It Was Cheaper To Have Fun In The late 2000s

So in 2006, September, just 10 days after my parents and I moved from our house to this current apartment that we are living in, I had decided to have a day out in the city. A shave and shower later and by 11:30 or so I was off to start my day out at a cafe nearby, which was Cafe Coffee Day. At the cafe I had a couple of cookies and a big cup of Kaap Nirvana, which is a large frappe. After about 45 mins there, I walked the few feet to both Planet M & Music World, which were stores that I used to frequent to buy buy music cds and dvd, and bought a 2 cd best of The Scorpions and Iron Maiden’s new album, respectively.

Then I went to Men’s Studio and bought a pair of light brown jeans and two shirts plus a couple of underwear(!!) and while the jeans was being altered to my length specifications, I decided to go for lunch.
The Oberio bar & restaurant is quite nearby and I popped in to a very crowded room for a couple of vodkas and had some ginger chicken & a plate of noodles, which I noted was very good.

Now in 2007 the coffee and cookie would have cost me less than ? 300 and the cds would have been around ?800. The two shirts and jeans would have been around ?1500 and  the food would have cost me around ?500 or less! If I did all that today, I would be ?7700 poorer! The frappe and cookies at Starbucks would be around ?700, the cds would be around ?1000, the two shirts around ?3000 and the jeans ?2000 and finally the two drinks and food would be around ?1200! Wow!

Pump – Aerosmith

Pump is the tenth studio album by American rock band Aerosmith. It was released on September 12, 1989, by Geffen Records. The album peaked at No. 5 on the US charts, and was certified septuple platinum by the RIAA in 1995. It also has certified sales of seven million copies in the U.S. to date, and is tied with its successor¬†Get a Grip¬†as Aerosmith’s second best-selling studio album in the U.S. (Toys in the Attic leads with nine million). The album was the fourth best-selling album of the year 1990. In the UK, it was the second Aerosmith album to be certified Silver (60,000 units sold) by the¬†British Phonographic Industry, achieving this in September 1989.

Pump¬†was the second of three sequentially recorded Aerosmith albums to feature producer¬†Bruce Fairbairn¬†and engineers Mike Fraser and Ken Lomas at¬†Little Mountain Sound Studios. The song starts out with the energetic Young Lust before going into one of my favourites of the band – F.I.N.E. which should have been the name of the album but whatever. The song title is an acronym for “Fucked Up,¬†Insecure,¬†Neurotic, and¬†Emotional”, as stated in the album’s liner notes.¬† Its raunchy lyrics focus on youth angst and lasciviousness, and the verses feature the line “I’m ready” after each line, suggesting¬† sexual arousal, or being “ready” for sex. Tongue-in-cheek lyrics are prevalent, including “she’s got the¬†Cracker Jack, now all I want’s the prize”, “I got the right key baby, but the wrong keyhole”, “I shove my tongue right between your cheeks”, etc.

Going Down/Love In An Elevator is a fun song with typical glee sung by Steven Tyler and co about well, according to Tyler himself ¬†based on an actual experience where he was making out with a woman in an elevator and the doors opened. With a raunchy music video to boot! We move on to the harder Monkey On My Back which I understand is about beating a drug addiction. Great song but then we go on to what I think is the very best song that the band has ever composed. It’s Janie’s Got A Gun which describes a young woman planning her revenge for childhood abuse. Clearly this is a fun and awesome tune and mostly upbeat despite the dark lyrics and implication. It won the band a 1990¬†Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

Then we have Dulcimer Stomp which segue’s into the danceable The Other Side, which is about finding a new love and moving on from a toxic relationship. My Girl is an upbeat ditty while Don’t Get Mad/Get Even is more down low blues influenced about taking revenge for getting cheated even. Hoodoo/Voodoo Medicine Man is a similar drum beat heavy – almost hypnotic ending with the drums. And finally we have the power balled What It Takes which was released as the 3rd single. There is even accordion in it and it’s probably one of the top 5 ballads released by the band.

