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Tag Archives: 1995

What I Learned This Week – 1/10/2016

This week I learned that hot young rising country music star Thomas Rhett is the son of 1990s hot young rising country music star Rhett Akins.

Thomas Rhett is actually Rhett Thomas Akins, Jr., but I totally get why, for business purposes, he would want to be his own guy with his own name; makes for less confusion that way. His voice has been on the country airwaves lately with “Make Me Wanna” and “Crash & Burn”. I especially like “Crash & Burn” because it doesn’t sound like a typical country song. I am sure many other people hate it for the same reason. I’ll admit, he’s a hottie. But the cover of his latest album Tangled Up bothers me. He is standing there in a holey T-shirt. Is that supposed to be like “Hey, I need a new shirt so you should buy this album.”? I am a forty-year old mother now. I just want to call him up and tell him to put on a new shirt.

His father Rhett Akins had several great hits while I was in college, at the height of one of my country music phases. “That Ain’t My Truck” has a great country title and lyrics, but “Don’t Get Me Started” gives me the good song neck tingle (link).

Rhett Akins was cute, but I couldn’t be fully on his bandwagon. Because, you see, I was already taken.

I was way ga-ga over Ty England. I had been ever since I saw him singing behind Garth Brooks on the 1990 American Country Music Awards. In fact, I had it on VHS so that I could watch it over and over again. (Holy hell, how has it been 26 years!) I couldn’t have been happier when he got to step into the spotlight. I bought his CD. I joined his fan club, which afforded me the chance to meet him backstage at the Hillsdale County Fair in 1996. He was my world until I began dating my future husband the next February. I think my mom still has the picture of Ty and I hugging displayed in a frame in her apartment somewhere. A burglar breaking in might assume that Ty was my husband.

My, how young we both used to be!

My, how young we both used to be!

If you wonder how Ty fits into all this, I’ll tell you. Ty’s debut single was steadily climbing the country charts, although not fast enough for me. At the same time, Rhett Akin’s “That Aint My Truck” was charging up the charts and taking over the radio airwaves. “Truck” made it to number 3 on the Billboard US Hot Country Songs chart the week of September 16, 1995, while Ty was only at number 6. Within my head, it was a competition between the two of them. The next week, “Should’ve Asked Her Faster” made it to number 3. That would be the peak spot for both artists for those songs. “Don’t Get Me Started” would be Rhett Akins only number one.

Here is a YouTube link for the song “Don’t Get Me Started.”

It makes my heart hurt just listening to it now, it is so good. Makes me wish I had had a chance to see him perform it in concert. With songs like this and Ty England’s, I wonder why I ever switched over to alternative.

Oh, right. Songs like “Plowed” by Sponge and “Doll Parts” by Hole and “Just a Girl” by No Doubt. They awakened something deep and primal within me with their unique sounds. They helped me realize that there was more to sing about than trucks and dances and tractors. Although, when it came time to write my first book series, I would return to the familiar comfort of those things had always brought me.

Here is Ty’s video. Isn’t he an uber-cutie? If you are interested in purchasing some real estate in Oklahoma these days, give him a call 😉

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
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Research: Pride & Prejudice

Sometimes, I check out a CD or a movie because someone suggests it to me. Sometimes I am interested because it is perpetually in pop culture for decades and I cannot avoid it.

In these circumstances, I am probably not eager to try it, and expect to not enjoy it. But I consider it “research”.

I was told years ago by a co-worker to listen to “Nothing’s Shocking” by Jane’s Addiction. He told me if I liked Kid Rock, I should listen to this CD because it is what came before. He was kind of weird and cool, so I got the CD. I would disagree that it really has anything to do with Kid Rock’s sound, but it was an alright CD. I considered it a failed research project though. My life wouldn’t have been missing anything had I never listened to it.

I got the books “Forever” by Judy Blume and “The Perks of Being a “Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky because everyone always talks about them being great books, especially in the Young Adult genre. I was highly dissatisfied with Perks. I think I would be better off if I had never read it. As for Forever, I think maybe Blume’s books are best enjoyed at the age for which they are written. When I was in 4th grade, Tales of a Forth Grade Nothing” was da bomb. I could never diss Mrs. Blume.

I decided I needed to either read or watch Pride and Prejudice, because everyone talks about it all the time. Actually, the last straw was when I was reading an article called “Sex, Lies, & Fifty Shades” in my Entertainment Weekly magazine. It used Mr. Darcy in Pride & Prejudice as an example of The Prince Paradigm.

Pride and Prejudice meme

Pride and Prejudice meme

Since I generally do better with visual than I do books, especially ones filled with fancy old British talk, I chose to watch the BBC miniseries from 1995 starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. I was a little concerned about a 6 hour miniseries. But it had a 5 star ranking on

How many other movies rate that high?

The costumes and all the formality of courting and dancing, etc. back then would have driven me nuts. Once I sort of associated it with when I watch “Anne of Green Gables” (PBS, starring Megan Follows), as being of a time whose customs I know not, it was easier to watch. Just like Anne, Pride featured beautiful shots of the countryside–England, rather than Canada, of course.

The first hour I spent just trying to remember everyone’s name and what they did. But, as I reached the end of episode 5 and found it was now 2:15AM, I realized I had been drawn into the story. I actually cared about Lizzy and Mr. Darcy and if they were ever going to get together.

I actually feel really cheated that I didn’t watch Pride and Prejudice sooner. So many other movies I watch are based off of this story that came first. I recently watched the movie “Austinland” which, while a great movie, no doubt would have made more sense had I watched P & P first. And I have watched “Bridget Jones Diary” in the past. Wait, why does Colin Firth keep playing characters named Mr. Darcy? Is that a really common name in England?

Anyway, Pride and Prejudice was definitely worth my time checking out. I enjoy writing bantering dialogue between my leads and feel like I was “schooled” by the movie. I might benefit from reading the original book. I did find a free eBook version, although I enjoy reading physical books more.

I must admit, I may be a little obsessed now. And that really should have happened years ago. Maybe I wasn’t mature enough yet in 1995 to see past the dresses that look like nightgowns and the lack of kissing.

BTW, I am sooo glad that Lizzie and Mr. Darcy get to kiss at the end.

Next up on my research list? Flowers in the Attic.

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