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Monday, May 16, 2011

Camp Stories

Summer camp, in all of its cultish glory, ruled my life for 13 years. Beginning at age 9 as a camper at Camp Don Bosco and ending at age 22 as head cook at Camp Gallagher, I spent my summers at camp eating grilled cheese, making friendship bracelets and not showering. Running around the woods all summer under the facade of employment was the funnest and I was lucky enough to make it out before they started pushing the God agenda.

As a tribute to my camp years, and as a way of kick-starting the summer, here are my top five favorite summer camp movies (in no particular order).

'Troop Beverly Hills'

Shelly Long leads a group of young, Beverly Hills girl scouts (including Donna Martin and that girl from Riley Kiley) to their first ever victory at the Wilderness Girls Jamboree. Speaking of Shelly Long, she was almost unrecognizable when she was on Modern Family. I only knew it was her because of that distinct voice of hers.

Best quote: "Patches? We don't need no stinkin patches."

Best scene (The Freddy...fast forward to the :38 mark)

'The Parent Trap' (the original)

Both my parents idolized Hayley Mills back in the day and when watching The Parent Trap, it's easy to see why. Anyone who can pull off that haircut is one charming gal.

Best quote: "Let's get together, yeah yeah yeah."

Best scene
(just the first 21 seconds).

'The Parent Trap' (the remake)

Starring a likable Lindsay Lohan (before she became the 49-year-old she is today), this is a fantastic remake. It also makes me really want to live on a vineyard ("A what-yard?" "A vineyard- it's where you grow grapes to make wine.").

Best Quote: "Oof, Ice Woman!"

Best scene
(I have always wanted to do this...fast forward to 6:34)

Also, check out this clip featuring a girl that I have always thought resembled a young Jody Norwood (fast forward to the 8:51 mark, she's playing the hand slapping game and wearing a green sweatshirt).

'Wet Hot American Summer'

For the summer camp counselor, this movie just cannot get any better. Letting the campers roam free while you weasel your way into a trip into town- I can relate to that. Despite being somewhat unknown, it has quite the all-star cast (Molly Shannon, Janeane Garofalo, Michael Ian Black, Paul Rudd, Amy Poheler, David Hyde Pierce, Bradley Cooper, Christopher Meloni).

Best quote: "Douche-bags are hygienic products; I take that as a compliment. Thank you."

Best scene.

'Camp Nowhere'

This movie is actually terrible (it has more cringe-worthy moments than every Julia Stiles movie combined, which is saying something), but it has two magical elements: Christopher Llyod and kids getting to do what they want with no rules!!!! YEAH!

Best quote:

"Who's this?"

"Winston Churchill- Jimi Hendrix of the spoken word. "

Best scene- there isn't one.

Honorable mention: "Heavy Weights"

I'll leave you with a spooky camp story that rivals that of Kalamath Man, Gravel Pit Girl and Clear Cut girl. It's the story of the Tiedman Terror and maybe it will be made into a movie some day.

Hours had past since campfire. The campers were in bed. As the last of their whispers gave way to soft snoring, a few insomniatic counselors gathered in the kitchen. Their evening had only just begun. You see, the brain of a camp counselor is unique. Cluttered with songs about tea-drinking pandas and lanyard weaves, they are starved for peer-to-peer conversation. Even the most polite of counselors cannot resist the urge to yell "FUCK" the second they are out of camper ear-shot. That night was no different- the counselors were craving a bit of nocturnal adventure in the remote south Puget Sound wilderness.

After taking down a final mouthful of four-layer bar, they were off; up the hill, away from camp and toward the paved road leading into town. It's a long walk to the top, about twenty five minutes maybe. The counselors didn't mind. The post-campfire sleepiness had faded in the bright shine of a full moon and time was of no concern. As they walked, the counselors gossiped eagerly about their fellow staff members and asked the juiciest would-you-rather questions they could think of. They were carefree, for that is the default setting. Don't blame them for being lighthearted. How could they have known what was to come? Why should they have been wary about the night, those woods, that full moon?

By the time they reached Tiedman road the moon had dimmed, the temperature had dropped and it was evident that the mysterious presence of deep, deep nighttime was upon them. They sat on the road near a streetlamp. Not even the counselors themselves remember much about their conversations at the road. Some reports say one of them tried to light a firework. Others, however, say they wouldn't have had time for such tomfoolery. What we do know is that it began with the sound of an engine. Distant at first, and then growing ever nearer. The counselors jumped to their feet at the site of headlights in the distance. They stood to the side of the road and watched the jeep pass in those last few seconds of naiveté.

Then, they saw him, caught in the headlights of the passing jeep, 20 yards away, and walking straight toward them. He was tall, wearing jeans and a white tank-top undershirt. Despite being completely bald he had a tiny, well-defined forehead that lasted only an inch or so before rounding off into the top of his hairless scalp. He had sunken, bug-eyes that did not blink. His gaze stayed fixed on the group of young counselors in his path. As he walked, one leg dragged slightly behind in a Vietnam-vet-style limp. The counselors stood in silence, until one of them finally managed to squeak out the word, "run!"

So they ran. And he ran after them. His slow leg churning up dust as it skipped swiftly along the country road. As they stumbled down the hillside in flipflops and moccasins, the counselors looked over their shoulders in fear. He was gaining on them. He grew closer and shouted at them; a garbled mess of words that, though indiscernible, were clearly hostile.

They continued their pursuit down the hill, no longer looking backward for fear it would slow them down. Tears streamed down their cheeks as they ran in a petrified silence. At last, they made it to the camp grounds and, exhausted, collapsed onto the kitchen porch. The man had fallen behind and they hoped he had retreated. Not taking any chances, the counselors stood guard with kitchen knifes and a telephone until sunrise.

