Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mundane Mobile Meanderings and Dixon Dinners

Highlights of Day Two of the quick trip to the Gulf with the wife... you can read Day One here and get the answer to the question "What does The Lovely Steph Leann actually do?"...

So today, we were scheduled to leave the Marriott around 8:30.  Get up around 7:30, get showered and packed up, get that truck loaded up with our junk and be best up on our way.  Cue 8:30 and we are dragging ourselves out of bed...

On the way to the plant, we did stop and have breakfast at Cracker Barrel.  Usually, that's a hit or miss kind of place, but today, they were on it... probably some of the best Cracker Barrel food I've eaten in a long, long time.  The waitress was great, the food was hot, the pancakes were fluffy--perhaps its because we came early.

The plan is to go to one of the plants and unload about twenty boxes of materials, hence the reason we came in a Dodge Dakota truck (its a rental)... which is what we did.  Pulled up next to a modular, unloaded the boxes, then drove around the area a bit to another warehouse, where we were given, via forklift, this massive pallet of about 30 large boxes, each containing materials vital to the continuance, nay! the mere survival of our nation, our world our...

...I actually think it was just paperwork and such.  But it rose above the outer edges of the trucks bed by about four or five feet.  We drove around the plant area again, slowly, parked and went inside to get The Lovely Steph Leann's other stuff done, namely working on blueprints, organizing, consolidating and on and on... boring work, really.

We did this for hours and hours and hours... I kept muttering to myself how this was my vacation day, and she kept telling me to essentially hush.  Anyway, I won't bore you with the mundane details of our day at work, but when we came out, we had to deal with this issue of the truck we were driving, loaded up with a pile of boxes, each weighing a good 20 or 30 pounds each, sitting on a wooden pallet, all wrapped in plasticy saran wrappy wrap. 

We had the brilliant idea of taking off the top layer of boxes, moving them to the truck's backseat, then shift and moving and such.  We did it, it worked, and off we went.

Now, onto dinner... before, I had contacted my friend Dixon by virtue of everyone's favorite way of talking to people that normally they'd never talk to again:  Facebook.  I told her that I and The Lovely Steph Leann were coming to the area this week, and for she and her man and her kids to come on along and meet up with us for dinner.  Apparently, her man is in Magic Land in Orlando Florida, work related supposedly, but she and her childrens Emma and Cooper met us at Peg Leg Petes.  Dixon said she was excited not only to see me, but to meet the famous The Lovely Steph Leann... then again, who doesn't want to meet The Lovely Steph Leann?

First, the restaurant.  Peg Leg Pete's is an oyster house and seafood bar located across the road from the ocean in Pensacola Beach.  It offered a wide selection of shrimps, scallops, crab legs and claws, fish and other such pleasantries.  I got the seafood combo, which included fried shrimp (average), fried oysters (I remembered I wasn't a fan of oysters), fried grouper (pretty good), and though it was supposed to have crab claws, they were out, thus substituting stuffed crab instead, which was fairly decent.

The Lovely Steph Leann wasn't thrilled, because she had her heart set on Peg Leg Pete's crab claws--neither of us had ever been here before, so she was curious to try them... yes, yes, she had crab claws last night, but they are some of her favorite foods, so she was eager to have them again... then our waiter told us they were out, so she ended up with the snow crab legs.  They were a might bit better than the ones I had last night, but overall, to me the food was average.

For dessert, I got key lime pie, and it doesn't even come in the same ballpark of being nearly as good as the chocolate peanut butter pie I had last night at The Original Oyster House.  Peg Leg Pete's was, however, fairly affordable, and The Lovely Steph Leann thought her meal was pretty good, and thought her dessert, the bread pudding, was exceptional. 

Next, the company.  Perfect.  Dixon and I have known each other since 1993, and were friends all through college, and during dinner, I'm sure we bored the stew out of The Lovely Steph Leann with our "Oh, I remember when you..." and "Do you know that..." and "When you did that, I..." tales.  She was quick to include The Lovely Steph Leann though, frequently turning to her and saying, "Oh my gosh, did d$ ever tell you about the time he and..." to which my wife would say, "No, tell me!" and there goes the story.

Dixon and d$, circa 1998, when we were young and
fabulous.  Now?  We're not as young but just as
 The kids were cute as could be, as I talked with both Emma and Cooper during dinner, and laughing because, like their mama, neither was shy.  I told The Lovely Steph Leann and Dixon both that I thought they would hit it off well... I said that Dixon didn't take any guff from me in college, and The Lovely Steph Leann doesn't take any now. 

Dinner lasted about an hour or so, then the three adults went down to the playground and let the kids play, while we camped out on barstools in the sand.  We tried to talk about the old days, there wasn't much we could recall, I guess the Lord knows what He's doing aaaaafter aaaaallll.....  it was a great time, and Dixon even gave The Lovely Steph Leann the invite to call her when she's back again, even if I'm not there. 

By the way, is there a rule that every restaurant on the beach has to have a gift shop?  Like, The Original Oyster House has a gift shop.  Last time we went to Hemingway's Grill... gift shop.  And tonight at Peg Leg Pete's... gift shop.  The Tom Thumb store next to Peg Leg Pete's has a gift shop.  As we passed by the police station, I glanced in, and there's a gift shop.  Most of the items were made by criminals, license plates and such, but still.  I went into the gift shop here at the Hilton, and there is a gift shop inside the gift shop.  The shot glasses say "Pensacola Beach Gift Shop's Gift Shop". 

And so here I am, at the Hilton on Pensacola Beach, in the business center.  The Lovely Steph Leann is next to me, on her own laptop working on Creative Memories stuff, while I'm blogging a bit.  But that's all I got tonight... this is kinda one of those blogs that isn't really interesting to anyone but me, but it will give me a reference point and jog my memory when I want to come back and reread...

On Facebook?  Search for Clouds in My Coffee and "Like"!  I would "like" if you "Liked"!  Shameless self promotion over...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Problem With Crab Legs (and other thoughts from Mobile Alabama)

First and foremost, before I begin... I wanted to say a prayer for my Farmhouse brother Tony Griffies who lost his wife this morning.  Tony, a Christ Follower, wrote this today on his Facebook page:  "Words cannot express how I feel knowing that you care and love the way you do. I will never forget these prayers and the warriors who have lifted them to our Father. I do not understand any of this, and do not know what to do, but I lean on you all, and my eyes are fixed on You, oh God"

Now back to our regularly scheduled blog that, when put in perspective, means not much of anything, really.

People ask me what The Lovely Steph Leann does for a living, or what her title is.  My answer varies, usually involving a combination of the words "analyst", "data", "records" and "organizer".  Sometimes I use all of those words, sometimes just a few, but the real answer is, I'm not exactly sure what she does.  Its like I'm married to Chandler Bing.  Only cuter.

Anyway, she works for Southern Company and helps keep their millions and millions of data files and blueprints and records in order.  She's good at it.  And once a month, she travels down to a plant in Pensacola to do a day's worth of work there.  And every now and again, I get to join her.. like today.

Normally, she/we would leave on early Thursday morning, get to Pensacola by midday, spend the next several hours working (I would help get it done quicker) and then adjourn to the hotel we reside in--usually its the Marriott--and head out to a nice seafood dinner.

This trip, though, she has to do a little extra work (hence, pulling me into a two day trip the Gulf Coast... for shame!) so we left on Wednesday, after I got off at S'bux.  We drove down in a big truck with a bed full of boxes, each full of documents and papers and such that all have to be filed away at Mobile plant.  Then its off to the Pensacola plant to do the regular work, off to a good meal at a local seafood dive (possibly with my college friend Dixon, whom I haven't seen since about 1997) and then resting and relaxing at the hotel.

The trip was uneventful, most of the laughs coming from the radio tuning... she is a fan of soft rock, so when got a hold of Mix 103.3 Soft Rock traveling to and through Montgomery, she locked in.  "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" by Elton John and Kiki Dee, "If I Could Turn Back Time" by Cher, "Margaritaville" by Jimmy Buffett, "You Belong to Me" by Taylor Swift... the list goes on and on.  And she--and I--knew all the words.  Even "Hold the Line" by Toto was sung loudly. 

She drove, I played Angry Birds.  All the way down.  I vaguely remember the trip at all, but man I busted some pigs.  If you haven't purchased Angry Birds for your iPhone, you are missing one of the true pleasures of life.  Its the best 99 cents you'll spend. 

Anyway, she wanted to eat at The Original Oyster House, which is where we stopped for dinner.  She was immediately drawn to the crab claws--that woman loves her some crab claws--and ended up with a plate of the fried green tomatoes.

For an appetizer, I tried the Bourbon Wrapped Shrimp, which was fried shrimp wrapped in a roll-up, smothered with a Jack Daniels Bourbon Glaze and seasoned.  It was a bit spicy for my taste, but still good.  My entree was a plate of flounder, which was great, grilled shrimp, which was fantastic, and a few snow crab legs.  Let me say quickly, the cheese grits were the best cheese grits I've ever had.  Ever.  They were awesome.  But back to the crab legs...

Here's my thing with crab legs... I like them.  I do.  The meat is good, and when they are piping hot and you've got that melted butter, its number one baby, number one.

But, there are two things that keep me from enjoying crab legs the way I feel like I should enjoy them... first, I'm not all that great at getting them open.  My father in law, Big Daddy Ron, can snap at the top, do a little flick of the wrist and pull out this nine inch piece of crab meat that is perfectly shaped for dipping in the butter sauce.

Me?  I break them into a few pieces, I use that cracking tool and it does crack them all up and down, I've got that midget fork digging into the legs, pulling out shards and shreds of crab meat.  I would pay an extra ten bucks to have that crab meat come out in a big pile, with Juarez the cook already pulling all the stuff out so I wouldn't have to.  They can serve you BBQ pulled from the bone, why not crab meat pulled from the leg?

That brings me to my second thing, which is, crab legs are too much darn work.  Seriously.  Like, when I got to a Dairy Queen and get the overprice Mini Blizzard Meal, I tell them exactly what I want on that burger.  Mayo, mustard, ketchup, maybe a few pickles.  And cheese.  Done.  I pay a few bucks and they give it to me like I want.

