Legbaugh’s Holistic and Alternative Healing

I have had another story published, and this one is kind of a major mile stone. This is my 47th story published, but it is the first story to be originally published in print form, and more importantly the first story that I have been paid for. There have been other stories in print: my contributions to the last three doo-writers anthologies (Love & Rockets, Fun in the Sun and the Madness of the Moon, and (most recently) Paint by Letter), and my first published story “Tin Foil Hat” was republished in People of Few Words Vol. 3 several years ago.

I saw the call for submissions and it said it was about a god opening up a store somewhere and they wanted twilight zone esque stories. And I had the perfect story in my arsenal for them. So I submitted “Legbaugh’s Holistic and Alternative Healing” to the anthology in April. The story had already been rejected/ignored 8 times before, so I didn’t expect much. Not only did I get accepted, and paid, but my story is apparently the first in the new anthology (following the frame narrative), and I was the first one to be accepted in the anthology. I found out the story was accepted in June, but I didn’t tell many people because I didn’t want to jinx it.

If you remember my blogpost about 14 for 14 (I’d put a link, but apparently I havn’t done any posts dedicated to it… yet), this is one of those stories. At this point only 3 of them have not been published, one was published under a pseudonym, two of them are going to be merged into the same story and hopefully published next year, and the last (and possibly best) has been a major pain in the ass with almost every publisher simply ignoring the story rather then showing the curtsy of sending me a formal rejection. But enough about that.

Well, now that the anthology is available, and my copy (and check) are in the mail, I guess it’s safe to finally announce the publication of this story. If you would like to pick a copy up for yourself, here is the link. Again you are under no obligation to buy, but if you do I hope you enjoy the story.

Zach.

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Doo-Writers 2018

It is with great pleasure, and quite a bit of effort, that I bring you the new Downingtown Doo-Writers 2018 anthology. The theme for this year was “Paint by Letter” and it involved stories and other writings based on paintings.

As the Chief Editor, I personally put over 80 hours into this anthology, and there are 3 stories of mine included:

Augustpocalypse” a story about a young boy playing cowboy on one last family vacation.

On the Transfixion of Time” a train of thought surealist metafiction about a man trying to read a story before he goes to sleep, based on the Painting “Time Transfixed” by Rene Magrite and two other paintings.

And “Darkwoods My Progeny” a story about a little girl missing in the woods, the dissolution of her parents marriage, and a community coming together to help. Based on a variety of paintings by Rob Gonsalves.

Plus the rest of the stories are all really good this year too, it is a strong collection of a matured group of writers.

If you would like to order a copy you can get it on amazon here. They are $9.99 per copy and the royalties from the book all go to the Downingtown Library. They make a great Christmas present (hint-hint).

As for the Novel… it’s was a little tough this year, I went into the month very burned out for a variety of reasons. I was able to finished the novel, but I don’t know what kind of shape it will be in when I look at it the next time. I ended up with 65,000 words. Hopefully next years novel will not be as much of a struggle.

October Updates

Good Evening my loyal readers,

We are about a half hour away from the start of NaNoWriMo 2018, and I thought you might be interested in some things that have happened and some things to come.

First, I’ve crossed another big milestone recently. My friends over at the Ginger Collect asked to be the judge for a Halloween Contest. This is one step closer to a life long goal of being the guest editor of Best American Short Stories. Of the five stories I listed as my favorites to the editors of the magazine, one was a runner up and one was honorably mentioned. Not bad considering that i’m not the biggest fan of “horror” in general, my favorite of the five “Saturday Night at the Swannonoa” is not really horror at all. The hoerably mentioned choise was “Cadillac.” You can read those stories and the other winners here.

Second, the current Downingtown Doo-Writers anthology is in close to being finished, and in my humble opinion, this years is the best yet. The stories are all really good. More on that when it comes out.

Third, NaNoWriMo is coming. This year I had a few choices, and ultimately let my writing group decide which novel they wanted me to write, they unanimously went with “The God of Squares and Synthesizers” which is a 1950 coming of age story in which the 50’s look and feel more like the 80’s. My vote was actually for the other novel “Oppenheimer’s Debt” but the idea was too weird, too heavy, and too appropriate for today’s world. I may write it next year, we never know. I will keep you posted on that as well.

The View From the CONEX Box

The View From the CONEX Box

Good evening my readers,

It is with pride that I have my latest story published for you. This one is quite heavy, true, and also somewhat timely with current events.

For those of you keeping score at home, this is my 4th piece published this year, and… my 50th piece published overall.

Here’s a link:

The View from the CONEX Box | Independent Noise | Issue 1.4

Enjoy,

Zach.

Totally Awesome 80’s August – the Tally

I hope you’ve enjoyed the 80’s posts from the Totally Awesome 80’s August. Here is the final tally of what I’ve did.

NES Remix results

  • Stars: 335 or 179 in Remix I and 156 in Remix II

  • Gold Boarders: 4, Excite Bike, The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: the Legend of Link, and Punch Out. Also one star short of a gold boarder in Kirby’s Dreamland (another favorite series)

  • Championship Mode: 897,600 Points. (i’ve gotten over a million before, but it’s very difficult, and couldn’t do it this time.

Movies/TV Shows watched.

  • Ducktales Season 1 Disk 3

  • Saint Elmo’s Fire

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 1

  • Heathers

  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

  • The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie

  • Bugs Bunny’s 3rd Movie: 1001 Rabit Tales

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Season 3 Disk 1

  • Porky’s

  • 1988 Christmas Tape

  • Saturday Morning Cartoons of the 1980’s

  • Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

  • Heathcliff – Disk 1

  • The Great Muppet Caper

  • David the Gnome – Disk 4

  • The Real Ghostbusters – Season 1 Disk 5

  • Mario Bros. Super Show

  • Zelda: The Complete Series

  • RoboCop

  • Labrynth

  • The Littles – Disk 1 (most of it)

  • Back to the Future

  • The Breakfast Club

Video Games

  • NES Remix

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

  • Top Gun

  • Fester’s Quest

  • Lee Travino’s Fighting Golf

  • Othello

  • Wheel of Fortune

  • Super Mario Bros.

  • The Legend of Zelda

  • Contra

  • Tetris

  • Trojan

  • Lunar Pool

  • Back to the Future

Vinyl

  • Secrets by OMD

  • Hello, I Must Be Going by Phil Collins

  • Tiffany (selftitled)

  • Contact by the Pointer Sisters

  • Sowing the Seeds of Love by Tears for Fears

  • Sports by Huey Lewis and the News

  • Benefactor by Romeo Void

  • Back to the Future Soundtrack

Audio Books

  • The Birth of my Kitchen Table Fiction by Haruki Murakami

  • Crouch End by Stephen King

  • The End of the Whole Mess by Stephen King

  • Fictional Futures and the Conspicuously Young by David Foster Wallace

  • Girl with Curious Hair by David Foster Wallace

  • The Gunslinger by Stephen King

  • Hear the Wind Sing by Haruki Murikami

  • Little Expressionless Animals by David Foster Wallace

  • Pinball, 1973 by Haruki Murikami

  • The Restauronte at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams

  • Westward the Course of Empire Makes Its Way by David Foster Wallace

  • Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy

Totally Awesome 80’s August – Final Update

Day 27 – nothing of 80’s significance.

