Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Photo Nesting and Fashion Nonsense

Yes, that's Papa Bradstein, circa 1985, angry because his roots are showing.

It must be the season, because nesting fever hit the Bradstein household this Sunday, just after it took over Zygote Daddy's abode. Although it was a beautiful day that would have been nice to enjoy by our pool, that was not to be the case.

Mama's nesting urge manifested itself as a decorating project, which kept us inside all day. Her goal is to finally hang all the pictures and artwork that we have, which is a good thing since our walls are still mostly bare.

I think the blank spaces would bother me and motivate me to fill them more if I hadn't been living in rentals for the last, oh, 16 years of my life. Most of those places I was in for no longer than a year, which is just enough time to hang photos on the walls before moving out.

To our--well, Mama's--credit, we had previously picked out likely candidates from our boxes of disorganized photos, so we just had to narrow the selection down to a choice few, get frames, and then arrange and hang them. We got through the first two items on Sunday, so evenings this week will likely involve lots of hammering--as opposed to Sunday night, when we went out with the Right Reverend Rich, who married us. That involved getting hammered over tapas.

As we were selecting photos, we came across several old photos of ourselves. Many of mine were photos of a child that only a mother could really love, although even Mom questioned my "fashion sense"--if you can call it that--at the time. No matter how embarrassing some of them are, they are fun to look through and reminisce over.

And who better to share my embarrassing fashions and memories with than my four loyal blog readers, right?

Besides, I never did take up Liberal Banana's photo challenge two weeks ago. Something about pregnancy makes it difficult to plan too far ahead--you never know when that nesting instinct will kick in . . . or when you'll need another nap.

So here goes. . .a photographic tour through some of Papa Bradstein's past lives. . .

This one is actually fairly normal. What can I say? It was 2002 or so. The 80s and 90s were over and--what the--

Look at those freakin' pants! What is up with those?

Looks like someone didn't make it all the way out of the 90s, even by 2002.

OK, but at least in 2002 my hair was a more natural shade than this:

The best part of this dye job, performed by yours truly in about 1987, is that, although I got the hair bleach at a beauty supply store to ensure that it would look good, there wasn't enough for all of my hair, so the back of my head is a kind of bronze color.


I won't even get into the too-tight 502s with the baggy oxford tucked in. As for my nephew, in spite of this encounter with the great white uncle, he has grown up to be a somewhat normal man.

Going further back, to high school, you can see the first version of my current glamorous, high maintenance haircut:

What I particularly like about this, other than the fact that it likely documents me sleeping in my high school's main quad during AP Physics, is the cutoff sweatshirt that I'm wearing. Yeah, that makes as much sense as a short-sleeved sweater. Maybe I was expressing a cutting theme--cutting class and cutting off the sleeves would be in keeping with cutting off all of my hair. A week or so before this picture was taken, my hair was down past my shoulders.

Oh, and it was black.

As for what came after this stage, check the photo at the top of this post. That's myself and Jeremy in his grandparents' Mercedes convertible, pulling out of Burger King during our lunch hour. Jeremy was maybe all of 16 1/2 at the time, although I'm not sure why we weren't driving the SAAB 900 turbo convertible that he got for his 16th birthday. Oh yeah, because we were in a vintage Mercedes convertible, that's why. Yeah, kids had it rough at my high school.

Did I mention that I rode my bike to school?

What's next? Actually, the question is, "What's previous?" since we're going back in time. . .the answer is--junior high school:

Yes, that's me in the all-polyester suit, sans tie. The man in tights with the cape is my drama instructor, who is handing me the first place trophy for my comedy monologue. What did I perform? Dressed up in my sister's blue-and-white footed pajamas, I performed, down to the last sound effect, Bill Cosby's "Chicken Heart (That Ate New York)" at talent night.

I had memorized it along with all the other Cosby routines that I had on LPs at the time merely by listening to them repeatedly, until the needle nearly ran through the record. Performing it in the drama contest seemed like a good idea until I came through the curtain in those skintight, terry cloth pajamas and was face-to-face with several hundred parents and peers on talent night in the school cafeteria.

Fortunately, the spotlight came on and they all disappeared. Once they were gone, it was just me in that room, repeating a routine that made me bust a gut laughing as I had done hundreds of times at home--a scrawny 13-year-old honky from Palo Alto in his sister's pajamas, channeling the great Cos.

For the record, I killed.

But they may have just been laughing at the outfit. My good buddy Donald still is.

And, before junior high, there's elementary school. No better time than the first day of school in the fourth grade to dress to impress in your finest Hang Ten shirt, brown jeans, red kicks, yellow Bic Banana skateboard. . .and your very best real puka shells.

Don't miss the 9 m.p.g. family boat behind me. Yeah, this had to be sometime just before the oil embargo.

And man, did I dig on those puka shells for several years:

. . .and butterfly collars, no doubt.

There's nothing too outstanding about this other than my hair color, which is, for once, natural in this picture. Although it has really faded to dark brown, which is now being rapidly replaced with gray, it is pictures like this that lead me to continue to list it on my driver's license as blonde.

Why they let me get away with it, I have no idea. If only I could get them to put this picture on my license--we could Photoshop the beard in--I'd be all set.

Hope that you enjoyed this magical mystery tour down memory lane. I do have others, but I'll dole them out slowly to prevent shock. Later this week, I'll have a special photo long-distance dedication going out to the King--TCB in Vegas, baby--and all the other MoBoys, one of whom just had another baby last week.

Until then, keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for your puka shell necklace.


  1. Anonymous1:30 AM

    Oh man the King hears ya baby on the walls. we just moved into our home that we bought, and I said uhh I kinda like it without anything on the walls. Then just as you i came back to present day and said wait I dont have to move out of here in May and go to Glacier.

    nice pics I am going to have to get my own Kingsize blog and follow suit, Leasure suit that is.

    TCB in the new home

  2. Your pictures made my day.

    Huntling #1 just went to Father's Day dinner in a dark blue hawaiian shirt, red shorts on backwards (I need the pockets in the front, Mama!), brown leather hightops with white socks, and to top it off, one of Papa's old red and blue ties.

    Your pictures look pretty darn normal after that, which gives me hope that he will turn out at least as cool as you.