Saturday, March 26, 2011

Live and in-person Gleekiness

The dude who teaches music at the Lebanon Jr/Sr. High School is married to this lady, Gaye, that works with me (this oddly monikered broad being the head of our Development Dept) and Gaye leads this community chorus group on Mondays--Harmony Night. So when there is a Leb H.S. concert it involves the junior high AND these Harmony Night Singers. So it's like a mega-choral event. I know, because I attended one this past Thursday night. Why? Well it's not because I'm any great pal of Gaye's. Rather, I went because I wanted to witness something like this ..

Just jokin'...that would have been SO rad though. I went to the concert because Linette has been doing the Harmony Night thing and was all stoked for the concert and really wanted to have some "fans" in the audience.

Overall the concert was good...though there was this one group (the high school chorus had these spin-off mini choruses) that was outstandingly bad. The real abomination was not their shit-quality singing though. It was that they were shitty and they called themselves Sha-na-na. So it's rather an affront to Bowser et. al

Ohhh, ok, so it might be somewhat disrespectful of me to refer to the whole of Sha-na-na (and now I refer to famous Sha-na-na and not high school Sha-na-na) as "Bowser et al" But Bowser is really the only thing I really remember from their TV show . They sang "Goodnight Sweetheart" at the close of every show, and every time the camera hit Bowser he went berzerker flexing his feeble excuses for biceps. In my defense, I was only 3 or 4 at the time of my ardent Sha-na-na viewership, and whaddya gonna appreciate at that age? Musicianship and first rate harmonizing? Or gimmicks? Also, I know I was going through quite a bass-man kick during this era. The well-worn state of my "Elvira" 45 is a testament to that (Ah OOOMM boppa OOOOMM boppa MOW MOW)

One thing that was unfortunate about the junior high segment of the concert was the annoying "choreography" they saturated their songs with. It was that literal choreography of grade school concerts, which is tolerable from the K-3 set, because they're all at peak adorability. They basically sing the song and accompany every g-damn line with pidgin ASL. Scanning the crowd & doing a hand visor when they sing "look", miming slumber when they sing "dream", etc etc. I don't know why music teachers don't retire that shit. I mean, especially for grades 7 &8.

I realize that rant from the last paragraph makes me sound inordinately ornery... I suppose I can be. I'm sorry...

If you can believe it, my night got even dorkier than 7th grade singing mimes. After the concert, Linette asked if I wanted to go grab some beers & wings at Ramuntos. She said that "some of the girls from Harmony Night are going" but, ahhh.. GINORMO understatement!! 90% of everyone that performed at the concert was there. Worse than the scarcity of elbow room was that I inadvertantly wound up as some sort of glee groupie. EWWww, am I right?

So, as if their life isn't musical enough already, Gaye and her hubby Dan are in an acapella group with another couple. They're called The Honeymooners. I have seen them in action before, as they sang for my agency's "Employee Appreciation Night" (which pretty heavily sucked, BTW). Well, lemme preface this by saying, I have no problem with acapella music. In fact, I really liked that show The Sing-Off that NBC did 2 seasons of(so, like, Exhibit A in my defense there, mmkay?). But it seems like there is a common breed of acapella group (The Honeymooners being one of these) that can't do a song without on hokey. Oh, I dunno, "hokey" is a nebulous thing-- quite identifiable, but hard to articulate. I think a lot of it stems from them being SOOOO damned expressive they make silent film actors look stolid.

I'm certainly not the worst audience member (heckling, or fielding calls on my cell), but I am way too honest to be a *great* audience member. Like, if I'm underwhelmed by a performance, I will only "air clap" to be polite. And I've sat out on a good deal of standing ovations. I think the massiveness of a lot of your standing o's are probably due to herd mentality anyway. Awfully, cynical of me, but I do believe it. You know, you can get by being a mediocre audience member in an audience of a hundred or so. But when acapella breaks a restaurant....3 ft from's time to adapt, sport. Yes, The Honeymooners started doo-wopping in the middle of Ramuntos. The crowd had clamored for it (the crowd, excepting yours truly & the regulars at the bar) and they were just absolutely RAPTUROUS about it (both crooners & crowd, that is) And y'know, God love 'em for being so impulsive and fun and uninhibited but... I had a pint + hot wings + bleu cheese at my table. THAT is what I was rapturous about. You know, I'm not such a social ninny that I eschew all social interaction with my comrades once wings are served. But I'm pretty adept at chatting-while-noshing (though, I gotta admit, I'm not sure my multitasking is all that lovely to behold) But add my innate audience-al* mediocrity to the fact that I really just wanted to enjoy my f-ng chicken wings, maaan X the fact that they're doing this uber-emoting a hair's breadth away from me .....well, it all tallies up to = AWWWWKWARD.