Day 28 – again nothing of 80’s significance.

Day 29 – my coworker brought in a stack of vinyls that he was selling and had me go through them. Price them, and pick out any I might want, there was only one in the stack that I was really interested in, and that was “The Best of Fraggle Rock.” a worthy piece to my collection and very 80’s. I have the second season on DVD and I will be watching it soon as part of my Mega DVD Marathon. It has the theme song on it, and also “Pass It On” which was their alternative Christmas song from “A Muppet’s Family Christmas.” that makes it even better.

I finally finished “Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West” which is becoming one of my favorite novels of all time. The first time I read it I understood it just enough to know it was really good, but not exactly why, nor could I remember vary many details of it. The second time, I got much more out of it, and this time (the third time) even moor so. Be forewarned though, besides the difficult nature of the read, it is one of (if not the) most violent books every written. The basic plot of the story is about a kid who joins up with the infamous historic Glanton Gang of scalp hunters, and their dealings with a man shaped hairless demon known as “The Judge.” The language of the book is archaic, with a voluminous vocabulary, long poetic sentences, and a rich amount of untranslated Spanish that will leave the monolingual reader (such as myself), as confused as the characters in the book. This book needs another read and a lengthy blog post I think.

After I finished that I started “Life, the Universe and Everything” which is the third book in the Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy. After work I watched a little more of the Littles and I played a little more Lunar Pool. And also today I finally posted the last weekend update. Whatever the case, today was a good day.

Day 30 – Nothing of 80’s significance. I should note here that when I say “Nothing of 80’s significance” I am still listening to 80’s music throughout the day or listening to an 80’s book, but there is very little to report on.

Day 31 – The last day of the Totally Awesome 80’s August, and I packed it in for what it’s worth.

Everyone got out of work early today, so when I got home I continued watching more of the Littles, but I didn’t end up finishing. it’s is a long DVD. Mill Creek/Cookie Jar pack a whole lot on each DVD: 10 episodes, almost 4 hours. The first DVD is all new episodes (for me), the second DVD is a copy of the same DVD in my 100 TV Toons to Go box. The third DVD is even longer with 8 episodes and 2 feature length movies. While I was watching this show I was playing more Lunar Pool on the NES, but I could not do what I was able to do last Sunday.

In the evening I did the one thing I had been really looking forward to this whole month. I watched Back to the Future, played Back to the Future on the NES and listened to the Back to the Future Soundtrack on the turn table. Let’s go through this piece by piece shall we? Why not, this is the last update after all.

I had (perhaps still have) Back to the Future, on an old VHS tape, recorded off cable TV maybe sometime in the late 80’s (back then, since you paid for cable, there were no commercials – now you pay more, there are commercials and it’s more censored – good work Corporate America). I watched the hell out of this movie as a kid. As will often happen with movies heavily watched I more innocent days, they aren’t as good when you watch them again as an adult. That is absolutely not the case with Back to the Future. I somehow like it even more as an adult. I got Trilogy edition box set in 2003 and it was worth every penny. I didn’t get to watch it when it came up in my Mega DVD Marathon, because it wouldn’t work on my player at the time for some reason, and this is the first time I watched it since Back to the Future day in 2015. I noticed something this time around that I hadn’t ever picked up before: in the opening sequence of the movie that shows all the clocks, one of the clocks has a man hanging off one of the clock hands, this is a reference to the 1923 Harold Lloyd silent film “Safety Last!” however it foreshadows the penultimate scene in the movie in which not Harold but Christopher Lloyd (no relation, I just double checked), hangs from the Clock Tower himself. I also noticed for the first time that Doc Brown bribes a cop when the cop asks him if he has a permit for the equipment he is using for his “scientific experiment.” I’m not sure what this might mean, but it is something to ponder over. I’m sure there are still other hidden references in this movie I haven’t picked up on yet.

Back to the Future on the NES – I’m not going to say a whole lot here. It is not a well received game by most, but it is actually one of my favorites on the system. Back to the Future II&III is an awful game, I have it and have nothing good to say about that one, and since it was released in 1990, it wasn’t on my list to play this month. The first game is a heavily randomized twitch based game that has little to do with the actual movie. During the play session I actually got a score of 50,000 points, getting all the way to the school level, which I’ve only seen once before (I think), so I am getting better at this game.

Back to the Future Soundtrack – this is (I think) the first vinyl I picked up this year. It’s a picture disk, and just excellent, with all the classic songs from the movie: Power of Love, Back in Time, Johnny B. Good, Earth Angel, and even the theme and overture. A great mixture of 80’s rock, 50’s rock and classical, all packaged together in a sharp picture disk vinyl. There were 3 songs on the album that I didn’t recognize from the movie, but I was paying more attention this time and I picked them out. “Time Bomb” by Lindsey Buckingham is the song played on Marty’s radio when he wakes up at 12:30 at night to go see Doc for the first experiment. “The Wallflower (Roll With Me Henry)” by Etta James is the song played on the radio in the Lou’s Diner when George first tries to ask out Loraine. And “Heaven is One Step Away” by Eric Clapton is played on the homeless man’s radio when Marty returns to the present at the end of the movie. So the only song not included in the soundtrack (at least that I can pick up) is “Mr. Sandman” by the Chordettes.

After the Back to the Future Intake, I wrapped up the Totally Awesome 80’s August with the quintessential Brat Pack teen movie: “The Breakfast Club.” I had only seen half of this movie before, in a psychology class I took back in 2005. I’ve had it in my collection for a while, but haven’t gotten around to watching it until now. It’s a great film, a very poignant depiction of the human condition for the American teenager. Only some of the subdermal details could be construed as “Dated” but the characters are all applicable to at least when I was in high school, and I would assume they are still that way, but of course I have no real way of knowing. There are a lot of interesting things to discuss about this movie as well, for instance why Bender (who outwardly seems to hate the rest) is the first to take a dive for the other’s when they are sneaking around the hallway. Or why the other kids cover for bender when he rigs the library door to close. If I did this justice, the blog post on the Breakfast club, would have to be exactly a thousand words long. Though that would be easy, considering this post itself is already: 1,494 words long (according to Apache OpenOffice’s word counter, which is less accurate then other counters for some reason). When the movie was over, according to tradition, I threw my fist in the air.

