mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (retro-style holiday lights)
Well, the junk first of all: If you went to movies a lot in the '80s, like we did, this is a stupendously easy quiz. (A 50-question quiz that 11% of people get 100% right can't be too difficult, after all.) (I did have to guess on a couple, but they don't even make guessing terribly hard. I am kinda the queen of the educated guess.)

We went to see Rogue One again (still love it) and ate lasagne and watched the first episode of Stranger Things. That was our Christmas Eve. Honestly, it beats most Christmas Eves cold, at least the ones of recent years. Tomorrow we have to do the family stuff. I've washed my hair and I need to do my nails and I'm sure I'll think of ten other highly-important things I have to do before bedtime. I can't much make myself care, though.

Stranger Things was pretty awesome, although more of you probably know much more about it than I do. (Does that sentence make any sense at all? I'm not sure, but I'm leaving it like that anyway.) We finished Jessica Jones yesterday (also awesome) and I told Rob that we could watch Stranger Things next if he wanted before we go on to Luke Cage. I don't know that Rob knew anything at all about it, but *I* knew that he would love Stranger Things, it's totally right up his alley. (Speaking of '80s.) It's very, um, early Steven Spielberg crossed with Stand By Me. Or something like that.

Col and I played Marvel Heroes for a while. He is playing Luke Cage and is surprised that he likes it. I liked Luke too (not to mention that he's stupendously hot in Jessica Jones, but I hadn't seen that yet when I was playing him) so I'm not too surprised. Oh, having seen Jessica Jones TV now, I realized suddenly what she's wearing in the game, the other day - it's the "Jewel" superhero outfit that Trish is seen in the series trying to get her to wear. She's been standing talking to Ben Urich in Avengers Tower since I've been playing, and I always wondered what the hell that was she was wearing. (I believe you can also play Jessica as a team-up but I haven't tried it; I'm pretty sure she's wearing something else in that incarnation. And Ben Urich in this game is a younger-looking white guy, in contrast to the older black guy who's in the first season of Daredevil. Reconciling all this now that I've watched half - exactly half - of the existing Marvel Netflix stuff is kind of weird.)

Also (still on the Marvel Heroes track) I spent some money on costumes last week and I now have the girl version of Thor and a couple of Christmas costumes (Daredevil and Squirrel Girl). I'm probably going to feel like I wasted my money on Christmas costumes later but I really like the female Thor. There are actually two female Thors; the other one is Jane Foster (who I think becomes Thor for a while in the comics?) but the one I'm using is the Earth X version, which I really know nothing at all about. She says something about Loki having tricked her into the new body (but she also says she kind of likes it.) Either I read somewhere or Col told me (I have no idea which) that this version, or maybe both versions, won't let anybody call her Lady Thor or anything like that; she's just Thor, still. That's about all I know about that, although I'm interested that they bothered to do two different female voices for Thor. He has a buttload of costumes, too (although not as many as Iron Man) - some of the male ones might have "enhanced" (aka different, rerecorded) voices, too, for all I know. I haven't paid much attention. But I tried playing regular Thor with the default costume and I stalled out about level 30-something. So I was hoping that the different take on Thor would propel me along, and it has - well, I'm still not all that far along in story progression but she hit level 60 tonight, so that's definitely an improvement. I'm not sure why it makes that much difference, exactly, but apparently it does.

OK, that's enough for tonight. I need to go do my nails. Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas, or other holiday/nonholiday of your choice. Or Christmas Eve Gift, as my grandma used to say. (Family phrase of unknown origin; I think I end up explaining that one pretty much every year.)
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (Default)
Music advent for 1986 (although it's a later performance, as Eddie Vedder's presence might tip you off to):
R.E.M. w/ Eddie Vedder - Begin the Begin
(Dreamwidth note: I can't get embeds to work so far so here's the link.)

So, the parade of reminiscences about concerts and such stops abruptly at the end of 1985, because at the beginning of 1986, I left Austin. I gave you the hints in the last entry - I hated my job, I hated my roommate. I loved my friends but I was 25 and I felt like my life needed to go on and I didn't feel like that was going to happen in Austin, mostly because there was so much competition for every decent job in Austin. And I had a teaching certificate that I hadn't done anything with, and a library degree I hadn't really done anything with either. To be a school librarian, you have to have teaching experience, so I decided I should get some. So I moved home "temporarily" with my parents. The idea was that I would get a job and be gone again.

(Aside: the main reason I didn't go to concerts after this is because in Houston at that time, all the big concerts were on the wrong side of town. The main concert venue is The Woodlands, which is on the north side of Houston, and I lived - still live - on the south side. It's about 75 miles from Galveston, a little less from where we live now, but anyway, it's out of easy distance. You have to be more motivated than I was to go to concerts. These days many of the concerts are downtown, so those are more accessible, but concerts are so expensive and I'm far too unmotivated to even consider it, most of the time.)

Unfortunately I waited rather late to apply for the jobs for the semester, and the jobs were pretty limited at that point. (I was and am way too impulsive about these things. I think it would have been more logical to wait - to stay in Austin a few more months, maybe, and start looking for jobs in the summer. But I didn't do that, obviously.) I came really close to getting a job in my hometown, but I didn't get it. So I spent the spring substituting - mostly in elementary school. Mostly I enjoyed it. But then school was out and I got a summer job - in Galveston, at Gaido's, which is a fancy seafood restaurant.

