Posted in 80's

The 80’s Live On

One cool thing about being a parent of a “tween” is that I’m once again living my own “tween/teenhood” through my daughter Melanie.  Thanks mainly to YouTube and Netflix, things that were once old are new again and 80’s pop culture is still alive and well in my household.

A few years ago my daughter was first exposed to the TV show “Full House” via re-runs on Nickelodeon.  She couldn’t believe it when I told her that John Stamos started out playing a guy named “Blackie” on “General Hospital” and that Bob Saget was the first host of “America’s Funniest Videos”.  So when “Fuller House” appeared on Netflix, it was a no-brainer that she would be watching it.

I viewed an episode with her where DJ, Stephanie and Kimmy have a girls’ night out at a club.  While Stephanie sings a duet of “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” with Macy Gray, DJ and Kimmy do the “lift” part of the famous dance scene.

“Johnny and Baby did it much better”.

“Who?”  My daughter asked.

I then explained that the song and dance were from the movie “Dirty Dancing” and that she wouldn’t be able to see the film until she was 15.  But she loves the song “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life”.

Having OnDemand TV has allowed my daughter to see her fill of older kid-friendly movies.  Thanks to the mediocre movie “Daddy Day Care” and a frequently seen television commercial, my daughter’s favorite song for a while last year was Katrina and the Waves’ “Walking On Sunshine”.  Ugh.  I didn’t even like this song the first time around.

My daughter also has a fascination with Weird Al Yanchovich and some of the parodies he’s created from popular 80’s songs.  “Eat It”, “Girls Just Want To Have Lunch” and “Like a Surgeon” are her favorites.

Aside from “Full House” we can’t leave out many of the other TV shows and movies my daughter has discovered and come to love.  She recently discovered a cartoon on YouTube that I vaguely remember seeing myself in the 80’s.  It’s called “Just Say No” and it opens with an introduction from George and Barbara Bush, which certainly dates us.  The first time Melanie showed me the video with the intro just so happened to be the day after Super Bowl LI, the very one where George and Barbara were carted out on to the field for the coin toss.  I pointed this out to my daughter and asked her if she recognized them.  Of course she said no.  Anyway, the cartoon features Garfield, Alf, Disney characters, Looney Tunes characters, and the Smurfs and as the title says, it’s about just saying no to drugs.

We recently exposed her to “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, she loves watching “Uncle Buck” and she’s become obsessed with Donger from “Sixteen Candles”.  Over the years my daughter’s gone through her attachment phases of various cartoon characters.  She’s been in love with everything from Betty Boop and Felix The Cat to the Looney Tunes and The Flintstones.  Her latest fascination is with the Muppets.  Not so much with The Muppet Show but with all the movies.  In fact, she has discovered Muppet movies I never knew there were.  Thanks to “Muppets From Space” she now knows and loves the Kool & The Gang song “Celebration”.  She’s even discovered reruns of “The Jim Henson Hour” on YouTube.  I never knew there was such a show.  Most recently she’s discovered “The Fraggles” and “Dinosaurs”, neither of which I watched when I was a kid.

So the 80’s live on in our household, at least for now.  I’m enjoying it while I can because who knows how long it will last.

Posted in writing

Unless It Happens To Me

For now it appears the Affordable Care Act remains in place.

Although I’m happy with the results, along with millions of other Americans, I do understand there are people out there, for whatever reason, who really aren’t pleased that the GOP’s plan to repeal and replace the ACA failed.  I’d say I’m sorry to them but I’m not sorry.  Because I don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want affordable insurance.  Would you rather have unaffordable insurance or no insurance at all?

All I heard were people (mainly 20 and 30-somethings, mostly single people) complaining about how high their premiums were under the ACA.  Then I had to laugh and tell them that if they thought their premiums were high now, they should wait until the GOP’s plan passed.  Then they would know high premiums.

“But why should I be forced to have health insurance?”

That is the most ignorant question anyone can ask.  Why wouldn’t you want it?  Are you never planning on getting sick?  Are you never planning on having a family?  Are you never planning on getting old?

It’s like asking why you need auto insurance because you’re a great driver and you only go two miles down the street each day and nobody hits your car, etc. etc.

To these people I say:  Look up the definition of insurance.  Insurance is something in place for the “what ifs” of life.  We never want to use our auto, home or health insurance.  But if we must use it, it’s a nice security blanket to have.  Don’t even get me started on life insurance, which, in my opinion, is the most underrated form of insurance, yet is probably the most important.

I want to share my story, which is one of many stories I shared with various members of the Senate regarding why keeping the ACA was important to me.

When our daughter was nine years old she was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.  Asperger’s is a form of autism.  A lot of my daughter’s issues stemmed around various levels of anxiety and behavioral issues.  We had many issues with her attending school.  Long story short, it was suggested we try to get ABA services for her.  Easier said than done, especially when the insurance I have through my employer does not cover ABA services.  And because it’s private insurance, the Massachusetts mandate does not apply.  Thankfully a therapist we were seeing at the time told me to apply for Mass Health.  Mass Health is the combination of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.  With Mass Health we could now seek ABA therapy.  Although we had an in-take with a program and were set to start ABA therapy, they then turned around and said they didn’t have anyone to come out during the hours that we needed (which was before school).  So, it was back to the drawing board.

We were able to do therapy for a while with a great in-home clinician.  We then did a six-month stint at the Center For Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders (CANDO) Clinic at UMass.  There our daughter obtained speech and physical therapy, as well as neuropsychological assessments and evaluations.  Without Mass Health, we would’ve gone in the poor house from all these treatments.  And that’s not mentioning her medications.  Our daughter’s only twelve and although she’s learned how to better manage her feelings and behaviors over the years, she still has a long way to go.

