Thursday, August 23, 2007

Getting the Once-Over

I'm not sure at what age I was when it first happened, but I know that when the "warmies" were shooting through my nerves (as opposed to the chills) when I was the recipient of the once-over for my attitude/mind/personality rather than for my physical appearance, I could be finally classified as mature. Or, maybe just clingy/desperate for any signs of attention. It's a "thin line"-"coin flip" sort of thing, isn't it?

In a electronics super store recently, I was just such a recipient of a positive personality once-over. It had been a while, so it was a most welcome trip back to that land of perceived coolness, even though it was only a 10 minute visa I was traveling on.

It was this past Tuesday that I was combing through the aisles looking for Talib Kweli's new CD, Ear Drum. Tuesday being the industry release date for all new recordings, it wasn't a surprise to see other folks searching for their artist's new release as well. This particular retail establishment uses the $9.99 CD price to lure in buyers so that they spend additional bucks on items they'd had no earlier intention of procuring. So, while the price of the CD is low, the trick is finding the CD's as their filing system is burdened with no logical scheme. Temporary tag-teams are formed by mutually interested consumers. I was parked in the pseudo-Rap aisle which was intermingled with the Country selection. Somebody was using Ray Charles' broad musical sweep as their guidelines for this layout, I assume. After seeing an equally frustrated CD-seeker perusing the bins, I sidled up to her.
Old Fart (Medium height white guy with graying hair (whiter than usual due to minimal beach visits): "Excuse me, who are you looking for?"
She (Medium height athletic African-American woman in very stylish nurse's uniform, max. age of 30, equipped with finely manicured hands that she could, if she wanted to put 2 fingers together, snap me out of existence with a simple move): "Oh, it's an artist who just released a new Cd, Ear Drum"
OF: "Oh, you mean Talib Kweli's new album."
She (Shooting me that welcomed once-over): "Hmmm, why yes. I've looked over in the "K"s.."
OF: " too and then I looked in the "T"s as well, cuz you..."
She: "...never know how they file things.."
All Together now: "Here!!

So, with minimal talk, we split off to different parts of the store in search of the same thing. She ended up asking that rare species of mankind, a knowledgeable sale clerk, who grunted and gestured toward a general direction in the bowels of the store (N.B.: This same layout logic applies to the location of milk, butter, bread, p' butter and jam in a grocery store. You have to run a gauntlet of purchase temptations before reaching your initial desired item). I was still applying my quick-fingering skills in the regular CD racks when she came by with 2 copies. She handed me one with another approving musical choice once-over. I thanked her. For the CD. Thanking her for the older-guy-once-over would have negated all of the poz from the look. I then hauled my newly charged personality and CD over to the register.
Clerk (In auto-play mode): "Find everything you were looking for?"
OL (Offering more information than Clerk really wanted, so a "Do I Give a S_ _ _?" flag was being raised as I said.."): "Oh, yes. Found much more than expected. It's been a good day in retail land."

So, off to listen to Mr. Kweli and also Galactic's latest release , which just arrived in the mail. Very interesting combination, as Galactic's new effort, From the Corner to the Block, was done jointly with quite a few hip-hop and rap artists. A review, of sorts, will follow shortly.

As will some blurbs about another visit to that fantastic place in western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh.

Here's a great recent interview of Mr. Kweli on Studio 360 by Kurt Anderson.

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Comments: me the shivers. What are the odds?
Gwynne, Shivers as in "Shiver me timbers" or these Shivers?

Thank You, Alcessa.
No, not those shivers...these shivers. ;-)
Yipes, Gwynne!
I fell for your upcoming pain. Isn't it a crime to disparage one of the best chick-clicks of all time? And isn't the punishment doubled if said crime is carried out by a woman?
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