25 March 2009

It's a long, long way down

I have had a Grade AAAA rant building in me for the last few days, and I am not quite ready to unload. I intended to blow off some writer's block steam here with a random eleven (which I will in a moment), but a visit today to the same store that led to this lesson demands that I make the following proclamation:

I declare open hostilities towards those who think that they are better than everyone else.

Des and I went to Target today (normally I wouldn't bother to identify the store, but I think it lends to the idiocy that I am about to describe) around 2:30, and the parking lot was not crowded. There were plenty of spots available within twenty-thirty yards of the store entrance.

I got out of the car and as I walked to the other side to spring my son, I noticed a black Mercedes enter from the north-actually I heard the gunning of the engine first, as the car accelerated from the turn-and proceed closer towards the entrance. I got Desmond out of the car, and as I walked with him towards the store, I noticed the car had pulled up onto the sidewalk, maybe five yards from the entrance to the store. The tires squealed slightly when she braked. A middle aged woman got out and went inside, her stride confident and quick. She was dressed well, wearing a leather coat, carrying a large purse, and had wrap around sunglasses covering what looked like a well-made up face. Her hair was impeccable.

I knew what she was doing. She was going in to pick up a prescription-the pharmacy was adjacent to the entrance. I put Des in a cart and decided that if I saw the woman when I passed the pharmacy, I was going to say something.

Sure enough, she was at the pick-up window of the pharmacy. As I approached I heard her complain to another customer that she was in a hurry.

Since Desmond was with me, I politely excused myself and then asked her why she felt it necessary to park on the sidewalk (had I not had Desmond with me, I would have been a tad more direct).

"Oh," she said, "I'm not feeling well."

I didn't break stride as I said that I felt it wasn't her right to drive in such a manner, and that there were plenty of parking spaces close to the store. I distinctly heard her say "I don't care what you think" as I went away.

I was pleasant in the ten seconds that our encounter lasted. She was full of shit, and she's fortunate that I didn't say that to her.

I've been around long enough to know that ignorant people like that shouldn't bother me, that I should let other people's ignorance bounce of me as long as it does not directly affect me. Perhaps I've changed somewhat since Desmond was born. I don't know. I do know that I was quite happy to interject my opinion into this woman's day.

You're getting a prescription at Target, lady. Maybe spend a few more bucks and go to the Walgreens drive-thru next time.

Obviously this is just the tip of something building up in me for a while. Today was the tipping point. I am completely fed up with those who have this sense of entitlement, that they are above doing things like regular people when out in public.

And I am not going to have any problem pointing it out to the in a dignified manner from this point forward.

OK, on to the eleven. Again, this bit is 100% ripped-off from this guy. Go spend some time over there. He's much funnier than I am.

1. "Kiss Them for Me"-Siouxsie and the Banshees. "Banshee" is one of my favorite all-time words. I've had days when I've used it a thousand times. I'm quite thankful they didn't go with "Siouxsie and the Hags of the Mist." Anyhoo, I have a very specific memory of this song: August 1995, a train traveling overnight from Paris to Berlin, and I was having an impossible time getting to sleep so I put on my Walkman (remember it was '95) and stared out the window into the dark. I recall having a dream but felt as if I was still awake, and in the dream my grandmother, who had died the previous month, was telling me about all the things I was going to enjoy on my first-ever trip to Europe. This song grew louder and louder as she talked, and at the end I couldn't hear her anymore. I opened my eyes and realized this song was playing on my headphones. It was so odd. Ergo, I think about my grandmother every time I hear this song. Clunky, yet oh-so sentimental.

2. "Put Your Records On"-Corinne Bailey. This songs plays over the end credits of Venus, which is the only movie that has made me cry in the theater. I absolutely lost it at the end of this movie, partly I'm sure because it was a Saturday matinee and there were perhaps six people in the place. Long story: I love Peter O'Toole, for many reasons, one of which is that he reminds me of my father (the two men could not have been further unalike, so go figure; must be the Irish). The end of this movie was like saying goodbye to an old friend. I got hooked on O'Toole in 1981 when I saw My Favorite Year, and when I mentioned to Dad how much I liked him he introduced me to his earlier roles. Wow. I go into a coma every time I try to watch Lawrence of Arabia. And how is it possible that O'Toole has been nominated eight freakin' times for an Oscar and has never won? Blows my mind. He lost for this role to Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland, which brings to mind my primary beef of acting awards: which is harder-playing an actual person or a fictional character? Whitaker was great as Idi Amin, but O'Toole was brilliant. Acting should be different from imitation. I haven't seen either Milk or The Wrestler, but I bet Mickey Rourke deserved an Oscar over Sean Penn. I'm not taking away the achievements of actors who can portray actual people (Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth and Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles come to mind) but it seems to me that if you have the ability to watch hours and hours of a person in public, you can eventually nail their mannerisms perfectly. Oh well.

