Category Archives: Fridays

Hey Buffalo Breath

Do you have one of those things from your early childhood that has remained firmly planted in your psyche, but no one else seems to have held onto? I sure as shit do. It’s called “Out of This World”. Come on! You remember Evie, and her charismatic mother, Donna? Please, tell me you remember this show!

A show permanently etched into my subconscious.

“Out of This World” was on the air from 1987 until 1991, according to the IMDB page. A four year run isn’t that bad for a show, particularly from that period, right? I’m also guessing the show had syndicated reruns. The show stars Maureen Flanigan as Evie, a half-human, half-alien adolescent just trying to live as a normal teenager and get through pubescence with some dignity intact. Also, she has some pretty awesome powers like the ability to freeze time, and teleport. She can also “gleep” things into existence with some strenuous blinking. The show always presented bizarre and comical scenarios, quirky over-the-top characters, and totally gnarly 80’s style. The hair-do’s alone are worth checking it out for.   So why, you might ask, would a silly sitcom from my early childhood still remain so well integrated into my mind? I DON’T FUCKING KNOW! But it is. At least once a day I find myself singing “Hey Buffalo Breath, is that what they call you?”  Watch the following clip if you’d like to know to what this refers:

I rarely meet anyone who remembers “Out of This World”. The most I’ve ever gotten is tame acknowledgment and mild confirmation. “Oh, yeaaaah….” This show somehow shaped my childhood and no one else seems to give two shits?! Matilda humors me, but does not seem to ever have been truly moved by the show. Maybe it’s a generational thing, or perhaps I’m just now discovering the oddity that is memory.

I’m not saying by any means that there was something spectacular or unique about “Out of This World”, but it was cute and for whatever reason it was highly entertaining for a 4 year girl. What I really don’t understand is why this show, more than any other from that period in my life,  has taken precedence in my powers of recollection. Sure, I remember Fraggle Rock, but only vaguely. I couldn’t sing the theme for you or remember any specific plots. I remember SOOOO MUCH from “Out of This World”. I remember multiple plot points from episodes and even dialogue. And that fucking buffalo breath song!!! What else could explain my lifelong and pervasive love for all things Burt Reynolds, besides the fact that he’s the voice of the alien absentee father, Troy Garland, who was always channeled through the odd sugar cube pyramid thing?

Donna, Evie, and Burt, errr, I mean Troy.

I can’t explain why “Out of This World” has stuck with me so strongly for so long, but I’ve come to accept that it’s something I have to appreciate by myself and remember it as I saw it as that tiny girl. Watching clips on YouTube does not bring that back. Instead, I find myself cringing and the creeping feeling that what I’m watching is, actually, pretty shitty entertainment. But, oh, how I remember it! Magical! Whimsical! Hilarious! The colors! The zany characters! The anticipation every time Evie brought her forefingers together… Hilarious mayhem was about to ensue!! This show is something I can’t experience again, and it’s not something I will really be able to share with my children. Any attempts would be a sad display of sitting them down in front of a screen for scratchy, blurred clips from a lost generation. I can already picture it. “Their hair looks like french fries.” and “This is the dumbest thing ever.” No! It was wonderful! Damn you, sands of time!

If you have a similar cross to bear, I’d like to hear about it. What cultural anomaly had a notable impact on you, but has faded with the likes of acid-wash jeans and hair kinks?  If only I were Evie, I would gleep those things back for you, and we could have a marathon in our Winnie the Pooh pajamas sitting on the shag carpet!

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The Stan and Mitch Larsen Guide to Parenting

Well, it seems we have found ourselves sucked into yet another melodramatic television series. This time, it’s AMC’s “The Killing”. This show brings a brooding and morose feel to Sunday night television, in case you were feeling too happy or optimistic. The story revolves around the murder of a teenage girl in Seattle and the subsequent manhunt.  It is modern era Noir, and includes an ensemble of dead beats, likeable drug addicts,  absentee parents… and that’s just the cops!

I don’t know. I smell Herring. Red ones.

The Killing could be your guide to inept police investigations, corrupt politics, obsessive determination, or keeping your hair looking decent in near constant rain. But I prefer to take it as the perfect guide how NOT to be a parent, by observing the actions of Stan and Mitch Larsen. The Larsens are the unfortunate parents of Rosie Larsen, the girl who is tragically murdered and dumped in a pond. I cannot begin to imagine what the pain and grief would be like to lose a child, so to even think I can criticize their actions following the death of their child is absurdly presumptuous.

