Why I need to stop going on Pinterest: A confession

I gotta stop going on Pinterest. Not for the average reason either. Most people think of Pinterest as the place where you see all the super hard recipes done to perfection and all the impossible craft projects and organization hints from people who make Martha Stewart look like a slacker. The place with the advice you can never live up to, Here’s the thing, though. That’s only true when you first start on Pinterest. Once you start following boards you actually like (Not the one with all the grey sweaters they recommend at first either) your feed will stop being all those 315 layer gluten free rainbow cakes, with the easy 75 step buttercream frosting.

In my case, I like retro things. A lot of retro things. That pic of the speak’n’spell? Repinned. The professor calculator? Repinned, Duh. The sit’n’spin? Repinned even though I’ve already pinned it 3 other times. All of these memories make me regret all the childhood stuff I lost over the years. This makes me want to rebuy the stuff. Now I could get it at the flea market, but they charge too much there especially if they know what it is. I could also get it on ebay, but that takes the fun out of the hunt, and I have to explain the packages to family members. So I go thrifting instead.

Before I enter I’m dreaming of finding so much 80’s goodness. The pink boombox where I recorded so many godawful mixtapes direclty from the radio, the other pink boombox I wanted but never got. A Garfield phone, some authentic retro hello kitty stationery from 1982, a lil’ professor calculator because I didn’t have one of those either…Then of course I get inside and they have none of those things. So I over pay for one of those baggies full of crap because it has a hello kitty puffy pencil box inside, along with a pencil, some soap and some flash cards, I don’t want. When I get home I discover the pencil box is covered in ink and only from 2004 so yeah, maybe not the best impulse purchase.

Every once in a while I get a better find like a Speak and Spell or a trapper keeper, but often I have buyer’s remorse. Like what am I going to do with this fisher price barn exactly? It has none of the little people or things that go inside, and I have no place for it. Maybe my niece and nephew will use it, though it may have weird thrift store germs. Also why did I buy this snoopy sno cone machine? It’s clearly a reproduction and I’m 90% sure it’s the one that got recalled, but still I never had one, and maybe I will risk using it. Where do you get the mix anyway? Oh and where am I going to put this stuff exactly?

So I swear I will not buy anything more unless it’s something I’ve really been on the lookout for. No more reproductions, or super common games you see everywhere, (Uno what I mean?) I will buy only the cool hard to find stuff that is worth money on Ebay from here on out. Of course that doesn’t always work out either. Like the time I found a Speak and Spell. Yes a 50 plus dollar score until I got it home and discovered the battery compartment was corroded and once I cleaned it out and turned it on it seemed to be possessed. Oh well, can’t win em all. This is why I need to stop going on Pinterest.

Here is a video of the possessed speak and spell for your enjoyment. I take no responsibility for any harm this video unleashes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFf4bl6kvLk

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A quick pop culture update

Still annoyed with 2014 pop culture, and the shows about it. Why does it take the tragic death of a beloved icon to bump off the real housewives of whatever in favor of actual talented movie stars?

Entertainment Weekly was always slightly better than Access Hollywood but now they keep showing promos of how they are changing and going to have a panel of annoying people talking about reality TV. Ugh. Not happy.

Whenever it gets really annoying I type a year like 1994 into youtube then I select one of those videos that show nothing but trends, movie clips, TV show clips, and pop culture of that year, while songs from the year play. 1986 was a good one. Not one bad song came out that year evidently. Also you can now find complete episodes of I love the 80s online. Sweet. It’s fun to immerse yourself in a simpler time.

 

A Childhood Confession

I’ve been working on nostalgia products and checking stuff out on pinterest and I have a confession. Though it’s fun to read posters about idyllic childhoods where you slept under the stars, danced to a scratchy am radio in your pajamas, read under the covers with a flashlight, and watched fireworks over a lake and wished on stars, there is one thing everyone is supposed to have done that I’ve never done. I’ve never caught a firefly in a jar. I’m not really sure I’ve ever even seen a firefly just out in the open. If I have it wasn’t close enough to catch or touch.

