All Skate

The other day I was listening to my iPod and “Stuff Like That” started playing, and I started thinking about things and reminiscing, which got me to marveling, as I always have, at the divine voice of Nickolas Ashford. Not to say Valerie Simpson and Chaka Khan were not the vocal key to the awesomeness of that particular song. How cool is Quincy Jones? The coolest

So, thinking about the wonder of Nick Ashford's vocals, and that time period in general, I was going to make a Super Sexy Seventies playlist, but the fact is, I don’t own a whole lot of music I’d add to it, and so I’ll need to make an online sort of playlist, which is more work and thus less fun to me. When I was a kid, I didn’t go in much for love stuff, especially if it was slow. I didn’t understand why any kid would, but of course, some of them did. People, you know, and their different ways. Thus, what I've collected in my iPod memory bank mostly reflects my tastes at that time.

I didn’t like much sentimentality unless it was accompanied by (really, secondary to) a strong bass line and a good beat, or maybe an adorable hook; if it was good for harmonizing to or dancing to, etc. Gosh, if I’d been a child in the 90s, listening to yodeling “divas” on the radio, I’d have lurched even more swiftly into the past, or whatever I could find as alternative. Anyway, so the songs I liked back then that we’d think of as sexy still mostly “had a beat and I could dance to it.”

Where was I? Somehow I found myself thinking next about the music played at the skating rink on Friday nights. Everyone went to the Friday night skate for awhile, at Landmark Skate Center on the outskirts of Lee’s Summit, Missouri. It’s still there! But no longer outskirts, I guess. I loved skating nights, though I was never part of a crowd of kids. It was nice, people were mostly nice, and having fun, and skating was one thing I could do reasonably well, having learned it for a Girl Scout badge. 46277258_K2w5uvy1uUwY7OvK6sEMOd6kS-Xrz99_9zksowfthIY

I was never great at it, because I feared falling down. Some years later, I took a tae kwon do class at the church, for some exercise and social time, but he could never get me to practice falling the way everyone else seemed able to do. My brain says, “No, falling is a bad thing. Don’t pretend to do that.” So I didn’t master much tae kwon do, or skating backwards, though I could manage it if necessary. (About like driving a manual transmission: only if an absolute must. Car transmissions have advanced pretty far, you anachronistic driving elitists.) 

But we’d skate around and around, and people who could do fancy things stayed in the middle, and sometimes we’d do the Hokey Pokey or the Limbo. Mostly I was there for the adrenaline and the fun music, and to feel like I was a part of things, which is something I rarely felt. Now and then, the DJ would call for a “couples skate,” and we’d have to sit down while a boring song played and people skated while clutching each other, though a few always put on a nice dance-skate show.
this is the epitome of a 1978 couples skate song. i'm sharing it because the video shows us everything we wish to forget about that period of time. 

All the girls wanted a boy to ask her to couples skate, so I did, too, but also did not. First, no boy would ever have asked me, anyway, so why pine too much for it? I was repulsive to boys who had just discovered girls.* Second, I’d have had to skate backwards more than I’d like. Third, the music was, you know, love stuff. So during couples skates, we’d go to the refreshment stand for a drink we called “Suicide.” It was three kinds of soda mixed together. I’ve never been a great fan of sweet soda, but the Suicide was the drink to order, and so I did.

And then a cool song would start again and we’d all rush back onto the rink. I decided to collect the ones I remembered hearing during that time into a playlist, limited by what I already own on my iPod, and factoring in the other place I went to sometimes on Saturday nights, Skateland USA in nearby Grandview. They had a slightly broader crowd, and slightly broader music. Skateland closed about ten years ago, it seems, because it was drawing a rough crowd, causing area problems, and driving away the family friendly appeal. But I liked going there now and then when I was in 8th grade. 5565bd06409915002d730551dfc33d17

In junior high I became very fashion-forward. And in 8th grade, narrow jeans came in style, finally, and I had them before or as early as anyone else. My mom converted the dumb flares to them, and I got a pair of Levis I just worshipped. But when a woman ran into me on the skating rink I did nearly the splits trying not to fall, and though I weighed nearly nothing back then, maybe 100 lbs, I tore those pants open! Yes, in back! So I had to sit at a table the whole rest of the night until my friend’s mom arrived to bring us home. I had people to talk with sometimes, and was happy to laugh at myself about it, for some reason? But it grew boring and frustrating. I think maybe that was the last time I was at that skating rink. And then in high school, I stopped going skating altogether. Still, when I hear certain songs, I tend to think of them as “skate songs.”
i don't know if this was a skate song where i lived. it would have been one in the city. you know, how things were/are. but I played it some evenings at home for an hour at a time and so it should count. 

