Monday, September 28, 2009

"The trouble with the world today..."

This morning's earworm is so irritatingly insistent, I felt the need to implant it in a few more minds than mine.

The song is "Coffee in a Cardboard Cup," and was written by John Kander and Fred Ebb for the musical, 70, Girls, 70. My personal introduction to the tune was hearing ActorBoy and SWAWOSH practice it (and practice it and practice it...) in our front room while they were preparing for their Broadway debuts in The World Goes 'Round: The Songs of Kander and Ebb at Circle in the Square Theatre. (Beloved and I were privileged, blessed, overjoyed, pretty-dang-happy to have seen them in their opening performance, during our recent NYC trip.)

Needless to say (and yet, here I am saying it), I have no video of their performance to post, but here's what I found on YouTube. Watch, listen, and good luck getting it out of your head.

The amazing Mandy Patinkin:

The decidedly-less-frantic Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles:

Seniors from Nazareth College, MT:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

They say every cloud...

On June 10, 2009, Beloved had the knobs of bone that used to be her left knee joint scraped, sanded, drilled, and totally replaced with a mechanical marvel of human design. And every day since then, she has been in pain.

It's getting better, but it has taken a lot longer than we were led to believe by all the glowing reports of instant relief from others who had been through the procedure.

We were so assured of a speedy recovery that we figured a mid-September trip to New York City, the Pedestrian Capital of the World, would be no problem at all. So the flight was booked, the credit card charged, and vacation time arranged.

Contrary to expectations, the week before the trip, we were researching how much it would cost to rent a wheelchair.

Not happy with the rental rate we found, Beloved insisted she would be fine just using her cane. And aside from always feeling like she's catching up with the able-bodied walkers, she is doing both okey and dokey.

"Excuse me, Dewey?" interrupts an attentive reader, "Doesn't the title of this piece imply that you've got some kind of impressive good news in store; instead of all this whining?"

Ah...yes...thanks for reminding me. The silver lining of this slow-recovery cloud happened this past Monday, September 14, 2009. Beloved said she would like to visit the Empire State Building, and so, being the dutiful, obedient, wise man that I am (who knows which side of the bread his butter is on), we boarded the N train and headed out.

Ignoring the carnies who insisted that a second floor virtual tour of New York's highest point would be far more satisfying than actually being there, we followed the signs to get our Observatory Tickets. The second we caught up with the back of the line, a maroon-jacketed building employee moved aside one of the velvet ropes and directed us to "go right on ahead." Being the dutiful, obedient, clueless people we are, we went right on ahead.

This happened two or three more times, each time being asked, "Do you have tickets?" and each time answering, "No we don't." We finally came to the point where the actual tickets were actually getting scanned into The Actual System and our hands were empty. We expressed this to A Guy Who Looked Like He Was More In Charge Than The Other Jacketeers, who said, "Okay, here's what we're gonna do. You're going to follow me to the ticket window, then we'll come back and pick up your wife."

And I did. And we did. And then we were ushered past the line of people waiting to get into an elevator going up and go up we most assuredly went.

All this special treatment...all this bypassing of lines...all because Beloved was using a cane.

And all God's children said, "Cool!"

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Great Minnesota Get-Together

Having lived in Minnesota for only 15 years, Beloved and I still aren't considered "from around here." And that's okay, because, as much as I love the way snow doesn't shut anything down and there are a limited number of humid days in the summer, there are other things about the Land of 10,000 Entitlement Programs that I would rather not be associated with/connected to/blamed for.

Uppermost in my mind at this moment is the irritating propensity for thinking that Minnesota is first or second in all things positive that seems to be part and parcel of having Minnesota river water coursing through one's veins. Specifically, I find it boggling how much bragging goes on about the accomplishments that have either been invented, originated, perfected, or monetized in The Gopher State. (If you ask, I'm sure that someone will claim that the buzzword monetize was first coined by a Minnesotan school child while contemplating how to turn a profit while serving as Hall Monitor.)

Case in point: it is not enough to call the summertime culmination of the state's best 4-H entries The Minnesota State Fair. That just wouldn't do. It is "The Great Minnesota Get-Together."

Don't ask me why it's called that. My best guess is because it is at this event that hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans get together to conspire against my wallet. Maybe it's because, while standing in the mob (there are no "lines" at the GMGT) waiting to pay close to twenty bucks for a plastic pail of chocolate chip cookies (they are mighty tasty, but give me a break), I am pressed together with other fair goers to the extent of becoming a homogeneous mass.

Speaking of a homogeneous mass, have you ever actually had deep-fried cheese curds? Well, I have...and my homogeneous mass grew to twice its normal size.

But I really shouldn't complain. It's just that complaining is funnier than saying, "Had a great time. Ate myself silly. Wish you were here."