[Decided to enter daily observations anyway]
Here in 2014 it’s the 1980s again! Day 1 of Living In The 80s. How has it gone? As I’m typing this, I have a Steely Dan LP playing on my 1980-vintage stereo, albeit with different speakers (those are downstairs), these are 1973ish Advents. Very 1980s, although I didn’t have any Steely Dan albums back then. From the get-go this morning I found some small things that I hadn’t thought of going into this. But let’s go a bit chronologically:
I woke up to the same sort of clock radio I’ve been waking up to since the mid-’70s. This one has digital tuning and some minor bells and whistles, but nothing too different. I also shave with an old double-edge razor and Foamy, so no 4- and 5-bladed multi-pivoting vibrating cartridges for me. That’s one huge change, razors. Also a lot more exotic creams and foams and gels and what-not. Back then it was cream in a can, Edge Gel, or maybe shaving soap in a cup with a brush.
I also put in my contacts. That was a difficult one to decide, but I finally went with wearing them for a few more safety-related reasons. But it’s arguable.
Clothing also hasn’t changed much, although for one thing there are far more choices in underwear these days. Back then it was boxers or tighty-whiteys and that was about it. Probably the biggest change is the boxer-brief. Also, shoes: I have both dress shoes and work boots that are water proof. That was unheard of back then except maybe for speciality shoes. A very welcome development in my book. Other than that. . . .Thinsulate and Gore-Tex are probably the biggies in outwear, yes?
A couple of things struck me right off the bat having to do with food and drink. My pre-workout toast was a problem: we didn’t have the variety of dark-grained commercial breads, back then it was white or light wheat, maybe dark rye or something in delis. Also tub margarine was just margarine, not the sorts of “heart-healthy” things we have today. The toaster is about the same, too, maybe a bit better-made controls though.
Oddly, tea presented a difficulty. I’d not thought much about iced tea; we made iced tea back then, what’s the big deal? This: I’ve bought Luzianne iced tea bags from the manufacturer ever since the Internet made it possible. Before that, in Wisconsin or Washington you just couldn’t get the stuff. Iced tea would be made with whatever local tea bags you had around, mostly Lipton or Bigelow or red Rose or something. Luzianne always was my favorite as it didn’t turn cloudy. But I still have my jar of Nestea Instant. Heh. Not sure if I’d decided artificial sweetener packets were cheating or not. I have a feeling they weren’t common at home.
I drove the Civic to the gym, which isn’t really a 1980s car but it’s close.
Now, the gym. For the most part, my workouts aren’t really affected since I’ve always done mostly old-fashioned bodybuilding type routines, using dumbbells, barbells, and simple cable machines. Ours are all rubber-coated; I think most were just plain iron back then. Some things are new, particularly the cardio machines, but also some of the weight machines. The former are far more sophisticated than we had. I think we had stationary bicycles and that was about it. Now the cycles are much smoother in terms of resistance, all electronically controlled, etc. Treadmills are probably way better, too, if they even had powered ones back then. Of course, we had no ellipticals or anything like that (which I don’t use anyway). If I wanted to do cardio I’d go running outside or on an indoor track.
Some weight machines are more complicated, too, mostly having to do with tracks and counterweighting. Notably, the assisted pull-up/dip machine, which I’ve used for dips. The regular ones were tough on my shoulders and wrists. They still have the dips bars from way back in the 1980s, so I used them and my wrist really hurt afterwards. Some of the squat racks also have fairly sophisticated rails that control the way the bar moves. I use that for bench pressing and lunges; today I used a regular free-barbell bench for that and it was difficult. Some ab benches and things are much different as well. We’ll see what’s sore tomorrow.
And there wouldn’t have been females in spandex booty-shorts doing dead lifts back then either.
Gym clothing: Much different, even for us guys. Back then I would have worn pretty short nylon shorts and a jock strap, with a t-shirt, probably running shoes, and socks halfway up my lower leg and possibly even almost knee-socks. Now I have longer baggy cloth shorts with a jock strap and spandex shorts underneath those, tiny little ankle socks, and a tank top (tank tops were okay then, too). Women of course are far different. If there were even women in the weight rooms, they would have been in sweats, or maybe shorts. Later in the 1980s maybe “aerobics” leotards, but usually black spandex shorts or longer tights and a baggy white t-shirt. Now, sheesh: tiny little spandex booty shorts (aka, volleyball shorts), short nylon shorts, tights or yoga pants, spaghetti-strap tank tops, etc. Really a far different looking place in that respect.
When I got home, I ate bagels: another problem. All we had back in Wisconsin (probably even here in Washington) were the store-bought Lender’s Bagels, which I never liked very much. Now I get really good ones from Einstein Brothers: chocolate chip, blueberry, pumpkin, etc.! No plastic bag and much better. Chalk one up for progress there. I’m just going to cheat on those and note it. Also, Diet Coke/Pepsi: they had that in the 1980s so I’m not worrying there. Caffeine free ones, no, I don’t think. They did have diet root beer, so I’m drinking that when needed.
Also no Starbucks. That saddens me greatly, but I can probably do without mochas for a week, though I can at least still make “tea lattes” (although I didn’t drink those then) or hot chocolate.
At work, I needed to make an appointment to take the car in, and so I had to use a paper phone book to look up the number. And then I couldn’t put the day and time in my phone’s calendar! This was where a paper calendar would have been handy, though I never used “appointment books” back then. Otherwise, I used my phone as sort of a Walkman for listening to local radio stations, and didn’t do any web surfing (except job-related stuff, and a couple of links here) all day. It was amazing how reflexive that’s become for me. It was harder when I got home, although I had a lot of little chores to do so I wasn’t really looking around being bored either.
For TV, I restricted myself to a few channels we would have had on cable, and didn’t watch the HD channels. I don’t watch that much TV anyway, but I usually sit there and change channels like a maniac. I’m going to watch Monday Night Football on ESPN, not technically correct, but I could have watched it on ABC back then if I’d wanted to.
So, I survived pretty well, although I did drive the Forester most of the day (had to take the Spousal Unit to the airport). Will use it tomorrow, too, to take some stuff to the dump.