Pardon the blubbering, there’s an acoustic folk-rock compilation circling overhead

In the name of full disclosure, I would just like to start off by saying that I am now officially one of those HotSpot people. I am sitting alone at a table in Starbucks, laptop with integrated wireless propped up and plugged into a hard-won outlet, cell phone alongside, nursing a “shaken” iced tea/lemonade, enjoying the remnants of a yoga-induced endorphin high, trying my best to look as earnestly in the throes of extremely important work as possible.

So anyway, this past Saturday I had my first gig with a new band, because I am a compulsive back-up singer. It was at a site of the Light the Night Walk, to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. After our first set, in which I made only a few errors and did not in fact fall down, a children’s dance group took the stage, presumably in order to highlight just how silly I look doing back-up singer choreography. The kids were pretty freakin good, even if they did make me instantly 57 years old because most of my thoughts revolved around the unacceptable whorishness of the young girls’ outfits and shimmies. The highlight, however, was watching the 8 year-old boy in the group, a little Billy Elliot getting his thang on amid a horde of prepubescent goslings. My co-back-up singer mentioned something about “hoping he didn’t grow up gay,” after which I naturally looked at her like she had kale growing out of her head, and then prophesized that no matter what he grew up to be, he was certain to have no problems getting laid.

Of course later in the program we learned that he was the older brother of the honoree of the event, a 3 year-old named Matthew who had been diagnosed with leukemia two years prior. We learned this because the entire family got on stage after our second set, and the boys’ ten year-old sister began a speech about the worst day of their lives, when Matthew was diagnosed, and how she had to donate her blood marrow and it hurt but that was ok because she saved her brother’s life and knows that there will always be a part of her inside of him. About 60 seconds into her speech, the girl and Billy simultaneously burst into hysterical tears, and spectators waited while the parents comforted their children until she gained the composure to continue. And prior to this little event I had been sitting on the stage, examining my cuticles, thinking about what a dork I looked like doing that jump-and-slide thing at the end of the last song, and these children were crying their hearts out in front of an auditorium full of people about a legitimate life and death issue.

So speaking of cancer, I love America. Because only in America could Trey Parker and Matt Stone have made the movie Team America, which I saw for the first time this weekend and laughed till I cried. Now I am sure there are thousands of people who went to see that movie because they like South Park, and came out grumbling and disgusted by any of the 100+ gratuitously narsty scenes that exceeded even South Park standards of extraneous yuck. But I would just like to say that there is a fine but important line between adolescent scatological hullaballoo performed by actors, which is stupid, and the same comic device performed by puppets. When the troubled new member of Team America does the do with the sexy lady agent, I could have pulled a muscle, so hard was I laughing at puppets having multi-positional, not to mention gross gross, sex. And the soundtrack, oh my goodness. I’ve been walking around for three days singing “America! Fuck yeah! Coming again to save the motherfucking day, yeah!”

Anyway, I have class in less than an hour, so I should probably read now.

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