The second song in their set was "Duke of Earl" and for all the songs they do this god-awful audience engaging thing where the "lead" on that song directs a particularly schmoopy couplet at some poor sap in the front row, then sings at another sap another line, etc, etc, you get the drift. So, Dan is singing, "Ohhh I--I-I...oh, I'm gonna love you. Oh. ohh.." AT ME and I swear, until he got to the L-word, I was utterly oblivious (blissed out wings trance, annihilating a drummer, smears of fluourescent red on both cheeks, most likely) and then I kind of regained my situational awareness and... saluted him with a chicken wing. Well, not super suave of me, but I do hope it augmented the entertainment value of their show. After that instant, I was faking being as totally rapt as everyone around me--big, broad smile on my face and real clapping. But all the time I was thinking: ohmigod you guys are soooooo unbearably dorky I can't staaaaand it.

It all sorta reminded me of January 2006, when I travelled to Mexico with my sister and her family. For the bulk of our stay, we were in Hermosillo, which was overindustrialized and smelly. But one weekend we spent in the resort town of San Carlos, in this nice resort. We were on the ocean there, and there were a lot of nice quasi-mansions (prob'ly gringo retirees, I'd wager) We dined one night, al fresco, this place overlooking the beach. This lady went table to table selling roses--fine. But then, there were these wandering minstrels that were going to your table and strumming guitars and singing folk songs. And doesn't it just sound idyllic? It totally does to me too but... I HATED IT. If they had been, stationery, in like a stage-area it would have been fabulous, but I didn't appreciate them all up in mah grill like that. You either have to nod appreciatively or just commit to being an overt bastard. If I was aggressive and not so staunchly passive- aggressive, then I probably woulda been fine in that scenario. I know I sound terribly party pooperish, and it sounds all so lovely. My sister thought it was great! Me, I was like: Whaaaat DO YOU WANT FROM ME? No tengo pesos. Will you take a third of my quesadilla and go away??

Well, back to the States, 2011. As I said goodbye & goodnight to Gaye, she's all "Thanks so much for coming! Heeey, new voices are always welcome at Harmony Night!! What do you have going on Monday nights??" The answer to that? I got a fat lotta nothing going on on Monday nights, and that's how I like it. Most Monday mornings I have to promise myself an apres-work nap in order to coax myself out of bed and I like to keep the entirety of every Monday evening free for the occasional occasions that I make good on that promise. But of course, I didn't say that. I think my answer, verbatim, was "Oh. Ha. Well, good night."

Oh, but then on Friday at work, she emailed me reiterating the offer!! And Linette also mentioned it in her daily email howdy to me. Oy. I'm definitely going to have to come up with some fictitious, inflexibly scheduled 2nd job. Although, a non-fictitious 2nd job would do me good. But let's--for the moment-- disregard that whole perpetual miasma ...

*Yes, I made up that word. I had, for some odd reason, tired of typing the word "member"

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hypothetical HiJinks at the O.G.

I was at Olive Garden on Saturday, having lunch out with the fam. for my Mom's birthday. It occurred to me that it would be immensely amusing (though it feels like maybe it's only *SOOOO* damn funny to just me) if when your waiter/waitress is grinding cheese on to your salad and says "Say when..." just give them a silent but expectant stare for well over a minute and let them keep grinding, and grinding, and grinding, and grinding... maybe until they run out of cheese. Then ask if there's more Parm in the kitchen (or would that be taking it too far??) I have not yet been bold enough to do this, but perhaps someday...
I don't think it would ruin your salad, but you are running the risk of acquiring a bad reputation as an insatiable cheese fiend. You don't want anyone at the O.G. thinking ill of you, and of course this is more of a problem for you if there is one particular location that you frequent.

A quickie before bed

I came down with a smidge of a head cold this weekend, at its worst on Sunday. And so, Sunday night I did not sleep well, because my nose was plugged, consequently, I was sleeping with my maw wide open, with said oral cavity getting all dried out with a nice coating of dust motes. I kept waking up with dry, dusty mouth. And so, when I rose for work 7am Monday, I was hellah tired, still congested and so I just called in (with some b.s. story about not wanting to come into the office all contagious. I mean, I was legitimately sickish, but I've worked when sicker) and went back to bed until quarter of 1.

