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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March 31, 1985

Hello, everyone! 

Now, I know that Easter Week just kicked off in the blog, and I know that I wanted to come up with a whole week of Easter goodness...but let's get real.  Finding an Easter themed Tuesday Timeline entry is next to impossible.  Though, I suppose that part of the reason why is because Easter is one of those holidays that changes its date each year.  The earliest I've seen it has been March 26, and the latest one I can remember is April 24.  And since today is March 31, I can tell you that Easter Sunday has only fallen on this date five times over the last one hundred years.

(If you're interested, the years were 1918, 1929, 1991, 2002, and 2013.)

So, I decided that I would just make this Tuesday Timeline just another ordinary one.  Of course, this entry has absolutely nothing to do with Easter, but to make up for it, I can tell you a little story leading up to the Tuesday Timeline event.

Of course, we have some other business to take care of before that.  Let's take a look at what happened on the final day of March throughout history!

1492 - Queen Isabella issues the Alhambra Decree, ordering her Jewish and Muslim subject to convert to Christianity or be kicked out of Spain

1889 - The Eiffel Tower is officially opened to the public

1906 - The Intercollegiate Athletic Association is founded to set rules for college sports (later renamed the National Collegiate Athletic Association)

1909 - The construction of the RMS Titanic begins

1918 - Daylight Savings Time goes into effect in the United States for the first time

1921 - The Royal Australian Air Force is formed

1922 - Actor Richard Kiley (d. 1999) is born in Chicago, Illinois

1929 - Fashion designer Liz Claiborne (d. 2007) is born in Brussels, Belgium

1931 - University of Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne is killed in a plane crash

1942 - Japan invades Christmas Island during World War II - a British owned island

1949 - Newfoundland becomes the tenth and final province to enter Canadian confederation

1951 - Remington Rand delivers the first UNIVAC I computer to the United States Census Bureau

1966 - The Soviet Union launches Luna 10 - the first space probe to enter orbit around the moon

1990 - More than 200,000 people take to the streets of London to protest the Poll Tax

1993 - In what could be described as a tragic accident, actor Brandon Lee is killed in a freak accident involving a gun on the set of the film "The Crow" - Lee was just 28

1995 - The "Queen of Tejano Music", Selena, is shot by her former friend and dies, aged just 23

2005 - Terri Schiavo dies in hospital at the age of 41 after being on life support for fifteen years, sparking a debate on euthanasia

And for celebrity birthdays, we have the following famous faces; William Daniels, Gordie Howe, Richard Chamberlain, Shirley Jones, Herb Alpert, Israel Horovitz, Michael Savage, Christopher Walken, Valerie Curtin, Gabe Kaplan, Al Gore, Rhea Perlman, Ed Marinaro, Angus Young, Marc McClure, Kyle Secor, Tony Cox, Suzanne Westenhoefer, Brad Slaight, Fez Whatley, William McNamara, Samantha Brown, Damon Herriman, Craig McCracken, Ewan McGregor, Andrew Bowen, Adrian Holmes, Emma Atkins, Rich Clementi, Shawty Lo, Josh Saviano, Daniel Mays, Ryan Bingham, Melissa Ordway, Stephanie Bendixsen, and Thomas Batuello.

Okay.  So, what date will we be looking at this week?



Well, we're going back in time exactly three decades to March 31, 1985.

(And just to prove that it is NOT Easter themed, Easter Sunday in 1985 wasn't until one week later, on April 7.)

As promised, I have a story to tell you regarding today's selection.



How many of you out there watch wrestling on television?  I have to admit, there's quite a few people at my workplace who watch it every week.  And, I can definitely see where the appeal is.  The wrestling matches are always filled with spectators who go wild when someone gets flipped over, or thrown out of the ring by a back flip.  With the way that the matches are presented, wrestling has almost become as interesting and scandalous as a daytime soap opera.

Now, this has prompted many to believe that wrestling is completely fake, and that the outcome of certain matches was predetermined prior to the matches taking place.  They claim that all the wrestlers are just acting from a script given in front of them.  I can't say that I totally agree with that statement.  Certainly the injuries that wrestlers sustain in the ring are not faked.  I can't imagine anyone willingly signing up to get paid for doing themselves bodily harm - well, unless you're a stunt person.

