Links about the 1990s to Count Down to the Bon Jovi Concert in One Week

I don’t even remember when or where I heard about the concert. Months ago. It was meant to be; I had to go.

  • Wednesday, April 17
  • 7pm
  • Energy Solutions Arena
  • Salt Lake City, Utah

Some friends and I bought tickets, and all that’s left is for us to get mullets.

They probably think I’m not serious. I don’t understand how they could think that.

The ’90s meant junior high and high school. Starting college. Making friends faster than I normally did. Weird college experiences. Not the best fashion there ever was. I loved everything about that time. I remember hearing all about the Crying Game before Trig/Analyt in Ms. Marlette’s classroom. Because of that experience I have never felt the need to watch the movie.

It’s so great that I have maintained most of my ’90s friendships. Just last week at the grocery store I ran into a freshman floormate from BYU. I still keep up with friends from my hometown where I graduated from high school. Those folks are even more beautiful and passionate versions of themselves. The decade and our gang helped each other evolve. world now may be so very full of suck, but we’re still doing our best.

I mean, fine. We listened to artists like Counting Crows, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, The Offspring, Sting, Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories, Radiohead, and R.E.M., but hello? We also listened to Boyz 2 Men, Madonna, Ace of Base, Wilson Phillips, and Bon Jovi. Garth Brooks. Martina McBride. Fresh Prince. All the once embarrassing stuff that holds so much nostalgic value for me now. I listened to the soft rock my mom loved. I got into a lot of oldies developed an affinity for live jazz and classical. The group I grew up with soaked it all up.

To commemorate next week’s event, I’ve looked up a few links to get people reminiscing about the ’90s.

The Most Important TV Couples from the ’90s

What ’90s Kids Can Relate To

I Hate When Dawson Cries about First World Problems

On a More Serious Note. Thanks Again, Onion

So I can’t even begin to tell you how fun this concert will be. Sure, Bon Jovi has a new record and is on tour to promote it. But he definitely knows that everyone wants him to sing his old stuff.

I wonder if he misses it.

I Thought the Cup Game from Girls Camp Was a Secret

From this post:

We learned a fun cup game while we waited for our turn [to eat]. Two claps, three drums to the bottom of the cup facing up, one clap, pick up the cup with the right hand and set it to the right slightly (boom); clap, pick up the cup with the right hand, bringing the cup’s mouth to the palm of the left hand, set the cup down right side up (boom), pick the cup back up and put in the left hand, bang the right palm on the table (boom), and place the cup mouth down on the table space of the person to the right. The rhythm starts over and gets faster until your cup ends back in front of you. I still remember it, obviously.

This cup game combined singing teenagers and percussion, young women and an emotional bond created through rhythm. We laughed, we sang, we got loud and laughed some more. We also happened to sound great while doing all of that. I can hear the echoes of my memories so clearly.

I’ve come across variations of this cup game, and that only means that I have to admit to watching shows like Glee and movies like Pitch Perfect. They’re the same show, you say? Maybe. Do I care? Sort of, but also sort of not.

Sometime during Christmas break, I decided to catch up on this season of Glee. One of the first songs of the premiere features Provo’s/Las Vegas’s very own Imagine Dragons and their song, “It’s Time.” And the LDS Girls Camp Cup Game, of course.

Then last weekend, per a friend’s suggestion, Reilly rented Pitch Perfect. During one scene, Anna Kendrick’s character decides to audition for a college acapella group with just her voice and a cup. Fittingly, she sings a song called, “Cups,” and it features the LDS Girls Camp Cup Game.

These shows didn’t ruin my memories of girls camp. Instead, watching how trendy the cup game has become has allowed me to fondly reminisce about 100 girls chanting and drumming, with strong voices and drinking cups, a daily ritual that didn’t even last a week, every summer for four years. Those were such good times.

Sandy Dunkin New York

Right now I imagine a former home of mine is receiving a lot of rain, lightning, and high winds. Many former homes have been part of those circumstances.

