Saturday, June 24, 2006

Silly But Revealing

Sometimes these surveys/games are annoying and sometimes they reveal much about the person who plays along. This list is inspired by one written by a teenager; I found a rewrite on a Gen-Xer friend’s blog and rewrote part of it for Boomers and Gen-Xers.

First, the instructions, if you want to do it: Copy and paste the whole list, then remove the number of each item you have not done (but leave the item). Renumber it and add up your list. Add comments along the way. If you post this on a blog, let me know (in my Comments section). Here are mine:

I Have Done 100 of These 100 Things

[1] I have read a lot of books.
[2] I have run a 10k race.
[3] I have been to Canada.
[4] I have been to Mexico.
[5] I watched every episode of an entire multi-year TV series (NYPD Blue).
[6] I have fallen down an entire flight of stairs.
[7] I have played trombone in a band, in public.
[8] I have played bass guitar.
[9] I have played saxophone (in front of a music teacher, but not in public).
[10] I’ve been married more than once.
[11] I have been on a whale watch.
[12] I have seen a spectacular Independence Day fireworks show (launched within a mile of where the Star Spangled Banner was written).
[13] I have seen a meteor shower.
[14] I have almost drowned.
[15] I have listened to one CD over and over and over again.
[16] I have had stitches.
[17] I have dislocated my shoulder (more than once).
[18] I have seen a sunset and a moonrise from the same spot on the same evening (at the Grand Canyon).
[19] I have been to the top of lighthouse (two, actually, twice each).
[20] I’ve been in a hurricane.
[21] I have worked a reverse 9 to 5 job … 9 PM to 5 AM.
[22] I have been married more than once.
[23] I have been in a hot air balloon race.
[24] I have fallen flat on my face.
[25] I have tripped over my own two feet.
[26] I have been a passenger in a helicopter.
[27] I've been/am in love.
[28] I have visited more than half of the 50 U.S. states.
[29] I have been in the real West Wing.
[30] I have friends who live more than 2000 miles from where I live.
[31] I have already had my 42nd birthday.
[32] I've called someone stupid.
[33] I've been in a verbal argument.
[34] I've cried in public.
[35] I have friends who have survived breast cancer (so far).
[36] I've narrated an event in front of a large crowd (40,000 spectators in a stadium).
[37] I've been completely alone on a beach.
[38] I’ve been in a car accident while driving someone else’s car.
[39] I've been swimming in the Atlantic Ocean.
[40] I've been swimming in the Gulf of Mexico (in the US and in Mexico).
[41] I’ve won more than I’ve lost playing the slots in Vegas.
[42] I've called myself an idiot.
[43] I've called someone else an idiot.
[44] I've taken a day off from work just so I don't go insane.
[45] I've had/have pets.
[46] I've owned a Madonna CD.
[47] I've owned a Neil Diamond CD (stop laughing!).
[48] I've asked a celebrity to say something they are famous for saying (James Earl Jones “Luke, you are my son” in his Darth Vader voice while recording him on the phone … instead he said “THIS … is CNN”).
[49] I've owned a black and white TV.
[50] I've interviewed an astronaut (actually a Mission Specialist in the Shuttle program)
[51] I've had a conversation with a Mayor.
[52] I've had a conversation with a Senator.
[53] I have sworn/yelled at someone of authority.
[54] I've been in the newspaper.
[55] I've been on TV.
[56] I've been homesick.
[57] I've owned more than 10 vehicles.
[58] I’ve owned a car that didn’t even have seat belts.
[59] I've met members of the Gilligan’s Island cast.
[60] I’ve seen cast members from Happy Days in their underwear (in the locker room before a celebrity baseball game – what did you think I meant?).
[61] I've watched the Smurfs (as an adult).
[62] I've been fired from a job.
[63] I've been called a geek.
[64] I've been backstabbed by someone I thought was a friend.
[65] I've lied to someone to their face.
[66] I've hugged someone I hardly knew.
[67] I've engaged in other related activity with someone I hardly knew.
[68] I've met a few celebrities/music artists.
[69] I've written poetry.
[70] I've been fingerprinted at a police station.
[71] I've been attracted to someone much older than me.
[72] I've been attracted to someone much younger than me.
[73] I have siblings.
[74] I've listened to country music and enjoyed it.
[75] I've listened to classical music and enjoyed it.
[76] I've been in a play.
[77] I've been picked last in gym class.
[78] I've served in the military.
[79] I've been an altar boy and a choir boy.
[80] I’ve been in a spelling bee.
[81] I've studied languages other than English (but never really learned to speak any of them).
[82] I've had a verbal fight with someone face-to-face.
[83] I've had serious conversations via IM.
[84] I've forgiven someone who has done something wrong to me.
[85] I've been forgiven.
[86] I've spoken my mind in public.
[87] I've proven someone wrong.
[88] I've been proven wrong by someone.
[89] I've seen someone die.
[90] I've screamed at the top of my lungs.
[91] I've been completely drenched in a storm.
[92] I've been so close to a lightning strike that my armhair stood up.
[93] I've lived at more than 20 addresses.
[94] I've driven on the beach and got stuck.
[95] I've sold Christmas trees at a department store (Sears).
[96] I've wanted to be an actor at some point.
[97] I've taken something/someone for granted.
[98] I've made fun of someone.
[99] I've realized how good my life is.
[100] I've counted my blessings.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Father's Day