But I do believe that some aspects of a standard wrestling match are not necessarily fabricated, but are manipulated in a way to keep certain variables in check (increased rivalries, backstabbing between competitors, etc.)

But you don't dare tell that to one wrestling fan that used to haunt a community message board that I belonged to once upon a time.  He would defend wrestling with a lot of passion - which I totally respect.  The problem is, he would insult other people and act as if he had a total chip on his shoulder in trying to defend his stance - which I cannot respect at all.  I think he eventually left the group at his own accord when he realized that he wasn't getting anywhere with the rest of the members by being arrogant and mean. 

But the fact is that wrestling is not likely to go away anytime soon whether you believe that the matches are real or staged.  And I would say that the public's love of wrestling began with one major event that has taken place each year over the last thirty years.  The thirty-first edition of this competition was broadcast just a couple of days ago.  But the very first one was held on March 31, 1985 - back when the WWE was known as the WWF.



March 31, 1985 - The date of the very first WRESTLEMANIA.

It was billed as "The Greatest Wrestling Event of All Time".  Held at New York City's Madison Square Garden, over 19,000 fans were in attendance to see their favourite wrestlers go toe to toe with each other.  In fact, there were a total of nine wrestling matches in a row.  And these nine matches were...



1 - Tito Santana vs. The Executioner
2 - King Kong bundy vs. Special delivery Jones
3 - Ricky Steamboat vs. Matt Borne
4 - David Sammartino vs. Brutus Beefcake
5 - Junkyard Dog vs. Greg Valentine
6 - Nikolai Volkoff & The Iron Shiek vs. The U.S. Express
7 - Andre The Giant vs. Big John Studd
8 - Wendi Richter vs. Leilani Kai
9 - Hulk Hogan & Mr. T vs. Roddy Piper & Paul orndorff

The winners of each match are highlighted in pink.  Oh, and regarding match #4.  It ended with a double disqualification, so no winner was crowned.

What was amazing about WrestleMania I was all of the promotion it received leading up to the event.  The event began its planning stages in 1984 when WWF CEO Vince McMahon wanted to launch an event to compete with Starrcade's Pay-Per-View event launched by Jim Crockett Promotions.  And needless to say, McMahon knew exactly what demographic to hit.

First, he appealed to the 18-34 crowd by doing cross-promotion with MTV.  MTV would often air commercials advertising the event, and this prompted some famous celebrities at that time to lend their support to the event.



After all, how often do you get to see Hulk Hogan tag teaming with Mr. T of all people?  Not often, I bet.



The official theme song for the event was an instrumental version of this song.  I have to say...I can see it working very well.



Cyndi Lauper made an appearance to support Wendi Richter in her battle against Leilani Kai. Muhammad Ali served as a guest referee. Even Liberace served a purpose in this match, playing the role of timekeeper.



Seriously.  Just picture Liberace at a wrestling match without laughing.  Pretty hard to do, isn't it? 



Of course, not all the promotions ended up being successful.  In fact, it lead to Hulk Hogan getting sued!  In the days leading up to WrestleMania I, Hogan was a guest on Hot Properties, a cable television show hosted by Richard Belzer.  Belzer wanted Hogan to demonstrate a wresting move for him, and Hogan obliged by putting Belzer in a front chin-lock.  Unfortunately, the sudden move caused Belzer to lose consciousness and when Hogan let go, Belzer fell to the floor, hitting his head and causing a nasty laceration to the scalp.  Belzer sued Hogan for five million dollars, and the case was settled out of court.

Despite that, WrestleMania I proved to be a huge success, both in the venue itself and on pay-per-view television.  The following year, even more people tuned in to watch.  Today, WrestleMania continues to be a huge event, with at least 75,000 people buying tickets to watch the event live, not to mention the millions of people who watch the event on television.

And hey, for those of us who were cartoon fans, if it weren't for WrestleMania, we wouldn't have this cartoon cult favourite.


