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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

Some Books
I'm In...

Sleep Is
For The Weak

Chicago Review Press

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Let's Panic

The site that inspired the book!

At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

« Notable Moments in Exceptional Parenting, part 64 | Main | Happy 2009! Ow. »

Prepare to be shocked, youngsters.

Here’s how old I am:

I remember when Banana Republic sold nothing but faux-safari clothing.

In college, my boyfriend was a computer science major, and I witnessed a rudimentary form of instant messaging between him and another student, someone not even in the room. I thought it was some kind of black magic.

I grew up believing that Charles Nelson Reilly and Paul Lynde were skirt-chasing bachelors.

My first job out of college? I used a manual typewriter. Which may be why I quit after one and a half days.

The television I had growing up was made out of rock, and it was powered by a pterosaur.

Your turn.

Reader Comments (254)

I remember all of the above AND....

thinking I was cool for wearing famalore shoes - the ones with the rippled soles

patchouli oil was the perfume du jour when I was in high school.

when I was little my favorite cartoons were Mighty Mouse and Gigantor

Shirley Temple movies were always on Saturday afternoons. After Creature Feature (Godzilla and Mothra)

Mr. Rogers was not on TV, neither was Sesame Street. We had Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Green Jeans and Shari and Lamb Chop.

Watching The Mike Douglas show in the afternoons after school and The Dinah Shore show (I loved that show!)

The Galloping Gourmet on Channel 13

Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. The original Wide World of Disney when there was only 1 Disney.

The original NBC peacock. Wonderama. Candy stores that actually sold candy for a penny.

My first schwinn bike with a banana seat

I had a crush on Davy Jones. I wasn't allowed to watch Laugh In as it was for adults only.

Listening to Bob and Ray on the radio. And Rambling with Gambling both on WOR Radio. Having the emergency whistle blow when there was no school

Watching the Yule log burn on WPIX (channel 11)

My first LP that I bought was Janis Joplin's Cosmic Blues and it horrified my mother.

Also, listening to Country Joe and the Fish from the Woodstock album and their cursing (another horrified moment for my mother)

Going to Watkin's Glen

seing my father cry the day Kennedy was shot and watching the funeral on tv

Getting dressed up for holiday's even if you only stayed home.

The Easter Blizzard of 1966.

my first pair of eyeglasses were one step up from cat eyes and were tortoishelled.

white paste that came in pots that we used in kindergarten and that everyone ate.

Buster Brown shoes and xraying your feet at the shoe store and the 5 cent video machines that played the panarama's (flip cards)

My first job was keypunching code.

Learning to use a VAX/VMS DEC computer and changing the disks (that were the size of monster truck hubcaps) every night to back up your data

rotary phone on a bona fide telephone table.

NO AC in the summer. Plus my mother changed the rugs and curtains for the summer/fall - in the summer we had a lighweight bambooish woven rug and the winter was back to a wool one.

The pediatrician making house calls.

Getting the mumps.

I remember getting my first pair of jeans when I was in middle school which would have been in 1969.

my parent's original woody station wagon.

Sharing a bedroom with my grandmother who lived with us for my first 13 years (oh yeah, it ROCKED!)

Being a brownie and being able to wear your uniform when we went to catholic school - the ONLY time you were exempt from wearing your catholic school uniform.

Flesh colored tights - only bad girls wore stockings

Mass in Latin and the priest not facing the front. Going to confession every Saturday night. Wearing lace mantilla's on your head held on with a bobby pin. You also had to wear white gloves. Going to my first folk mass at the Neuman House and Montclair State when it was just a college and not a university and thinking how cool I was. Receiving communion in my HAND!!!

Our house had a rec room in the basement complete with faux paneling and a bar for when my parents entertained.

household applicances in colors like aqua and avacodo and burnt siena

Jungle Habitat (for those of you in norhtern NJ)

Bertram's Island

Taking the bus to go shopping downtown

earth shoes (the original ones) and poncho's.

When The sound of Music played at the Bellevue theater for 2 years

Going to see Mary Poppins (my all time favorite movie) and crying because I wanted to see it again.

Watching The Carol Burnett Show every Sunday night with my mom on the couch and laughing so much it hurt.

Listening to Peter, Paul and Mary and Harry Belefonte and Burl Ives and Herb Albert and doing the "Alley Cat" in the living room with my grandmother.

The very first time that Rudolph The Red Nose Raindeer was on TV. And the commercials were all for Norelco shavers.

