Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Reading Aloud

I have gotten into the habit lately of reading out loud. Not the whole book, mind you but just the dialogue portions. It helps me to really get into the characters, and let’s be honest there are some great pick up lines, especially from those harlequin romance novels I’m always a readin’. Am I right?

So yesterday, I was in our break room just eating my lunch and reading my book when I noticed that I was the only person in the entire room. And I thought why just read out loud at home when I can do it at work as well? So I started in.

I was enjoying my “out loud” reading when I heard someone opening the door. So I went back into silence mode until I heard the door shut again.

Once she left, immediately the “mute button” came off my reading and I went back into the open dialogue. It was powerful! I was coming up with different voices for each character and I even started throwing in some hand gestures for good measure.

I was right in the middle of a climatic heated dialogue between an elf and a dwarf and my voice was rising into a shout, and I was about ready to climb on my chair and shout out the final line…when, behind me, I heard the ever so subtle crinkle of a candy wrapper.

Remember, that time when I heard someone enter the break room and then thought they had left? Well they didn’t, they had been watching me for about…oh I would say five minutes.

So instinctually I did what any sane person would do. I froze mid-stance with my arm raised slightly to the heavens. Just like a our chameleon friends of old, I was hoping, in fact praying that if I held ever so still I would slowly blend into the tan wallpaper and potted plant next to me and this voyeur would not be able to see me any more.

Well to my astonishment that didn’t work. So now what?

After about a minute I decided to slowly lower myself back into my chair and just ignore the fact that she was there.

Really? What kind of a person sits there watching another human being humiliate themselves without notifying them of their presence? What, you couldn’t clear your throat or do an awkward cough?

You’re the one with the problem not me. Because I am not crazy, I am just expressive.
Because..(awkward laughter)...I am not crazy.
I’m not.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Keep My Holy Library HOLY

Remember how strict the library used to be?

I remember as a child being trained by the librarian that entering the library was like going to church. No gum, no talking, fold your arms and shut your mouth, no running, and if you check out a book you had better get it back on time or they would burn down your house and cut out your tongue.

Remember those good days. As long as you respected the library you could hang out there for hours looking at micro fiche and old outdated magazines. Good times!

I hate to tell you this but friends the library has gotten lax.

I went to the library yesterday and while I was looking up a book to check out the teenage couple next to me were talking, in full voice mind you, about how “Schmoopy” they thought each other was. Oh brother.

Then someone with the “Pineapple Rag” as their ring tone just let it go on and on and instead of turning it off, smiled and answered it, again in full voice. Good thing they got rid of those annoying ring tones, am I right?

And then a little kid in cowboy boots was just randomly screaming and running, running and screaming through every isle of library. Dude where is your mom?

And then to top it all off, I heard a bunch of women talking about “Dancing with the Stars” and how they thought that Tom Bergeron was such a charmer. Only to turn and find out that it was the librarians sitting in their information fortress of solitude in the middle just reading their People magazine and chatting away.

Enough is enough I thought.

Well five minutes later I was escorted out of the library.

Apparently you can’t walk around the library swatting out of control children, teenagers in love and chatty librarians with a yard stick (the yard stick of justice as I like to call it) like libraians of old. That's a shame.

Well some one has to do something. If we lose the library where else can we go for solitude? Where?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Twillight Revisited

After my local Wal-mart was mobbed with thousands of screaming women, and by popular demand, I have decided to again post my feelings about the Twillight Movie.

So this weekend I happened to catch "Twilight" the cinematic spectacular that seems to have captured all the women that I know in a vice grip and will not release them back to reality.
In a previous blog, I have openly admitted that I have read all four books in the "Twilight" series. I found the first books pretty good so I went into the movie thinking with all the technology we have available to us, this movie should rock. Well friends I left feeling something was a miss, but I couldn't put my finger on it.

