THIRTY DAYS, THIRTY YEARS, THIRTY BORING STORIES...
My Fourth Year (3 years old)
October 2nd, 1977, to October 1st, 1978
The first thing that happened happened right on my third birthday: my sister, Alison, was born. Yes, I've always had to share my birthday and get only half the attention. :P
I don't remember all that much from that year either. My mother walked me over to the Steinberg's supermarket (now a Provigo) in Baie d'Urfé shopping centre a bunch of times from our bungalow on Cambridge Road, and we had some neighbours I seem to remember were heavily into jogging, as they had Adidas tracksuits very similar to those worn by Chas Tenenbaum and his boys in The Royal Tenenbaums
. I remember watching Sesame Street
, and I think my mother made an attempt to get into the mystery soap The Edge of Night
but gave it up. Also, I remember that the backyard had a lot of trees and even a cherry blossom bush or two.
But what we remember best from the house were the... g-g-g-ghosts! Zoinks, Scoob! My grandmother, who came to visit us at least once that year, felt an uneasy presence, my mother thinks she saw a black dog inside the house, and, as for myself, I think I saw these two people on the wall talking to me... they looked almost like cartoon characters drawn with thick white lines, similar to the characters in Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings
, excluding Simon himself, though that might just be an embellishment my brain added over the years. If it was a dream, it was a vivid one for a three year old, and it's one my parents believed after I told them about it.
Also, there were these cracks in the wall, and I swear, a couple of times, I looked inside the cracks and it was like I was looking through the wall into another world with people inside, though that was probably also a dream, or, at least, it was more likely to be a dream than the white people on the wall.
The following year we moved out of that house and to a townhouse on Elgin Crescent (though it actually faced Alton Drive, but the street address was Elgin) in Beaconsfield, a few miles to the east of Baie d'Urfé.
Pretty much it for now... I'll talk about something that happened to me the following year that should make most guys squirm tomorrow.
My favourite movie released between October 2nd, 1977, and October 1st, 1978?
Yup, Close Encounters of the Third Kind
is, at its heart, a conspiracy movie, but it's not really cynical like more recent conspiracy films, with the authorities evacuating large amounts of land around Devil's Tower, Wyoming, more to protect the public, since they don't know what risks exposure to the alien craft would have on curious onlookers, than out of a sense of maliciousness. And it has a scene with a Shell station, a McDonald's, AND a railroad crossing, which are, if you've been paying attention, all things I got a kick out of seeing when I was a kid. Yeah, that film, in retrospect, had a lot of product placement, but it adds to the realism a fantasy movie likes this needs to keep it grounded. Watching it again as an adult, I did notice a couple of amusing nits, like how Roy Neary has a magical television that can seamlessly change channels and timeslots without him touching it, like how it goes directly from Days of our Lives
, which has always had a mid-afternoon timeslot, directly to the ABC
evening news (from the days before it was ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings
), on which the reporter reporting on the fake chemical spill calls the anchorman "Walter", as in the CBS
evening news's Walter Cronkite. And the only thing between Days
and the news is a Budweiser commercial, even though they didn't show beer ads on daytime network television back in the 1970s. (Except on weekend sporting events.) And this was all when Roy was preoccupied with making the giant Devil's Tower out of dirt in his living room, mind you, so he didn't change the channel, and, for you young'uns, it was the old kind of television with the dials next to the screen, so he wasn't using a remote control. God, I get preoccupied with nerdy details sometimes, don't I.
The DVD version of CE3K
is great, but I do wish Spielberg would have included a branching option so we could see the original theatrical cut of the film without the corny sequence of Roy inside the ship at the end where very little actually happens, just a few lights swivelling. I'd also ask for a commentary track, but, knowing Spielberg, that ain't going to happen.
By the way, keep in mind that I didn't see Close Encounters
until 1983... there might be a reason I'm, bringing this up now.
Another one of my favourite films was released within this timeframe, but only in Italy, so I can save it for tomorrow. Saturday Night Fever
is also kind of fun.
