Trailer homes, birthdays, and 80's movies.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

We only got two channels when I was growing up. We lived in a trailer home out in the sticks, where cable wasn't an option. Every weekend one of those channels would have an afternoon matinee time slot, where they'd usually play 80's movies, followed by Baywatch. This is how I was introduced to my two very favorite movies. The Goonies, and The Legend Of Billie Jean. My mom rented movies a lot. Never the new releases, because they cost way too much, but the cheap ones by the dozen. Her and her friend would have "video dub parties", where they'd rent a ton of movies, hook their VCR's up together, and gossip while they illegally copied movies for our collections. They could usually fit 3 movies per blank tape. Our video cabinet was loaded with handwritten labels, which made it really difficult to find what you were looking for when you wanted to watch it. I never thought this was tacky, until I started gaining friends with more money than us. When I'd spend the night at someones house, and they had a collection of real movies, with real cases, I always thought they were such high class, which then made me feel like low class. While we were able to rent the Goonies, and copy that one, The Legend Of Billie Jean was nowhere to be found. As I got older, I began to cherish and regain things from my childhood. I started collecting the old Fraggle Rock figurines that we used to get in our Happy Meals. I got a half sleeve Rainbow Brite/Shirt Tales tattoo on my left arm. And I hunted for my favorite movies when video stores would have going out of business sales. I'd always ask for The Legend Of Billie Jean, but nobody ever had it, and the man at the desk would always tell me "good luck", with a hint of sarcasm. Thanks guy. It didn't exist anymore, and this broke my heart. One time while I was visiting my parents, who now lived in a house with satellite TV, it came on one of their Showtime-type movie channels. I silenced everyone around me, and cursed the me that ever thought copying movies was tacky. Because right then, at that moment in time, I would have done anything for a blank tape. Tomorrow is my birthday. Cinco de Tia I like to call it. Christopher has never been good when it comes to surprises. One day I was checking my email, and found a few Amazon receipts, and immediately thought someone was hacking into our account. I clicked on them, and saw that he had ordered me The Legend Of Billie Jean on VHS, Solarbabies on DVD (I already own an original VHS copy, big nerd right here), and a Solarbabies poster. The night before my 5th birthday, I couldn't sleep. At the time, we lived in Hayward, California. I remember very clearly, that it was a warm night. The window to the left of my parents bed was open, and my dad was standing outside watering plants with the hose, even though it was dark and felt like midnight to me. I was sitting on their California King sized bed, watching Solarbabies. It was the first time I had ever seen it, and I remember loving it. Later, that would be one of the videos my mom would copy. For my 19th birthday, a friend of mine presented me with an original copy. I remember being so happy that I wanted to keep it in the plastic wrap forever and ever. One day I came home from work, I worked full time at the Subway in town, my mom didn't work at all. She hadn't worked for a few years. I came home from a 10 hour shift, to see my mom watching my movie. She had unwrapped it, even though she had her own copy, and was just sitting on the couch watching it and eating chips. I was so angry. And I don't think I was just angry at her for watching my movie, I think it was more about the silent problems we had with each other. Typical mother/daughter issues that never got resolved. Our anger towards each other simmered down once I moved out on my own, but still flare up any time we're around each other for more than a few hours. I'm sure most of you can relate in one way or another. So tomorrow is my birthday, and I'll get to open up my Solarbabies DVD and poster. I can't wait. Last night Christopher and I watched The Legend Of Billie Jean. When it first arrived, he had taken it out of the box to make sure that it worked correctly, and it turned out that the seller had given us a bootlegged copy, with almost impossible to watch quality. Christopher emailed her, and got our money back, so no harm was done. And we watched it anyways. He had never seen it. Hes just been listening to my rave reviews for the past 4 years hes known me. He admitted that he thought it was going to be just another cheesy 80's movie, but when it was over, declared it totally badass. Fair is fair!

From top to bottom:
-"Trailor 1 (pink)", by veronicapress, $80.00.
-"Fraggle Rock-4x6 photo cards, Set of Four Photos", by unicornkidsstudios, $12.00.


GwynnsGifts May 4, 2008 at 11:50 AM  

Happy Birthday!
I just wanted to let you know that I always thought solorbabies rocked and now that you brought it up I am going to watch it. Also LOVE Goonies and so do my kids now. I hope you have a wonderful birthday.

Art Kitten May 4, 2008 at 12:25 PM  

OMG! I thought I was the only one in the world who loved The Legend Of Billie Jean!!!! One of my all time favorites, I so wanted to cut my hair to look like her when I was younger, she was my heroine. Very cool entry, Tia, and happy birthday!

(btw, we only had dubbed movies with handwritten labels at our house, too)

ThisOldHenHouse May 4, 2008 at 6:00 PM  

Yay Fraggle Rock!!! Happy Birthday

Diana May 4, 2008 at 8:45 PM  

Oh my! I had no idea that tomorrow was your birthday.

Happy Birthday, doll! Many, many wonderful returns. Your Christopher is a real gem: secretly getting your favorite gifts, and then even watching it with you and declaring it badass. Yeah, he's a good egg.

My mom and dad divorced when I was five. Every other weekend, we've have to sit, ignored by my stepmother while my dad worked, in the middle of an alien ghetto, and with no tv. He was too cheap to get cable, so we had 2 local channels that would come in, and a handful of ripoff videos that we'd watch over and over and over. They weren't as cool as the ones you've named. One of them was 'The Last Unicorn' which was the schmaltziest garbage ever, despite being animated. Anyway, just wanted to say I could relate.

Happy birthday, sweetie. Enjoy your nostalgia and your wonderful family.


Gwennie May 4, 2008 at 9:53 PM  

Great blog! I love how you incorporate the pics from etsy! Happy birthday!

Memoirs of a Mental Mind May 9, 2008 at 9:26 PM  

LOL!! I thought me and my brother were like the only Solarbabies fans in the world! haha :) I LOVE that movie, now that i know they have it on DVD, i HAVE To have it!!! I've never heard of the billie jean movie though...have to look it up since you recommend it so highly.. :) My family also ripped off videos and had a ton of hand made labels..however i never realized it was because we couldn't afford the real copies, until weird is that...and i love Goonies and Fraggle rock as well!

Post a Comment