Wednesday, January 30, 2013

He says the sun came out last night. He says it sang to him.

Whenever you talk about something that transcends the limits of our five most well-known senses, people tend to get creeped out unless you are given the proper context or enough advance warning. Or, if you're lucky, they are already on board, and willing to hear you out. Which, my legions of followers, you may consider my "enough advance warning."

In high school, during my speech and debate years, I would dread meets. Waking up at gawdawful hours on Saturday mornings to take a bus ride sometimes a town or two down the road, sometimes nearly two hours away. I'd then either give three speeches or debate three times (topic: Established: that the United States should significantly expand space exploration beyond the earth's mesosphere) over the course of the next eight hours, then take said bus back. And in the process, stress would be running high, and health would be running down.

So on Friday nights, while tucked into bed with the lights turned out, I began kind of "reaching out" to the next day, to see how it would go. And almost always, I would get a really good idea of how the next day would go. If I felt smoothness, like a canoe gliding over a glass-calm lake, then I knew the next day would be a success, in whatever way. It always meant I'd do well in my meet, but would usually mean I was in good spirits during the day, too. If it felt turbulent, then things would not go well.

For some reason, I tried it a few nights ago, and it was pretty dead-on. The next day felt somewhat turbulent, and true to form, yesterday was a fairly jagged day. The afternoon got better, but the morning was definitely not fun at all. Inspired by this, I decided to do the same last night. What I felt was utter chaos and madness, the likes of which I've never felt before, and I almost doubted myself. Felt again a few minutes later, and it was still the same. And...yup. Unfortunately, today has been AWFUL. Type of day that gives you Facebook remorse. You know how you just want to yell your troubles out to the world, and FB seems like such a perfect place to do it? Yeah, I've made that mistake before a few times, and made an utter fool out of myself. But where do you yell it out? On a semi-public blog, where people could find out who you are if they really tried? That skirts the line, too. Let's just say that a fight is a really crappy way to start a day, particularly if the one you're yelling at really didn't deserve it, but you needed to get out some massive frustration somehow. Add on a frightening phone call from work and a broken commitment from a friend (trivial though it was), and I've been playing "How to Disappear Completely" over and over in my head today.

So yeah, this quasi-ESP thing, sensing the near-future in the vaguest of ways is a bit creepy but pretty cool. But it does beg the question: if I can sense it, can I change it somehow if a bad day is coming on?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

And banana pudding...mmm...

It is an injustice universally acknowledged that when invited to a birthday party at which ├╝ber-creamy mac and cheese mixed with andouille sausage is served, one should ideally be able to snarf down at least a whole plateful, yet the richness thereof coupled with the limits of the human stomach make such a delicious and heavenly endeavor fruitless.

Bah.

Friday, January 25, 2013

What is this that stands before me?

My God...have you heard what the kids are listening to these days?

Along with my fancy new wheels (which totally rock despite the MAIN HOLY COMPUTER DYING ON ME only one week in), I got the requisite free trial to Sirius. They really have everything on there, don't they? I've been bopping along to the '80s, enjoying the new wave station, occasionally indulging my classical jones, and very occasionally dipping into the Studio 54 station (which...the more I listen to it, the gladder I am I decided not to pursue being a Studio 54-ish DJ a few years ago). But I also discovered Ozzy's Boneyard, and fell in love. Mr. Man doesn't understand the appeal, but when I need to get my anger on, that station is golden. Besides, who ever heard of a touchy-feely natural doctor yelling along to Black Sabbath on the way to work? (One of many stereotypes I tend to smash.)

But WOW. I turned on Liquid Metal recently, conveniently skipping over the hair metal station, and my mind was blown. That shit is HEAVY - a tidal wave of mud, with distorted low rumblings and howlings that pass for vocals, lightning-fast drumming, and guitars that will pummel you into submission - if they don't pulverize your eardrums first. Makes Ozzy's Boneyard sound quaint in comparison. In particular, I heard a band called Suicide Silence. Yeah. That band'll scare off all but the most diehard aggro adrenaline junkies. But they weren't the first I'd heard to indulge in pure noise. That honor goes to a band with a name so crude and obscene, I'll just abbreviate it - as most people do - as A.C. Some of my favorite, uh..."songs" from them: "Flower Shop Guy," "Stayin' Alive (Oi! Version)," and "I'm Still Standing." (They do their fair share of covers, but compress them into blocks of sludge, usually with a healthy slab of humor to leaven the proceedings.) Thanks go to my college roommate for introducing me to them back in the land of pastor's kids and good Lu-the-ran folk.

