Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Vintage Travel Pennants and Memories of Magic-Glo'

I remember these old-school travel pennants on the walls of Gen Xers while I was growing up.  I don't remember kids my own age having these (second wave Xers) but I have vague memories of seeing these on the bedroom walls of their older brothers or sisters (first wave Gen Xers).    

Hanging these up on the wall could really impress your friends - you would have visual proof of how well-traveled you were and these could also lead to conversations where you could brag about all the cool places you went the previous maybe Skagway?

I saw these at a quirky Portland store that sells all kinds of very random things (notice the bowl of candy in the background and also the bowl of scissors).

This time of year my mind is illumintated with cartoon characters and vintage fonts and the Magic-Glo of the costumes of the late Octobers of my early childhood.  These images can be hard to explain to someone who doesn't know what I'm talking about.  It is sort of Hanna Barbara-ish.  It is sort of Ben Cooper-ish.... 

Halloween is considered the most important holiday to Generation X.  It would be hard to have a Gen X blog and not write about Halloween....while other holidays can be full of family conflict, Halloween is simple - there aren't expectations of you and by putting on a costume you can escape reality even if for just one night. 

Happy Halloween, Xers. 


Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Party Kitchen!

Remember the Party Kitchen?  

If you are a first wave Gen Xer (those now most likely in their 40s) you might remember your younger sibling having one of these, and if you are a second wave Xer like myself (those most likely in their 30s) you may remember playing with one.  Nothing was better than going to play at a friend's house and discovering they owned one of these...this toy made for a very fun afternoon.
A friend of mine has this in her kids' play room and she let me take some photos....

Watch out!! These burners look like they're ready to cook anything!  The stove top dials can be turned to three different settings in popular early 1980s colors. 

The smoky glass (or maybe just plastic) oven front and cutting edge digital timer - so very 80s.  

A phone that you can talk on while you cook helps with multitasking - 
you can fry eggs while you rotary dial a friend!  


The folding side table is waiting for you  to come have a seat - there s a delicious chicken leg ready 
to be eaten with a spork.  Appetizing?  No?  

Maybe you'd like some waffles instead?  They've been on this plate waiting for you since 1983.

Bon Appetit!

(For KB - my wonderful Gen X friend who appreciates rotary phones and plastic waffles a much as I do!!) 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Room for the Outcasts

Back in 2008, when asked in an interview by Vanity Fair magazine who his hero is, John Cusack answered this:

"Let's go with Jesus. Not the gay-hating, war-making political tool of the right, but the outcast, subversive, supreme adept who preferred the freaks and lepers and despised and doomed to the rich and powerful..."

Back in 2008, it was the last American presidential election year. Four year laters, here we are again with less than a month away from voting.   I'm a registered independent who usually doesn't get offended when statements are made about either the right or the left, unless maybe when it is a completely unfair statement. The statement Cusack made is fair at least in the sense that this is how many from the right are viewed either because of media or bad choices of individuals.  Often times the right seems like it has become a sort of caricature.

I have known plenty of compassionate Republicans who live the kind of life that would make it impossible to associate with any kind of bigotry. I've known Democrats who don't agree with all the Democratic Party's beliefs, but there is far too much about the Republican party that they cannot support.

When I have, at moments, felt embarrassed of being a Christian in my life, it is not because I am embarrassed of Christ. I have felt embarrassed to be associated with the caricature of those who become much more concerned by the letter of the law than the spirit of the law. Those who would hold up signs with hateful language on it, but have never once helped to feed the hungry are no representation of Christ, and they are an embarrassment to the Christianity I try to live. 

As I'm writing this, I'm watching the VP debate between a Catholic Xer and a Catholic Boomer.  When an election is on the horizon, it is always a struggle for me.  Sometimes I feel exhausted and almost apathetic toward the political world.  I struggle with the too-white smiles and the spin and the soundbites and I wonder what the point of politics even is.  Other times, when I am able to get past the frustration and engage more, I struggle with who to vote for as I wrestle internally with all the issues on the table because of all the morality that is at stake.  Either way it is a struggle.  And it should be. 

I do not regret the times in my life I have been subversive.  We can all make more room in our minds for being subversive against the too powerful.  I do not regret the times in my life that I've surrounded myself with the outcast.  We can all make more room in our hearts for the outcasts. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Red Leaves and Sunlight

When the leaves are only just beginning to fall and the warmth of the sun is still in your bones, that might just be your moment.

It might be your moment when there is a delicate balance of enough youth still within you along with a wisdom that comes from a certain number of years on this earth.  All of this together - all of this happening at the perfect time and place can mean one thing...

...this might be your moment.  Don't let it pass.   

  (c) 2012 photography by Chloe Koffas