But, when I go to a Ruby Tuesdays or a TGIFridays or wherever (though I must add in here, I never ever go to Ruby Tuesdays or TGIFridays unless I can help it) and order a burger... I pay twice as much for the burger, and then have to do the work myself.  They bring me the little cups (ramekins?) of mayo and mustard, and I have to use the ketchup on the table to make my burger like I want it. 

Why am I paying twice as much for a burger I have to work twice as hard to prepare to eat like I want?  Same with crab legs.  Too much work.  If I'm paying you $25 for a plate of crab legs, why do I need to spend half my dinner time working to eat my food?  

Is it just me?

Anyway, dessert was a piece of chocolate peanut butter pie.  And a few hours later, it is all still sitting right where I left it.  Now THAT is going to make for a good bathroom visit tomorrow

So here I am, sitting in the Courtyard by Marriott hotel room, third floor, next to an air conditioner that is freezing my head.  Watching the television in regular definition after spending a month deep in HD is like... well, its like eating those shrimp at the Oyster House then going back to Dairy Queen and getting a dish of those popcorn shrimp.  Just not the same somehow.

Behind me is a queen sized bed, where The Lovely Steph Leann is snoozing like an angel, on the television right now is "The Bridges of Madison County" (I wish I were kidding) and since we have a long day tomorrow, I'll say adeiu. 

Back online tomorrow night with more Mobile and Pensacola adventures, and hopefully details from a visit with Dixon from Troy.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday You Tubery

Seeing this on Facebook?  Click over to the original site and see the videos you won't be able to see here...

In a phrase borrowed from the late, great author Scott Latta, its time for a little Tuesday You Tubery...

First, here's a video that I thought was absolutely hysterical... recorded at the Riverchase Galleria, the parents threaten the kid with something that he wants no part of...

And here's something that, if I suggested that The Lovely Steph Leann and I tried this, she'd be bored to tears after the first twenty seconds and would go back to the couch to watch "Glee" or "Gilmore Girls".  By the way, I am mesmorized by this video.

by the way, my slow as molasses on an Alaskan winter's day computer means that when I watch these videos on my own site, it doesn't play as well--the audio is fine, the video is eh.  And for the above video, you need a good video player.  If you can't see it, then go to the source...

Birthday Paintings (and other thoughts)

Everyone had their favorite cereals growing up.  I loved several, though, including Cookie Crisp, Count Chocula and Frankenberry, Pebbles of all types, be it Fruity or Cocoa, and Lucky Charms.  When I ate Lucky Charms, I always at all the pieces that were not marshmallows, then at the end, had like, one or two huge scoopfuls of nothing but 'mallow.  It was awesome.

My cereal tastes really haven't gotten all that refined as an adult, though I steer more towards the less sugary, less cartoony kind.  Don't get me wrong, I still like a bowl full of Fruity Pebbles, but I do enjoy Corn Chex (or Kellogg's Crispex, which is essentially the same thing) or some Rice Krispies.

But two I usually have, or at least rotate through are Frosted Mini Wheats and Kellogg's Raisin Bran.  I have the latter in my house at this moment, though I do dig on the former a little more.  Problem is, its so cotton' pickin' expensive.  A good box of Frosted Mini-Wheats will cost you upwards of 4, maybe even 5 dollars. 

Sure, I could go to Wal-Mart, where many times items are a bit cheaper... however, Wal-Mart doesn't carry the Mini-Wheats I want.  I want the Mini-Wheats in the red box.  I want the Mini-Wheats that are frosted, they are about two inches long per... well, the box says "biscuit", but I'd just call it a "mini-wheat"... anyway, I want the regular Frosted Mini-Wheats.

Worked at Starbucks tonight, and after work, I stopped by Wal-Mart to get some milk... there anything worse than having like, a half-inch of milk when you really want some cereal?  Like, just enough milk to wet whatever you pour in a bowl, but if you pour more than a half-inch of cereal, you have dry cereal... its dreadful... where was I?

...and some cereal.  Checked out the cereal aisle, and studied the mini-wheat selection.  I'd been here in this very aisle before, with the same results.  There are Frosted Mini-Wheat Little Bites, Chocolate Mini-Wheat Little Bites, Cinnamon Streusel Bite Size, Cinnamon Streusel Regular, Blueberry Muffin Bite Size, Strawberry Delight Bite Size, Maple and Brown Sugar Bite Size and Maple and Brown Sugar Regular Mini-Wheats.

But no Regular Sized Frosted Mini-Wheats.  Can't a guy get some Frosted, regular size Mini-Wheats?  I don't ask for much, really.  I did end up buying some Eggo Waffle Cereal, because it was only $2.00 and it looked like it might be good and not good for me.  Always a plus. 


This past Saturday was The Lovely Steph Leann's birthday celebration.  Her birthday is actually next Saturday, but she'll be out of town, so we celebrated a little early.  I had to work Saturday morning, but still had our friend Cah-Lah Rah pick her up at 11a, take her to lunch to meet her (our) friends DeLisa, The Dainty Steph Halpert and Emmy Turnbow, then off to Painted By U, owned and operated by Amarylis By Morning (up from san antone) to meet up Mama Ruthless and The Lovely Steph Leann's sister and kids for a big pottery paintin' party.

Here's Cahlah Rah, The Lovely Steph Leann, DeLisa and The Dainty Steph Halpert
 Had to do a bit of rushing around after I got off work, though.  Had to pick up dessert (chocolate covered strawberries), had to run into Wal-Mart (somehow I always do), and I had to go into The Dollar Tree for a couple of gift bags.

While I was in Wal-Mart, I picked up a few things needed for The Lovely Steph Leann's big day, and also a bottle of water, because I was thirsty as all get out.  So, when I walked into The Dollar Tree, I didn't think anything about taking my water with me, sipping/gulping as I did my quick shopping.  I ended up with two gift bags and, did you know they do Mylar Balloons there?  I got two of those.

I bought these at Edible Arrangements.  They are very
pricey, but extremely tasty.
The girl ringing me up just did not enjoy her job.  Don't know if it was that she was in her mid-30s, maybe 40s, and was working retail at The Dollar Tree, don't know if she had a personal issue in her life that was just keeping her from enjoying her day, but she didn't want to be there.  I was bothering her with my gift bag and my balloons and my smile and my "how are you today?" and my easy-to-please purchases. 

"That's $4.38" she says.
"Alrighty," I replied cheerfully, running my card through the swiper.  She put my bags into a plastic bag, then glanced down at my half-full bottle of water.

"Did you get that here?" she said suspiciously.
"Nope, bought it at Wal-Mart a few minutes ago.  Didn't even know you sold Dasani water."
"We do," she said, smirking at me, glancing at my water, and back up at me again.

"I got it at Wal-Mart," I said again.  I paused, and then added, "I have the receipt in my car.  I'll be happy to get it for you."

She smirked again, not believing anything  a word I said.

The rest of the day was just smashing, however.

You can contact Amarylis by Morning (up from san antone) at Painted By U by calling 205-988-8933, visiting their website at, or find them on Twitter and Facebook by looking for "Painted By U"


So, as I said before, I worked Starbucks tonight, which means after the visit to Wal-Mart, I got home around 11p.  And I fired up the DVR and watched this week's episode of WWE: Raw, and when it was over, I scrolled to Hawaii Five-O.  Watching it now, and it's awesome.

Though it is a little weird to have Jin from LOST speak English.


Two restaurants I've visited recently... one is Flip Burger.  Located at The Summit, its the "burger boutique", two words that may or may not ever belong together.  The atmosphere is modern, a little quirky and kind of fun.  The booth I sat in, as are all the booths, have backs that go all the way to the ceiling, almost like you are sitting in this little alcove in the wall, with a window.

The food is a bit pricey.  I ordered the burger combo with the fries and a milkshake ($12), and they delivered it fairly soon.  The burger reminded me of the overpriced sized burger you'd find at Hamburger Heaven or The Varsity in Atlanta, but was pretty good.  The fries were tasty, but the real treat was the milkshake. 

They serve some of the milkshakes with nitrogen on the top, so they are still smoking when they bring it to you, cold as they can possibly get without freezing.  I had the famous "Krispy Kreme Milkshake" and while it was good, and MZ, who I had met for lunch (I love Starbucks meetings on my day off... at least I got lunch) had the "Creme Brulee Milkshake", and that one was exceptional.  As always, I want the thing I didn't order.

Overall, it was a good dining experience, but my bill, with tip, came out to be about $16.  Considering I can get a huge meal at Milo's for about $6, and if I'm really wanting a milkshake bad enough, I can go over to Zaxbys and get a fantastic shake for $3, I'd probably do that.  Meaning I probably won't go to Flip again unless I'm with a group I want to be with and they all go, or someone else is buying, though I'd take The Lovely Steph Leann if she wanted to go.

Also recently, on a whim because I was hungry, I visited Chuy's (pronounced "Chewie's), again at The Summit.  The atmosphere was cool, with Mexican license plates all over the walls, a south of the border motif, and even stuff hanging from the ceiling everywhere.

I went around 11am, and a good thing too, because by 1130, people were starting to line up in the front to get in.  The menu is quite extensive, as you'd expect.  I ended up with the Baja Tacos, with no jalapeno sauce and light cilantro (its funny, because I asked for light cilantro and they put one small, single leaf on each of the two tacos I got.)

The plates were huge, and my tacos were essentially two pieces of fried shrimp wrapped in a tortilla... and surprisingly, it was great.  What wasn't all that great was the cheese dip.  Its slightly spicy, and for anyone who knows me, you know I'm not digging on spice, but even then, it was a little too thin and not nearly as good as you'd get from Pablo's around the corner.

The chips were excellent, though.  When the basket was emptied, the waitress came around with a huge scoop, and poured new chips into the basket--and they were warm, almost like she dipped them straight out of the fryer, shook off the grease and came to my table.

I feel like I paid about the same for my lunch as I did at Flip Burger, but Chuy's was a better value for the amount of food I recieved.    I'd go to Chuy's again, but like Flip, I'd probably go with people or if someone else was buying (hello business lunch!)... or, of course, if The Lovely Steph Leann wanted to go.

