Tuesday, February 19, 2013

When Daddy Let Me Drive

Not too long ago, I remember seeing a commercial for an insurance company...Or car company...Or something totally unrelated.  I'm not really sure what the topic was.  But, in any event, the premise of the commercial was a young guy picking up a girl for what we are to assume is prom.  He pulls up to the curb, where she's standing waiting.  He leans across the interior of the car to open the passenger door so she can get in, at which point he stops her, awkwardly shakes his head as he points to her shoes, and she removes them as she gets in the car, obviously annoyed.  I'm not going to spend time dissecting all that is wrong with that from a chivalry standpoint, because that isn't why I brought it up.  But, do know that I am aware of it.

No, the reason I draw your attention to that commercial is because I think we all, at one point or another, know someone that obsesses over cars.  They wash them almost daily, on down to the point of almost combing the floor boards looking for the smallest speck of dirt.  The car is always waxed, and kept in pristine condition.  I'm not saying that's a bad thing...You should take good care of your stuff, especially something as expensive as a car.  But, there's no question some people take it just a bit too far.

My dad teeters on the brink of being one of those people.  Dad has always worked hard for what he's been able to accomplish in life, and when he dumps thousands of dollars into anything, he takes extraordinarily good care of it.  Whether it's a car, truck, lawnmower, bicycle, or anything else...He takes care of his stuff.  No question about it.  And while it's nothing for him to wash his and mom's vehicles twice a week during the summer, he's nowhere nearly as obsessive about his truck as the individual I described above.

He saved that obsession for his boat.

Literally for as long as I can remember, my parents have had a boat.  They started out with an old poop brown and yellow pontoon that just screamed of the 1970s.  Of course, I can't complain...I'd give my left arm for a boat of my own, even if it were that exact same boat reincarnated.  I'd take it.  Just check out that beautiful interior:
Mom and Dad ended up selling that one and upgrading to an old Mark Twain runabout that we had until I was about 7 or 8 years old.  I don't really remember much about it except one time when we were crossing the lake, we came upon a line of barge waves and a wall of water came rushing in over the nose, completely drenching the boat, and everything in it.
Now, Dad's obsession with caring for his boat was almost assuredly present during the time my parents had those boats, but I was so young I don't remember it.  But, when Dad came home with The Bat Boat, all that changed.  And for good reason...It was a sharp, sharp boat.  I remember multiple times when people would idle up next to us and offer to buy the thing on the spot.  It was beautiful, and unique, and kept in like-new condition from day one.
I suppose I wasn't fully aware of his obsessive-compulsive behavior in regards to the boat until I was in high school...When I first started to get the nerve to ask if I could take it out by myself.  Of course, I might as well have been asking Dad if I could go to the moon, and I don't blame him.  I sure wouldn't trust a 16-year-old kid, even my own son, with my boat.  But, after a couple years of chipping away at him, he finally gave in.  And I remember that day very well.

I was 17, we were camping at Hillman Ferry, and Dad and I had already been out on the boat that day.  I don't know exactly where they were, but Mom and Lensey weren't with us.  One of my friends had shown up that afternoon, and since the boat was already in the water, I asked Dad if I could take it out for another hour or two.  And, by some miraculous act of God, he said yes.  I was so excited I could hardly contain myself.  And I'll never forget the last thing he said to me as he pushed us away from the dock..."It better come back exactly the way it left."  Come on, Dad...What could happen in an hour?

Knowing that any hopes I had of ever taking the boat out again after that hinged solely on my ability to get it back without so much as a speck of dirt, and I intended on making sure that happened.  We drove two bays down to the Rock Quarry, puttered around for a few minutes, and then made our way back.  The journey lasted no more than 45 minutes, but I didn't want to press my luck.  I figured the longer I stayed out, the more likely I was to screw something up.

I turned the corner of the bay, pulled back smoothly on the throttle as the boat lost its plane, and slowed to a beautiful idle.  I had made it back, safe and sound.  I could already hear Dad heaping praise on his only son for taking a major step towards manhood.  "Hell, take it out all weekend if you want to!" I could hear him say.  I was floating on air...I was on top of the world!

Then I was crashing to the floor as the backrest on the driver's seat collapsed.

