I once read that the more we focus on what we don’t want, the more power we give to it. In other words, we receive what we resist.
When 2Fs sat me down and told me he had hired contractors to renovate the laundry room, even though we were still in the midst of the six-week sleeping porch project that had begun in October of the following year, I said, “Okay, let’s go for it. How much more invasive could it be?”
““You’ll barely notice a change to our day-to-day lives,” he said. “Now, help me disconnect the washer and dryer and take them outside.”
““Not so fast, slick. How am I going to do laundry?”
““There’s this place called a laundromat,” 2Fs said.
““I know what a laundromat is,” I said. “How long will it be necessary to haul all the dirty clothes in my Miata to the laundromat.”
““No more than a week.”
After we moved everything out of the laundry room, a space the size of an airplane galley, the contractors arrived the following morning and began the demolition. When I returned home after work, I was met with sheets of plastic hanging over every doorway connected to the back hallway that led to the laundry room. Even with the plastic, dust covered every surface in the house. After an impressive coughing fit, I asked Jeff where the government scientists were conducing the autopsy of E.T.”
““Ha. Ha. Why don’t you make yourself useful and start vacuuming up the dust.”
I was about to follow suit when something caught my eye. “Hey, where’s the hot water heater?”
“Oh, I think I forgot to mention we’re without hot water for a while.”
““How long is a while?”
I staggered into the laundry room and hugged the air that used to surround the precious water heater. “Where will we shower?”
““The gym,” 2Fs said.
I blinked at him. ““Do you still remember how to get there, or should I draw you a map?”
2Fs didn’t reply; he simply handed me a vacuum cleaner attachment.
If you know me, you’re aware there are two things I try to avoid: Getting up early and cold. As soon as I knew the water heater was gone, I began to obsess over which was the lesser of two evils: Taking a cold shower, or getting up early to go to the gym and shower there.
Never having gone to the gym to exercise before work, I was unsure how crowded it would be in the morning. Since there are only two showers, would I have to wait? How long should I allow for a full-body workout and then to wash and dress for work? On the bright side, at least spring was here and I wouldn’t have to venture out into the cold in the morning.
Wouldn’t you know it? Atlanta received an Arctic blast the next morning. I had to bundle up as if I were driving a sled of dogs to the Yukon. Thankfully, I discovered very few people go to the gym in the morning and I was able to get in and out of the gym in under an hour.
The unseasonably cold weather continued and by the end of the week, I had to ask Jeff why we were still without a water heater.
““Well, there’s been a delay,” he said. “The antique white tile came in and it was brown.”
““Yes, like eggs from a little brown hen.”
I grabbed to 2Fs by his shirt collar and slammed him against the wall. “For the love of God, man, when are we going to have hot water again? The staff at Village Fitness have seen me at the gym for five consecutive days. They’re beginning to give me that suspicious look, like they think I’m stalking someone.”
““Okay, let’s just take a deep breath, close our eyes, and go to our special place, okay …”
Book of Love released “Boy” in 1985. It was the debut single, released on 7″ and 12″ vinyl, and later included on their their first album, Book of Love, which also included “I Touch Roses,” “You Make Me Feel So Good,” and “Modigliani (Lost in Your Eyes).” “Boy” peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart.
The band began when Ted Ottaviano and Susan Ottaviano, who share the same last name but are not related, began writing songs together in high school.
After they graduated, Ted moved to New York City to study at the School of Visual Arts, and Susan moved to Philadelphia to study at the Philadelphia College of Art, where she met Jade Lee and formed the band Head Cheese. Ted participated in the band, commuting back and forth between New York and Philadelphia.
Upon graduation, Susan and Jade moved to New York to join Ted and Lauren Roselli, a fellow student at the School of Visual Arts. They took their name from The Monotones’ song, “The Book of Love,” because they were influeced by romanticism.
Book of love was inspired by various genres of music: oldies from the ‘50s & ‘60s, punk, and new wave. Ted was particularly inspired by Altered Images, who incorporated bells and chimes into their songs, which explains the distinctive tubular bells in “Boy.”
Ted wrote “Boy,” based upon Lauren’s experiences of continuing to fall in love with young gay men while in art school. The band recorded a demo of the song, and Lauren slipped a copy to DJ Ivan Ivan, who passed it on to Seymour Stein, President of Sire Records, who signed the band in August 1984.
