Just Let Her Cry, Man

Pour one out. Jeff Buckley died ten years ago today. Damn. Seems like only yesterday that "Last Goodbye" was on a commercial for MTV's Buzz Bin and I first fell in love with that song (it was the same Buzz Bin commercial as "Good" by Better Than Ezra). People can fucking say what they want, such as bullshit that Buckley's talent was mediocre at best and only gained prestige posthumously. One fucking listen to Live at Sin-E , where his haunting voice rocks your soul so painfully...just, wow. I can't say enough things.

Which brings me to hollerin at the oft-forgotten 90's alt rock. I know many of my friends were listening to punk and hardcore, but I was awash in whatever was in Sassy or on in the early morning or late at nite on MTV, because MTV played videos still and that was where you learned about music in Des Moines, Iowa, until about 1995, when 107.5 "The Dot" started playing a four-hour loop of alt-rock, no DJs, just to see if us hayseeds would actually listen to that there rock and roll. I remember Weezer's "The Sweater Song" was in heavy rotation, along with "Everything Zen" by Bush and "Lightening Crashes" by Live. This nostalgia makes me want to make a list of songs from the 90's that remind me of late middle school/early high school. It's my blog; I do what I want.

* "Possum Kingdom" The Toadies
* "Plush" STP
* "Hey Jealousy" Gin Blossoms
* "Stay" Shakespeare's Sister
* the totally classic "Stay" by Lisa Loeb and 9 Stories (shout out to Dirty Curty and Burns)
* "Cannonball" The Breeders
* "Tomorrow" Silverchair
* "Cornflake Girl" Tori Amos
* anything Smashing Pumpkins
* "Stand By You" The Pretenders
* "Linger" The Cranberries
* "Creep" Radiohead...fucking Radiohead just came with it in the 90's.
* REM's Monster
* "Under the Bridge" RHCP
* "Blister In The Sun" Violent Femmes (totally popularized by the epic My So-Called Life, along with anything by Buffalo Tom
* My very first concert experience, sans parents, was Toad the Wet Sprocket and Hootie and the Blowfish, spring break my freshman year of high school, and I have no fucking shame at all about it, because Toad rocks and had a little-person drummer at the time and it was the first time I ever smelled weed. And I thought I was a badass because I wore a tye-dyed t-shirt AND a Stussy hat. Because I was totally a skater. Or not.

Don't hate, I had many of these songs/artists on tape singles. Because I might not want the entire Lisa Loeb CD. But I do, pun completely intended for those Lisa Loeb fans out there. I bring all this nonsense up because there was a time, not so long ago, when commercial radio was good and quality and played music you wanted to listen to, that you loved to listen to. And that was 1993-1997.


Greatest Teen Magazine In the World...Tribute.

I was reading Bust when I saw a book review for How Sassy Changed My Life: A Love Letter to the Greatest Teen Magazine of All Time by Kara Jesella and Marisa Meltzer. Sassy? I remembered the glossy cover and felt an entirely-unknown emotion: nostalgia for my middle-school years.

Ironically, was first exposed the Sassy at church camp. I was eleven, the year was 1991, and I was in a cabin with a girl named Erin, who really didn't care too much about what Jesus was up to at a camp in rural Iowa. She wore flip-flops and sunglasses and had a tangle of brown hair down her back and two issues of Sassy in the bottom of her Caboodle. I had a blonde afro, glasses, and those Umbros with one teal leg and one purple leg, and I was in awe of her. While other girls read their bibles on the porch of our cabin, she and I pored over those two issues, over and over again, and I was officially in love with a magazine.

If you did not read Sassy, the premise is this: teen magazine for budding feminist, independent, alternative girls. Instead of tips on how to get boys to like you and what makeup to wear, Sassy had exclusive interviews with Kurt and Courtney, real sex advice, political features, and DIY articles. My bedroom walls went from pictures of pop-musicians to pictures of Sonic Youth, Evan Dando, 10,000 Maniacs, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, bands that seventh graders from the East Side of Des Moines had never even heard of, let alone listened to. Instead of the Guess jeans and rugby shirts that cool kids wore at my school, it was okay for me to wear Chucks and thrift-store corduroys.

