That’s it, I give up! The brain has shut down, gone on vacation, left the building. No. More. Posts. About. Hawaii.
Just kidding. I am gonna hold off on any more travel writing for the moment, though, mostly because I think my head might explode if I blog about the luggage nazi we dealt with before our flight out on the last day.
For real, folks, my blood pressure cranked up a few notches just beginning to think about that encounter so I think it’s best to treat it like a jellyfish you find washed up on the beach: step carefully around it, keep on walking, and make sure your kid doesn’t stop to poke it with a stick.
We’ll find a nice lighthearted subject to write about instead. Like school supply lists. Or neighborhood associations. Or voter registration laws and the moral ramifications of requiring photo identification for elections.
Just kidding again. How about we talk about something near and dear to my heart? One of those 1983 classics, “WarGames.”
I’ve already mentioned that the kids have gotten old enough to start watching some of the classics. (Please don’t lecture me on “Casablanca” as a classic versus “WarGames” as a pop culture treat. Let’s just agree to use CLASSIC in the loosest sense of the word.) While this has opened up our options greatly, I find I still have to be careful about exactly what earned the movie its PG rating.
A little violence or cussing? We’ll probably do okay. A LOT of cussing? T-man in particular becomes the morality police, and we’ll hear a lot of “MAN! Come ON!” throughout the movie. (I know, I know…you’re probably wondering where the hell he got that sense of righteous indignation about language from. Damned if I know.) Say there’s a lot of cussing PLUS kissing? Oh my god, T-man just might light the tv on fire and run from the room before the image is burned into his retinas. Go figure.
So things were a bit hectic after we returned from vacation. Oh hell, who am I kidding, we were running around like complete nuts. (In a blinding moment of mommy brilliance I had signed the kids up for a camp that week without fulling grasping the state of exhaustion we’d all be in. Even so, I’d do it again. The camp was awesome.) By the time we hit Saturday I was D-O-N-E. As in charred on the outside, cooked through, and a little burned to boot. I hadn’t been able to sleep properly all week (damn time change), staying up until midnight or later every night, until things came to a shrieking halt.
I collapsed into bed on Friday night and slept more than ten hours straight. Ten hours. I vaguely remember people waking me once or twice, but I simply answered then turned over and crashed again. By the time I pulled myself out of bed BrightSide and Bear had gone on an errand, and T-man was contentedly entertaining himself on his iPod. This is how I found myself searching for a youth-friendly PG movie to stream on Netflix so I could continue my lazy Saturday on the couch with my snuggly doggies.
I saw this movie on the list and was struck by a wave of nostalgia fierce and true. Not an I’ve-seen-it-a-hundred-times-and-cried-my-eyes-out-Dirty-Dancing true (read my crazy post about that movie here); more of an I-remember-loving-that-movie-and-OMG-IT-WAS-TOTALLY-THE-80s wave that pressed against my brain until I hit play.
As soon as it started I was swept back to those Cold War days, when the threat of World War III was real and we needed personnel manning the missile silos. My kids know an awful lot about Iraq and ISIS and the war on terrorism – sadly, a lot more than I wish they knew – but the Soviet Union? That one drew blank looks.
Suddenly I found myself submerged in 80s culture up to my eyeballs. Video arcades, the first home computers, floppy disks, a dial-up internet connection that required you place the phone’s handset in a cradle, the very fact that a) there’s a house phone, and b) it has a corded handset that you picked up to answer the call. Crazy.
Add in the concept of a booming internet, technology use in the military, and the introduction of computer hacker skills, and you’ve got a picture that’s practically prehistoric to today’s kids.
T-man began looking at me oddly. It was like I’d developed nostalgia-Tourettes, unable to stop myself from calling out, “Look at that! That’s a dot matrix printer, you had to tear the edges off that paper after you printed something. And a microfiche machine. And a CARD CATALOG! Good grief, that was how we used to find books in the library, my friend, and if someone came along and moved the book’s card? Well, you were just screwed because then you couldn’t write down the information for the librarian – look, an ACTUAL PERSON who gets the book for you – and you wouldn’t get the book.”
I’m embarrassed to admit this display of omg, I’m so old behavior continued well into the movie, and I was enjoying myself so much that I let BrightSide know we’d be watching it again that afternoon or evening.
After all, Bear still needed indoctrination into the “Look, kid, that’s the world your parents grew up in” club.
We believe in a well-rounded education in this house.
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