Thursday, September 16, 2010

Technology? Psssh.

A lot of people believe that kids today are super lucky and spoiled with all of the technology that surrounds them, and they would be sort of correct because 5 year olds now have cell phones and iPods and laptops and whatever other techy devices they can get their Cheeto-infested hands on (in fact, Shannanigans was just telling me about a two year old she knows who can fully work her iPod to play Dora episodes on her own), but let me tell you all something: the technology today? Psssh. I’ve seen better. Growing up when I did was AWESOME because of all of the technology to which my generation was exposed.

Think Oregon Trail. The entire class fighting over the one Macintosh or Packard Bell in the entire school, which was rolled in on a cart for computer time, and we all lined up single file waiting for one thing: a wagon headed west. 

Ok, so this picture may need some explanation. Here it is:

From left to right are the kids I remember from this class:

Michael, who thought he was my boyfriend because he would follow me around the playground at recess and sit by me at lunch (which I thought was cool because he would share his fruit roll ups with me).

Jerome, who was most likely my boyfriend because he had light-up sneakers and a bad ass haircut with the Nike “Swoosh” symbol shaved into the back.

Kayla, who peed her pants in front of the entire class one day.

Aaaaand then there’s me, who could be found wearing one red shoe and one blue shoe because I wanted to be just like Punky Brewster, and also because I had absolutely no fashion sense. In fact, if you asked me what the word “fashion” meant, I probably would have told you that it was what you did when you didn’t have the right tool for a job… you’d “fashion” a new one. I guess that’s what you get when you like to play in the garage with your Daddy.

Plus, I had bigger things to worry about than keeping up with the early 90’s trends anyway, like chasing the cute boys around the playground and teaching the girls that “C-r-a-y-o-l-a” is not how you spell the word “crayon” (which, my dearest friends, was supposed to be my “initiation question” into the most kick ass girl gang around in the third grade, but I, even at this young and innocent age, have always been a stickler for grammar and promptly informed the leader of said “gang” that she was dumb and should have been held back because she didn’t know the difference between a noun and a proper noun. Guess who became the new leader? Moi. That’s right. And my new recruits had to complete an obstacle course involving multiple cartwheels. Yay for physical fitness, am I right? Or maybe I just liked how doing a bunch of cartwheels in a row made me feel so dizzy…)

Back to the original topic…

Technically speaking, Oregon Trail was my shit. There was something magical about virtually packing an Amish wagon full of supplies and strapping it to some oxen, and then watching it slowly move from the right side of the computer screen to the left, which made each of our hearts pound with green and black pixilated excitement.  

Good luck surviving that.
“Ohhhh… but if I bring the banker I get more money to spend” (said aloud in my whiny child voice, which I do so well).

Then there was Nintendo. My mom bought me a used SuperNintendo with a shitload of games that is still one of my favorite toys of my childhood. Why I ever sold that baby for a PS2, I'll never understand. I mean, really. Super Mario Bros and Duck Hunt, simple car racing without having to be a part of some underground and completely illegal business involving murder and grand theft auto, baseball where all the players look the same, and the best part: four easy to remember buttons. Plus, that thing never broke! If ever there was a problem, all I had to do was blow on it and everything was fixed! With these newfangled gaming systems they tell me I have to spend as much money to fix it as I do to buy a new one.

Then there were the crazy fads that we all loved so dearly for about two minutes:

TalkGirl Recorders, which I looooooved to leave turned on in my desk and see if I could catch boys talking about me when I wasn’t listening. I don’t think I ever really heard anything when I played it back.
GigaPets, which were fun for all of Christmas break, until we had to go back to school and weren’t allowed to play with them during class so my GigaPets repeatedly died. A small child can only take so much virtual pet-death before they become frustrated with starting over and promptly leave the stupid thing somewhere and forget about it (until 10-15 years later when they decide to write a blog about it… I miss you, Poopsie).
And, of course, there was Zack Morris and his sexy cell phone. That has “amazing technology” written all over it.

Hmm… what else was there?

Not Furbys. Those things are creepy!

Oh, and I almost forgot one more thing about my childhood: playing outside was cool.


  1. Oregon Trail was my game back in the day! I also liked a game where you had to remove all the internal organs from a digital from: Operation Frog or something like that.

    Sounds like you had a kick-ass girl crew! So cool.

  2. I LOVED Oregon Trail! That game was awesome and a half! I was never very good at it though haha I also had a GigaPet that had a depressingly short lifespan. Furbies are creepy as hell!

