Sunday, August 8, 2010
I am in a terrible mood and have not been able to shake it for the majority of the day. This happens often on Sundays, but usually some sort of food treat, outdoor adventure, television pablum, or mindless task accomplishment can push me over the hump and into the week. Today, however, I have been stewing a bit. Why not stew like a fish in a crockpot? I don't even think the fish at the top of the page are interested any more! Anyway, I decided, presuming I'd be lying awake for a bit, to return to the crockpot. I give credit to Natalie Kranz who, upon seeing me recently at her gorgeous home with her gorgeous kids and gorgeous quiches where she was hosting a divine baby shower, suggested I write something as she was "sick of LA!" being the leftover post of this crock page.
How true. The Lakers aren't even the biggest story in the NBA anymore since the Heat set about making a boy band. Backstreet's back - all right! And so too, should I be.
Maybe I'm back because somehow my unease seems to have a need for reckoning at its thematic core. Today I felt as scattered as Waffle House hash browns and I don't quite enjoy it (though I enjoy hash browns, though not as much as cheese n' eggs), and I am certain that is due in no small part to having to replace my cellular telephone. Since arriving in Los Angeles, I have had three definite instances of phone loss or failure. All three have resulted in immediate and existential angst of varying degrees. It is interesting, however, that the angst has changed in its causation.
The first time I was cell phone-less, I had been thrown in a fountain while the phone was on my person. I had not been in L.A. for a quarter of a year yet. Though my brother and sister-in-law were visiting that weekend and physically in my presence, I felt panic as though I'd been irreparably severed from my life and loved ones on the east coast. Panic panic panic. I believe that entire weekend was a watershed "maybe I'm having adjustment issues" moment.
The second time I was cell phone-less, I dropped it at a concert venue when I'd switched to a new, smaller purse to have a non-bulky purse at a concert and believed I'd put it in a pocket of said purse. I'd put it on the outside flap of the purse. Ready to fall. Then, as with this most recent instance, my phone loss occurred when I was participating in a new and fun activity. Though both evenings in question were fantastic, the realization of phone loss the next day made me feel like I'd forgotten the penalty for new fun. Like, whoops - you can't go doin' that and not expect a tariff. The 2nd time I again had panic about not being able to contact, or be contacted, by people who might be trying to find me. But L.A. people too, not just east coasters. That had a happy ending and an "Oh L.A. does have fine and upstanding individuals" as both someone returned the phone to the lost and found portion of the venue, and someone in that office used my phone to contact my parents, who they assumed would track me down. They did. The next night I drove across town to retrieve my phone and had to battle my way through a line of rather rowdy, mostly pleather-clad individuals who were excited for the venue to open the doors for admission to, I believe a nigh S&M performers' ball. Looking like I'd just walked out of the pages of the Babysitter's Club series in my t-shirt and jeans (and original bulky purse), the white-faced-makeupped transvestite in a leather girdle and thigh-high boots very easily believed that I was not in fact trying to worm my way past the security, which they believed to be inadequate for the crowd's enthusiasm, but rather HAD lost my phone the night before. I needed to go to the business office on the top level. A back office lackluster security detail (girl in a black t-shirt with a flashlight who worked there and happened to be passing by) was kind enough to escort me upstairs at the behest of the doorman/woman. They found my phone. They gave it back. My niece's tiny face was smiling on the front. Numbers were inside. Connection! Phew. And what nice people to understand losing one's phone sucks. And to not make me pay the $5 cover to go inside to get it.
This weekend's phone loss occurred in downtown L.A. as a Friday happy hour morphed into a bar crawl. It was fun! I downgraded to a smaller purse for the evening! And soooo the story repeats itself. I realized my phone was missing in the middle of our fun. Backtracking spots and coming up empty, I tried again the next day, calling, texting, leaving email addresses at a restaurant - hoping that my good fortune in the face of bad phone retention might also repeat itself. Saturday it was ok. I actually liked the freedom from the phone, as I tend to cling to its possibility on weekends. I hadn't lost hope that it would physically return to my sweaty palm, and could enjoy a day fast and loose. Unhindered and unchecked.
Sunday things turned south. Quickly too. I realized that I had to suck it up and replace the phone and did not want to head to the phone store on a weekend. I realized I'd probably missed absolutely no calls in the absence of my phone. No one was looking for me. And worse, would people even write to give me their numbers? It was like a crystallized symbolic mental retrospective of contacts I was, well, a little out of contact with. Somehow having a name in your phone, even if you never use it again, seems important. The name of the limo driver from your best friend's bachelorette party. The friend you only text regarding one sports team one season a year. Your old landlord. Just in case.
Somehow this phone loss marked the enormity not just of distance from loved ones on a different coast, but of the passage of time in a whole new way. Here I was, out of touch. Off the grid. In a city where I hit a traffic jam at midnight that brought me to a complete stop the night before. And would the college friends I see once every 2 years even bother sending me their number to replace?
(this sounds super depressing! I don't mean it with quite as dire a tone as it might seem to convey)
I was assisted at the phone store by a gentleman named Njall. Or Nihall. Or hm...the second one looks more accurate. He was definitely not originally born in America. He was also like, the best and most non-salesy, non- B.S.y phone store guy I'd ever met. Here was the efficiency I wanted when, after getting coffee, I decided to do what felt like impulse shopping and suck it up and head to the phone store, lines be damned. I needed to know what I'd missed and if someone was using my lost phone to make the phone calls that would keep their long-distance relationship with their bon hunnybun in Paris going strong.
He explained things. He told me the price point for unlimited texting. He showed me the phones that did the things I wanted and nothing more. I pointed. He went and found the box. It worked.
I loved him, and somehow (again, perhaps I woke up with more emotional turmoil than I gave myself credit for) his efficiency and kindness made me want to cry, because I wanted him to be recognized for taking care of business, business that I had failed to take care of myself. I love the TCB feeling. Scattered self - not so much, though it seems to be my default setting.
When I got home, I realized I hadn't shopped for the phone at all. Aside from rejecting a phone as a conceivable option because its display font was Comic Sans, I had really just taken his word for it. I had no idea how this thing worked. No idea.
It rang. I panicked. I hated the ringtone - the default ringtone that only those over the age of 65 keep, so the ringtone you always hear as the ringers are often turned up really loud. I couldn't unlock it. I didn't know if I was answering the call. It was my Dad. He said I seemed to be in a bad mood. I confirmed I was. After I hung up, I sent a text message reply to an automated 900 number unintentionally. I couldn't see my sent messages. I couldn't believe the new keyboard thingy that was supposed to set my world on textual fire did NOT adhere to standard typewriter letter order. QWERTYIOP motherf*cker! Do I look like I can learn a second keyboard? Where were the punctuation marks? Was I being charged for email I wasn't using? Oh God. I don't even know my best friend's phone number. And if I do, I won't be able to save it. I didn't get the insurance, despite being there for a totally insurance-plan-is-smart-based reason. The screen would probably shatter by week's end. All of this I pondered as the sun dropped a little lower on the weekend.
How is it back-to-school time? How is there an NFL game on? How am I ever going to figure out this phone, much less what to do with life?
An oversight in the story...
When I came back home from the phone store, I am foolishly sharing with the readership, my door was wide open as if I had just stepped outside to get my mail or do laundry. The kind of wide open for when you are coming right back. No big whoop. Oven isn't on, but it could be and it wouldn't matter.
I had left my apartment in such a state of distraction that I didn't even shut the door behind me. Maybe that speaks to the necessity of coffee in my life, but that threw me for an even bigger loop than my phone. I wasn't just losing my phone, I was losing my mind.
The great part of the phone confusion is that I now have an even greater appreciation of my dad's new confusion with his newly acquired cell phone. No, it's not a new model - it's his first ever phone. He and my mother had been sharing one phone previously. She'd been mission control on the tech side of that one. He'd just talked into it.
His newly acquired phone gifted him, not only the capacity to let my mom know when he's taking a detour to the grocery store because he might need neosporin and the nectarines are on sale, but also a fairly good run of phone bumble anecdotes. He thought the cell phone was the alarm clock one morning, and got out of bed only to later discover the beeping had been a text message. He wrote out the words "question mark" in the first text he sent me, having no idea how to make punctuation marks appear. Hearing these tales I'd laughed and laughed. Teased a bit and assured him he'd get the knack sooner or later. Recommended he switch from the awful default ring tone and thought he was being too picky when he said all the pre-loaded ring tones were crap.
One more moment of being the apple at the base of the family tree for me today. Where were good ring tones? Where was the button to talk? Where was the text menu? Where, for God's sake, was the question mark???
I suppose Dad and I will have to learn the tricks of our new phones on phone calls to one another. Assuming I can hold onto mine and he can find the snooze button on his, we might just be the technologically out-of-touch keeping in touch. We'll see. I've got minutes with his name on them. And well, about 2 other contacts.
My former landlord could call any day now, letting me know he's also unable to reconcile with change, but finally ready to return that deposit.