THIRTY DAYS, THIRTY YEARS, THIRTY BORING STORIES...
My Third Year (2 years old)
October 2nd, 1976, to October 1st, 1977
Another slim one today, though it does cover a pretty big freaking important event in my life.
My first television memories were of watching the British series Vision On
, an educational show that was largely aimed at deaf kids apparently, off the BBC. which also showed up briefly on TV Ontario in the mid-80s
. (Rick Ambrozic, who runs the TV Ontario Children's Shows of the 1970's Tribute Page
, says it was actually a BBC co-production with TV Ontario, so it probably aired on TVO many times before the 1980s, I'm just saying when I caught it.) Not that I remember much about that TV show, just the fact that many characters talked using only comic-strip style speech balloons... could this have been conducive in leading me to become the sort of person who enjoys reading stories in a comic book format, ultimately leading me to manga and then anime? Or am I just being a pretentious dipshit? (Probably the Marvel Comics "Spidey" shorts with a mute Spider-Man who spoke in speech balloons on The Electric Company
, had a little more to do with that.) I also remember a show that included Ernie and Bert clips from Sesame Street
, but it wasn't Sesame Street
, they just repackaged those bits into something else.
More importantly by far was the fact that this was the year of my life that we moved to Canada, back in June 1977. My father (or worked closely with someone that was) had attempted to start up some sort of company involving computers back in Britain, but this wasn't successful, so he got hired by Canadian Pacific to do some sort of computer consultant stuff (these are my memories; I'm not involving my parents in the writing of this thing to keep it purely "my narrative", so I'll be a bit fuzzy on the exact details). We flew from Heathrow (EGLL) to Mirabel (CYMX) via Schiphol (EHAM) on KLM
(Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij/Royal Dutch Airlines). I don't remember much (duh), though I do remember being in a long white room with a bunch of seats with weird buttons on the armrests and the KLM logo on panels on the walls for hours and hours... obviously, it was the interior of the Boeing 747 itself, but I don't know if I knew I was actually in an airplane. My mother also tells me that she had some flashcards from back when she was a teacher (briefly) that were hanging out of her luggage, and I looked at one, coincidentally "fly", and successfully read it out. (Ooh... flashcards, Lisa: "Ooh, look, Maggie! What is that? Dodecahedron! Dodecahedron!" Homer: "Lisa, I don't know what you're doing, but it's very strange, and your father is trying to worry.") Guess those BBC kids shows
were pretty effective.
The first month or so, we lived in an apartment somewhere on either Sherbrooke or de Maisonneuve boulevard, probably within a few blocks of Concordia. All I remember about that is hearing that weird hum you get sometimes in the city where all the traffic noises blend together... or maybe it was air conditioning. The second month, we moved to a bungalow in Baie d'Urfé in the West Island.
I had a couple of interesting experiences at that bungalow, but I'll save that for tomorrow's exciting installment of
Robotech "THIRTY DAYS, THIRTY YEARS, THIRTY BORING STORIES..."
My favourite movie released between October 2nd, 1976, and October 1st, 1977?
Ah, damn, charge me with false advertising; I forgot to check the release date of one of my top seven or eight films and it was actually in November 1977, beyond the window for this entry, where it will compete with another film that's borderline in terms of whether or not it will enter my "top" list.
Well, then, Star Wars
(which wasn't called Episode IV: A New Hope
until 1980) is pretty much unopposed, though one of my favourite animated films as a child in the early-1980s was also released during this time period. No, it's not The Rescuers
, since the full-length Disney animated features weren't available on home video at all until Michael Eisner changed that policy in 1987, it was actually Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown
, the one where Charlie Brown and company go to camp and get in a raft race with a group of mean kids, and the closing credits are an Easy Rider
homage with Snoopy and a lot of psychadelic colours. It's also the first time you hear adults speaking.
As for Star Wars
, I never put this film on too high of a pedestal (possibly why I don't find the prequels disappointing), but I'm still looking forward to getting a version of it on DVD, presumably for my birthday. I'd prefer to get the "originals", but I could always still get them on LaserDisc from eBay, since I do have a LD player.
