Sunday, April 10, 2011

Wish Me Luck!!! (I could sure use it..)

I stumbled on to this sweepstakes at the end of Feb and I've been submitting an entry once a day, every day. I still bet I won't win. I never win luck-based contests. Scrabble- yes, sometimes. Trivial Pursuit--aw, HELL yes. But sweepstakes, drawings, raffles..? I have a shit track record in these areas.

Once I won 2 tickets to a Bluegrass festival that ended up being HUGELY LAME. I mean, I suspected it might be lame but I filled out a raffle slip figuring--awww, what the hey. I never win this shit anyway. But then I won. The HR Dept showed me the jar o' entry slips that they drew my slip out of....there were TWO SLIPS. That was including mine.

Although I gotta say, lame as it was, that Bluegrass fest was a good memory. I took my friend Roxanne and it seems like we were laughing all getting lost in Brandon VT, at all the comical old folks, at seizing some unsupervised lawn chairs, at the songs (there was one about an armadillo that particularly sticks out in my mind) And no, actually, we were not stoned.

Anyway, back to the sweepstakes du jour. . . .

I highly doubt there's only one other entrant in the running for this one. If I were to win..(which is, as I've explained, quite unlikely) I'd have to haul ass on obtaining a passport. I don't have one. (Isn't that SAD?? I think so...)

a few things that annoy me about work

It seems a damn shame to spend any fragment of the weekend blathering on about work, but to be honest, I probably spend a third of every Sunday dreading my return to work. So I'm 3 hours into Sunday already, I'll kvetch now, and maybe will manage to shave a coupla hours off Sunday evening's fretting. Yeah, that would be good.. "Upstairs,Downstairs" is premiering on Masterpiece Theater tomorrow night (well, tonight...but it still seems like tomorrow night since I've not gotten to bed as yet..) and it would be nice to take that in unimpeded by burgeoning trepidation.

1. My Boss. NO ONE likes my boss. My mind is rather too quick to spin everything into a pop culture metaphor but I can't seem to help it..and it's just too perfect..I've started to think of my boss as Ms. Hannigan. She doesn't micromanage, but if there's any lighthearted banter going around and she happens to stroll through the cubicle farm..she SCOWLS at everybody. OK, so yeah, it probably does impact productivity a skoach (non work related chit-chat, that is) but Hannigan, with her scowly-jowls, is LOUSY for morale. She's been gone on vacation for the past two weeks and it was evident how everyone's soul began, in tiny increments, to grow back. But she returns this Monday and I fully expect the misery to re-commence.

2. People who come to my desk and need something while I'm on the phone. Well, to begin with, I may just be perturbed to be sought out in the 1st place. I have a wide-ish irritable streak, but that can't be helped really, for if you saw how incredibly NEEDY these gits I work with are, you'd throw up your hands and exclaim " Well OF COURSE she's fucking irritable!!" Anyway, what reeeeeally gets me is that, when I'm on the phone, and someone comes up, needing my help...8 times outta 10, that person will just stand there. OK, typed out thusly, it doesn't seem like such a major offense. But trust me--it's way irritating? Am I the only one who hates to have people HOVER over me while I'm on the phone?? I can't be the only one!!

Because people are always coming to my desk, requiring my minioning, I have made signs to hang on my monitor to indicate where I am. Like, I have duties that regularly come up that take me away from my desk, and I've made a sign for those. Like, "Working In The Supply Room" or "Covering the Front Desk" . This signage is for the benefit of my cubby neighbors, because they would be grilled "Where did Sandra go? I need Sandra..." I don't have a "In the Bathroom...Droppin' a Deuce " sign but I do have a generic "Back In A Jiffy" and I have an "Out on Errand" sign for when they send me out delivering supplies to a patient or samples to the lab. And of course, I have a lunch time sign, something like---

Actually, it's EXACTLY like that, as that is a scan of the real deal. It's on fluorescent pink paper though (they all are), and that's not actual size. I also had to scan the sign I put up 2x a day when I bring out our outgoing mail and when I go to grab the incoming mail. I confess, I'm just amazed by my maaad self-portraiture skills. The likeness is UNCANNY!!