Those of you who know me may have seen this coming by now. I met a boy. I thought he was my age, but it turned out he was a couple of years younger than me. He was a bartender, not college educated. But I was in love, I didn't care. In October we got engaged. I spent the winter working at Gaido's part-time, substitute teaching, still, and planning a wedding. (I made my own dress, and did a lot of other things myself - in many ways I was a forerunner of the "handmade" kind of weddings that are popular today.) I picked the 1987 song because it was on the mix-tape we played at the wedding reception:
Crowded House - Don't Dream It's Over
(again, if I the hang of embeds I'll try to fix this later but here's the link)

Yeah, we had a mix-tape. (See below for a bit more about that.) We got married at my parents' house, which was not the house where I grew up, but out in the country, and we had the wedding in the back yard, on a tiny budget. I loved how it turned out.

My parents never said a word to me about the wisdom of marrying somebody who wasn't college-educated. I suspect they knew it wouldn't do any good - I was always stubborn. My dad hadn't paid for my sister's wedding the year before, though, and he wouldn't pay for mine, either. (He said he paid for college for both of us, and that was enough. Which I guess is fair.) (And my mom still found ways to pay for items here and there.)

And well, it hasn't been a bed of roses, but that'll be 28 years ago this spring, and we're still married. So I guess it all turned out pretty well, right?

wedding cake


We had a lot of fun with that mix-tape. We went around and collected oldies singles to put on it. It started with "Going to the Chapel." We also had that Aretha Franklin and George Michael song which turned out to be the number one song the week of our wedding:
Aretha Franklin & George Michael - I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) [Official Video]
(here's the link)


mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (m15m - polarbear)
Well, before I get around to talking about concerts, let me tell you what happened to me in 1985, in a nutshell. I got one full-time job, replacing the two part-time ones. It still didn't pay very well, but better than I was making before. It was back in the Serials department, where I had worked before, and... I hated it. Once the new wore off, I could barely stand to go to work. I also bought a car, a used Datsun - I forget what year model it was - 82 or 83, I think. I had been in Austin all these years with no car, and having that freedom of movement was weird. And then I moved out of the co-op. I found a girl who wanted a roommate, and I moved into an apartment for the first time. (That didn't really work out so well, either. The roommate and I didn't particularly get along.)

The part of my life that did go well was my social life. I wasn't dating anybody, but I hung out with a couple of my old co-op friends, and a couple of their friends, and as you may have deduced if you've been paying attention, we did a lot of concert-going. We also went to clubs - especially we went to one gay bar on 4th Street. It was sort of fashionable for straight people to go there, at the time, but really the reason we kept going was that one of my friends was in the process of deciding to come out of the closet - which he finally did at the end of the year, to nobody's surprise. I suppose that was also related to why we went to see Frankie Goes to Hollywood (which was an education all by itself. I thought I was all grown-up and sophisticated, but... oh my). But we did plenty of other stuff, too. We went to Esther's Follies - which is apparently still going strong. We went to see small acts - we were very partial to a guy named Dino Lee, and saw him several times at different places. (Oh, look, here he is on MTV in '86, and it looks like he's still around, too.) We went to see Timbuk 3 - that's the "Future's So Bright We Gotta Wear Shades" guys - on campus, I think it was at the Cactus Cafe, which was a really small venue. I think that was just before they had the one big hit song, which is this one:

(We also saw Katrina and the Waves - another one-hit wonder act, at least in the States. I gather they were around for longer in the UK.)

We also went to bigger acts - the big ones and the medium-sized ones, too, like Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Howard Jones. We went to U2, which I found rather a disappointment, because I loved U2 but it was exactly like the Live at Red Rocks concert, I thought, which I had seen on MTV. There wasn't anything wrong with the concert, it just... didn't grab me like I thought it would. My Music Advent choice was U2, probably their most famous live moment, from LiveAid, which was in the summer of '85:

(I watched parts of LiveAid live, when it was originally on, but I don't think I actually saw that bit.)

I've been poking around trying to figure out when these various concerts were, and for U2 I came up with February 85. I mostly remember Bono waving a damn flag around, 30 years later, but I'm pretty sure they did sing "Bad" along with the other stuff that you'd expect. I had the EP - I think it's "Wide Awake in America" - that had the live version of "Bad" on it.

My other favorite band was R.E.M., and we saw them, too - I came up with August for a date on that one. I can't say I remember exactly what they played - I always have trouble with that part - but I remember that I loved it. I mostly have an impression of it in my head - standing on the floor of the Austin Coliseum and bouncing up and down because there wasn't enough room to really dance. (The song my brain wants to set it to didn't come out til the next year. That song will be in the next entry, because I picked it for '86. However, somewhere online I found a reference to "Fall On Me" having been played that night for the first time in public - here - and it's on the same album, so who knows? It's doubtful they played it, but possible.)

I also loved Tom Petty, and yes, we saw him too, with Lone Justice opening - I think that one was probably in July. I mention seeing Katrina and the Waves, and Frankie Goes to Hollywood (my research there says June). I mentioned a few days ago seeing New Order and thinking it was boring, and I think that one was in the fall, although I haven't attempted to check my memory there. My impressions of the time of year things were often seem to have been more accurate than my memories of what year was which, though. (I remembered Fleetwood Mac being at Halloween and Echo and the Bunnymen being around the time school started, for example. But I don't always have anything like that to tie things to.)