THIRTY DAYS, THIRTY YEARS, THIRTY BORING STORIES...
My Second Year (1 year old)
October 2nd, 1975, to October 1st, 1976
Again, not much to say here. Let's talk about my earliest childhood memories, with the caveat that I really don't know how old I was when these memories happened. In one of the memories, I'm lying on a cot of some sort at my Uncle Jim and Aunt Celia's house. (Celia was my mother's sister; she died in 1987.) The things I remember about the room were that there was a table soccer set, and I impressed them years later by remembering that, and a poster with headshots of several people, who I presume now were either the Beatles or the Rolling Stones, framed by stars. In another memory, I'm in a crib on at least the second floor of a building, and it's near a window, and I could look down the street, and, a little bit down and across the street is someone hanging on to a building; guess it was a window washer. Or that one might have just been a dream. And I remember going with my grandfather, Charlie Rimmington (who also died in 1987) to a train station, though I don't remember much about the station, just being in the backseat, either in a babyseat or even one of those cradles. Finally, my parents went to this big supermarket once, one that was a lot bigger than most British supermarkets were in the mid-1970s, before they started building those huge Sainsbury stores on the outskirts of British towns. They only went there once, because the store apparently was too cheap and nasty, but the store had a non-traditional layout, at least compared to Canada in the late 1970s, back when supermarkets had around a dozen aisles parallel to one another, rather than the mixed layout a lot of the newer supermarkets have today, with "islands" and some aisles being perpendicular to one another. The supermarket my parents went to that one time had an untraditional layout, and, somehow, that became the template for the supermarkets that appeared in my dream throughout my childhood.
Also, my first word apparently was "vroom", and, from a very young age, and this will piss off the Naomi Klein types, I also loved corporate logos, and, when we drove around, I would name the logos I recognized, which I think were limited to "Shell", "Coca-Cola", "Christmas tree store" (really what I called Spar
, the European convenience store chain), and "Railroad Crossing", which isn't exactly a store or a brand but somehow I mentally included it in my pantheon of logos. (Incidentally, no, I wouldn't have said "McDonald's" because, at the time, McDonald's was only just beginning to open restaurants in Britain, with the first McDonald's opening in Woolwich in South East London on October 1st, 1974... ooh, the day before I was born. McDonald's weren't all over the place in the UK like they are today, as difficult as this is to believe.)
Oh yes, my brother Nick was also born within this time period (July 30th, 1976). I wasn't too thrilled.
I know, nothing too thrilling. Well, sorry, they won't get any more exciting for a couple of days because I hardly remember a thing.
My favourite movie released between October 2nd, 1975, and October 1st, 1976?
Damnit, so many movies that year I've seen bits and pieces of, like Taxi Driver
and The Man who Fell to Earth
, but, if I think about it, I'm not sure if I've seen any of those all of the way through, and, though Carrie
were both released in 1976, they were both released after October 1st, 1976, outside of my window this time round (and the competition in 1977 is too strong for me to list them for the next year). I should finally get around to seeing Logan's Run
now that I'm about to turn 30, eh?
Ah, A Boy and His Dog
, with a young, pre-Miami Vice
Don Johnson in a post-nuclear world, was released in November 1975, within my window, so I guess that's my choice here by default, even if I haven't seen it in years.
This year was barren, but there's a whole cluster of films that I like released between 1977 and 1981. One of my top seven or eight films will be mentioned tomorrow.
THIRTY DAYS, THIRTY YEARS, THIRTY BORING STORIES...
My First Year (0 years old)
October 2nd, 1974, to October 1st, 1975
I was born on Wednesday, October 2nd, 1974 at Zachary Merton Community Hospital in the seaside village of Rustington, West Sussex, England
, on the English Channel near Littlehampton and Bognor Regis. I think my parents, Anthea and Marek, lived in a place called Goring at the time. Umm... story... I think I tore up my father's 8-track cassette of George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh
. That's about it... I'm not going to submit every one of these stories for the Pulitzer
, you know, especially for a year I have no memories of!
