Wednesday, August 23, 2006

August 23, 1997

On August 23, 1997, in a church on a hill, I married the Space Age Husband.

Nine years? In some ways, it seems so. In others, not so much.

Happy 9th Anniversary to the best Space Age Husband a woman could ask for!

Monday, August 07, 2006

MTV is 25

MTV celebrated its 25th birthday last Tuesday, August 1st.


I remember when I turned 25. It doesn't seem that long ago. MTV was just a child of ten then.

VH1 ran a special on Tuesday and Saturday, replaying the first 24 hours of music videos ever played on MTV. I wish they had shown more of the original veejays, but all we got were small clips. I had hoped to see the first day re-created in its entirety, but I settled for what was shown.

My husband and I watched a portion of Saturday's showing while we ate breakfast and read the newspaper. Some of the videos brought back fond memories. Some of them made us laugh or roll our eyes, and some of them made us cringe. So many of the songs have since faded into the black hole of complete obscurity, never having achieved hit status and many of them not even footnotes on musical history. Some rang a faint bell of familiarity somewhere in the quiet, dusty, unused rooms of my memory, causing vague and indistinct pictures in my brain, memories never fully formed and slipping away as one video segued to the next.

Over buttered toast and a second cup of coffee, I watched the Pretenders' "Message of Love," one of my favorites of theirs. I wondered out loud if anyone has ever seen Chrissie Hynde's eyes. She wore a high-necked ruffled white blouse, the kind that was absolutely de rigueur for the fashion-minded young woman of the early 1980s. Was Chrissie in part responsible for this trend? Maybe. Who knows? Those who appeared on MTV often became fashion icons, some more famous for their dress than their music.

During that hot August of 1981, when MTV was born and changed a generation, perhaps I was influenced by a force I hadn't yet seen - my first viewing of MTV came in early 1982. In August, 1981, I was about to start my sophomore year in high school. When I went shopping for new clothes, I came out of the Fashion Bug near my grandmother's apartment carrying three high-necked ruffled blouses: one white like Chrissie's, one black, one red. I wore them with skinny-legged Gloria Vanderbilt jeans and with the style we called "baggies": pleated jeans with loose thighs tapering down to the ankle.

Skinny jeans are coming back now. Everything old is new again. My friend Deanna and I used to buy our jeans as narrow as they would come, and then Deanna used her mother's sewing machine to narrow them even further; we did not consider the jeans wearable in public unless the ankles openings were so small as to necessitate the removal of our feet before putting them on. If we could zip them without lying back on the bed and employing a pliers, they were much too "loose."

At least we were safe inside those hermetically sealed jeans.

It was early days in the 80s, and we wore our hair feathered, our eyeliner blue, and our skinny jeans dark-rinsed. Soon the feathered hair would give way to gigantic teased hair and the jeans to the ubiquitous acid-wash, and we'd begin tucking our leggings into leg warmers and our feet into pointy Peter Pan boots. I went through my black clothes phase, complete with safety pins in my ears. I went through my preppy phases, with a closetful of alligator'd Izod shirts, deck shoes, and skinny leather belts. I had a New Wave phase, puncutated by bright makeup, purple tights, striped shirts and mini skirts. If it was fashionable in the 1980s, I wore it at some point.

The beginnings of a cultural revolution rang out at midnight, Tuesday, August 1, 1981, and very few people guessed at the far reaching impact it would have, far beyond the boundaries of the music industry, becoming interwoven in the fabric of American pop culture itself. There are young adults today, out of college, pursuing careers, married and parents themselves, who have known no world without MTV. For them, it has always been. For me...well, I can still remember the first time I heard the words, "I want my MTV."

Sunday, August 06, 2006


The update on Jon is that there really is no update.

The search was called off altogether not long after I wrote my earlier entry about Jon. There is a presumption in that action that I can't seem to make myself articulate, but its specter is there nonetheless.

Thank you to those who have thought of Jon and his family, and to those who read his story. All that is left now is to pray for peace and closure for his family and loved ones, and that they would know so very many people were touched by their beloved son and brother.