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Showing posts from April, 2019

A to Z Challenge--X--X Files

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X is for X files in this portion of our A-Z Challenge and that means we get X-plore (yes I did, I'm so sorry) Agent Mulder, the cutest and geekiest TV FBI agent in the history of TV FBI. Holy moly. I started watching X-Files for the aliens, I stayed for Mulder, and his convictions. Because I want to believe. That he will appear in my bedroom, wearing nothing but a smile. And I do live in prime UFO territory, so it could happen. Okay, all crushes aside, one of the things I loved about this series, besides the obvious, is that it opened up a world of mythology that hadn't been done in this way before. Since this challenge is about 90's nostalgia remember, this was pretty groundbreaking at the time. Creator Chris Carter was onto something. When you heard that trademark theme whistle at the beginning of the show, it was, I imagine, like the generation before you hearing the Twilight Zone theme. It was a feeling. It was a sense of communion. It sent chills down your back a

A to Z Blog--Day 26--Z--Zima

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So I’ve spent the majority of this blog talking about how I was a teenage girl in the 90’s, so naturally Zima would have to make an appearance. Of course that’s going to make people laugh, but you know, it wasn’t that bad. It was basically seltzer with a slight bit of vodka in it. Not all that different from hard soda or hard iced tea like you can get now. The ones you can get now are slightly better tasting and probably have a higher alcohol content, but I think Zima’s biggest problem was trying to market it as a “beer” which is clearly was not, and it had a reputation right out the gate as being effimiate and girly and if you drank it you were immediately effiminate and girly and that was that. The only thing that made sense about that label was that was that you could drink a six pack of those things and not get buzzed due to the low alcholo content. So, if you did end up getting buzzed or drunk on those things, maybe alcohol was not your game.

A to Z--Day 25--Y--Y2K

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Start looking this up on Google and you get meme waterfall of hilarity, mostly of how intensely people were afraid that the world was going to end, and I remember that vividly. People were on tv, telling us we better get right with God, because, for sure, this was it. This was going to be the big one. Computers would fail, phones would go down, TVs would test the emergency broadcast system. Newscasts went over checklists of what to do in case the grid would go on, and how you should stock up on essentials just in case. Then midnight happened on the other side of the world and absolutely nothing happened. Then midnight on our side of the world happened and absolutely nothing remarkable happened except we all got a little older and the 1900’s went away forever and that was a little exciting to be on the brand new side of the new millenium but...no planes fell out of the sky. No computers crashed and we still had electricity and phones and the world kept on turning just like it always d

A to Z Challenge--W--Wonderwall

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Wonderwall I love this song, I do. It makes me want to roll down the windows and drive around and sing it on top of my lungs when I get to the chorus. The word "wonderwall" means "the person you constantly find yourself thinking about". This song is simply about the feelings, human beings get when they experience the initial stages of love and infatuation (limerence). It describes the volleying between euphoria and agony that a crush can make you feel. I did some research on this song, I did. My inner music nerd has been combing through my 90’s favorites for these blog posts this month so I’ve been combing through interviews and playlists, and found out some interesting tidbits. For example, from a 1995 interview that asks the question “What exactly is a Wonderwall?” (citation follows): “It’s that vulnerability, evident in his tenderly chosen words and in Liam’s piercing vocals that really make this one such a legendary song. Anybody can say “I love you”; try te

A to Z Challenge Day 23-V--VHS

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I really kinda of miss VHS tapes, although I can’t say why. Pure nostalgia, or just the aesthetic there’s no practical reason. They were bulky and clumsy, and a pain to rewind, and sometimes got eaten by the VCR. They also took up a lot of space. I am very grateful for digital storage space. I find it interesting that the lexicon is still in our vocabulary--we say we’re going to “tape” something (at least I do. I’ve heard other people say that too, although I’ve had a few kids question me on what that means. Because I am old, I guess.) VHS stands for Video Home System, and why yes, I *do* remember getting a VCR for the first time, although I was very young. Then, in the way that kids do, it became about taping everything of interest off the TV, and playing it back when nothing of interest was on, and this technique became perfected in the 90’s when a particularly great special or show came on (Keep Circulating the Tapes!) But there are few cool apps now that are fun to play with that

A to Z Challenge--Day 18--R--Riot Grrl

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Riot Grrls were a female based movement in music that I would define in both third wave feminism and in underground punk culture. I personally caught wind of them through books, magazines and literature and probably through comics. I have to admit I wasn’t really into that much punk, still not that much of a fan, but rock, definitely, and I for support what the riot grrrl movement was about and what they were doing. So what was it they were doing and what were they about? Since the history begins as far back as the 70’s, and I’m trying to keep these short, I can post to some interesting links, but punk and grunge were pretty heavily male dominated industries so it was in part a response to that, but also to revive the dead/dying feminist movement of the 80’s, as the second wave has already crashed upon the shore. It was anti-corporate, anti-establishment, DIY, in your face activism that attracted a lot of girls and women to create their own--everything: clothes, music, magazines, art.

