Stranger Things 3

Peanut Butter on Celery Sticks. Pic by M.C.

From Season 1 of Stranger Things I’m feeling nostalgic remembering the music, clothing styles, and the simple way we ate. Season 2 was awesome. And Season 3 had me crying in the end. As Renaissance Man says, Season 3 really gets weird. It seems to be 1985 around the fourth of July.

That’s kinda how it is with a story series. The first part is the setup. The second part has to answer all the questions. Or characters have to follow through with those things they did or didn’t want to do. Then the third part always seems like now what? Things repeat. Things have to be reimagined. The gate to the “the upside down” never completely healed and so the Russians move in and create a different kind of monster.

We are reminded of all those 80s horror movies, Dungeons and Dragons, and “evil” Russians. We had a DnD board game in our house, but we never played it. I remember the rumor about DnD being satanic. It’s almost like another game company wanted to destroy their competition or media was making money creating stories or religion was bringing in new followers or keeping people under control. It definitely felt like propaganda. And to this day it’s still the Russians fault. Again, it’s sounding like propaganda. But they slip in some truths about the JFK assassination.

The setting happens at the mall mostly. And El goes shopping with Madmax. Um, why? She changed her look. I liked El’s darker look. Some cheer is okay, but I think she should be dressing mostly emo. She’s had a hard life. She would be wearing black inexpensive clothes like flannels from Woolworths or stores like Mervyn’s and JCPenney. But El’s new wardrobe is a reflection of what happened in the 80s. We became materialistic. And that is one of the reasons why it feels like we are living in the Upside Down today.

We got distracted by shiny babbles.

One of my favorite parts of Season 3 is toward the end when—oops! I almost ruined it for you. I’ll just tell you Limahl’s “Never Ending Story” song is performed.  I’m still a fan of Limahl. And he’s still singing and performing. I had heard the song was used, but I didn’t know how. Really cute and funny.

All this nostalgia reminds me of the food. Snacks were fruits, veggies, or homemade cookies. I made celery sticks with peanut butter for the photo. That was a snack back then. And no one was allergic to peanuts. Maybe one boy was allergic to peanuts. He was allergic to everything. We had allergies. I’m allergic to dairy. So even though I was a vegetarian back then we didn’t drink milk. Allergies are more extreme these days which makes me question what they have done to our food. (And I have done the research, but I don’t want to preach to you about food, allergies, and vaccines.) Food tasted better. Fruit was tastier. We were really healthy back then.

Happy Vegan!

Stranger Things 1

Stranger Things 2

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Copyright 2022 Melissa Crismon

Stranger Things 2

A typical early 80s salad. Pic by M.C.

In Season 2 of Stranger Things it’s 1984. A new girl, Madmax, is in town and she reminds us about the arcades we hung out at. She has a step brother from hell named Billy. Dustin adopts a pollywog that turns out to be demodog. Eleven goes on a trip to find Mama and then Sister.

What I liked about Season 1 is the world building. It’s always interesting how writers interpret their research. I never would have taken MK ULTRA as opening up the gates of hell or somewhere evil. And we got a good laugh when Michael Wheeler tells his wife Nancy that they need to trust the government. Nancy Wheeler and the other teenagers come to the realization that the world is a much different place than they thought. I feel like Nancy grows the most and you will see that in future seasons. Season 2 answers those questions about Mama and what part Papa took. By the end of Season 2, El looks like a rocker chick. I like that look. I love El’s character.

Can we talk about the hair? In general, the hair isn’t that great, but it is Indiana. So that’s probably how it was. I didn’t like Steve in Season 1, but by the end of Season 2 I’m liking him. Pretty Boy gets beat up in the face twice and still manages to look pretty. And he can wheel a bat. But I still don’t like his hair. I don’t remember Farrah Fawcett hairspray. I remember the Farrah Fawcett poster. Nancy Wheeler’s hair is most like Farrah’s and gets blonder in Season 2.

Did you notice how few veggies people ate back then? Yeah it was a lot of potatoes. We ate salad made with iceberg lettuce and cherry tomatoes and thousand island dressing. Sometimes there were grated carrots. I cheated and used pre-grated carrots for the photo. We didn’t have pre-grated carrots then. And we didn’t have arugula. I think we were eating romaine lettuce by 1984. As I recall the whole family was vegetarian by then.

Oh and in 1983 I was in private school. And in 1984 I went to a different private school. So the whole gang didn’t transfer to the same school. Things really changed. For me, sixth grade was such a great year. You have all your friends that are like family. And then by seventh grade you realize assholes are raising assholes. My friend’s family did not like the fact that I was vegetarian. And we had been such great friends, but her parents’ attitude changed my friend’s attitude. I remember Old Hippie saying something nice to make me feel better.

Here is the recipe with a veganized dressing. And you can add a teaspoon of agave if you want.

1-2 leaves of iceberg lettuce
4 cherry tomatoes, whole
1 small handful of grated carrots

1 Tbsp. veganaise mayo
1 Tbsp. ketchup
1 Tbsp. dill pickle relish

Yield: 1-2 small salads

Basically, Season 2 wraps it all up. They could have stopped there. The kids are dancing to Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time.” I used to play that song a lot. I don’t remember dancing that far apart, but Renaissance Man said he did. But, I’m glad we see the Upside Down still exists so we can watch Season 3. You can’t put the worms back in the can.

Happy Vegan!

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Copyright 2022 Melissa Crismon