I'll write longer stories most other days this month, don't worry. Unless you find my stories tedious, in which case, I suggest taking a break for the rest of this month, because this is my most self-indulgent thing ever.
My favourite movie released between October 2nd, 1974, and October 1st, 1975?
, I guess. Haven't seen it in years and years though. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
is also good for a chuckle or two.
A BUNCH OF BORING ANIME CRAP...
Since the other weekend was the tenth anniversary of the first time I attended an anime marathon, that would mean this weekend just passed was... the tenth anniversary of the first time I went to the anime club at Université de Montréal, at Fanimation/Animania then Animate then Animé Central. And you know what that means, boys and girls? Yup, it was also the tenth anniversary of the very first time I watched Sailor Moon
!!! Wow, what an important milestone! The first episode was completely unsubtitled, but it wasn't exactly hard to follow, some blonde guy (Jadeite) sends some sort of demon to replace the owner of a jewelery store and sell necklaces and bracelets which sucks the energy of the people wearing them, and some blonde schoolgirl (Usagi) is enlisted by a talking cat with a crescent-shaped bald spot (Luna) to become Sailor Moon and defeat the demon, with the help of the mysterious Tuxedo Mask, who may or may not have something to do with that jerky guy (Mamoru) that the blonde girl keeps on running into. Then the next episode was pretty much the same thing, just with an evil fortune teller. Not that I've reversed my general policy against spoiler warnings, especially for shows over a decade old with really famous plot twists (like how Usagi is actually the reincarnation of Moon Princess Serenity and Mamoru is the reincarnation of Prince Endymion), I'm just trying to give you some idea as to what my first reaction was. I don't remember if I liked it right away, just that the background music when Usagi is transforming into Sailor Moon reminded me of The A-Team
theme mixed with the Wonder Woman
theme. I think I was more willing to take a chance with this show than I might otherwise have been because the girls' school uniforms reminded me a bit of those in Project A-ko
, which I liked. I know I was disappointed when the club stopped showing it after episode six, because most people hated it. Sadly, that's the last I ever heard about Sailor Moon
due to its total obscurity and lack of fanbase (sarcasm, duh). Also, I don't think they started showing Urusei Yatsura
until after my twentieth birthday on October 2nd, 1994, but, whenever it was that Sylvio Martins showed the first episode, that was the very first time that I got all fanboyish about an anime adaptation not following the manga exactly, exactly
, since I had bought the first paperback volume of the manga the previous spring. Even if the changes were relatively minor compared to some anime adaptations (like how Ataru got Lum's bikini in the tag race), and even if I've learned now just to appreciate anime adaptations as alternate ways of telling a similar, but not identical, story to the manga, at the time, I guess I just assumed that the animators should use the comic panels as storyboards and not divert from them in even the tinest way.
Here's a blast from the past, my now-defunct anime club's homepage circa 1998
, though, unfortunately, Web Archive didn't archive Sylvio's history of the club, a lengthy treatise I called, privately, "The Epic Saga of Shocking Betrayal".
In other anime-related news...
I stopped caring about the MTV Video Music Awards
, or at least the American ones, years ago. (The European MTV VMAs still have visually interesting videos win, like Royksopp's "Remind Me" a couple of years back.) Unlike last year, I didn't even bother watching the VMA highlight reels. I mean, I can tell you who won, but it's not like I actually know who these people are or know their music. (Goddamn, the VMA site is all Shockwaved, so I can't give direct links to anything.) Outkast's "Hey Ya" won the Best Video of the Year award.
Wow, they're pretending they're on some sort of 1960s music/variety TV show like Ed Sullivan
or American Bandstand
... that's original. (Meh... Nirvana did the exact same thing much better 12 years ago with the second version of their "In Bloom" video.) Granted, "Hey Ya" is a much better video than that Missy Elliot shit that won last year, but that's pretty much by default as the "Hey Ya" video didn't include any crappy, cheesy computerized special effects that somehow looked worse
than computer graphics in videos from almost a decade prior, like Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" or TLC's "Waterfalls". I'm really damning "Hey Ya" with faint praise. In no way did that video deserve to win the same bloody award as Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer".