After some serious reflection I have put my thoughts about the movie into some talking points:

Point 1- At one point Edward tells Bella she is his own personal brand of heroin. Is that supposed to be flattering? I may be new at this love-ease, but really? Heroin? Since Edward has been alive, I don't know, like 200 years, I would expect a little bit more thoughtfulness on his part. Comparing a girl to an illegal substance may not be the best way to get her to go out with you. I am just sayin'.

Point 2- Again, I hate to belabor this point but, WHAT IN THE SAM DOES EDWARD SEE IN BELLA? I don't know this Kristin Stewart who they got to play Bella but she has as much personality as a rock.Am I really to believe that all these guys at school want to take her to prom, and these girls want her to come pick out prom dresses with them. Where ever she goes she comes off so lethargic and uncaring. And we are supposed to believe that Edward can't help but fall for her?I could be wrong but I like to ask girls out that have a personality. That's just me.
Point 3- If you were Bella wouldn't you start to wonder if Edward liked you for you, or if he was just attracted to your smell. Wouldn't that be a kick in the teeth if one night Edward showed up and said, "Bella, you are such a nice girl, and I have really enjoyed our time together, but really I am just using you for the sweet smell. Sorry."

Point 4- So I admire Edward for wanting to push Bella away because he knows he can kill her if things get too close. But Bella tells him she can't live without him even though she knows that she is tempting him to kill her and start sucking human blood again.That seems a bit selfish doesn't it?I mean, isn't like the equivalent of dating someone who is extremely addicted to, oh let's just say heroin. But your whole life centers around wearing perfume that smells like heroin. And the heroin addict guy your dating says I can't date you because when I am with you and you wear that "heroin eau de toilette" it makes me want to shoot up again. And then you say I don't care if you destroy your life and mine by becoming an addict again, I have to be with you, and I am willing to take that risk.Do you see where I am going with this? Doesn't sound like they are looking out for each other, does it? Kind of co-dependant.

Point 5- What is up with Jasper's hair? I am not sure who was in charge of wigs in the filming of Twilight but they need to be fired. Don't you laugh every time you see Jasper walk on the screen? He looked like he was strung out on heroin, or heroin perfume, I am not sure which.We are supposed to feel sorry for him because he is still transitioning as a vampire but seriously he was just comic relief for me. Check out this photo. I mean can we really take this guy seriously?

Monday, March 16, 2009

“a Wunerful, a Wunferful!”

Do you ever find yourself on Sunday afternoon flipping through the channels and you can’t seem to find anything on? And then out of no where you stubble upon a Lawerence Welk re-run. And immediately you change the channel because that is so beneath your sophisticated viewing palette and let’s be honest, some of the colors on those outfits hurt your eyes.

After another rotation of nothing on, some how you are drawn to “Lawerence and the gang” and watch a little bit longer and laugh at how corny it is and how they spontaneously break into random acts of tap dancing.

On your final sweep of channel surfing you again find yourself with Mr. Welk only this time you are fascinated about how super sweet a musical number is about a little old lady sitting alone in a restaurant and then at the musical numbers finale everyone rushes over to her and they all embrace followed by the little old lady doing a rousing tap solo on a table.

You find you are making comments to yourself aloud, about how the two ballroom dancers have no expression except a creepy gynormous smile even when they dance to the song “Love Affair” which is about someone dying after they fall in love. Why is that?

You find yourself marveling at how everyone has cheeky names like “Kiki” or “Sissy”. It begs the question, are all the people on the Lawrence Welk show former cocktail waitresses or strippers? And what’s the deal with those microphones? Where all the microphones back then the size of summer sausages or what?

And then you realize that you have watched an hours worth of Lawrence and you’re not sure how you feel about that. And then you justify watching an entire episode of Lawrence Welk as a fluke thing and it will never happen again.

And finally you admit after week five of watching Lawerence that apart of you actually enjoys the corniness of it all.

Time to get cable? Perhaps.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Young @ Heart

Have you ever heard of the documentary called Young @ Heart? It is not one that is on hand at your local Redbox so you will actually have to go into a video store to rent it. That may be a new concept to some of you but yes they are still in existence.

