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Author Topic: 25 nostalgic things you remember from a specific year or decade!  (Read 34302 times)
ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #90 on: August 01, 2022, 09:22:07 AM »

Memories of 2010: When Life Changes, It Changes


1.   In the news, the 2700-foot tall Burj Khalifa opened in Dubai; the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill was an ecological disaster; WikiLeaks told lots of secrets; and coinciding with reports of snow flurries in Hades, TEA parties turned well-off Republicans into social protesters.

2.   It was a bad year for disasters. An 8.8 Chilean earthquake was one of the most powerful in history; Haiti likewise suffered a 7.0 earthquake that left a million homeless; Christchurch, New Zealand was hit by a quake that wrecked its cathedral and inspired the wizard who used to colorfully orate out front to retire; and the Fukushima nuclear accident followed a tsunami, fueling fears of an emergence by Godzilla.

3.   At long last, after about a half-decade of cohabitation, I got married on the vernal equinox. It came about because after resisting it for years, I woke up on January 23rd and said, “OK, let’s get married.” Things happened fast after that. We went to Brazil on our honeymoon, and I discovered the rain forest was an overhyped swamp filled with bugs and fetid mud. The rest of Brazil was pretty all right though.

4.   Lady Gaga wore a dress made of meat to the MTV Music Awards, and I always imagined that if Joan Rivers had asked her, “WHO are you wearing?” Gaga would’ve replied, “Blossom and Clover and Sukey and Patches….”

5.   The penultimate Harry Potter film was in theaters, and suicide hotlines trained workers to be ready ahead of 2011 for calls from devastated Potterheads unable to face life without new Harry Potter movies.


6.   In politics, thirteen years of Labour rule came to an end when Tories joined forces with Liberal Democrats in a slightly hypocritical coalition; Obama repealed Clinton’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and signed the Affordable Care Act into law; soon after, Republicans re-took the House. (Just sayin’…)


7.   On TV, The Simpsons celebrated twenty years on the air; The Legend of the Seeker was our enjoyable Saturday night never-miss; Conan O’Brien was fired from The Tonight Show; Lost was a wrap; and Downton Abbey, a soap opera dressed up as a drama, debuted, making me yawn.

8.   Elizabeth Edwards, Dennis Hopper, Gary Coleman, and Corey Haim died, as did one of my favorite writers, Louis Auchincloss, favorite illustrators, Frank Frazetta, and two of my least favorite authors, JD Salinger, and Howard Zinn.


9.   It was the snowiest February in local history, and I got to experience a thunder-blizzard. It would go on to be a drought across the rest of the year.

10.   In other news, geocaching was so popular even a Nevada brothel became a cache location; at a mall in California, three unconnected flash mobs realized they’d picked the same time and place to assemble; a disgruntled man flew a plane into an IRS center in Austin; and thirty-three Chilean miners were rescued after sixty-nine days underground, releasing me from the dreams I kept having about them.


11.   My thirty-month-old godson began a mildly awkward stage that accompanied his realization that ours is a diverse society, namely whenever he saw anyone of African descent in public, he would happily point and announce, “Black!”


12.   My pushy, nerdy literary agent decided to get out of the profession, and sold off all marketable manuscripts in his possession to other writers, who, via ownership, were then allowed to claim authorship of the stories as their own. “It goes on all the time in this business,” he told his former clients. It was in the fine print that he could “rep” us that way, brokering our work in this manner, but I was so hurt I stopped writing for about two years, and more than a decade later still have zero interest in being published again, just write for fun and let my friends read my stuff if they’re interested.



13.   A famous statue called Touchdown Jesus, that sat outside a megachurch off I-75, got struck by lightning and burned to the ground, while next door Larry Flynt’s Porn Palace sat untouched.


14.   In sports, Martina Navratilova beat breast cancer; Tiger Woods claimed he was sorry (right…) for putting his putter where it did not belong; the longest tennis match in Wimbledon history ended after three days; at the Winter Olympics there were noticeably few black athletes; and I went to a lot of eleven year old Tyler’s baseball and football games, proving to nay-sayers that boys who are gay do in fact play sports.


15.   In family news, my mom turned fifty; the two biggest video games in my life then were Fallout: New Vegas, and Demons Souls; we went on a five day Maine-to-Virginia “East Coast history trip”; I took an extensive insurance survey that forecast that I would live 87.3 years; and around Labor Day (can I get a drumroll, here?) I got pregnant with my son, yaaay!!!


16.   As a former ‘90s teen, it was amusing to live through the date 9-02-10.

17.   On The Late, Late Show, Geoff Peterson became Craig Ferguson’s gay robot sidekick!

18.   In movies, there was Shutter Island; 127 Hours; Winter’s Bone, the social network, and a remake of everyone’s favorite eye-rollingly, awesomely bad ‘80s flick, Clash of the Titans.

19.   Chelsea Clinton got married, and so did Katy Perry, Megan Fox, Emily Blunt, and---let’s review here---me.

20.   For some reason I found myself using the word “automagically” a lot, and had no idea where it came from. Did I invent it? Was it from a movie? Did it slide into my mind from some dark evil word-inventing government bureau?

21.   Music was total crap in 2010. Really. Can you think of one good top-40 song from that year? Besides Firework?

22.   The FIFA World Cup in South Africa showed that people everywhere could come together in mutual detestation of vuvuzelas.

23.   Mark Twain’s pseudo-Dadaist autobiography was “officially” published after a hundred years, and reminded me he had dropped unnumbered pages on the floor, and rather than take time to put them back in order, handed it off all mixed up. I… totally…. admired…. that.

24.   Apple released the iPad, which sold for half a grand, so I bought a fifty-buck knockoff that did the same stuff.


25.   In closing, Lisa Simpson once quoted: “prayer is the last refuge of a scoundrel,” and as 2010 was the year of someone’s terrifying plan which he called “the Mouse Trap,” it was, not coincidentally, the end of my being nihilistic toward God. In fact, developments left me praying like there was no tomorrow, because I wasn’t sure there would be. In late winter I was getting married, I had a small child, life was beginning anew in so many ways, yet it suddenly looked like I was about to die. The fires of life test us and reveal who we really are, and I humbly admit there was hypocrisy in my pretense of agnosticism. If 2010 was the year I lost connection with being young, in return I was forced to concentrate on more important things, which was a fair trade. And if you notice, I'm still here.

And that was 2010.



« Last Edit: August 01, 2022, 09:26:35 AM by ER » Logged

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ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #91 on: August 05, 2022, 01:03:40 AM »

Memories of 2018

1.   Billy Corgan grabbed my attention for the first time in years when he went on Howard Stern and detailed his encounter with a naked shape-shifter.

2.   The #MeToo movement did some good and some bad, but did get Harvey Weinstein arrested.

3.   In the news: Prince Harry wed Meaghan Markle; fidget spinners were a fad; Kilauea erupted, sending plumes six miles into the air; and Saudi Arabia removed selective restrictions on women operating motor vehicles, possibly as good publicity following its hit on journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

4.   George H.W. Bush, Stan Lee, Burt Reynolds, Anthony Bourdain, Stephen Hawking, John McCain, and Billy Graham died in 2018, as did Aretha Franklin, Barbara Bush, and Koko the Gorilla, whose alleged use of sign language never convinced me. Furthermore, Dolores O’Riordan, like Jim Morrison and Whitney Houston before her, may have fallen victim to a musician-slaying creature with the ability to mimic a harmless bath tub. (Maybe that’s what Billy Corgan saw…?)

 
5.   Pornstress Stormy Daniels claimed she was paid $130,000 to keep quiet about a tryst with Donald Trump. (Obviously money well spent…)  She would compare the First Penis to a mushroom character from Mario Kart. How embarrassing for the mushroom dude!

6.   TWC’s Mike Seidell got busted faking being blown around by a hurricane, while men were seen causally walking past him in the background; speaking of weather, where we live we had a day in July ’18 where the temperature was 107 and the heat index 111.


7.   On April Fool’s Day someone showed me an ad he’d faked that had me thinking Playtex Tampons had won naming rights to an NFL stadium. It was a convincing ad, I tell you.


8.   I woke up one January morning after a seven-inch overnight snowfall, amused to see a coyote doing her best to leap up and eat seeds from our lowest bird feeder. That year we also had a fox and her babies come up on our patio each night for weeks. Since she had white socks, we nicknamed her Momma Montelli.


9.   Driving home I saw a Japanese schoolgirl in a white medical mask standing near a high school with what looked like red lipstick smeared from her mouth to her cheekbones. Some kid cosplaying Kuchisake-onna….or the real thing?

10.   My maternal cousin Donna, a physical therapist, told me ideally a person should only be up during noon or midnight, not both. This made a profound impression on my sleeping habits in ’18.