No one knows where the Tiedman Terror went that night, or how much he knows about the camp that resides down the hill. What we do know is that things often went missing at camp that summer, and in the summers since. A kayak, a kickball, and an entire box of Krusteaz brownie mix are all thought to have disappeared at the hands of the T.T. Whether or not these events are the extent of his terror is a matter of speculation.

Ok, I am back. That was fun. Did you guess that one of those terrified counselors was me? Well, that was indeed the horse's mouth speaking and I must say it was the most scared I've ever been in my entire life (I don't really know if that's true. I don't remember anything before I was 3, so I could have been more scared at some point.).

Now I am off to bed. Well, first I'll eat a spoonful of nutella and then I will go to bed.

Love ya, mean it,


Monday, May 9, 2011

Keen as a Bean

Mrs.Bean, the world's best school bus driver, taped a sign in the bus window that said, "It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice." What a doll. On the last day of school she gave us all copies of the quote that she'd printed out on small bits of paper and laminated. I promised myself I would keep it forever.

I would say "and it's still hanging up on my bedroom bulletin board to this very day," but I have just learned that my room has recently been swept of any last remnants of my existence so it can be transformed into a nursery for Baby Fitz. Somehow I doubt Mrs.Bean's small laminated message made the cut.

Hmmm...this says the author is unknown, but here it is credited to Alyssa Milano.
Who to believe?

Perhaps it's for the best that this dear childhood keepsake got the heave-ho. The more I think about the quote, the more I find it misleading. Indeed, being nice AND ALSO being important is the best outcome of them all. Why not strive for both?

Here are some tips for being nice and important that I've learned from my friends/fam.

Being Nice:

Scratch other people's arms or give them back massages when they ask. (Martha Foley)

If you have a car, be grateful and offer to give those without one a ride. (Tori Mueller)

Keep bandaids handy at all times so you can instantly offer them to the wounded. (Barbie and Char)

Being Important:

Type "sent from blackberry" or "sent from iPad" at the bottom of your emails. Much cheaper than actually buying one and it has the same image-boosting effect! (Andy)

Refer to yourself as "Doctor" when making a doctor appointment or asking the Verizon rep for a cell phone upgrade. It slices through bureaucracy like a Cutco knife through an avocado. (Nancy Padden)

Unfortunately, that's all I have at the moment. I've been struggling for blog topics in what has been the inevitable comedown from my Special K winnings. Luckily, I have something to look forward to. I'm going to go to Oxford (famous university for smart people in England) for a fancy dinner at the beginning of June. Talk about being important! Also, it's a chance to debut the dress.

Well, I'm off to trade the Edinburgh blood bank a pint of my blood for a fun-sized chocolate bar (several, actually). Worth it.



Thursday, May 5, 2011


You just never know how the Internet is going to dictate your day. I wake up in the morning and can only guess as to what bizarre Wikipedia page I will be reading by 2:00 in the afternoon.

Well, guess what the Internet had in store for me today?

Kenny Loggins and his sweet, soft-rock weasel voice.

As I sit here listening to Rainbow Connection I must raise the question: Is Kenny Loggins likable? I'm not sure. But he definitely has that "it" factor, and don't you deny it. Plus, he is a WASHINGTONIAN! Kenny was born in Everett, Washington in 1948. Who knew?!

The original Lady Gaga? K-Log goes 'creepy-chic' for this epic album cover.

In other news, Char and I are yoga-ing tonight. Thankfully my "trapped wind" found its escape route this morning (it also functioned as my alarm clock). Now I can do cat pose without fear!

It's election day in the UK today. I am not a citizen and Kenny Loggins isn't on the ballot so I didn't vote. Instead I walked with Andy to the polling place and voted vicariously through him.



Monday, May 2, 2011

H-O-T-T, Hot Off the Press!

Hi Everybody!

Get ready of a Madgespace EXCLUSIVE!

I am thrilled to officially announce the completion of my autobiography! It has not yet been released, but I can offer you a sneak peek at the front and back cover. Enjoy!

Front Cover

Back Cover

As you can tell, this long-awaited memoir was inspired by my recent experience winning the Special K designer dress giveaway competition (which ran throughout the UK and Ireland). Additionally, I was influenced by the fabulous autobiographies of my celebrity peers. Below are some of my most favorite celeb autobiographies (top tip: the more awkwardly a pun in jammed into the book title, the better the book usually is):

sTori Telling
- Tori Spelling

A Shore Thing - Snooki

If it Makes You Healthy - Sheryl Crow (it's her cookbook)

Dancing to the Music in my Head: Memoirs of the Peoples' Idol - Sanjaya Malakar

unSweetined - Jody Sweetin

Miles to Go - Miley Cyrus

In other, less important, news...Osama bin Laden is dead now. You may or may not have read about it in the news. I am SHOCKED at how much people care! Seriously, I just did not think he was still that relevant. People flocked to the streets and partied in front of the White House. Could it be that we wanted to flex our patriotic muscles just a bit more than usual after being upstaged by the Brits' recent display of romantic nationalism? When I read my Facebook news feed this morning, I am not kidding you that I checked the calendar to see if it was the Fourth of July (I was half asleep and so confused). That's what I get for going to Facebook first before checking the news.

WELL, I need to shower. As I said to Char today, you know you need to shave your legs when you can feel your leg hairs blowing in the wind like blades of grass. Plus, now that I own a designer red dress, I'll probably start upgrading my life little by little. First it's the shaving of the legs, then I'll probably feel the need to buy moisturizer (they're so dry that scratching a slight itch will leave visible white lines on the skin for days) and the next thing you know I will be buying brand name laundry detergent and eating organic nut butters.

Until next time, y'all.


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