Monday, February 02, 2009

I'm a loner, Dottie. A rebel.

In the past couple of weeks, several firsts:

  1. First black president
  2. First time that I am OLDER than the President of the United States.
  3. First time my birthday party was busted by the LAPD

I have to say, I’m pretty excited by #3. I’ve lived here fifteen years now, and this is the first instance of Los Angeles sort of collectively letting me know that they do not approve of my activities. I have gotten one ticket for jay walking, and a pretty stern warning about a dim tail light, but those were in Beverly Hills and Burbank, respectively, which are separate cities from mine. In LA, as long as you’re not going more than 20 miles over the speed limit and/or shooting at people from your car, you’re basically given the key to the city.

So, two LAPD officers showed up at around midnight Saturday night. I was alerted to their presence by a departing guest. This is the entire exchange:

Me: Good evening, officers.

Officer #1: We got a complaint from a neighbor about the noise level…

Me: I’ll turn it down.

Officer #1: Thank you.

The End

Poor guys. In a neighborhood where El Norte music blasts and children shriek and illegal fireworks boom at parties that make a mockery of occupancy limits well into the night, my little emo gathering must have been quite the hilarious letdown for them. I mean, I seriously doubt that the Shins could rattle my neighbor’s windows like their 808s rattle mine, but hey, I must have pissed off someone. Maybe it wasn’t so much the volume of my music, but the choices. Maybe they just don’t like Ben Folds turned up to 5 on six-inch outdoor speakers. Readers, you might think I’m exaggerating, but I swear that at the time the 5-O strolled up the walk, my stereo was playing the flute solo from Albert Hammond’s “It Never Rains in Southern California.”

I have chosen to look upon the incident as a sign that, in spite of my age, I can still inspire an urge to involve the authorities.

The next day, as I was watching the Superbowl and dumping leftovers on top of tortilla chips and trying to pass them off to Spooney as “nachos,” I vowed that I would continue to rebel, you know, in my own little older, Midwestern, hipster-adjacent kind of way. I would stop going on and on about refinancing my mortgage, and I would do more things that I want to do, even if there is a sign nearby telling me not to. I’m going to smoke on the beach. I’m going to make a left turn before 7pm. I’m going to fish off the pier. I’m going to stop somewhere else on red, and take my dogs to Venice on a Saturday after 10am in between Memorial Day and Labor Day. I’m going to go in the door for authorized personnel only. I’m going to walk on the bicycle side of the bike path.

Just kidding. I hate that. Damn, walking people, do you not understand why I am jingling my bicycle bell at you? You are on my side of the path, you know, the side of the path with the spray-painted bicycle graphic. You should be on the side with the spray-painted person-walking graphic. I mean seriously, how hard is that?

And just then, I heard this announcement:

“This telecast is copyrighted by the NFL for the private use of our audience. Any other use of this telecast, or any pictures, descriptions or accounts of the game without the NFL’s consent is prohibited.”

First of all, “is” prohibited??? Don’t you mean “are” prohibited? Jesus.

Secondly, are they seriously attempting to suggest that I cannot describe yesterday’s game in a public forum without their consent?

I can’t even talk about it???

So I can’t say that I started out watching the game two hours behind on TiVo, and still caught up to meat time for the last half an hour even though I watched all the commercials?

And I can’t say that my theory of “shiniest pants win” was proven correct once again?

I can’t point out that cardinals are not native to Arizona and I feel that has got to be demoralizing to the team? Or that despite attempts by the AZ Cardinals to make their bird head logo look “mean,” it instead looks “adorable”? Or that given the dearth of non-abandoned steel mills in the area, the Steelers should just go ahead and change their name to the Pittsburgh Importers and maybe just put that little Moneybags guy from the Monopoly game on their helmets instead?

Well, joke’s on you, NFL. I mean, maybe not as big a joke as that whole opening song with Faith Hill singing about the game with cringe-inducing specificity, but still, a joke.