Monday, March 30, 2015

Photographs With The Easter Bunny



Hey, guys and gals!  Welcome to Easter Week in A POP CULTURE ADDICT'S GUIDE TO LIFE

This week, I'll be taking a look at some Easter traditions and customs (mostly modern day ones, as I am far from being the religious type), and hopefully you will like what I have planned.  After all, six of the seven entries will have some reference to Easter.

(It's kind of hard to find one for the Tuesday Timeline entry.)

Even so, I think that this is going to be a lot of fun, so let's get on with the commencement of Easter Week.

So, to begin, I want to ask you all a question.  What is the very first thing you think of when you think Easter?

Certainly many of you will point out the fact that it is a holiday that is faith based, which is very much true.  But when it comes to symbols of Easter, what do you think of?



Some might think of chocolate.  And why not?  Next to Valentine's Day and perhaps Halloween, Easter is one of the holidays where a lot of chocolate is sold - and where a lot of dentists make their fortunes, apparently.  True, while chocolate is quite important in the Easter, that's not what this blog is about.



Maybe some of you immediately thought of Easter eggs.  After all, the eggs that are dyed in bright pastel colours are a tradition of modern-day Easter.  The White House has hosted an annual Easter egg hunt every year for as long as I can remember!  And yes, we will be talking about Easter eggs in this blog - but not today.



Maybe some of you immediately thought of the baby chicks that hatch out of eggs.  Well, okay, I've never seen a chick hatch out of an Easter egg dyed in purple and orange.  Nor have I ever seen chicks in either one of those colours.  But chicks are definitely an unofficial Easter mascot.

However, if you want me to name the one thing that I consider a true sign of Easter...well, you need not go any further than the good old Easter Bunny!



(Note, I said Easter Bunny.  Not Easter BEAGLE.  Although, I do love that Peanuts special!)

Yeah, as far back as I can remember, I have always had a soft spot for the wonderful Easter Bunny.  How could I not?  He always brought wonderful treats every Easter Sunday to snack on and he always looked so cute and cuddly and soft.  Just made you want to hug him!

Of course, I admit that my love for the Easter Bunny might have been a little biased.  Who could resist the clucking bunny in the Cadbury commercials?



Sigh.  No matter how old I get, I love that clucking bunny.  The Cadbury Creme Eggs though, not so much.  I love sweets, but those things are TOO sweet.

Of course, one of the earliest memories that I have of the Easter Bunny was going to the local shopping mall to visit him and get my photo taken with him.  And I think that I made my parents take me every year until I was at least seven.

Want proof?  Below would be a photo taken at our local shopping mall circa 1986.  At least, I want to say it was 1986.  Could have been 1987, though.  Either way, I was old enough to know that lace up shoes were a pain and that velcro was (at the time) my shoe of choice. 



Now, I have no idea what I was doing in this photo.  Maybe I was tired and rested my chin on my hand.  Maybe I lifted my arm up because I wanted to feel more comfortable on the Easter Bunny's lap.  Maybe I was "voguing" before Madonna made it a #1 smash single.  Either way, the pose that I was making surprisingly works in this photo.  It's probably one of the few childhood photos that I feel comfortable sharing on this blog, to tell you the truth.

Of course, I always remembered seeing the Easter Bunny at the mall.  However, when I posted this same photo a few years ago on social media for one of those "Throwback Thursday" postings, some people seemed genuinely shocked that shopping plazas even did stuff like that for Easter. 

I can see their point.  Everyone is used to taking their children out to see Santa Claus for Christmas.  It's been a tradition since "Miracle on 34th Street" was released - maybe even earlier than that!  But while you see so many pictures of kids posing on Santa's lap every Christmas, you don't really see too many Easter Bunny photos.  Though I will say this.  The photos that I have seen are mostly cute.

Mind you, some of those Easter Bunny costumes could be frightening.  If I had to sit on the lap of the following photos that I found, I reckon that the tone of this blog entry would be radically different.



Instead of praising the Easter Bunny, I would be so traumatized that the sight of a carrot would cause me to hyperventilate and break out in a cold sweat.

Admit it.  You would too.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

What's Love But A Secondhand Emotion?


I think that everybody agrees with me that love is probably one of the hardest things that one can ever hope to figure out. I know being single for the majority of my near 34 years on this earth, I'm having an extremely difficult time figuring it out myself. 