There is still one more post coming for the Totally Awesome 80’s August… the final tally.

Totally Awesome 80’s August – Weekend Update #4

Day 20 – I took the day off because I was not feeling very well, but I won’t get into that, so I was able to take on some more 80’s stuff.

I finished watching David the Gnome, in fact I finished it last night. Since this is the 4th disk there are two episodes that I do not watch on it: “The Gift” which is a little too sad for me. It’s a happy episode, but it’s an end of life type of happy. Then the final episode, I’ve never watched, and probably never will until maybe the end my life, which I am not planning on reaching any time soon, so for me there were only five episodes to get through.

The hair-banded and spandex god’s of the 80’s must have been smiling upon me because the react channel produced a new “Do College Kids Know 80’s Music” video I knew all 6 of the songs, and 4 of the artists. 3 of the songs I have on my big august playlist, and 1 of them I have on vinyl.

Finished Reading “Pinball, 1973” by Haruki Murikami. I think I’ve been saying 1979, but I just checked and it’s 73. regardless it was written and published in 1982 so it fits. Unlike the first “novel” in the trilogy, covered earlier, this one has the Rat and the narrator separated throughout the story. The narrator dates a pair of twins for the majority of the story, and also is metaphysically called by an old pinball machine which he sets out to find. Despite the bizarre nature of that synopsis right there, it is an easier story to follow then it’s predecessor. This is the third time I’ve read this one, and it’s still worth the reread. Personally, I’ve never been a huge fan of pinball (mostly because I’m not very good at it), but I still found this story (especially the pinball segments) quite interesting.

I continued watching the Real Ghostbusters, and I remembered to bring out my Real Ghostbusters toys to watch it with me. I don’t have many anymore, 3 figures and 2 vehicles: Fright Feature Ray Stantz sitting in the Ecto-2, Screaming Heroes Ray Stantz sitting in the Ecto-3, and Power Pack Winston Zeddmore (with a buzzsaw that is almost a vehicle in itself) I had more of these figures but sadly they have been lost over time, and I don’t have any carded figures, they tend to be a little on the pricier side.

Day 21 – when I opened my desk at work this morning, I found that someone had put a toy in it, a boxed Funko Pop Vinyl figure of Gizmo from the 1984 comedy/horror movie Gremlins. At this point I don’t know who did it, but it was a nice thing for whoever it was to do. This is the first Funko Pop figure in my collection.

Day 22 – I finished “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe” this morning, part 2 of the 5 (or 6) part series “The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy.” This is the third time I’ve read this novel, it’s not quite as good or as funny as the first novel, though it is still very good and very funny. There are several different adventures/scenarios in this book, only one of them being dinner at Milliways (aka the Restaurant at the End of the Universe). Speaking of, if you are not familiar with the book, the restaurant is at the time end of the universe not the physical end, I’m not sure if I’ve described that correctly but you should know what I mean. Other adventures include visiting the man who controls the universe, the total perspective vortex, and the Golgafrinchins who were the useless members of their society and inevitably the ancestors of humans.

I watched the 80’s episodes on my Super Mario Bros. DVD. This DVD is a selection of 7 episodes from: Super Mario Bros. Super Show, Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, and Super Mario World. The later two shows were from the 90’s, the super show was from the 80’s. I noticed in the third episode “Jungle Fever” they actually play the song “Jungle Love” by Moriss Day and the Time, great inclusion there.

While watching it I played Super Mario Bros. on the NES, I didn’t do very well in the game, I never do. I’d like to at some point put a full 8 hours into the game to see how far I get, it’s not the hardest game in the world from what I understand, I’ve just never given it enough time (and I also don’t like the lack of reversibility or continues, which most of the other games have). Though I didn’t have time this day to watch it, I did use the selector which picked out as my next DVD Zelda series, and I will be playing Zelda 1 while watching that, probably on Friday.

I’m coming to the end of my 80’s books & stories playlist, and I still have another week to go, I added 3 more books, but I doubt I’ll be getting through all three of them by the end of the month. Nonetheless, the three books are: Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy, The Broom of the System (abridged) by David Foster Wallace, and Life the Universe and Everything by Douglas Adams.

Day 23 – I finished reading “Westward the Course of Empire Makes it’s Way.” this is the third time I’ve read the story. The first time was actually in print, believe it or not. I got more out of the story this time around as I am more familiar with not just postmodern fiction but also metafiction. The overall story is about a group of young adults, who had been in various McDonald’s Commercials and were headed toward Collision Iowa to be part of a massive McDonald’s Commercial reunion, which itself is also a McDonald’s Commercial. Concepts like this can only be seen in metafiction. There are also many illusions to John Barth’s “Lost in the Funhouse.” It’s an interesting story, somewhat funny, and one of the better stories from Wallace’s first story collection “Girl With Curious Hair.” I’m currently working on my own metafictional/magical realist piece called “Time Transfixed” which is about a slow reader reading a short story while time seems to stop around him, it’s actually my first (of perhaps many) forays into the unusual from. The best piece of this genre that I’ve read so far is “The Tunnel” by William H. Gass, which I’ve already done a blog post about.

Day 24 – I started watching the Legend of Zelda TV series. It’s… okay. Zelda is my favorite video game series of them all, and the cartoon does not quite stack up with the series in general. It has it’s good parts: sword and sorcery, fairly dedicated to the original sorce material, accurate representations of the villains and terminology, but there is one serious flaw… Link talks. Not only does he talk but he is a cocky teenager who’s always trying to get a kiss from Princess Zelda and his catchphrase is: “Well excuse me princess,” which he says a few times each episode. Surprisingly perhaps, I do remember this show from when I was pretty young, I would have only been 4 or 5 years old when it was on. I picked up the DVD for 6$, and it was well worth the price to be included in my collection, despite the meh nature of the show. I didn’t finish watching it, the DVD is over 3 hours long, it is the entire series after all. I’ll probably finish it tomorrow. Being that this DVD is filed under Z for Zelda, it is actually the last DVD alphabetically in my collection, and I probably won’t be watching it again for several years, when I am finally finished my Mega DVD Marathon (at a pace of 4 letters per year, I expect the whole marathon to be finished by this time in 2023, but who knows what will happen by then.

While watching it I played Zelda 1 for a hour. First I played the copy on my 100 Best NES Games Multicart, but when I got the bow, I realized I couldn’t select it. I thought it was a flaw in the game (Multicart games are known for major glitches like this) so I put in the copy I have for the gamboy Advanced (since it is complete and a Zelda game it is one of the more valuable games in my collection, worth 40$). I deleted my big save file from the cart and started a new game, but when I got the bow again I realized it wasn’t a glitch, the game doesn’t let you fire until (I guess) you get the arrows (it’s been a while since I’ve played the game). By the end of the hour I put into the game I was able to make it to the second dungeon, but I don’t know how many times I died because I didn’t save the game properly. This is a game I think I need to get the original of, and when I do I will try to beat it then

I had a little time left to kill after I finished playing the game and I played another one on the multicart… Contra. I’ve already talked about this game in the first review of my multicart. This time around I plugged in the 30 lives code, and I was able to make it to level 3 in about 10 minutes.

