entertainment and passing the time, now I use these same principles as a means of coping with the many unanswered questions that turn the Sun and our very existence into an enigmatic Rubik’s cube for which I will likely die before solving.
I am a logical and rational human being. I don’t want you to think that I have completely lost my shit. I know that the laws of physics seem rather legit. I don’t doubt that E does equal MC squared, even though I could not tell you how Einstein got there or how it makes my popcorn pop in the microwave, but I have no reason to think it’s bullshit. (I mean, I heard that nutrinos could fuck that up, but once again, not my field of expertise.) However, why do we, as people, have to stop there? Why do we have to accept anything and everything that has been told to us? You once told me motherfucking Santa Claus was real and THAT was bullshit, so why should I just bend over, look over my shoulder, and say “Sure, shove the laws of gravity up my butt, I’ll take it.”?
Yeah, gravity seems VERY legit. But what if I told you that tomorrow, there would be no gravity? Or that it would be like Moon gravity and we raised the NBA hoops to 25 feet? You can tell me that it won’t happen, but I will reply, “Why not?” And you would give me a verifiable 100% scientific answer as to why it wouldn’t, but that’s not really the point of what I’m trying to convey.
Here are some questions I would pose to you:
- What if time travel is real? How could you ever really know for certain? The life that you are living right now, what if it didn’t exist until a second ago? What if before that second, someone from the future went back in time and shot Abraham Lincoln and so now you’re Tim Carter instead of Tina Leone? What if Marty McFly was a real person?
- What if the Matrix is real? Fuck, how should I know??
- What if tomorrow you are eating Haagen-Dazs and watching Family Guy and then all of a sudden a vortex pops up behind your couch that leads to God knows where? Would you go through it? You most certainly would at least throw in the ice cream first or eat it all first.
- What if you weren’t even you until this very moment? What if you were transported into this body at this second and implanted with all of your memories that you think are real? What if you’re Quantum Leap but if Quantum Leap didn’t know he was Quantum Leap and what am I trying to stop from happening? Who do I have to stop from getting married or killed?
I am not trying to say that I necessarily believe all of the above because I pretty much don’t. I know that tomorrow I will wake up and go through my regular routine. The sky will be there, the Earth will be there, episodes of Sweet Valley High will still be around somewhere. I know this. But damn it, it doesn’t mean that I am absolutely and utterly against the idea that anything is possible. Please, for the love of Sweet Valley High, tell me that anything is possible.
Tell me that we will all be able to fly tomorrow. Tell me that one day I will get to jump in John Malkovich’s head. Tell me that I can be Limitless like Bradley Cooper in Limitless. Don’t we all sort of get by on hope? Don’t we all sort of get out of bed for a reason and not only because we have to (because hey, you don’t have to do anything), not only because we want to, not only because of what already is, but we also get out of bed because of the things that don’t exist.
“I don’t have a girlfriend.”
GET OUT OF BED!
“I need to pay my bills.”
GET OUT OF BED!
“I can’t walk.”
SOMEBODY HELP HIM OUT OF BED!
Everything we do in life should at least hinge somewhat on the idea that we are going to get something today that we did not have yesterday. Is today the day you fall ass-backwards into a windfall of cash? Is today the day that you look in the mirror and are satisfied with your physique? Is today the day that new episodes of Arrested Development are released? We need a little something to motivate us to go on. We need a little something to believe in. Maybe for me, that little something is the ability to fly, to find a vortex, or to travel back to the day when stock in Microsoft was like $10 a share.
Maybe when I was a bored little boy whose sister wouldn’t play with him I created these worlds and beliefs to pass the time and make the day a little better, but even as an adult I still hold out hope that anything is possible- so that I may pass the time and make the day a little better. It makes the morning more palatable. It makes existence more fruitful. It doesn’t make the Universe more understandable, but perhaps easier to cope with since we know we don’t know very much about it anyway.
For me, that’s all I need to wake up. That, and an action figure wedding.
*Side-Bar About Creativity, Writing, and Comedy
People often attribute creativity to some inherent attribute that never had to be worked on or molded. Many people think that if you are an adult writer, director, painter, musician, or likewise, then you are just one of the “lucky” ones. I have told people that I write and they immediately say “Well shit, maybe I should write too!”
