Unravelling the Mystery of Billy Ocean and McDonalds

August 30, 2011 by cloften  
Filed under General Insanity, Silliness and Rants

Sitting here with a little “live” blogging from McDonalds, which is funny because I have a meeting at Chick-Fil-A in an hour.  I hope I have enough time.  “Why? Why are you doing this?”  It is time to report on the great mystery that is Loverboy by Billy Ocean and the music list at the McDonalds on College in Fayetteville.  Not tomorrow, not next week, now is the time.

As I sat down, “He’s Everything You Want” by Vertical Horizon was playing.  That’s perfect, because that is Number 1 on the playlist.  Yes, I have the whole playlist, and whether it makes me late to my meeting or not, I/we will sit here and make it through the whole list once.  It’s not that long, I probably won’t be late.  It’s just Miller and Gonzo anyway (staff guys).

YES! Number 2 is the song that started it all–“Loverboy” by Billy Ocean.  That “yes” was feigned surprise.  I knew it was next.  It’s next on the spreadsheet.  There is no randomness to this list.  It is the same every time.  I mean every time.  Does anyone else here even know? Does anyone else even care?

Number 3–“Falling in Love Again” by Eagle Eye Cherry.  I wonder how long it would have taken me to put this all together without being able to Google lyrics and the always handy Shazam app?  It took me a couple of visits and a handful rotations anyway, because of the number 8 mash-up, which I will explain in just a few minutes.  Without them I would have definitely needed my brother as I tried to write down as many of the lyrics as possible and tried to remember the tune.  Perhaps, I would have brought in a tape player (Boom! Dated reference!) and recorded it and played it for as many people as I could.  That’s old school cool, baby.

Number 4“I Knew I Loved You” by Savage Garden. We are almost halfway there, and I feel compelled to explain what’s going on here for those that don’t track with my FB/Twitter posts on Sunday morning.

Every Sunday morning before church, I come to McDonalds on College, have a little breakfast and go over my sermon one more time.  The first week (after it reopened, I was going to the one on Joyce before that) I heard Loverboy by Billy Ocean.  I posted about it, because it seemed funny to me.  The next week I hear it again.  “What a coincidence!”  I posted about that as well.  Week number 3 and I hear it again, and I begin to understand that there is something foul at work here, not mere coincidence.  Wait…hold on…

Number 5Don’t Hold Me Down by Colbie Callet (I like her.)

Anywho, I begin to realize that there are some other, less memorable songs that I seem to hear every week as well.  So I make a decision, as only someone infected with just a little OCD would, to come here one morning during the week when doing some computer work/study to sit in the corner and carefully listen to a couple of rotations.  What a day that was.  I wonder how many people noticed the idiot in the corner, who occasionally would stand up and try to stand right under a speaker, looking like a goob.  You see, their fancy drink maker that crushes the ice is very loud.  Also, people in the restaurant, not realizing that Science was happening would be talking.  Wait, here we go…

Number 6 “I Want to Get Lost in Your Rock n Roll” by Bob Seger.  (*Added later.  Apparently, this is wrong.  Sometimes you can’t trust Google.  The song is “Drift Away” by Dobie Gray.  My bad.  Thanks guys for sharing some of your OCD with me.) Some of you are very disappointed in me right now.  You think if any song should have stuck in my head it should have been this one.  Sorry, but Billy Ocean stands out much more.  Don’t judge me.

Ok, so people are talking, ice is crushing and I’m wandering around like a goob, trying to hear, hoping that Shazam can hear, which often it can’t, and I start compiling the list.  Number 8 continues to allude me.  I will have to come back another more quiet time.  This wouldn’t be a problem, because, you know, I’m here every Sunday.  I will win.

Number 7“It’s Only Love” by Bryan Adams

Sidenote: Does any else even notice this?  Are the employees here slowly going insane?  They seem perfectly normal and nice.  I keep an eye on them and they seem fine. No noticeable changes week to week.  Maybe they can’t hear it.  One of the guys who cleans the dining room is over the top friendly.  I like him.  Maybe he’s hearing it?  Who knows?

What about the other customers?  Is anyone here long enough to notice it? Are people here with enough frequency?  Of course, it’s McDonalds.  The same people drink coffee here every day I’m sure.  That’s why McDonalds exists–Senior Coffee, well and addictive fries and Disney prizes in kid’s meals.

The infamous Number 8 mash-up--“A Moment Changes Everything” by David Gray.  Why mash-up?  Well, because you only here the first half of this song before it cuts off.

Sidenote: It’s disorienting to watch CNN with no sound and closed-captioning.  The pictures don’t match the words.

Then when it cuts off, the second half of Number 8 mash-up“Already Home” by Marc Cohn plays.  You hear the first half of Gray and the second half of Cohn.

My theory is this, wherever this recording of songs originates, there is a scratch, glitch, something in the recording.  There are in fact supposed to be a large number of songs, but it skips from the middle of song 8 to, say the middle of song 35 or something like that.

And we are back to Number 1“He’s Everything You Want” by Vertical Horizon.  Less than 30 minutes and we’ve heard them all.

So what are some potential action steps?  I could mention it to a manager.  But why would I do that?  They might would fix it and then where would I be?  I’m convinced that I can’t preach if I don’t here Billy Ocean.

I could when I order say, “If I can predict the next song, will you give me my order for free?”  I’ll keep you posted.

Another Visit from the Toenail Ogre

April 21, 2011 by cloften  
Filed under General Insanity, Silliness and Rants

About 3 years ago, our then 7 year old daughter in very Laurenish fashion, ripped off the toenail of one of her big toes.  The fact that that kid has never 1) been in a full body cast or 2) Ever been to the emergency with a stomach pump is amazing.  I could fill a blog called www.ohmygoodnessyouwillnotbelievewhatlaurendid.biz  (I like .biz, it’s classy. cloften.biz is still available if you want to start a rival site).

