On the rare occasion that I think about the time I spent in graduate school, one of the first memories to surface concerns a friend’s roommate and the Dave Mathews Band. I wasn’t invited to the roommate’s wedding — I had only met him a few times and thought he was a bit of a jackass, the feeling may have been mutual — but here we are, eighteen years later, and I can tell you what his wedding song was. Now why would that be? Why would a twenty-something guy come to school on Monday, anxiously regaling a room of his peers with a story about the song a bride and groom danced to? And why would those in attendance remember it?
Because it was Crash into Me by the Dave Mathews Band.
You’ve got your ball, you got your chain.
Now I was never a fan of DMB — I didn’t even see them live when they played my college back in 1995 — but I do like that song. It’s got a soothing melody and I enjoy the guitar intro. And it’s impossible to not sing along with Dave’s crowing rooster voice when it comes on the radio. I can see why people like it. And, based on the opening line I included above, and phrases of general adoration sprinkled throughout, one might think, on the surface, that it’s romantic.
Hike up your skirt a little more, and show your world to me.
Through the window and I stare; you wear nothing but you wear it so well.
The song’s about a peeping-tom fantasizing about a woman as he watches her through the window. And judging by the outro, that may not have been all he was doing… I still remember to this day the shocked hilarity I felt that someone would choose such a song for their first dance. Did they never actually pay attention to the lyrics? Did the father-of-the-bride cut in before the fourth verse? Was it a clue as to how they met? I had so many questions.
I was reminded of this the other day, as I was pulling out of Service King and Crash into Me came on the radio. How fitting. I had just handed over my deductible to help cover the $4300 in damages I had done to my car by rear-ending a fellow attendee as I was leaving the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Conference two weeks ago. Nobody was hurt and both cars were drivable — the airbags didn’t even deploy — but I was extremely embarrassed come morning when the other driver was the first person I saw in line for coffee. I’m just thankful she wasn’t an agent I was about to pitch to.
And that’s how you bury the lede.
- “Frog And Toad”: An Amphibious Celebration of Same-Sex Love – Arnold Lobel’s “Frog and Toad” series is a favorite of my childhood and I wasted no time in buying copies for my niece when she was born. This enjoyable essay from Colin Stokes in The New Yorker discusses how progressive the series was in terms of platonic same-sex love and shares thoughts from Lobel’s daughter.
- Girl on the Train Carries Paula Hawkins into List of World’s Richest Authors– I hadn’t read Girl on the Train yet, but it’s on my to-read list. Hopefully before the movie comes out this fall. What’s interesting about this list, to me, is not necessarily the range of figures, but how few of these authors I’ve read. I’ve read King and Rowling and maybe one or two from Grisham years ago, but none of the others.
- The 7 Weirdest Sex Stories of the Ancient World – Put your modern predilections aside — especially any prudish ones you harbor — and enjoy this interesting dive into some of the more unusual sexual habits from the ancient world. This article was assembled by researcher Vicki Leon, author of the recent book The Joy of Sexus: Lust, Love, & Longing in the Ancient World.
- 20 Misused English Words that Make Smart People Look Silly – This article by Travis Bradberry covers a lot of the mistakes I see in blogs and comment sections (which I should know better than to read, but can’t help myself) and I admit I often get the lay/lie one wrong every now and then. What I want to know — and Bradberry doesn’t mention it — is how on Earth people started getting loose and lose mixed up?
- Adjectives for Posture – We’ve all read a book where we wished the author would have put down the thesaurus every once in a while. Still, we don’t all have a vocabulary to rival Webster’s. For me, my weakness becomes apparent whenever I’m trying to describe character movement. This link has dozens of adjectives for posture, gait, and demeanor, among others.
Most of Us Are Blissfully Ignorant About How Much Rancid Olive Oil We Use – Of all the things I took home from our bicycle trip, an appreciation for higher quality olive oil is high on the list of favorites. So much of the mass-market olive oil in the USA is actually derived from crushing the olive pits, after the first-pressing was already extracted for the local European market. After spending six months in the olive-growing regions of the Mediterranean, and having olive oil at all meals — sometimes straight — we now only buy single-source, cold-pressed olive oil. Also, on a tour of an olive museum in Greece, I asked what “Light” olive oil was, compared to Virgin and Extra Virgin. The blend of horror and pity that came across the man’s face was fascinating. “There is no such thing,” he said, mumbling something about Americans as he turned away.
Post Image by Seattle Municipal Archives., used under Creative Commons.