Anyhow, why am I talking about the VMAs in an entry that is supposed to be about anime? Because, the winner of the "Viewer's Choice Award" was the video for Linkin Park's "Breaking the Habit", which was animated by the same people who did the "Origin of O-Ren (Ishii)" segment of Kill Bill
, though at a different studio, Studio Gonzo (the Kill Bill
segment was done by Production I.G.). I dunno about the video; it has the same sketchy line look as "The Origin of O-Ren", which, incidentally, doesn't look like any anime done for the Japanese market I've ever seen (looks closer in style, though with a larger budget, to the Nelvana-produced animated "Boba Fett" segment of the infamous-but-fun Star Wars Holiday Special
), but it's a lot more rotoscoped
, an animation process I just don't find visually-appealing. Anyway, I'm not reviewing the music video. It doesn't surprise me at all that this video won, not necessarily because of quality (not that I care enough to watch the other 4 videos in the "Viewer's Choice" category, so I don't have an opinion of whether or not it should have won) but just because a disproportionate amount of Internet nerds are anime fans compared to the amount of non-child anime fans in the general population, and several people on anime sites and message boards were encouraging anime fans to stuff the virtual ballot box, and MTV made ballot-stuffing ridiculously easy, since you don't have to register to vote, nor did they block your IP address from voting again, and you didn't even have to erase your cookies to vote again. I think they even told you to vote as many times as you wanted. So, because of this, I think a more accurate name for the MTV Viewer's Choice Award would be the "Most Worthless Award Ever Award" (intentionally redundant), and, for being an award based solely on spamming MTV's server, I declare the MTV Viewer's Choice Award to be "fit for the Pit"!*
noted a few weeks back that there will be an actual anime convention happening within "daytrip" distance of Montreal: AC3
(pronounced "Ay See Cubed" not "Ay See Three", for those of you in Rio Linda), to be held on November 6th, 2004, at the Chimo Hotel
in Ottawa, Ontario. I don't think there will be any big guests the first time, but it could still be fun. I know I'd kick ass at the "Anime Theme Song Contest", assuming I wouldn't be asked to identify anything too recent, but I would be competing against other Canadians, whose anime-on-TV viewing habits would also be limited to what is shown on YTV and Teletoon (well, just YTV). I'd love to go, but, really, whether or not I go depends if I can find someone with a car who just wants to go down for the day and return to Montreal in the evening, and I'd have no idea who to ask about that. At least I'll likely be living in Ottawa next year, so I'll be able to go to AC3
Speaking of anime on YTV, YTV
is adding more non-kiddy anime to its Friday night schedule
so that those of us who don't care much about Inu-Yasha
will actually have other things to watch, though not much. We're getting Witch Hunter Robin
, Gundam SEED
, SD Gundam Force
(which YTV, seeking to confuse its viewers to no end, calls Gundam SD
... no, it's a different show from Gundam SEED
!), and, possibly, the pretentiously titled, capitalized, and punctuated .hack//SIGN
. I found the first five episodes of Witch Hunter Robin
to be pretty tedious affairs; it's supposed to be like, according to the buzz, an anime version of the X-Files
, but that would be the boring, bad episodes from the non-Vancouver seasons, not the funny and/or creepy episodes I really like, like "Bad Blood"
(the one with Luke Wilson as the vampire sheriff). I'll give it another chance on YTV, but I don't expect my opinion of it to improve significantly. It's one of those shows that's too much in love with being stylish and "kewl" for them to develop characters we can become attached to. I doubt I'll care more for the unconfirmed Dot Hack Sign
because, while I like old school single player RPG games like Star Ocean
, Golden Sun
, or, of course, Phantasy Star
(from whence the title of this blog came), I find MMORPG
games to be tedious and dull and am not that enticed by the prospect of watching a cartoon about characters playing MMORPGs. Gundam SEED
, set in another entirely different universe from any other previous Gundam