3. Every afternoon, about 10 min prior to go-home time, I fill the copiers with paper and I leave a spare ream or two. It really burns my crumpets when I happen upon a ream of paper where someone has ripped it open to swipe one or two sheets for use as scrap paper. I don't know WHY I get so pissed over that but I do. You'd think I paid for our copy paper outta my own pocket (I don't , of course) Maybe it's because we also have about 5 lbs of needless print outs daily. I have even started collecting such print outs in a tray...a tray I've labelled "SCRAP PAPER". But I suppose if the scrap paper is not readily available to them, they'll just crack open the copy paper...oh, and by "readily available" I mean 1" to 3" inches away from their right hand. Otherwise they'll disregard it. Well, I guess I am undecided on whether these offendors are lazy slobs or unobservant schmoes.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

iTunes iNdulgence

I planned on a wee payday splurge on iTunes ...I promised myself I would stop at 3 songs. I should have had someone else assist me in the purchasing, because historically, I have proven I am utter crap at keeping promises I make to myself. Once I started picking songs offa my wish list it was..."oh but this one too" and "Just one more"... So yeah, I didn't contain it to a spree of three. I bought nine. I'm not really setting any records for iTunes expenditure there, but I'm still disappointed with my breakdown of self-discipline. And yet I'm digging my new music nonetheless!! Here is a run down of what I acquired (*PLUS* a bonus MUST-include that I did purchase but it was not in this most recent splurge, but the last one, about three weeks ago) 1. "I Told You I Was Freaky" [Flight of the Conchords] it's a novelty song... but I do find the chorus very catchy (even while Jemaine's background whispering cracks me up). That's what I like about FOTC's's not just funny lyrics set to some generic acoustic guitar strumming (which it seems like that is what a lot of "musical comics " do) but their stuff is actually viable music. And they dabble in a lot of different genres.. This "I Told You I Was Freaky" vid is from Season 2 of their show (R.I.P. ..I sooo miss their show) but it's not exactly what I bought. They did an album (or 2?) of their music and most of the songs differ slightly from how they did them on TV. The album version of "I Told You I Was Freaky" can be found YouTube, but I didn't opt for that , because it was just a still shot of Brett's face. And cute though Brett is, it irks me when YouTube posters spit out these fan-made "videos" for songs and they don't even bother with a simple slideshow. I'll link you to that one though, because Jemaine has an amusing li'l solo verse of his own in that version that I find worth a listen.

2. "Demon Woman" [Flight of the Conchords] This song was also from Season 2. Sort of psychadelic hard rock this one. So this makes FOUR FOTC tunes on my iPod-- I have "Robots" "Demon Woman" "I Told You I Was Freaky" and, their very best "Hiphopapotamus vs Rhymenoceros" (and though funny on the show, and funny on the album, the most excellent version of this masterpiece is from one of their live shows. I urge you to scope it out, post haste.) 3. "Fancy" [Drake/ T.I. /Swizz Beatz] -- This popped up in Accuradio's "Spring Break Mix" and I was insta-smitten. I didn't think Drake was my sort of artist, but maybe the allure of any given Drake song is reliant on whatever producer/ collaborator he's recruited for it. Maybe it's the Mr. Alicia Keys influence that I'm responding to. But whatever.. I really like this. Some good rhymes in here and that hook "Nails done, hair done, ev'rythang biiiig" that's a real earworm.. (is that the hook? Not sure...I'm bad w/ music terminology)

(that, by the way, is NOT the "Official Music Video" but I appreciate the effort someone took in trying to fake us out)

4."Bigmouth Strikes Again" [the Smiths] This song was recently listed on a Paste magazine countdown of "50 of the Best Opening Lines in Pop Music" (I mighta paraphrased that title, but that's pretty much the gist of it) I SO concur. The opening line of this song (in case you've not heard it) "Sweetness, Sweetness I was only joking...when I said...I'd like to smash every your head" Oh, sure it's a smidge aggressive, but it grabs you, no? Oh, I love the rest of the song too. I've just lately realized that I quite like The Smiths.