I don’t know where you were supposed to go to do this either. It must be a secret kept from me by people whose parents held parties outside in a field somewhere with jar lanterns strung overhead, and artisanal honey and home brewed beer were made available to all. Everyone danced to music played by combination blues, rock and zydeco band with members culled from various 1960s groups who’s song went to at least #16 on the charts, and nobody went home till at least four in the morning kids included.

Oh well. At least I had a Nintendo and then a Sega. Those were fun.

 

 

The Environmental Playground

Old yearbook pic doesn't really do it justice.

Old yearbook pic doesn’t really do it justice.

When I was a kid was my first knowledge of the word environmental came from the school’s biggest and most popular playground. It was known as the Environmental Playground. I have no idea how it got this name other than it was made of wood and sat on bark. You would think a 90% wooden playground would be bad for the environment but maybe all those trees had it coming.

There was even one slide there that was entirely made of wood. I don’t know if it was placeholder and they forgot to put a regular slide in or what. Sometimes if you were feeling brave you would risk the splinters, especially if it was a hot day and all the metal ones would burn you. Usually the metal slides were taken over by kids who played hot lava. I forgot how hot lava went exactly but I think you had to climb up the slide and not get knocked down by all the kids trying to push or pull you down. It was violent but so are most kids’ games if you put the children in charge.

The playground was 2 levels and there was an open spot where kids would hurl them off just for the hell of it. One time a kid did this and fell directly on top of me by mistake. Luckily I have strong bones and was fine.

When kids were not hurling themselves off the big playground they would go to one of the other ones and play on the bars and rings. The girls would do things like the cherry drop, and the daddy drop and the double death drop. I am terribly uncoordinated so I never got farther than the daddy drop but that was fine with me. You have to know your limits. I also refused to go down the pole,. So I guess neither firefighting or stripping are in the cards for me.

Every time I pass my old elementary school today, I am glad I grew up back in the day. Now they have one of those super boring looking playgrounds with too much padding everywhere. I kind of wish the old Environmental Playground and I also think it would be a cool band name.

Stuff I Miss: Toys Edition

Welcome to another entry in the ongoing series about stuff I miss.

Pogoball

It was a Saturn looking ball you jumped on that was all the rage in 1988. It was a good way to burn off all that junk food energy you had stored up from your diet of Oreo Big Stuffs and Chicken Littles washed down with a New York Seltzer or some 7up Gold.

Tabletop Arcade Games

All of the rich kids had one of these circa 1983 and they would bring them to school to gloat. I never had one and I still want one but they are crazy expensive on ebay. My parents should have bought me one. It would have been an investment!

Scratch N Sniff Stickers

Do they still make these? I especially remember the little round ones and the ones that were fake products.

Trapper Keepers

They sometimes make newer versions of these but I like the old school 80’s versions with kittens, or unicorns or hot air balloons. I would cover parts of it with vintage scratch and sniff and puffy stickers then I would totally take it on job interviews and pull my resume from it. If they don’t hire me then I would be better off because who wants to work at a place that doesn’t appreciate the awesomeness of a trapper keeper. These are also expensive on ebay. I should have kept all of mine.

The gift Bags at Sanrio Stores

Yes there are still Sanrio stores but now they are crazy expensive places with Hello Kitty purses for 80 bucks. What? Back in the day they had these gift bags for 5$ and if you were lucky you would get some erasers, a puffy pencil box, some pens, some shoelaces, some hair stuff and a purse. All in one bag. There were also boy versions of the bags but I don’t remember what was in them.