show, is supposed to be a little less meandering than Gundam Wing
was. Gundam Wing
brought up some interesting ideas, such as the folly of governments trying to ban war, but there were just too many characters and too many plot threads, which made the story somewhat unfocused and also made it kind of drag, and, most heinously, there were too many GUNDAM units. There should only be two or three in any given Gundam
show at once, otherwise they're too common and cease being special. Anyway, I will definitely watch Gundam SEED
for a while to see if it's any better than Gundam Wing
in execution, but the only Gundam
shows I've ever gotten into are the short, tight, OVA series like Gundam 0080: A War in the Pocket
or Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory
, free of dangling plot threads and extraneous characters (okay, 0083
had a few of those... what was the point of Delaz Fleet Commander Cima Garahau
, really, other than providing masturbation fodder for otaku who love ruthless villain chicks who bark orders while lounging around on a tigerskin rug?). Finally, a lot of fanboys hate SD Gundam
for tainting the purity of their favourite franchise with too much goofy humour, meaning I'm bound to get a chuckle or two out of it. :P
Also, I agree with Jesse Betteridge
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD YTV, LICENSE FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST AND FRUITS BASKET FROM FUNIMATION.
At least the Fruits Basket
By the way, why did I put a picture of P.J. Phil Guerrero and Snit from the Zone
during the era when they started showing Sailor Moon
when neither P.J. Phil nor Snit have been anywhere to be seen for years? Eh, I don't care much for the "Keep it Weird" channel logos and I wanted to include a scan of one of the postcards I received in return for sending them Sailor Moon
artwork at the age of 21. Also, to boost my Google hits since so many people still seem to be looking for info about the older "Program Jockeys".
Here's a little link
, since he has more balls than I do in dealing with general anime fanboyishness. Check out some of those "letters"
Finally, and this isn't anime-related, but it's close enough, Fox has finally announced the street date for the DVD set of the third season of Mike Judge's King of the Hill
, originally advertised to come out last spring. Unfortunately, it's going to be released on December 28th
. Damnit! I wasn't seriously expecting to get it in time for my 30th birthday, on October 2nd, but what's the point of releasing it the Tuesday after
Christmas... well, Christmas Day, for you Yuletide purists? Especially when you have no more boxsets of Futurama
or Family Guy
left up the pike (at least not until well after the new Family Guy
episodes air in January). And it's got the dolphin sexual harrassment episode, and the "Amazing Jesus" episode, and the Christmas episode where Bill goes nuts and dresses up as Lenore (as featured on my list of great Christmas episodes of TV shows
), and, especially, one of the best episodes overall, "Peggy's Headache", the one when Peggy Hill discovers that John Redcorn is Joseph Gribble's true father and threatens to tell Dale Gribble about Nancy's affair but then she discovers that, despite his being wacky and paranoid (and innocently blind in regards to Nancy making him a cuckold), Dale is still a great father to Joseph and she decides not to tell him that Joseph isn't really his son and break his heart, because Joseph still very much is Dale's son, just not by blood. I still want it for Christmas, but I guess I'll just ask for an I.O.U.
That's all, folks!
*Woo-hoo! I worked in an extraneous Street Cents reference. The CBC should give me an award, but only if it's presented by ultra-"old school" Street Cents host Benita Ha.
R.I.P. LAURA BRANIGAN
In the bag I carry around when I need something to keep my stuff in, I have three "greatest hits" CDs from 1980s divas: Juice Newton - Greatest Hits (and More)
(for "Angel of the Morning" and "Queen of Hearts"), Super Hits: Bonnie Tyler
(for "Total Eclipse of the Heart")*, and, of course, Laura Branigan
's The Best of Branigan
. Amazingly enough, those three women are all singers whose music my father liked to play loud on our stereo in the 1980s.
So, yes, as you can imagine, I was saddened to hear about the sudden death of Laura Branigan
last Thursday, at the age of just 47.
