The long lapse between my prior job, which formally ended on June 23, and my new job, which formally starts on July 25, is drawing to a close. While there was no big family event to mark the downtime, due to summer camps, travel soccer tournaments and other family obligations, there were (and still will be) some fun family events. Among them will be an impromptu visit to Yankee Stadium tonight to let my Oriole-loving 8 y/o see his team. Thanks to SeatGeek for helping me score field-level seats for $47/each (including fees!), but not for forcing me to navigate a byzantine labyrinth of app downloads and on-line transferring to make the actual tickets available in my iPhone.
It has been a fun month, one where I have worked out with fit mums at the local gym at 9 AM, taken my kids to the local pool club during the day, and qualmlessly imbibed whenever the mood struck. Yet there hadn't been a big moment to mark the extended time with the boys. That is, until last night.
I was taking the kids home from the pool club so I could grill for another family that was coming over (I have been getting plenty of mid-week grilling in, which has been fun). As they do every time they're in the car with me, my boys request SiriusXM channel stations. My 8 y/o has somehow decided he likes Channel 14 - The Blend. This station is AWFUL. It plays Sheeran, Beiber, Timberlake, Kelly Clarkson, One Direction and the like, interspersed with 80's pop hits from Madonna, Whitney Houston and Stevie Winwood (his bad hits). I want to tell my son I love him less when he requests the station, but I reluctantly don't. And now he's gotten the 6 y/o into the station as well, who generally likes anything the older one likes. So I get songs like the one below crammed into my ear hole often. Nobody puts TR in the corner.
I occasionally indulge my boys' requests, but I often tell them we won't play it b/c Dad doesn't like it. The compromise we tend to land on (mostly b/c of my wife) is Channel 18 - "Limited Edition", which you all know as the current home of Yacht Rock. I originally found the yacht rock movement amusing, but a tiny bit silly. But I have come around on it b/c the music is just so damn pleasant. It's easy breezy - you can play it loud or soft, and you can sing along to parts of many of the tunes. It evokes vague memories of my childhood, such as remembering listening to Christopher Cross' "Ride Like The Wind" in the back seat of my parents' cigarette smoke-filled Thunderbird. I did not realize until recently the song had a cameo from Michael McDonald. Of course it did.
(Random segue here: the ads for Yacht Rock that play on other stations are tre-fucking-mendous. The two I've heard are: "Music as soft and lustrous as Michael McDonald's beard" and "Music from back in the day when the only log-ins you needed was Kenny." Well done, sirs.)
But back to last night. After leaving the pool club, I again got a Blend request, but told them we would leave the car tuned to Yacht Rock. And as the car started, Lionel Richie's "All Night Long" came on. My kids immediately loved it. They asked me to turn it up and said it sounded like a Hawaiian song. I began cranking it with the windows down in my Volkswagen CC. The drive to our house is about 2 minutes, so I began meandering around my neighborhood at 6:15 PM with two happy boys in the back who were loving Lionel, jumbo jumbo, fiesta forever, the funky brass accompaniment, and the fact that we were gonna have a party all night long. Or at least until the song ended and we pulled our car back in the driveway. But it was a splendid 3:47 stretch amid a picture-perfect late summer afternoon - three dudes basking in the awesomeness of Lionel at the peak of his pop powers. And if you choose to play the video below, think of listening to it with the mindset of a young kid who's never heard it before. It's hard to dislike.
I'm sure I'll forget this happiness tonight at the ball game, as my kids enter into sugar-induced meltdowns, which hopefully won't result in one kid crying, another kid peeing all over his underwear, and a dad losing his iPhone. Actually, maybe I won't. Thanks, Lionel.