Is a second post "cheating"? Everyone else only went once but it's late enough now on the East Coast that this is almost like when they put food out and at the end of the day there's still half a tray of something left.
"TO AVOID PRODUCT ABUSE, KEEP OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN AND TEENS."
--seen on the back of a Glade air freshener bottle.
So teens these days are pretty tall (my mental image is Jeremy from Zits; yours may very)--how, again, do you keep stuff out of their reach? And would you really want your first household product high to be country-vanilla scented?
So a couple days ago our toilet handle broke off. Since my roommate is never home and I'm a guy, I was making due for awhile with just lifting the lid off and pulling on the long plastic thing as needed, always with the vague promise that this weekend I'd hit a hardware store.
Today she was actually home. Doing what it takes to fix an important household appliance made me feel... if not "manly," then at least like I was closer to pulling my weight around here. (One guy, two women, of whom one is a complete neat-freak. You can guess the cleaning ratio here; I'm not proud of this.)
Long story short, it was a three-dollar part and some quick fiddling around, but what gets me: On both the broken one and the new, fixed one, a counterclockwise twist tightened the thing instead of loosening it. What possible logic does this serve? I've taken it as second nature that everything that screws or twists, will go the way it's supposed to. Even if I were ignorant, though, doesn't everyone at least know "Lefty loosy, righty tighty"?
(But if I hang onto the receipt, I'll save $3.24 off my monthy rent! Woo. My roommate was reminding me of this before she knew how much it really cost; I think if she'd had to guess at what the part cost, she'd have been off by an order of magnitude, or about the difference in weight between our dogs, Sammy the rottweiler and Gizmo the shi tzu. Yes, they get along. No, Sammy never tries to eat Gizmo.)
You want a new widget. You've got your eye on a couple of them. You've priced them, and the ones you are looking at are within your price range. You carefully set out to make a list of the features your widget should have. You budget. You window shop. Then you go to the widget store. You see several of them within your price range. Your paycheck will support a widget. You talk to the salesman. You find out which ones have the features you want. You tell the salesman you want to buy a widget. He gets out the paperwork to sell you a widget. He has you fill out the application (widgets aren't for everyone, unless you want the cheap model, and the cheap model is worse than NO model). You give him the money. He comes back two minutes later with a funny look on his face, shaking his head at the bills you gave him.
"I'm sorry sir, but...."
You ask him what is wrong with the application.
"Sir, you apparently misplaced a couple of decimals. These models are WAY out of your price range."
He's right. You thought you had the money, but you were WAY wrong. Those hundreds in your wallet were just ones.
And your paycheck? You've been wrong about that, too. Buddy, you don't make that much.
why the state of the union address sound so much better after consuming a 1/2 bottle of wine?
You are definitely a brave soul for allowing just anyone to login and post to your blog. I can only sum it up in one word: TRUST. Blind trust? Hope not. The various posts throughout the evening will tell...
I look forward to reading what folks have to say about the li'l ol' speech given by Bush tonight. I'm skippin' it. I'll just wait to read a summary here.
Deb from DebWire
I. Can. NOT. Believe. It. I am actually ON "A Small Victory!" I would like to thank Michele, her regular readers/stalkers, my Montana-based Blog-Posse...oh, who else...I'm so nervous...um...my lovely wife, two darling children...oh, and jeebus, of course.
Michele, I salute your courage in allowing virtual strangers to post on your site. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: you are The Best Blogger.
Very much obliged,
I don't know much about music...but that is nothing new. What I DO know is that the best love song ever written has the following lyrics.
"Oh, I'm picking out a thermos, for you
Not an ordinary thermos, for you
But the extra-best thermos, you can buy
With vinyl, and stripes, and a cup built right in
I'm picking out a thermos for you
And maybe a barometer too
And what else can I buy, so on me you'll rely
A rear-end thermometer too"
-Navin Johnson, lyrics
In other news, following in the footsteps of music industry titans Prince, Jefferson Airplane, and Puff Daddy, I am changing my name. My new name is a soothing shade of green in a rare Masonic pattern. It is unpronouncable,so you can continue calling me by my former name. I can't humanly sign my name anymore, so all gifts must be in cash. Furthermore, all gifts of cash (which, not coincidentally, is a nice shade of green with a Masonic pattern) must be in large denominations or it will offend my new religious beliefs, which I shall make up as conditions warrant.
