Van Pelted

A colleague who sits across from me wanted to make light of the fact that a lot of people had been stopping by his desk to chat, gossip or ask for advice. He settled on putting up a sign that read
"The psychiatrist is in - 5 cents".

The problem with his sign was that it actually read
The physiciatrist is in - 5 cents".

The sign I placed underneath it constitutes a good deed in my humble estimation. It reads
"The spelling bee champion is next door - no charge".


Lost Generation

The second place winner from a YouTube contest called "U@50".  The best 1:44 I've spent in a while.


Green Monkey Number Crunching

Splotchy's done it again! His epic Green Monkey Music Project is back for Volume no. 14. You can read about it and then download here.

The name of this mix was NUMB3R5! and the theme asked for songs with a number in the title. I was happy to play along but realized too late that if I'd submitted 6060-842 by The B-52s, I would have scored with the song and the artist having numbers in the name. No matter. My choices and explanations are as follows:

2:19 by Tom Waits - This song is featured on the Orphans release and the time in the title refers to the train Tom's baby's leaving on and not the running time of the song. Thankfully, this leaves plenty of time to take in all the arresting sounds Mr. Waits likes to paint with.

40,000 Years B.C. by Gyan - While on a quest to figure out where Jane Siberry had been hiding (she's now called Issa), she was nice enough to introduce me through her website to this Australian singer/songwriter. I love the haunting drawn out sound of her vocals and the accompanying music which clocks in a little shy of 40,000 years.

96 Tears by The Stranglers - This is a fantastic and driving remake of the classic by ? and the Mysterians. Sometimes strangulation's just the thing a song needs.

25 Minutes To Go by Johnny Cash - Whether it's gallows humour or a man singing his own countdown to the gallows, I'm there. A minor Cash classic.

10 Fingers 11 Toes by The Ponys - If I had a garage, I'd ask The Ponys to play in it, providing they like a nice game of Rummoli. This is a fun and noisy little number that reminds me that I grew up next door to a family where the dad had 11 fingers and 10 toes. I'm not sure why but he ended up taking his own life.

5 and 1/2 Minute Hallway by Poe - This is the strangest song until you read Poe's brother's novel House of Leaves and then it makes more sense but still stays pretty strange. I love the whole album this is from.

And there you have it, download, enjoy, or not, and thank Splotchy!


Swap Meet

Robin Williams and Bono could switch places and very few people would notice.  This is what I believe.


The Blog With Something Extra

While I don't wish ill on (almost) anyone, it doesn't much bother me that Sally Field has osteoporosis.  I blame her for changing my life decades ago although she probably wouldn't want to talk about that in a series of television ads for big cash.

No, I was not a teenaged Gidget and I've never stood on a table holding anything other than my a UNION sign.  I've never broken down while proclaiming "...Right now you like me" (at least in public) and though I have many personalities, without a diagnosis, I'll stick with Dale rather than Sybil.

During the 1970s, the subject of Extra Sensory Perception (ESP) seemed to be on everyone's minds and a topic of some fascination in the media.  Some might say it began at birth but things really began to unravel for me in 1973 when a series called 'The Girl With Something Extra' began airing on television starring Sally Field as a housewife with ESP.  It may have been billed as a comedy but after watching only a few minutes of it, things didn't seem so funny.  

While I can't imagine there was much of anything nefarious going on in my tender 9 year old brain, I became suspicious that perhaps some people could actually read minds and I began taking precautions in earnest in case they were scanning me.

If ever someone held my stare longer than I felt comfortable with, my first line of defense was to launch into a silent but simple cloud of noise comprised of la la la la la la las which rang through my head for as long as it took to change the subject I'd been pondering before the intrusion.  When someone insisted on remaining in my orbit and actually engaging me, I sometimes went to a stage two higher alert involving more deliberate conversations with myself about the weather or the rising cost of popsicles.  I made sure not to move my lips when I did this and eventually, things would clear enough for me to be able to carry on a conversation.

My suspicion that people were reading my mind lingered for years and even on occasion now, I feel the need to scramble my thoughts.  Seeing through me is one thing but listening in on me? Unforgivable. 

If you ever find yourself talking to me or at me and I seem momentarily distracted or otherwise engaged, try not to take it personally, it's not you, it's her.  

Damn you Sally Field!


One Store Closes, Another One Opens

It’s a new year and so with full heart and empty stomach, I decided it was time to settle the score with my old nemesis, the Korean Bagel Lady. There’s little that can’t be solved over a delicious BLT on a cheese bagel.

I was nearly blinded on approach by the high beam smiles of Mr. and Mrs. Korean Bagel Lady last week. How lovely I thought, they missed me (or at least my bagel and coffee revenues). I tried not to appear deflated as I learned the true source of their smiles – this was their last week in the building! It's no wonder they both looked as shiny as melted butter!

They’d decided to fold up shop, head for Panama (look out Canal!) for a couple of weeks vacation and then ease their way into retirement. I congratulated them on their news and they told me to be sure and return at the end of the week for a free bagel.

I did return but more in the hope of parting shots than a free bagel. KBL’s final conspiratorial warning was “be careful next week if you want bagel, new people I train not seem clean, I worry for customers”. I told her I doubted she’d be worried while she was on a beach and she cackled back “Yes, I worry only for the snowstorms you stuck in when I have no problem!” Mr. KBL chimed in with “I worry about having too much fun” as he made a motion like swinging a baseball bat. I asked “will you be playing baseball?” “No! It’s golf!” I told him I was worried too. We all shook hands and parted.

Under other circumstances, I might have felt sad but relief took its place knowing that I'd already found a replacement for KBL over the Christmas holidays. I went in to the convenience store (conveniently located) near my house to pick up a few things and the crotchety Asian counter lady there stole my heart.

I was in line behind a messy looking woman at the counter who was hemming and hawing over which of the multitude of scratch lottery tickets to buy. The Asian counter lady was regarding her with thinly veiled disgust while shaking her head and she waved me forward with my purchases.

As I came up to the counter beside her, the lottery lady turned and snorted at me ‘Hey! She’s serving me here, wait your turn’. The crotchety owner said to her “I don’t have time to wait for you!” and started ringing me up. This incensed the lotto lady. “I was about to buy a Bingo ticket honey but now I don’t know if I will!” The clerk said “Big deal, you take too long, get over it!” She turned back to me smiling as sweetly as she could and said “You have a nice day sir and Happy New Year!”. I smirked away from the counter while the lottery lady continued to rail on about convenience store protocol and turned in time to see my new heroine roll her eyes using her whole head.

I’m home again.


Tones on Dale

Please tell me that ringtones will soon go the way of novelty neckties.*  

*That one chick on the train who has Johnny Cash singing 'I fell into a burning ring of fire...' every time her phone rings can keep hers though, I like it.