Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday Tidbits

Here's the latest batch of thoughts that were hastily written on scraps of paper and gas station receipts. They've slowly colonized one side of the kitchen table so it's time to either post them* or use them to make a very small papier mache animal.

-- Some friends and I were out on Saturday night** and we decided that the best possible way to find out where you stand in a relationship is to casually ask your partner if you can smell their scalp. If they agree, they're obviously worth keeping for a number of reasons; if they don't, they may have problems with boundaries or trust, issues that should be discussed in loud voices while dining in a small restaurant.

-- Yesterday morning, my upstairs neighbors got into a violent argument over who left the television on all night, which meant I had premium seating for their original one act play, "NO, YOU DID". Their fight went on for a solid thirty minutes and at one point, there was a shriek followed by an impressive thud, like she either launched herself Ultimate Warrior-style off the back of the sofa or he tried to hit her with their border collie. The teevee in question could be heard the entire time.

-- I cooked dinner last night--actual meats and stuff--instead of my usual diet of foods advertised with a jingle or a possibly drug-addled cartoon character. Thanks, roasted garlic, for making it smell like I live in one of Emeril Lagasse's molars.

-- Everyone in my building was given a free month's membership to the bright shiny new gym down the street and I've intermittently been cheating on my old gym because I was curious what it would be like to work out with equipment that wasn't riddled with tetanus or that didn't have the overwhelming stench of armpit and old shellfish. Also, there's a hotdog stand between my apartment and the New Gym. It was late when I went last night and my street was dark and deserted enough for me to feel an itch of uneasiness on the walk. Rather than pick up my pace or clutch my membership card like a flimsy plastic weapon, I instead tucked the book I was carrying under my jacket, like the fact that I could read made me look like an easy target.

-- I spent an hour on the stationary bike rereading a book*** that I blew through a couple of summers ago. At the 59:59 mark, I started to turn down the corner of the page and noticed that I'd creased that corner before. For the entire walk home, I wondered if that meant that my one hour read speed is set at EXACTLY 103 pages because I feel certain that the last time I thumbed through these chapters, I was frantically pedaling a bike that was bolted to the floor. I typically do most of my reading on exercise equipment and more than once I've been at Borders debating between which of two books to buy and I've selected the one I thought would more easily balance on the display of the elliptical machine.

-- The other day, I checked out Borders' clearance bins and they were stacked with multiple copies of the last three hardback books I purchased. This means either 1) I'm an early adopter and ahead of the curve or 2) I read crap.

* I had high hopes that I'd successfully complete NaBloPoMo this November but instead I'm aiming for JMoBloPoWee--J-Money's Blog Post Week--where we'll learn if I can manage to write something for seven consecutive days. Baby steps...
** I'm not sure which aspect of that sentence should be more surprising: the fact that I have friends willing to be seen with me in public**** or that I had a Saturday night that didn't involve me sitting alone on the couch watching infomercials for hair removal products.
*** The Simple Art of Murder, a collection of Raymond Chandler stories and essays. My fondness for 1930s detective novels, elastic waistbands, and soft foods make me sometimes wonder if I'm secretly approaching eighty.
**** We went to see Gravel Truck, a Let's Active cover band that happens to feature Let's Active's original frontman and lyricist, legendary producer Mitch Easter. The band itself was an important--if sometimes overlooked--piece of pop music history and probably deserves its own post. Until then, and the incomparable Kleph has just posted his excellent interview with Mr. Easter. Also, enjoy this video which is two minutes and 50 seconds of awesome. SPOILER ALERT: There are sleeping puppies.


Your Ill-fitting Overcoat said...

Now, couldn't you have posted them AND turned them into a small papier-mache animal?

JMoPaMaBloPoWee? Just a thought.

p.s. My word verification is 'proid'. Balderdash that shit!

Aleksandr said...

Didn't realize Mitch was touring again. I have had to dust off the cassette player and turntable to hear the old Let's Active albums.

Thanks for the humorous bits and the radar addition for Gravel Truck.

amindinmotown said...

I may attempt to smell my boyfriend's scalp tonight. We'll see how that one goes.

X-Country2 said...

I've made book choices using much less logical criteria than balancing ease on exercise equipment. I'm a cover art-judger. Can't help it.

emmysuh said...

It never fails that I read a particularly hysterical post when I'm in a place completely inappropriate for sniggering, today's choice being the library. I'm already super fucking annoying because I'm eating an apple and unwrapping a packet of crackers and typing a lot and probably just my general face -- now I get to add choking back giggles to the list. (Doesn't' it always get worse -- something's funny but you can't laugh at it outloud, which makes if funnier, which makes you want to laugh more...and on and on...)

Have I rambled enough? Is this a great comment? I'm really looking forward to JMoPaMaBloPoWee or whatever the hell it's called -- I'll just try and read in a more appropriate setting...

Reluctant Runner said...