If he does, I'll put it toward the phone insurance.
Or a new ring tone. Maybe my Dad can suggest some good ones. I'll call him, if I can figure it out.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Yes, the Lakers come from behind win was a thrill. But somehow it was also enough positive distraction to get me out of my own brain! Reasons this win was fantastic:
1. Lakers over Celtics. This is my preference in this match-up. Has been, will be. Blame the 80s, but my family skewed Lakers then, and have stuck with it. Also, not a fan of: Paul Pierce, KG, Rasheed Wallace (gag). Do love Rajon Rondo though. That guy- GOOD! And props to Ray Allen.
2. I know it probably makes me a bad feminist, but I love Kobe! Love him. Such a competitor.
3. Last second win!
4. Kobe, who is an all-star, was relatively cold shooting tonight! Had to rely on the TEAM. And then recognized it. Gave a specific shoutout to Pau Gasol saying, "I can't say enough about the Spaniard." Pau Gasol looking like a giant perhaps Spanish descendant of Abe Lincoln, getting choked up and crying! Then palming what appeared to be a beer in the locker room that looked like a 5-hour energy bottle in his hand, given how friggin' huge his hands are. I kinda wanted Kobe and Pau to make out. I can't lie.
Kobe parading his kids out? Not a fan of that...can't lie again.
5. Then there's the post-game sound bytes. Amazing. Amazing. Hilarious. And it's like suddenly everyone who's in front of a television camera is wearing a "dance like no one's watching" t-shirt and going for it. Hysterical!
Ron Artest, first player to be interviewed, thanks his hood, and his psychiatrist. Hell yes Ron Artest. Know who put you where you are today. Hell. Yes.
Magic Johnson - this guy looks great! And can't go off script! Loves Jerry Buss, Phil Jackson, Kobe Bryant, city of Los Angeles...and if given a chance to talk again, has to repeat that in different order.
Bill Russell.....REALLY want him to go off script. Want him to say whatever he's thinking. For like, an hour.
6. Local News! Amazingggg!
Sports guy, former player, and Lisa Leslie in a Laker jersey, blazer, with Laker bluetooth still in her ear, encouraging families to go get something to eat to celebrate rather than rioting in the streets, as it makes no sense. Smashcut to "And now we go live to the guy in the chopper with shots of fans rioting in the streets..."
The game has been over, maybe 48 minutes, and they're already using rubber bullets on the crowds who are scrapping with mounted police, police on bikes, fighting each other, turning over sawhorses and traffic monitoring signs. Local news is offering a split screen of Kobe Bryant, kids on either arm, cocky as all hell, and aerial shots of the developments outside the Staples center.
Their man on the street reporter already nearly lost his microphone to a young, sweet looking girl who, when offered the mic for comment, tried to take it from him entirely and went into mocking newscaster mode. Hilarrrious. The crowd luuuuved it. Rightfully so.
Rowdy fans. Fires in the streets. Jumping on cars. Storming streets. Sawhorses through car windows. Wow. It's so bad it's funny. Probably because I'm not there. And probably because attempts at the NBA and Lakers making formal commercials to stop crowds from acting like wild angry mobs rather than respectful sports fans failed so tremendously. Also funny, the city has been encouraging fans to celebrate responsibly all week. I've mostly heard these warnings and requests from NPR reporters. So yeah...pretty sure they got to their target riot audience there.
Lisa Leslie is lovely. And she just said POO on t.v.
I am a sports fan. I like winning. But I've never wanted to overturn a schoolbus after a win. Maybe I'm not that big a fan after all?
Lisa Leslie, please get on Dancing with the Stars. I might watch.
Monday, May 3, 2010
But I'm excited! The mail has me jazzed. I came home and found my mailbox full of nice cards and then a jury summons. But then it was for the person who used to live in my apartment not me! And then a new neighbor was like, hey..., because he had his door open and i was walking past checking the mail. And i was scared he'd hate me because I had a loud and rowdy party on saturday. but he just asked to be invited the next time i had a loud and rowdy party (which is still not good as i try to pretend i don't frequently have loud and rowdy parties and really, i dont!). but better than open hatred! and he told me happy 23rd birthday and i said it'll be better the 2nd time! and then i found a package near my other neighbors' door and was like, wait is that for me? And I opened it, and it's got a hunger monster inside! like the orange furry guy from weight watchers ads who tries to get people to eat snacks. which um, it kind of works. i want to hang out with him and eat snacks. and NOW I CAN! thanks momo!!! we had some cheese and chips and a delicious cookie and watched 2 law & orders! in a row! and i'm afraid they're going to kill off the chief, which will make me sad. she's leaving the show! but maybe not by way of death? let's hope.
ooh i 'm just excited i guess huh.
yay! now some sleeps!
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Girl Scout cookie breakfast!
fatty treats everywhere I turned!
family fun fone calls!
all-day friend fun!
How to Train your Dragon the movie not in 3-D but still so great!
And it's about to have a dash of Salman Rushdie!
This day has been full of surprises and reminders of love and life and joy.
This morning I learned a friend just gave birth to a baby girl.
This evening I learned a friend just lost her father.
And all day I saw people running the emotional range available to us - from the husband and wife really pleased to be in church together, to their teen son who looked as if he'd been asked to stand on hot coals for an hour by sitting next to them. Experiences experienced everywhere from the best to the worst, and today i'm sending positive peace to anyone who will take it.
Peace peace peace peace peace to you and beyond
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Yesterday, in addition to having a fantastically calm and quiet Friday, I also got a new book out of the library - Fury, by Salman Rushdie! When I saw the title and realized it was indeed the word fury, i went for it. Lately I've been seemingly full of rage or negative energy, which also sometimes fluctuates to completely elated, fantastic energy. I'm sure someone's thought of a better way to describe contrasting depression and mania...hm...manic behavior....angry behavior of the depressed. Hm, if only I could think of something. Maybe with a hypen.... Anyway, I was thrilled to find a book by a favorite author that seemed to touch upon what I'd been feeling lately, I happily tucked it under my arm then giddily skipped across campus and toward my car, glad to be let out of work a bit early for the Easter holiday. There was a Police cover band playing "So Lonely" on the quad. The sun was shining. I was free! And felt good! Woo! In the spirit of my giddiness, when I looked at what was playing as listed on the movie theater marquis on the way to my car, I saw the phrase "Train Your Dragon" (yes I want to see that movie). My head just kinda started running with that in a commanding way with this crazy energy that's been around lately.
So tonight, though I'm more drowsy than fired up, I'm going to let myself run with that first found thought and see where it takes me. Happy Saturday everyone!
Friday Sunshine - So Lonely, So Lonely, So Lonely
Train my dragon
Paint my wagon
Ride my see-saw
Laugh at hee-haw
Keep the faith
Fail the safe
Come on in
Yes, we're open
Shirt and shoes required
Meter time expired
For a limited time
Let your light shine
Feel so alone
Throw a dog a bone
Got sin? Atone
What's love got to do with it
Where's the baseball to hit
Who's on first after all
When you need a friend, call
you're OUT my name
There's so much sun at the setting
Too many names worth forgetting
Too many shames for regretting
Too many rains that do not let in
the ease or the sleep or the win
This will be the time
My Sting operation
This thrill will be mine
This dance my vocation
Know my hope
Know my buzz
Know the frenzy
of the klutz
This will be the transformation
Every little thing YOU DO
Friday, April 2, 2010
Today a coworker announced he was in search of his traditional Good Friday philly cheesesteak sandwich, a hilarious premise and tradition in and of itself. Kind of a real F you to the whole Lenten Friday meat abstaining thing, more so because it takes place on THE Friday of Lenten Fridays. But after talking about cheesesteaks all day, and then watching/smelling/salivating as two coworkers ate them, I was having trouble with the no meat thing. I just wanted to go through the Wendy's drive-thru on the way out of work and get the Bacon/Bleu burger and a frosty and dip chicken nuggets in that. And I don't typically go through the Wendy's drive thru after work. It was absolutely a case of wanting it more because I could not have it.
After making it through, and looking at the samoas knowingly as I put some clean dishes away above them this afternoon, I found myself able to have the Friday I wanted to have last Friday, which instead became me writing an angry rant about the noise control issues of my neighbors. Sure they've got a phone book that was delivered 2 days ago and 2 take out menus outside their door inviting trouble and indicating disregard for their space, inches from my door, but hey, they're very QUIETLY not taking in the junk mail left on their stoop. Thank you neighbors.
Tonight I did the two loads of laundry I wanted to, and the dishes, and the sitting in peace on my couch eating chips and watching a movie I had not seen but wanted to - yep, it was Cars, the Disney/Pixar movie. Happened to be on the Disney Channel. And I only missed about 3 minutes of it!