Sassy was too sassy for it's own good, and it's ass-kicking format was dropped in 1994, right when I moved to the suburbs, only to be replaced, briefly, blasphemously, in 1994 by a Teen clone that was eventually put out of its misery, along with the few readers who hung on to the last death-rattle, in 1996. Infamous editor Jane Pratt then founded Jane, hoping to take the cult-following of Sassy into their adult years, but Jane never retained that indie spirit of Sassy, and Jane eventually left Jane, and legions of readers found their way to Bust. But it was Sassy, dear Sassy, that paved the way.

Sassy was smart and empowering, and for, me, validated my stand in the struggle that all adolescents experience: that in the quest to figure out who you are, who you really are is completely okay. It was okay to be smart, even if you were ostracized for it. It was okay to crush on the local gayboy. It was okay to listen to weird bands that weren't on the radio, and to be pro-choice, and to have chipped nail-polish, and to not define yourself by what boys at your school thought of you.

People who know my family wonder how I turned out so adamantly liberal, feminist, independent, and political when my family is fairly apolitical (though they love the gays and their guns) and, at times, downright conservative. I, too, wondered where my identity developed--and I think it absolutely comes from Sassy. I learned everything I needed to know to survive middle school from my surrogate big sisters: Jane, Christina, Marjorie, Karen, and the rest of the writers at the greatest teen mag of all time.



Six days, six days, six days left in the school year. I actually had a sick day yesterday, because I'm sick of bullshit. In the past week, I have been assaulted by a student, suffered through the insanity that is running "Field Day", lost our first district game because my girls played like a bunch of heartless scrubs, prematurely ending our season, among countless other annoyances at work. I've been pretty removed from work while it simultaneously consumes my life, if that makes any sense.

In other news, I got one hell of a sunburn from Team Awesome's third place finish at the Tournament of Champions. Eight hours of kickball and drunk Dudes in some hot weather is enough for this Devastator. I'm glad the season is over.

I've got several things I'm going to be writing about, I just have to get some motivation, so that may not happen until all my school stuff, which I am desperately procrastinating about, gets done.

Also, The Office's finale was awesome! Ryan's going to be Michael's boss? So, so, so great for next year.


Weekend Update

Despite the fact that I spent an entire day on public transportation all over St Louis last week, I managed to have quite an adventure on Saturday. I took the #30 bus to Soulard Market to get some green things and anarchist cookies. For some reason, I was under the impression that the #30 bus just did this little loop through downtown, went back through Soulard, and went back on Arsenal, so I just caught the bus at the same place I got off, thinking it would be cool to see downtown while the Cards fans were all loitering and what not.

An hour later, I'm in Wellston and I realize, um, yeah, maybe I should get off soon. Like the St Charles Rock Road MetroLink station. Where I ran into one of my students, then had to take MetroLink all the way back to Shrewsbury and wait for Chris to come pick me up. Don't ask.

Other than that, it was a chill weekend. Managed to, with the assistance of it being our friend Kim's birthday and she and her husband were in town from San Fran, finagle Chris into taking me to Terrene on Friday, which was delish. Had lunch with Chris's family. Drank some beers on Saturday with Rev Em and Joe and Christine. Finally returned to kickball after, no joke, a one-month hiatus, had to pitch against Tower Pub, and got lit up. I suck. Got a great sunburn on my shoulders and was outside a ton. As of today, there are 18 days left of school, and I get to take one of those off on Friday.

In Pop Culture News:
1) How did word of a new double Elliott Smith CD elude me until I read it in Jane magazine? Huh? One week from today. Obviously, Chris wants to camp out and get it at midnight, although I don't know where.
2) People, seriously, watch The Bachelor: An Officer and a Gentleman before it's too late. Comedy gold.
3) The latest issue of Rolling Stone, which is its 40th (!) anniversary edition has amazing interviews in it: Bright Eyes, Bob Dylan (by Jann Wenner), Michael Moore, Jimmy Carter. Seriously, check them out. It's awesome.

Big Timer.

So my boo's blog has been noticed by a bigger blog, and you can now read one of his posts, probably more, at The Daily Scare, who "exposes media and government propaganda, obfuscation, scare tactics, and fearmongering". Right up his alley! Give him some hits. No, not that kind, you assholes.