11.   I got chucked out of an after-party at the Chinese musical Shen Yun, for pointing out the suspiciously tiny feet of its female dancers; I also heard Neil Gaiman speak yet again and noticed since his marriage to Amanda Palmer, he’d aged quite a lot, satisfying me Palmer was a succubus; we saw a Doors tribute band called The Doors of Chicago, saw Steve Martin and Martin Short do a play, saw the Pixies and Weezer in concert, and for Christmas went to a Boar’s Head Festival where we met Henry VIII!

12.   I was hanging with my dad at his office when I wasn’t working elsewhere, and would have lunch fairly often with my almost father-in-law who worked nearby, and one day my dad said, “Going out to lunch three times in a week counts as dating.” Oh, yeah, real funny, Dad. THEN I got home and my husband told me he was tired of my “emotional affair,” but ironically he was talking about an entirely different man. I swear, some people think everything in my life is about sex, when it’s really about higher things, like wisdom, and money.

13.   At the same office, same summer, an intern brought in a 1995 magazine article “Things That Will Be Extinct By 2020” which in some ways was prescient, since pay phones, videos stores, and Saturday morning cartoons are gone, but we still have paper money, newspapers, and beachfront property in Florida, since oceans did not rise as anticipated.

14.   In TV: Super Bowl LII was the least watched since 2009, and the Academy Awards drew its lowest audience ever; Babylon Berlin, and The End of the f**king World, justified paying for Netflix a little longer, but I think 2018 was the year the streaming service began to tank.

15.   Roseanne Barr was fired from her eponymous sitcom for comparing a Presidential advisor to the product of an unnatural union, yet happily host Samantha Bee was not fired for calling First Daughter Ivanka Trump a “feckless c**t,” proving free speech does still exist in post-Woke America…..for some people.


16.   On the Hebraic front, I went to an Israeli film festival; took a course in the Talmudic commentary of the Medieval French scholar Rashi; and tried to convince my cousin Joshua, who planned to convert to Reform Judaism when he turned thirteen in a year, to adopt the name Shlomo. Alas, no dice on that.

17.   At age nine, Daisy, my oldest daughter, joined the Roman Catholic Church, entirely her decision; she then acquired a resultant scrupulosity stage of wondering whether various things were “sinful,” like her reading The Mortal Instruments. If there is one thing about religion that drives me crazy, it is when it conflicts with a person’s freedom to read. I later took her to where I went to college, and we buried a time capsule under the pines outside my former bedroom. I was disappointed Ray, my pervert downstairs neighbor, didn’t live in the building anymore, and wondered if ‘00s girls didn’t put up with his groping like we did in the ‘90s?

18.   I also found it a disappointing commentary on society that six of the top twenty movies in 2018 featured superheroes. Think of the great scripts that never got a chance.

19.   While on spring break at South Padre, eighteen year old Tyler, the boy I partly raised, had sex with eight men, and boasted about it. I present that fact without additional comment.


20.   My friend Clare’s eighty-nine year old grandmother died. Even though the grandmother lived across town, Clare never met her because the woman disowned her father before Clare was born, after her dad married her mom (who was pregnant with her older brother) instead of going to medical school like the grandparents wanted for him. What. A. b***h.


21.   In 2018: I completed a marathon, but only by running-walking, running-walking; I tried a Vietnamese dish called phuk, pronounced exactly like it looks; I was diagnosed with a spot of skin cancer, which I had removed without anesthesia, because phuk pain (see what I did there?); I read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and Ready Player One in the same day; I listened to The Black Tapes Podcast (which is about demonology) on nights when I had insomnia. It didn’t cure my insomnia.

22.   Proving a rivalry never dies, the 2018 release of Dark Souls Remastered VR, and Skyrim Special Edition VR, divided younger nerds as the original games had their older peers in 2011; however nerds everywhere joined in vomiting their disgust at Fallout 76, the most panned game in Bethesda Softworks’ history.

23.   November 11th marked 100 years since the conclusion of The War to End All Wars, though despite the optimistic name, the armistice brought more of a generation-long pause, reminding us that: “War. War never changes….”


24.   In more news: Facebook was in the hot seat over violations of privacy; thousands of US students paraded through the streets protesting gun violence; Kirk Douglas turned 101, and Olivia de Havilland 102; scientists declared Earth has an eighth continent, Zealandia, mostly under the Pacific in our era; and a poll showed only 40% of Americans believed the USA would still exist in 2118.

25.   Finally, on September 6th there was a mass-shooting in a downtown lobby I was a few minutes away from walking through as my usual shortcut to get to a federal building were I worked several days per month. Upon hearing on the radio of a gunman leaving passersby dead there, I thought of the small decisions I had made that morning that changed my arrival time. Chilling stuff.

And that was 2018.



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retrorussell
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« Reply #92 on: August 06, 2022, 01:15:12 AM »

1987:
1. Upon completing my first year of high school at Beaverton High School, I moved out of my dad/stepmom's house.  I just couldn't stand either of them anymore and moved up north to Auburn/Federal Way area in Washington State to live with my mom and stepdad and his kids.  Though he could be a bit immature I got along with everyone fairly well.  Lived in a very nice split level house.
2. Thomas Jefferson High School was the only school I'd been to that wasn't at least almost all in a single building-- you had to go outside to get to every class.
3. DOUBLE DRAGON, even though there was awful slowdown and you could exploit a trick to make the game painfully easy, is a rousing success in the arcades.  The franchise CONTRA makes its debut as well.
4. Reagan publicly admits that the US engaged in an arms-for-hostages deal, despite previously saying they did not.
5. PLATOON wins Best Picture at the Oscars.
6. THE SIMPSONS first appears, as animated shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show.
7. The great cynical, dark-humored sitcom MARRIED WITH CHILDREN debuts.
8. The phenomenon that is RICK ASTLEY begins with the hit "Never Gonna Give You Up".
9. All but one on board Northwest Airlines Flight 255 are killed during a takeoff crash near Detroit.
10. Pope John Paul II visits LA and San Francisco.
11. Stock market levels fall all over the world, known as Black Monday (10/19).
12. A weird hack broadcast interrupts 2 Chicago-area programs: a football game and a Dr. Who episode.  It features a nut in a Max Headroom mask, who is never caught.
13. All on South African Flight 295 die when it crashes into the Indian Ocean due to a fire in the cargo hold.
14. North Korean agents bomb Korean Air Flight 858.  It crashes into the Andaman Sea; 115 die.
15. The passenger ferry MV Dona Paz collides with an oil tanker in the Philippines; around 4,000 die.
16. Famous deaths include Ray Bolger, Andy Warhol, Liberace, James Coco, Randolph Scott, Danny Kaye, Robert Preston, Rita Hayworth, Fred Astaire, Jackie Gleason, Lee Marvin, John Huston, Lorne Greene, Bob Fosse, Henry Ford II, Ralph Nelson.
17. THE UNTOUCHABLES is huge at the box office-- even though I'm not a big fan of Kevin Costner I have to admit this is great-- especially the baby carriage scene at the train station.
18. Other big flicks: MOONSTRUCK, WALL STREET, THE LAST EMPEROR, GOOD MORNING VIETNAM, BEVERLY HILLS COP II, LETHAL WEAPON, THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK, FATAL ATTRACTION, FULL METAL JACKET, ROBOCOP, THREE MEN AND A BABY, NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3: THE DREAM WARRIORS, STAKEOUT, THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS, EVIL DEAD II, HELLRAISER
19. Bad movies are led by the legendary ISHTAR.  Also: ERNEST GOES TO CAMP, SUPERMAN IV, GARBAGE PAIL KIDS: THE MOVIE, LEONARD PART 6
20. DUCKTALES debuts!
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More to come when I get home from work.
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retrorussell
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« Reply #93 on: August 06, 2022, 02:01:59 AM »

21. Also debuting in 1987: The first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon!
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22. Also: Star Trek TNG, 21 Jump Street, Full House, Blackadder III, Animal Crack Ups, Bionic Six, Bol And The Beautiful, Classic Concentration, A Different World, Father Dowling Mysteries, Friday the 13th the series, Jake and the Fatman, Morton Downey Jr., Max Headroom, My Two Dads, NFL Primetime, Out of this World, Remote Control, Thirtysomething, Unsolved Mysteries, Wiseguy, Win Lose or Draw
23. Sports: Twins win the World Series, Lakers beat the Celtics in the finals, Giants pummel the Broncos for their first Super Bowl victory, and the Gretzky-led Oilers win the Stanley Cup.
24. The cartoon Beverly Hills Teens was big with my stepsister, and I admit I loved the limo pool in the opening!
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25. With or Without you and I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For are big #1 hits for U2.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2022, 03:23:42 AM by retrorussell » Logged

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ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #94 on: August 06, 2022, 08:53:37 PM »

Memories of 2017: Quite The Year.


