Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Work then no work, food, a cop, Bruce, internet, this

I have no sensible reason for writing today when I so rarely do anymore. Eh.

Yesterday morning I called my boss to see if they needed more staff for Tuesday night. She enthusiastically agreed so I went in at 10:45 PM. Normally a shift starts at 6:45 PM but I wanted extra sleep and to watch So You Think You Can Dance (yes, I watch that great show and will defend it vociferously). I get to work and my boss failed to add me to the schedule. As we were overstaffed anyway—why did she said she needed me?—they won't let me work "overtime". It isn't overtime as I was out sick last week, but the lunkheads in scheduling cannot understand the concept of working extra this week to make up for being out last week (shakes lowered head in defeat).

On the walk home from the light rail station (we have that here and it's great), I stopped at Katz's to eat. My lunch was in my bag, but coffee and noodle kugel exerted a siren song I was unable to resist, there being no ship's mast available to which I could lash myself. Satiated, I continued home only to be lectured by a cop. It went something like this, my thoughts in brackets:

Me: [OK, cop car slowly coasting to a stop sign, I'm good to cross. Uh, is he gonna just roll through the sign and consequently me?! Way to set an example police officer. OK, let it go and just walk on.]

Cop: "Hey...hey! Come here.

Me: [What is *this* bullshit?]

Cop: That was dangerous man. I know you have the right of way, but I almost didn't see you and this car is 3000 pounds and you'd lose that fight. If I was you I'd at least make eye contact when you cross the street to make sure I see you.

Me: [It's dark and your headlights are creating glare so I can't see inside the car, while I am clearly lit. And how does searching for your eyes prevent you from running me over?] You were slowing down for the stop sign.

Cop: I'm looking over here (points) because there was an accident here earlier and I didn't see you.

Me: [Ah, so in your refuse-to-be-accountable mind, my not anticipating that you'd be distracted and therefore ignore street signs and what's right in front of you is somehow my fault. I need to get out of here right now.] OK.

Cop: (more lecturing consisting of what he's already said in various combinations) If I was you, I'd be more careful.

Me: OK. (turning to walk on, burning with anger, and fighting the impulse to shout "If I was you, Officer, I wouldn't blame pedestrians for my inattention and law-breaking. You know, if I was you.")

The part that make it tolerable in retrospect was that a drunk guy at the adjacent bar was catcalling the officer during the entire exchange. I really should have gone back to at least acknowledge his enthusiastic defense of me.

When I got home, I amused myself mightily by looking up the words and guitar chords to Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark" and playing it in fast waltz time. If I transpose it into a minor key, ditch the signature keyboard line, add viola, and sing it in a Tom Waits-ian growl, it will likely wipe out the optimism of the narrator, transforming him into a defeated, sarcastic bastard. I'm thrilled to give it a try. In the video, instead of being pulled onto the stage to awkwardly dance, Courtney Cox is stared like it's all *her* fault until she bursts into tears and runs out.

Unfortunately (for me, Bruce, the world) a cursory reading of one website's Best of the Year/Decade lists turned into a multi-hour timesuck and nothing else was accomplished this night. Except for this post.

UPDATE: On his website, Bruce Springsteen has posted his support for marriage equality in New Jersey. Yay Bruce.


  1. The eye contact comment reminds me that above about 20 mph, it doesn't work anyway. See "Traffic" for interesting things, and why I'm obsessed with the lovably impractical PRT system in West Virginia.

    Also, hello! My laptop is fixed! And the possibly pseudo-abscess I forgot to show you during Thanksgiving dinner is healing nicely. I think.

  2. Oh, John, you are a caution. Please see this project through to completion. My officemate once was challenged to make the saddest possible version of the Mexican Hat Dance, and it was beautiful.

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  6. Remember when St. Murse used to post every once in a while and it was funny and true, and everyone was happy all the time? That was great.