Dancing Clocks are a good thing to see on an offical NASA document detailing security plan approval procedures. I wouldn't comply without it.
Ducks' quacks DO ECHO! The myth stating they don't is a myth. Their quacks do have properties which make them appear on an oscilliscope in a pattern reminiscent of, interestingly enough, an echo, but they do in fact echo. ALL sound does by definiton. If it doesn't echo, it is not a sound wave.
Salt is a seasoning. Seasoned salt is redundant. It's like hydrogenated water.
My brain is now empty again. I shall go fill it up. Good night, and don't eat any trees.
Why? Sheesh, you want splinters in your tongue?
Oh, and I plagiarized myself. Is that even possible?
Want to know what I feel like right now?
I'll give you a hint:
3 pots of coffee
two packs of cigarettes
One more hour to go.
My vision is blurred.
Did you have fun? I did.
Dean Esmay says:
"You know the thing about radishes is, they look kind of weird and red.
They are also sort of spicy, only sort of not. Yet for some odd reason,
I've always thought of them as a weird form of turnip.
Strange how that happens, no?"
George Junior says his favorite weird word is:
The eighth power of a number.
This word is long obsolete, so much so that the Oxford English Dictionary only has one citation for it, from a famous work by the Welsh-born mathematician Robert Recorde, The Whetstone of Wit, published in 1557. It turns up from time to time as one of those weird words which is best known for being held up as an example of a weird word.
Go here to find one.
It's getting towards that time. Almost there.
I'd like to thank everyone that sponsored or donated. Your generous donations amounted to over $14,000 raised for Magen David Adom, between the three of us. I am truly, truly thankful for your efforts.
Thank you to everyone who hung around and gave me ideas, sent me links and kept me awake. I'll name names tomorrow.
To all my guest posters, you have upped the readbility of this Blogathon effort ten fold. Thank you, thank you, a million times thank you.
Thanks to everyone who stopped by and read and/or commented or sent encouraging emails.
This is starting to sound like an Oscar acceptance speech. If I had a brother, I'd kiss him.
Same time, next year. Same bat channel.
I've hit the wall, folks. I'm trying here.
Warren Ellis was kind enough to send me a guest post and even though he realized later it wasn't exactly what I was looking for (and that's my fault for not being exactly clear in my email) I'm going to post it anyhow cause, hey - it's Warren Ellis and he went through the trouble of writing it.
So, here it is and thank you, Warren.
There's a bit in Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell's FROM HELL where the fake psychic, Lees, says: "I made it all up, and it all came true anyway." That's how I'm starting to feel about TRANSMETROPOLITAN. "Feedsite listeners" are multimedia bloggers. Girls with necrotising fasciitis scars from the streets
of the City turn up in Marilyn Manson videos. Two-headed cats. Smiling politicians throwing advisors to the wolves following suspicious deaths. Glasses that take photos. We're living in the future.
And God help you all, it's my future we're living in.
-- Warren Ellis
Another crappy concert: Primus
Man, that crowd sucked. I had to fight for my life that night.
But Buckethead as opening act was good.
We left three songs into Primus's set.
If you touch me there again, I'll fucking kill you.
I really need to apologize to all the people who sent me links and pictures and guests posts and pictures that I didn't use.
I got punch drunk a bit after 1am. And now, I've just lost my mind.
I promise I won't do anything untoward with your pictures.
I'm busting out the alcohol.
But I never liked Bon Jovi.
I'm serious lagging now. I keep looking at the clock but it doesn't seem to be moving.
My back hurts, my neck hurts and I'm torturing myself by being too lazy to change the Netscape radio station, so I'm listening to Good Charlotte.
I just want to sleep. For days and days.
I think they action figures on top of my computer are mocking me.
Ok. Let's see how many of you are still here.
You are in a thrash metal band. You are going to remake a song from the 70's, speed metal style.
What song will you do?
I just remembered this: When watching an Islanders game on tv back in the 80's, Eddie Westfall was doing a promo for a concert coming up at the Coliseum.
Well it really doesn't matter what I post now, as most of you are sleeping.
I'm talking to myself, aren't I?
What was it with the disaster films in the 70's?
Earthquake (In Sensaround!)