I can probably weave a quick tale, story, subplot, or narrative together for you right now but it’s not because that shit is easy to do. If everybody was a good writer, then 99% of screenplays wouldn’t wind up in a: Fireplace, waste basket, shredder, Recycle Bin on your desktop, or turn into emergency toilet paper. And guess what? If I turned in a screenplay to Hollyweird right now, best be sure that it would wind up in the same place. Maybe if I keep working on it for 8 or 10 or 15 more years, we will see what happens, but where I am today at 30 wasn’t because the writing fairy tickled my nutsack when I was 2 days old and said “You get to be a writer!” No, do you want to know how people become creative? They were really fucking bored for a really fucking long time and so every single fucking day they worked that muscle. For me, I did not work it with the purposes of turning it into anything; it was a means of survival. I watched 1-4 movies every single day. I made up shit every single day. I spent all day in class scribbling and doodling and making up villains, heroes, space battles, and monsters on paper because the I was more interested in that than I was in math. (Maybe an occasional pair of boobs.)
What did a scientist do in class? Probably spent all day in the lab because he or she couldn’t get enough of the beakers and such.
What did a philosopher do in class? Wondered what the fuck he or she was doing there.
What did LeBron James do in class? Probably jack shit because he was great at basketball, but hey, he was/is great at basketball!
Everybody everywhere gets something out of something. You are where you are at least partly because of the shit you enjoyed when you were a kid and how you spent your days. You: Perhaps a musician that picked up a guitar when you were 5 or 9 or 14. Me: Kind of a loser actually. I always had A friend, but I never had like 30 friends. So I coped with my childhood by making shit up and watching TV. You know how funny people are funny? They coped with the society of bullies or feeling that they needed attention or not feeling like they were good at anything else. I was a child that thrived, no thirsted, no hungered, no needed-or-i’m-going-to-have-a-fucking-fit on laughter. Nothing makes ME feel as good as when YOU are having a laugh. Comedians can go through 10+ years of stand-up before making any kind of names for themselves. The first few years are even rougher because you bomb a lot and frankly that’s no different than a classroom. You have to re-live the days when your first *fartnoise* joke causes rolling in the aisles, but dead silence because “Hey we’ve heard that one before, Kenny. Say some shit about crayons!”
I know a lot of people that read blogs, especially on WP, are writers or bloggers themselves. I’m not saying you, yes YOU /reaches through Laura’s computer screen/ are a person that would say that writing is something that comes natural to people, but a lot of people seem to have that inclination. Fuck no it does not come natural and neither does comedy. This is something you live with. This is how you cope. This is something I have been working on before I knew you needed to work on shit to get good at it.
It just so happens that writing for 40+ hours per week has only happened in the last two years. But there was a pretense of over two decades in which I fine-tuned and worked and molded that muscle. In retrospect, I should have been a doctor. But instead, I am a person that likes to write and make jokes. It was not natural.
*Side-Bar Over* *Overruled*
July 21, 2012 § 6 Comments
A lot of people seem to have that memory of the first time they went to the movies. Their dad taking them to go see a family movie, a cartoon, maybe even something R-rated, and then being amazed by the magic and the spectacle. I don’t remember the first movie I ever went to see in theaters, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been changed by the experience of going to the movies.
Many of my most treasured memories come from when I was at the movies.
I remember going to see Back to the Future part II and how excited I was when they previewed part III at the end of it, and how upset I was that it was going to feel like forever until it was released.
I remember going to see White Fang with my sister, a rare moment when we hung out together as kids, and then her telling me to hold her seat when she went to the concession stands because the theater was packed. A family came by and asked if the seats were taken and I was young and frightened by all people back then, so I just say “No” and my sister lost her seat. We had to sit separately, once again meaning we wouldn’t be “hanging out” together as kids.
I remember seeing There’s Something About Mary as a teen and not realizing that you could laugh that hard. The term “rolling in the aisles” made so much sense finally. Everybody in there was amazed, in tears, and in pain. It’s one of those experiences that truly defined why it was important to see a funny movie with a large group of people.
I remember when my mom took me to go see The Sandlot. It wouldn’t be long after that until I became a snotty kid that didn’t want to be seen with his mom, but we both really loved that movie and had a great time.
I remember going to see Jurassic Park three times in the theater, because you just had to. One of the times I went with my uncle in North Carolina, a man I’ve probably spoken to three times, but we really loved that movie and that experience.
I remember going to see The Others with a group of friends. At one point near the end, a woman pops up and scares the crap out of you, and one of my friends literally ran out of the theater and didn’t come back for the last 15 minutes. We were probably 18 or so at the time.