Overall its and excellent album and it received mostly positive reception, and has since been called “a high-water mark of the glam metal era”, that “stands toe to toe against Aerosmith’s undisputed mid-’70s classics.” Pump is first Aerosmith album that I bought back in 1991 when I was 15. I had previously only heard Angel and on hearing samples of Dude Looks Like A Lady and then the music video for Janie’ Got A Gun, I was hooked to the band. I’d call this one my joint favourite Aerosmith album along with 1993’s Get A Grip. I rate this album a 9 outta 10!

Tell Us About The Last Time You Slept On A Couch

Well it’s not the last time that I slept on a couch but it is, for some reason, something that I recently remember doing and it even came to me while I was half-asleep one night. This was perhaps when I was 14 or so, 1990-1991 and we were in Irinjalakuda which is where my father’s family home is. But I think this as not at his house but another relative;s house – maybe his older brother’s family’s house. I am not very close to that side of the family as I have always preferred to spend time with my mom’s family.

Anyways we were there for a wedding and there was a party, so this would have been the night before or two nights before. My family has to drive 90 minutes or so to reach this place and I think we were staying for the weekend. There was food & drinks being served and my dad was having a gala time with his relatives and my mom and sister were sitting with a bunch of the ladies in another room. I was bored very quickly and post a quick dinner, I wandered upstairs and settled in a big room. A male cousin, a few years older than me, asked me if I wanted some comics to read and I said yes.

So I spent the night, which would have been from 10 pm till almost the next morning lying on that couch with a table lamp next to me and read these Astrix comics. Most of the night I was alone but I do know that early in the morning two of my cousins came and lay on mattresses on the other side of the room. I spent the night listening to the sounds from the party downstairs and reading the books and fell asleep y around 2 am when the party stopped.

Prompt from 31 March Writing Prompts from Mama Kat’s Losin It

Top 5 Singers When I Was 10-12 Years Old

Write a list of your 5 favorite singers growing up…do they still make your top 5 list?

  1. Ronnie James Dio : I first started listening to Rainbow when I was 12 via this cassette of Rainbow songs that someone gave me. I ended up becoming a lifelong fan of Dio and he is my fav male singer of all time.
  2. Joey Tempest : The first singer that I liked at the age of 10 – The Final Countdown song & album changed my life and I turned over to the rock side of things
  3. Jon Bon Jovi : Same year same day, same hour that I first listened to Europe, I also listened / watched Bon Jovi for the first time and was blown away.
  4. Bryan Adams : Evergreen Bryan Adams. I first started listening to him aged 12 and been a big fan ever sing
  5. Klaus Meine : The summer before I turned 12, I spent several weeks in my mom’s eldest brother’s house. My cousins and I played a few bands over and over and Scorpions was clearly #1 for us. Klaus Meine’s vocals is always awesome.

Prompt from¬†31 March Writing Prompts from Mama Kat’s Losin It

A Childhood Memory Which Includes A Bollywood Song

A childhood memory

I remember my friends who were my neighbours as well. When my family lived in Kuwait they and their parents lives right opposite our apartment for many, many years – 11 of which I was alive. The girl was a year older than me and the boy was 2 years younger than me. Along with the other kids in the building we played a lot of games together and spent a lot of time watching tv together; like cartoons and tv shows.

One particular afternoon sticks in my mind about the 3 of us in their apartment playing the games we did. After having watched the Amithab Bachchan & Hema Malini starer Satte Pe Satta we decided to play out some of the scenes in the movies. What I especially remember is me and the sister lip syncing to one of the songs and walking around like in the movie while her brother, played several characters spying on us and hiding behind the furniture.

I dunno why but this scene played out in my memories when I was lying in bed this weekend and for some reason I was thinking about my childhood. I haven’t seen them since 1990 and am barely in touch with the brother on Facebook. But I do miss my childhood fun days.