Airport and all of it's sequels
Straight from the land down under, it's Alan E. Brain and his 60's memories:
My older sister getting a Transistorised Record Player about the size of a small suitcase, and listening to "The March of the Mods",
"Telstar", "Journey cross the Mersey", and of course "She Loves You, Yeah Yeah Yeah"
Mods and Rockers
Turning on the TV, and waiting the three minutes for it to warm up, so I could watch the first episode of a new series called
"Doctor Who". Then finding out the show had been postponed, as a bloke called Kennedy had got himself shot.
Reading a "Look And Learn" book called "You will go to the Moon" and believing that I'd do just that.
Looks like I'm taking requests.
M wants to know my concert experiences.
Well, I've seen over 300 bands, but I can narrow down some of the high/low lights for you.
First concert: David Cassidy, Nassau Coliseum
First real concert: Kiss, Nassau Coliseum
Worst concert: Oh, so many. So, so many. Saw Bachman Turner Overdrive and fell asleep. Saw the "new" Clash about half an hour after I slammed my finger in a glass cassete case sliding door at Record World. Still can't decide if the pain of the smashed finger or the pain of the "new" Clash was worse. Coal Chamber - just a horrible live band.
Best: Hands down, Nick Cave last year. Billy Bragg opening for INXS was spectacular. Incubus, first time I saw them. Lou Reed. The Alarm in the pouring rain. Little Feat. Ice Cube. Blue Oyster Cult. Emerson Lake & Palmer. Type O Negative.
Any more post requests?
The men in this picture are:
1. Showing off the finest fashions of their era
2. Getting ready for a circle jerk
3. All members of The White Stripes
I've got a bitchin'...
Starhawk wants to know the first CD I bought.
I was working at Record World when CDs first made their appearance. The first batch that came in - at about $25 a pop - were remastered versions of classic rock albums. I didn't have a cd player yet, but the first one I shelled out money for was a Pink Floyd disc, I don't remember which one.
And then it was all downhill from there in the music world. CDs started replacing vinyl on the walls of the store. Prices came down. More people were buying CDs than records. By the time I left Record World, a lot of bands started producing only on CD.
So I was in Utopia the other day, a former head shop turned trendy pop culture store/piericing emporium/seller of goth clothing for suburban teens (with the head shop still in the back) and I noticed they had a whole rack of vinyl. Not old vinyl. New. Seems some bands still adhere to the old school way and release their stuff on albums as well as discs.
I don't have a turntable anymore, but I just might buy one of those albums anyhow.
Who's still with me? Anyone? Bueller?
This theme thing is killing me.
Next year's theme is: "one sentence stories."
[Meryl doesn't have to particpate because she issued the challenge]
The air-drop arrived just as I expected. I had been briefed on the situation and I knew that the only way they could get me necessary equipment was through an Acme air-drop.
I opened the crate carefully. You never know when a rabbit is going to stow away in one of those things. Inside, was just the thing I needed to set off on my mission to find and capture Saddam: Instant Girl. I checked the quanity. Yep, just the specified amount.
I was a long way from where I needed to be. An informant tipped me off as to where Saddam was seen last, and I was sure that he would still be there. I whipped out my hitchiker's thumb and stood by the side of Route 666.
A few cars passed by without so much as a second glance my way. Can't say I blame them. How often do you see a man in a three piece suit and shades standing on the highway, hitching a ride? Not often, I bet. I must have looked like Tommy Lee Jones in Men in Black. I guess the drivers thought if they picked me up, they would run the risk of getting eaten by aliens. If they only knew that the secrets I carried lent themselves to a fate far, far worse than slimy green monsters.
Finally, a run down pick-up truck on it's last breath stopped. I hopped into the cab and told the fellow where I wanted to go. He balked. He just wouldn't go to that part of town, he told me. I flashed my badge at him and he stammered an apology, saying he would take me as far as the edge of the town I needed to get to. Fair enough.
We got to the edge of town, I thanked Mr. Hillbilly and whipped out my roller skis. If I wanted to make this capture, I needed to get there before 5pm. It was already 4:50. I swished my way through the center of town, knocking people down and upturning garbage cans. I didn't care. My chase was almost over.
Finally, at 4:59, I was standing in front of the Parker Avenue Deli and Lotto Parlor. I hastily scrambled around to the back door and waited. My patience paid off. At 5:01, I heard the sound of a time clock being punched. The back door swung open. And there before me stood Saddam Hussein - once proud leader of a rogue nation, now fugitive deli clerk. What a sad, sad sight to see him there in his white apron, stinking from the smell of salami.