If you're wondering how I afforded all of this on a Library Assistant's pay, well, I really couldn't. By the end of the year I was pretty badly in debt, between credit cards and the car payment. I actually sold most of my vinyl albums that fall, among other cost-saving measures. (It wasn't as much of a wrench as you'd think - CDs were starting to come along by then, and I figured vinyl albums were going to go the way of the cassette and the 8-track tape. I sold them at Half-Price books and got quite a bit of money.)
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (UT tower)
Aside: I threatened on Twitter to "rickroll" the last day of Music Advent, since I was on 1987 on Christmas Day and that turns out to be when "Never Gonna Give You Up" was released. (1987, I mean, not Christmas. And I do remember Rick Astley from back in the 80s, but he was never one of my particular favorites, as I remember it.) I don't think you can really do a rickroll in the old sense, now that most places you post videos give you a preview of the video, can you? Of course I still could have picked "Never Gonna Give You Up" as my 1987 song, anyway, but I didn't do that either. You'll have to wait and see - or go over to #musicadvent on Twitter, if you're really dying to know what I did pick. (Apparently rickrolling as a meme interests me more than the song does. But I'm very interested to see that the VEVO version of "Never Gonna Give You Up" has nearly 100 million views. I can't think of anything else I've ever looked at that had near that many. -- I don't guess there's any way to know how many views that song has gotten altogether since it was all over the place back in the heyday of the rickroll. It'd be an interesting thing to know!) (added: Wikipedia does say, though, that 18 million people are estimated to have been rickrolled, and that the original video has been taken down. For what that's worth.)

OK, so, 1984. Well, here's my official Music Advent song, first of all:

As I said when I posted it on Twitter, this is not by any means my favorite song of the year - although it's a good song! better than I remembered, actually - but those outfits and that hair are so evocative of that time, to me. (Love the pink lighting, too!)

A band all my friends seemed to have simultaneously discovered in 1984 was Simple Minds. This is probably my favorite song of theirs, and I'm not sure if I ever saw this video back then. (You didn't get any choice in what was on MTV, after all, and Simple Minds didn't get a lot of MTV play until "The Breakfast Club" which didn't come out until early '85.)



I talked a couple of entries back about going to see Echo and the Bunnymen, and that's the only concert I have been able to confirm that I went to in 1984. Apparently I went to even more concerts in 1985 than I realized, because everything I've thought was in 84, other than that one, turned out to be 85. (So, next entry!)

1984 was the year I worked at the main circulation desk of the main library at UT (the PCL, that is) for a good part of the year. That was an interesting job. I can't remember which part of this came first, but for most of the second half of the year, I worked at the PCL in the mornings, went home for lunch, and went to the PMA library in the afternoons. (PMA is Physics-Math-Astronomy, and I have read lately this was the same timeframe when Neil deGrasse Tyson was at in grad school at UT. It's entirely possible that I came into contact with him there but if so I have no memory of it. Darn.) The circ-desk job was considered so stressful that you were only supposed to stay at the desk for two hours at a time, although this was pretty regularly broken.  There was always a line of people checking out books. They had the titles mostly computerized by that time, and what the clerks did was scan them. But there were lots of glitches. The gigantic physical card catalog also still existed in 1984 - it filled a whole large area of the lobby - and I remember short stints of filing cards in that. (Very boring, as you might imagine.) The PMA job was working with the serials - meaning the scientific magazines - and that was also pretty boring, a lot of the time. I checked in new ones, and I tried to find whole runs of different publications for a given time-period so I could send them off to be bound, which I remember as being tremendously frustrating because there was almost always something missing. You either had to wait for it to show up, or you could declare it lost and try to order another copy, which meant waiting around for ages - months, usually - to get it. Serials was really very frustrating generally in those days, and that was what I mostly worked on in my short library career. (Maybe that's largely why it was so short!)
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (Xmas excess)
I started talking about 1983 in the last entry, let's see if I have anything else I feel the need to say about it...

I have notes about the music portion of this, and my notes remind me that I saw David Bowie in 1983. I sat behind the stage, I remember that, and because of that I was quite close. It was a good concert. (The only professional-level concert I ever saw that I have really bad things to say about was New Order, which I thought was boring. I think that was in '85 but I'll get that complaint over with here, because I went to a number of concerts in '85 so I'll have plenty of other things to say for that year, music-wise.) (It just occured to me that I remember the name of the Bowie tour - "Serious Moonlight." "Let's Dance" was a huge hit at the time.)

Oh my god, I forgot about this picture - this was, I believe, a "Bizarre Party" in fall 1983 - terrible scan but still, I love this.
1983-paul-dana

My first video choice for 1983 was in the last entry also, but I had a second choice, so here's "Twilight Zone" - which I also loved:


That's the only concert that I'm sure was in 1983. I think I was too busy to do much concert-going. But as I said before, I spent a fair amount of time watching MTV, and I hung around with a friend who introduced me to NME and Melody Maker (British music magazines) and also to the world of import singles. I was already interested in this music before I met this particular friend, but that was what really pushed me into the edge into fairly serious fandom - as serious as I ever get, anyway. I made a mix tape that I had for years (and this was actual tape, remember, a cassette) with a bunch of songs recorded off of Rick's records - it had Echo & the Bunnymen, of course, but also Berlin & Big Country & Cyndi Lauper & The Alarm - that's all I can remember. (That thing might still be around somewhere!) There were probably a couple more. The Eurythmics were a new thing (at least to me) that year, so was Culture Club. It was also the year that Thriller was a huge thing, but that was too middle-of-the-road to be fashionable in my circles. (I suspect some of my friends owned that album, just the same, although I didn't.)

