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Author Topic: 25 nostalgic things you remember from a specific year or decade!  (Read 36220 times)
Alex
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« Reply #105 on: August 12, 2022, 08:31:15 AM »


11.   While looters passing themselves off as “activists” burned London, my cousin Magda, who lived there, sent me ongoing live reports that made it sound like Devil’s Night on steroids. She described it as “anarchy” where she was in Brixton, and since she hated most law and order, that was saying something.


I  was on holiday in Norway, fishing in the middle of Fjord and texted a friend back in the UK saying "Wish you were here" type stuff. His reply was that so did he, as several English cities were burning and the rumour was that the military were going to be deployed in the streets. I figured if that did happen, 1) that the government would lose the next election badly and 2) there simply weren't enough of us anymore to make a difference.

Nevertheless, I turned my phone off for the rest of my holiday so no one could recall me. It was the first holiday I'd had since joining up and I wasn't letting anything short of a full-scale war disturb it.
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ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #106 on: August 14, 2022, 09:32:55 PM »

Memories of 2012: A Baby, A Ghost, A Pointed Gun.

1.   2012, the year Duck Dynasty improbably became the country’s most-watched show, began on a gray day with fifty-mile-an-hour winds moaning in the woods like a harmonica. Skipping ahead, since the world apparently did not end on December 21st. as the Mayans cautioned, the year concluded on a bookending night of equally fierce wind and sleet. I think 2012 liked continuity.

2.   Back when same-sex individuals could not legally wed in my state, I went to a commitment ceremony of a lesbian couple, one of whom was a first-cousin of my friend Edie’s, who despite her atheism was culturally very Jewish, as was the flavor of the ceremony, complete with stomping a glass to recall the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. (Which Jesus predicted, by the way.)


3.   In March The Weather Channel gave our city the first TORCON of 9 it had issued in a year. Two small towns were wiped out, including one called Moscow that had a non-operating nuclear power plant that took a direct hit, killing a pair of peregrine falcons who’d been nesting atop the cooling tower. I remember walking out under jade-colored clouds so eerily calm it felt like dead air, and watched a piece of mail fall from the sky. The recipient's address was a house in Kentucky.

4.   My daughter Trinity Elizabeth was born on Friday the 13th of April, 323 days after I had my son Keagan. Trinity was definitely a night person, and demanded constant contact; hold her she was an angel, put her down and she’d wail. I did find Claude Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun hypnotized her to sleep, so I played that a lot that spring. The way my husband would get up at night and walk Trinity back to sleep made me admire his empathy with his little girl.

5.   I had to reshuffle my Last Will and Testament for the second time in a year, a difficult task when it wasn’t possible to know my children’s future interests and personalities, so I re-divided things as best I could, took The Man In Austin out entirely, put something in for a different Texan, gave Clare back things that had come to me after her brother’s death, and included letters to my children made out for specific future dates, hoping my sentiments would not sound pathetically out of touch. I did this knowing if I died in the near future, my oldest would have only hazy memories of me, and my youngest two not know me at all.

6.   We saw a couple music legends that year. We went downtown to the MusicNOW Festival and heard Philip Glass perform inside Memorial Hall, a historic concert venue built in memory of local men who died in the Civil War. In the summer we’d also pay more than it was worth to hear Bob Dylan, not someone I have ever been into, play a concert under the stars. Just us, 15,000 others, and a mumbling man with a gravelly voice.

7.   In my diary I recorded a dream where I was in a car with a stranger who wouldn't answer me when I talked to him, and when he pulled up to a restaurant, I got out and he drove off leaving me standing there. I noticed I was formally dressed and walked into the restaurant where a server came over as if expecting me and showed me to a white cloth-covered table, then put this bowl in front of me containing a disgusting pile of what looked like raw chunks of viscera. Then I looked around and realized all the people sitting at the tables were dead and propped up in their seats dressed in fancy clothes. At that second a door to the kitchen area opened and out walked a man wearing a lab coat, who grabbed me and started pulling me back to this room where I knew he was going to embalm me and add me to a table, and in the dream I was struggling and insisting I wasn't dead.


8.   For his fourth birthday I bought my godson a cool as heck stuffed lion dressed as one of the guards of Buckingham Palace, and only several weeks later did Clare sheepishly tell me she’d put it in a closet as her phobia-prone son harbored an intense terror of stuffed animals. He wasn’t autistic or anything else that could be diagnosed, the boy just had the oddest connection to fear: fear of all kinds of things.

9.   When Ray Bradbury died that June, I re-re-re-read The Martian Chronicles in tribute, and danced to Rachel Bloom’s song f**k Me, Ray Bradbury (for the record, NOT an ambition of mine), but have you ever noticed in interviews Ray Bradbury was kind of a jerk, and outside a few dozen gems his stories are easier to like in theory than in reality?


10.   Over three steamy July nights we went to the Bunbury Musical Festival downtown, named after a non-existent Oscar Wilde character (you read that right). On night one I wore a black Siamese Dream tee Brian got in high school, which made my husband kind of grimace. (Ha!) We heard Jane’s Addiction, Weezer, Guided By Voices (“from the mythological city of Dayton, Ohio!”), 50 Miles To Memphis, Wussy, and Death Cab For Cutie. I also heard a girl there exclaim: “This festival’s awesome! SXSW can suck it!” Indeed. I suspect on the second night some of the marijuana floating around may have been more than “just” marijuana, as I noticed it felt like I was seeing the music, which made me happy, because I finally got to experience something like synesthesia.

11.   My “more vain than a girl” pretty-boy husband got the first facial pimple of his adult life and kvetched more than any teenager sharing the planet. Sigh, no, he’s uber-straight, trust me, just way too proud of his looks, and karma f**ks with you for s**t like that.


12.   I ran into my favorite middle school science teacher, whose quirky inspiration was a big part of why one of my bachelor’s degrees was in biology. He used to tell me if I didn’t win a Noble Prize by thirty, he’d send flying monkeys after me, always adding, “And it won’t be pretty.” Since I was past thirty and unadorned with such a prize, I timidly scanned the skies for winged monkeys.

13.   Neil Armstrong, who lived not far from me, passed away, closing streets around our home and filling the roads with limos and black SUVs, and the air with helicopters bringing in grand so-and-sos to pay tribute at a memorial service nearby. At one point Navy jets did a flyover so low they rattled our windows, made my dogs bark, and set all three of my children crying at the same instant, sending me scurrying to dole out multiple hugs. Way to go, Blue Angels.


14.   A little earthquake shook the house for about twenty seconds. I knew at once what it was, and it was thrilling and scary at the same time but did no real damage.

15.   Awkward event one: Landon and I went to an Asian-fusion restaurant, where my cousin-in-law Vince and his wife Lindsey tried to get me, a vegetarian, to eat a bite of moo-shu pork off the end of chopsticks. I wouldn’t, so having had a couple or five shots of sake, they started boisterously chanting EAT! EAT! EAT!  til everyone in the restaurant was staring. At the table Lindsey came at me with the moo-shu pork making this buzzy airplane sound, I jerked back, and it fell off the chop sticks and went down my front, and there I was with greasy, sauce-oozing pork sliding down under my clothing with a restaurant full of people chuckling.

16.   Having outgrown writing on bedroom ceilings, I had William Butler Yeats’ short little poem The Four Ages of Man calligraphied on parchment and hung inside my bedroom closet door.
http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse?contentId=20682

17.   I sat up late holding Trinity and watching The Weather Channel’s coverage of Frankenstorm/Superstorm Sandy, which flooded NYC. Some said climate change was to blame, others pointed out Manhattan had previously been hit by such storms, proving even weather can divide ever-contentious Americans.

18.   Awkward event two: I was walking downtown after seeing my bosses and a pigeon pooped in my hair. Not a little poo, there was a wad of pigeon s**t in there. I tried to hold my hair away from me with one hand, carry my purse with the other, and I refused to go back and have my bosses see me with pearly-white pigeon crap running down my scalp, so I went into this block-long indoor arcade and found a restroom, where this nice college-age black girl who worked as a barista there helped me extricate the excrement, and I tipped my head sideways while she used wet paper towels to get most it, and I stuck my hair under the water in the sink to flush off the rest and tilted sideways to stand under a hand dryer, but when I got back home, my dog instantly zeroed in on sniffing at my hair.

19.   I recall feeling an unpleasant frisson listening to the final JFK tapes when they were released that year, in which the President, a day away from death, talks of the fateful Dallas trip, and ironically says the Monday after (which turned out to be the day of his funeral) would be a “horrible day.” He really was Irish, wasn’t he?

20.   My friend Rob went to San Diego Comic-Con and phoned me with the consciousness-altering news that Neil Gaiman was writing his first new Sandman material since the ‘90s. I said, “Rob, we must drive carefully, not run with scissors, or juggle loaded guns, since it is imperative we not die between now and whatever sweet day we hold those comics in our hands.” He solemnly concurred in what was as close to a blood pact as people 2,000 miles apart could make.

21.   Ever get something stuck in your head? (Besides a splatter of pigeon dung…) For a couple weeks in the summer of 2012 I got the phrase “Basilisk Sun” lodged in my brain and could neither ID where it came from, nor seem to forget it while it bounced around in my thoughts day and night. Basilisk Sun. What IS that? It was like the government implanted a deep-mind code, but forgot to tell me what it meant. I kept expecting to wake up after sleep-walking miles from home with someone’s eyeballs in my pocket.

22.   To celebrate the autumnal equinox we had a big bonfire, and the guest of honor was a seven-foot wicker man we created out of loose twigs and twine and straw hair. Sometimes one’s inner heathen strains to get out, and mine generally lives close to the surface anyway. We stayed out til almost dawn and it was a haunted, primeval sort of night when our spirits burst all shackles and ran free.


23.   I had laser procedures to rid my sides of a small but annoying patch of stretch marks, the toll of so much pregnancy in so little time. The stretch marks vanished, but flashing forward, having this done would be associated with skin cancers, and in exchange for not joining a class action suit, I was given my money back and offered free skin cancer checks and no-cost skin cancer treatment should the checks find any. Hey, also, no stretch marks!

24.   One of Landon’s employees, Donny, a wholesome Kentucky country boy, had stayed behind one December evening packing up tools and shutting off kerosene heaters, alone in the basement of a dilapidated 19th century house that through my husband’s artistry was being changed from a ruin to a showplace. Donny said “plain as anything” he heard a female voice whisper in his ear: “What are you doing here?” He ran out of the house and refused to be alone there for the rest of the project, something he’d never done before then.

I was intrigued and insisted Landon go sit with me in the same basement. We stayed from sunset til about midnight, munching Smartfood and doing “stuff” together, and never heard any ghostly voice either with our ears or on the digital recording.

The finished house later sold to a gay couple (a lot of Landon’s restorations went to gay couples) who turned the basement into their all-purpose rec room, and I asked that they tell me if they had any paranormal experiences there, and as they never reported any, who knows if Donny heard a ghost or his imagination just ran away with him?

25.   And now for something completely different. Near Christmas I was driving alone through a not-OK part of town, and stopped at a light. A sketchy-looking man with dreads walked over and tapped on my window, and held up gold chains in his left hand and motioned with a finger for me to roll my window down. I noticed he kept one hand in his jacket pocket, which I didn’t like, so I shook my head no, and he then reached down and tried to open my car door, so I jerked out my Desert Eagle and pointed it at his face a foot on the other side of the glass. As calm as butter he stepped back to the sidewalk, never taking his eyes off me or removing his hand from his pocket. When I drove on I got a tsunami of adrenaline that left me with tunnel vision for a moment. Something about the professionalism in the way that man calmly backed away creeped me out. I don’t think that was that dude’s first rodeo.


And that was 2012.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2022, 09:27:56 AM by ER » Logged

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Alex
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« Reply #107 on: August 15, 2022, 12:54:11 AM »

Memories of 2012: A Baby, A Ghost, A Pointed Gun.

9.   When Ray Bradbury died that June, I re-re-re-read The Martian Chronicles in tribute, and danced to Rachel Bloom’s song f**k Me, Ray Bradbury (for the record, NOT an ambition of mine), but have you ever noticed in interviews Ray Bradbury was kind of a jerk, and outside a few dozen gems his stories are easier to like in theory than in reality?