I leaped out from behind the door and jumped on the unsuspecting murderer. I landed two karate chops to his head and one to his neck. He fought valiantly, but he was weak from slicing cold cuts all day and could not put up enough fight to overcome my strength. In just two minutes, he was passed out cold on the ground.
I whistled loudly and a moving van obediently heeded my call and pulled up right next to me. I opened the back door and entered the cargo portion of the van. There, I took out my bottle of Instant Girl and squirted exactly 72 doses onto the floor.
Lo and behold, 72 beautiful women appeared in the space before me.
I heard Saddam stirring and ran out to him.
Where am I? What's happened? He was clearly confused, thanks to my knock-out blow to his head.
Saddam Hussein, you are dead. You have passed over into the great beyond and it is time for your just award!
Saddam looked around quizically.
This is the afterlife?
Yes, just look over there. Your 72 virgins await.
I pointed to the back of the moving van and Saddam's eyes widened. A grin spread across his face.
It is true! It is true! Praise Allah!
With that, Saddam ran into the van to great his girls. As soon as he entered I slammed the door shut, locked it from the outside and motioned for the driver to take him away to the state penetentiary, where one Mr. Ashcroft was waiting for him.
You have to find and capture Saddam Hussein using the following five items from the ACME catalog:
[You can substitute ONE item if you wish]
The posts will be up at the various blogs at 2:30.
Kevin Parrott is currently on the disbaled list, go wish him well, would ya? He's an extraordinary writer who will be famous for that fact some day.
I'm listening to Slayer and it reminds me. I had a dream the other night. You know that damn thing Kerry King always wore around his wrist? I call it the porcupine.
Well in the dream, it really was a porcupine and it was eating King from the wrist up.
Hope you don't mind if I play a repeat episode for you right now. I need to go for a walk and get some air.
This keeps with the them though - one of those stories of my misspent youth and my efforts to keep our pop culture Leo Sayer free.
You have all been incredibly generous, either with your money or with your efforts to find me things to post about. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Oh, did you want answers to those seventies questions? Here you go.
Just what you've been waiting for, right?
I need a four dollar sponsorship to reach $3,000.00.
Don't make me sing.
Jeff Jarvis of Buzzmachine is a former TV critic for TV Guide and People, creator of Entertainment Weekly, Sunday Editor of the NY Daily News, and a columnist on the San Francisco Examiner.
I saw a poster in the grocery story today announcing that Richie Havens would be coming to give a free concert in a park near me next month. Richie Havens. Damn. I owned every one of his albums in the '60s, sang along with most all of his songs (I never was too sure what "Run, Shaker Life," meant, but I sang it with verve and gravity, nonetheless), and I went to his concerts. A Richie Havens show was my first real concert, at Westbury Music Fair. It was bad enough that my parents had to drive me there. But I decided that this being a special occasion, I should wear my coolest jacket -- a gold, double-breasted monstrosity (my parents having refused to allow me to get a Nehru jacket) with a black-and-gold tie. Of course, I was the only person in the place, ushers included, in a jacket and tie. Oh, how I regretted that. But nobody made fun of me, for these were the charitable '60s; ages before the age of geeks, a geek was welcome. I went to many more Havens concerts, never again in a jacket and tie. I think I'll go to one more concert next month.
In his comments, I told the tale of the time my best friend and I decided we could figure out the words to that song, as recorded by Manfred Mann in 1976, covering a Springsteen song.
I had the 45 (for you younguns, 45s were small vinyl records with one song on the front and one on the back) and we figured if we slowed it down, we would understand what good old Manfred was going on about. Well sure, our main purpose was to see if he really said the word douche, which was giggle-worthy back then, before the proliferation of Summer Fresh commercials.
So we played the record at 33rpm, which did nothing but make the song sound like an old man yawning. We deduced that we had to play it somewhere between 33 and 45 in order to understand the words.
I have to bring a French insult every hour, in keeping with Marduk's pledge
She's still trying to dine out on her looks but doesn't have the face for it.
- John McCain, comparing France to an aging actress of the 1940s
You ever play with one of these things? We spent a lot of time beckoning the devil when we were young. We started out innocently enough. Will Bobby ask me out? Will I pass gym? Who stole my Bay City Rollers album? We eventually progressed to the things the board was made for. Who is going to die first? Will I die a gruesome death? Did Janie really eat boogers for lunch? Always the pointer, guided by Satan himself, would direct our fingers to the answer we were hoping for.