That’s just one of my family’s stories I shared with the Senate.

Considering all that has happened pertaining to America’s health care–the years and years of the GOP wanting to do away with the ACA, the hiding behind closed doors, the countless times they dragged it out, only to beat it up and kill it again–I think a lot of people should reconsider their thoughts about health coverage and what it means to them.  We can’t keep thinking that unless it happens to me, it’s somebody else’s problem because it could very well be your problem before you know it.

Posted in 80's, Entertainment, music

It Was Our “Woodstock”

A #ThrowbackThursday moment on the 32nd anniversary of LiveAid

 

July 13, 1985.  Thirty years and many musical memories ago.  I’m so glad I was alive to be a part of that event.

No, I wasn’t there in Philly.  Nor in England.  I didn’t get to ride the Concorde with Phil Collins.  But I had dragged my 14-year-old ass out of bed at 5:30 a.m. on a summer weekend so I could tune into the concert of the decade.

It started around noon UK time, which put us at 6-ish.  They were broadcasting the entire thing on the radio so I had my cassettes and tape recorder ready to go.

Then there was JFK Stadium in Philadelphia.  To be there must’ve been something else.  I longed to see Powerstation and Madonna.  Waiting to see Duran Duran perform was like torture.  I remember getting to see the last few hours of the show broadcast on TV.  Another thing to thank Dick Clark for.

Thirty years later I still have some of the cassettes that I recorded.  I have the “Live Aid” book.  I’ll have to scan through that later and continue with my walk down memory lane.

Such nostalgia for such an innocent time in my life…

 

Posted in writing

Casual Sex, Fake Orgasms

I’ve been single most of my adult life. Don’t believe me? I was eighteen when I had my last boyfriend. You know, the holding-hands-staying-over-every-night-meeting-the-family-and-friends-making-future-plans sort of boyfriend. The guy that you introduce to everyone and they go awww when they see you two together. The guy that you introduce to your friends and they’re actually happy for […]

via Casual Sex, Fake Orgasms

Posted in writing

A Scenario

Here’s a scenario:

Imagine America is attacked by various individuals with bombs.  It doesn’t matter who the people are or where they come from.  What matters is what they are bombing.  The only things they are bombing are properties owned by ASSHOLE:  Trump Tower.  Mar-a-Lago. his hotels, his golf courses.  There are plenty to go around.  They could have a field day.  After they destroy all the properties, I wonder what ASSHOLE would do?  Would he hop on Twitter and declare them to stop?  Would he fly to each property to inspect the damages?

Now here’s another scenario:

America is attacked by various individuals with bombs.  Once again it doesn’t matter who they are or where they come from.  The places they attack are Trump Tower, the Statue of Liberty, Sears Tower, Hoover Dam, Disney World and LAX.  All are famous landmarks.  Which one do you think ASSHOLE will mention first?  Do you even think he’ll mention any of the other landmarks?  Do you think he’ll care if anyone was killed at any of the other landmarks?  Do you think he’ll care if anyone is killed at Trump Tower?

My point is:  if a nuclear bomb was dropped on us today, no matter who drops it, no matter where it comes from, how is ASSHOLE going to react?  What is he going to do to protect us?  My feeling is that he isn’t going to do shit because (1) he’ll be shitting in his pants under his desk in the Oval Office (2) he has no clue how to protect us.  Like everything else he says he’s going to do, he has no plan.

As Americans I feel it’s important for us to know how our “leader” will fight for a country he obviously doesn’t care for.  He made it quite clear he doesn’t care about America or what it stands for when he dissed the American press, people involved in U.S. intelligence and former presidents during his most recent overseas trip.  On top of that he acted like he and his Russian ASSHOLE counterpart were long-lost reuniting lovers.

I have a feeling that North Korea isn’t the first and only country ASSHOLE should be worried about.  Unfortunately, ASSHOLE doesn’t realize that.

Posted in writing

Shedding Some Light Into My Little Part of the Country

I wasn’t going to post anything to commemorate Independence Day this year because I’m not feeling very patriotic.  What I am feeling is embarrassed, disgusted, fearful and sad.

I really don’t like feeling this way about America due to a select bunch of assholes.  America isn’t like that.  I was an American long before the Crazy Train took over. So today I stopped and reflected about what, for me, makes America my America.

I compiled a list and started with the basics:  my family and friends

Then I began thinking about what being an American means to me.  Freedom.  Simple things like getting in my car and driving to any state I want to and not having to present identification papers at each state border.  Knowing there are military forces that have protected us for years and will keep protecting us.  Knowing that journalists are our eyes and ears and we can choose to believe what they say or not believe what they say.  No matter what anyone else says.  I like being able to watch whatever I want on television at two in the morning without the government shutting the networks down.  It’s nice not having to sneak around to an out-of-the-way secret internet cafe to use Twitter because if the government found out I was using Twitter, I could be killed.  I love knowing I don’t have to respect anyone or show loyalty to anyone in the government.  Especially someone who doesn’t deserve it.

I then added the material things:

backyard barbecues

Thanksgiving

 

Christmas

going to the beach

Disney World

Springsteen

Ben & Jerry’s ice cream

Patriots football

national parks

New England foliage

mountains

Boston

New York

fireworks

the Statue of Liberty

 

After thinking about the things that make America what it is for me, I began to feel a little better.  Until the darkness that America is under passes, I will try to remind myself of these simple things to shed some light into my little part of the country.

“America will never be destroyed from the outside.  If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” – Abraham Lincoln