24.   One of Landon’s employees, Donny, a wholesome Kentucky country boy, had stayed behind one December evening packing up tools and shutting off kerosene heaters, alone in the basement of a dilapidated 19th century house that through my husband’s artistry was being changed from a ruin to a showplace. Donny said “plain as anything” he heard a female voice whisper in his ear: “What are you doing here?” He ran out of the house and refused to be alone there for the rest of the project, something he’d never done before then.

I was intrigued and insisted Landon go sit with me in the same basement. We stayed from sunset til about midnight, munching Smartfood and doing “stuff” together, and never heard any ghostly voice either with our ears or on the digital recording.

The finished house later sold to a gay couple (a lot of Landon’s restorations went to gay couples) who turned the basement into their all-purpose rec room, and I asked that they tell me if they had any paranormal experiences there, and as they never reported any, who knows if Donny heard a ghost or his imagination just ran away with him?

I find a lot of classic sci fi authors seem to have been dicks in real life.

Maybe it was Donny who was being haunted, rather than the building.  Wink
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Trevor
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« Reply #108 on: August 15, 2022, 01:24:21 AM »

1987: the year that changed my life.

1. I came down to Pretoria from Zimbabwe and at 19, I got my eyes opened wide to big city life.
2. South Africa was a different country then, all laws and no mercy: I got detained walking to class at www.tut.ac.za (when it was still in the city centre) and because I had no ID book, I was nearly arrested until I produced my passport with study visa and residence permit. Since then, I have always carried my ID book with me wherever I go.
3. No cinemas open on Sundays.
4. Restrictions on life down to the fact that black SA's had to be off the street by 6 pm.  Buggedout
5. Very few shops open on Sundays and forget about going to the local bar for a drink: that was against the law called "The Sunday Observance Act" which remained in force until 1993! Buggedout
6. Censorship was rife, sadly: even libraries enforced this.
7. Very little crime in the city centre: you could walk around and window-shop at 8 pm, no problem. Try that now:  Buggedout
8. I was first made aware of the Scientology cult by a fellow student: after doing some reading on it, I thought, nah, not for me. After seeing Going Clear, definitely not for me.  Buggedout
9. Pretoria Centre these days is a filth pit: back then, you would get fined if you littered or loitered.
10. I made my first acquaintance with strange things called video shops and game arcades.
11. I also became aware of things I wasn't familiar with in Zimbabwe: namely drunks, drug addicts and prostitutes.
12. I met the first teacher who ever gave a damn about me, recognized potential in me and encouraged me: thank you Jeanette.
13. All the Afrikaans students I was living with in the residence found me more than a little odd as I was English but spoke their language fluently: I never bothered to explain. Wink
14. One thing I found very difficult was living with people I didn't know, almost all of whom were raised differently to how I was, especially in terms of relating to people who were not Caucasian. I was always taught to see people as people, regardless of differences and I still follow that today.
15. It was difficult being away from my folks and I only saw them twice a year when I rode the bus back home to Zimbabwe. I loved leaving Pretoria for a while and hated coming back.
16. I met my first atheist and my first so-called Satanist while living in this residence: I had no problem with any of them and they had no issues with me.
17. I joined a youth group at my local church and was easily the oldest "youth" there: fun times.
18. The Ninja Turtles craze hit SA that year: most preachers condemned the "new age intrusions" in their lives and asked the censor board to ban the turtles.
19. The "rock and roll is bad and evil" movement also evolved here around that time: we were told at church that listening to rock and rock would send us to hell and don't get them started on albums which supposedly had "back masking". I was personally condemned because I liked listening to The Moody Blues.
20. One stupid thing I did: I started smoking as "it looked cool". Took me until 2009 to quit.  TongueOut
21. I saw Star Trek IV The Voyage Home and The Untouchables at the cinema here that year.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2022, 04:36:40 AM by Trevor » Logged

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« Reply #109 on: August 15, 2022, 02:59:44 AM »

1993:
1. There was an earthquake that shook the Scotts Mills area south of Portland, and its shock was felt through much of the state.  It wasn't super powerful or anything (5.6) but for Oregon that was pretty impressive.  I think I was asleep at the time and thought my brother came into my room during the night, fell asleep on the floor and kicked my bed in his sleep until I woke up and realized what was happening.  I remember the force knocked a whole bunch of items off the shelves at the department/grocery store where I worked.  We all had to scramble to set things right.
2. THE COMEBACK!  My Bills looked really awful in the Playoff game vs. the Houston Oilers-- admittedly the Oilers had a fantastic squad led by Warren Moon, who had great weapons on offense and some key pieces on defense.  But 35-3??  Yuck.  My youngest brother was a fan of the Oilers at the time and had to taunt me after every score.  I watched this on my crappy old 19 inch Symphonic tv/vhs player that wigged out when certain audio frequencies were displayed.  Anyway; in the 3rd quarter the Bills started getting the breaks and the offense really started clicking.. and in overtime they pulled off the biggest comeback ever with a victory!  It shut my brother up but good.
3. I also recall the AFC Championship against the Broncos (my 2nd-youngest brother's team) looking like offensive fireworks were in store.  Uh... nope.  A 10-7 win by my Bills was marked by ugly offense and THREE missed field goals by Denver's David Treadwell!  Whew..
4. I remember just before the Super Bowl I went to the Washington Square Mall a couple miles from my folks' house and leisurely chatted with a cop at McDonald's about the upcoming game, agreeing that Buffalo could win it.  Oh dear God no.  They got waxed like crazy by the Cowboys, 52-17.  The only plus was this cool play by Don Beebe that kept the score from getting worse:
Error 404 (Not Found)!!1 Small | Large

5. I think this was the year I first took karate lessons.  My brothers, 2nd oldest sister and I attended initially, then she dropped out after like one lesson.  Later it was down to me and my youngest brother.  After a while he dropped out and I eventually stayed to almost my black belt.  Did it for about 3 years.  The sensei eventually got busted by the police on molestation charges.. ew!
6. My youngest brother and I were still in our karate gi's when we got home just in time to watch the rest of game 6 of the World Series in my room with our Blue Jays facing the Phillies, up 3 games to 2.  We were down by 1 with two on and one out.  Mitch Williams served a meatball over the plate and Joe Carter smashed it to left to win the Jays' 2nd consecutive championship!  My brother and I jumped and screamed till we were hoarse.
7. A mile and a half or so from my folks' house is a tavern that used to be a produce store.  I remember walking over there to see game 5 of the Stanley Cup between the Canadiens and the LA Kings, in Wayne Gretzky's last Cup appearance.  The Canadiens won.  I got hammered and then tried to eat a brownie sundae; I almost threw up everywhere!
8. Still having many great players returning on my Blazers, I was really depressed that they lost in the first round to the Spurs.  This was kind of the "beginning of the end" of their great late 80s/early 90s squad.
9. It might have been later this year that I got my first custodial job at the same department store I had been working.  Skills I learned then that I still use to this day, as a hospital housekeeper.
10. Jumped on board the Sega CD bandwagon!  I still really like this console and though a lot of people don't like its deluge of Full Motion Video games, I think some of them are awesome.  The graphics weren't always altogether THAT much more impressive than the Genesis with the non-FMV titles, but the music quality and the animated cutscenes were terrific.  My favorite games were LUNAR, ROAD AVENGER, FINAL FIGHT CD, NIGHT TRAP, and SEWER SHARK.  SONIC CD was fun too.

I got this particular model, and the connection between the Sega CD and the Genesis would break fairly easily.  Had to take it for repairs numerous times.
11. Ol' Slick Willy is sworn in as the 42nd President.
12. 8 years prior to the 9/11 attacks, the World Trade Center is befallen by a lesser tragedy as a van bomb explodes, killing 6 and injuring over 1,000.
13. Janet Reno is the first female Attorney General of the US.
14. Cult leader David Koresh, or as we called him, the "Waco Wacko", burns to death at his Branch Davidian compound.  75 others also die.
15. All members of the Zambia National Football team die in a plane crash.
16. Monica Seles is stabbed during a tennis match in Hamburg by a crazed fan of rival Steffi Graf.  She recovers but does not play for 2 years.  No word on whether the assailant made a Seles-like grunt during the stabbing.
17. The Sri Lankan President is assassinated by a Tamil Tigers suicide bomber.
18. Michael Jackson is accused of sexual abuse of a 13-year old, Jordan Chandler.  This hangs over him pretty much for the rest of his life.
19. The "Black Hawk Down" incident occurs in Mogadishu, Somalia.  During a war with the Somali National Alliance 2 US choppers (Black Hawks) are shot down. 
20. Drug lord Pablo Escobar is gunned down by police in Medellin, Colombia.
21. Seminal first person shooter DOOM is released by Id Software.
22. The E Coli outbreak among several Jack In The Box restaurants in the Western US is first reported.  I remember applying to work at one the previous year when I was still living in Auburn/Federal Way, WA.
23. I was SUPER bummed that the Bulls won yet another title, with sharpshooter John Paxson left wide open all by his lonesome to complete the Bulls' comeback to take game 6 and the championship on the Suns' home floor.  Puke..
24. New teams inaugurated in sports: FLORIDA MARLINS, COLORADO ROCKIES, MIGHTY DUCKS OF ANAHEIM, FLORIDA PANTHERS.
25. NBA JAM dominates the arcades.  SAMURAI SHODOWN, FATAL FURY SPECIAL, MORTAL KOMBAT II, THE PUNISHER, VIRTUA FIGHTER, and SUPER STREET FIGHTER II are among many other hits.
P.S.:
WHAT IS LOVE, MR. JONES, MARY JANE'S LAST DANCE and COME UNDONE were a few songs I really liked.
Hit movies: TOMBSTONE, A NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, SCHINDLER'S LIST, MENACE II SOCIETY, JURASSIC PARK, DEMOLITION MAN, IN THE LINE OF FIRE, DRAGON: THE BRUCE LEE STORY, FREE WILLY, MRS. DOUBTFIRE, PHILADELPHIA, THE PIANO, COOL RUNNINGS (loved that one), THE FUGITIVE, DAVE, and LOADED WEAPON 1 which had me falling over laughing in the theater (even if it is pretty dumb, there's plenty of good chuckles).
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« Reply #110 on: August 15, 2022, 05:55:13 AM »

1995.

1) Having left school 3 years previously, I was still looking for a career and working in the grey economy. I was making good money, but also working over a hundred hours a week. I was at my height of physical fitness during this period, using what little free time I had to work out.

2) Nick Leeson became famous when he single handily crashed Barrings Bank. This should have sounded alarm bells and brought in regulations that would have been handy around about 2007. He'd get a movie made about him which I've never felt interested in watching.

3) The Tokyo subway is hit by a sarin attack. I was hearing a lot about doomsday cults at this time and made a bit of an effort to study them, although this was much harder in the early days of the internet (which I didn't have regular access to and was too slow anyway). It would be a couple of months before the leaders of the cult would be arrested and 13 of them would receive death sentences.

4) The Chechens were fighting off the vastly superior numbers of the Russian Federation army, eventually defeating the invaders and forming an independent nation for a while. I followed the campaign as closely as I was able to. The Russian forces had used up pretty much all their reserves of ammunition. I thought that was bound to cause a restructuring of their armed forces to ensure it would be a long time before they'd have another debacle like that.

For anyone who has been watching the news this year, it obviously didn't.

5) An F-16 was shot down over Bosnia. This would later be made into a movie, which I have seen but the name of which escapes me at the moment. It was however the first time I'd seen how a missile takes down an aircraft depicted accurately on film. I don't think I've seen another one since.

6) I think this year I watched Motorhead, The Almighty, The Wildhearts and Queensryche live in concert in Glasgow (at different times, although that would have been an awesome lineup for a single night). When I went to see Queensryche, I bumped into a guy I'd met at a concert previously although neither of us can remember what it was. We kept in touch and to this day, still meet up to go to concerts in Glasgow.

7) I moved in with my gran for a few months. She lived in a flat, and a woman with mental health issues had moved in upstairs, and then started threatening her. I could hear her upstairs ranting and raging about me moving in, but she never said another word to my gran. Another neighbour tore down her garden fence and put an ugly breeze block thing in its place. He said it was there and legally she couldn't do anything about it. I pointed out that since he'd put the supports on her side of the fence, that it actually belonged to her and she could have it knocked down if she wanted and there wasn't a damn thing he could do about it. The wall was gone the next day and another wooden fence was erected.