 I miss Big Wheels

Nowadays every time you turn on the news they talk about childhood obesity and the fattening of America. I don’t remember ever hearing about this growing up and it’s not like 80’s children never ever consumed any sugar. (See all of the above stuff I miss) The whole childhood obesity epidemic came directly after one thing. The introduction of those powered wheel cars where kids would just sit in them and they would drive you around. Back in the day you had to actually pedal your big wheel and burn calories. I can’t believe I am the only person who has ever made this correlation. Maybe someone should give me a Nobel Prize for this observation or something, because that would look good on my resume and I need all the help I can get. I guess the big evil toy corporations are trying to keep their secret from getting out.

Sit’n’Spins

I don’t have any kids yet so I don’t know if these are still around but I haven’t seen any at Target or anything. Anyway the sit’n’spin was pretty much the best toy made ever in the history of the world. The whole goal was to get on and spin until you got sick or tired of spinning. I never got sick. You were the one who actually spun using your arms again burning calories. The faster you moved them the faster you went the goal being to fall over or try and get your sit’n’spin to magically hover somehow. If they made sit’n’spns today they would probably put some lame motor in them and make them go really slow so no one would ever get sick, fall over, or have any actual fun. That way the big corporate toy company wouldn’t get sued.

 Hippity hops

I never had one of these; I only occasionally rode my friends. I miss them though. Are they still made? My kids are going to have awesome toys. That’s all I’m saying.

Check Out my pinterest, There are tons of nostalgic pins for you to enjoy there.

 

 

 

The Forgotten 80’s: Very Special Holiday Episode

Welcome to the realm of the forgotten 80s. A celebration of the fun and the fads that never made it to any cable TV 80’s lovefest. These are the 80’s trends you forgot. At times, it tends to slant towards the girly end of the spectrum but that’s only because I lack a Y chromosome. So anyway sit back, relax, pop open a New York Seltzer and enjoy The Forgotten 80’s.

 

Since it’s the holiday season let’s start things off with the holiday specials you probably forgot all about. Now cue the swirling special logo from CBS. You know the one.

Cabbage patch kids

I remember watching this one about an orphan girl with a leg brace trying to get adopted in time for Christmas. What bugged me throughout the whole special was they never said what the deal with her leg was. They were trying to be politically correct before it was a word, but I wanted to know. Was it a grisly car accident, birth defect, chainsaw mishap? Darn it, I still want to know.

The mouse one

Every year they would show a special about the night before Christmas poem and how it was a mouse who actually saved Christmas. During the climax scene he had to run up a big clock. This one was one of my favorites but they never show it anymore. Sure they will toss up any dreck made in 1962 for nostalgia’s sake but the apparently the 80’s must remain forgotten. Bring back the mouse special!

Christmas with California Raisins.

Yet another classic that needs to be resurrected. I think it featured a sleigh that played the Low Rider. (Though it might have been the Raisins Easter special, I get the 2 confused) I think this was the first time I ever heard that song.

Garfield Christmas

Ahhh Garfield, exalted ruler of all things 1983. We bow down, and wish we still had the phone version of you, and a pair of Garfield slippers, and a stick on stuffed Garfield with its belly faded from spending the entirety of 1987 plastered on the car window right next to the baby on board sign. This holiday special probably led to the Garfield cartoon show and then later U.S. Acres. I bet you totally forgot U.S. Acres didn’t you. That’s what this blog series is for. Bringing back the memories you thought you repressed.

The Punky Brewster Christmas episode.

Not a special but a classic nonetheless. The plot was something about Punky looking for her Mom on Christmas, almost finding her, then totally not finding her mom after all. Or maybe it was Punky’s real dad.  Maybe it’s time to admit this is the only complete episode of Punky Brewster I’ve ever seen. Not sure why I didn’t watch regularly, though I did once copy a popular kid in elementary school and wore 2 different color socks to school. When she did it she was so original and cool but when I try it, I get called Punky Brewster for the rest of the day, or maybe it was the entire week. Yeah this is probably why I didn’t regularly watch Punky Brewster.

There are probably a lot more forgotten 80’s holiday specials. I need to go check out youtube, and maybe make a part 2 of this post.