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25 nostalgic things you remember from a specific year or decade!

Started by retrorussell, June 30, 2022, 03:32:12 AM

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Memories of 1996

1.   New product Red Bull became liquid speed for millions of '90s kids!
2.   An X-Files episode called Home inspired calls for censorship due to its graphic content, which actually was kinda gruesome....
3.   Seeking an exertion high, I rode my mountain bike on a thirty-one mile wilderness trail, then back home had such bad leg cramps I was on the floor immobile with agony. My dad threatened to take my bike away "Til you get better sense." Ha.
4.   Bob Dole reminded Hillary Clinton it doesn't take a village to raise a child, it takes a family. Then he fell off a doggone stage.
5.   I spent weeks thinking No Doubt's "Don't Speak" was "Don't Sleep."
6.   Twister made tornadoes into celebrities, though no one ever asked for their autographs.
7.   Tupac p**sed off one gansta too many. Or did he....?
8.   For the first time the FAA required a photo ID to board a plane.
9.   I thought I was being stalked, but turned out it was my boss seeing how I'd handle it.
10.   Otherwise staid suburban parents trampled and gouged each other to get their kids a Tickle Me Elmo.
11.   Braveheart was Best Picture, making drawing-and-quartering cool again.
12.   On the ceiling over my bed I calligraphied: "To die, to sleep, to sleep, perchance to dream..." And: "In his house at R'lyeh dead Cthullul waits dreaming...." Oddly, I didn't sense a theme til it was pointed out to me when someone else laid there and read it.
13.   Gene Kelly, the greatest straight white dancer who ever drew breath, quit drawing breath.
14.   One of the biggest blizzards in US history buried much of the country under several feet of snow. No school for two weeks!
15.   I saw an umpire drop dead at home plate at the opening day of major league baseball. My grandpa said look away, but it was like I couldn't. That poor, poor fellow.
16.   To show how much he stood for human life, a man set off bombs during the Olympic games in Atlanta.
17.   At a D-Day commemoration at a former WWII army base, I met a number of Overlord veterans and heard their stories. One man still had shrapnel in his arm from that day.
18.   My friends and I were driving in the middle of nowhere one summer night when a station wagon hearse piloted by a strange 1970s-looking man pulled up beside us with a casket in the rear. I guess you had to be there but trust me it felt trippy-weird.
19.   Hilfiger seemed to be everywhere your eyes traveled.
20.   Wearing a swimsuit and no shoes I played Magic the Gathering for the first time, at like two in the morning. Oddly the boys playing there seemed distracted.
21.   Carl Sagan died, and my left brain went into mourning. I tell myself Sagan wouldn't like the state of our world today, but I still miss him.
22.   Amber Alerts became a thing, but couldn't do much for poor JonBenet Ramsey.
23.   Though I was only in eleventh grade, I lied about my age and said I was 21, so I could become a literacy tutor at the library. There I met a nice Appalachian woman named Tammy, and was proud I helped her to read.
24.   Pete Sampras lost his first Wimbledon singles match since 1993; he would not lose another until 2000. Yeah, Pete was good.
25.   My boyfriend's Yuppie father, then a drug and sex addict, took him to Morocco for a college graduation trip, and tried to talk him into going to a freakin' whorehouse!!!! When I found out, I was furious, though I did save the man's life later in the year after I discovered him unconscious from a bad prescription drug interaction. He would go on to reform and turn his life around in admirable ways, but for many reasons I stayed angry at him for years, though for a long time now he's been a friend I value and love. (The jerk.)

What does not kill me makes me stranger.



1. I don't remember my 18th birthday, but I do remember going to a concert the week after to celebrate it. The band was terrible though (Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine). I was the only person in the group able to legally drink and I had my first legal pint in a pub called The Griffon in Glasgow.
2. With the fall of the Communist bloc, the world seemed a brighter place with such potential for a bright new start.
3. I left school with no more idea about what I wanted to do after it than I had the first day I arrived.
4. The Maastricht Treaty was signed making the prospect of a united Europe seem inevitable.
5. Yugoslavia slid into dissolution and war.
6. Other bands I went to see live this year included Motorhead, The Almighty and The Wildhearts. I'd see these three bands frequently around this time, although the latter two were more often support acts.
7. I was disappointed not to get a job working at Monsters of Rock this year having worked it the previous one.
8. Rodney King was all over the news. In sympathy, someone smashed up one of the local phone boxes.
9. The Italian mafia took out a big anti-corruption judge with a car bomb, taking out not just him but a large number of his police escort.
10. Sinead O'Conner sang a song about child abuse being covered up in the Catholic church and then ripped up a photo of the pope. People seemed more upset about this than the actual child abuse.
11. Bill Clinton won the US election. The end of his time in office would also seem to mark the beginning of a decline in the perceived soft power of the US which continues to this day. I keep hoping they will vote for someone who can reverse this, but all empires decline and fall eventually.
12. Women are allowed to become priests (priestesses?) in the Anglican Church. This was very quickly followed by one of the first female priests being posted near to where I lived and promptly having an affair with a married parishioner.
13. A house I did deliveries to made the local news when it turned out to be a brothel. I had no idea.
14. Charles & Diana announced they were getting divorced. I tried to care.
15. The UK was forced out of the European Exchange Mechanism when the value of the £ plunged after John Major's government proved unable to halt its decline.
16. I went to the leaving party for my year at school. I didn't care for anyone there though and made no attempt to keep in touch with any of them.
17. Def Leopard released their weakest album to date.
18. I went on holiday to visit some friends in England. It was the start of a chain of events that would cause me to be kicked out of my religion, although this was some years in the future.
19. Iron Maiden also released a fairly weak album and rumours started circulating long before it was announced that Bruce Dickenson was going to leave the band.
20. KISS would release their best album in a long time. I used the title track for a while as my entrance music for mine and my friends wrestling league (my character was the Underheighter).
21. Since I hadn't been allowed to paint my room black, I finished my project of covering the walls, door and ceiling in posters. The walls were painted a colour referred to on the tin of paint as being "Mushroom Brown" and I hated it.
22. Spinal Tap released a new album.
23. I watched the Freddy Mercury tribute concert. It still didn't seem real that he was dead.
24. My drink was spiked at a local bands gig. I couldn't stop my teeth from chattering.
25. Batman Returns & Army of Darkness would be my favourite movies released this year. I went to a special showing of Alien 3 where they showed the first two movies first. Alien 3 would not join my list of favourites.
Your kisses turn princes into frogs and passion plays into monologues.


1983 (I was 12 and finishing up grade school):
1. One of the great game shows, PRESS YOUR LUCK, debuts!  I remember thinking the whammies were cavemen or something.