The band received more exposure after meeting Depeche Mode at a promotional party, they were asked to open for Depeche Mode on the North American leg of their Some Great Reward Tour, even though they hadn’t recorded an album. (Book of Love also opened for Depeche Mode again on their Black Celebration Tour in 1986.)
Boy [Extended Mix] 4’28
I can’t determine if a music video filmed for “Boy” by Sire Records. It’s possible they might not have, since it was the first single by an unknown band. However, here is a music video for “Boy,” which was filmed for Australian television in 1985. It’s basically a performance of the band, filmed in a studio, and quite nicely done.
My first memory of Book of Love is when they were mentioned in the question and answer section of an issue of Star Hits (the U.S. version of the U.K.‘s Smash Hits), where a girl had heard “Boy” on the radio and asked for more information about the band. A year later, I heard a fellow student’s synth-pop band cover “I Touch Roses.” I mentioned the song to my friend Terri McQueary, and she mentioned she had the cassette and let me borrow it. I’d always loved synth-pop, but there was something about the way Book of Love incorporated sounds not ordinarily used, intriguing lyrics, the art school imagery used on their record sleeves that captivated me. The next day, I drove to Sound Warehouse and bought the 12″ singles for “Boy,” “I Touch Roses,” “You Make Me Feel So Good,” and “Modigliani (Lost in Your Eyes).” The Summer of ’87 was the Summer of Book of Love. I played that cassette over and over until it was released on CD in November of 1988. One of my favorite memories, is Terri, our friend Duane Musiol, and I listening to the tape as we drove to Club Sparx in Dallas when Duane came back from basic training. Book of Love would definitely be included on my list of Dssert Island Discs.
What are your memories “Boy” by Book of Love?
Example: When Margie’s husband and children were diagnosed with hairballs in spite of her efforts to vacuum daily, she became furlorn every time she saw their cat, Mr. Mittens.
Can you use furlorn in a sentence?
The last words Leroy Tucker, 17, said to anyone before his bowling ball juggling accident, were, “Hey, y’all, watch this!” A few seconds later, a 14-pound, Brunswick Slingshot with custom right-handed drilling fell on his head and knocked him cold. When he woke up twenty minutes later, Tucker told friends his named was Mavis Gould, a fifty-seven-year-old sample lady at Costco, who specializes in jalapeño poppers.
““It was such a shock,” said his mama, Earlene Tucker, 41, a stay-at-home mom. “I mean, Leroy was a typical teenage boy, always thinking of himself and never shown a lick of interest in gracious living.”
Doctors say this new personality is due to his head injury, and have encouraged Tucker’s family to humor him until it passes.
““Leroy’s daddy is just beside himself,” said Earlene. “He took Leroy fishing with his buddies and Leroy kept asking them if they’d like to taste his chipotle-raspberry dipping sauce. It was very awkward for everyone in the pontoon boat.”
To pay for Tucker’s escalating medical expenses, Earlene bought him a tuxedo and has begun renting him out to serve at parties. “We just got tired of Leroy constantly trying to serve us at home every cotton-pickin’ minute of the day and we have bills to pay, so why not kill two birds with one stone? Besides, it seems to make Leroy–I mean, Mavis–happy.”
I suppose no one is ever satisfied with the hand their dealt by their familial gene pool, but, growing up, I seemed to look so different from the rest of my family. They have brown hair; I was blond. They’re short and stocky; I was tall and lanky.
The worst part, though, I had no butt. I’m talking flat as a pancake. When I sat down, it sounded like bone grating against wood. In fact, my behind was practically concave. You could have laid me face-down on the snack table at a party and served salsa where my ass should be.
By middle school, when girls started checking out guys’s bodies, I noticed their eyes gravitated toward the seat of the other boys’ jeans. One day while reading a headline of a magazine in the checkout lane of the grocery store, I saw confirmation. “Do you see that,” I said to the woman behind me, pointing to the headline: WOMEN SAY BUTT IS MOST ATTRACTIVE PART OF MEN’S BODIES. “I’m going to die alone.” I turned around to show her my emaciated rear. “I might as well turn gay!” She snickered, which I didn’t understand. (It was a year later before Matt Jordan explained gay sex to me while dissecting a frog To this day, I can’t see a frog flat on its back with it’s legs in the air without blushing.)
While the rest of my body caught up with my peers during puberty, I never developed much of a butt. Of course, it didn’t help that I never even saw it. I always felt it was nearby, perhaps following me, but whenever I turned around, it was always gone, although I did sometimes feel I got a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye.
““I’d like to fill a pair of jeans in the seat,” I said to a friend.
“‘I saw in a magazine, they sell this underwear that has butt pads,” she said.
““Maybe I could just stuff Kleenex down the back of my pants.”
And so it went on for years.
Recently, I ordered the Insanity Workout from Team Beach Body. I wondered whether or not I’d be able to do it, since the exercise program was marketed as being insane; however, I followed it religiously, and at the end of the eight weeks, I’d lost one pound, but I had gained some awesome definition and muscle. One day as I turned to flip off the light in the bathroom, I finally saw it in the mirror: I had a butt! It seems all of that jumping and glute work had finally paid off. It wouldn’t stop traffic, but compared to what I started with it, my butt was big. I no longer feared sitting down on a chair and hearing the sound of fingers raked across a chalkboard; I had some cushion to sit silently now. The world, it seemed, was my oyster, and I was now sitting on it.
ABC released “When Smokey Sings,” a tribute to Motown recording artists Smokey Robinson, in May 1987. It charted at #11 on the U.K. Singles Chart, # 5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and #1 on the U.S. Billboard Dance/Club Play Songs Chart. Moreover, Smokey Robinson was actually in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 with “One Heartbeat” at the same time as “When Smokey Sings.”
In the name check of R&B singers, the lyrics differ slightly between the album version and the single version.
“When Smokey Sings” was the first single from their fourth studio album, Alphabet City, which the band thought might be their last album. There was a two year gap between How to be a … Zillionaire! and Alphabet City, while lead singer Martin Fry was treated for Hodgkin’s disease. May critics felt it was a return to form for ABC, calling to mind their first album, The Lexicon of Love, which was produced by Trevor Horn. ABC produced Alphabet City with Bernard Edwards of Chic. The album title was inspired by the Alphabet City section of Manhattan that was the basis for several of the songs on the album.
When Smokey Sings [7″ Version] 4’21
When Smokey Sings [Album Version]
When Smokey Sings [The Miami Mix — German CD Single Version] 5’08
When Smokey Sings [The Miami Mix] 7’02
When Smokey Sings [The Detroit Mix] 6’47
In the style of their movie Mantrap, the music video for “When Smokey Sings” begins with Marty Fry and Mark White driving through London and almost hitting a young woman with their car. She stares at them as she walks away, heading for a separate storyline that is threaded through ABC performing on a soundstage. Visually, the video is a salute to the ‘60s, displaying vintage looks and color, and the couple have a very distinctive look. I would always watch this music video whenever it came on MTV.
Whenever I hear “When Smokey Sings,” I recall seeing the 7″ vinyl record displayed as the $0.99 Single of the Week. I liked the photograph on the record sleeve, and it was only a buck, so I bought it. I was surprised at how different it sounded compared to their “Be Near Me,” their last big hit in the states. In fact, I wasn’t sure if I liked it, but it grew on me with each listen. Over time, it made it onto the mix tape in my car and became one of the songs that painful summer of heartbreak. It’s been on my mind, lately, because I’ve been working on a story set back in the late summer/autumn of ’87, so I’ve been playing the Alphabet City album. I have to say it’s one of my favorite albums from the ‘80s, and I loved the visual imagery that runs through the videos and record sleeves.
What are your memories of “When Smokey Sings” by ABC?
My job in human resources is never boring. Every day I’m astounded at what I see as young people apply for jobs with my organization. Most of what I see that causes me to reject a resume could easily be corrected, and (I suspect) most of these job seekers just don’t know any better. Therefore, here is a list of the top ten things to do when looking for a job:
01. Put your name and contact information on your resume — If I worked for the American Psychic Association, maybe it would be different. However, if you want me to contact you, I need to know your name and a working telephone number and/or e-mail address.
02. Choose a professional e-mail address to send your cover letter and resume — I recently received a resume with impressive credentials and experience from an e-mail address along the lines of email@example.com. I’m not kidding. Now, I could read two stories into that e-mail address, but I won’t. The point of the matter is if this is how you’re going to represent yourself, how will you represent our organization?
03. Do not include inappropriate pictures — Unless you’re applying to be a flight attendant, I don’t understand why you would want to include a picture on your resume. If you do, though, give some thought to how the picture will present you to a stranger. I recently received a resume that included a topless glamour shot, with the applicant covering her bare breasts with her hands. Maybe it would slide if you’re applying for a job as a wet nurse, but, again, it makes me wonder how you’ll represent my organization if you get the job.