8) Fearing a political coup against him, John Major called a snap leadership election. His potential opponents were caught a little bit off guard but there was at least one opponent. He was an otherwise unremarkable man, whose only memorable trait was that he looked like he was a Vulcan. John Major would retain his position though and his scandal-prone party would continue in power until ousted by Tony Blair. The endless parade of corruption from them was very wearisome. I made the decision that if people in my country were going to continue to vote for people who would be a constant source of embarrassment (especially you, David Mellor), then I wasn't going to be patriotic about being in the UK.

9) China fired missiles near Taiwan prompting the US to give them a very bluntly worded reminder of who was the main power in the Pacific. Rumblings of going back into Iraq continues persistently through this time. The bright new world that had seemed so promising when the Iron Curtain had fallen felt like it was dying. Some people have told me that when Charles Manson had his minions go out on their murder thing, that it felt like the death of the flower power hippy era. I often wondered if how I felt about things happening in the mid 90s was the same as they'd felt back then.

10) eBay was founded. It would be many years before I'd notice it though.

11) The first Playstation was released. I'd mess about on it and play wrestling games, but not much else on it seemed to interest me that much.

12) Quebec decided not to break away from the rest of Canada. I vaguely wondered if the rest of Canada had voted on kicking Quebec out, what would the result have been? Bermuda also decided not to become independent.

13) Toy Story was released. I cannot recall if I saw it in the cinema or on video. I do remember that I liked it, but I preferred hand-drawn animation. I hoped it wouldn't be the way of the future, but guessed that it would be. I also wondered how long it would be before Disney bought the studio. Disneyland Paris would annually announce it was losing money hand over fist around this time

14) OJ Simpson was found innocent which confirmed a lot of people's suspicions about the US justice system. Overnight everyone became a legal expert. A whole slew of documentaries about people on death row in the states would follow, generally along the lines of this person couldn't have done this murder and needs a new trial. I have no idea if any of them were successful or not and would only pay vague attention to them. Then again, before work and keeping fit, very little got any series degree of attention from me.

15) My younger brother started the same secondary school I had left three years earlier. Many of my old teachers were still there, including a very old woman (Mrs Donaldson), who had taught my gran.

16) South Africa won the world cup, initially getting a lot of congratulations from around the world, but these quickly dried up due to some unsportsmanlike comments made by one of the team members. It was a shame. As someone who followed rugby without actually supporting any single team, I'd thought it had been a good competition, and it was a shame for things to finish on a sour note. Jonah Lomu (New Zealand) was the stand-out star of the whole thing and would be a player whose career I would keep an eye on as he became the most famous rugby player on the planet for a while.

17) I went down to London to visit CJ for the last time. I tried to stay friends with him, but something he'd done (or rather not done) earlier that year really damaged our friendship and I just didn't feel the same way about him anymore. It would be almost a decade before we'd speak again and even then, I knew things would never be repaired. I saw him and Ali. Stella kept trying to get to see me (because she wanted attention), but the one time we sort of met she didn't get any. She'd tell people I'd growled at her and that she'd driven off before I could kick her car door or something, but the truth is I hadn't even noticed she was there. I did however put a curse on her. Many years later when I got back in touch with CJ he'd mention how things had gone in her life since then and it matched exactly what I'd put down. Maybe it was just a coincidence, maybe it wasn't. Decide for yourself.

18) I started thinking about going to college. It wouldn't be until the next year that I'd sign up for an adult learning course though, and another couple of years before I'd go to an actual college, but I spent a lot of time debating what courses to do. It is a shame I didn't think more about where I wanted to study though rather than just going for the closest college.

19) I got my younger cousin a job working with me. He'd repay me by stealing off her boss (admittedly, she was a fairly bad excuse for a human being whose feet stunk out of sight, but still) and trying to stir up trouble between me and other family members. He would end up dying young. I can't remember if it was alcohol poisoning that killed him first, or if he died in the house fire that started while he was passed out drunk, but he didn't make it to his 30s. He was lucky to avoid a lot of jail time prior to that, had an extensive drug problem, got into fights a lot (which it has to be said, he mostly won), and it is rumoured was the actual cause of a young woman being run over by a stolen car and left with life-changing injuries, but he managed to get the blame put on someone else. I never knew for sure what the real story was though, only rumour and hearsay. However, there had been enough other s**t from him that when he died, no one claimed his body and he was buried in a paupers grave. He chose his own path and resisted all attempts to help him find another.

20) Although previously I had covered my room in all manner of heavy metal type posters to cover up the hated colour of the walls, I lost interest in them this year. When some fell down, I'd either roll them up and put them away or throw them in the bin. I did find a few survivors that were packed away in the bottom of a box just a couple of weeks ago, but I didn't feel nostalgic about them and they went in the bin too, even my once prized 5-foot by 3-foot Ozzy Osbourne 'No More Tears' poster.

21) I mostly survived the year on an incredibly unhealthy diet of Irn Bru, Pot Noodles and cheese on toast. The work I was doing though seemed to burn through any amount of crap I was eating. My waistline at this point measured a slim 24 inches and my calf muscles were big enough that I'd occasionally need help getting my jeans past them. Even today my calf muscles are still overdeveloped.

22) I started to notice a distinct separation between myself and my friends over drugs. I occasionally smoked some weed and drank alcohol, while they were indulging in all sorts of pills. As far as I know, none of them had progressed onto any of the really bad s**t like heroin, but our different views had caused us to start to drift away from each other slowly. I've never wanted to get into anything that I'd end up addicted to and always kept one eye on how much and how often I was drinking.

23) I'd spent quite a while saving up money to move out of the village I was living in, but after my plans fell through I went out and spent it all over the course of a weekend. I did love the leather jacket I bought that weekend, and would wear it a lot until it got stolen over 10 years later.

I miss that jacket.

24) I bought myself my first brand new stereo, capable of playing CDs as well as my beloved vinyl albums. The first CDs I bought were Queenryches Empire, and Iron Maiden's debut album.

25) Me and three friends had an epic three-hour-long wrestling match, whose ending I missed when I had to go to the toilet. My partner was picked up and power slammed onto a concrete floor, before being counted out.
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« Reply #111 on: August 15, 2022, 04:20:40 PM »

1993:
1. There was an earthquake that shook the Scotts Mills area south of Portland, and its shock was felt through much of the state.  It wasn't super powerful or anything (5.6) but for Oregon that was pretty impressive.  I think I was asleep at the time and thought my brother came into my room during the night, fell asleep on the floor and kicked my bed in his sleep until I woke up and realized what was happening.  I remember the force knocked a whole bunch of items off the shelves at the department/grocery store where I worked.  We all had to scramble to set things right.
2. THE COMEBACK!  My Bills looked really awful in the Playoff game vs. the Houston Oilers-- admittedly the Oilers had a fantastic squad led by Warren Moon, who had great weapons on offense and some key pieces on defense.  But 35-3??  Yuck.  My youngest brother was a fan of the Oilers at the time and had to taunt me after every score.  I watched this on my crappy old 19 inch Symphonic tv/vhs player that wigged out when certain audio frequencies were displayed.  Anyway; in the 3rd quarter the Bills started getting the breaks and the offense really started clicking.. and in overtime they pulled off the biggest comeback ever with a victory!  It shut my brother up but good.
3. I also recall the AFC Championship against the Broncos (my 2nd-youngest brother's team) looking like offensive fireworks were in store.  Uh... nope.  A 10-7 win by my Bills was marked by ugly offense and THREE missed field goals by Denver's David Treadwell!  Whew..
4. I remember just before the Super Bowl I went to the Washington Square Mall a couple miles from my folks' house and leisurely chatted with a cop at McDonald's about the upcoming game, agreeing that Buffalo could win it.  Oh dear God no.  They got waxed like crazy by the Cowboys, 52-17.  The only plus was this cool play by Don Beebe that kept the score from getting worse:
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5. I think this was the year I first took karate lessons.  My brothers, 2nd oldest sister and I attended initially, then she dropped out after like one lesson.  Later it was down to me and my youngest brother.  After a while he dropped out and I eventually stayed to almost my black belt.  Did it for about 3 years.  The sensei eventually got busted by the police on molestation charges.. ew!
6. My youngest brother and I were still in our karate gi's when we got home just in time to watch the rest of game 6 of the World Series in my room with our Blue Jays facing the Phillies, up 3 games to 2.  We were down by 1 with two on and one out.  Mitch Williams served a meatball over the plate and Joe Carter smashed it to left to win the Jays' 2nd consecutive championship!  My brother and I jumped and screamed till we were hoarse.
7. A mile and a half or so from my folks' house is a tavern that used to be a produce store.  I remember walking over there to see game 5 of the Stanley Cup between the Canadiens and the LA Kings, in Wayne Gretzky's last Cup appearance.  The Canadiens won.  I got hammered and then tried to eat a brownie sundae; I almost threw up everywhere!
8. Still having many great players returning on my Blazers, I was really depressed that they lost in the first round to the Spurs.  This was kind of the "beginning of the end" of their great late 80s/early 90s squad.
9. It might have been later this year that I got my first custodial job at the same department store I had been working.  Skills I learned then that I still use to this day, as a hospital housekeeper.
10. Jumped on board the Sega CD bandwagon!  I still really like this console and though a lot of people don't like its deluge of Full Motion Video games, I think some of them are awesome.  The graphics weren't always altogether THAT much more impressive than the Genesis with the non-FMV titles, but the music quality and the animated cutscenes were terrific.  My favorite games were LUNAR, ROAD AVENGER, FINAL FIGHT CD, NIGHT TRAP, and SEWER SHARK.  SONIC CD was fun too.

I got this particular model, and the connection between the Sega CD and the Genesis would break fairly easily.  Had to take it for repairs numerous times.
11. Ol' Slick Willy is sworn in as the 42nd President.
12. 8 years prior to the 9/11 attacks, the World Trade Center is befallen by a lesser tragedy as a van bomb explodes, killing 6 and injuring over 1,000.
13. Janet Reno is the first female Attorney General of the US.
14. Cult leader David Koresh, or as we called him, the "Waco Wacko", burns to death at his Branch Davidian compound.  75 others also die.
15. All members of the Zambia National Football team die in a plane crash.
16. Monica Seles is stabbed during a tennis match in Hamburg by a crazed fan of rival Steffi Graf.  She recovers but does not play for 2 years.  No word on whether the assailant made a Seles-like grunt during the stabbing.
17. The Sri Lankan President is assassinated by a Tamil Tigers suicide bomber.
18. Michael Jackson is accused of sexual abuse of a 13-year old, Jordan Chandler.  This hangs over him pretty much for the rest of his life.
19. The "Black Hawk Down" incident occurs in Mogadishu, Somalia.  During a war with the Somali National Alliance 2 US choppers (Black Hawks) are shot down.  
20. Drug lord Pablo Escobar is gunned down by police in Medellin, Colombia.
21. Seminal first person shooter DOOM is released by Id Software.
22. The E Coli outbreak among several Jack In The Box restaurants in the Western US is first reported.  I remember applying to work at one the previous year when I was still living in Auburn/Federal Way, WA.
23. I was SUPER bummed that the Bulls won yet another title, with sharpshooter John Paxson left wide open all by his lonesome to complete the Bulls' comeback to take game 6 and the championship on the Suns' home floor.  Puke..
24. New teams inaugurated in sports: FLORIDA MARLINS, COLORADO ROCKIES, MIGHTY DUCKS OF ANAHEIM, FLORIDA PANTHERS.
25. NBA JAM dominates the arcades.  SAMURAI SHODOWN, FATAL FURY SPECIAL, MORTAL KOMBAT II, THE PUNISHER, VIRTUA FIGHTER, and SUPER STREET FIGHTER II are among many other hits.
P.S.:
WHAT IS LOVE, MR. JONES, MARY JANE'S LAST DANCE and COME UNDONE were a few songs I really liked.
Hit movies: TOMBSTONE, A NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, SCHINDLER'S LIST, MENACE II SOCIETY, JURASSIC PARK, DEMOLITION MAN, IN THE LINE OF FIRE, DRAGON: THE BRUCE LEE STORY, FREE WILLY, MRS. DOUBTFIRE, PHILADELPHIA, THE PIANO, COOL RUNNINGS (loved that one), THE FUGITIVE, DAVE, and LOADED WEAPON 1 which had me falling over laughing in the theater (even if it is pretty dumb, there's plenty of good chuckles).


