How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Even though I’ve been out of school for a long time, the beginning of a new school year gives me a feeling of starting fresh. Time to get to work, time to start new writing projects, time to make a huge to-do list and dive right in. Anyone else feel this way?

Before I close the door on another summer, I usually like to recap it. In this case, I’m focusing on the pop culture highlights, so here goes:

One thing I love about summers is the blockbuster movies. Say what you will about sequels, reboots, and overloaded action flicks, but I love going to a huge tent pole movie with ridiculously high expectations. Unfortunately, a lot of movies this summer left me cold. My two favorites were the new Ghostbusters and Captain American: Civil War. I wasn’t sure how much I’d like Ghostbusters, because I’m a huge fan of the original, and reboots don’t always work for me, but I found it very entertaining. Interestingly enough, my husband, who has never liked the original Ghostbusters (hard to believe, right?), enjoyed this version of the movie. We saw it in a packed theater full of people who cheered for all the cameos (loved Annie Potts as the hotel receptionist!)

As far as Captain America: Civil War goes, it was very enjoyable and I came out of the movie solidly #TeamCap. Yes, RDJ is snarky and delicious, but he has been annoying me since Avengers 2 with his self-righteous delusions, and this time he went over the edge. So, I’m sticking with Captain America until Iron Man redeems himself (My only real complaint about this movie was the lack of Thor, but since Chris Helmsworth was in Ghostbusters, I got my fair dose of him!).

HelmsworthSpeaking of Marvel movies, my two kids decided, toward the end of the summer, that they would attempt a Marvel movie marathon. For reasons of sanity, they opted not to include all the TV shows, like Agents of Shield, Agent Carter, or Jessica Jones. But even so, we’re talking 11 movies, which came out to about 24 hours viewing time! Being the geeky/enabling Mom that I am, I requested all the movies from the library, bought the kids a tub of snacks, and said “Have at it.” They watched the movies, non-stop, with breaks in between. I think both kids hit the wall and dozed off during parts of Thor 2 and Iron Man 3, but they got a second wind during Guardians of the Galaxy. Speaking of marathons, my son and I wanted to do a 6-movie Hobbit/Lord of the Rings marathon, but we didn’t get the chance. There’s always next summer!

Otherwise, my favorite entertainment this summer wasn’t from a movie – it was from the TV show Stranger Things, which is on Netflix as an 8-episode series. I was drawn to it because of the 1980s nostalgia factor, but I got hooked by the creepy plot and intersecting stories. Interestingly enough, the show is set in 1983, a time when I was about Nancy and Barb’s age, and my brother was the exact same age as the D & D players (and he played D & D too – we had dozens of multi-sided die and character sheets all over the house!). A few people have said the show doesn’t have much appeal beyond the nostalgia factor, but I disagree. My 15-year-old son watched it with me, and he loved it. We both agreed that it would have been a totally different story if the characters had cell phones and the Internet.

strangerthingsWhat about you? Any good pop culture summer fixes?

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