Momma Told Me: September 2011

Blog Archive

Jenna On: Tiger Beat- The Bieber? The Swift?

I still remember the day I heard those words for the first time 'Tiger Beat'. It was a Momma Told Me to define my teenage years. See, growing up in an MTV world I relied on shows such as TRL for all my celebrity gossip and gab. And while I was a complete book nerd well into high school, I discovered the addiction of teenage magazines when divulging a superstar crush to Momma. If you'll recall the early 90s (it wasn't that long ago) you'll recall a little family based sitcom with a certain star named Tim Allen. On this show there were 3 siblings, brothers, of varying age, and it just so happened one was (in typical teenage dream fashion) just a few years older than me. Jonathan Taylor Thomas, or JTT, as Tiger Beat and Seventeen knew him, was the chubby cheeked actor who played Mr. Allen's middle child.

Jonathan starred in his fair share of Disney films, from Tom and Huck to the painful Man of The House and Lion King voice acting. He'd put out 1-2 films a year, and show up nightly on my television. I swear I had a crush on that boy from age 5. So you can imagine my excitement when I learned there were magazines with larger than life posters, headshots, and interviews! Momma tried to follow this announcement with a trip down memory lane of her own, discussing how she used to have posters of the Monkees, and how her sister would fight over the Beatles. Within a week I had spent every dime of allowance and savings on subscriptions and editions of all the 'age appropriate' celebrity publications. My walls were officially plastered.
So why do I ramble and reminisce? Well, Momma used to tell me the heartthrobs (there's a word I haven't used in years) of her time were of a higher caliber than those of my generation. Looking back now, I tend to agree- but I was also the generation of Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, and Backstreet Boys. Which leaves me feeling that Justin Bieber falls flat as a tween idol. I mean, a hair flip, hasn't that been done before? And no icon could ever be as iconic as the knee buckling, teen screaming, crowds swooning, Elvis Presley. I look around our resident 10 year old's room and see the Taylor regime (Lautner and Swift) alongside Bieber, listening to grumbles about Selena Gomez and wonder where teen dreams have gone. Certainly these teen dream are now 'tween' dreams, younger and younger each year- but do they really stack up in impact and talent? Will people 15-20 years from now consider the teen talent of today among the greatest of all time? I think not! Do you recall your first celebrity crush? Is it all subjective, or have teen dream standards fallen?

As Required By the FTC: This was in no way a sponsored post. No product or incentive was provided. It is simply a bit of good ol' fashioned blogging. If you wish to laugh at my teen crush, you may discover Jonathan Taylor Thomas here. I still think he didn't turn out too bad. :)

Jenna On: Sleep

I've always had difficulty sleeping. When I was a child it was a post nasal drip that kept me up coughing and choking. Today that same condition has given me horrible acid reflux in addition to a mental condition I inherited from my father's traits and the simple fact that I am female. I am talking about, of course, the list. And, while I call it the list, because that is what modern media refers to it as, it is not necessarily a list. This condition pertains more to an acute need to compartmentalize and monitor everything going on in ones life. From dusk till dawn the modern woman is juggling a dozen given tasks that range from chores and cooking to child rearing and finances, and yes (gasp), even jobs. It's no wonder us women are suffering from increased cases of sleep apnea and shortened sleep cycles!

For me, the process starts with what I call 'unwinding', which is in fact a blatant piece of irony, as that is the farthest from what I am doing. The lights may be off, and I may be in bed, but somewhere between brushing my teeth and checking the locks (for the third time), I begin to plan the next day. I'll organize shopping lists, and errand routes, or time chores based on who's home. Then I'll move onto a conversation I had several days back, where I couldn't recall a name or title, and work on that until it's solved. Next I'll probably try to plan my post schedule for the blog, reflect on review items and contrasts, and whether I want to see the new Hugh Jackman movie (I do). About this time I recall a window or door I forgot to check, and get back up to check locks again, as well as the stove. And, by the time I am back in bed, and asleep, the hubby is snoring loud enough to shake the walls.

Yes, my sleep has been fleeting lately, but with it an odd phenomenon (I hadn't experienced since childhood) has emerged. You see, in high school I used to be so focused on academics and social activities that I would frequently dream as though I were going about my day. I'd wake up with vivid recollections of conversations, tests, and lessons. As you can imagine this would throw me off greatly, constantly thinking it was a day later, or that I truly, in fact had to write a paper I'd been assigned in sleep! Well, like a sick personal joke, I have begun to (not only keep myself up with an active mind) waste my precious 'dreams' with daily chores and mundane tasks. That's right, I dream I wake up and cook, and get on Facebook, then blog, and even lay in bed trying to sleep, and checking locks! I'd much rather be flying, or even chased by vampires.....Have you ever dreamt dreams that were filled with day-t-day activities and interactions?

As Required By the FTC: This is not a sponsored post, no products were received, nor no links given. This is simply a piece of good, old fashioned, blogging.

