Useless Flails at the Skating Rink

There are certain times in life that are not particularly memorable yet the memories stick in your brain much like the nastiness of candy corn sticks in your teeth…at least, it would if people were ever desperate enough to eat candy corn. One such memory for me is my first time at the skating rink in my hometown. I don’t remember the exact year, but it was definitely in elementary school.

If I remember correctly it was for some random kid’s birthday because I can’t imagine it was my idea. I am a very clumsy man, so slapping some wheels on my feet is a recipe for disaster. These were the days before everyone was rocking rollerblades, so I was wearing some giant monstrosities on my clown feet. At the time, the skating rink seemed enormous, but looking back it was rather small. Just a little too cozy for a chubby kid to be falling down every couple of strides. After taking one too many tumbles I said “Screw this! I’m playing Nintendo” and slowly slid my way to the arcade to play Elevator Action.

Now when I think of skating rinks the only thing that comes to mind is my time spent playing arcade games, listening to the coolest new wave hits of the 80s, and wishing this birthday party would just hurry up and end. Like I said the day was not especially memorable, and it makes for a lame post. However, it is an excuse to post a song that never fails to remind me of this day and my severe lack of skating skills. Enjoy!

 

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1987 – Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest

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Castlevania was never one of my favorite game series growing up. (I owned a copy of the first game, but I traded it for a copy of Pac-man on NES. ) I always find myself drawn more to role-playing games or traditional platformers. However, out of the Castlevania games released on the Nintendo Entertainment System, this was my favorite. I know it is a very divisive title in the series, but my enjoyment of it deals more with my world at the time than the actual gameplay. I would spend way too long chasing after the townspeople and pretend to hit them with my whip while listening to 80s hair metal. Do yourself a favor and throw on some 80s tunes, order a Pizza Hut Bigfoot pizza, and whip some townsfolk…whip them good. “What a terrible night to have a curse!”

 

Plus, it was the first Angry Video Game Nerd video.

 

Childhood Dreams and the Modern World

It was always weird to me as a child whenever my classmates would discuss their future careers. There was always the obligatory discussions about being a doctor, lawyer, or police officer; however, I could never relate to these normal professions as my dreams were a little more off the beaten path. My dream job was to be the host of a television show.

I grew up in the 1980’s during the waning days of children’s television hosts. During my youth, I was raised on a steady diet of Mr. Wizard, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and to a lesser extent Peppermint Place. It was not that these shows were groundbreaking or particularly mind-blowing, but it looked like a lot of fun. Why waste time being a doctor when I could use my skills to teach children about the wonders of reading. (I was a weird kid.) Roaming around my hometown checking out various historical sites, teaching kids about cultures, and other stuff always seemed like great fun.

Unfortunately, there were many things standing in my way both internally and externally. The idea of television hosts was being phased out as more and more networks turned to cheap syndicated cartoons and in some cases, even these cartoons were being overlooked for more teenage fare (Saved by the Bell being one example).

My generation was raised on cynicism and the questioning of authority, so even these teen shows would face ridicule instead of praise. Many people of my generation would grow up in a world where the ideals we were taught in our youth only applied to those of a certain group. Due to that many of us found ourselves in the punk or grunge music scenes with other disillusioned youths. Our newly opened eyes viewed these old shows as talking-down to the audience or as propaganda of previous generations to create a generation of mind-controlled masses. The idea of a children’s host would only work in such an environment if it was played for laughs and as satire.

However, the most important factor was my own insecurities. As a child, I had a huge inferiority complex. I would have my mind set on this career path, but then my depression and insecurities would pop in and be like “nobody wants to see your ugly mug. Just be content being a poor, unimportant schmuck.” I took part in various school plays–not by choice–but I was never able to shake the dread of failure. One play saw me reciting a long speech about baseball–a subject I know nothing about–and the whole time I was terrified of flubbing my lines.

Now that I am older and wiser and with the availability of sites like Youtube I believe the time is right to rise above the factors that prevented me from reaching for my dreams. I have a couple of ideas floating around my head that I hope to implement one of these days. I believe my anthropological training and cultural upbringing would bring a unique voice and a positive change to the world…

via Daily Prompt: Recite