Make sure you visit Chuy's at off-hours though, like before or an hour or two after lunch, or before and after the dinner time hours.  Friday and Saturday evenings are probably impossible.  I've heard horror stories about the wait time there.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The DQ 20 Cent Dilemma

My usual stops on the dinner tour while living on Highway 280 are as follows:
Chipotle Grill... Zaxbys... Baha Burger... Chick-fila... Waffle House... Wendy's... Subway

If I'm going out to grab some quick food, 9 times out of 10, I've gone to one of the above places.  There's several fast food joints in a 5 minute drive from The Cabana, but I'm not going to McDonald's, Burger King is just too much grease, Arby's is good, though I never go, and Milo's is way too much food.  Good, but too much food.

There is a place called Hamburger Heaven on 280, but its wildly overpriced and overrated... went in there a few months ago, thinking, "I'll try it out, see what its like" and boy was I a little surprised that my combo cost like, $8. And the burger was just eh. Reminded me of The Varsity in Atlanta, but not nearly as cool looking.

I do like Dairy Queen every now and again, usually because its a cheap option... they have this 9 item deal where you can get 2 items for $3, or 3 items for $4 or 4 items for $5.  I usually go with a couple of hot dogs, a medium drink and a small sundae.  Caramel, hot fudge or, if you ask for it, butterscotch.

The other night, I go into Dairy Queen.  I actually had a hankerin' for some Waffle House (all star breakfast, hash browns covered, chunked and capped, eggs scrambled) but at the time, I only had about $6 in my pocket.  Normally, I would do the hot dog, sundae and drink option, but today, I wanted something a little different... and for only $4.99, you can get the double cheeseburger, fries and the brand new mini-Blizzard size.  I ordered it, and then realized that there was no drink, so I added the drink for an additional $1.49.  Brian, the guy behind the counter (it was on the receipt) rang me up and told me my total was like, $7.49.  I paid for it, then stepped down the counter to wait for my food.

When I buy something, especially if its "deal pricing", I always do the quick calculations in my head on what I just paid for.  And $7.49 seemed like a big jump from the $4.99 that I was hoping to pay... I did the math, realized that $4.99 plus the $1.49 drink is what, $6.48... and for $7.49, that means I just got a $1.01 tax rate, which means that I paid into the 17% tax rate.  I mean, I know He Who Must Not Be Re-Elected is president, but surely he's not working that fast?

I glanced at my receipt.  My drink?  $1.69.

Here's the quandary.  Do you say something?  I mean, its 20 cents. Am I going to fight for that 20 cents?  No.  But I've been overcharged.  Brian probably didn't do it on purpose, but I've been overcharged.  And if he does it to me, either he's an idiot or he doesn't know what he's doing, or maybe it was on accident.  So I stood there, going through this mental debate on "should I speak up?" or "do I let it go?" and "its 20 cents, man" and "but I was overcharged!".

I watch the goings on behind the counter, as Brian stands in front of the little rack where the kitchen behind it slides the food through.  There was a mom with a couple of soccer playing kids before me, and their food was coming out in mass quantities.  And of course, I saw my fries.  The fries come out, and for whatever reason, they can never come out at the same time as the cheeseburger. 

Now the other girl there, Aquanetta, or whatever her name is, has already given my Mini-Blizzard to me.  She got that thing to me faster than I could determine I'd been overcharged, and when they say "mini", they mean "mini".  It was a Strawberry Cheesequake, because I like strawberry and love love love cheesecake. 

Here I am, at the counter, with this fierce debate of morality and financial accountability raging in my brain, with a 6oz tiny cup of soft serve, berry cheesecake flavored ice cream dripping down the side of the cup, watching Brian stand idly by as not only my fries, but also a burger that looked suspiciously like mine has been slid into the little rack. 

Seriously, mine is there.  He can just toss it onto a tray and hand it to me.  I glance at the monitor above his head, where I see my order flashing.  The time on my order is now approaching 6 minutes, while the order behind me is getting close to 4.  The mom and her soccer team have already come up and gotten their food, and Brian is now assembling the order after mine.  My burger and fries sit in the rack. 

He picks up my burger, looks at it, PUTS IT BACK INTO THE RACK, picks up another burger, looks at it, asks something indecipherable to ReyRey in the kitchen, then places it on a tray with an order of chicken fingers.  Then he hands off this tray of greasy goodness to the next family, those who came after me, and then turns to the rack.  He picks up my fries, picks up my burger, looks at the receipt, then has this look on his face like he literally just realized "Oh, wait, this burger and fries goes to... oh yeah, this guy."

Finally, I speak up.  "So, I think you over charged me for the drink."  He looks up at me, tray in his hand.  "Really?" 

"Well, its only 20 cents, so its not a big deal, I don't want it back [though I would have taken it if offered, even if only for the principal of it], but you overcharged me.  You charged me $1.69 for the drink, when the sign says $1.49."

He looks at me, tray still in his hand, looks up at the menu, looks over at the sign advertising the Mini-Blizzard Meal Deal, looks back at the menu, then says, "Oh, must have been only for the small drink."  Then he hands my tray.  No apology, no "my bad", no "sorry about that, man" or anything. 

I follow it up with "Well, again, its only 20 cents, so I'm not worried about it.  But just thought you should know you overcharged me, in case you want to get that figured out."  I get my tray and walk towards the high table in the corner, where I like to sit when I come to Dairy Queen on 280.

The dinner was so-so.  Of course the picture of the burger looked 1,500% better than the actual burger, which was all smashed and such.  I had to peek into the bun to see that they did actually put cheese on it.  The fries were just okay, though DQ is not known for their fries.  The Mini-Blizzard was fabulous... for a strawberry blizzard.  But I had ordered a Strawberry Cheesequake blizzard.  Aquanetta had given me the soft-serve equivalent of a serving of pork-n-beans... where you get a ton of beans and one little piece of fat.

In my 6 ounce Mini-Blizzard, there literally were four little cubes of cheesecake cheesequake, and that's it.  I dug around in the cup with my spoon.  I didn't realize this until after I had eaten all four, completely expecting a few more quakes, instead barely receiving tremors. 


I'm sure I'll visit the DQ again sometime in the future, perhaps even tomorrow for lunch.  But I'll go back to the Sweet Deal menu, a few bucks for a hot dog and a drink and a sundae.  Caramel.  Or butterscotch, if you ask.

The marshmallow is good too.

And let's face it, that twenty cents would have come in handy... the next night at church, I had three one dollar bills and had to scrounge for change to make up the five dollars to pay for my supper.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Blog? Change It? Leave It? Help Me Out!

So, a few months ago, I did a redesign of the blog... I added an espresso bean background, made some color and layout changes, moved a few things around, added some stuff, deleted some stuff and so on.  Since then, I've gotten some feedback from a few people telling me they like the way it looked, and a few more people have told me "Eh."

Since then, I've been waffling like a John Kerry speech.  I like it.  I don't like it.  I like it.  I don't like it.  For me, the posts are getting better, I feel like my writing has gotten better (especially compared to my early stuff... wow...) and my content has been varied, but at the same time more focused (if you don't agree, that's fine, but my readership has grown consistantly over the last year or two since I've been writing, so I'm doing something right).

But the layout has kind of thrown me.  I'm not sure I like the background.  If you know me well enough, you'll know I don't even drink coffee, so the name itself, "Clouds In My Coffee" is a name I'd probably change if I could go back to the beginning (I really like "Welcome to Delaware" and "Love, Pride and Deep Fried Chicken") but five plus years later, its too late for that--heck, type in "Clouds In My Coffee" in Google or Bing and I'm on the first page!

So, you tell me.  I've inserted my first ever poll on the website, which you'll find to the right.  Please take a second and give me some feedback... should I leave as-is?  Should I change it up?  Should I kind of downgrade, so its not distracting, or should I do something else?  You are the people who finds it, checks it, loads it and reads it, so YOU tell ME. 

The ultimate plan is to go to a plain www site through Blogger, though finding a good, memorable domain name has been tough--most of the ones I'd take are all either in use, or at least purchased.  Amarylis by Morning (up from san antone) had a long talk via Facebook about this one night, where should concurred that anything involving "clouds", unless its "Clouds in My Coffee", sounded... well, gay.

Anyway, help a brotha' out and tell me what you think. 

Thursday, September 09, 2010

In Memoriam of 9/11

You will need video playback capabilities for full comprehension of this post.  Facebook users please click over to Clouds in My Coffee main page.

The following three posts contain video and language concerning September 11th that could be considered inappropriate for younger or sensitive readers. 

Its been 9 years now, and I haven't heard much about September 11th this year, save for the usual "Inside 9/11!" and "World Trade: Why It Fell" kind of shows on History and Discovery Channels and such, and the "Why Is bin Laden Still Alive" program that is coming on next week.   There might be some dedications this Saturday, on September 11th, but being a football day, I'm not sure how many you'll see--don't worry, though, the tenth anniversary will come in 2011, and you'll be inundated with programs and documentaries and the like. 

And then, in 2012, 11 years after the attack, it will fade again.  But not for me... every year about this time, I get a little sentimental.  Perhaps its that I remember it so vividly, perhaps its that I was so captivated, broken hearted and involved in the event, perhaps its just that it happened when I was aware...

And what I mean by that is, when Tiananmen Square happened, I was like, 13.  When the Berlin Wall came down, I was 14.  When the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal broke, I was about 20.  I was self-involved, I was unaware of most things, I was not hip to the world news.

At 26, I was aware.  Still self-involved (that will never change), but a lot more wise to the news of the world.  And I, like you, will never forget it.  So, once per year, I get serious, and do all I can to make sure that you never forget it...

Some months after 9/11/01, HBO released a documentary called "In Memoriam".  When I saw it, I was blown away.  No narrator, it only involves some interviews, many with then-Mayor Rudy Guiliani, and is entirely made of footage taken from over 100 New Yorkers and people with cameras.

I will warn you... this is real footage.  There is some language, and though its not graphic, there are disturbing scenes.  Just the same, when Campbell Isaiah and Lorelei Addison are old enough, they'll watch it, and I'll do my best to help them understand, so they'll know what September 11th means, or at least should mean, to this country.

So, I invite you to watch HBO's In Memoriam, piece by piece, each about 10 minutes long, broken up over 3 posts, each separated by a few quotes and some contributions from a couple of friends of mine.  Here it is, part by part, each part about 10 minutes long. 

