Chris Kelly and Chris Smith were the ultimate trendsetters for the tween crowd in the early 90′s. Discovered in an Atlanta mall in 1990, the signed a recording deal with Ruffhouse Records and released their album “Totally Krossed Out” in 1992. “Jump” was their first, and biggest, hit song. The Mac Daddy and the Daddy Mac’s signature fashion statement was wearing their clothes backwards. How could you not want to try it yourself?
“Jump” was the fastest selling single in America since The Police’s “Every Breath You Take” in 1983. “Jump” jumped to #1 and stayed on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for 8 weeks. Kris Kross’ immediate popularity earned them a spot as opening act for Michael Jackson’s “Dangerous” tour.
How high? Real high
Cause I’m just so fly
A young loveable, hugable type of guy
And everything is to the back with a little slack
Cause inside out, it’s wiggida wiggida wiggida wack”
I was hooked on the song as soon as I heard it on Z100 in Portland. I listened intently to the radio so I could record the song onto a cassette tap and replay it like crazy. I loved the beat, I memorized the lyrics, and I loved that these boys were SO cool…and they were my same age! I wanted to be cool too…so I tried to wear my clothes backwards. I put on my stonewashed jeans and Portland Trailblazers button-down jersey on backwards…and it looked terrible. A girl with sprouting curves should NOT try to wear clothing backwards. As much as I wanted to follow a trend, I just couldn’t get the nerve to leave the house like that. But wow…I thought the boys at my school with backwards clothes were so stylin.
It’s a little bit strange to me…because I’ve been planning to publish this blog post all week. “Jump” has been on my list of songs to write about for Flashback Friday for a while. So when I heard the news on Friday that Chris Kelly had died, it felt like such an odd coincidence. “Jump” was a song that really takes me back to a fun time in my life, and I can’t say how many times I’ve listened to the song and jumped along.
So here’s to you, Chris Kelly. Thanks for the fun you gave my early teens with a thumping beat and fun rap to spout out with the song came on.
Ain’t nuthin’ sucker about Kris Kross we all that
So when they ask, “Do they rock?” say “Believe that!”
The competition was fierce.
Seriously, so much love for Type-A Parent Conference.
I ran the contest through Rafflecopter, with results through Random.org, and the winner is…
I was excited to see that Andrea won the contest because she is one of the most wonderful friends that I made at Type-A Parent Conference in Atlanta last year in Charlotte. We bonded during a session about storytelling where we were paired up for an exercise. We talked about some of our greatest accomplishments and greatest struggles, and we knew that we were kindred spirits. We had a great time again in New York City at BlogHer ’12 where we ducked out of Sparklecorn early to have a heart-to-heart sitting on the hallway floor of the Hilton. I urge you to follow this awesome blogger!
Bummed you didn’t win the giveaway?
It’s not too late to register for Type-A Parent Conference through Eventbrite. Click through this registration link for a special discount.
Thank you to all who participated!
October is my favorite month of the year. Not only does the shift in weather punctuate, the end of the hot, oppressive summer; October is the month that I celebrate my wedding anniversary with my Tayviator. The days and nights are a bipolar mix between needing the heat and air-conditioning on. The leaves on the trees change color, shed their verdant rainment, and bear their naked skeleton for a season. The world becomes more monochromatic, making Spring colors even more delightful.
I love breathing in October, especially in Utah. The air is not too dry, not to cold. It’s crisp. It’s invigorating. It’s great for a few weeks before Jack Frost makes a daily residence, thereby torturing my asthmatic lungs. The precipitation tends to be rainy, which I love. Occasionally a few days of Indian Summer will pop up, but I rarely have to deal with temperatures over 80 degrees. The first dusting of snow happens, as it did yesterday, and the “3 month holiday season” begins. October is my happy place.
In high school French class, I listened to “Octobre” by Francis Cabrel. Every October since, I’ve listened to this song to get in the mood. Click on the video below, and enjoy the soothing music and voice of “France’s James Taylor.”
