Wednesday, June 29, 2005

eavsdropping - I love it

So I'm in Pizza Hut. I've been dragged in, really. A slave to SuBr's craving for a can of coke. When I say Pizza Hut, you probably think of the standard, red-roofed restaurant, suburbs-style. But no, this place is solely a take-out joint - sandwiched between what I think is a copy centre and a hair salon, it's about the size of a postage stamp. There's a bench and four stools on the wall across from the cash register, but that's about it. When we walk in (in search of cold carbonated coke in a can), there are three what I'm going to call 19-year-olds sitting on the stools (boy, boy, girl), sharing a hawaiian pizza, and one lank-haired not-so-clean-looking forty-something dude who is CLEARLY eavsdropping on the painfully earnest 19-year-old conversation.

SuBr proceeds to ring the bell in search of counter staff to help her with her beverage craving, so I decide to watch the scene unfolding on the wall of stools. The older dude is highly enjoying the conversation. The kids are pretty hippy-looking, probably first year sociology majors, you know the type (heh). As I watch, the older dude repeatedly tries to make eye-contact with the kids. He's very keen to join in their conversation. He's absolutely itching to share his opinion, I can tell. After eye-contact doesn't really work, he leans in on the counter and blatantly takes an 'I'm totally listening to what you're saying' pose, occasionally nodding his head in agreement with the inspired prose that bubbles from their youthful lips like coke from SuBr's can.

SuBr recieves and pays for her coke, and as we're leaving, I was treated to this bit of inspired conversational genius:

19-yearold boy1: "His new album, it's just, you know, things are like, totally fucked."

19-yearold boy2, chewing: "dude"

19-yearold girl: "I know. And what about those stretch SUVs? (complete non sequitir, btw) They're just, evil. Every time I see one I want to barf."

older dude, forcefully, very excited to finally find his opening: "Man, that is just ....SO BEAUTIFUL!"

I'd have to agree with him.

Monday, June 13, 2005

swollen fingertips

So I bought a guitar last payday. It looks like this. Except blue. I am completely in love with it. I wish my guitar had big blue eyes so I could see tears of happiness when I get down on one knee to propose to it. I wish I could sit all day with my ear pressed to it's side and listen to the sounds of the gently plucked strings. I wish I could put it in my pocket and take it with me everywhere.

Ahem. Inside voice.

Anyway, I admit I'm obsessed. The whole thing started with a surprise anniversary party for my grandparents. They will have been married for 35 years this July (second marriage for both), and my family decided to host a surprise party for them, in Thunder Bay. Where they live. Where I'm going. With my new guitar. Why? Because two of my aunts and I decided it would be swell if I learned to play, and the three of us sing, their wedding song. And, god help me, I agreed. (I'll save my thoughts on the lyric 'When I feel blue/In the night' for another time.)

To be completely honest, I've always wanted to learn how to play - I've had a long-standing dream of being that cool kid around the campfire who takes requests - but now I'm faced with the stark, unfriendly reality of having three measly weeks to learn this song. It's not a particularly difficult song. I understand the chord progression. I've memorized the changes and the form and the lyrics. I can sing the melody AND the harmony lines so that I can teach my aunts. I just can't play the darn thing yet without painful start-and-stop chord searching. I know I've been playing for a whopping six days, for a total of about five hours, but I think I might be guitar-challenged. I'm doing terrible things to my left wrist and I know it, but I can't play the chords yet without looking at the strings. And in order to see the stupid strings, I have to tilt the guitar's butt away from me at about a 45 degree angle so that I can accommodate my stupid boobs, which means my left wrist has to twist in a ridiculous fashion to wrap around the neck. sigh. First highland dancing, then soccer, now this. Stupid boobs. I need to find a large-breasted female guitarist who can give me tips on how SHE learned to cope. Anyone out there know someone they can recommend?

PS Spell Check wanted me to replace 'boobs' with 'Bob's'. That's funny.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

food for thought

The past three mornings, I've gotten up (after several 'snooze's'), turned on my computer, checked my email (I know I have a problem), read my NYTimes headlines, checked the weather network (sim. re: problem), and turned my iTunes on random as I leave the computer to get ready.

