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What to Do with Holiday Leftovers

January 3, 2012

Where have I been? I've been busy smelling my Christmas presents.

In keeping with my New Year’s resolution to stop telling my husband and kids “just ten more minutes” every forty minutes from behind my laptop screen, I have opted to spend our family’s remaining holiday vacation not writing.

Or, at least, not writing anything that takes longer than ten minutes.

So, for your reading enjoyment to pass some time in the Taco Bell drive-thru lane, here is another grab bag of random trinkets thrown together in about ten minutes in a brown paper bag that may or may not include the three-month-old Halloween candy sitting on the top of my refrigerator reeking like chocolate-covered feta cheese roll-ups.


The highlight of my Christmas loot this year?  A theme gift from my husband that included an iPad 2, an encyclopedia of pop culture titled From ABBA to Zoom, and a book about my favorite deceased famous kid show host Mr. Rogers titled I’m Proud of You.  Isn’t my husband a peach?

Oh.  That was the highlight.  But then yesterday my daughter received Fashion Plates from her aunt, which pretty much blew my husband’s gift right out of the spice-scented yuletide water.

I literally sprinted from the car to our house so I could rip open the box at the kitchen table before she got inside.

If you were a girl growing up in the 80s and were not lucky enough to have your own Fashion Plates (like me), perhaps you were able to experience these gems by using a girl who was lucky enough to have her own Fashion Plates (like I did . . . regrettably).

After I played with the new Fashion Plates for a good twenty minutes, could no longer rub the crayon over the paper without my hand cramping, and could no longer hum loud enough to drown out the obnoxious whimpering by my side, I let my daughter give it a try.

Five minutes later, the clock struck six and my daughter was off to bed (she can’t tell time yet).


Also in your grab bag, because I know you’ve come to look forward to them in my grab bags, I threw in some more of those delicious fossilized Circus Peanuts you’ve grown to not hate.



It’s that time again!  (If by “time” you don’t mean something that is measured in standardized, regularly occurring increments.)

Yes, it’s time for another weekly/monthly/annually/once-in-a-while-when-I-find-myself-with-nothing-to-write-about-and-just-after-you-tell-me-you’re-allergic-to-peanuts-so-I-can’t-unload-the-Baby-Ruth-bars-reeking-up-my-kitchen segment I like to call . . .


Each week/month/year/Until you threaten in mass numbers to stop reading my blog, I will offer you a picture from the 70s, 80s or 90s of a loyal reader, a reader’s unknowing friend, a relative or a deceased neighbor who is exhibiting their Fashion A-Game.

Today I present to you a woman many readers already know as a talented writer who hangs out in the same blogosphere circle where I stalk her loiter about.  For that reason, I will not reveal her true identity.

Instead I’ll call her “Darlene.”  Sorry, too obvious.  Let’s make that “Marla.”

When I saw this photo, I immediately asked Marla whether she might’ve grown up in a 19th century German clock.

In fact, she did not.

Then I asked if she was wearing a Christmas tree skirt.  (Tip:  Christmas tree skirts are 75% off at Target this week.)   

In fact, she wasn’t sure (and, in fact, she was the one to suggest she in fact might be).

When I was able to move past the striped tights and clogs, I heard myself utter an involuntary squeal of delight as I spotted her clear plastic tote bag.  (This is what I like to call “accessorizing”.)  These bags were commonplace in my childhood home.  I believe we used them for transporting bowling shoes and skates.  And, at least once, pink corduroy pee-pants.

Now, to give you some perspective on my knowledge of today’s fashion trends, I’ll disclose that 1.) I don’t have cable TV, 2.) I live in the Midwest, 3.) I only read People magazine when my hair stylist has a copy that’s free of hair clippings, and 4.) I had thought up until two months ago that a Kardashian was a cheap flower purchased by 17-year-olds to hint to their prom dates that they’re easy.

In fact, it is.

