Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Nostalgia Factor

So the Husband was reading an article - or listening to a podcast or something - the other day which mentioned a study that says that you actually feel younger, not older, when you hear a song or see something that reminds you of being a kid. I guess that explains why I was getting my groove on to some early 90s hip-hop in the living room the other day after stumbling onto the new cover of "Return of the Mack" by Mann, Iyaz, and Snoop Dogg. Seriously: I hadn't heard that song since elementary's been ages!

Apparently, since then I've been racking up the nostalgic moment non-stop. On Sunday, Seb and I were looking for something to do together to pass the time. We haven't found many fun two-player card games and we only have two board games to our name, so we resorted to the computer for some entertainment that didn't necessarily involve watching a nature documentary. (Side note: we did watch this hilariously over-dramatic documentary on honey ants the other day. It was narrated by Andy Serkis and I just kept waiting for some reference to a "precious"...anyway...)

The online search for two-player computer games got me something I'd been looking for for quite a while. An old computer game called Lode Runner: The Legend Returns. It's a product of the mid '90s from Sierra that involves sneaking and blasting your way through various types of terrain to collect gold all while avoiding red-cloaked baddies who chomp you into tiny bits if they catch you. Does that sound lame? I'm not doing it much justice.

Anyway, Seb found a version to download and now - after years of extremely intermittent searches - I finally have it on my laptop for continued enjoyment. I used to spend hours as a kid playing this game on the old Compaq Presario we used to have. (Of course, this was after the Commodore 64, with Jet Boot Jack, died its ignominious death.) Really, it was my dad's game, and - given the incredible age difference - he was way better at it than I ever was. V and I used to make him tell us when he'd beat another 10-level set so we could come watch the fun (and pretty high-class for the time) animations that detailed what tool was added to your arsenal for the next 10 levels. It also showed which new background the next 10 levels would have, too.

My next, "holy crap it's been forever!" moment? It's autumn now. No; I don't care that the calendar on my desktop still reads: 31 August 2011. Do. Not. Care. The temps have dropped here, and the air smells like cold (yes, cold has a smell) in a way that distinctly reminds me of the hour or two just before school would start back in Maryland. I feel like I need a lunchbox and thermos again! Anyway, all that is to say: because it feels like autumn, there are certain clothes I like to get out, certain songs I like to listen to, certain foods I like to eat...and certain TV shows I think of more often. With that in mind, I decided that since I'll need something to watch compulsively in the hours that Baby D keeps me awake (coming soon to a sleep-deprived young family near you!), that I would watch something I haven't watched in far too long. Something that is creepily integral to understanding the way I talk and the freakishly symbiotic relationship I have with my mom and sister. Gilmore Girls.

There is no other TV show I equate so fully with this time of the year. Maybe it's because the whole thing is set in the lovely fictional New England town of Stars Hollow, CT. Maybe it's the abundance of layers and scarves and plaid flannel throughout a large chunk of the broadcasting season. Maybe it's the gorgeous shots of golden and red autumnal New England foliage during the title sequence of every episode. I don't know. But anyway, it's autumn and I have to watch Gilmore Girls. I mean, this show is why I remembered the term stichomythia for my AP English Lit exam senior year of high school. It honed my love of fast-paced dialogue and esoteric cultural references sprinkled freely in even the most mundane conversation. And now I can relive all 7 seasons all over again.

If there was any more evidence needed that this baby is going to come out a fast-talking, wise-cracking, well-read nerd, then this is it. Quotations from obscure books, classic movies, and indie folk music will abound. So now that it is autumn: let the Gilmore Girls re-screenings commence! As if I needed another reason to love this time of year above all others...

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