90’s Summer Reloaded

My childhood was spent in Southern California, the home of palm trees and endless sunshine. While most folks imagine a California summer filled with surfboards, bikinis and Beach Boys tunes, I grew up just 20 minutes from the beach and fun in the sun couldn’t have been farther from my mind once school got out.

The idea of getting salty and sandy on the ocean shore had no appeal to this California kid, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t find my own brand of fun indoors. Allow me to take you through a typical day of summer vacation for me as an obsessive 13 year old consumer of media in 1995.

8:30am

I open my eyes after being awakened by a dancing Mexican Cactus alarm clock announcing, “Hey, hey, don’t wake up. Sleep! Manana…Manana”, as the tune “La Cucaracha” plays in the background.

Stare at the photo of Tiffani Amber-Thiessen who was recently cast on Beverly Hills, 90210 and Xena, Warrior Princess that I have tacked on my bulletin board, while trying not to step on the Toy Biz X-Men action figures that fell off my shelf.

8:45am

Groggily wander into the bathroom and turn on the radio to 102.7 KISS FM to hear ancient DJ Rick Dees and his sidekick Ellen K. talk about the latest Alanis Morissette tune and interview Jim Carrey about his new movie The Mask.

9:00am

Grab some leftover Pizza Hut pizza and OJ from the fridge for breakfast as I flip on the USA Network to watch some old reruns of My Two Dads. Think to myself how weird it is that Paul Reiser is on NBC’s Mad About You sitcom now while Stacey Keanan is on Step By Step as part of the ABC TGIF lineup. Wonder to myself, whatever happened to the dad with the beard?

9:30am

Grab a fruit on the bottom yogurt cup from the fridge as Just The Ten of Us gets started. Totally crushing on Jamie Luner and thinking these Lubbock babes are like every hot babysitter I ever had. Also wondering why I never even heard about this show when it was originally on the air. This is definitely my favorite summer rerun and I hope I can watch every episode.

10:00am

I have to take back my Blockbuster Video rental today, I better get a few more games of Killer Instinct in before I do. These graphics are awesome, but it needs more gore like Mortal Kombat. I hope Mom can take me to the supermarket sometime this week so I can flip through the latest issue of GamePro at the magazine rack. I’ll probably take a look at Pro Wrestling Illustrated too.

10:30am

I could ride my bike, but it’s better to walk to Blockbuster Video and see what they have to rent, since I can’t carry anything when I’m riding. Oh cool, they have that Captain America movie from 1989 that never came to theaters in their used VHS tapes bin. I’ve gotta get that, even Suncoast Video didn’t have a copy to buy when I asked a couple months back. I guess I’ll have to rent TMNT: Tournament Fighters another day.

11:00am

Hey, that CD Listening Bar place is open. I love how it smells like incense in there, it makes it feel so dangerous. I’m too embarrassed to ask them to let me test out the CD at the listening station with the headphones, I’ll just sift through their used CDs. Cool, they have the Beavis and Butthead Experience CD. Should I get that or The Jerky Boys? JERKY BOYS!

11:30am

Time to grab a couple packs of Marvel cards at the drug store. Man, these things are expensive now. I remember 3 years about when a pack of Marvel Universe cards was like $1.25, now these Marvel Metal cards are 5 bucks a pack. But I guess it’s worth it when they are all foil stamped. Oh cool, I got a Venom. Glad I helped Mom with the yard work so I would have this extra summer fun money to spend.

Noon

Time to pop my video of Billy Madison into the VCR and watch the previews while I wait for my Tony’s pizza to cook in the microwave. I’ve got to watch this movie as much as I can this summer so I can memorize all the lines and make everybody at school think I’m as funny as Adam Sandler. Plus, Bridgette Wilson is such a babe. Everybody thinks Pamela Anderson is the hottest, no way. I hear Bridgette is going to be in that Mortal Kombat movie next month, I’m definitely going to see it. That game is crazy.

1:30pm

Andy from across the street says he wants to go to Palace Park, that new arcade they built where the old roller rink used to be. Luckily it’s just a few minutes away using the trail behind my house. I’ll see if I can grab a few quarters from the couch cushions and my savings jar.

This place is the best. It smells like McDonald’s fries and they have arcade games everywhere. We definitely have to get in a round of X-Men: Children of the Atom so I can make Wolverine do a “Berzerker Barrage”. I hope I can convince Andy to play Lucky and Wild, it’s such an awesome driving n’ shooting game, it reminds me of being in one of those Stallone movies. Oh man, I’m already out of quarters, guess I’ll just watch some other kids play Primal Rage.

2:30pm

At least afternoon cartoons don’t stop just because school’s out. I’m glad Taz-Mania is over, I just don’t get that show. Power Rangers isn’t as cool as it used to be since they got those Ninja powers and the movie was just OK. Maybe I’m getting too old for these shows? I hope not.

3:30pm

Dad said he would take me to the comic book store tomorrow, so I better double check which issues I need. Maybe I’ll pick up the rest of those X-Men: Age of Apocalypse comics or the rest of The Planet of The Symbiotes. That Scarlet Spider guy is pretty cool.

4pm

Awesome, Mom is dropping my friend Devin and I off at the theater to see Waterworld. Kevin Costner was awesome in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, this movie looks even more intense. I heard their set sank in the ocean.

6:00pm

Well, I guess peeing in a Mr. Coffee was a cool way to get filtered water and Kevin Costner basically played the Sub-Mariner, but I don’t think I’ll be rushing out to get the action figures. At least my ICEE and Sour Patch Kids were delicious. I don’t think I’ll be getting to bed anytime soon.

6:30pm

Just got off the phone with Mom and she says I can sleep over at Devin’s house tonight. They have one of those Pentium computers. That Blues Traveler album we listened to was pretty good, but this Montell Jordan CD rules.

11pm

Everybody in the house is asleep and we’re watching USA Up All Night while drinking Mountain Dew. This is so dangerous, what if his Mom wakes up and sees girls in bikinis on the TV? I could never do this at my house.

11:30

(Yawn) This has been an awesome day. Summer is the best, but I can’t keep my eyes open anymore. I guess I’ll just catch some ZZZ’s and dream of Bridgette Wilson. Summer is the bes…(Snore)

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About Hoju Koolander 11 Articles
Living in the past and loving it. A child of the 80s/90s who enjoys collecting old VHS tapes, action figures, comic books, video games and remembering the fun of being a kid. Co-Host of the SequelQuest podcast @SQPOD who loves creating imaginary sequels, prequels and reboots to your favorite retro movies.