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Watching, reading, listening to: My early 80’s childhood

I’m headed to the airport on the way to Colorado Springs, so this will be a quickie!  I seem to be on a jaunt back to my childhood of the late 70’s and early 80’s in my spare time. Here’s what I’ve been enjoying lately:

I’m watching . . . 

Stranger Things, that Netflix original series. Love it. As several people have noted, this is by far the most authentic early 80’s world I’ve ever seen recreated on the screen. (Everybody’s smoking! When I was little, my father used to turn out the light and spell out our names with the end of his cigarette, and it was wonderful.) This series grabs and exploits all the sensations of movies of this era, but somehow boils off all the cheapness, so it feels like you’re meeting very familiar, beloved movie that’s grown up since you saw it last.

And who knew Winona Ryder could act? I’m only up to episode 3, so don’t spoil anything for me, but wow, what an episode. No wasted scenes or dialogue, and it’s truly creepy and thrilling. You care about not one but several characters. Top notch. Recommended for age 12 and up. The first few episodes have a sex scene or two to skip over (although they nicely portray casual fornication as cheap and depressing).

Here’s the trailer:

I’m reading . . . 

Live Free or Die by Ernest Hebert. This is book five in the Darby series, the first of which I recommended earlier as the ultimate “yeah, that’s exactly what it’s like where I live” book.  Live Free Or Die is set in the late 70’s, a “two world collide” kind of book (rich and poor, upper and lower class, wilderness vs. development, etc.), and I’m a little disappointed. He keeps telling you what the characters are thinking and why, and explaining what it means that it’s uphill from one part of town to the other, and I already got it. Oh well. That “show, don’t tell” advice is really worth taking, even though it means lots of readers will miss important stuff. Unless you’re writing for a newspaper or for Ikea, it’s okay to let the reader do some work, as long as you do your work.

I’m listening to . . .
ABBA.  What? I’m not made of stone. This is the music of my childhood, when my neurons were still fresh and malleable, and when my high school-aged sisters looked like they were seven feet tall and moved around in a cloud of disco awesomeness. The little kids and I sometimes watch music videos when Daddy is working late, and ABBA is a huge favorite. Check out “Take a Chance On Me”

So. Much. Winking. I love how the blonde lady can’t actually dance at all; she just kind of swoops back and forth.

Okay, and now “Mama Mia”

But beware the permanent retinal impression of Benny Andersson in ruffled shorty overalls that you’ll bear with you for the rest of your life. WORTH IT.

 

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