Champagne Wishes & Caviar Dreams

Someday you will find me
Caught beneath the landslide
In a champagne supernova

~ Oasis

I was actually listening to “Killer Queen” (by Queen) this morning and for some reason this television show came to mind.  Maybe it was lines pertaining to Moët et Chandon in her pretty cabinet or the caviar and cigarettes -well versed in etiquette, but Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous was one of the first television shows to actually feature the well-to-do.

It was truly an unprecedented time of growth and outrageous spending in the US as we bounced back from inflationary rates that had gripped the US for more than a few years. (At one point, the inflation rate was over 13%. E-gads.) I believe some of this was because of the 1973 stock market crash that came swiftly on the heels of the oil crisis and subsequent embargo by OPEC / the Middle East because of American aid to Israel. Long story short, they demanded higher prices and we paid. In fact, oil prices were pretty out of control until the mid 1980’s.

About the time the economy really started to settle down, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous hosted by Robin Leach came on the air. It was an inside look at the who’s who and who’s got what. Opulence was the name of the day and I believe it helped inspire a generation ore two to strive for “more.” After all, we could literally see what “more” was and it was a lot.

Now a strange thing happened in the midst of “Lifestyles” run that rocked the whole world.  I was just a high school senior , but I remember clearly the day the stock market crashed on “black Monday” – October 19,1987.  $500 billion dollars was lost on that one day alone. It was about a quarter of it’s estimated value at that time.  Here… let me put this into perspective courtesy of wiki for the visual learners out there.

1000px-Black_Monday_Dow_Jones.svg

There were more than a few contributing factors to the crash including overvaluation and market psychology; however, one of the reasons the stock market rebounded as quickly as it did was because of the Savings and Loans. Oddly enough, the S&L business started to crash two years later because of horrible regulatory practices and that continued almost as long as “Lifestyles.” By the time the show ended, about a third of the S&L’s were toast.

Like a pendulum, the economy swings back and forth. But for whatever reason, it feels as though today the rest of the world has more of an impact on the American economy than American’s actually do.  In a post 9/11 universe, I have seen the European union struggle with problems such as Standard and Poor dropping Greece’s credit rating and the subsequent bailout, the Chinese stock market took a big hit last year and even Brexit has caused some shifting in the valuation of stocks. (Investors lost about $2 trillion US dollars last year alone during Brexit.)

So what does all this actually mean?  Well…I’m not sure, but the one thing I do know is numbers don’t lie and when you look at the DOW (Dow Jones Industrial Average) and the market ups and downs, it appears to my untrained eye that we are land-sliding into an economic supernova.

In the two generations since my senior year of high school, I realize more and more the folks who lived through the Great Depression in 1929, the subsequent decade of unheard of unemployment, the Dust Bowl and the years leading into WW2 learned to make due with much less than the excesses that came to be flaunted in the 1980’s and 90’s. I think it’s high time we all prepare the best we can for what feels like an uncertain future. After all, who will bail out the US if our economy tanks like it did almost 90 years ago? No one. That’s who.

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La Da…

“Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, bra…”
– The Beatles –

Remember vinyl records? I used to actually spin tunes on the radio when I was a young lass. 45’s and 33 1/3rds and carts. It was a true joy to be had. Thankfully I’m not old enough to have played 78’s. The transition to CD”s came later and now, everything in radio is pretty much computerized.

My love for radio and music in general came when I was about 7 or 8 years old. My sister had this small, orange AM/FM radio in the bathroom and also had a really cool stereo that had (gasp) a radio, phonograph and an 8 track player. She had  (and still does have) excellent taste in music and I grew up listening to everything from ABBA to Zappa and back again.

I finally moved from my little portable phonograph to a similar stereo system when I was 12. I thought it was the greatest invention ever. I listened to KPUR, Z-93 and the man, Casey Kasum, with a religious fervor. New wave blossomed and it was an age where guitars were somewhat being replaced with synthesizers. This was evident in groups such as Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, The Fixx, New Order Echo and the Bunnymen and the list goes on. Hair bands of the 1980’s came (and went) and music morphed into a kind of post-punk turned grunge era. Rap music really took on a whole new life and it also blossomed.