There was a tale told that Ouija boards held the souls of the dead within them. If you had one in your house, those souls would eventually escape and take over first your home and then your body.
My mother made throw our Ouija board away. For nights after that, I was afraid to go to sleep because I figured the souls of the damned were mighty pissed that they were sitting in a garbage dump and they were going to come looking for me.
We also fooled around with seances and levitation. We were bored surbanites.
I am not a night person. I work best in the early hours of the morning, which is why I get up before 6 every day.
I think I'm going to wing it from here, posting as often as I want, instead of waiting the half hour and doing longer posts. Mind is getting fuzzy. Ass has fallen asleep. Legs have atrophied.
I'll still do the then and now pictures and all the guest posts. But from now on it's going to be a bit more interesting. I hope.
1977. Check out the full denim outfit. And the boots.
Was I cool, or what?
Don't answer that.
Then: Clackers. Huge, rock solid marble balls on strings that you clacked together, eventually nailing yourself in the head and hiding in the bushes afterwards because your mother warned you those things were dangerous.
Now: Made of rubber. Non-toxic. Won't cause injuries. Makes no noise. Your mother approves.
Then: Leif Garrett. Teen hearthrob, actor, singer and postery boy. Rumored at the time to be possibly gay.
Now: Justin Timberlake. Teen hearthrob, actor, singer and poster boy. Possibly gay.
Then: Pat, I had the same shirt. Is that a Hukapoo?
Now. Lost the Hukapoo shirt, but didn't lose the smile.
I sat through several segments of a VH-1 (VH-1: MTV for Fogies) show yesterday, something called The Greatest 200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons. The principal reason I did so was to see where they ranked my book partner, Bill Shatner, with whom I one sat in a Sunset Ave. coffee shop and discussed American iconhood (he is one and he knows it) while fending off slavering Trekkies who wanted him to autograph their private parts -or parts that looked as if they'd arrived on the Enterprise only that morning.
Milestones: We are over the 14k mark now, and we are at the halfway point of 24 hours.
I'm just getting revved up.
Hair metal heaven coming up soon.
I'm heading into deep 80's territory here.
Got the 80's stations all hooked up on Netscape Radio. Quiet Riot playing right now.
We need just ten dollars to reach 14k in donations between the three of us.
If we don't get the ten dollars in the next ten minutes I will torture you all by posting audio blogs of me singing Sister Christian.
I swear. That is a threat.
Go sponsor either me or Lair or Meryl. Doesn't matter which.
Thanks to the sender, who is a Sgt. over in Iraq and wishes to remain anonymous.
The 80's in Iraq
Christmas night, 1971. Nine years old and I'm wearing Winnie the Pooh feeties?
And I have no idea what that gold lamè thing hanging behind me is.
Notice the yellow yarn in my hair. That was my mother's big thing. Tying our hair with yarn.
Year chosen by Faith.
Top 10 songs:
1. To Sir With Love, Lulu
2. The Letter, Box Tops
3. Ode To Billie Joe, Bobby Gentry
4. Windy, Association
5. I'm A Believer, Monkees
6. Light My Fire, Doors
7. Somethin' Stupid, Nancy Sinatra & Frank Sinatra
8. Happy Together, Turtles
9. Groovin', Young Rascals
10. Can't Take My Eyes Off You, Frankie Valli
The pizza place near my house (Joe's pizza, where you could get a slice and a coke for 50 cents and Joe always gave us handfulls of shredded mozzarella cheese to eat while we waited for the pizza) had The Letter on the jukebox, though I think it was the Joe Cocker version. This one guy used to come in and play that song (three songs for a quarter) over and over again.
Ode To Billy Joe was just one in a series of really maudlin songs that came out at that time. You know, Billy Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahachee bridge. Poor guy.
Also, The Graduate came out in 1967. Little did I know that all these years later.....
Thanks to the slew of people who donated today. You've all been added to the list on the right. If you don't wish to be anonymous on the sidebar, just let me know.
Don't forget, I'll be on AIM the rest of the night and day: CoffeeSavesLives. Stop and say hi.
Blogathon cruising: Check out Faith and her Pug-a-thon. Nice break from all those feline lovers doing cat-a-thons.
If you're behind on the Blogathon posts, you can find them all here.
