I present to you the top 20 video game music tracks to inspire me in my childhood.  Just so everyone knows I only chose to include NES, SNES and Sega Genesis music.  Anything after that would require too much research.  Perhaps another day I will do PS1/N64 on.  But for now enjoy the countdown!

20.  Pipe Dream – Track 1

Such a simplistic track, but so intoxicating.  My number 20 song is one that takes people my age back to another time…a time where life was so much simpler.  The repetitiveness of this track I always found soothing as I’d stare at the 17 inch screen in my room with my Dad.  Sometimes nostalgia plays a role in my list, and although no one would make a case that this is the greatest music ever composed…there is something fascinating about it.  The mystery is intriguing.

19.  Spy Hunter – Main Theme

One of the most legendary themes of Nintendo comes in at 19.  Who didn’t try to beat the high score of this game at their bowling alley arcade back in the day?  Your goal is to basically keep driving up this insanely straight road, and not die.  Some may find this “boring” by today’s standards, but when you are standing there transfixed on this theme…nothing can break your focus.  So rare does a video game song accompany a stage so well.  This was well executed and a legend!

18.  Super Mario Bros. – Underworld

Video game theme of the Underworld?  Or cheesy porno music?  You decide!  However a generation of kids found this song so exciting screaming “Oh My God!  I made it to the second level!”  Now…today people may laugh, thinking that is no achievement at all.  However when you are four years old, hearing this music meant you could regroup, catch your breath and look forward to the dark and scary “Underworld!”  Everything was different down here, and for some reason...you enjoyed the danger.  This theme made you on edge as you sneaked over the blue blocks and took down a few koopa troopers while you were down there.

17.  X-men:  Mutant Apocalypse – Gambit Theme

Honestly, could a theme for SNES be more accurately made for the Cajun?  I think not.  It has all the Louisiana influence you could ask for, and this was before most of us knew where Louisiana was.  All I know is as you throw pink, charged cards in a warehouse at the baddies, you cannot help but feel some of that smug, Cajun charm building inside you the player.  I swear as soon as this music comes on…you just feel unbeatable! 

16.  Super Mario World – Map 3:  Vanilla Dome

No wait; THIS is the quintessential borderline Porno music that is featured in a Mario game.  You are probably wondering why this is even on the list at all, considering it is just a World’s theme; you don’t even get to like fight as this music is playing.  However I remember entering Vanilla Dome for the first time…and this music was playing and it was dark inside and I couldn’t help but sit there with my head slightly moving to the bass.  Something about number 16 just seemed so…engaging.  As if “Congratulations, kid.  You just made it to Vanilla Dome.  Prepare to hate it.”

15.  A Link to the Past – Dark World

I have heard friends say “this theme defines their childhood.”  I can’t disagree, as this epic theme meant you had entered the dreaded “Dark World.”  Hopefully you don’t look like a rabbit!  Number 15 is a combination of passion and greatness.  When you hear such a magnificent song, you know the odds are stacked against you…but you don’t care!  You must trek on and defeat evil and bring back the sanctity of Hyrule!  As you wade through the Dark World, your only ally is this music to inspire you on your quest.

14.  Tinstar – Out in the West:  Main Theme

Yeee Ha!  This obscure game actually has a pretty decent and underrated soundtrack.  It was certainly ahead of its time!  The premise is you are back in the old West, albeit a random world with mechanical cows.  Basically you are ‘Tin Star’ and it’s your job to kill off all the bad guys.  A fun game for those that love shooters, but it is the soundtrack that really takes off.  Every stage, it just seems so appropriate.  A fast paced song like this was the exact motivation you needed when sniping off a bunch of train thieves.

13.  Sonic the Hedgehog – Marble Zone
Sega Genesis

Regrettably this is the only track I have listed for Sega Genesis.  Now, before you start throwing full wine bottles at the screen, hear me out.  I only owned a NES and SNES at my house.  My Aunt had a Genesis that I was allowed to play, but not regularly.  So my experience as a lad was little with a Sega.  However, this theme has ALWAYS stood out and that is why it comes in at number 13.  ‘Marble Zone’ was such a great stage.  It had broken pillars, bright green grass and…lava.  So random, but a fantastic world with this memorable tune to accompany it.

12.  A Link to the Past – Church Sanctuary

I think “A Link to the Past” was one of the greatest games of all time.  Period.  And you cannot have a great game without an outstanding soundtrack.  Boy, does this game deliver.  The chilling sounds of the Church Sanctuary slither inside your brain and then you realize…this isn’t just running through the forest randomly looking for the Master Sword anymore!  There was something so powerful about this song.  It is one of the few themes where you are genuinely scared and almost feel like you are in the game.  As if the future of Hyrule rests on YOUR shoulders.  Will you succeed?!

11.  Super Mario Bros. 3 – Map 1:  Grassland

I think it’s the fact that all the trees seem to dance in sync with this theme that makes it a winner.  Haha!  Super Mario Bros. 3 was a very underrated soundtrack, as it seemed every world had appropriate music to accompany its look.  ‘Grassland’ just seemed like such a happy place to be, and it was heavily influenced because of this awesome song.  The nice part about Ninetendo was they often had these songs playing as you would go from one stage to the next.  It was nice to know if you took a juice break, you could just listen to some awesome music and not worry about being “paused.”