I lay in the floor, momentarily paralyzed.  I looked up at my friend as if to say, "What the hell happened?"  He looked back at me with a puzzled, worried look as if to say, "I have no idea!"  I was frantic.  I looked everywhere for some kind of solution...What in the world had happened?!  One minute everything was fine, and the next there were wet, rotted wood fragments sprayed all over the floor.  The wooden support where the driver's seat and passenger seat's crests meet back-to-back had completely pulled apart...Screws were sticking out on either side, and the seats refused to stay standing up.  Not only could I see my daydream plummeting into darkness, I could see my life doing the same thing.

I know Dad had to have sensed my despair.  I was an absolute wreck, trying to explain what had happened both without having any explanation to offer, and not having any question solicited by him.  The type of explanation that immediately makes someone appear guilty.  He tried to calm me down and told me he'd look at it when we got back to the campsite, but it was no use...I knew I'd probably never get to even look at the boat again, much less drive it alone.

It just didn't seem fair.  I had asked Dad to take the boat out dozens of times before, and the first time he lets me, I practically destroy two seats and have no earthly clue how I did it.  I was deliberate in every movement I made.  I had taken every precaution.  I was more careful than any normal human being should be.  And none of it mattered.  As I approached the campsite, returning from the shower house, I saw Dad pop up from inside the boat.  The verdict was in.

"I just need to replace the wood back here.  It's just rotted through...Was going to happen sooner or later, anyway...Don't worry about it."

I could practically see the clouds part, and hear a chorus of "Hallelujah" reverberate down from the hills.  There was hope.  It wasn't my fault!  Dad told me not to worry, and he didn't make a big deal out of it at all.  He let me take the boat out by myself a bunch of times after that.  And, as my friends can attest, I was a drill-sergeant when it came to keeping it clean. J-Bird doesn't mess around, I'd constantly remind them.

My dad loved that boat, and the care he put toward it illustrated that fact.  But, as Lensey and I grew older and grew tired of skiing and wakeboarding, the need for more room became apparent and they sold it to my cousin and her husband a few years later.  Dad had taken such good care of it, it hardly depreciated at all.  They bought a nice pontoon, which they still have.
The first time Dad let me take the pontoon out, I was met with a laminated folder of typed instructions on every step I had to take prior to launch, and upon my return.  Step-by-step, he laid out every plausible scenario from a spare battery, to where the bimini top straps were located.  It told me which rope was used to tie the front and back to the dock.  It even provided instructions on how to operate the radio.  It was, to be frank, a little ridiculous.  But, a perfect example of just how thorough he can be in assuring his investments last.

It took me a little longer than he would have hoped to inherit that trait.  He made Lensey and I keep our bikes clean when we were kids.  He was constantly on me about washing my car or getting the oil changed.  He'd always say something like, "If you want to trash your car, then you can start paying for it."  And when I bought my truck a couple of years ago, I understood exactly what he meant.

Buying a boat is at the top of mine and Adrienne's wish list.  And while I probably won't have typed and laminated instructions stored under a seat, I'm sure I'll do my dad proud in taking care of it.

Monday, February 11, 2013

This Isn't the Tin Lizzies at Opryland...It's a Wal-Mart

I am by no means a perfect person.  I've never claimed to be, nor have I ever even thought I was.  My self-awareness is such that I know I have faults, and plenty of them.  With that being said, though, I have always considered myself to be a pretty good guy.  I'm usually friendly, or at least cordial, to people I meet.  I'm easy-going, for the most part, and can get along well with a wide variety of different people.  I possess most of the skills and characteristics attributable to basic human decency, and often will go out of my way to avoid confrontation.  Not necessarily because I'm afraid of it, but more because I look at it as a, in most cases, needless inconvenience that usually accomplishes nothing.  Obviously, that's not always true, but if it were too far off-point, then the old adage "don't sweat the small stuff" would have never been coined.  I'm sure there are people that have had nasty things to say about me, and I'm sure I have rubbed some people the wrong way at one point or another...But that's life.  When you meet roughly 80,000-100,000 different people in your lifetime (obviously far from exact research points to that), it is bound to happen.

I try to give most people the benefit of the doubt.  I may sit around with my wife and constantly make instantaneous judgements about weirdos we see on television, but I don't do that in real life.  Most of the interactions we have with people outside of school, work, family, and friends, last a few seconds or minutes.  So it's logistically impossible to make any kind of real assertion about the type of person they may be.