In Memoriam Part I

"A mother described to me talking to her son on the telephone when the second plane it.  And that's the last time she talked to him.  Another family described to me how their loved one had let two elevators go, because he was older. And people in the elevator were younger..."

In Memoriam Part II

"We couldn't get to the top of the roof...  I looked over and saw a partially obscured face peering out of the smoke.  He was waving a white towel and... there was nothing we could do"

In Memoriam Part III

When the building came down, I just felt a complete disconnection in my heart.  It was like everything was just ripped out of my chest.  I thought that Terry had just incinerated.  I was grabbing the dust from the ground, thinking that he was in the dust."

Sez Amy Harris, fellow churchgoer at Valleydale Church (an sbc fellowship).. I was just following my normal morning routine. Kate was ready for preschool and watching Arthur in the den. I went to the bedroom to walk on the treadmill and watch Joan & Charlie welcome in our day. There was a breaking newsflash that the World Trade Center was on fire… no, not just a fire, an airplane was believed to have flown into it. What on earth? I kept walking and watching. For a news junkie, this was a major event and I was enthralled. But within moments, my mind could not completely comprehend what I saw as what looked like a commercial jet flew into the second tower. I knew it was no accident. War. I stopped walking.

I stood in front of the TV glued for more details. The President spoke of a terrorist attack. I wasn’t sure what to do. It was time to take Kate to preschool. Do you take your child to preschool in the midst of a terrorist attack? I didn’t know what to do but something inside me just felt like I needed to make things as normal as possible for her. So off she went into safe loving hands for a few hours to play with her friends. I was shocked at what an absolutely beautiful bluebird day it was outside yet pure terror was occurring on American soil….what irony.

As soon as I got home, the news showed reports of the Pentagon being hit. I was worried because we had family that lived close by. Then the reports that the south tower had collapsed and now a flight was missing in midair…. what was going on? This was crazy! My mind could not begin to comprehend it all. And then I saw the live steam of the north tower as it collapsed into ashes and tears began to roll down my cheeks. I walked a few paces and literally fell to my knees.

The next thing that happened was something I will never forget. I began to pray these words, “Praise you Jesus, Praise you Jesus. I praise you because you are a God of order and this is not the work of your hands. I know that you will use this somehow someway for good. Praise you Jesus that I serve a God of order not a God a chaos and I know that even now you are in control"  When I opened my eyes I had no idea where that came from. It seemed completely inappropriate for me yet just like something God might do. A sense of peace came over me.

What started as Good Morning America had turned to a mourning America. I literally watched TV for days as people looked for their loved ones, NYC’s finest ash covered bold heroes sobbed like babies and people all over the country told their stories. Yet amongst the rubble of the collapsed towers stood a cross… steel beams that once supported towers built by human hands now stood to support a people in need of Hope.

Nine years gone by and I wonder where are all the people who flooded the churches in September of 2001? What has happened to all those who were on their knees in prayer? I celebrate that a faithful God never left America during this tragedy, but I mourn that America is no longer said to be a Christian country. I mourn for the America of September 2010… and yet I still rejoice... inappropriate as that may seem.

Be joyful always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thess 5:16-18

In Memoriam of 9/11 Continued

In Memoriam Part IV

"Worst thing I could imagine in my whole life. I'm sad just watching it."

In Memoriam Part V

"The reality is not going to come for a couple of days, when we start putting all the names together.  [I feel] Awful.  Vengeful.  Total awe.  I mean, uh, think about it.  Look at this, and you ask yourself 'Why?'  There's no justification for this.  None."

Says My Best Mate Wookiee, aka Chris Fulaytar... September 11, 2001 started out like any other day for me. I got up, showered, dressed for work, and headed out the door for another day in the trenches at Wetumpka High School.

I was going about my normal pre-school routine thinking it was just another day in the life.

First period started as usual and I was going through the normal beginning of class routine when a colleague from across the hall came and told me that a plane had hit one of the WTC buildings. I thought that was unusual and turned on CNN really quick to see what was going on. I turned it on just in time to see plane number 2 hit the WTC.

It took few a couple of minutes to process that we were under attack. I was in absolute shock. To heck with teaching, the rest of the day, we watched the news to see what was going on. During that time we learned of the plane crashing into the Pentagon and some random plane that had gone done out in the middle of some field in Pennsylvania, We would find out later that the brave people on that plane that crashed in Pennsylvania took the plane back from their captors instead of allowing them to kill even more people.

I remember the unity and determination that ensued. For a short time in this country, there were no Democrats and Republicans, black and white, gay or straight. We were just Americans pulling together to help one another through this tragic event. American flags were everywhere. Trivial things like pro and college football were put aside so the nation could mourn. That was nice while it lasted. Before I knew it, the divisiveness was back and the American flags were put away except for the 4th of July, Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. People were back to wondering whether or not their favorite team would win that weekend and who Billy Joe Jim Bob was going to sign with to pay college football.

Every year, when 9/11 falls on a school day, I wear an American flag polo I have had since college. I take that day to tell each one of my classes what happened that day, where I was when it happened, and to remember the people that lost their lives.

Every year, I tell the kids I teach that they will probably have, in their lifetime, a moment in which they will remember where they were and what they were doing when some major event occurred. For my parents it was JFK. For their parents it was Pearl Harbor. For my generation the Challenger explosion and 9/11. When that event happens, I hope the sense of unity and determination that allowed us to forge ahead after 9/11 remains long after that event is over.

In Memoriam Part VI

"Its like searching for a needle in a haystack at this point, it really is.  I'm just praying that everything is going to be fine.  He's a very strong kid.  And he's a very loving person.  And... so we're just hoping we'll find him..."

In Memoriam of 9/11 Concluded

In Memoriam Part VII

"People from 83 different countries died at the World Trade Center, so it wasn't just an attack on America, it was an attack on much of the civilized world.  Nobody deserves to die, nobody in that building deserved to die.  I mean, they were just doing their jobs.  They were showing up, working the restaurant, cleaning the building or delivering something, or trading stocks or trading bonds.  We should consider all them heroes or patriots.  They gave their lives pursuing the American dream."

Writes Amarilys Barnett, aka Amarilys By Morning (up from san antone) On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was working from home. I had seen a couple of headlines online about a plane crashing into one of the Twin Towers but frankly, had not paid much attention. Until my then-boyfriend-now-husband, Rhett, called to ask if I was watching tv. I raced to the television just in time to hear and see the news about a second jet plowing into the towers.

No one knew what to make of it. There was a collective haze across the country that was clearing up with every second we watched those plumes of smoke to reveal the fact that we were being attacked. It was a stunning revelation. Attacked? On our own ground? Not even in our wildest dreams and yet here we stood. Stunned.

I remember watching the towers collapse live on television. I wept. At the time, we thought that the casualties would be in the tens of thousands so I wept for the people that I watched die in real time right there on my television. My mother called and I was crying. It was literal disbelief over the events being broadcast.

The world stopped. At least in the United States. I didn’t work the rest of the day or even the rest of the week as I recall. I simply watched television and scoured the internet for updates. I talked to friends who did much the same. It was impossible to get any work done without thinking of those images. Images that are seared in my brain for the rest of my life.

The planes crashing. The towers collapsing. The United flight crash site. The Pentagon rubble. Pictures of Osama Bin Laden. Chilling scenes of jumpers. It was and still is beyond comprehension.

I was scared. No one knew what was happening. What else did these people have planned? More planes? A ground attack? Where would they strike next? Another major metropolis? It was a troubled time, indeed.

It took months before our lives would bear any resemblance of normalcy. That normalcy could be better described as a new normal. A normal that included new airport security measures. National Guardsmen carrying their weapons for all to see. A heightened sense of awareness for your surroundings. My husband and I even reported a moving truck parked next to the water works in our area because it looked abandoned. …and now, that new normal has evolved in just our normal. I hope we never have to get used to another new normal. God bless America.

So, that's it for this go-round... I was wondering today how many more years I'll do this on my website.  Not that I don't want to discuss it, that's not it at all, but there's only so much that can be said before I start repeating myself (which I'm sure I've done ad nauseum). 

However... if you, the reader, ask for it, then I shall continue.  Thanks for remembering with me.

(thanks to Amy, Wookiee and Amarylis by Morning (up from San Antone) for contributing)

Monday, September 06, 2010

Vh1's The Greatest Songs of the 90s (Part II)

And we are back... I'll fire up this DVR and discuss the rest of the Top 100 Greatest Songs of the 1990s, as ranked by Vh1!  Along the way I'll share some memories, some stories and maybe you have some of your own...

Keep in mind, I don't know who is on this list... everytime you read about a new song, I have just found out what that song was, and don't know what the next one is...
Read The Greatest Songs of 90s, Part I with Songs 100 to 48

47. "Good Vibrations" by Marky Mark & the Funky Bunch
I guess I heard somewhere that Mark Wahlberg doesn't like to discuss his "Marky Mark" days... and part of me can understand why.  I mean, he's a white guy rapper, something that until Eminem, would get you lumped in with Vanilla Ice, Snow and the like.

But another part of me wants him to be doggone proud of this ditty.  "Good Vibrations" isn't bad, its not even so-bad-its-good, its just a good, good song.   And most girls I knew loved them some Marky Mark when he did underwear ads and did this video.  He didn't actually wear a shirt from 1994 to 1998, I believe.

I came across this video in iTunes, and let me tell ya, I didn't think--I bought.  Immediately.

I've made this point before, but really?  If
you've ever seen Mutt Lange, you'll know
that Shania, left, is the best he'll ever do
and the chick on the right is more his type.
46.  "Your Still the One" by Shania Twain.
Oh mah gawsh... this song was everywhere.  You couldn't get away from this song.  But for every bit of eye candy that Marky Mark was to the ladies, Shania is the boys.

Its funny, though, to hear Shania talk about this song and her hubby Mutt Lange, as this show was done in 2007-ish.  This was, of course, Mutt so stupidly traded in his Ferrari for a used 70s Pinto. 

45.  "Only Wanna Be With You" by Hootie & the Blowfish

But when Darius Rucker says, "Ain't Bobby so cool?", who is Bobby?  Never got that.

