Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Please Excuse this Interruption from Your Regularly Scheduled 90s

You may have noticed I've been a little MIA lately. I appreciate all the guest bloggers pitching in to help (If you're interested in writing a guest blog, please email me at!)

Right now I'm knee-deep in wedding planning and haven't had much time to tend to the world of nostalgia. I'm taking more applications for guest bloggers for now! I promise I will be back once things settle down a bit. Thanks for understanding, 90s fans.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Guest Post: 90s Hearthrobs

When Ginger of Taste of Ginger came to me with this idea for a blog, I jumped at opportunity. Why? Because I’m pretty sure every one of these BOP magazine spreads graced my walls at some point during my preteen years. The memories...Oh, the memories!

Be sure to check out Ginger’s blog and follow her there as well for more great posts.

About Ginger Pennington: I’m a broke-ass dilettante artist living in L.A. I act, I write at least something every day, I sing, play instruments, and paint. Sometimes some of that is good. If any of this interests you, check out my blog, Taste of Ginger.

Heartthrobs of the 90s: Who's Still Pin-up Worthy?

If you were a straight, white, American teen or preteen gal (the word "tween" didn't exist) in the 90s, your bedroom walls were likely covered with a pin-up selection from Bop, BB (formerly known as Big Bopper), Tiger Beat, J14, or some equally trashy rag that pedaled one commodity only: teenage white boy actors with thick hair dangling in their squinty eyes.

In the mid-nineties, the shaggy hair was the only prerequisite for my own easily-won lust, but as I got older and grew a brain, my requirements got more rigid for male objects of desire. However, as you shall see, the life trajectories of these teen heartthrobs have taken many turns on their way to manhood. Here is my top ten list of middle school crushes, now re-ordered based on how crush-worthy they are as of 2011, according to my adult opinion. (I wish I could have compiled an even more comprehensive list of my nineties crushes, but that would take months! You may be wondering why certain gentlemen are notably absent from this list --Mark-Paul Gossaler, Ethan Embrey, Jared Leto-- and that's because they're still on your radar. I hope to bring back some less obvious old memories. Enjoy!)

1. Jonathan Taylor Thomas

Though he loathed the nickname, he was known as J.T.T. back in the day when he showed up on Home Improvement for mere minutes per episode as Randy Taylor, the middle son. He also appeared, to my delight, in movies such as Tom and Huck and Man of the House, and his blue eyes and raspy voice (the voice of Simba from The Lion King, even!) made him the number one object of my affection. He is still number one today, mainly because he is the one guy on the list who has checked out of Hollywood in favor of being happy and enjoying life in (rumor has it) Vancouver, Canada. Aside from an interview with The Advocate in 2000 deflecting some gay rumors and a short film in 2005, he has been M.I.A. He reportedly attended Columbia University and now goes by his birth name, Jonathan Taylor Weiss. Sounds like success to me.

2. Joey Lawrence
I had this exact photo, from his cassette tape, taped to the head of my bed in fifth grade. Of course you all remember him from Blossom ("Whoa!"), but if you weren't lucky enough to be a fan of his short-lived music career, you were missing out. Please fill yourself in by watching this video of "Nothin' My Love Can't Fix" -- and stick around for the rap at the end; you'll be glad you did.

As you may have noticed, he is no longer big on the music scene. But as acting goes, Mr. Lawrence can't complain these days: he is rockin' the bald-by-choice look (how I miss that hair!) and starring on a sit-com, Melissa & Joey, which will return in 2012. He's also filming some movies as we speak. Not bad, Joseph. (Oh yeah, he now goes by Joseph.)

3. Rider Strong
Corey's hot friend Shawn from Boy Meets World was such a cliche crush for the girls who watched the TGIF lineup on ABC Friday nights. He was sensitive, yet from the wrong side of the tracks, and if there's one thing that 90s girls liked more than hair in the eyes, it was a tortured soul.

Rider, like Shawn, is a poet (apparently published, too), and these days, he's still acting and even directing a new short film about Dungeons and Dragons. He was recently interviewed by Vanity Fair for their "25 Questions" section, and not only does he seem like a normal, talented guy, he's also still quite fine.