This was my favorite Culture Club song:


One more thing:
When I think about 1983, I wonder sometimes if I did the right thing. Both 1981 and 1983 were big crossroads in my life - and actually I'd have another one in a couple more years, but I'll get to that later, hopefully. In 1981, I wonder what would have happened if I had, say, gone to law school. I was not at all interested in it at the time, but in retrospect... well, like I said, I wonder. And in 1983, what if I'd gotten a job - god knows where it would have been. It's certainly highly likely that I'd never have met Rob, for example. At the time, what I thought was that I'd only ever have one chance to help start a co-op. I figured that if I didn't do it I'd always wonder what would have happened if I had. (And conversely, obviously, because I did, I sometimes wonder what if I didn't.)
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (Austin)
I was saying "if I thought of anything else that happened in 1982" last night - I said that because I was half-asleep at the time! - but I did actually think of something that might have been '82 or maybe even '81 - again, I'm saying that because of who I remember being with me at the time... We went to this thing, I think it was a political fundraiser, actually, but we hadn't given any money (as I keep saying, I was always quite broke during these years, I didn't really have any money to give) - somebody got hold of these tickets somewhere, though, and we went to this concert at the Austin Opry House. It was several different acts and I don't really even remember who all it was, but at the end Jerry Jeff Walker came out - he lived in Austin at that time, and may still for all I know - and Gary P. Nunn was with him and they did "London Homesick Blues" which I was absolutely thrilled by because I've always had this sort of inexplicable love for that song - inexplicable, I mean, given that I am not generally much of a country-music fan. (If the name of the song doesn't mean anything to you, you may know the chorus at least - "I wanna go home with the armadillo...")

It occurs to me that I also went to see Willie Nelson, maybe in '82 (actually on reflection I think it was a couple of years earlier), with my sister in Houston. It was at quite a small venue, somewhere on Richmond near the Galleria, so it was really cool. I say I don't like country music but actually there have always been certain acts that I like, including Willie and Jerry Jeff and others of those so-called "Texas Outlaw" guys. (I forgot to mention it, but I also know I went to see Michael Murphy on campus, in maybe 78 - I think it was at the old gym across from Jester, which is long-gone - Gregory Gym, I think? He wasn't considered a country act that time but like a bunch of those 70s acts, he was heavily country-influenced, anyway, even before he crossed over to officially being country.)


So in 1983, I graduated again. But instead of going out and getting a job, I elected to stay and do co-op things. Taos Co-op was opening that fall, and I went and was part of the group that went over in the summer and remodeled and did the paperwork involved in getting going. I got a part-time library job - it wasn't anything befitting a professional librarian at all, but I didn't care at the time (money is money), and I also got almost-free room and board from the new co-op. So that was enough to go on with. When the rest of the new co-op's residents arrived in late August (with Hurricane Alicia hot on their heels, as it happened) there were certain people that I bonded with immediately. A whole new set of friends (besides the old ones, some of whom had come over with us.) Several of these friends were male - I always do get along well with guys. A guy named Paul was my buddy for many afternoons of sitting in the hall drinking wine coolers, and a guy named Rick introduced me to a lot of new bands I hadn't heard before. One of these was Echo and the Bunnymen, who he adored, and soon I did too.
Here's "The Cutter"

I will go ahead and skip to the next year, when we would see Echo & the Bunnymen live at the Austin Opry House - it was general admission and a pretty small floor and we were packed in and in danger of getting squashed to jelly because we were right up against the stage. (There were a couple of bands opening for them - one had their own cult following which basically came for their performance and left. - I can't exactly remember who this was. I remember that the people who came and then left before the other performers seemed much more "punk" than the rest of the crowd, generally.) The middle act was Billy Bragg, who was pretty unknown in the US at the time, but he was awesome.) And then Ian and the boys. I don't remember specifically what they played. I just remember dancing my head off. (I also remember that we stopped on the way home and bought bottles and bottles of Gatorade and chugged them down. (It was August, I believe. It was damn hot.)

(I'll come back and fill in & around this later. Right now I'm going to try to get some sleep.)
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (Xmas - Urban)
"Poison Arrow" is one of several songs that I've posted less for the song itself (although it's a good song!) and more because it evokes an era in my mind. These early-MTV-era songs especially seem to do that.


As far as concert-going is concerned, I know I went to see The Cars in 1982 because I had a t-shirt that said so. (This one, with the tire tracks printed across the back. I'm glad I can't see what it sold for, I would probably cry. I let Rob wear it and wear it until it finally wore clean out.) That was at the Erwin Center, or the Drum, which is what everybody used to call it when it was new. That's where most of the big arena shows were. We must have been up on the upper deck because I visualize that concert in my head as sort of a bird's-eye view.

I hadn't really tried to look this up before, but it turns out that you can figure out when you saw a band, if you know an approximate time period - at least for the major acts - because there are lists on Wikipedia and elsewhere with tour dates. (Also sometimes set lists, which are interesting.) I knew what year The Cars were, as I said, and I knew I had to have seen The Police in 81 or 82 because I went with my roommate and suitemate at that time. Turns out it was probably on March 22nd, 1982. We had better seats, or at least not the bad nosebleed ones, and I remember that it was a really excellent concert. With Fleetwood Mac, I was only sure that it was some time in the early 80s, and that it was around Halloween because I remember Stevie Nicks swanning around in a witch's hat that she had added to her usual witchy outfits that she always wears anyway. Turns out it was actually ON Halloween - 10/31/82. I'm not at all sure who I went to that one with. I do remember who the opening acts were - it was the Fabulous Thunderbirds and then Glenn Frey of the Eagles, who was very popular at the time because he had had some solo hits and also (I think) had been doing some acting. (He did do some acting, I'm remembering that much right, but it wasn't til a couple of years later.) Anyway, that was also a really good concert - I enjoyed all the acts, really. I remember "The Chain" as being a song that was especially awesome live.

Let's see, the "right combination" quote reminded me about dating. I dated this guy named Charles off and on through the summer in '83 - he was very smart and kind of crazy, but we had a lot of fun together. That one didn't outlast the summer, though. I had dated (or well, mostly just slept with) a guy named David the fall before and he kept popping back up. Mostly I didn't date a lot in those days, though, we just went places in a mob for the most part. I became an officer in the co-op and I was on the Board of Directors off and on. And I guess it was in '82 that I went to Ann Arbor to a big national co-op meeting, which was interesting. (Also one of the guys that I had been friends with in Dobie was in law school at Michigan, and we had a meal together while I was there. So I got to have old home week and meet all these new people besides. It was a fun trip.)