A to Z Challenge---Day 20--T--Trapper Keeper

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The most I have to contribute about the almighty Trapper Keeper right now is that a vintage Lisa Frank one goes for about $60-80 on eBay, so I wish I would have kept mine. In any case, I can only guess why these things were the height of ultimate coolness and popularity. I think it was a popularity thing. It had to be that because of brand affiliation, it was a way to show off your personality. See, I like sports, or Care Bears, or Star Wars, or unicorns or something. That's the only thing I can think of. Or maybe you could pretend you were organized? I honestly don't know. It was about the image, mostly, because anything popular is always about appearances. I remember I had one that had a palm tree and beach on the cover with realistic (not cartoonish) waves and water droplets on the cover that I would stare at in class and tune out with and pretend that I was there, make up vacation stories about. I wonder whatever happened to it, I loved that thing. Interesting Link

A to Z Challenge--Day 19--S---Seventeen Vs. Sassy

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So on the complete opposite other side of Riot Grrrl we have Seventeen vs. Sassy magazine. I think Sassy was better, because it articles that featured testimonials and confessionals that felt like an older sister was talking ot you about How Things Really Were and was letting you in on the Big Secret of How Adulting Things Were Done. I think that’s why people objected to it and why it eventually went under, people (read:parents) thought it was too adult for young impressionable minds. I didn’t think it was bad. Seventeen was okay, and it told you the necessary things about How to Be A Girl and How to Do Your Hair and Make Up and Which Colors Go With That. My sister bought Seventeen on occasion and I leafed though them when I was bored. Girl magazines barely held my attention, I just didn’t know what to do with them. I didn’t understand them except they told you how to do make up in steps and how to do your hair in steps and by step two it was already too complicated for me.

A to Z Challenge Day 21--U--USA Up All Night

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Coming back to more TV, yay! USA Up All Night aired super low budget, super crappy, super bad bad movies late at night Friday and Saturday nights on, you guessed it, the USA network. The so bad they're sometimes good and hilarious bad kind of movies, that are sometimes riffed by the likes of the minds behind MST3K, but some of the movies are so ruly terrible they may be beyond the riff. There were various hosts during this time, who would introduce the movie, have segment bumps and provide sarcastic commentary about the bubble-brained coeds in the movie, or the truly spectacularly bad "special effects." It was trashy and campy and fun, something to watch when SNL went off the air at 1 am and I was still up and looking for something to watch and still in the mood to watch tv and wanted some sketch comedy and bad movies.It was eventually cancelled when new management took over in favor of searching for better material in the late 90's. However, lists of the truly terrib

A to Z Challenge--Day 16--P--Pulp Fiction/Pre-Digital

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Right before and right after this movie came it was everywhere all the time and so were the quotes. Uma Thurman especially with almost every scene she was in, completely iconic. Cocaine sniffing scene, iconic. Amos and Andy, iconic. Watusi, iconic. Needle through the chest, iconic. It was noir, and it wasn’t. It was noir and it was Tarantino. It was a movie where almost every line was quotable. The other part of the 90's that was interesting, and worth study, was that it was a transitional decade. At the beginning, it was analog, at the end it was digital. It was a time of becoming, and to be a teenager and a young adult during this era, to grow up as the Internet was growing up was, and is, something only Gen Xers get to lay claim to. That doesn't take away from the experiences of other generations, who get to claim Google and smartphones and lots of other cool stuff, and previous generations who get to claim radio and TV (and who knows where we'd be without that techno

A to Z Challenge Day 15--"O"--Orbitz

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I only remember drinking this maybe once or twice. Like a lot of food and drink trends in the 90’s (Fruitopia, hello) it didn’t last long. Maybe people didn’t like little bits of things floating in their drinks (but people like orange juice with pulp for some reason so go figure) but this lasted for a blip on the radar and was gone. I can’t even tell you what it tasted like only that I remember thinking it was kinda a cool idea, hey I’ll try it, and I remember thinking that it was kind thick and sludgy. It didn’t taste like juice, and it didn’t taste like pop. It didn’t taste like anything you’d expect, or anything you’d like or be familiar with, and that’s why I think people didn’t like it. See, marketing people, people like new things. And they don’t like new things. Get it?They like their new things to be somewhat familiar. But not too scary. Obitz was too scary and tasted like clear sludge. With bits in it.