Yes, yes it is the same premise and a story that's very close to Doc Hollywood, but guess what - I loved it. I love talking cars. I really am a sucker for animation - this is fairly widely known. But once again as I will gladly tell anyone - Up was the best movie I saw last year and do not understand how it was not the best picture given that it made me experience close to 75% or more of the gamut of human emotion and I was still thinking about it for weeks after, telling people to see it like I was trying to convert them to a new church or the Atkins diet - It will change your life! The Pixar folks really make round characters and tell good stories. Yes. Yes they do. I love those cars! Like I loved that old man and his boy scout! They manage to make me care about everyone in the movie. Mission accomplished.
Also, this movie, like Fantastic Mr. Fox of Thanksgiving, made me go - Wow, that's amazing that even just the voice is incredibly well acted. Paul Newman is a tremendous car! He brings some grit, emotion, and depth to what might otherwise be the feel-good old timer character of this movie. I had the same reaction to Meryl Streep in the aforementioned Mr. Fox. I mean, even as a fox, she is exceptional. I feel her fox's emotions. I believe that fox. Like I believe the anguish of a tarnished past for Newman's car.
That takes some chops!
Well, a TGIF to all with especial hopes that your Good Friday is a really good Friday, and that you avoided, or indulged in the cheesesteak you so richly deserve as needed.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Today I’ve got a jumble stewing in my own brain. I think it might involve the massive quantity of caffeine I consumed around 2 p.m., which, as I type this, I realize might mean I’ll be crocking again this evening at about 2 a.m. when I’m unable to sleep. I mean, I’m affected. Addled even. I just went to the library to return one book (the one recommended yesterday!) and check out another, and I realized upon arriving there that I had not brought my library card. Turns out that whole loaner system only goes so far. It’s not a trust library. They’d prefer an actual record of what you’ve got and when you should bring it back. Library, I respect you. This one was my bad.
Anyway – rapid fire topics!
Topic One: Insidious marketing in my favorite t.v. shows – everyone sees this for what it is, right?
Last night’s episode of “Modern Family” – handsdown the funniest new show on t.v. at present – involved an A storyline that revolved around a character’s birthday desire to own an iPad. Now, this ABC show is Disney affiliated = Apple affiliated = iPad-happy. So the episode focused on the mania and excitement one lovable nerd would experience in desperately wanting Apple’s newest i-gadget. And yes, while very true to life for many iNerds and even common un-techie folk alike, the fact of the matter is that was essentially a 26 minute informercial for the iPad. Yes, I get it has to happen, but man, sometimes I hate it when there’s no acknowledgement of marketing’s fourth wall and there should be. Like, television programming is around so that we are encouraged to buy products, but I hate when the commercials get all up in the television programming to the point of being essential to the story rather than throw away product shots (every HP computer used on NBC Thursdays), or one-off mentions by characters (the guys checking the navigation system of their Ford on “White Collar” or Chuck of “Chuck” using the backup cam on his Nerd Herd Toyota) and pretend like they’re not there. The same thing bothered me about last week’s “Office.” Yep, it was funny, but how many time did the character Michael Scott say the phrase “Date Night!” excitedly? Coincidentally the name of his movie soon to be in theaters this April 9th take your whole family! I guess the manner I prefer, if we have to have such blatant in-show promotions to the point that character dialogue reflects the product, is that employed by “30 Rock” – making fun of yourself for doing it, and for the company doing it, and the entire industry. They go for broke. And it’s true to character and show. It’s self-skewering! I like it.
Topic Two: Refrigerators
This I bring up just to close the loop on yesterday’s mention of today’s topics, and because it’s top-of-mind concern to me. As we know, things I value most: food and television. I have some concerns my refrigerator might not be functioning at top speed/freeze any more. I think it’s still functioning well enough to keep things cold enough not be outright rotten, but that there’s a window where it warms up enough to make bad stuff grow, then cool down juuuust enough to cultivate those funky bad things so that my refrigerator is slowly becoming a den of self-poison! This could be the caffeine talking, but I’ve actually had this theory prior to jazzing myself beyond all reason with a giant Wendy’s iced tea this afternoon. Now, even if that’s not what is happening in my fridge, I still think it’s a compelling idea for a movie or short story or episode of Law & Order (I LOVE YOU LAW & ORDER!)! The slow and painful poisoning…done from the inside! Something as rotten as a crockpot full of fish.
Did you catch that?
When I shared these concerns with friends, I was informed that I was indeed boring and ridiculous with the story I was telling. It was quite hilarious at the time because that assessment was 100% correct.
Topics Three and Four: Spinning Austrians!!!
I had a hilarious experience at a spinning class yesterday. The instructor was so intense and ridiculous that everything he said made me laugh rather than inspiring my fastest pedaling on a stationary bike. All of this was done to the backdrop of a house mix from a euro-rave. I think this might be fertile ground for a full essay, so lemme just stop there. Here’s the punchline – though I pedaled far, I got nowhere.
Topic Five!: Cheating!
A few days ago I heard the song OPP on the way to work. A fantastic song that masterfully samples “ABC” by the
That made me think of other songs that are blatantly about cheating, and I remembered crockpot lists were fan favorites last year. So here’s some great songs about cheating, in no particular order. Suggestions welcome. And a great many oversights in the country realm are acknowledged.
OPP – naughty by nature
Have you ever loved a woman – Derek and the Dominoes (one of many of Eric Clapton’s great, cheating with George Harrison’s wife – inspired songs. Really, whole awesome album came out of this)
Run to You – Bryan Adams - yep, listen closely. That love is forbidden!
Tusk – Fleetwood Mac – again, one very direct entry in a collected work that has quite a few homages to lovers-scorned
It wasn’t me – Shaggy, featuring Rik Rok(?) HILARIOUS. Like, this one is so shameless that I can’t help but love it – you were caught? In person? On camera? With a ton of supporting evidence? Deny it anyway.
Pina Colada Song (escape)– Rupert Holmes – when is cheating hilarious? When you want to cheat on your partner and your partner wants to cheat on you too! Ahhh, ain’t love grand. Really. A case of figuring out a song was ridiculous well after hearing it many many times.
Two Silhouettes on the Shade – the Rays, covered by Herman’s Hermits – This is a case of mistaken cheating identity, but it’s still a great song, great story. The Herman’s Hermits version is of course…upbeat
Chain of Fools- Aretha Franklin – it’s a good song.
Anyone Who Had a Heart – Dionne Warwick – I’m pretty sure this one is Burt Bacharach, right? No one does devastating love better. And this one, though “untrue” is the only real cheating reference, seems to work for me
Maybe I know that He’s been Cheating – Lesley Gore – this is as edgy as Lesley Gore gets, and I like it.
Cecelia – Simon & Garfunkel – shaking our confidence daily!
Ok, I have to go, but I’ll think of more!
Anyeay, I can't see what I"m typing without squinting right now, and all i really wnat to do is sleep sleep sleep. I even was attending a writing related meeting- not just watching tv! But as i just received a package for Easter that compels me forward toward the deadline without skipping more days, I hvae to come here and tell you how much I don't want to be writing this right now. Also this current position is some sort of tricep exercise given my current arm position. Anyway. I really do apologize for making this more like a facebook wall than a functional blog. I am tired ya'll!
things to talk about tomorrow
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
So tonight I pull in to park my car, and there's the guy I mentally call Gary speaking with the nice neighbor from upstairs who also is a sports fan. (Really, my ranting blogs are all coming full circle here. The other thing that was awesome? The nice guy who actually is a sports fan qualified ME as an actual sports fan, indicating to Gary that we follow sports a lot more than he does [! and that other guy next door to me!]). Amazing. If he only knew I called him the only actual other sports fan in the building. Mutual respect. Booya.
So I talk to I-think-it's-Gary and Sports Guy Upstairs for a while, and am introduced by name to Joel, the would be Gary. I'm from Pittsburgh, he's from Philadelphia. We chat a bit. Chat about sports affiliations. Sports Guy Upstairs talks shit about Big Ben Roethlisberger, I don't try to defend him all to much because how can I right now, and Would-be Gary talks about loving trees, loving the air, fighting the man, all the stuff that makes it verrrry likely that he's an actor. whose been living in California for a while. I almost ask. I almost ask if he acts and bring up my Gary's Old Towne Tavern suspicion, but then realize if he's not an actor at all but rather an avid activist who hates televisions and those who use them, I'll be on the outs. Wanting to keep up the neighborly vibe without giving off my own creep vibes, I decide to just take my context clues, leave my "good to meetchas" and head back to the interwebs.
Joel from Philadelphia plays Gary of Gary's Old Towne Tavern on Cheers. And what's more? His headshot could have been taken today.
Now, the coast difference makes this difficult as I know my brother who would absolutely be as impressed by this as I am is in bed asleep. Or not checking his email. So here I am, left to bring the enthusiasm of sitcom love to the crockpot for dissemination.
Remember all that stuff about Boner, and how Boner as a character was like a real person in my childhood? Gary, aside maybe from Francoise, who tried to steal Woody's girlfriend by tauntingly saying "Woody, I'm going to steal your girlfriend!" in a French accent, is probably the most loathed character on Cheers! A great source of bar rivalry episode fun, but the guy we loved to hate with the Cheers gang. And now he lives upstairs!!! I mean, Andy Andy was also great, but he was also crazy. (And now the reason I typically add an "Andy" after one-named Andys in my head, because it just sounds right).