I'm too tired to think of much else to say about 1982. If I think of anything else really interesting, I'll do another entry. :)

This fairly-famous music video was mostly filmed in and around Austin:

mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (UT tower)
Videos at the bottom.

OK, so in 1981, I graduated from UT. But then I stayed at UT, because I decided to go to library school. ('Cause, I dunno, I like libraries. I didn't really think this out too well.) I ended up living at The Ark, which was a student housing co-op, and a really wonderful and nutso place. (It's still there, but nowadays it's called Pearl Street Co-op, I understand.) It was rather famous for its parties. That fall, as I remember it, we paid the unheard-of sum of $1000 to have local favorite Stevie Ray Vaughn play at one of the parties. We would get some kind of temporary liquor license (this was how it was explained to me, anyway) and we could basically operate as a club for the night, and sell beer and everything. Well, honestly, I can't tell you much about Stevie Ray's performance because I over-indulged with the beer and I really don't remember a lot of it. I do remember that I wandered into the house living room before the performance and Stevie Ray was in there waiting to go on. I don't think I exactly knew what he looked like, although I did know who he was, he was sort of a cult figure around Austin at that time. I just mostly remember him looking at me and my friend like, "Who the hell are these people?" And I remember that there was a mob there and and we made the thousand bucks back several times over, and we bought new washers and dryers, as I recall. (Another thing I don't remember is exactly why I know all these technical details - I must have been on some committee. Everything in co-ops is done by committee.)

Oh, and the little kicker to that story is that that same weekend there was a Rolling Stones concert in Dallas, which I couldn't go to because I had a job. (Unlike as an undergrad, I was paying my own way in grad school.) Many of my friends got up hung over the next morning and drove to Dallas - or maybe they never went to bed at all, I'm not sure which. But in any case, I was told by what I considered to be reliable sources that the Rolling Stones knew about our party, and said something about it onstage, of all the crazy things. (This makes a certain amount of sense because Stevie Ray's brother Jimmie was in the Fabulous Thunderbirds, at the time, and the T-Birds were opening for the Stones on that tour.)

I was a lot more interested in the co-op and generally having a good time than I was in grad school, really, but I enjoyed library school. Most of what I learned is of course totally obsolete now, but it was interesting. I took a lot of reference classes, which meant a lot of hanging out in the library trying to look things up without computers. It was like puzzle-solving, it was fun. We did actually get mainframe time to do research once or twice - you had to parse your queries just so, almost like writing a computer program.

I was trying to remember any concerts I went to in 1981 and everything I was thinking of seems to have been in 1982, so I will save those for the next entry. I spent a fair amount of time watching MTV, although we generally liked to think we were above all that kind of thing, and we made fun of it a lot. That was the year "Bella Donna" came out, and I remember that Stevie Nicks' voice really annoyed me at first (I think it's "Leather and Lace" I'm thinking about) but eventually "Edge of Seventeen" kind of won me over. Joan Jett was a huge thing, too, and Rick Springfield's "Jesse's Girl."

Two Music Advent selections for 1981:
first, John Lennon, which I mentioned yesterday


and secondly, representing the MTV era, Billy Idol (with a video directed by Tobe Hooper - which I didn't know until I looked this up yesterday):

(Oh, I loved this so at the time!)
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (Xmas list)
For the record, I'm probably going to go on with this for the rest of the month even though Music Advent will of course technically be over Christmas Day - so I'll get up to the early 90s before I'm done. And there will then be a part 3 recap at the end of the month, assuming I haven't run out of steam before that. (I don't know why I like the recaps so much. Seeing all my choices in a list somehow pleases me unduly.)

1963-1972 was here.

1973: Dr Hook, Cover of the Rolling Stone

1974: The Doobie Brothers, Black Water

1975: Elton John, Someone Saved My Life Tonight

1976: Barbara Streisand, In Trutina (my token bit of the classical repertoire)

1977: The Eagles, The Last Resort

1978: Todd Rundgren, Can We Still Be Friends
second choice: Patti Smith Group, Because the Night

1979: Supertramp, The Logical Song

1980: The Police, Canary in a Coal Mine

1981: John Lennon, Watching the Wheel
second choice: Billy Idol, Dancing With Myself (video directed by Tobe Hooper)

1982: ABC, Poison Arrow
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (Austin)
I posted a Lennon song for 1981 - it was released posthumously - but I wanted to say before I forget about it again that I know exactly where I was when I heard that John Lennon was dead: in an elevator. It was in the dorm (Dobie has 26 floors, unless you lived down low you spent a lot of time in elevators, or waiting for elevators) and I think they had come on during Monday Night Football and announced it. (I am correct on that one.) The funny thing is, I had never especially been a Beatles fan and I had been "discovering" or rather rediscovering the Beatles, more like, just before that happened - I say rediscovering because you couldn't live through that era and not already know a lot of their songs. But I was too little the first time around, and by the time I got to the age where I was interested in music they had broken up. I spent the 70s being unimpressed by the Beatles, really - you know how kids are, it was just old stuff - but around the time Lennon released Double Fantasy in 1980 I had gotten interested, so it was more of a punch in the gut for me than it would have been if it had happened earlier, oddly. And of course, it was such a huge story because of the way it happened.

(I wrote this first with a reference to Jodie Foster - I was thinking that it was Mark David Chapman who was obsessed with Jodie Foster, when in fact it was John Hinckley, a few months later. It took me a while to un-confuse myself there, and I feel really silly about that now! But heck, this whole thing where I've been writing these year-a-day entries is one big test of my memory, and it's not the first time I've discovered that I was conflating events.)

