It’s been fun watching the jerkwad morning news people on Fox pretend to care about the World Cup. One of them finally broke down this morning and said, “I don’t know about you but I can’t wait for the real football season to start.” I watch this sort of TV at the gym, particularly when MTV is replaying some show about Queen Latifah for the umpteenth time. (Does anyone in the MTV demographic care about her? I would think they know her only as a smart-talking, sexless sidekick in shitty summer movies.) Good for you, Fox dude. Be honest. I won’t think any less of you.

So, my gym has decided to switch from a scan-card system to — get this — fingerprint recognition. There’s not even conditioner in the showers and yet we have to pretend we’re at the NSA? (I don’t even have that technology at work. I have a card-entry door that’s been propped open since before I got here.) I balked initially until they said my other option was to show a picture ID every time I came in, which seemed somehow…inconvenient…in comparison to the theoretical intrusiveness of a fingerprint scan. Well, I figured, my fingerprints are already on file somewhere (vestige of the post-Adam-Walsh-scary-man-gonna-come-get-ALL-the-kids era) and 23andMe has my entire genetic sequence, so…two tears in a bucket, etc.

Speaking of genetics, I have been slowly tracing a very tiny branch of my family tree back 200 years. Until last week, I honestly thought that my people didn’t even come down from the trees until the 1939 World’s Fair. It turns out that no, we go back quite a ways…to Newfoundland. Newfies! It’s a wonder I can even read. Something else I’ve discovered about my family, though I can only conjecture based on the tidbits of data I’ve dug up: They were fucking miserable. (See! I was BRED to be this way!) They wended their way through the provinces, stopping for awhile in Ontario to be, from what I can tell, subsistence farmers. Look at this map. That’s Marlborough Township. See that little red rectangle? That’s the property owned by my great-great-great-grandfather and one of his sons. That’s it. At the turn of the 20th century, they got to NY, where the men worked as boilermakers and shipbuilders at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and eventually they all died of the various diseases one gets from working in the Navy Yard. This would probably explain why my great-great-grandmother was working as a laundress at a private school in Long Island in her late 60s, according to the 1930 Census. And oh, to sing of the misery on my grandmother’s mother’s side of the family. Her great-grandfather became a widower with seven kids in the early 1900s. He, too, worked at the Navy Yard. I don’t quite know what he eventually died of, but as of 1930, he was still alive…and committed in a mental hospital upstate. Meanwhile, my great-grandmother went on to get married three times and, at some point in the 60s, destroy all our family documents so that none of us will ever know anything about our ancestry beyond where they lived when their families finally abandoned them. Whee! I knew that this might be a depressing exercise, but I had no idea it would be this sad.

Now I’ve depressed myself. More. Anyhow, back to happier stuff…

Actually, this is a bit sad (but a good interview): Dr. Demento: Off The Air, But Still Happily Deranged. I loooooved listening to Dr. Demento when I was an awkward, Monty-Python-quoting adolescent.* Every Sunday night, 11 pm, on PIX 106, the Capital District’s Home of Classic Rock, with headphones plugged into my clock radio. So, to end on a happy note, here is the great Bonzo Dog Band, Tubas In the Moonlight.

*I have also seen Weird Al in concert.

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