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Living in Chicago, by way of Dayton, OH and Havertown, PA. Contact me at atozpod@gmail.com.



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Friday, November 14, 2008

from I Wish to If I Ever Feel Better

Day 870, Session 144:
Thursday November 13th - Car/Post Office/Best Buy/Car
First song: I Wish by Skee Lo
Last full song: If I Ever Feel Better by Phoenix
Progress: 2175-2192 of 6109
Total Songs Heard: 1859

I Wish - Skee Lo
Despite the fact that I'm almost exactly the average height for a white male I think, like Mr. Lo, I will always wish I were a little bit taller. 6 foot even would be awesome, but unless I'm having the world's most delayed growth spurt I don't think that's going to happen.

I'm still bitter that I was ripped off by puberty. Other guys I knew went through growth spurts, adding 5 or 6 inches of height in the course of a few months. I never spurted (and yes, let's all take a moment to giggle at the fact that I just typed that.) I think I was something like 4' 10" when I was 12. 6 years later I had topped out around 5' 9" but at no point during that time did I grow more than 2 or 3 inches in a year. I had one friend who grew 6 inches between the end of one school year and the start of the next. One minute we were approximately the same height, next thing I knew he turned out 6' 6".

Maybe it's a little harder for tall guys to find clothes that fit but that's about the only disadvantage I see. I'm a firm believer that at general admission concerts, there should be a line on the floor that separates the crowd into those under six foot (the front) and those over (the back.) Ladies if your 4-inch heels put you over, it's behind the line for you. (You deserve the back anyway. Who wears 4-inch heels to concert?)

(I became reacquainted with Skee thanks to the flashback inducing "It Came From The Nineties" feature at Can You See The Sunset... If you'd like to share in the time travel, I suggest checking it out.)

I Wish I Could Go Back To College - Avenue Q
It has occurred to me during my period of unemployment that I could go back to college. Unfortunately going back to college would not solve the fundamental question: "What do I want to do with my life?" At this point, people go back to college with a specific goal in mind. Until I have a better idea of what that is, going back to college would be a lot like unemployment only with a lot more textbooks and a tuition bill where there currently isn't one.

If I Could've Been - Working
In case you didn't notice, I'm featuring back to back songs from musicals. You probably didn't notice because if you haven't been in the musical Working, you probably haven't heard of it. It's based on a book of conversations about people's jobs by Studs Terkel (R.I.P.)

As tempting as it is to take this song as another opportunity to complain about the current state of things and what I could've been*, instead I'd like to point out two things:
1) The end of the first verse "A tower of strength, a center of power, for TEN BUCKS AN HOUR." This musical was developed in the '70s. Many of the people featured had jobs at the lower end of the job scale and yet they were still making (and rolling their eyes) at ten bucks an hour! Ten dollars an hour in 1970's money is something like $47.69 an hour now and yet many of the jobs I see everyday in my search for work are still offering $10 an hour**! (and I live in a big city!) I guess what I'm saying is... Where the hell did the economy go completely off the rails (I'm blaming trickle-down Reagan when executive pay started expanding greatly while base employee pay didn't move much) and what the hell is it going to take to get a real living (minimum) wage bill passed in this country??
2) We did this song in my college production with different folks soloing each verse. If you want to try to imagine me on stage pay attention to the second verse. (From "If I could've done..." to "Paid all my bills.) I enter slowly from stage left in my meter reader costume. It sounds just like this except an octave lower***, without any vibrato, and without any of the vocal flourishes. Once my solo is done, I'm going to find a seat and sing the chorus parts as more folks come on stage and we rebuild to the tableau that we started the show with. I loved this show and will surely be mentioning it again in the J's.

*If you've read the whole post you know that if I could've been something different, it would've been taller.
**Which isn't to say that there shouldn't be some $10 jobs. Temporary seasonal employment, fast food, dog walker...sure. It's when I see jobs with titles like "Marketing Associate" and "Executive Assistant" that want a college degree and experience offering $10-12/hr that I shake my head.
***Despite not getting the growth spurt part of puberty I did get one overnight adjustment. I went from pre-pubescent alto to pubescent baritone overnight. Which in retrospect was kind of great. I avoided the whole voice cracking a lot stage, and the juxtaposition of my size vs. my voice's pitch was quite a surprise in the school choruses I performed in back in the day.


Sara said...

Your concert concept is brilliant! I also believe people with big hair should have to sit in the back of theaters. I don't care how good the stadium seating is, sometimes you just can't see past the beehive.

matt said...

Yes! Big hair people, also to the back. Hair should be included in the height measurement with additional consideration being given to ridiculous hair volume.

As long as we're making rules... if you're there to have a conversation that is louder than what you're watching, your place is outside.