Why do I pump up the volume, you ask?  Trust me, you are not the first to pose that question. 

My parents would ask the same, but more often than not in a very different tone of voice and generally their demeanor was a tad more course with a reddish hue in their cheeks, and face, and come to think of it their eyes were a bright red as well. They must have been upset about something those many, many times when they would ask with a harsh tone about the volume of my music.

The crash scenes flood the theater while the dog cowers in a panic underneath the blanket and pillows fearfully awaiting the end of the action. Unable to hear themselves think, the boys start yelling at me from upstairs to turn it down while they are attempting to finish homework. Oddly, their tone of voice reminded of me of my folks.

You see, here’s the thing: I thoroughly enjoy being immersed in the moment, in the movie, the show, or the musical. I long for the sound to surround me with style and then some as it was originally intended, to be engrossed in the plot, to listen to the music and actually hear Jimmy (Woody Harrelson, "White Men Can’t Jump"). The movie, music, moment, like life, swirls around us, goes before us, and curves behind us — awaiting for us to leap, to jump, to be absorbed in the scene and fully engaged in the script, to grasp and hold on tight, like the safety belt on a roller coaster.

I remember standing on a bridge over the river falls ride at Cedar Point for the first time. They all explained to me that I seriously need to hold on to the bridge, as tightly as a I could. At the time, I did not fully understand the reason — until the raft came rushing down the falls and splashing into the river causing a tidal wave whose main objective was to completely wash you back into the Cedar Point parking lot. All I could do to hold onto the rails for dear life. And in the residuum, I couldn’t wait for the next one.

In lieu of that, I encourage you then, like a 1980s Christian Slater, to "Pump Up the Volume" to 11, pull on the beats and immerse yourself in life. It may get a little loud at times, but as that generation explains — YOLO. Your future self will be glad you did, but then again ... that’s just my humble opinion.

Toby Baker is a family man and eclectic style guru.

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