I could go on and on.....and my kids who are now 20 and 13 haven't a clue on how good they have it - LOL!
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Prince
I thought I was *all that* when I was 23, fresh out of grad school, and used the money I was making at my first Big Important Job to buy myself a DUAL DISC DRIVE COMPUTER. Two, two, two disc drives in one! I was on the EDGE, baby!

(Except we didn't say "all that" back then, did we? What did we say? Maybe cool. Or neato. Hmmm. I guess I really was NOT *all that,* was I.)
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTC
I pegged my pants at the ankles by folding and rolling. Then I secured them with a safety pin. Then I pulled my socks over the top. Then I added pink fuzzy legwarmers. My God I loved the 1980s.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSus
My older brother got a calculator for a gift that set my parents back $100. We were all amazed at what it could do. Ooooooooh.

All I wanted when I grew up was a Ford Mustang...and they had only just started making them.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpatois
When I was 5 I had a little suitcase under my bed in case "The BOMB" was dropped. It contained an extra night gown a pair of silver play heels, one dollar in change, some gum and a bar of soap.I was terrified of "the Russians".

I too was sent to the store to get cigarettes for my mom and was sold them!

You could eat a pbj sandwich in a public school because no one had a peanut allergy!

When I decided to stop eating meat the only place I could get vegetarian food was the health food store and all they had was veggie burgers that were not really edible and tofu which no one knew how to cook!

I was allowed to go wherever as long as I was home when the street lights came on.

January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBrandy
I remember when "How Much is That Doggie in the Window" was a hit song.

I remember the "ditto" machine (mimeograph) too - and that smell that went with the purple stuff on the backs of the pages.

I saved up babysitting money for months to pay for half of my $80 manual typewriter that I took to college with me.

I was in a typing pool when I first started working (it was newly named the "word processing center" because there were two - count 'em, two - word processors along with about 40 typewriters).

We made copies using carbon copies and "onion skin" paper because using a copy machine was too expensive and the company only had a couple.

I could go on...but many have already said a lot of what I remember!
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMauigirl
We were the last to get cable/MTV so we'd stay up late to watch Friday Night Videos. But we were the first to get a microwave - and it was HUGE. It didn't fit on the counter, we had to buy a piece of furniture to put it on.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLarissa Gaston
It was HUGE deal when my family finally got a VCR, and I babysat for people who had a Laser Disk.

The microwave was also a big purchase.

I loved my duel cassette boombox.

I had L.A. Gear high tops that rocked with the THREE different laces.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHope
stacks of vinyl LPs on the family record player - bad for the LPs, I know, but awesome in that you could listen to Helen Reddy side A, and then *whump* listen to Kenny Rogers side B

also, I remember the first time I used Netscape, in a business computer lab at Iowa State in 1995 -- there weren't so many places to go on the internet back then...
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterhaus
Oh my god, talk about flash-backs. These are so much fun to read!! Thank you, Alice, for opening this can of worms!!

I remember:

Playing outside until the streetlights came on (someone else said the same thing); also,my friends and I would ride our bikes 10 miles to downtown, by ourselves. When we were 9.

Our telephone hung on the wall with a CORD attached (gasp!), so you could never get farther way from the phone than about 5 feet.

Earth shoes, Hash Pants, and idolizing Kristi McNichol and lusting after Leif Garrett.

Fruit Striped gum that was actually striped.

Eating an entire box of Fruit Loops (dry) while watching ZOOM! Box 350, Boston Mass oh two one, three four!!

Can anyone remember the name of those shoes that had the wavey bottom? I think it started with an F...
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkate
My first album was "Saturday Night Fever" by the Bee Gees

I remember the day my grandparents (who lived downstairs) got their first color TV. From that day on I only watched Tom & Jerry downstairs.

Like Michele I used to call my friends on a rotary dial phone, and had to ask two days in advance if I could use it

Bell bottoms (the original ones) were a hit when I was in Elementary School

The recorded songs from the radio by placing a microphone in front of the speaker (how very very sad)

The first concert I ever went to was Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" tour
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChris
With the first money I ever earned, I bought the Footloose soundtrack. On vinyl.

I think we are the same age.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBecky
used a wringer washer with 2 rinse tubs and hung the clothes on the line. listened to 78s on a wind-up victrola. lived in houses in montana without heat in the upstairs bedrooms.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermarta
I had a fake fur bedspread, a vinyl bean bag chair, and Bobby Sherman's first album.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterhillaryfla
Kate - they were Famalore's. I lived in them. I believe you can still order them on line.

