I have a pretty intimate relationship with music, and have as far back as I can remember. It seems fairly common to hear a song and associate it with a memory, and I do that a lot. The inverse is also true with me – memories trigger song associations as well, which seems to be a bit less common. Though the music I listen to evolves over time (does my 1989 Poison-to-Dokken preference realignment count as evolution? Probably not), my bond to music has stayed consistently strong.
I’m never far from music, like many of my fellow junkies, and on certain occasions, I come across some new track or band that absolutely blows me away and changes my perception of not just music, but myself, and my life. Introspectors tend to have moments where they say to themselves things like “I know my life will never be the same after this” – and I have musical moments like that. Sounds crazy, but it’s true. I’ve experienced probably a couple dozen moments like that over the last 25 years, and I’ll share a few here. I can’t remember them all off the top of my head, but whenever one of those songs comes on the great iTunes shuffle, I’m instantly transported back to that moment of discovery. Enough already, more about the songs that have smacked me in the face.
After I posted the apology to my parents, a couple people asked me about being hit by cars twice, and if that really happened? Once I got over the indignance generated by that assault on my character (What?! Are you implying that there is something other than factual reporting on my website?!), by drinking heavily with my psychologist of course, I realized that perhaps there is something worth telling in the tales of my two pedestrian-automobile incidents. This will, of course, be a two-part series; Part One commences henceforth.
I grew up in the Great Oaks neighborhood in Rochester, and attended MacGregor Elementary School from Kindergarden through third grade, whereupon we were “re-districted” to Long Meadow Elementary, though I’ve always suspected ulterior motives. I arrived in Mrs. Land’s Kindergarden class well-prepared, thanks to my time in preparatory school at The Red Barn Nursery School, which should not be confused with this Red Barn, which I occasionally drive by in Grand Rapids. I’m sure some variety of education occurs there, but I’m not sure if they have field trips, hayrides, and parent helpers? Circle time has an entirely different connotation here.
I have unfortunately strong powers of observation, which cause me to (occasionally) see things at more than face value, and (usually) to over analyze them. It’s a quirk, no doubt, and probably not to my credit, but it is what it is. Just a little background as warning that you may want to stop reading now, lest you venture into the neuroses of the author.
For half of you that read this, I need to provide further background, because the physical location of this tale plays a significant role, and half of you have never been there: the office men’s room.
I think I owe you an apology. Probably more than one, really, but this will have to do for now. They say it takes a big man to apologize, and I think I’ve got that part covered. It takes an even bigger man to admit his mistakes in person, but sheesh, I’m not Andre the Giant. This is the apology letter that I will never write to you directly, but will instead publish on the internet so I feel better about myself without actually having an intimate conversation that would require acknowledging real feelings or generating any resolution for you. My chosen online peers tend to affirm whatever I post, so this seems like a surefire winner for my self-esteem, which I know is what you would want for me, if you were around to read this. Not that you’re dead, just that you won’t see this since we’re not Facebook friends.
That’s probably the first thing I should apologize for – I’ve always talked down Facebook so that you wouldn’t join and I’d have the awkward situation of deciding whether to accept your friend request or not. “I’m not sure Facebook is for you, Mom, I think you need a .edu email address to get an account.” Sorry, that was pretty selfish of me, feel free to join Facebook anytime, though I’m not sure that Facebook is open to retirees yet – probably soon though!
Not just for breakfast, this treat is a great side for burgers or sandwiches. It also reheats well in the microwave for a tasty lunch or after-school snack. The granola provides a surprise texture, but bacon and sweet potatoes are the stars here.
Note: This is the first part of a series about the amazing contributions I’ve made to the American economy and a sort of biography of the things I’ve been paid for.
That’s where it all started for me, in the Great Oaks neighborhood of Rochester, Michigan. Back in the days when there were multiple editions of a newspaper each weekday, morning and evening. And of course, morning deliveries on both weekend days; the list of Sunday-only subscribers added a sizable boost to our family’s take.
I’m writing this letter to let you know that I’m breaking up with you.
I know, I know, breaking up by letter is weak and I wish I had the courage to tell you this stuff in person. But there’s so much I have to say, and my thoughts are better organized when I write them down. Plus, I’m afraid how you’ll react, or how you’ll make me react.
I want to just be friends. Cliche, certainly, but I think we can treat each other with friendly respect now that our relationship is over. We owe it to ourselves to be civil, because we have so many mutual friends and share so many activities, like second lunch, late-night snack, and the munchies, not to mention when we’ll be at the same holiday gatherings.
So why am I breaking up with you? There are many reasons, and the blame lies with me – it’s not you, it’s me.
I joked to someone about ten years ago that Michigan football was my religion, but now I wonder how much I was joking. There are many parallels between the fervor of sports fandom and organized religion. We use both religion and sports as excuses to do stupid things, get in arguments, and celebrate shared experiences with our fellow devotees. We act one way six days of the week, and then become different people when we attend on the weekend.
Faith, Hope and Love
The basis of any entity-follower relationship is adoration (love) that the follower feels for the entity. Churchgoers love their God, and football fans love their football team. Think that religious adoration is stronger than the love of a football fan? My Saturday experiences might argue otherwise.
I’ve been going to Michigan nearly my whole life, certainly as far back as I can remember. I’ve seen many great games, even though several of the great games ended up in Michigan losses: #1 Notre Dame 1989, #1 Miami 1988, #1 Florida State 1990, #7 Colorado 1994, and the list goes on. I’ve been at some great wins, too: Notre Dame 2011, the Virginia comeback game, blanking Ohio State 28-0, too many others to count. In other words, I’ve been a Michigan fan all my life, and I’ve been to many games at the Big House. Which brings me to my point.
For about twenty years now, I’ve been saying that my favorite moment each year is the moment I emerge from the tunnel in Section 3 at Michigan Stadium and see the green of the field(turf) for the first time. When you come through the relative darkness of the tunnel, the saturated colors of the end zones and player uniforms almost hurt your eyes, but it’s impossible to look away – it’s quite nearly breathtaking for the passionate football fan.
The internet age (and American culture today?) is all about instant gratification, and it’s no different for online marketers – we want it all and we want it now. Which is why I love using Facebook Ads for marketing campaigns – I can create an ad this minute, the ad is approved and goes live within the hour, and I can see results almost instantaneously after that. FB ads allow us to overcome some of the biggest challenges campaign builders face: