Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dear 1990's Alternative Music

You know I love you, baby, but I think you've been deceitful. 

I remember all the good times we had.  Listening to the radio on my hour drive from Delaware to Maryland each day for middle school.  Buying cassingles of Weezer, Better than Ezra, Green Day, Loud Lucy, and many others at the Sam Goody at the Centre at Salisbury.  Even later, when it seemed like radio had lost it's mind with all the boy bands, mainstream hip hop, and Nu Metal, I could still listen to Lunch at the Archives on WHFS while I was working during the summers in High School.  They played Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, the Wallflowers and all my friends. 

Sadly, most of your songs were all on tape, and those live in the unairconditioned workout room, surrounded by spiders and workout equipment.  Needless to say, I haven't seen you in quite some time, and you haven't made it onto my computer.  Sure, I have some Toad the Wet Sprocket here, and some Meat Puppets there, but I don't hear you enough, and I think you are using that to trick me.

See, I remember there were bands I didn't like.  I hated Silverchair back in the day.  Tonic was not good, and I remember threatening to jump out of a car on the way to a high school golf match because my ride wouldn't stop playing Sister Hazel.  So why in the name of Mazzy Star do I suddenly feel all warm and nostalgic whenever I hear any song from that time period?

Did time make me stupid enough to forget that Sheryl Crow cannot sing?  Did I forget all of those middle school dances where I did the Rerun dance to Hootie and the Blowfish songs just to get girls to notice me?  For every Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, there was a new Creed album lurking in the shadows, ready to sell you Jesus and angsty Godrock.  I mean, Joan Osborne actually got heavy airplay.  Things were not all rosy.  But now, almost twenty years later, I hear this stuff and I won't shut it off.  Pandora decides to play Filter, and I give it a thumbs up.  Then I sit quietly at my desk and contemplate what I have done while slowly digging into my leg with a letter opener.  They took my stapler away because I was using it as punishment for accidentally singing along to The Verve. 

13 year old Greg would be very disappointed, but I generally enjoy listening to all of this now.  My music snobbery has left me when it comes to you, 90's alternative.  I keep coming back to you, even after you hit me, because I know it must have been my fault. 

One thing will always remain the same throughout it all, and in this I can take comfort.  Alanis Morrisette is still a wailing harpy, and I will never forget that for a moment.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dear Jeweler

I am sorry to have interrupted you as you were intently reading the newspaper in your shop.  However, since the newspaper in our town is routinely around three pages long, including the comics, I thought perhaps you could spare a few minutes to help me.  Obviously Tank McNamara was a little too cerebral for you on this day, because after a full minute you still wouldn't acknowledge that I had walked into the store and was in fact standing in front of you.  Normally, I would have walked out then and there, but I needed help. 

So, I took my watch off and set it on the counter right next to your paper, and asked you how much it would cost to take a link out of the band.  You, being the classy, pale, mouth breathing, balding gray-hair-in-ponytail dreamboat that you are, responded by telling me to come back after 6PM the next day.  Seeing as it was 2PM, and the shop hours posted behind you indicated that you close at 7PM, I feel I was justified in asking if perhaps you could do it today.  I think that might be a fair assumption that you had the time to do it, since there were no other customers, you were reading a newspaper, and you couldn't touch yourself while watching Judge Judy until it came on at 4PM. 

You then told me that it is very easy to fix, and I could look up how to do it myself on the company's website, thereby contradicting my assumption that your only understanding on the internet was that it is a wicked sex box.  In fact, you told me it was so easy it could be done in five minutes.  I explained I had followed a tutorial online, but didn't have the correct tools.  You reiterated that you couldn't do it until tomorrow, and it would cost around $20.  When I pointed out that you had just told me that it would only take five minutes, you grunted and went back to your paper.

I bought the tools online for five bucks, with free shipping.  You are lucky I have a job, otherwise I would set up a little stand outside your jewelry store where I would offer to fix people's watch bands for $18.99, same day.  You would lose all of your business, and then how would you ever be able to buy pretty hairbands to hold your ponytail in place?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dear Lady at the Cafeteria

Our table of ten people for dinner might have been loud in a regular restaurant.  In a room called "The Great Hall", where there were at least 400 people eating, I could barely hear other people at the other end of our table.  We were in the back corner of the dining room.  The table behind us were couples with children, and the table beside ours was you and your friends.  I am not sure what exactly my friends and I were discussing, but I am fairly confident it wasn't as bad as things we could have been discussing.  What I do know is that a lady at your table tapped me on the shoulder and handed me a slip of paper, telling me she had been asked to give our table this note:
Really?  What did we do that was so awful?  If we were using inappropriate language, I am fairly certain that the table with children that was physically closer to us would have said something.  We certainly didn't bring any animals into the building, but it seems like you rode in on a very high horse. 