#16, "a Seles-like grunt" BounceGiggle
You know at the time Seles made those sounds mostly that was seen as low-class behavior, but nowadays you hear it everywhere on court. The sport was better without it.
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« Reply #112 on: August 17, 2022, 04:22:51 AM »

1994:
1. Grrr.. 4 straight Super Bowls, and my Bills didn't win any of them.  This one had such promise at halftime, where they actually led 13-6!  But then the Cowboys score 24 unanswered points.  I was at a co-worker's house watching it with his wife and kids.  He was having troubles making ends meet and I was giving him a bit of a hand financially.. until I found out it went straight to drugs.
2. Clinton and Yeltsin sign the Kremlin Accords.
3. Portland figure skater Tonya Harding is embroiled in controversy when her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly had her rival Nancy Kerrigan attacked.  Harding's 1994 US Figure Skating Championship title is stripped.
4. After the attack but before Harding pleads guilty to conspiracy to hinder prosecution, Nancy recovers and wins Silver in the Lillehammer Winter Olympics (Tonya places 8th).  Tonya is banned from the US Figure Skating Association later that year.  I remember my friend and I watching her skating on tv at a bar and hoping she'd crash into the walls over and over again.
5. SCHINDLER'S LIST wins SEVEN Oscars!
6. Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain kills himself by shotgun.  Though I never want to hear about someone taking their own life, I had to roll my eyes over my brother crying over his death.  Though I realize they were a big founder of the grunge movement, I wasn't a big fan of grunge then, and I'm still not big on it now.
7. The Presidents of Rwanda and Burundi are both killed by a missile striking their jet.  This puts the Rwandan Genocide in motion.
8. Nelson Mandela is sworn in as President of South Africa, striking a major blow against apartheid.
9. F-1 driver Ayrton Senna is killed in a crash at the San Marino Gran Prix in Italy.
10. Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley marry in the Dominican Republic.  I remember wondering what Elvis would have thought of this union.
11. I think it was this year that I got deathly ill-- I lost 30 pounds because I simply could not eat (and I was already skinny as f***), which made me about 120 pounds.  For a 23 year old male, that's.. not good.  Just some nasty stomach virus I guess.  And of course my grandmother tried to get me to eat nasty food like garlic pork.. (ralf)
12. Oh man.. the OJ Simpson case!  His wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman are murdered outside OJ's Los Angeles home.  He is declared not guilty but held liable in a civil suit.
13. LOL.. after the murders, OJ is driven by his friend Al Cowlings in a Ford Bronco, fleeing from police in a remarkably low-speed chase.  It ends at Simpson's Brentwood mansion, where he surrenders.
14. The Aum Shinrikyo cult releases sarin nerve gas in subways in Japan.
15. Oh man, I remember this.. Colombian footballer Andres Escobar accidentally scores an "own goal" in a match with the US in the FIFA World Cup.  He is later shot dead in Medellin.
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16. An Israel-Jordan peace treaty ends hostilities that had raged for nearly 50 years.
17. Woah-- NO WORLD SERIES!  A MLB players' strike begins in August and wipes out the remainder of the season. 
18. WOODSTOCK 94!  The 25th anniversary celebration of the original Woodstock is now held in Saugerties, NY.
19. The US sends forces to Kuwait as Iraq threatens to stop cooperating with UNSCOM inspectors.
20. The Houston Rockets win their first championship!  The awesome (H)Akeem Olajuwon, Kenny Smith, Sam Cassell, Robert Horry and Vernon (I called him "Vermin" due to his short temper) Maxwell survive a tough 7 game series with Patrick Ewing and the Knicks, largely due to John Starks going ice-cold at just the wrong moment.
21. Upon knocking out Michael Moorer, George Foreman becomes the oldest heavyweight champion in boxing history at 45.  Later this year, he patents his "George Foreman Grill" (I got one many years later).
22. Hurricane Gordon nails the area of Cuba, Bahamas, Haiti, Central America and SE U.S. for tons of damage and over a thousand deaths.
23. NETSCAPE NAVIGATOR is released!
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24. The cool Windows program KLIK N PLAY had a bunch of games and showed you how to make your own game.  I never quite could make it work but it was still fun.
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25. The NY Rangers win their first Stanley Cup title in 54 years by beating the Vancouver Canucks in 7 games.
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« Reply #113 on: August 17, 2022, 09:02:44 AM »

Memories of 2014: Life Was A Variety Pack


1.   Locally it was the coldest winter of the decade, with multiple “polar vortices” sinking daytime temperatures below zero, and as sub-freezing days and snowfall went on into April, it was dubbed “the winter that would not die.” (Though I thought “undead winter” was a better term.)

2.   Around my sometimes demanding, sometimes lull-prone career of seventeen years, (which in 2014 had largely devolved into overseeing those doing deep background checks on red-flagged applicants for high-clearance jobs….safe but boring) I made time to put in hours at my dad’s office, and met some really cool interns there. I count the stretch in the mid-‘10s when I got to be with my dad and those college kids as a particularly enjoyable chapter in my life. Heck I even got an impressive-sounding title: office manager. Gasp!

3.   Dark Souls 2 launched, and after I slashed my way through Drangleic, I wasn’t impressed that first outing and would shelve the game for five years, though eventually it would wind up being the Souls title I’d invest the most hours re-playing. In fact I did a play-through last month.

4.   And people say I’m death-focused? Clare had a strange meltdown about her own demise after some disturbing dreams.  She actually called me around five in the morning and told me, “I had another bad dream and saw my funeral and they put me in a gross gauzy white dress and put white flowers in my hands….” I told her the dream couldn’t be prophetic, since everybody knew white wasn’t her color. Those worries culminated in her asking me to sign legal forms saying I would raise my godson if something happened to her and her husband. I signed, but some fatalistic sense of paranoia taunted me to wonder if I wasn’t somehow re-ordering the path of the universe and setting dark things into motion, maybe making Clare think it would now be OK to die…? You know once when her brother was leaving to go back to college, he said, “You should be friends with my sister when I’m gone.” Over the last twenty-some years that sentiment has registered as irony he never intended.

5.   For fun I wrote an e-book about life and the movies I saw in 2014, and said anyone who wanted to read it was welcome; shrug, a few dozen people did.

6.   Even though I also had, among other works, Seth Speaks, The Ramayana, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, The Egyptian Book of the Dead, The Prose Edda, The Koran, Rashi’s Talmudic Commentary, and The Satanic Bible on my theology/philosophy bookshelf, a guest at a party singled out a title I had by Billy Graham and made fun of me for having read it. Ever noticed how supposedly permissive people who claim to be cool with almost anything really aren’t?


7.   My husband took our three-year-old son with him to the barber, and got an old-fashion straight razor shave, and naturally our son wanted one too, so the barber used an edgeless razor “too dull to cut warm butter,” lathered him up and “shaved” him too. My son came home beaming and made me feel how smooth his face was.

8.   On April Fool’s Day my dad told me we’d be meeting with a man on business. Unknown to me he recruited identical twins, who kept finding scenarios to leave the room so the other would come in, and any other day that might’ve worked longer, but my brain knew there was something going on and I laughingly dragged the second twin back among us. Still, great prank! (Did you know magicians and spies use twins all the time?)

9.   Having read The Hot Zone, news that Ebola was in Texas was not cheerful tidings. Deep in her Mormon heart my bud Mandy was surer than ever this was yet another sign of The End Times. I told her it was a cop-out to rely on a deus ex machina rescue from our problems, and only after that hurt her feelings did I remember the adage: “Do not dim another’s hope.” From then on I let her emote all she wanted on her life-sustaining conviction all troubles would soon be put right supernaturally.

10.   When I was out one evening with the children I ran into the tutor who’d groped teenaged me in his car, and who was later my teacher for the last quarter of twelfth grade. Seeing him again gave me a sick-angry feeling but I returned his hello and walked on without making an incident. I’ve let some people get away with serious s**t in my life.

11.   One of the interns at my dad’s office, Mattie, who was nineteen, missed most of a week of work, claiming illness, but it turned out she’d had an abortion. I liked her and hung out with her a lot the semester she was there, and in a dark corner of my mind I had to admit that her having an abortion was somehow part of that, like it stirred something morbid in me that drew me to her even more. Don’t ask me why because I don’t know, but that’s the truth. All that aside, she was one of my favorite interns out of dozens over the years.

12.   Though I’ve been to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I’ve always viewed it with a certain contempt, and I had to ask myself what Kurt Cobain would’ve thought of Nirvana making it into the place that spring. Unless you were a certain age in the mid-nineties I don’t know if you can appreciate how massive Kurt’s celebrity became, with him being demigod-level ubiquitous for a couple years. Even people who loudly rejected the status of Nirvana back then were still keeping the band in ongoing dialogue by the act of that rejection. Hearing Nirvana was “honored” that way in 2014 made me remember a wonderful summer night in 1994 getting into a club near a university and hearing Paige, that beautiful girl dating the guy I was in love with, dedicating a song she wrote and sang on stage to: “Mr. Kurt Cobain.” (It had ironic lyrics, “Tell my heart, tell my heart, that we belong together…”) When she was done everybody cheered and started spontaneously chanting: “KURT!” I ruefully thought Paige was cool no matter how much I tried to hate her, and admit I was as much into Nirvana then as almost everyone else my age, even if nowadays I can’t see what the big deal was. And for the record, putting a nihilistic band in a hall of fame is stomping on the past.

13.   My father in law persuaded my unenthusiastic husband to go walleye fishing with him for a few days up north in “the brown end of the state,” and to our children’s delight and my horror, my mother in law stayed with us. On May first she heard me wishing my maternal family happy May Day, and though I explained it was the traditional start of summer in Ireland, she was ever-after suspicious that my mom’s people were Communists. There has been talk lately of my MIL coming to live with us should she survive her husband, who is not in good health, sadly, and if that happens (it must not happen) I think I’ll become a hobo.

14.   I was in Austin and a faith healer connected to the W.V. Grant Ministries was on the street saying he could make legs grow and cure back pain caused by uneven limbs. I watched and sure enough the leg of the man who volunteered appeared to get longer before my eyes, so I asked the faith healer what I felt was an entirely logical question: “Couldn't you use that same technique to lengthen a male member?” He said, “Ma’am, Jesus don’t do that kind of stuff.” I thought that was a shame because I could see that becoming a popular sideline for faith healers.

15.   The first wild black bear spotted in our county in 140 years was a cause célèbre. He turned up on security cams for about a week, raiding trash cans but doing no harm. He was finally darted and moved to a national forest, with biologists saying he’d come all the way from Appalachia to vacation in our seven-hilled city.

16.   My dad’s stepson, Todd, got accepted into Cal Tech, which was his near-lifelong dream, however his matriculation there wouldn’t end well, as a hustling hot girl with a low GPA flirting with a naïve nerd glad to do her homework will almost invariably lead to trouble. I also found out Todd and Dana’s daughter McKenna were (as McKenna put it) “sort of” talking a lot and even seeing movies together, but I was glad that went nowhere since I couldn’t figure out what relationship that’d give us if they married. Would Todd have been my step-cousin-in-law and Kenny my cousin-stepsister?

17.   Speaking of cousins, 2014 was the year Celia hit rock bottom. Addicted to opioids, into a scary dealer for a lot of money, terrified, broke, she came to me for help, and I endangered my own marriage to pay off the dealer for her. When I met the man, he took the money and then asked, “How’d you like me to get you higher than the angels?”

Celia stayed with us while waiting for a place in the rehab center she reluctantly agreed to, and treated me like dirt, calling me a “has been” (ouch!), “a former cool person who’d lost it” (oy!), “a second-tier sort of woman” (hey!), and claimed my mistakes were all worse than her own. (No comment there.) Things got so scary my husband sent our children to stay with his parents, and his mother told me she didn’t want me to see the children until I got “this cousin thing straightened out.” I gave her a dragon-eyed smile that let her know nothing short of the Prussian army would keep me from my children.  

It was during this time Celia attacked me with a pair of scissors she drove deep into my hand while aiming at my face. (Thank you, years of self-defense training!)  Then she took off.