I also remember when elephant bells were vogue - I had a grey pair that were also hip huggers (now THAT was a fashion statement!)
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Prince
I remember watching the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, the original Batman (with Adam West) and being scandalized at the inter-species sexual shenanigans on Star Trek.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKarla
Let's see.

I remember when Pac-Man was the hip video game. Then came Ms. Pac-Man.

I remember the first computer my parents ever bought. The price tag? $25K. Yes, you read that correctly.

I remember when you could pay $10K for one year of education at a private university and get a good education at that price.

I remember wearing Jelly shoes, banana clip (hair clips), fishnet fingerless gloves and oversized T-shirts tied off at the hip. Bubble skirts were cool in high school.

Mikey liked Life cereal, Tang made us want to join the space program and anybody who was anybody ate McDonald's, NOT Burger King.

Don't even get me started on Cabbage Patch Dolls, Members' Only jackets and Max-Max-MAX Headroom.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJen
Dearest Alice,

I think we may have the same birthday. Let's see...

First VCR was purchased via mail from some place in Florida for about $700.

Brady Bunch was in prime time followed by The Partridge Family.

Kid's TV, aka cartoons, were only on for about 30 minutes at a time at specific times of day, or for about four hours on Saturday mornings if they weren’t interrupted by “In the News” or The Big Blue Marble, both of which sucked kid ass.

Computer Programming class in HS – what the hell is DOS?

Telstar Pong for my birthday, and I was excited to get it.

LED watch – who needs to LEARN how to tell time?

Saw Star Wars about six times in the theater. Who sees a movie multiple times in a theater anymore?

Six-Million Dollar Man. His eye would cost more than that now.

January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHeyJoe
I was taught LOGOS at school. I could make that "turtle" go anywhere.

I learned to type on a manual typewriter. I got a Brother electric typewriter for Christmas one year. I wrote pages and pages of stories on that thing.

I had a camera that took disk film.

We crank-called with a rotary phone.

I remember getting our first microwave.

I also remember asking for a TV for my room for Christmas one year, and instead "Santa" gave it to the whole family for the kitchen. It was a dial TV and only got 4 channels.

The Dukes of Hazzard was a GREAT show and the actors could really act (to a 9-year-old kid).

Parachute pants. Kangaroo shoes (with zippered pockets on the sides). White roller skates with blue wheels--I was SO COOL. My friend's VCR popped open from the top and I thought it was the best thing ever (we didn't have one yet).

Anybody remember when the Limited sold Forenza and Outback Red clothes?

January 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commentererin
I remember when Epress gave jewelry in Chinese take out boxes (so cool)!

Like Tina, somewhere above in the comments, I cried when Simon got married too.

I love the comments, they bring back some great memories.

January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCorey
We had friends with a Commodore computer that used cassette tapes for memory! Because giant floppy disks (that were nearly a foot wide and actually floppy) were not in common use.

Ah, the best part of old age...nostalgia.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLynn
I remember when Princess Di and Charles got married; we went over to the neighbors to watch b/c my parents wouldn't get a UK TV license.

For years afterwards when people asked what I would be when I grew up I told them I was going to be a princess.

I remember crossing the border between E. and W. Berlin at Checkpoint Charlie and thinking the Checkpoint Charlie museum was SO COOL.

I was terrified of the melted-faced Nazis when I saw Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark in the movie theater.

I also saw Sleeping Beauty in the Theater because it hadn't been released on VHS yet.

I liked Doctor Who when Tom Baker was the Doctor.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKate
the first computer I used stored data on cassette tapes, and you had to remember the counter number on the tape to get back to your program and reload it. TRS80 I think? didn't help that the lady running the computer lab was named torpedo tits for a very good reason, and that was pre-madonna. oh, and marching around the playground with a cassette deck (with the big red record button) blasting on your shoulder made you the coolest kid evah.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbethany
Penny candy cost...a penny!I cried when I didn't get Thunbalina for Chritmas.The Betsy Wetsy doll ruined my life! Yes, we share the same name.We blindly answered the phone -every time it rang-! Who knew the day would come when you could know who was talking and ignore them.Pong was a strange cool game we would play when we went to Woolworths.What fun this has been! Thnaks for the question.

January 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbetsy
Dude! I had the same TV!!
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkristi

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