So, in short, I have no reference point to help gauge whether or not these retro bags are currently the hottest things to grace the catwalks of Milan since Ashton Kutcher’s trucker hat.  Make no mistake, if these bags are not a Fashion Do now I predict they soon will be.

Especially after America sees this photo.

Especially after a Kardashian carries one to a prom to match her Kardashian.

If you were smart, you’d rush right down to your neighborhood Goodwill and purchase one immediately before it’s too late.  And if I’m right, remember that you heard it here first.

Unfortunately, based on the Wild Card factor of the plastic tote bag, the tree skirt and the rare addition of a Peggy Sue hair flip, I am at a complete loss as to how to rate this ensemble.  I could go A+, I could go C-, I could go Ω, or I could even go WTH.  Instead, I will leave it up to you readers to make that call.


And as I have now broke my New Year’s resolution and as my son just now pooped his pants, that brings this special holiday grab bag to a close.  Until my next writer’s block and/or preschool snow day, this is Fashion Expert Angie Z., signing off.  Cheers!

Disclaimer:  Writer is not responsible for fashion advice that causes public ridicule or rancid Circus Peanuts that cause explosive diarrhea.

48 Comments leave one →
  1. January 3, 2012 3:07 pm

    I carried my lap top into my husband’s office and made him look at the picture and then read “I immediately asked Marla whether she might’ve grown up in a 19th Century German clock.”

    He laughed as loud as me.

    Did you see that Tracy Gold from “Growing Pains” was on “Celebrity Wife Swap” last night; I think you might have more clout than Tracy as an Eighties celebrity!

    • January 3, 2012 9:38 pm

      What are you saying — that’s just crazy talk! She’s one of the greatest living celebrities of my generation! Maybe even bigger than that talented actor who played Rudy’s best friend on The Cosby Show. Um, what was his name?

      Thanks so much for reading — your comment made my day!

  2. January 3, 2012 3:13 pm

    So glad you threw me that little peanutflavored bone of a post – Ever since I spent a day reading all your post (btw sorry, hadn’t realized you’d received the versatile blog before, otherwise I would have made sure to mention in my blog that you’re a 2nd – 3rd 4th 5th – time around winner), I have been craving more of this ;)

    I was about to send you dozens of 80s toddler and pre-school pictures of me just to see another Dynomite post (I’d rate a A+ b.t.w. because her sleeves are rolled up and the right side of her do does this cute little flip and she’s sporting one of those matching cute little kiddy purses that’s just a notch to orangy-red to go with the pinkish-red christmas tree skirt – oh and for all the all the other obvious reasons), but since “Darleen” / “Marla” gracefully got another one of those posts out of you, I’m off the hook ;)

    Okay, I’ll stop my gushing now, to give you some time to spend with your family or better yet with the Fashion Plates of yours – err – I mean your daughters – ah well same difference, right?! ;)

    Off to water my Kardashians – Thanks a bunch, Angie :)

    • January 3, 2012 9:28 pm

      First, I’ll take any awards anyone wants to give me. That comes with the territory when you’re a Professional Contest Winner like me. Second, thanks for being such a dedicated reader — wow! If you stick around, one of these days I’m going to write about something that I’ll say happened to me in 1981, and you’ll pipe up and comment “hey, you said in another post that this happened to you in 1983” and I’ll be mad at you for a day and then I’ll totally get over it.

      Finally, please do submit a future Dynomite! picture.

  3. January 3, 2012 3:21 pm

    FASHION PLATES!!!! I had/loved that!!! I’m pretty sure I made the same look over and over…. Not so creative…

    • January 3, 2012 9:21 pm

      LOVED them! My aunt got them at Barnes and Noble. Go there. Get your own. Do it now.

  4. January 3, 2012 5:25 pm

    The most impressive thing about this blog is that you threw it together in ten minutes. Can I please get some of that drug?

    • January 3, 2012 9:11 pm

      Yeah, I wrote this in 10 minutes. And then I spent an hour editing it until it was nearly unrecognizable. That was right after I snarfed down some pills marked “BS”.

