Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Carrot

The Carrot and I met in 1987 (right?). I had transferred from the smaller University down the road to the University of Michigan (obstensibly because I wanted to major in French and there would be more classes available. I dropped the only French class I took at U of M and majored in History. 20th Century American History.) I was (and am) pretty shy, and while I didn't mind being invisible, all of my high school friends were gone. I don't make friends easily. My dad suggested I sign onto MeetStudents, which was a pre-internet message board. It was very cool in a nerdy kind of way. Carrot went by the monkier "Flaming Carrot" (anyone know, other than the man himself, know what the name comes from?) We met in person at a face-to-face sometime in the late fall. We became friends later, after another friend I met that day set up a much smaller message board, which included Carrot, me and 5 or 6 others.

We bonded. He was in the Engineering School (about to graduate, actually) and none too happy about it, and crashing with his friends M & R. The summer of 1988 we moved into a house on Catherine St. He had graduated, gotten a job and most importantly....a new car. A white Escort. I will never. ever. forget the sight of the Carrot rolling around on the hood of that Escort.

The summer of 1988 was HOT. Miserably hot. We sat around, watched MTV and tried not to melt. It was the best time of my life. Meeting and falling in love with Len has been great, but nothing compares to being 20 years old, with my only responsibility being a part time job (at Kinkos, I loved that job), hanging out with cool people in a crappy, really messy house, eating Raman noodles. Life was more complicated before that summer and got a lot more complicated after.

I lied. Instead of the Top Ten of 1987, in honor of that summer you get 1988:

1. Faith, George Michael Is it possible for George to be any hotter than in this video? I didn't think so.
2. Need You Tonight, INXS I always found INXS boring. This is no exception.
3. Got My Mind Set On You, George Harrison Maybe not his best offering, but better than anything else on this list.
4. Never Gonna Give You Up, Rick Astley I'm happy to report that while I remember what Rick Astely looks like, I don't remember this song at all.
5. Sweet Child O' Mine, Guns N' Roses I hate pretty much everything else GnR ever did, but this song was played so much that summer, it's hard to hate it. Same with Def Leppard.
6. So Emotional, Whitney Houston Don't remember it, thank god.
7. Heaven Is A Place On Earth, Belinda Carlisle Wasn't she better with the Go-Gos?
8. Could've Been, Tiffany See #4, except I don't remember what she looked like.
9. Hands To Heaven, Breathe No idea. At all.
10. Roll With It, Steve Winwood I hadn't yet been introduced to the 1960's era Steve Winwood, so this didn't destroy any deeply held ideas about how he should have sounded. Had I known about "Can't Find My Way Home", I might have hated this song. I do think his voice mellowed nicely, though.

As an aside, I looked at the Top 10 from 2005, I didn't know any of those songs. I haven't even heard of most of the musicians (or whatever they are now). Who is this Kelly Clarkson and why has she taken over the Top 10?


The Carrot said...

"Met" online probably 86?
FTF 87, I believe.
(A Meet:Students or Gazebo Dim Sum FTF outing, IIRC)
Holy cow! Nearly twenty years ago! We are so old! We were doing all this online socializing before it was cool. (and before shorthand like IIRC!)

I'll never forget my mom's reaction to the squalor in that cool Catherine house: "You mean GIRLS actually live here?"

The guys who slept in our garage and pillaged our returnables even complained about the mess (dude, at least WE live in a HOUSE . . .)

I loved my giant attic. and crazy cool housemates. and I miss Katie (the white escort) -- I drove the hell outta her.

That was easily one of my bestest summers ever. And yeah, life started getting a lot more complicated after that.

And the music that brings that time back -- G&R, Sweet child o' mine. A guilty pleasure. No one wanted to admit how much they liked it.

If no one knows the origin of Flaming Carrot, maybe they'll know where I got my other nom-de-computer: Danger Mouse

The Carrot said...

. . . And I remember the night before I started my first "real" job. After weeks of heat and drought (several days over 100 degrees) a HUGE thunderstorm rolled in -- the kind with 20+ lightning strikes per minute, like a war zone. I didn't sleep a wink, more from nerves than noise.