I was born during a typhoon in the Philippines. This may be why I don’t really freak out during big rains. My birth versus the storm: I won, but I’ve also always made sure never to get too cocky. Don’t stand in an open field under lightning clouds. Don’t play in puddles and get ringworm.

I lived in Guam. Seems if you live in the Pacific Ocean, you have to expect the whole range of tropical weather. Which would include earthquakes. And if volcanoes were nearby, those, too.

I lived in Key West. Consistently warm weather often compelled my brother and me to stay inside with the air conditioning. But I played a lot outside, too. But I mostly blame Key West for making me break my brother’s arm.

I lived in Jacksonville. Hurricanes mostly miss Jacksonville. The city often catches the fringes of the swirlstorms, and it receives a lot of rain, but Jax has had its share of lucky breaks when hurricanes decide to turn northward toward the Carolinas. And that’s not so lucky for the Carolinas.

I lived in New York City. That damn town greeted me with a blizzard, and it rained when I left it nearly 7 years later. That place brought out my allergies and gave me a true glimpse of depression. Rain, snow, strikes, sweltering and stifling heat. I miss that place.

I live in Utah. The sun is out, I can see the mountains that still hang on to the turned leaves. I walked two blocks through wet and heavy snow the other day, and I felt nostalgic. Today, nary a trace of that white stuff. But the mountains cling to that, too.

New York, I know you’re prepared. Candles, flashlights, water, food, batteries. Board games, radio. Dance parties. Storytime. Quality time. Run to the Hills. Or Washington Heights. I’ll be praying for you.

All in All, A Very Good Day

Clickr the photo to  get to flickr.

Matt and Karissa got to come to Utah for the very first time, and Moab was a good place to start. I’ve lived in Utah a while, but I hadn’t been to Moab, so we agreed that this would be a good place to meet.

It only took seven or eight years since the last time. And the landscape was totally different last time. Last time was New York City. Little Italy.

But we overheard some Italians during one of our hikes today. So maybe it was almost like last time. I mean, there were skyscrapers, sort of. And we walked Park Avenue.

It’s late, and I’m tired. As you can tell from the photos, the day gave us a lot to do and look at and talk about. The park was relatively busy, but everyone was friendly. Except for the foreign people in the rented RV who said in a rather severe accent and attitude for Matt and Karissa to move their rental car out of the way. I mean, why would you want to bully anyone in one of the most beautiful places on the planet?

It’s great when Reilly’s so willing and excited to meet my friends. And it was wonderful seeing those guys again, catching up, being in nature, seeing pretty stuff. Let’s hope the next time we get together will be a little sooner.

Recipes

One day when I was younger, I asked my dad to teach me how to cook and bake. Mom and he took turns cooking, but Dad did most of the baking. He cooked and baked during most of the time he was in the Navy, and I couldn’t have been more grateful that he brought his work home with him.

At different points throughout college, I called my dad for advice about cooking and baking. How much cold water for the crust? How much difference does nutmeg make? He gave me tips on many of his recipes, that while it was important to measure exactly, he told me to observe consistencies and textures and trust my instincts on what “looks” right. He told me not to be afraid to taste and adjust accordingly.

Sometimes my attempts were successful, and other times reminded me that I needed more practice. And that maybe I needed to trust myself more.

The missionaries came over all the time for meals, and my dad proudly fed them. His goal was always to overfeed them. He was constantly tasting and stirring and seasoning and often experimenting. He made great stews and steaks and chili. He made a great sweet-and-sour sauce that went well with pork or fish or chicken.

Dad likes to tell a story about a time he was at sea and preparing a meal for all the sailors on board. The the ocean was rolling, and he was trying to bake bread, but the bread pans would slide in the oven and bang against the side, and the dough would inevitably fall. My dad was a perfectionist with his baking, and he would always throw away his sunken attempts and try again.

He figured out that he should make enough dough to fill enough loaf pans to put into the oven at the same time, to pack them side by side, across the oven rack, fitted against each other and the oven walls. This allowed the bread to rise and the sailors to have homemade bread for their meals.