Because I’m about to comment on the game:

It was okay.

The commercials were boring, except for this one.

And for the first time in my life, during Springsteen’s halftime show, I longed for a career as an NBC cameraman:


Anonymous said...

I applaud all your goals and am crushed that I spent your birthday-party-time inching along the coast in Saturday-night traffic. BUT SERIOUSLY: no left turn before seven!!! It's a three hundred dollar ticket, and yes, I speak from experience.

Johnny Yen said...

Happy Birthday! And keep up with the rebellion, even if society doesn't find it so onerous.

GETkristiLOVE said...

It was the Shatner at full volume, wasn't it?!

I knew that this Springsteen clip would be posted here. His face is pretty damned funny. Thanks for not disappointing me sister.

Cheer34 said...

I am a rule follower most of the time, but once in awhile breaking one just to see if I can get away with it is fun. I will eat an egg one or two days past the sell by date.

bubbles said...

I am proud to say that one of the few people I watched the game with was originally from St. Louis!! He has been waiting for so long for this... and must still wait a little longer.

Congratulations on your visit from the LAPD, and Happy Birthday again!!

SkylersDad said...

Continue to rebel sister, building all year to a peak for next years birthday party where we can all watch you get perp-walked out to a waiting cruiser on live TV from a chopper!

RandyLuvsPaiste said...

In my forty-odd years of partying (including raves, Grateful Dead trips and Burning Man-style lost weekends), I've never before been busted by the fuzz. I'd have never guessed Vikki-Fest '09 would my first. You think this will go on my permanent record?

Red said...

I have seen Ben Folds in concert half a dozen times, including twice with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He rocks.

So does Ben Roethlisberger.

Good luck with your rebellion. 'Cause when _I_ fight authority, authority always wins.

deadspot said...

Fight the power, Vikki. Fight the powers that be.

(The subject of the sentence is "Any other use" and all of the plural yivshish in the middle is one of those whatchamajigger clauses, so "is prohibited" works for me.

Please kill me now. I just spent the whole morning editing a paper about farting cows.)

Dad E said...

I didn't realize that you seeing me tear off upholstery tags when you were younger would promote so much rebellion.

vikkitikkitavi said...

DeadSpot: I thought of that, but use of the telecast, pictures, descriptions, and accounts of the game are all separate things. The last 3 items are not a subset of the first item.

deadspot said...

I think what they're saying is that any other use of (this telecast, or pictures, descriptions, or accounts of the game) without the NFL's consent is prohibited, but it's a pretty badly mangled sentence either way.

vikkitikkitavi said...

If they had said INCLUDING any pictures, etc., then you could make the case that every item was an "other use," but the language they use pretty clearly means pictures, descriptions, and accounts of the game to be additional items, and not included items. Sorry, NFL. FAIL.

Anonymous said...

Flute music would push me over the edge, too.

deadspot said...

And you may find yourself discussing grammar on the internet.

And you may ask yourself "Well, how did I get here?"

Grant Miller said...

I totally would call the cops if my neighbors were playing Ben Folds.

Additionally, I believe "is" is the correct word. "Use" is the noun in that sentence, so "is" not "are" should be the verb.

vikkitikkitavi said...

If only "use" referred to pictures, descriptions, and accounts of the game, then they would be correct. But it doesn't, so they're not.

By using "or," they are clearly excluding pictures, descriptions, and accounts of the game from "use." Therefore their list is plural. It is badly worded to make one think at first that it is singular, but it is not singular.

MC said...

If we can't agree about the grammar, we should be able to agree that the legal team of the NFL makes the whole operation seem like it is full of total pantloads.

Grant Miller said...

You may be right. It definitely was badly written, probably by attorneys. Or paralegals.

Additionally, did you see my proposal on changing the national anthem? I will send you the link. It could definitely use your support.

SJ said...

Rebel, rebel....some other David Bowie words to that song. Getting busted has its perks, huh? Love to hear it.