Day 25 – I finished watching the Legend of Zelda (the complete Series) and put on RoboCop. It was one of the DVD’s my friend got me for Christmas, and has been highly recommended since. He also said he’d watch it with me (at his house) if I watched it too. So that’s what I/we did. I liked the artier way it was filmed, the semi-distopian environment, and the theme of corporate greed/corruption. However the plot was fairly thin, the acting substandard, and I’m not that big a fan of action movies, cop dramas, or revenge films (or science fiction in general for that matter, I tend to enjoy fantasy more), so I gave the movie 3 out of 5 stars, not the best movie I’ve seen this year (or this month), but certainly not the worst either. When that was over I watched the first half hour or so of Labrynth (through RNG)

Day 26 – finished watching Labrynth. A great movie coming from the mind of Jim Henson, in collaboration with David Bowie. More adult then the Muppet’s tend to be and more surreal to, a lot more surreal. It also serves as parable, a sort of warning about living in a fantasy world. A warning I don’t necessarily agree with, unless you want to equate fantasy with drugs in which case I would. Kind of an ironic message for Jim Henson to be behind. The movie would probably make a good blog post or even paper on it’s own, because there is a lot to discuss within it.

While watching the movie I played Tetris on the NES. I have the original cart (it’s one of my favorite game series – maybe number 2 or 3 on the list, and I have quite a few of it’s iterations, but I won’t be going into that now) but I was actually playing this on the multicart just because that happened to be in the NES at the time, and would save the energy and breath (retro gamers know what I’m talking about) to change the cart. It took me a while to hit my grove, I’m not as good with the game on the NES as I am with other variations, but when I finally hit it, I hit it out of the park, clearing 149 lines, and I still had a lot of room left but suicided the run because… well, the movie was over.

After Labryth I used RNG to pick out “The Littles.” this is a not well remembered cartoon series, but it really should be. It’s about these little sort of anthropomorphic mice that hide from the humans, and the one human who knows about them (named Henry Bigg) and a mad scientist named Dr. Hunter who is trying to find them. I can’t exactly quantify why I like it so much, but I just do. There’s the very well fleshed out characters, good stories, good tension, it’s not well animated but it’s as good as The Real Ghostbusters or Heathcliff (all of which were produced by DIC). I never heard of this show until 2015 when I picked up that infamous 100 TV Toons To Go DVD box. Since then I’ve picked up the entire series, which is what I was watching these episodes on, all of the ones I got through today (3 of them) I had not seen before.

While watching the Little’s I used RNG to select an NES game, which happened to be Trojan. I played it for about 5 minutes, which is about all I can stand of the game (not one of my favorites, it picked it up only for the name and the satirical proposes thereof. After that I said screw it and put on Lunar Pool, my favorite NES game, and I played that. Just like Tetris it took some time to get into the groove, but I did. I set it to start at level 5 (which you don’t even need a cheat code for) and lowered the friction to 20, and I was able to clear 19 tables and get a high score of 23,590 points. It might have been my highest score in the game, I don’t know, the damn cart’s don’t save high scores.

Sorry for the delay in posting.

Totally Awesome 80’s August Weekend Update #3

Day 14 – had a day alone to myself for a while, so I got some things done. I finally listened to some vinyls, specifically “Secrets” by Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark (better known as OMD), and “Hello I Must be Going” by Phil Collins. The later album is not my favorite of his, it only has 2 stand out songs on it, the first song “I Don’t Care Anymore” and “You Can’t Hurry Love” which itself is a cover, though a good one, better then the original. I also used the random movie selector to pick out “Bugs Bunny’s 3rd Movie: 1001 Rabit Tales” and washed that down with a few episodes from “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Season 3.” At the film club we watched clips of and discussed “Heathers.” When I came home, using dice I selected my “Saturday Morning Cartoons of the 1980’s” DVD and watched the first episode. That DVD by the way is one of my favorites. I also posted the Weekend Update from last week, but not including the details about today.

Day 15 – Nothing of 80’s significance. Since there’s nothing much to report, I will give a brief rundown of disk one of “Saturday Morning Cartoons from the 1980’s” the first DVD is simply non-stop entertainment. It starts off with “Goldy Gold” a screwball comedy/adventure show about the world’s richest girl. This is followed by an episode of “Chuck Norris Karate Comandos” of which I hardly need to say anything else, even if you’ve never heard of this cartoon… you already know what it’s about and how over the top it is. This is followed by “The Completely Mental Adventures of Ed Grimly” which is a cartoon created and performed by Martin Short, and is the screwiest of all screwball cartoons that I’ve seen. Then we have 4 shorts from the Flintstones Kids, which I actually like more then the original Flintstones. Finally the disk is wrapped up with Mr. T, which is the worst show on the disk, and still easily a 4 star TV show all the way, that’s how good this DVD is. I picked up this DVD at five and bellow back in 2014 (if you want it now, you can get it on Amazon for 38$!), this was right around the same time that I picked up “Tetris Attack” for the Gameboy at S&S Games. I played that game and watched this DVD for hours, and remember it most fondly. Unfortunately Tetris Attack is a 1995 game, so I can’t play it while watching the DVD this time.

Day 16 – added some new songs to my august playlist, including some metal this time:

  • Murderer by Helloween

  • Guardians by Helloween

  • Heavy Metal (Is the Law) by Helloween

  • The Prisoner by Iron Maiden

  • The Number of the Beast by Iron Maiden

  • Run to the Hills by Iron Maiden

  • Hallowed Be Thy Name by Iron Maiden

  • Automatic by the Pointer Sisters

  • Back in Time by Hewy Lewis and the News

  • Deathcrush by Mayhem

  • Chainsaw Gutsfuck by Mayhem

  • (Weird) Manheim & Pure Fucking Armageddon by Mayhem

  • Atomic by Blondie

  • I Ran by a Flock of Seagulls

  • Mama by Genesis

  • That’s All by Genesis

  • Keep On Loving You by REO Speedwagon

  • Take It One the Run by REO Speedwagon

  • Don’t Let Him Go by REO Speedwagon

  • What is Love by Howard Jonas

  • New Song by Howard Jonas

  • Like a Virgin by Madonna

  • Material Girl by Madonna

  • Like a Prayer by Madonna

  • The Brazillian by Genesis

  • Tom Sawyer by Rush

  • Red Barchetta by Rush

  • Limelight by Rush

  • The Camera Eye by Rush

  • Sussudio by Phil Collins

  • Only You Know and I Know by Phil Collins

  • Take Me Home by Phil Collins

  • Safety Dance by Men Without Hats

  • I Like by Men Without Hats

  • Heart and Soul by Hewy Lewis and the News

  • I Want a New Drug by Hewy Lewis and the News

  • You Crack Me Up by Hewy Lewis and the News

  • Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go by Soft Cell

  • Tainted Dub by Soft Cell

  • Transfer Affection by a Flock of Seagulls

  • Walk the Dinosaur by Was (Not Was)