I remember seeing The Sixth Sense with a buddy after hearing all the hype about the twist and then somehow, beyond reason, despite how everybody was talking about the twist and looking for the twist, being completely fooled and still not knowing what it was. Walked out of the theater with jaw dropped.
I remember also seeing Signs for my first time at the Cinerama in Seattle and having a great time. There seem to be a lot of people who hate that movie, but I love it. Part of the reason I love it is because of the experience I had at the Cinerama with hundreds of other people.
Even by myself, I’ve had dozens of good times in the theater. I’ll never forget the summer day when I had no one to hang out with, so I went to the movies. It was a middle of a Wednesday, nobody else was at the movies at all. So I went to four of them in a row, just sneaking in: The Descent, The Night Listener, World Trade Center, and Miami Vice. I’ll never forget that. I’ll never forget how much fun I could also have in a completely empty theater.
My ex-girlfriend and I went to at least 50 movies together. I kept every ticket stub, including the one from our first movie date (Dead Silence. Sorry, I love horror movies and she loved to please me.) and then took every stub I ever saved and put them on a card for her. She had no idea I had saved every one.
I could literally go on forever talking about the great times I’ve had a movie theater. How those moments have made me the person I am today, how they shaped my life, changed me and gave me a different view of the world. It’s not just about seeing the movie anywhere, sometimes its about seeing the movie at the theater. (Remember how f-ing great Avatar was in the theater and how awfully terrible it is anywhere else?) It’s one of the few times that you’ll just sit down with strangers for a few hours and co-exist, just as long as they don’t talk, and not be strangers. Or going there with a new romantic interest or acquaintance that could turn into a buddy, and bonding.
The times you may have went there with your dad, or mom, or the whole family, and finding that even if a movie is “expensive” these days, you can still have a great two hour experience for under $20. I love going to the movies almost as much as I love doing anything.
Yesterday some sick, depraved, piece of shit did something that’s going to change how we view going to the movies for a very long time. The ripple effect of what he did on Friday morning is going to ruin hundreds, or thousands, of lives. It makes me mad to know what he did, but I guess we’re the lucky ones. We’re the ones that get to be mad, and not the ones that have to deal with losing a brother, a sister, a son, a daughter, a lover. I can’t imagine what they are going through at this very moment. I only know that it’s upsetting to sit where I sit. To think about this tragedy happening at all, and also happening in a setting that I love and cherish so much. A place that’s supposed to be safe, even if right now it seems so obvious.
I’m still going to go to the movies. I’m still going to love the experience. It’s still going to be a major part of my life. I think we all are, with the exception of those that are dealing with what they have to deal with right now.
I may not remember what exactly my first movie was, but I definitely haven’t gone to my last.
March 14, 2012 § 2 Comments
I was 10 years old, at the movies with my mom, and perhaps had a connection to a fictional person for the first time.
The Sandlot is one of the greatest family movies, coming-of-age stories, and collection of young characters of our time. It’s not just about a group of kids trying to get back a baseball, it’s about so much more than that. It’s about making a connection with a father-figure when you don’t have one. It’s about making friends in a new town when you’re alone. It’s about going outside of your comfort zone and pretending to have a passion for something just so that you’ll have friends.
Sure, it’s about baseball, summer and overcoming your fears. It’s about banding together to accomplish the impossible, about doing anything for a friend, about being there for people you care about. About the ways we grow together, and the ways we grow apart.
When you think about it and consider it all, The Sandlot is an amazing movie and I feel blessed to have been around the same age as the boys that starred in it. The players in the film are all so different and yet they are connected by one commonality: baseball. And within that, they find themselves connected in so much more, despite their different backgrounds and personalities.
And we could all find someone to relate to you.
Are you a Smalls? The insecure kid that feels out of place, like every day of your life is the first day at a new job? Sweet and innocent, with a simple goal of finding joy and comfort?
Are you Benny the Jet? The leader. The kid that had the world at his hands and yet, never acted like it. Humble, level-headed and brave?
Are you a Ham? The one that uses humor as a defense mechanism and does it with the skill and wit of a person twice your age?
A Yeah-Yeah, a Bertram, a Kenny DeNunez?
We should have all been able to identify with someone in the movie. To understand the emotions that they were going through, even without them having to say a word. It may have been a “kid’s movie” on a few levels, but there is a reason that some “kid movies” are timeless. Because they don’t capture a time period (Case in point: The movie is set in 1962) they capture a feeling. Some feelings are timeless.