44.  "Killing Me Softy" by The Fugees
Pras, Wyclef Jean and Lauryn Hill... The Fugees.  And for everything the original was, this song is not.  The original, while classic, is so freakin' slow... the update by The Fugees made it cool.  Made it relevant.  Made if fun.

Sang this song in karaoke back in the early 2000s or something.  Actually, I didn't sing it, Alexandra Milner did.  We were at Common Ground back in the day, doing a karaoke night, and Alex and I hopped on this stage... and she sang it beautiful.  I did the "one time time"... and then the "two time time" part.  Cause I wanted to help.

43. "My Lovin' (your never gonna get it)" by En Vogue
Who just started singing "oh your never gonna get it, no your never gonna get it" as soon as this song came on the television?  The Lovely Steph Leann, that's who, not even looking up from her laptop.

This was pre-Destiny's Child, and early-to-mid 90s.  There was an abundance of chick groups that came out about the same time, including En Vogue, but also Jade (don't walk away boy, my love won't hurt you, no no!) and my favorite, Sisters With Voices, aka, SWV (can't explain why your loving makes me weak...)

42. "Shine" by Collective Soul
From the album "Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid", an album that I couldn't afford to buy in 1994, but I ended buying in like, 2004, because I felt like I should own it. 

This song is also awesome, with a great chorus, and lots and lots of "YEAH!"s.  Da da da dada YEAH!  Da dada dada da da YEAH!" 

It is a great song, but my favorite Collective Soul song?  "Heavy".  Man oh man is that song great to drive with. 

41. "Two Princes" by The Spin Doctors
My memory of this song will forever and ever be linked to that karaoke bar on the fifth deck of that cruise ship during my senior cruise... there were like, six of us up there, and that group probably included Chris McCall and Tonya Windham, but I know for a fact that Tammy Thomas was up there. 

(L-R) Tonya, Chad, Tammy, Yours Truly and Chris.  This
would be a good guess as to who was singing that night.
By the way, don't hate on the Spin Doctors.  Trippy sound, goofy hat of that lead singer guy, he had an awesome voice... and how much fun is this song to sing?  Even now!  The Lovely Steph Leann stopped singing En Vogue and immediately picked up this song. 

Favorite Spin Doctors songs? 
4) "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong"... what a great "get out my face, woman" song.
3) "You Let Your Heart Go To Fast"... lead cut from their second album
2) "Two Princes"... Carnival cruises!
1) "Jimmy Olsen's Blues".  Man I love that tune.

Just just just go ahead now. 

40. "I Wanna Sex You Up" by Color Me Badd
Okay, so this song came from the film "New Jack City", not on The Dave100, but probably could be listed in The Dave200, if there was such a thing.  There were actually two versions to this song, the album version and the radio version.

Usually, I'm an album-version guy... the album typically has the extra verse, or the bridge or the extra whatever, whereas the radio version is typically edited for content and length.   However, in this case, its almost as if they are two different tunes who have the same riffs and rhythm... and I prefer the "come inside take of your coat I'll make you feel at home" radio edit much better. 

Two more quick observations:  first, lead singer Brian Abrams got really big, and second. this song is, no matter the edit, not Emmy Turnbow Safe.  No joke. 

39. "Iris" by The Goo Goo Dolls
So, I've never seen the movie "City of Angels" that this song came from.  This song is good, though, every once in a while, but not all the time.  Give me "Slide" or "Black Balloon".... but I will tell you "Dizzy Up the Girl" is an awesome CD.  Go get it.

38. "Genie in a Bottle" by Christina Aguilera
So, when you are 24 years old, and this 17 year old is singing, and rolling around like she does in this video, you feel kind of skeevy.  And I did.  Cause she was pretty hot.

Steph Nipp, back in the day, asked me about the lyrics "gotta rub the right way", and I told her "oh, its like, you know, when you rub someone the right way, or wrong way?  Like, she wants the guy to be good to her, and treat her right."  Steph Nipp says, "Oh, that makes sense."  And everytime I heard her tell someone that particular nugget, I would laugh internally, and sometimes quietly, externally.  I love Snipp. 

37. "Good Riddance (time of your life)" by Green Day
So, Green Day, one of the most overrated band in the history of the world. 

36. "Gonna Make You Sweat" by C&C Music Factory
Totally did this song in high school band, and that crazy part on the sax was sooooooo much fun to play.

And I know every stinkin' word to this song.  I mean, this video is like a workout, cause people are dancing and jumping all over the place, you had the chick singing the "Sweat!  Sweeeaaaat!  Let the music take control, let the rhythm move you..." (though the skinny chick was a front--the real singer of that was one of the big sistas from The Weather Girls, and she sued), you had that awesome sax in the middle and Freedom Williams singing the rhymes that told you he was a just a squirrel trying to get a nut to move yo' butt to the dance floor so yo' whats up, hands in the air, e'rbody over here e'rbody over there..."

35. "Wonderwall" by Oasis
Talk about a song I love to sing... Today is gonna be the day that their gonna throw it back to you... I don't believe that anybody feels the way I do about you now...

Its like a good Beatles song.  This, with "Champagne Supernova", but especially this, is just about as close to a perfect rock song as you can get. 

Chick named Reanna in children's theater Pied Pipers used to walk aroung singing "Wonder Bra".  Kind of annoying, but at the same time amusing.

34. "Semi-Charmed Life" by Third Eye Blind
So this song is actually about hard core drugs and gettin' it on.  The lyrics are so dirty.  But its proof that people don't pay much attention to the lyrics, because its so catchy and this song was pretty big for about eight months.  But I usually turn it when it comes on.  Not a huge fan.

33. "Wannabe" by Spice Girls
This exchange just happened:
Me: Oh wow
The Lovely Steph Leann: You knew this had to be on here
Me: Oh, I like the Spice Girls.  I dig this song.
The Lovely Steph Leann: OMG, I LOOOOOVE the Spice Girls

Ten, twelve years later, its kinda funny seeing where they all ended up, but back in the late 90s, you couldn't get away from Spice Girl.  I was always a Baby Spice guy myself. 

We just spent the next five minutes coming up with the titles of the other two Spice hits.... "Two Become One" and my favorite, "Say You'll Be There" (she sang along to both when I dug 'em up on my iTunes)

32. "No Diggity" by Blackstreet featuring Dr. Dre
Dude.  No Diggity was dope.  Back when Dre and rap was fun and cool, when Hip Hop was going from innocent to a little edgy, this song is just awesome. 

Not sure what "diggity" means.  It might mean "no doubt", as in "no diggity, no doubt". 

Play on, play out.

31. "Creep" by Radiohead
There were two versions of this song, the "so very special" and "so effin' special" version.  As in, "I wish I was special.  So very/effin special".  Because I'm an album purist, I like the second one.  I have this cassingle upstairs. 

I won a tape from a radio station once, called "Kid A."  And after listening to it a few times, I can honestly say, Radiohead is a band I never got.

30. "Tearin' Up My Heart" by N*Sync
So, the boy bands returned in 98, after a seven year hiatus with the loss of New Kids on the Block. 

Remember when Justin Timberlake was this frosted tipped little kid?  And out of like, all the boy banders in all the boy bands, something like 19 of them, JT is the only who made it out.  Its not cool to like any of them... except JT.  Its cool to like JT. 

And I'm sure JC Chasez is sitting at home, playing "Blowing Me Up (with her love)", wondering what went wrong and why not him.

No, of course I don't have "Ice Ice Baby"
on Cassette Single.  Why would I need
the cassingle when I have this entire
album on tape?
29. "Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice
I could spend an entire column, like 4,000 words on this song.  I don't even know where to begin with this song, other than, I love it and am not ashamed.

28. "Livin' la Vida Loco" by Ricky Martin
I got nothing.  That sound you hear is the Unintentional Comedy Scale exploding into small, loco pieces.

27. "Mr. Jones" by The Counting Crows
First, lets be clear... Adam Duritz. Ladies, is he hot?  Seriously?  Cause he got with like, fourteen different 90s hot chicks from Jennifer Aniston to Courtney Cox. 

Secondly, who is Mr. Jones?  

26. "My Name Is" by Eminem
I remember hearing this song for the first time as I was coming to my apartment in 1999.  It was odd, it was laughable, and it was creative.  Some years later, he busted out with my favorite Eminem tune, "Without Me" which is absolutely brilliant. 

Love him, hate him, he is so talented.  What he can rap, the words he spits out are amazing... not the content, but just his tone. 

25. "Black Hole Sun" by Soundgarden
This was a cool song, but this video was just creepy with the stretchy smiley face thing going on.  Everyone's smiles get all weird and distorted and strange.

24. "Jump Around" by House of Pain
Dude... from the very first note, this song rocks.  Like, this song is awesome.  Everyone jumps to this song.  And my favorite lyric, though its terrible, is "I'll serve yo' --- like John McEnroe, if yo' girl steps up, I'm smackin' da ho'"...  This makes me want to go and hear this song right now.  This would be in my Top Ten songs of the 90s.

23. "Whatta Man" by Salt n Pepa featuring En Vogue
What a great song.  Seriously.  Why is it that there are so many songs out there that are all about how bad your man is, and he cheated and he's a jerk and all that... but here's a song that celebrates how much she loves her man.

I'd like to think that The Lovely Steph Leann, were she a R&B rap artist, would sing this song to me.  "d$, you so crazy... I think I wanna have yo' baby..." 

22.  "Loser" by Beck
Does anyone even know what this song means?  No you don't.  Don't try.  Don't even try to explain.  I made it a point to learn every word to this song at one time, and loved to sing it... and would hear it often on cassingle.

If there was a way to do playcounts with cassettes, surely this would have a huge count from back in the day.

21. "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion
Oh, there go the flutes.  From one of my favorite movies of all time, 9th on The Dave100, near, far, wherever you are, you couldn't NOT hear this song.  And seriously, were it not for the fact that I have heard this song about 8,000,003 times, I would still love it.  However, its still a great song.  And before Celine married Rob Reiner and decided to lose 188 pounds, she was so awesome.  I mean, really.  I would put her next to pre-crack Whitney and pre-skank Mariah, easily.