1.   A solar eclipse that summer left parts of the US in darkness, and saw daylight dim for millions more. President Trump gazed at the sun with his bare eyes, inspiring some of his admirers to abandon the advice of science, and do the same.

2.   Netflix produced a controversial version of a 2007 YA novel I’d liked called 13 Reasons Why, but turned it into a festival of woke teenaged emoting, and as I watched I kept thinking a better title might’ve been 13 Reasons Whine.


3.   New words: GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) was added to The Oxford English Dictionary; my friend Edie said some atheists told her the new term they wanted to be called was “bright” as in, “I don’t believe in God, I’m bright.”

4.   In my diary I summed up my existence by noting: I'm thirty-eight and I bet in my life I've slept and eaten as much as most thirty year olds, consumed less meat than most ten year olds, worried and grieved more than most do in a long life, loved more deeply and passionately than most humans ever do, and been luckier in my family and friends than almost anyone.


5.   The same activists who raged against suggestions Barron Trump might be mentally impaired later claimed the display of a Donald Trump mannequin head on TV had Barron Trump believing his father had somehow been decapitated without him hearing about it.  Way to sit on both sides of the fence there, activists.


6.   The Last Jedi came out, and I said new Star Wars films were like post-classical Greek art: Hellenistic, but never Hellenic. Sigh, well, history majors got that.

7.   My nine-year-old daughter, Daisy, got into soccer, and for a time I thought it would be to her what tennis was to me. The sport brought out a competitive aggressiveness in my bookish girl I’d never seen. She also got a pet snake for Christmas, and named it Cornelius, because we were told it was a corn snake (get it?), but it was later identified as a scarlet king snake. One night Cornelius disappeared in our house, never to be found, and for all I know is still slithering sOmEwHeRe aMoNg Us….


8.   Two quotes I liked that year: “I have loved the souls of men and the bodies of women, but never the bodies of men or the souls of women.” And: “The days are long, but the years are short.”


9.   In the year that Kurt Cobain would’ve been fifty, Czech tennis star Jana Novatna passed away at forty-nine, Mary Tyler Moore died at eighty, Hugh Hefner at ninety-one, FOX grand poo-bah Roger Ailes died a few years too late, and the world lost Tom Petty, whom I always thought of as the Sarah Lee Cheesecake of Rock, because nobody didn’t like him.

10.   When one of the tenants at a house we rented-out shot himself after a breakup with his fiancé (as in male), my husband and I had to go clean the place after his intended moved away. I can now say I have scrubbed-up copious human blood and picked up pieces of brain and skull, and will tell you, I’m not rushing to do it twice.

11.   I earned my green patch in Krav Maga, but was told by the iron-tough Israeli instructors I needed more strength to go with my speed, and should lift weights. Never wanting to be a hard-body, I figured if I couldn’t outrun a thug, I’d shoot him. As life would later prove, sometimes neither is possible….


12.   My friend Amy, a funny, wild girl, one of the first friends I made in college, died of breast cancer. I’d lost people my age to other causes, but she was the first who died of a physical ailment. God, I miss her.

13.   A hard drive containing Terry Pratchett’s unpublished writings was run over by a steamroller, fulfilling the late author’s request.


14.   I have never felt our century-old house was haunted, but for a few weeks in 2017, every one of us heard a strange recurring sound at night, that to me was like distant white noise, and to my husband was like a hair dryer running far away. We never figured out what we were hearing and eventually stopped hearing it. I remember my five-year-old, Trinity, having a vivid nightmare during this time about the ground opening up and eating our house with “teeth made of rocks.” Shudder!


15.   Years ago I read The Poisoned Kiss, by Joyce Carol Oates, which she claimed she did not write, but rather channeled an unseen contributor she called “Fernandes” who placed the words in her mind. Late in 2017 I experienced something similar, and the result was 110 pages that flowed through me almost as if I was taking dictation, and which emerged complete and without re-writes, a rare thing for a flawed writer like me. It was one person’s recounting of his life and afterlife, and begins with an opening sentence in which he introduces himself, then promptly says he is dead. Even the title that came with the story, Tu Fui Ego Eris (Latin for “what you are, I was; what I am, you will be”) was unknown to me until I looked it up. The experience of writing Tu Fui Ego Eris remains among the oddest of my life.

16.   In good news, my college roommate adopted a bi-racial little girl named Sophia; in bad news, my psycho cousin Celia got arrested for domestic violence. In good news we acquired a second black lab; in bad news our existing dog wanted to kill her, so we had to return the new lab. In good news I got to meet Ashley Jenkins in Austin; in bad news, she wasn’t cool in person at all.

17.   First Lady Melania Trump refused to don a hijab (head scarf) when visiting Saudi Arabia, and I remember thinking, good for her!  After all, to avoid offending us, do you see Arab women taking their hijabs off when visiting here?

18.   My hometown’s most notorious serial killer, a man who murdered thirty-seven patients at a hospital where he was a nurse in the ‘80s, was beaten to death in prison.


19.   My eight-year-old godson was at the height of a stage where he seemed to have an inordinate amount of fear, and among other things wouldn’t be alone in a room with a door closed. I found his fears ironic because his uncle of the same name didn’t seem afraid of anything at all. Fortunately my godson did outgrow his peculiar apprehensions about everyday life, and maybe going zip-lining with his grandpa in Costa Rica that summer helped him build courage.

20.   I was understanding when my husband spent weeks with a dying woman named Corrine (Corrie) with whom he fell in love long before he knew me. I didn’t adore the situation but I let it happen. He used to come back from the hospital smelling like a honeysuckle candle, and I have never since been able to like that scent. In 2016 Corrie fell victim to a virus that attacked her heart and left her weaker and weaker, til it eventually killed her in May 2017. I was even all right when my husband took our daughter with him and went to Corrie’s funeral in California, and I bought Daisy a black dress at a boutique, and let her wear my grandma’s pearls. I thought they were coming right back but they spent several weeks driving home, and went to San Francisco and the Grand Canyon and all across the Southwest. It was the first time death had ever touched my husband’s life (the Irish call such a person a maighdean bàis literally "death virgin"), and he was vulnerably unprepared. I admit, ours is an unusual marriage.

21.   I went to my twentieth high school reunion and read David Sedaris’ diary while there, mostly staying aloof and wondering why I’d come. Classmates I’d found interesting weren’t present, and ones I hadn’t liked were, including Andrea, whom I’d once shoved to the ground after she said something about my mother. Many from the class of ’97 had gotten fat, and they all looked older. I left before it was halfway over, so don’t know who got the prize for Best Facelift.

22.   I read The Book of Joy, co-authored by the Dalai Lama and the man who gave Tyler his middle name, Desmond Tutu. (It’s the Desmond part, though Tutu would be a funny middle name.)

23.   Speaking of Tyler, he moved in with us a few months before he graduated from high school; moving out while still in 12th grade being something I had once done myself. Tyler and I had deep talks, and one evening he informed me he’d just tried sex with a girl, who was herself having first-time sex with anyone. I asked what he thought and he said…an ironic observation about the dimensions of the female body. Fact is girls were all over Tyler, and he ended up getting another girlfriend that year and they’re still together and have a surprise son named Giovanni, but all through their relationship Tyler has carried on with boys. I know he loves her, and maybe that’s how Freddie Mercury felt about Mary Austin, but I don’t get why a nice girl like Kylie puts up with that.

24.   During one of our talks I asked Tyler, who was still only seventeen, how many men there had been in his life in the last year and he said, “About sixty halfway and maybe thirty all the way.” I convinced him to have a blood test by saying I’d go with him and get one too, just to get him to go. I grew up in the early days of AIDS, and was worried sick for him, even though he told me times were different now. When our tests showed we were both clean, I asked him to see this as a fresh start and be more careful, and he said he would.


25.   Still….that August a man he met on a hook-up app tried to lock Tyler and his friend in his dungeon-like basement, but they got away. He came home freaked out and told me about almost getting abducted, and under my relief that he was OK I blew up and asked if he considered accepting an invitation off an app for a three-way involving a complete stranger to be keeping his promise to be more careful? Like a little kid again, he said, “No….” I told him I loved him and yet nothing I could say was going to make him stop being so stupid in his personal life, was it? He said he was sorry for scaring me, and I knew he was, but I also knew he was going to keep it up, and for a couple more years he did, before a realization that he wanted to be there for his son seemed finally to have made him wiser. The man who tried to abduct Tyler disappeared not long after.

And that was 2017.

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« Reply #95 on: August 06, 2022, 09:37:45 PM »

I notice some folks are just listing stuff that just happened that year- not something they actually recall.
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Either he's dead or my watch has stopped!