So yeah, to answer your question, yes. Yes I will be saying, "Hey Joel, didn't want to freak you out if you weren't Gary, but I wanted to ask you if you were Gary and then internet stalked you and found out you were!!! That's awesome! And way not creepy, right? Great. Nope, not planning on stealing your mail. If you were wondering....Nope. And you probably weren't wondering. I'll stop talking now. YOUR BAR SUCKS!"
And then I run away.
Sometimes you wanna go, where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came...
a.k.a. - t.v.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get where troubles are all the same. I think the t.v. might have a beer waiting.
Monday, March 29, 2010
I did watch the rest of Undercover Boss from last night and yep, it made me cry. I think this one is a bit more insanely emotionally direct to the aims of American people than Extreme Makeover Home Edition, and let me tell you why. That one takes tragic stories of exceptional people and families, just trying to raise good families with good values, and often overcoming crazy adversity to do so, by living the American dream of home ownership. It helps people have a home, which guess what - Americans want. Longstanding thing we try to achieve. Yep yep yep.
This Undercover Boss show??? Captures and delivers the ideal that hard work will be recognized. While hard work is its own reward, honest, commited, hard work and can-do spirit, even in the face of hardship and lack of personal, financial, or emotional resources, is worth doing well and will, eventually, be recognized and appreciated. This takes people in the business-running/decision-making capacities of companies and forces them to do the real hard stuff - the roll up your sleeves down and dirty, under-appreciated grunt stuff. And beyond that, it shows them just how necessary that work is to the bigger picture. So this show rewards the idealized American work ethic. The people who give 110% every single day and also have families and are beating tremendous odds at home (these folks were working through: homelessness, poverty, being single parents, natural disasters, etc.) are rewarded with a good job recognition hug from the CEO, and news that the company they bleed for will be helping them with what they need. Really really gets to core American can-do spirit hard and fast and effectively. Oh yeah, I cried.
Then today, not sure if it's the fever or not, I watched an episode of Cheers and became convinced that Gary from Gary's Olde Town Tavern, longtime rival of Cheers, lives in my apartment building. HA which would be awesome. And would explain the odd hours that guy seems to be around if he's a working/former actor. But it really does make me want to stare at his face when I see him rather than scurrying out of sunlight like a vampire without a parasol. Perhaps IMDB could help? I dunno, maybe it will give his street address.
And finally, Ricky Martin is gay. Which I think is actually less shocking to me than Clay Aiken coming out, only because it seems like old news now and Clay Aiken was so hell-bent on telling us he was not going to hell due to wrongful sexuality and the like in his initial fights against being gay. But maybe Ricky has a new album? I dunno. But good for you Ricky Martin. Good for you. Ole Ole Ole! Total el mundo a pie! I'm happy that you're gay! Enjoy it.
Well, bed beckons. La vida loca can make a blogger tired.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Seeing as I had not realized this was the case prior to logging in, I'll have to consider that idea for tomorrow's post. Perhaps a flashback to better times in these murky waters, given the angst of late? Could be fun! Also, it seems that last year's crock posts were really really a lot longer. Is that good, bad, or ugly? Probably all of the above. Maybe they were more interesting?
The weekend winds to a close with me a bit tired and groggified, having channeled my angst of yesterday into an evening with a bit of debauchery and the booze that should flow to the lips of the young, and their livers of exceptional functionality, their kidneys that filter and process like the mind of Stephen Hawking - fast and well. West Virginia did win yesterday after all, which was a bit of fun. I saw the neighbors - whose exploits I've detailed in excruciating detail - return home looking maybe a bit dejected? But their arrival did confirm my theory that that dude does not actually care about sports all too much. They were strolling back in when there were less than 2 minutes left in the game and this guy's proclaimed team was within 7 points of making a comeback. Again, not that I care if he doesn't care. Not everyone has to love sports, but why fake it in your own home with your own wife and the door open? Anyway. Congrats West Virginia! Hope you have another one in you, at least.
As the sun set on the weekend (painfully as always) bringing a veil of depression in anticipation of a week where a desk and a distinct lack of natural sunlight will be the home of my activities and hours I found myself considering the Sunday night television line up. I kind of wish the Sound of Music had been on. I think it'll be on on Easter. Usually is. But man, it always seemed like that movie would be on, tempting me away from my homework on nights when I had a lot of it. Tonight I think I would have watched a bit, and tried to use the commercials to achieve the things I was supposed to have already taken care of. Julie Andrews was not around, but there's an amazing amount of pick-me-up television airing on Sundays. The Extreme Makeover Home Edition and the newer show Undercover Boss, which involves a company big wig working at the lower levels of the company, gaining a new respect for the work they do and, of course, helping recognize them for being great in a big, surprise-laden way.
I was watching a bit of tonight's episode which featured a CEO of many Christian-owned theme parks going to theme parks across the country and meeting hardworkin' folk who really cared about doing a good job and wanted him to do the same. There are even some extra touches, like we get to see a rich CEO staying in a fairly shabby motel with the bad art and bed comforters that fairly shabby motels are famous for. It was in one such hotel that this gentleman prepared himself a microwave dinner. I haven't seen enough episodes to know if that's standard practice among contestants, or if this guy was just enjoying a Hungry Man enchilada for the treat of it, but it really seemed sort of overly "common" of him. Like, was I supposed to take from that that everyone he works with who is not a CEO also eats microwave meals? Or is he roughing it because he has to? Was this meal a hardship. Was that the message.
Whatever the intent, I did find myself fairly engaged in the show and wanted to see the big reveal. But i ended up DVRing as I had a shower to take and a blog post to post. Somewhere in that first activity, I had the notion that it would be hilarious if they did a show called undercover boss that was actually bosses going undercover to see what their employees did. Because it would be different. The tips from insiders? There would be a lot more, "Usually the boss comes in late on Mondays, so I end up getting here around, I dunno, 9:30, 9:45? What I'm saying is, don't kill yourself getting here. So not worth it."
There'd probably be a fair bit of information given about co-workers too. "Her? Well, as long as you don't steal her pens, or use any of her office supplies without asking, you can stay on her good side. Oh, and she LOVES Jesus, so don't make any jokes about that either. And consider adding her to your SPAM list. Lady loves email forwards about kittens, prayers, and blonde jokes."
The undercover boss would get to play solitaire, minesweeper, tetris, sudoku. Look at facebook, myspace, youtube, and other sites. Write personal emails. Take personal calls. Make personal calls. Send e-cards to family. Send someecards to friends. Send emails to friends to discuss being annoyed by professional obligations. Send emails to discuss personal plans after finishing professional obligations. Check flight prices. Check celebrity news. Check mate - be beaten by the computer in a game of chess. Thumbs-up some facebook statuses. Comment on others. Look at pictures of friends, friends spouses, friends significant others, ex's significant others, everybody's babies, sonograms, or dogs and cats. The boss would be emailing others about how crappy a work task was. Looking for a reason to loiter in the hall. Text message a friend. Think about what's for lunch. Think about what's for dinner. Think about doing laundry. Think about getting back to that weekend sunshine.
The real undercover boss show? I almost think it'd be entertaining too. As entertaining? More? Hard to say. But It'd sure resonate with the hard-working American folk just waiting for their microwave meal and a reality show at the end of the day.
Most important thing about work ethic? Cut vents in the plastic covering or your microwave meal will EXPLODE.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
And as I went out to enjoy the sunshine and people in the rest of the world were exceedingly friendly today for some reason, I again felt bad that I’d been stewing in negativity.Things are great.The sun is shining and warm on our skin.
AND THEN I CAME HOME. Argh. They must just have a different concept of both volume and what it means to live in a building with some common airspace. Guess whose favorite Portuguese music was back on, though at least at a reasonable level? Yep. I think they saw me shooting lasers from my eyes at them through their screen door as I let myself into my apartment. But this time, I did not care. And then it got worse. The husband (you remember, the good cop bad cop stripper) is apparently a last minute sports fan in the NCAA tournament. Our cable must not be on the same timing (mine is usually a little slow for some reason) so for a while I assumed he was watching a different game than I was, so seemingly random were his completely overzealous and very telling shouts of “Yeaaahhh BOOOY!” and “Aww YEAH!” and the like in comparison with what I was watching. It was very clear to me that this guy is not a diehard sports fan. He’s just not. He’s overcompensating. And ridiculous. And shouting things that don’t match the action on the t.v.
You know who is a sports fan? The guy who lives upstairs. The guy who wears sports affiliated clothing and hats every day. The guy who is a carpenter and has a UNION bumpersticker in his front window (of his apartment) and a cross on his door. The guy who asks me about the Steelers and USC every week during the fall because he knows I care. The guy, who I’m SURE is also watching these games, but is not screaming wildly to prove to his loud wife that he is such a fan. Nope. No. Not that guy.