  5. January 3, 2012 6:16 pm

    Yeah, I’m with bestbathroombooks. All that in ten minutes, with no gibberish? You amaze me and make me laugh. Really, really amaze me.

    • January 3, 2012 9:18 pm

      Okay, the only post I’ve written that quickly was Bratass (photo at right), which I wrote in about three minutes as I shouted “give me ten minutes” to my husband and kids waiting for me outside. They refused.

  6. January 3, 2012 6:26 pm

    Is there any way we can make “kardashian” mean that? How does that work? Just start using it in everyday conversation and hope it’s spreads like “Yuck, that kardashian really smells foul.”

    I never got fashion plates either. I had to be happy watching my cousins play with theirs while I clutched a bunch of wilted used-up kardashians.

    • January 3, 2012 9:06 pm

      I will try my hardest to help launch it. I do have proven success with coining new words. My brother and I invented the verb “biff” after an ill-fated Family Feud contestant who shamed his entire family.

  7. January 3, 2012 6:43 pm

    Fashion plates!! I LOVED those. When I was in 3rd grade I got these for my birthday. My teacher had a very fun rule: on your birthday you didn’t have to do any classwork provided you “played” or “read” quietly at your desk. I spent the entire day creating a line of designer clothing. Thanks so much for the fun memory!

    • January 3, 2012 9:03 pm

      I know, weren’t those the BEST! I can’t believe your teacher didn’t design entire lesson plans around those things. Think where we might be right now. Besides living in our parents’ basements.

  8. LaVonna permalink
    January 3, 2012 8:00 pm

    I just threw out my last one of those plastic bags a few months ago—it had knitting needles in it that are about that old also.

    • January 3, 2012 8:58 pm

      Gaaaaah! What a tragedy! That thing will be worth a lot of money in a few weeks! Like maybe $10.

  9. January 3, 2012 8:40 pm

    The getup only works because of the hair, which belongs to Laura Petrie, not Peggy Sue. Damn you’re young.

    • January 3, 2012 8:55 pm

      Hey, Elyse — I’ll have you know I’m a huge Dick Van Dyke show fan AND I was using Peggy Sue as a description in the way of a scene from Pulp Fiction where Mia Wallace goes to a retro diner. Oh wait, I pulled out a Gen X movie reference. I just screwed myself there.

      • January 3, 2012 9:08 pm

        Well, X-Gen you! You youngin!

      • January 3, 2012 9:48 pm

        I appreciate you reminding me of my youth after seeing a 20-year-old glance over at me in the mall last week like I had just emerged from the crypt. Don’t ask what I was doing in a mall to begin with.

  10. January 4, 2012 6:13 am

    Those Fashion Plates take me right back! I must get some and soon.

    But you can keep those Circus Peanuts. Blech. Phooey, phooey.

    And oh! Poor poor sweet little Marla/Darlene! Your comment about a German clock made me spit out my coffee. I feel for her, I really do. Would you look at that smile? She has no clue, does she? I don’t know what’s more disturbing, the fact that her mother let her go out in public like that or the fact that she looks like she’s getting ready to go to her 9 to 5 job as a secretary for Lou Grant.

    I certainly hope for her sake her fashion has improved and she’s gone on to become the world’s greatest blogger…

    • January 4, 2012 8:49 am

      Patty Duke! That’s who Marla reminds me of with the short flippy do. Adorable! Thanks for stopping by, Marla. Darla. My bad.

      • January 4, 2012 9:43 am

        What? Patty Duke?! I will have you know that a hot dog never makes me ‘lose control’.

      • January 4, 2012 3:58 pm

        I could keep going with the rest of the song. (I bet you could too.) I think I will sing it just sitting here at my laptop. And I’ll think of poor little Marla.

  11. Tamaqua permalink
    January 4, 2012 8:33 am

    I was a lucky one to HAVE the fashion plates. Ah, the memories. Thanks, Ang, that was a good trip down memory lane.

    • January 4, 2012 8:53 am

      I would say your comment made me blind with jealous rage. But now I have my daughter’s to monopolize.