« Reply #96 on: August 07, 2022, 12:00:16 AM »

1980

I was 18 and grandfathered in on the newly changed drinking age in NJ (from 18 to 21).  I went to bars.  A lot. 
I saw JEFFERSON STARSHIP for the first time at South Mountain Reservation South Orange, NJ. 

I finished my first year of college that June.  I was living in Morristown, NJ. 

In my 2nd year, I turned 19 and a month later December 1980, JOHN LENNON was murdered. 


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


« Reply #97 on: August 07, 2022, 04:24:23 AM »

I notice some folks are just listing stuff that just happened that year- not something they actually recall.


Eh, that's okay; I was just initially hoping people at least wouldn't list 25 things for a year they weren't yet born.  Describing in detail personal memories is better and more interesting IMHO.  But I'm flexible.
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sprite75
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I'm a Mac...


« Reply #98 on: August 07, 2022, 12:40:22 PM »

This wasn't my setup but it actually was pretty close to what I had



I miss the days of the Atari 2600. 
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #99 on: August 08, 2022, 10:01:18 AM »

Memories of 1989

1.   That June my parents and I moved thirty miles north from a house we’d lived in for three years near an international airport in Burlington, Kentucky, to a booming little city called Mason, Ohio. But I’m mostly telling the year in order, so that’s getting ahead of myself.


2.   In fourth grade we had an assembly to watch George H.W. Bush’s inauguration, and it was pointed out that Ronald Reagan had been the first President since 1840 elected in a year ending with zero to survive his time in office. This was termed “the zero factor” which ten-year-old me misheard as “the zero factory,” and as in some sinister President-killing place of industry.

3.   The local NFL team went to the Super Bowl, played well, lost. At school, Sssster, my teacher and the coolest nun ever, had promised she’d do the “Icky Shuffle” for us if the Bengals won, and I regret not getting to see that. Later in the year, when Lucille Ball died, Sssster called off lessons for the afternoon and let us watch I Love Lucy episodes. Sssster was awesome.

4.   We had a tornado watch in January, which everybody said they couldn’t remember happening locally that time of year. It had been a warm, sticky day, more like April, and a freaky lurch by the jet stream sent a batch of storms from the Gulf states to our area. Nothing happened that day, but in March ’86, about the time we moved to Burlington, a tornado had skipped past our neighborhood, downing trees and flipping over planes at the airport, so tornado watches weren’t something you could entirely shrug off.

5.   My dad, an Apple fan from the beginning, had a Macintosh SE, with a then-staggeringly powerful 20 megabyte internal hard drive. That computer cost him $1500.00!

6.   Because we were near the international airport I mentioned, we could watch planes land pretty much all the time. We also used to sometimes see lights in the sky we couldn’t ID, so we called them UFOs. We’d see them so often they stopped being remarkable, these odd hovering lights. I have had an odd childhood… adolescence… adulthood, and if I make it there I’ll probably have an odd old age too.

7.   While we still lived in Burlington, I hung out with a neighborhood wild boy nicknamed Tarzan, who was always building these insanely unsafe ramps to jump his bike off of. One day he dared me to climb to the top of a tall tree in order to be let into a club, so I agreed, and he was so sure I was about to fall to my doom he gathered not just neighborhood kids to watch, but his mom, who came out not to stop me but to spectate herself, and right before I started climbing, she said, “Little Catholic Girl, does your mom know you’re doing this?” (Yes, we lived by her three years and she never learned my name.) I made it up and down fine though I don’t remember the club I risked life and limb to join being a big part of my childhood.

8.   About a month after we moved to Mason, Gina and her brother Mark moved in down the street. Gina was my age and went to my school and would stay my best friend for many years, though she moved to Los Angeles a few years ago and sadly we’ve been losing touch. Her brother Mark, who is three years younger than Gina and me, is still local, and still my friend.


9.   Gina and Mark’s mother, Lynn, while always nice to me, used to work in tiny put-downs about my mom, implying she thought my mom was dumb. I did not like these…. Eventually it was pointed out to me that Lynn was jealous of my mom and was shamelessly flirting with my dad, who was completely uninterested in her. This would stay Lynn’s pattern for years, badmouthing Mom, hitting on Dad.

10.   While hanging out at her house, I watched my cousin Dana, who was fifteen, break up with this boy during a big verbal fight she 100% started, then the same afternoon take a phone call from the boy on speaker while he tried to patch things up with her. She told him, “Not yet, but keep asking and we’ll see.” She explained that some guys were at their best when they were trying to win a girl back, and he’d be a lot better boyfriend after “wiggling on the hook a while longer.” Her self-confidence just floored me!

11.   My grandpa took me to a ball game downtown the day after I got home from my summer trip to Ireland, and he asked what I liked best over there that year, and I instantly answered, “Being with new Baby Celia.” Having no (surviving) siblings I was completely captivated by my newborn cousin over there and would do my best to put her near the center of my life for the next two decades. I probably don’t need to go back over how that turned out.


12.   My dad took me to Mammoth Cave on the last day before fifth grade started at my new school, and it was a fun trip except the guide turned off the lights to show us how dark a cave was, then pretended the lights wouldn’t come back on and we were stuck in the dark, badly freaking out a Japanese lady in the group. Maybe I’m wrong but I can’t imagine a tour guide pulling a stunt like that nowadays.

13.   Local hero Pete Rose, whom my grandpa, a Reds super-fan, deeply admired, and to whom he once introduced me, was banned for life from the sport because he bet on it while a player and a manager. I believe the sentiment behind Rose’s overwhelming support in town was that, sure, the man was a sleaze, but he was OUR sleaze. I remember feeling a little shocked that this great baseball player, who’d been on such a pedestal all my life, toppled like that, but mostly I only noticed because it upset so many people.

14.   Speaking of baseball, a big earthquake hit San Francisco during the World Series that October, delaying the event for what I was told was the first time ever. Again, baseball disappointed my grandpa, who said the game should play anyway.


15.   My dad used to coach a youth basketball team for “high risk” young men in the inner city, and I’d go with him sometimes. I met a boy there a few years older than me, in a wheelchair, because he was shot on the sidewalk in front of his house in a particularly bad neighborhood called Over-the-Rhine. Why? No reason. Some other boys in a passing car just either shot him or were shooting indiscriminately out the window and happened to hit him. Both then and in retrospect what impresses me most about that young man was how little self-pity he seemed to have about his situation.

16.   It’s the funniest thing now, but on a Friday my grandparents flew my cousin Jared and me to Sea World in Florida, and we came back late on Sunday, so I didn’t even miss school Monday. In fact not all my classmates believed me when I told them I’d been to Sea World the day before.


17.   After it taking five years to get her abusive first marriage annulled by the Catholic Church, my Aunt Christie got remarried. It was a lovely wedding, all the family came, glad for her, but in one dark cloud that day, I was clued in by Dana that Aunt Christie’s teenaged children, our cousins Adam and Alison, were drugged out of their minds the whole time, unwilling to stay sober for a handful of hours, even for their own mom.

18.   I did like Alison, though, and one day that year our grandma took Allie and me to a farm in Indiana where miniature horses were raised. I don’t remember being scared, but don’t know if it was because these horses were the size of collies, or if my hippophobia wasn’t yet at full power. It was a rare day of not catching thirteen-year-old Allie high, and I much preferred her that way.

19.   I went to see Batman that summer with Dana, who’d already seen it a few times and loved it. Sadly, I found it absurd and kept telling her so during the movie, til after going “shhh” to me a few times, Dana got up and moved to another row. She was fifteen, I was ten, and always trying to impress her, so I was crushed with embarrassment! We walked to Taco Bell afterward and she said she’d buy, then gave me the pretty gold chain she was wearing, so I guess she felt bad about hurting my feelings, even if I should have shut up during the show. (I never have enjoyed super hero flicks.)


20.   My dad used to sometimes let me go with him to the federal building where he worked, and his friend there was this FBI agent, a black man named Ted, who shared my dad’s love of basketball, and who actually was the person who introduced my dad to the urban basketball program where Dad coached. Anyway, one day Ted burst into Dad’s office, not knowing I was there, and started happily telling him, “We ‘effing’ got another one off the ‘effing’ list down in Miami! ‘Effing’ Humphries shot the ‘MF-er’ in the ‘effing’ head…” Then Ted saw me and froze, and my dad jokingly picked on Ted for his spicy language in front of a kid, and later told me in the car, “Those FBI guys have no control over their mouths.” In his career dad had a higher opinion of the FBI than I did, since I am of the view that 9-11 may not have happened if a bunch of a***oles in the FBI had not withheld intelligence federal law required them to share.