  • Home by the Sea by Genesis

  • Looking for a New Love by Jody Watley

  • I Want a Woman by Ratt

  • Round and Round by Ratt

  • Way Cool Jr. by Ratt

Day 17 – finally I have a nice Friday. I finished watching the first disk of the Saturday Morning Cartoons of the 1980’s, and I’ll be watching some of the second disk on my computer once I finished the Christmas tape. I played Fester’s Quest for about 5 minutes, which is about all I can take of that game (the ultimate NES Guidebook gives the game 3 stars, I gave it 2 and that’s being very generous), and then (using RNG) I watched Porky’s. Not sure what I think of that film, a bit crude for my personal tastes, though there were some funny scenes in it, I’ll have to think about it more, but right now I’m giving it 3 stars. Can you believe it was directed by the same guy who directed “A Christmas Story”? It’s better then that film at any rate, but then again, most things are.

Day 18 – I took my wife to go get a massage today, and when I do that I usually stop into my favorite record store and pick up a few new pieces for my collection. Today I picked up two 80’s albums: Tiffany’s self titled debut album, and “Contact” by the Pointer Sisters (which doesn’t have any of there big hits on it), and another album of a song that is 206 years old, but that doesn’t bare any significance here. When I got home I did some writing and simultaneously finished watching the 1988 Christmas Tape. So I put the second disk of the “Saturday Morning Cartoons of the 1980’s” in my computer to watch while writing or doing other work. The second disk is a little more hit or miss with the cartoons then the first disk in the set. The good stuff includes one episode from: Goltar and the Golden Lance, Thundarr the Barbarian, and Dragon’s Lair each. The not so good stuff includes: Monchichi, and Biskitts, which I skipped for this watching (they’re okay, but I much prefer the sword ans sorcery stuff).

Thundarr is most interesting because it is a Sword and Sorcery show but instead of taking place in a fantasy world or the past, it takes place in a postapocalyptic future, with both magic and science, I plan on picking up this series sometime soon, but probably not this month.

Tonight using RNG I watched “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” it’s one of the most 80’s movies ever made, if you ask me. I don’t know if I’d be so bold as to call it “Excellent” but it’s good. I picked it up at a book sale a few months back but haven’t gotten to see it until now, and I won’t likely see it again until I hit the leftovers of my Mega DVD collection. I saw it before but remembered almost nothing from it, so I put it down in my lists as a new watch. I had the forthought this time to get my Ted action figure and the phone booth from the same toy line out and set them up on my table so they could watch the movie with me. I’ve wanted to get some more toys in the set but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

After Bill & Ted, using RNG I selected Heathcliff. I have the entire series in one box, however, I won’t be watching the entire thing this month, I wouldn’t watch anything else, so I’m just watching the first disk. RNG also selected David the Gnome to watch on the computer. Since I’ve seen the series (quite a few times) thus far I used RNG again to select which disk to watch, which happened to be the fourth. The one downside to this is I was planning on playing Lunar Pool while watching it, but I won’t get to do that this month, nothing wrong with that though, it will be done eventually this year I’m sure.

Day 19 – Another rainy weekend day (my favorite kind), I got a lot of writing done, and got a lot of 80’s things absorbed. I started the day off writing and finishing the first disk of Heathcliff, I didn’t pay too much attention to it, but I did notice a few episodes in which Heathcliff was palling around with the Cadillac Cats, of which there was only one episode of this nature on the 100 TV Toons to Go Heathcliff DVD. In fact the first time I watched that DVD I wondered for most of it if Heathcliff existed in the same area as Riff-Raff and the gang. The first episode of the series answers this question well.

At the end of the DVD there was a bonus episode of “The Get Along Gang” which I had already seen on the TV Toons to Go DVD. Yes it is an 80’s cartoon as well, but not one of my favorites in that box, so I turned it off and instead using RNG put on “The Great Muppet Caper.” I already saw this movie once before, so I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to it this time around, but don’t get me wrong, it’s a great movie nonetheless, with a modest amount of Muppet’s irreverent postmodern humor throughout. The basic plot is that the Muppets go to England as news reporters to report on and perhaps solve a jewel highest. Miss Piggy is accused of the robbery, and Jim Henson (RIP – yes, he’s been dead for a while, but it’s still sad, a true genius silenced too soon, he would be 82 if he was still alive) made a cameo in it.

While the movie played I threw on some vinyl and some NES games, both using RNG. The first album was “Sowing the Seed’s of Love” by Tears for Fears. The album is 12” single with the title song on side A, and “Tears Roll Down” and “Shout (USA Remix)” on side B, great songs all three but I like the original “Shout” a little better (side note my favorite T4F song is “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” featured in the movie “Real Genius”).

I played on round of Golf in “Lee Trevino’s Fighting Golf” which is one of the many (and also one of the better) golf games on the NES. I played the USA course, and wound up with a score of 45 over par. Not my best work, but it’s been a while since i’ve played this game, if I gave it a few more rounds I could easily cut that score in half I think, but not enough time this month to verify that claim.

After “Sowing the Seeds of Love” stopped, I threw on one of the greatest albums from the 80’s “Sports” by Huey Lewis and the News (spelled it right this time). Almost every song on the album was played heavily when I used to work at Wawa, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t like sports in general, as any reader of this blog should already know, but this album is an acceptation. Obviously.

After I finished the round of Golf, I put on Othello, and played two games. I had a little trouble with it because I kept forgetting what color I was playing as. This may sound strange but I even have the same problem with chess (computer chess not over-the-board). Regardless I lost twice, but I came fairly close in the second game. It’s an odd game that requiors thinking in a very different way. The game is also called “Reversi” if your familiar with that. The games went quick, and after too of them I threw on Wheel of Fortune. I played three games and won all three but I lost the bonus round. The bonus round is hard because you only get 5 letters and a vowel to solve, so you likely need to choose “RSTLNE” but that’s not usually enough. Another problem with this game is that you are only give 7 seconds to pick weather to spin, by a vowel or solve, and there’s no pause button, I guess that’s to prevent cheating, but it makes it tough.

