Go On, Squeeze the Charmin
Have you ever had to write a speech for a corporate executive?
I was tasked with writing not one, but two, for CenturyCo’s upcoming annual meeting. As much writing as I’ve done in my career—everything from web copy and government proposals to radio and television scripts—speeches had never before made that list. Unless you count high school. So, when my boss said I was going to have to do this, I was a little intimidated. Mostly because the speeches are being delivered by our Board of Directors president, whom I have never met, and our General Manager/CEO. I have met him, and he’s a great guy, but authority figures make me nervous.
In any case, I dove right in, because: what choice did I have? And I daresay I actually had fun with them. Once my boss said they like it when there are jokes sprinkled in, I was off to the races! Humor is one thing I do pretty well. I worked in a line where the BOD president talks about how fun it is to squeeze the Charmin.
If that makes it to the final cut, my life’s work will be complete.
With the Lights Out It’s Less Dangerous
What a song. It rocked my world…literally. Before, I used to listen to a lot of pop crap and dance music. Only because my wife was into pop crap and dance music. I’d been a rocker before we met, but sadly, I put away my Journey and Scorpions records in favor of Jody Watley and Boyz II Men once we started dating. Good god. That music was never me! They say you make a lot of compromises when you marry somebody, but I never should have sacrificed my tastes in music.
One night, shortly after graduating from college, I was working the late shift at The Shaper Image. After we closed up shop, one of my coworkers slapped Nevermind into the CD-player-slash-toaster-slash-car-buffer (gadget store, remember?) and cranked up the volume.
The moment that opening guitar riff wafted through the speakers, I knew my life was never going to be the same. And when the drums came crashing in, I was hooked. The loud/soft/loud dynamic—Kurt Cobain’s trademark—erased any last lingering doubt.
Bell Biv DeVoe? Bell Biv HellNo. “Whoomp! (There It Is)”? More like, “Whoomp! (There It Was).” I traded in hip hop licks for Pumped Up Kicks that night and never looked back.
I reclaimed my rock ‘n roll roots and started buying up every alternative and grunge album I could get my hands on. Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots, Bush, Smashing Pumpkins, Hole, Everclear. I dug them all. Vanilla Ice and Destiny’s Child were relegated to the Hall of Shame forevermore.
Hey, I’m a music snob. I freely admit it. But so is Tara. We bonded over obscure indie rock bands like The Moondoggies and Phantogram and Built to Spill and Seapony. And that, my friends, is the reason why this marriage is so much better than both of our last marriages. You might call it rock solid. Neither of our spouses liked the music we liked. You don’t have to see eye to eye with your significant other on every little thing. I love spicy and exotic foods; Tara’s more of a boxed mac ‘n cheese gal. But music is another story. If I ever came home from work and Tara was blasting J. Lo, for god’s sake, that would be too much. The beginning of the end. We’d wind up in court, standing before a judge.
“You have irreconcilable differences?” he’d ask.
“Yes, your honor,” I’d reply. “I like The Hold Steady and she’s into Miley Cyrus.”
And MarTar would be NoMore.
So, thank you, Kurt Cobain. For writing a kick-ass anthem for apathetic Generation X kids that stands the test of time. And for saving me from a lifetime of pretending I liked singers with last names like Jackson or Carey. I still turn up the volume every time I hear “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” three decades after I heard it for the first time one night in The Sharper Image.
A Place to Store Beer and Wine
The day after we had a contractor remove our kitchen cabinet to make room for the new refrigerator we’d ordered, the appliance store called.
“Are you ready to take delivery of your new fridge?” they asked.
Twenty-four hours earlier, the answer would have been no. Talk about great timing! The new refrigerator is fully stocked and humming along beautifully. Our old fridge worked fine, but the problem was, it was a side-by-side, and the freezer side was maybe 18″ wide. We had trouble fitting anything in there, and it ate into the precious refrigerator side real estate, too. We became adept at stacking items on top of one another or shoving them into crisper bins. Now, we actually have room for things. What a novelty.
The old fridge is now residing in the garage. We’re going to move around some bins tomorrow, plug it in, and fill it with things like beer and wine. The garage opens up into the basement, where we like to hang out and play cards and listen to records (like Nirvana). It’ll be pretty convenient to hop on over there for a fresh brewski.
We also plan to take our kayaks out, and it’ll probably be the last time this year. We have a bunch of busy weekends coming up, and even though it’s 95° today, summer is dying a slow death. Before long, it’ll be snowing again.
I, for one, cannot wait.