You know I’ve been feeling nostalgic after watching Stranger Things. I just saw Olivia Newton-John died from cancer at the age of 73 in her Southern California home on Monday, August 8, 2022.
Olivia Newton-John was a pop singer and huge animal lover who spent more money on her menagerie of animals than herself, her accountant pointed out, in the Ladies Home Journal of August 1977.
I don’t put stars on a pedestal, but Olivia Newton-John was someone who made an impression on me. I loved the movie Xanadu. Olivia is probably the reason why I roller skated as a kid in my backyard with the music blasted.
When it came to making a book cover for SuperfreakI was inspired by the colors in Xanadu and a little bit by Donna Summer’s fan letter with purples and blues and clouds. Yes, I wrote Donna Summer three times. I wish I had kept her letters in response.
And the merman series I am writing now is a tiny bit inspired by Xanadu. I looked at all my favorite movies trying to find something like the current story I am writing. I couldn’t find anything, but Xanadu has that urban fantasy romance vibe I like to write about.
One of my favorite songs she sang besides “Xanadu” was “Magic.” Here are the lyrics to “Magic.” It’s so mystical.
Come take my hand You should know me I’ve always been in your mind You know I will be kind I’ll be guiding you
Building your dream has to start now There’s no other road to take You won’t make a mistake I’ll be guiding you You have to believe we are magic
Nothin’ can stand in our way You have to believe we are magic Don’t let your aim ever stray And if all your hopes survive Destiny will arrive I’ll bring all your dreams alive For you I’ll bring all your dreams alive
For you From where I stand, you are home free The planets align so rare There’s promise in the air And I’m guiding you
Through every turn I’ll be near you I’ll come anytime you call I’ll catch you when you fall I’ll be guiding you
You have to believe we are magic Nothin’ can stand in our way You have to believe we are magic Don’t let your aim ever stray And if all your hopes survive Destiny will arrive I’ll bring all your dreams alive For you I’ll bring all your dreams alive For you You have to believe we are magic Nothin’ can stand in our way You have to believe we are magic Don’t let your aim ever stray And if all your hopes survive Destiny will arrive I’ll bring all your dreams alive For you I’ll bring all your dreams alive For you
Stranger Things season 4 gets long. The episodes are sometimes the length of a movie. We see the growth between Hopper (David Harbour) and Joyce (Winona Ryder). You know you love them. Besides lovable and detestable characters it’s the nostalgia that brings back memories.
Who says 80s music was bad? It’s been said by many. But Kate Bush who came out of the 70s brought us some of the best music in the 80s. Journey too, who we also hear in season 4. Madmax listens to “Running Up That Hill” a zillion times to keep herself grounded in the real world. I played all of Kate Bush’s songs just as many times. So, of course, I love hearing “Running Up That Hill” over and over again. Renaissance Man started talking through the song. You would think that after being married all these years ones spouse would not talk through their spouses favorite songs. Don’t worry, I got him back when at the end of season 4 they played Siouxsie and the Banshees.
Classical music really had an effect on me from when I was little. My best friend and I would play Beethoven’s 5th Symphony in C minor on a 45 record when we were maybe six years old. Ludwig van Beethoven said, “Music can change the world.” I remember reading a few years ago that in research they found music changed a person’s behavior. The article talked about having trouble with teenagers at a mall. So they piped in Classical music and found that it lessened or stopped the foul language.
That’s one thing about the 80s. I saw our moral compass degrade. Movies began to add more course language and sexual situations in family content. I remember when my parents took us to see the movie Benji. The dog rested his snout on the woman’s breasts as she drove. My dad marched us out of the theater. It’s kinda funny now, but as I mentioned before, society became materialistic and our morals in America sunk to a new low. By 1988, we watched the TV series Roseanne. I was like, people are like this? And now we have sunk so low that Roseanne Barr doesn’t seem that bad anymore.
I have to mention food of course. I remember eating cantaloupe. Like I said we didn’t eat exotic food in the early 80s. And my mom used to eat cantaloupe with cottage cheese. Does anyone remember that dish? And I had a few Mormon friends. When we had potlucks a Mormon mom would bring Ambrosia Salad with marshmallows. At home, my mom would make the same fruit salad without the marshmallows. I recall the green grapes, pineapple, and walnuts. And I think she used mayo not whipped cream. It wasn’t my favorite. Do you remember this dish?
The moment they show Karen Wheeler in her headband I said, “I had a headband like that.” I probably wore it a few times. And her hair is permed. I had a few perms.
I can’t believe the show is already in 1986. The main boy characters are Will, Mike, Lucas, and Dustin who are in their freshman year of high school. I think the timeline is a bit messed up. Or is it me? They are the Gen X generation like me. Notice how smart and talented Dustin’s girlfriend is? By twelve we knew what we wanted to do with our lives. We had skills. I played the harp. In grammar school, I remember other classmates or friends who were talented in music, dance, sports, and/or academics. Sixth grade for me was like my high school. I was very mature and I feel like my friends in sixth grade were too. We were immature too but less so than children are now. But by high school that all changed. I was in public school with a different group of students. Many were planning to go to USC or UC Santa Barbara. But a handful were Stoners too. I hung out with a mix. I was headed to junior college. I feel like I should have just gotten my GED and skipped to a junior college. I already knew I wanted to go into music and high school wasted so much time. I still enjoyed those years because we were back in California and I took orchestra and Spanish class. My point is back then we had time to focus on one thing.
We didn’t multitask. I remember my best friend in sixth grade had an Apple computer she played games on. We were told the computer was going to allow us to do more and free up our time. Now it seems like we are more busy with busy work. But it is bitchin’ that I can self-publish my books online.
Stranger Things has reminded me of the way things used to be and the things I used to do. I will definitely listen to more music like Classical and 80s music. And stop staring at my harp missing a string and play it. Right now I am listening to Beethoven’s 5th Symphony in C minor and there is a part in it that sounds like it inspired the music in the movie E.T.
If you haven’t watched Stranger Things I would highly recommend the show. There are four seasons and there will be one last season. The Duffer brothers, the creators of the show, said they plan to be in the writers’ room the first week of August. So we will have to wait for season 5. That is not bitchin’.
My life feels like it’s in the Upside Down. Maybe that’s why the show is a hit. I can relate to the crazy happenings. Everything feels like it’s plausible.