Sign In, Please!

Real life is getting in the way and it seems that League posts have been my only posts lately.

So be it.

This week, the League throws out another open-ended challenge:

When I was a kid, my favorite _______ was _______.

While most people will rely on memory alone for this challenge, I have the luxury of filling in these blanks with documented details from my childhood thanks to Sign In, Please!


I got this book in second grade as part of a school book order or book sale of some sort. Either way, the idea is for a kid to poll his friends about the various topics at the top of each page -- favorite food, TV show, school subject, etc. While a few of my friends did "sign in", 21 of the 25 spaces provided were completed by either myself or my brother between 1983 and 1988 (14 by me).


Rather than post each individual page, let's take a quick look at the evolution of some of my favorites and my brother's favorites throughout the mid-1980s. Please be aware that everything below is transcribed directly from what was written in this book 30 years ago. Blame any spelling or grammatical errors on the kid me.

Enjoy. There're a lot of gems in here...


Me: pizza > pizza > pizza > pizza > pizza > pizza > pizza > pizza & hamburgers > pizza & hamburgers > pizza & hamburgers > pizza & hamburgers > pizza & hamburgers > tacos & pizza

Brother: pizza > everything > everything > anything & everything > anything (with the exception of a few green veggies) > mostly junk food > M&M's and pickles


Me: watch TV > read comic books > read comics > read comics > ? > play baseball > look at baseball cards > play outside > be in town on Friday night > be in town on Friday night > ? > be in town on Friday night > go to the movies > play basketball

Brother: eat & sort baseball cards > read comics > read comics > go shopping > eat & read comics & watch TV > play D&D, read comics, or watch movies > read comics, go to the movies


Me: homework > go to bed > go home from school > go home from school > ? > see the Cubs lose > see the Cubs lose > see the Cubs lose > mow the lawn > clean my room > poop > clean my room > mow, clean my room > fold towels, mow the yard, unload the dishwasher

Brother: schoolwork > wake up on school days > go to school > mow the yard > go to school, get out of bed, unload dishwasher > unload dishwasher > unload dishwasher, mow


Me: George Peppard > George Peppard > Gary Coleman > Gary Coleman > Harrison Ford > ? > Michael J. Fox > Ralph Macchio > Michael J. Fox > Ralph Macchio > Steve Gutenberg > whoever plays Tackleberry on Police Academy > Ernest P. Worrell > Michael Keaton

Brother: David Hasselhoff > Nicholas Hammond > Harrison Ford > Roger Moore > Tom Hanks > ? > ?


Me: Huck Finn > Breakin' > Mazes & Monsters > Gremlins > Karate Kid > Karate Kid > Back to the Future > Karate Kid & Back to the Future > Karate Kid I & II > Karate Kid I & II > Police Academy I, II, & III > Police Academy I, II, III, & IV > Strange Brew > Ferris Bueller's Day Off & Big

Brother: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla > ? > Mazes & Monsters > View to a Kill > Troll, Police Academy 2 & 3, Strange Brew > One Crazy Summer, Beverly Hills Cop, April Fools Day > A Nightmare on Elm Street, Part 3


Me: George Peppard > George Peppard > Gary Coleman > Gary Coleman > Rex Smith > ? > Michael J. Fox > Michael J. Fox & Kirk Cameron > Davy Jones > The Monkees > Jory Husain > ALF > Jim Varney > Bronson Pinchot

Brother: David Hasselhoff > David Hasselhoff > Nicholas Hammond > ? > Harry Anderson > ALF > ALF


Me: A-Team > A-Team > Diff'rent Strokes > Diff'rent Strokes > Streethawk > Cardinal Control > Family Ties > Growing Pains & Family Ties > The Monkees > The Monkees > Head of the Class > Sledge Hammer > Sledge Hammer, Growing Pains, Who's the Boss, Mr. Belvedere > Perfect Strangers, Cheers

Brother: Knight Rider > The Amazing Spider-Man & the Incredible Hulk > Spider-Man > Voltron > Robotech > ALF, Sledge Hammer > ALF, Robotech


Me: Quiet Riot > Michael Jackson > Nena, Michael Jackson > Michael Jackson > The Jacksons > Bruce Springsteen > Sting > a-ha > The Monkees > The Monkees > Run DMC > Beastie Boys, Run DMC > Run DMC > INXS, Def Leppard, Poison

Brother: Quiet Riot > Nena > Nena > ? > Weird Al , Sly Fox, Van Halen, Harold Faltemeyer > Beastie Boys, Samantha Fox > Beastie Boys


Me: Bruce Sutter > Neil Allen > Neil Allen > Neil Allen > Ozzie Smith > Ryne Sandberg > Leon Durham > Wally Joyner > Kareem Abdul Jabar > Kareem Abdul Jabar > Michael Jordan > Michael Jordan > Michael Jordan, Eric Davis, Jose Canseco > Howie Long, Jose Canseco, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky

Brother: Joaquin Andujar > Ozzie Smith > Ozzie Smith > Ozzie Smith > Juan Samuel, Dwight Gooden, Jose Oquendo > Cory Snyder > Ozzie Smith & Jim Lindeman