Me? Well, despite my hefty frame and my penchant for throwing insults and jokes to make friends, I don’t consider myself a Ham. No, definitely not.
You could see the pain and emotion in Squints eyes and face when the boys arrived to the public pool for the first time. His soul was not only in love, but it was in pain. The pain of knowing that his dream in life was not only magnificent, but it was irrational.
The beautiful and statuesque Wendy was not only a picture of perfection, but she was noticeably and significantly older than Squints. And Squints… well… he seemed like an “L-7 Weenie.” Big glasses, giant mouth, and just a kid. But the heart wants what the heart wants.
Who can’t relate to that? Just because I was ten, I knew what that felt like and had my share of crushes. None of which seems realistic or attainable in retrospect. I was focused on whoever was the most beautiful and kind girl that I knew at the time and I had blinders on, despite the fact that I didn’t feel I was in their “league.”
Still, the heart wants what the heart wants.
This movie that had so many themes and story lines had at least one more to give: Unrequited love and passion will always be unrequited if you never make yourself known to the person and show her that white knights do exist. Even if Squints “move” was a bit creepy and not recommended for future use (you may have charges brought against you) it was his “now or never.”
That last day at the pool, he made it known. “I can’t take it anymore.” And so he did what he had to do… he took a chance.
His plunge into the pool was so metaphorical that it can’t not be seen: Squints was drowning. He was drowning and he needed Wendy Peffercorn to save him or he may never breathe again. The thought of not being with Wendy was killing him and it was Wendy that gave him the ability to breathe again.
“Holy shit, did he just do that?”
Squint confirms, even if dishonestly, “Been planning it for years.”
This is certainly not good for Squints in the long run, but at least he got his kiss from Wendy. At least he now knows what that moment of happiness felt like, even if it was only for a couple of seconds. He did it, he knows. Amazing. And then he looks back at the pool, knowing that this will be the last time he sees Wendy Peffercorn, the love of his young life.
She gives him shame. He feels the shame and hangs his head. We told you not to do it Squints…
And then she gives him a smile? A SMILE?!
Squints moment of happiness won’t only last for a couple of seconds. He floated home that day. Now Wendy knew who he was and beyond it all, gave him a smile. This is a feeling that would last For-e-ver. For-e-ver. For-e-ver.
The Babe’s short appearance in Small’s dream said it best:
“Everybody gets one chance to do something great. Most people never take the chance, either because they’re too scared, or they don’t recognize it when it spits on their shoes.”
I’ve had my Wendy Peffercorn’s. At least a dozen. It’s the curvy blade that sticks deep in your chest and doesn’t kill you; it’s killing you. Over and over again without relief. That’s childhood love… before you can process it. Sometimes, we still can’t.
Beyond just being the funniest character in the movie (Before my clothes go out of style) that’s why I can relate to Michael “Squints” Palledorous. He was a boy of love. A boy of passion. He set his sights high and then he took a plunge for love.
I got that. I knew that. I just never got the smile back. But at least for a moment when I was ten, I could live it through Squints and get an idea of what that felt like. Thank you Squints. Thank you Sandlot.
I love you, Wendy Peffercorn.
February 21, 2012 § Leave a comment
This series profiles people that may not be household names, but have beautiful household faces and helped structure my childhood as a boy that likes girls.
Last time around, I wrote about Shawnee Smith from The Blob as a late-80′s crush. When I was writing that I thought to myself “Wasn’t she in Escape from LA?” but I couldn’t find her on the Imdb page. It turns out that I wasn’t thinking of Shawnee… silly me, I was thinking of the beautiful A.J. Langer instead. For some reason, I was always getting the two confused, but I’ll never do that again.
I believe that the first time that I really took notice of Langer was in Wes Craven’s disturbing horror movie The People Under the Stairs, but that probably wasn’t the first time that I saw her. The first time that I laid eyes upon her was probably in one of her first television roles, seen here:
That’s a 16-year-old Langer as Melissa in an episode of Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, titled “Jerry’s First Date.” Who was this beauty? How come Jerry got to go out with her? How come I was always losing and Parker Lewis wasn’t?
I was only 8, but I’d work hard, get in shape, move to Hollywood and marry this girl.
Lust turned to genuine love that same year when she co-starred in The People Under the Stairs. She played Alice, a girl trapped in her own home that was so innocent you couldn’t help but want to be the man (or boy) that freed her from the evil people that kept her locked away. If Fool could save her and win her heart, why couldn’t I? He was only three years older than me! Who wouldn’t want to save this face:
Even if it meant that I had to be some freak who lived under the stairs and had bitten my own tongue off, I would find a way to make out with A.J. Langer.