10.  Jurassic Park 2 – Raptor Attack

Maybe more than any SNES soundtrack, this was before it’s time.  It starts out so cool and smooth, but by the middle it was you so pumped for major Dino killing!  It is this delicate blend of action, but also fear.  Will you be able to zap the raging Dinosaurs before they kill you?  I also stand by that the character runs to the beat of this song.  I also find some influences dating back to “The Last Crusade” for NES.  This was a true breakthrough for all video game music everywhere.  A great Co-Op to play as well.

9.  Mega Man X – Intro Stage

No matter if you are a hardcore Megaman fanatic or just a fan of Super Nintendo in general, this game was absolute vintage.  You are thrown into your first stage and this insane music is blaring as you run through a neo-city and blast everyone away.  The soundtrack in total was decent for this game, but nothing compares to the intro stage of Mega Man X. 

8.  Super Mario Bros. 2 – Overworld

Has there been a sillier or happier song ever made?  Seriously, I don’t care if people want to criticize the game, but how great was it to throw large turnips into the air while rocking out to this song.  Super Mario 2 was a wild, and at times insane, world and so the music needed to be the same.  This is one of the true defining songs of my childhood.

7.  F-Zero – Mute City

Very few music tracks can stand the test of time, but this is surely one of them.  The build up in the beginning is enough to get the adrenalin running as you prepare to race through Mute City at lightning speed.  Honestly, one of the few racing genre music tracks that I would even consider putting on this short list.  Like so many games for Super Nintendo, this music was so far ahead of its time.  No matter how many times Nintendo decides to redo this music…it will always go back to the original.  Classic.

6.  The Legend of Zelda – Dungeon

One of, if not the scariest songs for the Nintendo Entertainment System.  Who doesn’t remembering standing in front of that black, desolate entrance of a castle…knowing THIS music was about to blare, sealing your fate.  It was this music that terrorized many as they played The Legend of Zelda.  Looking back on it though, I appreciate Nintendo for making it so real.  I mean, should a happy song be playing as you are battling undead skeletons?  No.  No song was more anticipated than this.

5.  Sunset Riders – Stage 1

My favorite game of all time can only muster up to number five on my list.  The truth is Sunset Riders probably has the greatest soundtrack of any game on Super Nintendo, but this list is compiling the single greatest songs ever, not soundtracks.  Stage 1 certainly is a top 5 song on my list; Konami were geniuses when it came to songs and the intricate pleasures of this melody make it a deserving song.  The music makes it an epic accompaniment to you controlling “Cormano” and wielding dual shot guns through the old west.  Very appropriate.

4.  The Legend of Zelda – Overworld

The definitive song of my childhood, as there is no Video Game series that has influenced my life more than The Legend of Zelda.  If you have ever played the original, you know how long it takes to master.  So you hear this song…quite a bit.  Maybe you are brainwashed to like it, I don’t know…but the epicness of this theme is second to none.  It will forever stand the test of time, and although there are prettier versions, nothing can quite equal the original.  There is a reason Zelda has so many songs on this list.

3.  Friday the 13th – Cabin Song

This hypnotic track of horror comes in at number 3 on my list.  Quite possibly the greatest music created for a Nintendo Entertainment System game, this haunting sound keeps you on edge throughout this classic NES title as you enter “empty” cabins searching for kids to rescue…before Jason finds you first.  A well done piece by Nintendo that occasionally changes pitch to keep the song fresh.  The song is so high on my list because it accompanies and compliments the tension of the game so well; how many of us played this game as a kid and heard this song and wondered “Am I dead?”

2.  TMNT:  Turtles in Time – Sewer Surfin’

If you were a kid growing up in the early 90’s (like me), you HAD to have this game for your Super Nintendo.  First of all, it is one of the greatest Co-Ops of all time, but also has one of the best soundtracks on a SNES game.  My number 2 pick is so upbeat that the adrenalin just rushed to your head as you surf in the sewer whilst beating up footsoldiers and eating pizza.  In this TMNT game, it’s so important to basically destroy anything that comes near you that you need that extra motivation to be quick, and this song absolutely intensifies the action.  It’s just such a fun song you basically are laughing as you shred the footclan!  Another Konami win!

1.  Spider Man & Venom: Separation Anxiety – Introduction

The greatest video game theme ever created.  When I was an emotionally challenged kid in the mid nineties, for whatever reason, this song defined who I was.  In fact I had gotten a tape recorder and recorded this theme so I could play it in my ‘Walkman.’  I listed to that recording for probably 13 years before I finally found it on ‘Youtube.’  THAT was how dedicated I was and shows how much I absolutely worship this song.  Hell, I even took the tape and Walkman with me on a school trip and listed to this song for probably an hour straight!  This song defines mid 90’s game play, music and pop culture.  There are moments, songs and attributes we pick up in our lives that make us who we are today.  I can’t explain why this song touched my life so much…but it is on a small list of things that I consider to define me as a person.
10.  “World So Cold” by Three Days Grace

I won’t lie; this song doesn’t compare to their earlier stuff.  You are probably thinking that since it is on my “top ten” list for 2010 then it has to be good.  The Problem is many of you know my favorite bands are Duran Duran and No Doubt.  So the chance of me even liking ten songs are…remote (holds up TV remote).  But none the less, this song makes my list as the obligatory “Rock” song…if this is what Rock is nowadays.

