Stuff I Did in the '80s
Some Like it Hot
Some Like it Hot

Growing up with my Italian father during the 1970’s, I equated a toothpick jutting from the mouth as a symbol of achieving true machismo. Heck, the most macho actor of the 80s, Sylvester Stallone, cleaned his teeth with a match in the 1986 film, Cobra. A match! That was about as badass as it got. When I was offered a cinnamon toothpick for the first time in middle school, I blew my lunch money and purchased as many as I could afford.

Tip: like an aged wine, the longer a wooden toothpick steeps in the cinnamon oil, the stronger the taste (this is usually done in a sleeve of tin foil). Some toothpick sellers had options: toothpicks that had soaked overnight, a few days, a week or…a month. I loved Big Red chewing gum, the spicy taste of Red Hots, and endured the heat of a Fireball, so I went for the Month-long Super-Soaker Toothpicks. If I could handle those bad boys I just knew I’d be one of the raddest kids at school.

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Introduction Half a Boombox I’m Not a Member I was Simon Le Bon (For Fifteen Minutes) Motown 25 Watch Whatever, Whenever Snowblind You’re the One That I Want Call Me Your Kiss is on My List Electric Boogaloo Dear Daryl Hall and John Oates Where Shopping is a Pleasure Dialect of a Decade I’m Alright The Sunshine State Shazam! It’s Just a Fantasy I’ve Got a Secret Sunday Funnies Impeachment American Top 40 License to Drive Risky (Show) Business Jumping Someone Else’s Train Yakety Sax I Want to be Elton John When I Grow Up Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Tetherball, Dodgeball & Flag Football Sk8 or Go Home Roll a Saving Throw vs. Velour Piano Man The Duckman Cometh Money for Nothing Waiting for the Bus More Than Meets the Eye The Legend Begins Whip It When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best Master Chef Muppetmania I Want to Ride My Bicycle WW III My Octopus Teacher Some Like it Hot Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs Dare to Be Stupid Keeping the Faith
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Never Abandon Imagination Tony DiTerlizzi: Never abandon imagination.

Imagination is a world of possibility that exists within each of us. It is what makes us uniquely human. It is our creative fingerprint that touches and influences the world around us. Imagination is essential to art and science; to innovation and prosperity. It gives us hope, calls us to action and leads to change.

Whether it’s fairies, dragons, robots or aliens, all of my children’s book characters are siblings born of my imagination – an imagination strengthened through years of encouragement from family, teachers and friends. While so many others abandoned it during their transition from childhood to adulthood, I fiercely held onto mine, hoping for a day when I could share it to inspire the next generation of dreamers. Innovators. World changers.

Imagination empowers us to envision and create a reality of what could be. We must hold it dear, foster it and never abandon it.