Author: Michelle Arnold

Roller Boogie: My Pandemic Security Blanket

One of my earliest pandemic projects was to clean out my desk alcove, which I often refer to as “the Dorian Gray of my apartment,” because it’s where I stash anything and everything I don’t want to see. The depth of that mess is no exaggeration or hyperbole, as evidenced by me finding – while cleaning and organizing – a DVD that I failed to return to the rental place at least 15 years ago (I’d been juggling a full-time day job and part-time graduate night school and apparently couldn’t be bothered).  It was the 1979 movie, Roller Boogie.  My first reaction to that discovery was a mildly upset and anxious, “Ooops.” Which was quickly followed by my second reaction: “Oh, HELL yes.” That night, I popped the DVD into my old laptop, and, like something out of an Olivia Newton-John song from a different roller-skating movie, it was pure magic. Because despite being here, now, in the ominous gloom of 2020, sheltering-in-place alone in my Brooklyn apartment while the global Coronavirus pandemic grimly ravaged …

That Time Simon LeBon Worked in My Office

Like many 13-year-old girls in 1984, I often dreamed that Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon would one day randomly show up at my door. Unlike most of those girls, however, that actually ended up happening to me. And the story is nuts. In the early ‘00s, I worked at Rykodisc, an independent record label. If you are “of a certain age,” you may remember Ryko for its David Bowie, Elvis Costello, and Frank Zappa CD reissues and/or its trademark green CD cases. The Business Affairs office, where I worked, was located outside of Philadelphia in Main Line suburban Bryn Mawr, PA, in a nondescript compound: Ryko had the building in the front (an old 1920s-era stone mansion), while RuffNation’s successor company occupied the two brick stable buildings in the back, which they had renovated and converted into offices and a state-of-the-art recording studio. One day, our office manager (we’ll call him Eric) brought some payment approvals or something upstairs to my office for signature. Eric was about 6 years younger than me, in a pop …