On Keys, Weddings, and Listerine

So, I have this key on my key chain, and for the longest time, I had no idea what it went to. To make matters worse, there was another copy on my spare key chain. I stared at the this key, shaking my head, going, “Is it my bike rack? My bike lock? Desk key?” I just had no idea what it was. A big thanks goes to Katie’s friend Lynne who solved the mystery; apparently, the key goes to my Club, which is sitting in my trunk.

This little mystery has lead to a game… collect old keys, find random ones. Now, start putting them on friends’ key chains… watch as the puzzlement begins!

I’m back from a quick vacation… a very needed one it seems. I have 100 unread emails, most of which, I’m sure, are useless.

I was in Tampa at a wedding for someone I haven’t seen in 5 years. Tampa is clearly a city that is just too damned hot for people. 90 degrees with 95% humidity. This is just not right. As for weddings, this one was a great one. Lot’s of pre and post partying. Godda love it when the bride’s mom closes the bar after the wedding party. I think the best part of weddings is the brunch the next day. You get to see who is wearing someone else’s clothes. Who is so green that they just pop in for an appearance then take off… good fun for the whole family.

Finally, in this tour of my post-vacation brain, Listerine. I decided to try Listerine. I was amused the guy showing me that there is a veritable ocean of biological goo chillin’ between my teeth. Using Listerine is like putting a swarm of angry bees in your mouth, and I think this is for a reason. The good folks in Listerine-land want their customers to feel like something is really happening, that there is a real medicinal flavor/effect. I mean, if you bought a mouthwash that tasted like distilled water, felt like silk, and really didn’t seem to do anything, you would think, “This just isn’t doing anything.” But Listerine grabs you and screams, “I am doing something.” I’m not sure I like it…

There are no more dodoes

(This is something I started writing a few days ago. I figured I’d clean it up and send it out.)

Sitting here, trapped on a late flight, a flight upon which I had a non-existent seat, I have been nibbling on Nicholson Baker’s Size of Thought, a challenging collection of essays. One such essay is a discussion of the discarding of library card catalogues in favor of computerized systems. It is not a happy piece. The author is clearly disappointed by the death of card catalogs, showing evidence that the newer electronic system are no more accurate add certainly not more useful than the older card-based system.

This has me thinking.

… or maybe the Becks does…

How many devices vanish each day? Looking to man-made devices that have met with their end, there are numerous items that, within our lifetime, will become memories relegated to phrases like, “In my day, we used a thing called X.”

The manual typewriter. I have used one. Not the really old style a la The Naked Lunch, but a manual typewriter just the same. I truly would never want to mess with a secretary from the 20’s or 30’s; their hand-strength must have been awesome. I guarantee that if your younger cousin has ever even used a typewriter, it was electric, and that this younger cousin has never, ever, used a manual typewriter. But there are some who refuse to use anything but… Harlan Ellison comes to mind. He lives and dies by his manual device; a device that has written scores of books and essays.

Vinyl. Vinyl as in LP and EP, 45 and 75. I think my first clear memory of a vinyl is my best friend getting Michael Jackson’s Thriller. (There is a dim memory of getting Disney’s Disco Duck, a disco album built around Donald Duck, but it is a bit of a dim memory.) I have a strong suspicion that our younger cousins would not have a clue about how to use one. It amused me to go to a club downtown and watch the DJs spin their records, while a guy next to them furiously programmed the lights and smoke and the other optical doodads that go into a dance club.

The rotary telephone. When was the last time you used one? I remember we had one in our living room. A Bell Slimline. My dad wired a converter so that the old style four-prong system would work in the twisted pair world we were heading into. Granted, my cellphone has about the same audio quality as that rotary phone, but it is certainly not an equal substitute for a rotary phone. A rotary phone involved all the senses. You physically were a major part of the system, jamming your index finger into the dial, and “dialing.” Dialing… a holdover word from the days of rotary. And, of course, you couldn’t dial at the break-neck speeds that we do now. Could you imagine speed dial implemented on a rotary phone; what a cool thing to watch.

Here is your homework. Find a device. Something good and meaty. A washboard. A straight-edge razor. A 110 camera. Hunt through your closets. Route through your garages. Find something. Sit quietly with it. Try and remember why you have it. Try to remember who showed you how to use it. Bring those memories up to the light of day, if just for a moment.

Now pick up the telephone (doubtfully a rotary one) and call the person who is part of those memories.

Now find someone else and impart the (in)significance of this item in your life to them. Perfect strangers are completely acceptable for this role.

Where’d everybody go?

It seems that everyone has vanished this week…

.. oh wait, I know where they are: SF. I just got mail from Josh saying
that he had dinner with Skippy and Serge. Apparently, because of Pebble
Beach, there are no hotel rooms from Monterey to Sacramento; so, the
ever resourceful Serge found a place to stay at the Snuggle Bunny Inn at
Half Moon Bay. I hear the two of them signed in under false names:
Bruce and Mikey.

Ev is in San Fran too… as is Danelle, I think.

File this one under signs of the coming Apocalypse: Josh is moving in
with Todd. This makes Tuesday West inevitable.

In other news, Lisa got line of the with, “Lick my head! It tastes like
cookies.” Obviously, you can tell what kind of party Dianne’s
housewarming was.

So I have been a DJ for the last few days. My boss’ boss need tunes for
these two day meeting we are in; I got volunteered. It is refreshing to
crank up “Rock you like a Hurricane” at a company dinner; so much better
than hearing a) muzak or b) endless inoffensive music. Go thing I
didn’t put Eminem on the old cd.

I am off to Austin, TX this afternoon… I have to bail out a fellow
employee who is to dumb to fish. I’ll be back… oh wait, I’m not sure
when.

Further Proof

I saw/heard three things this weekend that made me realize that the real world is far funnier than anything we can make up, funnier than anything in my head, and in fact, funnier than people realize.

Item #1:
Every so often my apartment building get bombarded with leaflets for this or that take-out place. This weekend we got flyers from… are you ready… it’s a Chinese place called… “New Big Wong!” I kid you not. New Big Wong?! I mean, come on… ordering something from New Big Wong in my neighborhood involves a transvestite hooker…

Item #2:
Skippy threw a party for an ex-roommate of his who is getting married… a very nice gesture. Well, the party was winding down, and after a hearty bottle fight with his brother (ask him about it), the gang decided to head into DC for some beers. The question is how to get there… the answer hijack/charter a tourist bus that happens to be parked in front of your house. The cost for such a luxurious cab?… $30.

Item #3:
(This one might not be that funny… but at the time, I was tired and I thought it was funny.) There’s a new product on the market. Our friends at Liquid Plumber have done it again. This new fabulous product is called “Liquid Plumber Foaming Pipe Snake!” AAAHHHH! How can something like this not be censored?! I supposed the only way this could be made more crude is if it was named (in honor of ZZ TOP) Foaming Tube Snake.

So, someone pointed out to me that there are a ton of new people on the List. In fact, on newbie said, “I didn’t know there was somewhere to go on Tuesday; that there was just a list of your rants.” OOOPS! Just so everyone is clear… there is somewhere to go… Toledo Lounge in Adams Morgan around 9:30 on Tuesdays.

PS Please, do not bring your New Big Wong or your Foaming Pipe Snake or even your charter bus.