Posts Tagged Music

Times Of My Life I Will Never Get Back

Day 43How many times have you encountered those moments, when you watched, read, listened, or participated in something where at the end you disgustedly thought, “Well there’s ten (twenty, thirty, etc.) minutes of my life I will never get back!”

I said this just the other morning after reading an email from an uncle who is new to email.  He’s so new to it that he doesn’t even have his own email account, anywhere.  He uses his son’s account.  He forwarded an email joke.  Yes, we’ve all received them… jokes that have crossed all dark corners of the Interwebs several thousand times.  And we know this because the attached forward of the 92 people that have seen and forwarded that particular email before it reached you with their comments of “This is hysterical!” and “So true and funny!!!”

It was such a bad joke that I was irritated about it.  The joke itself was horrible, and was as old as the dirt under Stonehenge. On top of things, it was poorly-written, the font size was about 48, and the words were various shades of red, green, orange, and blue.

See, I read the whole thing because my uncle is a funny guy with a great sense of humor, so the payoff is usually good.  Maybe it was my high expectations in this instance.  Maybe it’s high expectations in ANY case.  Of course, it’s all subjective.  It’s like the excitement and anticipation of getting tickets to see The Late Show with David Letterman, and Dave’s big guest of the show is a gardener who just wrote a book on the terror of katydids in your roses.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there would be one guy in the audience that was in stitches when the witty agriculturist spoke about having worms, but the rest of the audience would have most likely been ready to beat the man with Paul Shaffer’s keyboard.

Am I a hater?  Some may say, but I disagree.  I enjoy the laughs of the world I inhabit.  I love a joke as much as I love to indulge in a grilled steak covered in bacon, with a side of wasabi mashed potatoes.  Most of my favorite movies and TV shows are comedies, and I, too, have been the purveyor of an exquisite joke occasionally.

After scrolling down the 92 positive reviews of this work of comedic art, standing back 15 feet from my monitor to properly adjust my eyes to the Comic Sans gigantor message, I am left with a joke that leaves me with the feeling of emptiness usually only reserved for those times when you grab a spoon to satisfy that peanut butter urge and find the jar containing the crusty remains of what once was said peanut butter.

So it got me thinking about other times that my life has been wasted in some fashion, and it saddens me how much of my life has gone the way of cloudy breath on a winter day.

I once bought a CD based on one song I heard on the radio (remember both of those?), and it wound up being the only decent song on the entire album.  Sixty-three minutes of hoping each song would get better than how it started.  I believe I ultimately threw it out.

Movies?  Seen plenty of them.  My wife’s tastes are different from mine, but I like that, as we introduce each other to things that the other detests.  She has her reality TV shows, I have my games.  I detest the former, she the latter.  But a movie is something you prep for… with a drink, a snack, turning off the lights, getting comfortable on the couch… that sort of thing.  Now I’m happy to watch a chick flick with my beloved wife at any time.  She enjoys them (that makes me happy), there is usually a smattering of humor in the movie, and most of the time the female lead gets down to at least lingerie or bra.  Oh there have been some real stinkers… movies that make you wish you were blind and deaf and possibly engulfed in flames, but I’m not one to spoil another’s good time, and I enjoy hanging with my wife on the couch.  The movie “Sex and The City” immediately comes to mind.  Let’s face it, these women were not young, nor funny as the last season came to a close on HBO years before.  Time I will never get back.  At least my wife went to see the sequel with her sister in the theater (and later admitted that it was horrible.)

  • I have awoken, showered, dressed, and climbed in my car for an 8:00 AM college class, only to realize that it was 3:30 AM.
  • I have driven the 55 minutes to work, only to realize it was a holiday Monday.
  • I have been the recipient of a lecture on why my home state of New Jersey sucks and why I should move out, by a person at a client site not even on my project, who moved out of New Jersey years before.
  • I have sat through several Presidential State of the Union Addresses.  The regret is not necessarily from the speech, but for the inane clapping that the presidential supporters shower him with after every point is made during the speech.
  • I have unloaded my snow shovels from storage and worked to get my snow blower in working order only to have the chaotic weather change and only drop a dusting instead of the predicted 4-31 inches of snow.
  • I have written numerous documents for a client in preparation for a project effort only to have the project change direction or be scrubbed.
  • I have been a customer of DirecTV, Verizon, AT&T, GoDaddy, and have shopped at a Hallmark store.
  • I have taken my car in for service only for them to lose my keys because the mechanic took them home with him.
  • I have taken my wife’s car in for service due to a loud rattling noise, only to discover that a rock was in the wheel.
  • I have built a new computer that refused to turn on only to realize I had one wire disconnected.
  • I have had a complete stranger preach to me about politics or religion despite me only saying, “Hi” to them in a grocery store.
  • I have cleaned up my puppy’s accident on the carpet only for her to do it again five minutes later.
  • I have driven to a specific store several towns away only to find a sign on their door stating, “Closed due to construction.”
  • I have updated another of my web sites only for the shitty web host to crash my site in the middle of the update, causing me to rebuild the site after the shitty web host fixed their servers.
  • I have read more than one book that, through the first two-thirds had so much promise, and ended with no payoff, ridiculous plot twist, slapped-in ending, or leaves you with the feeling of a big “Huh?!”
  • I have played puzzle or adventure games that get you to the point of impossibility to pass without some kind of cheat, and I don’t cheat at games.

And you, dear listener, have now lost however much time it took you to read this little message.  You are welcome, my sibling.

 

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The Next Generation

No, this is not a Star Trek diatribe comparing and contrasting the numerous iterations of the series, movies, favorite captains, sexiest aliens or worst plotlines.

Image credit: christiangates via flickr

Image credit: christiangates via flickr

This is about our own time machine, our memories, and how our children are experiencing a new world. The other day, I read an article on Wired.com titled “100 Things Your Kids May Never Know About“. It was definitely well thought-out, and relied on feedback from their readers. Reading it was a combination of nostalgia and pensively wondering what my own children will encounter. I’m 40 now, so half of my life has been lived as an adult, and the first half arguably as a child. My wife, family, friends and therapist may all disagree, claiming emphatically that I am still a child on many levels. I can live with that.

So the Wired article had me thinking about so many other things my kids may not know about, all of which I encountered as a child (in the physical sense of the word, not the mental sense, mind you.)

Here’s just a few…

  • Going down to the “record store” to buy a “45”, “album” or even “CD.” (Give the CD a few more years.)
  • Going to an “arcade” where you can play video games, and they only cost a quarter.
  • At the same arcade, there was a section dedicated just to giant machines called “pinball.”
  • Talking on the phone in the house meant staying within a 3-foot area, literally tethered to the wall by the phone cord.
  • The biggest taste of freedom ever experienced was when Dad bought a 30-foot telephone cord.
  • Actually dialing a phone meant that there was a dial on the phone, and dialing someone took longer than the resulting conversation.
  • Driving anywhere out of your neighborhood meant you had to have a list of surrounding streets, landmarks and the conversational know-how to ask the local gas station attendant: “How do I get to Juniper Street from here??!!”
  • Communication among people was limited to two things: spoken word or written letters. OK, three: hand gestures… and we all will still use them forever.
  • Video games against opponents consisted only of the person sitting next to you, and never involved teams.
  • Board games never needed batteries.
  • Going to get something for home repair, a fishing trip, sports activity, or your dog meant going to a store usually smaller than your own home.
  • Making ice cubes was a manual process.
  • Hot meals had to be prepared and cooked for a long time.
  • Making popcorn involved popcorn kernels, oil, butter and salt.
  • Throwing out garbage was a very streamlined process.
  • Getting a sunburn sucked for about a day, and it took around six hours on the beach to get one.
  • Watching a TV show meant being in front of that TV, with all snacks at the ready, bladder empty, exactly when the show was starting.
  • That show would not be seen if the antenna wasn’t just right.
  • Toys never moved on their own, unless we were testing the effects of velocity on static objects.
  • Toys had lots of small parts.
  • Most toys were made out of wood or metal.
  • Chemistry sets actually had chemicals in them.
  • Movies about the future all had lots of blinking lights, almost no explosions, vehicles that hovered, bitchin’ sunglasses and very shiny clothes.
  • Portable music players involved lots of breakable parts, the music was loaded manually, and you had a good 30 minutes or so of enjoyment.
  • Paper was used for everything.
  • To flip through photos meant to use your hands, plus you kept the blurry ones… after waiting two weeks to get them developed.
  • Flying on a plane meant you could get to the airport about an half hour before the flight, and you didn’t have to feel nervous about security.
  • Sesame Street was relevant.
  • A fax.
  • You could lend a book to a friend or family member. (OK, maybe not my kids, but definitely my grandkids.)

Well these are just a few of the ones jogged from my feeble, aging memory. I can’t remember what I had for breakfast, so there’s a ton more. Seriously, I can’t remember what I had for breakfast. So tell me in the comments what else I forgot!

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