I grew up in a different environment and on the opposite side of the country than Amber Humphrey, but we still had basically the same experience growing up. So I'm unbelievably grateful she wrote "Did I Do That? The Best (And Worst) of the '90s" (Abrams Image, 2013).
Humphrey is hilarious and picked some of the best parts of '90s culture to write about. It's hard to narrow down what I love most about this book, but here are 10 of my favorite parts (in no particular order, because how do you rank so many great things???):
The succinct explanation of Vanilla Ice.
The sidebar on Lights Out.
I didn't know anyone else even knew what this game was! I was obsessed/frustrated with it, and sometimes I would play it in the dark in my bedroom closet because the lights were cool.
Everything about Captain Planet
— but especially these parts. And honestly, I think my anxiety about littering is directly correlated with this cartoon.
The Tiny Toons stickers.
Seeing this picture on the page gave me a sudden jolt of a memory I didn't realize even existed, but I now remember not wanting to peel off those yellow stickers because once I stuck them somewhere, I would be done using them. Also my favorite was the one of Buster and Babs reading — which will be no shock to anyone who has met me.
The 1990s fashion.
I wore a lot of spandex pants with stirrups. Also I remember a "dressy" dark green velvety short-sleeve shirt, which came with a matching scrunchie.
How to build a boy band.
I mean, it makes so much sense now that 98 Degrees didn't get close to reaching the magnitude of Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync.
The 1990s Olympics.
The figure skating in the 1994 and 1998 Olympics meant a lot to me — but I'm not sure if any big event in the 1990s meant more to me than Kerri Strug's final vault. I can't even think about it without getting chills.
Hunting and creative deaths on the Oregon Trail.
Does anyone remember anything else about this game? And I don't mean like how you tried to play "Frogger" as you forded the river. I'm sure there was some sort of educational element, but I couldn't name a stop along the way. I don't even know if I would have been able to say the wagons left from Missouri.
I totally had that toy. Also he was clearly the best character in "Hook."
The recognition that Cory Matthews lived a surreal life and did not, in fact, "meet world."
But "Boy Meets World"
still is one of the best shows ever produced, and I cannot wait for "Girl Meets World"
If this blog post didn't make sense to you, then clearly you did not grow up in the 1990s. But if you did, I can't believe you're still sitting there and haven't ordered "Did I Do That? The Best (And Worst) of the '90s" online or searched for it in your library's catalog. It's an easy, entertaining read that will have you literally LOL-ing and feeling nostalgic for your childhood.
-- Cheryl Sadler | CSadler@News-Herald.com
Labels: 1990s, book review, pop culture