Tag Archives: the eighties

Billy Ocean Confessional

I got an iTunes GC recently. I’m a music junkie. This is absolutely the best thing to get me always. My nephew knows this and he’s not even 2 years old yet. He slipped it into my Father’s Day card. So I did a bit of iTunes surfing to see if there was anything I wanted. There’s always something I want, but I have to prioritize my wants, because I can’t buy everything at once. Unless there’s some new album that just came out that I’ve been dying to pick up, then it’s anybody’s guess what I might download. I decided my first item should be a Billy Ocean greatest hits album. This decision provides more questions than answers. I told my wife, and she said “You’re so weird.”

Of all the things life can throw your way, what could have possibly transpired in my life that lead me to purchase a Billy Ocean album?

If I could get the money back that I spent on music, I’d have a serious head start on retirement. Music brings me joy, so its money well spent. I wondered about the Billy Ocean decision. It’s been on my mind for a while. Is it time? Could I get away with just ‘Caribbean Queen’ and maybe one or two others, without picking up the whole album? The album was only $10. 4 songs cost more than $5, so I might as well go all in. Plus I didn’t know he had a ‘Long and Winding Road’ cover from the Beatles, and I wondered if it was good.

Would people think I was ‘weird’ for having this? Like if it came up on random play in the car and there were other people in the car, would I skip it, and just secretly enjoy it when nobody was around? I decided while dancing in the kitchen with my earphones on that ‘who gives a shit what people think about Billy Ocean, or about me for that matter?’ Getting older sucks, but as my ‘I don’t give a shit’ factor increases exponentially, I start to think that it has its benefits.

Is it that ever since I was 10 years old I’ve secretly always wanted to have the suave confidence to tell a woman to ‘get out of my dreams and into my car’? Who wouldn’t want to pull a line like that? Do people still even use pick up lines? I haven’t heard any in a while. Maybe this is something lost on the newer generation. I think it’s been unfairly categorized as sleazy. I would argue that if I care enough about you to be that creative, then it’s a thoughtful gesture. Right? Oh well, it was the 80’s, and if it doesn’t fly now, it must have then.

Billy Ocean was way cooler than Lionel Ritchie if you ask me. I would be way more embarrassed to have a Lionel Ritchie greatest hits album (who am I kidding? I have that too….. I have everything).

I’m 40 now. I used to listen to Public Enemy and N.W.A. I still do like that stuff, but old friends might be surprised to know just how much Fleetwood Mac, Eagles, Steve Winwood and Bee Gees I listen to these days. I used to think that stuff sucked. Now I quite enjoy it, not to the exclusion of underground Hip Hop or anything, I just like it ALL. Billy Ocean too. It is not the most embarrassing thing in my collection. You know what?? It’s not embarrassing at all. What’s embarrassing is that I just swallowed a fish oil pill sideways and had to go in and ask my wife if I’m going to be OK. I’m finishing this blog despite my throat injury, because ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going.’

I think I just had to talk myself through it here. It’s not high school. Nobody cares what kind of music I listen to. I only think that people care, but the older we get, the more people are just happy to listen to whatever bullshit happens to be on the radio. That’s sad to me, but you know what??? “There’ll be sad songs to make you cry….. love songs often do….they can touch the heart of someone new…..saying I love you…..” Haha. I forced that in. Sue me.

I’m Still Here

There are a lot of things that could have killed me by now.

My wife just showed me an article about the ‘5 second rule’. I didn’t read it because I have to write this blog, and that wouldn’t have contributed to it, but she was telling me that there is scientific evidence that actually supports the ‘5 second rule’. Her being a scientist, and me being someone who just might eat food off the floor, we have an appreciation for the fact that someone actually took the time to research this. I can’t comment on the article any further because I didn’t actually read it. My wife is the type that wouldn’t eat food off the floor, unless it was our floor, but it would take her longer than 5 seconds because I know her brain would run some sort of risk analysis before she did it. Me? I wouldn’t think twice. In my conversation with her, I confessed to eating food off restaurant tables frequently. In Diners, Fast Food restaurants, and shopping mall food courts. If a few french fries slip off my plate onto the table, I don’t hesitate. Consequences be damned. I’m still here.