And yet, I persist. Why? Because these two people seem to be devising the perfect road map for how not to react to tragedy. After all, they have two remaining children, though you could easily forget that fact – the Larsens seemed to have. Warning- If you are not caught up on the series, but are interested in watching it, there are some spoilers in this.

Mitch Larsen. Mother of the year.

So without further ado,

How Not to be a Parent, According to Stan and Mitch Larsen:

1. Focus on yourself as the only real victim when tragedy strikes.

It is awful that Rosie Larsen is murdered… for her entire family. Mitch seems to think this horrible event only really effects her, as she never seems to acknowledge the grief of others. Her two young boys have lost a sister, but she takes no pains to try and comfort them or be there for them. Everyone around her just makes it worse. Don’t they understand the pain she’s feeling?! Yes, Mitch. They really do.

2. When you do finally spend time with your children, neglect them, scare them, and nearly kill them.

Let’s go for a drive! Here, in the garage! Only, I’m going to get out of the car and leave you kids here. Be good! Deep breaths!

Come on, Mitch! I know you’re upset. I know you don’t really have a handle on things. But at some point zoning out while your kids are sucking carbon monoxide in the four runner should be a heads up that maybe you should seek some help. Her reaction upon learning of this misstep could be summed up as: “Oops”.

3. Abandon Your Children When They Need You Most.

Clearly, Mitch is a danger to her children. Well, it’s the children’s fault! Everything hurts her! Instead of seeking grief counseling, going to her family for support, or doing anything that demonstrates she has genuine concern for the rest of the Larsens, Mitch takes off, citing the fact that their very presence in her eyes brings her pain. Love you, too, Mom!

Stan Larsen. Bad ass father. By that, I just mean bad.

4. Make Sure Justice is Done by Attacking Anyone Who is a Suspect.

The anger overflows in Stan following the murder of his daughter. Who could blame him for that? Who could blame him for almost killing a man because he was a person of interest in the investigation…wait, what?! Yeaaaaaaah, no. See, turns out the guy Stan beat within an inch of his life didn’t kill Rosie after all. Stan would have discovered this had he waited even a few minutes before unleashing the fury fists.

At least Stan turned himself in after realizing this, teaching a lesson to all who know him that it is foolish and dangerous and disruptive to try and take matters in your own hands. Except, his mentally unstable best bud who goes and does the exact same thing to the next suspect, who turns out to not be involved, either. Which brings me to my next point,

5. Allow Mentally Unstable and Deluded People to Integrate with Your Family and be Near Your Children.

Belko. Good hearted ticking time bomb of self-loathing, delusional sense of duty, and dangerous sensibilities. Looking for a babysitter?

6. Alienate Anyone Who has a Positive Influence on Your Children.

While Mitch is out buying pancakes for hitchhikers and Stan is beating the shit out of anyone with shifty eyes, who is left to watch the two young Larsen boys? Thankfully, Aunt Terry is there to seamlessly pick up the slack, save the boys from asphyxiating in the garage, and to maintain a sense of normalcy for these poor abandoned children. They trust her, and she even manages to muster a smile or two from the beleaguered boys. Clearly, Aunt Terry is a bitch who must be shunned.

Stan is quick to rid her from the premises after discovering she participated with an online escort service. Granted, that’s some pretty lascivious behavior, but it’s not like Stan the Man is so upstanding. You know, he almost killed that guy who was innocent? And Terry bailed him out when Mitch said screw it and blew off. Oh, yeah, and Stan used to work for the mob and borrowed money from them. Also, Terry is the only one who gives a shit about his kids!

7. Lie to Your Children. CONSTANTLY.

Regarding paternity: What’s it matter? Regarding Belko’s death? Belko who? Shut up, brat. Talking to kids is uncomfortable and weird. It is always best not to do it, and just pretend everything is fine and they are normal. Their endless sobs are the sounds of consistent parenting.

8. Don’t be the Adult. Show them Kids Who’s Boss.

When your whiny bitch of a son is crying and complaining, just because his mother left him and his father is emotionally vacant and drove away the only positive person in his life, teach him what’s what with a firm open palm slap across his tiny little mug. Then scream and tell him you hate him. He’ll probably grow up to be a doctor.

