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The Case Against: Songs Where People Just Talk About Their Day

The Case Against: Songs Where People Just Talk About Their Day

Little known fact: Suzanne Vega auditioned for the role of Elaine

(Editor’s Note: I started writing this six weeks ago, before my face had been splashed all over everywhere as one of “The 1%.”  I got the email that my face was on The View and I prepared for my future life as a pundit, as surely they would want to hear from one of the folks they specifically requested explain their “actions” – to the extent that going to a fucking party is an “action” worthy of explanation.  Of course, no one at The View responded to me, so here I am, still toiling as an unpaid internet hack.  I guess punditry wasn’t in the cards – I could’ve fucking been taping I Love The 00s right now, but nooooo, I’m finishing this column.

Additional backstory (whether you like it or not): Chillyvile has undergone significant personal upheaval in recent weeks.  I re-inherited my beloved dog (from an XSO’s Dad, don’t ask), which required me to fly to Milwaukee, drive to Memphis, get her used to me again, then drive to NYC.  After a month in NYC, the aforementioned significant personal upheaval led me to rent yet another car and drive back to Arkansas, beloved dog in tow.  I am now a man without a country, hanging out with my dad in the nursing home as much as possible to reduce some of the strain on my mom (not completely altruistic, also want her not to freak the fuck out about the fact there’s another dog in the house) and to enjoy the good days he has.  So the happy-go-lucky days are somewhat a distant memory, but I’m gonna get back on top of shit.  Right now I guess I’m gonna finish this, to the extent that I don’t boil in my own skin while drinking some Stump Jump.  Friendly tip: do not drink red wine if the thermostat is controlled by an 82 year old.)

The original title of this post was going to be “I’ve Had Just About Enough of Bruno Mars” until I learned that he doesn’t sing the song that inspires homicidal vitriol in my heart.  I’m in Memphis at the moment, via an early flight yesterday into Milwaukee to reclaim The Greatest Dog Ever (TGDE) followed by a drive through various and sundry midwestern states including Wisconsin (my least favorite accent in the U.S. and second only to Cockney for worst ever), Illinois (very polite with the construction signs – “there will be some barrels on the road in 4 miles” followed by “two miles to barrels” then “danger: approaching a couple orange barrels” and then, sure enough, two barrels, followed by “Thanks for not fucking speeding in this construction zone”), Missouri (pretty sure I caught some secondhand meth smoke as I crossed that Winter’s Bone bridge), Arkansas (where the damn day started) and then T-T-T-Tennessee. I’m pretty sure this isn’t proper paragraph construction as none of the follow-on sentences had anything to do with the opening.

(So I’ll go to the parenthetical – not just to talk about my heartland travel day, but because typing “parenthetical” gives me kind of a self-satisfied rush.  Anyway, one recurring theme whenever I had to talk to someone today was that person’s fascination with what brought me to their fine state.  It’s kind of an invasive question; I prefer to reveal stuff to strangers only in the murky anonymity of the internet.  Explaining that you flew to get a dog and then were renting a series of one-way cars to decide where that dog would ultimately reside was a little too much for me to give the car rental lady.  I did learn, however, that car rental ladies in Wisconsin don’t have a great capacity for processing obviously absurd answers like “came here to help a friend bury a dead hooker.”  Lesson learned.  I just went with “here to visit my uncle” for the next series of gas station attendants, toll booth operators, etc who were mystified by the presence of such an exotic foreigner in their midst.)

So I’ve been listening to a fair amount of regular old FM radio, which has loosened up somewhat from last year’s rigid “we play Katy, Gaga, Ke$ha and Rihanna, then somebody else, then start back over with more K,G,K and R” playlist.  Now they play a whole range of stuff including Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Ke$ha, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Pitbull, Jason Derulo* and Lil Wayne (who I think is now just soliciting random strangers at the mall as guest rappers – call me, Lil!).  But the one f*cking trend that I cannot stand is the song where people just talk about their day – and I mean just talk.  I get that it’s a little hypocritical since I tend to like rap music – “Today Was A Good Day” is a classic – but it’s clear up front that rapping is basically just talking about one’s day in some kind of rhyming manner.  But I cannot tolerate that Taylor Swift sh*t where she is talking about how the other chick wears short skirts and she wears jeans or whatever – not just for the idiotic lyrics, but Taylor Swift is supposed to be this amazing vocal talent and I don’t get it.

