My Favorite Things

Two of my favorite things to do in life are listening to music and reading books.  In the summer of 1989 I had the opportunity to do both.  My entire summer, while all my friends had jobs, I didn’t, and I stayed up, laid in the sun (or tried, I can’t get a tan in Ohio to save my soul) read books and listened to what was Power 108.

This was the summer I fell in love with Jordan Knight and New Kids on the Block (they were Hanging Tough), was excited because I was able to witness the re-emergence of Donny Osmond (my sister was a huge fan in the 70’s, so of course, I became a huge as well, I seriously don’t know of a time in my existence when I didn’t love Donny… and was able to tell him 4 years ago when I won a contest where if you emailed him and he got it promptly at 2:00pm (his time) he would call you.  My husband told me when to hit send, and I figured nothing was happening… until I got a call from a Blocked Phone Number at 5:20 (my time) – I spoke with him for about 5 minutes… and was in heaven! My “On this Day” on FB reminded me of this event just a few days ago). Needless to say when “Soldier of Love” was released, I was an extremely happy camper.

Also on top of the music charts was Milli Vanilli – or who we thought was Milli Vanilli – regardless of the lip syncing scandal, the music was still awesome and I easily listen to “Baby, Don’t Forget My Number” and “Blame It On the Rain” whenever it comes on.  Martika was big (or at least Toy Soldiers was) but my love of her goes back to her glory days as Gloria on KIDS Inc, Michael Damian found a way to “Rock On” and power ballads were plentiful with Chicago releasing one of my favorite songs they sing, “We Can Last Forever”, and Simply Red’s “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”.  Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation” was released that year as well… so you know it was a year of excellent tunes.

But along with being obsessed with what was playing on the radio, I was also mesmerized with reading.  I read all kinds of books that summer… VC Andrews “Heaven” saga was my favorite series.  The music played along nicely with these books… I remember listening to the radio as I read book 2 – Dark Angel – and “Send Me An Angel” by Real Life came on… still associate the 2 to this day.  When I was reading “Fallen Hearts” a short time later, Love & Rockets “So Alive” came out – and if you have ever read “Fallen Hearts” and are a fan of Troy – you know why this song was a perfect fit for this books soundtrack.

Other books that highlighted that year were “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte, “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte, “The Mill on the Floss” by George Elliot, “Rebecca” by Daphne Du Maurier (this one kills me, I remember my Grandmother recommending this book to me, and so I got it and was reading it and it was going so… slow.  I put it down and read a bunch of other books and then I didn’t have any money to get anymore books so I picked up Rebecca and began reading it again.  The very next page the book completely got interesting. So keep that in mind should you ever have a book that is going a bit slow… the next page may really be the difference – and this is one of my favorite books of all time now).  Mary Higgins Clark books rounded out my summer reading.

This summer I may enjoy listening to the 80’s now more than ever (I can’t get enough of the 80’s on 8 featured on SiriusXM radio) but I still love to read.  A few years ago one of my goals was originally to read 100 books in a year.  I realized it’s hard to have a full time job, kids and a life if you are trying to read that many books… so I changed it to 60… which I actually accomplished with a few days to spare.  Though I don’t have a goal this year, I am reading books and tracking them on my Nook in a shelf entitled 2016… I think I read some in the beginning of the year that I checked out of the library that I need to add… but I’m off to a decent start.  And I’m trying to read a variety of genre’s so if you have a book you just think is so incredible… share it with me!

My present book is entitled “The Last Little Blue Envelope”, the sequel to “13 Little Blue Envelopes” by Maureen Johnson.  It’s about a 17 year old whose aunt has passed and she send her 13 little blue envelopes posthumously, sending her on a trip around Europe.  It left you hanging so I had to get the sequel from the library.  It’s a young adult book… and so refreshing.  Sadly, I remember feeling like Ginny so often.

What are your favorite things? Do you have a love of indulging in 80’s music as well?  What is your favorite genre’s of entertainment… Share your guilty pleasure!  We’re all friends!

P.S.  The title of this post is also a favorite… The Sound of Music one of my favorite movies… but that’s a topic for another day.

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Summer of ’89

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Ahhh…. yesterday morning was going like any other, I was in the car driving my girl child and boy child to my parents house (who are wonderful and babysit them during the day while my hubby and I work) and “Toy Soldier” by Martika (OMG I LOVE Martika) came on the 80’s on 8. As part of the intro, Mark Goodman asked if it would be on tomorrow’s countdown as this weekend they are counting down the Top 40 hits from this week in 1989 (and yes, I predict it to be in the top 10 if it’s not #1).

I have been so excited ever since and here I sit listening to the 80’s on 8 on my computer as I await a countdown I listened to 26 years ago.

So happy – it’s beginning – and oddly enough song #40 is “Satisfied” by Richard Marx – I’m sure I will be even more satisfied by the time we reach #1 – I’m curious to see how many songs I have predicted to my children are actually on this countdown (I do believe they think I am insane).

I was 16 in the summer of ’89 in between my sophomore and junior years of high school.  I had never had a boyfriend and so life was good as I didn’t know heartbreak – life that summer was all about books and music.

The books I read were V.C. Andrews’ “Heaven” Series and her stand alone “My Sweet Audrina”, Emily Bronte’s “Wuthering Heights”, Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre”, George Eliot’s “The Mill on the Floss”, various books by Mary Higgins Clark, Daphne DuMaurier’s “Rebecca” and countless others.