When Sport ended I put on the last vinyl for the day, which was “Benefactor” by Romeo Void. This is a bit of an oddity, they were basically a one hit wonder in the 80’s with the song “Never Say Never” [link] better know by the curious “I might like you better if we slept together.” the song was used in Vice City and the movie Dodge Ball, but it has been largely forgotten since then. That’s the best song on the album. The first time I liesten to this album I was rather disappointed in it, but this time around I found it was a lot better.

The album was still playing when the Muppets ended, so I used RNG and selected the Real Ghostbusters to put on, and used a die to pick the fifth disk. But I only made it through about half of the first episode before I had to go upstairs for dinner.

After dinner I started watching David the Gnome, while writing up this blog entry. But more on that when I “finish” the disk. And you’ll also see why I put the word “finish” in quotes then.

Totally Awesome 80’s August Weekend Update #2

Day 6 – finished “The Gunslinger.” I’ve read this book a few times already, in fact this is the sixth time I’ve read it. I read it in the summer of 2003 (fifteen years ago) for the first time, when I first started keeping track of everything I’ve read, and I’ve read more then 4000 pieces since then. I’m a big fan of Stephen King, obviously, and almost as obviously a big fan of the Dark Tower series. I’ve read the series in it’s entierty twice, it would have been more times had it not been for “The Song of Susanna” which is not very good, or once if you count “The Wind Through the Keyhole” which is good, but it’s newer. If you don’t already know, “The Gunslinger” is a Weird Western, a gun totting cowboy descendant of King Arthur and the last of his kind is traveling across a post-apocalyptic wasteland in search of the Dark Tower, though we don’t know why exactly he is searching for it, and also what it is. The novel can also be read as an interconnected story collection, five stories, not very long, are labeled as chapters, but there are chapters within these chapters, and with each sub-chapter the story goes back in time a few clicks until it is reset. The first chapter/story is very western, each chapter gets a little less western and a little more weird. They made it into a movie as well, but I have not seen it, in fact I refuse to see it and talk about it here. I may read the series again, it’s been a while. The book is more difficult to follow then your typical King novel, however, it’s nothing compared to the next book in the playlist which I started today “Here the Wind Sing.” I’ll probably finish it tomorrow and talk more about that in Day 7.

Day 7 – finished reading “Hear the Wind Sing” the first time I read this book/story I had a lot of early mornings that involved driving, and I was quite tired at the time, and I attribute that to why I didn’t understand or remember it quite as well. The story/book/(let’s call it a novel, since that’s what it’s author calls it) is not as difficult as I remember. There isn’t a whole lot of plot, and it’s certainly a post-modern work, and quite good. The story is basically about an unnamed narrator who spends the last two and a half weeks of his summer break from school drinking with a friend of his called “the Rat” they have interesting conversations, he gets involved with a woman with nine fingers, and that’s about it. He references a pulp writer from the 50’s, named Derek Hartfield, he wrote 50,000 words to 100,000 words a month (I’ve done that before but not regularly, if I wrote full time I probably could), and killed himself by jumping off the empire state building holding a portrait of Hitler in one hand and an umbrella in the other (the image of which to me is very funny for some reason, but I can’t exactly say why, it probably shouldn’t be, but come on, that is quite the image) I looked up Hartfield while listening to this book, because I am a fan of the old pulps, but as it turns out he is a fictional character in the book. Apparently sometimes fiction can be stranger then the truth, at least in Murakami’s world. “Hear the Wind Sing” is Murakami’s first novel, and the first part of “The Trilogy of the Rat” believe it or not today, Murakami is considered the most popular writer in the world. Including this I’ve read four of his novels, one of his story collections, and his children’s book, and I will be reading his latest story collection come September (since it’s not an 80’s book). I believe that is every audiobook of his available at the library. Personally I’ve been gunning for him or Pynchon to get the Nobel Prize for a few years now.

After finishing that novel. I listened to David Foster Wallace’s “Little Expressionless Animals” one of my favorite stories of his. It’s about a contestant on Jeopardy, which is my favorite game show (I watch it just about every night), Alex Trebek is a character in the story, as it Pat Sayjak. The story uses a lot of Wallace’s signature tricks within it and it is a very good way to experience the world of DFW before diving headfirst into his magnum opus “Infinite Jest.”

I finished mowing the lawn in the ungodly hot and muggy weather we’ve been having here on the east coast, and I was considering listening to more of “Pinball, 1979” while doing so, but instead I opted to listen to my 80’s drivin’ playlist. I said earlier that I should cover it a little more, so here’s the first song. “Lord of the Dance” by Jump Squad. I don’t know much about this band, other then that this song was released in 1981. “Lord of the Dance” is my favorite christian hymn, by far, not that there are a whole lot of contenders, it actually uses the same tune as a Quaker hymn called “Simple Gifts” which is just as good if you ask me, if not better since it’s less churchy, “Lord of the Dance” isn’t all that churchy either to be honest, the story and concepts conveyed are more vague then anything else. Also, let’s face it, Irish music is great (it’s not the greatest, that goes forever to the Finns), especially Irish Punk, which this song very much is, I hope you follow the link and enjoy the song as much as I have.

Day 8 – I built a big playlist for august, made up entirely of 80’s songs. The playlist is 10 hours long. Below is the full list, I’m not going to detail each song, it would take me too long. Some of these may not actually be 80’s but if they aren’t it’s an honest mistake:

