Thursday, March 3, 2011

GUEST POST - Right now my job is eatin' these doughnuts, or maybe...hey, wait a minute. Aren't you...

Me: Pat Who Thanks God Daily for Yoga Pants, send me some songs you'd put on a mix tape in middle school. I'll ask some other folks to do it, too. And definitely give reasons why. Like a top 5. I think it would be a cool, reoccurring series.

Pat Who Thanks God Daily for Yoga Pants: Ok

AND THIS IS WHAT I RECEIVED....and it's amazing. I might still do the mixtape list, but I had to post this as is. Enjoy the mind that is...Pat Who Thanks God Daily for Yoga Pants.....

So. Fly.
I caught a re-run of Saved By The Bell a couple days ago, and at thirty-one year old, tried explaining to my wife how somehow, I still felt younger than the high school characters on the show. Not younger than Mario Lopez mind you, but AC Slater clad in his Zubos. Now, this isn’t any kind of meta-90210 forty year olds playing high-schoolers joke… I have a hard time explaining that specific feeling, but I’ve come to describe it as The Goonie Corollary.

For me, The Goonies is a sick-day movie. A movie that’s still as funny and entertaining to me now as it was when I was six years old. And part of its appeal to me is that it reminds me of who I was back when Chunk was a bad ass for saying “Oh, shit, what?!”

I had a friend in college who’d never seen it, and upon first viewing was like, “Yeah, ok…” He was ostracized for his non-Goonies love, left with no friends, failed out of school as a result and I believe, may now be a serial killer. But what I was too afraid to admit then was - I kinda get it. It’s not the same experiencing The Goonies as a twenty year old. The joy it brought to millions of six year olds has become almost a generational inside joke, or more of a “you had to be there… this guy knows what I’m talking about!” And if you weren’t there, sorry. Good luck finding a freezer that fits all those severed heads.

And it’s the same with Star Wars, or even Saved By The Bell. You can go back in time and revisit that same kind of wonder you had on first experience. So what the hell does this have to do with anything? Well, Lisa and I were discussing our favorite albums the other day, and I mentioned our favorite albums now probably look a whole lot different from our favorite albums back in middle school, or high school or college. And yeah, maybe there are even a couple that have survived the entire trip.

But regardless of what still makes the list, there are albums, tracks, even cover art that drop that Goonie Corollary on you. That let you access your ten year old self. And since I’m always up for touching myself…

A quick qualifier for anyone who doesn’t know me. The first tapes (yes tapes, I told you, I’m thirty one) I ever owned were Bruce Springsteen’s Born In The USA and Cindy Lauper’s She So Unusual. They came in the same BMG Music mail-order ( = o.l.d.). The first tape I ever bought with my own money was Michael Jackson’s Bad. I stood at the counter at Sam Goody in the Braintree Mall, comparing that with Tiffany’s Tiffany, decided I liked girls (big moment), and bought Bad (ah, the irony). The first CD I ever bought was Vanilla Ice’s To The Extreme, and the day I bought my first CD boom box, I also purchased R.E.M.’s Automatic for the People. Needless to say, up until puberty, I had no real taste of my own and was a disciple of (no not Kiss 108), WZOU, 94.5 in Boston. Yes, before it was JAM’N, it was ZOU. And it was legit.

So what was I listening to when I wasn’t rocking out to ZOU in my middle school years?

Look, in 6th grade, you’re in a new school simply trying to survive. And since I was coming from Catholic school, meeting all these public school kids for the first time, I had no chance to be Humpin Around. Maybe if I was Too Sexy, or All 4 Love, for that matter, or could make you wanna Jump (jump!) I may not have reached the End of the Road. But I did, and you know what was there? November Rain.

I discovered Guns N Roses late. My buddy Sean lent me his Appetite For Destruction (cartoon boobs in the cover-art!) and Use Your Illusion tapes before I went on a ski-trip over Christmas vacation. (sidenote: you shouldn’t listen to Out To Get Me while bombing down a black diamond. You could ruin your cassette walkman) Regardless. Sixth grade was dominated by Axl & Co and black t-shirts and the woeful decision to don a top hat for a week. Woops.