3. Started regularly seeing my mom at her place in Vancouver, WA on weekends.  She had cable!  I'd watch lots of MTV, Nickelodeon, USA Network, Showtime and HBO.  She took me to the massive VANCOUVER MALL and upstairs to the Aladdin's Castle arcade.  We'd get great hot dogs at Orange Julius when she got done shopping.
4. US invades Grenada to help overthrow the current government.
5. Some celebrity deaths: Carolyn Jones, David Niven, Slim Pickens, Robert Aldrich, Buster Crabbe, Gloria Swanson, Michael Conrad (Hill Street Blues), Christopher George, Luis Bunuel, George Cukor, William Demarest, Raymond Massey, Sir Ralph Richardson, Doodles Weaver, Karen Carpenter, Tennessee Williams.
6. One of Christopher Walken's best performances was in THE DEAD ZONE.
8. Dud movies: SUPERMAN III, YELLOWBEARD, AMITYVILLE 3D (yeah, 3D was big around that time), EDDIE AND THE CRUISERS, JAWS 3D, and SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT 3.
10. The Soviets shoot down a S. Korean airliner, killing all aboard.
11. TV disaster movie THE DAY AFTER airs.
12. Sally Ride was the first US woman astronaut in space.
13. The Baltimore Orioles, who have been mostly garbage since, won the World Series.
14. The New York Islanders won their 4th straight Stanley Cup!
15. The Washington Redskins (I REFUSE to call them "Commanders") behind Joe Theismann and stellar MVP John Riggins beat the Miami Dolphins in the Super Bowl for their first trophy, at the end of a strike-shortened 1982 season.
16. Dr. J and the Philadelphia 76ers make a historic run through the playoffs-- only losing one game-- to win the NBA title.
17. John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova win the men's and women's Wimbledon championships.
18. Michael Jordan's NC State Wolfpack win the NCAA basketball championship.
19. Hit songs: MANIAC- Michael Sembello, AFRICA- Toto, TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE HEART- Bonnie Tyler (I always called it "Totally Ripped A Big Fart"), SEPARATE WAYS- Journey, OVERKILL- Men At Work, DOWN UNDER- Men At Work, MR. ROBOTO- Styx, DON'T LET IT END- Styx, FLASHDANCE- Irene Cara, TRUE- Spandau Ballet, TONIGHT I CELEBRATE MY LOVE- Robert Flack/Peabo Bryson, ALWAYS SOMETHING THERE TO REMIND ME- Naked Eyes, EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE- Police, BILLIE JEAN- Michael Jackson, BEAT IT-Michael Jackson, COME ON EILEEN-Dexy's Midnight Runners, HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF- Duran Duran, SWEET DREAMS- Eurythmics, MANEATER- Hall & Oates, SHE WORKS HARD FOR THE MONEY- Donna Summer, LET'S DANCE- David Bowie, SHE BLINDED ME WITH SCIENE- Thomas Dolby, TELL HER ABOUT IT- Billy Joel
20. GANDHI nabs Best Picture at the Oscars.
21. INCHON wins Worst Picture at the Razzies.  BUTTERFLY gets the event's most nominations.
23. Crack cocaine is developed in the Bahamas.
24. Great album PYROMANIA by Def Leppard!  Loved Rock Of Ages and Photograph, especially.

Bonus: Forgot one for 1990: Milli Vanilli's grammy for 1989 Best New Artist award is stripped when it was revealed they did not actually sing on their debut album.
"O the legend they say, on a Valentine's Day, is a curse that'll live on and on.."


Memories of 1994

I have insomnia and am still home alone, it's quiet, it's late, it's a little bit lonely and dreary here tonight with my family away for the holiday week, so I am going to look back, make this recollection slightly personal, and say a lot. Consider that fair warning, if you want to tune out now.

1.   1994 was a year of personal highs and lows I thought at the time would never be equaled: then 1995 came and taught me otherwise. I had some of my best moments in '94, but I also got my first true jolt of teenage angst and gave it free rein after a life of conformity. Plus an accident in October kept me out of school til New Year's, which was a recipe for further abnormality in a life that had never exactly been strictly normal to begin with.

2.   One January day it went down to minus fifty, the National Guard was called out, and we got off school. My neighbor's greyhound, Mercury, went out to pee and urine froze in an icicle on his member, which I thought was hilarious, but my neighbor, a year older and slightly snooty, got mad at me for laughing. I said to her, "I thought you Jews had a sense of humor." She called me an anti-Semite and got even madder at me. Life was very confusing, because my attempts at deliberately making people mad via rebellion went nowhere, but when I didn't intend offense, people often flipped out.

3.   On January 17th Los Angeles had what was called the worst earthquake in a century, which made for amazing TV viewing, seeing all the special effect-level damage in real time. We didn't have cable, so I hung with my friend at her house and drank Mountain Dew and watched CNN while we sent her little brother, Mark, to the kitchen to make pizza rolls. Her brother used to be a brat and a bane of our lives, but by age twelve he was crushing on me and would do almost anything I asked. Oh, the power...

4.   On January 20th I mailed a card to the White House congratulating President Clinton on his first year in office. You believe he didn't write me back?

5.   There was a solar eclipse that May and we got to go outside at school and watch it with shadowboxes we'd made in class. Off the top of his head this ultra-genius kid told me the date of every coming eclipse for decades, and I remember thinking no matter how gross he was, it was a rip that serial killer John Wayne Gacy met his end that morning and missed the astronomical event.

6.   That June, as an end of school present (the first summer I was able to say no to three-weeks of summer college-prep classes) I went to a shelter and got my dog Charlotte Sometimes, and I loved her so, so, so much.

7.   There was a slip-up when my parents went out of town and thought my aunt was going to pick me up, and instead I was on my own, and it turned into the most special weekend of my life, being free and happy and in love. When I think about those days, all the feeling can still back to me, wonderful and poignant and painful.

8.   The baseball strike made my grandpa vocally livid, because apparently the local team had been in first place til the season got canceled. He talked about this travesty a lot in 1994, and predicted baseball, once semi-sacred in America, would begin to decline from that point on, and from where we are today I don't think he was wrong.

9.   When I walked in on April 8th to hear the news about Kurt Cobain being found dead in Seattle, I thought for one insane second they were talking about Kirk Cameron from Growing Pains. Maybe my brain didn't take in the shock of the news, because for a moment that's what I heard, Kirk Cameron, suicide.

10.   I was fifteen until the last week of the year, and hanging out with a college guy in his twenties with whom I was completely in love. Technically I could have also said the same thing about the same person when I was fourteen if I really want to raise eyebrows. But he had this girlfriend, Paige, who looked like a Hawaiian Tropic model, was in a band, and had an incredible singing voice. (Much later she'd date an NFL player.) Paige was so unbelievably nice to me that I felt guilty for wishing a satellite would fall on her. Sure my college guy told me only I was his soul mate, but I was also big-time underage, he wasn't a fool, and so I knew Paige had him instead, and no amount of wishing I was older changed that maddening situation in 1994.

11.   And of course, for the second half of the year it was all OJ, on all media, all the time.

12.   I was introduced to John Fowles' The Collector, and it made me forget all about the story I had been obsessed with for almost a year, Joyce Carol Oates' Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been, which had a serial killer in the 1950s come stalk a doomed girl about my own age. As for The Collector, it was like finding the perfect key to fit in the lock of my mind, it being this novel about a peculiar young man who worshipfully abducts a girl and keeps her imprisoned in a secret room in his house in the country, giving her anything she might desire except her freedom. It was the strangest combination of literary prose and sheer mind-f**k storytelling my young self had ever encountered or imagined existed, and I remained captivated with that book throughout the year.