4. Will Friedle
He couldn't have been more adorable as the dopey Eric Matthews in Boy Meets World.

These days, his looks may have waned a little, but he is likely rollin' in the dough and probably the personality, too. He is a successful voiceover artist for many cartoons, as you can see on his IMDB page.

5. Andrew Keegan
He was never quite my type when he appeared in the teeny-bopper magazines and popped up on TV shows and Ten Things I Hate About You, but, wow, look at him now!

Though he apparently had a recent run-in with the cops over a very loud party, he is still working here and there in acting, and I can tell you firsthand that he is keeping in shape: I've seen him with my own two eyes, jogging on the bike path in Marina del Rey. Yum.

6. Devon Sawa
There was a period of time where every other sentence in my diary sung the praises of this snaggletoothed stud. The last ten minutes of Casper, when the ghost becomes a real boy, were worth the wait for me. I would listen to the song "Remember Me This Way" by Jordan Hill (how do I still remember the name of that?) and fantasize about Devon dancing with me in an old haunted house. Little Giants was obviously a treat, but the best clip to my perverted young mind was in Now and Then, when the Wormer brothers are skinny-dipping in the lake and the girls steal their clothes. I wore out the rewind button on that one.

I'm sad not to be able to put Devon more toward the top of the list. I've actually run into him at least three times in Santa Monica -- we're neighbors! -- and he is still fly and still working on movies and TV, but after hearing about his criminal record, I couldn't rightly call him a catch anymore.

7. Jonathan Jackson
I loved that movie Camp Nowhere. This kid was a cool little renegade. And he grew up to be one of the best-looking dudes out of the bunch.

I never watched General Hospital, but apparently he is still playing the role of Lucky after all these years. He's hot and doing well! Too bad he's a republican.

8. Brad Renfro
Not only was he sexy, he was infinitely cool. I remember him from The Cure and Tom and Huck, but he had many more high-profile roles over the years.
He died of a heroin overdose at 25, but recently, his name has been resurrected by James Franco, who costarred with him in Deuces Wild. As an art piece, Franco installed a billboard on Sunset Boulevard that says "Brad Renfro Forever." I guess I'll have to transfer my affections to James Franco; they do kind of look alike.

9. Eddie Furlong
This kid had the best rock-n-roll hair ever in Terminator 2 and has done quite a bit of impressive acting work. The reason he's at the end of the list now is this:

Although he recently had a role in The Green Hornet, he also recently has been all sorts of falling apart.

10. Jonathan Brandis
If you haven't seen Sidekicks with J.B. and Chuck Norris, my friend, you are leading an empty life.
I absolutely loved Jonathan Brandis -- I even plodded through SeaQuest DSV in the nineties, just to see him in his wetsuit -- and was shocked to hear he hanged himself in 2003. Not so pin-up worthy these days, I guess.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Guest Post: Secrets to Successful Living from Forrest Gump

This latest guest post is by fellow nostalgia enthsuiast miratemplen of! Be sure to check out and follow Mira's blog for even more 90s! Take it away, Miratemplen:

It gave me a jolt when someone pointed out to me that it has been 20 years since 1990. (Has it seriously been that long? Twenty years is a young adult’s whole lifetime!)

… So I’ve lived through a few decades now. As I go into another one, I think about how much things have changed in the past several years. There are some things that I miss … and quite a lot that I don’t miss at all. You can read about my musings and reminiscing in

That business of going in and out of different decades reminds me of this person we all met back in 1994. While history changed around him, he also changed history - that’s pretty cool, even if he is just a fictional character. There’s quite a lot of inspiration we could pick up from that guy. I mean of course the smartest dumb person the world has ever seen, from the most quotable 90s movie, Forrest Gump.

Secrets to Successful Living
as Learned from Forrest Gump

(Images and quotes property of Paramount Pictures)

My name's Forrest Gump. People call me Forrest Gump.

1. Remember that smarts don't secure success

Stupid is as stupid does.

You have to do the best with what God gave you.
- Mrs. Gump

I’m not a smart man… but I know what love is.