The music was all about New Kids on the Block (best concert ever – November 19, 1989 when I saw them live with Sweet Sensation and Dino – so awesome as they did their Christmas music as well as their regular stuff!), Martika (yes, I was a die-hard Kids Incorporated fan – and I will never forget hearing “More Than You Know” on the radio the first time as I knew it was her because I loved her voice so much), Fine Young Cannibals, Milli Vanilli (lip synching or not – the singers could sing) and I believe Donny Osmond was still coasting by from his comeback the year before, I know Madonna should be on – this could be the summer “Cherish” and “Express Yourself” was popular, obviously Richard Marx – if it hadn’t started on the chart “Right Here Waiting” was just weeks away, Chicago’s “We Can Last Forever” – one of my favorite songs of all time, Simpy Red’s “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”, Love & Rockets “So Alive” and Real Life’s “Send Me An Angel”.  Such great songs – gosh I miss the 80’s.

Not that music from the 90’s was bad – it’s probably my 2nd most listened station in the car.

Do you have a time period that you just love when it comes to music? This week’s Countdown may beat out last Thanksgiving 1987 that I listened to 5 times.  We shall see… and I’ll keep you posted to see if my prediction for #1 was right.

As I listen to Michael Damien – though he is singing “Cover of Love” but I’ll close with a Rock On!

Memory and Music

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All my life I have been told what a fabulous memory I have, but there is an unknown method to my madness – all my memories are tied in with music. There is something in my head that links everything together – and often I can hear a song and re-iterate everything in minute detail of what happened.

One such moment came when I was in 10th grade, studying for my Enriched Biology Exam to finish up the first semester of school.  As I studied I listened to my Huey Lewis and the News album “Sports” and the next morning as I took my exam – as I had Biology first period of the day – as I read the questions and answered them, I had each and every song going through my head… especially the songs “Walking on a Thin Line” and “Finally Found a Home”. I ended up getting an A on the exam and yes, I attribute that grade to Huey.

But so many other moments of my life I can relive in vivid details because of the wonder of music.  When I hear “More Than Words” by Extreme I’m taken back to my senior prom and dancing with my date.  When I hear “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls, it was the song playing when I kissed my now-husband for the very first time.  Anytime I listen to “Chicago’s Greatest Hits ’82-’89” makes me think of a trip I took to London when I was in school.  When I hear “Stay the Night” I remember standing outside of Windsor Castle, and “Along Comes a Woman” reminds me of all the many sights I saw in the week I was there and the surrounding area.  Another popular song at that time was “Been Around the World” by Lisa Stansfield and I remember standing on the corner as I bought one of the BEST pairs of shoes (I got them at a Peter Lords and the brand was “Bubbles” and they were just these comfortable canvas shoes that went with EVERYTHING), anyhow, I remember walking down the street and that song came on and I remember thinking… Wow… here I am, all around the world, and I couldn’t find my baby as my boyfriend was across the ocean!  Tacky I know – but I was a junior in high school, what did you expect? One more set of songs that makes me think of my London trip was the Violator CD by Depeche Mode, though I didn’t really hear any of the songs on my trip, it was the official cd of everyone on the trip.  So a few years down the road, when I got my 5-changer cd player, I purchased the Violator cd enjoying the great songs on the cd – “Personal Jesus” and “Enjoy the Silence” but I still think of that trip.

Flash forward a few years and during my college years I loved the popular 90’s Swedish group Ace of Base.  Overall in life I have a thing for Swedish groups, or at least the really popular ones as I love ABBA and Roxette as well.  But with Ace of Base they had that blending of dance along with great vocals and I just loved their music.  One song in particular was “Beautiful Life” – the intro is just incredible when you stand solidly between the two speakers with the sounds going back and forth beating throughout your entire body.  I so love the beginning of that song.  Forward ourselves a few more years into the future, my then fiancé and I are trying to find the ideal wedding spot.  Where we ended up having it had  a dance floor with speakers tilted around it so that the music was incredible while on the dance floor, yet those sitting at the tables could carry on a nice conversation.  So the salesperson goes and turns on the stereo player so we can hear the speakers and lo and behold what do we hear?  “It’s a Beautiful Life… O-O-O-O” – I was sold right then and there.

I could probably write a never ending post about how my memory works with songs… and I know I have more stories because my co-worker looks at me like I’m nuts all the time because I have all these precise details of situations that pertain to a song I heard at the moment.  My husband cracked up at me just 2 weeks ago because the 80’s on 8 (with SiriusXM radio) had a 1987 countdown 2 weeks ago and I was in heaven.  They were in the top 5 when we heard it on our way to his uncle’s house as I said… this was a great summer of music – I wish I could listen to the entire countdown because I just know “Alone” by Heart was going to be on it.  The very next song was “Alone” (it was song #2).  My husband somewhat sighed in disgust as I had correctly predicted a song on the countdown – I just laughed… 1987 was the final time my family had gone camping – and whenever we went camping it always rained.  I remember sitting in the pop-up tent I slept in (on my inflatable raft/air mattress) listening to the countdowns that weekend.  When all was said and done, I’d counted about 10 songs that I thought were on the countdown for that July 4 weekend… as I did listen to it online and had forgotten a few of the songs that were in the lineup.

Music is a huge part of my life.  For the longest time I use to have this inner debate with myself as to what would be worse to be – blind or deaf.  And over the years I have come to the conclusion that it would be far worse to deal with deafness than blindness… it would kill me to never be able to hear music again – but I would still be able to imagine what something looked like if someone described it to me. Just my opinion.

Do you have songs that allow you to recall a moment in vivid detail?

Daily Post Prompt Always Something There to Remind Me