His best work was always his baking. At holiday times he made multiple pies. He made cookies and cinnamon rolls and cakes. It’s hard to imagine a time when our home didn’t smell amazing.

He taught me how to make French toast and how to tell when to flip over pancakes. He made enormous three-egg omelets and cooked bacon and sausage perfectly. I owe my love of breakfast to my dad.

I learned the importance of a clean workspace from him. He said to clean as I go, for not only does that free up space that I need for the next delicious thing to prepare, it prevents a giant pile of dishes to wash at the very end.

He baked whenever, not just for holidays. Sometimes I would help him roll out his perfect pie crust for pumpkin or apple or cherry cream cheese or pecan pie. Sometimes I would help cut the pie crust into smaller circles to fill for turnovers. Then he’d let me seal the edges with a fork and paint the turnovers with an eggwash. They went into the oven, then I’d mix some powdered sugar and milk to brush over them as a glaze once they cooled off .

He’d let me sprinkle sugar and cinnamon across rolled-out bread dough that had been brushed with melted butter. Sometimes there were raisins. He’d roll the dough back up and slice cross-sections and place them on a baking sheet and let them rise. Then he’d bake and ice them in the morning for fresh cinnamon rolls for breakfast.

Waking up was never hard for me as a kid.

Banana bread happened quite frequently. He let a couple of bananas go beyond ripe,  soft and almost black, and nearly self-dissolved in sweetness, and he would put them in the freezer until he needed them. I remember doing homework in my room and suddenly smelling banana bread and coming out of my room for a warm piece sometimes served with a scoop of ice cream.

Then, of course, there was the eating of our creation. And the sharing. My dad always shared with guests and neighbors and folks from church. He always made plenty. He loved being busy in the kitchen. He loves making people happy.

The other day, my aunt told me over the phone that my dad has driven to places several times and couldn’t find his way home. In his clearer moments he realized that he isn’t safe–he is endangering himself and others–and he suggested to my aunt that he can’t live on his own.

She said there were times that she’s found him sitting in his chair, staring at the walls, waiting to die.

But he’s on antidepressants now.

He’s in a lot of pain a lot of the time, and his doctor scheduled him for a follow-up surgery on a long-standing condition he has, but according to my aunt, no one has checked on the effects of the combination of medications he is taking. His blood is thin, his heart is bad: he is not a good candidate for surgery. At my aunt’s insistence, the doctor referred him to a specialist.

Dad gave my aunt power of attorney and she’s been trying to organize his affairs. He’ll get rid of his house. And his truck. He won’t be driving anymore.

He’ll be checking into assisted living. He and my aunt have checked out the facility, and apparently, Dad has already made friends with a neighbor across the hall from his room.

He knows that my aunt and I have been talking. He worries that she’s told me everything.

It’s important for me to know.

She’s such a good sister to him, and I cannot imagine what it’s like for her to watch him fade before her eyes. She has only wanted for him to be happy.

She said that doctors have diagnosed him, and there’s only so much they can treat.

My aunt said that the missionaries don’t come over anymore.

Dad has stopped cooking and baking completely.

He’s forgotten the recipes.

A Letter to Freshman May

Dear Freshman May,

It’s been a long time. I’ve been walking the BYU campus this past week, shopping for books, wandering the library, going to work. You’ve crossed my mind a lot.

It’s freshmen orientation time right now, and it has taken so much mental and physical effort not to burst into laughter every time I pass a group of wide-eyed 18-year-olds. Instead I suppress a mocking smile, and so I traverse campus looking smug. All those beautiful and nauseatingly eager freshmen, if they’re aware enough to notice me, might wonder who the short girl is with a seemingly permanent smirk on her face. That would be me.

What was it like, Freshman May? Did you ever act the way some of these kids do? Did you ask the same questions, play the same pranks, have the same goals?

You were smart enough to be admitted all those years ago. You should be proud of yourself.