When I was 14, I did my first radio air shift and began cutting a few commercials and doing television voice over work. Pops owned an advertising agency and I was pretty cheap talent. By the time I was 18, I was in school to actually learn the business and I felt invincible on the air. However, I can say radio personalities are not invincible. The music industry and changes in how radio works (aka technology) made many great DJ’s obsolete.

Looking back, I’m so grateful my “first life” was filled with extraordinary experiences in the broadcast industry. From being a radio personality to news anchor to being a news technical director, I have been blessed beyond belief. To this day, I cherish the friendships I made in those early years when I was learning a bit about who I was and what I wanted out of life. (And I’m also thankful those folks do not hold the arrogance of youth against me.)

When I go back to my hometown, I occasionally get to get back on the radio for a few hours. There is something enchanting about doing something you love so much. And even though the technology has changed, the process of “being a good jock” hasn’t. The key is to let the world see you as you are and to let them in. After that, everything is gravy.

 

 

 

 

They Say It’s Your Birthday…

“There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why.”

~ William Barclay

I don’t feel old enough to have grand children. When I was younger it always seemed like grand-parents were these really “OLD” people and as I’m still in my 40’s I don’t exactly feel old, but I am still totally weirded out about having grand-kids.

The youngest grand-baby turned one a little over a week ago and my youngest daughter is holding the birthday party tomorrow. Because I cannot sit for long periods of time, the 352 mile drive north to see them and spend the weekend with family is impossible. I fervently wish it weren’t. I miss seeing everyone.

Yoda-hubby is; however, going up to see family today and will attend the party. At the moment I’m feeling a more than a bit lonely and a bit depressed. I attempted cleaning house to take my mind off things. No go. And listening to 90’s alternative music really isn’t helping matters. When you are down, Nirvana might not actually be the best choice, but then… I get Foo Fighters “Everlong.” I’m more than pleased, but it really is an odd auto-segue  because Dave Grohl was Nirvana’s drummer. **Mind blown**

Now, let me get to the particular reason for this post. I hate the birthday song. No. That’s not a strong enough word. I despise the birthday song with a passion that mere mortal men cannot truly comprehend. You know the one… “Happy Birthday to you…blah, blah, blah freaking blah.”  This song is old. Really old. It dates back to the late 1800’s and appeared in print in about 1912. It’s been translated into so many different languages and (unfortunately) it’s the most recognized song in the world.

When I go to restaurants, I actually feel nauseous when I hear it. It makes me angry. And fortunately my family knows better than to have a bunch of strange people sing this freaking song to me in a restaurant – ever. I would seriously walk out in the middle of it because I not only hate the song, but I hate the forced singing by people who don’t even know me.  God help me if I someday end up in a nursing home and have to listen to this mindless musical drivel on a regular basis.

I actually have adopted my own birthday song, “Birthday” by the Beatles. (It’s on their 1968 “white album.” Great stuff on that album by the way.)  “Birthday” is a thunderous symphony of sound and motion. It’s a song that makes me say, “Hell, yes! It’s my birthday.” (And this is the song I would undoubtedly crank in the nursing home to ward off others more than anything else.)

So with all this said  for her first birthday (as it were)… Stella, this one is for you.

 Beatles – “Birthday”

 

The Perfect Night’s Sleep

To Sleep
O soft embalmer of the still midnight,
      Shutting, with careful fingers and benign,
Our gloom-pleas’d eyes, embower’d from the light,
      Enshaded in forgetfulness divine:
O soothest Sleep! if so it please thee, close
      In midst of this thine hymn my willing eyes,
Or wait the “Amen,” ere thy poppy throws
      Around my bed its lulling charities.
Then save me, or the passed day will shine
Upon my pillow, breeding many woes,—
      Save me from curious Conscience, that still lords
Its strength for darkness, burrowing like a mole;
      Turn the key deftly in the oiled wards,
And seal the hushed Casket of my Soul.

