Monday, August 04, 2014

Insomnia Log 5

I've got the opening theme to Portlandia playing on endless loop in my head. I'm not referring to it by its song name or artist because I learned it first from Portlandia. I'm not current on music, or I might have known about the song back in 2011. Heck, I'm not current on TV either, never having watched the first season of Mad Men and only seeing the first season of Portlandia a week ago because the library carried it.

"Current" is definitely the right word for the state of understanding recent developments, i.e. knowing current events, or knowing what song is currently playing. If all our information is a river (I think it is), those who are current with it swim at pace in the most turbulent and forceful parts (the current) of that body of water. Those who are behind and don't even think about swimming in that stream (like the author) are just looking at the river and all its swirls and ripples. I happen to look at it all rather wistfully, poetically if my brain is working. I have a list called "Music to listen to" that contains music recommendations from friends (whom I trust more than Amazon or Pandora). I'd say that list has six items added to it for each item checked off, on average. I find staying current pretty stressful. I rent multiple CDs from the library and listen to them while driving. Sometimes my car's CD player thinks I put in a coaster and beeps at me with the CD halfway out. If it does actually play, it feels like homework if I'm working to stay current. "Have you listened to the new Vampire Weekend?" I did pick it up from the library and I didn't know what to do with it. Nothing stuck. I don't even remember how any songs went. I reply to that question with, "Yes, it'd be a fine weekend for a campfire."

I like unasking questions. "Mu," said Jōshū.

And yet the album The Campfire Headphase sticks with me, especially the song Dayvan Cowboy, even though the songs are just loops of guitar sounds. Why? I don't know.

I don't listen to lyrics. My good friend P will repeat sections of songs we're listening to when he thinks the lyrics are important. I miss the words until the fifth repeat. I usually just nod on the first repeat and politely say, "Mm. Yeah, that's a good line." If I want to be moved by words I prefer reading them on paper. Maybe that's why I like a lot of music that's just sounds and no words.

Coming full circle, I only like the part of the Portlandia theme that plays during the show's opening, i.e. the part without words. Once the robotic vocals come in, I lose interest. Then the song becomes something I "have to" interpret. Beats never need to be interpreted, only felt. Jazz never needs to be interpreted, only felt. I don't think I can feel spoken or sung word.

Missing: adenosine; reward: $$$

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Insomnia Log 4

Hey, just because it's fun to lie down and look at trees outside my window doesn't mean I should keep doing it. In fact, last night the sun hadn't even fully set when I looked out my window and then stopped remembering things, and then I woke up when it rose again. Now I can't fall asleep. I wish my circadian rhythm knew what a day was.

Do you know that feeling of enjoying communication with someone, and all of a sudden it stops? Where for seemingly no reason you can't get a hold of a person anymore? Where you even start to doubt yourself for something you said or did? It's a rotten feeling, like a feeling that something may actually be rotting in you, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. If you ever get like this, here's my advice: drop it, forget you ever knew that person, and be around your friends. Breathe. Drink some water. You'll be OK. Not everyone likes peaches.

I'm in my car. Sometimes I hang out in here while it's parked. It's really quiet in here. It's even quieter than in my place, because my fridge is loud and always running (so don't call me for pranks, OK? (The end of land lines has brought the end of prank calling, alas. I used to prank call, and I miss it. There were so many Buttses in my phone book.)), and there's that loud dripping outside my bedroom window. There is no noise in here. It's dark. I still can't fall asleep. I have been able to sleep in my car before. Rest areas are very cheap motels.

Someone expressed surprise to me tonight when I said I still didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. "At your age?!" I want to be interesting enough that even at age 40 I still don't know what I want to do. I was starting to express what I would ideally be, but then I got cut off, so I dropped it.

I think this song counts as a love song. What do you think? I could picture it played by a chamber orchestra for a wedding. I was really sad to hear about a friend who became separated recently, when the wedding had a cool nature and blue/green (my favorite colors) scheme, and there was a chamber orchestra. What a nice wedding. Damn shame when the wedding's so nice and the marriage just isn't. Then I saw a person in my friend B's family get wedded by the state (straightforward), but apparently their marriage will be great. Can asexual people get married to themselves for tax benefits? I'm not asexual, but it would be so much easier to be that way. It would also be cool to reproduce by budding.

Hey, did anyone else celebrate Beltane? I gave a quiet "woohoo" at 2014-05-05T13:56-0:00. Between Beltane and Lughnasadh is going to be really nice. I'll explain more after Lughnasadh.

Sleepless, soon in Seattle,

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Insomnia Log 3

Polaris wrote the soundtrack to the '90s Nickelodeon TV show The Adventures of Pete & Pete. Right now the song "She Is Staggering" from that soundtrack is playing in my head on repeat, especially the lines, "I couldn't get to sleep/ And then I couldn't eat/"

My shoulder keeps popping, and I'm not even a street performer.

I want to cook something awesome again, but I've been eating leftovers from restaurants and family meals for weeks now.

I wish there were a book titled How to Fall Asleep. I've got a few other How to books, and most of them are about drawing, which won't help right now.

The place I really work (I actually have to work for "The Man" and show up somewhere every weekday morning) has new faces around me all the time. (There are also new bodies attached to these new faces, but a masquerade would be fun every once in a while.) A considerable fraction of faces I only see for a few months. It feels a bit like a claw machine that keeps filling up with new plush toys and leaving some old ones at the bottom, you know, like the bears that have one eye upside down that no one wants. I had a friend in college who could win at the claw machine maybe 50% of the time, which is really good, and he gave away his bounty of plush animals. I took away a few of the crooked-eyed rejects. They needed a good home.

I keep hearing a big drip around my bedroom window. It's been like that since November. I don't see water damage anywhere, so I think it's OK. That drip sound is not regular, so it makes it even harder to sleep on a night like this.

I want some milk, but I think my tummy would get mad at me.

I want a guitar effects pedal that makes airy distortion like the kind I hear in songs by Polaris, The Pretenders, and Throwing Muses, but that's the only way I can describe it. That's my favorite guitar sound. I don't hear it anywhere anymore.

I don't know if I told you, but I tutor children younger than thirteen in math and other subjects. It's a "drop-in" tutoring program, so any number of students and subjects could appear. Yesterday the program coordinator and I were the only tutors for about eight students, all needing one-on-one attention. I was disappointed I didn't figure out how to clone myself in my experiments when I was nine. At one point the coordinator left for the library, asking if I could hold down the fort. I said, "Sure," but thought, Oh no, I know one of them is going to faint or cry or maybe they'll get in a fight while he's gone and I have no training in resolving conflicts between children, oh man what am I going to do?

I love the movie MirrorMask. The main character Helena finds a book called A Really Useful Book in her adventure in the movie. I want such a book right now to give some advice about sleeping, or maybe just help me think about life in general. None of my current books have "useful" in the title. What was I thinking in buying them?!

Yours awake,