I was kind of a mess in 1980, really - around the time that happened was when I practically collapsed, at the end of that semester. I was taking 18 or 19 hours, part of which was student teaching, and that was a bad semester, generally. I got good grades in the end, as I recall, but I barely got through it. I sort of liked student teaching - I liked the kids, anyway - but I knew I wasn't cut out to be a teacher, and that wasn't helping. (That was what spurred the sort of last-minute panicked decision that next spring to go to library school, because I didn't know what the heck else to do.)

I was trying to think about concerts we went to - I never went to a lot as an undergrad because I was always chronically short of cash, but I'm pretty sure I went to see Jackson Browne in the fall of '80. That was a good concert. (That sounds like I'm saying I'm not sure I went, but it's actually just when that I keep having problems with - except in this case I remember enough about the surrounding events that I know when it had to have been.)  If I went to anything else big that year I don't remember it - as far as concerts, I mean. I do remember going to a big Halloween party at the Texas Union with at least one iconic Austin band playing there - and I can't remember who I'm thinking of right now, if I remember I'll edit it in later. (Not Stevie Ray or The Thunderbirds, although I'll have a little bit to say about them later. This was not anybody who ever got really famous.) (added, a year later, because I just now re-read this and something clicked in my brain: Joe King Carrasco is who I was talking about above, as an iconic Austin band. But that was when Austin was a much smaller town, too.)

This also seems like a good time to mention that the concert that I always wanted to go to and never could get tickets to was Springsteen, because he was the really legendary live act at the time. At that time, remember, it was before he was truly a major artist - he was doing arena shows, but he was not really mainstream until later on. (I did win a copy of Springsteen's album "The River" from radio station KLBJ - I believe that was in 1980 - and I bet I still have that somewhere. I sold a lot of my vinyl albums, but I might've hung onto that one.)

(Another thing that I did not do much of, then or later, partly because I was always chronically short of money and partly because I just never had friends who were into it that much, was go and hang out at the famous Austin venues like Antone's and the Armadillo. I did see a good many of the acts who came out of that music scene at one time or another and I'll tell you about what I remember about that as I go along. Most of my concert-going years were still to come, in 1980.)

My 1980 song is an early example of the Police, because I was afraid if I didn't get them in now they'd get eclipsed by all the more new-wave-y stuff later on - I guess they count as New Wave but I don't really lump them in with Duran Duran etc in my mind! I did see them on tour along about 82, I think - it was the Ghost in the Machine tour, I believe. (I can remember some of the concerts by the t-shirts they were selling, and figure out what tour it was from that.) I was not really a big Police fan until later on - after all, at the time their most famous lyric was "Da da da da" (well, that and "Roxanne") and it took me a while to figure out they were a bit deeper than the average band.

(And I just realized that I used the lyrics to the wrong song for the title of this entry, but oh well. It just means I have to think of something else for the next entry!)

As I said on Twitter, I really thought for a while that this song was called "Canary in a Coma" - Sting's enunciation is not as famously mushy as, say, Michael Stipe's, but I don't think it was very clear on that particular song!
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (Xmas - purple star)
I saw the prompt from a few days ago about Christmas crafts, and it got me to thinking. The thing is, my mother was an elementary school teacher, and we grew up doing LOTS of crafts. It was how she kept us entertained, quite often. I'll have to go see what I can find as far as pictures. I know I used to have some of that old stuff still around. And well, I've looked, now, and I can't find pictures of anything that was one of my mother's projects, so far. I know that one thing - probably the oldest I remember - was pasta glued onto cardboard and spray-painted gold. And those were hanging around for a surprising number of years. And I think maybe there were some salt-dough ornaments, and I know there were some felt birds that were mostly Mama's doing, because they date from before we were old enough to have been much help, there. I'm pretty sure I still have at least one of those birds around somewhere.

I don't put this in the "Mom craft" category because I'm pretty sure that these came from Sunday school (where they likewise had a huge arsenal of crafts to keep everyone occupied). I'm not sure if I made this one or my sister did, but I found it in with my mom's Christmas stuff after she died:
toilet paper clown
Not the nutcracker, the clown. Recycling (I won't try to call it upcycling) toilet paper rolls is not a purely recent idea.

Read more... )

holi13badge-snowflake
holidailies.org
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (ST - bones)
I got interested in the #musicadvent thing a little late. If you don't already know, you're supposed to start with 1989 and pick a song a day, one for every year up to the present. This is where being middle-aged catches up with you a bit, though - by 1989 I was married and working and not paying that much attention to music, although I always kept up to some extent.

Since I don't want to go back and post my (not exactly ground-breaking) picks on twitter, I'll do it here. For 1989, I'll go with the #1 song that year, because I liked it then and I still love it now, and that was Madonna's "Like a Prayer" - see, not exactly ground-breaking. I was never a gigantic Madonna fan, and in fact I was one of many people that mocked her roundly early on. But along about "Like a Virgin" I kind of went, okay, maybe she's not just another dance-music girl. I just looked on iTunes and I have some 7 Madonna songs, mostly the big hits. I thought I had bought The Immaculate Collection at some point but maybe not. (Or maybe yes, and it was on CD and never got onto the computer. Who knows at this point.)

Looking at 1990, no particular songs stand out, but I notice that it's the year Stevie Ray Vaughn died. I was living in Austin in the first half of the 80s when he was still there. Unfortunately, I only saw him perform once, and I was so wasted I barely even remember it. I was about three feet away from him at one point, though, so that is my brush (sort of) with fame there. Anyway, it made me very sad when he died. Helicopters are dangerous, kids.