For instance, why is it that some people find love more easily than others? 

I know in my case (and I've said this before countless times I'm sure), part of the reason why I have such a hard time finding Ms. Right is because I have a hard time finding love within myself. The struggle with self-image and self-worth has always been very real to me. It's not easy for me to let my guard down with a prospective love interest, and I don't believe it's ever really been that way. One day, I hope to shed these feelings of fear and uncertainty within myself and go on living my life as happy as can be. And, I know that once I do, I'll be able to open my heart up to someone else. It sounds kind of mushy and touchy-feely, but damn it, it's the way I feel!

There was a time in which I would never even admit to having these feelings at all, because back when I was a teenager, I couldn't put my trust in anybody, because I was so convinced that everyone was out to hurt me. Now that I am older and wiser, I feel that my ability in picking and choosing people to confide in has greatly improved since then. So, I'm opening up about my feelings to oh...everyone who is reading this right now. Aren't I a nice guy?

I know that once I find a way to love myself, I can give 100% of my love and devotion to the woman that I hope will become my wife (or in the case of Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, common law spouse). It can't be that impossible of a dream, can't it? 

Besides, looking around at real life instances, television clips, and couples all over the world, I'm finding that maybe there is hope after all! 



I mean, I'm just going to come right out and say it. A lot of the relationships that I see amongst my family and close friends are quite toxic in nature. Of course I won't name names because I respect their privacy, but take my word for it, they can be quite bad. And, naturally, of course, when surrounded by said couples in constant nagging and yelling at each other, it tends to give one a very skewed view of romance and relationships. 

I just find love to be a word that I have a hard time defining. I mean, take my parents for example. At times, there are instances in which I ask myself "how the hell did they get past the first year of marriage". They kind of have something along the lines of an Archie and Edith Bunker relationship, or an Al and Peg Bundy coupling. Nag, nag, nag, yell, yell, yell, bicker, bicker, bicker, etc. 

And, yet they'll celebrate 50 years of married...something this year. Go figure. 

So, clearly, there's something there that is keeping them together. And, to be honest with you, I really don't have a clue what it is. Truth be told, I don't think THEY do either. Maybe it's LOVE?


I don't know. Maybe I'm spoiled from all the teen sitcoms, prime time soaps, and even Rob and Amber from Survivor, which show a generally idealized scenario for love. Hugs, kisses, maybe even a couple of PG rated bedroom scenes. 

Compare that to the relationships I've seen, and it's a deep contrast, that's for sure. But, I blame Hollywood more than human nature for that. 

I think deep down inside, we all dream of finding that perfect guy or gal, moving into the perfect house with the perfect white picket fence, raising two perfect children in a perfect neighbourhood, sending them to perfect college while you retire to perfect Florida, where we all live perfectly ever after. 

And, when we don't find perfection, some of us stick by it anyway, because we LOVE the person anyway. That's one thing that I have learned from being...what's the word...not love-starved, no...maybe choosing not to be in a relationship...yeah, that sounds better. That's one thing I have learned from choosing to not be in a relationship. If a person truly loves someone, they forgive and forget all flaws, because they just want to be close to them. That's what real, natural love is all about. 

But, does the same apply to manufactured love? 

It seems that everywhere you look, there's a new finding love television event mixed in with the crowd of old favourites. "Blind Date", "Love Connection", "The Dating Game", and "The Newlywed Game" were old classics that kept us in stitches. I mean, come on, I dare you to get through a rousing round of Bob Eubanks asking random strangers where they "made whoopee" last night without bursting into a belly laugh! I DARE YOU! 

Then there are some shows where the person looking for love makes you wonder how THEY can be more irresistible and attractive than YOU. I mean, Flavor Flav? The only person nastier than he is would be some of the women who threw themselves at him. Rock of Love? Ick.  Ah, well...I always said that I like a good train wreck on television. 

I guess the most popular of these shows would be "The Bachelor".  And, well, that show has always been subjected to controversy. Remember when that one guy chose one girl, dumped her on NATIONAL TELEVISION, and chose another girl he sent packing instead?  Remember how slimy that was?