Octobre de Francis Cabrel
La brume viendra dans sa robe blanche / The mist will come in its white dress
Y’aura des feuilles partout / There will be leaves everywhere
Couchées sur les cailloux /Lying on the pebbles
Octobre tiendra sa revanche / October will have its revenge
Le soleil sortira à peine / The sun will be just gone
Nos corps se cacheront / Our bodies will hide themselves
Sous des bouts de laine / Beneath bits of wool
Perdue dans tes foulards / Lost in your scarves
Tu croiseras le soir / You will pass October
Octobre endormi aux fontaines /October asleep at the fontains
Il y aura certainement, / There will be certainly
Sur les tables en fer blanc /On the tables of tin
Quelques vases vides qui traînent / Some empty vases lying around
Et des nuages pris aux antennes / And some clouds hanging onto antennas
Je t’offrirai des fleurs / I will offer you flowers
Et des nappes en couleurs / And colored tablecloths
Pour ne pas qu’Octobre nous prenne / So October won’t capture us
On ira tout en haut des collines / We will run to the top of the hills
Regarder tout ce qu’Octobre illumine / And see everything that October is illuminating
Mes mains sur tes cheveux / My hand on your hair
Des écharpes pour deux / Scarves for the both of us
Devant le monde qui s’incline /The world will give into us
Certainement appuyés sur des bancs / Certainly resting on a bench
Il y aura quelques hommes qui se souviennent / There will be some men who remember
Et des nuages pris sur les antennes / And some clouds hanging on antennas
Je t’offrirai des fleurs / I will offer you flowers
Et des nappes en couleurs / And colorful tablecloths
Pour ne pas qu’Octobre nous prenne / So October won’t capture us
Et sans doute on verra apparaître / And without a doubt, we will
Quelques dessins sur la buée des fenêtres / See some paintings of condensation on the windows
Vous, vous jouerez dehors / You, you will be playing outside
Comme les enfants du nord / Like the children from the north
Octobre restera peut-être. / October will stay, maybe
I can hardly keep up with all of the recent airline mergers and acquisitions. Aviation tends to be in the news fairly frequently, last year being particularly eventful. I’m not sure if more is going on than in past years, or if I’m just paying more attention. Twitter keeps me pretty connected to the latest headlines. In response to the crash in Buffalo last year, the FAA has been revising crew fatigue and rest requirements. Airlines are beginning to hire again, and furloughees are being called back. United is in the process of merging with Continental. Pinnacle is buying Mesaba. TransStates is buying Compass. SkyWest is acquiring ExpressJet and merging it with ASA. ComAir announced drastic fleet reductions. Today, Southwest Airlines announced its plans to purchase AirTran.
I remember being floored when I started hearing rumors of Delta and Northwest merging in 2008. My husband was in his first year with his regional airline, we’d just relocated to Detroit, and the national economy was taking a nosedive. Between Delta and NWA, there were approximately 10 regional airline contracts. I knew at some point, many of those airlines would either fold or get sold. Sky-high fuel prices have made many companies reconsider renewing contracts on fuel-inefficient aircraft. Tickets are getting more expensive to keep up with costs, and more planes are taking off full.
I have learned that being married to someone in the aviation industry is unpredictable. When Taylor was hired, regionals were recruiting like crazy. Had the economy not tanked, he might be a captain right now. It’s exciting to see things moving again, but it’s worrisome to know how it will affect other families like us. It’s been tough living apart, and the commute is so hard on him. We are constantly scheming ways to live together and make it financially. We’ve lived in the same place for 14 months, but I honestly don’t know when or where we’ll be next. It’s hard to feel a sense of security when life has so much uncertainty.
I can only hope that all this change will bring about good things.
It’s tough to talk about personal, difficult things in a public forum like a blog. I’ve had so many people check up on me…wondering why I’m not blogging, why I’m not showing up to social events, or why I just haven’t acted like myself. I thought I’d explain.
Summertime is so tough for me. I’m one of the crazies that deals with summertime seasonal depression much more than dark months of winter. When the weather cools down and evening begins earlier, I feel refreshed and invigorated for the winter. Sometimes I even feel that winter “freezes” me into an enthusiastic, hyper-productive, nearly manic state of mind. Spring is actually my favorite season…watching new growth emerge through the matted frozen soil. But as the days become longer, and temps linger above 80 degrees on a regular basis, I feel myself shrivel and dehydrate. The the sultry, hot days of summer broil the life out of me. I become a sullen, lethargic, and dried-up version of Nicole…despite all the Prozac, therapy, and gigantic cups of Coke Zero I consume.
Summer 2010 felt different than any other summer. But I think it was a result of recovering from life in Summer 2009.
Summer 2009 was almost like a coma to me. In a weeks time, I went from working in a high-stress full-time corporate environment in a major metro area, to packing up my condo and driving cross country, and ending up two time zones west in a borrowed house in a rural town. I began yet another phase of living apart from my husband (who was already away half of the month). I felt incapable of taking care of myself, abandoned in a place I didn’t care for, in circumstances I had little control over. Many weeks were spent alone in my bedroom. I was practically catatonic. It took a few months to get myself to a point where I could function and have a personality again. By October, I felt energetic, was full of ideas, creativity, and aspirations.
