Tuesday, July 07, 2009

RIP Michael Jackson

Today is a sad day all around: not only have I returned to Cairo from my amazing European adventures but it is also the day of Michael Jackson’s memorial service in Los Angeles. Since I am still working on posts to tell you about the places I saw and all the beer I drank, I thought I would instead stare this story from Prague.

Hubby and I learned about the King of Pop’s death while we were checking our email at a Mac Store in Zurich. “Holy crap! Did you see Michael Jackson died?!” I called over to his station incredulously. Several people in the store also commented about the shocking news and Hubby and I endeavored not to moonwalk as we made our way back to our hotel.

(Aside: Do the people who own Apple realize that the only reason people go into Apple Stores is to use the Internet for free? I’m a Mac baby and have rarely purchased anything at a brick and mortar Apple store. The Internet is for shopping and Mac Stores are for checking email. Is it just me?)

Anyways, two days later, we were in the Czech Republic walking through a really cool ped mall when we noticed a huge group of people gathered. Flash Mob? Dead body? We weren’t sure what was going on and no matter what we did we couldn’t get close enough to the epicenter of the circle to figure out it. Of course, the Michael Jackson impersonators and dozens of people wearing one single, sparkly glove probably should have tipped us off.

Two hours later, the group of mourners had grown exponentially and this time they had props. Someone had brought in a generator attached to giant speakers and was playing Jackson’s greatest (and not so greatest) hits on full blast. Children were dancing, couples were embracing as if only together could they hold back the tears, and several people had lit candles.

What amazed us was that most of the people we saw probably hadn’t even been born during Jackson’s heyday. They may have seen Thriller or heard the Dangerous album as teens but they weren’t there when the albums changed the face of music. I still remember watching the thirty-minute video on MuchMusic and dancing like a zombie in my living room. What connection did these kids have to him?

I suppose the King of Pop transcended generations and cultures. People in almost every country we visited were talking about his death and how tragic it was. They mourned the loss of the music icon. His dubious “Wacko Jacko” years and even sketchier child molestation trial were blips on the radar to these fans. They mourned him for the music he brought to their lives.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

National OLD Day

I would never point out to someone that they were OLD just because they had hit a particularly significant birthday. I mean, OLD means different things to different people. Heck, I would never even use the word OLD to describe someone of a certain age because I know it’s rude.

You wouldn’t want to be told you were OLD just because today was a landmark day in history. Clothing bought say, forty years ago, would be considered vintage. And jewelry created around the same time might even be considered antique. But no one would call either of those things OLD because the word OLD sounds so harsh.

What do you consider OLD?

I don’t think my husband is OLD because his age isn’t that far off from my own and that would be like saying I’m almost OLD. And I’m not. I have two brothers who are OLDer than I am. But I don’t call them OLD to their faces because it’s mean. My middle brother, BBA, is the same age as Hubby so I guess technically he isn’t OLD.

So who is left to be described as OLD?

That must be my OLDest brother, BBS. Today he is 40 years OLD. He is the first of my siblings to hit the ripe OLD age of 40. If I didn’t know better, I would think he was the OLDest person I knew. But I know people who are OLDer than 40. After all, 40 isn’t that OLD.

Does being this OLD make him eligible for Social Security cheques or OLD age discounts at the pharmacy? No, he’s not that OLD yet. But he’s awfully close.


PS. To everyone reading this who has already passed this age marker or is closer to it than I am, please know that today’s post was not meant to throw salt in your wounds or to mock you. I save those special treats for my family.