When she came back I only wanted rid of her, so I said if she’d agree to move to California, about as far away as I could get her, I’d pay for her to start college there. She agreed, actually seeming excited, but my husband said that was too big a commitment for us, we’d done enough.

He and I had the biggest blowup of our lives, one of our very few in all, and this was when I slipped up and accused him of having something going with my Aunt Sarah when she lived with us in 2009. I think I was wrong about that and was definitely wrong to bring it up five years and three children later. Landon didn’t talk to me for much of the week, but one day took the kids to an ice cream place and brought me back a peanut butter malt, so I figured he didn’t totally hate me.

Anyway, I amended my offer to Celia but was still willing to give her enough to get started in California, and she said she’d feel better if I’d drive because I would help her get there without changing her mind. The result was we were at a McDonald’s in Kansas when she just…walked off, and rather than go looking for her, I drove home, where I listened to a lot of “joking” speculation that I’d killed Celia and buried her in some wheat field out on the prairie. No such luck, she came back eventually, more evil than ever.

18.   In the fall I had to go to New York to testify in a matter concerning my employers, and went knowing lawyers from about sixteen countries would be there, none friendly, all allowed to ask almost anything they wanted. For the days I was there I had to stay in a shoebox-size hotel room when not in court, no outside contact, and a rotation of curt, shark-eyed “people” stayed to oversee me. No, I wasn’t under arrest, but it felt like I was, and I was rarely so glad to get home in my life! I felt lots of worries over this matter during 2014, because it was a s**t storm and I was pulled into it. While in New York I did blow a kiss toward a certain flat in the San Remo, as asked to do by my Uncle Lark, Dana and Jared’s dad, who when fresh out of college in the ‘60s had a summer fling with a cougar-ish widow in her forties who once lived in one of those famed double towers that overlook Central Park.

19.   That summer I enjoyed reading Joan Rivers’ Diary of a Mad Diva. She was brilliant as ever on talk shows and clearly enjoyed being back in the limelight, even returning after decades to The Tonight Show. Yet a month after her career re-sparked, Joan was dead. I think the last time I saw her was on Tavis Smiley that July joking about her death, saying, “When I go it’s not like they’re going to say, ‘but she was so young!’”  The poet-laureate of political incorrectness was an amazing woman, and I wish we had her to take on cancel culture today, because woke warriors wouldn’t stand a chance.

20.   U2 continued to suck, as even my mega-fan mom admitted. The thing about U2 is 75% of the band’s output is terrible stuff, it’s just that among the remaining 25% is some of the greatest music of the last forty years.

21.   I was glad when Scottish voters decided to stay in the UK, though I could see the attraction for independence, and think the desire to break away was a sign of a global move toward embracing a more localized identity. Anyway, thanks for staying in 2014, Scotland!

22.   My friend Mark, Gina’s brother, had me mad at him because his longsuffering wife Jenn was not only on the edge of divorcing him after his years of tomcat-ish philandering, but she discovered she was pregnant and said she couldn’t imagine having a third child if unmarried. I’d hear Mark’s side from him, Jenn’s side from her, thought it was 90% Mark’s fault, and both used me as a confidant and conduit to tell the other things. Even after twenty-five years of friendship I wanted to shake Mark and ask him if he knew he was throwing away both his marriage and his unborn child’s life? In the end they worked things out, stayed together, Mark at least somewhat reformed, and their third daughter, Emma, was born the next May, an adorable little girl whom we nearly never got to know.


23.   We went and saw Alton Brown do his stage show about science and cooking, and I found him caustic and gaunt-looking and not at all the good-natured chap I thought I knew from Good Eats. Among famous people whose off-screen personae clashed with the “character” they played on TV, only my middle school hero Bill Nye would disappoint me more, as unscripted he seemed a sour, arrogant, closed-minded meany without any sense of humor, and those were just his good traits.

24.   Craig Ferguson made me sad when he not only ended his surreal late night talk show---he dubbed it Pee-Wee’s Playhouse for grown-ups----but he badmouthed the program in his last weeks. I’d later find out how much animosity there’d been toward him from network execs and see his bitterness was at them, but didn’t know that at the time. Ferguson had about ten points of IQ on anyone else on late night TV and I still miss him cheerfully beginning each episode by calling out, “It’s a great day for America!”

25.   We had a wonderful Christmas dinner at my Aunt Christie’s house. We were all together, everyone seemed happy, and it was a grand, glorious day that I truly think we made the most of, but I can barely think about that Christmas now, as on that afternoon my beloved aunt, who seemed healthy and bright-spirited, had only a week left among us. My last diary entry of 2014 would read: “If in the year ahead something bad is going to happen to anyone I love, please, God, let it happen to me instead. That is all I will ever ask.” Guess God said no, huh?

And that was 2014.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2022, 09:16:02 AM by ER » Logged

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« Reply #114 on: August 19, 2022, 09:30:53 AM »

Memories of 2015: Annus Pseudo-Horribilis.

1.   On the first day of 2015 my Aunt Christie had a massive stroke in her sleep. Her ten-year-old daughter, Alba, whom she’d adopted in China, would go in to see her after my aunt wasn’t up in the morning, and found her unresponsive. Emergency surgery would follow, and for nearly two weeks my aunt was comatose. She was the same age, sixty-four, as her mother had been when she also had a stroke and the scenarios eerily mirrored one another.

2.   After five years of trying to maintain gratitude for my spiritual experiences of 2010, when I believed I was facing my own imminent death, I finally let myself admit I’d again developed an areligious outlook that bordered on anti-religious. My husband happily said, “Welcome back to the real you!” But it was more complex than that, and my aunt’s situation wasn’t the cause of my realization, only a trigger to admit what I’d been feeling for a while. What I discovered was I was a person who believed in God, but didn’t particularly want to.

3.   While Aunt Christie was in a coma we went to morning mass at her parish where her name was read in the prayer intentions, and later I told the priest what a disgrace one of his predecessors a generation ago had been for telling my aunt to be a better wife to her abusive first husband so he wouldn’t beat her up. The pastor agreed and said he’d never tell anyone to stay in an abusive situation. He asked if there was anything else I wanted to get off my chest and I told him not really, and he said he’d keep Aunt Christie in his prayers. She died two days later. In one last irony, her funeral was on what would’ve been her sixty-fifth birthday, and distant friends, not knowing she was gone, sent her cheerful cards that day.


4.   I found when I stayed active I grieved less, so that winter I played more tennis than I had in many years, summoning up a quiet, intense game that was about the action, not the outcome. I was too out of practice to be as good as I’d once been, but I played with an uncharacteristic viciousness that sometimes saw me win matches over younger opponents. I remember I had iced oolong tea after a tiring four-set match and got a fortune cookie with it that said: “If you’re afraid of loneliness, don’t get married.”
 
5.   I found myself wishing I could go back to the ‘90s and be with all those I’d lost, then coincidentally that winter VH1 launched a series called Hindsight, in which a present-day woman wakes up in her life in 1995. The zeitgeist was almost too perfect.


6.   Life went on. In February I found out Celia did make it to California, and was working as an $18.00 an hour paid protester picketing Disneyland. I also found out Aunt Christie’s son Adam, who didn’t attend his mother’s funeral, was being deported from Brazil as an undesirable person after his Brazilian wife, Hilma, divorced him and revealed his drug habits in court. While not nearly as bad as Celia, Adam was a narcissistic addict, and I thought Brazil was smart to give him the heave-ho, but then I realized the deportation was likely to put him back in our lives.

7.   I did have to laugh when around Valentine’s Day I asked Edie if she realized what a stereotype come to life she was, always rushing out the day after ANY holiday, to buy marked-down merchandize and celebrate a day late. She seemed puzzled and said, “That’s what I call being smart.” Or cheap.


8.   Nine inches of snow graced us in one day that month, and another six inches fell atop that the next night. Century-old records dropped to the wayside as temperatures dipped to twelve below zero. It did allow me to take Daikeagity (my collective name for my children, Daisy, Keagan, Trinity) outside to successfully execute the “toss boiling water into the air and it’ll freeze before it hits” experiment.

9.   My job required most employees to visit a psychologist monthly and though I viewed this with contempt, one day I explained in a session how I thought it was a gauge of healing when the day came that you could think of a person you’d lost and not have your first thought be “that person’s dead.” The doctor asked how long it usually took me to get to that stage, and I said when I lost my grandma at sixteen, it was two years; my grandpa when I was twenty-one took six months; with the man I almost married, I still hadn’t reached that point in fifteen years. I told him every time I remembered Aunt Christie, all I thought of was that at that very second she was lying in darkness in a casket under frozen ground, wearing a beautiful dress. I’d never seen a psychologist take notes so fast.


10.   For our fifth wedding anniversary we took a trip to Chicago, our old playground, and there I asked my husband to describe what he liked about me, and he said, “You have all of your teeth, most of your wits, and some of your virtue.” Not what I’d been going for, but I’ll take it.

11.   That year, though, not long after that fifth wedding anniversary trip, my husband asked me to take a short drive with him and in the car said we’d always been honest with each another, right? I said yes, because I believe we have, and figured some joke was coming, but instead he told me that over the last month he’d cheated on me “on six occasions” with a twenty-four year old Starbucks barista.

I said, “Wow.”

It was odd how I shrugged off that confession, miffed a bit in a “stung pride” way, yet not otherwise caring much at all. Maybe it was because I understood polyandrous feelings, maybe there was just too much at stake to let myself care. We came home, had this sudden intense sex against his closet door (yeah, well), and later I picked out what tie he would wear for this event we had to go to that evening, since me picking out his tie is an old thing of ours, though I’m not sure why it started. We went out and had a nice time.

I wasn’t mad at the barista, since she didn’t know he was married, but I did get borderline obsessed with her for much of the year, and kept going to her Starbucks and hanging out there, liking how she had no idea who I was when I’d talk to her. I even brought friends to ask from afar what they thought of her, and the consensus was the girl had a nice ass and a cute face, but she wasn’t all that, which was kinda my take too. Or at least that’s what I convinced myself I thought. (Really not many men would’ve kicked her outa bed.)

I basically understood two things: the first that my husband had wanted to see if in his thirties he could still hook up with a random hot girl, and the second, if I’d been the one telling him I’d been seeing someone, he would have shrugged off my offense too. We’re a team facing life and that’s how it would’ve been, and was. Besides I figured after letting him get away with that I had a Get Out of Jail Free card good for anything short of murdering his mom, but I’ve never used it.


12.   We went to Pittsburgh to the Andy Warhol Museum, where a docent told us Warhol had been even stranger than was popularly known, naming his wigs, and stalking his friends to see if they were doing things without him. He was a big believer in ghosts, claiming he felt them around him everyplace he went, the good ones welcome, the bad ones sometimes leaving him absolutely terrified. He told Liza Minnelli her ghost from the future had visited him, which even Minnelli found too flaky. He was also a religious man who regularly went to church, something he sometimes tried to conceal from the public because he felt it was too conservative for his image. When paparazzi needed quick cash they’d sometimes take pictures of Warhol going to mass, and he’d pay them pocket money not to publish the shots.

13.   What else that year…. Fallout 4 came out, taking 200 hours of my life…. We saw Jay Leno on stage and did Final Friday gallery walk afterward…. A friend and I had our annual fantasy food day wherein for one afternoon out of 365 we’d go out and eat whatever we wanted, pizza, Cinnabon minnies with extra icing we’d shamelessly lick straight from the tubs, pretzels the size of basketballs, you name it.

14.   Vince and Lindsey, my “cousins in law” adopted a little boy named Sammy after wanting their own child for many years, and I was glad for them. Sammy doesn’t look anything like them but they sure do love him.


15.   I got obsessed with the movie version of The Last Five Years. The sadness of the plot fit me like a glove, and I played the soundtrack all the time when I was in the car alone. I found out my nice boy from college was some sort of distant cousin to TL5Y star Anna Kendrick’s family in Maine, but I guess that fact plus five bucks would’ve gotten him a small latte from a certain barista at Starbucks.

16.   Richard III, given a bum rap by history, IMHO, was reburied more than five centuries after his risk-all charge at Bosworth Field didn’t work out for him, offending my visiting grandmother, who said a Catholic king should not have been given an Anglican funeral. She had a point. That summer my mom, my aunt, my maternal cousins and I took my visiting grandmother to local places that interested her…. churches, a nunnery, the cathedral….other churches. Churches. It was nice having her over.