  • Hear in my Car by Gary Newman

  • Where’s the Party by Madonna

  • I Ware My Sunglasses at Night by Corey Hart

  • Always Something There to Remind Me by Naked Eyes

  • Come On Eileen by Dexy’s Midnight Runners

  • Der Kommisar by After the Fire

  • Heart of Glass by Blondie

  • I Think We’re Alone Now by Tiffany

  • Cowboy by Boys Don’t Cry

  • Melt with You by Modern English

  • In the 21st Century by Men Without Hats

  • Just to Be the Next to Be With You by Mr. Big

  • Mony Mony by Billy Idol

  • You Drop the Bomb on Me by Gap Band

  • She Drives Me Crazy by Fine Young Cannibals

  • Don’t Let Let Him Get You Down by Fine Young Cannibals

  • Suspicious Minds by Fine Young Cannibals

  • Tarzan Boy by Baltimora

  • Somebody’s Watching Me by Rockwell

  • Jump (for Your Love) by the Pointer Sisters

  • Rhythm of the Night by DeBarge

  • Up All Night by the Boomtown Rats

  • Tell Him by Hello

  • Calling You by the Raccoons

  • In a Big Country by Big Country

  • On Our Own by Bobby Brown

  • Higher and Higher by Howard Huntsby

  • Fly to the Angles by Slaughter

  • Kickstart My Heart by Motley Crew

  • Jump by Van Halen

  • Turn Up the Radio by Autograph

  • Funky Town by Pseudo Echo

  • Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC

  • God Blessed Video by Alcatraz

  • Lord of the Dance by Jump Squad

  • The War Song by Culture Club

  • Power of Love by Hewy Lewis and the News

  • Saint Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion) by John Parr

  • Cult of Personality by Living Colour

  • Run Runaway by Slade

  • Swept Away by Yanni

  • She Sells Sanctuary by the Cult

  • Everyday is Holloween by Ministry

  • Haunted When the Minutes Drag by Love and Rockets

  • No Words by Clan of Xymox

  • Giving Ground by The Sisterhood

  • Hong Kong Garden by Siouxie and the Banshees

  • When the Punks Go Marching In by the Abrasive Wheels

  • Head Over Heals by Accept

  • Forever Young by Alphaville

  • Midnight Garden by And Also the Trees

  • Voor De Dood by Aroma Di Amore

  • Walk Like an Egyption by The Bangles

  • The Entertainer by Billy Joel

  • It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me by Billy Joel

  • Don’t Ask Me Why by Billy Joel

  • My Prerogative by Bobby Brown

  • One Foot in Front of the Other by Bone Symphony

  • Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler

  • Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen

  • Dancing in the Dark by Bruce Springsteen

  • Video Killed the Radio Star by the Buggles

I’ve been watching my 1988 Christmas Tape in peacemeal for a few days and watched a chunk of that. I’m not going to explain too much what’s on that tape (in fact I won’t be explaining anything about it at all) because it will be the subject of a forthcoming lengthy blogpost. Now I know I say that I have posts coming, but that one, already has significant work done on it, so I can in fact virtually guarantee you will see it in December.

Continuing with insight on my playlist, here’s a small description of the next song. “The War Song” by Culture Club. Most people when they hear the name Culture Club will think of “Karma Chameleon” or perhaps “Do You Want to Hurt Me” less so with this song. I never heard it before. I saw a video about vinyl rules, which said when ever you go to get records pick up something randomly from the dollar bin. That’s what I did for this one, there were three songs on the single all of them remixes of “The War Song” and it was quite good. The actual version of the song on my playlist is the “Ultimate Remix” that is 6 minutes plus and has the chorus in at least English and Spanish, and was recorded off the vinyl. It’s very catchy. I’ve woken up many mornings with it stuck in my head. However I’d have to admit that the song gets old fairly quick, and I tend to skip it when it comes up, my apologize Boy George.

Day 9 – I got home late from my writers group and I had about a half hour to watch something. I didn’t have time open my random movie selector so I used a tried and true method, a pair of dice. The dice told me to put in the 9th DVD on my first shelf, this turned out to be National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, so that’s what I did. I’ve seen this movie hundreds of times, but I still enjoy it every time.

The next song on my playlist is “Power of Love” by Hewy Lewis and the News. Do I really need to say anything else? Probably not, but I do have a few things to say. This song is also recorded off my vinyl picture disk of the “Back to the Future Soundtrack” (one of my favorite vinyls in my collection, one of the few I’ve gotten new, and one of most expansive). The song is also the base of a very funny Family Guy nonesequitur. Ironic how these things work out sometimes, but I actually heard this song today at Wawa.

Day 10 – I left for a little father/son trip today (which is why this weekend update is a day late). There was nothing of 80’s significance today, so here’s the next song. “Saint Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion) by John Parr. Back in May my wife and I were in a bird store when this song came on the radio. I had never heard it before, but I really liked the sound, vary 80’s power pop. I had to pull out my phone and shazam it, (its a vary powerful app, if you’ve never used it, and one I highly recommend). I got the name of the song and had it on my regular driving playlist since. Then later that month I went out to dinner with a friend of mine and it came on the radio again in his car I can’t exactly say why this song seems to be on the radio right now (or a few months ago), the movie that it is the theme song of (more on that in the last weekend update) was made in 1985, and 33 is not a vary significant anniversary. Regardless I’m glad I heard it, and to a degree part of the reason why I chose to do this Totally Awesome 80’s August.

Day 11 – still on vacation. My dad and I did a 30 miles bike ride today, and some of that time I had not my 80’s driving playlist going but instead my “Big August Playlist.”

When I got to the hotel tonight, I was too tired to do any writing, so instead I put a movie on my laptop. Instead of continuing with my Christmas Tape, I instead turned on “Heathers” another significant reason behind the to Totally Awesome 80’s August. I thought this movie was outstanding after the first time I watched it. After watching it for a second time, with some time to decompress… I thought it was even better. Dark? Oh yeah it’s dark, and calling this a black comedy is not really accurate. There is a term that is used in the movie “Bizarro” and that is actually a fairly good descriptor for it. It is an extreme movie and a grotesque one as well. Not grotesque in a visceral sort of way (a make you sick to your stomach/can’t look), but grotesque in it’s traditional sense, extreme and warped with extenuated pieces. It’s an atry film, and a teen film, and a romantic horror film, it’s really a sui genres (a genre unto itself), there are other movies of this type, which is to say of no type but themselves, on my list of films watched, the one which comes first to mind is “Amalie” (which itself is unfortunately about 10 years to young to make it into this project). The others are: “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and “Donnie Darko.” the basic premise of this movie is: Wynona Rider is part of the most popular clique in school “the Heathers” all of whom are named Heather (accept for Ryder who’s name is Veronica), the main Heather (Kim Walker) sets out to destroy Veronica but before she can, Veronica with the help of her boyfriend J.D. (Christian Slater) kill her. This leads them on a love fueled killing spree, etc. this is not a typical movie in any way, it might start out as such, bullies, popular girls, and so on, but it dosn’t follow any traditional arch, even the opening credit sequence is grotesque and surreal. The movie has a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, staggeringly high. We are going to do it for the film club in two days, at my suggestion, and it should make for a very interesting movie. I could write for hours detailing brilliance built on every small minute detail, but I’ll save that for another time.

The next song on my playlist is: “Cult of Personality” by Living Colour. I don’t want to sound raciest, but… don’t you just love sentences that start out like that, and you know the next part of that sentence is going to be something that is incredibly blatantly racist. I don’t think the next part of this sentence is racist personally, but just encase be forewarned… I am surprised that the band that wrote and performed this song is black. There are very few black people in the metal word, yes there are some of course, but not a lot, and also a lot of black people tend not to enjoy metal very much, which is completely their right to do so, I don’t hold it against them. But regardless it’s hard to believe that this song came from black musicians, it is very heavy and very metal, and very good. It’s almost as surprising that this song came from the 80’s, it was well ahead of it’s time. Even metal of the time, which was primarily dominated by Hair and Glam varieties, was not typically this fast or technical. This song had a bit of a resurgence in the mid aughts, when it was included in the video games “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” and “Guitar Hero” absolutely worth checking out, great song, heavy, fast, technical, with quite profound lyrics, and a very 80’s music video. A five star song all day any day. And a lot of review for today, sorry.