After months of unsuccessful job searching, I tried to decided to make a move education-wise. Because of our already excessive student loan debt, taking out more money for school wasn’t possible. I didn’t feel right about working on my bachelor degree at this time, and instead looked into professional training programs. With my background and experience in healthcare, I knew I should find something to make me more relevant in that field. I reconnected with some old coworkers who encouraged me to become a certified professional coder. I found a good online training program, and last October I hit the books.
The next 6 weeks went well…I was motivated in many aspects of my life. I started exercising vigorously, studying diligently, and was feeling optimistic. But Mid-December brought in a nasty back injury and many months of painful recuperation. I was in terrible pain, had very limited mobility, and struggled again to make it day-to-day.
During this time, my marriage suffered greatly. We were both feeling so stressed, upset, and impatient with each other. I hated that I couldn’t have my partner here when I needed him, and he hated that I was living my life as someone different that he’d known for the previous 5 years. Our finances suffered from my lack of full-time income; we were making sizable monthly payments for my tuition, straining our already anorexic bank account. Our communication suffered, and we both had to make a lot of adjustments to recover the things we’d slowly lost in our relationship.
One of the most difficult aspects with my depression is my unrealistic responses to emotions. Things that make me sad suddenly feel tragic, and little joys become euphoric. When I have a small setback, I become unrealistically anxious and hopeless. When I feel success, I become competitive, driven, and egotistical. I am easily tempted by things that would have never been a temptation before. In order to achieve balance during this time, I force myself away from spontaneity, and toward introspection. I spend time alone, and have to force myself to get out of the house. I feel social anxiety when I’m around people that are used to the “real Nicole,” and turn down invitations to have fun (despite my desperation to connect with other people). I went to several conferences this summer (Bloggy Boot Camp, Casual Blogger, EVO, and BlogHer), and was so worked up that many hours of those conferences were drowned in my tears.
This summer was my first time dealing with suicidal feelings, and I’m grateful for the love and support of many people who helped me out of that awful abyss. I focused on my successes and allowed other people to help me. My husband begged me to be selfish and spend time on the things that would bring me happiness and success. I started to regain my mobility from my injuries and started losing weight (down about 25 lbs). I enjoyed being a “stage parent” for Rosie’s first play. I dove headfirst into school, spending 5-7 hours most days on studies. And most of importantly, I fought for my marriage. I changed behaviors that caused contention, I opened up about issues that caused anger and tension. I had to be patient. I had to forgive and ask for forgiveness. I worked on being the spouse I knew that Taylor wanted me to be. And now, things are finally feeling awesome between us again.
This week marks the Fall Equinox, which is the official end of summer. Days are getting shorter and temperatures are cooling. The lengthening nights don’t seem quite as dark as the lonely nights of the summer. I feel hopeful.
Tomorrow (or tonight, or Thursday, who knows?) I’m leaving for New York City. I’m headed to the BlogHer Conference, which I’ve been excited about for MONTHS. Excited but anxious. I’ve read other bloggers’ accounts of their past experiences at the BlogHer concerences, and it seems like it could be a fine combination of awkward, awful, and awesome. I’m excited about the people I’m rooming with. I’m excited to be volunteering. I’m excited for the parties. I’m excited to meet my online friends in person, and reconnect with others I’ve previously met. But I’m worried…I feel like a bit of a phony. A self-proclaimed “blogger” who hasn’t even updated her site in over a month.
It’s been a crazy summer. Between Rosie’s rehearsals and performances in “The Music Man,” Taylor’s commute, and my school, I’ve managed to keep myself very busy. I am frustrated that school is taking so long, and was hoping to be working by now. I was really hoping to be off to NYC with a little more cash in my pocket. I’ve seriously considered not going. It’s hard to go to a big, expensive, unfamiliar place like New York without means to recover from a possible travel disaster. Some plans have already fallen through, partially due to my anxiety-ridden procrastination. As I write this, I’m still scrambling for a place to stay Wednesday night. I could plan on taking the Wednesday night red-eye from SLC…but if I miss the flight I’m hosed. Maybe I’ll try staying with another friend in an east coast city, then hop over to NYC Thursday morning. Who knows?
It’s times like these that I feel like a Phony McPhonerton. What happened to the confident, spontaneous, and blogging Nicole I usually am?