So one night, mom is getting her ready for bed and doing the various trimming of the toenail shards, cleaning, etc., and it’s time for the big piece to come off.  While this is going on, Lauren begins to muse, “I wonder if I put this under my pillow, if the tooth fairy would take it?”  A discussion amongst all of us begins along the lines of whether or not the tooth fairy would do that, if there is a different toenail fairy, etc.  It was agreed that she should at least give it a go and see what happens.

What happened next, none of us could’ve anticipated.  It turns out that there is not a toenail fairy, but a toenail ogre.  He left Lauren a note written in crayon with dirt all over it, with terrible handwriting and worse grammar.  He also didn’t leave any money.  He left a rock.  Lauren, if you know her you will not be surprised, was ecstatic.  She has both the rock and the note in her keepsake box.

Welpst, she broke her toenail again a couple of weeks ago at a soccer tourney.  The big chunk came off a couple of nights ago.  Anticipation was building in the house again as this giant toenail chunk was placed in a baggie under her pillow.  Sure enough, the toenail ogre was back.  This time the note, still with bad penmanship and grammar, was written with what appeared to be a red sharpie (Maybe said ogre didn’t know where the crayons were.  Maybe it has moved recently).  There was, of course, another rock, which is now along with the note, in the keepsake box.

Is there a point to this? I don’t know. Maybe. As much as there ever is, I guess.  Maybe multiple points:

1) It is as weird behind the scenes at our house as you anticipate it would be.  Probably more.

2) Make fun memories with your kids.  Be creative.

3) They won’t be young forever, but they will remember stuff like this forever.

P.S. The toenail ogre does not come with just ordinary toenail clippings.  Don’t be ridiculous.

P.P.S. Secret goal is to be #1 in Google search for toenail ogre

Silliness and Parenting

November 18, 2010 by cloften  
Filed under Family and Parenting

So Cloften, where have you been?  You know, I’m not really sure.  I think it has been a combination of a lot of things.  Things have been pretty busy in the new town, new job, etc.   I’ve been a little distracted.  Moving so fast in my paying job, that I have been doing a lot of nothing, and avoiding this–my non-paying job.  I also think in part, in the old days (you know, earlier this year), this was a great outlet for teaching/communicating when I wasn’t teaching a lot on Sunday morning.  Teaching 3 out of 4 weeks has changed that.

Then when you go a couple of weeks without blogging, you feel like the one that brings you back should be huge or, using the word of the season, epic.  That’s a lot of pressure, even if it is only internal.  So after being a headcase for a few days, I have decided to go the opposite.  This is not epic.

First, a little background.  (BTW, you know what I like about blogging compared to writing papers for English teachers? I can have a “sentence” like “First, a little background” with no subject or verb and it’s OK.  No one is grading this)  Over the last couple of months there have been a couple of strange developments in the old family.  There is a storyline developing around our house involving 2 fictitious people and some semi-celebrities.  It is way too silly to even get into.  There is a love triangle, a dude with a snaggle-tooth, everything you would need to make a great novel.  Now there is a song.  The song tells the story.  This song is called “advice,” though there is nothing remotely close to advice in it. This advice must be sung every morning, or like a couple of days ago when the song was not sung, I accidentally drove my car in a lake (not really.  settle down, Mom).

In addition to this, we all have characters that we play now.  We are not only the Loften family, we are part of another family as well–the Poc family.  Many of the stuffed animals are in this “family” as well and they have roles to play.  Some are too sophisticated; we don’t like them.

At this point, you are likely having one of several reactions.  “That sounds like a lot of fun.” “Do I know any professional family counselors in NWA?” “I wonder what other churches there are in NWA?”

Irregardless (take that English teacher), we have fun in our house.  Unlike that uppity Penguin, Dolphin or that chowder pants Tuxedo Dog, none of us are too sophisticated to just be silly and have fun with each other.  Much of life is serious.  Adjusting to a new town, school, job, church are all very serious.  They are time-consuming and emotionally draining.  Great reasons to feel like you just don’t have the energy to deal with Cheetah-Poc trying to intimidate everyone.

However, it is exactly these times where you need to find extra energy.  When you are tired and drained is the perfect time.  When they are still young enough to want you to do this is the perfect time.

We have a reputation with some to run a pretty tight ship when it comes to discipline.  I can’t deny that, but we also be trying to do our goodest to make it a fun ship as well.  (Hee hee, English teachers)

I Can’t Fight This Feeling

January 28, 2010 by cloften  
Filed under General Insanity, Silliness and Rants

I have been on a serious post kick lately.  Not what cloften reader(s?) expect.  So I will tell you this story.

As is typical around our house someone (this time Maylee) was singing.  I told her, if we’re going to sing, let’s sing an 80’s classic.  (I can make this happen easier now, because she has a CD from Glee which apparently has made some 80’s songs cool again).  So then we all start singing “I Can’t Fight This Feeling” by REO Speedwagon.  I mean all of us, and not just the chorus or 1st verse.  2 verses, the chorus twice.  It ended with Lauren and I doing the chorus again in a more country riff.  Which then prompted Heidi and Maylee to critique the performance, American Idol style.  They both appreciated how we made the song our own.  It showed who we were as artists. 

I’m hesitant to say that this was a normal occurence in our house, because of the word normal.  I can say that it is typical.  I’m telling you.  If any of you know any reality show producers, I think you could get a relatively funny reality show out of our house.  I mean, it would be no Cake Boss, but then again, what is.