MY NOTEBOOK FROM 1985
JUNE 6, 2007
In my effort to embarrass myself totally and completely by the end of the year, I have unearthed yet another relic of my childhood. The above picture is the cover of the oldest of my notebooks I have found to date. Most of the things written in this notebook were from 1985, when I was 11-12 years of age and in 6th or 7th grade, depending on the time of year. The liberal use of the word "awesome" on the cover alone (I can count five instances looking it over quickly) would tell you approximately what year this was. As would the rainbow sticker with my name on it. Yeah, you all are in for a real treat here.
For a kid like me - that is, creative and a bit of a loner - notebooks were not just for school, but they were also for making lists, and doodling while on the phone. Notebooks were also for finding new ways to state to the world my explicit love for Duran Duran, John Taylor, and Duran's bastard stepchild, Power Station - not to mention the TV show Miami Vice and a myriad of other 80s pop culture goodies. The comment in the upper left of the cover is my favorite: "Power Station on Miami Vice is Awesome". Guess what? I found a clip of this appearance on YouTube (God bless it!) so can decide for yourselves:
I was right. It was awesome. I love the fact that it's Michael DeBarres era Power Station. I love seeing Rico Tubbs dance. Awesomenesssss.......
Opening the notebook, I found this in one of the divider pockets:
I can still fold a note that way. I feel so Special. Opening the "note" we can see it's really a list of Duran Duran's vital statistics I somehow got from MTV. I remember doing this at my friend Amy (now known as "Norah")'s father's house, which makes sense because we didn't have MTV this early where I lived. What was MTV doing reading off vital statistics of a band? Perhaps Norah remembers and can enlighten me (dude, I think this was the night we ate "fonglue", if that helps). To the right is the typed-up version of this list. I had to have it in good condition! I also remember typing this over at Norah's Dad's.
So, Roger worked in a "yaht" shop and his hobby was Space Invaders. Nick collected hats and his nickname was Ringo (but he didn't like it). I wonder why Andy was called Sniffer? Ah hah.
One of my hobbies was listening to the Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 religiously every Sunday night. I was so into it, sometimes I even wrote it down:
This took a level of commitment (3-4
hours) I won't give to much of anything nowadays. So, let's see...Oingo Boingo,
there's a band I hadn't thought about in years. I must have had some kind of
crisis in the 31/30 time frame, as "In My House" by
The Mary Jane Girls is
crossed out, moved from 30 to 35, and not replaced. I like how number 19 was by
DeBarge and number 18 was by
El DeBarge. It was, indeed, the 80s! Incidentally,
I have both of those 45s from back then. And I have five other 45s of songs on this list (you
are correct if you guessed numbers 24, 13, 6, 5 and 4). The
Wham! album "Make It
Big" (which, yeah, I bought back then and still have) is represented no less
than three times on this list! Dang, they were sooo popular. You forget stuff
like that. As for number 19 again, yeah, I still have a problem writing the word
*UPDATE* - Although it's true that I was a Rick Dees nerd and wrote down the top 40s quite often, my friend Norah has informed me that the above list was a Top 40 we made up. She says several of her 45 singles are represented, in addition to mine. Also, the song "Heartbeat" was never a single, which I actually suspected, too. The only reason I assumed this wasn't made up was I couldn't (and still can't) believe we made "It's A Lonely Old Night" the #1 song! To read more of Norah's commentary, click on the "Leave A Comment" link at the bottom of the page.
This is a letter I started for a pen pal. I erased my hometown for my own privacy before I posted this:
He really was a "big jerk." Seriously. And obviously, I never sent that letter, either.
Here's another top 40, sort of:
For some reason the song "Pop Life" by Prince was written down the left side of this page. No idea what that was about. A few weeks after the previous top 40, St. Elmo's Fire had made it to number 1! Go John Parr! Did he have any other hits? Oh yeah, "Naughty Naughty" came before that (thanks Wikipedia!). "Naughty naughty, loud and bawdy, t-t-t-t-tease me!"
More on my love for Duran Duran:
If only they had let me draw their official logo! This must have used the last of my better colored markers, because everything drawn after this was done in markers the color of ass:
Giving up on markers, I used the pencil-on-notebook medium a few pages later to pay homage to My Favorite Television Show in both block and bubble lettering:
I must have been really bored this day:
I made a list of all of the countries I could think of, with the grand total being 94. So I was a little geeky. So sue me.
I honestly don't recall if any version of that letter ever made it to Duran Duran's offices. I honestly hope not. They must have had such good times reading their teeny-bopper fan mail. What was I thinking anyway? By the time Power Station existed there was a huge rift in Duran Duran. The bands did not co-exist. And there's cruddy marker color used again here. There is another version of this letter a few pages later that is too asinine to own up to - but now you know it exists.
On the flip side of the charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas" by Band-Aid was this gem of a song "Feed The World." It's really a recorded comment from everyone in the group. Norah had this 45, not me. I don't know if she let me borrow it or if I memorized this, but the page above is almost a verbatim copy of the dialogue. Wow, Gary Kemp from Spandau Ballet. Who remembers that name (put your hand down, Norah)? To fill in the blanks at the bottom, which I still didn't know and had to look up: I think it was supposed to be Paul Weller from Style Council, not Star Council and Johnny Fingers was from Boomtown Rats. Don't you feel more edumacated now?
To illustrate how strange, creative and bored Norah and I were, I give you this: we collected those "warm fuzzy" things. The puff balls with googly eyes and plastic feet and sometimes hats. We also called them "Siberians" with the back-story that they were somehow escaped from slavery in Siberia and waiting in stores and A&W restaurants for Americans to adopt them. Or something like that. We just thought it was funny. And we named every one we acquired with a different and odd boy's name. This name we would write on the ribbon that normally protruded from a Siberian's butt area. At some point, I presented Norah (again, known as "Amy" then) with the following list of boy's names for her consideration:
I wonder why the big gap between Raphael and Merwyn? Why was Merton not ok, but Merwyn was ok? Things to ponder.
Another top 40:
This was probably copied out of the back of a Rolling Stone magazine. Or something. I have no idea:
So, that's what Syracusans were buying in or around the week of 11/17/1985. I bought one of those albums. No, unbelievably not the Miami Vice soundtrack (though I have bought that since!). I let y'all guess.
Finally, my friend Norah had always been obsessed with names. She even runs Namenerds.com now. When her obsession was in its infancy, one way it manifested itself was in the collection of Cabbage Patch Kid names. Anytime one of us would go to a store that sold Cabbage Patch Kids we would write down all of their names and she'd add it to a growing list she kept. Here is one of my lists I kept for her. This had to have been from multiple stores:
I like Rhet Teddie, Sid Ziggy, Ellimay Olive, Rafael Mario, Kendrick Fred, Gideon Skip. The boys obviously had better names. Elroy Filmer and Parker Filmer are both listed. And here I had never heard of the name Filmer! I refuse to believe some of these were random, as they say they were. Come on, Charity Cassie wasn't supposed to be some play on "charity case?" Sure. What's fun to think about is that somewhere out there these kids are probably owned by someone now.
That's about it for interesting things I am willing to share from this particular notebook. If you're really good girls and boys, perhaps I'll unearth another for your viewing pleasure.