Me: Highlights > comic books > X-Men > X-Men > Highlights > Highlights > Cracked > Teen Beat > Teen Beat > Teen Beat > Teen Beat > Teen Beat & Muppet Magazine > Teen Beat > Sports Illustrated, Mad

Brother: Boy's Life > Alpha Flight > Alpha Flight > Alpha Flight, Dr. Strange, Cloak & Dagger > Mad (comics don't count) > Dragon > Dragon


Me: Stuart Little > Stuart Little > Charlie & the Chocolate Factory > Charlie & the Chocolate Factory > Key to the Treasure > Chicago Cubs > What If They Knew > Joel's Journal & Fact Filled Fart Book > Space Camp > Karate Kid I & II > ? > Key to the Treasure > The Far Side > Key to the Treasure

Brother: Knight Rider #2: Trust Doesn't Rust > Sasquatch: The Apes Among Us > Captain America: The Story of Marvel's Star Spangled Super Hero > The Fellowship of the Ring > The Fellowship of the Ring > The Fellowship of the Ring


Me: Blackstar > Inspector Gadget > Inspector Gadget > Get Along Gang > The Kid > Kids Incorporated > Gruffy & Tummy > Gruffy & Tummy > Pee-Wee Herman > Garfield > ? > Pee-Wee Herman > The Far Side > Garfield

Brother: He-Man > Super Friends > Spider Friends > Voltron > Scott Bernard, Rick Hunter > Bugs Bunny > Bugs Bunny

Looking back at this, it is amazing to me that I can actually see the points in time where my tastes were forming -- the point I transitioned from baseball cards to going to the movies with my friends or from the Monkees to the Beastie Boys.

So cool.

For me, at least.

While I'm glad I've hung onto tons of stuff from my childhood, this book is near the top of the list. It's one thing to remember some things you liked as a kid, but to have it documented in your own kid-handwriting is simply priceless.

[Be sure to check out some of the other childhood favorites from around the League.]

Guilty Pleasures

I love open-ended League topics. This week:

Guilty pleasures.

Here are the first ten that came to mind.
1. I consider the McDonald's dollar menu a delicacy. Two plain McDoubles and a sweet tea. Done. 
2. I maintain a ridiculously detailed website about Mister Rogers
3. More often than I'd care to admit, I watch Maury just to see what happens when "you are/are not the father." 
4. When I was a kid, I had a subscription to Teen Beat magazine
5. Late 80's and early 90's boy bands are okay in my book. New Kids? Guys Next Door? The New Monkees? Yep. 
6. I love gas station coffee. Not the flavored stuff. The black coffee that's been sitting on the burner for hours. 
7. I have several Family Circus books and it's one of the few comics I still read on a daily basis. 
8. I like Mad About You. Really. 
9. When Hold On by Wilson Phillips comes on the radio, I don't change the station. I turn it up. And sometimes I sing along. 
10. I own seven different Vanilla Ice CDs including both versions of To the Extreme featuring different versions of Play That Funky Music. And I've seen him live.
Don't judge.

[Be sure to check out some of the other shameful tastes around the League.]

The Fun House Funk

Clearly, I have no shame and no self-control.

Not too long after I had the pleasure of talking live-action children's television with Pax and CT on the Nerd Lunch Podcast a few weeks ago, I stumbled across an interesting VHS tape at my local Goodwill. Since one of the shows we had discussed was Fun House, I snapped a picture of the box and popped off a quick tweet to the guys at Nerd Lunch.

Most rational adults would have stopped there.

Not me.

For just over two weeks, I kept thinking about that stupid tape -- not because I wanted to learn the Fun House Funk from J.D. Roth, but for a measly buck, it would be worth seeing just how bad this video was.

But I held out and saved a dollar.

Until yesterday.

In case you're wondering, yes it's as bad as it looks...and yes, it was worth every cent of the $1.05 that it cost me.

Upon further investigation, I was surprised to find that this video was a hot enough commodity that it was eventually released on DVD. Not only that, but there's even a second Fun House Fitness video out there.

Uh oh. You know what that means.

Swamp Stomp, here I come.

Eat It, Mother Brain

I've got this coming week off of work for spring break compliments of a job in public education and I certainly don't want to let the days pass by void of any meaningful accomplishments. In an effort to ward off complete and total laziness this week, I've been making a mental list of things that I'd like to accomplish during my time away from work. I'm very proud to say that I have already checked one major accomplishment off this list.

Ladies and gentlemen...faithful FASTE took me over twenty-five years...but tonight...

I beat Metroid.

Eat it, Mother Brain.

I'm Seeing Red (You Big Dummy)

Wow! Has it ever been a long time since I've chimed in on a League topic! This week:

I'm seeing red!

So many possibilities here -- Red Dawn. Red Rider BB Gun. Maybe even my idea that Red Rover would make an awesome Olympic sport.

But really, there's no comparing to my favorite Red(d).

You big dummy.

[Check the comments section of this week's topic for others seeing red around the League.]