If you are going to "anonymously" give us the note because you are too cowardly to do more than antagonize from afar, don't leave the notepad and pen in front of you.  It makes it fairly obvious who wrote this.  Had you bothered to simply come over and let us know that you were unhappy with us, and why, perhaps we could have had a little discourse on the matter and come to a happy conclusion on the matter.  You had to go middle school on us, and you are lucky that we did not follow suit.

No, the table of 28-32 year olds decided to act more maturely than the table of 60-70 year olds.  We didn't mouth things at you, and we didn't pass little derogatory mash notes to you.  Instead, the table handed me the note, knowing that I would do exactly this.

You are making a judgement call that the content of our conversation is "rude, crude, and socially unacceptable."  I am very sorry, but I am not concerned at all what your opinion is on that matter.  You didn't bother to consult me before you put on the striped muumuu you are clearly not pulling off, so I will not consult you on this.  You had no business listening to us in the first place.  You really must have been listening hard, because I could hear nothing from any other table other than the loud din of hundreds of people talking in a big room.  Yet somehow, you could hear what we was saying from thirty feet away, because you stared us down and started mouthing the words "Shut up" to a woman at our table.  That is pretty funny, because my mother always taught me that it is not nice to tell someone to shut up.  In fact it might seem CRUDE.

My lovely dining companion Andrea, an apparently rude, crude, and socially unacceptable librarian, pointed out to me that Miss Manners, a respected authority on what is socially acceptable says that it is RUDE to correct a stranger.  This is because you may have taken things out of context, and also because you have absolutely no right to govern the actions of others.  Doing something like that might not be ACCEPTABLE in SOCIAL situations.

So, next time you have your muumuu bunched up in a tiff, please take another sip of the large margarita you have in front of you.  I will have a sip of my diet coke, and we will all chill the hell out.  After all, we came here to have a good time.  Didn't you?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Dear Mockingbird

You are the Guy Fieri of birds.  You scream outside my window all night long, and you don't even scream in your own voice. You spend all your time trying to imitate something you are not.  If you were to get some awful frosted tips, slap on some sweatbands, and interject some stupid made up words like "Flabberty BOOMTASTIC" between pretending to sound like a robin and screeching like Bobcat Goldthwait passing a kidney stone, TGI Fridays might have you try to hock some Buffalo Chicken Poppers.

Why don't you ever sleep?  That's what I want to do, and you make it so very hard.  The only other thing I know that sits in the dark and sings to itself is Fred Durst.  Do you want to be Fred Durst?  Even Fred Durst does not want to be Fred Durst.  To make it worse, if you aren't outside my window all night, you are standing on the top of my chimney all day.  My chair is right next to the fireplace, and the chimney is generally just a big megaphone to channel the awfulness that is you.

It got so bad I went on the internet to try to find out how to get rid of you peacefully.  There are no viable options for that, so I looked for more drastic measure.  I spent all afternoon reading what I thought was a how-to book for dispatching your annoying ass, but it turned out it was just some beloved book about racism and the nobility of man.  I did almost hit you with the book though, but I missed and now I have a book stuck on my roof.  

Please enjoy the bowl of uncooked rice, alka seltzer, and pop rocks I left for you on the deck.  I have also filled up the bird bath with some nice cold water that was blessed by an old priest and a young priest.  Hopefully it makes you burst into flames.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Dear Woman Who Stepped in a Mudpuddle

You were out jogging.  This usually takes place out in nature.  Nature is where birds poop everywhere, bees have sex with the birds, and the all powerful Snarly Yowl lords over all of creation.  You should understand that there are certain elements involved in this activity, seeing as you bought a fancy pair of sneakers specifically for this pursuit.  Just because you are running on a golf course, this does not suddenly make nature go away.  The course is not AstroTurf, and the bunkers are not filled with cotton candy.  Also, it is not a running course.  There are people hitting hard little projectiles at high speeds, and usually with little to no control over the trajectory.  Now that we've come to that understanding, you can understand why the pro shop attendant and I looked so confused to see you hopping on one foot into the pro shop, holding a muddy shoe in one hand.

It seems your eyes were momentarily taken off the prize as you were training to be the most tan and closest to 70 lb soccer mom at your kid's school's bake sale next month.  Apparently you stepped right into a mud puddle not fifteen feet from the pro shop.  I know this because you all but dragged the attendant outside to show him the puddle.  I, of course, followed because, well, who wouldn't.    The attendant did not give in to your hysteria, and simply asked you what you would like him to do.  You are smarter than both of us, because you were the only one of us that knew that it was the golf course's fault for having a mud puddle, and not your fault for stepping in the one hazard with 100 square yards.  You insisted that he launder your shoe, because of the injustice visited upon you.

I don't even want to think why you thought that a country club would have the facilities to launder a shoe, or why you would in fact trust them to do so.  I don't want to think about why you assume that you are owed this either.  Frankly, you made my brain hurt, and I was forced to simply proclaim loudly that the world no longer makes any sense, and then try to make you bleed from the eyes with my poor injured brain.