From the BBC:
Singer Laura Branigan dies at 47
US pop star Laura Branigan, who enjoyed hits with the songs Gloria and Self Control in the early 1980s, has died of a brain aneurysm in her sleep aged 47.
Branigan, also an actress, was nominated for four Grammy Awards and her Gloria single reached number two in the US chart in 1982.
She complained of a headache for two weeks before she died but did not seek medical attention, her brother said.
She died on Thursday at home in East Quogue, New York, her family said.
After the success of Gloria, she also enjoyed chart hits with How Am I Supposed To Live Without You? and Solitaire in 1983, and Self Control the following year before her chart career faded.
Gloria was a remake of a 1970s Italian pop song, while How Am I Supposed To Live Without You? was co-written with a then-unknown Michael Bolton.
She was first choice to sing All Time High, the title tune to James Bond movie Octopussy - but eventually lost out to Rita Coolidge.
But she did contribute to film soundtracks including Flashdance and Ghostbusters and dueted with David Hasselhoff on the track I Believe for the Baywatch soundtrack in 1994.
Although she continued to release albums, her profile never returned to the level she enjoyed in the early 1980s.
Also an accomplished actress, her roles included TV show Chips and films Mugsy's Girl and Backstage.
One of her last appearances was playing rock legend Janis Joplin to rave reviews in New York stage musical Love, Janis.
Born in Brewster, New York, Branigan had begun her career at the Academy of Dramatic Arts and became a backing singer for Leonard Cohen before getting a solo record deal.
Eh, to be honest, when I listen to the CD, I usually just skip ahead to "Self Control" and "Gloria", her two greatest hits, though sometimes I also listen to her cover of Jennifer Rush's "Power of Love", which is much better than Céline Dion's version. I knew there was one other song of hers I was forgetting, and it was "Hot Night" from the Ghostbusters
soundtrack, which isn't on the Best of Branigan
CD. Still, that's more hits than most people ever get, so I don't see why certain people on the official Laura Branigan message board
, in posts written shortly before her death, got to be so critical of her not having any recent hits and taking a while to come up with a new CD
(which will probably be fast-tracked now). So what? Axl's been promising us the new Guns N' Roses CD, Chinese Democracy
, for years and years and we're still waiting. It's not that unusual.
If I remember correctly, I first heard "Self Control" on the radio in someone's station wagon as I was being driven home, along with Philip C., from Cub Camp, at, I think it was, Camp Tamaracouta
(someone who had a lot of old Beetle Bailey
comics, for some reason), and, for some reason, "Self Control" is the song I most strongly associate with the summer of 1984, when I was 9. so that, if I ever do a movie set in 1984, that would be the song I would choose for the soundtrack. No, this story doesn't go anywhere interesting.
I'm speculating the reason most news sources seemed to have waited a couple of days before picking up this story is that they didn't already have a pre-written, "fill-in-the-blanks" obituary ready, since Branigan was still relatively young, at least too young to die.
She will be missed.
Oh the night is my world
City life painted girls
In a day nothing matters
It's the night time that flatters
In the night no control
Through the wall something breaking
Wearin' white as you're walkin'
Down the streets of my soul
You take my self you take my self control
You got me livin' only for the night
Before the morning comes the story's told
You take my self you take my self control
Another night another day goes by
I never stop myself to wonder why
You're makin' me forget to play my role
you take my self you take my self control
I I live among the creatures of the night
I haven't got the will to try and fight
Against a new tomorrow
So I guess I just believe it
That tomorrow never comes
Night I'm livin' in a moment of a dream
I know that life is not as it would seem
I must believe in something
So I make myself believe it
That this night will never go
*Interestingly enough, the Juice Newton CD has a cover of Bonnie Tyler's early hit, "It's a Heartache", but the Bonnie Tyler CD is missing it, probably due to rights issues.