9.  “Animal” by Neon Trees

The ONLY reason this song even makes my list is because it seems like a happy tune that you can tap your steering wheel to as you drive and listen.  Again, this just reflects a weak year of music for the Billboard Top 100.  It’s a funny analogy created to reflect your feelings…but still kinda weak.

8.  “Bottoms Up” by Trey Songz

This isn’t really my style.  It’s a little too slow for me in my R & B realm of songs, but my wife likes to shake her booty to it.  A matter of fact she demanded it be played at our wedding.  Any song that makes my wife grind on me or give me a lap dance is a winner in my book.  Thanks Trey.

7.  “Rude Boy” by Rihanna

This song is caked with sexual innuendos.  And I love that.  Aside from seeing Rihanna shake her great behind in the video, it’s actually a pretty cool song.  People normally don’t associate me with Rihanna, but I really enjoy her stuff.  Her lyrics are pretty tight and the song melodies are always on target.  This song is a little slower than her usual stuff, but it’s something you can still get your groove to.  

6.  Dynamite by Taio Cruz

A MAJOR upgrade compared to “Break your Heart’s” atrocious message.  Let’s be honest, this song has no substance or true meaning.  It just has a nice beat you can dance to at the bar, and that is ok.  I don’t rate these songs based on lyrical value or their contributions to society.  I rate them on how fun they are to dance to when I am drunk.  Usually.  This song makes it to number 6 based on reading some kid’s version of the lyrics that go “I throw my sandwich in the air sometimes, saying I ordered Mayo!  Cause we gonna bite this club, we gonna chew all night,” etc.

5.  Airplanes by B.o.B Featuring Hayley Williams

This is probably the best actual song on this list.  Great visuals come to mind when examining the lyrics and it feels like it was written with passion.  Hayley Williams was a great addition to sing the refrain.  IF you can find the version with Eminem you will be pleasantly surprised.  Well written, meaningful and executed nicely.  Good job.

4.  Telephone by Lady Gaga featuring Beyonce

The girl looks like a moron, by seriously, Gaga can write catchy music.  As someone who enjoys “sippin’ bub” I know what it’s like to be interrupted at the club by my cell.  Or not.  But seriously, an odd pairing but the two do well together in this song.  Completely catchy and a great song to dance to at the club.  There are certain songs that get played at a bar that you cannot help but dance to and this is one of them.

3.  Sexy Bitch by David Guetta Featuring Akon

Technically a song from 2009, but it carried WELL into 2010.  The first quarter of the year was STILL dominated by this song.  One of the sexiest beats I’ve heard in a long time and a great job by Akon.  I want this song playing in the strip club or when I am driving fast at night.  A killer bass = easy to get into the dance flow on the floor.  Fo’ Real.  I’m fairly sure I nearly fell over drunk to this song on my Birthday this year.

2.  We R Who We R by Ke$ha

She’s ugly.  I hate what she stands for.  But I will never deny this girl can write both catchy lyrics and awesome beats.  I do respect people more if they write their own shit.  Ok, Ke$ha is not the next John Lennon…but in a world of poppy autotune, she is the queen right now.  I actually enjoy the message of this song, and it is a killer dance song.  Make sure you check out the music parody on “BarleyPolitical” on Youtube.  And don’t give me this bullshit that she wrote it about the kids who killed themselves.  I enjoy this because as cliché as it is…I am who I am.  Those who know me well know I follow the beat of my own drum, so mad props Keh-dollar sign-sha.

1. Like A G6 by Far*East Movement Featuring Cataracs & Dev

I still don’t know what a G6 is, but this is one of the best dance songs I have come across in the last ten years.  I mean I absolutely LOVE this song.  “Getting Slizzerd?”  Are you kidding me?  Genius lyrics!  Never have I found in today’s music a song that matches my bar persona so well than this.  I feel right at home as I am donned in my dual multi color swatches, matching bright Nike throwbacks and a pair of aviators.  This is the song I envision entering every bar and club to.  Yeah.  I’m THAT guy.  You can find me on the dance floor surrounded by my busty brunette wife, my tall, fly, blonde sister-in-law and Furious Nicky D doin’ it right to this song…as I sip my Malibu Bay Breeze…
I really need to try to update this damn thing once a week like I want to.

Anyway.  I’ve reconnected with an old friend (who coincidentally will be painting my basement) and to be honest it’s brought about a lot of old feelings, emotions, memories.  I don’t get the chance to sit in a room and just…think much anymore.  On this night however, it just so happens I have quite a bit of time to just sit here and sift through the random thoughts my mind has concocted.  Interestingly enough, I have been sitting here thinking of my life ten years ago and how different I am.

How did this all begin?  Well I knew my buddy was in the painting business, so I contacted him to give me an estimate of my basement.  I have not spoken to said friend in probably 4-5 years.  We had gone to St. Joes together for eight years for grade school.  We were also especially close during High school.  Back in the day we used to pretend to be wrestlers and make videos of us and other friends fighting in his trampoline.  Sounds corny by today’s standards, but in reality that was in “in” thing to do ten years ago.

