Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It's been a long time...

Not sure why I haven't blogged in a while. Perhaps it's my inability to think of anything interesting, or maybe it's because I have too many things in my head that are certainly blog-worthy, but way too much effort to spit out. I guess I have been in a creative black hole. (Next action, hit SAVE and come back to this wandering paragraph).

Okay I am back. The one thing I have been thinking about lately is the 1980s. A time when I grew up, became a turd, wore clothes that were lame, listened to lame music, had lame girlfriends and some good ones, and so on. At the time, things were lame. Living in that decade was lame but good at the same time. Ups and downs, trends, clicks, cool people. (Hitting SAVE again).

Then I see my 11-year-old son in the distance. It's me! The same clothes, reactions and taste in music. He's wearing skinny jeans and surf shirts, Vans, wearing his hair similar. How does this happen? How does this Tween start listening to Modern English, English Beat, Thompson Twins, etc? I conclude that it's just part of our society. He's impressionable, but the 1980s? For him, the 1980s are vintage, which means I'm old now. I don't want to be old yet, but I am there.

Vintage for each of us means something different. For me, vintage is the 50's, 60's and maybe the 70's. It's when cars were big and bold, music was real rock-n-roll, hi-tech was a home phone and a color television. For someone like me who didn't live during that period or experience it, it seemed like a simpler time, innocent and naive.

And now that my son has "forced" me to look back at the 1980s, download New Wave tunes from iTunes, I think about the fun times, the innocence, the things I/we hid from our parents, the things they found out, the sports, the stupid mistakes a teenager makes, the moments when you experienced something new like driving and cool music and hot girls. There are certain memories I hold that I will pass to my kids. I always wondered why I became a good fielder in baseball and now know and realize that I can attribute it to throwing the tennis ball against the wall above our garage door for hours and hours. It increased my eye-hand coordination exponentially. Over and over I threw it, and grabbed it with the glove I still have in my garage until I was bored or tired or both.

I remember my dad buying a dirt bike from the local shop, bringing it home in a crate, putting it together, and how I was scared to ride it out of the garage. To me it was fierce and I subsequently wheelied down the driveway–not on purpose.

I remember being a pain in the ass when my sister brought over her first serious boyfriend named Rich. I could see the two on the couch wondering when I was going to bed. I remember the cul-de-sac and the endless games of baseball and hitting line drives off the neighbors motorhome over and over, and basketball games that went late into the night courtesy of a flood light my dad would set up next to a basketball pole that he sunk two feet into the cement.

I distinctly recall–though my mom may not–scouring the grounds of my high school searching for a misplaced report card I was supposed to show to the athletic director in order to prove I had the grades to continue to play.

I am sure we all have these stories that are stored way back in the depths of our minds. They don't come to surface without some sort of trigger. It may be a childhood friend recalling instances, or music, or a son who has found the style and music of the "vintage" 1980s appealing. For me, thinking about those days came about via music. Now I am obsessed with those "glory" days and bands like Psychedelic Furs, OMD, and even Duran Duran! Thinking about the obscure New Wave bands I liked reminds me of the two Spanish exchange students who made the most awesome mix-cassette ever! I totally wish I still had that. (Hitting SAVE).

Eleven-year-old son: Dad what's a tape?
Me: It came before the CD and after the vinyl record.
Eleven-year-old son: What's a record? Do we still have CD's.
Me: Uhh.