75 plus four pennies


Yesterday I turned 30 years old. I am rarely finding time and interesting motivation for blogging and, no surprise, I don’t have any revelations to disclose as I move into a new decade. In fact, even in throwing a party for the event we tried to shift some of the focus onto other things (counter to the entire notion of a birthday party, perhaps). On Saturday we reserved a room at Manuel’s Tavern and tried to celebrate some of the other great things turning 30 this year. Jimmy Carter, GA’s only native son to lead the country, was president, Pinwheel began on Nickelodeon, and smallpox was finally eradicated. For the music, Matt provided the Billboard top 100 and we gathered a few favorite movies from the year to play while we partied. In looking at this media I noticed a few things that I encourage all those who remember 1979 to confirm or dispute.

First, disco died a hard, sudden death and in 1979 it looked like Chris Farley around the time of Beverly Hills Ninja. The Billboard list is littered with hits by Donna Summer, the Bee Gees and other dance floor classics, but that same year The Clash produced London Calling and Pink Floyd put out The Wall (#2 in Billboard’s 1980 list). Pardon the pun, but the writing was on it for disco. I hate commenting on music because it always feels like as soon as you do there will be a bunch of people telling you how little you know, but this doesn’t a simple passing of the torch to new artists of a similar genre. One artist that seemed to keep a presence and healthy output into the 80s was Michael Jackson.

For movies Kramer and Kramer was one that my mom remembered the best. Manhattan was also released that year but my favorites include Apocalypse Now, The Warriors and The Jerk. Life of Brian was another one we had on hand, and Mad Max and Alien also came out that year. Watching these the thing that comes to mind is the lack of movies set in the present. The only one of the movies I listed with any cars or settings from 1979 reality is The Jerk, and then it’s a young Steve Martin (with unimaginably gray hair) running around as someone who was born a poor black child, so how real is that. I guess Kramer vs. Kramer is pretty real but I haven’t seen it. Was there a pressing incentive to escape reality in ’79?

My parents came down and surprised me for the weekend. They showed up in the car with Lauren on Friday afternoon when we were supposed to head out to dinner. The rain broke on Saturday and we got to head to the Brave’s game and they were conveniently playing the Tigers. My parents also brought with them old video tapes of a crazy kid named Jason Vargo hyped up on Pepsi and picking his nose. Luckily everyone at Manuel’s got to see it since they had a VHS player. They’ve always helped me to try and be more humble.

Now I’m 30, hyped up on coffee, and pickin’ my nose.

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