1994

 

Every year around my birthday, I can’t help but contemplate mortality and question where the past 5, 10, 15 years have gone.

Because, you see, as a single, childfree person, I lack markers to signify the passage of time. My life isn’t delineated by pre-kid and post-kid eras. Or pre-husband and post-husband eras for that matter.

My life hasn’t really changed at all over the past 15 years.

And lately, the anniversaries of certain albums and movies are totally blindsiding me. We’re talking 20-year, 30-year anniversaries. Almost half-my-life-ago anniversaries.

Take a walk down memory lane with me. 1994 was a seminal year for me, musically speaking. When I hear or listen to songs from any of the following albums, I immediately transform into a 19-year-old:

Weezer: The Blue Album

Sweater Song. Say It Ain’t So. Every single freaking song on this album.

 

R.E.M.: Monster

This was a different sound for R.E.M. Lots of loud guitars. And it rocked.

On the way to a concert supporting this album in Philly, my friends and I memorized the lyrics to:

What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?

I can listen to certain R.E.M. ballads on repeat for a long time. A looong time. Two of which are on this album:

Let Me In

Strange Currencies

 

Green Day: Dookie

What to say. Longview. Basket Case. This album still makes me want to bounce off the walls.

 

The Cranberries: No Need to Argue

The Cranberries was on heavy rotation during my college years. Two favorites from this album:

Ode to My Family

I Can’t Be with You

 

This next one counts for both music and movie…

I’ve probably watched this movie and listened to its soundtrack around a hundred times since their 1994 release:

Reality Bites

How can this movie be 20 years old???????

It’s an amazing soundtrack. Can’t get enough of these two heartbreakers:

Stay

All I Want Is You

 

1994 was a good year for movies, as well.

Forrest Gump, Legends of the Fall, Shawshank Redemption, Pulp Fiction, Little Women, Clerks, Four Weddings and a Funeral = Classics, all.

Lastly, this almost had me falling out of my chair:

Sixteen Candles is 30 YEARS OLD. I don’t recall watching this movie when I was 9 years old.  But I came across it at some point during my teen years. John Hughes was a genius.

And so ends my stroll. Do you have any favorite movies or albums from 1994?

 

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Keep Reaching for the Stars

 

RIP, Casey Kasem. I spent many an hour listening to his Top 40 countdown in the ’80s. I remember cuing up the mix tape on my ghettoblaster before the countdown began and waiting to press the “record” button. Wondering to myself, ” Will ‘Lost in Your Eyes’ hold the #5 spot?” “What spot will ‘Shiny Happy People’ make it to this week?”

And I think I pretty much lived for the “Long-Distance Dedication” portion of the show. Lived. for.

I felt the need to listen to a mix tape in honor of Casey today. I still have a Walkman tape player, yes I do. Unfortunately my earphones are at work. I don’t have any tapes from my teen years, but I still have a few from the college years.

Thank you, Casey, for instilling a love of music in the heart of a teenager in Rochester, New York, all those years ago.

Box o' cassette tapes

Box o’ cassette tapes

 

 

Block Island

 

“I find there is a quality to being alone that is incredibly precious. Life rushes back into the void, richer, more vivid, fuller than before.”

—Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

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I spent three nights on Block Island last week. I wish I had been able to stay at least three more. But I enjoyed the time that I had. Block Island is tiny, a mere 10 square miles. Within the first day and a half, I had “done” the commercial district. So the remainder of my time was spent visiting the historical society museum and the Southeast Lighthouse, and walking for miles by the ocean, lakes, and ponds. Forty percent of the land on Block Island is conserved or protected, so there is much natural beauty to discover.

The view from the deck outside of my room

The view from the deck outside of my room

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, and the animals. Every day I visited the awesome animal farm across the street from my bed and breakfast. This is not your ordinary animal farm. This is a yak, an emu, a zedonk, llamas, alpacas, kangaroos, lemurs, tortoises, geese, ducks, chickens, goats. I can say that I pet a kangaroo on my birthday—how cool is that?

 

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Other highlights were watching the sunset every night, having an amazing buffet breakfast every morning, and spending an afternoon in the sun reading Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift from the Sea. She wrote it in 1955 during a solo trip to an island off the coast of  Florida. Even though she wrote it 20 years before I was born and was married with children, while I am single, I could relate to a lot of what she wrote about being a woman and “getting away from it all” by one’s self.

This was my seventh solo birthday trip. I’m the type of traveler who wants to see as many cultural and historical attractions as possible during a trip, but I always carve out a bit of time for relaxation and reflection.

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I’ve now been to Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and Block Island. I’ve liked each island, but I believe Block Island is special because of its size. These islanders, and all of the residents before them, seem that much “scrappier” and friendlier. I can tell when my vagabond heart has fallen for a place when I am eager to plan a return visit. Until next time, Block Island…

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No Man Should Have Power Like This

 

I know I’ve already posted about the Reading Rainbow Kickstarter, but I’m so excited about it, I’m posting about it again. There are now more than 75,000 backers and the total is up to $3.5M. If you love reading, if you love supporting literacy, if you love LeVar Burton, if you love Reading Rainbow, donate $5!

And check out the Funny or Die spoof of the Reading Rainbow theme song.

I will post about my birthday trip to Block Island this weekend…

Here’s a teaser: a photo of Cindy the zedonk.

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40 things to do on the birthday list!

BirthdayJune 1st, 2015

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