So, while it will be nice to have only a 4day work week (wardrobe selection is ever so much easier when you only have to come up with 4 pairs of clean pants.. ok, well honestly it's apt to be just 3 pairs of clean pants because, I will allow myself 1 repeat, not on consecutive days and provided the pants don't smell or have any glaringly apparent stainage ) HOWEVER, I always am hit with a unique sort of trepidation on the 1st day of work following a sick day. Did they really buy that I was sick? What the hell happened in the office all day when I wasn't around to watch my back?? And so, I am stupidly dragging my heels on going to bed because the sooner I do, the sooner back-to-work time rolls around. There is a wee, infinitesimal sector of my brain where sanity stubbornly hangs on, and the concensus from there is that the later I go to bed, the more miserable I'll be when back-to-work time does roll around so this stalling foolishness is only making matters worse. Ohhh, but sane brain usually just vexes me with how bloody sensible it is all the time, so I damned well am going to stall a bit longer...

One of the things I was diverting myself with was going back to old blog posts. My own blog posts, so a little exercise in narcissism , there. I can't believe I've been at this since 2006!! It was the old stuff I was looking at mostly--2006, 2007, and I'm unpleasantly surprised to find...I used to be much funnier. I was nutsy, for sure, but I seemed more inspired. It's as if hitting the big 3-0 kicked off a period of great mental stagnation. Ohhhh, SWELL.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Stupid Signs at my Library

I pulled in to the library parking lot tonight and it was almost totally full. I spotted one open slot not too far from the walkway, but I saw it had some signage at the front of it. I very nearly passed it over, because I presumed that it was a Handicapped Parking sign. But I did give it a closer look and discovered it read:


Look, I'm not anti-saving-the-planet or anything, but uhhh, nevertheless, FUCK YOU, Kilton Public Library. I am to be punished with inferior parking because I don't have the capital to buy a new vehicle? Yeah, yeah, I was aware of that whole cash-for-clunkers program and NO I didn't take advantage of it. My clunker was not deemed clunky enough, and even if it had been, I don't believe the gov't was about to foot the entire bill for my new ride, and that is exactly what I would need for me to manage an upgrade.

I'm sure the mindset behind that sign is not to punish inefficient car owners, but rather to reward folks who have made the switch for greener wheels. But, daaaaamn...look at the prices at the pump!! So if you are getting 40 mpg then, YAAAY for you. You are duhh--winning!! I don't think further bonuses are required,dammit.

So, yeah, I parked in that space. I figured "Fuel Efficient Cars" is a subjective thing. My car (Toyota Camry) is fuel efficient compared to ohhh, say, a Hummer, no? Let the bastids tow me.

Oh speaking of gas prices... not for nothin' I was delighted to track down this handy website...on the day before a payday that couldn't arrive quickly enough.

Another notable sign at the KPL (though this doesn't anger me, it just sorta bemuses me) is this one on the back of the bathroom stall doors--

Every time I gaze at that, I think -- why bother with the numerical euphemisms when you're just going to throw the technical term in parenthesis? Seems superfluous.

Ok, folks, so it's not the insight to end all insights.

But hey , if there's anyplace I'm especially prone to overthinking things...

Thursday, March 03, 2011

This is why I need an iPhone!!

[Alternately: Why YOU are Lucky I Don't Have an iPhone!]

Because it is hard to verbally convey the image of a pink object, approx. 2" in length, with red sort of crenellations in it, fuzzy-edged, with 2 infinitesimal specks of grey. A PHOTO of it would have just done the trick though.

But lemme go back to my dearth of adequate technology....
I have an old digital camera that I hardly ever use, on account of it having a wee tiny, teensy memory (19 photos and it's full) And it's hard to find a replacement memory card for that model. The one time I did track one down in Walmart, it was like 3x the price of all the other camera memory cards there. I was vexed and didn't buy it. So this camera is just sittin' around, collecting dust, or it would be collecting dust if it weren't for the handsome pleather carrying case I have it encased in. And its AA batteries have been dead for some time.

I could just get a new digital camera (as you can get 'em on the cheapie cheap these days) but a new & better digital camera wouldn't be charged up & onhand at all times like a phone is. That's an important thing, believe it or not. I mean, for example (one example of several) I kept seeing this pick up truck on the roads that had a top half of a lady-mannequin stuck to the roof of it and NOBODY believed me. And no, I don't have a camera on my current cell. It just so happens my cell is an antiquated p.o.s. also. So the iPhone is just the clear solution. It's simply the best solution for me and NO ..this has nothing to do with my sis just getting one and me being maaaad jealous.

