Monday, December 8, 2008

Yes, David, the is life on Mars.

One of my favorite daily activities is perusing Wikipedia to find little-known facts and general information about my favorite music artists (I do look up info. about others as well, but my main interest lies in those who create the music I enjoy). With that, I'd like to let my readers know that today, Eric Clapton gave me a reason to keep going.

Turns out that when Mr. Clapton received a guitar as a gift for his 13th birthday, and struggled to learn how to play it. He almost gave it up, tired of the tedious hours of playing scales. Instead, he sat around with his tape recorder, listened to the blues, and picked out chords to learn.

Don't give up. If Eric Clapton did, we wouldn't have "Layla." And I really like that song, dammit. Especially the bluesey, acoustic version. As I write this, Bon Iver is playing over the airwaves, and I am happy.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Lady Boss

7:37 PM - Medford Square - Monday night, December 1st

I was heading out of CVS, birth control perscription in hand, and feeling bummed that the song "November Rain" was no longer applicable to the current weather and month. Two short kids, who I judged could not be any older than 12 years, came around the corner. One of the kids was on a bike, and one strode behind him.

"Hello." He looked me up and down.

I nodded, gave him a weird look, and said "Hey."

"WAIT UP, N*$$*R...WAIT UP, N*$$*R!" Smooth talker called out to his pal on the bike.
I wanted to snap at the kid to never use such a horrible and degrading word, but didn't have a chance as the two kids shot out into the middle of the road, nearly getting hit by oncoming traffic. Now, across the street and behind me just a bit, smooth talker decided to try something.

"Hey, baby?! BABY! Hey SEXY!" This kid hollered across the road to me. Already feeling odd swinging my birth control in a baggie, I kept on trucking.

"YO! My friend likes you."

End scene.

* * * * *

10:02 AM - My place of employment - Tuesday, December 2nd

Two young men step up to the counter as I'm training one of my employees on a transaction.

"Do you like having a lady boss?" the short guy asks my male employee. Prajesh, unsure what to say, gave him a funny look and chuckled a little.

"Excuse me? A what?" I asked.

"A lady boss. You like when she bosses you around like that? (directed to Prajesh)."

I stood, bewildered, unable to keep myself from making various comments - "What the hell?" - yet not wanting to tell off a customer.

"I have a lady boss too."

"Oh yeah, and how is she?" I inquired.

"She's bossy."

End scene.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Overheard at the Airport

Last night I gave thanks. I thanked the stars as I flew into the night sky over Pennsylvania, and pushed through the freezing air into New England, for this life. Being home for Thanksgiving made me realize some things that I often forget; for one, tolerance is a skill, and, Mom makes better food than anyone else in the world. Something about the fact that the food was prepared by my mother, or grandma, makes it taste better. Coffee is a necessary and joyous beverage. And, my family will always be there for me when I need them.

After the very homebound and low-key weekend with my family, Rodney (little bro) drove me back to the airport so I could catch my flight to Boston. The flight was delayed, due to a sort of plane traffic back up in the inclimate weather of November. Originally intended to leave at midnight, my flight got pushed back an hour. I expected to board around 12:20, and was let onto the plane at 12:30. But not before I had the pleasure of finding irritation in just about everyone around me.

I got a set of headphones and sat down to work on my crossword book before catching an episode or two of Buffy on my laptop. At the same moment, a curly-haired young woman behind me ripped open a large bag of chips and began devouring them. CA-RUNCH-RUNCH-RUNCH-MUNCH-LIPSMACK-CRUNCH. My hair stood on end with each chomp. Force yourself to deal with it, Jamie. Sit here and deal. It's just chips. No one is coming after you. Chip-chewing does not merit murder.

The sound of a bag popping open resounded from another seat.

CA-RUNCH. CHOMP...Arghhhhhh!

Unable to deal, I heaved my backpack onto my back, scooped up my coat, and began my search for a new place to sit, void of people. There was a small room filled with old payphone terminals that were no longer in service. About three other people sprawled in various corners of the room with laptops were all removing chips from bags and chowing down. My skin crawled. I sat down and jacked up the volume on my laptop and began to relax at the sound of Spike's British accent, and Buffy's beat-em-up moves biffing and bopping on the screen.

Worried I would miss my flight due to Whedon (an embarrssing situation indeed), at midnight I re-joined the cast of mainly young persons like myself waiting for the plane to arrive. A young blonde girl sat to the right of me, chattering loudly, on and on to her friends about going to Boston College, cab fare, and the MBTA.

"I walked all the way to Southie one day with my friends," the girl said. "It was SO SKETCH. I seriously felt like I was in The Departed the whole time."

Excellent! Comparing Boston to a Scorcese flick - that's realistic! Southie, whoa now, look out, you might get knocked off by the Winter Hill Gang if you walk in that area. Gimmie' a goddamned break. Was I shocked that a prissy little Boston College student from Mt. Lebanon (affluent 'burb of Pittsburgh) made such a comment? No. Nonetheless it was disheartening. It's like reducing Pittsburgh to Flashdance. Last I checked, Jennifer Beals was starring in The L Word, and chicks don't typically work as welders/flashdancers in the 'burgh. But, that's what one might assume if they project Hollywood's image of a city onto it and tout it as "the way it really is."

Suggestion: give thanks if you can see past stereotypes.