13.   Everyone I knew at school claimed to hate ABC's My So-Called Life, starring a young Claire Danes, yet no one ever missed watching it, or recounting every detail of it the next day. 90210 was slightly older than us, Dawson's Creek slightly younger, but for a season we mid-90s Gen-X-ers had My So-Called Life.

14.   A boy one state over shot his family and took his class hostage like a scene from Stephen King's novella Rage brought to life, so at my school they went zero tolerance on any hint of violence right when I did the only violent thing in my entire school career and shoved this girl named Andrea, leader of a clique called The b***h Posse, onto her back for saying something about my mom when I was putting stuff in my locker one morning and already upset as it was. In the scholastic zeitgeist of 1994 I got in more trouble than the situation deserved, my first academic black mark, but it also taught me that the school must've needed me as one of its shining stars in AP Group, since I didn't get expelled. They made me come in and see a counselor though (what a joke) who asked why I went after Andrea when I'd been so good to that point, with my 4.0 and as a National Catholic Schools Honors candidate, etc. and I said, "She insulted my mom." I never apologized or regretted knocking Andrea down, and it was  an early instance of a pattern I have come to recognize in my life, which is I usually let things done to me go without a response, but I react when it concerns those I love.

15.   I used to have talks about deep topics with the college guy I mentioned, especially about God, with him believing and me not, and one night he joked, "Let's do an experiment and judge whose life is going better in ten years, mine as a believer or yours as an agnostic, and then we'll see if we can identify the workings of God and call it evidence." Waiting ten years turned out not to be a great litmus test for settling the matter of God's existence.

16.   Nancy Kerrigan got kneecapped, and Skatergate resulted, which until OJ mania was the big deal of the moment, showing the seedy underbelly of a graceful sport. Everyone I knew watched the Winter Olympics in '94, and when it was all done most thought Nancy Kerrigan was an even bigger hypocrite than Tonya Harding.

17.   I listened to The Cure A LOT in 1994 but I don't know if I was sort of a musical purist, or just uninformed, because for a long time I had no idea they were a band anchored in Goth culture, and when it was explained to me I didn't care and kept listening, though as a tennis-playing Catholic school student with a limited black wardrobe, I was about as non-Goth as they came.

18.   In the news, I remember the Chunnel opened, Rwandans started slaughtering each other, and so did former Yugoslavians. John Candy died in his sleep, Jeffrey Dahmer got beaten to death, and after watching their awkward kiss I was sure Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley's marriage was a sham. Was I right, or just cynical?

19.   I saw more movies that year than I usually did. The Lion King was infinitely better than I was expecting, Speed was moronic, and Reality Bites was too whiny even for me, a teenage girl with an incipient undercurrent of self-pity. I rejected the appeal of Forrest Gump, and thought Interview with the Vampire butchered the source material, but that fall I wanted to see R-rated Pulp Fiction so badly I tried to sneak in, got busted for being too young, and even though I offered the usher ten bucks to let me stay, he said no. As he escorted me to the lobby like it was some walk of shame, I told him he was on a power trip, though in hindsight I admire his stance as a guardian of multiplex morals.

20.   The IRA got tons of praise in the media in 1994 for declaring a cease fire in its twisted campaign of murder and misery, then used proxies to do its dirty work, and outside of Ireland no one much reported that ugly fact.

21.   When Time made the Pope its Person of the Year, my devout maternal grandma groused: "Why'd it take them so long?" Sure, she thought the Pope was a little lax in his theology, but she still liked him.

22.   PBS bravely aired Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City, even in the face of death threats. I was allowed to watch it and thought its depiction of the merry world of pre-AIDS 1970s San Francisco was intriguing. Was it really that way, I still wonder, so fun, so accepting, so much the epitome of the Second Turning?

23.   This girl named Verity, whose dad worked with my dad and who for years was put in the orbit of my life because adults wrongly assumed we had something in common, spent the night at my house and tried to get me to show her my breasts because: "It's seriously no big deal." I told her I'd rather not, and she said I was stuck up and insecure about my body. Whatever.

24.   About a week after Verity's attempted girl-girl experimentation, I went to Lollapalooza with my cousin Dana and her friends from college, and ended up staying with her for a few days in her WAY cool apartment. This was a big deal to me since the place was everything anyone could have wanted a mid-90s college flat to be, complete with philosophical debates late into the night leading to people sleeping over on the living room floor.

I was feeling upset about various things that summer (refer back to item 10 above) and since Dana had said for years, "I'm going to get you stoned sometime." I, who'd never touched drugs in my goodie two-shoes life, said, "Hey, you finally want to get me stoned while I'm here?"

She looked at me and said, "That's the second to last thing you need in your life, the first being that guy you're moping over."

So, insulted, I sat on her roof and pretended to be oh-so-sophisticated by reading Sylvia Plath's poem Edge and hoping the college crowd would see me doing that and think me intellectually mature. (None did.)

Dana came up onto the roof and shook her head and said, "Just stop this and be yourself, will you please? I miss you."

Thing was, at that point I think it had honestly been about four days since I'd eaten anything, I was mad at the world, my blood sugar was low, and I was beginning my slide toward the pseudo eating disorder I strenuously denied I had, and eventually narrowly avoided.

I then went home and almost immediately turned around and went to Ireland for the summer to see my family, my annual vacation instead of Disney World or wherever others went if they were lucky, and my aunt, who was just three years older than me, picked me up and took me to her place, where her two English roommates, all college students, also lived, and I spent the first day there so sick and light-headed from not eating for a week that they stood over me as I trembled on the living room futon staring up at them through unfocused vision while they debated whether to call me an ambulance.

I guess I got scared too because I started eating, told my aunt and her friends it was a dumb thing to have done, and in fact I never did anything like that again. (Man I'm making myself sound a mess!)

It was actually a great summer over there among my mother's people, and I came home happy and myself once more, a pretty good kid who really did seem to learn from her mistakes.

25.   In 1994 Grunge hit its post-Nirvana height and Alternative made its first inroads into replacing it as the sound most associated with the remainder of the '90s, ultimately leading to a number of great female artists gathering for Lilith Faire, and setting up the '90s to be the last era when top-40 type music was almost universally good.

OK, there you have it, my time in the year 1994!
What does not kill me makes me stranger.