Sounds like it’s time for speed reading training to me. Try this to start:

1 page @ 100 words/minute x 4

Cool down: read the same sentence over and over again until it looks like it is written in a foreign language.

Andy said...

*** Don't forget your love of the Golden Girls. If you already wear adult diapers and go to sleep at 6 p.m., I'd say we've hit elderly nirvana.

franco.beans said...

the fact that you can read does make you look like an easy target.

if it doesn't, well, then the $38 "i can't read" ironic-tee i bought at Urban Outfitters was a waste of money. and i don't waste money just to be able to tell jokes.

Julie said...

A Let's Active cover band led by the leader of Let's Active? Isnt' that a tautology?

I have some Let's Active albums. They were good. Much better than The The or Was (Not Was). The late eighties was truly the golden age of grammatically themed band names.

Indy said...

Close access to the scalp of your significant other can also help you to determine whether your potential future offspring (if the world should ever come to that) will be genetically predisposed to psoriasis.

True story...

J-Money said...

your ill-fitting overcoat: Good point. I'm now the proud owner of a papier mache amoeba.

aleksandr: They've only done a couple of shows in the current "Gravel Truck" incarnation but, yeah, keep an eye out 'specially if you live in the south.

amindinmotown: Fingers crossed...fingers crossed...

x-country2: Nothing wrong with that. Sometimes I just pick the one with the shiniest cover.

emmysuh: Now I just want some crackers. And yes, it was a great win the day.

reluctant runner: I think I just tore a retina. Thanks for that.

andy: Sigh. You know me so well. I'm off to bed.

franco.beans: Does that shirt really exist? It wouldn't surprise me at all. And if it does, and if you bought it, then obviously we were meant to be friends.

julie: I'm not afraid to admit that I had to look up tautology. So yes, yes it is. But said tautology still plays the hell out of a Rickenbacker.

indy: See? It's an informative AND beneficial little test.

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Mike said...

It's 1:18 am and I'm still awake. I'm afraid somebody is going to break into my house and smell my hair. And since I can't smell my own hair, they will know something about me that I don't!

Bogart in P Towne said...

I think you put the book under your coat to protect you from a stabbing or shooting...You could then display that book on your wall showing how it saved your life. You would be on CNN. You would be featured in Time Magazine. You would get book deals and even a Lifetime Movie. You would be rich beyond belief.

All because you had the forsight to tuck the book in your coat.

Russ said...

While I do enjoy your writing, your taste in music is apparently horrific. Since watching that video:
1. I've shaved my head for fear that my hair may accidentally take on the form of a member of Let's Active.
2. I've become opposed to Proposition 8 because listening to that song made me gay, and I should have a right to be married.
3. I punched out a cat because it was in heat and making unpleasant sounds very similar to that song.
4. I've written an apology letter to my family that is to be delivered upon the day I am arrested for vandalism of an actual truck carrying gravel.

kleph said...

Thanks J Money. I simply can’t thank you enough for setting that interview up. It was a real treat to meet one of my longtime musical heroes. I actually asked Easter about the puppies in the video and he said that it was kind of an accident.

The video – one of the very few the band ever did - was filmed in Los Angeles as part of the old IRS Records MTV show “The Cutting Edge.” The label would bring a bunch of their artists to the studio and just shoot these bare-bones videos one after the other.

The “concept” for this video at the time was to have some big dogs running around the set while they played. (Dogs are a pretty constant theme in the Let’s Active universe). The problem was, they couldn’t find any to use so someone went down to the animal shelter and got these puppies that they used instead.

The happy ending of the story was that every one of those puppies was adopted that day by people involved in the shoot. Easter said there was even this huge tattooed British roadie on the set (with The Alarm who was also doing a video at the time) and he even adopted one.

And, Russ, feel free to try the Smashmouth cover of the song that was used for he show "Friends." It’s probably more your speed.

Maxie said...

I failed nablopomo :-(

I lasted just about 7 days so we're on the same scale i guess.

p.s. the captcha thingy that I have to type to leave this comment is come roy. I'm not sure why but it made me laugh.

Anonymous said...

That is not a tautology; although it is ironic and kind of awesome.

Fit Bottomed Girls said...

Your TV-fight neighbors remind me of a couple I used to hear sca-ream at each other for hours. About things like taking the trash out. Never mind that it's less work to take the trash out than to scream for an hour.

franco.beans said...

alas, UO doesn't yet share our humor. but it is totally on my list of shirts I'd make if I knew how, along with another understated classic: "No, you."

Flowerdew Onehundred said...

I love(d) Let's Active, and I will keep an eye out for Gravel Truck, though I suspect Northern VA is not far enough south.

The idea of the band leader heading a cover band OF that band makes my head want to explode, but I suspect alcohol can fix that.

Eric (Extra P.) said...

julie - if you keep using words like "tautalogy", you're going to get mugged LONG before J-money does.

Because everyone knows that people who read (and have large vocabularies) are wealthy and unarmed.