Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson, My Roof, and More

The roofing shingles didn't arrive as scheduled yesterday. So I called the roofing company and there was no answer. I thought, oh well, maybe they will come first thing in the morning. Nope, not here. So I call the office again at 10 am and after I told the man my name and the situation he barked, "What address?" as if there were a hundred houses he was supposed to be roofing today but isn't. "Oh, the supplier never got my order. My guys showed up this morning and there were no shingles, and you guys weren't home." (We were, actually.) "I faxed the order back in, the shingles should get there this afternoon, is Saturday okay for you? We can come back Saturday." "Okay, Saturday will work, but I'm just wondering why no one called to tell us this." "Oh, I was gonna call you, I just got busy with some paperwork."

Oh well, I guess it was only 10 and if his guys told him we weren't home he probably thought we hadn't even noticed yet that our roof wasn't getting replaced... But I'm very disappointed. We got about a bazillion estimates and we picked these guys because they seemed the most professional. (((Pout)))

We finally made it to the DMV yesterday. Ross got his first Illinois Driver's License, I renewed and updated mine, and we did the title transfer and got plates for the Yukon. It took all afternoon and was pretty expensive but as far as DMV experiences go, it wasn't bad. The people were funny and nice and the place seemed well organized. We were there when we first heard the news about Michael Jackson. A young guy in office clothes rushed into the room and announced, "Michael Jackson DIED today!" There was a collective gasp. I looked around waiting for more details but that was all he said. I heard someone mutter to their companion, "I heard that it was just a rumor." So I thought that must be what it was because Michael Jackson couldn't possibly be dead.

I have a confession to make - when I was a little kid I liked the Weird Al versions of Jackson's songs better than the originals. I remember hearing Fat on the radio and thinking it was just brilliant. When Nate and Val, in town for a visit one summer, told us about their love for Michael Jackson I was stumped. I thought kids in Minnesota must be odd. It wasn't until I was old enough to watch MTV that I began to see what the fuss was about. The video for Thriller was a jaw-dropper. Later I would tune in for the much hyped premiers of "Black and White" and "Scream," and then promptly forget all about them. When he was charged with child molestation I followed the trial and found the entire thing very depressing. The family of the alleged victim were extremely suspicious, but some of the witnesses were very convincing, and I remember being shocked that the jury didn't convict him. After a while the fuss died down and, when it was no longer taboo to play his music at weddings and parties, it was great to hear the old songs again - "Billy Jean" and "Don't Stop" sounded better than ever. I think that America has spent the last several years trying to forget the man so that they might better enjoy the music. And now he is gone and the memories are rushing back, for everyone, and it's bitter sweet.

Here's something happy for you from my daily garden inspection.

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