Earlier this week a co-worker and I joked about being left in car parking lots as kids. My mom will read this blog and deny it, but I remember being given the option of sitting in the car when she went shopping. Not for a long time or anything, but as long as I kept the doors locked and didn’t open them for strangers, I could sometimes stay in the car and play with baseball cards. That stuff is a little more frowned upon now, but back in the day it was not a problem. The only issue with sitting in her car was that on a hot summer day, she had these horrible patterned vinyl seats. As the sun beat down on them during the day, they would heat up like a cast iron skillet, and if you were unfortunate enough to be wearing those high 80’s shorts (which in the 80’s I certainly did), you were going to get an imprint in the back of your leg, not unlike the guy in ‘Raiders Of The Lost Ark’ when he was in the burning tavern and grabbed the hot medallion, and it seared into his skin. I can almost remember the sound of burning flesh on my legs. I also remember walking around for days with the pattern of her car seat on my skin, and being able to run my fingers along it like braille. I survived.

I was transported in a baby carriage that had what I can only describe as ‘shocks’ on the bottom to absorb the uneven sidewalk. I suspect I wasn’t the first baby to be pushed around in this thing, and it was worn in. I feel like if you hit a large enough crack in the sidewalk, that you could launch a baby 20 feet into the air with those loose springs. We didn’t use bike helmets when we were kids. I don’t even think they existed. Nobody used mouth guards when they played sports, you would just get your teeth knocked out. Food allergies didn’t exist the same way they do now. I don’t ever remember anybody seeming worried about anything I ate. If something was past the expiry date, you did the smell test, and if it passed, you were good to go. I’m alive.

I’m not trying to suggest all of that was better than being prepared, and padded, and safe. Just different, that’s all. Every generation has their exaggerated stories of having to walk through 50 miles of snow up to their eyeballs to get to school. They just get less and less interesting. When you’re the kid you roll your eyes every time your parents tell you those stories. Before you know it, you’re telling them, and you can’t believe how spoiled your own kids will be. By today’s standards I’ve done some things that probably aren’t too good for my health, safety or well-being. I’m still here though.

Back to the Future Too

I was walking through a Las Vegas hotel shopping center this morning when I saw the Marty McFLy Nikes from Back to the Future 2, when he goes to the future and they have flying cars, auto drying jackets, hoverboards, and of course Nikes with power laces. That was supposed to be 2015. It’s 2013 now, and I don’t see a lot of that future happening right now. Although we did come up with the internet which is far more efficient than the 17 fax machines scattered over the future McFly household.

My 3 month old son was not impressed by these shoes. He’s part of this new generation of kids that apparently aren’t impressed with anything. I can’t wait to show him these movies, but I don’t know how I’ll explain it to him. ‘Son, this kid hangs out with an old scientist…..okay wait….. this kid goes to the past in a time machine, but then in part 2 he goes to the future, which is now in the past, and……wait wait…. ok just watch it!!! Trust me, it’s awesome.’ But is it? Will it be awesome for him? Probably not. Why? Because my father grew up watching westerns and that was never awesome to me. Who knows what my son will like? Who knows what his life will include?

Will my son have to deal with a Biff Tannen? Will he have his own version of the ‘Enchantment Under the Sea’ dance?Will there be a short-lived phenomenon like Pepsi Free? (If you want a Pepsi kid, you’re gonna have to pay for it.) Will there be a Cafe 80s (please let there be a Cafe 80s). Will ‘butthead’ be an appropriate thing to call people? Will he understand the implications of 1.21 Jigawatts, and will he be able to purchase plutonium at the corner store? (Because we all know that the only other thing that could possibly generate that kind of power would be a bolt of lightning!!!). Will he be the kind of guy that would want to show his dad a few tricks (like how to talk to girls and ask them to the dance??…..Whatever kid, you never would have been born if I didn’t already know that stuff ;)). Will he know that if he puts his mind to it, he can accomplish anything? Will he know that it’s not necessary to worry about somebody calling him chicken? (Even if it was Flea, the bass player from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who are now in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!!) Will he want to ‘Save The Clock Tower’? Will he be a guitar player? Will he dream of having a big truck to take his girlfriend camping with? Will he be a slacker according to school officials? Will he think everything is heavy? Will he be a skateboarder? Will he try to get rich betting on sporting events only to watch somebody else get rich betting on sporting events? Will he be able to steer clear of all the manure trucks that life has to offer?

Only time will tell!