Article on NPR: Kids On Bikes: The Sci-Fi Nostalgia Of ‘Stranger Things’, ‘Paper Girls’ & ‘Super 8’

First of all, can you all tell I’m obsessed with this show, Stranger Things?

I came across this article today on NPR and it seemed written for me specifically. I adore ‘Stranger Things’, ‘Paper Girls’ & ‘Super 8’. In fact, I still consider ‘Super 8’ to be 2/3 of a really really good movie.

Anyhow, NPR explains in this article some of the similar themes in these three things.

Autumn 1979. Ohio. Five kids on bikes tool around their suburban development and stumble into an adventure involving monsters and sinister authority figures.

Autumn 1983. Indiana. Four kids on bikes tool around their suburban development and stumble into an adventure involving monsters and sinister authority figures.

Autumn 1988. Ohio. Four kids on bikes tool around their suburban development and stumble into an adventure involving monsters and sinister authority figures.

These are the setups of three recent pop culture offerings: respectively, the 2011 filmSuper 8, the new Netflix series Stranger Things, and the Image Comics series Paper Girls, which launched last year.

The article goes on to list the core tenets of what they call the “kids on bikes” genre: The Bikes, The Time, The Place, The Adults, The Authority Figures, and The Monster.

This interests me greatly as I look for patterns in entertainment that I like in the hopes of recreating it with my own spin in my own stories.

Stranger Things Opening Credits

This show, man. I’m only 5 episodes in, but I am loving it. I had to take a couple days break, though, because I was so enthralled with the story that I could not sleep afterward.

I love the 80s aesthetic and settings. The  child protagonists, ala movies like Goonies (I can still at my age feel that longing for adventure in my bones) are great. Winona Ryder and the other adults do a really good job as well. This is one of those shows that you finish and immediately go looking for something like it, and are both disappointed that there isn’t much like it and also reassured because one of the main reasons your like it is because it is so unique.

The band behind the theme song, by the way, is called S U R V I V E. You can pre-order their upcoming album on bandcamp.

Moon Shot: Pittsburgh

Legendary roboticist Red Whittaker is a professor who splits his time between teaching future engineers at Carnegie Mellon and owning/operating a working cattle farm in rural Pennsylvania. With a crack team of former students, he co-founded Astrobotic because he believes robots are the best solution for exploring remote, harsh environments — from nuclear disaster zones to the moon.

This is so cool. And mad respect to this dude and his team.

New Nerf Herder Album is FAN-tastic

We Opened for Weezer – Nerf Herder

Nerf Herder has been one of my favorite bands since, well, since I first heard their first single Van Halen on MTV. You might not have heard of Nerf Herder. However, they did the theme song to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show. And their lead singer, Parry Gripp, writes a mean jingle.

Anyway, a few years back they launched a new album project on PledgeMusic. I jumped on that SOB right away and it got funded right quick. They put the thing out to pledgers last month and now it is open to buy for the general public.  And it is great.

My favorite, though, is the song titled “We Opened for Weezer”. Weezer fans will recognize all the little Weezer references in the song as well as song’s early Weezer style.

“Pinkerton was getting Some bad reviews The guy from Rolling Stone Didn’t like the songs The guy from Rolling Stone Was totally wrong ”


PS I’ve been gone a week because my first kid got sick. Then my second kid got sick. Then I barfed my stomach out an entire night and it took my body 4 days to like food again. And I think my brain is starting to reboot finally. Of course this happened as I was starting to feel some writing momentum.

“Leap Day”


I think we can all agree that Facebook is a pretty brutal and terrible place, especially if you don’t use the “unfollow” feature on certain friends and family. It is what it is, I guess. Every once in a while, though, it posts some interesting stuff from the “On this day feature”. Such as the one below. Past me was way funnier than current me.

Last night I hastily captured in my iPod some notes on a novel I’m planning, from an idea that came to me in a dream. Here’s one of them: “Each family gets a bare-bones dork room”.

Nobody steal that one from me, okay?

I never did write that novel about the “bare bones dork room”. Interesting enough (debatable, I know) I am currently planning a novel. Seems like I was doing the same on the last leap day.  May I not, however, waste the next 4 years not writing.

Thousand Eyes by Of Monsters and Men


I find this song, Thousand Eyes by Of Monsters and Men, haunting. It recently played at the end of Episode 5 of Season 3 of The Hundred. It also happens to be the background music of the “Jessica Jones” theme on my Playstation 4. I love all those things.

Anyway, the song is cool and you should listen.