Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Seasonal Happiness

In the past, I have noticed that I suffer (as we probably all do) from a little bit of seasonal depression. It seems like around December, my jobs get crazy busy, it's cold outside, there's not alot of daylight, there's alot of holiday obligations, etc. It can be a drag.

But in July, it's different. It's warm outside, there's lots of daylight, you can sit outside on the porch and have beers with friends, you can go swimming in the ocean, etc. And of course it's National Hot Dog Month. I was thinking about hot dogs last night. (Shocking, I know.) The hot dog is simply a happy food. I cannot imagine someone bawling their eyes out while eating a hot dog. I could see someone crying over a bowl of soup or a piece of toast or oatmeal, but not the weinie. Hot dogs are often eaten with other people who are also happy. You just can't be sad and lonely while eating a hot dog. And I have noticed that it's hard not to smile while eating one. Have you noticed that, too? Maybe, I am nuts.

Also adding to my seasonal bliss this July has been the ukulele. Like eating a hot dog, I cannot imagine anyone being unhappy playing or listening to ukulele music. Well, except maybe some of Stephin Merritt's ukulele songs. But with the inherent brightness and beautiful tone of the instrument, even Merritt's sad uke tunes make me happy. At High Dollar Hot Dog practice, we are continually coming up with quirky, playful songs that we want to play on the ukulele... such as Roger Miller tunes, 70s pop songs, and some vintage pop songs from the 30s. I doubt you'll ever hear an Elliott Smith or Morrissey song covered by the HDHDs.

National Hot Dog Month ends today. I am a little sad that the holiday is over, but not too much. I'll just have to make more of an effort to eat hot dogs and play ukulele music throughout the year. Maybe my parents will serve bacon-wrapped hot dogs for Christmas dinner. Or the HDHDs could find a New Year's Eve gig. That would be the best.

One day, I promise to stop writing about hot dogs and ukuleles. But it might be awhile.


minty said...

There is this site, Crying, wihle eating, that has videos of people weeping as they eat lots of different things, but as far as I can tell, no hot dogs. I think you are onto something here.

Also, it is true that Stephin Merritt has an uncanny ability to make even the sad songs sound happy. The best example of that in my opinion is the Future Bible Heroes song "Hopeless." I love that song!!

Please don't stop writing about hot dogs and ukeleles!!!!!!!!!

Charlotte said...

Stephin Merritt's lyrics are so playful and witty, that I find it difficult to get too wrapped up emotionally in them. I'll play "Hopeless" on the radio tonight, if I can remember. Another great happy/sad one of his is "I'm Lonely (And I Love It)."

And don't worry. I won't stop writing about hot dogs and ukes. I'm obsessed.

Gye Greene said...

If'n you like hot dogs, you should rent the movie "The Hard Way", with Michael J. Fox and James Woods.

Not only is it a decent enough movie (Michael J. Fox plays a method actor who's signed on for a cop movie, so he hangs out with a very reluctant-to-be-encumbered cop [James Woods]), but there's a scene with a hotdog stand, and the James Woods character ordering a ''Frog Dog''. It's worth trying this permutation, just fer giggles.


Gye Greene said...

Googled Stephin Merritt, and found the lyrics to Future Bible Heroes' Memories of Love. On the strength of THAT, found some music samples at cdnow.com.

Hey! Good stuff! On my tinny laptop speakers, at least, has much of the '80s vibe (a good thing; I'm a softie for the '80s new wave stuff).

I'll have to pick up the album. Good recc.


Charlotte said...


Anything that Stephin Merritt touches is just wonderful. I am glad that you like the Future Bible Hereos stuff.

Next you'll have to try some of the Magnetic Fields' recordings.