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Archive for March, 2012

Don’t name that tune

We recently co-hosted a couples baby shower for fellow blogger Mike Honcho and the expecting Mrs. Honcho.  Co-host Lisa put me in charge of the games for the shower, so I spent some time looking online and trying to think up two easy and not stupid ones.  It was harder than I expected since almost everything online sounded god awful, disgusting, and/or moronic, but I think we ultimately succeeded.

One of the games was a Jeopardy-esque “answer and question” extravaganza.  We had guests write out answers to specific pre-written baby-related questions, and then I read those answers aloud.  The parents-to-be would confer and then guess the questions – nothing mind-blowing but pretty solid, right?  Well I was particularly excited about one of the questions: “What song shouldn’t you sing to your baby?”  If I had been given this card, I probably would’ve gone with “Afternoon Delight” for its wholly inappropriate subject matter.  And I would’ve been wrong.  This is one of those rare times in which I think there is an absolutely correct answer, and Mrs. Honcho’s sister’s boyfriend nailed it.  “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails is the song, and it’s 100% perfect.

If you know the song, you’re nodding in agreement.  If you’re my mom, you’re foolishly still thinking that “Afternoon Delight” would’ve been a good answer.  Well Mom, most people know “Closer” as the “I wanna fuck you like an animal” song, since that line is repeated – and later screamed – several times in the song.  It begins with, “You let me violate you/You let me desecrate you/You let me penetrate you.”  (On the plus side, you can’t spell “penetrate” without Peter.)  And it’s not just the words; the song’s hard, electronic beat is the antithesis of a lullaby.  It’s perfect, and I was a little upset with myself for not thinking of it first.

Naturally, I spent the next day trying to one-up or even match that choice.  The easy path is picking any gangsta rap song, but I’m going to argue that those are off limits since they’re not “sung” and the question specifically used that verb.  It’s too bad, because Ice T has a great selection, including “Cop Killer” and “LGBNAF,” which stands for “Let’s Get Butt Naked And Fuck.”  Surprisingly, I think “LGBNAF” is actually more melodic than “Closer,” with softer beats and fewer…angry whispers.  I then switched to other inappropriate content and thought about “Fuck Her Gently” by the rock comedy duo known as Tenacious D.  Great song, great lyrics, but once again it’s actually kinda pretty if you don’t speak English.

Sure, there are heavy metal songs that are just non-stop loud screaming, but if I can’t understand the lyrics, then they don’t seem as bad.  To me, “Closer” has it all and is the undisputed correct answer.  Rarely in life do I find things that make me say, “Yes – that’s the absolute perfect choice,” but it happened on that day.  Maybe the movies are right, and the miracle of bringing a new life into this world really can help people see things clearly.

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Flight of fancy

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I’m not supposed to be here this week.  Instead, I’m supposed to be in Asheville, North Carolina and then Des Moines, Iowa.  Though both are known as international tourist hotspots in March, I was actually set to go for business.  Near the last minute, the trip got pushed back a couple of weeks.  These kinds of things happen, I suppose, so I went online to cancel and rebook my flights, hotels, and car rentals.

As it turns out, doing that was a pain in the ass and took a lot longer than I expected.  I got through it though, had my new electronic reservations, and was ready to go.  Then Monday morning came, and I got an email saying that my flight that day was scheduled to be on-time.  Ruh roh.  I went online to make sure I had successfully cancelled that flight, and I was surprised by what I saw.

First, I saw that the flight to North Carolina was not listed under “Current Trips.”  Second, under “Cancelled Trips,” I saw my second and third legs of the trip, but not the first.  So it was neither active nor inactive.  Hmm.  But that’s not all, my friends; a new flight had appeared out of nowhere.  Somehow (I know not how), there was a flight from Midway in Chicago to… Midway in Chicago.  Oh, and the date of that flight?  January 1, 1970.  I was magically booked on a flight from and to the same place that I should try to board when I’m negative 7.5 years old.  And this is why we should be afraid of the machines taking over.

I called customer service and explained my predicament.  When I pointed out the phantom Chicago flight, I added, “And I assure you I won’t be able to make that one.”  She confirmed that I was cancelled on all of the ones for my initial trip and apologized for the confusion.  As luck would have it, my trip was pushed back a couple of more weeks, so I’ll have the joy of rebooking again in the next day or so.  Maybe I can get lucky and find another phantom flight on my itinerary.  And maybe this time I should check to see if it’s actually some kind of time-travel wormhole before I cancel it.  I’m just sayin’.

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At the vet

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A week ago, we were lucky enough to bring our dog home from the emergency veterinary hospital.  She had some very bad mystery infection, emergency surgery, and then a series of ups and downs that made for an extremely draining week (both emotionally and financially).  But we brought her home, and in the week since, she’s appeared to quickly rebound and is amazingly almost completely back to her old self.  We’re still cautiously optimistic since no one really knows what caused the infection or where it actually was, and we want to see how she does after she’s off the antibiotics. That said, she’s home and we feel very fortunate.