How do I know that annoying neighbor was watching the same game I was? Because he said (of COURSE loudly enough for me to hear) “We’re going to beat those yokels!”
He’s referring to West Virginia, who is currently playing Kentucky. So yep. KENTUCKY is talking smack about West Virginia. Really, sir? Maybe you haven’t heard any jokes about KENTUCKY. Because they’re pretty much interchangeable punchlines in the stupid line of jokes you just went for. He also (thankya jesus!) left his apartment with his wife, whom he had to tell that the game was important, wearing a Kentucky jersey. Sheesh, ya’ll. I hate being bitter. But this is on my doorstep. And unless I move out or close my door and windows on the best day of spring thus far, it’s all up in my face. I now hope West Virginia beats the crap out of Kentucky. Then once they’re home and I know it, I’ll turn on “Country Roads” by John Denver and let it blare its way into their apartment. All yokel-like of me. Let's GOOOOOO mountaineers!
Also, that guy that lives upstairs? The real sports fan? I sure hope he doesn’t think I’m the jerk having parties and screaming! Because he might. And he gets up at 5 a.m. to go to his job. Which means he goes to bed early. Might not want to hear Portuguese music late night. I want to put a sign in my window that says “Hey neighbors, I try not to be a jerk when possible” just to clarify. Sheesh.
Also, as I was annoyed by the neighbors again, I was writing the blog post I was going to post tonight. I do get that I could wait and count this as my double day of catch-up, but I’m just going to go ahead and post it now, but consider myself off the hook. It’s a little pointless to wait maybe, since one rant is bleeding into another topic.
For days I’ve been supposed to list the answers to the lyric sources of my found poem. I actually went back to the found poem I wrote last year from song lyrics to see how much overlap there was. I used the exact same lyric twice, but I used several songs again (though different lyrics). It was interesting too to see that the last poem was much longer. It also somehow seemed more positive. Like last year’s seems to say “Live and let live” but this year’s is far more “Live and let die.” Based on all my ranting, not that surprising. I'm a negative nancy. A debbie downer. An ANGRY RENT PAYER!!!! And now, Andy Rooney.
The poem, their songs, and artists, appear below. Those with asterisks after the artist indicate song repeats. Those with asterisks directly after the lyric indicate that was used before.
You're too pretty in the daylight - The One Thing -INXS
I can't stand losing – I Can’t Stand Losing You - Police
I know I'm not wrong – I know I’m not Wrong – Fleetwood Mac
Grow flowers in the desert – In a Big Country – Big Country
Reflect the stars – Africa – Toto*
Holding hands – Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Tears for Fears*
Down the road* – Kyrie – Mister Mister
To the world – Message in a Bottle - Police
There's nothing you and I – I’ll Stop the World and Melt with You – Modern English*
Crystal Blue – Manic Monday – Bangles
Freedom without – Don’t Dream It’s Over – Crowded House
Change – Change – Tears for Fears
Chase you even – When Doves Cry – Prince*
Your sweet nature – Brand New Lover – Dead or Alive
Burning down – Burning down the house - Talking Heads
Think twice do – Billie Jean – Michael Jackson*
Like dolphins – Heroes - David Bowie
Like the deserts – Missing – Everything But the Girl
Like a lover's voice – In a Big Country – Big Country
Leave me standing*- When Doves Cry – Prince *
Lets' go – Let’s go - Cars
Friday, March 26, 2010
I used to have a neighbor named Yoko. She was sometimes kinda loudish on the phone when her screen door was open. But I could tell it was when she was talking to someone far away. It was one of those situations where you compensate for distance and the hearing of others. It was ok. And rare.
Yoko moved away and some new kids on the block showed up. When I was in middle school, the New Kids on the Block were very popular. I thought they were terrible. I especially hated the song "Have a funky, funky Christmas." It's insulting to funk. And Christmas. Apparently not much has changed in the way of my opinions of new kids on the block.
I was really looking forward to a Friday of sloth, gluttony, a little laundry, maybe some reading. I had sloth, gluttony, and a little laundry, but all of this was done in the rising tide of my rage and angst as my neighbors (not Yoko, and not on the phone) had a continuing social gathering from about 6:30 p.m. to the present. It makes me feel old. It makes me feel like I hate fun. But I want them (still do, as I did all night), to shut the fuck up.
Now, I try not to use the F word in the writing as it's not real great, and I know several folks who might sometimes navigate the crockpot stew who don't love the F word or expect me to use it, so I really try not to stoop to filthy, but I really really really wanted them to shut the fuck up. Not the hell up, the fuck up. And maybe that was because they were talking about sex for a good, I'd say more than half of the evening. This laugh riot climaxed with the return of the husband to the apartment where he joined wine drinking already in progress and was greeted with "Oh good, the stripper is here! WOOOO!" His wife, who must have the vocal projection capacity of, oh, I dunno, I'm going to say Paul Revere or friggin' James Earl Jones on Broadway, and I do not think I'm exaggerating here, then asked him if he was the good cop or the bad cop. His reply?
"Man, I would love to know what you ladies have been talking about all night!"
It took everything in my power to not open my door (which I'd been forced to shut around 6 p.m. when she was playing Portugeuse music so loudly that a neighbor asked me if it was me playing it because my apartment is closer to the shared courtyard), and say "Hey, come on over bad cop, I can tell you every word, especially those of your wife! Apparently she thinks you make a normal amount of noise while having sex. I know this because she was SCREAMING ABOUT IT WITH FRIENDS." (If I were Sophia Petrillo, I would have done so).
Their door was, at the time of my hearing such information as if I were in a face-to-face conversation with her and not sitting on one side of a locked door and her on the other side of a half-open door. She even at one point admitted "she's always been loud, she just screams, that's what she does."
Yes. And how.
Why did I not go over there and say HEY! Can you shut the F up?
Well, I don't want them to know I'm old and uncool and want them to be respectful of the comfort boundaries and expectations I have for my home on a 9:30 on a Friday evening (which involve silence and the hum of the television and refrigerator, my two best buds). I don't want them to think I'm that jerky neighbor who always complains because - oh yeah, I already ratted her out once when they brought a barking dog to their apartment and then tried to leave...which led to that dog barking it's yippie little head off while running the length of our apartments' shared wall, stopping occasionally to scratch desperately at the wall for release. Guess whose apartment building does not allow dogs????
I like me a good dog. I do. Much more dog person than cat person. But not crappy barky yippie toy spoiled annoying dogs. Who hate being alone. After that one there was like a month where she really shot me eat-shit and -die looks. Now she only sometimes remembers to fake friendliness. It's nice though, I have a "You're so friendly, except what I mean is not at all" song that I sing when I see her.
I have to admit to myself that I think a third reason to avoid confrontation (a fourth - i dislike confrontation) might be that I knew that once I went over there and apologetically asked them to shut up (which I'm sure I would have done like, ohhhh could you do me the great kindness of possibly lowering your speech volume and that of your accompanying bass-heavy Portuguese music) they would talk about me, and I'd probably be able to hear it. Well, this happily un-fashion jean-clad, t-shirt from college-wearin', didn't shower recently, crumb-covered lady at home on a Friday is just fine with it. But somehow I could not endure the woman who daily annoys me with her telltale high heels on the concrete outside my window (I do not think she owns shoes that don't make noise) kvetching (Oh yes! Conversation 4 - you're on J-date? Can you find my sister a nice Jewish boy, she needs one too) with her girlfriends as they sipped on their fifth glasses of wine (this was the wine served at my wedding!) about how I'm a lonely, bitter, pathetic, often shabbily dressed and generally unkempt, unfriendly neighbor who probably doesn't even know what these graphic dirty web sites we're cackling about entail. What a loser (was that guy bald? was he a doctor? what's the problem???).
Just don't want the month of icy stares. Don't want to be the bad guy. Don't want to be the loser. Don't want to be the bad cop! Don't want to have to be fake friendly when what I really want to say is Shut the fuck up. You live in an apartment building, not a sorority house.
The shrieks, squeals, and sex talk pitches achieved tonight are all well within the range of standard sorority fare. Kappa Kappa I'llbe Damned'A if I want to live in a sorority house now. I am old. And a loser. And the bad cop. And the bad guy. And I want to spend my evenings without hearing about how you're a screamer by way of you screaming such information.
The best part? The husband came home and about 40 minutes later, began the sentence "See, guys think about sex like this..."
Oh good. More expertise.
Well, if I hear any screaming tonight, I'll know where it's coming from.
My response will still be, shut the fuck up.
Maybe you've heard of him? BILL NYE THE SCIENCE GUY!!!
Turns out, that guy is awesome. Like no, not just as you remember him on the show, but because he was absolutely gracious and hilarious with his celebrity, and brutally honest. And completely into school spirit. Bill Nye the Science Guy received his science guy training, at least in part, at Cornell. Cornell's basketball team attempted to do the impossible (Butler!) and make it to the Elite 8 in modern times of the NCAA tourney. They would have had to have taken down Ashley Judd and the entire state of Kentucky, but by gum, they looked (at first) like they might do it. And they never gave up!