She got a major part on the short-lived show Drexell’s Class starring as the daughter of Dabney Coleman and the sister of Brittany Murphy. (The show also starred a young Jason Biggs and Matthew Lawrence.) I remember nothing of this show and I don’t know if I even watched it, but if I had ever seen this in the credits, I certainly would have:
Beauty Contest: Over. We have a winner.
Over the next several years, after Drexell’s was cancelled (couldn’t have been her fault), she had guest spots on a bunch of shows that guaranteed that I would never let her leave my dreams: Blossom, Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper, In the Heat of the Night, Camp Wilder, Baywatch, The Wonder Years, and Beverly Hills, 90210.
The Wonder Years is a show that especially shaped the “hot girls from my childhood” because any boy of my age was basically growing up with Kevin and wanted to hook up with Winnie, or at least see Kevin do it. And when they weren’t working out, there were always plenty of other girls. Hello Lisa Berlini:
Finally, finally, finally in 1994, we got Langer once a week, playing a high schooler, and on cable television. My So-Called Life is always going to be remembered as a revolutionary breakthrough, critically-acclaimed, and cancelled far too soon by millions of fans… I’ll just call it “The first time I realized I loved outcasted, rebellious, mis-understood chicks.”
“Rayanne Graff” was the bad influence on Angela Chase (other hot girl from my childhood, Claire Danes) that shaped the beginning of the show. Girls may have fallen in love with the show because it was the first time a TV show really “understood them” and Jared Leto, but I had this:
A.J. was 20 and beautiful and a TV star, and I was 11 and chubby and raced micro-machines, but somehow we could make it work. Right?
After 19 episodes, the show was taken off of the air but that was probably a good thing since we could always have that moment in time captured in the very middle of the 90s and many of the people that worked on the show went on to have long careers that still happen today. (Even Ricky and Brian still work consistently.) That show was so 90s that we have pictures like this that basically say, “Hey Kenny, remember when you were 12?”
After My So-Called Life, I’ll never forget seeing Langer continue to be a misunderstood rebel, only this time holding a machine gun in a pink pants suit in the underrated Escape from L.A.:
I would gladly let her take me hostage after the world goes to shit.
Langer continued to work throughout the rest of the 90s but semi-retired in the 2000s. It’s understandable though because in 2004 she married into royalty and had two kids. She is now known as “Lady Courtenay” to some, including her husband the Lord Courtenay, son of the Earl of Devon. And when the Earl of Devon passes away, she will become a Countess.
She suffers from fibromyalgia and recently began acting again, with a recurring part in Private Practice. Okay, I will never watch Private Practice, but I’m sure she’s really good in it. Because she’s AJ Langer and I love her. It turns out that all I had to do was be a handsome man of royalty and she could have been mine. In the meantime, I have People Under the Stairs on VHS.
Thank you AJ. You look even better today than you did when I was eight.
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February 13, 2012 § Leave a comment
We all remember the first time that we saw Shawnee Smith, and for every person that time is different. Literally, for every person in the world it is different.
For the uneducated, Smith is Amanda in the Saw movies.
For people over 60, she was the girl in Becker.
Or perhaps for you, she was one of the little girls in this 1981 McDonald’s commercial. I wonder if Shawnee and “other girl” are still best friends?
For me, I first noticed her beautiful face in one of the most underrated horror films of the 80s: The Blob, co-starring Matt Dillon. No, no, that’s not right. Well, they couldn’t get Matt Dillon, so they hired the real-life version of Johnny Drama and the actor who plays Johnny Drama: Kevin Dillon.
When Drama recounts his “glory years” on Entourage, he’s basically talking about that time he starred in The Blob and guest starred on Tales from the Crypt. It took K. Dillon nearly 20 years in the business to finally get the respect needed for him…. to play himself. Good luck with Johnny Bananas.
Shawnee Smith shared a similar fate.
She has been acting for basically her entire life, and made her on-screen debut in the 1982 version of Annie, when she was 12. She was 18 when The Blob (I seriously have written blog EVERY TIME and had to re-type it) came out, but co-starring in a righteous special effects horror movie wasn’t enough to put her over the top.
But she did have a bunch of small roles that kept her at the forefront of my fantasies.
