1. A commercial talking about living a “healthier lifestyle.” I don’t live a “lifestyle”; I live a life. Sometimes I do it with style and flair, but most of the time I do it without that much self-consciousness. I think it’s probably a fair rule of thumb that if you are living a “lifestyle,” you’re probably living inauthentically, and trying too hard.
2. My copy of “Jet Airliner” by the Steve Miller Band, from a Greatest Hits album, has the lyric “don’t want to get caught up in any of that funky kicks going down in the city.” These are funky kicks; otherwise, that phrase isn’t used in English. It’s ungrammatical besides. And why am I getting a censored and overdubbed version of a song on a purchased album? This ain’t top 40 radio, which I doubt the kids are listening to these days anyway. Anyone who would recognize this song is certainly of age that they can handle some funky shit going down, in the city or anywhere else. Please.
3. Hecklers at shows. I’ve been on and on about this in this space before, but it gets my goat every time. It’s always the same 2 blowhards, almost always men, who want to chit-chat from the audience when there are, you know, professional musicians trying to put on a show. Is your name on the frelling marquee, Windbag??? If not, shut your cakehole, already. Did you notice that nice crew member putting the setlist down by each mic onstage before the musicians came out? They don’t need your help deciding what to play, and probably didn’t practice the song you just asked for in anticipation of this show. But then you wouldn’t know that, because you’ve never been a performing musician, and have no conception that effort, planning, and preparation have gone into this performance. Plus, maybe they’re sick to death of playing that song, which is why it isn’t on the list tonight. And for the fuckwit who hollered “Freebird,” I’ve got news for you: not only is that lame, but even doing it ironically is so old and lame a joke it’s got a walker complete with tennis balls. I’ve got Louisville Slugger especially for you, pal. Don’t fucking try me.
4. Ironing. I own exactly 5 items of clothing that require ironing, all shirts. There is a reason for this: I hate to iron. It’s the most pointless activity in the world, because you iron a shirt, and it really only stays unwrinkled while it’s still on the ironing board (if that). I shake my fist at whatever idiot first decided that the pelt they were wearing would look better unwrinkled, launching a thousand wasted years of sartorial futility. (My pelt would look better unwrinkled, too, but I’m not into plastic surgery, and both I and the world are better served by my accepting that wrinkles are not an aesthetic battle I can, or am willing to, fight.) Every once in awhile, I buy something in cotton (I refuse to buy linen anymore because if you look at it, it wrinkles) because I just can’t pass it up, but every time I consider such an item, I ask myself in all seriousness whether it’s likely I’m going to iron it. 95% of the time the answer is “no,” which explains why there are only 5 such items in my closet. I recently bought a cute white shirt with ruffles on it. I don’t know what I was thinking; if there’s anything more annoying than ironing, it’s ironing ruffles. And then I’ll throw it in the wash, and won’t wear it for another 6 months because I’ll have to iron it again first.
5. 2009 local elections. I was baffled when recently I started seeing lawn signs in yards. Then the junk mail started about this proposition and that school board candidate. I am still not over the endless campaign season leading up to the 2008 elections, such was my fatigue and general irritation at politicians, and now they want to start it up again? And in Arizona, the ballot wouldn’t be complete without a few citizen-initiated propositions. We have 2 this time, one giving city government the ability to tweak the the budget (what there is of it), and the other requiring city emergency services to comply with national response-time standards, which, evidently, we’re not meeting at the moment. Passing a law won’t make those ambulances go any faster. And as the law as proposed is an unfunded mandate, we certainly have no ability to hire more emergency personnel; if we did, we probably would’ve done it out of the existing budget (what there is of it). How about a law that requires drivers to actually pull over when emergency vehicles are coming down the road instead of continuing to block the lane? How about bigger fire trucks, capable of rolling over cars who don’t? I’d bet cash money that 90% of emergency delays are due to traffic rather than dallying by the emergency crews. I’m annoyed that 2 minutes thought hasn’t gone into this law (or frightened that months of thought and effort have) to see these holes, and I’m annoyed that tax dollars were wasted on the printing of the info about them. If police and fire departments need more personnel, we need to find a way to make that happen. I’m not against that; what I’m against is the clueless thinking they can wish for a magical pony, put it on a ballot, and that somehow it will just appear out of the clear blue sky. Grow up.
6. People who think it’s my fault they’re late for work/school/whatever. I’m sitting at the stoplight at the entrance to my neighborhood, trying to make a right turn, and I’m intently watching the traffic coming off the road to my left. Traffic regularly comes off this road going at least 50 mph, so you take a right-turn-on-red at your own considerable risk. Your intrepid blogger was going to make the attempt, though, and was intently watching for a break in the traffic whizzing past me. I was watching so intently that I failed to notice that my light had turned green. It took about 3 seconds for this to register; however at a 1.5 seconds, the lady in the car behind me started laying on the horn. It took me another half-second to even register the weak bleating of the instrument that had a certain audacity to call itself a horn, lost as it was below the sound of my moderate-volume folk music. She didn’t lay off the horn the entire 3 seconds, and that was just long enough for me to get pissed. I’m supposed to be off the dime in a nanosecond or less? In a town known for rampant red-light runners? It’s my fault she left the house late? As a person who is chronically late for everything, I am well aware that it’s no one’s fault but my own, and if some grandma wants to drive 10 miles an hour in front of me, well, that’s my problem. I give people at least 5 seconds before I give them a single polite beep to bring their attention to the light.
I confess, I flipped her and her horn off. I felt a little bad after because in the heat of the moment, I didn’t think about the fact that her kid was in the car, but I guess if she didn’t feel bad about being an ass in the presence of her kid, I was probably off the hook myself. I enjoyed witnessing her bad carma when after all that, she had to sit at the same red light I had to a mere block away.
I feel better now. How ’bout you? Anything bugging you?