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Up Close and Personal

Girl, Put Your Records On

record store

My father was very similar to me in that he had an endless fascination with technology and the “new”. There was one Christmas, probably around 1990 or so, that he and my mother bought a six-CD changer to accompany the record player and dual cassette recorder we had in our living room. In those days, a CD changer like that was a crazy thing to have, but that was my dad. He was a total gadget guy, and though not extravagant with anything else in life, he always wanted the newest technology.

Like me, he was also really into pop culture. The first CD he ever bought, even before the six-CD changer? Paula Abdul’s Forever Your Girl. I remember going with him into a record store (like, a REAL record store) and buying the CD. Compact Discs had their own tiny little section along one wall, and they were all propped up on shelves, because back then, CDs came packaged in thin boxes that were about a foot long (anyone else remember that??).


We shared a love of VH1, cartoons, and computer games, but the one thing we didn’t share a love of is what I used to call his “oldie music”. We would be driving around town and he would switch from the pop station to the “oldies” station on the radio, quieting any complaints I raised. “This is the music I grew up with,” he’d tell me, “One day you’ll understand.” I’d harumph and tell him that I never would. I think my famous last words were something along the lines of, “I won’t have to, because MY music will always be cool!”

Suffices to say, these days, I totally understand. Now if I happen to hear an oldies station in a cab, they’re always playing 90s music, and I adore it and don’t want them to switch stations. Anyone who ever comes to my house (or goes karaoke-ing with me) will soon learn that I have an undying love for 90s music. I think it’s a product of being an only child, and spending a lot of time alone in my room as a kid and teenager. My life revolved around my stereo system. Before music could be downloaded, I’d sit by the stereo for hours on the weekends making cassette mix tapes. Then, I’d spend just as many hours laying on my waterbed (yes, you read that right) and memorizing their lyrics. Once things like WinAmp existed (OMG, does anyone remember that?), I’d spend just as many hours downloading songs, organizing playlists, and then burning them onto CDs. Sans the waterbed, in case you’re wondering.


The trend continues today. I’ll catch up on current music every now and again, but my favorite songs (and playlists) are still ones that are firmly rooted in the 20th century. It always cracks me up to share these types of playlists when I’m entertaining, because inevitably a song comes on that friends haven’t heard in years — and it instantly takes them back. A song like “Semi-Charmed Life” can play, and while most people can sing the chorus and stumble through other parts, who has two thumbs and can sing every last word? This girl. Trust me when I say, you want me on your karaoke team. I mean, the first concert I ever attended was Montell Jordan. Who was the opening act for TLC. Who was the opening act for Boyz II Men. Do you see where I’m going with this?

vintage records

Today I wanted to share a playlist of some of my absolute, all-time favorite, never-gonna-get-sick-of-’em songs from the 90s. If you can clearly remember cassette tapes existing in your childhood, I promise, you’ll find a tune here that’ll leave you longing for your old Walkman. There are classics below, to be sure (y’all, is it just me, or does “Hand in My Pocket” totally hold up?), and a few tracks that run so deep, you might not even remember them (be honest, when is the last time you even thought about the song “Candy Rain”?). Enjoy, and tell me – what 90s song would you add to the list?

Images: Record Store: Wish Wish Wish , check out Carrie’s blog here; Loudness: Orin Zebest; Record Stack: Knar Bedian; Vintage Records: Thomas

Full disclosure: This is a sponspored post, and compensation was provided by Spotify via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are my own and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Spotify.

Long Weekend Recap

robert sinskey vineyards

Wow, what a weekend! And for a minute there, it looked like it wasn’t even going to happen. But all’s well that end’s well, and we ended up having a great time in California. On Instagram, I alluded to the fact that Friday was a pretty crazy day — definitely a Valentine’s Day we won’t soon forget. Basically, despite clear skies and warmer temps on Friday morning, our flight was cancelled in the middle of the night. After hours on the phone hold with United and taking a gamble and going to JFK very early in the morning, we lucked into a flight to Phoenix and a connecting flight to SF. The flights were out of another airport (and if you want to get really technical, another state) and on another airline, but we took it! I’m so, so, so, SO glad we got to the airport when we did. The woman who was two places behind us in line was told the earliest she could get to California was Monday, maybe Tuesday. This will shock no one who lives on the east coast, but air travel be crazy when winter sucks. Definitely our first time experiencing the madness!

When we finally made it out to Newark, this is what we saw on the tarmac:

airport snow


To give you a frame of reference, in the first photo the snow is probably double the height of the truck; in the second, you can see where the plow was at work on the edge, and the plow is probably a little shorter than I am. So….  Read more »

Closing Time

year in review part 1

I can’t believe it’s actually here — the last day of 2013. Not to be overly negative as we head into the new year, but OH MY GOD GOOD RIDDANCE. This year will go down as one of the hardest of my adult life, that’s for damn sure. But, now that we’re through the fog and the proverbial skies are clearing, it’s also amazing to look back on everything that’s happened and how much stronger it’s made me. My marriage, my work, my friendships, and my sanity were all certainly tested over the last twelve months, but right now, it feels like everything is starting to come up roses! I hope to take a lot of that positive energy into the new year. 2014 already has a lot going for it: trips to see friends and family, long overdue vacations, and finally finishing our house decorating. Plus, I’ll turn 30 this year! In the same way that I’m excited to end 2013, I feel similarly about my 20s. Here’s to getting older and knowing what works for you!

So, 2013 is definitely a year that can be divided into B.N.Y. and A.N.Y. — Before New York and After New York. Above is the before…below is the after (plus captions to various memories from the year!) Read more »