A to Z Challenge Day #14--N--Nintendo

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When Nintendo released its Nintendo Classic NES about a week before my birthday last year, I was ecstatic. So maybe N is for nostalgia too, because having that controller back in my hand (wireless, now) is a link back to a time when, if your childhood wasn’t so bad, and mine wasn’t, you could capture that hard to find feeling you don’t always get as an adult. I don’t want to go off down a rabbit hold of what nostalgia is or isn’t, though. I could talk about that forever. It’s simply fun to have fun, and play games I thought long lost forever. So, thanks Nintendo.

A to Z Challenge Day #13--M--MST3K

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This is a (short) love letter to a show I still love, watch and fangirl over to this day. I wanted to take a break from music for a little while, too. I could have talked a little about MTV, and maybe I will get to it in another post, but as you’ve seen, I was a huge consumer of music and tv, still am. But few shows have stayed with me an impacted me as much as Mystery Science Theatre 3000.At this point, it’s pretty much a lifestyle choice. I can’t say when I began watching it, like a precise date and time, but I do know it was in the early 90’s, mostly during those late night binge watching marathons, clicking through the channels after mom and dad went to bed. It both about the thrill of doing something slightly forbidden and also a comfort. I think the early days were on Comedy Central, and that’s when and where I started watching. That wasn’t the beginning of loving the so-bad-they’re-good horror and sci-fi flicks, I had already been binge watching those since the 80’s. Little ins

A to Z Challenge--Day #12--L--Lilith Fair

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I had to think about this one a little bit. I know there are overwhelming criticisms about Lilith Fair, both past and present, many justified, and I'm not here to drag any particular artist, and I'm not going to get into everything. A lot of my posts here are music related for a reason. I liked, nay loved , still love, a lot of the music of the decade. Some pop, some alternative, some metal, I'm eclectic that way. I think Lilith Fair started off with good intentions. It was supposed to be a celebration of women in music, and their accomplishments and contributions. I don't see anything wrong with that. We celebrate women in the arts all the time, women in film, women visual art, dance, etc. Women music festivals were really where stuff was happening. Usually there's one in every state, at least in their heyday there used to be, like Shakespeare Festivals. It was just this huge gathering of women and music (and the arts) in all different forms where huge groups of

A to Z Challenge--Day #11--K-Kurt Cobain

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TW/CW Depression, Suicide There’s a short list of people who defined this decade, and Kurt is very near, if not right at the top of the list. I remember sitting on the floor of my living room, the kids room, which had a separate area from the formal family room, listening to Kurt Loder report on Kurt Cobain’s death, and feeling it, hard. Afterwards, watching MTV Unplugged on a loop, over and over, and seeing if, like many others, if there was some clue, some ccode to unravel, something we all missed. Here’s a clip from that day. The one that I watched from living room floor, with my nose practically pressed to the tv screen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OV0Ml3hLGuA I know sometimes we seem to feel a little embarrassed sometimes when we admit how deeply we feel a celebrity’s death because we didn’t know them, but it feels like we do. Because in certain cases and in some ways, they do. Some of them, sometimes. I don’t know if we ever really know why people make the choice, or if i

A to Z Challenge Day #10--J--Jurassic Park

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The feeling of first seeing a dinosaur on screen for the first time, a realistic one, one that wasn’t a cartoon or stop-motion animation/claymation/Clash of the Titans/Planet of the Dinosaurs type dinosaurs was breathtaking. It was amazing. It was real, it was visceral, is was the world unraveling and unfolding itself and reminding me that these were real creatures that once existed and this was possibility and the triumph of science. I almost wasn’t allowed to see it, my parents thought it would be too scary. I, being in high school, thought this was really absurdly lame. This was dinosaurs, not homicine holiday. I won, and not only that, my younger brother got to go, too. I was in love with imagination. I was (am) a cinephile movie junkie and this was the hit I wanted. How can I ever accurately describe the feeling of sitting in that movie theatre, before everything in the world and in in my life turned completely wrong and life was about to get completely complicated and trouble

A to Z Challenge Day #8--H-Headbanger's Ball

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Headbanger's Ball. This is something I would deliberately stay up late up late for, and this one was specifically forbidden. MTV in general was forbidden, at I remember at times it was locked at different times growing up with beloved parental controls (which we quickly figured out the passwords for) but this was special because this is where my real musical education came in. Headbanger's Ball had music on that wasn't played on the radio, some of it I haven't been able to find since. I had to play it really low or else I could get into trouble. This evoked a feeling I just haven't been able to capture before or since. I can't explain.

