Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Flu Shot Drama

In line awaiting my flu shot this afternoon there was a woman. She was in a state of mock panic.

I say "mock panic" because the entire time she was in line awaiting her turn she was complaining she was laughing at what she was telling the people around her. Everything she was saying came across as contradictory.

"I don't know why I put myself through this stuff! I can stand shots! I thought it was a good idea to get a flu shot this year but I haven't had one in I don't remember how long! The sitting down ... seeing the bandages and alcohol swabs on the table ... the rows of needles! It's enough to give me a heart attack! Even the paperwork they rustle around when you sit down ... it's unnerving! And when they ask me which arm I want the shot in? I just might faint right then and there! I mean ... what should I do ... ??!?"

This woman appeared to be an adult of about 40 years of age.

But in reality? I'm certain she was 11.

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Adolescent Beatdown

Me: "Want a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch? I'm craving one for some reason ..."

Other: "Sure."

Me: "On white, right?" I already knew the answer but asked anyway.

Other:  "Eeeeewww! No! Gross!"

Me: "It's better on white."

Other: "No, it's not. On sourdough, please."

Me: "You know ... it's a proven fact grilled cheese on white bread brings out all the flavor. And it's what I grew up with as a kid."

Other: "Well, it's time to grow up."

Me: "What? I can't relive  a fond childhood memory?"

Other: "Not if it's resurrected on white bread you can't."

Me: "Unbelievable. You're actually denying me a cherished adolescent comfort moment. I can't believe you'd do that ..."

Other:  "Believe it."

Me: "I'm flabbergasted. This is a side of you I've never experienced before. It verges on being mean ..."

Other: "Deal with it."

Me: "Wow. Just ... wow ..."

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Friday, October 13, 2017

Nine Inch Nails Revisits John Carpenter's Halloween Theme

Admittedly, a lot of cool films came out in the 1970s. And especially when I was in high school: Star Wars, Jaws, Alien, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, Logan's Run, Animal House, Apocalypse Now, Superman, Rocky and, of course, John Carpenter's Halloween.

As teens, we did a lot of movie watching, a majority of it at the Puente Hills Mall in Rowland Heights, California, east of downtown Los Angeles. (It was this same mall where Back To The Future would later be filmed in the mid-1980s.) And, while I'm not completely certain, it was probably at this mall I caught Halloween when it debuted in late October of 1978.

The film (which would eventually establish itself as one of the true horror classics, one which still stands up today) was on the top of our list to see that Halloween season. It was terrifically creepy, it was responsible for initiating my love affair with Jamie Lee Curtis (her first starring role as a matter of fact) and would cement its theme in my head for years to come.

Today, Friday the 13th, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross of the band Nine Inch Nails have re-imagined the film's main theme. How convenient and how appropriate. I've been a NIN fan from the very start when they released their debut album Pretty Hate Machine back in 1989. Since that time, Reznor (the only constant mainstay of the group in all their incarnations) has released a bevy of NIN records and EPs, won a couple Grammy Awards for his efforts and even managed (along with Ross) to garner an Oscar for Best Original Score for 2010's The Social Network.

So how does NIN's version of the Halloween theme stack up to the original? Pretty well truth be told. It's understandably polished from the 1979 original but with clear reverence to Carpenter's composition without too many added extras. My biggest critique? It's overly long. Clocking in at the better part of eight minutes, it becomes rather tedious around the five minute mark. That's not to say there aren't some nice flourishes, eerie backgrounds and swells that add to the ambiance of the track. But it's a bit of an effort to sit through in its entirety. 

Both Carpenter's original along with NIN's update are provided here for your dining and dancing pleasure. Please enjoy as All Hallow's Eve rapidly approaches.

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Sunday, September 17, 2017

T-Shirt Collection: Oakland Raiders

Going into today's game with a 1-0 record (and yes ... the season is young yet) I figured this was an appropriate shirt to wear today ...

.......... Ruprecht (STOP)

Friday, September 15, 2017

I'm An Honorary Mayor Of Simpleton

I can't have been there when brains were handed round
Or get past the cover of your books profound
And some of your friends think it's really unsound
That you're even seen talking to me ...

- Mayor Of Simpleton

It seems I'm racking up quite a few notifications and acknowledgments for various projects, publications and the like.

Here's another wee contribution. Coincidentally, this publication (an anthology of "Limelight," the XTC fanzine brought to life and published for about 10 years beginning in the early 1980s) was received in the mail on the anniversary of XTC's "Drums And Wires" release in 1979. It was the first of the band's albums I picked up (on vinyl no less) and the one which ushered me into my continuing love affair with their voluminous output. 

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP ) 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

T-Shirt Collection: New York Press Tony Millionaire

And you thought my T-shirt collection entries stopped long long ago, didn't you? Fat chance. There's plenty more where those came from.

Such as this one featuring the New York Press, illustration by none other than comic artist Tony Millionaire of "Tony Millionaire's Sock Monkey" and "Maakies" fame, various album and magazine covers and more.

Can't tell you where I got it or how long I've had it but the reverse of the shirt denotes "1996."

