I Was a Highlights Kid

Recently I wrote an article about Highlights Magazine. Apparently, the wonderful people at Highlights Magazine noticed, and I got a very nice email from them.

I found out from their awesome communications officer that Highlights has recently launched a Facebook-based campaign, to celebrate the nostalgia of Highlights magazine, called I Was a Highlights Kid. It is a lot of fun!

You can take a quiz to see you’re more like Goofus or Gallant. According to the quiz, I am 60% Gallant. You can look at magazine covers for each year. Wow, the memories came flooding back, especially when I saw covers from the late ’70s/early ’80s!

There is a really awesome Hidden Pictures game too! It’s just as you remember. You click on each item in the picture that you need to find. It is actually a lot more challenging than I was expecting.

And you can share stories and photos about Highlights.

So this page is definitely worth checking out. I know you will love it. So, go ahead and visit http://www.Highlights.com/Memories to join in on the fun. And you don’t need to worry about getting pulled into the dentist chair before you finish. And you don’t need to stress out waiting to get a shot from your doctor while you are trying to enjoy this.
Feel free to let me know what you think.

Remember That Song: 8/5/14

Can you name the artist and song:

I find I spend my time
Waiting on your call,
How can I tell you, baby
My back’s against the wall

Last Song: “Invisible Touch” by Genesis from the album Invisible Touch (1986)

Great job Andrew, Robert (@mishouenglish) and Candy (@candyissodandy)!!!

She’s got something you just can’t trust
It’s something mysterious
And now it seems I’m falling, falling for her

Top 40 Songs This Week – August 5, 1989: Songs 40-31

Hi Everybody, welcome to another Top 40 Countdown. This week, we will Return to 1989. Earlier in the year had gone to boot camp for a couple of months, then went to San Diego for school/training, then came home on leave/vacation for a couple of weeks. Then I went to my first assignment – Oakland Naval Hospital. So this week, I was beginning my new life in California. I have heard a lot of songs on this weeks countdown. However, there are also a lot that I had never heard before until now. So, this is going to be a fun and interesting week. Now, let’s Return to the week ending August 5, 1989 and begin the countdown.

40. “Buffalo Stance” by Neneh Cherry

Here is a great fusion of Rap and Freestyle.

39. “Talk It Over” by Grayson Hugh

I had never heard of this song before, and I had never heard of Grayson Hugh. He is a singer-songwriter. In 1987, Grayson Hugh signed with RCA Records. He arranged this song that was written by Sandy Linzer and Irwin Levine. Hugh recorded the song, but Olivia Newton-John was given rights of first release. She recorded it herself and released it as a single, changing the name of the song to “Can’t We Talk It Over in Bed“. Hugh would finally release the song, and it became a hit.

38. “In My Eyes” by Stevie B

I know Stevie B from his 1990 hit “Because I Love You“, which was the height of his career. Before that, Stevie B had a hit with this song (which I had never heard before).

37. “Miss You Like Crazy” by Natalie Cole

I love this song, and it was appropriate for me at the time as I had just move across the country from my family and friends.
This almost gets me to forget about that very creepy song she did with her dead father, “Unforgettable“. [shudder]. Almost.

36. “Heaven” by Warrant

This is a great ballad by an underrated band, from their debut album Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich.

35. “Me Myself and I” by De La Soul

This was a fun hip-hop dance song.

34. “If I Could Turn Back Time” by Cher

This is one of the most iconic songs of the ’80s with one of the most iconic videos of all time. It didn’t hurt that the video was shot on a Navy ship (specifically the USS Missouri) seeing that I was in the Navy at that time. And Cher was into younger men. Hey Cher, what’s up girl? 😉

And here is Rubix Kube’s awesome version of the song that I recorded last November.

33. “Cover of Love” by Michael Damian

Michael Damian was best known as singer Danny Romalotti on the soap opera The Young and the Restless.
I mainly know him from his hit cover version of “Rock On“. I had never heard this song before. It’s not bad.

32. “18 and Life” by Skid Row

Alright, I’m really liking this countdown so far! This is already the second hair band this week. Here is another power ballad. This would go on to be Skid Row’s biggest hit, reaching No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 11 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.

31. “Shower Me With Your Love” by Surface

Here is another R&B ballad that I really like a lot.

Well, that wraps up today’s list. That was quite the variety! R&B, Freestyle, Rock and Pop. What was going on in your life at this time in 1989? Did you have any favorite type of music at this time?

Remember That Song: 8/4/14

Can you name the artist and song and complete the lyrics:

She’s got something you just can’t trust
It’s something mysterious
And now it seems I’m falling, _______ ___ ___

Last Song: “Let It Go” by Def Leppard from High ‘n’ Dry (1981)

Cool woman, cool eyes, you got me hypnotized
So head down, get a rhythm
Stop your stallin’ and your bitchin’

Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Yes, I know Star Trek: The Motion Picture was released in 1979 (although I think I can safely assume that it ran into 1980). But, there is a method to my madness, as you will find out in a few weeks. Stay tuned. In the meantime, I am going to (deep breath) rewatch Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Full disclosure: I am first and foremost a Star Wars fan. I saw Star Wars in the theater, during its original run, when I was 6 years old. However, before that, my father introduced me to science fiction as we watched the original Star Trek series on TV. I also remember watching the Star Trek Animated Series.

