Thursday, April 23, 2009

Remember When? (New! and Improved!)

…Nova was cool? Anyone else LOVE that show as a kid? I can’t objectively determine if Nova just sold out or if it just appealed to my 12 year old self. I think it sold out. (I’d still gladly be the “talking head scientist”, but it used to be a lot cooler.)

…coveting books was a lustful hobby? Shit. I own most of those books now. Sure, there are still a few I need. Yes, need. But ogling and wooing books into my library is no longer a major pastime.

…you would save your change to photocopy articles? F-Fuuuucccckkk I’m old. Yes current graduate students of the world, back in the day shiz was like this. The ability to go on a photocopying binge, to gorge oneself on new journal articles, old journal articles, dissertations, and book chapters was fucking beautiful. A fresh stack of new information, damn, it really was beautiful.

…the University newspaper could at least be used to kill 5 minutes? I don’t know about your University newspaper, but ours sucks ass. There was a time you could count on it to get you through half a cup of coffee, now it’s just useless. Our journalism department apparently sucks.

…you made slides? Actual slides? People would walk around conferences with slide carousels?

… Tootie on the Facts of Life found a bong and was convinced it was a jellybean holder? Seriously, it happened. It was the “special” dope episode. HILARIOUS. That show jumped the shark at least 10 times. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, that none of the characters could get any fatter, that they couldn’t possibly have another business venture, that the “Mrs. Garrett” character could not take on another permutation— it did. Whew, glad that’s over. (If you missed this episode you can see it, in all its craptacular glory, here)

…Highlights magazine was always in the dentist’s office waiting room? Are they still in there? Crap, I haven’t been to the dentist in ages. As I kid I thought that magazine sucked. If it does still occupy waiting rooms, for the sake of children everywhere, I hope it’s better now.

UPDATE (for you Goofus & Gallant Fans and Haters)


  1. Damn, Damn, DAMN. That was funny- we are of the same vintage.

    My dentists office no longer has 'Highlights' magazine- now they have a bible in the waiting room. I'm wondering what that is all about.

  2. Hahahaha, I own a slide caousel and dove for the remote control to change the channel every time the Facts of Life came on. Of course, there were only 6 channels, so what the fuck else are you gonna watch? I saw Highlights in our pediatricians office a little while ago and my wife said "Aw, I remember that!" to which I replied, "Me too, which I why I just threw up in my mouth a little." Apparently that's not a good thing to say in a doctor's office...

  3. I can definitely tell we're getting to the end of the semester.

    And that leaves me wondering, what will happen to Acadamnit during the sabbatical?

  4. My mom stopped getting Highlights for me when I firmly insisted that Goofus was obviously about 1000x cooler than that dweeb Gallant.

  5. The switch from photocopying to downloading off the internet occurred during my time in grad school. I have very, very fond memories of time spent photocopying articles, bringing home a backpack full of paper. So much more fun than filing a PDF into a "to read" folder on my hard drive... and never reading it...

  6. Oh, man, I remember lugging a bag of quarters to the library to do research. And more often than not, someone would have gotten some crap dime stuck in there and of course there was no other way to photocopy since apparently the library felt that two copy machines (one that was perpetually out of service) was enough to serve the entire student population. So I'd have to go back and try again another day. Students these days have no idea how good they have it. (OMG, I sound like my grandfather, who would have said something like "You young whippersnappers! Back in MY day, we didn't have any COPY machines. We had to make paper from wood pulp that we got from chopping down a tree, then we'd scratch the information onto it with a quill that we fashioned from a bird that we had to catch first. So quit yer yappin'.")

    At the dentist last time, I actually squealed when I saw Highlights and when I showed my son, he was like "Mooooom, this is sooooo boring!" And I was all, "But look! Here's Goofus and here's Gallant..." and he's like, "Did you say Goofus? Goofus? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha." For the rest of the day, whenever there was a lull in conversation, he would say "Mom, remember Goofus?" and laugh for hours. Sigh.

  7. Whew, I am a bit relieved. After I posted this I started to wonder if I am just really fucking ancient...I'd say more, but I am trying to avoid that question from Smo.

  8. If you leave us hanging during your sabbatical, I will cry.

  9. Oh Inkie, no crying- I won't leave you hanging. (But shit, how many "fuck yeah I'm not at work posts" could I write?)

  10. You already hit the hard liquor for sure, these fond memories only pop up with alcohol, because you take the good, you take the bad, you take them all and there you have the facts of life.