- Forrest

2. Have a good mentor

Mama always had a way of explaining things so I could understand them.

3. Have people in your life who will enrich, challenge, and look out for you

Me and Jenny goes together like peas and carrots.

Jenny taught me how to climb. And I taught her how to dangle.


I'm gonna lean up against you, you just lean right back against me. This way, we don't have to sleep with our heads in the mud. You know why we a good partnership, Forrest? 'Cause we be watchin' out for one another. Like brothers and stuff. Hey, Forrest, there's somethin' I've been thinkin' about. I got a very important question to ask you. How would you like to go into the shrimpin' business with me? Forrest: Okay.

4. Seek a sense of identity and purpose

Jenny: Do you ever dream, Forrest, about who you're gonna be?
Who I'm gonna be?
Aren't I going to be me?

Forrest: What's my destiny, Mama?
Mrs. Gump: You're gonna have to figure that out for yourself.

5. Know how to take instructions

Drill Sergeant: Gump! What's your sole purpose in this army?
To do whatever you tell me, drill sergeant!
Drill Sergeant: God damn it, Gump! You're a god damn genius! This is the most outstanding answer I have ever heard.

Lieutenant Dan was always getting these funny feelings about a rock or a trail or the road, so he'd tell us to get down, shut up.
Lieutenant Dan:
Get down! Shut up!
Forrest Gump:
So we did.

6. Have a good pair of shoes

Mama says they was magic shoes. They could take me anywhere.

My momma always said you can tell a lot about a person by their shoes, where the go, where they've been.

7. Maximize your assets
Bubba: Anyway, like I was sayin', shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that's about it.

Lieutenant Dan got me invested in some kind of fruit company. So then I got a call from him, saying we don't have to worry about money no more.

8. Invest in something that will outlive you

Death is just a part of life. It's something we're all destined to do.
- Mrs. Gump

His name's Forrest.
Like me.
I named him after his daddy.
He got a daddy named Forrest, too?
You're his daddy, Forrest.

9. Be resilient

Shit happens.

My Momma always said you’ve got to put the past behind you before you can move on.

Sometimes, I guess there just aren't enough rocks.

10. Put your faith in perspective

Lieutenant Dan:
Where the Hell is this God of yours?
Forrest: It's funny Lieutenant Dan said that, 'cause right then, God showed up.

11. Keep things simple

Momma said there's only so much fortune a man really needs and the rest is just for showing off.

When I got tired, I slept. When I got hungry, I ate. When I had to go… you know… I went.

I had run for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days, and 16 hours.
Quiet, quiet! He's gonna say something!
I'm pretty tired... I think I'll go home now.

13. Adopt a good attitude

Jenny: Were you scared in Vietnam?
Yes. Well, I don't know. Sometimes it would stop raining long enough for the stars to come out... and then it was nice. It was like just before the sun goes to bed down on the bayou. There was always a million sparkles on the water... like that mountain lake. It was so clear, Jenny, it looked like there were two skies one on top of the other. And then in the desert, when the sun comes up, I couldn't tell where heaven stopped and the earth began. It's so beautiful.

My Momma always said, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

14. Share and inspire

Momma said there's only so much fortune a man really needs and the rest is just for showing off. So, I gave a whole bunch of it to the Foursquare Gospel Church and I gave a whole bunch to the Bayou La Batre Fishing Hospital. And even though Bubba was dead, and Lieutenant Dan said I was nuts, I gave Bubba's momma Bubba's share. And you know what? She didn't have to work in nobody's kitchen no more.

In the land of China, people hardly got nothing at all.
John Lennon: No possessions?
And in China they never go to church.
John Lennon:
No religion too?
Dick Cavett:
Ah. Hard to imagine.
John Lennon:
Well it's easy if you try, Dick.

That’s all I have to say about that.

I hope you enjoyed revisiting some old friends from the 1990s! If you did, there are more of them (plus some stuff from the ‘80s) at, Like, for example, Back When Everything We Needed To Know About Life We Learned In "Clueless". Have an awesome life!


Box of chocolates photo nicked from::

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