Monday, March 28, 2011

Everything Old is New Again

It is no big secret that next month I hit a "milestone" birthday.  Although we (I) prefer not to discuss the number, my family and I are kind of excited for this one.

Perhaps it is the hype about turning 50 or my continuing challenge to find the right path on my journey of life, but every so often, there is something that just hits me funny about this time in my life.  For example, Bill and I went to the movies the other night...10:05 pm showing on a Friday night because we didn't want to sit in a theater with a bunch of noisy old farty is that...anyway, proud that we had the stamina to stay up this late to see the movie, we sat through the coming attractions and I just had to shake my head and chuckle...first up, this muscle-bound warrior with a leather strap around his head wielding a huge sword is fighting some evil foe...and as I lean over to Bill to say that guy looks like a Schwarzenegger wanna-be...the voice over announces that coming soon is "Conan the Barbarian".  I choked on a laugh...really...that's the movie you wanna remake?  It hit me that although I never saw  all of the original movie ( I lean more toward Kindergarten Cop ), how strange to choose this movie for a was only 1982 when the original came was almost 30 years ago!  Then a few moments later, there is Russell Brand wearing a top hat, marching down a crowded city sidewalk and being the quick minded movie buff that I am, I ascertained an Arthur remake is about to be released.  I loved the original 1981 movie starring Dudley Moore...he was okay.  Liza Minelli was okay too, but Sir John Gielgud was hysterical.  Bill and I still quote him  to each other when we are feeling particularly fresh...and that is all I will say about that.  I think Russell Brand is a bit too cheeky to match the drunken child-like innocence that Moore mastered, but Helen Mirren should be a real treat.

So here are two movies...iconic to the early '80s, perhaps, and it is time to remake them.  I doubt I will see the Conan remake, but I am interested in going to see Arthur with my daughters and hearing from them what they think about the story, the acting and so on.  Perhaps we'll watch the original on Netflix for comparison.

Another blast from the being Lent, of course it is time for the Cadbury Easter Bunny Try-out commercial . It came on the other night and I giggled at that bunny clucking like a I have for the past 29 years...yup, that silly rabbit has been clucking on stage for almost 30 years and it still makes me smile...Bill looked over at me and he said, "You laugh at that every year." Yes, I do. 

I watch The Wizard of Oz just about every year as well...but only the television version...I dunno why, but it seems wrong to put in the DVD.  I remember as a child waiting all year for the Wizard to show up in the TV guide schedule.  It was such a special treat to sit with the family and watch it together.  It was a treat worth waiting for.

But back to things from my youth reappearing as I embark on a new phase of my life...Palazzo pants, Maxi-dresses, peasant blouses and platform shoes are all coming back into style and are being marketed to the Class of '79 again.  Preppy is making a comeback too. I wistfully admit, I am happy to pop my collar again after years of having my girls fold it down time and again.   My daughter and I went shoe shopping while she was home for Spring Break and doesn't she convince me to buy a pair of plaid Sperry Topsiders instead of "boring old ballet flats".  Topsiders, how would I have gone around campus without those?  What's next Tretorn tennies?  Emily is all about Converse sneakers too...she had no idea that they were the original basketball sneaker from eons ago!

Fondue is chic again... yes we happily indulge in that bit of retro.  The first time I had fondue, was Valentine's Day, 1979.  Bill "cooked" for me and we had Fondue Bourguinon (beef cooked in hot oil), Cheese Fondue and strawberries dipped in it no wonder I married the guy?!  As a family, we had the exact same menu to bring in 2011.  We think it may be a new family tradition.

As I continue to explore the world of cuisine, I am finding that many food trends from the past are making a roaring comeback with some wonderfully modern twists...remember Crockpots?  Slow-cookers are the "in" thing now, with removable great an idea it took 25 years to realize it!  An exotic turn of the slow cooker is the Tajine, a Moroccan glazed pot and cover, which allows for wonderful, moist stews and couscous recipes to bloom slowly in your oven or on your grill. 

Bundt pans are all the rage again too...from Monkey Bread to coffee cakes, baking and sharing seem a little more special when your baked goodies emerge from a Bundt!  I own three Bundt pans and I keep having to remind myself that that is plenty...the designs are really interesting and I'm happy to say that the recipes are fun and increasingly healthier.

Yoghurt or yogurt is king in the dairy case these days with delightfully thick, tangy Greek yogurt leading the way.  I remember eating Columbo yogurt in my teens. I basically had two choices, lemon or plain.  When Dannon came out with fruit on the bottom...I became a yogurt fanatic.  Today, yogurt remains a staple in our fridge and I am researching how to make yogurt at home.  (I do have a birthday coming and a yogurt maker would make a nice gift...wink, wink).

The retro trend is touching the world of wine too...Rose' wine...not white coming back with a flourish.  Spring and early Summer are the perfect times to enjoy a lovely chilled Rose'.  Chablis, a Chardonnay varietal from northern Burgundy is seeing a resurrgence in France, so I think it will be a trend here in the not too distant future.  The Chablis coming from France, with the 2009 vintage being a particularly good year is a far cry from the Chablis of the '70s and '80s that our parents purchased in those big green jugs.  No, today's Chablis is crisp, clean, and a bit steely...not oaky like its sister Chardonnay from further south in the Burgundy region.  Chablis is the wine for Spritzers...another 70's throwback! 2 parts wine, one part seltzer or sparkling water, a wedge of lemon and lots of ice...Summer in a glass.  And although not a trend from the 70's, Merlot, which was much (yet deservedly) maligned in the movie Sideways, because it became mass produced for cheap, general consumption is now being restored to its lovely, dark berried, meduim to full bodied character.

Well, I don't know if it is my impending birthday, the economy, or Generation X's turn to manipulate the market and culture, but as I look around, I am seeing that everything old is new again. Families are playing board games and eating more meals at home. Libraries are gaining in popularity...huzzah!  Gardening is not just a hobby but a (re)-new(-ed) way of life.  Farmer's markets are no longer a trend but a move toward relocalization (thanks Alison for introducing me to that word). Classic is classic again.  From my pearls to the sterling silver earrings I got when I first pierced my jewelry box is a bastion of fashion accessories.  Here's hoping Bermuda Bags make a comeback...I still have mine tucked away in my hope chest!  I guess what I am realizing is that the traditions we shared in our youth, some spawned by trends, ebb and flow through the days of our lives.  True traditions never go out of style...watching the Sound of Music or The Wizard of matter how old we are, with our is not the movie but the emotion that strengthens the tradition. 

Everything old is new again.   I feel that way too...50 is a number...not who I am.  Am I happy to see things from my past, reinvented and renewed?  For the most part yes.  I am hoping that in seeing my future through this retrospective, I will be inspired to be youthful, to attempt to reawaken the dreams of my youth that time and circumstance put on hold.  And at 50, with lots of life experience, I hope to dream new dreams that in the next fifty years will become so many stories to share.

Who knows...maybe in 50 years I'll see the E*Trade baby commericals and shake my head, smiling...wondering if that kid has any grandkids.

1 comment:

  1. I so enjoy your bloggings, Alice Anne! I've been mulling the same things. The commercial for the remake of Arthur really got me going. Where the heck did the last 30 years go???