Back to my "they really have everything on there" statement: on second thought, maybe not. I'd LOVE to see an industrial station on there. Some of the bands I'd entertain:
  • Skinny Puppy
  • NIN
  • KMFDM
  • Einsturzende Neubauten
  • Cabaret Voltaire
  • Pailhead
  • Ministry (Twitch through Psalm 69)
  • Throbbing Gristle
  • Front 242
  • Combichrist
  • Rammstein
  • VNV Nation
Come back if you want, kids...I may have added others since I first wrote these down. And yeah, the genre may be a bit too narrow to merit a station all its own, but it would be fun to try it.

In not-so-related news, doing shrugs with 185 lbs hanging off your shoulders is tough. Holy crap, but my traps are killing me today. Or they would be if I didn't indulge in ginger and turmeric in my morning smoothies. I'm convinced of it. As it is, it's just a dull ache.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

MELISMAS MUST DIE!!!

And Mariah and Christina must suffer accordingly, too.

That is all.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The best years of your life (or something...) (part 3)

And to continue the series (here are parts 1 and 2)...here's what I'd tell myself back in 11th grade.

-- High school years are the best years of your life? Hmm...okay. Well, if you believe that, then this here's the best of the best. Enjoy it while you've got it.

-- Speaking of the best of the best: welcome to choir! And welcome to the top choir in school. And welcome to being one of the top tenors in school. And hey...let's go all the way. Welcome to being one of the top tenors in the whole goddamned state. Now go and rock All State. Enjoy rooming with S.W. (and you know exactly what I mean. Mm-hmm...) Oh, and I can't wait to see you go berserk at the dance to "Rock Lobster." One of your best moments EVER.

-- Have fun at Lollapalooza. Especially that makeshift drum thang made out of garbage. Another one of your best moments ever. You shoulda gone to the one the year before, but better late than never.

-- Two words: Henry Rollins. Get that man's poetry ASAFP. Head down to Wax Trax and get some of his spoken word shit. It will blow your mind.

-- Finally, enjoy that Skinny Puppy show. No joke: it'll be one of the best shows you'll ever, ever see...filmed handgun suicides, fake baby entrails thrown at the audience, and the most fun, wildest mosh pit you'll ever be in. No, it's not what most people would consider good entertainment, but if it works for you, awesome.

-- Here I go again, sounding like that damned broken record: SPEECH? AGAIN!? You really hate yourself, don't you? Um...wait. Don't answer that one. Quit. NOW. Or...y'know...don't. And don't come bitching to me about how tough life is. You don't have to make it that way.

-- Did you hear me on that last one? You don't have to go out of your way to make life hard. Life has a funny way of doing that pretty well by itself. For example...

-- *CRASH* Jesus. Congratulations on backing into that guy's car...while it was parked. Yeah, the one he has for sale. Wouldn't have happened if you were...oh, God, I give up. Have fun at that damned speech tournament today. And no, leaving the scene of a crime is not the smartest thing to do, regardless of what your well-meaning companion says to do. People are watching, even if you can't see them.

-- Okay, enough with the snark. You're frightened enough as it is. Let's hit Perkins again. I'll buy.

-- Your acne. No, it's not an issue. It's the way you're going about treating it. Snow cones of acetone to the face are...uh...kinda weird. Sulfur ointments stink, right? Those antibiotics you're taking for months on end are going to fuck you up for much longer and in worse ways than you'd imagine. I know you hate being a pencil-necked stick figure. So don't take that damned antibiotic that cuts your appetite in half! (If you want, I have some ideas...)

-- Oh, and that weight gain you're getting off of prednisone (for your bronchitis...AGAIN) may seem cool, but swim team will obliterate it in a heartbeat. Enjoy it while it lasts.

-- I hope you enjoy dating the Silver Skating Dame. You both are adorable. Seriously. And you really are gonna have some great times. Enjoy your time together.

-- RE: your dad. Yes, he's being an ass. But at the same time, he is trying to reach you. And that's not his forte. I'm not saying you need to fully embrace him. Just recognize that he's putting forth an effort.

-- Okay, now that you are REALLY pissed at me, take some time off, then let's hit Paris on the Platte. Get whatever you want. And let's stay up as late as you want. Delve into your inner Jack Kerouac.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Maybe I'll put a hole in your head...y'know, just for the fuck of it.

Oh, God, I'm gonna get political again. If this happens much more, I'll have to ask someone to up my meds or something. And I am not intending to flame-bait here, so don't flame.

Okay. It's a big one. Y'all ready?

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
In the mad dash of gun-toters to defend their God-given constitutional rights to bear arms, I think there's something that we have forgotten. The first part of that sentence, to be specific. Now, this is my interpretation, and a relatively uneducated one. I have not yet read up on what our founding fathers were thinking when they came up with this amendment, but since it was the second one in our constitution, they obviously thought it was extremely important. But let's look at this all the same.

I feel like there is a huge disconnect between current reality and the first four words of this amendment. "A well regulated militia" does not really exemplify what our country is dealing with right now. Would a member of a well regulated militia gun down kindergarteners and teachers? Or enter a high school and murder fellow students, then commit suicide? Or gun down people enjoying a movie? Not in my definition. A member of a well regulated militia would not commit murder of one's innocent peers. That is the realm of insanity.

