Sunday Shuffle [2.0]

I got my first CD player the summer between 11th and 12th grade. I was doing an internship, making my own money for once, and when that first paycheck came in I felt RICH. I don’t even remember how much it was now, but I was decidedly not rich. I just felt like it in the moment, the way you do when your mom’s still paying for everything so you can focus specifically on your wants.

That was me.

And what I wanted was a CD player. I already had some CD’s, one I won from a radio station contest, and another couple I bought in anticipation of the CD player. It was the early ’90s, so tapes were still very much in vogue, at least where I came from. If you had CD’s you were on the cutting edge of tomorrow. I wanted to be on that edge, but I would have to be able to play them.

So I went to Sears and picked one out. It was a single disc player. I mean, I was suddenly rich, but I wasn’t so rich my eyes weren’t bugged out by the prices of the multi-disc changers. Besides, I thought eventually I would trade in my single for a multi, so why not start small? Continue reading “Sunday Shuffle [2.0]”

The Man With the Plan and the Pocket Comb

“You could hardly even see him in all of that chrome — the man with the plan and the pocket comb. And every night it carried him home.” ~Marc Cohn

MI0001708224I stood outside the record store at ten minutes to midnight, the year was 1998, and I think some Jay-Z album was being released. I know there was a host of people waiting there with me, blasting lyrics from the man himself, so I guess I just assumed. I wasn’t there to get anything from Jay-Z. It was way past my bedtime, and I had other things in mind. Because one of my favorite singers had a new album coming out, and I promised myself I would be the first to hear it.

Fast forward 20 years, and I was once again waiting, but this time it was outside of the Palace Theatre in Syracuse, with a bunch of old white folks. Sure, 20 years had gone by, but I was still as fascinated by the man who sang “Walking in Memphis,” the man whose voice speaks to me so personally, on every level. I pinched myself, the classic technique, because I had just heard him deliver a passionate concert, an intimate retrospective of his material that didn’t miss a note. And I was about to meet him. Continue reading “The Man With the Plan and the Pocket Comb”

300 Writing Prompts: #145

“What was the first thing you ever saved up your money to purchase?”

My first real job was at a travel agency. I know what you’re going to say. It was just an internship, but it counted. Besides, it was a paid internship, so it really counted in every way that mattered. For the first time in my life I was getting a steady paycheck, even if it was only for a summer, and I worked hard to make sure that money got spent.

I’m sure you can imagine. I never shoveled driveways for neighbors. I never got an allowance. I never really had a chance to get some solid money for myself until the Rosenbluth Travel Agency, and I had a list of items I wanted. First, there was a CD player that I had my eye on. Before the CD player all I had was a Walkman and the family stereo, which featured dual tape decks (snazzy) so I could tape the radio. But a CD player would put me in a whole new echelon.

I also wanted a VCR, so I could tape my shows (the two principal of which were Days of Our Lives and Beverly Hills 90210). I was addicted to Tori Spelling, but my mom wouldn’t let me stay up late enough to watch the show. And of course I was at work (and later in school) when Days came on, so I needed a way to tape both shows to watch when I had free time on the weekends. I swear I invented binge watching because I would sit there on my bed with popcorn catching up on all the goings on in Salem. Continue reading “300 Writing Prompts: #145”

That ’76 Sound

“I spent many a summer early morning with the radio very low, half sleeping and half listening.” ~Frankie Valli There’s a space between being fully asleep and being fully awake where the awesome feeling of weightlessness, of carelessness, of being completely outside of ourselves and looking down on our world with wonder, takes over. It’s … Continue reading That ’76 Sound

That R.E.M. Song

“…and that R.E.M. song was playing in my mind. Three and a half minutes. Felt like a lifetime.” ~Better Than Ezra I always wondered what “that R.E.M. song” was, which one from their vast catalog made such an impression on a young Kevin Griffin (lead singer of Better Than Ezra) that he immortalized it in … Continue reading That R.E.M. Song