So it was nominated for an Oscar a couple of years ago and the idea of it really captivated me. They follow the Young @ Heart choir, which is a choir consisting of 70-80 year olds who sing songs ranging from Coldplay to Sonic Youth, for a couple of months.

I went into this movie thinking it would be very funny seeing these older folks singing some hard rock. And although there were some good laughs I was struck at how touched I was when they sang some of their songs. I watched it two weeks ago and I still think about it. It was that impactful.

In the last scene of their concert they sing ColdPlay’s “Fix Me”. Let me stop to say that I have a love/hate relationship with this song because I love the song itself but I hate ColdPlays version of it. I just don’t like Chris Martin’s voice. My problem not his.

So I love this scene where this guy with a booming low voice, who is on oxygen comes out and sings “Fix Me”. It is significant that someone with so many health problems is singing about fixing someone else. And if you will notice his oxygen machine actually keeps beat with the song which adds a hip-ness to it.

He also sings the song like my grandpa. Like my Grandpa is using all his years of experience to help a less experienced generation to understand that life will be rough, but there will always be people, like himself, that will help us along the way or fix us.

Sorry it won't let me embed the video but here is the link. Go rent it today!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Prune

Do you ever start liking a food all of a sudden that you didn’t like at all before? One word for you friends: Prunes. They are delicious!

Ya know, I always considered Prunes to be an “old person” food, but friends make no mistake, Prunes are youthful, hip and oh so cool, let’s not make any bones about it. You know how important it is for me to only eat cool food.

One thing that I learned is that the Prune needs to be respected. You walk a fine line of intestinal regularity with the Prune. Oh sure they are tasty in moderation but take one too many and wow, you are asking for trouble.

Like last night when I thought I would make a Prune smoothy. “I love smoothies and I love prunes, what a beautiful marriage of flavors and tastes that will be”, I thought naively.

Within about an hour I realized that I had crossed the line of “Prune safety” by putting five in my blender. Quickly, I was moved upon to be stay in for the night.

For those of you who are new to the “Prune game” let me teach a little something, when you eat five prunes you have pretty much walked into the fruit demilitarized zone without a bullet proof vest on. You might as well say, “I love bowel pain and I am ready to ride the slippery slope which will become my bowel movements for the next day or so. Let me have it.” And the prunes will gladly oblige you.

It felt like I was being ravaged from the insight out. And that I was filling up with air, I think the technical term is called “bloating”, that’s right friends bloating.

I don’t want to get into too much detail of the rest of the story because you can figure it out for yourselves. But let me say, 4 prunes = good, 5 prunes = loose bowels…um…very, very loose.

Be careful out there friends. Be so careful with those prunes. It is a love/hate relationship that requires restraint Always restraint. (This has the potential to be a great chastity-type analogy for your young people. Your welcome friends.)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Remember that time when you were in elementary school and you had fund raisers where you had to sell spice racks, jewelry, and on the rare occasion window cleaner to fund playground equipment and lice checks?
And you would walk door to door and be rejected by your neighbors? But the ultimate insult and what really hurt is when you would go to your so called “friends” and “families” houses and they refused to buy your product. Oh, it was so painful.

During a particularly difficult fundraiser where I felt like the “little match girl (or boy as it were) practically begging people to buy my wares in the blinding snow, I made a vow that I would buy anything that a child sold me no matter how cheap or stupid it was. I would do it just to make the child feel good about themselves, because if Whitney Houston has taught us anything it is that, oh yes, CHILDREN ARE OUR FUTURE.

So on Saturday I went to the store on my way home from work, just to grab a gallon of milk so I could enjoy my Malt-o-Mill Golden Puffs before church. When I reached into my pocket all I had was $5.00 so I didn’t have enough money for any extras.

Right when I walked through the sliding glass doors I was mobbed by three cub scouts offering me tickets to the SCOUT-A-RAMA. “That sounds awesome friends but I only have enough for milk today.” They went sulking back to their cub leader who was wearing sweats and lounging on the motorized shopping cart. He gave me a disappointed look and shook his head.
Ouch, that hurt.

