So apparently, I missed that it was Freddie Mercury’s 65th birthday last month (thanks adulthood). Google released this sick Google Doodle of the Queen classic, “Don’t Stop Me Now”, which coincidentally taps into everything I dreamed of in pre-adolescence: 1) One day becoming a cultural icon, 2) imagining the world as an 8-bit video game, and 3) owning a large collection of full-bodied, Roman onesies.
Thanks for everything, Freddie. We miss you.
Call it a hangover from my week-long obsession with football (my fantasy teams, more or less, did terribly on Sunday – thanks for asking), but I spent my Sunday night trying to not pay attention to what was happening between the Steelers and the Colts. Instead, I caught up with The Sound of Young America and stumbled upon their last episode with Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophyscist badass and director of the Hayden Planetarium here in New York. I’d seen Tyson previously on Real Time with Bill Mahr, and found myself equally blown away by his dialogue then as I was in his TSOYA interview; see the link below…
The Sound of Young America
Part of what I find so engaging about him is his ability to make abstract concepts accessible, and also that he makes progressive thought actually sound like a good thing. I’m so gaga over this guy that I’ll also throw in a Q&A he did back in 2009 and how he answered the subject of the 2012 Apocalypse. Enjoy readers…
Kids, your mother and I have something to tell you. We’re getting a divorce. Now, before you begin to assume anything, we want to you both to know that it is completely your fault.
Now, we all know that – “typically” – a divorce never happens because of the kids. It’s because the parents have come to a point where they would be better off not married to each other anymore. This would also be the time to tell you that that’s a bold face lie. Parents are adults, and children are children. Adults can learn how to live with each other, despite their shortcomings. Children are social morons who are led to believe that life is a fairy tale. Truth be told: you’re mother and I would get along great if you two weren’t in the picture. We could keep the house, turn one of your rooms into a separate bedroom, turn the other room into an office or a pottery studio, and continue to share the mortgage as if we were roommates. But apparently – according to all of Mom and Dad’s friends and colleagues – that’s too “complicated” for two children to understand! So we’re stuck doing this: we’re getting a divorce so that you two can have a “healthier upbringing”.
It’s not that we don’t love you, we just don’t love you enough to act as if this isn’t a huge pain in the ass for us. You’re our kids, you deserve to know the truth. I mean: why do you think we’re raising you as atheists? It’s because there’s no such thing as bullshit in this family. When your Mom and I got together, we had it all planned out. We both were marine biologists. We were able to afford this house at 25 years old. We were going to live the perfect life. That’s why we decided to have children, because we thought it’d go great with everything else. But… the neediness. We didn’t expect that it was going to be an all-the-time kind of thing. I know right after you were born, Benjamin, we had a three-week vacation to the Bahamas all planned out. It was going to be a treat to ourselves after 9 months of dealing with the whole “pregnancy” thing. But guess what: that had to be scrapped because a newborn apparently needs to be cared for all the time. Do you know how much “non-refundable” costs?
Anyway, I should reel this back in, because I can feel myself going on a tangent. What your mother and I have decided is that enough is enough. A person can only take so much. And, given our current state of mental well-being, you two deserve better, too. That’s why neither of us have elected to take custody of you. Rather you’re going to go live with Uncle Pierre in Singapore. Singapore! Doesn’t that sound exciting! Clean streets, excellent education, corporeal punishment – so don’t even think about growing up to be some kind of smart aleck, Allison! Pierre’s already got you enrolled in summer session at The Academy of Obedient and Gifted Children so you’ll be all caught up by the time fall rolls around next year.
What, Donna? Oh right, I should have asked: do you two have any questions?
1. Being forced to listen to the entire “Gin and Tonic” era of Billy Joel’s career.
2. 100,000 socially awkward hugs.
3. Personally dressing up gila monsters to look like business people.
4. Getting stuck in a conversation with somebody who believes that Dave Matthews Band is overrated.
5. Bees who believe their stings feel like rainbow kisses.
6. That commercial for NFL Sunday Ticket where fairy Deion Sanders is delivering “the good news” to a Dallas Cowboys fan he can watch games on his Droid, and it never once occurs to him or his wife that the fairy is, in fact, Deion Sanders.
7. Passing the certification exam to become a professional shark masseuse.
8. Trying to order a lithium transmission for a 1925 Baron-X Danger cycle without having to pay the grandfathered-in “German Apology” fees.
9. Waking up at 7:00 a.m. on a Saturday to spend the whole day at a cater waiter job for The National Association of Stiff Tippers.
10. 200,000 socially awkward hugs. From my boss. Who I just bumped into a karaoke bar. At 1:00 a.m. on a Sunday.
I’ve now spent an hour trying to come up with something original to write for Friday. Not much luck with anything. HOWEVER! Good news: you can expect at least 3 new pieces of writing next week, and God knows what else. In the meantime, I figured since it’s Friday, you’re most likely reading this because you are a) at work and bored, b) unemployed and waiting for Judge Joe Brown to start on TV, or c) you are some kind of blood relative of mine. Either way: you’re looking for time to kill at the end of the week. Why not spend it catching up on one of my favorite musicians, Tom Waits?
There’s not much to say about Tom that hasn’t already been said by many and more articulate people than me; all I can add is that I’ve loved his music since freshman year of high school. Bittersweet and comedic and far out, his work remains unlike anything else ever produced in the mainstream. Listening to anything he produced while on Asylum Records (all of the ’70s and early ’80s) moves me in a very special way, because it gets me thinking about my dad. I guess because he wanted to be like a character in a Tom Waits song, or maybe he actually was one – fun fact: the man did use to work as a pizza delivery man and a cab driver to make ends meet when I was a child. Anyway, here for your approval (and to curtail my rambling), I present some of my favorite Tom Waits clips off of YouTube. Enjoy. Have a good weekend. Come back on Monday – I’ll make coffee, and I promise to not ask about your husband’s foot problem.
From the film Mystery Men…
From the film Coffee and Cigarettes…
In honor of Community returning next week, here’s the track “Put It In My Video” by Childish Gambino (a.k.a. Donald Glover). Truly a force to be reckoned with, this guy.
1. College is a great place to discover tons of indie music already ruined by the internet.
2. Girls love it when you begin and end sentences with “Much ado m’lady.” I recommend using it in the quad for a week.
3. When pulling an “all-nighter” on a paper, you will realize that exhaustion makes you fearless, which why after you’re done you should also wrestle a bear.
4. When choosing a major, think about something you’d love to study that will have nothing do with your adult life.
5. Living in dorms is all about tolerating different lifestyles. Feel no shame to continue showering in your nylon body sleeve.
6. Contrary to what you think, someone is watching you play in your D-III college football games – the bears who plan to wrestle you later that night.
7. A good senior thesis begins and ends with a strong point of view. But no one ever complained about pop-up sections, either.
8. Getting rejected by a fraternity is not the end-all, be-all to your life. That’s what I tell myself after every job interview these days.
9. Wokinga t a collige noospapr looks gret on a resumi.
10. If you feel inclined, join a Political Action Committee. We need student leadership now more than ever. Who else will stand up for your freedom to wrestle a bear? Or, multiple bears in a battle royale that involves sponsorships for several local bars?