Monthly Archives: October 2008

Man eating dog (Look Ma, no asterisk!)

I’ve been mildly fascinated by the Free Sample since I was but a wee lass, sending copious post to the contributors of the book Free Stuff For Kids. My intrigue was renewed in college when I learned that there are so, so, SO many things that one can send away for… on behalf of an unsuspecting other (my first renewed venture was to send information about genital herpes to a friend. Still not sure if he ever got it* but it was funny–hilarious, actually–at the time).

So imagine my delight when I discovered that Underjams hawks the Free Sample in their advertising. It’s true–too good to be, almost! So you bet your sweet, sweet bottom that I quickly visited in search of said free sample to send to a coworker.

A few keystrokes later and some lucky so-and-so is getting a pair of waterproof underpants in the mail, soon I hope. But as I perused the site further, I happened on this:

Take especial notice of the bottom right corner, just above the “Shop Now” link. Specifically, the line that reads “Discretely shop online for Underjams bedwetting products** or find a store near you”

At this, I had a stroke. Discretely? What? I can only sarcastically assume that they meant that one can shop separately for Underjams or that they can do so without using calculus. I mean, c’mon (Gob Bluth voice). Really? Really, Underjams? (Seth Meyers-Amy Poehler voice).

Get a fucking dictionary.

*The literature, not the herpes
**”Bedwetting Products,” as if said products increased nighttime urine output, not protected the Garfield sheets against it

Everything to Everyone*

“So do you like music?” he asked.

“Oh, yeah,” I said

It’s pretty much my reason for existing. I would wither up and die if I didn’t hear music every day, didn’t sing every day, didn’t dance a little around my apartment (or office, if no one’s there–or hell, if someone is there), I thought.

“What kind of music do you listen to?” he asked.

“Well, I would say ‘I like a little of everything,’ but I just have particular artists that I like from a lot of genres,” I said.

Everyone says they like (or, in more dramatic cases, love) “everything,” and this response makes me irate like few other things (save Oprah) can. You like everything, do you? Do you? Do you really? ‘Cause I kinda doubt it. Do you love eastern European gypsy punk? Do you love hard-core, OG rap circa 1992? Do you love a good polka? Do you love barbershop quartets?
I don’t say this because Iactually love all of these things. I say this because I, too, once fell victim to this heinous overstatement. A casual acquaintance would ask me what type of music I listened to and I’d blindly respond “Oh, everything” and these acquaintances would let that answer slide–perhaps because they, too, would respond similarly when I posed the question back at them. I’d like to say that I once encountered a person who challenged my “everything” response and thus, changed my musical outlook for good, but I don’t think this person exists. Rather, I guess I kind of realized the falsity (and downright inanity) of my statement on my own, little by little, as I aged and (supposedly) matured.
I realized that I did not, in fact, like “everything” when I began to make the blanket statement that I “hated covers.” I vehemently argued that hearing a current band cover an old song drove me to projectile vomit…until I realized that what was actually true was that I generally preferred the version of the song that I heard first was generally the one I liked best and that wasn’t always the “original” version. In fact, many times it wasn’t. The more I researched, the more I discovered that some covers turn out to be monster hits for the “covering” band while the original artist remains cloaked in obscurity (or just goes on to record better songs). Basically, someone else wrote and sang it first (maybe even recorded a version for the studio), but they certainly receive zero due credit (to the casual fan, at least) for its success.
As I came to terms with this (I am, at my core, a gigantic music snob), I made the co-epiphany that instead of “liking” “everything” I simply had a basic level of tolerance and/or respect for those genres and artists who did not make my standard playlists and CD collection. I made the connection (running out of synonyms for “realize” here, sorry) that particular genres of music (or even artists) were more appreciated at different times. For example, listening to ‘harder’ rap is great background noise for me. I can concentrate on something else without getting hooked into lyrics and trying to anticipate the melody). More importantly, I realized (screw it) that my music choices were overwhelmingly made on an artist-by-artist basis. Do I like eastern European gypsy punk? Maybe not overall, but I do dig me some Gogol Bordello, I thought.

“Okay, name your top three bands,” he said.

“Um…Elliott Smith–obviously, I’m wearing the t-shirt…Curtis Mayfield–some 70s funk in there…and…uh…………I’ll say Blue October,” I said.

Blue October? Blue October? I choked. Where did that come from? I mean, I enjoy this band–their lyrics are superb. But in my top three? Not hardly. Please don’t ask me to rank, because I have no such stock answers from which to choose. Perhaps Three Dog Night? But then I’ve named two non-current faves and one deceased. Something more current? The Postal Service? The Kooks? Stellar, but again, not top-3 material. What if I threw him a curveball and went way back: The Grass Roots? Or even further: Nat King Cole? Still, I’ve got to have a better answer than that. I’m intimately acquainted with the entire discography of Ben Folds, but I tire of him after awhile, and knowledge does not always beget fondness. Chicago is a good choice, but I just. Don’t. Know. Arrrrrrgh.

“Cool,” he said.

“Why can’t I have this discussion aloud?” I thought.

* A bit disappointing, but my disappointment was somehow fitting, given the nature of the album:

“Eat all the grass that you want”

Wouldn’t ya know: after I’ve resigned myself to the fact that this is my last year in my current job, they go and hire a couple new people who have quickly become amazing friends. Just when I thought it’d be relatively easy to go…

I just keep telling myself that I’ve “left” friends all over this great land of ours, and that this is just another excuse to come back and visit Tulsa.

Which leads me to my next quandry: Just where, exactly, am I going next?

Stay tuned.

*I don’t get this song, but I like it. I think the point is that one shouldn’t get it.

Don’t know why (you stay)*

What I’m about to question will probably act as a neon sign of my personal naivete and insensitivity but if I truly cared about what my thoughts ‘said’ about me, I’d rarely speak aloud.

So I keep seeing this commercial for some type of gastric bypass-esque surgery. They show a couple people and they say why they’re electing to have this surgery. Man #1 says he wants to do karate with his kids. Okay, I buy that. Woman #2 says that she wants to kiss his boyfriend (husband? brother?) under the Eiffel Tower. This is where I raise issue. First–can one actually stand beneath the Eiffel Tower? Second, how is this connected with her surgery? The dude she’s macking on in the commercial is no skinny-mini himself, and yet he can apparently go to Paris without having the surgery. I don’t get it. Are the overweight not welcome in France?

That’s all I got.

The tempo in this song is slightly different at the beginning. It throws me off, like it’s off a half-beat. Drives me nuts. Much like that commercial.