So I made a list of top skating songs that I own and remember (I’m sure my memory is the faultiest aspect of it,) and put it in a Google spreadsheet with links. I thought of making it a YouTube playlist, and maybe I still will, but I like spreadsheets. I’m going to add more notes and more alternative recordings, but it’s otherwise complete for now, and you can access it here, if you care to.


*I think I’ll cover this soon. Who would be a kid in the early teens again—anyone? It’s the worst, even for the people who looked to everyone else like they had it easy. Thirteen(this was not my bedroom, which was at all times both very cute and even messier than my brother's.) 


My eventful uneventful Sunday, unwinding down

I’m not as efficient at planning as I once was, so last night when I went to bed around 11, I never really went to sleep, going over the variables in my head for driving Son 2 to work at 4 am. BECAUSE OF THIS WHOLE THING WHEREIN HE STILL HAS NO DRIVER'S LICENSE. We’d leave ten minutes earlier, at 3:30. We’d take the route with only one downhill stretch and curve, or we’d take the slightly longer one with only one steeper but less curvy incline. I’d need ten minutes before that to clear the car. Etcetera. And then I got back out of bed around 3.
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Fortunately, the ice that fell before the snow wasn’t there long enough to form a real layer, so I was just driving in snow. Newfallen snow, too, so I could forge my own path as needed. I enjoy that. I got him there just before 4, got home about 4:25, only five minutes longer than usual. And I fell asleep around 5.

I woke up shortly after 9 but thought, it’ll be okay to have a little more sleep. Only I slept for two more hours. This gave me only ten minutes to let the dog out, and pull myself together to drive back to pick up Son 2 so he could make the bank deposit for his store. The roads were much worse near our house, having been driven on but not fully plowed. But I still got there on time. 
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Only no one had shown up to work at 9, because of heavy snow somewhere, I guess, so he was alone in the store and couldn’t leave. A substitute was called in to work four hours early, but he never got there because his tire popped and all manner of other things were wrong. Then no one arrived at 2 for the next shift. Also heavy snow? Please. Between these hours, I listened to a radio show, drank some coffee, ate some Doritos, followed a great Twitter thread about being Gen   X, and nodded along with customers who didn’t understand why the newspapers were already sold out. (those are two different Gen X links above that demonstrate no one fully knows who we are, not even ourselves.)
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A little after 2 I left to go home to Son 1, who needed to be at work by 3. I had to drive him there rather than let him take the car, so I could go back to Son 2. I got gas, and a tire was quite low, so I worked with a really terrible air machine to get enough air in to make the warning light go off. And I got back to Son 2 at 3:15. Someone else had arrived to take the place of everyone else who had not, so we could leave. The bank deposit was locked in a safe to wait for tomorrow. 

Son 2 wanted to go straight to his girlfriend’s house to nap there, so I dropped him off; just a few blocks from here, and went home to tackle the next silly thing. The neighbor to my left had his stupid big pickup on the street all night, so the plow went around it and thus missed most of the area in front of our driveway. It’s cold as Kelvin out there so the snow was freezing, and I had to clear the street enough that Son 3 can get his car in the driveway later, and then I put down some ice melt, which I am forbidden from doing, but I think the landlord had an old timey terrible for cement kind in mind, or so I hope. 
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Things I have not done today include the following: most all the daily grooming, eaten anything from known food groups, cleaned anything at all except some road and a brief tidy of the candy bar section of Son 2’s store, the weekly quilt block I looked forward to since last Sunday, or let Son 3 know he’s picking up Son 1 after he gets home from work. 

And now at 5 pm after spending half an hour on this silly bit of ephemera, I have to go clear away whatever the ice melt melted. And it’s nearly dark again? I just spent nearly all the useful daylight time I had inside a convenience store/ice cream shop without getting paid for it? 
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But that was a really good Twitter thread.