Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dollars and Scents at the Perfume Counter

If you were a pre-teen girl growing up in the late ’80s, early ’90s, you were probably a lot like me, saving your allowance/babysitting money to buy cheap makeup at the drug store (my go-to store back in the day was Genovese, a tri-state area chain that was later sold to the Florida-based chain Eckerd).

Now, the more expensive items in the beauty aisle were generally kept behind a sliding glass window, protected by one small circular lock/key that you had to ask the sales associate to come over and unlock (this never took less than 10 minutes to execute). This is where you would find your White Diamonds, Giorgio, Halston, CK’s Obsession, and other such designer fragrances. And that’s all nice and special, but what I would gravitate to (again, due to my lack of funds and lack of gentlemen callers at the age of 11) was the readily available, uncaged Designer Imposters Body Spray collection.

They cost THREE DOLLARS! But you knew that using the spray would make you smell like at least THIRTY DOLLARS worth of classy.

Often sitting on its own colorful store display perch, these fragrances came in aerosol cans (maybe about 3 or 4 oz, each), and each can declared that if you liked X-brand, then you’d LOVE their imposter version of that scent, which was often given a bizarro/slightly cheesier variant on the popular fragrance’s name.

“If you like Opium, you’ll love NINJA”

Well, that seems mildly racist, but maybe I WILL love Ninja!

not-designer-prices

To add to the duplicitous pageantry, check out one of the company’s classic 1980’s commercials, featuring the “Best Undressed Bodies of 1989” (ironically, all of the models in the ad are, in fact, dressed). Not only did I want to smell like these women, I wanted to own all of their cool ’80s clothing! The off-the-shoulder ruffled top, the mutli-tiered polka dot skirt, the zipper-centered bikini top. How could you wear such clothes, douse yourself in imposter spray, and NOT be the belle of the ball?

Sadly, my favorite imposter’s scent, Night Rhythms, is not featured in this ad.

The spray fragrances are distributed by Parfums de Coeur, which sounds as fancy as it gets, since it’s French—right? But lo and behold, the company is based out of Darien, CT! It still exists and operates as a fragrance company, still offering some of its favorite imposter scents from the ’80s like Primo!, Oscar, and A Little Sexy. However, it seems as though today, the scents that they are copying at a fraction of the cost aren’t even as high-end as they once were, and include versions of such already-affordable brands as Bath and Body Works, Juicy, Ed Hardy and Victoria’s Secret.

Come to think of it: if you were of the mind to want to smell like whatever Ed Hardy perfume smells like, you’d probably also take some pride in knowing you only paid $3.00 for the opportunity.

1 Comment

Filed under Consumer Retorts, SADvertising, Uncategorized

Everybody Wants Some!


Sure, there are numerous memorable moments from the ’80s comedy Better Off Dead: skiing the K-12, Lane botching his own suicide, challenging the Howard Cosell-loving asians to a road race at the red light, even Ricky’s mom blowing up, to name a few. But I wager that one of the finest moments in this film is when Lane Meyer does a little daydreaming while on the job at Pig Burgers, declaring that HE’LL show us what “everybody wants” (in answer to Pig Burgers’ poster whose slogan was that “everybody wants some”).

BOD

What follows is some of the strangest, most delightful 3 minutes you’ll see in an ’80s comedy. A scene that has absolutely NOTHING to do with the plot/story/character development/movie, featuring the music of Van Halen, which will forever link their song to this film. It’s almost as though director Savage Steve Holland just really loved Van Halen and wanted to find a way to get almost the entire song into this movie. It acts in essence as a music video for the song, although it’s a singing claymation hamburger and dancing fries that we see. A very bad-ass singing claymation hamburger, I might add, who seriously shreds on a claymation replica of Eddie Van Halen’s custom designed “Frankenstrat” guitar. This is definitely a feat that I doubt could ever happen today in a studio-made movie (Better Off Dead was originally released in theaters by Warner Bros.)

burger_05

I tried to do a little interweb investigating into who the company might be that worked on the claymation sequence in the film. My best guest, based on production credits supplied on IMDB, was that it was handled by a company called Dream Quest Images, who also handled model making for such movies as E.T., Total Recall, and The Abyss, until the Walt Disney Company bought the DQI in 1996.

The kicker is that the song doesn’t even appear on the original motion picture soundtrack for Better Off Dead! And several times that I’ve gone looking for this clip on YouTube or even Daily Motion, the video was either fully removed, or the video remained, but the sound was often stripped out for violating terms of use and lacking permission to rebroadcast. So either Diamond Dave and the boys have become less litigious in their later years, or perhaps someone from the VH camp has come to realize that allowing clips like this to live a second life on video sharing sites only helps to keep people coming around for the Van Halen sound.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go and practice my moves for the big K-12 competition tomorrow..

Leave a comment

Filed under DVD SHELF, Uncategorized

Who watches?

Seriously, WHO watches the Watchmen? I’d like to know when they’ll be done!