My primary method of picture taking now is my Flip cam, which, when I download the vids I take on that onto my computer, I can make screen cap snapshots. But that does not make for a quality photo. Oh, and I can also do snapshots with the web cam on my laptop. That's really only good for the singular purpose of snapping FB profile headshots. And I was hardly about to fire up my laptop and go hold it over my toilet.

Oh, yeah, that's where I came upon this "pink object, approx. 2" in length, with red sort of crenellations in it, fuzzy-edged, with 2 infinitesimal specks of grey" was floating in my toilet. Yesterday, I went home from work, read 2 chapters of my library book and then nodded off and napped for an hour and a half. It was my bladder that woke me up. So I got up, hastened to el bano and...encountered a mystery thingie floating in my toilet. I don't know why, when encountered with an object that I don't know what it is, my mind always, immediately goes to "BLAARRRGH-grody!!" but it does. And I don't know why I am then compelled to blog about it, but I have a

history of that

. In fact, I confess, I wasn't just hit with a general wave of repulsion, I had the very specific thought "AAAGH!! It's the spine ripped out of a mouse!!"


I have had mice visit my abode on numerous occasions. This is historical fact. Once I found a storehouse of sesame seeds in my left winter boot. But this...this is a new development--a malevolent hobgoblin that feeds on my house-mice and/or EVISCERATES them for kicks (and then politely reposits the carnal debris in the loo). Ok, after about 15sec or so, my rational mind piped up, and said "It's probably some bit of garbage or a hair-styling oddment that got somehow knocked into the toilet...and it's unidentifiable because of how things get all bloat-distorted when they've been in water for a while.." But I could not specifically think of what it really could be, as I stood there. Staring at it. Incapacitated. I thought to grab my tweezers and pull it out. But I really was incapacitated with repulsion. Oh, and btw, anything that is grossing you out with its icky unrecognizability is 10X ickier if it's floating in a toilet. Because some, fucked-up, sci-fi lovin' part of you is going to wonder if you went into a fugue state and shat out something bizarre. Ohhhh,it only flickered through my noggin for a half nanosecond!! And it was theory #2...after the mouse spine notion.

I was strongly compelled to just flush it. I mean, that would be the easiest denoument here, but I had a faint worry that it was not something I should be flushing down the toilet. I don't want to damage my toilet...which happens to be a fairly new one. Really, I don't relish contact with my landlord at all. For anything. I especially don't want to have to go knock on the door and say, " Hey Mike, the toilet is all fucked up as I tried to flush down this GRRROOSS mouse spine thingy I found in it and it must be jammed in the pipes somewhere 'cause it ain't flushing now." I was gonna tweeze it out (or maybe just pinch it with the get an idea of texture) but I didn't really want to get closer to it, or manipulate it in any way (using my bare or gloved hands was instantly ruled out!!) even with tweezers...oh also- I use those tweezers on my face.

Y'know there were probably a hundred other makeshift fishing implements within my bathroom, a thousand in my whole apartment, but my mind was too damn preoccupied with being bat guano loco to think resourcefully. And so I flushed it. And that is the end of my story. Except the memory of it haunted me all night: what WAS that? What the fuuuuuck?

In the spirit of exposing myself as the complete nutter I am, I am going to share with y'all the new profile pic I put on Facebook. You'll remember the last pic was aimed at glorifying my glamorous new gel tips. Well, these nails of mine are not only in baa-aa-aad need of a fill, but 2 of the tips broke off on my right hand. Not so glam now. But at least I don't hurt meself picking my nose anymore. JUST KIDDING (or am I??)!!!!!
Since I don't feel like my nails need to be celebrated now, I thought I'd change my profile pic. I took a shot of myself in McDonalds, doing my patented French Fry Vampire character. OK, well I don't have it patented ...yet. But it's this thing I do. In fact, it's not the only picture I have of myself on FB doing the French Fry Vampire. But it's the only one of me doing it with my funky headphones on, so this one is "DJ French Fry Vampire"

Yes, yes, I DO know I look like a moron. But I looked at the resulting snap and it made me GUFFAW, so I couldn't keep it to myself. It's damned commendable, I say. I am willing to sacrifice vanity entirely for the amusement of others. Selfless!!

Upon further reflection, with those nails and scary bug-eyed face I'm doing, I don't so much look like a vamp in the tradition of Christopher Lee, but more like Max Shreck as Nosferatu (spooky visual aid).
Boy, I could really do a killer Nosferatu if I combined French Fry Vampire with this custom I have when I eat Bugles of putting 'em on all my fingertips. I guess that just hadn't occurred to me previously since there hasn't been an occasion where I'm been eating McDonald's and Bugles simultaneously. Rather proud of that fact, actually. But still, that would be funny, eh?