Music that Makes the Commercial

I am kind of sad that Santigold let her music be used in a Kohl’s commercial. Still, I get excited every time it comes on because I get to have a 30-second dance party.

This one makes me want to use Internet Explorer, all the time. Even though I do not like Internet Explorer. Every time I see it I have to give myself a pep talk to remind myself that I don’t, in fact, want to use IE.

If he had a million dollars

I was walking down Carroll Street in the West End (the part of the West End with huge, old fancy brick houses, not the part with poor kids like me), and there was a landscaper trimming the bushes and running his mouth, apparently to no one. (About halfway through the following monologue, I realized the “uh huh”s and “yeah”s coming from the bush were actually coming from his fellow landscaper, ostensibly trimming the backside of the bush from the cellar window hole.)

“I don’t understand those people who say they wouldn’t know what to do with a million dollars. I could spend a million dollars in one day. I mean, you could save it and spend it wisely, and live on it for a long time – but you could buy an island or a fighter jet and it would just be gone.”

(You can read it again here.)

I laughed, and immediately texted it to myself so I wouldn’t forget. Then I emailed it to Overheard in Portland and told my co-worker about it. But it also got me wondering, how much does an island cost? Or a fighter jet?

According to Google Shopping (previous Froogle, the demise of which I sorely bemoan), fighter jets can cost from $2 to $1,049 for the model/toy variety. Unfortunately, it doesn’t understand “island,” “geological island,” or “real live island” and is trying to sell me books, kitchen surfaces, and bonsai trees.

This handy-dandy resource will sell you islands from just over $30,000 (for small islands off the coast of Panama or New Brunswick, Canada) to $160,000,000 (off of Thailand).

Then again, the Dubai world map islands range in price from $6,000,000 to $36,000,000.

And, dude, fighter jets will run you at least $25 mil. So good luck with that.

(But really what I wonder is, would he still eat Kraft dinner?)

Some say we grew up in the wrong decade

It all started with a ten, no twelve, a twelve foot burning ember of marijuana floating high above a crowd. But I wasn’t alive then, and neither was my new-found 8-year-old Deadhead friend. So I guess the real story starts right here in (the better) Portland. Someone had put on the four-disc Closing of Winterland, which having bought it myself some years back, I recognized instantly by some characteristic jam or another.

Just another day climbing became an interview with a eight-year-old Deadhead and a brief revelation into the connectedness of those of us who grew up on this music, and with those who gave it to us (thanks Dad):

A: “Eban, is this your CD?”
E: “Yeah, it’s the Grateful Dead.”
A: “I know – hey do you know what year this is from?”
E: “I think it’s 1978…” (He was close.)
A: “Did you ever see the Grateful Dead?”
E: “Yeah.”
A: “Did you see them when Jerry was alive?”
E: “No – he was already dead. My dad took me to their concert, but now they’re called The Furthur.” (Sort of.)
A: “They’ve also been The Dead, and The Other Ones, and they also play solo sometimes.”
E: “Did you ever see Jerry?”
A: “No – he died when I was eight, and my Dad always told me he’d take me to see the Dead but then Jerry died and I never got to see him.”
E: “Jerry is so great. It’s so sad he died. I was so sad when he died. When you listen to their music, and you hear him, and he’s so good, but then you know that he’s not really alive, but the music is so good, it’s kind of sad and happy at the same time, you know what I mean?”
A: “I know – I was so bummed when I never got to see him. But I’ve been to so many concerts without him since then, it’s okay. When you saw Further, was it awesome?”
E: “Yeah it was so great – I saw The Furthur at Nateva and I was with my mom, and she was getting her hair done, and then they opening with St. Stephen – ”
A: “I love that song!”
E: “Me too! It’s my favorite. So they played the bahbahbah bahbahbah bah bah and I was like ‘MOM!’ and I ran over there. [Mimes running really fast.] Then they opened the second set with Scarlet Begonias and my dad was in the bathroom and he did the same thing. [Mimes running really fast.] And then they closed with We Bid You Goodnight – ”
A: “I think they do that a lot, like they have to.”
E: ” – yeah so they played We Bid You Goodnight and then I fell asleep while we were walking back.”

(Another funny part of this conversation was when I asked him what year he was born in and he couldn’t figure it out, but it’s pretty irrelevant to this story.)

This interaction seems quite significant in some way; the Dead were so influential, and their music so pervasive, so that not just me, but kids a third of my age consider Grateful Dead songs their favorites, can repeat set lists off hand, know the intro licks to every other song, talk about Jerry as if his death had some significant and personal impact on their lives…

Haifa Fire 2

Just checked the weather and it might rain Monday and Tuesday. So first of all, fat chance. But second of all, as much as I’d like to think that’ll go a long way in putting this fire out…I just don’t think it will. At this point, though, can’t hurt. More than 50 hours now, and it keeps spreading, and new fires keep popping up. I still can’t see smoke from my neighborhood, can only smell it occasionally, so it’s STILL unreal.

The city, though, is dead. Ben Gurion, which is normally crowded and hectic and overwhelming on a Friday night, was as relaxed as a back porch in the boondocks of Mississippi last night.

I’m keeping track of the breaking news headlines on ynet, the only up-to-date English-language coverage of what’s going on. That, and word on the street. The sheer amount of negligence involved that let it get this big is mind-boggling…

And here’s a little something to occupy your time:

And bring back memories.