Leave a comment

Filed under Couch Critic, DVD SHELF, Uncategorized

Yet Another Try

Back in the summer of 1988 I went to a carnival at Fort Totten in Bayside, Queens, with my brothers and some friends. I had a secret crush on one of those friends. I’ll never forget what a beautiful night it was; it was warm, but not too hot. Maybe that’s because the carnival was near the water. It was a clear night, which seems to make all of the evening lights even brighter.

We wound up riding the ferris wheel together, me and my crush, and George Michael’s “One More Try” blasted from the speakers across the fairgrounds. I loved this song, even though you’d never know it by looking at me (I was also big into the heavy metal that the young kids were all screaming about). I was really into the guy I was sitting next to. I thought it was a magical moment.
We entered that ride as friends, and then left the ride…still friends. (I was kinda shy back then).

In a very Proust-ian way, hearing Iron and Wine cover this same song (quite beautifully, I might add) just brought all of those memories rushing back. You have to love the power of music.

1 Comment

Filed under Audiodidact, Grooveline, Uncategorized

Miss Quoting

This week, as people raced to make their opinions known on the interwebs about the killing of Osama Bin Laden, an interesting happened: an unofficial Mark Twain Quote-Lovin’ Society was informally formed. (And, oh yea, a bunch of people wound up misquoting Martin Luther King, Jr., thanks to Jessica Dovey)

People are so quick to quote the classics, the icons, these days. MLK (incorrectly), Mark Twain (turns out…incorrectly as well!), Shakespeare, Ghandi, Your Momma. But, I wonder: Who among us just has famous quotes floating around in the synapses of our brains? Not I! I have to Google that stuff most of the time!

There was once a time when books like “1,000 Famous Quotations” or “Axioms from the Sea” or “Quotes for Dummies” would be popular (and by ‘popular’ I mean, most homes would have at least one copy of a book of famous quotes [usually sitting idle next to your 1968 edition of Encyclopedia Brittanicas], and you’d often find stacks of such tomes in the bargain bins at the local bookstore, usually around Christmastime).

On my Facebook newsfeed the day of Bin Laden’s killing, it was a toss-up. People either rallied behind the King (loyal subjects, they), or behind Twain. Then, sadly, it turned out, people weren’t just incorrectly cutting/pasting the wrong quote from Dr. King, but the other faction was carbon copying the wrong attribution for the Twain quote. Twasn’t said by Mark Twain/Samuel Clemens; that was a quote by Clarence Darrow (he of  ACLU fame).

Let me say again that yea, these days I would also have to take to the internet to track down something that I wanted to quote  (especially if it was said by a famous person during a speech, or in an interview, or from anything else that would have needed to be transcribed from the oral). If it’s something from a book, depending upon the length of said-reference, I think I could probably come pretty close to an exact quote. If it’s a song lyric, then no sweat.

There are very few authors that come to my mind who I think I could quote accurately, or off-the-cuff: Dorothy Parker, Oscar Wilde, Brett Easton Ellis. Yes, I know, one of these things is not like the other, but I tend to read (and have re-read) many Ellis novels. Parker and Wilde, however, are the perfect examples of literary sound bites. Both were so painfully clever wordsmiths, they could often pack several great ideas into one neat quip. Twain? For me, not so much. Which is sad, since the Kennedy Center has The Mark Twain Prize for Humor, and it’s televised! Hell, the only Tom Sawyer reference I could ever quote with any sense of accuracy would be lyrics from the song by Rush.

What’s disconcerting about this week’s vast misquoting of MLK and Twain is how the misinformation spread like unchecked wildfire. People just accepted that these misquotes were fact and then cut/paste them into their Facebooks, blogs, tweets, etc. It shouldn’t have to take a scholar to have to point out when someone has misquoted one of the most influential voices in American history. This somewhat cements my frustration and fear about the immediacy of all things internet; especially when it comes to anything educational/historical/literary. It seems like quality control goes out the window. Anyone can write anything they want, after all, and it’s just *out there*. And it can then take on a life of its own, even if you remove the post. (Even if you’re Chris Brown and you write a crazy tweet-rant after you bust a window at ABC, and then delete the tweet. It lives on! There is no escape.) People head straight to Wikipedia for confirmation on things, since the content is readily available and free, though its content is often times unverified.

So what’s the solution to such freewheeling quotations? I haven’t a clue. It’s my hope that people just take the extra step to maybe check their references before clicking “send” or “post”. Maybe I’m over-thinking this whole thing. But then again, maybe try coming up with your own great quote! Now, there’s a fun challenge.

“Though his mind is not for rent, don’t put him down as arrogant.” (“Tom Sawyer” by RUSH)

1 Comment

Filed under Dog Ear, The Opinionist, Uncategorized

And now for a glimpse into what it is I do most days (and some nights)



Welcome to m’blog
. Over the next few days (perhaps weeks) I’ll be culling things together from the other scattered sites I’ve previously posted to. Mostly entertainment based news and insights (movies, music, and what-not), some thoughts about life in general, some things about meself.
Don’t be a stranger!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized