From the Archives: GenX: The Toys that Warped a Generation

Editor’s note: Here’s a blast from the past, before we had so many readers.  This one goes out to our Olds, on a hot summer night perfect for nostalgia.

It’s time to step in to the TARDIS, fellow Gen Xers, to look at the toys that shaped our childhoods and our psyches from the mid-1970s until the mid-1980s.  You Youthfuls may enjoy this as well, but I bet you’ll be shocked at how easy it was for us to seriously injure ourselves on our playthings.  Read More From the Archives: GenX: The Toys that Warped a Generation

The Wet Banana, Shared Phone Line, and Wool Coat of My Youth

The Slip “˜n Slide was a far superior product to the Wet Banana. For those who never experienced the Banana (Koki Toy Company’s answer to the genius of Wham-O’s Slip “˜n Slide and derivative summer slide products like the really awesome Crocodile Mile), it was made up of a long narrow piece of yellow plastic (like a Slip “˜n Slide) accompanied by a sprinkler that looked like a banana (not like the Slip “˜n Slide, which had a hose embedded in the plastic for direct, self-contained sprinkling). The Wet Banana was mostly not awesome because you’d end up hitting your ankle on the metal banana sprinkler while sliding. But it was also not awesome because your dad would take the banana sprinkler and use it to water the flower beds along the side of the house, resulting in it not being available for childhood summer luxury use. Read More The Wet Banana, Shared Phone Line, and Wool Coat of My Youth

“Sassy” Really Did Change My Life

Sassy magazine changed my life. I know that’s the name of a book (by Marisa Meltzer and Kara Jesella – I highly recommend it), but personally speaking, it’s actually true. I picked up my first Sassy in 1988 and as I cracked the mag’s spine, my world opened up. I always knew that I wasn’t quite like other girls in my grade. I dressed differently, liked different music and got excited about different things. Sassy taught me that liking those things didn’t make me a freak – liking those things actually made me cool. Read More “Sassy” Really Did Change My Life

On Being Gen X by Nathalie

I spent my childhood voraciously testing out various paths to Passion. In my teens I discovered photography. All the way to art school, I raced through life with a camera surgically attached to my face. I reveled in the idea of living behind the camera instead of in front, the jaded recovery of an only-child. Before the camera, in that stage between little girl and teenager, I painted. For years I painted on canvas, in school, on trips, on walls. One day I painted Kahlil Gibran’s words in my bedroom wall: Read More On Being Gen X by Nathalie

DEAR JOHN: An Open Letter to John Singleton

I am writing you a letter because I wanted to say “I love you.” I mean, it goes a little beyond that and it’s not a romantic thing, but it is a thing. I love you so much that I have been holding off writing you for, I dunno, 18 years. I keep waiting to find the right time to write you, but there really isn’t a good time for deep conversations, is there? Here. I’ll just rip off the Band-Aid and get this done. Read More DEAR JOHN: An Open Letter to John Singleton

Getting Better With Age (I Think)

Everyone cringes when they see the fashions of their childhood and teen years, right? I *think* it’s a universal thing, but then I realize I am looking at this through the lens of my Generation X self. Read More Getting Better With Age (I Think)

Gen. X, Gen. Y and the Art of Slacking

I hope you all will excuse me while I make rash, sweeping generalizations about, well, pretty much all of us (or at least the generations to which we belong). I think it’s interesting that the idea of the lovable, cool slacker arose in the 80s and 90s as a counter-cultural alternative to yuppies and  corporate expansion, but I’m not sure that the art of slacking has translated well for my Generation, the Y-ers, who are, if anything, hyper-motivated, helicopter-parented and desirous of “making their mark in the world.” Read More Gen. X, Gen. Y and the Art of Slacking