17.   Someone sent a drone hovering over our normally private back yard, so I gave it the classier two-finger flip-off, and calmly shot it out of the sky. Minutes later the drone’s owner came screaming at the end of our gated driveway saying he was going to sue me, but I never heard from him again, and he never flew another one above us, though I’d plenty of shotgun shells if he ever tried.


18.   More things… That summer broke a local high-rainfall record dating to 1871…. My mother in law took my oldest for a haircut without asking, and brought her back with a short summer bob, yet somehow I refrained from beating on her….. And one night when I had insomnia I watched a marathon on Animal Planet of this glorious show called Treetop Cat Rescue. Such fascinating television.


19.   I saw a bumblebee land on a flower, climb inside, and its weight made the flower lean to the ground. After getting its pollen, the bee hopped off and the flower lifted back up. That was a Zen moment.

20.   I told my dad about a place in the woods dubbed the hollow, where every year a few marijuana plants grew, which we left alone. He asked where that was exactly, then laughed and said when he was growing up in the house in the early ‘70s he and his friends used to get stoned sitting on a fallen tree that leaned out above the hollow, and toss seeds down there. Talk about an heirloom crop!

21.   There was a super moon/blood moon/eclipse, all in one night, and conspiracy sorts smelled doom, but we sat out and watched it and the world didn’t end. We also had Dog Day’s Night that year, our dusk to dawn Perseids-viewing pool party. One of our guests informed me, “Take enough drugs and one night lasts a lifetime.”

22.   My “other” job sent me to Wyoming for a week, to this isolated place with a miles-long unmarked gravel road, and signs warning about bears, and where at night the stars radiated from pitch black skies like few places I’d ever seen, but where I did a job so unpleasant that the last two people assigned it before me turned conscientious objector to get out of it. I was asked to be there by one of my longtime bosses, who said it would be a special favor to him if I would, and it was a favor I bloody well cashed in not long after. It wasn’t anything that’d make a good story to tell about, it would be hard to explain, but it also had life-changing ramifications for a few people connected to what was going on and left a big impression on me with me asking myself why/how I could be part of certain things just because I was asked to. Sometimes in life you pick your path, you do your job, and you hope you’re on the side of the angels, and that’s all you have as consolation. That and convincing yourself it wasn’t “really” you who did something. It was someone else.


23.   Because his cool Jewish stepdad was the only father-figure of his life, my nine-year-old Irish-born, American-raised, cousin Joshua decided he wanted to covert to Judaism, an announcement I figured would single-handedly kill our grandmother, even after she somehow survived my Aunt Sarah marrying a Jewish guy in the first place. The Reform rabbi at the family’s temple was kind to Joshua and took his wish seriously but said, “Let’s see how you feel when you’re thirteen.”  Skipping ahead to 2019, my cousin never changed his mind, and at thirteen was accepted into the temple as Jewish, where the same rabbi hugged him and told him Judaism was better off for such a fine young man choosing to become part of it.

24.   Can I get an “oy vey?” Some of the college-age interns at my dad’s work took me out for “a drink” at lunchtime, and showed they were pros in comparison when they kept buying me cocktails with insane names, like “The Floor Banger” “Alien Secretions” “Orgasm on Mars” and “The Nerdy Virgin,” which contrary to expectation, was NOT made without alcohol. I wasn’t so far gone as to be sick but was so beyond buzzed that my husband had to come drive me home. The outing deep-sixed any aura of authority I’d been cultivating around that crop of interns, since it’s impossible to be a boss figure to girls who have seen you giggling drunk telling juicy stories about….stuff.

25.   Here goes. As if it was not enough to mourn my aunt that winter and learn that spring my husband was banging some girl a dozen years younger than me, very late in the summer and into early autumn, I experienced something I found out was called a grief recursion, and spent two months extremely sad about another loss that seemed to flash back from a decade and a half in the past like it was day one again.

I tried to pacify myself by remembering I got half my DNA from a people who marked necroversaries of loved ones long deceased, but for a while I was in a black hole. Not suicidal, maybe not even depressed so much as simply sad, but I let myself walk deep into a dreary inner landscape and began to feel almost at peace there, entertaining unanswerable old questions about why he had to die so meaninglessly, and letting pains I’d thought finished come back again until loss wrapped itself around me like fifteen years had not passed.

I could go to work and function fine because there I could be a different person, and more importantly I could come home and seem happy for the children and even have good times, but then I’d go off alone and almost drown in sadness.

Over and over I started playing the CD he was listening to in his car that last day (Moby’s Play), wondering what song he was hearing when that other car hit his head-on, and I even used to go to where he died and quietly stand on the precise spot beside a quiet road. Sometimes a quarter-hour would pass between cars going by, and I’d think of the odds of two cars meeting in a place that untraveled. Was it fate? Who knows. Inside I was far into what the Irish, with their words for everything bleak, call the dorchadasuir, “dark territory.” (I may not be spelling that right, but that’s how it sounds.)

My husband was sympathetic for as long as he could be but finally said, “I know you loved him more than you love me, but we’ve got a good life together with the children, and you have to find a way to get out of this.”

And he was right, I did, and I did, but those couple months in 2015 were a time like no other in my life, illogical, strange, perilous, painful, and I only hope nothing like that ever happens again.


And that was 2015…


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« Reply #115 on: August 21, 2022, 06:10:02 AM »

1985:
1. Oh man.. this commercial was on ALL THE TIME and it was so weird and goofy I loved it!  Plus, what cheap eats you could get at AM/PM!  2 hot dogs and a Coke for less than a buck?  Great deal!
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2. Another big charity single from all-celebrity artists, released to provide relief for starving nations in Africa, with the band appropriately named USA FOR AFRICA.  The song is called "We Are The World" and hits #1 in over TWENTY countries!  Cyndi Lauper, Michael McDonald, Paul Simon, Kenny Rogers, Tina Turner, Billy Joel, Steve Perry, Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Pointer Sisters, Hall and Oates, and tons of other superstar musicians/singers adorned the lineup.  We cracked up when Cyndi delivered her "exuberant" contribution.
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3. CHERRY COKE debuts!  Still love that s**t.
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4. Max Headroom and Bill Cosby would plug the overly sweet critical flop that was NEW COKE.

5. Not to be outdone by Coca-Cola, this Pepsi ad with Michael J. Fox was on all the time too:
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6. Yeesh; lots of air disasters this year.  Spain's Iberia Flight 610 (crash), Air India Flight 182 (bomb), Delta Airlines Flight 191 (crash), British Airtours Flight 28M (crash), EgyptAir Flight 468 (terrorist attack), Arrow Air Flight 1285 (crash), Japan AirLines Flight 123 and other commercial flights suffer major casualties. 
7. Natural disasters also befell the world in 1985, including earthquakes in Santiago/Chile and Mexico City, a fire at a football stadium in Bradford, England, tornadoes in the US and Ontario, a Bangladesh tropical storm and a Columbian volcano eruption, and a dam collapse in Italy all leading to a multitude of casualties.
8. Lives are also wiped out by a PIRA mortar attack in Northern Ireland, bombing in Beirut, Nepal and Spain, rioting during the Euro Cup final in Brussels, and a terrorist attack in Rome and Vienna airports.  Can't we all just get along?
9. LIVE AID, a major concert in both Philly and London, raises more money for famine relief in Ethiopia.  Queen, Elton John, Madonna, Santana, Run DMC, Sade, Sting, Bryan Adams, Beach Boys, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Duran Duran, U2, The Who, Tom Petty, Neil Young and Eric Clapton perform.
10. SUPER MARIO BROS. takes the world by storm, appearing on the Nintendo Entertainment System, which debuts in the United States.

My oldest sister worked at Toys R Us and was gushing about how cool the game was.  Man, I miss that place-- right around this time I would buy Transformers toys there (I was still playing Atari 2600 games and had more than enough to satisfy me at the time, so my NES purchase came years later).
11. The 49ers whup Dan Marino and the Dolphins in the Super Bowl.  This commercial for Diet Pepsi (with Nutrasweet-- remember that sh*t??) was quite memorable.  "Buy you a Diet Pepsi?"  "That's the LEAST you can do!"
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12. Yet another Lakers/Celtics NBA Finals, with the Lakers coming out on top in 6.  With the colors of green and yellow on the court I would always think of M&Ms.
13. The Kansas City Kings move to Sacramento, where they continue to languish to this day.
14. NHL MVP Wayne Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers take the Stanley Cup.
15. The Kansas City Royals surprise baseball with a World Series victory over the Cardinals in 7.  Earlier in the season Pete Rose passes Ty Cobb for the most hits in MLB history.  Rollie Fingers gets the saves title.
16. Top arcade games of the year: Ghosts 'N Goblins, Yie-Ar Kung Fu, Space Harrier, Gauntlet, Indiana Jones & The Temple Of Doom, Commando, Rush 'N Attack.
17. AMADEUS wins the Best Picture Oscar.
18. I remember the first NES commercials featured the really stupid R.O.B. (Robot Operating Buddy) that spun some sort of gyroscope thingy to play 3 games-- one of a number of really dumb ideas by Nintendo around that time (like the Power Glove).  Nah, I'll just stick to the NES control deck and maybe the Zapper.
19. Some top songs of the year: LIKE A VIRGIN (continued from 1984), FREEWAY OF LOVE, WE BUILT THIS CITY (I always called it "We Milked This Titty"), SHOUT, SAVING ALL MY LOVE FOR YOU, OH SHEILA, TAKE ON ME, SOME LIKE IT HOT (on the great POWER STATION album), MONEY FOR NOTHING, CRAZY FOR YOU, A VIEW TO A KILL, BROKEN WINGS, ONE MORE NIGHT, AND SHE WAS, PART TIME LOVER, WE DON'T NEED ANOTHER HERO, WALK OF LIFE, WHAT YOU NEED
20. Top films: BACK TO THE FUTURE, PEE WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE, MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME, INTO THE NIGHT, AFTER HOURS, FRIGHT NIGHT, JEWEL OF THE NILE, OUT OF AFRICA, THE GOONIES, THE BREAKFAST CLUB, THE COLOR PURPLE, PALE RIDER, DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN, COCOON, RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II, RAN, RE-ANIMATOR, PRIZZI'S HONOR, WITNESS
21. Big TV debuts: MACGUYVER, GOLDEN GIRLS, MOONLIGHTING, GROWING PAINS, SPENSER FOR HIRE, MR. BELVEDERE, ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS, THE EQUALIZER, THE TWILIGHT ZONE, SHE-RA, RAY BRADBURY THEATER, JEM, SMALL WONDER, THE COLBYS, GI JOE, THUNDERCATS, NEIGHBOURS
22. Some debuts: Amiga computer, Ford Taurus, Nissan Pathfinder.
23. Other video game debuts: ALPHA MISSION, THE BARD'S TALE, DEJA VU, DIG DUG II, GRADIUS, GUN.SMOKE, HANG ON, RING KING, ICE CLIMBER, MAGMAX, KICKER, MAT MANIA, SECTION Z, SKY KID, CHOPLIFTER (arcade), TWINBEE, WRECKING CREW, WINTER GAMES.
24. I think this was the year my mom bought a COLECO GEMINI for me to play at her house in Vancouver WA over the weekends (while I was living with my dad and stepmom in Portland).  It was a system created by Coleco that played Atari 2600 games, but had a cool combination of joystick and paddle in one controller.  Very well put together and I had a blast playing it!

25. Since we enjoyed CLUE as a board game, we got the VHS interactive game of CLUE.  Tried it, never really got into it, and forgot about it. (Also, a rather dumb movie of it came out in theaters)
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Either he's dead or my watch has stopped!


« Reply #116 on: August 21, 2022, 04:23:25 PM »

1984 

PURPLE RAIN the movie, the album, suddenly, PRINCE was King Cool. 

GREMLINS was probably the last movie I saw at a drive-in.  When the film opened with DARLENE LOVE "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" the crowd in the audience hanging out car windows startied cheering and howling. 