What the hell was everyone thinking? 

I mean, I know that some people (myself included) have a difficult time finding the person they want to spend the rest of their lives with. Personally, I would never volunteer myself to go on one of these dating shows. It's an invasion of my privacy, not to mention the women that I would have to date. There's also the idea of hurting 24 other women just to find one, and personally, I don't think I would have the heart to do it. Of course, the idea of dating 24 women at the same time is asinine to me anyway. I mean, all these women claim to have a connection with the guy after a whopping 4 hours, 17 minutes, and 52 seconds. I cry FOUL!

(I personally think it takes at least 7 hours.)

In all seriousness, I find the whole "Bachelor" show to be a farce, and to tell you the truth, I'm kind of sorry I watched in the first place. I mean, I did some research for this note, and out of who knows how many seasons there have been of this show, only a couple of couples have made it to the wedding. All the others have busted up. Convince you yet? 

I just find the show to be so insulting to people who are looking for true love, and find the show a reason why people are getting disenchanted with the idea of love and marriage. The girl that was rejected by the guy after the guy proposed marriage to her was brutally hurt and humiliated on television. I mean, yes, the girl was taking a risk signing up for the show in the first place because there was no guarantee that she would be the one to win his heart. But, it's one thing to not get a rose during the first two rounds of cuts. It's an entirely different thing to get the proposal and ring from the guy and then have him admit a month later that he "make a mistake". I imagine that the decision must have been hard for the guy, but jeez...the guy needed to have some class, and broke up with her in private, and not for some stupid follow-up special deemed to be the "most dramatic ever". Shame on him. 

Of course, the guy is saying that ABC wouldn't LET him break up with her in private, and if that's true, that'll leave a black eye on the network for sure. But, unfortunately, it still doesn't change my opinion of this guy. He's a first-class jerk, and if the girl he eventually ended up with is smart enough, she'll head for the hills. 

Interestingly enough, the woman who was dumped is doing extremely well.  Not only did she go on "Dancing With The Stars", but she also found love with another man and they have lived happily ever after since. 

Because love itself isn't the source of pain...it's the stupid people who don't understand it that hurts. 

I just hope that when the time comes for me to love somebody...I'll know exactly what the meaning of love is. But, without the "dramatic rose ceremonies", thank you. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Guys...I Need A Favour (It'll Only Take A Couple Of Seconds)

You know, when it comes to figuring out what to talk about in this blog, I rely a lot of all of you who read this.  I have to say that some of you who have been following along with this blog since it began have been really good about floating me suggestions for discussion, or what you would like to see me do for special theme weeks.  This way, I allow all of you to have a little piece of yourselves in this space.

After all, I wouldn't have a blog if it weren't for all of you reading it.

This being said...I need your help.



You see, we're fast approaching the fourth anniversary of "A POP CULTURE ADDICT'S GUIDE TO LIFE" - yeah, you heard that right.  Four years I've been doing this!  I can hardly believe it either.  What started off as a project to document my thirties has now spanned four years.  Amazing.

Anyway, the official anniversary doesn't take place until May 24, but I'm trying to come up with a special way to celebrate the fourth anniversary of this blog.  I was actually thinking of doing a month long feature during the whole month of May - similar to what I do with the advent calendar that I do every December.



Here's the thing.  I don't know what to do.

I mean, I have a ton of ideas going through my head, but I can't seem to decide what one would work best.

So, I've decided to hit the masses, and ask you what you want to see.

Interestingly enough, I have four ideas to choose from (four years, four ideas, I suppose).  And, all of them are ones that could be considered doable.  However, I need your assistance in choosing which one I will do.

Remember, this will take place during the blog's anniversary month in May.  Every entry between May 1 and May 31 will have this theme.

Okay, here we go with the themes.



THEME 1:  MAY IS MUSIC MONTH

Remember how I used to have those Sunday Jukebox entries where I focused on a song, album, or artist?  This would be an entire month of those.

All month long, including Tuesday Timeline entries, I will be doing music spotlights.  I may even consider doing a different genre per day (Country Mondays, R&B Wednesdays, '80s Saturdays, etc).  I figure this way, we could all have fun dancing and bobbing along with the music.  And you can't have an anniversary party without music!



