Sugar High – Original Poem


By Mark A. Leon

Remember when shit was cool
We drank because we were happy
Danced because the music moved our souls
Kissed those lips, so wet and tingly
Every time felt like the first
Life was all about Toad, Gin Blossoms, Soul Asylum, Better Than Ezra and a good 40 of malt anything

The sound of drums meant it was Friday
Late nights at the park with a cheap malt liquor and nothing but stories and laughter to share
It was a crazy life
Warm and safe
What happened stayed between us, a circle of trust

Bikes took us to heaven and back
The Crue reminded us of Home Sweet Home
Baseball cards were our 401k
Winter was cold, summer at the lake and dreams were without limit

No curfew
No rules
Just a world without remorse
HBO and rewind was all we knew; it was cool
A Styrofoam cup and string was our smart phone

Home movies meant the world
We were the center of the universe
Oscar winners and superstars
The red carpet was main street, small town USA and the prom was the night of a 1000 stars

With my Walkman, I escaped life and dream about her
My secret love
Love came walking in by Van Halen, over and over and over again
Never imagining I’d see her at the reunion and feel that same tingle inside

Depression meant snow on the ground and no snow day

Manhood happened behind the convenience store
Skateboards and a glimpse at Playboy
Branded in our head, Miss July; forever in our hearts
Still my dream girl, that brunette laid out on three pages

Stealing penny Swedish fish so invigorating
I’ll never confess

Remember when shit was cool
Security breach was breaking through our window screen because we forgot our key
Home alone, of course
Our parents worked and we played
The cool kids had a pool; wore the varsity jacket and owned the land

Times were right; gnarly and out of sight

It was a sugar high


Is Technology Helping the Recession Along?

Last night, I picked up two VHS gems at Goodwill. Yes, I was said gems and Goodwill in the same sentence and yes I still own a VCR. Now that we got that out of the way, may I continue my story? I picked up Slap Shot and A Fish Called Wanda. Take a moment to get the “OMG, it has been so long since I saw those movies and they are so funny” out of the way. Good. This story is filled with way too many distractions.

Naturally, how could one chose between two great movies in their time or any time for that matter. I used the systematic approach and went with the one in the biggest obnoxious plastic case. Last night, John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis and Kevin Kline won over. As I was watching John Cleese do a commercial for Schweppes and admiring the aging quality of the print as it would compare today to a blue-ray disk, I had a single thought run through my head. Wait, there was a trailer for Big. Awesome! Back to the story. Yes, I am to blame for the last tangent. I recall as a child, this piece of plastic with way too many screws than it needed cost $89.99 in the last 1980’s. Yes. The prestige of owning a movie that you would watch in the comfort of your own home cost 90 bucks. Now, in today’s economy, who am I kidding, VHS tapes are worth less than bookends, these cost me a dollar each. Actually, it was discount Wednesday so I think they were even cheaper. In terms of nostalgia, they were priceless.

Since then the compact disk, laser disk, mini disk, blue-ray disk and instant internet streaming have out dated each other in a competitive frenzy driving costs down and supply up. I almost said NetFlix as the final link on the chain of advanced sales technology, but the likelihood is that if you read this in three to six months, they may not be here.

Let us take a moment of silence for the fall of NetFlix…….Thank you.

Now back to our show, with limited commercial interruption.

So I can get a retro VHS for a dollar, a DVD at Wal-Mart for 5 dollars or even a dollar at a flea market and a Blue-ray disk for $9.99 on sale. My how competition and bang for the buck has changed. Yet, the cost of movie tickets has increased in increments with inflation year in and year out. Add in the streaming technology and for $7.95 you are unlimited on the number of movies and shows you can watch. Actually you are limited given that there are 24 hours a day and 720 hours a month. That really limits us to about 370 movies if we don’t use the restroom or sleep. This is not to be taken as a challenge for some of you living in your parents basement.

Is this all a result of the the recession, competition or the poster child for a new society. I myself relish my $5.00 VCR I got on Craigslist and my wide assortment of VHS tapes including Strange Brew, Youngblood, Sixteen Candles, Beavis and Butthead Do America, The Way We Were, Youngblood, Dead Poet’s Society, Star Wars and Pump Up the Volume. There is something about the cracking of the tape and the feeling you get that takes you back to the innocence and comfort of youth. If it takes a recession and mounds and mounds of vendors and suppliers to drive down the cost of media, so be it. As a consumer, thank you. I am just glad my retro days have not been buried.

To all those that hang on to the memories of a good classic film on an even more classic media, we salute you. Bring out the VCR, pop some of that Orville popcorn and kick back.

Top Ten 80’s Movie Songs – Don’t You be Buggin’ Out On This List (It’s Schweet!!)

Whether you lived through it or still remain living vicariously through the 80’s, one cannot dispute that the individuality, quirkiness and extreme innovation that was the 80’s skyrocketed us to a the world we all live in today.

It was a decade pioneered in colors, gadgets, film, music, charity, tragedy, politics and change. It was a time to take in all the bottled up creativity from the blah of the 70’s and release an explosion that still resonates today.

We thought we would take this opportunity to pick ten of the greatest movie songs from the 80’s. Before all you self-proclaimed critics out there start shouting away, remember this is only one opinion, but we would welcome all thoughts through the comment section.

Get ready for this journey back in time because when this baby hits 88 MPH….You know.

#10. (Tie) Crazy for You – Madonna (Vision Quest) / Glory of Love – Peter Cetera (Karate Kid II)
Every great movie needs a true emotional love song to bring the connection of the main characters together.
Interesting fact about Glory of Love – This song was originally written for the movie Rocky IV, but when passed on for that film it was picked up for the Karate Kid sequel.

Now, sit back and think about the first time you were in love and enjoy this flashback to 80’s romance.

#9. Purple Rain – Prince (Purple Rain)
This is one of the most powerful rock ballads of the 80’s if not ever. It backs so much emotion that you cannot help but get caught up in this song.

#8. Danger Zone – Kenny Loggins (Top Gun)
Kenny Loggins was the king of 80’s theme songs so choosing one from him is a true challenge. With I’m Alright from Caddyshack and Footloose a close second, we went with Danger Zone. Strap on your gear, break out your favorite Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer poster and let it ride.

#7. Power of Love – Huey Lewis and the News (Back to the Future)
What trilogy defined the 80’s more than any other. Yes Back to the Future. Led by Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, this memorable series fixed the speed limit 88 MPH into our minds forever.

#6. St. Elmo’s Fire – John Parr (St. Elmo’s Fire)
This coming of age drama from many of the brat pack members gave us our first look at life after college. This movie by Joel Schumacher took the next step in the evolution of adulthood that began with the Breakfast Club. The song was written by David Foster, but not originally for this film. It was inspired by a Canadian athlete who was paralyzed and traveling the world in his wheelchair to raise awareness. The “wheels in motion” do not refer to the wheels on the jeep owned by Demi Moore’s character in the movie, but actually the wheels on a wheelchair.

#5. Against the Odds (Take a Look at Me Now) – Phil Collins (Against All Odds)
It is reported that Collins wrote the song a few years earlier for his first wife who had left him. It would win the Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance in 1985.

#4. Eye of the Tiger – Survivor (Rocky II)
This song was written at the request of Sylvester Stallone specifically for this movie. The phrase was used by the “Apollo Creed” character to describe what “Rocky” was missing when he lost his title. The song became hugely popular and was also featured in the very beginning of Rocky IV in 1985. It hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in July of 1982 and stayed there for 6 weeks in a row. This is the second song from Survivor on this list and both are from Rocky films.

#3. Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Tears for Fears (Real Genius)
A special extended edit of this song is featured during the ending credits and in the final scene of the movie as popcorn has overflowed from the house of “Prof. Jerry Hathaway” and “Lazlo” drives off with his prizes. It was originally released on the Songs from the Big Chair album making it one of only three songs in the top 10 not to be first released on the movie soundtrack. It hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June of 1985

#2. Don’t You Forget About Me – Simple Minds (The Breakfast Club)
The Brat Pack. Need we say more. Clearly one of the essential defining songs of the decade, this song is featured as the gang leaves the Saturday detention and head their separate ways. Judd Nelson’s character throws his fist into the air as it fades to black and this great song continues through the ending credits. This song hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May of 1985. It was written by Keith Forsey who also wrote another popular 80s movie song called “Flashdance… What a Feeling.”

#1 – In Your Eyes – Peter Gabriel (Say Anything)
Here is a prime example of when a song plays such an important role in a film. This song blares from the boom box held above the head of “Lloyd Dobler” at a key moment in the movie. The song had not been chosen yet when they filmed this scene, so a song by the group Fishbone is actually being played during filming and would later be dubbed over with “In Your Eyes.” Two years ago, Entertainment weekly did a ranking of the Top 25 most romantic scenes in film in the last 25 years and that that scene was #1