Monday, April 10, 2006

Wearing a Tuxedo Is Never As Cool As James Bond Makes It Look

This coming weekend I will be wearing a tuxedo for approximately 18 hours out of a possible 48. I have never worn a tux for more than an hour or two at a time, (for a prom I shouldn’t have gone to, as it turned out) let alone close to a day’s worth of formality. I do have to admit that my penguinesque getup doesn’t compare to the real penguins, who have to stand over an egg for days on end with triple digit wind-chills below zero while they wait for that year’s girlfriend to bring them back some grub as I saw in March of the Penguins. I’m still not looking forward to it. I’ll be accompanying the chorus in trying to sing the choral movement of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (which for some may be considered just as tedious). The tuxedo is really the epitome of formal dress, and theoretically makes everyone debonair. This is not the case with me. Of course my girlfriend tells me otherwise.
When I climb into my newly purchased tux, I want to feel like James Bond. I really wanted the white-dinner-jacket-with-the-red-carnation look, but there is a dress code for these performances: Black tie. Not: stand-out-from-everyone-else-on-the-stage. Someday. Someday I will be James Freakin’ Bond. I want to walk into a room and order the same drink all the time. Possibly unfortunately that drink of choice is a Shirley Temple with a splash of vodka. Not exactly a manly drink like scotch or whiskey. The drink preference isn’t the only thing standing between Bond’s Aston Martin and me. I need the suave coolness to win at Bacharach. I also need a license to kill, not to mention a few hundred grand for the sweet ride.
Now that I have my own tuxedo I’m hoping I don’t get fat. It’s one of those male clothing purchases that should be a once-every-ten(plus)-years transactions. There’s no way the total future wearing of this bad boy will surpass this weekend’s usage. If I go to a formal wedding that will be a max of a few hours. If I go to a formal dinner, that’s a couple hours at most. At none of these potential events will I be trying to sing as loud as humanly possible to be heard over a fifty-piece orchestra.
The actual performance can only be strenuous at best. Supposedly, we have to sit on the stage under intense lighting in seats packed together like sardines for roughly an hour. If this were to only happen once I’d be cool with it. The fact that I will repeat the same routine five times over the next three days isn’t daunting as much as it is exhausting to think about. I can only expect that by the fifth time in three days my cummerbund will be a wrinkled mess, my white shirt will have a nice brownish-yellow ring around the collar, and my butt will have fallen asleep so many times only a timpani could wake it.
For this special occasion of buying a tux and singing with a professional orchestra my mom thought it would be a good idea to have something unique to my ensemble. My new tuxedo dress socks are Crown-Royal-bag-purple. These will be my conversation piece. Some may say, “Hey. Check out Ethan’s socks! He’s crazy…in an awesome-thinks-he’s-at-the-Grammys way.” This is my hope. More likely no one will notice unless I bring them out from under my cuffs.
James Bond took the tuxedo to a higher level. I can only hope to get a running start, jump out of an airplane, land on a bus with no breaks heading for a cliff and save the nuclear warhead from inside of it to approach the suave coolness of Bond in a tux. But, damnit I’m going to try every time I put that sucker on. What’s the point otherwise?

An Open Letter to My Procrastination Ability

My Dearest Procrastination,
You allow me to do the things I really want to do; you allow me the freedom to surf The Web for hours on end so as to avoid doing a simple three-paragraph essay for Renaissance Lit. class. I simultaneously love and despise you. Sometimes it seems like you team up with my A.D.D. to create the Axis of No Productive Work and wage a war against my Better Judgment. I can’t really fault you for this. I’ve been developing and perfecting your every technique since I knew what homework was. Something else has always been able to catch my attention easily, whether it’s a baseball game, cartoons, just finding something to eat, or going to the bathroom when I didn’t really need to.
You have tricks too! Just when I start to feel like I’m getting things done you pop up and reel me back in to being worthless. To be honest, you’re kinda rude about it. You don’t say “Please?” Sometimes, though, my Brain Power wins and shuts the door in your face after you’ve pressed me to a deadline. You come in different forms. You know me exceedingly well. You only have one goal, and that is the antithesis of what I have set out to do.
Over the years I have tried to get rid of you to no avail. There have been stretches where you’ve taken a vacation and I’ve had extremely productive spells. But those never last for long. You keep coming back like a homeless man to a shelter for dinner. You can survive on your own for a little while but you always find your way back.
I just wish I could control you better. You’re unruly. You come and go as you please and do whatever you want whenever you want. We’ve shared some good times, like the science fair of ’97, the history paper of ’01, the permission slip of ’95. And who could forget the infamous mowing the lawn incident of 2000?
What should I do with you? I don’t know if I could kick you to the curb. We’ve grown together through so many years that bringing you down would only allow Better Judgment to rule my days. Let’s be honest, I don’t really want that. Although, you have taught me some good lessons when it comes to this year’s music independent project. Research can only be put off so long. I’ve tried to push you away but at times it was like trying to push a brick wall.
Even as I try to complete this paragraph you make me want to do other things. I know I have to finish, I know this is due, but you keep telling me to “Ethan…put it off. You know you want to check out Facebook for no real reason. You know you’re thirsty. You know you’re uncomfortable in that chair and want to lie down in your comfy bed.” Yes. Yes, I do know all these things but I have to push you away for the time being and then we can get back to doing unnecessary things. We can make sure that my ten-page paper….oh crap there goes my cell. I bet you did that intentionally. I guess I’ll never escape your clutches.
With fond regards…eventually,