I recently received a mass e-mail forward through Katie's grandfather. That is not news, as it happens often, and has turned me on to "Chocolate Rain" and something about ospreys, etc. But this time, he sent me the Chris Bliss juggling video, most likely (and unfortunately) the most-viewed juggling video ever. But P-Pop was years late on this mass e-mail. I was appalled. I thought he was ahead of the curve, but that video has long since peaked in popularity.
So I set out to blow his mind, first with a better juggling video and then with Youshouldhaveseenthis.com. (Of note, that site shouldn't mock the old for not watching online videos.) I hope that sending it doesn't turn off the mass e-mail faucet for good.
I went immediately to my YouTube favorites, but knowing the preferences of the senior audience was more difficult than at first expected. Novelty felt more important than skill; brevity, clarity, and glitz more important than art and expression.
Maybe I would just send a juggling video featuring a friend, and get that video a few dozen (hundreds, thousands?) of hits.
A month and twelve days ago, on Vanessa's birthday, I gave her a scented candle, perfume, and a note folded into a paper swan, promising The Distillers' self-titled album on vinyl, just as soon as it was shipped to the record store. I was very unsure of the record store's ordering process, having dealt with an ignorant student employee and a back-pedalling store manager on the phone. A month went by, and no word. Vanessa, always polite, didn't mention it. Until September 8th. We were on our way to Ann Arbor. We planned to stop by the record store and give them a piece of our mind. In the parking garage, my cellphone rang, a number I didn't recognize. I answered, and there was silence, nothing, so I hung up. Again, on the street, on the way to the record store, it rang. A different number this time, still unfamiliar to me, and still silence, dead air, void. Passing the bookstore, it rang again, and Vanessa began to get curious. "Call it back. Call it back." "No, if it's important they'll leave a message." Coming to the intersection of the record store's block, my phone rang again. A third number. I didn't answer this time and shortly after it ceased vibrating, it chirped with a message. I stopped to listen to it while the light changed.
"Hello Kyle, this is ----- from Underground Sounds. The Distillers album you ordered came in today. We will hold it for a week. If you need more time to pick it up, give us a call."
At the record store, the manager said it was the fastest anyone had ever picked up an order. We coyly said 'we were in the neighborhood.' It's one of the single biggest coincidences that has ever happened in my life. But it had happened to both of us, and that was the interesting thing about the whole thing. We left Ann Arbor with the album and drove straight to the Shell station at the end of our street. I filled the tank, while Vanessa went inside with a dollar to buy a lottery ticket. She came back out to tell me the ticket was two dollars, and he had already pulled it. With some persuasion, I drove home to my car, removed a dollar from my stash, drove back to the gas station, and we purchased the ticket. Possible $30,000 grand prize scratch off. We used a dime I had gotten as change from the parking garage... and we won...