I graduated from high school in 1998 and made the excellent choice of working at BestBuy that summer. My domain was the media department, and my duties included farming CDs (I love doing that. I started doing it at stores I didn’t even work at), helping customers make not-sucky choices (I added that to my job description), catching would-be shoplifters (the best), stocking shelves, and looking stuff up on the DOS databases. I was also expected to try to sell monster cables to people buying new media equipment and service protection plans for PlayStations. I was better at the other stuff.
All of this is important for a few reasons:
Working at BestBuy was like what I imagine working at Empire Records would have been like if those meddling kids hadn’t convinced Joe (that really is Anthony LaPaglia, by the way) to damn the man. At BestBuy, all the Ethan Embrys worked in media and all the Renee Zellewegers worked the registers. We had polo shirts and BHAGs and talked about shrink. My immediate supers, which were team leaders directly below the department manager, were in their mid-twenties, which made them world-wary and wise. One was a Zeppelin freak, the other was bound to name his first son Sid Barrett. DVDs were very new and DVD players were very expensive. Where were the Liv Tylers, you ask? Grow up, dear reader. There’s no Liv Tyler.
Some really good music came out that summer, much of which we listened to for hours on end via the Turn On The Fun Summer Sampler.
I got to buy the biggest microfridge ever made on the cheap because of my employee discount. To the gentleman who had that item reserved and never came for it, we did try to call you. 300 feet of rope later, my best friend and I sailed that thing down Rt 22 West in one of the more harrowing transports of our lives. I’ll be honest, it may have been 300 yards. If you think you can’t load two microfridges into one 12-year-old Tempo, think again, friend. Think again.
That second point, as you may have guessed, is the one we’ll be exploring today via a round-up of archived posts from 2009 about 90s music and 90s awesome. (Okay, I doubt you could have guessed anything after the word via, so I hope you like your surprise. I made it just for you. If you hate it I can take it back, or make another out of tears.)
Speaking of tears, here’s one of my favorite post titles ever: How Not To Be Sad About the 90s. The impetus for that one was that someone really did make their way to this blog by searching that term. Bear in mind that this post is 2-and-half years old, written well before I learned to stop worrying and love the blog. Also before I lightened up about a lot of things. Turning 30 is now like what growing a mustache was in the 70s.
Maybe I Just Like Sad 90s One-Or-Two Hitters is a post about whatever happened to alternative pop in the Top 40. I remastered this one a bit before re-releasing.
Sad (Great) 90s Songs, Part II is a follow-up to above, mostly because I’d finally figured out what the third song in the sad (great) BestBuy song trilogy was.
Oh, and don’t let anyone fool you. I still can’t watch that Flys video without getting a little bummed out by how the following decade turned out. Still, one thing I’ve learned since writing these old posts is that sometimes, you really can pick up with people right where you left off, and that really, old contexts aren’t as important or as fleeting as what you keep on doing.