Wing Of Tomorrow – Europe

Wings of Tomorrow¬†is the second studio album by the Swedish¬†rock¬†band¬†Europe. It was released on 24 February 1984, by Hot Records in Sweden, and by¬†Epic Records¬†in the United States.¬†Wings of Tomorrow¬†is the last album to feature drummer¬†Tony Reno, before being replaced by Ian Haughland, who is still the current drummer. This album precedes the world famous The Final Countdown. Compared to their debut, Wings Of Tomorrow was a much more stronger album and has several live performance favourites. The album had 4 singles released ‚Äď Lyin‚Äô Eyes, Stormwind, Dreamer & Open Your Heart ‚Äď the latter of which got a new lease on life with a slightly different version in 1988.

In addition to that the title track which is the 6th song is a real banger and should have been one of the singles released. Stormwind is possibly the strongest song on the record with an instantly hummable tune and chorus, and great solo guitar work from John Norum. Scream of Anger is a composing collaboration between Joey Tempest and former member and bassist the late Marcel Jacob. Open Your Heart is the love ballad in the album which gained greater reach and acclaim after being reworked a it and re-released as a single on 1988’s Out Of This World however I prefer this original version.

Another gem is the instrumental Aphasia which showcases Norum’s guitar skills but Dreamer is a lovely ballad that will make you think of sailing on a small boat on the waters as the full moon shines it’s light on you. That was the image I always got when I listened to the song.

Love Birds Are A Noisy But Good Addition To Your Family

I am more of a dog person and I even like cats. If given the choice I would pick a dog to have as a pet and add to my family and then perhaps second would be a cat. I love dogs and cats. However at times I have had other pets in my family. Top among there are love birds.

Love birds are part of the parrot family – a fact I did not know until now – and are rather cute. I think they are rather popular in India or atleast in Kerala for many decades. Keeping them in these large cages, because they couldn’t survive for long in the wild, are a great way to keep yourself entertained as you hear their chirping and the sound of the little wings flapping as they move from one perch to another. We used to keep a few throughout the years; initially just a couple in a smaller cage that we setup in the living room and then around 6 to 8 of them in a much bigger cage, which we kept outside on the porch but covered & protected by the sun and rain as they were under the large sun shade.

I would love to keep a few birds again. They do give out a lot of joy. Ok, they aren’t the kind of pet that you touch, who come to you, who react to you and show that love that is so special but they do have a place in your home.

3 Albums By Rock Bands That Turned 40 In February 2024

February 1984 saw a few releases overall but in particular 3 of rock.

Wings of Tomorrow¬†is the second studio album by the Swedish¬†rock¬†band¬†Europe. It was released on 24 February 1984, by Hot Records in Sweden, and by¬†Epic Records¬†in the United States.¬†Wings of Tomorrow¬†is the last album to feature drummer¬†Tony Reno, before being replaced by Ian Haughland, who is still the current drummer. This album precedes the world famous The Final Countdown. Wings Of Tomorrow had 4 singles released – Lyin’ Eyes, Storming, Dreamer & Open Your Heart – the latter of which got a new lease on life with a slightly different version in 1988.

Out of the Cellar¬†is the debut studio album by the American¬†heavy metal¬†band¬†Ratt, released in 1984 by¬†Atlantic Records. The album was an immediate success, with wide airplay on radio and heavy rotation on¬†MTV¬†of its singles, especially the hit “Round and Round”. The album is certified as triple platinum by the¬†RIAA. The album brought Ratt to the top of the glam metal scene in Los Angeles.¬†Out of the Cellar would prove to be the band’s most successful album. It also contains other popular songs such as “Wanted Man”, “Lack of Communication”, and a re-recorded version of “Back for More”.

