Growing up sucks but growing up in the '90s was the best.
Hello! Welcome to Not Related to Hulk Hogan (2.0)
Growing up, hands down, the number one question I was asked: “Are you related to Hulk Hogan?” You have to remember. This was the ‘80s and early ‘90s — this was prime Hulk Hogan era. He was huge (and not just physically). I mean, he even starred in MOVIES! As a NANNY!
And the most annoying part of all? That’s not even his REAL last name — it’s his STAGE NAME! His real name is Terry Bollea, thanks a lot, TERRY!
Anyway. I lived with this chip on my shoulder for a long time because I’ve always been an annoyingly ambitious person and I was hell bent on carving out my own path using MY last name and here I was being constantly compared to a spandex-wearing, oily, super tanned blond man who I bared absolutely no physical resemblance to.
Not surprisingly, I eventually started to tell people, YES, I AM RELATED TO HIM! Just so I could go on with my life, and also seem a bit cooler and way more connected than I was. (Because, despite my quiet demeanour, I have ALWAYS been pretty dramatic and a bit of a smart ass.)
Once I heard my dad’s brother had been on the same flight as Hulk Hogan, and so I eventually adopted that as my own story and told the kids in my class this was my truth — because I was an obvious jet-setter at eight years old! But they believed it. Because kids are suckers.
As I was working on what to name this newsletter, and this anecdote popped up from my childhood, it got me thinking…our stories from our childhood are pretty funny, if not exceptionally messed up. Throughout my writing career, I’ve come to realize that the most fun(ny) and resonant stories I write are the ones that I am completely naked and vulnerable and goofy and awkward and just…human.
And what better way to express those feelings than through stories from my childhood and adolescence, and some college stories thrown in for good measure?
After all, the millennial era is RIPE with riches. We had modems! We had AOL messenger! We had Planet Hollywood!
Here’s what to expect with this weekly(ish) newsletter as a PAID subscriber:
Quirky, embarrassing, painful essays about growing up as a Millennial (the era in which we started with no internet, and then we ended with…the internet and Blackberries! What?!)
‘90s movie recommendations and commentary (yes, I’ll be revisiting some of our fave movies from the past and giving my two cents in real time!)
Curated music playlists to turn on the feels and help you go back to a time where it was all slow-jams, boy bands, and angry alternative female singers (with my personal memories/notes about these singers and songs).
Suggestions from the readers (you!) about which movies to watch, which pop culture topics to tackle, and which stories you would like to hear from me.
As a FREE subscriber, you’ll get:
access to the archive
Still cool, quirky, embarrassing, painful essays about growing up as a Millennial (the era in which we started with no internet, and then we ended with…the internet and Flava Flav’s reality show! What?!)
So why am I going paid? Because art and content is valuable, and what I do as a writer is valuable. Writing with Substack allows me to express and share content and stories that are fun, creative, and accessible — and get paid for doing so. And in this current media landscape where companies are constantly being bought out and downsized, and, as a result, content is more clickbait-y and advertorial than ever: it’s so hard to have both.
And because I’m writing a novel (which also takes place in the ‘90s) and I would love to have more time to focus on that.
But I appreciate my readers, so that’s why I am still creating free content! Paid subscribers will have more variety in their inbox, as well as the opportunity to interact with me and others as we take a metaphorical De Lorean back in time to discuss and soak up the analog-turned-digital age. Let’s get jiggy with it!
So if you love embarrassing and awkward stories about growing up in the ‘80s, ‘90s, and Y2K era, well, then, stick around.