THEME 2:  MAY IS PERSONAL STORY MONTH

I did make a promise to myself that I would make 2015 more personal and that I would be bringing more of myself to the blog.  Well, if you vote option 2, I will be prepared to tell all of you thirty-one stories from my own personal treasure trove of memories.

And believe me.  I have a photographic memory.  I remember it all!

Of course, the Tuesday Timelines will be a problem, as I would have to try and incorporate personal memories from my own life into the fold.  But, I suppose I would have to find a way to do this while still maintaining the integrity of the theme day.



THEME 3:  May Is Birthday Month

Okay, the blog is turning four in May.  I am turning much older in May.  May is a big birth month for me.  So, if you vote for theme month #3, every single entry will be a birthday entry.  I'll do celebrity birthday spotlights and anniversary spotlights all the month of May, be it celebrating the birth of an actor/actress, the invention of a household item, the creation of a food item, or even celebrating the birth of this blog itself.  That's what you would get with option 3.



Theme 4:  May Is Food Month

At every anniversary party, there always has to be some food and drinks to eat.  Otherwise, guests get cranky and the mood turns sour like milk.

So, voting for option 4 will give you a whole month of food related topics!  This may cause me to get creative for the Tuesday Timeline entry, but seeing as how I don't have a whole lot of food representation in this blog (and remembering how much fun it was to write a food blog after the 7-Up entry yesterday), I thought...why not?

So, here's where you come in.  What would you like to see for the blog's anniversary month?

1 - MUSIC
2 - PERSONAL STORIES
3 - BIRTHDAY
4 - FOOD

Let me know either through the comments section, on Twitter (My handle is @PCA_GuideToLife), or on Facebook (the link to the page is on the sidebar).

I know that May is still a stone's throw away, but I want to have prep time.  In the meantime, stay tuned for April - I have a special Easter theme week planned beginning Monday, March 30!

Okay.  Carry on.  Happy Saturday, everyone!

Friday, March 27, 2015

7-Up - The Best Uncola In The World!

How many of you remember playing the classic children's game "Heads Up, Seven Up"? 

For those of you who may not know what I am talking about, or who are looking at me as if I have three heads, I shall explain.

"Heads Up, Seven Up" is a game that is played during your elementary school years.  This was a game played at my school to pass time in between classes, or to kill time before the school day ended.  Seven kids would be chosen at random, and the rest of the class would put their heads down at their desks so that they wouldn't be able to see anything.  One by one, each of the seven kids in the class would walk around the room and tap one of the kids on the head.  When the seven kids got back up to the front of the classroom, those seven kids that were tapped would stand up, and try to figure out which of the kids tapped them on the head.

If they guessed incorrectly, they would have to sit back down at their desk.  If they guessed right, they would switch places with the kid who tapped them, and then they would get the chance to do the tapping. 

It was basically a game in which you had to figure out a certain kid's tapping style...and it was a game in which you had to put on your best poker face, so that you were not found out.

But, hey, it was a lot of fun to play!

Besides, it has one of my favourite carbonated beverages in the title of the game...and yes, that's what this post is all about.



This post is all about the lemon-lime fizzy soda known by most as "7-Up"!  The "UNCOLA", as it is often called.

Would you believe that 7-Up turns eighty-six years old this year?  It was created by Charles Leiper Gregg, and originally went under the tongue twister like name of "Bib-Label Lethiated Lemon-Lime Soda".  Try saying that seven times fast!

The name was changed to 7-Up in 1936.

Interestingly enough, while the general consensus is that 7-Up was first available for purchase in 1929, the date that it was actually released has been debated.  While Gregg claimed that the soda was first released on October 15, 1929 - two weeks before the stock market crash that lead to "The Great Depression" - some sources claim the drink was available as early as February 1929.  Either way, the drink was the very first lemon-lime flavoured soda available to the world.

(Coca-Cola's version, "Sprite", wasn't available until 1961.)

But did you know that when 7-Up was first introduced, it wasn't just a delicious lemon-lime drink?  It was actually marketed as a cure for hangovers!  It's true!