3. "Seven Veils"-Peter Murphy. Finally! I just now figured out what bugs me about Peter Murphy's voice-it's exactly what I would expect Hugh Laurie ("House") to sound like if he sang. This has vexed me for a while, the "there's something I'm not catching" feeling I get every time I hear Peter Murphy. I like it, don't get me wrong, but for ever more I shall always hear him and think "House sings!!!"

4. "New York"-U2. I'm a little perturbed at how U2 has adopted New York City as its own since 9/11, which would lead me to think that this song was written after. Nope. It came out almost a full year before. Maybe Bono and the boys wanted to avoid the whole Irish-Boston stereotype. Don't know. I've never seen the allure of New York myself, though I definitely love Boston.

5. "White Room"-Cream. Quick! What Scorsese movie is this from? I'm sure he used it somewhere, sometime. Can't find anything. It was used for white I-macs in 2000. Apparently Scorsese used the same Rolling Stone's song in every single one of his movies, but I'm not telling what it is.

6. "Binky the Doormat"-REM. I wasn't much of a fan of New Adventures in Hi-Fi (the CD on which this song appears) for the first seven years it was available (except for the song "Electrolite", which reminds me of wandering alone in Galway, Ireland in 1996, but that's another list...); however in June 2003 I got hooked while driving up the Pacific coast from San Francisco to Seattle. I think of the redwoods; I think of the mountains in Oregon (I detoured a bit east around Eugene); and I think of things I saw that I find hard to describe. I spent the better part of three days listening to this CD while driving, driving, driving. This is also the only song I've ever heard that talks about Astroglide, but then I don't get out much.

7. "Lady Madonna"-the Beatles. Did you know that the Beatles have approximately eighty-seven songs with a woman's name in the title? I can thank Sporcle for that. Warning: do not follow that link unless you have a ton of time to waste and L-O-V-E useless information. Like how many songs the Beatles have with a woman's name in the title...

8. "Our Love"-Rhett Miller. "He still found time to write to her/His heart exploding words." I discovered Miller around the time that I met my wife (a long story chronicled here-as if I haven't given someone enough to read yet) and it's uncanny how much this song has nothing to do with it. Almost every other selection of the CD does though, including one that I simply will not go into detail about. Ever. Don't ask.

9. "River"-Enya. Enya's songs are impossible to describe because 1) I don't speak Gaelic; 2) her titles have nothing to do with the music itself. Am I supposed to think of her floating on a tube down the Liffey as I listen to this? I have no idea.

10. "Buffalo River Home"-John Hiatt. There is a radio station in Santa Fe, KABC, that I stumbled upon in 2004. It reminded me of a station that went bust in Chicago in the late 1970s-WEFM. As far as I can recall, WEFM never played a song I didn't like (oh to be twelve and discovering rock n' roll), and in the 2 days that I spent in Santa Fe listening to KABC, it never played a song I didn't like. This happened to be one of them. I was never so happy to discover upon returning home that KABC streamed live over the Internet. I was in radio heaven for the better part of the next year. And then one day the stream disappeared. POOF! Gone. It's never come back. Every once in a while I write the station BEGGING them to start streaming live again but I never got a response. Anyone who has connection in Santa Fe and can phone in a favor will have my enduring gratitude.

11. "Tokyo Storm Warning"-Elvis Costello. This is the song I imagine playing in the background as I drive around busting a few heads in an effort to crack the case that has been vexing me for most of my career.

Anyone make it this far? Martin Scorsese has put "Gimmee Shelter" in every one of his movies.


Beth said...

Cool trivia. Because I love cramming my head with such trivia, I have written down the Sporcle website to visit soon.

That woman at Target? What a tool. Good for you for calling her on her bad behavior.


Rose said...

God the moron stories I could tell.

Sheria said...

I like your response to the sidewalk parker at Target. She's probably still telling her friends about the horrible man who accosted her. I bet you that all of her friends are infected witht he entitlement virus.

Loved your review of Peter O'Toole's role in Venus and I love that song by Corinnne Bailey Rae. If you haven't seen it, I recommend an old film of his, Lord Jim.