Sunday, February 22, 2009

She's a beauty, eh?

My Canadian girlfriend.

Remember the Adam Sandler skit from SNL some time in the mid '90's--the one about the game show for High School liars? The kid has an alleged Canadian girlfriend, parties with Eddie Van Halen, etc, all of course on vacation and out of verifiable range of his peers.

I have a Canadian girlfriend. No, really, she's awesome. She writes books, is finishing her PhD, she's beautiful and brilliant, hell she even rides a bike. I know, sounds like I made her up, right?
Well I didn't, she's real, and I'm lucky.

But the Canadians, they struggle with irony, you see. They're a sincere bunch, and I say that to their credit. I am constantly teasing Charmaine about her inability to lie convincingly, so clearly gleeful and giggly does she become any time she begins to successfully, as the Brits say, take the piss. I have, however, been had.

This past week we got into a conversation about what constitutes good music to work out to, specifically for riding bikes on indoor trainers. I am a life long musician, I play guitar and mandolin, I compose, I sing, I have spent a long time studying music in various forms. As a kid I was in punk rock and hardcore bands, I devoted myself to jazz for a period of years before totally burning myself out; I play Old Time Appalachian music--diverse is a fair word to use to describe my record collection. I really don't think there is much to be gained by trying to correct a person's aesthetic choices, really. As Duke Ellington said "if it sounds good, it is good". I do think, though, that there are some fairly empirical do's and dont's when it comes to workout music, mainly having to do with tempo, energy level, aggression, groove factor and general ability to make you want to move, try, sweat and be distracted from the business of trying real hard on a bike that don't move.

The girl, she begin to give me the eye, yes? She begin do you say? Take the piss. No hardcore, she says; no post-hardcore Emo, no Samiam, no nothin'. No metal, no cruncha-cruncha, no rockin' out with angst. Rod Stewart, we both agreed, is awesome (I will fight for Rod, don't talk shit.) But I maintain that there is good, and then there is good and suitably aggro for working out to. She remained unconvinced. The tension mounted. It was clear that this was not, for either of us, a free-to-be-you-and-me moment, but a moment of stark choices: a potentially relationship-defining moment.

Then she hit me -

Lionel Ritchie: Dancing On The Ceiling.

It took me a week to find out whether she was messing with me or not. She was. Chapeau. Canada - 1 : USA - 0


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