1991... hmm, I was thinking this might be where I talk about Pearl Jam, but maybe it's where I talk about R.E.M. instead. 1991 seems to be when "Losing My Religion" was released, which I think was their first big commercial hit - at least that's how I remember it - and it's another song that I still really love, even though it's been massively overplayed. Once again, I was in Austin in the early 80s and so I picked up on R.E.M. pretty early, although I remember that when "Murmur" was the big thing that I didn't really see what all the fuss was about, although I did like "Radio Free Europe" from the beginning. I think by the 2nd album they had pretty much reeled me in, though. (Wikipedia says that Murmur only sold 200,000 copies but it was getting all kinds of hype, and living in a place like Austin, you picked up on things kind of ahead of the curve!) I did see them live once, I think along about 1984 or so, and they were great.

I say I kept up with music in this period, but actually I know very little about the pop music of the 90s. Looking at the top 100, I don't remember at least half of these songs at all.

I'm looking at 1992 and nothing has grabbed me yet, so, maybe I'll stop where I am. Late addition for 1992, after looking at other people's picks:
("Would?" Again, not exactly an avant-garde pick, but a song that seemed pretty groundbreaking at the time, AND has held up really well.)


holi13badge-snowflake
holidailies.org

Since I'm still editing, here's "Losing My Religion", too:
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (Default)
ark poster

I found this poster rolled up and damp in wreckage of our apartment, and it wasn't in too bad a shape so I let it dry out and scanned it as best I could. (It's bigger than my scanner, so this isn't quite the whole thing.) This is the place I lived in grad school. I know some of you know what a "cooperative" means in this context, but in case you don't: it really is pretty much self-governed, mostly by committee, in the case of a big place like this one. There are elected committee chairs and director and treasurer and so forth. Each resident has at least one assigned job, like sweeping the hall or helping cook dinner or taking minutes at board meetings. I think everybody was supposed to do four hours of work a week. I loved living there and got really into all the governance stuff - I was on the board of directors and later was treasurer, and finally ran for director (somewhat against my better judgment) and ended up losing by one vote, which was probably for the best.

The Ark is still around, but nowadays it's called Pearl Street Co-op. (Scroll down and there's a lot of pictures. It looks like the common areas have been remodeled, but the rooms look about the same.) I heard, a couple of years after I had left, that things got really chaotic there and that it finally got so bad that they shut the place down for a semester. So it's not really surprising that when they re-opened it, they gave it a new name. I think "The Ark" went perfectly with its old hippy-dippy reputation - which believe me was well-deserved.

Oh, and before this place was the Ark, it was a girls' dormitory which catered to sorority-girl types. Farrah Fawcett is supposed to have lived there in the late 60s.


(I don't know if you guys have been enjoying these nostalgia-themed entries, but I've been enjoying writing them. As long as I keep scanning pictures and so forth, especially, you will probably keep seeing them!)

So, Austin

Dec. 3rd, 2007 12:01 am
mellicious: just your basic burnt-orange longhorn silhouette (Longhorn)
I went to Austin saying that the main thing I wanted to do - besides see my sister, of course - was shop, but we didn't actually end up getting any shopping done to speak of. Saturday we started out to shop, and I'm still not exactly sure where the whole day went, but the only place we actually went shopping was Waterloo Records. We did go see my nephew (and his dad), which is always nice. He is almost 17, which seems unbelievable. Pretty nice kid, though, on the whole.

I didn't realize that it'd so long since I'd been in Waterloo - when we walked in I realized that the last time I was there, most of the records were still on vinyl. I do think I'd been in the "new" location once, maybe, but most of the time I was in Austin, they were over on the other side of Town Lake, further down Lamar. Or maybe I hadn't been in that store at all - when did they move, anyway? I know they were there by the time I started coming to Austin more often, the last five years or so, at least. Before that I came so seldom for a long time that I'm not sure of anything.

We ate lunch at Hut's - which hadn't changed a bit in 20 years - and dinner at El Arroyo, as I said before. That was a new place to me, but it was really good, and it was nice to get to talk to [livejournal.com profile] anjea, when my sister let us get a word in edgewise. Luckily (well, sort of) she went for a couple of long smoke breaks. (I've been trying hard not to say anything about her smoking. I don't think it'd do any good.)

I told Anjea that the worlds were colliding because she met my sister, who of course calls me by my real name, while just about everybody I know online (except possibly [livejournal.com profile] karen_d) calls me Mel, even if they know perfectly well what my real name is. I never quite know what to tell people when that happens. When I meet the "online people" in person, they always say, "Well, which one do you want to be called?" and then I get all indecisive. I guess really, I'd just as soon be Mel. As I've said many times, I don't like my real name very much anyway. If we move to Austin when we retire - as we've been saying for a couple of years we're going to, and retirement for us is not all that far away  - I may be tempted to just change my name. Not legally, because legally my name is already a mess - but I might just start calling myself Mel in general. I dunno, we'll see, we still have a good while to go, and I may feel differently about it by then. But it seems like that would be the best time to ever do it, if I decide I really want to.

My sister is trying to become an artist - by which I mean, one who actually makes money at it. She's always had a flair for design, and an original style, and she has developed a technique which does seem to be something a bit different, so it does seem like there are possibilities in this. I've only seen a couple of the pieces she's made to sell, but I really like some of them quite a lot. She's supposed to send me pictures and if she does I'll put some of them up. She has a website up already but she keeps saying it's not finished so I guess I shouldn't link to it yet.



I don't have to go in to work til after lunch tomorrow - if I wake up in time, I may go see if they can color my hair in the morning. I've never been in there in the morning, but surely they open by 10 or so, I would think. That ought to be enough time. I have big old gray roots that are driving me crazy - and it's only been two months since I got it done, I don't know why they look so bad already!