So we were reminiscing about the old days while in my basement and it began to conjure up old memories.  This continued when I met up with him at his house to get an estimate as we actually watched one of the old videos of us wrestling.  At face value it was exactly how I remember it:  VHS quality video of a bunch of 15 year olds pretending they knew what they were doing.  However, deep down it was opening up a flood of memories, thoughts and emotions.  I tend to suppress memories of my high school experience.  In fact I can’t remember the last time I thought about when I was 15. 

::insert dream cloud and cool effects as if going back in time::

Joe McDonald at 15?  Freshman at Chichester High school.  I worked at the United Consumer’s Club as a warehouse worker; my first job.  I was obsessed with Britney Spears, listening to Nirvana, and basically being alone.  I could be found hanging out at Granite Run Mall, the AMC theatre or possibly Wendy’s.  At the time I was going through the shock value of being at Chi High and trying to survive.  Like any stereotypical teenager I was pretty much depressed and afraid of change.  All of a sudden the simple structure and typecasts of St. Joe’s grade school didn’t seem that bad.  My money went towards music CDs, shirts with wrestling logos and insignias on them and art supplies.  I was big on drawing back then.  Hell I was "Livin' La Vida Loca," I think.

Anyway, my friend let me borrow a few old tapes from 1999 and 2000 when we made this videos of us wrestling.  I was watching them and at first I was laughing hysterically at everything:  the way we were talking, the fact that we tried to make intricate storylines and our horrible wrestling abilities.  However when I was done watching them…I paused.  As shitty as that time was, I suddenly realized that I needed to go through that awkward phase of life in order to become the person I am now.  Folks, they don’t call me “Classic” for nothing.  My head is constantly on the past.
It just became odd.  All of a sudden I began to remember so many things.  I wouldn’t say I embrace when I was a fifteen year old, because I don’t.  I can recognize that was an EXTREMELY difficult time of my life and not many people even knew that.  Hell, I still have old journals and audio tape from those days.  You can see the writing on the wall that I was a kid full of anger and sadness.  The funny thing is…those weekend wrestling events may have been some of the only fun times in my life at that time.  Scary huh?  It’s absolutely amazing what you can remember or decipher when you take the time to remember.
Every time I want to turn my attention back to my site, something seems to happen.  For months, despite some of the most joyous moments in my life, it seems like the emotions that are holding me hostage most are anger, frustration and great sadness.  So is life, but I have found it quite difficult to maintain my usual quirky, yet dynamic persona so coined “being Classic.”  The past two weeks have been no different, as I suffered a tremendous loss that on July 8, 2010 the world lost Angelo J. Mantegna.  To most he was known as Angelo, Ang or “Lope,” but to me he was “Pop Pop.”  He was my last grandparent alive, and most likely the one I was closest to if I have to be honest.  For me and my family, this was the greatest loss we could suffer as he was a great man, a loving husband, a caring father and a wonderful grandparent.

I am not a selfish person; he was ailing and for the last few months the quality of his life was less than a 100%.  For me to say I wish he was here would only be in true nostalgia.  The truth is…it was time.  No one should want him to stay alive for our own entertainment, especially if he was ill.  He fought hard for years and would do anything for his family.  There are few people on Earth I respected more than him.  He was a tremendous role model for all of us and we certainly can take the knowledge he passed down to us and use it for the rest of own lives. 

The day of the funeral was almost unbearable, but with the support of my cousins and the rest of my family…we were all able to get through it.  The truth is that I have not spent this much time with some members of my family in a number of years.  It was good to just be there with them and catch up.  Once upon a time we at the very least saw one another on a regular basis.  Now I’m lucky I know if some of them are even alive.  Perhaps with Pop Pop’s passing we will all realize how precious life is, and that will make us grow as a family.  Likely?  Not really, but you never know.

With this being my last grandparent’s death, I now have no buffer from the Angel of Death and my parents as the next in line.  I know that is silly, as that is not how death works.  Anyone could go any second, but in a childish, naïve sense…your grandparents are theoretically supposed to pass before your parents, as they are older.  Logic dictates that the older you are the increased chance of dying.  Well, instead of watching my Mom be hysterical in thirty years…I may be the hysterical one.  A gloomy way to look at things, as this is natural and we all eventually go.  My Pop Pop’s passing has conjured up sad thoughts of what the future holds and made me realize that it is important to enjoy every moment not only that I have…but the people around me as well.

Rest in Peace Pop Pop.  From your thoughtful gifts on Halloween to the toast you made to my engagement at your 80th Birthday party, I cannot thank you enough for all you have done for me.  I love you.

My entire life I have gone through pain, internal conflict and desolation.  And yet, through it all I have mostly remained optimistic about how my life would turn out.  I was fortunate going from the streets of Chichester, a crippled divorced family and back stabbing friends to getting engaged to a wonderful girl, a rewarding career path and owning a beautiful house.  I was right to be strong and hopeful.  I made it when so many people I know failed or gave up on their dreams.  I am not bragging, just stating that I went through a lot to get where I am.  However, life does not stop when you make it to a certain level of comfort. 

What am I getting at?  Recently I have had to contend with the vicious antics of people I may be forced to call family one day.  Instead of coming home and giving my fiancé a kiss, I am giving her a false pep talk about how everything “will be ok in the end,” when in truth I am not so sure about that myself.  I can’t control the unforgiveable actions that have taken place, and quite frankly I am tired of putting on a front when deep down I want to break someone’s spine in half.  Every time my phone rings I believe someone is just going to tell me the latest gossip or news that will enrage me for the night.

