Tag: memoir (Page 1 of 9)

Pen15: My Favorite 90’s References

Pen15 is the 90’s show I wish I’d written.

(The first season of Pen15 is streaming on Hulu. It’s rated M). 

First, the title is brilliant.

The only thing that might come close is an image of an upside down calculator with 58008

Second, the 90’s references are right on. The toys, the fashion, technology, the food, the school supplies. . .

Third, the SOUNDTRACK is perfect.

There should be a warning that Pen15 may cause nightmares even if middle school is decades behind you; the type of nightmares where you find yourself back in grade school where you can’t remember your locker combination or carrying a lunch tray desperately searching for a place to sit in the cafeteria.

Even so, Pen15 captures the heartbreak, humor, awkwardness, and beauty of that best friendship I remember from growing-up in the 90’s. As an awkward Asian girl who grew up in the suburbs, I related to Maya.

Here are seven of my favorite references that brought me back:

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Dancing With Imposture Syndrome: My 1st Class At The Loft

The most fun thing I did this winter was go to a writing class at The Loft Literary Center.

On a lark, after a rough week at work, I scrolled through the class listings. A class on humor writing caught my eye. Seeing that Mary Jo Pehl was instructing, I signed up right away.

Immediately after hitting the submit button, I panicked; the confirmation described the class as “Intermediate” level.

Surely I was not an intermediate level writer.

I fired off an email back to the Loft.

“I THINK I SIGNED UP FOR THE WRONG CLASS!”

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90’s Country & 112 Eatery

I remember dutifully going with my mom to a Huey Lewis casino concert. She loaded us kids up in the mini van alongside my cousin and his friend.

They wanted to come. Actually, they were big fans.

“I can’t believe our friends made fun of us for going to this concert instead of Smashing Pumpkins,” they lamented. “Billy Corgan sounds like a parrot.” I was never able to unhear it.

We’ve hit that age where we don’t recognize some of the singers on the GRAMMYs, a lot singers on the Video Music Awards. and, certainly none of the ones nominated for Teen Choice Awards.

Our favorite singers are making the casino circuits now. We knew this day would come. Yours will come, too.

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Allow Me To Ruin Your Favorite 90’s Movies

Allow me ruin your favorite 90’s movies by watching them for the first time in my mid 30’s and writing a brief synopsis.

There are a lot of movies from the 90’s (and late 80’s) that I didn’t watch. Growing up my parents were strict about what we could watch. Thankfully, not quite as strict as my friend whose parents drew all sorts of funky conclusions between Disney movies and the devil.

We all had that friend whose house we’d watch some of those movies, anyway, and read Cosmo magazines. But, for the most part, I didn’t watch a lot of movies.

One of my favorite things to do is watch famous 90’s movies for the first time as an adult. It’s cathartic. Some of the movies still resonate surprisingly well while others make you wonder how anyone thought they was funny.

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When You Watch “Now & Then,” Now.

Something Now & Then and Stranger Things gets really right about our childhoods is kids riding around on bikes.

Much of our childhoods were spent riding around on bikes with our friends having glorious adventures. Oftentimes, chasing boys.

My husband caught part of Now & Then. He had never heard of this movie before. We went over the star-studded pairings of which woman was matched with girl.

“Wait, who’s Little Johnny?” Why are they in a cemetery?”

“Jake, little girls just do weird shit like this,” I explained. Because we did.

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