The Lovely Steph Leann: Oh, I cried at this song.

20. "Mmm Bop" by Hanson
You laugh right now, but dont even joke.  You freakin' loved this song.  You sang this song.  You bought it, you own it, and when it came on, you turn it up, even if you only can sing the "Mmm Bop" part.

Hanson is a band that got the shaft--they make great pop rock music, played their own instruments, wrote their own songs, and were defined by that one single song.

19. "Sabotage" by The Beastie Boys
There are fewer songs that, combined with the video, are as cool as this song.  This song is loud, this song is boisterous, this song had this funky, hard edge, goofy sound... and it ROCKS.  Put this is your cars CD player, preluded by "B.O.B." by OutKast and followed by "Machinehead" by Bush, and you can make it from Birmingham to the beach in about 90 minutes.

18. "Enter Sandman" by Metallica
"The national anthem of headbangers" was what one guy said on the show, and I agree.  And when lead singer Triple H James Hetfield, its a song that really... kinda punishes you.   

Hush little baby don't say a word, and don't mind that noise you heard.


17. "Say My Name" by Destiny's Child
Back when it wasn't just Beyonce, but Beyonce and three, yes three, other chicks.  Hey, say my name you love me in front of other people.  And somehow, they sang 73 words in the span of 4 seconds, so much so that Eminem would be proud.

And for the record, I love me some Kelly Rowland--she's my favorite D'Child.

16. "U Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer
That phrase, "U Can't Touch This", tossed in with "2 Legit 2 Quit" will forever be a part of our lexicon.  Lorelei Addison and Campbell Isaiah will be saying these phrases and not even knowing what they mean...

...oh no, forget that... they'll be hearing them some MC Hammer.

Its Hammer go Hammer MC Hammer yo Hammer and the rest can go and play, Can't Touch This!

15. "Under the Bridge" by The Red Hot Chili Peppers
When this song popped up, The Lovely Steph Leann looked up and said, "ah!"  I asked her if she liked this song, and she nodded feverishly, "I Love this song."

And why not?  Its a great song.  I remember this video where Anthony Keidis, in black and white, long hair flying, running as fast as he could towards the camera, looking all buff and intense.  It was cool.

14. "Vision of Love" by Mariah Carey
Totally had this poster on my college dorm room wall

I miss pre-skank Mariah.

Anyone under 21, stop what you are doing, go to iTunes and download three songs:  Emotion, Dreamlover and this song.  And listen to them for an education.  THIS is how you sing.  THIS is how you entice.  THIS is how you are FREAKIN AWESOME. 

I would love love love love to see her in concert.  I mean, one of my top five most desired concert experiences.

13. "Nuthin' But a G Thang" by Dr. Dre introducing Snoop Doggy Dogg
In the late 80s, rap was killin, ghetto, hood, shooting, the plight of black people, the plight of poor people, the man holding us down...

When G Thang came out, it all changed.  Rap suddenly didn't have to be a social commentary, it could be just something fun, laid back, smokin' a blunt, drankin' a fo'ty, ridin' in yo' bouncing hyrdrolic low rider,

12. "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morissette
How fantastic is this song?  How fantastic is this whole "Jagged Little Pill" album?  I remember hearing this song for the first time, I hopped in my car, drove around the corner from Willow Terrace to across the street to On Cue Records and Tapes, and paid $15.98 for it.  Didn't have it, probably bounced the check, but it was worth it. 

She's a little mellow now, and released an acoustic version of this whole album a few years back--and it was good, but it wasnt great.  It wasn't great because she wasn't angry anymore.  I love Angry Alanis.

11. "Jeremy" by Pearl Jam
Remember me telling you about sitting at home, listening to Open House Party on Saturday nights?  This is where I learned about Pearl Jam and heard "Jeremy" for the first time.  And I owned the tape and would play it in my car at school I daresay before anyone knew who was Eddie Vedder even was.

I remember doing some painting work for my boss at The Wright Place restaurant at his home, painting some metal beams for a barn that he was building.  And with my jambox, I had this tape blaring loud and proud.  Back then, kiddies, you got about five songs, then you had to flip the tape over. 

10. "Nothing Compares 2 U" by Sinead O'Connor
I cannot tell you how awesome this song is.  I mean, seriously.  This will be another song that Lorelei Addison will hear as a very young little girl.

The video is so amazing, as she's starting at the camera, tears streaming down her eyes.  Its on my list of the Saddest Songs Ever.  That countdown is due for a re-do, and "Nothing Compares 2 U" might rank a little higher. 

And this is on my current rotation of songs that I sing while I'm making drinks at Starbucks. 

9. "Losing My Religion" by REM
I've never been a huge REM fan, but this song was captivating.  That's me in the corner. That's me in the spotlight, losing my religion.  I do believe that not too long ago, Michael Stipe surprised no one when admitting he was gay, he admitted that this song was his struggle with being an Other. 

We used to make fun of REM, saying that REM stood for Rear End Men.  Turns out I wasn't too far from being right.

8. "Waterfalls" by TLC
For all the songs that The Lovely Steph Leann liked on this countdown, I daresay there aren't many songs she hates more than this one.  I like the song itself, but usually only hear it when I'm listening to a playlist that includes my favorite music from that Troy State era.

7. "...Baby One More Time" by Britney Spears
Let's be honest.  Back in 1998, you liked this song.  Don't tell me you didn't.  You had no idea that K-Fed, bald heads, kissing Madonna, that VMA snake, Chaotic, slutsville, rehab, two children, bad music, that Vegas marriage was coming.  All you knew at that time was that this song was awesome, it was catchy, the album was fun, and speaking as a guy, we loved it.

6. "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mixalot
I LIKE BIG BUTTS AND I CANNOT LIE is a line that forever will go down in the "First Lines to a Song" Hall of Fame.  I mean, you can't even say the words "Oh My Gah Becky, look at her butt" without someone laughing, or continuing the line or quoting the song.  Seriously.

This is song is so engrained in our pop culture, it will be one of the songs on this list that will last for decades, maybe a generation.  I don't know if Campbell Isaiah will be exposed to Mixalot at an early age, but it seems to be a good song to sing to babies.  On Friends, Rachel sang it to her kid to calm her down, and when I was visiting my best mate Wookiee, I was holding their daughter Abby Grace and when AG got a little grumpy, I started to whisper "I like big butts and I cannot lie.  You other brothers can't deny..." and like magic, AG quieted. 

5. "Vogue" by Madonna

4. "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston
From a favorite film, 51st on The Dave100, its pre-crack Whitney at the top of her career.  As this song started, I just put my head back on the recliner, looked at The Lovely Steph Leann and just sighed, "This song... is just so great." 

A few drug hits and a Bobby Brown later, she can't hit those notes like she used to.  But while you are on iTunes downloading those Mariah songs, make sure you get "How Will I Know", "Saving All My Love For You", "I'm Your Baby Tonight" (radio edit) and this song.  Go now. 

3. "I Want It That Way" by The Backstreet Boys
The Lovely Steph Leann just piped up "This is the BEST!!!"

So one night, Mikey Nipp and I were going to a party somewhere.  We walked to the door and he turned to me, said "I'm going to have the entire room singing Backstreet in ten minutes.  Just watch this." 

He walked in, quietly singing to himself, "you are... my fire... my one... desire..." and sure enough, within ten minutes every girl, and some guys, in the room were singing to themselves "I want it that way" and "you are... my fire..." and so on.  It was hilarious.

2. "One" by U2
When "Achtung Baby" came out, I really dug "Mysterious Ways", which turned out to be my favorite U2 song of all time. 

But I'll just be honest with ya here... this is my absolute least favorite U2 song out there.  When this comes on the radio, I end up just turning it.  There.  I said it.

1. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana
When we were about three songs from the end, I said, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is probably number one."  And I was right.

I was the first kid in my high school to own "Nevermind" with the naked baby on the front cover of the tape.  And this song was played a whole heckuva lot in my car.  Kurt Cobain is perhaps not as amazing as people remember him to be (who is, really) but he deserves alot of credit for, along with Pearl Jam, bringing the new grunge alternative sound to the forefront, inspiring rock music like never before, and making all those kids around me who felt Metallica and Alice in Chains were a little too loud have some hope in rock. 

And then, when Weird Al Yankovic came out with "Smells Like Nirvana", I was laughing so hard I literally ran off of the road while driving down the highway in Enterprise, Alabama.

Well, theres your greatest songs of the 90s.

Word to your mother.

Play on, play out.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Vh1's The Greatest Songs of the 90s (Part I)

Anyone who knows me knows I love me a countdown.  Be it my favorite Tom Cruise films to my yearly 100 Coolest Things of the Year, I can dig on a ranking of a particular topic.  So, today while relaxing after work and flipping channels, I came upon Vh1's Top 100 Songs of the 90s.  I had seen this show before, and after watching it I realized it aired in 2007, but never all the way through, and I could barely remember much of anything on the list.

So I settled in to watch it.  And I had thoughts on everything.  So what I decided to do was list them as they appeared in the show

Gerardo, in all his
ridiculous glory
100.  "Rico Suave" by Gerardo
(I'm laughing out loud, quite hard)  This song is so ridiculous, I'm not sure anyone took it seriously when it came out, much less now.  Except for maybe Gerardo.

99.  "The Rain (supa dupa fly)" by Missi "Misdemeanor" Elliott
Not a fan.  Never been a fan of Missi. 

98.  "Unbelievable" by EMF
There was the rumor that EMF stood for "Energetic Mother F-bombers", though I don't know if that was ever substantiated.  What I do know, is this song rocked out my dadgum junior year of high school. This was the epitome of the early 90s pop, and how meaningless it was, yet how much fun it was. 

The things you say, your purple prose gives you away?  What does that even mean?

97.  "Gett Off" by Prince and the New Power Generation
Prince is one of the most sexually suggestive, non-obvious dirty artists out there.  Even his performance at the Super Bowl a few years ago was one innuendo filled twenty minutes, and this is no different.  I liked some 90s Prince, but this wasn't one of the songs I cared for. 

96.  "(Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection" by Nelson
In my life, I've always had a personal "Top Ten" or "Top Five" favorite song list, mostly mental.  Some of the songs that have topped this mental top song list include "I Think We're Alone Now" by Tiffany, "I Like It" by Dino, "Fortress Around Your Heart" by Sting and this song, by Nelson. 