An entire week remains before Father’s Day, but the advertising is already driving me crazy.

My Dad died nearly five years ago, but I still cringe when I see the ads suggesting this or that product to buy Dad for his day. The same thing happened in May for Mother’s Day. Mom died less than a year ago, so that one hit me even harder. But Father’s Day advertising seems more aggressive.

I wonder if boomers are prepared for stuff like this. I wasn’t. My parents were great role models for things like parenting or saving money, but not for dealing with the death of a parent. I was a kid when three of my four grandparents died, so I barely remember my parents’ reaction to the deaths of their parents. I also don’t recall their emotional state for the next few years following those deaths.

Grief doesn’t go away. We can get used to the loss of a loved one, and over time some of the sadness is reduced. We find a place in our head and heart, and the feeling sort themselves out.

My Dad and I weren’t especially close, but during his last few years and the years since his death, I have grown to appreciate him and what he taught me. I regularly have Dad moments: I’ll be working on some carpentry or yard project and I do something just like he would have done it. Then I realize that is what I am doing.

I was at his side when he died and I watched him take his last breath. Over time my feelings did sort themselves out, and I no longer get that emotional when I think of him. Except around Father’s Day.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

More Ad Music

Add these songs to my growing list of tunes used in TV ads, apparently to endear boomers to their products. Does this concept work for you? I find it amusing, but I’m not sure it hooks me up with the products.

“Magic Carpet Ride” plays in a commercial for Wendy’s. Thankfully it isn’t Steppenwolf doing the singing. I’ve always liked that song from 1968 and I’ve liked Wendy’s since my first visit in the 1980s. I don’t see the connection.

By the way, as I searched the Steppenwolf web site looking for song details, I learned I was visitor number 2,038,577 since 1996.

I also tried to determine who sings the version of “Magic Carpet Ride” used in the commercial. I found several websites, discussion groups and blogs seeking the same information. One person contacted the advertising agency for Wendy’s and they won’t say.

Foghat’s 1978 hit “Slow Ride” plays in a Honda minivan commercial. WHAT??? Hard rock = a minivan? That is almost as weird as Zeppelin in those Cadillac ads. And slow ride implies this minivan is underpowered. Am I missing something here?

This one is a bit more obscure. The VFW National Home ran some commercials on Memorial Day using “Can’t You See,” a 1973 song from southern rockers The Marshall Tucker Band. The song had no lyric connection to the organization. They used that flute-guitar combination at the beginning of the song, which set the perfect mood for their message and easily reaches out to mid-boomers and hauls them/us back to the Vietnam era. I guess that’s the point.

Tonight I saw a Pier 1 commercial with the 1969 Isley Brothers song “It’s Your Thing.” I guess they think the title line makes for a good slogan. Do you think they heard the rest of the song?

It's your thing, do what you wanna do. I can't tell you, who to sock it to.
If you want me to love you, maybe I will. Believe me woman, it ain't no big deal. You need love now, just as bad as I do. Make's me no difference now, who you give your thing to.

Wow, what a perfect song for a company that sells chairs, pillows, dishes and candle holders.