I just attended, as the guest of a Cornell alum, a Cornell game watching. It was downright inspirational. What did I say outloud? "I would give to Cornell's annual fund right now, this turnout is amazing."
Really, I did not know there were that many big, red people in L.A. There SURE ARE. And after they lost???? THEY CLAPPED. THEY WERE EXCITED FOR HOW FAR THEY HAD COME.
I mean, my goodness. They were enjoying the sport for the sake of sport and camaraderie. It was a beautiful thing.
And then Bill Nye the Science Guy walked past. And someone had nerve. And a camera. And he loved it.
Thank you NCAA tourney, you do NOT fail to impress. Cornell? For the love of Ivy....you are it.
GO BIG RED.
Next year, but still.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Anyway, here's the find. Tomorrow - where they came from!
You're too pretty in the daylight
I can't stand losing
I know I'm not wrong
Grow flowers in the desert
Reflect the stars
Down the road
To the world
There's nothing you and I
Chase you even
Your sweet nature
Think twice do
Like the deserts
Like a lover's voice
Leave me standing
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
I realized that I spend a good bit of time most evenings, or rare daytimes immediately before writing a new post, staring at the fish that now live atop the crockpot's page. Only today did I happen to become entranced enough to notice they sometimes look like they are fighting. One fish will charge across their electronic aquarium, or birds-eye e-pond view, and disrupt other fish from chatting with one another. It seems these fish, like most people, may not be immune from jealousy, or the paranoia of conspiracy, or perhaps worse - boorish, unthinking interruptions (I specialize in these myself). Are fish as susceptible to social pressure as the rest of us? Do they really take it hard as adults if they weren't the cool kid in school? I could see how it could make sense. Especially to fish.
I certainly sometimes wonder about how much things are nature's own cleverness, and evolutionarily influenced to our advantage, and how much they are the trappings of the nurture and any number of social constructs. Today I read an article discussing biological and evolutionary reasons for children of the same parents, raised in the same household, to hold politically opposing opinions or beliefs. There was some speculation about Oedipal conflict and rebellion and distinguishing oneself from siblings for evolutionary advantage, as near identicals - were they to be at a disadvantage somehow by a charecteristic (I think it was applying this thinking to politics if I read correctly!) would both die or be killed, whereas if the two offspring became diversified by their own accord, at least one would be likely to survive. That thinking makes sense to me, but it's really fascinating to consider applying such innate tendencies toward political views. The article did also go on to say brain chemistry matters in decision making, so no two brains would function 100% the same. But still. Fascinating. I think this was in Newsweek.
I feel like I may have brought up such issues in the crock previously, or maybe I've just thought about them before so I think I've written about them before, but stop me if you've heard this one - if shame is such a merciless emotion, does it serve an evolutionary advantage? I think it's only after years of talking to others about personal low points that I had the realization that my inability to either forget or lessen the effects of shame, even from my youngest moments and deepest memories, was not unique. Lots of people are horrified by what they've done or said, or how they've behaved, previously. Even when they were five years-old and so young that their actions could not possibly be prevented due to their young young age. But the feelings of shame from their five year-old selves are as raw and potent as they were then. Shame sticks. Even when it's something a rational person could say, forgive themselves for. Really? You peed your pants once, inappropriately? Yes. Many have. Join the club.
But why do you still recall that moment and cringe? Why is it so powerful?
I'm guessing the shame memory hardwiring taps into the part of us that understands acceptable cultural or group behavior. So if you do something that would be unacceptable to the pack that could say, lead to the pack abandoning you or worse, you keep the lesson stored deeply enough that it's at the survivalist level. Why are most of the most painful shame moments SO emotional though (like when you were caught saying something you shouldn't, rather than peeing when you shouldn't)? I'm guessing to modify behavior with ironclad certainty. I don't know. Also, I realize this is not a novel, groundbreaking take on the concept of shame, but it's interesting to think about in more depth, at least to me. Is that in there because, somewhere at some point along the line, we figured out we cannot do it alone?
I think so.
That, and to keep Friars in the business of roasting.
Monday, March 22, 2010
I would like to think that it has not seemed like that big of a deal to write every day for Lent this year because I was acclimated to the schedule last year, but I think there's a far greater likelihood that I have not been doing as good a job this year. It's been more of a task than a target for creativity without bounds. More blargh than blog. :(
I don't say that to go fish(crock)ing for compliments, but rather to phrase the apology of whoops, sorry I've been phoning it in a bit more this year. Or at least I feel like when I have written things , they've been more angry and direct and full of judgment (and the requisite run-on sentences). Last year, I don't know. Maybe I included more music? Maybe that kept me honest and optimistic? Maybe I'm a curmudgeonly bastard now (as I always have been, deep down), using the internet as a platform for ranting and jibber jabber (as most do)? I haven't even followed up on Prince challenging MJ and Paul to a game of his choosing. They've been left dangling in cyberspace! Terrible.
In order to combat this bad energy, poor form, I will offer up the following as the rallying cry to myself to get my head back where it belongs.
Am I hiding, somewhere behind those eyes? Let's find out. A week and change left to go. Let's see if I can change it up!
This never disappoints.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Whatever it is, I recently have begun to think I may have been inappropriately born after the age of disco roller skating venue popularity. I realize that a lot of coordination would be needed - both physical coordination and coordination of outfits - for me to have been successful in that scene, but man. I kind of love a healthy dose of disco and funk. This is also true of the Disco Mickey Mouse album, a fabulous spoof homage of the biggest hits of the disco era. "Macho Duck" - hit. "Watch out for Goofy" - classic. "Welcome to Rio" - don't even get me started unless there is enough room for my limbs to flail. I mean it.
Ooh, a sample exists!
When I was young enough to be going to basketball games when my brothers were still playing at the less than j.v. level, I remember being enchanted by the cheerleaders and their synchronization. An especially memorable cheer also somehow fits into this other life I could time travel to enjoy. It was a call and response cheer between 2 halves of the cheer squad.
How funky is your chicken?
How funky is your chicken?
How loose is your goose?
How loose is your goose?
So come on everybody, and shake the ole' caboose.
How funky is your chicken?
How funky is your chicken?
How loose is your goose?
My goose is TOTALLY loose.
So come on everybody
COME ON everybody!
And shake the ole' caboose, WOO!!!
There was a lot of jive, as it were, in that cheer. Done by the all-white cheerleaders at the small Catholic grade school. I loved it.
My goose IS totally loose. That's probably why it resonated with me so significantly. That and my extremely shaky caboose.
I started to write this earlier, then failed.
Basically, while watching Murray State and Butler, prior to Northern Iowa and Kansas, I saw a commercial featuring Jim Nantz reprimanding a dude in a lingerie store with his girlfriend. The premise of the ad, similar to Bette White eating a Snickers and being less than friendly about it, was that Jim Nantz, the Guy Smiley of college sports broadcasting (really, his favorite phrase is "Oh my!" was berating a dude for letting his girlfriend force him to go bra shopping instead of watching basketball during March Madness. Now, as I spent the day in the company of more women than men interested in March Madness, I take issue with this ad as it contributes to the lore that March Madness is a male phenomenon. That, my friends, is bunk.
Also, if you're dating someone who wants you to shop during something you love, you're dating a bitch. So consider that.
Or consider, as Jim Nantz suggests, that you have no spine, and need to say you'd rather watch basketball. That said, and FOR REAL YO', seriously? Are there tons of men dating women who hate sports who love their men? Am I the only one who does not know these women? Even the women I know who care nothing about sports aren't terrible people who'd love to deprive men of sports watching if given the chance. Like, yeah, I get it, mean Jim Nantz is funny. But guess what?
WOMEN ENJOY MARCH MADNESS.
WOMEN LIKE SPORTS.
HETEROSEXUAL WOMEN ENJOY WATCHING SPORTS, SPECIFICALLY MARCH MADNESS.
NOT EVERY WOMAN WANTS A MAN TO GO BRA SHOPPING INSTEAD OF GAME-WATCHING DURING THE BEST TIME OF YEAR FOR SPORTS FUN.
Please reconcile these, American media. I'm not the only woman who gives a crap in America. I'm one of many.
All that said - Wake, good job guys. Love you.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Today I enjoyed the refreshing (literally re-newing their accuracy, not refreshing like ice cold Coca-Cola) banner headlines of game scores all day at work. Cornell? Cornell? Are you kidding me? Cornell???
THAT is fantastic. Go Big Red. If not now, when? And it is within this spirit that I look forward to tomorrow's Wake vs. Kentucky matchup with something that's not quite optimism, but something similar. There's something a little bit extra - like a faith in magical realism as being possible. A pre-emptive suspension of disbelief? I pass this on through good vibrations to the Demon Deacons who are, I'm sure, nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of Cinderella teams dance in their heads.