I know 1995 has already been "flashbacked" but I just wanted to add some personal experiences (and hopefully I don't copy anything):
1. I also remember Windows 95 being huge-- One of the first things about 1995 I think of is the 3D maze screensaver:
Error 404 (Not Found)!!1
This was an absolutely LANDMARK year for internet availability.
2. My (now late) friend and I got SUPER BAD SUNBURNS in Reno.  I had one or two weeks off of work around my birthday, and we flew down to Reno as part of the birthday vacation.  We had suntanned on a roof by a pool, and the elevation can fool you in Reno (it didn't feel hot but we ended up getting "delayed" burns).  That evening we were DARK RED and in utter pain.  It hurt to move at all until like a couple days later.  Toward the end of our stay I watched one game of the Stanley Cup to see my Devils play the Red Wings at the Comstock Hotel bar.  When we got back to Portland OR we hung out at my folks' house and they had fireman aloe to drape over our shoulders.  We had deli sandwiches catered.  After that we went to the beach and stayed at the Sea Gypsy hotel (a very nice hotel with a terrific view right over the ocean).  We peeled big sheets of skin off during our stay!  When we got back to my friend's house I watched game 4 of my Devils sweeping Detroit for their first Stanley Cup!
3. Mexico undergoes extreme financial collapse and President Clinton loans them $20 billion.
4. Mike Tyson was let out of prison after serving nearly 3 years for rape.
5. Singer "Selena" is murdered by her fan club president.
6. Russian troops kill hundreds of Chechnyan civilians.
7. Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols bomb a federal building in OKC.  I remember after the Sonics moved to OKC and were looking for a new name I figured "Bombers" would not be an ideal name.
8. Cult leader Shoko Asahara is arrested.
9. The collapse of a department store in Seoul, S. Korea kills over 500.
10. Genocide occurs in Srebrenika, Bosnia, by the Army of Republika Srpska, who rape and kill thousands of civilians.
11. It saddened me to see my Bills not reach a Super Bowl after 4 straight.  Glad to see San Diego finally make one, though (even if they got destroyed by the 49ers and their relatively new QB Steve Young).  As per usual I watched the Big Game at my friends' house-- he lived downstairs from his Dad and Mom.
12. I was happy to see my hometown hero Clyde Drexler finally win a championship-- unfortunately not with the Blazers, but with the Houston Rockets after he was traded.  They won their 2nd straight, topping Shaquille O'Neal/Penny Hardaway and the Orlando Magic in a sweep.
13. I was getting tired of working for jerk bosses-- this was my 2nd straight foreman I hated, this time working at Burlingame Fred Meyer.  Still living with my dad and stepmom for one more year at the old house in Portland.
14. I remember a big buzz around the Mariners that this could be the year they make the World Series-- and they got all the way to the AL Championship after the Division Tiebreaker game against the Angels and the playoff win over the Yankees.  But they came up short against the Indians, who lost to the Braves in the World Series.  What a team-- Griffey, Randy Johnson, Buhner, Tino and Edgar Martinez, Joey Cora.. great offense, meh bullpen.  This was a great baseball season, one year after the season was cancelled.
15. eBay is founded.
16. OJ Simpson is declared not guilty for the murders of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman.
17. Typhoon Angela levels the Philippines and Vietnam.
18. TOY STORY is the first full-length computer animated film.
19. Desert Storm ends.
20. While at the beach my friend and I stopped at an arcade and I played the graphically awesome FATAL FURY 3 on a NEO GEO cabinet!  What a cool game.
Error 404 (Not Found)!!1
21 Other great arcade games of the time: 2 On 2 Open Ice Challenge, Soul Edge, Die Hard, Area 51, WWF Wrestlemania, MK3, King Of Fighters 95, Street Fighter Alpha, Virtua Cop 2, Marvel Super Heroes, Aero Fighters 3, Gunblade NY, Night Warriors: Darkstalkers' Revenge, and Space Invaders 95.
22. I was really getting into collecting "best of" and yearly compilation CDs.  Especially the series "Have A Nice Day: Super Hits of the 70s".  I'd record songs off them onto tape for my friend because CD players in cars weren't in vogue yet.

23. I think this was the first year I played in a bowling league.  A guy from the store I worked at in Tigard and a bunch of other guys, pretty nice guys.  I did okay my first year, then kind of lost interest.  I think we won our league the first year.  We'd celebrate at the Pizza Caboose next door to our lanes-- blah pizza IMHO.
24. I remember SHOWGIRLS coming out and how it was crapped all over-- understandably so.  Also crappy was MORTAL KOMBAT, which I went to see with my brothers.. ugh!  Same with BILLY MADISON.  I left that one early because I had to pee and also because it was terrible.
25. Music was mostly crappy this year but some songs were okay-- DECEMBER- Collective Soul, ROLL TO ME- Del Amitri, and the silly COTTON EYE JOE- Rednex.  ONE SWEET DAY held the record for most weeks at #1-- SIXTEEN!  And.. it sounded like pretty much every other R&B song.

PS: My game systems of choice were still Sega Genesis and Sega CD.  I may have moved my bedroom back over the garage around this year.  My brother would sometimes get in my room and make a big mess, so I had a lock put on it.  Though the Playstation was out I waited a couple more years to get mine.

Looking forward to more memories!

"O the legend they say, on a Valentine's Day, is a curse that'll live on and on.."


Definitely enjoying these!

My 1996 memories:
1. My first taste of total freedom!  Morbidly, it came right after my grandma died and I ended up staying at her house afterwards.  But I was generally on my own there while still commuting to work (a couple miles or so away).  If my folks needed to come over to paint or clean for future owners, they wouldn't even call me-- they'd just come over.  Lame!  Other than that I was on my own-- felt great!
2. I really started getting on a personal fitness routine and had a pretty fit bod back then-- total six-pack abs and though I was skinny I was quite healthy.  No weight set but just did lots of push ups, stretches and sit ups. 
3. Started renting plenty of anime around this time-- was starting to ride the wave of US interest in Anime with DRAGON BALL Z and SAILOR MOON gaining steam in the States-- I even watched them at work!  I'd go down the hill from my house and rent plenty of movies from Hollywood Video.  Had plenty of stuff to do within walking distance; movie theater, WinCo store, Fred Meyer store, video store, bars, restaurants, etc.
4. I went to the Olympics in Atlanta!  My stepmom's friend was from Atlanta and she had a daughter that still lived there.  We stayed at their house with her brat kids and took a bus down to the Olympics every day.  We saw Judo, Baseball, Triathlon, and my favorite event, Weightlifting.  The weather was overbearingly hot and humid.  Even at 5 in the morning when we stepped out of the Atlanta airport.  Yuck!
5. Our bowling team went over to the team captain's house (which doubled as a convenience store and barbershop owned by him and his wife) to watch the Super Bowl.  In a rather blah mistake-filled game the Cowboys beat the Steelers.  The team captain was an old frenemy of my dad's but we got along okay.
6. This might have been the year I moved into my first apartment-- this was in Tigard OR not far from my previous residence.  This was the closest I'd ever be to city surroundings as I was RIGHT off the highway and had everything you could want within a few blocks.  GREAT location, but the apartment was 2nd story and DISGUSTINGLY hot in the summer.  Plus, I had big ants..  I think it was $385 a month to start with.  My, times have changed..
7. This may have also been the year I bought my Playstation.  I got Soul Blade as my first game and boy was I busy with that one!  I got Namco Museum games for it not long after.
8. The first boob-bouncing fighter in the DEAD OR ALIVE series debuts.  As does the awesome SAN FRANCISCO RUSH, SCUD RACE, CRUISIN' WORLD, WAKU WAKU 7 and PROP CYCLE.
9. Decent enough hits: NO DIGGITY- Blackstreet/Dr. Dre, FOLLOW YOU DOWN- Gin Blossoms, WHERE DO YOU GO- No Mercy, DON'T SPEAK- No Doubt
12. The former Quebec Nordiques, now the Colorado Avalanche, win their first Stanley Cup.
13. The Yankees would mostly dominate the mid to late 90s and early 2000s, starting with a World Series victory over the Braves.  I remember watching one of the games at my bowling alley and thinking the Braves had it wrapped up, going up 2 games to 0.  Nope..
14. This was the last year Jim Kelly played for my Bills.  We made the postseason the following January but bowed out to Mark Brunell and Jacksonville, who had a terrific team overall.
15. Michael Jordan's first full season back in the NBA results in another Championship-- and a (then) NBA record 72 wins-- over the Seattle Supersonics.
16. This may have been the year that I changed department store jobs to the location in Aloha, OR.  Much longer commute unfortunately but I got along well with the supervisor, who seemed to really like me.  Unfortunately she had a heavy drinking problem and was taking pills for physical ailments (NEVER a good combination) and went stone bonking crazy on a few occasions, one of which I had to actually SIT on her because she was belligerent.  The rest of the custodial staff was Hispanic and one spoke ZERO English.  Fun..
17. Michael Jackson divorces Lisa Marie Presley.
18. Bosnia ends their siege on Sarajevo.
19. A Scotsman, Thomas Hamilton, walks into a primary school and shoots and kills 17, all but one were children.
20. 8 climbers die when sudden winds hit Mt. Everest.
21. Iraq continues to refuse US inspectors looking for WMDs.
22. The Nintendo 64 is released; I remember it debuting at our store and gamers got to play a short demo before Mario said "It's a-me!  Mario!  Thank you for playing Nintendo 64!  Who's next?".
23. 8,000-9,000 year old remains of a man are found in Kennewick, WA-- he is known as the "Kennewick Man".
24.  The Taliban capture Kabul, Afghanistan.
25. Saudi and Kazhakstan airlines collide over New Delhi, killing almost 350.
"O the legend they say, on a Valentine's Day, is a curse that'll live on and on.."


