Corey Hart and “Growing Up”: Being Un-Cool in the Late 80’s

As many junior  high  transplant  non-sports-playing introverts, I was un-cool. Music listening became an obsession  of mine; a way to create my own fantasy  world with my fantasy  boyfriend, Corey Hart. Perhaps it’s  a good thing that the Internet  had not been  invented because  I  probably  would have been  up late at night watching  the videos for “Sunglasses at Night” and “Never Surrender” non-stop  .  Luckily  it was a time when MTV only played music videos and Corey Hart was in heavy  rotation . Also a time of magazines  such as a Teen Beat, Tiger Beat and BOP , which during Hart’s brief popularity  provided fantasy – crush hope as well as poster pull-outs that I plastered  to my wall. Even though the teenage popularity tides changed quickly, and Hart was replaced by the more popular  Coreys – Feldman and Haim – I stayed  true to MY Corey.

First Offense, Boy in a Box, and Fields of Fire were on  constant  cassette  tape rotation, I proudly wore my Corey Hart badge buttons on my bleached jean jacket, and I made a Corey  Hart scrapbook. I had an intense feeling that if Corey Hart and I  did not marry, we would at least become good friends.

However this obsession  was turned into a “secret” upon moving to Minnesota. My first boyfriend  introduced  me to the Replacements, Suburbs  and Husker-Du, and I became a Midwest punk with a secret pop-rock love raised on Rock-n-Roll. The first boyfriend and I broke up after a few months, not because  of  Corey but I think partly  to due with the boss;my most treasured Xmas gift that year was the cassette  box set of Bruce Springsteen & The E Street  Band/1975-85. “Growing  Up” was my secret  anthem  while I  publicly wore all black, had a punk haircut  of many colors, and slam-danced to the Violent Femmes.

But I  really  never gave up on Corey. When I  was 21 and working in New Mexico  for the summer one of my best college  friends won tickets from  a local radio station in Minnesota  for a private party with Corey
Hart; I  am  still jealous  to this day. And if you are ever out in public with me and “Sunglasses  at Night” is played on the radio, expect an excited spaz dance reaction combined with the “shush” signal of my pointer finger to my lips.


A day in the life of freelance writing …

It’s nearly 20 days since I’ve posted. Twenty days! That’s 20 NaBloPoMo posts that would not have happened. Nonetheless, I presently have writers’ fatigue.

I just finished a feature article for a magazine my UU congregation is publishing. It will be a full color magazine, mine will be the cover story.  I am writing the article pro bono. For whatever reason, this meant that EVERY PERSON I interviewed wanted to “proof” or “review” the article. Usually I would say “NO! NO! NO!” Except that my recorder failed on my last day of interviews, so I relied mostly on my notes. This does not happen with paid work.

Speaking of which, I have a couple of paid writing jobs coming up, both of which I hope will amount to ongoing work. I will be moving to a small town in March and would love if I could get a steady stream of income from writing at home. It’s been a year playing with kids at the children’s museum, and since there is not room for growth there, it’s time for new ventures.

Well, gotta go. I have not been making it to my writers group so unexpectedly I was just messaged the writing prompt. Let the writing from home commence!

Christmas Sweater

Following is a fictional piece I wrote last evening at my “Write Now” group. We begin with a writing prompt, including bonus points for incorporating some random phrase. While coming up with the phrase, we usual have a rejected phrase which would be too easy to incorporate into the prompt. We are given 20 minutes to write. The works are always sloppy, but I like the intention of producing just for the sake of writing.

Writing Prompt: “Girl sells clothing on Pinterest.” Bonus Point: Yellow Rivers. Rejected Bonus:  Angora

Alicia needs money for Christmas presents. Even though she does not believe Jesus was the son of God, she finds solace in the traditional American festivities surrounding his birthday.  Thank God (of whose existence she is also skeptical)  she set-up that fashion sell page on Pinterest.

Looking through her closet, she’s torn about what she could do without. Many of her sweaters, which sell well in Minnesota winters, were knitted lovingly by her maternal grandmother. Her favorite gray Angora sweater was given to her the Christmas before her grandmother’s death. At the center of the sweater is an intricately embroidered Balsam Fir Tree, with knitted yellow rivers on either side, colors ranging from lemon to dark sunset yellow, converging at the roots of the Christmas tree.

Three main roots are at the bottom of the tree, which were embroidered with the names of her Grandmother, her mother and herself. Each root represented the maternal influences feeding into this tree of life.

Before today, Alicia had not thought much about the sweater’s tree. She assumed it was merely a Christmas tree, like others you find on Holiday sweaters. Taking the sweater off the shelf in her closet, she gently unfolded the fluffy sleeves to lay it flat upon her bed. Upon the beautiful Balsam, were stars composed of the same yellow threads within the two rivers. Made of various bright yellow shades, Alicia counted ten stars. She thought about the children her grandmother had, combined with her siblings.

Alicia’s grandmother produced six, five sons, two dying in childbirth. Her mother had five children, herself and her four brothers. Looking at the tree, Alicia realized there were branches bare of stars, and roots at the bottom without names. They sat awaiting the stars that may or may not be in her future, and roots to be fed by the yellow rivers of her mother’s Chinese heritage.