A to Z Challenge Day #7--G--Grunge

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Grunge. Grunge is good, I liked grunge. I still like grunge, every once in a while. I'll find a playlist somewhere and pull up some of those old great songs that defined the early part of that decade. And the styles. I'm kind of sad it went way. For me, it was really the last really big movement in music. I know some others happened later, and in other genres, but this was the last one. Maybe I'm just old and everything past 1999 sounds more or the less the same to me. Grunge wasn't the same as the screechy and glittery hair bands, who still had anthems you could sing into your hairbrush with. Grunge was something else. It tapped into something. Maybe it was the antidote to all the hyper color and the bright color everything and daisies and the sorta neo-hippie and daisy-everything that was everywhere. It was somewhat representative of the counterculture, until it went mainstream. I think that's what bothered some of the original artists to begin with. It started a

A to Z Challenge Day #6--F--Furbies

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This is going to be a different kind of post. So far I’ve posted mostly about stuff that I’ve liked, and that I’ve remembered, and stuff that was sad, but not stuff that I’ve hated. Well, I hate Furbies. I don’t get them, and I don’t people who do get them. I don’t get the point of them. I don’t get why they’re making a comeback. They’re not cute. They don’t really do anything interesting. I guess they mkae a funny sound or something? Furbies were a kid thing in the 90’s and I was not a kid in the 90’s. They’re a kid thing now and I’m not a kid now so I guess I’m missing out on this childish delight on both sides.I guss in another 20 or 30 years they will popular again and I’ll miss their popular a third time.

A to Z Challenge Day #4 E---E.R.

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I think it’s kind of funny-ironic that today I have an appointment with a brand new doctor for a condition that’s been bothing me for a while, so while i won’t be in the actual ER, I’ll be ER-adjacent and surround my doctors and nurses today. I don’t remember what day of the week this came on. Could have been Saturday. For me, yes I realize there were others before this, but for me, this was the birth of the medical drama show. There were awesome storylines here, most, like the actors, got better with age. Noah Wyle, hi. I also really enjoyed Dr. Kerry Weaver, portrayed by Laura Innes. Both I still love and follow their careers to this day.

A to Z Blog Challenge Day #4 D--Daria

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Daria. I loved Daria. I first started watching her on Liquid Television, through the small bits through Beavis and Butthead, then I think Beavis and Butthead got their own show, and she had a few more lines as she got more and more popular, so as her popularity grew, people wanted more and more Daria and her spin off began, and it was no wonder, she was the perfect counterpart to Beavis and Butthead and Beavis and Butthead culture which grew as THEIR popularity grew. Her deadpan lines were delivered perfectly to people who had no idea most of the time that they were even being made fun of, against a cast full of nineties sterotypes and tried and true sterotypes that could be plucked out and replaced with characters today that haven’t changed at all. Bottom line though: there aren’t many Darias. Daria worked because only some people laughed at the fact that she didn’t laugh and didn’t smile. That was the point of it all. Not many people got her sense of humor. Smart, sarcastic, snarky.

A to Z Challenge Day #3-C-Columbine

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I want to mention Columbine because it was burned into my brain for a lot of reasons, and I think it marked the beginning of something, although I’m not quite sure I can define preciscly what that something was. That beginning happened at the end of the decade, April 20, 1999. It was the first school shooting (I believe the first ever recorded was back in the 1700’s) but maybe this was the most infamous. Maybe this was the one that paved the way for others, or the first that played out almost as it happened. I remember my roommates and I glued to the TV, talking about relatives and friends and people we knew who lived in and around Littleton. People we knew who had died by violence. I’m sure we talked about people we knew like Dylan and Eric, too.

A to Z Challenge Day #1 A---AOL

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It was pretty exciting, meeting the internet for the first time. It was everything. I’ve found a few pictures that show you a little bit what it was like but it just doesn’t quite capture the feeling. Computers were big and clunky, with a lot of cords, and took up a significant portion of desk space. I used mine mostly for word processing and the odd IRC games. But in order to use this new thing called the internet, you couldn’t also use the phone, or you had to have a separate line, and that was usually a sign of semi-prestige. It sounded like this: Sound of a dial up And this is what I remember from the choices, which to me opened a world of possibilites. Yes, of learning and of research (nerd, remember?) But also of identity. Here I could safely and quickly search for things about myself that I knew my little library at my school was not going to carry. While our little library did actually have a few slim volumes that discussed LGBTQ people and teens, and some volumes of S