That is, of course, assuming those fleeting interactions don't include the other person doing one of these things:

1. Not allowing people to cut in line at the checkout counter when their transaction will take less than 30 seconds.  I was at Dollar General the other day to pick up two items: a half gallon of milk, and a bag of dog food.  I wandered up to the small line that had formed at the checkout line, and took my place behind a woman with  shopping cart full of roughly $100 worth of stuff.  Seeing as we were at the Dollar General, you can imagine just how much stuff she actually had.  As I took my place in line, she turned and looked at him, glanced down at the two items I was holding, then turned back around and began placing her items on the counter.  I instantly became furious.  Now, I know I shouldn't really be all that angry...I don't know how long she had been standing in line herself.  But, I do know that if the roles were reversed, I would have allowed her to cut me in line knowing that my transaction would take five times as long as hers.  Stuff like that just irritates the hell out of me.

2. Being a rude employee.  I wasn't present for this particular incident, but my wife called me with a string of obscenities shortly after it took place, so I will just relay her story.  She was feeling a little under the weather on Saturday, so she decided to go pick up some Mucinex-D at the pharmacy.  The first place required her to have a prescription...No big deal.  She had other errands to run, so she figured she'd just make another stop.  So, she decided to go to Wal-Mart's pharmacy instead.  There were two or three other customers in front of her, and she stood patiently in line waiting for them to pick up their respective prescriptions.  When she approached the window, the pharmacist looked at her (with no other customers waiting behind her) and said, "We're going to lunch.  You'll have to come back in 30 minutes."  Now, I understand that large corporations like Wal-Mart can be extremely strict when it comes to break times, but would taking an extra minute and a half on the clock really hurt anything?  I know one customer that won't ever be back to that pharmacy because of it.  Not that Wal-Mart really cares...But it's the principle.

3. Being an inconsiderate patron.  When I worked at InTouch Communications in Glasgow, our store hours were 9-7 Monday through Friday, and 9-5 on Saturday.  Almost without exception, we would be absolutely dead for an hour or more before closing...Until around 6:58.  People would walk up to the door, read the store hours, look at their watch, and stroll in saying, "Y'all still open?"  Well, technically we are still open...For two more minutes.  But, sure, I'd love to help you open 3 new lines and stay until 8:30.  I mean, it's not like you didn't have 10 other hours throughout the day to come in here.  It never failed...If someone came in 5 minutes til close, it was never a quick thing.  Drove me absolutely nuts.  I understand that people are busy and have other obligations, but you wouldn't want me coming to your place of work to make you stay longer than you've already been there.  If I had to get a new phone, I would make the time to go during normal business hours...You know, like a decent human being...Not 90 seconds before the place closes, forcing the staff to stay.  And even more than that, we'd turn off the lights, lock the doors, and have customers come up and bang on the door...After closing time.  I guess some folks just don't get it.

4. Blocking the entire aisle or exit at a store.  This one never fails to happen when you are in a hurry.  Like after a long day at work, you just want to get home and fire up the grill because it's beautiful outside and you've spent the entire day cooped up inside, but you know you need some hamburger buns and ketchup and nothing else.  You practically sprint down to the bread aisle, grab the buns, make a quick Barry Sanders-esque spin move and find yourself blocked in on either side by two shoppers completely oblivious to anything or anyone around them.  If you go right, you'll run right into an overweight woman and her two unruly children acting like total idiots.  If you go left, you're face-down in a cart filled with frozen pizzas and Old Milwaukee cases.  Neither person makes even the slightest effort to move to one side or the other and you're forced to play that "I'll go this way, you go that way, no, I'll go that way, you go this way" game with a total stranger.  You finally squeeze by one of them (they still haven't moved), knocking Bunny Bread loaves off the shelves along the way, pay for your items, and then get behind the lady pushing two carts, while trying to simultaneously write out a text and put her wallet back in her purse.  Completely unaware of you, or anyone else, they finally notice your presence just after walking outside.  You're already out of earshot by the time they say, "Oh, I'm sorry."  You're not the only person in the store.

Ok...I feel better.  Have a great day.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I'd Like You to Meet Some of My Friends: Meat, Micky, and Hootie

Everyone has different tastes and interests.  And most people, as they grow older, find that those interests evolve and change as much as our bodies do.  For as long as I can remember, or at least for as long as I was able to do it, writing has always been one of mine.  I kept a journal when I was 8 years old (which I still have, by the way) and I actually wrote pretty consistently.  Later on, I would dabble in keeping a journal from time to time, but, in most cases, my entries were so few and far between, they didn't carry much significance.  My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Shelton, really encouraged me to write, and provided extensive guidance when I was completing my writing portfolio at that time.  I had a creative writing class in 6th grade that I absolutely loved, and still remember dozens of short stories I started but never completed.  I even enjoyed writing papers when I was in college.  There's no question that, in most cases, I BS'ed my way through them, but when I was truly interested in the topic, I dove in full bore.

