Screw you, Letterman

I intended to revisit last year's Top Ten lists a couple months ago, but made the mistake of starting with my music list. Dozens of drafts later, I think I have to concede that I just don't know enough about music to be able to finish it. I spent a lot of time last year trying to find a way to define my musical tastes, but in the end, I just like what I like, and I can't explain why.

If you're curious, my top ten musical experiences in 2009 (sans annotation) go like so: The Avett Brothers, Ida Maria, Blues Traveler (no kidding), Lisa Hannigan, Adele, Jenny Lewis, Emily Haines / Metric, Brandi Carlile, Raphael Saadiq, Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit. Go forth and listen, but don't expect me to explain any of it. You can ask, and I'll give it a shot, but, as I famously told the ghost of Richard Nixon during the invasion of Venus, "Nobody listens to Mr. Mustard Pants."

On the other hand, I do feel qualified to bore you all with the reasoning behind my list of the best movies I saw last year. You see, I once took a film class, and now I'm Collapse )

And just so that you know I'm not completely slacking on next year's list, I'm pretty sure that Stephen Tobolowsky's Birthday Party will make the top five, which is saying something for a movie that is nothing more than one man talking for an hour and a half (plus another hour and a half of deleted scenes).

Mad Man

One of the payroll people here at work just came into my office, wondering why they had been paying me as an independent contractor rather than an employee eleven years ago. She'd been cleaning out some old files and discovered my original paystub from way back when I was just supposed to be working here for a few weeks helping out with some random filing.

I have such mixed feelings about my job. It's certainly not anything close to what I expected to do with my life, but at the same time, I've been here for over a third of the time I've spent on this giant ball of rock. I can't say that I like it anymore than I can say that I dislike it, but in so many ways, it's kind of the perfect job for someone with my particular set of skills and habits. Quite frankly, the idea that I should be looking for some other source of employment has never stopped bouncing around in some random corner of my brain, but I can't imagine ever leaving an employer that has promoted me from being a brainless file jockey to being in charge of my own (admittedly rather small) department, while more than tripling my starting salary in just over a decade (and that's even despite the fact that I'm not getting a raise this year due to Bernie Madoff and the shitstorm that is our national economy).

I don't mean to gloat, and I don't mean to whine. But seeing the numbers on that piece of paper really rattled me.


Hey Bostonites? I've got two extra tickets to this Friday's production of World Passions by the Boston Ballet (http://www.bostonballet.org/tickets/ballet-synopsis.html). The show is Friday, October 30 at 8 PM, and the tickets are $49 each. But the memories? The memories are priceless.

(The actual value of the memories is 1/10 of one cent. Going to the ballet may cause dizziness and loss of sensation in the extremities. Consult your doctor to find out if going to the ballet is the right choice for you. "Going to the Ballet" is a registered trademark of Dow Chemicals. The ballet is made of soylent green, and studies have shown that soylent green may be made of people.)

ETA: The tickets are being exchanged, rather than abandoned, and thus, are no longer available. Sorry to burst any bubbles!

Screw 'em.

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So that's that (and also this). It wasn't worth it, I know, but I haven't posted anything of substance in a long time (And I still haven't! Rimshot!). I'm hoping that this will be a good way to channel this kid's crazy intensity, but I think I've wound up with just the crazy sans intensity.

Of scrotums, schoolgirls, soda spritzing, and sun showers

Weird day today.

In the locker room of the gym, just a few lockers away from my own, stands a nude man, which is not terribly unusual. Except this man isn't dressing or undressing. He's standing, and he's reading a magazine. And he's not just standing as you or I might stand while reading a magazine (although it is foolish to assume I know anything of your nude reading habits), but instead he is doing the full-on Captain Morgan pose, with his junk, as you might imagine, dangling in the breeze, were there any kind of breeze flowing through the locker room. This lasts though the entirety of my own hurried and worried change into my own gym clothes. For all I know he stands there still.

Leaving the gym, and after a brief trip to get a cold beverage, I ride the T out to the grocery store to pick up macaroni salad and grillables for a barbecue. The T is filled with no less that a baker's dozen of young women, giggling like high school girls, but possibly college students for all I could tell. Yelling and squealing, they berate me for the calorie content of my beverage (280), ask to take my picture (I relent), question me as to what type of cookie I would be if I were to become a cookie (oatmeal raisin) and why (I say something about oatmeal being kind of a basic, homey foodstuff, given just a hint of spice by the raisins), and beg me to do 5, and only 5, jumping jacks (I need to learn how to say no to ladyfolk).

With a ten minute walk from the store to my home, I desire yet another cooling beverage to quench my humidity-induced thirst. I purchase some sort of tea, whose brand name I no longer remember, that promises, as these modern teas do, to promote vitality and energy and other new-age-y sounding things. I think little of this, and pay but passing attention to the notice that I should shake the tea gently before opening. "Gently" is not a very specific word. "Carbonated" might have better alerted me to the dangers within. The drink fizzes up before I can even remove the lid, and despite hurriedly rescrewing said lid, my hands are now covered in tea. I start to lick it off, which is when I learn that the "active cultures" or whatever was listed on the bottle as the source of its hypothetical magic juju really mean that it tastes like rotten food. Maybe it would have been less disgusting mixed with the soda water which instead sprayed it over my newly purchased groceries, but I am now resigned to carrying them home with sticky, stinky hands.

I'm almost home, and holding one of my now disgusting hands up to shade the sun from my eyes, because it's sunny out, when I feel a drop of water land on the back of my hand. I think nothing of it, until seconds later, I'm in the midst of a torrential downpour without an umbrella.

Weird day today.

Chain of Fools

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Those are three things that I like, and you should like them too, so that periodically, when no one else is looking, we can share a secret high-five that will signify that we both like some of the same things. We'll be like brothers! Except it will be nothing like that and will involve John Boehner throwing a temper tantrum.

Why so serious about heart disease?

The highlight of my day? While at work, I wrote a letter to someone with the last name of Batman. That's right: I wrote to Mrs. Batman. Mrs. Batman had coronary bypass surgery. I am apparently way behind on my comics reading. Normally, in a case like this, I would request Mrs. Batman's medical records and enter various bits of data into our database, but I have a sneaking suspicion Collapse )

The lowlight of my day? Being as I am not the most macho of men, or even anything close to macho, I sometimes get my wittle feelings hurt. This happened to me recently, and while thinking about it today, it occurred to me that I really shouldn't be upset about it. Not that I'm not justified in having hurt feelings (although, truth be told, I'm generally not), but more along the lines that the matter in question is of such trifling importance that it shouldn't have any emotional impact on me whatsoever. And then I realized that my new revelation was more painful than the hurt feelings were in the first place.

If you'd like to know what I'm referring to, you'll just have to turn your Cryptic Pronouncements Decoder Ring to M-2 to decipher my hidden meaning. Here's a hint: it probably has something to do with Ovaltine. Unfortunately, it probably doesn't have much to do with Batman ... or does it?!

No. Not really.