Holidailies 2007 

Plans

Aug. 16th, 2007 09:53 pm
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (umbrellas)
Inspired by that scary-looking track for Dean that came out this afternoon, we went and spent a godawful amount on groceries - we were going anyway, but we bought extra canned stuff and so forth - and we came up with a tentative plan for what we'll do if we have to evacuate. There's no question of staying here if it really comes right at us - it wouldn't take much of a hurricane to flood this place - but we do have Mom's place, which is also in a flood zone, if it came to anything major, but which is 25 miles or so inland, at least. So that would be the first stage, going there. Yeah, it's half empty, but it does have a bed and some furniture, and electricity and water. No cable, no phone, so it's not exactly a long-term plan, but it'd do for somewhere to sleep. And we might repair further inland, to my aunt's, if it becomes anything big. (Also, as I said to Rob, if we end up getting several days off, we might want to go there just for something to do. It will get boring fast with no internet and no cable.)

Yeah, I know this is early. Dean is still a long way off, but it never hurts to have a plan.

Come to think of it, not everybody knows where I live, so let me explain exactly why it's so much of a concern. After the 1900 hurricane (aka Isaac's Storm, if you've read that), they built a seawall in Galveston, right? It's 12 feet high, and they basically jacked up the whole town to match - and I mean that literally. They put everything up on stilts, and filled in underneath it. All of the east half of Galveston starts out 12 feet above sea level on the Gulf side and then slopes back towards the bay. However, where we live wasn't in town at that time, it was out in the country, and the Seawall didn't come down this far, originally. And later, when they did extend it down here, they didn't do the filling-in part, it just slopes right back down on the back side. And that's where we live, right behind the Seawall, a couple of hundred feet from the Gulf. And I don't know how far we are above sea-level, exactly, but it's not far. Five feet, maybe, at a guess. (Maybe. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to find out it was two or three.) And we live in a first-floor apartment. Galveston doesn't normally flood in any major way, because of that sloping-back-to-the bay business, but there's still storm surge. So this is not somewhere you want to be in anything but the tiniest hurricane.

(We were discussing something today that I'd practically forgotten, though. We came to a hurricane party at these very apartments, long before we lived here. Well, it was more of a tropical-storm party, really. We sat in somebody's third-floor apartment till about 4am and got drunk and played Jeopardy! as I recall. And I remember looking down at the pool, and they had taken all the poolside furniture and sunk it in the pool. Wonder if they still do that. Seems like getting it out would be a bitch.)
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (Default)
From Rivka

(I'm doing this instead of finishing the entry about marathon weekend. Go figure.)

Twenty acts I've seen live, with annotations.

(It's been damn close to 20 years since I've been to a concert - isn't that pitiful? - so let's see if I can remember 20 of them. Almost all of these were in Austin, in the first half of the 80s. I'll put the year and/or tour if I'm fairly sure I really remember that.)

1. REM - Municipal Auditorium, 1985?

2-3. Echo and the Bunnymen, probably 1984, Ocean Rain tour? We were right up front and almost got squashed, thanks to my friend Rick who was not quite an E&tB groupie. Some terrific band opened for them but I can't think who it was (dammit), but I know that Billy Bragg was the middle act. Really great concert.

4. Stevie Ray Vaughn - at The Ark Co-op, 1981. (That was where I lived, and he played our Halloween party and we paid him the unheard-of - for us - sum of $1000. We made tons of money and bought all-new washers and dryers. True story.) And everybody who was there says he was fabulous but to be honest, I was so drunk - and possibly otherwise chemically altered - I don't remember one way or the other.

5. The Police - 1981 or early '82, at the Drum/Erwin Center/whatever it's called these days. (Hereafter referred to as the Drum.) Ghost in the Machine tour.

6-8. Fleetwood Mac - on Halloween, I think, in the Drum. Stevie Nicks wore a witch's hat and disappeared backstage between every number, and since this was pre-rehab days, we thought we had a pretty good idea what she was doing back there. But they were good. And Glenn Frey was the opening act, rather strangely, and I want to say the Fabulous T-birds as well.

9. Frankie Goes to Hollywood, at Municipal Auditorium at the height of their "Relax" success. Surprisingly fun.

10. New Order - at Municipal Auditorium, 1985. I fell asleep. Seriously. They were that boring.

11. Katrina and the Waves, at the Austin Opry House (isn't that what it was called?) - I seem to recall that this concert was $6, which was cheap even then. And worth every penny. (Really. Not bad at all.)

12. The Cars - another one at the Drum (you notice that's where the big acts played) - I used to have a t-shirt that said "THE CARS ON THE ROAD 1982" and it had a tire track across the back. I wonder whatever happened to that shirt. Seems like I remember Rob wearing it not too many years ago.

13. U2 - seems like it was the "Bad" tour. I was disappointed, really, I had heard so much about how great they were live. They were fine, but if you've seen that old "Live at Red Rocks" video? It was exactly like that. Except without the rocks.

14-15. Tom Petty - man, I almost forgot about this one. At the Drum, with Lone Justice opening.

16. Jerry Jeff Walker and Gary P. Nunn, at the Opry House for some political benefit, 1981.

17. Dan Fogelberg, twice - 1979 and 1981, I think. Shut up, I was still a teenager.

18. Jackson Browne, c. 1980. This one also falls into the hall of shame nowadays, doesn't it? But I loved him at the time.

19. Michael (Martin) Murphey, 1977. It was free.

20. Howard Jones, with somebody cool and completely off-kilter opening for him. Unfortunately I can't remember now who that was.

21. (Because I just remembered another interesting one) Timbuk 3, at the Texas Union, probably in '85. Right on the cusp on their one-hit wonder fame.

Man, and I left off David Bowie, too. How could I forget him?

(And I think it was Marshall Crenshaw who was the opening act for Howard Jones.)

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