A friend and I committed a Christmas crime that year.  There was a tied to post perfectly shaped 6 foot tall cut tree, indicating where to turn in on the highway for Christmas tree shopping.  It was late, no one around, we pinched it.  I'm ashamed to advise that that tree displayed proudly in my friend's parent's house, Robert's father's boyhood '30s toy train (that puffed smoke) circling the base, 50s bubble lights, the works.  Robert's father passed away a few months ago, but Bob Sr. ("Pops") and I became good friends that year I met the man and it was 1984. 

I was into ducking into clubs without paying cover.  My friends and I put together bizarre and cool outfits.  I dressed very much like a Punk priest, pointy Beatle boots, skinny pants, crucifix.  We came around the corner confronted by a long line to get into the newly opened Limelight (de-sanctified church disco bar) which was NYC right in mid-town. 
The bouncer at the door glanced at me as we were about to walk to the end of the line.  He indicated non-verbally that I may enter right away. 
I turned to my 4 friends and urged them in ahead of me, "Clarabelle" and all.   A gal at the head of the line waiting remarked "Oh I wonder why they got in!" BounceGiggle

Saw THE PRETENDERS that year at Caldwell College in NJ (Learning To Crawl tour).  CHRISSIE HYNDE sang "Talk Of The Town" and while singing the line "You've changed..." I was bouncing off the removable wood and wire fence right up front, the crowd surging behind me, almost horizontal, pointing up at her singing her lyric back to her and she looked at me and shrugged! 
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #117 on: August 21, 2022, 05:59:13 PM »

Memories of 2016: All Quiet in Chaos

1.   I woke up on January 11th to my husband sitting in bed reading his phone with a stunned look on his face, then he showed me David Bowie was dead. This was news I never gave a thought to facing. Bowie, dead? The shock lasted all day.

2.   My godson got a one-day suspension from third grade for punching a boy who’d cut him in line, so I met him and his mom at Chucky Cheese’s (his reward for getting suspended, I guess) and while there witnessed the strange sight of some woman letting her toddler son wander all around half-naked and diaperless.

3.   I had to extricate my father’s stepson, Todd, from his problems at Cal Tech, with the result being him leaving the university, but avoiding legal trouble. Hurt feelings after figuring out a beach-bodied girl was using him had led to discovering the hard way that using campus wi-fi to post topless revenge pictures of the girl wasn’t wise. It left me convinced God made science prodigies nerdy so they’d be forced into celibacy and get more studying done. (Think Isaac Newton.) Todd did immediately land a $44,000 job in Chicago, and was making double that by decade’s end, so maybe it was a fair trade-out for losing Cal Tech (among other things lost) out there.

4.   While in California I did something difficult and talked to my godson’s grandfather, that person I’d spent fifteen years loathing. If you expect personal forgiveness in life, it’s hypocritical to withhold it from someone else, and I told him I was weary of carrying around so much one-sided animosity, and the longer I talked the more I noticed the burden leaving, which felt good. I think that day I was able to finally forgive him, and if that sounds arrogant, well, there were reasons I’d held my grudges for so long. Later in the year he moved back to his home city after being in LA since 2001, doing humanitarian work, and I found him a far better person than when I’d known him in the 1990s, and we ended up being closer friends than I would’ve ever thought was possible: way better than the anger. I still say I’ll never decide if so much interaction with the people in that family has been a result of my own actions or has been thrust upon me by fate.

5.   My daughter made a card for “All of Harambe’s Friends” and sent it to the zoo. We’d seen that grand beast in his compound I can’t tell you how many times, and his violent death was upsetting.

6.   In early 2016 everybody I knew save one laughed at the idea of a Trump Presidency, but I saw how underreported the crowds were at his rallies, and everywhere I went I encountered unexpected fervor in people’s support for him, so by mid-spring I reached the conclusion insiders had it wrong, Trump was going to be President. In my diary in January I described a Trump rally I’d watched online as “like a Nazi event minus the hate” but I’m not sure I got that quite right. BTW, in the summer of ’16 a gallon of gas got down to $1.39 after hitting four bucks not long before. Sometimes Trump is given credit for bringing down fuel prices across the late ‘10s, but in truth they were low before he got in office. Just wanted to add that.

7.   That year: Volvo promised “death-proof” cars by 2020…. I gained appreciation for a Genesis song, Home By The Sea, after learning what it was about…. I took up Krav Maga again, and asked the instructor, “Be honest, isn’t this all just a fancy way to kick an Arab in the balls?”

8.   In the summer I had a chance to go to a retreat near Chicago where people would be tripping on ayahauasca, and after being tempted, declined, less out of virtue than fear, as I couldn’t think leaping into my superconsciousness would be a happy experience.

9.   After I explained his cousin Tyler “liked” boys, my five-year-old son asked a good question: “How come instead of making boys and girls God didn’t make everybody the same and then you could just like somebody and not worry about the rest of the stuff?” When I brought up his deep inquiry to his dad, this exchange ensued: Landon: “You didn’t used to think about God so much.” Me: “You used to be able to do five-hundred ab-crunches.” Landon: “OK, we’ll call it even.” (“We’ll call it even” is an old jest of ours.)


10.   One of the interns of ‘16 was an LDS girl named Sunny, well-named because she’d light up a room and was one of the most positive people I ever met. It took me weeks to find out she was like that even though she’d lost a leg after a car hit her as a child. She didn’t limp, climbed stairs fast, and didn’t publicize her loss by wearing short skirts, only slacks and long dresses, so if she had not shared the story of her injury, I might never have guessed.

11.   Random thoughts: It got to 105 degrees that August when I went to a lecture by a former CIA bureau chief on why the KGB still runs Russia, and pseudointellectuals at the university scoffed, though I guess 2022 shut them up…. His prose peculiarly Nigerian, Donald Trump emailed me from his “mansion in New York City, USA,” needing my bank info and promising a cut of his fortune if I’d help hide it from “Crooked Hillary”…. Antonin Scalia died, and the tin foil mafia went crazier…. One of my daughter’s classmates was named Holly Madison, who if you’ve forgotten was Hugh Hefner’s girlfriend…. I took Daikeagity on a day-trip to a fossil park called Big Bone Lick. I kid you not---Big Bone Lick.


12.   I took part in a confidence-building exercise where a man placed a live five-foot rattlesnake into a secured canvas bag which was passed around in a circle of the participants while the angry snake buzzed and coiled inside. It was harrowing but low-risk, though the top of that sack sure got damp from sweaty hands by the third pass.

13.   Edie took a trip to Auschwitz with her temple, and came back mad that there was a gift shop at the place where masses of her people perished. I think I counted forty-one uses of the eff-word in her rant, and KNEW in the face of that much passion I should keep quiet, but what came out of my vibrating vocal cords was, “Was the gift shop tacky?”

14.   My Stoics-embracing dad did the only dishonorable thing I ever knew him to do in my lifetime when after seven seemingly content years he abruptly divorced his second wife, Barbara, a perfectly pretty, pleasant woman whose one flaw (besides being a tad boring) happened to be that she wasn’t my mom. Yes, Dad dumped his wife so he could pursue my mother, his great love and obsession, the foil to his sanity, his personal Lucy van Pelt who eternally yanked the football out from under him, poor man. My father is a master strategist, it was literally his job for years to be one, and it all happened with such startling precision Barbara never knew what hit her. I felt so bad for her. A side effect was Todd, furious at how his mom got treated, tried to come after my dad from afar in his geeky way, to which my dad kind of sighed and told Todd he respected the sentiments, but stop while he was ahead. Honestly it was like a kitten batting at a leopard.

15.   It terrified me to the marrow of my bones when my four year old sneaked past me and from inside I saw her standing on her tiptoes on a chair, trying to get over the fence around the swimming pool. I doubt I ever moved as fast on any tennis court as I did scooping her up and then hugging her while I told her she knew better, as not going near the pool without a grownup was Rule One, and if something happened to her I’d never quit being sad. It was a tall, gated fence, she wouldn’t have made it over, but I still put her in time-out for the rest of the afternoon. But you know what her dad said when I told him? “Why the (bleep) weren’t you watching her better?!” What could I say?

16.   I thought it was sweet when Tyler asked me instead of his parents or girlfriend or his many boyfriends, to drive him back when he had his wisdom teeth removed. Coming home, paler than snow, doped to the gills, he kept trying to lean his head against me while I drove, and he babbled about howler monkeys in trees eating apples (do they?) and telling me over and over that he loved me.

17.   My mom took my oldest to Irondale, Alabama, home of EWTN, and “the most Catholic town in Dixie” to see a full-size replica of the Shroud of Turin on display there. For balance I tried to steer them toward the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville on their way back, but whatever, they had fun. Dominus vobiscum.

18.   Dishonored 2 came out, a worthy successor to the greatest stealth title of all time. In September No Man’s Sky, with its famous boast of eighteen-quintillion planets, became the most vilified game ever, but, me, I enjoyed my time exploring the Euclid Galaxy.

19.   Since I saw he was wearing a pointed rainbow birthday hat, I gave my favorite Kroger cashier a condom and a five-dollar bill and told him not to use them both at the same time.

20.   On the hottest November 18th in local history, I sent the interns to Dairy Queen for Friday lunch, gave them the office debit card, and magnanimously said, “Take your time. Enjoy the day.” Those girls stayed out over two hours!

21.   There was one intern in ’16 I didn’t care for because she was mouthy and lewd and wielded a deliberately vulgar variety of pro-choice militancy like a sword, clearly trying to be offensive in an immature way. Yet for all her rants about what a great thing abortion was for the world, she came in one day almost in tears after an endangered sea turtle she’d been watching on a zoo web cam dug up and ate some of her own clutch of eggs before handlers could stop her. I wondered if she noticed a contradiction between the “I Heart Abortion” button pinned to her bright pink cap, and her condemning unborn turtles getting aborted by their mother?

22.   I liked Rogue One, and so did my five year old son. He liked it so much we figured he was cool with sci-fi, but one night when my husband unwisely let him watch an old X-Files with aliens abducting someone, Keagan got so freaked out by the big-eyed greys, which he termed “UFOs,” that I had to sleep in his room with him for the next several nights. The thing that got to him the most was seeing the extraterrestrials could unlock doors, so he didn’t feel safe anymore.

23.   On November 8th we found out that for the first time in history a billionaire would be moving into public housing vacated by a black family. The schadenfreude of watching TV pundits lose their minds over this was tepidly entertaining, though the MAGA-flag-waving pickup trucks going up and down the roads for days, blaring their horns got old fast.

24.   Years previously, someone we knew said unless they found a home for their beagle, Ernie, it’d be the pound for him, so we took him. He was sweet and patient with the children, but had one flaw in that he liked his walkabouts, sometimes taking off into our woods, nose to the ground, and not coming back for two days. Every few weeks he’d have his adventures, so we didn’t worry until the third day he stayed gone, then we went looking all over the forest for him, and never found any trace. We told ourselves he got lost and some nice family took him home, but I noticed his disappearance coincided with when we began to hear coyotes at night. Darnit, Ernie, you should’ve stayed in the yard.

25.   It was a year for stage performances. We saw a play called Summerland, about post-Civil War spiritualism; saw a one-woman show called Erma Bombeck, At Wit’s End; saw Shakespeare in Love; saw A Prayer for Owen Meaney; saw Little Shop of Horrors; saw Kodo, a Japanese drum performance; saw Gwen Stefani in concert; heard Idomeneo, Mozart’s first and least weird opera; I took Dizzie (Daisy’s nickname) to see Matilda onstage; we went to An Evening With Garrison Keillor; we saw The Magic Flute transposed to Weimar Germany as its setting; saw A Midsummer Night’s Dream; saw  The Kaplan New World Project do interpretive dance; took Daikeagity to PJ Masks; attended a one-man Groucho Marx play; and in December we sat in for A Christmas Carol,  and The Nutcracker, in the same week. Oh, even though it wasn’t a stage performance, I’ll mention we also saw a restored version of 1981’s Ghost Story inside a 1920s Moorish movie palace. (Did you really read that entire list?)

And that was 2016.


« Last Edit: August 21, 2022, 08:35:08 PM by ER » Logged

What does not kill me makes me stranger.
retrorussell
In the town of Valentine Bluffs, there are many ways to die. Take your pick.
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Hanniger! I'll be waiting in HELL for you!