Look how cute she is in Summer School (1986)
Then The Blob
Wow, that smile. Such as in Who’s Harry Crumb? (1989)
And continued to show up in The Stand (1994), The X Files, Leaving Las Vegas (1995), and Armageddon (1998) so that I’d never forget how badly I want to kiss her face.
For most people, it seems that they’ll always know Shawnee as “Amanda in Saw” but most of those movies are shitty. They might know her as Linda in Becker, but I never watched that shit. Ted Danson is only funny when he’s on Cheers, Curb, or Whoopie.
The Blob isn’t a great all-around movie, but if you can get past Kevin’s face, it has some great kills, special effects, and most importantly a smile could melt my blob of a heart.
Shawnee, you’re 12 years older than me, but age is just a number. Besides, when I first fell in love with you, you were only 18. If anything, I’m a perv for liking a girl so young. Let’s party.
December 27, 2011 § Leave a comment
I have never understood the whole “Ewww, girls, cooties!” thing that I keep hearing about small children. At what point was I supposed to start liking girls? Is it wrong that I can never remember a time when I didn’t want to contract cooties from girls?
As a child that watched a lot of TV and movies, I was bombarded with girls that I wanted to get cooties from. At one point it may have been Jenny McCarthy when she was on Singled Out or maybe Carmen Electra when she was on Singled Out, but sometimes the girls were actually my age too.
It’s not creepy that I had a crush on Alex Mack because she is actually a year and a half older than me.
In the first installment of the Nickelodeon TV show, Alex comes into contact with some nuclear sludge that apparently gives her special powers, including: telekinesis, turning into a puddle of liquid, and giving me one of my first boners.
Again, she is older than me.
Alex Mack was played on TV by Larisa Oleynik, who was born on June 7, 1981. I was born in December of 1982. I can not emphasize this enough. Oleynik became a symbol of beauty to all young boys (and to some pedophiles) throughout her early career, which included guest appearances on Boy Meets World and 3rd Rock from the Sun.
I can feel the pain of Cory Matthews and his failed romance with Oleynik. No wonder I felt that I was also a boy meeting the world during my entire childhood. I wanted everybody on TV in the movies that had a chance with Oleynik to win her over because then I could find out what it would take. I lived vicariously through fictitious male characters.
In 1999, Oleynik won the part of “Bianca” in the movie 10 Things I Hate About You but the only thing I hated was that Oleynik was supposed to play second fiddle to Julia Stiles. Why the hell should I care if Heath Ledger falls in love with Stiles? She doesn’t have shit on Larisa! I mean, come on, Alex Mack never went on to be a psycho ex-girlfriend of Dexter and I think we all saw that coming back in ’99.
The Secret World of Alex Mack ran for an incredible four seasons and 75 episodes between 1994 and 1998 before Oleynik disappeared into relative obscurity in the latter part of her acting career, which included a movie titled “Relative Obscurity.”
Alex Mack also had an older sister, Annie, but she paled in comparison to her younger counter-part. To her credit, the actress the played her is giving Oleynik a run for money these days:
How much of a run for her money all these years later? Is Oleynik still the beauty and ideal mate that I had always hoped for? Whenever she pops up on TV for guest starring appearances, I can’t help but say “Hell Yes.” To this day, I still contemplate dumping toxic chemicals on myself in the hopes that I will have special powers that will attract Larisa.
She’s made guest appearances on Mad Men, Psych, and Hawaii Five-0, to name a few, and is currently rocking a short cut. Some guys don’t like girls with short hair, but just look at this face:
Oleynik is an example of how hair can get in the way of a perfect 10 face. One can grow biased towards a “childhood crush” and I could never forget rushing to watch SNICK every week to see the latest installment. If I was born in 1970, then this would probably be a bad thing… but did I mention I am younger than Alex Mack?
Some may also say that if you have a crush on an “Alex with short hair” that you’ve probably got some soul-searching to do, but those people can go to hell.
Larisa Oleynik and I had a one-sided relationship that shaped my real-life crushes. Not just because I wanted to find a girl that had telekinetic powers (though that would be great) or was drenched in mud (though that’s a whole ‘nother kind of attraction) but because Alex Mack was an outsider. She was different. And I wanted to hang out with her, not just because of how she looked, but because I wanted to be a part of that Secret World. I wanted to be “different” with her.
I haven’t watched Alex Mack in a very long time, but I’ll always be rooting for Oleynik to find another big break like she had in 1994, and I can re-start this crush all over again.