Anyway, there are several examples of this phenomenon that I could cite, but I hate them so much that I just change the station.  There is one that stands above all others though – I will not name it since it’s the (supposedly) lyrical equivalent of inciting Beezlebub.  The one that starts with “I had a really, really messed up week.”  (If you don’t know it, and hear it come on, I suggest somehow muffling the sound for the next four minutes to prevent aneurysm.)  I don’t know who sings it (I’m stunned it’s not Bruno Mars though, I hate “The Lazy Song” as well and thought it was the same guy as that piece of sh*t.)  There are songs that make you change the station or maybe turn down the volume; this song makes me turn off the radio and pull over in the nearest open area; I have to pace like an expectant parent for a few minutes to get the hatred out of my system.  Again, I won’t go into detail about how awful this fucking thing is, but it’s got so many ridiculous “this song is right now” conventions to it – mentions Zach Galifianakis, Twitter**, California Dimes***.  Words are not the appropriate medium to express my detestation.  Fuck I hate it.

Anyway, there’s only one song that can get away with the whole “I’m a singer, but I’m just gonna talk about what I did today and you can do fuck all about it.”  As everyone in the fucking world knows, that song is “Tom’s Diner.”  More on that later.


* What the fuck is up with Jason Derulo and that whole “Jjjjjjjjason Derulo” effect in every one of his songs?  Does anybody else make their name a sound effect thing like that?  It’s like that Playstation noise, except much more annoying.  Although, if I ever get a guest rapper gig, I’m definitely getting the “Chchchchchillllyyy Seventeen” effect.

** Okay, the song doesn’t really mention Twitter, it’s “quit her” but it’s close enough for me to hate it even more for not going there when I guarantee the first 875 drafts of the lyrics had “Twitter” in there.

** I’m cool with the objectification of women (or men, for that matter), in general.  But the concept of localized rankings is annoying – if there’s a scale, it should be universal.  Not “Vegas 10” just “10.”  And “dime” is stupid slang for “10” – dime is already widely recognized as “assist” so fuck off with that jargon.  It isn’t the BCS, there shouldn’t be regional debate.  Objectify nationally, volunteer locally.



Chilly17 aka .01

The Case Against: Strokes

The Case Against: Strokes


I hate talking on the phone.  I hate being woken up before 7:00 AM (OK, 1:00 PM).  So, imagine my discontent when my phone rang very early last Wednesday morning.  Turns out the inconvenience paled compared to the content:

Me: “Hello?”

Mom: “I think your dad’s dead in there.  I see his feet sticking out.”

Me: “…”

A little background: I’m 42 (294 in dog years, but only 23 in immature jackass years) and my parents were fairly old when they had me – saving the best for last, practice makes perfect, etc.  They have already pretty much run the gamut of major health problems (heart attacks, cancer, mini-strokes; mostly from my mom) so I have been preparing myself for some ominous phone calls.  But I didn’t really think I’d get the call the day after a hangover-recovery Tuesday where my most stressful situation was what mindless shit to watch on NetFlix Instant (I went with Trailer Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day, not my best selection ever).

So out of the fog, one day removed from a fairly stiff hangover, I was faced with helping my mom navigate through a terrible situation. Problem number one was that I don’t live in Arkansas, I live in New York , making me a pretty poor choice in a time-sensitive emergency.  But after deducing that she’d already called 911 and banged on the neighbor’s door, I told her to relax on the couch with her dogs until the paramedics got there, lest they’d need to send two ambulances.  (Turns out that the 911 operator asked her if they needed two since my mom was seizing that opportunity to tell her how many heart surgeries she’d already been through.  They sent a fire truck, too, so maybe they thought he was one of those fatasses you have to cut a whole in the wall for or something.)

Anyway, my dad was not, in fact, dead.  After a series of small strokes over the years (the first several of which he didn’t even acknowledge), this was finally The Big One.  All kidding aside, strokes (not The Strokes or “The Stroke” – both of which are fantastic) are probably the most horrific medical malady that I can imagine.  Alzheimer’s, ALS and I’m sure many others are also terrible, but strokes are capable of taking away your memory, your movement and your dignity, all in a brutally swift fashion.  And the stroke victims are not the only ones who suffer.  What of the stroke caregivers?  That’s no walk in the park either.


The Ten Worst Things About Being A Stroke Patient’s Caregiver


10.  Turns out feeding someone is nothing like 9 1/2 Weeks

9.  His mumbled preferences for every other sibling seem particularly lucid

8.  Poor time for him to express an interest in the tensile properties of catheter tubing

7.  Apple sauce becomes a major part of the daily conversation

6.  Previously private bathroom activities become matter of public domain

5.  Memento-style tattoos become attractive options for retention of short-term memories (names of dogs you had 31 years ago are easily recalled, however)

4.  Constant need to reiterate how not being able to move the left side of his body makes trying to get out of bed a poor idea

3.  Realization that “this is me in 35 years” means I will have to make constantly ensure my legs are nowhere near as pale

2.  The typical hospital waiting room in Arkansas looks like the dressing room at a unisex Dog the Bounty Hunter lookalike contest

1.  Can’t tell if he really likes the mashed potatoes or if he’s just doing a spot-on Sling Blade impersonation


Later, Chilly17

P.S. Hang in there, Dad, you’ve got another big comeback in you.