« Reply #118 on: August 22, 2022, 01:06:26 AM »

1986:
1. We watched the Challenger explosion in Oceanography class.  My teacher (Mr. Hadder) was deeply saddened by the death of teacher Christa McAuliffe who was of course the first teacher in space (recruited as a payloader).  I remember the explosion looking like rabbit ears due to the structural breakup.  My stepdad (who I would move in with the following year) was fond of the joke "What does NASA stand for?  Answer: Need Another Seven Astronauts".  Too soon..
2. 15 years before 9/11, a DIFFERENT Twin Towers was getting notice: (H)Akeen Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson for the Houston Rockets!  They reached the franchise's first NBA Finals, but lost to Bird and the Celtics in 6.
3. This was my first year of high school.  One major improvement over grade/jr. high school I noticed was the quality of the cafeteria food was MUCH improved.  They even had milkshakes!  The cafeteria was ENORMOUS and fortunately I was able to sit far away from everyone else except for maybe a few people I could actually carry on a conversation with.  I liked visiting the Student Store for a few snacky things, and using my student ID for discounts at various places.
4. Halley's Comet is the closest it has been to the sun in 76 years.  This was especially a big deal in science classes and science fairs, where we'd try to create our own comet or a somewhat reasonable fascimile.
5. The MIR Space Station is first launched.
6. Ferdinand Marcos is ousted as President of the Philippines and is replaced by a first-time female President-- Corazon Aquino. 
7. Prime Minister of Sweden Olaf Palme is shot to death.
8. OUT OF AFRICA wins Best Picture Oscar (and best Director).  Still haven't seen it.
9. I remember the big news about the discotheque bombing in Berlin, and the US claiming Libya was responsible   We strike at Benghazi and Tripoli though most were skeptical of either Libya or despot Gaddafi having ordered/carried out the bombing.
10. PLATOON gets the major buzz at the box office.  The image of Willem Dafoe falling to his knees with his arms open wide as he dies is truly iconic.

11. One of the better arcade games of the 80s is released-- the epically cool BUBBLE BOBBLE!  What a cute, fun game.. I saw this at all the arcades and though the gameplay was hella fun, the music was quite impressive too.  And 2 could play at the same time!

12. Other big arcade hits were ARKANOID, RAMPAGE, OUTRUN, VS. GRADIUS, RENEGADE, VS. SUPER MARIO BROS., 720 DEGREES, LIFE FORCE, GLADIATOR, SUPER SPRINT, IKARI WARRIORS, KID NIKI, SIDE ARMS, BREAK THRU, and EXPRESS RAIDER.
13. I've never really seen the major appeal of FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF.  I guess it was because of all the direct-to-camera dialogue from Matthew Broderick that I found annoying.  And that to me at least the movie didn't really have a whole lot to say.  Plus, the principal (the actor that played him, anyway) went on to be a pederast creep.
14. Ugh.. the Chernobyl nuclear plant in the Ukraine kills over 4,000 with a failed safety test releasing radiation.
15. The IMHO stupid and overtly jingoistic TOP GUN is released.  But it helped Tom Cruise's star power soar and gave rise to this rather good pop tune:
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16. From NYC to Long Beach CA a human chain is formed as "Hands Across America" raises money to fight hunger and homelessness.
17. The Statue Of Liberty gets a grand re-opening after a long refurbishment. 
18. Typhoon Wayne strikes China, killing almost 500.
19. A weird naturally occurring eruption of CO2 gas emerges from Lake Nyos in Cameroon, killing nearly 2,000.
20. Disaster for Beantown!  The Red Sox blow a likely World Series win in game 6; and a routine ground ball gets through Bill Buckner to give the Mets the win in game 6, and they win game 7 too.
21. Reagan and Gorbachev meet in Reykjavik to discuss scaling back missile stocks in Europe.
22. Oh boy.. a NYC traffic chopper crashes into the Hudson River, killing on-the-spot reporter Jane Dornacker.  Haunting..
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23. IRAN CONTRA AFFAIR:  It is first reported that the US sold weapons to Iran to secure the release of US hostages in Lebanon.  Though Reagan initially denies this he later states that after researching the facts that it is true after all.  This video is a long documentary but certainly interesting, especially since Elizabeth Montgomery narrates!
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24. Sports news: DA BEARS win Da Super Bowl in a legendary defensive performance against the Patriots (decades before a certain Tom Brady would surface)-- they even had their own song "The Super Bowl Shuffle"!  Also, Mike Tyson becomes the youngest heavyweight champ in history with a brutal KO of Trevor Berbick.  Tyson is 20 years and 4 months old.  Kid was damn scary.
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Jack Nicklaus is the oldest Masters winner at 46.  And the Montreal Canadiens hoist the Stanley Cup for approximately the 100th million time.
25. Big hits from the music world: WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN, I CAN'T WAIT (from Portland's own Nu Shooz), WALK THIS WAY, DANGER ZONE, IF YOU LEAVE, TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT, VENUS, WORD UP, TRUE COLORS, MANIC MONDAY, TWO OF HEARTS, THE WAY IT IS, DON'T FORGET ME WHEN I'M GONE, WHY CAN'T THIS BE LOVE (with Van Halen's new frontman Sammy Hagar), PAPA DON'T PREACH, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME LATELY, LIVE TO TELL, NO ONE IS TO BLAME, SLEDGEHAMMER, EVERYBODY HAVE FUN TONIGHT.
Bonus:
Other top movies: SHORT CIRCUIT, HIGHLANDER, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, STAND BY ME, LABYRINTH, MANHUNTER, PRETTY IN PINK, CROCODILE DUNDEE, ALIENS, THE FLY, STAR TREK IV, THE COLOR OF MONEY, BACK TO SCHOOL, TRANSFORMERS THE MOVIE (which scarred many a child that had to watch Optimus Prime die), AN AMERICAN TAIL, THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE, KARATE KID PART II, and a couple movies I also enjoyed: FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VI: JASON LIVES, and the goofy anime PROJECT A-KO.
And top shows debuting in 1986: ALF (kids at school liked to quote the titular alien), PERFECT STRANGERS, THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS, SLEDGE HAMMER! (funny show), MATLOCK, OPRAH WINFREY SHOW, DESIGNING WOMEN, PEE WEE'S PLAYHOUSE, LA LAW, HEAD OF THE CLASS, SISKEL & EBERT AT THE MOVIES, AMEN, IT'S GARRY SHANDLING'S SHOW, VALERIE, DEFENDERS OF THE EARTH, DOUBLE DARE.
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"O the legend they say, on a Valentine's Day, is a curse that'll live on and on.."
retrorussell
In the town of Valentine Bluffs, there are many ways to die. Take your pick.
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema
****

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Posts: 9593


Hanniger! I'll be waiting in HELL for you!


« Reply #119 on: August 22, 2022, 03:45:53 AM »

1988:
1. My Blazers were starting to get good-- they won 53 games and 4th place in the West, Kevin Duckworth won Most Improved Player and Clyde Drexler was an All-Star (and Steve Johnson was selected but didn't play due to injury), but lost in the first round to the Utah Jazz 3-1.  A disappointing end to the season, and coach Mike Shuler (fresh off a coach of the year award the previous season) ended up getting canned due to not getting along with a number of players (especially Clyde).  But better days were definitely coming.  We would collect Blazers trading cards found in loaves of Franz Bread around this time.
2. The Winter Olympics are held in Calgary, Canada.  The first team to represent Jamaica in the bobsled event is later rather fictionalized in the film COOL RUNNINGS. 
3. The Anfal campaign begins and will kill several tens of thousands of Kurds in iraqi Kurdistan under Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's orders.
4. US Lt. Col. Oliver North and Vice Adm. John Poindexter are indicted on charges of conspiracy to defraud the US over the Iran-Contra affair.
5. The US mistakes an Iran commercial jet for a fighter plane.  After warnings are not heeded, the USS Vincennes shoots down the jet, killing 290.
6. Thousands die in Burma/Myanmar in anti-government demonstrations. 
7. Oh man; it had been a long time since I laughed so damn hard in a movie theater.. but I was ON THE FLOOR among the sticky soda, dirty candy and buttered popcorn, while watching THE NAKED GUN.  It was an extension of the sadly underappreciated POLICE SQUAD tv series of 1982 that only lasted 6 episodes, but was damn brilliant (go watch it if you haven't).  So much silly, WTF dialogue, and Leslie Nielsen was so brilliantly deadpan.
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8. Over 2 years after the Challenger disaster, NASA resumes space shuttle flights.
9. A major earthquake nails the Nepal-India border, killing around 1,000 or so.
10. The Summer Olympics are held in Seoul, S. Korea.  The Soviets dominate.  Nadia Comaneci's record of 7 perfect 10s in gymnastics is equaled by Daniela Silivas of Romania.  Canadian Ben Johnson's record time in the 100 meter final would later be disqualified over steroid use, which Johnson claimed was a sabotaged test.  Diver Greg Louganis whacks his head on a springboard and suffers a concussion.  Riddick Bowe and Roy Jones Jr. lose in controversial fashion in Olympic boxing (both probably should have won in their finals).
11.  A Libyan bomb blows up Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.  270 die, including those on the ground hit by falling wreckage.
12. A major earthquake nails Soviet Armenia, killing nearly 25,000.
13. The Detroit "Bad Boys"-- the Pistons-- come up *just* short in a 7-game series against the LA Lakers.  The Pistons would get sweet revenge the following year.  This is the last NBA title for Magic and Kareem.
14. I remember the weird name Orel Hershiser entering the conscience of baseball fans as coach Tommy Lasorda and the LA Dodgers win the World Series.
15. A major player in the internet movement is the TAT-8-- a transatlantic cable using optical fibers.  It is the first of its kind.
16. Guns 'N Roses' SWEET CHILD O' MINE is their first and only #1 hit.  I have never liked Axl's whiny voice.  My brother was crazy about him and tried to sing in his style and I'd have to leave the room or tell him to shut the hell up.
17. The Algerian army kills around 500 rioters.
18. The Pakistan President and US Ambassador to Pakistan die in a plane crash near Bahawalpur.
19. Seminal sci-fi anime AKIRA debuts.
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20. Some major classic arcade game debuts: BAD DUDES, GHOULS 'N GHOSTS, POWER DRIFT, TOOBIN', CYBERBALL, SUPER CONTRA, NARC, FORGOTTEN WORLDS, ALTERED BEAST, NINJA GAIDEN, ROBOCOP, CHASE H.Q., and CAPCOM BOWLING.
21. The first issue of NINTENDO POWER is released!  The new SUPER MARIO BROS. 2 is featured on the cover.  I subscribed to this for a year or two.  At a convention in more recent years I got this issue again.

22. The first black starting quarterback in a Super Bowl also wins MVP, and the whole shebang as the Redskins WHUP the Denver Broncos 42-10.  Doug Williams goes 18/29 for 340 yards and 4 touchdowns with one pick, as the Redskins actually trailed 10-0 at one point (reeling off 42 unanswered points!).
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23. Other big movies of the time: CHILD'S PLAY, BEETLEJUICE, DIE HARD, WILLOW, WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT, THEY LIVE, YOUNG GUNS, BIG, BULL DURHAM, LAND BEFORE TIME, MISSISSIPPI BURNING, RAIN MAN, THE ACCUSED, DEAD RINGERS, ALIEN NATION, BLOODSPORT, SHAKEDOWN, MIDNIGHT RUN, RAMBO III, BEACHES, THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST, THE LAST TEMPATION OF CHRIST, HAIRSPRAY, KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE.
24. The Beach Boys set a record for longest time between #1 hits (22 years) with KOKOMO from the stupid movie COCKTAIL.  I remember working out in weightlifting class to this song.  I'm glad I took that class because I was dangerously skinny.
25. Other big songs: THE FLAME, WILD WILD WEST, SHATTERED DREAMS, TELL IT TO MY HEART, DON'T WORRY BE HAPPY, I HATE MYSELF FOR LOVING YOU, LOOK AWAY, CHAINS OF LOVE, WHEN IT'S LOVE, PERFECT WORLD, CULT OF PERSONALITY, DESIRE, GET OUTTA MY DREAMS GET INTO MY CAR, I DON'T WANT YOUR LOVE.
Bonus:
LOVED the supergroup band TRAVELING WILBURYS, and was sad to see Roy Orbison pass away.  I still love the song HANDLE WITH CARE and sing it often for karaoke.
Error 404 (Not Found)!!1 Small | Large
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