Monday, September 29, 2008

Accomplishment # 15: Understand The Stock Market (#79)

Um... yeah. I don't really think now's such a good time to do this one.


I've always been a little wary of the stock market. The only gambling I really like are nickel slots in Reno, because I once won like two hundred bucks after putting in about $12. (And I spent it all on bathroom fish, a scary ballerina painting, booze, and pancakes.) Nickels are a currency of which I am not frightened; I've been known to have some rolling around the bottom of my black hole of a purse. Hundreds or thousands of dollars, however, I do not have rolling around in my purse or in my bank account. Or in the stock market. I have a paltry 401K, but we've been assured that it will be okay. Um... yeah. We shall see.

The only "active" experience I've ever had with the stock market was in eighth grade, when we did a unit on stocks in our social science class. We all had to choose a stock that sounded interesting, and I, being a forward thinker, chose ATARI.


I was SUPER into Atari for a while. (In fact, I still have my Atari game and cartridges, and I keep meaning to hook it up. How "old skool" and ironic of me!) I would spend hours playing Atari in our basement -- Pitfall, Kaboom!, Pac-Man, Frogger, Space Invaders, but totally not Combat, the game it came with -- while listening to The Tubes "Completion Backwards Principle." (Every time I hear the song, "Talk To You Later" which, I'll admit, is not often, I think of totally kicking ass on, like, the highest level of Kaboom!. DORK.)

Kaboom was, like, totally bitchin'!

So since I was familiar with the Atari product and figured that everyone in the universe would want this magnificent system, I used it for my project. (Along with probably every other kid in the class who didn't ask for their parents' stockbroker's advice. There were kids like that in my school. Who were probably rich last week.) And I don't remember exactly what happened, except I checked the paper every morning, recorded the numbers in my notebook, and I think would have made about eleven dollars by the time the unit ended if I had actually invested.

Hey, that's a lot better than some people did today.

And here's the song that's been going around and around in my head since this morning.

Something's Gone Wrong Again -- The Buzzcocks

(Sort of -- as close as I'm gonna get anyway) fifteen down, 82 to go.


Anonymous said...

your memory amazes me.

did we have the same childhood? because i spent my summers in the basement playing atari on this huge TV my parents got from my grandparents, watching brady bunch reruns and listening to hearts "heart" album. sometimes i would mix it up and roller skate a bit in my smurf skates.

i think i would go back to this time period if i ever had a choice.

Sparkleneely said...

Lishy -- Oh yeah, Atari in the basement! Looking back, I bet my mom was so glad I was out of her hair and totally occupied, and she didn't have to listen to all the primitive computer game noises. (Or The Tubes. Or Heart.) I would play for hours until the point when I shut my eyes, I could still see little pac mans. (Men. Hmmm.)

That time was both awesome AND awful -- Atari plus angst. I have great fondness for those years, but I was absolutely miserable, too. But what 12 - 13 year old isn't?

And Brady Bunch -- NATCH! I bet I could still identify the episode just by Cindy's hairstyle.


Andy said...

I didn't have Atari but my friend Danielle did...she was also the only one of our friends that had MTV so the poor girl never got rid of us. Whenever I hear Rick Springfield it takes me RIGHT back there. *sigh*

Sparkleneely said...

We never had MTV, so whenever I went to any of my friends' houses who had it, I was GLUED to the set. They'd be like, "Hey! Let's go do ---" and I'd say, "Uh uh! SAFETY DANCE is on!"

Pbbbbt. Now MTV and even VH1 Classics don't even SHOW videos. So what's the point? I'm not gonna watch if they don't play TACO!

Dane said...

Oh, the music/Atari connection. For me, I think it was the Go-Gos' Our Lips Are Sealed and anything from J. Geils Band's Freeze-Frame album.

Somewhere in a locked room in my head, those songs are playing, and mingle still with the noises of "Pitfall."

Sparkleneely said...

With all the crap that's going on right now, I totally want to hole up in a basement somewhere with all my old records and Atari game. I officially invite you all over for a rousing game of Pitfall, and then we can have a slumber party and play Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board and MASH. (Mansion, Apartment, Shed, House! Remember that???) And watch Love Boat and Brady Bunch, and do Teen Magazine makeovers with Maybelline make up and wash our faces with Bonne Bell Ten-Oh-Six toner.

Ahhh. Lishy, you're right. Let's go back to that time -- I'd trade zits and angst for stock market crashes any day!