    We had a slide shooter to convert powerpoint into slides. I spent many hours making fucking slides. My students bust up laughing when I talk about "before internet" - I know, the horror! We had a VAX system for email. At least our copier wasn't one of those blue carbon copy wheel messes I remember from high school.

  11. Whew! And you could write a lot of those posts. We would celebrate with you.

    Plus, there are bound to be annoying people coming your way in the future, right? Whether or not you're on sabbatical. I mean, I'm not hoping for you to encounter annoyances or anything of course, but if you do, then you'll write about it, and we'll get to laugh.

    Wait, is that bad?

  12. I FUCKING HATE GOOFUS AND GALLANT. Even when I was six I could see through that smarmy pile of shit.

    But I loved the Facts of Life. I'm sure I learned many invaluable life lessons from it, I just can't remember any.

    I don't remember saving change for copying articles, but I do remember my high school summer job at the local MRU walking around campus going to libraries and photocopying journal articles for a professor. I got a (super oldschool-type) copy card and lists of articles printed out by dot matrix printer, which I cut up into strips with the relevant information and taped to other sheets of paper for easier carriage.

  13. Nice illustration! And yeah, I always knew Gallant must have had a subversive streak of some kind. NOBODY is THAT good all of the time...

  14. This post is AWESOME!

    In that "Facts of Life" episode, the goody goody girl got all high and wrote a paper on Moby Dick that went something like, "Moby Dick was a whale with a very big tail," and Mrs. Garrett got all puckered. Molly Ringwald was in there, too.

    The crap I retain.

    Including some old slides.

  15. Oh, Dr. No: my image of you in my mind's eye is changing with each post. Instead of a sort of 30 something William Hurt in "Altered States" lookalike, I'm now thinking a 40 something James Spader in "Secretary": both brainy lookers, but now you're at least in my decade...

    I hated carrying dimes for the damned copy machine, and yes, I, too, say to my students who whine about doing research, "at least you don't have to fuss with the damned microfilm machine!!"

  16. Dr Hussy, do you read the PDFs? I, er, do sometimes. Yup. Sure. And I had just the same problem with photocopies except that they make my bookshelves look messier. Dr No, still wooing books but now don't have the time to read them. Pity the poor book that gets wooed onto my shelves; on the shelf is where it will likely stay. Argh.

  17. I was talking to my MSc student about the difference between different next generation sequencing technologies and I was comparing what is on the market now to when we had Beta and VHS in the video store. I went on for like five minutes before I realized she had no fucking idea what I was talking about. She had never even seen a Beta tape and pretty much grew up in the DVD era. I don't normally feel old, but that was a kick in the nuts.

  18. Best post ever! I don't feel so out of date now. Thanks! Microfilm - only thing worse was microfiche. I have adverse reaction to white print on darker background years later.
    Goofus and Gallant - not as boring as the Timbetoe family in Highlights.Totally lame (or whatever derogatory term the kids are using these days...)

  19. LOVE the G&G parody cartoon!

    And I too hated those fucking Timbertoes. I pretty much hated all of Highlights as a child, I was naturally subversive and just thought it was a bunch of goody-goody bullshit.

    The only thing good that ever came out of Highlights was this joke sent in by some kid:

    Q: What do you call a boomerang that doesn't come back?

    A: A stick!

  20. Ink: It makes me happy to think Gallant is all grown up and has an internet porn addiction.

    Clio: YES! I remember watching that episode and thinking "that looks fun..."

    Annieem: Ooh, brainy looker- yep, thats me. (is Altered States the one where he goes in some weird deprivation chamber and turns into a neanderthal or something?)

    JJ: I know. It's not even "wooing" anymore, just "hey book, get on my shelf and STAY THERE."

    Proflike: I once made a WKRP joke in class...dead silence.

    Liblady: Microfiche- shit, I had forgotten (blocked out) that lovely medium.

    Arlenna: Oh sure, just "some kid" sent in that little gem? Uh-huh.

  21. Yep, Altered States: takes peyote, goes into sensory deprivation chamber, turns into Neanderthal--exactly.

    Feel that way today?

  22. I forgot about the peyote component, but yeah, sounds about right for my current state.

  23. I always loved Jo. I wore my hair like hers (you know, with those little side ponytails?).

    And books? I still buy them quite a bit, but it's not like back in the day. The best was when I worked at a used bookstore, and each employee got his/her own "stash" cabinet. If I saw a book a liked, I could put it in my cabinet and pretend is was mine without having to buy it. It was a great feeling. Plus, the bookstore had a "smut" section. Not that I stashed a lot of "smut," but, you know, it made me feel cool to work there.

    And I totally remember my search for dimes to make copies. That was back when I cared about dimes.