Brother Russell, the 1980s as a whole stand out in my life, mostly good (especially the movies and the music), some OK and some bad.

I'll make a list for you and the others soon  :smile:
We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.



1) I got out of a relationship I had never felt sure about, but stupidly comitted to. It lasted 6 weeks, but took 6 weeks more to get the person out of my physical life.  It would take 6 years to get the person out of my online life.

2) After two years of hardcore gaming, I took a big step backwards and cut down the amount I was gaming, having seen how much damage the lifestyle had done to the relationship between a hardcore gaming mother and her pre-teen children.

3) Lordi won the Eurovision song contest with Hard Rock Hallelujah. For a short time they would be national heroes in Finland, but this would not last long and it would take the band a long time to recover.

4) Pluto was declared to not be a planet. If this p**sed off the god of death, it would explain much of world events since.

5) Saddam Hussein was executed by hanging.

6) Wii is released. Almost everyone I knew bought one, although I decided not to

7)  The UK paid the last of its WW2 loan debt back to the US.

8) Twitter was born.

9) A scramjet engine was successfully tested in Australia.

10) 300 was released and I thought was fun if silly.  The Fountain also came out and it wasn't fun or silly.

11) Steve Irwin died.

12) The Monday after he died I was surprised when I saw the flag flying at half-mast. This confused me as I hadn't heard of anything on the news that morning that would be associated with the flag. I wondered if Irwin had served in the Australian airforce or something. When I got into work I heard a Nimrod has crashed in Afghanistan with the loss of all 14 crew members and the Taliban were claiming to have taken it out with a heat-seeking missile. As it was my job to maintain the anti-missile defences on the Nimrod (I was one of a team of 3 doing that job at the time, the only people in the entire world qualified to do it), this hit me pretty hard. It would later transpire that it was an on board fire. The crash investigation would reveal a decades long chain of events leadibg to this crash, including a decision made by Maggie Thatcher during the Falklands War.

13) The most enjoyable period in my working life would come to an end with the promotion of my best friend and him having to move jobs, combined with the moving of our boss to a multi-tasking role. I would spend 14 months in an acting higher rank, before returning to my previous rank for a short period and then a full promotion. But all that lay in the future of 2008 .

14) Being unable to understand why despite my excellent annual reports I hadn't been offered my full promotion I resolved to leave when my current contact expired at the 9 year point. It would come as a big surprise to me when I learned I had been promoted much quicker than the majority of my peers.

15) I got involved with a Swedish nurse. She was fun, but the relationship was short-lived. More friends with benefits than anything serious.

16) I accepted an invite to play a game from a friend in order for him to get a boost although I didn't start playing the gane itself. This would start a chain of events that led to me getting a German girlfriend though. She was even more fun that the Swedish and we'd have a will they won't they on and off relationship that would run for many years and cold have went much further. I do not regret how things turned out though.

17) Me and Scott spent an entire day at the cinema watching Superman Returns and Pirates 2. His wife later asked him if we were having an affair. We weren't.

18)I have the funny feeling this year was where my battle with depression started, although it wouldn't be diagnosed for over a decade, mostly because it crept in so slowly and insidiously that I didn't realise anything was wrong.

19) After a few years living in the wilds up north,  my friend Garry returned to the area. He had a bad split with his then-girlfriend and I and another mutual friend had to drive up and rescue him. The other friend, Dave was suffering fron the flu and would collapse during the unloading part of the day. We carried him inside and used him as a doorstop. At one point during the moving Garry out part, I had to intervene to prevent a fight between Garry and his ex's dad.

20) Garry started dating his ex-wives sister. They would later get married (and remain so today).

21) At a house party a random drunk women came over and twisted my nipple so hard that it bled. In the morning I let her know how close I'd came to punching her.

22) I moved out of a house I'd been renting for 6 months, just to get off camp for a bit. I had, had people visiting almost constantly and going back into the barracks felt like something of a relief.

23) I bought myself a Lego Star Destroyer. It had an important piece missing.

24) After moving back into the block, I then had to pack up and move into a new block. Since it took 2 weeks to get internet access back each time I moved, this was a huge pain. I had a shouting match over the phone with an AOL customer service rep who said I was lying and then didn't apologise when they discovered I was right. AOL lost my custom that day.

25) My DVD collection outgrew my room.

Your kisses turn princes into frogs and passion plays into monologues.


What does not kill me makes me stranger.


Memories of 2006

1.   Nintendo's Wii looked like fun, if you could find one.

2.   Two famous men died in the week after Christmas: Gerald Ford, mostly remembered as a good person, and Saddam Hussein, one of the great monsters of our time. Be a good person, if you can....

3.   George W. Bush announced the CIA made use of detention centers around the world that were outside American jurisdiction, a pragmatic practice of decades' standing. Shocked that a Commander in Chief would break confidentiality, the CIA collectively face-palmed, and from then on the relationship between Mr. Bush and the rank and file of the CIA was extremely strained.

4.   A stampede during the "stone the devil" rite in Mecca killed almost 400 people. "Guess I won," commented the devil.

5.   Disney, which if you read the fine print now owns your very soul, acquired Pixar.

6.   David Bowie performed onstage for the last time in the UK.

7.   Twilight was published; it would go on to sell 100 million copies to teenage girls who pretended to hate it each of the ten times they read it.

