we all have those things that calm us down. herbal tea. chicken soup for the soul books. those squeezy stress ball thingys.
no wait. all those things suck.
for most ppl, the list is more like: a cold glass of beer. a phone call with an old friend. some fresh air.
yeah beer doesn’t work for me [i’m not a beer fan, however i am a beer supporter, thanks to holly (hey, what can i say, i like to encourage my partner’s interests)]. phone calls sometimes (since i tend to get myself riled up talking about what’s bothering me). fresh air helps, that is, if it’s not contaminated by baltimore’s feral cat population (often found spraying our back door).
i’ll tell you what always works for me, tho: 90s music.
oh 90s music. “best of” 90s music–the stuff that’s on heavy rotation on comcast’s “90s” station (you know, one of those commercial-free digital tv “radio” stations)–is like a soft cuddly blanket to me. suddenly i’m taken to a much simpler time in my life. i’m not talking nirvana/soundgarden/smashing pumpkins/dave matthews here. i’m talkin the serious cheese. the “lite alternative,” the top 40 r&b/early hip hop, the “slow jamz.” the stuff you don’t want to admit you like but you do.
yes, admit it: 90s music is the elephant in the room. no one wants to talk about it, but it’s there and you love it. you love it so much.
you hear it in the car and if you’re (alone and) in your 30s/40s, you turn it up and sing along and think back to middle school/high school/college/post-college and bop your head and a little voice inside goes, “awww yeah! this was my jam!” if you were standing up (and alone) you’d probably be cabbage patching, too. and if you didn’t know better, which you do, you’d be rolling down your windows, singing at the top of your lungs with tears in your eyes, “anywhere you go! i’ll follow you *down*! i’ll follow you down but not that far!” ($5 to the first person that tells me the name of that song)
see, the thing i’ve determined about top 40 90s music, the reason it’s such a fuzzy blanket to so many of us is that it was completely innocuous. if it was a food, it’d be…cotton candy. just melt-in-your-mouth, once it’s gone you don’t even think about it. but when you hear it again, it’s all pink and blue candy clouds.
what are some of the best of the best 90s artists/songs? well i just so happened to write a few down yesterday while i was jammin to comcast’s 90s station:
(i was at my computer working, just to, you know, save you from imagining me dancing around the living room)
-janet jackson, “escapade” (yes!)
-marky mark and the funky bunch (“good vibrations”; did mark and his “funky bunch” even have another hit?)
-color me badd (omg why?)
-wilson-phillips, “hold on” (specialsecretshoutout to a special friend w/that one; man i always felt so bad for the big girl in the video, stuck on
the beach in a black suit while those two skinny b*tchs got to wear dresses! tsk.)
-anything by the gin blossoms
-taylor dayne (is she actually a drag queen? i feel confused when i see her)
-mary j. blige, “real love” (hell’s yeah, that’s an oldie but goodie!)
-tlc, “ain’t too proud to beg” (have you ever really listened to the words? dirty!)
-and while we’re doin 90s hip-hop i have to mention “shoop,” by salt n pepa
-i’d mention hootie and the blowfish but they’re just too annoying
(what’s up w/all the bad 90s band names, btw? hootie and the blowfish?? marky mark and the funky bunch? color me badd???)
oh hell, now i’ve got to put in some videos!*
if i missed anything let me know.
*it’s really not fair that they made her wear a suit on the beach. i’m really stuck on that. just saying.