In 1977, Star Wars was released, and it forever changed my pop culture life. I was obsessed, and could not get enough of sci-fi movies, television shows, and books.

I was unaware of it at the time, but in the mid ’70s, Gene Roddenberry tried to bring Star Trek back to TV with a new series called Star Trek: Phase II. However, production was cancelled. The reason? With the enormous success of Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the production company Paramount saw that science fiction could be successful at the box office. So, work began on a full length feature film.

I remember being so excited to go see Star Trek on the big screen. This was going to be so great! Instead, it ended up being the first disappointment in my movie-going life. I remember being so bored. Wasn’t there at least one fight in every Star Trek episode? I don’t think there was a single fight in this whole movie! And, I honestly don’t remember if I saw it again after that movie going experience.

Now that I’m older, maybe I’ll understand and appreciate the story a little more. Plus, I have just finished binge watching the entire original series. So, I’ll take a chance and subject myself to this movie again. And remember, Method. Madness. You’ll see.

So, let’s go ahead and get this movie started before this becomes known as Return to the ’80s: The Motionless Blog.

Here is the movie trailer if you want to check that out.

First, we have the theme song from Star Trek: The Next Generation. So far the music is a good start!

Holy crap! There were Klingons in this! OK, you have my attention!

All three ships got wiped out by some energy cloud, which is heading to Earth. Interesting.

Even more interesting…Mr. Spock’s hair.

He is going through some ritual on Vulcan where he is supposed to become totally logical. But, his heart lies elsewhere – like space.

Next, Kirk arrives at Starfleet in San Francisco. We learn that he is now an Admiral.

Now, we are on a space station where Kirk beams aboard, and Scotty is sporting a new mustache. Hair is the thing now I guess.

Next up is the infamous scene where Kirk and Scotty are on a shuttle checking out the newly retrofitted Enterprise. I think this takes up half the movie.

By the way, that is not a picture from the movie. It is actual movie footage, that’s how slow it is moving. zzzzzzzzzzz

We are finally on board the Enterprise. By the way, what is with the leisure suit/pajama look?!?

Now we meet the captain of the Enterprise, Captain Decker. Uh oh, he’s not captain for long. Egomaniac, Kirk is taking over the Enterprise to stop that energy cloud which is heading to earth. Decker is piiiiissssssed!

Next, we meet the new navigator, Ilia, or as she is better know in the Star Trek universe – The Bald Chick. And all the men on the bridge get excited – especially Decker.

Buuut, all the men get “friend-zoned” as Ilia announces that she has taken an oath of celibacy.

A cranky Dr. McCoy gets pulled on to the Enterprise next. What is with all the hair in this movie!?! Now, McCoy is sporting a big scraggly beard.

OK, more than a half hour in, the Enterprise is finally leaving the station dock.

As soon as they get into warp, they enter a wormhole. Whoa, this is trippy. All the colors, distorted sound, and super slow motion movements. I don’t think I smoked anything funny. Maybe the wormhole is leading us back to the ’60s. This is taking forever. I think this is actually longer than that long scene of Kirk Eye effing the Enterprise earlier.

Now Spock has boarded the Enterprise. With his hair back to what we were used to seeing and McCoy clean shaven, things are getting back to normal. And I think Kirk was more excited to see Spock than Decker was to see Ilia.

Seriously, though I have always loved the chemistry between the three main characters. I especially love the banter between McCoy and Spock. It was great in the show, and they kept it up in the movies. Although there is no action right now, I do like seeing these three together.

Uh oh, here comes the energy cloud. It is closing in on the ship. They are being zapped by the cloud. Checkov’s hand gets burned, but that seems to be the only damage. Here comes another shot. They sent a friendship message to the cloud, and the projectile missed the ship.

But, they still don’t know anything about the cloud. So they fly into it. There are only 20 hours before it reaches Earth, so they can’t screw around. They need to figure this thing out.

Is this movie almost over yet?! ugh, a little over 1 hour in, and we’re not even halfway through yet!

Geez, that ride to the middle of the cloud took forever too! Well, at least a good 5 to 7 full minutes anyway. They are really stretching this out!

Oh My God, we’re not done yet! They are still flying further into the cloud! Are we there yet, are we there yet?

Finally! There is an intruder alert. Some vertical laser beam is making its way around the bridge. Ilia gets zapped and disappears.

Now a tractor beam is pulling the Enterprise further into the cloud.

Decker suggests shooting phasers to break free.
Spock says a variation of one of the most iconic phrases in Star Trek lexicon…Why bother. Showing resistance would be futile.

Alerts are going off again. Ilia is back, and is dressed in something a little more comfortable.

But it’s not Ilia anymore. Somebody called V’Ger has taken over her body. The gang tries to find out what V’Ger wants. V’Ger wants to find the creator.

Now Decker is spending time with Ilia/V’Ger to figure out what’s going on and trying to see if they can bring back Ilia’s memories.