Even now, I hear it and I remember being 15 again.  And I know the words, somehow... and many of you do too.

I was so excited because I won a contest on a radio station by telling the funniest joke of the night.  Joke is not Emmy Turnbow Safe, so I won't repeat it.  Anyway, they asked me which cassette I wanted, I told them Nelson's latest.  They sent me Roxette's "Joyride".  Sigh.  Had to go out and buy Nelson.  I still have both. 

95.  "This Is How We Do It" by Montell Jordan
Like, in 1995, you couldn't go to any party without hearing this song.  It was all over the place, because you had this dude singing about partying, having a good time, with all the gang bangers forgetting about the drive-bys... the irony of this song is that despite Jordan singing about the hood, I'd always heard he grew up in a wealthy home and probably knew little about the Man holding the Black Man down.

Some of my favorite lines include... "So I reach for my fo'ty and I turn it up, designated driver take the key to my truck..." and "Every since I was a lower case g, but now I'm a big G, girls see I got the money, hunned dolla bills y'all..."

94.  "The Way" by Fastball

93.  "Stay (I Missed You)" by Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories
One of my 100 favorite songs of all time, and if I had to write a top ten list of songs that I love to sing outloud, this would easily be on that list.  Its funny, though, that its a song that I cannot jump in the middle of... I have to start at the very beginning and work my way through it. 

So if someone says, "How does that part where she goes 'some of us hover while we're waiting for the other' go" and I can't just say the next line... I have to softly say to myself, "you say i only hear what i want to you say I talk so all the time so so I thought what I felt was simple and I thought that I don't belong and now that I am leaving now I know that I did something wrong..." and work my way to it.  And I have fun doing it.

92. "911 is a Joke" by Public Enemy
This song popped up right around the beginning of the decade, and I can't honestly say I've heard the thing all the way through.  I just remember it being all controversial because it made fun of 9-1-1, which I guess at the time was a relatively new feature to most of the country.  Whatever.

91.  "Building a Mystery" by Sarah McLachlan
I do love me some Sarah, but this song?  For me, its "Possession", my favorite song ever of all time. 

90. "You Get What You Give" by The New Radicals
This song makes me kinda angry.  Why?  Because its total crap.  The guy can't sing, its got an annoying tune, the lyrics are stupid and I hate it.  Next.

89. "Never Said" by Liz Phair
Never been a huge Liz Phair fan, and really, neither has The Lovely Steph Leann, but she loves her some "Why Can't I" from movies like "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" or whatever. 

88. "Barely Breathing" by Duncan Sheik
This song taught me a lesson.  I was so into "Barely Breathing" when it came out, I would turn it up and sing every single time it came on.  In 1999, I was ready to anoint this song king of my mental list, the top of my own chart in my head, even though it was fairly new at the time.  That's how much I loved it.

Then I heard it over and over.  And over.  And over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.  And over again.  And by the 7,822nd time I had heard it in the span of two hours, I was growing a little weary of it.

And suddenly, I couldn't hear any more of it.  I turned away when it came on.  Not only had this song had the biggest drop from the top of my mental charts to the bottom, I felt stupid considering it for my favorites song list.  It had worn out its welcome, and I was done with it.

That taught me... give it a while, be it a movie or a song, to see how it holds up.  Some movies and songs are awesome to begin with, yet over time, wear on you a bit and aren't as great as they were.  Some start out slow and catch on, becoming awesome over time.  I call it the Duncan Sheik Rule... give it a minimum of 2 years. 

87. "Achy Breaky Heart" by Billy Ray Cyrus
Its like, even his mullet has a mullet
I have probably mentioned this before, but when I was in high school, I didn't get out much.  Parties weren't my thing, mostly because I wasn't invited to many until at least my junior year, maybe senior year.  So, when I was at home on the weekends, particularly Saturday night, I was in my room either watching movies or listening to KMX (Max 106.7) when they played Open House Party with John Garabedian. 

Open House Party was (is?) this program that would showcase new artists and new songs by current artists, sometimes weeks before they would hit the airwaves on regular rotation.  So, as an Open House Party listener, I was the first one in my small school to be aware of this new band called Nirvana, this new chick named Mariah Carey, and this country rockabilly ditty that went something like "Don't tell my heart, my achy breaky heart, I just don't think it understands..."

I remember singing this song to myself while waiting outside first period, and classmate Michael Knowles asked me what I was singing.  I told him "this song called 'Achy Breaky Heart' by this guy named Billy Cyrus."  He told me the song sounded stupid.  I told him I thought it might be big.  We were both right. 

86.  "Linger" by The Cranberries
Oh my gosh, how much so I love this song.  No kidding... from the opening music (which, by the way, is about 53 seconds long, meaning when I worked at WKMX or WTBF, I had enough time to talk about where John Houston would be this Saturday, like at Bondy's Ford Jeep Eagle, or had enough time to plug the community garage sale in Brundidge) to the light voice of Delorous O'Rierdon, to the music and tune, its perfectly set for a melancholy kind of day. 

Probably on my Top 100 Songs of All Time.  And I'm missssssing you... you know I'm such a fool for you... you got me wrapped around your finger... do you have to... do you have to... do you have to let it linger...

85. "Insane in the Brain" by Cypress Hill
Why you messin' with me, essa... can't you see I'm loco... loco... loco...

This song is ridiculously cool by a bunch of random white dudes and black guys in flannel that smoke lots and lots of pot, like the 90s version of the Grateful Dead.  Cops, come and try to steal my crops, them pigs wanna blow my house down... its a hoot.

I have this song on Cassingle, and I swear its a forgotten oldie by all those under 21. 

84.  "Informer" by Snow
Who knows what the crap this guy is saying?  Back in senior year of 93, this was a big song, and we all tried singing it... except all we could get out was "licky boom boom down", and none of us knew what that meant.

Of course, being 17 year old boys, me and my buddies came up with lots of things it could have stood for.  I do remember my freshman year in college, I would sing, "Come with a nice young lady, intelligent she plays Atari, then she do the dance lambada..." (that wasn't the lyrics, but it sounded good.)  My roomdawg at the time said, "Dude, if she is intelligent, she is NOT playing Atari."

83.  "Cannonball" by The Breeders
When this song popped up, I was thinking I'd never heard of it.  But... hearing it, I have heard it.  Sort of.  Heading to iTunes to get it now.

82.  "My Mind Playin' Tricks On Me" by The Geto Boys
Now this song... I've never heard of.  Seriously.  Apparently, there's a midget black dude that was one of the lead singers--and now he's given his life to Christ.  No joke.   His rapping sucks, but hey, if it reaches one person...

81.  "I Don't Wanna Wait" by Paula Cole
I like this song.  Her first tune was "Where Have all the Cowboys Gone", which was okay, but this song was fabulous.  I know it was on Dawson's Creek, but I can honestly say I've never seen an episode of that show.  I just like the song cause I like the song.

When I worked at Cox Radio, I worked along side of the best people in the whole world, Michelle Carr.  Michelle happened to hate this song, mostly because she kept getting caught up on the grammatical atrocity that was the lyric, "Open up your morning light, say a little prayer for I..."  and she would hear it and say, "Its prayer for me!  Not I!  For me!"   I would purposely play it in my car when we rode together.  Just for her.

80 . "I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred
Where to even begin with this song?  It was like the 90s version of Frankie Goes to Hollywood, putting forth an anthem that almost had no other option than but to be a gay anthem, or one that is used in every modeling show in the free known world... or both.  I have this cassingle upstairs. 

79. "B****" by Meredith Brooks
The only thing I didn't like about this song, other than the fact I didn't really care all that much for the song, was the fact that when I was announcing on WKMX and WBPT, I had to say, "Here's one from Meredith Brooks" or "...that was 'Hook', the latest from Blues Traveler... up next, Meredith Brooks new one."  I couldn't rightfully say the title of the song. 

80.  "Are You Gonna Go My Way" by Lenny Kravitz
So, I consider myself a casual Lenny fan.  He's good, he can rock it and all that, and yeah, this song is a great driving song. But overall, not my favorite guy in music... however, he also did "Fly Away" and a good remake of "American Woman"... so maybe I like him more than I can admit.

77.  "It Was a Good Day" by Ice Cube
I like the fact this song starts with "Just waking up in the morning, gotta thank God..." then he proceeds to talk about living in the hood, and how he's getting with this chick, drinking a fo'ty, and all that.  The song is actually quite brilliant, discussing how for one day in the South Central Hood, no one got shot, no one got killed, everything was peaceful. 

And I love the line "didn't even have to use my A-K... it was a good day..." (ooh wah ooh)..  I say that line now to blank stares from most people. 

76.  "Run-Around" by Blues Traveler
Popper apparently had a heart attack about ten years
ago, and had surgery to take off about 200 pounds.
And he recently got busted for pot.  Run around.
EVERYONE liked this song.  EVERYONE.  Don't tell me you didn't, because you are lying through your teeth.  I mean, John Popper, weighing in at like, 400 pounds, belting that harmonica, this song was freakin' everywhere.  Popper wore this over the shoulder belt of harmonicas, loaded with like, 12 of them or something. 

The video was also awesome, doing a play off of The Wizard of Oz taking place at a Blues Traveler concert.  I'd go see them in concert if I could.  And I wanted to learn the lyrics to this song so badly, but could never get it down... I like coffee and I like tea... but to able to enter a final plea and... something something...

My theory is that Sister Hazel is the 2000s decade of Blues Traveler.  Had like, one, two good songs, and everyone in college wanted them.

Why yes, I have this album.  Why do you ask?
75.  "Jump" by Kris Kross
From where I sit, this cassette is placed about 50 feet from me.  Up the steps, in a box.  These kids wore their clothes backwards, they were two little kids giving rhymes you ain't never heard, something something something word...

And I will admit, I know every single word to this song.   Went bowling with a student group some years ago, and they played this song.  And I sang it.  And the 13 year old kids were staring at me while I told them I was "the miggity miggity miggity miggity mack daddy, I'm the miggity miggity miggity miggity mack"...