THIRTY DAYS, THIRTY YEARS, THIRTY BORING STORIES (PREVIEW)
I know it's been a very slow summer for me updating, however, I would like to announce that I shall do something special in this blog every day in September, "Thirty Days, Thirty Years, Thirty Boring Stories".
Yup, since my thirtieth birthday is on October 2nd, that means this September is my final thirty days (bar one day, I know) of me being in my twenties, which is one of the many reasons I have been feeling depressed lately, especially since so much of my twenties were like one long party that, unfortunately, has come to an end and my extended adolescence must draw to a close. So, I was thinking, why not make the most out of this coming month by writing about my life? And, hopefully, this will get me back into the habit of daily blogging, because so much has happened since the Canadian federal election that I simply haven't felt like writing about because of my depression.
Not that I'm intending on writing a complete biography; I'll try and tell one story about myself for each year and maybe have a few other important events in point format, but, obviously, the stories about me in the 1970s will be rather... short. Also, I might cut-and-paste stories about myself I've already written here, but that would be in addition to another short story. Most of these I will think of as I go along, though I do have a couple planned. Also, as a bonus, I think I will mention my favourite movie from each year of my life, which aren't calendar years but rather periods of time starting on October 2nd and ending on October 1st of the following year.
I shall write a little something about the first year of my life on September 1st, and the second year on September 2nd and so on until September 30th, my mother's 55th birthday, which shall be about the year I'm currently living. I hope nothing really interesting happens in my life on October 1st because then my entry for September 30th shall be a lie. By the way, since I'm listing the years the ordinal way instead of the cardinal way, since there's no September 0, the number of the day shall be one more than the number of years old I was in the year I'm writing about. For those of you slow on the uptake, how old was Royal when he bought the house according to the following sentence? "Royal Tenenbaum bought the house on Archer Avenue in the winter of his thirty-fifth year." Answer, he was 34, NOT 35, because your first year starts the moment you are born, not on your first birthday. Probably much more of an explanation than you actually need, but I wanted to work in an extraneous Royal Tenenbaums
reference, so there. :P
By the way, just as a little tease, and I won't give any clues nor will I say the exact day, but, at some point within a few days either way around the autumnal equinox, I shall reveal something somewhat major about myself (but irrevelant to my life now) that I haven't felt comfortable admitting anywhere on the Internet until now. I'll just say that, if you've read some of my other stories about myself in my twenties and you've felt like there was some background information I wasn't telling you, that's because, indeed, there were things I wasn't ready to tell. I'll give you the missing piece. It's nothing bad exactly and it's nothing that will make you change your opinion about me (whether you like me or not), it's just something a little embarrassing to talk about. And, no, I'm not coming "out"... admitting that I have some bisexual tendencies is NOT the first step to admitting I'm gay, which I'm not.
Forgive my self-indulgence. I hate navel-gazing too.
EDIT (September 8th): Well, it's turning into a more complete biography than I thought it was going to be. But I have been putting more effort into it than I had anticipated.
Here's an index, though I might not update that everyday, so check the front page
My First Year (0 years old): October 2nd, 1974, to October 1st, 1975
My Second Year (1 year old): October 2nd, 1975, to October 1st, 1976
My Third Year (2 years old): October 2nd, 1976, to October 1st, 1977
My Fourth Year (3 years old): October 2nd, 1977, to October 1st, 1978
My Fifth Year (4 years old): October 2nd, 1978, to October 1st, 1979
My Sixth Year (5 years old): October 2nd, 1979, to October 1st, 1980
My Seventh Year (6 years old): October 2nd, 1980, to October 1st, 1981
My Eighth Year (7 years old): October 2nd, 1981, to October 1st, 1982
My Ninth Year (8 years old): October 2nd, 1982, to October 1st, 1983
My Tenth Year (9 years old): October 2nd, 1983, to October 1st, 1984
My Eleventh Year (10 years old): October 2nd, 1984, to October 1st, 1985
My Twelfth Year (11 years old): October 2nd, 1985, to October 1st, 1986
My Thirteenth Year (12 years old): October 2nd, 1986, to October 1st, 1987