  12. January 4, 2012 8:45 am

    Explosive diarrhea is the best kind to have. Pass the peanuts.

    • January 4, 2012 8:51 am

      First I had the word “projectile” in there — but then I thought, that’ll scare off the people without children.

      • January 4, 2012 9:27 am

        haha, very scary word to us folks for sure!! loved your post and photo of Marla. She looks like a sweet gal, and would fit right into our Dutch community.

      • January 4, 2012 3:53 pm

        That’s hilarious, Simple Life! Good call on the South Dakota Dutch community!

    • January 4, 2012 1:49 pm

      I’m sorry, but I am dying at becomingcliche’s comment! haha!

      • January 4, 2012 3:52 pm

        I guess it’s only funny to those who’ve experienced it.

  13. January 4, 2012 1:30 pm

    You had me laughing out loud! And the comments even more so! I had those fashion plates. Wow – totally threw me back in time. My daughter now has some Barbie princess version and a Hello Kitty one, I believe. They’re just not a cool. No way. Love your cock and bull about 10 minutes.

    • January 4, 2012 3:55 pm

      Yes, my daughter has the Barbie one, too! The picture I used was the old, oooooooold version of Fashion Plates. Like we all played with. Cock and bull? Me? Never. Thanks for stopping by again, Debra!

  14. January 5, 2012 9:21 am

    What really makes Darlonica’s outfit are the socks; the very same ones worn by members of the Lollypop Guild in The Wizard of Oz. Those are worth a pretty penny today, I’ll wager.

    • January 5, 2012 2:21 pm

      You nailed it, Peg! I can’t wait until Darlonica gets her official guild member certification in the mail. Are you a notary by chance? That might hurry along the process.

      • January 5, 2012 5:44 pm

        Well, I don’t want to brag, but as a matter of fact I am a notary public, duly licensed by the great state of Illinois. That kind of power can be a burden, but I try to stay humble.

      • January 5, 2012 8:45 pm

        I knew it! Do you carry an official stamp around in you purse? If I could, I’d be stamping everything in sight, notarizing grocery lists for my husband, kids’ field trip permission slips, thank you notes, etc. You are my idol, Peg.

    • January 7, 2012 8:10 am

      (sobbing) Why, Peg? Why? Why must you be so cruel? (wailing uncontrollably)
      I was only a little girl! Have some compassion!

      p.s. I’ll send you my mailing address for that certification pronto

      • January 7, 2012 11:09 am

        Console yourself that you are much braver than I. You don’t see me rushing to send pics of little, nerdly Peggy to be mercilessly torn apart by other callused bloggers, do you?

      • January 7, 2012 2:48 pm

        Hey, Peg, you just described much of my blog — putting my awful, nerdy young self out there for other calloused bloggers to tear apart. I do it for you all and I expect the same in return ;)

  15. January 16, 2012 11:37 am

    I need Marla’s outfit. Now. You’re blog is hilarious. I absolutely love it! I think you are my long lost separated at birth twin blog sister. Don’t tell my real 3 sisters. I can’t wait to Reagan’s look at every single one of your trips down memory lane.

    • January 16, 2012 11:52 am

      Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I agree. We seem to be the same smitten kittens over nostalgia and childhood memorabilia. I need to get my Dynomite posts all linked in one place — the best one was Jason’s. Later I’m going to have a Dynomite All-Stars where people have to vote on the best one. We’ll see if they agree with me on Jason :) If you have a dandy to contribute (I KNOW you do as I’ve seen plenty on your blog) please email it to me. I’d love to feature it on here! I’ll be sure to link back to your site.

  16. January 16, 2012 1:23 pm

    “Disclaimer: Writer is not responsible for fashion advice that causes public ridicule or rancid Circus Peanuts that cause explosive diarrhea.”
    What about the fact I’ve hurt myself laughing at this awesome post?

    • January 16, 2012 2:04 pm

      I hope the laughing didn’t cause the latter to occur. If so, send me your dry cleaning bill.


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