Back in my day, kids honed their reading skills on Archie comics or Encyclopedia Brown books. Not me. I was in my room, door locked, stealthily reading Mad Magazine as if it were pornography. I actually hid the mags under my mattress at night.
I was nine or ten when I first started reading Mad. I didn't get a lot of the humor, but what I did get was funny. In a way, Mad Magazine taught me my first lessons in the politics of America. It's where I got my information on Watergate and gas shortages and nuclear power, which probably explains why I didn't fair so well in current events in school.
Ah, the Eight Track player. No more unweildy albums cluttering up your room! Now, you just needed ten or so shelves to stack your 8 track tapes on. No more skipping and scratching vinyl! No, you just had songs that cut off in the middle to switch tracks, so More Than a Feeling was interupted by a chu-chunk sound right at the good part. No rewinding. No fast forwarding. Just playing the four sections over and over, with all clunky track changes.
The 8 track tapes themselves were prone to melting faster than a marshamallow at a bonfire. Leave one by your sunlit window for just an hour or so, and you would end up with 8 track goo.
They weren't even cool to look at. No liner notes, no lyrics, and the cover art was reduced to a sticky label.
It was hard to be cool while lugging 8-tracks around. Not even the modern-art inspired yellow tape player I had (see above photo) could make it any less cumbersome.
Odd memory: Everyone I know who had an 8-track player owned this. It was like you had to have it, whether you liked the band or not.
Mad props to Tanya for this one.
Bellbottoms or purple acid washed jeans?
Starsky or Hutch?
Ponch or Jon?
Sabrina, Jill, or Kelly?
John Taylor, Simon LeBon, or Nick Rhodes?
Parker Stevenson or Shaun Cassidy?
David Coverdale or Sebastian Bach?
David Coverdale or Tawny Kitaen?
Roger Maris or Mickey Mantle?
Evita or Imelda Marcos?
Saturday Night Live or Friday Night Videos?
Black Flag or Simply Red?
London Calling or Call Me?
Bitchin Camaro or custom van?
Who Shot J.R. or Who Shot Mr. Burns?
All in the Family or Family Ties?
Travolta the sweathog or Travolta the dancer?
Celine Dion or Patsy Cline?
Ben or Jerry?
Breakfast Club or Breakfast at Tiffany's?
Flashdance, Footloose or Dirty Dancing?
I think I'll do more of these later. Any suggestions, email me.
Smoke on the Water. 1972.
Every teenage boy with a guitar practiced those opening chords day and night. No matter what block you walked down, you could hear it coming from one garage or another.
The phenomen lasted for years, as Deep Purple put that song out on just about every compilation album to come out in the subsequent years. I think it's the first song I played on air guitar.
Here's the answers (below). How did you do?
We've reached the six hour mark, so I'll celebrate with the top 6 songs of 1984 (a year randomly picked by David):
1. When Doves Cry - Prince
2. What's Love Got To Do With It - Tina Turner
3. Jump - Van Halen
4. Karma Chameleon - Culture Club
5. Like A Virgin - Madonna
6. Hello - Lionel Ritchie
That's according to the charts.
My top six songs of 1984:
Nena - 99 Luft Ballons
Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Two Tribes
Scorpions - Rock You Like A Hurricane
Icicle Works - Whisper To A Scream
Thomas Dolby - Hyperactive!
Prince - Purple Rain
The worst song of 1984: Jack Wagner - All I Need
And of course, the song that is the bane of my existence was released in 1984: Night Ranger's Sister Christian.
David's music of 1984:
"Sexcrime (1984)" by Eurythmics
"Upstairs at Eric's" by Yazoo
"Japanese Whispers" by The Cure
"Forever Now" by the Psychedelic Furs
"Life's Rich Pageant" by R.E.M.
"The Dreaming" by Kate Bush
"Security" by Peter Gabriel
"Hyaena" by Siouxsie and the Banshees, featuring Robert Smith
"Talk Talk" by Talk Talk
"The Hurting" by Tears for Fears
"I Want Candy" by Bow Wow Wow
"Friend of Foe" by Adam Ant, bless 'im.
Our second guest post of the day is from Ben Weasel. Ben has been making music for at least fifteen years, most notably with Screeching Weasel and The Riverdales. He is also the author of two books and is a huge baseball fan. You can read Ben's thoughts on music, politics and baseball at his blog, Weasel Manor.
Just a reminder: You can pledge up until 48 hours after the Blogathon ends.