04. Textspeak — As more people embrace smartphones, the more resumes are sent from them to me, often accompanied by messages such as, “WOULD LUV 2 WORK 4 U.” I often wonder what they would think if I replied back with “NFW!”
05. Be honest about your education — Recently, under “Education” on her resume, a job candidate wrote: WORKING ON IT. (Better to list no education.) List the school you attended, the degree you received, your major, and your conferment date. If some of this information is missing, a phone call often reveals you’re lacking the credential or it’s in an unrelated field of study.
06. Casual greetings on cover letters — For the love of god, please do not begin your cover letter with “Hey, girl!” or “Yo, what’s up?” Call the company and find out whom you should address your letter to, or go with “hiring manager.” Also, check to ensure you’re sending your cover letter and resume to the correct company. It seems like people would no better, but it happens a lot.
07. Identify the position you wish to apply for — I frequently receive cover letters and resumes that give no indication of the position they’re for. If I have to stop and figure it out, there’s a greater chance I’m going to set it aside or reject it. Also, when you write you’re interested in any position available, it’s just as desperate as last call in a singles bar. If you’re not qualified in the position you’ve applied for, and I see your experience and education would fit another position I have available, I will consider you for it. Trust me.
08. Send your resume only once — When you send me your resume over and over again without adding new information, it’s annoying and wastes my time. If you want to be sure I received your resume, call me and ask. I’m happy to do so. However, if you fax it again and again, you’re wasting paper and costing my company money. If you must send it to me again, consider adding something to your original resume. For example, if you’ve lost five pounds since you last sent me your resume, consider adding “[Your Name] Now with less fat!”
09. Prepare a short voice mail greeting that identifies your telephone number and name — I’ve encountered a surprising number of people who recorded long-winded voice mail greetings: reading scripture, playing their favorite ballad in full, or reciting “The Epic of Gilgamesh.” Please don’t do this. Just identify yourself by name and confirm your telephone number. I just want to leave a brief message for you to call me back. I don’t need to be converted, moved, or entertained.
10. Be realistic about your transferable skills — When you read our job ad, you might immediately think you’d be a perfect for the position, but honestly take a look at your education and experience. Case in point: Just because you trained seals at Sea World, doesn’t qualify you to teach preschool children. Trust me, it’s not the same thing.
Example: When Maxine entered the beauty shop to apply for a job and a tumbleweave rolled over her shoe, she knew her work was cut out for her, so she picked up the hair extension and showed the staff how to secure it to the customer’s natural hair.
Can you use tumbleweave in a sentence?
Beyonce’s genuine faux baby bump sold on eBay for $1,379.13 last week. However, when the winning bidder, Jo Jo Stallone, 31, a hairdresser/mechanic at Mabel’s Beauty Shop & Pit Stop in Kissimimcoochee, Georgia, received his package, he found a New Kids on the Block throw pillow, featuring Danny Wood, one of the quieter members of the group.
“I was shocked and outraged,” Stallone said, slicing his shears through the air for dramatic emphasis. “When I bought Beyonce’s genuine faux baby bump, I expected to receive the real thing–not a blatant fake! B. is a style goddess. You cannot tell me she had a NKTOTB pillow stuffed up her silk blouses for nine months, and even if she did, it would be Ms. Jordan Knight, because he was the head bitch in that group.”
With eBay’s help, police were able to trace the package back to the seller, a Ms. Mae Wong Chow, 63, a lunch lady in Walla Walla, Washington. When asked why she misrepresented the sale of her NKOTB throw pillow, Ms. Chow said, “I did so because Danny not sell.” Ms. Chow confessed to bearing the brunt of bullying by children coming through her lunch line as they made fun of her orthopedic shoes. She said she intended to use the money from the sale of the genuine faux Beyonce baby bump to buy some new kicks to blow those douchebags away at Ernestine Crutcher Middle School.
Ms. Chow is currently making restitution to Mr. Stallone by selling her new kicks on eBay.
In the meantime, Mr. Stallone has decided to keep the Danny Wood pillow, as he has experienced a great deal of healing since he propped it up on the other end of his loveseat and started talking to it. “I just feel like I can tell Danny everything and he doesn’t judge me or say anything negative.” Stallone said the pillow has provided more healing than ten years he spent in therapy. “All this time, I thought I hated my mother when it turns out I was just coveting her wardrobe. Who knew!”