on demand

I’m on hold.  Time Warner Cable is about to get a piece of my action… my mouth anyway.  I pay $137 and change per month for my cable (five premium channels… there are only six if you include skinimax), and Road Runner service.  And my direct tv hasn’t ever worked.  What is that about?  So I’m drunk, and now I’m pissed because I can’t fall asleep to some old Sex & The City episodes.  Instead, the DVD player is loaded with Albert Brookes’ The Muse.  Men would say it’s Sharon Stone’s The Muse, but I’ve got tits and a sense of humor.  Albert Brookes has the best delivery… I never stop laughing.  He’s funny as shite, my friend. 

Clearly, I shouldn’t throw stones.  I’m the technotard.  All I had to do was switch the VOD (video on demand) switch on.  If only life were as simple as hitting a switch.

Tonight I met a man with a van who was 20 minutes late meeting me.  We’d never met, so it was tragically blind.  And a late blind date leaves you a touch vulnerable, wondering if he got a glimpse of you and left.  So I fingered the rim of my wine glass and smiled at the female bartenders wearing pigtails. 

When he arrived, in a puffy Polo jacket, he looked flustered, and quite adorable.  He was all dimples and a full head of hair.  "I’m sorry, I’m having problems with the van."  Oh right, the van.  Wink wink.  I dunno.  "Yeah, I left a message with Dan, the guy who sold it to me, but who knows.  So the battery will die soon.  But I want you to come outside so you know I’m not making it up."

"Wait, you’re a late man with a van, and you’re waiting for a Dan?  And you think I won’t buy it?  Please, who could make that up?"  So I spank the bottom of my wine glass and swivel off the stool.  We walk outside, and I joke that I’ll have the magic touch.  "Oh I’ll fix your van."  Who the fcuk am I?

I get on my knees and ask about a valet switch.  No really, who the fcuk am I?  He whips out a manual.  The name of his band is painted along the perimeters of the van.  It’s a Ford, not a VW, as I’d imagined it to be.  "Give me your keys."  Then I do what anyone trying would do:  I open all the doors, close them again, try all the locks, and then.  Voila.  Redhead to the rescue.  I willed it so, and it happened, as if I flipped a switch.  I fixed the man’s van, baby.  We hugged in the cold, thankful we could now go enjoy adult beverages. 

I hear The Counting Crows sing Anna Begins, and I’m already hopeful.  I love that song, and when things like that happen, you’re hopeful.  It’s a sign, you tell yourself, and then smile.  You loosen up and wonder where this will all go.  And then everything seems to fall into place.  A cover band plays John Mayer.  You’re so done; you feel it.  Even in that moment, you have a feeling you’ll need to remember this.  You feel like something is starting, even though everything is light and fun.  His eyes are potent.  It’s delicious, better, even, than my video on demand; it’s life on demand.


  1. Wait a minute. I don't get it. You're home and spinning this incomplete tale. Did I jump the gun? It's funny, but insomnia has it's advantages. I get to see your edits 'live.'

    Loved the stigma post. On my little blog, I described the 'matching luggage' concept as having the keys to unlock the city or knowing the ATM PIN number. Combination to the safe, perhaps. It sure is a complex combination. Age, sex, personality, confidence are included amongst many many factors. You check 'em off your list, right? Someday soon, you'll find someone with all the checks and knows your PIN. {Wow, great song from Sum 41 on Letterman. "Better off on my own." Look for it on the next CD.

    PS My cable bill is $120 with cable modem and no movie channels. Digital radio is the best part of it. Keep up the great writing!

  2. Anna Begins is both MY favorite Counting Crows song and EVERYONE'S favorite Counting Crows song. Still, good call. I hear Adam Duritz makes a mean mojito.

  3. Albert Brooks ROCKS! Great scene in the Muse when he goes to pitch to Spielberg, and is received by a distant cousin or nephew or something like that. I started digging Brooks with "Lost in America." He hasn't disappointed since.

    Man with a van waiting for a dude named Dan.
    Isn't that a song or haiku? Nah, not a haiku–not enough syllables.

  4. I feel like I've just stuck a chickflick into the DVD player, grabbed the remote, a large glass of shiraz, a block of chocolate and my blankey and am waiting for the credits to start rolling… what's gonna happen next? How many more women like me are curled up on our sofas, waiting to see if this is 'it'… Fingers and toes crossed. He sounds yummy. Dimples are a good start.

  5. I am waiting for a man named Dan to buy something, but it's not a van. If you can fix the not van so I won't need Dan, you can be the 'man.'

    I wasn't familiar with "Anna Begins," so I searched for the lyrics. They reminded me of something someone said to me years ago and something I read recently. "Someone who can whisper I love you but never let you know is someone who can smile when angry." "Writing about music is like dancing about architecture." (Theolonius Monk)

    Kindness is interesting because it can 1) drive people away–as suggested by the lyrics–2) sometimes–as someone told me–it can be another's ammunition which is used to shoot down your confidence and ambition, or 3) as implicitly suggested by the lyrics bring two people closer.