But you know what happens in 7th grade? You want some girl to say Freak Me, baby. You really want to end up Knockin’ Da Boots with a Rump Shaker in Dazzey Dukes, even if some Informer’s gonna (licky boom boom down, and then) tell Mr Wendell that I Get Around even if I was Just Kickin’ It. But so what! If you could have a Dreamlover, and convince her you’re the better of the Two Princes, it’d be like a Runaway Train, making you scream Hip Hop Hooray! But only If.

So how do you go about doing that? If you were big and goofy and red headed like me, donning Cross Colours was out of the question. But you could gain some cred by listening to the dopest dope around; The Chronic, by Dr Dre. And honestly, listening to the $20 Sack Pyramid now, yeah, it’s funny in a different way to me. But the heavy basslines of Nuthin’ But A G Thing and Dre Day are always gonna transport me back to the parking lot at Pierce Middle School, trading mixtapes with friends. Hey, better than transporting me to Crenshaw…

And then came 8th grade. By that point we ruled Pierce Middle School. The dances were simply a time to hang out in dim light and scoff at the music they were playing. We didn’t wanna see The Sign. We wanted to Bump N Grind, or Shoop in the hopes that our hypercolor shirts and Girbaud jeans weren’t betraying that we really could Feel The Love Tonight. We were still too young to partake of Gin and Juice, but Keep Ya Head Up, at least we had out Ghetto Jams.

And by that point, eff the establishment (we whispered so as not to be heard) we had forged our own paths, man! And down that path led the ultimate in taboo. Rap-Rock. Body Count’s Body Count.  I let my friend Mike listen to it at lunch one day. He took off the head phones and tossed them at me. “This is so racist!” I was like, “Dude, they’re BLACK! It’s ironic.” I have never had so much cred in my life. Glad no one knew that tape was sitting next to Lisa Loeb at home…

So there it is. Three acts that defined my middle school years. GNf’nR. Dre. And Body Count. Hey, two outta three ain’t bad.  And to this day, each one of them still has the power to drop a little bit of the Goonie Corollary on me. And when you’re thirty one and working in insurance, remembering the days when seeing a bra strap caused a slight shift in your Joe Boxers ain’t such a bad thing.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

She's runnin! I'm flyin! Right behind in the rearview mirror now.....

If I was in advertising (Which I am not. I am in PR. There is a difference. Essentially, it comes down to paid media and earned media and the way that wezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....sorry, where were we?) I would suggest that Panera Bread do an awesome David Lee Roth/Van Halen-inspired commercial, substituting in the lyrics for "Panama" with Panera. You can see it, right? Totally awesome. I think if you're going to serve paninis with 860 calories and 39 grams of fat, you can get a little funky, you know?

Related sidenote: How did "Panama" peak at number 13 on the US Billboard Hot 100? Granted it was a tough year to be a single, up against the likes of "Footloose," "Say Say Say," "When Doves Cry," "What's Love Got to Do with It" and even "Girls Just Want to Have Fun." I would have purchased all  of those singles that year. But I was 3. But still. Gosh darn that song is so good.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Life is no cabaret

If I was a member of the Dresden Dolls, I'd be like, "Hey My Chemical Romance, we did that song about singing to everyone back in 2006." I'm not though, so I'll just keep that to myself.

Friday, February 11, 2011

I'll be Your Everything if You Make Me a Star

You guys.

My friend Carrie posted the following on Facebook today and it led to me having one of the biggest revelations of my life. My sad, empty life.

Carrie posted the video Zero by the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs and said "So if Heart and Joan Jett brought up a music baby together...and the donor was someone from Flock of Seagulls, this song would be the post-angsty hot chick that child grew up to be."  

I thought yeah...yeah yeahs...definitely...but there's something else. There's another song. I can't pinpoint it...there's...something....I'VE GOT IT. I've got it like the Go Go's have got the beat. 

Doesn't the girl who sings this: 

Sound like the girl who sings this: 

Right? Go pick your mind up off the floor because I know I just blew it out of your head. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

You don't like ballers, they don't do nothing for ya, but you'd love a rich man six foot two or taller....