See here for details on how to pledge.
I suppose news is part of our pop culture in that it's generally news that makes the culture. Right?
I'll spend some time during the day/night going over news of the three decades I'm covering.
1963: JFK assasinated
1968: MLK assasinated
Also in the 60's: Skateboard made their first appearance; people realize smoking is bad for you; Johnny Carson begins a 30 year stint on The Tonight Show; Roger Maris hits 61 home runs and....
Yes, there's more. Why don't you add some?
[I have to bring you a French insult every hour, in keeping with Marduk's pledge]
France is a country where the money falls apart in your hands and you can't tear the toilet paper.
- Billy Wilder
I'm working on a that was then/this is now post. A few people have sent me then/now pictures of themselves. It would be really kind of you to do the same. After all, I've been sitting here embarassing myself all morning by posting pictures of me in the stupid outfits my mother made me wear.
Come on, let us see that big hair, the purple jeans, the bellbottoms....send it along with a recent pic and you can be in the then/now gallery as well. (sent to firstname.lastname@example.org)
(The gallery will also include things like electronic equipment, toys, games, etc.)
I'm not going to credit the site I got this quiz from until all the questions are answered. Otherwise some of you may - gasp! - cheat.
Quiz is below. Try not to look at anyone else's comments before you post your answers. You really don't have to answer all fifty. I'm just buying some time while I get the next post ready.
More ridiculous pictures of me coming up soon.
I was about 13 years old when I first entered the Palace. I was a tag-a-long to an older friend who was going there just to score a nickel bag.
Pinball Palace was a small, almost hidden place, tucked between the Jerry Lewis Movie theater and a specialty bra shop. From the outside, it looked forbidden and dangerous, two things that combined to point a beckoning finger at me.
Gina opened the door and I followed, knowing that this was exactly the kind of place my parents warned me about.
As soon as we stepped inside my brain went into sensory overload. The smell hit me first; cigarettes and pot and teenage sweat swirling together in the dank heat of the Palace.
The noises. The clacking of pool bools as someone yelled break!; the dings and and whistles of the twenty or so pinball machines that lined the walls; the cursing of the bikers at the pool table; the jangling of quarters in the pockets of Levis; the fist banging on the glass as a machine cried out TILT! It was all underscored by Led Zeppelin's Trampled Under Foot shouting from the jukebox, and the combination of those sounds became my own Pied Piper, begging me to follow.
Our first guest of the day is esteemed author Roger Simon. Roger latest book is Director's Cut, just one in a series of tomes about former hippie detective Moses Wine. I highly recommend you read that, as well as Roger's blog.
Thank you for participating, Roger. I will add my thoughts on the subject next.
I have to bring a French insult every hour, in keeping with Marduk's pledge
How can one conceive of a one party system in a country that has over 200 varieties of cheeses?
- Charles de Gaulle
Now, what would be a trip through nostalgia land without mentioning Jame Lileks, the master of all nostalgia best left forgotten?
See this regretable weiner dish James writes about? That's got nothing on my mother's culinary delights of the 60's and 70's (I think she gave up her attempts at fancy cooking in the 80's).
Everything was a casserole or cooked in one pot. Betty Crocker's book sat on the counter and my mother consulted it daily for recipes for meals that combined things that no one ever thought to combine before. And for a good reason.
Mom - who has never tried to pass herself off as good cook - would take a roasting pan, line it with pork-n-beans, and throw a couple of hot dogs wrapped in bacon on top of the beans. She'd bake it and then toss some saurekraut on top for good measure. She called this dinner. My dad called it shit. My sisters and still laugh about it.
Mackerel Pudding, anyone?
[click for bigger image] Yep, that's me on Christmas morning with my Vic 20 personal computer. Specs:ROM 16Kb. RAM 5Kb (3.5Kb user memory) expandable to 32Kb. Screen: 22 columns by 23 rows. Screen dot matrix: 176 by 184 with up to 16 colours. Sound: 3 voices plus white noise. Media Tape drive (controlled by VIC), Disk Drive, Printer.
Yet I felt like I had all the power in the world at my fingertips. 16 colors! I played Clowns and Pac-Man to my heart's content until I discovered the world of adventure games.
Pirate's Cove. The Count. Adventureland. Voodoo Castle.
Hours, days, weeks passed where I would do nothing but go on adventures.