That is what drove me to start this blog in the first place.  I never had any intention of keeping a pure focus with this except a love for writing.  Sometimes an idea for a post will hit me like a gale force wind blowing in front of a line of storms, and other times the mood to write will strike without any semblance of an idea whatsoever.  Those times can be frustrating.  Times like right now.

I was sitting here wanting to write something, but any glimmer of an idea I came up with sounded like total crap.  Even as I write this now, I'm thinking to myself, "Isn't this crap?  Who would want to read this rambling, nonsensical junk?"  But, by this point, you've already committed.  You've wasted at least a minute of your day, and obviously had the time to kill by clicking on this link in the first place.  You might as well read to the end.

So, I did a quick Google search for blog ideas, and came across a list of 101 Blog Post Ideas.  A couple dozen of the post ideas caught my eye, but many of them would require entirely too much thought and, quite frankly, I don't have the time or energy to put that much focus into it right now.  So I'll save those for other days.  For now, I decided on one that simply said, "If you were stranded on a desert island, name ten _____ you would take with you."

Now, I'm sure virtually all of you reading this have played that game at one time or another.  If you're on a long road trip, or stuck in a waiting room, or just bored and need something to kill time, you've played it.  It's always interesting to hear people's responses to it, too.  It provides you with some insight you might not have had, even with people you know very well.

For this, I decided I would identify the 10 music albums I would take with me, and explain each choice.  I did have a couple of ground rules, though: while greatest hits albums are okay, compilation albums with a variety of artists (like the Now! series) are off limits.  It makes it more difficult and more fun to keep those out of the equation.  So, without further ado, and in no particular order, my 10 stranded-on-a-desert-island albums are:

 1. Boston: Greatest Hits
Release Date: June 3, 1997
Favorite Cuts: "Foreplay/Long Time", "Cool the Engines", "Rock and Roll Band"
I have no shame in admitting that Boston is one of my all-time favorite bands.  While most of their material is easily type-cast (you know Boston as soon as you hear it), there is something about the similarity in all their songs that makes them irresistible to me.  While many artists will try to evolve and expand their sound, Boston never really did that.  They had a formula that worked, stuck with it, and I say God bless them for it.  Their distinct sound is due to Tom Scholz's hand-made Rockman amplifier, which revolutionized the capabilities of electric guitars and was emulated by rock royalty like Journey, ZZ Top, Queen, and others.  He (along with Queen's Brian May) were pioneers in harmonizing multiple-layered guitars in the studio, and it gives Boston their unique sound.  I'd expect nothing less from an MIT graduate.  I don't love every Boston song, but this compilation has all the necessities comprised, mostly, of their earlier stuff.

2. Yourself or Someone Like You - Matchbox 20
Release Date: October 1, 1996
Favorite Cuts: "Long Day", "Kody", "Hang" 
In my opinion, this is one of the best albums of the 1990s, although it is rarely mentioned or remembered by most people.  I don't like music for it's revolutionary style, or it's artistic integrity.  In all reality, you won't really find it here.  In the late 90s, Matchbox 20 (now Matchbox Twenty) was little more than a glorified garage band.  But, that doesn't take away from the fact this is one of the few albums I can play from start to finish without getting bored, even after listening to it from start to finish about a thousand times.  The grittiness of this album was lost to later, more extensively produced entries in the MB20 catalog, and therein lies much of it's attractiveness.  The lyrics are real and relatable, the hooks are catchy, and the album flows fantastically.

3. I and Love and You - The Avett Brothers
Release Date: September 29, 2009
Favorite Cuts: "And It Spread", "Kick Drum Heart", "Laundry Room", "It Goes On and On" 
The newest album on the list, I discovered these guys through Adrienne and Liza a couple of years ago, right after Adrienne and I started dating.  When I first heard them, I wasn't really all that impressed.  I liked a couple of their more uptempo tunes, but found most of it to be too slow and boring for my taste...Until I saw the band live.  They put on one of the more energetic and entertaining live shows you will ever see, but do it without pyrotechnics or half-naked women dancing on stage.  They stand on stage, play their instruments, and let the music do the talking.  Whether you've ever heard them or not, it's impossible not to have fun when you watch them perform.  And after doing so, listening to the albums takes on a totally different meaning.  While I enjoy virtually their entire catalog, and while this particular album is really their first "sell-out" record, it's probably my favorite by the band.  It starts a bit slow (tempo-wise), crescendos in the middle, and closes perfectly.  Again, an album that can be listened to non-stop from start to finish where, like watching a movie a dozen times, you always seem to catch something you had missed previously.

