Sunday, July 10, 2011

You want a coke? Maybe some fries?

I'd like to start off by saying that becoming a regular at the McDonald's weekend-morning drive-thru is never a good thing, and I think that just happened to me. Truthfully, we have been going more often than we usually do, but still, this is disconcerting. When I pulled around to the first window this morning to pay, I breathed a sigh of relief to see a stranger in place of the girl who's been there the past three* times I've paid for our usual order, but when I proceeded to the second window, said girl I thought I'd avoided seeing greeted me with the kind of cheerful hello you only give out to valued customers and people you feel sorry for. That's what I've become. So we may have to back off for a while and eat normal breakfast things, like cereal and toast. I'll miss the morning drive, the anticipation, the $5 well spent on such a satisfactory, albeit unhealthy, start to the day. I'll just keep in mind the bitterness I felt today when I opened the bag to find they'd given me Spicy Buffalo Sauce for my pancakes.

This same morning, the one that's happening right now - the one when I reached platinum level status at McDonald's, I was sitting outside on our rusty veranda reading Tina Fey's "Bossypants" while Matt finished up the last of his McMuffin and flipped a page in "1861," which details the early days of the Civil War and is the exact opposite of "Bossypants." I'm just wrapping up the chapter where Tina describes the momentous day in which she taped the episode of 30 Rock with Oprah and then proceeded to tape her first ever episode of SNL as Sarah Palin, all while planning her daughter's third birthday party. She included Seth Meyers' script from the Palin sketch, and while reading it, I felt this twinge of nostalgia mixed with sadness over the font, the structure, the cross-outs and rewrites. And I realized I really miss writing sketches.

More than that, I miss having a reason to write sketches - I miss the urgency of churning out the last two pages during my lunch break at work and sneaking over to the printer to grab them before someone else does. I miss the rapture felt when your work is met with laughter, and the crickets that accompany a really sorry effort. I could keep writing sketches for my own amusement, but then again, I've never been a fan of pointlessness. Why put my clothes in a drawer when I'm going to wear them sometime in the next month or two? Why make instant oatmeal when McDonald's is just ten short blocks and a few dollars away? Exactly. That being said, if a good reason comes along, I'll jump on it. I have lots of ideas brewing... like one about Ke$ha presenting her PhD dissertation on the effect of whisky and glitter on house pets... or something.

Lastly, and speaking of Ke$ha, Dana and I went to see Ben Folds on Friday night. The 19-year-old in me - the one wearing baggy corduroys and some now-closed middle school's field day t-shirt, will always carry a torch for Ben Folds Five. I used to work at Creighton's on-campus coffee shop, and we'd wipe down the counters and steal bottles of Sobe to The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner. I know every word to every song on Whatever and Ever Amen. Ben Folds sings to dorky people like Michael Buble sings to that one lady you work with. I haven't really listened to anything he's released since Songs for Silverman, so I spent a good part of the show watching moths land on the back of the guy in front of me. But when he did play the familiar stuff, it was awesome. I teared up when he sang "Still Fighting It," but maybe that's because I'm a grownup now and better understand what it's about.

How does Ke$ha figure in, you ask? This was perhaps my favorite part of the entire show (video is from PA because the Iowa version had bad sound and a guy in a Chiefs hat bobbing up and down in front of the camera).

*The low end of a very rough estimate.


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