on pirating music

When I was in grade school, there was this girl in my class whose last name was “Hickey”. I thought she was cute and secretly liked her, but no one else did and so people made fun of her and I remained neutral, the Switzerland of second grade. One day, in the midst of particularly merciless teasing, she blurted out that she was moving away soon and so we all ought to be nice or else we’d be sorry when she was gone. This, of course, made my classmates shout out how happy they were that she was leaving. I never did stick up for her, let alone tell her that I sort of liked her. I do think I saw her with her family later on Family Feud, however, and that somehow felt to me like a little bit of revenge for her.

That leads me (via the weakest link possible) to the oddity of “normal” people, or at least people who aren’t actors, being on television. I think that reality tv shows are our modern gladiator tournaments. We take “normal” people, put them in bizarre contrived situations, and let the strong among them devour the weak for our amusement. The special twist comes in celebrity reality shows, where producers seem to select only the weak among the celebrities, the old and crippled among the herd . Then we pit them, the weak and the weaker, against each other. Still, sometimes, a Maximus emerges (I’m looking at you, Flavor Flav), and uses it all to his or her advantage.

All this to say I propose a new celebrity survival show, to include some real classy folks, like Rod Blagojevich and others, but also to include the Somali pirate who was taken into custody several months ago. I, somewhere in my heart, feel bad for the guy (was I born to be a defense attorney?), and I think he could be the next Maximus. Let the guy go, and if he comes out on top, which I imagine he would, consider his time served. With any luck, he can spin it into an entire career. He can take up rapping, since nothing says street cred like being a former Somali pirate captured off the Horn of Africa. Maybe start a clothing line, to include massive pirate-themed bling. His belt can be held up by a diamond-encrusted skull-and-crossbones “Swashbuckle” that he flashes in his music videos, much like T.I. twirling his hanky or Nelly and his (now defunct) adhesive bandage. So let’s give the guy a break, or at least a chance. Plus, if we do, I sense we’ll have minutes of entertainment to come.

and behind door number 3...

Most of those who have spent very much time with me know that decisions aren’t my strong suit. Or, more accurately, speedy decisions aren’t my strong suit. I first realized this when I was taking a personality profile for one of my high school classes. I was working on it at home and couldn’t figure out how to answer one of the questions. I went to my mom to see which answer she thought best reflected my personality and, just while talking with her, I changed my mind several times as to what the correct answer--a simple yes or no--was. The question: Do you have a hard time making decisions?

Part of the reason, I think, is some bizarre inner drive for accuracy. Thus, when given surveys that ask questions and require me to circle a number, one through five, in response, I not infrequently end up circling the blank space between two numbers because, darn it, the answer is 3.5, not three and not four, and I can’t just choose a whole number to circle because what if the answer to the next question really is three? Then that throws the whole system off, since I now have a true three and a pseudo three, with no means of differentiating between the two. This of course can wreak havoc on my judicial opinion turnaround time if I let it because, sweet mercy, if I take this long to answer a question as to how satisfied I was with the service at Taco Bell, how much longer am I going to want to take when helping determine whether someone was
unjustly imprisoned?

Point is, I can take a long time to make decisions. Which is why I submitted two assignment preference lists to the JAG, one pre-housing meltdown and one post-housing meltdown, with the post-meltdown list reflecting the altered odds of us purchasing a home at our assignment location. It is also why my wife and I, once we knew she would be on a boat commercial fishing in Alaska at the time I would receive our assignment options, went over the different scenarios prior to her departure so I would know, when give our two options from the Air Force (presumably taken from our previously-made list, which assignment to choose.

Monday, the call came. A nice guy, a major with a southern accent, introduced himself and explained the assignment selection process. Then he said, While we were able to give you your top regional choices, we didn’t have availabilities at any of the bases you listed. Instead, it’s “A” or “B”. Let me know within 48 hours if either of these choices works for you. The 48 hours was expected (actually, 24, so I was practically swimming in time with 48), but I had thought that out of 20+ options, one of our options might have also been one of theirs. It wasn’t.

In the end, we chose an option that, though we hadn’t thought of it before, ended up being quite good (we hope). It was … “A”. We expect you to visit.


jag rawr

JAG, six months ago: We'll let you know in June

JAG, two months ago: We'll let you know in late June

JAG, two weeks ago: We'll let you know next week (i.e., either very late June or very early July)

Me, today: Come. On.

Hurry up and wait, I believe is the saying? Here's to hoping tomorrow's the day I find out where we're moving. In the meantime, I've been preparing for commissioned officer training, which I assume goes something like this:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Stephen Strong: Army of Me - Basic Training
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorJeff Goldblum