 4. Take Off Your Pants and Jacket - Blink 182
Release Date: June 12, 2001
Favorite Cuts: "Online Songs", "Roller Coaster", "Everytime I Look for You", "Shut Up"

The sophomoric innuendo in the album's title aside, I'm not embarrassed to have this included in my list.  You will never find Blink-182 listed on a "greatest bands" list, and you really shouldn't under any circumstances.  They actually aren't that good.  But, in the summer of 2001, DJ and I absolutely wore this album out to the point where hardly a day went by without it getting at least one listen.  For me, though, the significance of this album doesn't come from the artistic merit it brings to the table.  In fact, it doesn't really bring any at all.  The significance lies in the memories it spurs each time I hear one of the songs.  It's a very catchy record, and good in it's own simple, immature way.  But, just like a family heirloom or favorite old t-shirt, it sticks with me for sentimental purposes only.

 5. Garth Brooks: The Ultimate Hits
Release Date: November 6, 2007
Favorite Cuts: "Shameless", "Callin' Baton Rouge", "Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)"
One thing that makes my music collection enjoyable is how eclectic and mixed up it is.  There are songs from all different genres, eras, and artists and when I hit shuffle on my iTunes, I truly don't know what is going to be coming.  I knew if I were going to have any country (which I would have to), I had to have some Garth.  But trying to decide which studio album to choose would be practically impossible.  I understand compilations might be cheating to a degree, but I don't care.  Garth deserves a two-disc set, and by God, I'm taking it with me. He revolutionized country music forever, beginning in the early 1990s, and every male artist that has come after him has tried, and failed miserably, to emulate his voice and stage presence.  He was able to tackle song choices that were both interesting and controversial, but he did it with style and for a period from about 1990 to 1996, nobody could touch Garth Brooks.

6. Bat Out of Hell - Meat Loaf
Release Date: October 21, 1977
Favorite Cuts: "Bat Out of Hell", "You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth", "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad"
I understand that Meat Loaf is extremely eccentric, and am fully aware that most of his music fails to strike a chord with mainstream music fans, but that doesn't mean I don't think his major-label debut isn't awesome.  The album almost plays as a rock-opera, with most of the tracks exceeding 5 minutes in length, a far cry from most popular music.  And, although I think he's a lyrical genius, I can easily see why some people would find Jim Steinman's songwriting a bit over the top.  But, despite it's inherent weirdness, and despite the fact that Meat Loaf himself fits absolutely none of the stereotypes attributable to a pop star, Bat Out of Hell has sold more than 43 million copies worldwide since it's release, and still moves about 200,000 units every year.  It is anything but normal, but when you couple one of the greatest rock singers of all time with an outstanding, and under-appreciated songwriter, the results are going to be good.  And Bat Out of Hell is damn good.

7. From Under the Cork Tree - Fall Out Boy
Release Date: May 3, 2005
Favorite Cuts: "Dance, Dance", "Sugar, We're Going Down", "I Slept With Someone in Fall Out Boy and All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me" 
I'm sure many of you out there are thinking "Fall Out Boy?  What the hell?"  And I know...I get it.  I'm just as disappointed in me as you are.  But I can't help it.  Part of it is sentimental...Until the newest Avett Brothers album came out in September, this was the last CD I had bought at a store.  Going to FYE or Disc Jockey in the mall used to be one of my favorite things to do, and I guess this album was kind of my last connection to those bygone days.  But, despite the poppy, teenage-angst that permeates throughout, these guys are much more creative and clever than many of their contemporaries.  Patrick Stump has a very distinct voice that, while a tad annoying at times, I really like.  The songwriting is solid, the lyrics are smart without being pretentious, and the album has some of the catchiest hooks you will ever hear.