21.   Mel Blanc died that summer, and I remember seeing a poster that had all the Warner Brothers characters he voiced standing by an empty microphone, bowing their heads.

22.   We had a dodgeball game in PE that my class dubbed “the bloodbath.” One boy named Greg Stoeffer got hit in the stomach so hard with the ball, he hurled up his lunch right then and there in gym. Another girl got elbowed in the mouth hard enough to draw blood, and I was after the ball myself when it bounced off the bleachers and bashed my nose. Another girl wiped out face-first on the floor, and still two more boys smacked their heads together. Yet when the gym teacher blew his whistle because we were too rough, everyone yelled that we wanted to keep playing.

23.   After the US invaded Panama in December, I saw a picture on the front page of the local paper showing a girl I kinda knew named Dawn, at a funeral holding the high school jacket of her brother, James Markwell, a Ranger who died in in the fighting. People on TV kept declaring what a great victory Panama was, but I always thought of the look of grief on Dawn’s face in that photograph.

24.   I remember the local FOX affiliate kept showing commercials for The Simpsons Christmas Special, which was airing ahead of the regular series debut in January, and I wrote in my diary “the Simpsons give me the creeps because they’re so crazy looking.” I’d go on to love that show across the ‘90s.

25.   On the subject of my beloved diary, I’d begun writing a journal the Christmas before, when my grandma gave me a blank diary for a present, and finished about a hundred pages worth of thoughts in ’89. During some years to come I’d write six times that, but big undertakings gotta start someplace.

And that was 1989.
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ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #100 on: August 10, 2022, 05:58:11 AM »


Memories of 1982-1988: Life in Reaganland.


1.   On December 16, 1982 we were living in Montgomery, Ohio, and I was a week shy of being four, when we heard a massive crashing sound, and then sirens. Just down the street smoke was billowing, and it would turn out three FBI agents were flying with a suspect who’d hidden stolen cash somewhere known only to him, and he was taking them there. Since all aboard the small plane perished, the money is unfound to this day.

2.   When I was three, playing out in the fallen leaves on a windy November day at my grandparents’ house (the house we live in today) resulted in a fever of 104, along with an excruciating ear infection. I got checked into the hospital and there were concerns I could actually die if my fever went much higher.


3.   I got my first library card at age five, summer 1984 and it said: “Expires June 1988.” That now long-ago date seemed SO FAR AWAY, like it could never possibly come.

4.   I had an imaginary friend when I was four, and I’d wake up in the night and there he’d sometimes be, this friendly man who told me he was my grandson. He taught me to read, or at least somehow I was reading at a third-grade level by age four. I told people a man would come talk to me at night, and everyone thought it was a hoot that I called him my grandson, but nobody freaked that I said there was a man in my room! One part I have reflected on these last forty years and that is the man…my “grandson,” told me to write lots of things down, and in my life I have.

5.   When I was four we were still in the same townhouse in Montgomery, and I was jumping on my bed like I wasn’t supposed to, tripped, and busted my mouth open. I was more afraid of getting in trouble for jumping than I was of my pain, so I called my grandma, and she said to put ice on my mouth and maybe the swelling would go down and I could hide what I’d done. I said I couldn’t get to the freezer without passing Mom, so Grandma said she’d call her and distract her while I sneaked in, and that’s what she did and I got the ice and Mom never knew.

6.   My dad got an early screening pass for Return of the Jedi, and told me I was one of the first kids in America who’d be seeing it. As a fan he was thrilled but I was four and it didn’t hold my attention. Sorrrrry.

7.   In 1983 I developed a fascination for Vikings, and my dad got me a stack of books on them, and I’d happily play at being a Norse raider, making the sofa my longboat, but I noticed Vikings all had beards, so I got the bright idea to tie my hair under my chin to simulate facial hair. Trouble was it got so knotted it took my mom to get it undone, and I remember sitting inches from her while she got the tangles loose, a look of concentration taking over what I thought was the most beautiful face in the world.


8.   When I was five my grandpa asked if I would like to shoot a gun. I said well, sure, so he got a .22 and let me make holes in paper targets twenty-five yards away, and he was so impressed with my aim he used to show me off to his business associates. When I shared this cherished memory with my blue state friends in college, they universally freaked out. Welcome to red state America, ladies.

9.   Before she became a full-on drug addict in late childhood, my cousin Allie was a much nicer person, and one day when I was in kindergarten and she was in about second grade, she and I had a sno-cone stand out in front of her mom’s house while Aunt Christie sat near us in a lawn chair. I remember a police car pulled up and though we were only charging a dime per cone, the officers each gave us a dollar. I felt completely rich.

10.   In first grade a roughhousing boy named Carl came down the slide after me and kicked me into a mud puddle. I got soaked, and my mom had to bring me clean clothes. Carl got paddled in front of the class for it and cried before the principal ever touched him, then got an extra swat on top of the first three for “not taking it like a man.” (A man? He was six.) I’d never seen anyone get paddled before and felt so sick about it I tried to be nice to Carl, who remained a jerk, and that same week stole my trapper keeper with balloons on the covers, then got paddled for that too when the teacher found it in his book bag. Today Carl is a deacon. No joke.


11.   My parents were young when I was little, my dad was still in college getting his masters til I was six, and money was tight. So when in summer ‘85 Dad got his job, he took us to Disney World, which was something that meant a lot to him to be able to do. There, though, we were on the jungle cruise ride, and some man tried to spit from the boat into the water, and a big loogie landed on my dad’s arm, nearly resulting in a fistfight. Security came and my dad and the other man got taken off for a while, but Dad came back and said it was cool, and we continued our vacation there.

12.   When New Coke came out I remember the big controversy about it and how it failed, and because I was six I felt sorry for New Coke like it had actual feelings and knew it was being rejected as no cola had in all of history, so somehow I got the idea that we’d give it a funeral. My parents indulged me, and we buried a can in the tiny back yard of our townhouse, where it may or may not be to this day.

13.   I spent nearly a quarter of the ‘80s in Ireland. Not only would I go every summer, but a few times during my dad’s long job-related absences, Mom took me over, and we stayed for half-planned visits that could last weeks. My grandmother there was nothing like my grandma back home. She was not unkind but she was very serious, very religious, and very convinced it was impossible for me to receive a proper Catholic upbringing in the US, so she had me go to Mass EVERY morning, and in due time, to confession every Saturday. No days off, no exceptions. And then when not in church she would tell me about the lives of saints and have me pray decade after decade on the rosary with her and grade-school-age Aunt Sarah. Sometimes when I mention all the time I spent in Ireland, people get the idea I was over there kissing the Blarney Stone and having a great vacation, but it really wasn’t like that.

14.   Christmas 1985 every kid wanted Teddy Ruxpin, a teddy bear that would talk and blink and interact. Trouble was, the one I got was possessed. It would come on when it was switched off, and start moving its mouth without saying words. Sure I know it was just defective and we should have returned it, but the thing was, that bear gave me the creeps, and one night it came on next to my bed and opened its eyes and mouth and seemed to look right at me while emitting this screeching moan that left me screaming hysterically, tangled in my sheets while trying to run. Teddy went to Goodwill the next day.

15.   In Burlington we lived on a street that had houses under construction, ours being among the first built, and while we had to stay off the job sites during the day, evenings we were allowed to go there. When I was eight I was playing chase with other girls, and as I ran around the outside corner of the concrete basement of a half-built house, I scraped my leg against it. I kept running til the other girls started screaming, so I looked down and there was a flap of skin about the size of a quarter hanging off my calf, and blood was streaming down to my sock, which was already soaked with red. Then I felt the pain! Turns out one edge of the concrete was knife-sharp and sliced me good. I was taken to the hospital and as luck would have it, a cosmetic surgeon happened to be there who sewed my leg up using three fine stitches where most doctors would have used one, which he said would help me not have as much of a scar. I healed so well that over the years I have challenged people to find the place where the cut was, and it’s never been easy.


16.   One day I was trying to get something off the top shelf in our garage and I knocked down a paint can that fell from about ten feet up and went through the window of my mom’s car, sloshing paint all across the interior. When my mom came hurrying to see what the noise was, I ran over and held the door closed, and said this line she still quotes to this day: “Don’t come in, it’ll only cause you stress to see this!”

17.   We were the poor relations in the family. Just true. My dad worked for the government, while his dad owned three companies, his oldest sister married a sickeningly rich man, and his next oldest sister was not only a lawyer herself, but she too married a wealthy husband who owned radio stations. Thus all my paternal cousins were richer than me, and some made sure I knew it. Still, I had a childhood with eclectic privileges, and one was I went to Democratic fundraising events at parties among people who were known to be influential donors. Through these I met people in politics. John Glenn I met several times. I also shook hands with Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill. Amy Carter was at another event, as was Tipper Gore. I was at one where Ted Kennedy (blah) spoke but that doesn’t stick out in my mind. One who does was a fellow named Paul Simon, (not to be confused with Edie Brickell’s husband) who wore a bow-tie and spoke in a monotone. At one pre-Super Tuesday event in 1988, I was taken along to hear a candidate named Joe Biden talk, and he had crazy-looking eyes.