When my lovely wife and I were at the veterinary hospital last weekend, an interesting interaction occurred.  First, an older woman came in hurriedly.  She said she needed help bringing her dog in from the car.  The young lady behind the desk asked what was wrong with the dog, but it didn’t register and the woman repeated her need for assistance.  Someone was dispatched to help out, and the staff member tried again to get more information.  “He’s been vomiting and panting a lot,” the woman answered as she turned to walk back to her car.  “Ma’am, what’s your pet’s name?” She yelled out a name while exiting.  I don’t remember exactly what it was, but it was something like Fletcher, and I thought it was a pretty good dog name.

When the lady returned, the vet staff was getting the dog from the car.  “Ma’am, you said Fletcher is vomiting and panting?”  She confirmed that and added a few more details.  “And what’s your last name?”  “Fletcher,” she said.  “Oh, ok, so that’s not the dog’s name?”  “No.”  The lady then proceeded to give a name, but it ended up being her name instead of the dog’s.  On the third attempt, she provided the dog’s actual name (which I don’t remember but it wasn’t as solid as Fletcher).  “And is he neutered?” “Of course,” said the woman.

Here’s the thing: I was in the middle of forming a sentence about that response.  I was even already in the process of turning to my wife to comment on it.  I probably would’ve said something like, “‘Of course?’ If it were that obvious, they probably wouldn’t have to ask everyone.”  I didn’t get to do that though, because the lady had a second part to her sentence: “Of course…otherwise he’d be my husband.”  My lovely wife and I looked at each other with the same exact expression.  “Did she…?”  “I think so.”  “What does that even mean?”  “I have no idea.”  “But…but…” “I really have no idea.”

We had a lot on our minds at the time, but I quickly emailed myself that quote for a future post.  Now that I have the benefit of time and brain space, I still have no fucking clue what that means.  At the heart of her statement, she’s saying, “If my dog still had the ability to procreate, he and I would be married.  Since he can’t, there’s no reason to make it official.”  I just have no idea what to do with that.  Does his lack of balls make him less attractive to her now?  Or since he can’t make her a baby, it’s just empty sex with no real strings attached?  But that brings me back to the “Of course” answer from before.  Now that’s even weirder.  “Of course I had him neutered, you moron.  Otherwise the temptation would be too great to marry and settle down with him!  Society isn’t ready for that – slippery slope and all.  If they let me marry him, then people would want to start marrying their plants and bicycles.  Too bad, ’cause he’s damn sexy.”

To repeat: “Is he neutered?”  “Of course…otherwise he’d be my husband.”  I think I speak for all of us when I sincerely ask, “What the fucking fuck?”  Good luck, Not Fletcher; I hope you’re healed, back at home, and successfully fighting off the advances of your owner.

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Aging ungracefully

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I’ve never been the kind of person who cares about his age.  Turning 30 didn’t frighten or upset me in any way, and I don’t expect future milestones to either.  I know there are tons of people out there who repeatedly celebrate their 29th or 39th birthdays, but that’s always seemed silly and rather illogical to me.  All that being said, I had two age-related conversations at work recently that actually pained me a bit.

First off, I sit next to a very nice young lady.  She’s an intern, so I already understood that she was young but hadn’t given it too much thought.  I had a couple of questions for her, but we had a meeting starting a minute from then, so I said, “We can walk and talk, just like on ‘The West Wing.'”  “Excuse me?” she asked.  “Oh, on ‘The West Wing’ they always had conversations while walking the halls of the White House.”  It turns out that she never watched the show because when it first came on the air, she was…in elementary school.  I had already graduated college when the pilot aired.  It would be one thing if I were talking to some younger cousin or something, but I view her as a colleague and near-peer, so it didn’t occur to me that we were in entirely different generations.  That became even clearer when I saw her mug that said “Class of 2007.”  Oh yeah – and that was from her high school.

Secondly, the topic of age came up last week again when I was chatting with three or four people.  “How old are you?” one asked.  Before I could answer, one younger lady thought it would be wise to offer a guess: “38?”  Like I said at the beginning of this post, I truly don’t mind my age number getting higher…but that one got me.  “38!” I exclaimed.  Someone else asked, “You’re 34, right?”  “Yes, just 34,” I said.  I know there’s not a huge difference there, and I’ll be 35 in just a few months, but that’s the first time in my entire life that someone has guessed my age to be multiple years older than it actually is.  I always got younger guesses (and have even posted about being carded at Trader Joe’s – do they card people who look 38?), so that one stung a little.  Is it the beard?  I don’t think so, because I’ve had it a few years now.  Is it that I’ve been carrying myself more professionally than normal?  Nah, probably not.  Do I need to start using that eye cream?  Maybe.  I’m telling myself that she’s just bad at guessing ages in general, as some people are.  To be fair, I don’t know if she’s 23 or 28, and neither would shock me.  But I never would just offer the high end of the range, even if asked directly.  But maybe it’s exactly that kind of wisdom that comes with my advanced age.

(I wrote the majority of this post two weeks ago and am just getting around to finishing/posting it now.  During that time, someone guessed that the 22 year-old intern was 24.  She made a slightly horrified face.  “Not fun, is it?” I asked.  “No,” she replied, “not fun.”)

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