Were you ready for some football?

I was. I have to admit that I was rooting for the Steelers last night. Only because one of my brothers-in-law is a Steelers fan and I didn't want him to be grumpy for a week.  Alas. Sorry, Jay.

I had the opportunity to spend the game with a bunch of folks at my friends Dave and Stacey's house. Along with being the hosts with the most, per usual, they had prepared a list of prop bets prior to the game for us to fill out. You would be surprised how much fun it is to count Glee references (a bajillion) and the number of times they show Steven Tyler's face (eleventy thousand).

Unexpectedly, one of the most heated moments of the game was the National Anthem. One of the prop bets was how long it would take Ms. Aguilera to sing the National Anthem. More than 1:54 or less? The official time was...1:54.4. What a barn burner! 

The entire prop bet thing actually led to some funny interactions with my dad. I had stopped by my Mom and Dad’s on the way to the party and he helped me fill out the sheet. I wish I had invented, "Shit My Dad Says," because I really think some of the shit my dad says is hilarious. I would like to share with you some of his reasons for placing certain prop bets:

Question: Seconds will it take Christina Aguilera to complete the national anthem?
More than 114 (1:54) or 114 (1:54) or fewer 

Dad: "Less.....less....she knows better."  

(Editor’s note: But apparently she doesn’t know the lyrics! Zing!)

Question: What will the Black Eyed Peas perform to open their halftime set?

Dad: (annoyed) “Ehhhhh don’t know any of their songs just pick one.”

Question: Who will join Jillian Michaels and Danica Patrick as the third “Go Daddy” girl?
 (Dad scans the list of choices ranging from Betty White to Rockets Matsuzaka, Jenny McCarthy, Fergie, etc.)

Dad: "Carmen HAS to be, right?"

I was with you on that one Dad! No one would have selected “Other,” which is the category under which Joan Rivers actually fell. I did NOT see that coming.

Then there was the whole football game thing. That was cool, too. But now it’s over. Pitchers and catchers report on the 13th. Come to our launch party on the 12th. And don’t forget, Monday is Valentine’s Day. You know what that means? Blah blah blah drink.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

You had my heart inside your hand, but you played it to the beat.

How about this weather, huh? Snowbigdeal. SBD.

Has this ever happened to you? You come home from a going away party for your friend Nick, who is leaving to split his time between South Africa, Afghanistan and Malawi...and you have an email from your cousin Laura saying she's moving to Rwanda the next day? No? Just me? Cool.

One of those days.
Yup, my friends and family, off saving the world. Don't worry guys, I'll Like writing about things that aren't important. And making dip. I highly suggest you follow Nick's blog here:

I will post Laura's as well, as soon as she is settled in. 

Stuff like that almost makes me feel bad about complaining that I dropped a call three times on my Blackberry last night. Almost. Seriously, I had not moved a single inch when I was on the call. How does one drop a call sitting in the same exact place? I didn't wander into a dead zone. I AM a dead zone for cripe's sake. Emotionally, speaking.

Also, I will be adding "Listen buddy, it's not my fault that guy is blind and frankly, it's not my problem," to the list of "Things I Did Not Anticipate Myself Saying." Long story short, some guy yelled at me the other day because a blind gentleman with a guide dog was walking up the street and could potentially, eventually, walk into my non-moving car as I waited to pull out of a parking lot. I'm fairly certain the dog would not have let the guy walk into my car, and I'm also fairly certain the guy that yelled at me was on meth.

Already on the "Things I Did Not Anticipate Myself Saying" list:
-"We're huge in the Netherlands."
-"Do you know where can I get a Casey Affleck shirt?"
-"Haha I LOVE Steven Tyler!"
- And repeating to myself in the car, "Don't say the c-word on the radio, don't say the c-word on the radio, don't say the c-word on the radio...."

Look! Here's the bottom line.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Breaker, breaker, here comes the caper!

Me: Steve, I got a new fish. He's green. I need a name. I'm thinking something Celtic-y.

Steve: Danny Ainge-lfish

Me: Hahahahahaha done.