74.  "Believe" by Cher
You cannot understand how much I hate this song.  Like, I despise this song.  Watching the recap of the song and its success makes me want to kill myself. 

73.  "Sex and Candy" by Marcy Playground
One of the most overrated songs, ever.  Disco Lemonade?  Really? 

72.  "One Week" by The Barenaked Ladies
Holy crap, this song was everywhere.  And everyone wanted to figure out the lyrics... something about chicka-de-china, the chinese chicken, had a brainfreeze and your brain starts sticking and something about the X-Files and the Smoking Man and some other stuff and I loved it, and had a ball playing this song on WTBF. 

When I was living at Willow Terrace, with my best mate Wookiee, we had another roommate who was dating this chick... we liked her and all, she was cool, but one day he decides he's going to move out.  To help compensate for the rent, he's told the chick she could live there.  So I get to live, and share a bathroom with, a chick.  Wookiee had his own restroom facilities. 

Anyway, I was in my room, on my little loveseat watching cable when I heard her call for me.  I got up, went to her room and she said, "I've got the coolest song ever.  I just discovered it... take a listen to this..." and she played for me "One Week".  It was a bonding moment.  Haven't seen her in like, 12 years.

No one I know knows the lyrics of this song. 

71.  "Tennessee" by Arrested Development
From 1992, I dug their whole vibe.  They were the early 90s version of the Black Eyed Peas, singing about awareness, social issues and the plight of those who are less fortunate (see "Mr Wendal").  This song was awesome, and like "Jump", I know every single word of the song.

Take me to another place, take me another land, help me forget all that hurts me, let me understand your plan...

70.  "Virtual Insanity" by Jamiroquai
This is a great example of how tastes change, because when this song came out, I hated it... but years later, this song is fantastic.  I love hearing it, I love singing it in the car, and I loved watching this video where he dances around the room while the room spins around him.  Great stuff.

69.  "Freak on a Leash" by Korn
The interesting thing about Korn is one of their guys, Brian I think his name was, gave his life to Christ some years ago.  And in interviews, he's very vocal about his love of God, and he's still very real, using language and such while doing it.  He admits his addictions to sex and drugs, but that God saved him from all of that.  Hear hear.

68.  "Gettin' Jiggy With It" by Will Smith
Remember when Will Smith was a rapper?  Fresh Prince first, then eventually this?  How corny, yet how cool is this song?  He doesn't swear in his songs because he is afraid his grandmother would be offended.  Of course, I have no idea what "Jiggy" is, though as a then 20something old guy, I could guess.  He's living that lyfe some consida a miff. 

You trying to flex on me, don't be silly?  Big willy style's all in it, gettin' jiggy with it...

67.  "Groove Is in the Heart" by Dee-Lite
Ugh.  Hated this song then, hate this song now.  I can handle it a little better now than I could when it came out, but that's like saying, "Oh, then I had a migraine that lasted for a year, but now its only a severe hangnail so its all better"... that hangnail still sucks.  And so does this song.

66.  "I'll Be" by Edwin McCain
Let's look at this song with perspective... first, its a great song.  Edwin has a great voice, its well written, its a well performed song, it sounds good.  However, when it came out, this song was played like, every fifteen minutes.  On rock stations.  On pop stations.  On soft rock stations.  I mean, you could not get away from this song, and it was ev-a-ree-where... seriously. 

So for a few years, like, 1998 to about 2007, I couldn't handle this song.  Now that its a little more

65. "The Humpty Dance" by Digital Underground
This song is so far from Emmy Turnbow Safe, its not even funny.  But this song is one of the most ridiculous, most fun hip-hop songs I've heard.  It doesn't take itself seriously, and Digital Underground, led by this dude who wore a stupid looking fake nose and fake glasses, and sang lines like "I shoot an arrow like cupid, I use a word that don't mean nothing like looptid".  And at the end, he gives props to Samoans.  Love it.  I'm now going to repent.

64. "Peaches" by The Presidents of the United States of America
Does anyone actually know what this song even means?   You can tell how old someone is, because you can say, "Move into the country..." and if that person comes back with "...gonna eat alot of peaches", you'll know they are older than like, 20. 

63.  "Mo Money/Mo Problems" by Notorious BIG, featuring Puff Daddy and Mase
How jam is this song?  No joke, I love every bit of this song... and heck, the message is there... the more money you gotz, the mo' problemz you gotz. 

62.  "I Alone" by Live
Rock on.  Rock on.  "Throwing Copper" is one of those albums that just... well, rocks your face off.  I am so afraid to study the lyrics closely to "I Alone" because I'm afraid I'll be convicted for liking it.  Not sure if its sacrilege or not, but man, this song is fun to sing in the car, and man did I rock out to this music. 

This is a great, great song to run to.  When you decide to do that.   Probably one of my 100 favorite songs of all time.

61. "All I Wanna Do" by Sheryl Crow
This is one of my favorite albums, "The Tuesday Night Music Club", her debut album.  I mean, this song was so great, and really just fit my freshman year in college.  First, you have to know I love, love, love Sheryl Crow... well, 1990s Sheryl Crow, not recent political activist Sheryl Crow.

I hear this song, and I'm instantly sitting in Stewart Hall, next to Kat Gates, across from Allison Wiggins, and with Lisa Murphy, Kathy Hollingsworth, Gibson, Wookiee and The Wench.  Oh, and Erin Magonigal, who is singing along when it comes on the overhead music.

1990s Sheryl Crow is awesome, and it all began with this one.

60.  "Poison" by Bel Biv DeVoe
Ha!  Ha!  I love it! 

I love this song, especially from the opening notes.  This song is so great... these guys were tight with Boyz II Men, and this was the group who told all of us young guys that women... are poison.  It was a warning.  It was advice.  Never trust a big butt and a smile. 

I know she's a loser... how do you know?  Me and the crew used to do her... that is a warning to stay away.

59.  "Buddy Holly" by Weezer
Without this video, this song never sees the light of popularity... however, this video has them in the 50s, singing at Arnold's Diner during an episode of Happy Days, and this video is one of the best of all time. 

58.  "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover" by Sophie B. Hawkins
Oh my gosh is this song hot.  Let's talk about a make out song from the 1990s, but being as unpopular as I was, it was probably God's grace that it never worked for me.  But this song is so great.   She came out later with "As I Lay Me Down" which to me was a terrible song, and totally overplayed... but "I Wish I Was Your Lover" will live forever in my iPod and on cassette single upstairs.

57. "Can I Get A..." by Jay-Z
It it possible that Jay-Z is like, the most overrated rap guy of all time?  He's pretty good... but... really?  However, he ended up as one of the coolest things of 2009 with his Alicia Keys duet "Empire State of Mind"...

Can I get a what-what?" 

56.  "Mama Says Knock You Out" by LL Cool J
From 1990, this song rocks.  LL Cool J was all up in your face, he had these ripped abs that all the chicks loved, and all the guys were singing "Mama said knock you out!" when doing anything of a competitive nature.

I have somewhat of a man crush on Cool J... he rocks.  When I saw on iTunes his greatest hits was for $7.99, and I bought it immediately.

55. "Criminal" by Fiona Apple
She's got a great voice, and I was never into this song until I saw the video, when this 18 year old chick was slinking around in her underthings.  Seriously, seeing this at 20 years old, that's awesome.  However, looking back, she was kinda slutty, so it takes away from it.  The song itself is just... well, eh. 

I did see a Christian drama to music for this song.  I never did it with my team.

54.  "One of Us" by Joan Osborne
Poor Joan Osborne.  She suggested "what if God was one of us", and asked the question how we would respond to Him.  I never took it as a "what if God were just mortal, just like us", I took it as a "What if God brought Himself to our world, using someone as a vessel--how would we respond to the least of these?"  Maybe I misinterpreted it. Either way, the song is just okay for me... I liked it well enough, but it was never a favorite.

53.  "OPP" by Naughty by Nature
This brings back so much high school for me... but this song is hilarious.  Perhaps back then, we were all just trying to figure out what O-P-P stood for, though now that I'm older, I'm pretty sure I know.  And as I sang along with the lyrics on tv, The Lovely Steph Leann who just came in, looked at me wide eyed.  Not an Emmy Turnbow Safe song. 

52.  "Fly" by Sugar Ray
Mark McGrath is one of those guys who has quite a blessed life... a successful rock group, a television career, and now he's a family man.  And all chicks I knew loved them some Mark McGrath.  And the song "Fly" is simply a rad song... its a fun song, with nothing deep and its a hoot.  The Lovely Steph Leann is singing along as they play the song on tv. 

51. "California Love" by 2Pac feat. Dr. Dre.
When Tupac hooked up with Dr. Dre, it was awesome.  I mean, every beat of this song rocks, and video--the edited version, thank you--is a monumental piece of film.  Love him or hate him, I really thing that Tupac deserves the accolades he gets because he was a very, very talented guy.  I dig this song.

50. "Man in a Box" by Alice in Chains
Really?  Ugh.  This was a song that was devoured by my friends Greg Avant and Daniel Stephenson and those guys who were into Anthrax and Metallica.  Not for me.

49. "Who Will Save Your Soul" by Jewel
Can't help it, I liked Jewel.  This song was kinda catchy, it was different, it was kinda fun and bluesy and her voice was a little unusual, so I dug it.  Personally, I like "You Were Meant for Me" better, but only because its fun to sing.

Of course, I'm not entirely convinced that Jewel and Renee Zellweger aren't the same person.

48. "3 AM" by Matchbox 20
I have a memory of this song, and her name was Melanie Jackson.  But overall, this song is fantastic, one of my 100 favorite songs of all time.  Fun to sing, Rob Thomas has a fantastic voice, the band rocked out. 

One of my biggest faux pas... their first song "Push" and Tonic's "If You Could Only See" hit about the same time... and I was like, Tonic is going to make it, Matchbox 20 is a one hit wonder.  And then "3 AM" came out, followed by "Real World" then a few more... and Tonic?  Yep.  They kinda went away.

The Lovely Steph Leann and I were meeting people for dinner tonight, so at about 4:45, we had to leave.  I hit the DVR button to record the rest of the shows, and we left... so #s 47 to #1 will be on a follow-up post. 

Also coming next week... my 9/11 post.