Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sounds Of My Life: Elizabeth on the Bathroom Floor

The year was 1998, Electroshock Blues was just released, and my mind was effectively blown. Beautiful, clever, cynical yet hopeful pop songs. Wow. This guy was just my speed.

This song reminds me of a particularly awkward social moment in my life, which echoes many of the foot-in-mouth moments I have and will relive over and over again. Try as I might, in practical application, my gob just isn't as eloquent as my mind wants it to be.

At the record store, I absent-mindedly mention to one of the new hires that her name reminds me of a lyric in an Eels song. The song itself is beautiful and complex, but instead of going into all of that, I lquote a portion of it to her:

"My name's Elizabeth ... my life is shit and piss."

This girl was very much an Elizabeth, not Liz or Beth; Elizabeth to the core. I realize, immediately, as I say this that this was a horrible thing to say to someone I've just met; even though I didn't mean it to be derogatory or negative in any way. I was having a moment where I wanted to share the profundity of the tune with someone ... but ruined it. Horribly.

Fortunately she was a sweet-natured enough girl that she didn't seem phased ... but, even worse, I didn't apologize for my misstep. That was the weird thing about this moment, and so many others that I've lived since: I make these incredibly bone-headed comments, realizing immediately the unintended double entendre, but utter no word of apology largely because I just don't want to dig the whole deeper (a la Larry David).

I just go on with the conversation, hoping the slip is just ignored or that it just is understood that I realize what a putz I am. Instead, the whole world probably just sees me as the gigantic, unapologetic a-hole that I am.

Artist: The Eels

PS I finished E's autobiography a couple of days ago. It was just what I expected (this is a good thing).

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Best Show You're (probably) Not Watching

Hal. He was everyone's favorite Malcolm in the Middle character. Ever the scene-thief Bryan Cranston constantly stole the show with his dopey, lovable retard-husband-of-a-hen-pecking-wife antics; really, he was the dad we all always wanted.

So it's really no surprise that his follow-up to the defunct series is as Papa Bear on another series based in a Southwestern landscape.

Only this time, it's serious.

Set in the sleepy backdrop of Albuquerque, NM (and thankfully not Franklin Co, MO), Breaking Bad touts the city as the Meth Capitol of the Universe where Walt White holds sway ... or would be if only he could get a methed-out Latino drug lord or his DEA brother-in-law off his trail.

Did I mention this guy is a hen-pecked-husband/father-of-a-disabled-son-with-another-on-the-way who also happens to be a high school chemistry teacher that was recently diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer and given months to live?

So many layers. So many incredible actors. Such great writing. So many reasons to watch.

And yet, since its home network is AMC, I wouldn't be surprised to find that no one really is.