I found this information out in a 2006 article from the Metropolitan News-Enterprise.  Back in 1931 - when prohibition was in full effect, an advertisement in the Monessen Daily Independent had advertised 7-Up as a counteractant to "Morning After Toxicity".  And several other newspapers made the same claim.

It's hard to say whether this has any validity, as I can't remember the last time I even had a hangover.  Anyone else reading this want to confirm that 7-Up relieved hangovers?

Another interesting fact about 7-Up?  Until 1950, the soda contained lithium citrate - a mood stabilizer!

Anyway, 7-Up has been a part of our world for over 80 years, so I suppose it is here to stay.

And I have a lot of wonderful memories of 7-Up.



When I was a kid, I used to visit my grandmother a lot, and she always had a supply of 7-Up in the house.  In most cases, it was the standard lemon-lime version.  However, on special occasions, she would have the cherry flavoured version of 7-Up.  And, I LOVE Cherry 7-Up!  I love it so much that I am almost considering writing a letter to the people in charge of 7-Up, asking them to bring Cherry 7-Up back to Canada!



Apparently, 7-Up is also available in Orange, Raspberry, and for a limited time, Pomegranate and Tropical Splash.  I admit that the orange one sounds like it might be good.  It may taste like carbonated "Five Alive" fruit cocktail.

Now, every good company needs a decent mascot to help advertise the product.  After all, A&W had the Root Beer Bear.  Domino's had the claymation Noid.  McDonald's has a whole slew of characters from Ronald McDonald to the Hamburglar.

Well, 7-Up had three different mascots in their lifetime.



During the 1950's, the company used a rooster for a mascot.  His name was Fast Freddie, and his role was the ultimate party planner.  He showed people how to have a good time by throwing parties, hosting picnics, and doing all the fun things that rebel teenagers used to do during the 1950s.  And of course, in every celebration there was always a massive supply of 7-Up!



There was also a mascot that was created in 1985 by Joanna Ferrone and Sue Rose with the name Fido Dido.  He basically looked like one of the characters you might find in the Nickelodeon series "Doug".  He started appearing in 7-Up ads in the mid-1980s, and has sporadically appeared in 7-Up commercials since.

However, the 7-Up mascot that I remember this most was introduced in 1987, and he appeared in 7-Up ads throughout my entire childhood.

You know that little red dot that appears in the logo of 7-Up?  Well, in 1987, the dot suddenly became a whole lot...cooler.



Dressed in his darkest Ray-Bans and a pair of sneakers, "Cool Spot" dominated television commercials for 7-Up throughout the late 1980s and 1990s.  Have a look at a couple of commercials with Cool Spot below!



And Cool Spot became so popular that there were even a couple of video games based on the character!  Sure, the video games were total 7-Up propaganda...but the game - to its credit - was incredibly challenging.  I only managed to finish it once!



Thursday, March 26, 2015

Finding Your Place - Through The Eyes Of A Pop Culture Addict

I've come to the conclusion that as far as loved ones are concerned, trying to understand them is much harder than writing a thesis on quantum physics, understanding the big bang theory, and mixing up the perfect shade of canary yellow at a hardware store paint counter.

Sometimes, family can drive one to drink, smoke, drive erratically, or bash one's head against an oak panel desk a half dozen times before they realize that action hurts like hell.  And, don't deny it, because we all have felt that way about our relatives at some point.

You'd think that there would be some families that can avoid the in-fighting and the backstabbing.  I mean, if one wants the idea of the perfect family, one needs to go no further than the Brady Bunch.  Two parents, six children, and even a maid?  Instant American dream!  Ah, but if we peel back the layers of the Brady Bunch, you'll see that not all is as well as it seems.



Sure, Marcia, Jan, Cindy, Greg, Bobby, and Peter may have seemed like the perfect children, but that was essentially their main downfall.  They seemed a little TOO perfect.  Nobody got angry at each other, they definitely didn't swear at each other, and looking back on it now, does anyone know ANY family like this these days?  Hell, I reckon that if I kicked a football square at my sister's nose, I probably wouldn't be alive to write this note in the first place.

