Pop What? by Deb Mia

Confession: I know nothing about pop culture.

Confession: The only thing I know about pop culture has to do with Paris Hilton, which I read on Deb Eileen’s blog, which Deb Anna has already commented on, on Monday.

Confession: So I Googled it. I actually Googled, “What is pop culture?” (I know, this just gets more pathetic by the moment). And is anybody surprised that I got 85,100,000 hits?

I surfed for a while and found myself overwhelmed and overstimulated – and I still didn’t really know a damn thing about pop culture. I even looked it up in Wikipedia, which gave it such a precise and accurate definition that I got bored and stopped reading after the first paragraph (“Popular culture, sometimes called pop culture, consists of widespread cultural elements in any given society. Such elements are perpetuated through that society’s vernacular language or an established lingua franca …”).

So, in typical Deb Mia style, I got sidetracked. I found a blog by a CNBC.com Entertainment Editor, Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, and watched a lovely video that brought back memories and made me think that I may be more hip than I realize (well, back in the 1970’s, at least). I took a trip down memory lane with this classic (click on the image to watch the commercial):

images2.jpgI had this exact oven. No joke. Light bulb and everything. And I made PERFECT cakes (obviously early field work for GOOD THINGS). And then I outsmarted myself (this happens a lot) and doubled the recipe and couldn’t get the damn cake out – the top half of the cake was lopped off as I tried to wrangle it out of the oven, but the inside was still gooey and it got everywhere.

We eventually had to throw the whole thing away. But that’s okay, because then I got busy with this:


The Barbie Townhouse. As you can see, I was much cooler as a kid. Now I’m like Blackberry what? Bluetooth what? (I know, I know – they’re already old technology). I don’t even have an iPod. And there was talk about something called a WVA? Or Wii? Sheesh, it’s a small miracle I’m even able to write books about the modern woman.

What were your favorite toys when you were a kid?

12 Replies to “Pop What? by Deb Mia”

  1. OMG… I had both of those toys. We found the Barbie townhouse at a yard sale and I loved it, even though I couldn’t get it together quite right. And I made some killer cakes in my Easy Bake Oven. Ooohh… remember “light bright”? I loved that, too!

    My first video game was Pong on my neighbors television. We used to play that thing for HOURS.

    And, I’m right there with you on pop culture. I don’t have an iPod or a blackberry (I don’t even know what one is… is it like a PDA and a phone all in one?)

    Thanks for the memories…

  2. “What were your favorite toys when you were a kid?”

    .32 caliber Colt Police Positive Revolver.

    But seriously, folks…

    I spent hours making different tracks for my Hot Wheels cars (and I could never get one to actually make the loop the loop). Then of course there was GI Joe. I even had the big-ass space capsule.

  3. Easy Bake Oven…maybe that’s why I don’t like to bake now. I had more disasters with that oven! But Barbie, I loved! I had that exact house and a ton of other Barbie goods that went along with her. Remember the Barbie case- It had a place to hang her clothes and put her shoes? How about her convertible? Mine was pink, of course. And did everyone use pearl-topped straight pins as earrings? Or was that just me?

    Lots of fun memories. Thanks.

  4. Two favorite toys were Etch-a-Sketch that I patiently tried to master well into my preteen years and construction building blocks. Although the blocks were similar to Legos, they weren’t the same. I spent hours that turned into days either building a “mansion” or small homes to create a town….one ready made doll house just seemed to limit my imagination. Hmm, now I wonder why?

  5. How funny! I had a Barbie dream house too but mine looked a little different. Mine was pink and 2 stories high but wider. It had a porch swing that Barbie just loved. (: My mother refused to get me an easy bake oven so I missed out on that one.

  6. We were dirt poor, so I spent my time gazing through windows dreaming of an Etch A Sketch or a Barbie Dream House. Instead, my dad rigged me up a rock polisher that I still have in my garage — although I’d never start it because it runs on diesel gas and 1/2 the neighbors would come at me with fists flying if I ran it for 2-3 days straight! 🙂

  7. Winky Dink. No question.
    Do you remember the show “Winky Dink”? It was a cartoon, of some weird creature, I couldn’t even describe it–him–her now.
    But you took this screen, a sort of poly/plastic/saran wrap type thing, and smoothed it over your TV screen. Then when Winky Dink needed, say, a bridge to get over the chasm to save the day, you drew the bridge with yellow crayon on the Winky Dink screen. And then, Winky went over on the bridge you drew.
    It was great. No matter how you drew the bridge, or the train tracks, or the ladder, it always worked and Winky Dink triumphed. Sometimes my sister and I figured we didn’t even need the saran wrap thing, and it would be just as successful to draw with our crayons right on to the TV screen. That led to some interesting discussions with our Mom.

  8. I had a doll called “Swingy” and she danced to this tiny plastic record. Ever since, I’ve searched for that song – I swear it was a great song. I should haunt ebay for an original Swingy.

    I also loved my enormous stuffed Snoopy, made for me by a friend of my mother’s. Snoopy was my favorite being on earth, I even had Snoopy sheets.
    Jennifer, I’m very jealous you had the Snoopy snow cone maker. All I had was the rubber Snoopy floating bathsoap holder. Sniff.

  9. I loved the Easy Bake Oven. Also was a big fan of Candyland and later Clue. Always hated Operation — far too stressful. And I loved my Snoopy – particularly in his flying outfit…

  10. I liked board games mostly, but I LOVED Operation, Anna! I was never a Barbie girl, I didn’t dislike them, just couldn’t muster much interest. I wanted an Easy Bake Oven in the worst way and never got one, until two years ago when my husband got me one for Christmas 😀 Sold it at a yard sale a year later, but am still wildly touched that he got me one.

    I was a major outdoors kid, lots of running around pretending to be either Starsky or Hutch (lots of forward somersaults with fingers cocked like a gun) or a Charlie’s Angel (Jaclyn Smith, of course), so I don’t remember many toys that captured my heart or imagination. Stuffed animals, I guess. Those were my thing. I had deep conversations with them at three in the morning. They didn’t talk back (I wasn’t delusional, people) but they were excellent listeners!

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