18.   All through my childhood when we were driving to my grandparents’ house, we’d go by the street where my future husband lived and grew up, and not until 2001 would I know we’d been doing that all my life. I’ve often wondered if I ever saw him out someplace when we went by not knowing of our impending connection.

19.   At my confirmation when I was seven, it was my turn to approach Archbishop Pilarczyk for him to anoint my head with oil, and I started involuntarily giggling…and giggling, and then I really giggled. Much of the congregation started laughing, mostly with me, and though I was told it was a cute moment, for the longest time I used to blush when someone would tease me about that.

20.   I was friends by proximity rather than closeness with a little girl named Michelle, who lived by us in Burlington, and one lovely summer day she and I were having a picnic out by the woods behind our houses, and she went in to use the restroom, and while she was gone I took a bite of her peanut butter and honey sandwich, and then because I didn’t want her to find out, I threw it into a thorn bush, and when she came back told her I had to get rid of her sandwich because it was covered with ants. I got the impression she really wanted that peanut butter and honey sandwich.

21.   The Easter I was seven I was in Ireland and had a lovely yellow dress my grandma back home bought me, and my cousin Madga, the only cousin older than me (and much, much bigger) got jealous of people complimenting the dress, so in our grandparents’ garden she said, “I think your dress is foul!” And she pushed me down and started rubbing dirt on me. Well it was like Magda was rubbing the dirt on my grandma, and I count that as the first time my Celtic berserker DNA activated, and leaped up and grabbed blubbery Magda, and next thing I knew we were rolling around on the ground and I was pounding her and yanking her hair, even head-butting her while howling in this sobbing, roaring cry, and people flooded out of the house to break us up, my uncle lifted me straight into the air, and I had to sit in a corner, where I cried for a while over my ruined dress, but when on the phone I told my dad what I’d done, he was amused and proud and said he would buy me a dress just like my ruined one, so I felt better.


22.   We were at King’s Island amusement park in June 1987, and my dad happened to have on a bright red shirt, and unbeknownst to us it was “Gay Day,” an unofficial event in those Reagan days when gay men would descend on the park en masse, and one sign of looking for a guy-guy hookup was you wore a red shirt. He got hit on by bunches of men, and it was SO funny….


23.   I was almost an extra in Rainman. A scene was being shot in a Newport, Kentucky restaurant called Pompilio’s---it’s the one where the toothpicks get dropped---and the script called for a family to be sitting in the background in a booth. I made it so far that I was given instructions that included not looking at Misters Hoffman and Cruise on the set (I never saw them) only to be abruptly told it was thought a child in the scene might be too distracting, thanks for your time. Thus ended my career in movies.


24.   The MLB All-Star game came to Riverfront Stadium in July 1988, as did Good Morning America, doing a live broadcast. It was a fun day to be downtown, since it was also the city’s 200th birthday and the river (low because of a drought) was filled with historic steamboats, and the 1860s suspension bridge was hung with banners that showed flying pigs, a symbol of the city. Grandpa took a bunch of us to the game that evening, where a lot of famous people were in the stands, and there were fireworks and jet flyovers, the Vice President threw out the first pitch, and I remember thinking at nine years old that it was the best day of my whole life.

25.   In October 1988 Dana was inexplicably hanging with an Eagle Scout who played high school baseball, but who was a bit innocent for her even though she was fourteen. The boy’s father was an AA-member, and when he suggested his son go as well to possibly prevent him following in his footsteps, Dana was not supportive of the idea, claiming that was like saying everyone who ever drank alcohol had a problem with it.

She told me she wanted to rescue this boy from AA, so when he headed to a meeting at an American Legion Hall, Dana rode with him, and because I was with her, she took me along. We sat in the hall’s basement waiting for the meeting to start, a coffee pot making the place smell like breakfast, and the man who was to head the meeting said Dana and I had to leave, so we went upstairs where it was semi-dark, and Dana was wrapping herself up in this big American flag right when the man who’d told us to leave came up and saw her doing that and said, “Hit the road, girls.”

We walked out front but it was hot and Dana wanted to get in the car belonging to the senior and turn on the AC, but he had the keys, so she tried to get back in the hall and found we were locked out, so Dana, seeing a challenge, went to the window and tried to get the high school boy’s attention, but the AA leader came out instead and said he was going to call the police.

At mention of police I took off walking down the street while Dana told the AA man what she thought of him, then caught up with me and was like, “I am so going to f**k over that a***ole drunk who runs the meeting. Only f**kwads who can’t hold their booze need AA anyway, for Christ’s sake.”

Suddenly though she grabbed my arm and took off running toward a bus which I remember said TANK on it, and paid for us to ride downtown, where we walked seven blocks to her mother’s law office, and she got an intern to drive us to her house, where she yelled at her brother Jared and took her day out on him.

I don’t know if Dana ever hung out with the boy from AA after that, but I think he was a good-living type of person who probably made a lucky escape from my hellion cousin.

And those were my 1980s.

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« Reply #101 on: August 10, 2022, 11:46:12 AM »


Memories of 1982-1988: Life in Reaganland.


1.   On December 16, 1982 we were living in Montgomery, Ohio, and I was a week shy of being four, when we heard a massive crashing sound, and then sirens. Just down the street smoke was billowing, and it would turn out three FBI agents were flying with a suspect who’d hidden stolen cash somewhere known only to him, and he was taking them there. Since all aboard the small plane perished, the money is unfound to this day.

2.   When I was three, playing out in the fallen leaves on a windy November day at my grandparents’ house (the house we live in today) resulted in a fever of 104, along with an excruciating ear infection. I got checked into the hospital and there were concerns I could actually die if my fever went much higher.


3.   I got my first library card at age five, summer 1984 and it said: “Expires June 1988.” That now long-ago date seemed SO FAR AWAY, like it could never possibly come.

4.   I had an imaginary friend when I was four, and I’d wake up in the night and there he’d sometimes be, this friendly man who told me he was my grandson. He taught me to read, or at least somehow I was reading at a third-grade level by age four. I told people a man would come talk to me at night, and everyone thought it was a hoot that I called him my grandson, but nobody freaked that I said there was a man in my room! One part I have reflected on these last forty years and that is the man…my “grandson,” told me to write lots of things down, and in my life I have.

5.   When I was four we were still in the same townhouse in Montgomery, and I was jumping on my bed like I wasn’t supposed to, tripped, and busted my mouth open. I was more afraid of getting in trouble for jumping than I was of my pain, so I called my grandma, and she said to put ice on my mouth and maybe the swelling would go down and I could hide what I’d done. I said I couldn’t get to the freezer without passing Mom, so Grandma said she’d call her and distract her while I sneaked in, and that’s what she did and I got the ice and Mom never knew.

6.   My dad got an early screening pass for Return of the Jedi, and told me I was one of the first kids in America who’d be seeing it. As a fan he was thrilled but I was four and it didn’t hold my attention. Sorrrrry.

7.   In 1983 I developed a fascination for Vikings, and my dad got me a stack of books on them, and I’d happily play at being a Norse raider, making the sofa my longboat, but I noticed Vikings all had beards, so I got the bright idea to tie my hair under my chin to simulate facial hair. Trouble was it got so knotted it took my mom to get it undone, and I remember sitting inches from her while she got the tangles loose, a look of concentration taking over what I thought was the most beautiful face in the world.


8.   When I was five my grandpa asked if I would like to shoot a gun. I said well, sure, so he got a .22 and let me make holes in paper targets twenty-five yards away, and he was so impressed with my aim he used to show me off to his business associates. When I shared this cherished memory with my blue state friends in college, they universally freaked out. Welcome to red state America, ladies.

9.   Before she became a full-on drug addict in late childhood, my cousin Allie was a much nicer person, and one day when I was in kindergarten and she was in about second grade, she and I had a sno-cone stand out in front of her mom’s house while Aunt Christie sat near us in a lawn chair. I remember a police car pulled up and though we were only charging a dime per cone, the officers each gave us a dollar. I felt completely rich.

10.   In first grade a roughhousing boy named Carl came down the slide after me and kicked me into a mud puddle. I got soaked, and my mom had to bring me clean clothes. Carl got paddled in front of the class for it and cried before the principal ever touched him, then got an extra swat on top of the first three for “not taking it like a man.” (A man? He was six.) I’d never seen anyone get paddled before and felt so sick about it I tried to be nice to Carl, who remained a jerk, and that same week stole my trapper keeper with balloons on the covers, then got paddled for that too when the teacher found it in his book bag. Today Carl is a deacon. No joke.