Sometimes it’s really hard to be married to a man who spends more time away from you than with you.
Every month around the 22nd, he gets his schedule for the next month. It’s usually a celebration of a good amount of time off, or cursing the work rules that make commuting a near impossibility.
When he’s on his way home, I get so excited. I track his flight progress online. I try to straighten up the house. I shave my legs. I attack him with a gigantic hug and kiss when he walks in the door.
But his time at home is never long enough, usually 2-3 days before he gets ready to leave again. He has his pre-trip routine. He showers, packs, and does the mental checklist: shoes, pants, pilot shirt, underwear, badge, passport, wallet, keys, iPhone charger, Zune, and snacks. He checks flight loads, and details of his upcoming work trip. He gives me a goodbye kiss that never seems long enough. The door closes, and our home feels like just a house again.
It’s usually not too long before I send him a text saying “Miss you already.” I walk into the bathroom, and the counter is missing his toiletry bag. I can still smell the faint scent of his deodorant that drives me wild. I go around the house and find all the cups that he drank out of. I fold the rest of the laundry from the load he threw in a few hours before leaving. I mentally plan out the things I need to accomplish before he returns home next. I hug my daughter tightly, and we give each other the usual bittersweet crooked smile. She says, “I miss daddy.” We talk about how long it will be until he comes home again. Sometimes we let each other fall apart a little bit. And then we put ourselves back together and get back to ‘normal life.’
Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have a husband who worked regular business hours, and could plan on legal holidays off. The 4th of July was a special day while we were dating, and I’m feeling particularly melancholy about him being gone on a trip over the holiday weekend. But I take comfort in the fact that he has a nice stretch of days off next week, and we’re tentatively planning to do something fun alone together.
I love him so much. I miss him so much.
Both seem hard for me to believe.
Dates and anniversaries are significant to me. I have a strangely accurate recollection of dates from the past. 3/15/1995 brings a chill to my spine. 7/10/2004 was a very happy day. Flag Day always reminds me of the birthday of a boy I had a crush on in elementary school. Realizing this afternoon that I arrived in Utah last June 27th felt prosaic. Despite my exhaustion from a whirlwind of activities over the last week or so, I felt that blogging tonight was important.
This year has felt like an out-of-body experience in many ways. Cross-country relocation, serious injuries and health problems, unemployment, weight gain, financial difficulties, and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and soul searching. I’ve actually been doing a lot of writing…working through some anger, pain, frustration, and insecurities. It’s been incredibly therapeutic….and I’m realizing how helpful it can be. Writing helps me actualize reality. And for a long time, my only writing happened publicly on my blog. I hid and ignored many deep feelings I was experiencing…and lately I’m feeling the weigh of many things I’ve repressed or refused to acknowledge that were in existence.
So over this month, I’ve been writing…but I’m not sure I’m ready to share most of it here. Yet.
This weekend I attended the EVO Conference in Park City, UT. I took the “scenic” drive up through Provo Canyon and Heber to Park City, instead of the usual way I take through Parley’s Canyon. I know that I’ve taken that road before…but I don’t think I’ve ever realized how beautiful it was. As I visited with out-of-state guests of the conference, so many remarked how beautiful Utah is. I have lived in Utah a total of 12 years, and I think I’ve just gotten used to the way it looks. Arriving in Utah last June, in the circumstances I was experiencing, made Utah seem like a punishment. I felt “Banished to Spanish” (Fork). But over the weekend, I’ve contemplated many elements of the beauty that surrounds me…and I feel like I’ve been taking so many things in my life for granted.
I am a daughter of God. I have a devoted husband who loves me and works hard to support the family. I have a daughter who brings me so much joy and love. I have a plethora of family members and friends who are loyal and caring, would drop everything to help me out when needed. I have a roof over my head, a car that works, access to good healthcare, the Gospel, and air conditioning! My life is abounding in blessings…yet I feel dark, twisty and sad feelings every day.
Depression really stinks…I can acknowledge the good things in life and be surrounded by amazing people, yet still feel lonely, abandoned, overwhelmed, scared, and unloved. I think the reason that I feel unloved…is because I don’t love myself much these days. I look in the mirror and see an image that only slightly resembles the mental image I default to in my head. I don’t like the way I physically feel. I don’t like the scarce selection of clothing that I settle for because the cute styles aren’t made in my size. And I don’t want to feel like this anymore. I need to proactively set goals and reach for the stars. I’ve already started to make some changes in my life over the last few weeks, and I’m trying to bask in the happiness of the little successes.
I’m working on me, inside and out.