5. "Moments in Love" [Art of Noise] When I stumbled on to this song in my iTunes meanderings, I was amazed that I had forgotten all about it. Upon hearing it, I knew it wasn't absolutely new to me, so I'd heard it before but it just wasn't in my mental archive of 80s music. Which was a lame-ass oversight on my part, because this song is AWESOME. It's one of those magical transformative instrumentals. It's like Yakety Sax --when you play Yakety Sax, any activity that is going on at that time is rendered WACKY. But "Moments in Love" is sexy-fying. It could make tha sexy times sexier or...just picture could make it sexy to assemble and consume a peanut butter sammich. Or to do the Gazelle in super slo-mo.

When I checked YouTube for this, I was expecting some more fan made shit, but NOT expecting to discover the original Art of Noise video for it. I didn't think they'd made one. I'd seen a video for "Close to the Edit" but that was their biggest hit, and I'd figured they'd only had that one video. Not so. Well, I rather appreciate how they didn't go sexy on this (which would've been the obvious direction for this). They opted instead, for bat guano loco. So despite all I said in the last paragraph about the magical sexy aura this song exudes, it will be some time before I can hear this song and not just think: figure-skating Madonna Parton...and turtles. Behold the glorious weirdness for your own damn self...

6. "Pay Me My Money Down" [Bruce Springsteen] So I'm just discovering now that a few years back, Springsteen did a folky album called "The Pete Seeger Sessions" iTunes Genius spit that one at me and OMG, sometimes their recommendations for me are right on the f-ing money!! This is actually the second version of this song on my iPod ...I downloaded one back in was off this soundtrack from some Revels performance (well, this one to be precise) Even though it's the same song, they differ lots. The Springsteen one is rollicking...whereas the Revels version is slower, with a bit more soul...kinda music to pick-axe rocks to, y'know? I like both. Oddly, one of the things I really like about the Revels version is they sing "Pay me, mister stevedore" I like the word "stevedore". There's a lovely old-timeyness about it.

7. "The Dog Days are Over" [Florence + the Machine] Florence is AMAZING. The Machine, I have no opinion on. I also wanna get her song "Kiss With a Fist", but that track remains on my wish list...unbought. I'm not so pleased about that, but I do like that I can proffer that fact to y'all as evidence that my self-restraint --feeble and pathetic though it may be--'tis NOT nonexistant.

8. "Ice Cream Paint Job" [Dorrough] this is kinda one of those songs I dig that I worry if it might be zapping dead my brain cells as I listen to it. But this is just snobbery. The heart wants what it wants and likewise, so does the groove thing. Perhaps "the groove thing" is not a tangible anatomical component and it may be ages before scientists can prove it's a real thing. But I already know it's real. And it lives in the ass.

9. "Old Dan Tucker" [Bruce Springsteen] Does having 3 "Old Dan Tuckers" on the pod make me an Old Dan Tucker collector?? Ah well. I have always loved this song so that's ok by me. The titular dude, WASHES HIS FACE IN A FRYING PAN, for God's sake!! This is by far my fave version yet-- Springsteen sings the hell out of it. You should quickly check out this performance of it, where he gives the opening verse a hardass HOLLER that really illustrates how this is a perfect song for him to sing. It's a perfect song for him to sing in a way that "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" is not. I've always thought him + that particular Christmas song = not a good fit. But shit--- he can sing "Santa Claus is Coming Town" all he likes...he is THE BOSS. I am known, in my social circles, for saying "You are NOT the boss of me" (hold over from growing up as the little sis, possibly) but I would never say that to Boss Springsteen. He is way too awesome to have me sass him. And he could boss me...if he wanted to.

I picked this one to embed because I thought the backing band gave a more spirited performance here---

okay, now the BONUS track--


10. "Lady" [the Commodores] I was obsessively listening to this song for a while after buying it last month. At that time,I posted the FANTASTIC VIDEO for it on Facebook along with a sort of opinion poll question...a real toughie. I asked : If Kenny Rogers, the Commodores, & The Little River Band had a "Lady" battle with their "Lady " songs....who should be crowned the victor??

I was leaning toward The Commodores' "Lady" and after watching their video for it, I am quite certain. LIONEL RITCHIE FOR WORLD CUP MVP--YAAAAAAY!!