Friday, February 27, 2009

Oddnesses, Wonkiness, Weirdosities and Observationisms

1. Taped to a street sign in my neighborhood.



2. Just your basic panda sitting next to a tip jar in the middle of the Financial District.



3. Driving to Boston two weeks ago to visit The Nephew, I discovered that I am apparently Lite FM's biggest fan. You may not have heard, but there's bupkes on the radio. In the past, I only ever listened to the radio when I was in my car, and since I haven't had a car since 1998, well, you could say I'm rather out of touch with what the kids listen to these days. Songs trickle into my consciousness at work, but even then it's useless because I still can't tell the difference between the two Jonas brothers who don't look like the other one. No worries, though, because every time I do get into a car, it's the exact same music the freakin' stations were playing in 1998. Bush? Really? "Under the Bridge"? I mean, "Just Like Heaven" is one of my favorite songs, but to hear it twice in a 45-minute drive? Is there really nothing else?

So.

So Josh and I were driving to Boston, and in between airings of "Single Ladies," which, admittedly, is from this decade, we just kept our fingers on the Scan button. And then I came across REO Speedwagon's "Roll With the Changes." And I was rendered joyous.

Josh: What the hell is this?
Me: Come on! You know this! So if you're tired of the saaaaaame old sto-rayyyyyyy ...
Josh: Can I look for something else?
Me: NO! I can't believe you don't love this! Ohhhhhh, turn some page-ay-yesssss ...
Josh: Please stop what you are doing.

My happiness only strengthened — a crescendo, if you will — with Barry Manilow's "Weekends in New England." (Let it be known this is the second mention of this song on this here blog.)

Josh: Marla. [Note: He never calls me Marla.]
Me: But it's a theme! We're going to New England! For the weekend!

Then, "Hard for Me to Say I'm Sorry" by Chicago.

Josh: Ugh.
Me: Don't even do that. You love this song.
Josh: Actually, I do. I do love this song.

But it came to a head when "Always" by Atlantic Starr came on: Despite not having heard it since my bat mitzvah in 1987, I knew every single word. Upon fading out with the last "Ooooooooooh, ooooooooooooh, I will love you so for alllllllwayyyyyyyyssss ..." I said, "Hm. It's so obvious that I never drive. My voice isn't strong at all. I should be able to sing this song." (I can't sing. I only ever sang when I drove, so, granted, I'm out of practice, but still, singing in cars clearly makes me delusional. Let it also be said that the only song I can sing on key is "Do That to Me One More Time" by Captain & Tenille.) Josh harumphed. And then "Something to Talk About" by Bonnie Raitt came on.

Me: Yay! It's Bonnie!
Josh: Turn. It. Off.
Me: But it's Bonnie!
Josh: NO.
Me: But —
Josh: Enough. I'd rather hear "Single Ladies" again.
Me: [forlorn, quiet] Bonnie ...
Josh: We're done now. Change the channel.

There were many things happening here. 1) Josh, former goth and club kid, can only absorb so much Atlantic Starr. 2) I was singing. This is never good. 3) My glee was such that drivers in other cars were staring. On the interstate, where nobody looks into other people's cars. 4) I was completely taken aback by the intensity of my glee. Perhaps it was because I was just happy to hear something other than "Black Hole Sun" for once, but these songs are really good, dammit. They are my youth. They are the songs that played while I slow-danced with my unrequited crushes at middle-school dances and bar mitzvahs. (And then when the songs were over, I'd sit in a corner of the gym with my friends and cry.) I apologize for nothing. Lite FM? I'm forever yours. Faithfully.

4. While we were in Boston, we stopped by Rodney's Bookstore in Central Square. Josh had heard of it, and it was right near a record store he wanted to check out that had just opened. (Opening a record store? Now? In this economic climate? We give it six months, tops.) Rodney's is the best-looking used bookstore with the worst selection. Now, I admit that my preference in any bookstore is for the fiction section (shocker), so I can't fully gauge the quality of some other sections; considering that, it may have been the greatest bookstore in the history of the world. It certainly looked good — warm tones, homey, not dusty or claustrophobic, nonjudgmental staff. But the fiction section was weak, weak, weak, the prices weren't that great, and being mere blocks from Harvard University, it's alarming that there were, like, three copies of The Life of Pi (which, in my humble opinion, was simply horrendous in every way) and not a trace of Virginia Woolf. Anyway.

What Rodney's Bookstore did have was fun sections. Rodney's Bookstore's strength was in its sheer variety of sections.





Also, at Rodney's Bookstore, I learned that I am not seductive.



5. This is what happens when a baby falls asleep with a pacifier in his mouth and then the pacifier falls out.

video

6. In my dermatologist's office, there is a copy of Healthy Aging magazine. This month's issue features a cover model who is positioned just so over the title print, making it appear to be this month's edition of Heal Agina. It made me giggle. Hee. Heal a 'gina. This magazine should be in my gynecologist's office.

7. Walking through Union Square the other night to meet a friend for dinner, I passed a man wearing a business suit that was only just thismuch too big, he was carrying a briefcase, he had a sensible haircut, and head to toe he was painted silver. The paint was wearing off, it had a sort of pewter patina to it, and he appeared to be in a bit of a hurry, probably rushing home to take a shower. The Rushy Silver Fella looked like any other person who had had a long day at the office, who was a little harried and eager to schlub on the couch with some wings and a beer. Except he was, you know, silver. And he was not the usual Times Square Silver Guy. It was more like he'd had an unfairly bad review at work and instead of getting a lame raise, his boss poured a can of paint over his head.

8. While waiting for a train last week, I walked past a guy who looked exactly like Adnan Ghalib, except his hair was a debonair pee blond. The first thing I thought of was, "Dude, I know the police are looking for you and everything, but you need a better disguise than just dying your hair. Start by shaving that damn drool strip off your chin." A few days later, I did a double-take as I walked past a guy who was the spitting image of Justin Timberlake. I am now on a quest to find a Kevin Federline look-alike, and then Britney Spears's doppelgänger, and then I'll have covered an entire not-exactly-love-life.

9. Any time I've gotten into a reality show for the first time, it's always been when I catch the last two or three episodes of a season. I started watching America's Next Top Model with two episodes left in the first season (and I totally called Adrienne's win, thereby proving my worth as an analytical wünderkind), and the same for Project Runway. Last week I started watching Top Chef. Now I have — how many? four? — seasons to get into. See? I'm such a nonfan I don't even know how long it's been on the air. Anyway. Carla should have won, even though it's a given that soufflés never work in a high-stress environment. I don't cook and I know that. (To that end, I am now officially an armchair model, photographer, fashion designer and chef. So creative! So versatile! What profession will I ever pursue next?)

10. Look who came to the office.



One degree, people.

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