One night in 1989 while I was watching my favorite show (America’s Funniest Home Videos), my Dad explained to me that before Bob Saget was on TV, he had an unsuccessful musical career and in an effort to escape his past he had changed his name from “Bob Seger” to “Bob Saget”.
7 or 8 years later, I’m 15 and flipping through a box of records at my friend’s house when I come across a Bob Seger album. Wouldn’t ya know it, I had a super fun trivia fact about Bob Seger! So I proudly shared it with the room.
My friend’s dad laughed until he cried. At me, not with me.
Sometimes it’s pretty easy to get caught up in the minutia and forget about the amazing night sky. Last weekend I took a little camping trip out to Colorado Bend State Park—off the grid—and got up at 2:30 in the AM after the moon set to do some stargazing. And it was in-fucking-credible. I’m not new to this, and have set late night alarms set to go catch a meteor shower, a space station passing, or a lunar eclipse. But last weekend’s pitch black and perfectly clear night might just take the cake for best star gazing I’ve ever done.
I only took mental photos, but they are fantastic. Now I want more. I might be making a trip out to West Texas in the next couple of weeks to take catch this spectacle before it’s gone.
Maybe I’m so interested in things like this because for my entire life my parents have made fun of the time in 1986 when, alledgedly, I “wouldn’t wake up” to see Halley’s comet while my family was at a friend’s beach house in South Africa, where the viewing conditions were perfect.
5-year-old-me “slept through Halley’s comet”, and now almost 35-year-old me is into going to great lengths to appreciate the stars—like by crawling out of a warm sleeping bag on a 29º night just to stare up at the sky.
Hopefully I’ll make it to July 28th, 2061 when Halley’s comet returns. But until then, the night sky is not lost on me.
There was a pretty cool reddit story the other day about an internet stranger casually solving a huge song mystery for another redditor. After a year of the mystery lingering, one day a stranger sent a link to the song, and it blew the original searcher’s mind.
Oh my god. Oh my fucking god. I’m actually freaking out.
Who are you? How did you know? WHAT IS GOING ON?
Thank you so much. But also, WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON
And the kind stranger just responded with:
Shh bby is ok
And, just like that, a meme is born. The internet is amazing, sometimes.
But I can totally relate to the poster’s original excitement. Sometimes a song just gets under your skin, and you’ll do anything to find it. Before the modern internet, finally locating a song felt just as satisfying, and I remember distinctly trying to hunt down the following songs in the following ways, and feeling just as excited once each of them was in my possession.
“Girl I’m Gonna Miss You”, by Milli Vanilli. I’d hear this on the radio, and the melody line in the chorus (1m 24s) rocked my little 8 year old heart so much I just had to find the geniuses who created it.
I called up the local radio station and hummed the melody on the phone in order to figure out what it was. I was gifted the tape by a family friend shortly afterwards.
(And listen, I realized the error in my ways regarding Milli Vanilli not much later. We all did. We all did.)
“Incense and Peppermints” by The Strawberry Alarm Clock. I heard this song in Austin Powers, and it blew my teenaged mind. I wanted more. More Strawberry Alarm Clock.
I searched far and wide for a recording of this song during Christmas break of ‘97, and had to go up to the Sam Goody in The Mall Of America in order to finally find the truth: that there was no available back catalog of Strawberry Alarm Clock, that they were basically a one hit wonder, and I’d have to settle for the Austin Power’s soundtrack. Which I did.
I heard this song every so often on the radio for months and months and months, and it would haunt me. I wanted it. But every time, the DJ would say nothing about it. I delayed plans and waited patiently in my Mom’s 1995 Dodge Neon for a song set to end, hoping to get a clue about the song that had been captivating me.
I tried to savor every second the song was playing, knowing it might be weeks before hearing it again. At night after getting back on the 1998 internet in my parent’s basement, I’d Altavista the shit out of the lyrics that I scribbled down earlier in my pocket-sized memo pad.
I don’t even remember exactly how I ended up finding the song, but I do remember that when I finally did locate the MP3, it was named incorrectly. I went around for years afterwards thinking the song was called something else, but I was also thrilled to have it.
Yesterday, I held up my phone up for a few seconds and it identified a Barbara Lynn song from 1963 that was playing on the radio.
I have a hard time saying no. I still do it, but often times depending on the request, the lead-up to giving an answer is filled with inner turmoil.
First, I must seek out my true feelings on the matter: Do I really want to? What is my hesitation?
Then I do a brief to lengthy internal debate about the pros and cons of saying yes and saying no, and whether I should listen to my internal feelings, or set them aside this time.
“Will I be my best self if I say yes? Am I feeling compelled to say yes just so I don’t disappoint the asker? Have I said no enough times to this person so that if by saying no again they may feel compelled to never extend an invite in the future? Do I want that? Am I overthinking this entirely, and by just saying yes, I might do something that may be slightly uncomfortable in the short-term, but highly beneficial in the long-term? Would saying yes provide a more interesting story?”
This is my brain.
After reaching a conclusion internally, then it comes the matter of telling the person. How can I decline without sounding rude, and without sounding like I’m making too many excuses?
Well, found one.
There are other good ones here along with actual good advice on how to graciously turn someone down.
I think I made this in 2001. It was around the time prank calls using Arnold soundboards were really popular (I’ve got some of those, too), and I can’t remember if I made this at my parents place, or at the house I lived at for that one year in college.
Because, yes, in college, I mostly lived with my parents. Or as I liked to say at the time, “with an elderly couple”.