I have to admit I have been on a massively long creative hiatus. I have been sick with a few neurological disorders and frankly, I have been feeling sorry for myself for quite a while. However, a pity-party of one can only last so long. So here I am once again trying to start life anew.

My husband unit, who I affectionally call Yoda, received a king size mattress set from some sweet and generous people at work. We have two queen size beds in our little apartment so right now, as there is no king-sized bed frame, the majority of the living room floor is filled with a king size mattress.(The box springs are standing on end “out of the way” in the rarely used dining room.)  The actual reason for this was we wanted to try it out and see if we were going to really like it despite the fact the bed I sleep in has mattresses going on 20 years old and there is some serious divoting in the bed. Seriously, there is a huge mountain in the middle and the rest looks like a truck has driven repeatedly down a muddy alleyway in springtime.

Despite the lack of room to walk or play with the dogs, there is something supremely gratifying about comfortably laying down in the living room and watching a movie or playing the X-Box. (Yes, I’m a nerd. Get over it.) I’m actually considering getting a day bed with a trundle for the living room. (Which would also help when family comes to visit.)  We shall see how that goes.

The bed will contribute to a much better night’s sleep. However, I have no cure yet for the people who live in the apartment to our north. I want to shoot them every weekday morning about 6am when there is a crap-ton of yelling and screaming at the kids to get up, get ready for school and all that jazz. I may actually have to stumble out of bed and go over there in my jammies one of these mornings and give them a small piece of what’s left of my mind. Five days a week, I pray for uninterrupted sleep. It doesn’t happen. I think I will have to break out the ear-plugs again. (Highly recommended: Flents / 29db.) And I wonder if it would be wrong to break out older Fall Out Boy, Linkin Park.  Metallica. Led Zeppelin etc. about 2am every morning for a week or two? It would definitely have to be something with a great bass beat. (And rap music is out. I’m not a fan. Why torture myself?)

Of course, these are the same relatively nice people who brought a “rescued by the side of the road” puppy home and they have no earthly business owning a dog. Seriously. The mom actually admitted they know nothing about raising a puppy. (Buy a book?) The pup is cute, but has no discipline and no training. They also bought the pup, who is now probably 5 months old tops, a shock collar because he’s biting. I have no problem with shock collars; however, if you don’t know how to use them you are going to create a problem with the animal. The little girl who lives there was playing outside with the dog and when I let my dogs out (on leashes mind you) the dog would not leave mine alone. She threatened to get the shock collar because he wasn’t minding. I nicely told her to put the dog on a leash and work on commands – the shock collar isn’t going to work when you don’t have any idea how to properly use it. It’s so frustrating.

They also just let the dog outside by himself to go potty. No leash. No nothing. He wanders by the creek and we have all sorts of wildlife that could harm the animal including (but not limited to) coyotes, possums, raccoons, snakes and more. And without watching the animal, it would also be very easy for someone to steal their pet. It’s pretty sad. But what can I do? Not much I’m afraid.

In other news, I have found a few local radio stations (after living in the Metroplex for a few years) that I totally dig. One is a classic rock station that reminds me of my years in broadcasting. Right now, Bog Seger’s “Turn the Page” is playing.  My word. I love this song. I brings back so many memories. The downside is I’m singing along and my German Shepard is not amused. To make her howl some more is the question. The aforementioned neighbors are home so the answer: I’m singing.  Heh.

(Insert quick bathroom break here.) 

Oh heck. I just broke out Fall Out Boy, who is not my favorite band, but I really love their music. “I Don’t Care” is cranked to 100 (and the dogs are hiding in the other room.) Patrick has such a cool voice and Pete Wentz plays a pretty solid bass line. I know I shouldn’t feel this pleased, but I just looked outside and the neighbor’s dog is running amok again. After this comes Zeppelin. Yeah, it’s going to be a good day, I think.

Fall Out Boy – “I Don’t Care”