I Want Candy

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Candy was a flavorful trip

Exciting my sweet taste buds

But leaving an empty craving

Of no lasting memory

Newspaper Nostalgia

There’s a newspaper on the driveway. Should I pick it up? No, it’s probably just meaningless rubbish and advertisements. Throw it in the trash along with all the other worthless pieces of mail.

Who reads newspapers anymore?  It has become a thing of the past for the most part. News is readily available anywhere and not confined to just one medium. I think the last time I read the newspaper was two years ago. It would be odd to see someone unfolding a newspaper to its biggest form like in one of those comedy movies, their face all lost in it, sitting on the park bench. Newspapers are too cumbersome to be of any use. I long remember the days when you had to go to some page labeled A2 to get the rest of the article, making a loud rustling sound and having to rearrange the page in your lap.

“Dewey defeats Truman” is probably one of the most famous headlines ever. An incorrect banner on the front of the Chicago Tribune stating that Harry Truman had lost to New York senator Thomas E. Dewey in the 1948 election. Truman held it up during the night he won the election, beaming brightly at the blunder.

I still value the written word on newspapers over digital anyday, because there is a personal connection there. News may be delivered quicker online and is more easily digestible, but a newspaper is more timeless and collectible.

Newspaper

Kids in the Street

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We used to sing about the days

And the nights that went by too

All the stars that realigned

All the years that I’m with you

We were just kids on the block

Never caring who said what

And now here we are, a light blip away

From that miracle on the horizon

The sea that rocks and sways

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That Nostalgic Feeling

 

In a harmonious state

We join our heads and think about

All the days long gone by

Sentimental

Throwback Thursday #1

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Welcome to Throwback Thursday, where we reflect on our past and look back at the technology, events, and different kinds of culture considered nostalgic in our lives.

It’s time to go back to when there were only 151 Pokemon and the original Pokérap was a memorable thing for kids to watch and listen to. Any kid born in the early to mid ’90s would remember how crazy popular the Japanese creation was. Since my graduation from Pokemon and any similar children’s interest around 2002, there have been two more Pokéraps, which I haven’t listened to but look really bad on paper, really cheesy indeed. Also since the time I officially outgrew the series, there have been 570 more “species” of these Pocket Monsters introduced, new ones being “discovered” all the time in the fictional universe of Pokemon; it looks like the iconic Ash Ketchum won’t be able to “catch ’em all” anytime soon. Amazingly, Ash has hardly aged in the movies and anime series, staying 10-11 years old, as if hardly any time has passed between him meeting Pikachu and capturing a whole lot more Pokemon that weren’t even around when I first hooked onto the craze, long after all the boys in my second grade class obsessed about it everyday.

I remember watching the original Pokemon TV series on VHS, starting with the very first episode, but unfortunately I only got to see the first few episodes since obtaining the videos was difficult and rather expensive for my mom to buy. The great thing is the original and all the subsequent series afterward are available online for free, an implausible option 15 years ago when popping a VHS into the VCR was a thrilling feeling, that nostalgic whir-whir-whir and click! of the electric motors reeling the magnetic tape into place and the blue screen on the TV flashing the word “PLAY” before kicking into the video.

Above is a picture of me at around ten years old, wearing a Pokemon t-shirt and sporting a rather cool grin. Back when this picture was taken, I think just before the whole family began the trip to Williamsburg, Virginia (a really boring but historical place for me) one still had to have a working telephone connection to get on the Internet and whenever a person would pick up the phone, the connection would be lost. There was still a thing called a modem (a picture of a pool comes to mind) that made itself very apparent with its lengthy and noisy start-up. The last time I remember using dial-up was in 2004. Now Wi-Fi is available nearly everywhere and YouTube videos are able to be streamed in 1080 HD and beyond, whereas back in the web’s stone age would be virtually impossible.

Until then, here is a Pokerap by CollegeHumor for 718 Pokemon before three more were recently added – and it doesn’t look like the creators are going to stop anytime soon.

5 Things I Remember From the 90s

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Welcome to the second edition of 5 Things Thursday, where I dive into five interesting things from one interesting group of my choice.

This week I muse about 5 things that I find nostalgic from my 1990s childhood. It was a wild and fun time, with so many fads and waves of pop culture coming and going as quick as a train.

  1. Nintendo 64

A great game console that ushered in the era of 3D gaming, especially for Nintendo. It was a sleek and stylish “Family game system”. Some of my favorite titles for the 64 were the Mario Party and Mario Kart series (the early games), Super Smash Bros, and Donkey Kong 64. I never actually had that many games for my console, choosing to play some of the favorites over and over again. That infamous controller caused a lot of pain for users when they got blisters from violently moving the joystick around. I had that same problem while playing the challenging mini-games of Mario Party.

2. Bill Nye the Science Guy

What would science class be without our beloved bow-tie all-around science genius? I loved when the teacher would announce that we were going to watch Bill Nye, as well as the rest of the class. Hearing the iconic theme song (“Science Rules!”) really got me interested in learning about science and everything else such as biology and geography. The show had a great mix of education and humor, appealing to kids and adults. Everything from “Consider the following” to the cheesy science renditions of popular songs back then made this a part of ’90s pop culture. Okay, I hated the cheesy music videos.

3. The Oregon Trail

This is a game I loved and hated. The fact that it was SO slow and the difficulty in finishing the game quite high made me want to give up on it completely. But nearly every kid in my classes at elementary loved this game, that I just had to join in. It was really educational and taught me about the Oregon Trail and what the families faced while riding it – a lot of bad stuff I must say. “You’ve got dysentery” – more evil and unforgiving than the “Game Over” screen.

4. M.A.S.H games, Cootie Catchers, Paper airplanes, etc.

All three of those things and others were staples of the classroom from about second to fifth grade. It was fun to predict your future through a game of Mansion Apartment Shack House (MASH) and the outcomes caused laughter or embarrassment depending on the person. Or how about the cootie catcher. I loved creating those and putting down the most absurd possibilities. Even though it was more of a girls game, it was entertaining and invoked lots of socializing. The paper airplanes usually came out during break periods in class and all pandemonium was let loose. I remember this one sandy-haired kid putting a load of orange goop on the side of his plane and flying it across the room. Sometimes one would land on the teacher’s desk or hit them and break time would be over. To this day though I still can’t create the perfect paper airplane, since my wings always come out wrong and the plane drops limply to the ground.

5. Myst

This is likely the most challenging and strangest point and click game I’ve ever come across. And the most realistically looking one. There is just one man on the island, controlled by you. There are a bunch of puzzles that have to be solved and clues are scattered around, some in not so obvious places or ways. The first time I played this in 1999, I was lost and a bit creeped out by the secluded island and those books in the library that had strange messages playing from them. I finally beat this in 2011 through the use of cheats since there was no way I was going to solve this brainteaser of a game otherwise. It didn’t ruin the game because I still appreciated the vagueness and depth of it (there were some interesting backstories told through the books). When I played this I always thought there was someone else on the island watching me or going to sneak up on me at any moment but that was not the case.