Things I don't like - the tainting of the tournament by crappy refs' crappy calls. I only saw the last 1:03 of the Robert Morris vs. Nova game, but apparently they'd been jobbed resolutely in the time leading up to that final minute. And today, as I watched New Mexico State battle Michigan State and a very cheap, nearly never called unless it's blatant like a fourth-grader does in pee-wee leagues in a bout of over-excitement infraction was called - lane violation on a CRUCIAL foul shot, I thought MAN. Not you NCAA. Don't make me question this whole thing.
Don't cheat for the franchise teams. Not good. Not cool. Not right!
Anyway. March Madness, to reiterate, when done fairly, is awesome. It makes me giddy.
And back to today's title - I'm Lovin' It.
McDonald's, not to call bullshit here, but whaaaa? There are several billboards in the Los Angeles area near McDonalds locations that advertise mini meals. I think they're $2.99. But the meal pictured is a drink, a bag of fries, and a double cheeseburger. How is that mini? That's more than a happy meal! And it's 2 patties 2 cheese slices, right? So, all that's missing is some special sauce, lettuce, and sesame seeds in the requirements to comprise a Big Mac. How is that mini? It's not! And I am all for American's taking some inventory of themselves before eating McDonalds all the time. I don't think you should go away entirely as I need your goods and services when I am hungover, traveling, in need of coffee, really craving a cheeseburger with the chopped onions and pickle combo, or like, in need of a salt lick that would come from your french fries or any other product available. Ahhh the breakfast sandwiches too. Good. I don't think you should bear all the blame for our obesity. I get it. We're eating your stuff. That's us.
But "mini?" Don't you think that's taking a few liberties with the whole power of words? That's a bit like calling a Suburban a Mini (like a Mini Cooper) just because it's not a Hummer. A stretch Mickey D's.
Another stretch that I actually would like to see the ad agency brainstorming notes to learn the answer - there's a commercial that airs during the basketball coverage that shows a woman knowing the value of a dollar throughout her lifetime. She starts tiny - buying a fish for a dollar. Then she's a hot teen - she buys sunglasses for a dollar. Then she's a savvy moneysaver who also enjoys food - she's buying things on the McDonald's dollar menu. That's a value. But I swear that there's a shot of the Filet O' Fish. Maybe not? But I think there is. Which made me think - wait, is your pet fish in that sandwich you just ate? Because at the end of the commercial she leaves McDonald's totally content with her valuable meal selection, and puts on those bargain shades in the sun. But my question was - wait, where's the fish? Then I thought...oh. Filet O'ed.
Is it a filet o' fish? If so, do they use a fish as the 1st purchase on purpose to get you thinking about the filet o' fish?
Is the ad campaign in your brain?
Well, before I'm accused of being a McDonald's conspiracy theorist, let me share some great seasonal story time with you. This actually got me!
Bah da da da dahhhh I'm Lovin' It
Thursday, March 18, 2010
So Wake Forest, a team that has been in the doldrums of confidence and performance in recent weeks, won their opening round game against Texas. Why this is amazing, in a day full of some of the most stunning tournament upsets in recent memory? Prior to time expiring, you didn't really get the sense that Wake believed in themselves even. This was not a team of destiny, it was a team of fate. And totally accepting of that fate, good or bad. But in the last moments of overtime after several opportunities to salt away the game were squandered, a miracle shot went in. Prior to that? My quote? "We are going to lose. We've quit playing. We'd need a miracle." And we got one from Ish Smith. A shot that fell when it mattered. Unlike the poor Texas guy who bricked not one but two free throws when he could not afford to. The shot fell! The confidence boost came! Elation! Wake was on the right side of a buzzer-beater for once.
Wake and UT were an 8/9 matchup, meaning really it should have been anyone's game. The underdoggedness was not what it was for some truly victorious underdogs - Murray State, Old Dominion, Northern Iowa, Saint Mary's...these were some maybes, but never, ever were they counted as sure things. In any other tourney, one of them winning today might be the focus of the "cinderella story?" super interest story. One might see a giant spike in admissions applications and merchandise sales. One might get to be at the top of the Sportscenter hour. But as it is, it was a day of upsets. And I think the biggest upset for me was not being upset!
Wake won! Believed in themselves when I'd quit!
My apologies, Wake Forest. Thine is a noble name. Constant and true.
Though my fandom is constant and true, my faith was not. I apologize.
And on Saturday, let's do it! Go Deacs!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
More sunlight. Warmer weather. Daffodils that have survived snow and frost. Easter that will release the penitent from their bonds of self-denial and back into the sticky embrace of chocolate or cookies or booze or caffeine or Facebook (though I've noted far fewer people giving up Facebook for Lent this year than last)! And a basketball tournament that will break the monotony of work life and the post-football world and allow for a spiral of excitement and elimination that tornadoes its way to crowning a new champion of college basketball. To my personal sense of the calendar year, St. Patrick's day is a very important respite from the life of un-fun or waiting. It's a little reprieve from our better behaviors and a one-stop shop for fun and excess. An allowance of our more basic instincts - drunkenness and singing, irresponsible weekday behavior, green, green and more green.
I spoke with my brother and sister-in-law by phone this evening after they'd enjoyed the thrills of a bar on the east coast. Somehow my brother and I fell to discussing the general lack of fervent participation - regardless of fashion sensibility - of the majority of people on the streets today in the wearin' of the green. My brother was, to my great joy, outraged and appalled by people's failure to wear green. I explained I wore green on green on green, looking totally even more fashion-inept than I usually do, because that is what one does.
"Oh, I did too!" was his reply.
Yes. Yes. Because that is what one does! It's St. Patrick's Day! When else will you wear all green? Come on! Participate!
It was a moment of shared point of view stemming, no doubt, from our childhood in a home that featured some family fun hoopla for St. Patrick's day - lots of green was worn, parades were attended, songs were sung, cabbage was boiled, beef was corned, green bagels were eaten and the subsequent unexpected side effects of green food coloring were discussed. The shared point of view also came from our childhoods occurring in Pittsburgh, a city that cares about St. Patrick's day a good bit. Sure, some of that is from the many Irish immigrant families in the area, but more so, I'd say it's from the city's need for a break in the long winter's dreariness. A break made of whiskey and soda bread. Lent and winter and cold and March and the bleak black and gray of wardrobes used to being dragged on bedraggled bodies through slush and ice and snow to the safe warmth of office spaces only to be forced out again into the dark cold of night, and back home again to the welcoming glow of Jeopardy! after a dinner that was used as much to warm the bones as to feed them. Winter can take its time, especially in March. But not when everyone is smiling drunk and wearing enough mismatching green to confuse a chameleon.
Sure, it was about 80 degrees here today. Or more. Yes, more. The "bleak winter" is not so much a fact here as it was in Pittsburgh, but the March drag is still a reality. St. Patrick's day injects the newness of youth, even if only in excess, back into the month, with staggering ever, and ever staggering, sweet sweet green.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Also, for anyone who happened to read my cougar rant about March Cougar Madness a few days back, please note that a magazine, I think Esquire?, is also having the hottest women bracketology contest for readers too.
I don't know why this frustrates me so. I guess because I do not appropriate tournament brackets to heterosexual males as much as it would appear mass media does. Really, many of the most rabid March madness lovers I know are women. Many of the most degenerate casual gamblers I know are men, but I still don't equate NCAA brackets with men, or men of a certain degree of gambling addiction. I consider filling out brackets a tradition that is a wonderful take all comers equalizer that opens the joy of NCAA basketball to all. So glorious, in fact, that it makes me ask - can you imagine if there were an equivalent NCAA football bowl situation?!?! Crazy even to ponder.
Once the games begin on Thursday there's quite a good chance that the crockpot will turn, as it did during the Olympics, to matters of buzzer beaters, surprise upsets, tournament favorites, and other things Jay Bilas might say on television. Just a warning.
Today had all the makings of a hybrid of two of the best books of my childhood - Wacky Wednesday and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day. The reasons are not important, and many reside within my own little brain crockpot, but I think I should have known to just turn around and go home when I heard some hilarious soundbites on NPR during my drive to work.
The first was a British gentleman explaining to Renee Montagne (Montane? Montaine? Montaigne? MawnTayun? Anyway...) who David Beckham was. "You have to understand, Renee, he's somewhat of a national hero here."
It was sooo hilariously matter-of-fact and understated. So British. Such a British reaction to Renee's question - which was absurd and somehow flippant enough to be condescending and also so very stereotypically NPR in its reflecting the total lack of grasp of David Beckham's influence on soccer as a sport globally, and particularly, in England. Oh, and let's not forget America. He was basically sent to colonize America for the kingdom of soccer. Look at that - total fragment. And another describing the fragment. And another right there (and here!). Anyway, Renee was asking a sports reporter being called upon to represent the expert opinion of sports in England whether, at 34 going on 35, Beckham wasn't getting a little long in the tooth to be running around playing soccer? The implication was something akin to, "I mean, yeah, he had a pretty devastating injury, but shouldn't people lower expectations? I mean, he's been playing for what, more than ten years? Can't this guy just admit he's getting old?"