8.   WikiLeaks was launched. (With more inside help than "they" want you to know....)

9.   New-ish songs I liked that year included The Black Parade by My Chemical Romance; When You Were Young, by The Killers; Crazy, by Gnarls Barkley; Knights of Cydonia, by Muse; Dani California, by RHCP. I'd list popular songs I didn't like, but we'd be here through tomorrow.

10.   My eventual husband met this Russian named Andrei, and suddenly it was like Andrei was everywhere in our lives in 2006. Andrei was a combination of charming and somehow insecurely boy-ish, with this unruly blond hair and a ready grin, and women were all over him despite the fact he had a jaw tooth capped with a steel crown, the fruit of Soviet-era dentistry. At first I enjoyed hearing Andrei's stories of growing up in Leningrad during the '70s and '80s, and how he learned English because his mother bought a black market antenna so he could watch Sesame Street broadcasts from Finland, but I got tired of him always being around. Then he started trying to work his magic on me. Thing is, I learned Andrei would befriend a man and then go after his wife or girlfriend, that was his thing, and he did this with a few couples I knew, and considering how my future husband befriended him was downright cruel in this case, and I never told him how much uncool behavior Andrei used to try to pull behind his back.

11.   Fresh from a broken engagement out of the country, my best friend from high school moved in with me for most of the year to the house I inherited from my grandparents, and got us a black lab puppy named Chocolate. Such good times we had.

12.   It was locally called "The Year Without A Winter" because we had no snow and basically few to no temperatures below freezing, just a long pre-spring that saw April flowers bloom in January.

13.   Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahoney gave my close friend Clare's dad a humanitarian award for his work among the poor in East Los Angeles, and she went to see him get this at a presentation dinner, and asked if I'd go with her. I declined, cited responsibilities at home, and she said, "That's OK but will you call and tell my Dad congratulations? It'd mean a lot to him to hear from you. He really loves you, you know."

I said I would, which was a lie, I had no intentions of doing this, then when I didn't, she called me that night and asked me would I tell her dad congratulations NOW, and I said I would, then pretended the call got dropped, which I was aware was sheer rudeness and I figured she'd come home so mad at me that it'd be the end of our friendship, but she walked up and hugged me and said she was sorry for asking, which was the last reaction I'd expected.

She'd concluded talking to her dad brought up sad memories about loss, and I let her think that, but the truth was no matter how much I loved Clare, I pathologically disliked her father more than any person I knew in the entire world, and the very idea of talking to him made me sick.

14.   I went on a week-long Caribbean cruise with my college roommate, and late one night she brought a guy back to our room, to her bed, and.... awkward. She could have at least given me enough warning to get dressed and sexile myself.

15.   In movies, I thought Brokeback Mountain was the lamest film ever proclaimed a cultural masterpiece. I did like Mel Gibson's Apocalypto, and thought The Prestige was fun. The Last King of Scotland less so. Pan's Labyrinth was a masterpiece of  the imagination, and The Painted Veill an underappreciated classic. Clint Eastwood's twin films about WWII in the Pacific were cornerstone achievements in his long career.

16.   I bought a two-story scale lighthouse for my side yard. You could climb up into it, it had working lights and a foghorn, and it lasted into the 2010s, when, ironically, a storm finally did it in.

17.   I talked almost every day to my sixteen-year-old maternal cousin Celia, and made plans to help her move to the US when she was eighteen, not knowing that Celia was a sociopath who was supremely skilled in both manipulation and concealing the horrible person she was. She wrapped me around her finger and in the future used me in almost every way you can take advantage of someone's love. She even stabbed me in 2014, but in 2006 I thought she was the little sister I never had.

18.   My friend in Austin and I e-collaborated on a screenplay for a Poe-themed zombie flick called Cannibelle Lee. It wasn't bad!

19.    I ended 2006 as an Amazon Top 300 reviewer. Sometimes my reviews said more than they seemed to on the surface, a curious theme in my life.

20.   I took my cousin Dana's tweenage daughter and her friend to a Cheetah Girls' concert. It was pre-fab lip-syncing Disney style, but the girls loved it.

21.   NPR had a contest asking listeners to describe the voices of four celebrities, Morgan Freeman, Marilyn Monroe, Truman Capote, and Patsy Cline, and my submission got mentioned on-air. I said: "Morgan Freeman's incomparably rich voice sounds like fine old leather; Marilyn Monroe sounds to me like pink cotton candy on a hot summer night; The sound of Truman Capote puts me in mind of boiling coffee at three AM; And the voice of Patsy Cline sounds smooth as clear, flowing water."

22.   Amy Krouse Rosenthal's Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, which I discovered in 2006, was a work that greatly influenced my own writing, and still does. Her motto was "ATM" which meant "Always Trust Magic." She put her phone number in one of her books and if you texted her "hi!" she'd text you back "hi!" I loved Amy. She was a wonderful person. She's gone now.

23.   My eventual husband and I were at an entertainment district by the river on the last night of March when some men started firing pistols above the crowd, and it sounded like light bulbs popping. I'm proud I reacted as trained and pulled him down behind a concrete planter with me and got low while people screamed, people ran, people got knocked down, there were no cops anywhere, and it was pandemonium for several minutes. When arrested the men claimed it was a prank.

24.   We went to the Hyatt in Chicago for Valentine; Day, a tradition we continued til we had kids.

25.    Though I was just twenty-seven, for the first time in my life I felt other than very young when I noticed I looked down on younger women who went around in low riders showing whale tails and tramp stamps, which I thought was a lame fashion trend of 2006 (that alas hung around).

I keep doing these year list things, don't I? Dear goodness, I think I have a problem.

What does not kill me makes me stranger.


1. I was 10 and in 4th/5th grade.  I think the following year I had to move to a different school just a couple miles away.
2. Several monster hits on the radio if not at the top of the charts yet, quickly moving in that direction.  Like BETTE DAVIS EYES, CENTERFOLD, ENDLESS LOVE, PHYSICAL, ARTHUR'S THEME.
3. Some popular albums included the awesome ESCAPE- Journey, HIGH AND DRY- Def Leppard, TATTOO YOU- Rolling Stones, MOVING PICTURES- Rush, FACE VALUE- Phil Collins, BELLA DONNA- Stevie Nicks, GHOST IN THE MACHINE- Police, BEAUTY AND THE BEAT- Go-Gos, PARADISE THEATER- Styx, FREEZE FRAME, J. Geils Band, DIARY OF A MADMAN- Ozzy Osbourne, 4- Foreigner.
4. The arcade scene was really starting to explode-- DONKEY KONG, FROGGER, SCRAMBLE, SUPER COBRA, MOUSE TRAP, VENTURE, ASTRO BLASTER, QIX, MS. PAC-MAN, GALAGA, LOCK 'N CHASE and many others would resonate beeps, boops, and pew-pews across the world.
5. My mom moved out of the house and to various apartments over the next couple years.  My dad and stepmom moved back in.  Me and my sisters stayed with them.
6. We got our first ATARI 2600/VCS that year around Christmas time.  We started to tire of the pack-in game COMBAT so we purchased ADVENTURE and ASTEROIDS shortly after and were very happy.
9. Reagan got shot by some nutso who wanted to impress Jodie Foster.  Despite taking a bullet in the chest Reagan survives!
11. Pope John Paull II is shot in Vatican City but survives.
12. British serial killer The Yorkshire Ripper (Peter Sutcliffe) is caught.
13. Much-watched episode of GENERAL HOSPITAL featuring the characters Luke and Laura marrying airs.
14. Drug dealer friends of porn actor John Holmes (the Wonderland gang) are murdered in L.A.
15. Sandra Day O'Connor is the first woman inducted to the Supreme Court.
16. Israel bombs Beirut.
17. MTV debuts!  Its first video is VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR by The Buggles.
18. Iran's president and PM are killed by a terrorist bomb.
19. The CIA first recruits Contra rebels in Nicaragua.
20. Muhammad Ali's last fight ends in a loss to Trevor Berbick.
21. First American test-tube baby, Elizabeth Jordan Carr.
22. A strange phenom starts in Portland OR when a highly difficult and near-hypnotic arcade game POLYBIUS is said to be released, which the government was said to have created for data-collecting purposes.  No evidence has ever surfaced of this game and it is an urban legend.
23. Other arcade games I remember: KICK, OMEGA RACE, SOLAR FOX, SATAN'S HOLLOW, FANTASY
24. Another hit song that peaked in 1981 (and became a jock jam):
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25. 2 For the state of California!  Dodgers and Raiders win their sports' championships.
"O the legend they say, on a Valentine's Day, is a curse that'll live on and on.."