I kid you not, I walked another 50 feet and I ran into the Special Olympics kids selling root beer floats (I don't know who was in charge of fund raising this year but ice cream in the middle of winter? OK, good luck with that.)for $2.00. They set their table right in the middle of the isle so you had to pass them. Those kids are genius! “Sorry friends,” I said, with my heart bleeding. “I only have enough to buy milk today. I am so sorry.”
One of the kids flipped me off and I continued to the Dairy isle.
Oh, real professional!

After I got my milk I just wanted to run away from crushing the dreams of the cub scouts and special needs kids. I probably single handedly cancelled the SCOUT-A-RAMA and the Special Olympics due to my lack of funding.

I purposely exited on the opposite side of the store so I could avoid the swearing and spitting I am sure the Cub Scouts and the Special Needs kids were ready to dish out when I left.

As I exited guess who greeted me? The little league girl’s softball team selling Papa Johns coupons. As soon as they saw me all ten of them rush towards me with coupons in hand. I couldn’t take it anymore so I just pushed them and ran to my car. I pealed out of the parking lot hoping that it would deter them from chasing after me and grabbing on to my bumper.

As I drove home instead of feeling bad for my youthful sales people, I was angry at them for making me feel so guilty. How dare they make me feel that way when I would have bought there crappy stuff if I had money. My heart was in the right place dangit!

I swear to you I was home for maybe 5 minutes when the doorbell rang. Guess who it was? The boy scouts. In my anger, I just grabbed a handful of pennies and threw them out the door and said, “How fun at the stupid CRAP-A-RAMA. Make me feel guilty will ya?”

So…um…yeah…that vow I made all those years ago?.... it's...uh..it's pretty much broken.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Wonderful, Wonderful, Day

Man, I had such a fantastic day yesterday? I got everything done at work in record time and even had time on my lunch break to go feed the homeless. I got home and ran four miles under 45 minutes in my new aerodynamic running tights. Then without even changing, I jumped in my car and shot over to the local Wal-mart to purchase ingredients for a healthy meal of turkey burgers. And then to top it all off, I got all my groceries for under $40.00. Nice.

I was on the top of my game friends and nothing was slowing me down. Just like the theme song from "Karate Kid” says, I was the best around, nothings ever gonna keep me down.

So as the sliding glass doors at the Wal-mart opened, a blast of warm spring air greeted me with a whip of my hair. And for a moment I feel like doing something that would physically express my carefree-ness to all those in the Wal-mart parking lot.

Toyota jump? Not very expressive.

Mary Tyler Moore hat throw? No. Not wearing a hat, and the hat would probably land on the roof and then that would look weird, me looking up into space waiting for the hat to fall.

I know. I will get a running start and jump on the back of my shopping cart and then cock one leg up into a perfect 90 degree angle. What spells carefree-ness than riding a shopping cart? Nothing, I say!

So I got a pretty good running start and then jumped on my shopping cart and starting riding through the parking lot heading to my car. I could feel the many stares from my fellow Wal-mart shoppers, wishing they were as joyful as I was.

My joy was cut short however; as I failed to calculate that a 200 lbs man with his full weight on one end of a shopping cart and 20 lbs of groceries on the other doesn’t make for a balanced ride. I am not a physical scientist friends (even though I play one on TV), but I know enough to tell you that shopping cart was flipping backwards and I was going down with it.

Fearing for my own life ahead of my groceries I released the cart and feel to my knees on the asphalt. How embarrassing was that? I did some self talk to calm myself, “OK Rob you are still a fine person only 15 people saw that. You are gonna be OK”.

Meanwhile, as I let go of my cart some how I must have given it a little push forward because it picked up speed in a hurry and was on marked course right to the side of my car. And “bam” right into my car causing another 15 people to look towards what was going on in their normally quiet Wal-mart parking lot.

With a smile I jumped up and said, “Wal-mart friends I am OK. Let’s never speak of this again.” Most of them had already turned away in embarrassment for me, but I think we are still friends, it’s hard to say.