I have stated plainly from day one…me and Michelle are now a family; an element that is a unified entity.  For months we didn’t say a word when everyone was fighting at a time where we had hoped everyone would rally around one another and be happy that we were engaged.  Instead, we had to cancel our engagement party because no one else could get along.  And now we are renounced because we made an independent decision to declaw two cats.  When we make a decision…it happens.  There is no one else to consult; we run the show.  If you don’t like what we do that is fine.  I am not asking my family and friends to agree with my decisions.  I am telling you to accept them.  And quite frankly, this whole situation has proven to me who even cares about Michelle.  I would die for that girl. 

On top of all that drama, our Honeymoon we booked last December was cancelled because the resort we booked will be closing for the next year.  Now we are scrambling to find a place four months before we get married.  Everything is now more expensive or booked because of the timing.  Not to mention the resort we booked was the dream trip we had planned and is the only one of its kind in the Caribbean. 

I have always said that I don’t have to go through other people’s problems, just like they don’t have to go through mine.  I don’t want sympathy.  I don’t want empathy.  I want nothing more to be happy.  I measure my life in happiness, and it is quite true…I have many things to be happy about no matter what happens.  No matter what though…no matter how optimistic I am…was it really that foolish to believe that the most important moment in my life in getting married to Michele would actually go smoothly?  Honestly, is it that hard for people to put their personal feelings aside and just be happy for us? 

And through it all I have had to continue to be the rock, a character I have had to play my entire life.  I have had to be the “bad guy” all the time, and that will continue because no matter what happens to me…I will get through this.  I have no problem cutting out people who do nothing but cause trouble in our lives, no matter who they are.  If you wanted to see the dick side of me, you got it.  I’ll do whatever it takes to protect what I have and ensure we have a happy ending and a “perfect day.” 
It has been months since I even looked at this site.  For good reason, of course.  I moved into my new house with my beautiful fiancé and have been getting stabilized over here.  That, and fighting a never-ending collection of bullshit that seems to find its way into our lives, but I digress.

I just wanted to post something here to let some peeps know that I actually plan on updating this piece of junk website again on a regular basis.  It needs a little love.  Get at me:  ClassicJM85@Yahoo.com

Games.  I like games.  Games require rules, players and a board or setting.  Rules can be interpreted.  Game boards can change.  Players must do what they can to win.  This basic premise stands true from Monopoly to Freeze Tag to…relationships?!?!?!?!

Someone emailed me two very interesting conversations.  The first conversation in particular interested me the most, as it was two girls talking about “playing games” with men.  Should they or shouldn’t they?  Is the thrill of the chase worth the potential drama those goes along with “playing?”  Ladies is pimps too, go one brush them shoulders off!  Well that last part wasn’t in there, but you get where I am going.

Guys like to believe all girls are fake, gold digging bitches that are all out to play a fool.  This is a gross generalization that I never fully believed, but I do know that a few spoiled apples ruin a bunch.  Or something like that.

Did a guy ever stop and think why a girl would even REALLY play a game?  No, we are usually too dumb to sit there and break down a woman’s philosophy whilst standing in the local dive tavern.  Show me a great rack and my thoughts melt out my ear lobes.  So to get the chance to read a word document of a conversation between two girls on the subject truly interested me.  One was contemplating to make herself less available in order to drum up more of a chase from the male population.  They debated the Pros and Cons of this.  To say the least, I was fascinated at the thought that went into this decision.  We all think a girl just walks into the bar to get attention…but the truth is there could be more to it then meets the eye.

Playing mind games with guys are easy.  To me these games were like tests.  If I made the right move or said the right thing, I moved on to the next level.  If I failed miserably, I was more or less alone again that night.  These tests, when used correctly, may get that girl a guy who can say all the right things and make all the right moves.  It also may shun away a lot of genuine guys or naïve guys who have a good heart.  You can put me in that category.  Throughout High School and college when I was single…a lot of girls seemed to test me.  I pretty much failed every time.  Hence why I did not have a steady girlfriend until a month before I turned 21.  They tested me rather than try to get to know me. 

I’m mixed on the subject.  I am not a player.  I was a good guy who wanted love before lust.  I was invited over to a very attractive girl’s dorm sophomore year of college.  I didn’t know much about this girl.  She put the hint out that she wanted some that night.  I didn’t take it.  I could have lost my virginity that night, but I didn’t and I never saw that girl again.  We had 3 dates total and one was at a friggin’ pizza joint.  Could I have hit that and ran?  Yes.  But that was all it would have been.  And at that time I just could never bring myself to that.  All that girl wanted was a shot of Joe; there was nothing long term in her desire and she didn’t even put it out there fully!  It was like a head game every time I saw her.  She’d make you think she liked you and when you tried to do something, she kind of backed off.  Rinse and repeat.

There were a few incidents like that in my life.  Even when I was with my Ex!  Early in our relationship I was hesitant to be too forward because I got the scent that she was not a girl who I could touch all the time.  A few days later her best friend IMed me and let me know that I have to be more forward and touch her more.  I was a little shocked, but sure enough the next time we were on the couch…stuff happened. 