11.   My parents were young when I was little, my dad was still in college getting his masters til I was six, and money was tight. So when in summer ‘85 Dad got his job, he took us to Disney World, which was something that meant a lot to him to be able to do. There, though, we were on the jungle cruise ride, and some man tried to spit from the boat into the water, and a big loogie landed on my dad’s arm, nearly resulting in a fistfight. Security came and my dad and the other man got taken off for a while, but Dad came back and said it was cool, and we continued our vacation there.

12.   When New Coke came out I remember the big controversy about it and how it failed, and because I was six I felt sorry for New Coke like it had actual feelings and knew it was being rejected as no cola had in all of history, so somehow I got the idea that we’d give it a funeral. My parents indulged me, and we buried a can in the tiny back yard of our townhouse, where it may or may not be to this day.

13.   I spent nearly a quarter of the ‘80s in Ireland. Not only would I go every summer, but a few times during my dad’s long job-related absences, Mom took me over, and we stayed for half-planned visits that could last weeks. My grandmother there was nothing like my grandma back home. She was not unkind but she was very serious, very religious, and very convinced it was impossible for me to receive a proper Catholic upbringing in the US, so she had me go to Mass EVERY morning, and in due time, to confession every Saturday. No days off, no exceptions. And then when not in church she would tell me about the lives of saints and have me pray decade after decade on the rosary with her and grade-school-age Aunt Sarah. Sometimes when I mention all the time I spent in Ireland, people get the idea I was over there kissing the Blarney Stone and having a great vacation, but it really wasn’t like that.

14.   Christmas 1985 every kid wanted Teddy Ruxpin, a teddy bear that would talk and blink and interact. Trouble was, the one I got was possessed. It would come on when it was switched off, and start moving its mouth without saying words. Sure I know it was just defective and we should have returned it, but the thing was, that bear gave me the creeps, and one night it came on next to my bed and opened its eyes and mouth and seemed to look right at me while emitting this screeching moan that left me screaming hysterically, tangled in my sheets while trying to run. Teddy went to Goodwill the next day.

15.   In Burlington we lived on a street that had houses under construction, ours being among the first built, and while we had to stay off the job sites during the day, evenings we were allowed to go there. When I was eight I was playing chase with other girls, and as I ran around the outside corner of the concrete basement of a half-built house, I scraped my leg against it. I kept running til the other girls started screaming, so I looked down and there was a flap of skin about the size of a quarter hanging off my calf, and blood was streaming down to my sock, which was already soaked with red. Then I felt the pain! Turns out one edge of the concrete was knife-sharp and sliced me good. I was taken to the hospital and as luck would have it, a cosmetic surgeon happened to be there who sewed my leg up using three fine stitches where most doctors would have used one, which he said would help me not have as much of a scar. I healed so well that over the years I have challenged people to find the place where the cut was, and it’s never been easy.


16.   One day I was trying to get something off the top shelf in our garage and I knocked down a paint can that fell from about ten feet up and went through the window of my mom’s car, sloshing paint all across the interior. When my mom came hurrying to see what the noise was, I ran over and held the door closed, and said this line she still quotes to this day: “Don’t come in, it’ll only cause you stress to see this!”

17.   We were the poor relations in the family. Just true. My dad worked for the government, while his dad owned three companies, his oldest sister married a sickeningly rich man, and his next oldest sister was not only a lawyer herself, but she too married a wealthy husband who owned radio stations. Thus all my paternal cousins were richer than me, and some made sure I knew it. Still, I had a childhood with eclectic privileges, and one was I went to Democratic fundraising events at parties among people who were known to be influential donors. Through these I met people in politics. John Glenn I met several times. I also shook hands with Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill. Amy Carter was at another event, as was Tipper Gore. I was at one where Ted Kennedy (blah) spoke but that doesn’t stick out in my mind. One who does was a fellow named Paul Simon, (not to be confused with Edie Brickell’s husband) who wore a bow-tie and spoke in a monotone. At one pre-Super Tuesday event in 1988, I was taken along to hear a candidate named Joe Biden talk, and he had crazy-looking eyes.

18.   All through my childhood when we were driving to my grandparents’ house, we’d go by the street where my future husband lived and grew up, and not until 2001 would I know we’d been doing that all my life. I’ve often wondered if I ever saw him out someplace when we went by not knowing of our impending connection.

19.   At my confirmation when I was seven, it was my turn to approach Archbishop Pilarczyk for him to anoint my head with oil, and I started involuntarily giggling…and giggling, and then I really giggled. Much of the congregation started laughing, mostly with me, and though I was told it was a cute moment, for the longest time I used to blush when someone would tease me about that.

20.   I was friends by proximity rather than closeness with a little girl named Michelle, who lived by us in Burlington, and one lovely summer day she and I were having a picnic out by the woods behind our houses, and she went in to use the restroom, and while she was gone I took a bite of her peanut butter and honey sandwich, and then because I didn’t want her to find out, I threw it into a thorn bush, and when she came back told her I had to get rid of her sandwich because it was covered with ants. I got the impression she really wanted that peanut butter and honey sandwich.

21.   The Easter I was seven I was in Ireland and had a lovely yellow dress my grandma back home bought me, and my cousin Madga, the only cousin older than me (and much, much bigger) got jealous of people complimenting the dress, so in our grandparents’ garden she said, “I think your dress is foul!” And she pushed me down and started rubbing dirt on me. Well it was like Magda was rubbing the dirt on my grandma, and I count that as the first time my Celtic berserker DNA activated, and leaped up and grabbed blubbery Magda, and next thing I knew we were rolling around on the ground and I was pounding her and yanking her hair, even head-butting her while howling in this sobbing, roaring cry, and people flooded out of the house to break us up, my uncle lifted me straight into the air, and I had to sit in a corner, where I cried for a while over my ruined dress, but when on the phone I told my dad what I’d done, he was amused and proud and said he would buy me a dress just like my ruined one, so I felt better.


22.   We were at King’s Island amusement park in June 1987, and my dad happened to have on a bright red shirt, and unbeknownst to us it was “Gay Day,” an unofficial event in those Reagan days when gay men would descend on the park en masse, and one sign of looking for a guy-guy hookup was you wore a red shirt. He got hit on by bunches of men, and it was SO funny….


23.   I was almost an extra in Rainman. A scene was being shot in a Newport, Kentucky restaurant called Pompilio’s---it’s the one where the toothpicks get dropped---and the script called for a family to be sitting in the background in a booth. I made it so far that I was given instructions that included not looking at Misters Hoffman and Cruise on the set (I never saw them) only to be abruptly told it was thought a child in the scene might be too distracting, thanks for your time. Thus ended my career in movies.


24.   The MLB All-Star game came to Riverfront Stadium in July 1988, as did Good Morning America, doing a live broadcast. It was a fun day to be downtown, since it was also the city’s 200th birthday and the river (low because of a drought) was filled with historic steamboats, and the 1860s suspension bridge was hung with banners that showed flying pigs, a symbol of the city. Grandpa took a bunch of us to the game that evening, where a lot of famous people were in the stands, and there were fireworks and jet flyovers, the Vice President threw out the first pitch, and I remember thinking at nine years old that it was the best day of my whole life.

25.   In October 1988 Dana was inexplicably hanging with an Eagle Scout who played high school baseball, but who was a bit innocent for her even though she was fourteen. The boy’s father was an AA-member, and when he suggested his son go as well to possibly prevent him following in his footsteps, Dana was not supportive of the idea, claiming that was like saying everyone who ever drank alcohol had a problem with it.

She told me she wanted to rescue this boy from AA, so when he headed to a meeting at an American Legion Hall, Dana rode with him, and because I was with her, she took me along. We sat in the hall’s basement waiting for the meeting to start, a coffee pot making the place smell like breakfast, and the man who was to head the meeting said Dana and I had to leave, so we went upstairs where it was semi-dark, and Dana was wrapping herself up in this big American flag right when the man who’d told us to leave came up and saw her doing that and said, “Hit the road, girls.”

We walked out front but it was hot and Dana wanted to get in the car belonging to the senior and turn on the AC, but he had the keys, so she tried to get back in the hall and found we were locked out, so Dana, seeing a challenge, went to the window and tried to get the high school boy’s attention, but the AA leader came out instead and said he was going to call the police.

At mention of police I took off walking down the street while Dana told the AA man what she thought of him, then caught up with me and was like, “I am so going to f**k over that a***ole drunk who runs the meeting. Only f**kwads who can’t hold their booze need AA anyway, for Christ’s sake.”