Really, like I cannot imagine that being asked on an American sports show without the "sports expert" responding with yells. Phones would ring off the hooks. Email inboxes would flood. What?!?! It's DAVID FREAKIN' BECKHAM. Kind of a big deal to the sport of soccer. I can't even imagine Renee asking that to the guys on Click and Clack and not getting laughed off the air. It's David Freakin' Beckham!
Anyway, I was still pondering that when another story aired involving the record breaking sale of Michael Jackson music rights (record breaking in two ways! Crazy! and booo....bad one). The interviewer was asking another British expert - this time a music rights guy - if MJ would become the new Elvis in his posthumous popularity and sales. After a rather lengthy comparison and explanation that actually made a lot of sense, he capped his interview by saying, "The time is right for a new dead artist."
I mean, grace in soundbites of a high degree. If he waits, oh whaddya think Renee, another 10 minutes? maybe he can get old man Becks. He's sure to kick soon.
Actually....that's kinda the thing....
He can't kick.
Nina Totenberg, take me away!
Monday, March 15, 2010
Not me! I had to come home and immediately take a nap, and even then I woke up groggy and freezing cold. It's like 80 degrees today and I'm huddling with soup in front of my space heater.
Many might wonder if this slowed function results more from completely disrupting my sleep pattern by way of staying up half the night on Saturday to have wild n' crazy fun with the younger kids whose bodies handle such events on a regular basis than from daylight savings. Here I am two days later, limping to the finish line of the day and then plunging for the couch like it's the crash cart ready to take me to the locker room after returning a kick off for a touchdown and pulling something in the end zone.
Gatorade. Cortisone? I've been shooting myself up with English muffins.
Nooks and crannies. That makes them very restorative. I think the Thomases lived down the English lane from the Pine Brothers, actually. Should be no time before I'm feeling 100% refreshed and reinvigorated.
Speaking of the British and devastating reduction in function, how about David Beckham tearing an Achilles heel. YEOW that must be painful. And yikes he may have to rely more on his cologne/underwear/fashion/eyeglasses/sunglasses modeling than soccer to pay the bills.
Hm, I somehow feel like I've managed to qualify myself as being in the realm of superior athletes when, in all honesty, what I'm saying is I'm apparently too old to go out and have wild fun and not feel the after effects for days. And days.
Yikes! Going to have to work on finding the equivalent of modeling to fall back on to figure out how to overcome this!
Man, I do not feel like I am making sense.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Today marks the official repeal of the hibernation lifestyle! Great news. But in the immediate - as with any time change, I'm out of it! Disoriented! And hibernating harder than ever!
I've taken advantage of the day's sloth by enjoying such delights as English muffins and a t.v. airing of the movie Knocked Up, which I had never seen before. If anything, that movie confirmed my feelings that I'm definitely a Paul Rudd fan and not so sure I'm into Seth Rogen as much as everyone else. I also enjoyed an episode of Law & Order featuring the dream team! A young Jack McCoy working with Jill Hennessey's Claire and for Adam Schiff. Brisco and Lenny. They're all there!
Hm, I just checked the spelling on Jill Hennessey's name and in so doing learned that apparently my sloth and hibernation was spent in the company of many a Canadian! Jill Hennessey, like Seth Rogen, is from our neighbor to the north. O Canada! Thanks for the olympics. And for a believable assistant district attorney. And a guy who reaaaalllly likes the weed jokes.
Anyway, I'll see all of you tomorrow in the vitamin D rich environment of newsun times!
Saturday, March 13, 2010
I guess I'm being full disclosure honest here in saying writing this, my shoulders are still hunched. This is as to-do list item today. Yes, it is good for me, but it's kind of feeling like flossing right now. I'd much rather just do a shoddy job brushing my teeth and get into bed. Which I almost can!
I managed to do six loads of laundry, including washing my sheets (ALERT- world's most boring blog post! But hey! Every day means every day unless there's a happy hour to go to!). I hate making a bed. Hate it. Much prefer scrubbing a bathroom sink to making a bed. Maybe because I'm not great at it? And impatient? And want Martha Stewart results with Marty McFly effort (maybe he rolled out of bed late for school? maybe I just like Back to the Future?)? Well, my comforter is on drying cycle number two right now, and once that's out, I can end my hm...four hour extended effort in laundry - including having to go to the store to get more quarters! What a great excuse to buy an US Weekly.
That's the US Weekly pictures I'd like to see in the "celebrities are just like us" section.
Charlize Theron is one quarter short of the four she needs for her last load to dry and is wondering if a European coin wedged in her junk drawer for ages will jam the machine or trick it into functioning! Just like us!
Jake Gyllenhaal just dropped his clean favorite shirt and several pairs of underwear in the seemingly permanent, overflow soapy, dirty water puddle in his apartment building's laundry room. Looks like an F bomb is flying out of the pretty mouth of THAT brokeback star! He CAN quit laundry duty!
Eva Longoria Parker's laundry day ugly non-functioning waistband pants fall down while she walks through the courtyard of her building while carrying an arm full of partially wet-from-the-one-crappy-dryer clothes revealing a bit of her laundry day, hole-ridden underwear to neighbors! Hanes NOT her way!
Just like us.
The clock informs me my comforter should be at least more partially dry! Gotta go put laundry day to bed!
Friday, March 12, 2010
This week has gone ahead and beaten me down, but in more of a mind game sort of way. Like, I didn't anticipate it's moves, but this week really made me fight to get out of check mate quite a few times. And in my evasion, I only built the pathways to my own downfall. Poetic work out there, week. You've won. My crown touches wood in defeat.
The topper for me came at the hands of what I must assume to be middle school girls, perhaps the cruelest and most vicious creatures on God's earth aside from wolverines (they hunt for sport) and actual sociopaths (not good).
I went swimming this evening at a local community pool. The adult practice is preceded by a middle school practice. The transition in the locker room between the two practices involves a lot of the word "like," a lot of shrieking (ungodly, unnecessary shrieking), and a lot of catty, petty, ridiculous, but obviously important, extracurricular social assessment. Even though I'm sure I must have been that horrid, I honestly do not remember being that horrid. And having no concept of my body, voice, or space in social constructs governing human interaction. Sure! Walk right in front of me! Sure, flail your arms while talking about what Tyler said in math class while blocking the only exit. Why not take a twenty minute shower with your friends where you're not even naked and are very much only getting your hair wetter than it already was in the pool. I mean, ten people are waiting, but hey! Go for it. You've got a lot of surmising to do. There IS a dance coming up.
Perhaps such lack of sympathy has caught up with me in the karmic sense. I arrived at the pool in a frenzy of excess energy - thrilled to be released from the defeat the week had just handed me, and pumped up by Air Supply, whose cd had allowed me to breathe again, spiritually at least. I had to hurry. I was wearing a bulky sweater. My shoes could be classified as "brogans." This stuff was not all going to fit in my bag. I opted to use one of the four rows of lockers of varying sizes to store my clothing, and just take my bag and swim crap with me to the poolside.
Well, my goggles broke and I was a discombobulated mess all practice long, which - whatever, there are worse fates. Like returning to the locker room to find the locker where you left your clothes EMPTY. (Yes, I had used a locker without a lock. I'm a fool).
I was glad I had packed the bigger towel. Especially since it appeared I was going to be driving home toga style. I enlisted the help of friends in my frenzy - "I think someone stole my stuff. Like, my pants, my shirt, my sweater, my shoes, my underwear...my clothes." While this was a hilarious notion, we all could agree on that, I was still furious at the prospect. These were crappy clothes. I kept rechecking a 3 locker radius of the one in which I'd left my stuff. Livid. Who does that??? I was certain it was middle school.
Then, one of the friends who was busy opening every locker on the row asked, "Are these your clothes?"
Sweet relief. There was my stuff, balled in a pile.
However, relief was soon replaced with fury. At least the theft option appealed to my sense of the possibilities that someone either needed clothing badly, was a kleptomaniac, or thought the clothes could fulfill a need somehow. When I realized the clothes had just been moved to trick me into thinking my clothes had been stolen and incite my panic, I became even more pissed off. Who DOES that?!! Who plays nasty tricks for the sake of being cruel?
Middle school girls.
Middle school girls.
I was so mad. I wanted revenge. I came up with the idea of leaving a turd in clothing that was just decoy clothing for them to move. Jokes on you! That's a turd you've got now, not just my underoos!
Is that akin to middle school prankness? Yes. Does it seem horrendous? Yes. I was appalled at the thought myself. But somehow, after a roller coaster week of a sort, I wanted it to happen. Just so I could say, "Doesn't doing mean shit for no reason infuriate you on a human and intellectual level???"
But I don't think middle school girls work that way. And I hope I don't.
Oh well. TGIF at last.