I don’t need a girl to say “Joe I like you, please remove my top” or “Joe, please ask me out.”  But I KNOW that I lost out on some relationships because of the head work involved.  I have even had some girls come to me later in life and say “Joe I really liked you, why didn’t you ever act on it.”  WHY??!?!?!  Because I didn’t even know!  That’s why! 

Does that mean that you girls should be easy?  No!  I get why you may want to get that chase going.  Put a guy to a test and see if he is worth it.  I had a girl tell me she plays games because it shows her how interested a guy is.  If it is too hard for him, he will leave immediately.  If he truly wants to get into a relationship he’ll play the games because the payoff will be worth it.  That may be true with some guys, but not all.  I’d play every game in the book for a night with Jennifer Love Hewitt.  But an experienced guy may play those games with you, hit it and walk away leaving you depressed. 

I always described these games as a vicious cycle.  Asshole guys break the hearts of sweet girls. Those sweet girls want to get even so they play games with innocent guys.  Those innocent guys get motivated and become ass hole guys.  And it goes on and on and on!  I lost out because I wasn’t an asshole guy and I was too naïve to play with savvy girls.  I never was able to have a one night stand or make out session with a girl because I either wouldn’t allow myself to or I missed an opportunity.  So many girls miss out on good guys because we don’t like to play games.  And so many innocent girls get their hearts broken when they try to play with idiot guys. 

The Verdict:  Be flirty, flaunt it a little and have fun.  There is no need to go overboard or play intense head games.  It may not be a bad idea to act coy at first to gage how a male approaches you.  I just don’t think you should play games.  I remember when I got this one girl’s number.  I waited a day to call and she didn’t answer.  So I left a message.  She called back, let it ring twice and didn’t leave a message.  So I called again.  It was like a damn crazy game of emotions!  And I know some girls do this on purpose.  They break you down and make you so paranoid.

With Michelle (my present girlfriend), it was so easy.  Although I will say I gave her my number and she was like, ummn here is mine and didn’t take mine!  LOL so even she played me some.  But the fact is after our first date I called her and asked to hang out again.  And we did that next day.  No games.  No hoops.  Nothing.  I wanted to hang out, she wanted to hang out…and we did.

In the end we should all be ourselves.  How many times have we lied or pretended in relationships only to see them fall apart, leaving nothing but regrets.  It’s ok to play hard to get to a point, but don’t let it destroy potential relationships. 

Keep it Classic folks.  <3  Keep those emails coming!  I love doing this stuff!
Note:  I wrote this in 2009 and want to archive it.

On to the second blog.  I was at work during lunch surfing the web.  I often go to Yahoo, check my fantasy baseball team and then check the headlines.

The last article I read was on Michael Vick.  Apparently former NFL coach Tony Dungy went to visit Vick in jail.  Dungy is HUGE in prison ministry and does a lot charity; he is a good man.  The article did not
bother me in the least.  I think it showed how classy Dungy was for trying to help a misfit such as Vick.

What bothered me were the reader comments.  You can comment on most
Yahoo articles, and I have to be honest…it was just brutal.  I can’t tell you how many people wrote things like “Vick is in jail because he is black and rich” or “Vick didn’t kill anyone, he just tortured some dogs.”  And it goes on and on like that.

In response you had idiot responses to the above comments such as “That stupid n*&&er belongs there.”  I remember a quote from X-men where Beast says “You cannot reason with closed minds.”  Damn
if that blue mutant wasn’t right.

First of all, Michael Vick broke the law.  His skin color, finances and age had nothing to do with it.  I enjoy conspiracy theories, and
admit there are some shady things out there concerning crime and racism…but this is NOT one of those times!  The guy was part of a dog fighting ring where dogs were trained, beaten and tortured to death.
Morally I think this is a disgrace to treat any animal OR person in such a manner.  Vick was lucky that he only got two years.  To me it says something about YOUR character if you don’t think this is a big deal,
because it is.  That’s right, Joey Mac is preaching on his peddle stool for once.  DOG FIGHTING IS BAD.  It is inhumane and cruel.  And to all you haters that were bringing up cockfighting and bullfighting…what do you want me to say?  I think that is barbaric too.  I do not approve!  Putting animals up against one another to watch them fight to death for our own amusement is just morally, ethically and socially wrong.

This is not a time for whites OR blacks to band together against one another and debate if this is a race issue.  It’s not!  And it
shouldn’t be looked at as one either.  Instead, this country should realize that such a brutal act is wrong no matter what your skin color is.  In all honesty, it’s 2009 and we should be beyond any type of
race issue but we aren’t.  The term “reverse racism” is idiotic as well.  If a black woman calls me a “cracka” and is serious (true
story) that is racism.  We have a black president that some people hate
because he is black!  At a time where the country is falling apart, I have heard people talk about his skin color instead of what he is doing to help the economy.  Ludacris!

