It’s been a little tough to get my writing done the past few weeks. Unfortunately, I had to go on vacation with my wife and a lot of my other friends. And of course, I picked up a cold as a souvenir. Then I had to have surgery.
To clarify, I did not have surgery to cure the cold. Everyone knows you starve and/or feed a cold. I had to have surgery to repair a hernia.
Yeah, somehow I ended up with a hernia. Two, in fact. See?! Writing is hard work.
I Got A Hernia From Writing, But Anyhow…
I’m a nice guy. There are people who would take issue with that. This isn’t their website, so you’ll have to take my word for it. I am nice.
I also believe that medical folks, especially nurses, are special people worthy of exceptional respect. And it is important to be kind to people who are going to sedate you and poke you with sharp stuff. So when I went to the hospital yesterday for surgery, I was very nice to everyone. Read the rest of this entry »
I like dogs.
That’s not really controversial. But in today’s world, if you’re going to say something about an individual who is a member of a group, you must establish that you’re not speaking of the group, lest you offend. Dogs are wonderful. They are our friends, protectors, co-workers and companions. They ask for nothing in return but friendship and some of whatever you’re eating. No, really, whatever you’re eating is fine, just ask them.
So yeah, I like dogs. And I like how revel in having their heads out of the window when they ride in a car. I’ve considered trying that, if only to understand the attraction. Unfortunately, I’m certain that I’d get distracted and hit my head on a stop sign. Nothing good would come from that.
Now That The Disclaimer Is Done
The other day, I was running around town, enjoying the fall weather with the top down on my car. Someone ahead stopped to make a turn and I found myself in a small pack of traffic. In the back seat of the car ahead of me was a dog.
As we accelerated, the dog’s head popped through the open window. His ears flopped in the wind. He barked at cars in the oncoming lane. He didn’t miss any; each car got its own bark. Read the rest of this entry »
Recently, my wife and I were walking between stores in a shopping center and saw one of those little children’s ride machines you often see outside of stores. Instead of being shaped like a horse, a motorcycle or an airplane, this one appeared to be modeled after the main character of the children’s television series Thomas and Friends – Thomas, The Tank Engine.
If you’re familiar with Thomas, you’ll note that this train doesn’t look as cheery as the original. In fact, I’d say that this train has some significant attitude problems. There’s no way I’d put my son on this train, and not just because he’s twenty-three years old.
I stopped to take a picture. Mrs. Omawarisan said “you’re writing about that, aren’t you?”
Yup. I had to write to get the words “Thomas, The Resentful Tank Engine” out of my head. And you’re about to read why I don’t often do fiction…
People say I’m not myself before I get some caffeine. I knew it was a mistake to stop for coffee; I was already running late. But if there was ever a day that I needed to be myself, this was it. I took the chance, grabbed a cup and made it to the train just in time.
Looking back, I wish I’d missed that train. The doors slammed shut just after I stepped aboard and the train darted forward without warning. I wasn’t the only passenger jolted off-balance by the sudden start, but I was the only one who was wearing half of a pumpkin spice latte when he stood back up. Read the rest of this entry »
After my last post, I decided that I was going to leave the pumpkin thing alone for this year. The CBS story ran, my friends and family got a kick out of it. But the topic? Yes I was done with it. I’d milked it for all it is worth until next pumpkin season.
I even had something written to put here this morning. But because of what I’m telling you about, I’m rescheduling my post entitled Thomas, The Resentful Tank Engine until Monday.
Yeah, I Made The Daily Show. Bam.
So today, I was going about my morning routine. In the midst of it, I took a moment and peeked at Facebook. In that random way that Facebook does, the first thing on my news feed was a message to my now twenty-three year old son from his middle school band director.
“I just saw your Dad on The Daily Show!”
My first thought was that she’d just seen the CBS This Morning interview. But then I considered the source. This is an educated, bright woman who I admire. Certainly she knows the difference between CBS This Morning and The Daily Show. And not surprisingly, she does.
There I was, cut in to a really funny swipe at the pumpkin thing on The Daily Show! I’ll pause and wait while you click here to go over to the Comedy Central site and see the story.
So, yeah, that happened and I never saw it coming…but I love it!
The way I found out about this Daily Show thing, second-hand, through my son’s middle school band director got me to thinking. The people who read my blog knew the original CBS story was running and I tried to let my friends and family know as well. But none of us knew The Daily Show was coming. Read the rest of this entry »
For several years, I have railed against the endless surge of that seasonal decoration, pumpkin, into our food supply. And though some of you have made your support clear, I imagine that you’d understand how I felt I was sort of pissing into the wind.
Let’s pause here and wonder about why “pissing into the wind” is an expression. Sure, it expresses the misery of an effort expended with frustrating results. But I think we can do better than that as a reference. In fact, I think less of someone who would lower himself to saying that phrase. We’ll end the pause here, before either of us consider that last sentence.
My Friend John, Bearer Of Bad News
So here I am, tossing my little anti-pumpkin bits up on my small-time humor blog year after year. And year after year pumpkin is appearing in more foods where it doesn’t belong. A great friend told me that pumpkin spaghetti sauce is on the market. I was horrified. My first reaction was “how dare you, sir”. And then I thought “don’t kill this messenger, he’s your friend”. Read the rest of this entry »
Over the past few years, I may have expressed the opinion that the over the top reception given the yearly influx of pumpkin flavored food is a little ridiculous. Soon, my thoughts on the matter will reach more people than ever.
CBS News contacted me a few days ago and we discussed the pumpkin situation. They were looking for someone who was sick of “the pumpkin thing” to interview. There was some talk about bringing me to New York to do an interview in their studio. I felt like that was pretty silly, but it wasn’t my money, so I was fine with it.
