Amelia Earhart was a childhood hero of mine. Of course by childhood, I refer to a period of time that stretched well into my early twenties...but I'm growing up now.

Friday, March 31, 2006

RAC: Random Acts of Classiness

Just to prove to you that I never claimed to have any sense of decorum...

Yesterday on the commute back from work, I spied a house in the process of being painted a rather putrid shade of green. Far be it from me to judge a person’s choice of color for a house simply based on whether or not it appeals to me. It’s their house, and while they aren’t they only ones who have to live with their choice, I think people should be free to express themselves however they like with the appearance of their abode (just as I should be free to express myself by finding an alternate route on which to drive home). Cleary I would have no right to bag on the color, except that: the new paint exactly matched the color of the Port-o-Let that was sitting out on the lawn.



Wednesday, March 15, 2006

O'er the Band of the Free

(And the Ears of the Brave)

I love freebies. I love when you buy a product that has a free sample of another product shrink-wrapped to the side of it. Even if I don’t particularly want to try the free sample of whatever-it-is, I might be persuaded to spend a little too much on the main product to get the sample. I just think it’s neat. (I also love buying last minute impulse items at the cash register – clearly, I am a marketer’s dream.) My love for freebies, however does not seem to fully encompass the phenomenon known as Opening Band(s).

Maybe you know what I mean. Sunday night I was at a concert waiting intently to hear the band that I actually paid to see, but first I had to slog through the dreaded Opening Bands. (Incidentally, when I just typed the word band my fingers slipped and typed bad – for a few fleeting seconds, I seriously considered leaving it that way.) I say dreaded, because you generally have no idea what you’re in for. They could be really great and you might actually want to hear them again. You might actually look them up on myspace and download tracks (the high-tech version of selling tapes out of one’s car). In truth, I have discovered some of my current favorite bands that way, and in fact, the band I paid to see that night gained their spot “on-the-map” some years ago as the opening act for another, more famous, emo band. Also, in general, when you go to see a big name band, the opening bands are likely to be ones you’ve heard of (ie, when I saw Green Day this fall, Jimmy Eat World & Flogging Molly opened and it was like three-concerts-in-one – it was rad…dude), so I’m really not counting these in my rant right now. All of this aside, yes, you could actually enjoy listening to the O.B., BUT you probably won’t, and, as was the case Sunday, you may feel like your ears need a good cleansing afterward.

You may even decide that as much as you loved the concert you came to see, having to sit through the opening band in an under-air-conditioned room with a lot of sweaty bodies standing too close to one another, was nearly cause to resent the price you paid for the tickets – even if they were free. Fortunately, on Sunday, I was at the Knitting Factory which has other rooms where you can not only find different bands to listen to, but places to sit. I find that the ability to sit while listening to a bad/uninteresting band lessens my dislike of listening to them a great deal. However, I don’t think even sitting could have helped the O.B. in the room my friend & fled from, because the members of the O.B. had apparently decided that rather than practicing for the gig, they would sample all the contents of their grandmother’s medicine cabinet (including the Windex) and prowl around on stage like tribe of rabid, screaming monkeys. To me, this kind of freebie is like those silica gel packets you find in a box of stereo equipment – you don’t want it, you’re really not sure why it’s there in the first place & it will make you sick if you ingest it.


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Night of the Living Bread

(or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Stinkbomb.)

There are some things that I have accepted I will never know. Now these things are not, as you might expect, relating to chickens & eggs or the meaning of life. I believe in an Almighty creator who gives meaning and purpose to life if we will allow Him to, so I am not bothered by these kinds of questions. No, my mysteries of life tend to fall more along these lines: 1) How do all the cords behind a television set get all tangled and knotted together just by sitting there? 2) Why do balding men think anyone is fooled by a combover…on a windy day? 3) How many licks does it take to get the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Roll Pop? -and most importantly- 4) Who is leaving gross food in the office refrigerator?

If you have ever been a part of a communal fridge system, involving 3 or more coworkers/roommates, you most likely can identify with question #4. Food in a refrigerator (particularly any items in a foam clamshell take-out box) seems to have shelf-life for claim-ability of about one week. Past this time, those responsible for putting the food there develop a very specialized amnesia that prevents them from remembering that they are in fact responsible for its existence – and that this responsibility presumably includes disposing of spoiled items. The likelihood that the item in question will be claimed by the offending party is often inversely proportional the amount of odor that item is producing. If your office is across the hall and three cubicles down from the fridge, yet you can tell by sense of smell when the door has been opened, there is a better chance of a tiny alien race landing on the roof of your building and taking up residence on the rotting food than there is of anyone actually saying “Oh sorry, that’s mine. I’ll throw it away.”

As I learned from many Family Circus comics (if I had a single fiber of cool in my body, I would not admit reading this comic strip past age 8, but I can’t lie. That Jeffy is just so gosh darn cute.) there is a notorious character named Ida Know who is often blamed for doing all sorts of naughty things. Considering how many people have evoked her name in reference to the refrigerator mystery, I really think we ought to track her down and take punitive measures. I haven’t found her in the payroll system, so I think she may be a temp. That could explain how she seems to show up at most of my friends offices as well.

Until I find her, I want to leave you with these simple words of wisdom: Don’t waste time posting signs that say “Tomorrow I am throwing away all unidentified items in the refrigerator. Let me know which things are yours or that fuzzy Gladware is headed for the trash.” Skip it, and call in a hazmat team.