Racism, to me, is becoming more and more accepted as the years go on too.  As if “well it’s always going to be blacks doing this and
whites doing this.”  What the hell has happened to any strides taken to unify?  Too many white morons using slurs and being bigots and too many blacks using racism as an excuse when the time comes.  I have many black friends and grew up in a very diverse town in Pennsylvania.  Maybe
it’s because I grew up around African Americans, Latinos, etc. that I am just able to shrug off skin color and realize we all live on this Earth.  I don’t give a damn what color your skin is, your religion, etc.  All I know is I share the same Earth as everyone else and I am more worried about solving problems than being a racist in inane

For me I just don’t even see why a white man would want to put Michael Vick down for being “young, black and rich.”  What does he get out of it?  Are the white politicians handing out freebies to me for
being white?  NO!  So what the hell does anyone get out of Vick being in jail or not.  Maybe I’m just naïve.  Racism seems so outdated to me.  We should be so far beyond this.  It’s the color of skin!  How absurd is it that some people are treated differently due to skin color?   It’s idiotic! 

People are sent to jail for doing the wrong thing.  Michael Vick did the wrong thing.  He went to jail.  You have two issues here:  the first is accepting that what he did WAS wrong and IS!  The second is accepting
that his skin color had nothing to do with what he did.

Racism is, unfortunately, alive and well.  Many of you read about that police officer that pulled over the Houston Texans’ running back while his mother-in-law was dying.  THAT was racism.  That man should have been persecuted for being such a bigot piece of trash.  Putting Michael
Vick, the dog killer, in jail, was not racism.  That was justice. 
 It’s been a little over a week.  I apologize; I have been spending more time away from the computer in my evenings.  May is a busy time with everyone around me graduating, having parties, etc.  However I am also using some of my time for, well, ME!  Last night I went to the
Dragon Gym Martial Arts studio and got myself a massage.  The girl who
did the massage has a private suite in the gym.  And it felt fantastic.  I feel looser.  Being at the Dragon gym did not help my itch to get back into Martial Arts, but that is another story.

Today I vowed I would write a blog…and I am writing two.  The reason being that I came across two fairly interesting topics today and I feel compelled to address both.  So it’s a 2 for 1 deal mi amigos y amigas!

I will go in chronological order of when I first came across the topics.  My routine in the morning is pretty much the same every
weekday.  I crossed the bridge to get into Jersey, heading towards my job.  Every morning I listen to sports radio.  I have no idea why it came up, but the topic of Madonna trying to adopt a child in Africa was up for discussion.  A man called in and started trashing her for adopting an African child when there are plenty of kids here in America that need to be adopted. 

Keep in mind…I wanted to get the score from the ball game last night, but instead got this topic.  His comment irked me and festered as I continued on my way to work.  When, as a collective group of people, did
we decide it is a bad thing to help anyone?  This may be more controversial than you are used to hearing from me.  I just couldn’t
relate to the man on the radio who was screaming that we need to adopt kids in the United States only. 

I’m a big believer in helping everyone and anyone.  Does a starving Japanese girl or a sick African not deserve adoption?  Should the French only adopt homeless French kids?  I know a lot of people here believe
that we need to take care of our own first…I’m just giving the point of view that I would NOT be upset if a French couple adopted an American boy with the intentions of helping him.  Why should I get upset that an
American woman wants to help an African kid?  (FYI I think Madonna is a Brit, but I am trying to make a point here)

I am not an unpatriotic person; I live and grew up in the United States.  I do appreciate all of the pleasures and freedoms we have as a nation.  However in my mind I put the needs of the world ahead of just
one country, even my own.  The ozone layer is deteriorating; is the sun just going to burn a hole on China?  Or is it going to affect the rest of us in some way as well.  When the ocean level rises due to an iceberg melting in the caps…is the United States going to however above ground
to a safe level?  Probably not.

I’m not a left wing nut job or a right wing extremist…I’m some guy people have called “Classic” since 1996.  I keeps it real. 

All I am saying is, why do we shun a kid in Africa being helped?  Instead we should be happy another kid is getting the care they deserve.  We should be praising those that help American children instead of shunning someone who helps a kid in Asia.  Our problems are not worse than everyone else’s in the world.  Every country has problems.  Every person on Earth has a problem.  Stop concentrating on the negative and start coming up with solutions to help more people. 

I could easily sit here and say African kids have it worse than us, but I’d be a hypocrite.  I just got done saying that our problems are not worse than theirs, and vice versa!  One of my former blogs was about how I have my own problems and that they are the worst to me because I go through them.  I went further to say I am fully aware that a starving kid with no home has a worse life with me…but I don’t live that life.
The same is applied her; a starving kid in the USA feels the exact same emptiness as a kid starving in Africa.

A lot of people dwell on how we need to help our own people and forget everyone else.  We forget that a lot of people help our kids too.  That guy on the phone screaming about helping American kids probably has
never adopted anyone.  Too many people are on the sidelines ready to pounce of those who help non-American kids, but I bet you they have never adopted any American kids. 

Everyone needs help.  The same argument can be made for “Buy American Only” or “Hire Americans instead of Mexicans” blah blah blah.  I am not sitting here saying we shouldn’t take care of Americans…but why
do I want the government to pump billions of dollars into a failing American car industry when all they have done lately is make huge gas guzzling trucks.  Get those thousands of workers to another car maker
that produces efficient cars with better technology.  See, I am not suggesting we lay off all those Americans and let them die.  I’m suggesting change your technology and philosophy and get those hard working Americans back to work.  Don’t set them up to fail again.