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP ) 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Mission: Accomplished

It started out on Friday morning just like this: 

"Dear Great Clips:

I appreciate your service, inexpensivity and the convenience of your nearby locale when I require a haircut. (And believe you me, I need one currently.)
However, I will *not* use your mobile application to make a reservation or, as you described it, "check in." Because I choose *not* to.
I want to call you, book an appointment to save time and be in and out in short order. For whatever reason I've been told you don't deal with person to person calls. This annoys me.
When I come down there today, we'll get this situation straightened out.
Sincerely, Michael"

Not long afterward I high-tailed it down to the local Great Clips. Upon entering, I was greeted by one of the four cosmologists already working on other clients: "Welcome to Great Clips! Someone will be with you in just a moment." I okayed in response and stood waiting at the front desk. 

It was all of fifteen seconds when one of the girls came up to help me: "Did you check in off our app?" she asked. "I did not" I responded. "All right. Have you been in before? Can I get you phone number?" I gave her my cell number which wasn't on file as it turned out. "Let's try my home number" I told her. That didn't work either. "I guess I'm not in the system after all" I confessed. "No problem. It will be about a ten or fifteen minute wait. You can take a seat ..." I made myself comfortable and opened a book I'd brought to while away the time.

Three people went ahead of me before my name was called some ten or fifteen minutes later. A bright, cheery gal escorted me to a seat in the middle of the place and draped me in a protective poncho. 

"What are we doing today?" she asked.

"Well, you can see I'm a mess. I haven't had a haircut in a couple months and it shows. Even when I did get it cut, it wasn't enough. So ... let's get rid of half of what you see, how about that?" I profferred. 

She began wetting down my hair and combing it out. "Oh, I've seen much worse. This is no problem at all." And as she began her task the conversation blossomed.

She'd been busy for the entire morning and it was only eleven o'clock. Add to that she was smack dab in the middle of preparing for a wedding, her second. Her fiance, she told me, would be fine with a simple justice of the peace but she wanted something more. No big weddings though because it was too much work and she had 26 cousins and if you added all their families into the mix there would be 250 people in attendance minimum. And that was just on her side of the family ... and it didn't even include friends. Plus her two boys were anxious to be in the wedding and her fiance's boy had never been in one, poor thing, so they compromised and a small wedding with a mere 25 guests was decided upon. The boys were all looking forward to wearing tuxedos and they had picked out matching black Vans shoes to wear and colored bowties, too. Oh, and they've been complaining why they can't come on the honeymoon. And that's where her mother really came to the rescue because she laid down the law to the boys there would be no hangers on at the honeymoon, something they were disappointed in but finally understood.

In the midst of all this (there was lots more, but you get the idea), I managed to congratulate her and glad talk her about it being important she stood for what she wanted and how it was necessary, especially on the second time around, to do what she wanted, nothing wrong with being a little selfish. After all, wisdom ruled out in this situation. She agreed. 

She asked about me and if I had any kids and I told her a bit. Overall, we got along swimmingly and, before you know it, my haircut was complete and I approved of it.

"All right then. Did I overhear you weren't in our system?" she asked as I got up from the chair. I verified she had heard correctly.

"I thought I was in there but I was apparently wrong," I confessed. "I'd tried to call earlier to book an appointment but someone told me Great Clips doesn't do that. I find that a bit strange."

"How about we put you in our system for the next time? It will make things easier." I decided to give in. "Plus, you can always use our app to make an appointment."

"I don't like using applications" I told her. "A good old fashioned phone call is fine by me."

She asked me the requisite questions to get my basic information down, plucked away at the keyboard and in a matter of moments told me I was all set.

And that's when I went in for the kill. "Can you tell me, is there an area in my profile there for special notations or some such?"

"Why yes, there is. Can I add something for you?"

"You can. Can you put down 'Michael's special and appreciates calling via phone to make appointments. Please accommodate him.'"

"If you download our app on your phone, it's real simple to make a reservation there," she told me once more.

"I don't use applications," I noted. "But let me see if I have this straight: By using the application to make an appointment, your system pings you and let's you know I'm coming, right? And, on my end, it gives me some sort of heads up how long it will be before I can get a seat for a cut, correct?"

"Yes, exactly" she replied.

"Well ... what if your power goes out? You won't get that ping. those 'check ins' won't be logged. And even if I did use the Great Clips application I wouldn't get through. You won't have that same problem with a phone, you see. It works on a different system. And if Great Clips trusts you enough to juggle 'check ins' with an application I'm sure a little one on one customer service isn't too much of a stretch, am I right?"

"I guess" she said with the slightest bit of hesitation. 

"I mean, you're in the customer service arena. That's what you do! So, terrific! Then the next time I need a haircut I'll call up, have whoever answers look up my profile and they can read my special note and I'm all set. You've got to love how easy that is! I mean, I do! One of the reasons I like coming here. It beats swinging my old man cane round and round above my head," I told her. 

She relented. "All right, Mr. Noble. We've got you covered" she said with a smile.

I paid my bill, congratulated her once again on her pending nuptials and wished her a good rest of the day. I gave her a big, goofy, toothy grin. She smiled back at me.

Mission: Accomplished.