Jenna: On...Bowling and The Wagon Wheel

Over the past Summer I've learned that bowlers are a funny lot. You see, as it turns out, most who bowl in leagues (even on a casual basis) are quite devoted to the game; yet so many can often be heard uttering profanity and exclamations against it. "There's too much oil on this lane," "My ball took too long to return," "The ball slipped..." and, of course, by game 3, "I don't even know why I play this game!" See, there are 3 groups of bowlers, the Professionals (who bowl for money and titles solely), the recreational professionals (who bowl in leagues based on handicaps and sportsmanship), and those who bowl once every so years at a family function. For the majority of my life I was happily part of the latter, smaller, category. I'd bowl with friends socially but, like mini-golf, I wasn't about to sign up to do it weekly on a competitive basis. In fact, it would be quite fair to say I cared quite little about the sport.

I cared so little, that the past 2 years of my father's birthday I sat on the sidelines for 5+ hour marathons, in support (but defiantly not bowling). Knowing this, you can also surmise that my father falls into one of the two previous categories. Like so many on his casual/competitive bowling league, he genuinely loves to bowl. This is a habit my husband has now taken on himself, but I digress. My pop would bowl from open to close if work, money, and, well, life permitted. It's traits I admire, and a genuine love for the game, that had lead to him joining a league last year. As it turns out it is incredibly easy to become a USBC bowler (yearly dues average $20), and for $15-$20 a week, on just about any day and time slot, you can likely find a local chapter looking for people like you and I to bowl a few good-natured competitive games.

It's so easy, in fact, that I (the bowling Ebenezer), signed up for the 3 month summer league this year. That's right, every Wednesday for the past few months I have reluctantly joined forces with complete strangers for the purpose of embarrassing myself. Okay, I was there to be social and experience new things- but there was embarrassment. (Just try throwing a ball backwards in a crowded alley and not turning 5 shades of red!) I used to think I was nothing like my fellow bowlers, who likely looked forward to each week and another chance to bowl. They seemed to take their scores, and averages, seriously; while I was the girl who would literally cheer upon my 5th gutter ball of the night (after all, what else was there to do?) These people, my teammates, would get so wrapped up in their own scores and goals that I instinctively began focusing on my own. Before long I had my own ball, and was tracking my progress (or digression in most cases). And, when time came to form teams for Winter, I was asking around for teammates....but I still prefer to be known as the 'non bowling bowler'.

Perhaps, my favorite aspect of league is the local where we actually bowl. Looking at it today, the 1947 originating Wagon Wheel center is a shambles of what it once was. The city, in fact, tore down the attached Restaurant and Motel years ago, after it sat, vacant and condemned for just as many. And I often joke our bowling alley is so out dated we have to use paper score sheets, and have pins manually reset (though it's not that bad, it's certainly vintage!) Over the past few years the ownership has changed, and renovations have slowly filtered through the alley, which remains quite functional. However, the Wagon Wheel is not what it was when my family moved to the town near 10 years ago, nor nearly as elegant as the neon lights and retro 50's vibe the vacation center was built with. I drive past demolition piles and, overgrown, fenced lots to what remains of the majestic Wagon Wheel and often imagine what it would have been like all those years ago. The sounds of children piling out of a Cadillac to run, screaming, towards the kidney shaped pool, or buses blaring The King as they pulled into the diner for a rest stop. Wagon Wheel is as much a part of classic Americana as Wednesday night bowling, and for that, I salute you. Do you have a social hobby or sport you like to do regularly?

Note: This post was not compensated in any way. It is simply a piece of good, old fashioned, blogging. Enjoy! P.S. I love you dad- this year you'll get your 600 series!

Jenna: On Summer Love And Rhode Island Beaches

I hear summer's coming to an end, but in Southern California, it feels like we're just beginning. Sure, the kids are back in school, and the beaches are a 'little' less packed, but the thermometer often reads triple digits, and it hardly feels like Fall.

Every September I find myself thinking back to that magical summer of '04 (which makes me feel extremely young), spent on the rocky beaches of Rhode Island. For anyone who has never been vacationing, or lived, Back East during the summer- there's a reason all the celebrities own vacation houses in the Connecticut area. The foliage is beautiful, the atmosphere is almost vintage, and the small town vibe plays out onto the far from crowded, clear water beaches. It's a far cry from the foamy, sea-green froth that bubbles onto our sand here in my local bit of 'Southern California' paradise. Yes, that's right, I'll take a Rhode Island beach any day!

Memories of that amazing summer, tinted by the haze of young love, replay like old reels of film; slow and carefree with muted colors and the sense that time was literary standing still. I am not a beach person, but that summer, I drug my helpless boyfriend, kicking and screaming, rain or shine. His father, recklessly single and into construction was liberal with his responsibilities and I'd often find myself snuggling on the old wind washed porch, just 50 feet from the rolling waves. We'd play will the dogs, sea salt sticking to our skin, planning our future, and watching the sun dip beyond the horizon, before falling (exhausted) into bed at night. I was 18 and the world had nothing on me. Time was endless. The ocean was as blue as my lover's eyes, and I was sure life didn't get better.

But, with the change of leaves, and a resistant roll into Fall, my first love came to an end...well, more of an understanding. He and I became 'friends', and I closed the chapter of my magical summer in Rhode Island. Do you have a summer memory, or romance you often reflect on?

Disclaimer: I was not compensated/endorsed to write this post, it is simply a bit of old fashioned blogging....enjoy!