My high school reunion is this month: 20 years! I didn’t mind high school (except for the actual showing up part) and I am looking forward to seeing everyone. Thanks to social media, I can’t show up and pretend I invented Post-It Notes or own a private jet. And I don’t have time to get a facelift, lose 20 pounds or become a doctor. Otherwise it’s made me nostalgic: for things like mix tapes and flowery slip dresses with Doc Martens, flannel shirts and passing notes and a time when you could act like a total maniac and not have it recorded and posted. (Alas, I’d be unemployable.)
1995 was interesting. The OJ Simpson trial. The Oklahoma City Bombing. The MLB strike ended. The last episode of Full House aired. The Grateful Dead broke up. Amazon and Yahoo started. Remember Microsoft Bob? How about AltaVista? Raise your hand if you remember dial-up? Did it disconnect if your mother picked up the phone? Pagers? If you liked to dance, you could go to Club Nitro, Club 51 or W.P. Nix (all gone now.) And does anyone recall that weird dance phenomenon, “freaking“? What were we thinking? Let’s take a trip down memory lane…
The 1990s were a great decade for books. Fight Club, The Virgin Suicides, Girl Interrupted, Harry Potter, The Giver …
Microserfs, Douglas Coupland This is one of my top 5 favorite books. It’s sad and sweet and captures the weird loneliness technology brings. It also contains one of the best quotes of all time:
I don’t want to lose you. I can’t imagine ever feeling this strongly about anything or anybody ever again. This was unexpected, my soul’s connection to you. You stole my loneliness No one knows that I was wishing for you, a thief, to enter my house of autonomy, that I had locked my doors but my Windows were open, hoping, but not believing, you would enter.
High Fidelity, Nick Hornby You probably saw the excellent movie starring John Cusack (*swoon*). If you’re a music snob, you’ll love the Top 5 lists:
Rob Fleming’s Best Pop Songs
“Let’s Get it On”, Marvin Gaye
“The House that Jack Built”, Aretha Franklin
“Back in the U.S.A.”, Chuck Berry
“White Man in the Hammersmith Palais”, the Clash
“Tired of Being Alone”, Al Green
Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace
Gah! Read it if you must.
Wonder Boys, Michael Chabon
I think when you move to Pittsburgh at the airport they give you a Terrible Towel, pierogies, Turner’s Tea and the Michael Chabon library. It’s also a fantastic movie filmed in Pittsburgh!
Wicked, Gregory Maguire
Most people only know this story from the Broadway show, but this is the book that rewrote the Wizard of Oz and made you feel bad for the Wicked Witch!
1995 Movies Braveheart
FREEDOM FROM HIGH SCHOOL!
Casino I learned you can beat someone very badly with a phone. This movie is also why I don’t gamble.
The Usual Suspects
Who is Keyser Söze? Don’t worry, some jerk will give it away for you.
You know what 1990s kids knew a lot about? AIDS. Our parents were freaking out. And this movie didn’t help the cause. It still makes me cringe.
There is a lot of TLC on the Billboard chart in 1995. Hard to believe that “Creep” is 20 years old. Lots of Mariah Carey, too- someone I inexplicably hate with a passion. I listened to what was termed “Alternative Rock” in 1995. It’s seems so quaint now.
“When I Come Around”, Green Day
This song is holding up well.
“Buddy Holly”, Weezer
I was once at a place called Skatopia and someone told me I dressed like Weezer. I was flattered. Much like “When I Come Around”, this song has stood the test of time.
“Hurt”, Nine Inch Nails
I love me some Nine Inch Nails. Because as a middle-class kid in the suburbs, Trent Reznor really spoke to me. Johnny Cash also does a bang-up version.
“Nothing Man”, Pearl Jam
I still have a crush on Eddie Vedder. And seriously, saddest song ever.
My boyfriend told me that Gavin Rossdale was dared to write a song about glycerine. I believed him. For way too long.
Trying to repair twenty years of sun damage in 10 days,
*Obligatory Generation X dig at the Baby Boomers:
Do you think we enjoy hearing about your brand-new million-dollar home when we can barely afford to eat Kraft Dinner sandwiches in our own grimy little shoe boxes and we’re pushing thirty? A home you won in a genetic lottery, I might add, sheerly by dint of your having been born at the right time in history? You’d last about ten minutes if you were my age these days. – Douglas Coupland, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture