Sunday, June 04, 2006

Feeling old

I remember a time before VCRs. The first one I ever saw was in junior high school. I think it was called a Betamax and it was roughly the size of a coffin. It was the most beautiful technological thing I had ever seen. No film! No light bulb! So many mechanical gear sounds. I think we all caressed it as we made our way into the classroom.

CDs appeared some time after VCRs. I had an eight track player, a turntable, and a cassette player in my car (when I got one) and later a portable cassette player (walkman). I still have my first walkman and it still works. My lunch box is smaller, however. I resisted the CD. I had already poured so much money into buying artists' recordings, I resented having to do it again. Now, of course, the CD is going to become obsolete what with MP3/PDA technology. At least you can rip your library.

Gourmet coffee was the biggest ripoff I remember thinking. Unless you were going to sit down and enjoy the ambiance, it was such a racket. The donut shop sold coffee for half the price! Still, status won the battle, and I too enjoy over $2 coffee regularly. But when I go back home, I stop in the old donut shop where they are still pouring a 95 cent cup of joe that rights me like nothing else.

AIDS appeared when I was a senior in high school. I was duly frightened and slightly guilty and I felt robbed because the funloving times (of which I had not yet partaken) were over. Or at least the carefree, funloving ones were. And I was just getting ready to fly, too. Funny how life is. The timing probably saved my life.

20 comments:

Snooze said...

it was roughly the size of a coffin

So true! Ditto for original walkmans. I just got rid of mine. As for AIDS (or wasn't it GRID back then?), like you, I felt sort of cheated that there was this sex/death terror before my sex life had even started.

Chunks said...

Eventually, we will all have little chips in our head pre-programmed to whatever music we like. We will just think about a song and it will play! I also remember the Betamax and when CD players came out how flipping expensive they were!

I hate things that end innocence and piss on a good time. Oh and I hate wind too.

Em said...

Hey, I was just doing this the other day. Freaking myself out by all the things that are old technology now that were so amazing in the day. Your line about the coffin made me laugh.

Also I am going to have to type qpsvsywx to post this. That seems like it is getting out of hand... maybe they should add numbers.

GayProf said...

First, you are not old! Second, yes time has brought change.

Sometimes I forget about time passing (odd for a historian, I know). For instance, when Jessica Simpson released a cover of “Take My Breath Away,” my first thought was, “Hey, that song just came out! She can’t do a cover of a song that new.” Then I realized it had been almost twenty years earlier that the first version came out. **sigh**

Ed said...

My first VCR cost 800 dollars and was made by RCA. The blank tapes for it cost 24.00 each. I recorded all my favorite shows that came on during church night and watched them later. They made me go to church three nights a week and twice on Sunday. Oh Hell! I still turned out Gay! Is there some way to figure out what those letters are that they have all squished together? They make me try to figure them out before they will rely my comment. I think that ones a q!

Daniel, the Guy in the Desert said...

I only tossed my 8 track player fairly recently. I used to find music for those in garage sales all the time. I usually take 5 years before embracing a new technology.

solevoice said...

What a last line! You've really made me think...

Thank you.

SV

Anonymous said...

I remember life before microwaves...and remote controls!

The first VCR our family bought had the option for wired or wireless remote. At the time wireless came at a premium so my parents settled for the wired...tripped over that damn cord more times than I can remember. That VCR STILL works - I think it's 20 years old now...up at the cottage, where all the other relics are...

I had the XANADU soundtrack on 8-track. RAWK.

I also remember a time when it was LUDICROUS to think of buying bottled water.

Colleen

Rebekah said...

We had one of the first microwaves in the 70's because my dad worked at the appliance department at Sear's. The salesmen were supposed to know how to work the darn thing.

Learned quickly that one can make hard boiled eggs that way.

It's funny. I never even thought about AIDS until I was a senior in college.

Guess that comes from being a naive, trusting, suburbia girl.

The Lone Rangers said...

Add no TV remotes (I think my parents had me so they could have someone change the three channels we got pre cable) and the antenna clicker thing for reception.

Freak Magnet said...

You're talking about how old you feel and I realize I'm probably a couple of years older than you.

Thanks a hell of a lot, Tornwordo!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad your life and everyone else's on here was spared from aids.

Horrible, horrible disease.

It took one of my high school friends in 1986. He was only 24. RIP, Roy.

Jane

Sunshine said...

I remember getting a walkman for a birthday gift from my dad, although it was about the size of half a DVD case. That was one of the best gifts I've received ever - I lost it when I was making out with my first girlfriend (yikes) near the state library in the city. Damn.

The Wisdom of Wislon said...

My family were always pretty much the last to embrace the latest technology.

I only briefly had a cd walkman, gave it to my otherhalf when i broke his. So i've yet to get into ipods, mp3's bladh de blah.
I'm not a technophobe- it just ain't my thing but I'd sure miss my video/ dvd combi if I didn't have it :>)

Adam said...

Don't forget the Sony MiniDisc player. Remember that piece of garbage? Sony is still trying to make that happen too, what a waste.

Normlr said...

Q and I were just discussing that last night, though it was more about TV before cable. I rememver running up to the TV, turning the dial, then turning the antenna and listening to it whirr away. Of course you'd go too far then have to turn it back some. Those were the days.

Patricia said...

i remember the video stores always having more vhs than beta. now people walk in and find more dvd than vhs. i wonder what's next.

to this day, the aids quilt is one of the most powerful things i've experienced.

timing is everything.

madamerouge said...

There was an excellent Frontline series on PBS last week entitled "The Age of AIDS" -- if you didn't see it, try and catch it on a re-run.

D e s i g n Girl said...

I had to laugh about your comment on VCR's and how large they used to be. My older brother had one of the first ones that came out...I think it was some ridiculous price...like $2000 (I could be wrong). It was a beta and absolutely huge..had it's own tv table!

And like you I fought the cd too. I had a huge cassette collection! Now I have a huge cd collection collecting dust..while I listen to my iPod.

waif54 said...

Now I really feel old! I remember life before TV even... good old radio shows.

As for aids, I guess I was lucky and was able to sow my wild oats before the outbreak. I even danced at The Stonewall (but was not there on the night of the raid).

Guess we all have our memories...

Brad