 8.  Careless - Micky and the Motorcars
Release Date: May 9, 2006
Favorite Cuts: "Desperation", "Rock Springs to Cheyenne", "Remember" 
I wouldn't necessarily say that this is one of my favorite albums of all time, but my mentality is I'm going to be on a desert island.  I better have some variety in my music selection, or I'm going to go crazy.  That's why I picked this album.  Micky and the Motorcars are a fairly unknown act outside of Texas, but are extremely popular in the alternative Texas-Country scene.  They're the perfect blend of southern rock...A little Lynyrd Skynyrd (not too much), a touch of Chris LeDoux, with just a pinch of Bad Company thrown in.  The songwriting is outstanding, and lead-singer Micky Braun has an extremely distinctive voice that you won't forget after hearing it the first time.  He sings with the perfect amount of twang, and mumbles just enough to remain coherent, while still keeping you guessing at times.  The band doesn't hesitate to write depressing material, but they do so in an extremely relatable way.  If you're ever in a bit of a sour mood, or just feel like sitting alone and drinking away a bad day, these guys are the perfect accompaniment.  They're not going to win any awards for putting a smile on your face, but during those times when you're miserable and want some music that speaks to that, you can't go wrong with Micky and the Motorcars.

9. Cracked Rear View - Hootie & the Blowfish
 Release Date: July 5, 1994
Favorite Cuts: "Hannah Jane", "Let Her Cry", "I'm Goin' Home"
If you were of age enough to remember listening to the radio in 1994 and 1995, then you know Hootie & the Blowfish.  And you know them well.  It was virtually impossible to turn on the radio, for really over a year, without hearing "Hold My Hand" or "I Only Wanna Be With You" within ten minutes.  Extensive radio play, coupled with an incredibly unique singer in Darius Rucker (who's proven that he can succeed across a wide range of musical genres) proved to be too much for the American public to handle.  Cracked Rear View is the 15th best-selling album of all time in the United States, and is highly regarded as one of the best albums of the 1990s.  And for good reason.  I got the cassette for Christmas in 1995, and never once had to fast-forward through a song.  It is great from start to finish, and touches on virtually every emotion at some point or another.  I liked the album so much, I got the CD for Christmas a few years later, and still have it to this day.  I might not listen to it as much anymore, but I know I could put it on now and not even begin to get tired of it.  Hootie's follow-ups were never as successful as their debut, but when you release a gem like Cracked Rear View right out of the gate, you're setting the bar pretty damn high.

10. Back in Black - AC/DC
Release Date: July 25, 1980
Favorite Cuts: "Back in Black", "Have a Drink on Me", "Shoot to Thrill"
As I was trying to finish up my list, I noticed two things: 1, I didn't have any music from the 1980s, which is arguably my favorite decade for music, and 2, I didn't have any music that could really get me amped up if I were going to kill some time doing pushups or crunches while bored to tears on a desert island.  So, I went with this classic by one of the all-time great rock bands, AC/DC.  I wouldn't really consider myself a huge AC/DC fan...I'd never pay money to see them live (unless I could travel back in time to the mid-80s).  But, like Boston, AC/DC has consistently delivered hit after hit over the years, and you know exactly what you are going to get any time you put on an AC/DC record.  While their earlier stuff with Bon Scott on vocals is often regarded as their finest material, Back in Black is the band's highest-selling album of all-time.  It hits hard from the outset and stays at a fever pitch throughout.  You won't find anything truly remarkable about it, but that's never really been AC/DC's modus operandi.  What you will find is hard-hitting riff after hard-hitting riff, instantly recognizable simplistic rhythms, and the gritty screech of Brian Johnson that has become a trademark of their work.  I know, at some point, I'd get the urge to rock out and do a poor impersonation of Angus Young's duck walk, and neither would be as enjoyable as they would without some AC/DC blaring in the background.

There are a ton of albums I thought deeply about including here, because there are so many to choose from.  I feel a little bad for not having any Led Zeppelin on the list, but it's mainly because Zeppelin is so hit or miss...While some of their songs are timeless classics, others are way too eccentric for my taste.  As Wayne Campbell put it in Wayne's World, "Led Zeppelin didn't write tunes that everybody liked...They left that to the Bee Gees."  They do have greatest hits compilations out there, but my favorite Zeppelin tune, "The Wanton Song" isn't on it.  And none of their studio albums are good enough, start to finish, to warrant taking along to a desert island, with the only close exception being Led Zeppelin IV.  They're still one of the best bands of all time, though, and I'd bet, if I were stranded on a desert island, I'd miss being unable to get the Led out every once in a while.  Collateral damage, I suppose.

So, that's my list of the 10 albums I'd take with me on a desert island.  My love of music made choosing only 10 a very difficult task, but if push came to shove, I'd feel pretty good about my selections.  There's a decent variety of genres and musical eras, so I don't think I'd get too bored.  And there's something for just about every mood one might find.  So, the question is...What 10 albums would you take?