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Posts Tagged ‘Back to the Future’

This morning, after hanging up my Adidas Star Wars Stormtrooper Superskates on my bedroom wall, while slipping into and admiring my laser-etched Jordan V’s and glancing over at my Olympic-colorway Jordan VI’s, Space Jam “Hare” Jordan I’s, exclusive-colorway Kobe IV’s…I realized that I’m NOT a “sneakerhead” — even after scanning through all the ridiculous prices for each shoe on ebay. (I, of course, bought them for much cheaper…mostly at the store.)

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Whooo! Happy Valentine’s Day! Yeah…umm…now that that’s out of the way, I’m getting to my post. I spent my V-day watching game recordings of Manu Ginobili channeling His Airness while scoring 34 and 46 points in two incredibly efficient games in a row this past week. And now I’m blogging. I wish I had some chocolates and a teddy bear to keep me company.

But anyways, I feel like telling a story. This is a story I’ve told a few people already. First, let me start off by stating that Back to the Future is, in my opinion, one of the crowning achievements in the history of cinema. Okay…the inclusion of “crowning” may be debatable in that last sentence….No! That sentence is perfect just the way it is.

I watched the films in my childhood and even at that young age, I knew the third one sucked. Okay, I didn’t/don’t think it was that bad. It was all right — just a bit too lengthy and bland for a little kid. I found the second one dark and kind of scary, even though the hoverboards, self-drying jackets, and automatic-fit sneakers were very cool. But of course, the first film in the series was my, and many others’, clear-cut favorite. It has that perfect combination of fun, wonder, and excitement.

It also has this gem of a scene in it, which has Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) playing in a band at his parents’ high school prom:

“Chuck, Chuck! It’s Marvin…your cousin, Marrr-vin Berry! You know that new sound you’re lookin’ for? Well, listen to this!”

This scene made me want to become a rock star…or at least learn how to use the main instrument of the Rock Star. So, after seeing the movie several more times over and over again, as kids are wont to do, I asked my mother if I could learn to play the guitar. Being a typical Asian mother who had already succeeded in getting both of her sons started on the piano, which every good little Asian child knows how to play (I wanted very much to play the piano though, making it easier for her), playing the electric guitar and trying to become a rock star was probably the last thing on her list of things her children should learn to do. It was probably right next to “getting grades that don’t start with ‘A'” and “exhibiting rebellious behavior” on the bottom of that list. But, surprisingly, she consented quite readily to my request.

After I watched Back to the Future several more times in my excitement and anticipation, we finally made that trip to the local music store to set up what would be my first guitar lesson. I was thrilled…until my mother gave me the sad news that I was too small for a regular guitar, and that they unfortunately didn’t make guitars small enough for me. But she soon conveniently discovered that they did have multiple sizes for the violin. She made sure to mention how after a few years of violin lessons, I would be able to smoothly translate my skills to the guitar, which I would be big enough for by then — since, you know, they both have strings, making them basically the same instrument. Oh man…my mom was a clever lady.

Not knowing that most of what I heard was completely made up, I promptly signed up for violin lessons. Hey, if this was the path I had to take to being able to play “Johnny B. Goode” like Marty McFly, then so be it, right? I didn’t hate the violin or anything either.

I eventually discovered that I had been jipped and conned. They do make small guitars that little boys could learn on…and knowing how to play the violin gets you absolutely nowhere on the guitar. And what happened when I finally got “big enough” for the guitar five years later? My loving mother affectionately pointed out that I couldn’t quit because I had made her pour money into my lessons for the past handful of years, and by quiting I would be throwing away all of the money and time that was spent on the violin. So my last few years on the instrument were absolute hell until I just refused to play the thing at all.

In my later years of high school, I finally convinced my mother to let me take guitar lessons. (I needed a way to pay for the lessons.) I found a surprisingly nice acoustic guitar at Costco and set out for my first lesson… except I wasn’t aware my mom was only going to pay for the lessons under one condition: I was to learn classical guitar. No rockin’ power chords. No cool full-armed rock-star strumming. My lessons would be filled with chromatic scales and intricate finger picking sessions. After about two months of boredom, I quit. I still have the guitar though. It’s sitting in its nylon zip-up case behind my door. I haven’t even taken it out in close to two years. I don’t remember exactly when I last played it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for even getting to learn the violin. I don’t resent it…okay, I hated that instrument. (Oddly, I really like listening to the violin though.) I have since realized that my mom only wanted the best for me in my life…she just wanted it a little too much most of the time.

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Have you seen Knocked Up? If you haven’t, you should definitely check it out. Like now. It is amazingly hilarious. It has one of the funniest references to Back to the Future:


“I’m gonna throw you in my Deloreon, gun it to 88.”

And while we’re on the topic of films, I want to mention that I finally saw Closer last week. I had been meaning to see it for a while and I just hadn’t gotten around to it. The acting really is superb. All four members of the ensemble cast brilliantly play the hell out of their characters — and brutally and throughly intertwine, tangle, and crash into each other throughout the film. I don’t mean to just pick on the youngest one but if there is a weak link, it’d be Natalie Portman, and she really only stumbles once or twice. Thinking about the film in light of today’s great holiday, I’ve actually never been more thankful of my current relationship status.

Songs of the Day:

Outkast – “Happy Valentine’s Day” / (album link)
Chuck Berry – “Johnny B. Goode” / (album link)
Damien Rice – “The Blower’s Daughter” / (album link) — Rice’s music is featured and utilized well in Closer

*****

“When this baby hits 88 miles per hour, you’re gonna see some serious shit.”

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