I’m a believer that we take the best of everything and put it together.  Probably a reason why I hate our political system.  We have two distinctly different parties…and only one can win.  Idiots, why not collaborate and take the best points from each party to fix the currentstate of affairs.  Why can’t we all embrace the fact that a lot of
different people have great ideas…and we don’t have to just pick one!
We need to help one another instead of persecuting everyone else.

I am advocating for togetherness.  You don’t have to agree with me.
I just think that we lost view of the big picture as a country.  Too
many people are pointing fingers instead of holding hands.
Guess whose back.  Back again.  Classic’s back.  Well you know where I am going with this.

I apologize for taking a break from blogging and Myspace.  I haven’t gone to anyone’s blog to read the last two weeks and I have ignored this thing.  Why?  I don’t really know.  Call it a sabbatical…minus me doing much except working, thinking and hanging out.  I will check all of your blogs tomorrow!  Anyway…

I can’t explain how much bullshit I have gone through in my life.  Horrible parents’  divorce.  Parents multiple remarriages.  Real family shunned.  Poor beginnings in a shit town.  Suicides.  Backstabbing friends.  Relationship problems.  Broken dreams.  The list goes on.  That is my life though; I never expect anyone to ever come to me and show pity or sympathy.  The fact is these events and hundreds of others shaped who I am.  Every day I make sure to be aware of my surroundings by looking and talking to people.  Today was just another life lesson learned…one that you can learn over and over.

Some of you may be aware I am a State Recruitment Specialist in Mental and Behavior Healthcare.  I find Doctors, Aides, Counselors and Nurses to work with kids and adults with developmental/mental/behavior issues.  Every day I am around the kids and adults, I count my blessings.  All of a sudden getting beat as a kid or a major car accident didn’t seem so bad from my past.  It’s a hard field to be in, but a very rewarding one.  I get to help the clients hands on, but I also get to help many people get jobs in a time of economic crisis.

Today I was at a job fair.  It was at the Shore Mall in South East Jersey; not a great place.  In fact at times I felt in danger.  People lined up to get in, as so many people are out of work.  They are willing to do anything at this point, but I am looking out for the clients and will only take people who truly do want to help. 

I was truly humbled.  So many people came up to me…desperate, disheartened and depressed.  Many of them were unkempt and disheveled.  I love my job, but there are times were I get very down.  I hate seeing so many people in bad situations.  And the stories they will tell me!  As a Recruiter I have learned so much about the “real” world because I come in contact with so many different people.  As different as everyone was today, they all had one thing in common:  unemployment.

Most of these people live in shacks, scrap for food and don’t enjoy all of the luxuries I have.  I am a big believer that I live my life…and only I can.  The mental scars and demons I carry are mine and mine alone.  No, I can’t imagine being in Africa with no food or shelter.  No, I can’t pretend I live in a shack with no job.  I have defended my stance against many people…I don’t say this with arrogance or bigotry.  I have my problems, and everyone else does as well.  Does that mean I don’t care about others?  Absolutely not.  But I think a lot of people need to remember…it is not a competition to see who has more problems.

I do my fair share to help anyone I can.  I don’t need credit or a pat on the back.  I do what I can because I know where I came from, what I went through and what I am today.  I keep things in perspective.  Today I was able to buy a slice of pizza, cheese fries and a soda.  I didn’t finish half of my fries.  The woman at the table next to me looked dirt poor, and I gave her those fries.  She could have been insulted that I would think she is poor and reject those fries…instead she saw a good person in front of her and gave me respect in return for the fries.  I walked off, didn’t look back or see if anyone smiled in my direction. 

That lady probably thought I was some rich kid with everything spoon fed to me.  She doesn’t need to know the mental hardship that was my childhood and teenage years.  All I cared about was her having a good meal and if she or anyone else wants to think I don’t know what problems are…that is fine.  Just don’t say it to me publicly.

I’ve had far too many people say to me “you don’t know what it was like…” and then go into a tangent about how hard their life is.  I usually cut them off and say “You’re right.  And you don’t know how hard my life is either.  And there is no reason to compare them since we can’t live each other’s life.”  This response, as you can imagine, gets a lot of eye rolling and sighs.

The problem is people take my response as if I am an arrogant prick.  I’m not…but someone that has real problems shouldn’t use that as an instrument to drum up pity.  All of us have problems.  If I fall in a puddle while walking up the stairs to work and a kid in India is starving…can we say that that kid has a worse day than me?  The immediate answer is “Yes” because in all fairness, it is correct.  However I am the one who tripped in the puddle and I am the one who felt that embarrassment.  My day is worse for me because I went through it.  Does that mean I can’t recognize that a starving child is much more important than me tripping?  I do recognize it.  I am just being aware of things called “time” and “perception.”

My point is I help a lot of people every day.  I can recognize the problems they have.  I realize the problems I have, had and will continue to have.  In this case my problems and your problems are like comparing rotten apples to rotten oranges; the two are both spoiled, but still very different.  I don’t need to be preached at about how you have it harder than me…I recognize some people have it much worse than me…but I cannot switch lives.  These are the cards I was dealt and as long as I do my part to help others, there is no reason I should be persecuted for having money or a job…I have my problems too.  So remember that next time you want to go on a preaching session about how hard your life is…a lot of other people may not seem like they have problems, but they do.  And your problems won’t go away if you brag about how bad your problems are.  Instead of comparing problems or debating who has a worse life, we should all be trying to help one another.