In the end, they asked if I would meet their correspondent in a pumpkin patch. I agreed to do that. Looking back, agreeing to meet strangers on a farm in the middle of nowhere was out-of-the-box for me. You could even call it risky. Is this really a major media outlet wanting to talk to a small-time blogger or is it something worse?
Sure, it could be something worse. But when they asked if I was available on Friday, I decided to chance it. I didn’t have much else to do besides laundry.
And so today, I am off to a farm to be interviewed about pumpkin and its frenzied fans. Or, perhaps I am meeting strangers at a farm so they can kidnap me. Either way, I’m going to write about it here throughout the day.
I’m going to update this post from my phone to let you know about this silly adventure. Check back periodically to see what’s going on. I’ll post pictures and thoughts as this unfolds. If you’ve got questions, post them in the comment section (you can even sign in with Facebook or Twitter) and I’ll answer you.
If the updates suddenly stop, please contact the authorities. Also, if you could have a bake sale or maybe a dunking booth to raise ransom money, I’d appreciate it.
9:00 – This thing seems pretty silly. With all that’s going on in the world, we’re going to spend time discussing pumpkins on the news.
But what I think will be funny is the comment section when they put this thing online. I’m pretty sure people will lose their minds and rip me up for saying anything bad about pumpkin flavored food. The thing is, what I say doesn’t really matter, does it? I don’t think Starbucks is going to say “that guy thinks this really effective marketing we’re doing is too much, maybe we should stop”. With that in mind, I’m just going to go on and issue my statement on the matter – “Take a breath. It really isn’t a big deal. I’d like to suggest that you take me as seriously as I take me.”
9:45 – I get a call from the producer on the story. “Hey Rob, Michelle is just going to drive herself there. Can you get there early and shoot all the b-roll stuff? I tell him I’m not Rob, but I can be there early. He says “cool, thanks” and hangs up.
A minute later he calls back to ask me if I can get there early, then apparently realizes that I must sound like Rob.
If this is a kidnapping, it isn’t a good one.
So I’m going early. 12, instead of 1:00.
10:00 – Heading out. Getting some gas. OMG, what if they have pumpkin spice gas?! Wouldn’t that be awesome?
I really need a sarcastic font.
When you see this interview, the orange shirt was specifically selected by my wife. Irony is not lost on her. Actually, not much is lost on her.
11:40 – OK, I’m here. Pumpkins grow in the middle of nowhere. How stereotypical. The farmer looks disapproving.
A bunch of pumpkins lounging around in the dirt. Typical.
So I’m here. The camera guys are here. No reporter, no producer.
12:10. Things are happening. The reporter and producer are here. The producer is wearing flip flops. I should have been a producer.
12:30 – and we’re done. I’m starving and all they have is pumpkin muffins. I’m going to find food.
Another update to wrap things up when I get home.
3:15 – I’m back. Did you miss me?
So, the interview went well. I had them laughing and had a good time doing this. That said, I reserve the right to freak out and tell you later how things were edited out of context and that I’m pissed off depending on how this thing turns out when they finally show it.
I’m still surprised at the trouble they went to for this interview. This farm is next to nowhere. There were two camera guys wiht a truck load of gear, a producer and a reporter. Most of the time I don’t need that many people to get me talking.
Near the beginning of this post, I referenced how silly it was that we’re going to talk on the news about what I think of pumpkin spice with all the other, mostly awful, stuff going on in the world. As it turns out, I had no idea how right I was.
“Wait”, you say, “you’re right so often, how is this any different?” Well, you’re right, I am correct about things so often that I lose track of the frequency of my correctness. But in this case, it was really weird how close to home I was.
In my phone conversation with the producer this morning, he said the reporter had to do this story and run because she had a story on the evening news tonight. As we were preparing for and wrapping up from the interview, the producer and reporter were talking about this other story that both of them were working on for tonight. It seems that they both were involved in the coverage of the tragic church shooting in Charleston, SC. The producer had actually spoken to the shooter’s friend shortly after the murders…the guy who was arrested by the FBI today. They discussed getting the video from that interview for tonight’s broadcast. So they pulled these people off of the story of a guy who may have saved nine lives by speaking up about what he knew to come talk to me in a pumpkin patch. Very weird.
Anyway, I can see that a lot of you have stopped by to keep up with this today. Thanks much! If everything stays on schedule, they’ll run my interview on Wednesday during the CBS morning show, between 8 and 9. I imagine that I’ll be able to get a link up here shortly after that. Of course if something big happens, like a volcano erupting, I will probably get moved up to a more prime spot.
But seriously, they took me way out of context.
I believe that the mid to late 1970’s was a dreadful time in popular music. The blight of disco music, which someone likened to “a beautiful woman with a great body and no brains” dominated the airwaves.
Disco’s repetitive, synthesized sound seemed inescapable. And yet, in the vast wasteland that popular music had become in that era, there were beacons of hope. Let’s look at 1978 as an example.
One would have every reason to believe that music would never recover from a year that saw records released by groups like The Village People and KC & The Sunshine Band. But there was really good music percolating up through the disco swamp. That good music gave me hope that rock music would survive the onslaught of this musical “flavor of the month”.
Have I Mentioned That I Hate Pumpkin?
Sure, that “flavor of the month” left a bad taste in my mouth for a little over a decade. But my point remains that quality music by musicians who dared to play their own instruments eventually pushed the weaker style aside.
Speaking of flavor of the month, pumpkin is back. You don’t need me to tell you that. Pumpkin is in its yearly period where it becomes inescapable and pushes its way into food, where it doesn’t belong. Read the rest of this entry »