Day 12 – well the good news here is that there’s not much new to report, I finished watching “Heathers” and that was about all, as far as 80’s stuff goes. As for the last song that is currently on my 80’s drivin’ playlist, “Run Runaway” by Slade. I never heard this song before until I was waiting in line to get a prescription filled a few weeks ago. I loved it immediately, and I recognized it from something else, a distant memory. I listened to the song a bunch more times before I realized what it was. The song is based on an old West African folk song called “Fanga Alafia” don’t ask me why I know this song, but here listen to it and now listen to the Slade song and tell me they don’t sound similar, you know they do. Strangely enough, no one online seems to have made this connection before, perhaps I am the first.

Day 13 – I woke up this morning on the last day of my father/son trip in Punxatawny. I would have liked to watch groundhog day today, but unfortunately it’s not an 80’s movie, early 90’s. When I got home I finished watching Christmas Vacation, and I noticed something this time around that I hadn’t noticed before. When Clark is in the attic he pulls out an old film reel labeled “Christmas ’59” which as die hard Christmas Vacation fans should know is the title of the short story (by John Hughes) that the movie is based on. If you haven’t read it before, you can find it here, it took me years to find this story, and unfortunately it is not nearly as good as the movie, so be forewarned.

Once that was over I used my random selector for the next movie which turned out to be “The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie” as far as I know Warner Brothers made 3 feature length anthology movies that threw a bunch of classic cartoon shorts together with a thin frame story. This is the second one (the first was 1979). this movie features the following classic looney tunes shorts: Knighty Knight Bugs, Hare Trimmed, Roman Legion-Hare, Devil’s Feud Cake, Sahara Hare, Wild and Woolly Hare, the Unmentionables, Golden Yeggs, Catty Cornered, Three Little Bops, Birds Anonymous, High Diving Hare, and Show Biz Bugs. While the movie was playing I played a half hour of Top Gun on the NES, I died 4 times landed the plane 3 times, and got a high score of 34k, I never beat the second level.

Totally Awesome All 80’s August – Weekend Update 1

Day 1 – the experiment started out badly, but that was not in relation to the experiment, so I will not be going into it. I did listen to a sliver of the song “Ride” by Tyr, which was on my playlist first thing in the morning, but then I switched to my 80’s driving list which started with “Lord of the Dance” by Jump Squad [link]. In the afternoon I put down “Breath of the Wild” (my favorite Wii U game), and started playing “NES Remix” (my second favorite Wii U game) now of course that’s not an 80’s game, but rather it is a collection of mini games from the NES era, most of which (but not all) are from the 80’s. I erased my save data on the game (the second time I’ve done so) and started collecting stars from the beginning.

Day 2 – I had to slightly break the rules to show a friend of mine a piece of “Constant Fear” by Bohren & Der Club of Gore, because I had to show him what Dark Jazz is. Nothing much else to report.

Day 3 – Okay, our first weekend night to really indulge in the 80’s, though I didn’t indulge a whole lot, because I wanted to work on some writing. I was able to dig into my 80’s audio book playlist while working during the day. I read/listened to: “The Birth of My Kitchen Table Fiction” by Haruki Murikami, “Crouch End” and “The End of the Whole Mess” by Stephen King, “Fictional Futures and the Conspicuously Young” and “Girl with Curious Hair” by David Foster Wallace, and a little bit of “The Gunslinger.”

Here’s a quick review of each story. “The Birth of My Kitchen Table Fiction” is technically a 2000’s essay and the introduction of the book “Wind/Pinball” it’s both a good introduction and a good stand alone autobiographical essay on writing, I’ll be reading the rest of the book this month so I figured I should listen to this essay regardless. “Crouch End” is a Cathulu horror based in a suburb of 1980’s London, told through a woman who walks into a police station reporting her missing husband, unusually the story (only an hour and change long) has an epilogue. “The End of the Whole Mess” read by 80’s icon Farris Buler himself, this is a story about a child genius who develops a protean that makes people peaceful, but with apocalyptic consequences, really good story in itself, takes place around now, but it’s set in the future, the future in this story is a little worse then things are right now, but not too far off. “Fictitious Futures and the Conspicuously Young” is an easy by David Foster Wallace bemoaning the (then) state of modern literature, specifically that of the minimalist literary brat pack movement of the mid to late 80’s (Ellis, Janowitz, MacInerney, Et. al), not a flattering essay, but an interesting cretique of the movement. “Girl with Curious Hair” I may be wrong, but I have a feeling that this story is Wallace’s attempt at mocking the very minimalist movement that he critiqued in the afor mentioned essay, interesting story, one of the better ones from the collection that shares the same name.

During the night, my first night of the Totally Awesome 80’s August, while I did some writing, I had Ducktales playing in the background. Ducktales has one of the best theme songs of all time (and here’s the obligatory metal cover) If you’ve been following the Mega DVD Marathon series on this blog, you will know that I watched Ducktales not all that long ago. This wasn’t a problem though, I like the show as it is (most people my age do), I wanted something on in the background that I was familiar with so that I wouldn’t get too distracted by it (nor unfairly not give my attention to something that hadn’t seen before), and most importantly, a random number genorator said to put it on, and since it fit with the other criteria, there was no need to do a second drawing of RNG.

Day 4 – I’ve been interested in seeing “Saint Elmo’s Fire” for a few months after coming across the John Parr theme song, but i’ve been holding off on watching it until this month. I had to get a copy from the library, because I don’t have it… yet, that will change if I come across it at a reasonable price, the movie is worth rewatching, I give it an easy 4 out of 5 stars. I thought it would be a teen drama, but it actually revolves around post college malaise. One downside is that the movie is much more timeless then I expected, yes it takes place in the 80’s and the apartment decor is very 80’s, but the movie could have been made at any time post maybe 60’s and would have been just as applicable. This would have been a good thing if it wasn’t for the nature of the experiment. I washed the movie down (using RNG) with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Season 1. And because sometimes you have to do these sorts of things, I played TMNT on the NES, I made it to level 2 (the damn dam level). That game looks great in my Retron 2.

Day 5 – another rough day, it was very hot and humid and I was crazy enough to spend it mowing the lawn, it was grueling. I listened to my still rather short 80’s driving playlist three times before I put on and continued reading/listening to “The Gunslinger.” I also decided that if I am able to get through everything in the 80’s audiobook playlist, before month’s end, then I will start listing to “Blood Meridian or the Evening Redness in the West” by Cormack McCarthy. Since you asked, right now the “80’s Driving” playlist consists of the following, feel free to enjoy the links:

Looking at the list of songs, I probably should do a quick review of each because they are all quite interesting. But I’ll save that for another day I think.