For the past three mornings, one of the first songs iTunes plays, while supposedly on RANDOM, is 'Here I Go Again' by Whitesnake.

Which is scarier?

a) iTunes' unsolicited commentary on my life?

b) the fact that I have Whitesnake on iTunes to begin with?

Sunday, June 05, 2005

the right stuff

Had lunch with my good friend JoDa on Friday, and he told me the following story which I am filing under 'fuck, my friends are cool'. Enjoy.

Growing up, JoDa's younger sister was a New Kids on the Block fan. And not just any fan, the kind of obsessed pre-teen/teen fan whose room is wallpapered with posters, who owns several concert t-shirts (and wears them), and who pesters mom and dad to 'play my tape' every time they're in the car - with her long-suffering brother groaning and sighing beside her in the backseat.

Fast-forward 13 or so years to last Wednesday evening - JoDa works at a small museum downtown. They have several openings nearly back-to-back, so it's been a couple of busy weeks around the office. After the last opening, JoDa and his boss take some of their big sponsors out for dinner to a nearby downtown hotel, to say thank-you etc. The dinner is great, everyone's happy. After the sponsors leave, JoDa goes to visit the bathroom before getting into his car. On his way out, a guy passes him and walks up to and sits at the bar. JoDa thinks "Oh my god, that's totally a New Kid. My sister would die if she got his autograph.", and heads up to the bar to 'take one for the team'.

JoDa (slightly tipsy from successful sponsor schmooze): Hey, you're famous! (with pointing finger)
NK: No, no, I'm just a guy. Just having a drink here. I'm not famous.
JoDa: No, you're totally famous. You're (scrambles for name)...Mark Wahlberg!
NK/DW: Uh, yeah....thanks a lot. I'm Donny Wahlberg.
JoDa (panicking because he's obviously losing this guy's interest): Man, I bet you hear this all the time, but....
DW: What, your sister's my biggest fan?
JoDa: Seriously, she totally is!
DW: Yeah, thanks very much. See you later.
JoDa: No, really. She is. And I can prove it.
DW (intrigued because JoDa is being so persistent): Oh yeah?
JoDa: Yeah. Now, you and I are about the same age, right? What do you think the chances are that a guy our age is a NKOTB fan? Probably not great, right?
DW: OK, I can buy that.
JoDa: Alright then, if my sister WASN'T your greatest fan, how would I be able to do this:

And my good friend JoDa, proceeds to RAP, right in the bar, the middle part of 'Games', which Donny performed on the original recording. For the curious, the rap goes something like this:

Games, oh, ee, oh, oh, oh, games, games, games, games, games.
[RAP:] Yeah, people keep on fronting on the Beantown posse, but it's time to step up to the stand, 'cause we ain't going out like that. Back, huh, stronger than ever, did you think we'd sever? Never, we're too clever to be taken down clown by your ignorant state of mind, I ain't blind but every time I look I find you dissin' a mission that strictly be righteous, we gotta fight this so now I think I might just take a stand, man, like never before, and I'm sure that we'll endure so now it's time to even the score I hear you knocking me but you ain't shocking me 'cause jealousy is telling me that you're just jocking me so keep on talking skee, with pride I'm walking see, because on anybody's block is where I'm gonna be rockin' gee. Don't play those games, oh, ee, oh, oh, oh, stop playing those games.
DW: Holy shit man, that's hilarious! I don't even remember it that well!! C'mere and sit down.
So JoDa sits down with the New Kid (who buys him a beer), and they proceed to shoot the shit. Apparently DW was in town filming 'Saw 2', and that day they had just finished filming some sort of scene where several of his fingers get cut off. After their drink, JoDa says, "Alright man, you have to give me something for my sister.", and DW signs something on a cocktail napkin. As JoDa is leaving, napkin in his pocket, DW is all "Dude, you're a cool guy, you totally have to come back. I'm here almost every night." JoDa is all "Yeah, sure, sounds great. Thanks for the autograph." and leaves.
I hope MY brother is taking notes, because this is the best big-brother story EVER.