I saw 2001 at a drive in. My brother Glenn spilled a soda pop in the rear speaker of the car.

I was in a foster home and a teenager who was there had a collection of Famous Monsters magazines. I fell in love.
"Supernatural?...perhaps. Baloney?...Perhaps not!" Bela Lugosi-the BLACK CAT (1934)
Interviewer-"Does Dracula ever end for you?
Lugosi-"No. Dracula-never ends."

Slobber, Drool, Drip!


Memories of 2000

1.   The year 2000 began with such giddy optimism I stayed up late watching celebrations, sometimes wearing a pair of glasses that said 2000, with the '00s being eyeholes, and then answered a bunch of time capsule questions I'd written myself back on January 1, 1990. Finally I wrote some questions to be answered on 1-1-10. We'd made it to the new millennium, and things would be wonderful, wouldn't they?

2.   While home on spring break I added more calligraphy to my bedroom ceiling with Byron's: "If I should meet thee after long years/ How shall I greet thee/ With silence and tears." Later I painted over it but by 2000 my ceiling was speckled with quotes.

3.   In 2000 I saw Gladiator, The Virgin Suicides, and American Beauty almost back to back at a multiplex. The Virgin Suicides has a moody soundtrack, by the way, perfect for when your spirit sinks with the amethyst clouds of inner gloaming.

4.   I lost my grandpa to lung cancer, and was the last person from the family he let see him that spring, a few months before the end, since he was a vain, good-looking man who did not want us to remember him as he was at the end. He said, "Be young and live your life, and don't let what's happening to me take away the good days you got coming to you, Ellie-Bean." (His nickname for me, which I heard so often growing up it seemed eternal, but no one calls me that now.) Right before Grandpa's funeral my often caustic lawyer aunt told me the black dress I was wearing was for someone "trying to look like a babe." She was wrong, but I still changed. Later she told her daughter she was trying to make me mad to help me not be sad, but she had grudges against me and I think she was just being cruel. When I first heard Grandpa was dying, I didn't imagine anything in 2000 would hurt more, but a worse loss was coming.

5.   In this year I first read a Harry Potter book, but it was my serial reads of American Psycho that really captivated me in 2000.

6.   A Concorde crashed, ending a perfect safety record. I had a friend in Austin who flew on a Concorde years before and he said you could look out and see the curve of the planet, so I always wondered why British Airways couldn't have just donated seats to the leaders of the Flat Earth Society, to shut them up.

7.   NYPD officers were acquitted in the shooting of Amadou Diallo. Al Sharpton campaigned against rioting in the wake of the verdict, and things mostly stayed quiet, but my university, far from New York, imposed a curfew that night after a tip to police claimed someone was going to set fire to the library.

8.   My roommate's brother, who I'd latched onto three years earlier in my pathetic quest for sibling figures (before I came to have more complicated feelings for him) was mint-condition divorced in 2000 after five years of wedlock, and at the apartment alone with me when his sister was out, he invited me to join him in his first roll in the sheets as a free man. Well, I didn't, but I'd be lying if I said a little bitty corner of my brain did not think about the offer.

9.   I know it was petty to exult in a foe's embarrassment, but one evening this know-it-all I disliked was loudly telling everyone Walt Disney was on acid when he made Fantasia, and I brought up the fact Fantasia came out in 1940, and LSD wasn't around until 1943, then said to her, "Maybe you're thinking of Lady and the Tramp?" Sorry, it was a fun moment.

10.   I seemed to be doing a lot of designated driving for drunk friends that year, and twice my back seat suffered for it. In high school my boyfriend told me drunk girls were either interesting or tedious, and I think I saw a lot more of the second part of that he did, because none seemed that interesting wasted and staggering.

11.   If you lived in Florida, you had to wonder if your chad was hanging. Nobody wanted his chad to hang. It was embarrassing.

12.   In the news, the last new Peanuts cartoon appeared in print; the Olympics were in Sydney; shark attacks made headlines like it was the post-Jaws '70s; Cats closed on Broadway; Elian went back to Cuba; new PS2s flew off the shelves; and Bill Gates stepped down at Microsoft. Fact: there was zero other news the entire year.

13.   I went home for Thanksgiving and my dad offered money to charity if I'd ditch vegetarianism and eat turkey. I said no. That same weekend I was walking by a 2,000 year old Hopewell mound and encountered some LDS people who believed Book of Mormon events took place in the area, and that the mound was a misidentified sacred relic from those times.

14.   I was offered a promotion to Rotterdam that paid a lot more, but I decided to stay in college. Right choice? The person who took the job ended up going a lot farther career-wise than I did, but then again she also got hit by a train under suspicious circumstances.

15.   In 2000 eyebrow sculpting went way too far, with people somehow thinking Christina Aguilera's tadpole 'brows were stylish. Brazilian waxes also started replacing '90s landing strips about this time too, and I guess there was a "new century/new look" zeitgeist, because women in 2000 seemed to be looking for new ways to change everything about their appearance, openly and privately.

16.   Among new TV shows, Malcolm in the Middle was great, everyone was unified in a desire to stone the host of The Weakest Link, but Survivor was such a sensation that its finale made newspaper headlines like a real world event. My hometown paper's front page the day after the winner was revealed screamed THE SURVIVOR IS RICH!!!! A simpler time, indeed.

17.   OK, there was other news, like the USS Cole being attacked in Yemen; the Pope going to Israel to pray for Holocaust victims; Mad Cow disease being seen as a threat; AOL merging with Time-Warner; Hillary Clinton going to the Senate; India's population passing a billion; Venus Williams winning singles titles at Wimbledon and the US Open; and the orbiting ISS getting its first crews, unless conspiracy theorists are right about it being faked on a Hollywood set.