I learned to program BASIC and set to work making my own very simple adventure games, word processing programs and arcade games. None of them were very well done, but the thrill of being able to make programs myself was unbeatable.
Eventually, I stuck the Vic20 in the closet when it's sexier, sleeker update, the Commodore 64, came out.
And here I am, all these years later with a computer to die for and what do I do with it? I play text adventure games all day.
Yes, that was me in the blue dress/white stripe.
You got all the commercials right.
Yes, that was Kelly LeBrock of Weird Science fame in the Pantene commercial.
Statia, I think Crazy Eddie was just a NY Metro area/Long Island thing. But at least I got it.
Let's play a game while I eat some breakfast. Guess the 80's commercials:
"Where's The Beef?"
"I'm not gonna pay a lot for this muffler."
"Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese - pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun"
"Why 1984 won't be like 1984"
"Thank you Easter Bunny!" "Bwok, Bwok!"
"I Heard It Through The Grapevine..."
"Don't hate me because I'm beautiful"
"Move over bacon, here comes something leaner!"
"I've fallen... and I can't get up!"
"Thank you for your support"
"Just kiss a little longer.."
"The quicker picker upper"
"Avoid the Noid"
And for my first French bashing post of the day (see here for details):
France has neither winter nor summer nor morals--apart from these drawbacks it is a fine country.
- Mark Twain's Notebook
I won't be following any kind of order here - I'll post whatever comes to mind from which decade as I go along.
[click for bigger image] That's my first grade class picture, 1968. Notice how all the girls are wearing cute jumpers. You don't see that much anymore, do you?
1968. The Record of the Year was Simon and Garfunke's Mrs. Robinson. The Best Picture Oscar went to Oliver!
I grew up on show tunes. My mother played them so much that to this day I know every word to every musical ever recorded. Not only that, but the lyrics to those tunes have been so embedded in our brains, so entwined in our daily lives, that every time someone would ask for seconds at dinner, they would invariably say "Please, sir. Can I have some more?" At which point we would all burst out into song.
We still do that. It's a sickness.
And they certainly don't make musicals like they used to.
So, do you know which one is me in that class picture?
Ah, 24 hours of craziness, brought to you by myself, Lair and Meryl as we try to buy and amubulance for Magen David Adom. Hey, you can sponsor right up until the last minute, so if you have been putting off, head over there now!
Welcome to Blogathon 2003. For the next 24 hours, I will be using all my energy to entertain you with blasts from the past. It's a pop culture extravaganza, all in the name of charity (see sidebar for more info). You can also view of list of other participants in the Blogathon here and find out what other 'thoners are up to here. A big thank you to Cat and the Blogathon crew for putting this together for another year. It gets better each time out.
I would like to thank everyone (that long, long list on the side there) who sponsored me for this event. I promise to go the full 24 hours, even though I slept like shit last night and woke up two hours too early with a raging headache. A little coffee, a little Excedrin, I'll be fine. Make that a lot of coffee.
I'll have some guests posters along the way to break up the monotony of me, me, me every half hour (probably more than that). Feel free to add your thoughts and memories in the comments, or if you want to expand on a certain ascpect of pop culture, just write something, email it to me and I'll post it. Pictures of you participating in bad fads and ugly fashion choices would be appropriate to send as well. Don't make me go this alone. I'm outing myself as a pop culture disaster here.
That's me on the left, in the Led Zeppelin t-shirt and Dorothy Hamill haircut, circa 1977. Notice the very fashionable two-piece denim ensemble on my sister Jo-Anne. We were the height of coolness, I tell you.
For the purpose of this Blogathon, we'll define Pop Culture as the wide array of entertainment/mass media properties that dictated what we bought, watched, ate, wore, listened to, etc.
We'll spend the next 24 hours talking about the pop culture of the 60's, 70's and 80's - probably arguing at some point over the best line from Breakfast Club or debating the merits of Led Zeppelin lyrics.
I intend this to be an interactive, audience participation tour of the 30 years worth of my youth and money that is now sitting in a box in my parents' attic.
Because I will be posting at the very least twice every hour, most of the posts from today will scroll off the page at some point. If you missed something and want to go back to the beginning, you can view all posts here, by title, in reverse order of which they appear.
So, it's 9:00 and we are off. Hope you enjoy hanging around as much as I enjoy doing this. I also hope you are here in the wee hours when I need someone to keep me awake.
I'll be on AIM for most of the day on the screename CoffeeSavesLives.