Thursday, October 27, 2011


Wanna Be: Around this time, I was upset that we didn't see more of our extended family. In March 1997, Easter was early. I can remember asking Mom after school one day if we could have a meeting. She agreed. I suggested to her that we email my aunt and uncle (her brother and sister) and ask them if they would be able to come down. I figured we could give it a try, at least, as opposed to spending Easter by ourselves.

Mom emailed my uncle and his girlfriend and, surprisingly, they said they'd be able to come down on Easter Sunday. It was an enjoyable time, overall.

We were sitting eating dinner and listening to "Rick Dees Weekly Top 40" on Mix 97. The number one song was "Wanna Be." Mom wondered aloud who sang that song, and my uncle's girlfriend replied "The Spice Girls." This was the first time I had heard of them.

People deride The Spice Girls, but their albums actually had some beautiful songs on them.

Hypnotize: I first heard this song around Christmas 1997. My sister, my uncle's girlfriend's youngest daughter and I were up in my sister's room. The thing about my uncle's girlfriend's youngest was, she had never really had the chance to be a child. We were listening to the cassette of "Much Dance 97", a compilation of hits Much Music had put out. She was singing along with the chorus of "Hypnotize." My sister got hooked on the song and somehow got a copy of it for herself.

In my room at the W. Ross Macdonald School for the Blind, my roommates and I used to listen to tracks from the cd copy my one roommate, James, had. When he would skip by "Hypnotize", and heard the opening bit where BIG goes "one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight", James would always say, "So you can count, buddy. Big deal." I made a joke that for him learning to count to eight was a big accomplishment. I didn't have the admittedly racist views I have now, but I suppose that for a nigger, learning to count to eight is indeed a big accomplishment.

Mmm Bop: When I was still in grade 8 at Madoc Public School, seemingly neither I nor any of my classmates had heard of Hanson. However, the first week I started attending the W. Ross Macdonald School for the Blind in Brantford, Ontario, I heard about them, after which it seemed I hardly heard about anything else. We were at a sort of welcome back barbecue. My roommate James was at another table talking with some of the girls from our residence, known as Intermediate. He said that at his previous school in BC, you couldn't go anywhere without hearing about Hanson.

James and my other roommate had this big feud going on. James was into the hits of the day, while my other roommate liked oldies, particularly The Beatles. They would constantly fight about how crummy Hanson/The Beatles were. Having had eclectic tastes even then, I thought these fights were rather pointless. At one point, when James and my other roommate were fighting while we were walking over to the gym to play some sport of some kind, I suggested writing Hanson and asking if they liked the Beatles. The female staff member who was walking over to the gym with us thought that was a good idea.

Gradually, my other roommate came around a bit. James had started this sort of club. He and some of the other boys on our floor would get together in our room in the mornings before school and sing and play along with the album "The Middle Of Nowhere." One morning, I figured, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em." and started slapping my knee in time to Mmm Bop. James said, "Our club now has four members." My other roommate then joined in. James then said, "Our club now has five members."

I can remember coming into my mom's room one Friday night to say good night to her. We talked for a few minutes, that night about music. I kept her updated on what went on at the W. Ross, including the feud that us three roommates had going on--over Hanson and other things. Mom said, "One thing I can't stand is those gall darn Hansons. If I have to hear them again I think I'm going to throw up."

There was a girl in James and my grade 9 class who was obsessed with Hanson. Her name was Lindsey Rollins. Lindsey and James used to talk about Hanson a lot.

In English, we had to right an assignment about a topic of our choosing. Lindsey of course did hers on Hanson. Some of the boys in the class who were into rock groaned at this, but the teacher sternly told them to be quiet while she read her assignment to the class.

Like the Macarena mentioned in the post previous to this one, as quickly as Hanson had become popular, it was over. I returned to the W. Ross in the fall of 1998. I was in Senior residence this time, as was James. In fact, we were roommates again, only two in the room this time. That first night another kid who'd been in Intermediate with us came by James and my room. He and James talked for a while and James said, "Oh yeah, I got rid of my Hanson cds over the summer.

I'll Be Missing You: I remember this song from "Much Dance 97" as well.

We had a Remembrance Day cerimony at W. Ross. It featured bagpipes. An older student I rode the bus to and from the school with was sitting in the row behind me with his mother and possibly his brother. They were making rude comments about the bagpipes. I also remember the guy I rode the bus with turning to his brother and saying, "Now that BIG is dead, Puff Daddy's trying to take his place."

Moe Money, Moe Problems: I remember this song being on the radio a lot. Most memorably, I remember hearing it on the shortwave radio in my bedroom one morning before school. It was on 1520 WWKB, back when the station had Bysons baseball, religious programming and a simulcast of Kiss 98.

Candle In The Wind 1997/Something About The Way You Look Tonight: On Saturday night, August 30, 1997, I was listening to Finkleman's 45s on CBC, as I usually did. I was in the guest room, which was my temporary bedroom while my actual bedroom was being rennovated. The top of the hour news came on and the announcer said Princess Diana had been injured in a car accident in Paris. I thought, "I hope she's going to be OK." The next morning I turned on the radio to listen to the news. It was announced Diana had died. I was in a certain amount of shok, though I'd never been a Princess Diana fanatic or anything. I can remember throwing myself on the guest room bed from time to time and saying, "I can't believe she's really gone."

We were having a yard sale that Labour Day weekend.

I can remember having lunch the Saturday afternoon of the state funeral. I think the meal included soup. Mom said, "I guess I better turn on the TV and see what's going on across the Pond."

"Across the Pond?" I replied.

"That's what people call England because it's across the Atlantic Ocean."

"Oh," I said, the light dawning.

We went into the living room and watched a bit of the funeral.

There was a slightly mentally retarded kid in Intermediate Residence who couldn't stand "Candle In The Wind" because he was squeamish about things concerning death, and also because he was a bucking pathetic whiner who wanted people to feel sorry for him. I can remember him saying one day at breakfast, "Well, my weekend was ruined this weekend. (When else would it be?) I heard Candle In The Wind."

There was this Armenian kid who was in Intermediate Residence, and whom I also sat with at lunch and was sort of friends with. He had this weird thing that some blind people have where they don't like anything modern, from technology to music, etc., anything produced in the past few decades. I can remember talking to this kid about music, and he said the only current song he liked was "Candle In The Wind."

Of course, I remember this song being on the radio a lot. I remember hearing it on the radio when I was home for Christmas.

On the 1997/1998 season premier of Air Farce, they did a fake commercial for "Elton John's tribute To Dead Guys." One of the songs began, "Oh Jerry Lewis, even though you're not dead, we wish you were."

In February of 1999, when famed groundhog Wireton Willie died, Air Farce, who never could tell when something had ceased to be popular, did a sketch with Elton John rewriting the lyrics to "Candle In The Wind" for Wireton Willie.

"And it seems to me
You lived your life
Like a rodent in a hole."

I can remember "Something About The Way You Look Tonight" being played on "Casey's Hot 20" on Mix 97.

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