    Kindness alone is often not enough to get you to where you want to go. As alluded to elsewhere in this blog, it takes honesty, integrity, trust, friendship and spirituality blended with creativity and humour and seasoned with patience and topped with a passion that is always novel and resilient because of the stability of the underlying ingredients.

  6. I'd love to like Counting Crows, but Duritz' voice pierces my eardrums and triggers migraines. Thelonious Monk–NOW YOU'RE TALKING.

  7. That post was just begging for some of my crap haiku…

    Sitting on the phone
    Happy funtime joy awaits
    Where's my Mister Big?

    Waiting for a man
    Mister Goodwrench she is not
    End justifies means

    She is not worried
    She is not overly concerned
    The day is seized

    Holy crap that's addicting. I just called a supplier and ended up telling him: "I asked for a quote, many moons I have waited, I am very sad."

    Sometimes life accidentally winds up better than late night cable. However, more often than not it seems like every channel is a re-run of 'Full House' or "Law and Order: Underage Tobacco Users Task Force". Good 'Life on Demand' moments make it all worthwhile. I thoroughly enjoy reading about yours, Miss Stephanie.

  8. Anna Begins moves me…great tune. Have you ever heard the live version of that song that The Crows have out there? Its kinda weird…almost to the point that i don't like it ?

  9. D, you talking about that "Come on, come on" piece of animated shite?? It's atrocious. Can we get back to Thelonious Monk, please?

  10. Mouse would like to point out that in order to utilize the Anna Begins reference, he needed to use a little poetic license in regards to the meter of the last haiku. It does, however, maintain the 17 syllables necessary to garner the haiku designation.

    The line in that song where he says "…and every words is nonsense, yet I understand…" rivals the line in Pearl Jam's 'Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town' where Eddie Vedder says "Cannot find the candle of thought to light your name". These are both incredible examples of our modern poet/songwriters finding cool ways to express things we all feel everyday.

    Just my two squeaks…~~(__)8>

  11. He sounds precious!

    Wait – he has a van with his band logo on the side? A thick head of hair? A puffy coat?

    Is this one of those 19 year old boy-toys I keep hearing so much about these days? If so, more power to you – I hear they can be quite a zesty enterprise.

  12. Mouse, I know I'm a prick here, but the Haiku is 5-7-5…and yes, the total is 17.
    Anyway, just busting your bollix. And trying to justify my useless Lit. Degree.

  13. I'm still waiting for the smart ass comment: "yea, he has a van, but does he live in it…down by the river?"

    Come on people.

  14. This is totally unrelated to the post but Stephanie, a huge huge thank you for increasing your font size on the blog. It used to make my eyes hurt, and I always forgot to reset the "bigger" view font when I went to other sites, which would in turn freak me out. (Low tolerance for big/small fonts is a certifiable condition.)

    And good luck with the van guy. And, also, I totally love love love it when I can pull off a techno fix. I am not a genuis at it by any means, but now and then, I can hit it with the right hammer and people's eyes bug out. I totally know how you felt. :) It's almost better than the first few sips of liquor buzz you get on Friday. (I said ALMOST.)

  15. what does all this have to do with your cable not working?

    not to nitpick, but anna begins is actually about realizing you are falling for someone and forcing it down…trying to fight that happy feeling…rather than embracing the goosebumps, which seems to be what you're doing. whatever…

    what mayer song anyway?

  16. Like The Barenaked Ladies, Mayer was mine before he hit the radio, and I'm wretched at sharing (post to soon follow). Now that he's public, I never listen to him anymore… except for one song.


  17. Just because a musician becomes mainstream doesn't necessarily mean that their music changes. Comfortable is still the same song. Maybe 14 year old girls sing it now, but cest la vie. John Mayer was also mine way before he was on the radio (for me I made the discovery in early 2001), but that is what he always wanted (to be famous, not to play at Irving Plaza forever), so I have a hard time jusifying not listening to him anymore just because I have to share or because other people don't appreciate it the same way that I do.

    Not to say that this is the case for you, but you have to realize that he's still playing the same music, whether or not he's screwing jennifer love hewitt or heidi klum (or whoever it is this week).

  18. Anna Begins is my fav. song too, but let's face it, it's just because I'm a narcissist. Good story of blind date madness.

  19. I think you should make a plan with the man in the van. He seems to have a bit of élan. And after you met, his van ran agan.

    For the Counting Crows I have to say I like their cover of Big Yellow Taxi best. As for Albert Brooks, yes he is fantastic. But I don't think he's acting…

    I'm a Toronto boy of a certain age and can safely say I put a down payment on the Bare Naked Ladies long before you! Did you know that BNL were briefly banned from playing at Toronto's City Hall because the mayor at the time thought that they were actual bare naked ladies? That there's your life imitating your art. John Mayer I came to late, so you win that one. :-)

  20. gosh that "Robotnik" comments a lot. its quite annoying. if only he spent as much time on his lame little blog as he does commenting on yours. then again, he doesnt have any original thought, just comments on others. how sad.

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