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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Coming Attractions

Coming soon: An epic post about trapper keepers, a funny online comic about game night, more nostalgia, excellent promotion tips that will help both the people who look at this blog, cool links, and more funny honest slogans. In the meantime check out something funny on my tumblr. Merit badges for cats! Because it’s about time they get rewarded for not doing all the things they long to do.

http://shannonslocker.tumblr.com/ (come for the view stay for the atmosphere)

 

 

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.

 

 

The 1977 Burger King Travel Guide

bktravel

When I was a kid my family did not have a normal atlas. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to them to head to the nearest B. Dalton or Crown Books to pick up an updated one, but they didn’t. Sure we had plenty of maps, and if you wanted a guide to the regional Lakes of California, we had one, but if you wanted to spend awhile looking at a book full of exotic places like Sheboygan, Wisconsin, or Walla Walla Washington, you had to go dig out Burger King Travel Guide from 1977.
I’m guessing that the Travel Guide was a freebie given away with a Whopper combo or something, since I didn’t see my parents going out of the way to purchase an atlas from a fast food joint. The majority of the guide is like any other travel guide, with maps of every state and a mileage guide. Burger King showed amazing restraint by not pointing out where each and every restaurant was on the maps themselves, instead you had to go to the restaurant directory to learn where every American Burger King was located. So if you happened to be writing horror novels about teens with dangerous magical powers, you could consult the guide and find out that yes Burger King had a restaurant right near you in Bangor Maine.
The travel guide had some valuable coupons inside that Mom and Dad never availed themselves of for some reason. These included a comically small looking free regular sized soft drink, buy one sad looking cheese free whopper and get one free and not one but two chances to get a free Ice Brr Grr. The Ice Brr Grr looked just like the icy juicys they sold at school. Icy Juicys were a frozen slushy Popsicle thing sold in a triangular tube that was basically the highlight of every school meal. Yes you had to put up with weird Po’boy sandwiches and awful pizza, but Icy Juicys made having a lunch ticket worth it. I remember looking through the guide once circa 1984 and getting excited once I saw the Brr Grr coupons, then I saw that they all expired on Dec. 31 1977.
Across from the coupons were the house guest gifts. In 1977 you could buy a variety of items with the burger king logo. The items you could get were golf balls, tennis balls, a pen set, an alarm clock, a canvas bag, and a stylish faux Tiffany style desk lamp with the logo and the slogan Have it your way. If you wanted to show off your brand loyalty to the king (suck it Mickey-Ds), you had to buy the items with a check. You couldn’t use trading stamps or proof of purchases, cash was king at the King back in 77. I wonder how much a Tiffany style burger king lamp is worth now, and how big a market there was for golf balls with fast food chain logos on them.
The atlas also had pages full of games which I never filled out for some reason. Maybe I was afraid I would get in trouble for desecrating such an exotic travel guide or maybe I was holding off for an exotic cross country road trip to Delaware. After the games were a few pages with places to see in every state. Then came the restaurant directory followed by the most 1977 page in the entire book. Yes it’s true the Burger King Travel Guide had an entire glorious page devoted to CB Talk.
Like every other non map page in the guide America Loves CB Talk was introduced with a poem.
America loves CBs
Talking on the road
Meeting different people
Helping share the load
And if you’ve got the language
If you’re gonna use the thing
Here’s a CB dictionary
From America’s
Burger King (registered tm sign)
Poem from The Burger King Travel Guide page 19
And they say you can’t make a living as a poet. The CB Talk guide didn’t just have the sayings everyone knew like breaker breaker, that’s a big 10-4 and Do you copy? No it was chock full of obscure CB chit chats no one has used since that one day in 1977 where they had an episode of B.J. and the Bear paying on TV while in the back ground their 8-track of Convoy was reverberating off the wood paneling in the rumpus room. Did you know that Bear was code for police? Starve the bears meant don’t get a ticket while Stepped on the bears toes means you broke the speed limit (or double nickel as it was in 1977). Open season meant cops everywhere and a sky bear was a police helicopter.
I didn’t know 90% of the things listed but I was too young at the time. The CB craze passed me by. My brother as well, in fact he was born one day before the travel guides coupons expired. Like most other children of the 80’s CB radios were one of those mysterious things your Dad kept in the garage next to the 8-track player, then wouldn’t fess up to owning. What are you talking about? I don’t have one of those.
So there you have it. An ode to the road atlas of my childhood. There are pictures going up at http://shannonslocker.tumblr.com/ if you want to see some quality Burger King swag, or brush up on your CB talk. It’s due for a comeback any day now.

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/

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.