And, they aren't the only ones that are like this.  The Full House gang was so sweet, they'd end up giving you a cavity, and the Flanders family on The Simpsons is so religiously motivated that the children are pretty much left more isolated than the boy in the plastic bubble.

There is one thing that these fictional families have going for them though.  It's also the same thing that dysfunctional families like the Bundys from Married With Children, the Connors from Roseanne, and the Simpsons from...well...the Simpsons.

They all seem to have some love and mutual respect for each other, no matter how jerky or perfect they may come across to others.

I'd like to think that my family is kind of like this.  I'd like to think that although we come across to some people as trailer park trash, that we do have mutual respect and love for each other. 

However, if I had to describe my own family and compare it to a family that's currently on television right now, I'd have to sing the theme song to "Family Guy".

Okay, so maybe it's kind of a stretch here.  There's no talking dog, I certainly didn't try to kill my mother at toddler-age, and I certainly don't remember there being a sexual predator named Quagmire who lived down the street from us.  For all I know, there very well could have been, but I never really talked to the neighbours much anyway.



Actually, come to think of it...Family Guy isn't like my family at all...LOL...

There is one member of the family that I can probably identify the most with.  One member who if not for the fact that we are of different genders, we'd be like twins.

I feel like I'm the Meg Griffin of my own family on some days.

Don't get me wrong, my life isn't nearly as bad as Meg's.  Meg has to suffer emotional and physical abuse from pretty much everybody around her, including her own parents.  My life was never that horrible. 

But, Meg was picked on a lot by her peers, and she suffered from low self-esteem because of it, and her family basically just ignored it.  I was picked on a lot by my peers and suffered low self-esteem from it, but instead of my family basically ignoring it, I feel as though they were unable to help me deal with it because they weren't sure how to handle it as they hadn't seen anything quite like it before.  And, that's not a slam against them at all.  Just the way that I saw it.

I get the feeling that my parents tried their best, and I'll give credit where credit is due.  But, I'm realizing that I don't really feel like I deserve the whole Meg Griffin treatment at all.

Part of the reason why I feel as though I identify a lot with Meg is because everyone sort of treats her like she's the black sheep of the family.  Do I feel that way about my own family?  Sometimes, I'll admit that I do.  Because I'm much younger than everyone else, I sometimes feel like if they had such a thing as a kids table that I would be forced to eat there at holiday gatherings.  I sometimes feel like if I have anything to say about myself, or if I want to comment, it's either ignored or worse, interrupted (and don't even get me started on how much I HATE IT when people interrupt my train of thought).  Sometimes I feel as though it's best to just sit down, eat dinner, and take a walk in silence, just so I don't like myself get too angry over not having a voice in it all.

I'm beginning to realize that this is not a good way to go through life.  You all see it.  Now, I see it too.

The thing is that sometimes family members say or do (or don't say or don't do) things that may end up hurting someone that they love, and sometimes they are too blind or too caught up in their own lives, or just plain stupid to see it.  And, most people don't really see what it is they are doing until it is too late.

And, sometimes, you might have to accept that no matter how much you try to see eye-to-eye with some people who you happen to share blood ties with, that they are so set in their ways that it seems almost impossible to get them to see things your way.

All you can really do is pick yourself up, and live your own life the way you want to because after all, you are the only judge of what's best for you, right?

If they want to support you in your quest to understand yourself better, that's perfectly fine.  If not, as much as it might sting a bit, well, they have to do what they have to do, and you'll have to do what you have to do.

No matter how difficult a challenge it might be.

I'm at the age and frame of mind now where I don't have to impress anybody anymore, least of all people I happen to be related to.  And, I made this note a bit ambiguous in nature for a reason.  I didn't want to publicly humiliate anybody for one, but I am the type of person who never liked conflict, and inevitably, if I did confront people about this, it would not end very well. 

That's what's great about my blog though.  It's one of the only places where I can truly be myself and not be afraid of anyone's comments or getting hurt.  If anyone did make a hurtful comment here, I can always delete it anyways.

This is like an oasis of sanity for me, as strange as it seems.  And, I don't think anyone remotely close to me could ever possibly hope to understand why.  But, that's fine with me.  I am not in it to impress anyone.