You lived in Deseret Towers, U-Hall. Officially, Ballard Hall. Have you heard what they did to Deseret Towers? They demolished them a few years back and they’ve rebuilt – they’re rebuilding – them, except they’re not going to call them Deseret Towers. I wish I could tell you how and why I know that, but I can’t. But that’s the news.

You’re facebook friends with a lot of your freshmen friends, Freshman May. It’s so great that all of you are able to keep in touch.

I missed the freshmen deluge last year. I officially stepped onto the campus proper on the first day of class, and all the students milling around seemed perfectly normal.

Within the first few weeks of being Freshman May, you wrote an email to your high school friends. Remember Cougarnet, Freshman May? You told them that you had gotten engaged to a young man named Jordan Rivers. You said that you had made eye contact with him across the Marriott Center.

You never went ice blocking.

You hiked the Y at midnight. One time.

You took calculus in the Jesse Knight Humanities Building; you went to church in the law building. The planetarium section of the Eyring Science Center was under construction but you sneaked up there anyway with some new friends, and it was cool.

You passed the Smith Family Living Center all the time. You might not have been Freshman May when they began calling that building the SFLC, or “syphilis.”

The JKHB is now the JKB, and campus has a fancy, new humanities building, which I love and where I have most of my classes.

The ESC is also very sturdy and feels new, and it hardly resembles the place where you spent hours working on physics labs. Your FRESHMAN year. Physics 121 and 122, really? Freshman May, how did you even do that? What kind of energetic ridiculous idealist were you?

The SFLC. Does. Not. Exist. It’s as if whatever parts of your life that had anything to do with that building never happened.

So many more changes in curricula and technology and everything else, it seems.

Freshmen swarm this campus right now. Like some cheery scourge. They flood my computer labs and wander into alcoves I’d claimed for myself.

I’m excited for them though, just like I was excited for you. You had your whole life to figure out. You met people who’d be your friends for the rest of your life. You were righteous and eager, but you were also SO SO SO YOUNG, and you thought you knew everything, and I know you have stories about being taken down a few notches which is so important to growing up.

You’ve had quite the journey, Freshman May. I have nearly doubled your life, which seems so hard to believe. You’re there, I’m here. Can’t you feel the distance getting close?

Watching this year’s freshmen herds, moving about like worker ants, carrying books that seem to be twice their weight, getting lost and in my way and too scared to ask questions or too intent on their focused wandering, I’m just grateful you were a freshman only once.

That’s all anyone needs.

Class starts on Monday.

Thanks for … everything.

May

The Past Blog Post and the Song Might Be Distantly Related

Aimee Mann. Summer concert at Rockefeller Park; June 30, 2004. Free. I may have just seen Magnolia within the past month. This is one of the songs from the soundtrack.

It’s not what you thought
When you first began it
You got what you want
Now you can hardly stand it, though
By now you know
It’s not going to stop
It’s not going to stop
It’s not going to stop
Till you wise up

You’re sure there’s a cure
And you have finally found it
You think one drink
Will shrink you till you’re underground
And living down
But it’s not going to stop
It’s not going to stop
It’s not going to stop
Till you wise up

Prepare a list for what you need
Before you sign away the deed
‘Cause it’s not going to stop
It’s not going to stop
It’s not going to stop
Till you wise up

No, it’s not going to stop
Till you wise up
No, it’s not going to stop
So just give upIt’s not what you thought
When you first began it
You got what you want
Now you can hardly stand it, though
By now you know
It’s not going to stop
It’s not going to stop
It’s not going to stop
Till you wise up

You’re sure there’s a cure
And you have finally found it
You think one drink
Will shrink you till you’re underground
And living down
But it’s not going to stop
It’s not going to stop
It’s not going to stop
Till you wise up

Prepare a list for what you need
Before you sign away the deed
‘Cause it’s not going to stop
It’s not going to stop
It’s not going to stop
Till you wise up

No, it’s not going to stop
Till you wise up
No, it’s not going to stop
So just give up

Almost a year later. An experience that didn’t involve very much wisdom at all.