Suddenly though she grabbed my arm and took off running toward a bus which I remember said TANK on it, and paid for us to ride downtown, where we walked seven blocks to her mother’s law office, and she got an intern to drive us to her house, where she yelled at her brother Jared and took her day out on him.

I don’t know if Dana ever hung out with the boy from AA after that, but I think he was a good-living type of person who probably made a lucky escape from my hellion cousin.

And those were my 1980s.



I wonder if that can would be worth money nowadays?
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ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #102 on: August 10, 2022, 12:58:08 PM »

Hmm, if so a-metal detecting I go.
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« Reply #103 on: August 10, 2022, 01:17:42 PM »

Hmm, if so a-metal detecting I go.

Well, there is an empty coke can going on ebay for £10k, while a can from the 60s is £200.

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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #104 on: August 12, 2022, 08:07:37 AM »

Memories of 2011: Babies & Dragons.

1.   Forty-one story Great American Tower opened downtown in January, topped by a hundred-foot atrium inspired by a tiara famously worn by Princess Diana. We went to an open-house tour of the building, complete with (wait for it) free bagels!

2.   Not having a mortgage payment frees up money, so early in the year we were able to rent a tiny house near the town of Barjac, in southeastern France, getting a good deal by going in the off season, and staying outside the more popular coastal parts of Provence. (This place was in the sticks….) I was pregnant with my son and saw a French obstetrician during my time there, and thought she was the best doctor I ever had.


3.   One of the places we visited in France was the attic room in Auvers, where Vincent Van Gogh died, and I don’t think it was the power of suggestion, that room echoed with morosity as only a couple other places I’ve been have. However, the Musee de l’Arles had the most amazing ancient Roman collection on earth, proving the old saying that the best Roman artifacts are found outside Italy.

4.   I realize the Fukushima meltdown was a terrible disaster, but it sure launched some good Godzilla jokes.


5.   During the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, we were in London for a few days before coming home, and saw the ceremony on a big screen in a park. I was also eight months pregnant, and had to get a doctor to sign off to be allowed to fly, since my husband was adamant his son was not going to be born outside the US. I said I could have him in an embassy, which was US “soil,” but I was kidding. Mostly.

6.   The morning I woke up and heard bin Laden was no more, I spent the day wandering amid old graves in Highgate Cemetery, finding the plot of the twice-buried Elizabeth Siddal among others, but nothing I did that day was bigger than the news bin Laden finally got what was coming to him. High-five, SEALs!

7.   Expecting a boy, I got heartily sick of people---French people, Irish people, American people, people in grocery stores and doctors’ offices, winos chit-chatting before begging for fifty-cents---constantly asking if he was going to be circumcised. Like “stop asking or I will punch you in the eye” magnitude sick of it. If you live outside the US and have ever had a son, consider yourself lucky that you likely didn’t face that kind of intrusive NOYB pestering everywhere you went about a stupid elective procedure eschewed by most of the developed world but seen as virtually de rigueur in America.

8.   Going into labor I told everyone if I didn’t make it, I wanted my tombstone to read: Wish You Were Here Instead. But this delivery was infinitely easier than when I’d had my daughter in 2008, zero out of body experiences, but something I remember is lines from an ‘80s Don Henley song kept rolling through my mind: "Out on the road today, I saw a Dead Head sticker on a Cadillac..." I could not get that out of my thoughts, and I think only then realized what the lyrics were saying.

9.   Shortly after he was born, I was changing my son Keagan’s diaper while talking to my husband, unaware of the spraying power of boys’ cannons, and my son fired off a volley while I was leaning down to grab a diaper wipe, and a splash of warm pee hit straight in my open mouth. My husband laughed so hard he couldn’t talk, and in that situation, the unexpectedly sweet-ish taste of baby urine in my mouth, there was only one thing to say: “Give me a kiss.”

10.   My sociopathic cousin Celia asked me to be a character witness for her in her motion to have supervised vitiations with her daughter Lizzie ended and normal visits restored, and I told her I couldn’t in good conscience do that. For one second I thought that psycho was going to pick up something and come at me. Yeah, she really needed unsupervised visits, didn’t she?

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.

12.   Clare would stop by to keep me company with the kids, and while they napped we’d watch DVR’d episodes of The Vampire Diaries, and Pretty Little Liars, sometimes The Clone Wars cartoon, a nice, brief ritual of mindless TV that added a lot to life during a sleep-deficient time when I was otherwise often very busy.

13.   My husband and I seemed to find dubious delight in a game we’d play those rare nights we went out in 2011, and that was debating whether the high school girls babysitting for us were virgins. We both tended to say no, but statistically there were probably some among them. Rude pastime, yes, but parents of newborns have to grab amusement where it’s to be found.

14.   I spent a lot of 2011 dwelling on Carl Sagan’s question about how intelligent does a species have to be before killing it is murder. What’s the answer? Do cetaceans and elephants qualify? Is intellect the standard we should set? Recognizably complex communication? Literal speech? Advanced emotional capability? I try not to kill anything that doesn’t deserve it but…. should there be a universal line in the sand?


15.   My LDS friend Mandy began to believe we were in the Biblical end times, and all the earthquakes and those record-breaking storms down south that spring were a sign, as she told me in many emails. To me one of the parts of Christianity that most strains credulity is the idea that Jesus is going to come down from the clouds and conclude this chapter of the world---and how would he do it “today” when it’s already tomorrow in Australia?---but to Mandy it was the part that made the most sense.

16.   Borders, a chain that helped kill off many independent bookstores in the’90s, closed its last local store, and everything in it was half price. I had mixed feelings about Borders, true, but I also didn’t want it to go. I spent an indecent amount of money there in the month til it shut its doors, and still haven’t read every book I bought.

17.   My husband’s dad, with whom I’ve always gotten along great, is a past-Master Freemason, and it has been his dream to have his son become a Mason, too, but knowing my husband has shown no interest, and apparently forbidden by Masonic custom to try to persuade him, he asked if we would please come to a series of dinners at his lodge that summer, hoping something would catch fire in him. We went, it made my father-in-law happy, but like sports, religion, and politics, Freemasonry bounced right off Landon, who simply has no interest in anything organized at all. I thought the little aprons Masons wore were a hip fashion statement, myself.

18.   I liked Amy Winehouse’s music but wasn’t a super-fan, and I wondered why in the weeks after her joining Club 27, her death was affecting me so much. I discovered maybe it was because two months after giving birth, still technically postpartum, I got pregnant again---WHAT?!---making my emotions tailspin. I was happy for another child but shocked that I was going to be spending nearly two straight years pregnant. Hey, an active sex life ain’t for wimps.

19.   People cheered the brutal murder of Muammar Gadaffi, and I can’t say he didn’t have it coming, but (unlike bin Laden, who’d made himself a combatant) I’d rather have seen him given a fair trial where he’d have faced the consequences of his wrongdoings before the world.

20.   My dad truly mourned Steve Jobs. I mean like…more than he’d mourned his father. I took Jobs’ passing as a news story, my dad took it as a personal loss of a hero and icon.


21.   Todd, my father’s genius stepson, smartest science nerd I ever knew except Roger Morgan from my own days, turned fifteen, and an odd/sweet birthday tradition he and his mom Barbara had had going since he was about four was she’d fix him all the buttered mashed potatoes he could eat. Shrug.

22.   Skyrim was released on 11-11-11, and I did not have my husband’s undivided attention in the evenings for weeks.

23.   We went and saw Neil Gaiman again, this time in Minnesota, and for her third birthday in November my daughter Daisy, who got part of her middle name, Cora, from Neil Gaiman’s novel Coraline, got a copy of the movie and wanted to watch it endlessly, which I found cool as heck. Gotta raise kids on the right sort of input, you know.


24.   Pat Buchanan’s 2011 book Suicide of a Superpower, which details a hypothetical disintegration of the United States from within, was a depressing read, but looking back it was like he was writing today’s headlines.

25.   I was having a hard time with morning sickness one day and asked Landon to cheer me up with a funny story, so he told me how his cousin/best man Vince, lost his virginity. In high school Vince was going with this girl down the street named Fran, whose parents were strict and kept an eye on her, so chances to get together had not manifested. One day Fran called Vince and said, “Drop everything and get over here now!” So Vince ran all the way there and heard a bunch of yelling inside her house, and Fran let him in the back door and told him her parents were jumping all over her brother for his grades and would be busy with that for a while yet. So Vince and Fran went upstairs to her bedroom, did the deed, which Vince admitted took all of a minute, and no sooner were they done than Fran told him, “Go, get out of here! They’ll only keep yelling for a few more minutes!” That story did the trick, I laughed so hard I felt better til I hurled again.

And that was 2011!
« Last Edit: August 12, 2022, 08:57:22 AM by ER » Logged

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