Mitch and Stan, planning their next child-rearing handbook.

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On Holes: And no, it’s not THAT kind of post

What lovely shirts

What lovely shirts!

Over the past few years, through sale-stalking, birthday gift cards, and impulse purchases (see this), I’ve managed to accumulate a nice collection of shirts. Shirts with lovely hues, shirts with special embellishments, shirts that I like. Shirts that I should no longer be wearing in public. Why is that?

Holes! This is how they begin.

Every single one of my knit shirts, and believe me when I say EVERY SINGLE ONE, has developed tiny holes in my front midsection. The shirts are all fairly new, from the last 2-3 years, and are from several different brands, including GAP, J Crew, Old Navy, and (ahem) Target. What do they all have in common? Except for J Crew they are all cheap, and they are all made in factories outside the U.S., mostly in China. Although most of the shirts with holes are from J Crew (as my husband loves to point out), as a statistician I must clarify that most of my current wardrobe is J Crew, and that a true analysis would need to take into account the proportion of each brand in my wardrobe, as well as the thickness of the fabric. Perhaps that is just my denial talking, because I’ve certainly been “brand loyal” (aka liking their clothes) for a year or two.

If the above hole doesn’t seem like a big deal to you, look at this.

Holey moley.

Holey moley. This is no joke.

If the first picture is a mild flu, the second is a level four outbreak. Contagion!

Okay, gather up Gumshoes, let’s try to solve this mystery together.
1. Although I am certainly not an entomologist, common sense suggests that if this was a pest infestation the affected area would not be this localized. It’s not bugs.
2. My next suspect was the laundry. I have an amazing HE front-loader with no dents or pokey things in the drum. I was about to start a hand-wash only trial, when one of my shirts (the green perfect fit henley from J Crew pictured above) developed holes in it the first time I wore it. Within two hours of putting it on. TWO HOURS, people! It’s not the wash.
3. My lifestyle- it is true that I have three very young children, and said children tend to tug at shirts and demand to be carried around. Perhaps their little feet are rubbing against the front of my shirt while I am carrying them on my hip?

Does this happen to Posh?


Perhaps it is a toxic lifestyle-fabric interaction, in which the thin fabrics of today are not resilient enough for the wrath of toddlers. This remains a possibility, although I would assume that holes would also appear in other high-stress places, like my shoulders and neckline, if this were the main explanation.
4. A specific threat. Could it be an acidic belly button? A corrosive waistband? A bumpy countertop? A prickly seatbelt? A combination of the two? ( Here is an in-depth diagram of the button-countertop theory). It could be all of these things. But why only in the last few years? Have fabrics just gotten too thin? Maybe, but again, wouldn’t there be more wear all over, instead of just at the front? Have seatbelts gotten more prickly? Is it the Obama administration? WHAT IS GOING ON?
5. A worldwide conspiracy of cheaply made goods with malfunctioning factory equipment. While this may seem like the “second shooter on the grassy knoll” theory, I think that it is the answer. Of course this is anecdotal, but the only shirts I have that have not developed these holes are American Apparel. (Unfortunately, things like this Christmas green velvet thong bodysuit and the creepy actions and attitudes of the company founder give me pause when shopping for their clothes). I settled in on this theory when I found out that I am not alone. Just look at this, this , or this. There are people all over the world, with clothing from many different brands, who have these holes. ALWAYS IN THE SAME PLACE. I’ve wasted hundreds of dollars on shirts, and if you add us all up it has got to be millions of wasted dollars.

I’m not sure what to do next. Just like we learn in behavioral research, it is a lot easier to tell individual people to wear an apron while they cook or get a fleece cover for their seatbelt then to tell companies to stop producing crappy products. But I just can’t do it anymore. I’ve decided no more online shopping or B&M shopping at the big chain stores for shirts. I’m going to stick to brands and styles that have thicker fabric and are made in the USA or countries other than China. And I’m not a true locavore or anti-globalization in a dogmatic way. I just want shirts that don’t have holes. Period.

Do you have this problem? Where do the holes come from? Comment away!

This is what I was wearing as I typed this. Note where my mother tried to fix the damage. The holes could not be stopped!

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