Unscheduled Move and Stranger Things

I don’t remember if I’ve written about this before, so here’s a quick backstory: The lease expires for the house I’m renting at the end of August, so I bought a new house. The closing for the new house was in June, which was about two months earlier than I planned for, so I’m currently living in a stressful chaotic limbo between two houses.

I had planned to put off moving until closer to the end of my lease expiration, but when quite a few consecutive days of 95+ degree heat rolled through my un-air-conditioned rental house, complete with 219% humidity that felt like wearing clothes made out of a boiling wet sponge, my dog and I bailed out early and moved to the new place for good on Monday.

By "move" I mean basically that I threw down an air mattress and put some food in the refrigerator. Otherwise the new house is still empty of anything resembling real furniture. It does have air conditioning and Internet, though, so that makes it a perfectly acceptable living space in my book.

Unfortunately I haven’t moved my old PC yet (there is no table on which to put it anyway), so the only computer at the new house is a MacBook Air, which so far is doing very little but serving up Netflix content. I probably won’t get around to bringing over the old PC until the weekend. (Assuming I come up with a table on which to put it.) Not having a PC puts a huge damper on playing any kind of games, in case you didn’t know. (Previously, it was the heat putting a huge damper on playing games, because I had to huddle in the one room that had a portable A/C unit running full blast, which was usually the bedroom, not the computer room.)

I said "old" PC up there because I have, in fact, ordered parts to build a new gaming PC. All of the parts have been at the new house for weeks. I have deliberately left them there as a carrot to help motivate me to get through the horrifying upheaval of moving, so that at the end of it, I’ll have a shiny new gaming PC to play with. I’ve even ordered a new monitor.

Speaking of Netflix, I’ve been watching Stranger Things, but I don’t think I like it as much as everyone else does. I mean, it’s cool to see the 1980s aestetic*, but as a story, I find it a bit lacking in originality. It feels like they just lifted plotlines and characters from The Goonies and Firestarter, then mixed in a little Starman and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. They clearly used 1980s-style cameras to film the show, as it has that same sort of lens flare-heavy look that was common back then. Not to mention the soundtrack which was instantly recognizable to me as heavily influenced by 1980s era Tangerine Dream***, who coincidentally scored Firestarter.

Anyway, to me, Stranger Things is more of a vehicle for the producers/directors/whoever to compile and collect and namedrop 1980s stuff than it is a compelling story. But if it lets me sing along with "Coke is it!" commercials again, how bad can it be?

* I believe the show is set in 1983, but I wonder about the historical accuracy of what’s portrayed. Winona Ryder’s character uses a rotary phone, but I feel like rotary phones were well out the door by then. I have seen and touched rotary phones in my lifetime, but I have no memory of having any in any house I lived in, or making any actual phone calls on a rotary phone, and my childhood memories begin around 1977. Rotary phones were more likely to be in your grandparents houses in 1983. You certainly didn’t go out and buy a new rotary phone in 1983. I mean, my first modem was a 300 baud modem for a TRS-80 and that was somewhere around 1983-84.**

** The implication being, of course, that the modem, not having a handset cradle, relied on the DTMF signals from Touch-Tone phones to operate. I guess I need to explain that because it’s probably not as obvious to readers as it seems to me. This link contains a picture of that modem along with some very cool TRS-80 history: https://blog.adafruit.com/2015/03/05/mostly-true-tales-the-radio-shack-trs-80-modem-i/

*** I just learned that Edgar Froese, founder of Tangerine Dream, died in 2015. Sad face. :( My early forays into electronic music composition (started in the 1980s, coincidentally) were heavily influenced by Tangerine Dream.

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