  3. Oregon Trail rocks. Did you see the movie trailer that they made for it??
    Oh and tomorrow is your Feature Day on my blog, just FYI. Hopefully it will toss some more followers your way. :)

  4. haha loved the trip down memory lane....except for the part where i was reminded that i dont know how to do a cartwheel and am severely grammatically challenged....I hope if you become queen of a new girl gang you will have an alternative assignment so i can join :)

  5. Tsaritsa: I totally remember that one! I also liked the game where you had to guide a skier down a mountain and avoid obstacles and then usually the poor guy would get eaten by a snowman with abominable qualities.
    Brittany: I am not sure if any of us were actually "good" at Oregon Trail.
    Mei: I have not seen this trailer... I will be googling it shortly.
    (why is "googling" underlined with a squiggly? Isn't it a word by now?!)
    And I'm SUPER excited for this Feature Day business!!! THANKS!!!
    Pooks: I would TOTALLY bend the rules for you. I'd make it a history question ;)

  6. I was just talking about this with my students the other day! It's so sad because they have no idea what they're talking about. They played the Oregon Trail that was.... new. No early '90s Macintosh versions for them. Some of them were born as late as 1995. It's insane. And I'm old. And I'm so happy you blogged about this!

  7. Oregon Trail and the one computer that was rolled into the classroom on the cart is spot on!!! Kids today could never relate to that.
    And when I was little, I rocked one pink converse and one baby blue too. I was so dope.

  8. Oh yeah, I remember the Organ Trail... Those were the days... We also had awesome Cartoons... It was all about the Anamaniacs. :)

    Sadly I was one of the kids who wanted a furby... Although after I had one I hated it and took the batteries out... Soooo annoying! haha. Anyways, I enjoyed this entry. :D

  9. I have an Oregon Trail T-shirt. TODAY. THAT I WEAR. A LOT.

    Remember Tamagotchis? Those were the stupidest fad...

    P.S.: Hey, what do you use for your graphic artz?

  10. Oh man Lacey this blog is the shit!! I remember Oregon Trail! My school had a computer lab and I remember when all the macintosh's got upgraded and we could play this new game called bug hunt. Then towards my 7th or 8th grade year there was another game where you were a dinosaur.

    Nintendo was amazing. My favorite game was Donkey Kong and this boxing game that I always used to beat my dad at even though he would be Muahhamd Ali ALL THE TIME. I would still beat him. Yeah float like a butterfly sting like a bee my ass.

    LOL I love how there was like the kid that thought he was your boyfriend and the kid that you thought was your boyfriend. That is amazing.

    omg so I remember when gigapets came out and they were like 50 bucks and I wanted one so bad so my mom ended up buying me what looked like a gigapet but really it was just connect four with little animals. I was so embarrassed because everyone knew I didnt really have a giga pet. I eventually got one though and could join the cool crowd.

    Saved by the Bell was amazing. I loved that show.

    I had three Furbys in my house. I had one, my sister had one, and my mom had one. I think I probably still have them somewhere. Unless they died and went to Furby hell (obviously thats the only place for Furby's to go)

    You are so right. I remember when playing outside was the best thing and you would get sad when your mom called you into clean up for dinner.

  11. Oregon Trail = best ga e ever! Why did my family always die from dysentery though? And I loooooved my Super Nintendo. Mario and I were pretty much best friends...even after beating the game on more than one occasion. I wasn't allowed to have Duck Hunt though. My mom said no guns, fake or real, were allowed in my house.

    Oh, and just a PSA to those kiddies with cellular devices: I didn't get a cell phone until the 11th grade. annoys me to see these 5 year olds with iPhones. It's sickening.

  12. The river is 20 feet deep. FORD IT! What? My oxen died. Fuck.

  13. Meg: I am so glad you shared that! you are NOT old, these kids just don't understand (said in my Fresh Prince rapping voice)
    Sara: you were obviously cool, and you could have been in my club just because of your shoe choice.
    thebella: hahaha, you murdered your furby. that may have just made my day :)
    Kate: I (attempt to) use adobe illustrator
    Shannon: I love the length of your comment! you obviously have some strong feelings about this topic! haha. I loved Donkey Kong, too. My fave part was busting open barrels with my pony tail. I wish I still played outside. LOL. But it's too effing hot.
    Asha: I was always Luigi. and my mom was like that too, actually, so that is REALLY funny to me. I played duck hunt at my cousin's house hahaha. and I got my first cell phone when I turned 16 and it was "for emergencies only" haha, but we all know that rule didn't last.
    Becca: yep, fording was always my strategy, too. the game is long enough already, I'm not waiting around any longer than I have to.


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