The Works¬†is the eleventh studio album by the British¬†rock¬†band¬†Queen. It was released on 27 February 1984 by¬†EMI Records¬†just shortly after recording for the album had been completed in the United Kingdom and it is the band’s first studio album to be released by¬†Capitol Records in the United States. The album contains the classic hits I Want To Break Free, Radio Ga Ga as well as other singles It’s A Hard Life & Hammer To Fall. fter the synth-heavy¬†Hot Space¬†(1982), the album saw the re-emergence of¬†Brian May¬†and¬†Roger Taylor’s rock sound, while still incorporating the early 80s¬†retro futuristic¬†electronic music (at the behest of¬†Freddie Mercury) and New York funk scenes (John Deacon’s topic of interest).

Do You Remember The Very First Music Video That You Ever Watched On MTV?

Do you remember the very first music video that you ever watched on MTV? I do. Cable came to India back in 1992. I was in the 10th standard and still around 15 years old (I turned 16 that same year) and the previous year we had heard the news that India was finally getting cable. It was supposed to start with 4 channels and then expanding a year or so later.

Before that in 1991 we had this big annual event called BuildExpo, where in one large ground, numerous companies would have stalls and give talks and demos of their new proucts and services. And ofcourse there were many food stalls. My cousins and I were walking around and sampling some of the food when we were heard loud music playing. We walked towards this large stall with multiple screens – yes CABLE TV! And they were playing MTV which for most of us was much talked about but never had we seen it.

And as we reached the screens, the song playing was …..”Wind Of Change” by Scorpions. I was amazed and I loved the song and the video. We talked to the people who told us about the upcoming launch of Cable tv in the state and we were told when we could expect it and how much we would have to pay. I was obsessed with MTV and then Channel V for ages.

A Flashback To An Afternoon For Kids

Yesterday we had a visit from some family friends. My family lived in Kuwait for a while – dad lived there for 29 years, mom 18 (just after she got married to dad) and my sister lived there for 15 years while I as born there and lived there until I was 11. In our building we had a lot of Malayalee families (each apartment was a 2 bedroom, 1 bath with a small kitchen and a living room) and a couple of other Indian families, 1 Pakistani and 1 Egyptian family. We were close with a lot of them, the committee had frequent parties in one flat or the other and then we had the always awesome parties with lots of games for kids & adults alike on the roof top terraces, followed by movies shown on a projector.

My family¬† moved back to India in 1987 and my closeness with my friends and neighbours were quickly replaced by my cousins, uncles & aunts. There were a few that we kept in touch with but as I grew older I made my own friends and my circle didn’t include these people, though my parents were still close. However a couple of the families have remained close with us. Sometimes a few things will remind me of the good ole times we had back in Kuwait. Like just a few weeks ago I was watching 101 Dalmatians (the 1961 animated film) and I suddenly remembered that the first and only other time that I had watched this film was back in Kuwait.

I, along with a few other kids, were at this Goan families apartment for a kid’s movie day and their mom put on 101 Dalmations & then Dumbo for us. She also made popcorn for us kids and I remember that was the first time I had someone make popcorn in a microwave for me. I had only had pre-popped popcorn before that. I could even smell the popcorn when I was flooded by the memories of that day. Odd how things remind you of a memory from ages ago.

The Triple Tragedy Of The Misfits Of Science

Misfits of Science is an American science fiction comedy-drama television series that aired on NBC from October 4, 1985, to February 21, 1986. Although the show only lasted 1 season and 16 episodes, it’s only my childhood favourites and it should have been more successful. It starred Dean Paul Martin, Kevin Peter Hall, Mark Thomas Miller, a very young Courtney Cox, Jennifer Holmes (she was only in 7 episodes), Max Wright (just before he joined ALF) & Diane Civita. It’s about a group of super-powered humans, and later inspired the tv show Heroes, (same writer). It was a lot of fun.

