Today, I’m going to complain. Okay, maybe not complain. Kvetch? Vent? At any rate, brace yourself.
First up: “American Pie” by Don McLean. Let me start by saying that this song is NOT just a song. It’s an elegy, an opus, an incredible, timeless piece of music. It’s about life, and death, and music and a million other things. It’s eight minutes and twenty-eight seconds long, has multiple verses and people have spent years trying to figure out what it all means (best bet: go to the man himself. There are some wacky interpretations out there). When I was in high school, me and Bianca and her then boyfriend listened to it over and over again in order to write down the words, which we couldn’t find anywhere. (This was pre-internet, which I guess goes without saying. Now, it’s as easy as this. Ah, the eighties. Cute, weren’t they?) Okay, so I was a little obsessed. Still am. It’s one of the few songs that I’m sort of Owen Armstrong-ish about: it enlightened me. Also, when I was in college and went through a period where I was having panic attacks (don’t ask) it was the one thing I could ALWAYS count on to calm me down. Deep breath, and just start going through the lyrics in my head. By the time I got to the part about moss growing fat on a rolling stone, I was usually okay. Even now, when I find myself about to step up in front of a bunch of people and my stomach does that weird flutter, I hear it in my head. A long, long time ago..
So you can understand why the new Chevrolet commercial, which features this song, annoys me. Okay, so it’s not Don McLean, it’s a cover. It’s also all synthesized and polished, which just makes it WORSE. But it’s still the song, that familiar chorus, and even though I should be used to just about every song being used to sell SOMETHING—even something that is, in this case anyway, actually mentioned in the lyrics—it bothers me. I understood when Nike used the Beatles, when the Gap used AC/DC. Fine, fine. But this? It’s different. Maybe just to me, but it is. Will this fact change anything? No. But I feel better, now that I’ve gotten it off my chest.
Which means I can move onto my other issue: my new indoor/outdoor thermometer. Let me just say I know the fact that I am even writing about this officially makes me the Biggest Nerd Ever. But whatever. I got this new thermometer at Target last week: it’s wireless, so you have one part you put outside that sends a signal to the indoor part, which displays the temperature in and out and all kinds of other fun stuff. Also, it has this feature where, when the temperature drops below 37 degrees, a little snowflake is supposed to appear and blink, letting you know that it’s nearing freezing. But on mine, it doesn’t just blink. It BEEPS. Continuously. I have been over the directions and manual for this thing multiple times, but I still can’t figure out how to make it stop. I don’t need to know when it’s 37 degrees. Maybe if it was minus 37, it might be good to be alerted, but otherwise, I’m good. I don’t want to have to get out of bed at 6:30 in the morning (which happened yesterday) because my thermometer thinks it has urgent news to share with me. So today, I have to call the number I found on this company’s website, explain my dilemma, and hope that a) they don’t tell me to get a life, because let’s face it, who does stuff like this? and b) they can help me. Otherwise, I’ll just have to resign myself to always knowing when it’s 37 degrees, whether I like it or not.
What a negative way to begin the week, right? It’s not good. It’s can’t be. I think I’ll go to iTunes, download Don McLean’s version of American Pie, and try to get over myself. Might work. Say it with me: A long, long time ago….