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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The stuff I miss series presents: Things I don’t miss

Welcome to another entry in the ongoing series about stuff I miss. This time it’s all about the stuff I don’t miss.

Abba Zabba Chocolate flavor.

These were nasty but regular white abba zabbas are awesome.

The McLean Deluxe

I am not sure I ever actually tried one but I don’t miss these.

Howard Johnson’s

I have seen a lot of those nostalgia shows on the travel channel where people go on and on about how they used to get ice cream on road trips at Howard Johnsons. I don’t think I have ever seen a Howard Johnson’s with an orange roof and a restaurant. In fact I have never seen a Howard Johnson’s that wasn’t a motel. I am sorry Travel Channel people not everyone’s trip to Grandma’s memories involve a boring hotel chain. Often they involve eating at Andersen’s and getting some split pea soup and a green crayon.

The whole trend of wearing your backpack with only one strap

Maybe this is why my back hurts, though I don’t care one way or the other if the wearing overalls with one strap unbuckled comes back or not.

Pogs

I never collected pogs. I think I was too old for them. I did however have a ton of Garbage pail kids back in the day.

Crunchy Sky High Bangs

Mine never cooperated.

 

 

Stuff I Miss: Junk Food Edition

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

Cinnaburst Gum
Cinnaburst gum had these flavor crystals that made your gum crunch. It sounds gross but it wasn’t. Cinnaburst was awesome. It had a milder sweeter cinnamon flavor than Big Red. Big Red is OK, but Cinnaburst was awesome. One day I stopped seeing it stores. Years afterward I occasionally would see it in gas stations on road trips and always stock up even though I suspected it was probably really old. There was also a mint version called Mintaburst, and a fruit version called Fruitaburst. There were also tasty. Whoever made this gum needs to bring it back already!

I also miss these gums
I miss, Gatorade Gum and those gums with juice in the middle. I think they were soda flavored like A and W root beer gum.

Flaky Flix
Flaky Flix were the best variety of Mother’s cookie brand cookies and I never see them anymore. They were delicious chocolate wafers with corn flakes on them. You can have those overrated pink frosted circus animal cookies I want my Flaky Flix!

Loco Stix
These were these awesome giant cheesy taquito things that Costco had for one week when I was in college. I bought some loved them went back for more but they were gone. I never saw them again.

Icy juicy
Frozen Triangles of fruity awesomeness, I originally became aware of these when they were the dessert portion of my school lunch. Right after the Hot Diggity Dog or Poor Boy Sandwich. (Why yes I did have a lunch ticket and a Mom who wasn’t that into packing me a lunch every day, why do you ask?)

Goldrush Bars
These were chocolate covered ice cream bars with caramel inside. They were so good. Another good ice cream treat were the smaller chocolate covered rondos.

Oreo Big Stuff
These were giant oreos. You could pack one with lunch and be satisfied. The jingle was sung along to the 60’s some Mr. Big Stuff. Now I can’t hear that song without craving a giant Oreo. The only thing more awesome would have been an Oreo big stuff with doublestuff!

New York Seltzers
I miss drinking these circa 1988 and peeling the styrafoam label. The object was to get the label to peel off in the longest stripe possible. I saw them again a few years ago at Big Lots, bought a ton for the nostalgia factor but never saw them again. Stupid Big Lots getting my hopes up.

 

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.

 

 

 

Stuff I Miss: Eating Out Edition

Welcome to a most satisfying entry in the ongoing series about stuff I miss. Would you like fries with this?

Showbiz Pizza and Bullwinkle’s

I liked Showbiz pizza better than Chuck E. Cheese. Maybe it’s because the local Chuck’s near me was on a decline when I was a kid. It eventually closed and the building became a church. I called it the Chuck E. Church. Eventually the church tore the original building down, but the location is still the same so I still call it the Chuck E. Church.  Showbiz Pizza and Bullwinkle’s were cleaner, newer and nicer. Too bad they closed back in the day.

Bakers Square

What I miss most about Baker’s Square are the pies. Especially their  candy cane pie. The first year after they closed we went to the restaurant that took their place and asked if they had candy cane pie. They sold us a generic mint pie that was bright green and weak. Now I have to make my own candy cane pie from an internet recipe, so if you can’t get a hold of me in the holiday season it’s probably because  I am off crushing candy canes by hand. There go the counter tops. Oh well.

Fat Fanny’s

Fat Fanny’s is a local place I remember. Not sure if it was a chain or not, but it was one of those restaurants that tried to have a party atmosphere and was unafraid to be named Fat Fanny’s. Waiter’s dressed as clowns would go from table to table and make you balloon animals, and the burgers were yummy. The location where it used to be is now a gym. I find this hilarious.

Bob’s Big Boy

I know these are making a comeback in L.A., but I never go there anymore. They need to come back to Northern California already, and bring back the goofy comic book. The Big Boy Comics were the only ones I ever read because they were free. I think somebody needs to make Big Boy Comics the movie already!

The Nut Tree

The Nut Tree was an overpriced restaurant/tourist trap everyone stopped at on the way to Tahoe. It had an airport, a train, a playground, and of course an overpriced gift shop. It was one of those places my parents would call a tourist trap and rip off but still totally take us to so we could run around. Now it’s a boring shopping center with a Bed Bath and Beyond that looks like every other boring shopping center across America. Ooh a Barnes and Noble next to a Wal-mart next to a Taco Bell. What a totally unique roadside experience, I’m so glad we drove this far.

If you like nostalgia check out my tumblr site full of vintage photo goodness.

http://shannonslocker.tumblr.com/