18.   I signed up to be a bone marrow donor. Stayed tuned to find out how that led to me having a permanent dimple on my hip.

19.   A suicidal woman jumped off the tallest building in my home town, and the fact her leap left her in three pieces was talked about on local news during the six 'o clock dinner hour.

20.   When David Letterman took a leave for heart surgery, rumors that Johnny Carson would be a guest host proved unfounded, but at least John McEnroe sat in for Letterman one night.

21.   Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP was heard everywhere seemingly all the time. We embraced it because there was no escaping it.

22.   My roommate of three years moved out to live with her fianc√©, and I dwelled alone for the first time in my life. I mostly liked it, but for weeks I left closet doors pushed open when I went anyplace, lest some perv be hiding in one.

23.   I wrote a paper in a 100-level debate class that argued terrorists should be treated as criminals along the lines of the British model, rather than as POWs, as was US policy. In 2021, during exit interviews on my job, I was asked to explain why I wrote that in the paper. Talk about the long-ago past coming back at you...

24.   We spent weeks not knowing who the next President would be. I still think Al Gore probably won Florida unless a lot of Miami-area Jews suddenly turned into Pat Buchanan fans, but everyone's got an opinion there on what is now a footnote in history. On the bright side, at least Gore was left with time to pursue the ravenous ManBearPig.

25.   OK, can't put it off any longer. The man I loved more than I have ever loved any man died, and for months I'd wake up sobbing, realizing even sleep wasn't an escape. I barely spoke for the first weeks, I pulled back from everything around me, my weight fell to 113 pounds, and the stress of the months that followed showed up in my nails and hair for the next year. I was away at college but going home only amplified things, and I don't know who had it worse, me as an agnostic believing he had probably ceased to exist, or his Catholic family, terrified he was conscious but in Hell for dying out of Grace: a cruel concept.

His dad used to call me day or night asking me to come over to his house to help him deal with the tragedy of his only son dying, and it was like the blind leading the blind since I wasn't in a position to help anyone, including myself. Sometimes we'd sit there for hours and neither of us would say a word, just stare into space, barely noticing the sun had set. I'd known his son since I was thirteen, and his dad was so young when he was born he and his son were closer in age than a lot of brothers. I kept expecting him to start drinking and using again but he didn't. Still, what a mess.

There was no light anywhere in life then, and some things you never quite escape, since in 2015 I had a weeks'-long grief-recursion over his death, as I found out such things are called. (Sylvia Plath thought of it in her own life as the re-descent of a bell jar). I had children by then, I had a husband I loved, my life was in a very different place, I had long been happy, but one day I woke up and it was like the pain was all new again, a decade and a half of healing swept away.

Some events are dividing lines between before and after, and that loss in 2000 was one.

What does not kill me makes me stranger.


We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.


1. I'd only rented 2 apartments in my life, and this was the year I got my second.  It was okay-- good location with a store and Papa Murphy's next door, bar down the street, Wendy's close by (took full advantage of 2 for $3 double cheeseburgers).  Landlord at the time was a friend of my friend.  Nice old guy but heavy drinker.
2. I was unemployed-- trying in vain to find work for a year in a terrible job market.  During a few months or so in my new digs I ran out of money and had to borrow probably a few hundred from my folks (they owed me a LOT more than that years later) to pay the rent.
3. Eventually went to a temp office and got a couple menial labor jobs-- one for a few days, one for a few months.  But that led to a more steady job working at a Nike warehouse.  Learned lots of skills there, including getting a forklift license.
4. Still was in pretty decent shape thru calisthenics.  Had an old turntable in the living room to play all my collected 45s over the years and would plop on disco records to work out to!
5. My bed had a really weak frame and it buckled.  I continued to sleep on it and was eventually sleeping at a noticeable angle.  FINALLY got a new one a few years later.
6. The US invades Iraq.  Saddam's rule ends with the siege of Baghdad.
7. The Human Genome Project is completed.
8. My Portland Trailblazers nearly became the first NBA team to come all the way back from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series.  Playing Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs, it looked hopeless.  But there was plenty of talent on our roster, and the sharpshooting Nick Van Exel and rising star Zach Randolph helped carry the team.  Perhaps more memorable even than the comeback was head coach Maurice Cheeks helping out the nervous girl who was trying to deliver the anthem:
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9. Eerily reminiscent of the Challenger explosion 17 years prior, the shuttle Columbia disintegrates over Texas upon re-entry.  All 7 astronauts die.
10. US troops in Saudi Arabia withdraw.
11. Dewey is the first cloned deer.  Prometea is the first cloned horse.
12. The bloody Second Congo War ends via peace treaty.
13. A major blackout knocks out power through much of the NE U.S. and parts of Canada.
14. Mars makes its closest approach to Earth in 60,000 years.
15. The US Army captures Saddam Hussein in Ad-Dawr.  Head of US Occupation of Iraq Paul Bremer's statement begins with: "We got him."
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16. An earthquake in Iran kills several tens of thousands.
17. Some famous deaths: Maurice Gibb, Richard Crenna, Nell Carter, Fred Rogers, Johnny Paycheck, Edwin Starr, Nina Simone, Dave DeBusschere, Robert Stack, June Carter Cash, Gregory Peck, Hume Cronyn, Leon Uris, Katharine Hepburn, Buddy Hackett, Herbie Mann, Barry White, Buddy Ebsen, John Schlesinger, Bob Hope, Gregory Hines, Charles Bronson, Warren Zevon, John Ritter, Johnny Cash, Sheb Wooley, Gordon Jump, Elia Kazan, Robert Palmer, Road Warrior Hawk, Jack Elam, Rod Roddy, Bobby Hatfield (Righteous Brothers), Art Carney, Don Gibson, Warren Spahn, David Hemmings, Hope Lange, Alan Bates, Earl Hindman (unseen neighbor on HOME IMPROVEMENT)
18. Saddam's sons Uday and Qusay are killed by US forces.
20. Actually decent songs from 2003: BRING ME TO LIFE- Evanescence, STACEY'S MOM- Fountains Of Wayne, SEVEN NATION ARMY- White Stripes, and..
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21. Watched the Super Bowl at my friend's house.  Tampa Bay won their first Super Bowl over the Raiders-- the first matchup of a #1 offense vs. a #1 defense.  I called it the "Pirate Bowl".  It was also known as The Gruden Bowl due to John Gruden-- a former Raiders coach-- now coaching the Bucs.
22. The Florida Marlins won their 2nd World Series, over the Yankees.  I remember the Cubs being up 3-1 in the NL Championship series and p**sing it away.  Cub fans would have to wait another 13 years for a title.
23. I think I went to see my brother while he was going to college near Chico.  Hated his girlfriend; glad they split up shortly after.
24. My New Jersey Devils won their 3rd Stanley Cup!  A 7-game thriller over the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.  Goaltender Martin Brodeur (I have a poster of him in my bedroom saying DEUR DIE) won the last game 3-0.
25. Steve Kerr and David Robinson's last NBA year as players.  Jason Kidd and the Nets made back to back finals trips but didn't win this one either.  MVP Tim Duncan and the Spurs win in 6.
"O the legend they say, on a Valentine's Day, is a curse that'll live on and on.."