Dr. Billy Hayes, the leader of the team (who has no superpowers). He is a young research scientist at the Humanidyne Institute who specializes in “human anomalies” and his boyish enthusiasm who often gets the team into as much trouble as he gets them out of. He like Jane Miller has no superpower but his thinking always finds a way out. Dr. Elvin “El” Lincoln, Billy’s colleague and close friend. He has the ability to shrink for minutes at a time from his height of 7 ft 4 in (224 cm) to 11 in (28 cm) via hormonal treatments which he activates by pressing a nerve on the back of his neck. ¬†Johnny “Johnny B” Bukowski, a¬†rock and roll musician who was electrically shocked on stage which resulted in disturbing electrical powers. He continually drains any electrically charged items in his surroundings, forcing him to live in isolation. He wears sunglasses because his eyes glow when he is fully charged. He can throw lightning bolts forcefully and run at superhuman speed, but is vulnerable to water.

Gloria Dinallo, a troubled telekinetic teenager with a history of juvenile delinquency and a mother in a mental institution who claims Gloria’s father is from outer space. She has a crush on Johnny. Gloria can only use her telekinesis on things that she can see: using a blindfold on her renders her powerless. ¬†Jane Miller, Gloria’s¬†probation officer. Although attracted to Billy, she is often put off by his eccentric behavior. Her character appears only in the earlier episodes, disappearing after the first 7 episodes. Dick Stetmeyer, the uptight director of the Humanidyne Institute & Miss Nance, the scientists’ secretary, who is more interested in working on her nails and coffee breaks, round out the characters.

Dean Paul Martin died in 1987 in a snowstorm up in the mountains. Kevin Peter Hall, who would later portray The Predator in two films and Harry in Harry & The Hendersons, would later died due to AIDS related pneumonia in 1991. In 1991, Mark Thomas iIller was in a disfiguring accident that stalled his career, so he became a building contractor specializing in home remodeling for the handicapped, which he did until 2003. Mark made a minor attempt at reviving his career by performing with the Groundling Improv Group, but soon found out that he had lost the patience required for the business of acting. In 2003, he started a product engineering and development company.

Blast From The Past : What A Country!

Mind Your Language was a super hit British tv series that premiered in 1977. It had a worldly appeal due to the simple yet hilarious situations and jokes that almost seem innocent by today’s standards. There were several attempts to recreate the dynamics and base a new show around the same concept. India did it twice and several other countries had a show or two copying the Mind Your Language formula. However the only one that I had watched and liked was an American show called What A Country!

Now while MYL was about an adult education college in London and focuses on the class in English as a Foreign Language taught by Mr Jeremy Brown, who teaches a group of enrolled foreigners, there as a change in the scenario for What a Country! in that being an American sitcom, starring¬†Garrett M. Brown¬†and¬†Yakov Smirnoff¬†that aired in¬†first-run syndication from September 27, 1986, to May 23, 1987, it focuses on ¬†a class of recent immigrants to the¬†United States¬†who are trying to pass the¬†citizenship test.¬†The series was intended as a showcase for Ukrainian-American comedian Yakov Smirnoff, whose catchphrase provided the show’s title.

Their teacher, Taylor Brown (played by Garrett M. Brown), is a part-time substitute teacher looking for a high school soccer coaching job but is convinced by principal Joan Courtney (Gail Strickland) but mostly Russian immigrant Nikolai Rostopovich, to become the permanent teacher. Rounding out the cast were George Murdock as Laszlo Gabo from Hungary, Vijay Amritraj as Pakistani immigrrant Ali Nadim, Harry Waters, Jr. as a former African prince in exile Robert Muboto, Ada Maris as Maria Conchita Lopez, Julian Reyes as Victor Ortega & Leila Hee Olsen as Yung Hi from China. Strickland would be replace by Don Knotts as Principal F.J. “Bud” McPherson.

It didn’t reach the highs of MYL, and the show was cancelled after the first season of 26 episodes. But it does have some memorable laughs. I watched it when I was 12 or 13 and it was a lot of fun. Even though some of the dialogues in the first episodes are taken straight from MYL.