Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Throwback: 90s Kids

So, I'm home for the holidays. 'Home' meaning I am currently located in the vast emptiness of suburbia, where I take my dog out in the evenings and for twenty minutes I am completely and utterly alone. I don't bump into a single person. Not a single car drives past. Most of the houses are dark, one or two with a light on somewhere upstairs, maybe a flickering TV. Silence envelops me and I understand the phrase "The silence is deafening". I feel the urge to shout or do something insane just because I can and no one will give a shit. I don't, of course, just keep walking my dog, hurrying when the street lamp goes off and breathing a deep sigh of relief when I make it back inside. 

But here, too, it's pretty empty. My parents are hard-working and hit the hay at 10 o'clock. I  wake up and they're back at work. So I'm hard-pressed to entertain myself.

I have nothing really wrong with suburbia. I get that it's a great place to raise children - there's a gorgeous park, ravine, creek, and a quaint little bridge behind my house that you wouldn't find in the city. It's quiet; there's little traffic. Our cats can roam free and safe outside. I'm not wakened at 3AM by sirens and alarms and drunken couples arguing in the street. I get that some people like this whole peace and quiet thing, but it is not for me. At all.

For the past five years I've lived smack in the middle of Toronto. I live in a building by Yonge & Bloor. Everything I need is within a four-minute radius and most of it is 24 hours. Cigarette craving at 4am? Oh, hey Rabba. Coffee? Hello, Tim Hortons. Dollorama for cheap/awesome Christmas decorations, Starbucks literally on the corner, the subway with its plentiful magazine stand, a stretch of bars with pool tables and arcade games and lots of whiskey, UofT's closest library two blocks away. Sweet cafe across the street where I know the baristas on a first-name basis ($6 for a salad, sandwich and iced coffee, whaddup. I may or may not go there everyday). Living in the city, you learn to enjoy the lights, the noise, the commotion. It reminds you you're alive. 

Anyway, drifting majorly off topic here. The point is this: I'm in a big house with one duffel bag of my belongings, no car, and virtually nothing around me. Do you know what that means? That means I've spent the majority of my Christmas break thus far digging through old boxes in my basement, discovering a shitload of memories still stuffed in the back of my brain. 

First thing I discovered: 

  Remember these babies? They had everything you wanted and personally I loved carrying that thing around. Thought I was a legit artist with my personal portfolio full of.....crayons. Unfortunately half the markers are missing from my set, but you bet your ass I pulled out some construction paper and coloured some shit for like three hours. 

Second thing I discovered: 

MISS SCARLET IN THE BALLROOM WITH THE ROPE! Yeah, it's Clue. Brought back floods of memories on how I used to move diagonally when my brother wasn't looking. This was my favourite game as a kid, aside from Battleship, which I took very seriously and refused to consider a game, and in part because I completely sucked at Monopoly and always went bankrupt first. There's more to Clue than just a game, though. The actual mansion itself really intrigues me. By that I mean I want it to be built in real life so I can live in it. I love this old grandeur classic type style, with a library and a billiard room and the black-and-white checkered kitchen floor and the revolving doors and the baby grand in the ballroom and LET'S NOT FORGET THE SECRET FUCKING PASSAGES. Yeah, I dunno, the whole mystery mansion thing really excites me. I looked it up on IMDB and apparently a remake of the Clue movie (1985) is slated for 2013. I downloaded Clue the movie and will give all you eager readers a review of it tomorrow. 

Also, on the Clue note:

Did anyone else read these beauties? Five or six mini-mysteries in each book, and hilariously written to boot. Mr. Boddy always miraculously escapes death and the characters are so well developed that you grow fonder and fonder of all of them, despite how absolutely insane they are. I happened to find The Case of the Invisible Cat downstairs as I was scouring the bookshelves for something to read, and devoured it in twenty minutes. Despite the lack of time wasted, my mom came down and saw me reading it and went all like "I work for a living and you just read grade-five level books" and I was all like chill, I'm trying to figure out if it was Colonel Mustard or Professor Plum, here, okay? 

Wasn't my greatest defence. But seriously, great reads. 

Third Thing I Discovered:

How can you resist this bunch? A family of bears with the inventive names of Mama, Papa, Brother, and Sister Bear, created by Stan and Jan Berenstain in the nineteen-fucking-sixties. These guys are OLD but check out how ahead of their time they were: The Berenstain Bears Go Green?! Oh wait, just looked it up and that's to be published in 2013 so they're riding Al Gore's coattails. But still, this fam and their wicked treehouse always taught us morally upstanding life lessons without being overly patronizing. They always wore the same outfits to give us that much-sought-after sense of consistency and familiarity, and they weren't without their little vices, so we always found them totally relatable. 

Except, of course, for the fact that they were bears. 

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