Spock goes rogue, and Vulcan nerve pinches a “red shirt”, gets a space suit on, and jet packs over to the data center of the cloud.

They find out that the cloud is a living machine.

Now the cloud is just outside the Earth’s orbit. It is sending a signal. Ilia/V’Ger says that they are sending a message to the creator. The creator is not answering. V’Ger is losing patience, and is getting mad. Kirk stalls by telling V’Ger that he knows why the creator is not answering, but won’t say unless she leaves Earth alone. V’Ger throws a little temper tantrum.

Kirk tells V’Ger that he can’t tell the “probe” Ilia/V’Ger about the creator, but needs to go to the main V’Ger computer. She takes the Enterprise there. Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Decker, and Ilia/V’ger leave the ship and walk over to the data center of the cloud/ship. It is a big satellite dish.

They approach the satellite. There is writing on the side.

Oh wait, it’s not V’Ger. It’s Voyager. Specifically Voyager 6, a 20th-century Earth space probe believed lost. It turns out that the damaged Voyager 6 was found by an alien race of living machines that interpreted its programming as instructions to learn all that can be learned, and return that information to its creator. Spock realizes that the machine wants to merge with the creator, not just speak to it. If not, it will most likely destroy Earth. What!? Merging with it also means merging with Ilia/V’Ger!? Decker can’t volunteer to sacrifice himself fast enough!

They merge, and Decker finds himself in 7th Heaven

The cloud disappears, and the world is saved! Hallelujah, the movie is over!

OK, this was as boring as I remembered. Maybe even more boring than I remembered! It seems like they had a mediocre story line for the television show, and dragged it out by having extremely long scenes of floating around.

Despite the bad reviews, and not-so-great audience reviews, the movie would go on to gross $139 million worldwide. This is a good thing, because that may have been the end of the road for Star Trek for a while. Instead, we got some sequels that followed were so much better than the original movie. And it spawned off another awesome show, Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Did any of you see the movie in the theater, or even see this movie at all? What did you think? Did you like this review? Let me know what you think.

Top 40 Songs This Week – July 30, 1983: Songs 10-1

Welcome back as we wrap up this week’s countdown! If you missed the previous songs, you can check out songs 40-31, 30-21 and 20-11. I think this has been a pretty good week of songs. And today is a solid top 10. Now, on with the countdown as we Return to the week ending July 30, 1983.

10. “Our House” by Madness

This was the English band’s biggest hit in the U.S. It didn’t hurt that the song got plenty of airplay on MTV. There is no mistaking that this is an ’80s song. Good way to start the top 10.

9. “Stand Back” by Stevie Nicks

One of Stevie Nicks’ signature songs. This proved that Stevie Nicks didn’t need Fleetwood Mac to continue on with a successful career.

8. “She Works Hard For the Money” by Donna Summer

The “Queen of Disco” did a great job transitioning into the MTV generation with this song and video.

7. “Wanna Be Startin Somethin'” by Michael Jackson

This fun dance song was the fourth single to be released off of the legendary Thriller album.

6. “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)” by The Eurythmics

This was one of the Eurythmics’ biggest hits. At the time, I got very sick of this song, and it made me not like The Eurythmics. I have since gotten over that. I love Annie Lennox’s voice. This is not one of my favorite songs by them, but it is a little more bearable for me now.

5. “Is There Something I Should Know” by Duran Duran

This was Duran Duran’s eighth single, and it was their first #1 hit in the UK. It also became a big hit here in the US. Some people may know this song better as “Please Please Tell Me Now.”

4. “Never Gonna Let You Go” by Sergio Mendes

And here’s a song for everybody who has been missing the Easy Listening music this week. I love this song. It sounds like it could be a ballad for a movie from the early ’80s. Sergio Mendes was a Brazilian musician and bandleader, and this song was actually sung by Joe Pizzulo and Leza Miller.

3. “Flashdance… What a Feeling” by Irene Cara

Here is Irene Cara’s only #1 hit. Long time readers know about my love for Irene Cara. But, this is one of those songs that you see coming up, and say “Oh no, not again.” But, then when it starts playing you get into it.

2. “Electric Avenue” by Eddy Grant

Here is another classic ’80s song.

1. “Every Breath You Take” by The Police

We have arrived at this week’s #1 song. This hit from The Police’s Synchronicity album would go on to be the #1 song of the year. I’m not a fan of this song. It’s probably one of my least favorite Police songs that got released as a single. However, I still like it more than most of Sting’s solo work.

Well that wraps up this week’s countdown. There were quite a few classics this week. I hope you enjoyed it this week. We’ll be back next week with a new countdown. Until then, Until then, Keep Your Feet On the Ground, and Keep Reaching for the stars.

Remember That Song: 8/1/14

Hair’s to Friday!!

Can you name the Artist and Song:

Cool woman, cool eyes, you got me hypnotized
So head down, get a rhythm
Stop your stallin’ and your bitchin’

Last Song: “Never” by Heart from the album Heart (1985)

Great job Robert (@mishouenglish)!!

You’re hangin your head again
Cause somebody won’t let you in