The Case Against: Losing Your Hair

The Case Against: Losing Your Hair

Let’s face it, losing your hair sucks.  That’s a pretty obvious statement, I realize, but aside from the ding to your attractiveness, balding also serves as a daily reminder that you are getting old as fuck.  It seems pretty unfair that it really only impacts males, but I guess that balances some of the gender inequity (pregnancy, menstruation, sports bras add up to roughly be as shitty as hair loss).  This is especially painful as I’m dealing with this issue as we speak – although I attribute any hair loss issues with my years of service in the proximity of a NUCLEAR FUCKING REACTOR to protect AMERICA’S (AND YOUR) FREEDOM.  So it’s not so much hair loss as a memento of my contribution to this great nation of ours.

There are different types of balding, some much worse than others.  In the Navy, practically everyone was convinced they were losing tons of hair (maybe because of the aforementioned NUCLEAR FUCKING REACTORS); one of my buddies would literally start hyperventilating at the sight of a stray hair in the shower (to be fair, though, he’s Filipino so he could rule out it being a body hair).  And this guy still has more hair than an Iranian bikini wax salon.  Guys can get pretty worked up on this issue – it generally involves a strange conversation with one’s mom to find out what her dad’s hair situation was (or if he’s alive, one could also just look at his head).  Because that’s supposedly whose genetics decide the fate of your hair.  Thanks, Gramps!  Some fates are better than others, though.

The Categories of Hair Loss

1.  The widow’s peak – You know the look, classic gradually receding hairline where the temples go backward but the front part kind of stays in place.  The key words, again, are gradual and classy.  They even gave this hairline a cool-assed name.  It shouldn’t really even be considered going bald – I mean fucking Sandman chooses to have a widow’s peak!  He’s made of sand, which he can manipulate; he could mesh his hairline with his eyebrows if he wanted to.

Historical Examples:  Sandman, Eddie Munster

A classic look...
A classic look...

.... even for a vampire youth
.... even for a vampire youth

Currently rocking the widow’s peak: Jude Law (but he’s in danger of pulling a Bruce Willis and combining it with a more grave example of hair loss)

This could easily grow into a full frontal combo
This could easily grow into a full frontal combo

2.  The bald spot – A thinning of hair at the crown of your noggin – basically a skin yarmulke.  (Jewish guys have a big advantage with this type of hair loss).  Not that bad, since, unless you’re really short, not that many people see the top of your head (unless you happen to be a POV ghey pron actor).  Bald spots are startling, though, when they do pop into view.  One positive is that bald spots provide fodder for humorous tee shirts advocating alternative energy, sold at beaches and carnivals worldwide.

Historical Example: Friar Tuck (and possibly most friar’s, I’m only familiar with Tuck’s work)

Classic friar 'style
Classic friar 'style

Currently sporting a bald spot:  Prince William (the one from England – I’m trying to widen my fanbase), Manu Ginobli

Fuck it, he's going to be the fucking King of England.  He will be fine even at full friar levels
Fuck it, he's going to be the fucking King of England. He will be fine even with a "full friar"

3.  Goes by many names – “Receding hairline”/”thinning hair”/”somberly recognizing your own mortality and the fragile nature of youth” – This is the absolute worst kind of hair loss: it’s right there for everyone to see.  Has led to a staggering number of coverup hairstyles: the Caesar, the combover, the straight back, the Trump, the Gordon Gekko (called “the Pat Riley” on the west coast) just to name a handful.  Horribly unpleasant and the coverups frequently amplify, rather than mitigate, the  unattractiveness.  Guess which kind I have?  Dammit.

Historical Examples: Bruce Willis (although he may have had a rare widow’s peak that mutated), Jeremy Piven (though the Piv definitely did something about it; he’s apparently removed most of the Seinfeld-era images from the entire internet, as well)

Current Example: Brendan Fraser (Encino Man fans, you may want to avert your eyes)

no comment
No comment

4.  The dreaded combination – Heaven help those who are afflicted by more than one type of balding at once.  It can happen – best alternative in that case is to go straight cueball.

Receding hairline + bald spot = George Costanza

Should've kept using that cream from China
Should've kept using that cream from China

Receding hairline + widow’s peak = Bozo the Clown

Keep it really bushy on the sides and back, thanks
Keep it really bushy on the sides and back, thanks

Bald spot + widow’s peak = Rob Corddry

The widow's peak has been surrounded - never surrender!
The widow's peak has been surrounded - never surrender!

Gentleman, baldness sucks.  Fight the good fight.  And thank God you aren’t Rob Corddry.  Enjoy your weekend.

Chilly17, wasted potential is underrated