Here's where definitions really become important. According to Webster's 3rd (our stateside equivalent to the Oxford English Dictionary), here are the two applicable (not obsolete) definitions of militia:
1. a part of the organized armed forces of a country whose members live at home, carry on their usual vocations, and except for occasional calls for drill or instruction are liable to call only in emergency.
2. the whole body of able-bodied male citizens declared by law as being subject to call to military service
 
The way I read this is that as long as the use and possession of firearms is placed in the context of military service, whether by troops or civilians, it is fine. And this military service has to be well regulated, as do the people who participate in it, with the ultimate goal of securing and maintaining a free state. This does not mean people can just go out and get guns because they want to. They should be subject to regular training - and I doubt most folk out there would take issue with this. I mean, that's what gun clubs, target practice, and hunting are for. But they should also be subject to regular screening regarding their mental and emotional stability. I do not want someone buying a gun who is going through a divorce or was just fired, and who has anger management issues, psychopathic tendencies, or severe depression. This does not support a well regulated militia or the security of a free state. (Of course, this begs the question: what if said person already has a gun? Is the gun then subject to being confiscated? And who approaches said person to take that gun? I'm not quite ready to answer that one.) Also, what if a person wants a gun, but does not want to be a member of the military or in a similar supporting role? What if they just want to, say, go hunting? Hmm...I'd have a hard time taking guns away from people who use them purely for sport. (As you may have guessed, I'm just brain farting onto this screed by now.)

I don't view the second amendment as a carte blanche right to bear arms. It has to be taken in the context of a secure, free state, one in which parents feel safe sending their kids to the school of their choice, or people feel safe engaging in a night's entertainment of their choice. It has to be taken in the context of the first part of that sentence. And for now, that's all I have to say. Maybe more later.

(Note: after sifting through a few other blogs and articles, I'm starting to see more context behind the 2nd amendment, and can see that some of what I've written may be considered facile. But I still stand behind the logic of it. I'm not a fan of psychopaths with weapons.)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Apple lungs

So, dream this morning, right? Random stuff here. On stage, at a spelling bee (you'd be nauseated to know how often this dream recurs, even after all these years). Round after round, I'm fine. One round, I decide to nod off. I wake up a few words before I get up. But my stomach tightens up, and suddenly I think "oh no, this could be it." Apparently this is the national competition, since all eyes are on me, and in this dream, I'm the first two-time national winner in history, cracking my knuckles and ready to make it three. So I walk up, and they give me the word.

"Apfelungen."

See, German words are common, so I felt...ennh...okay about it. Definition (in my dream): a sudden windfall or pleasant surprise. I figured it was like an apple falling fortuitously and unexpectedly from the sky. After some thought and pleasant banter with the judges, I give it a go. I double the "l," and the bell dings me out. No three-time national winner this time.

So I woke up and immediately had to figure out what this word was. Looked the German translation up. Nothing. Then, just to see, I looked up "apfellungen." And came up with "apple lungs." Go figure.

Funny thing is, there's actually a blog out there by that name. Google to your heart's content, kids.

Thus ends perhaps the most random and useless blog post you'll read all year. Now go and stuff yourself silly with kale chips and kumquats.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Shower spray? Yup.

Not to get all Pinterest-y and shit on all y'alls, but...well, I'm gonna do it.

In our household, it's mainly my job to take care of the areas of the house that are more water-prone (kitchen, bathrooms, outside), and Mr. Man handles more of the non-water stuff (exception: laundry, for which I am eternally grateful). This means, among other things, scrubbing the shower down every so often until I can spray water on the glass walls and see it cascade down clearly. No sudden parting of the waters by soap scum or anything. That damned pink mildew crap has to be gone, too. I've been making the homemade soft scrub with lavender castile soap and baking soda (and as soon as I typed that, the Pinterest-averse cells in me just shuddered), like I've done for years, and the stuff works, no question. But the whole act of scrubbing gets old. I've been putting it off more and more lately, and the shower has looked worse all the time.

So shortly before Christmas, I found this page on Pinterest, and gave the spray-on shower cleaner a shot. WOW. This shit really works. And no joke, I haven't been more excited about anything else since the new year started. I'm ALL about anything that makes housework easier.
I haven't seen the cascading water like I'd like yet, but these glass walls are clearing dramatically. And mildew HATES this stuff. Easy to make, and pretty green, too. (I've always been leery of the shower sprays sold commercially that don't list ingredients.)
Only downsides: I have no idea how the writer can claim that the bottle lasts 7 weeks, unless she's taking a shower in a stall the size of a postage stamp only every week or two. I refill mine about every 7-10 days. Then again, I'm going to town on this shower. Also, I'm making it extra strong (more vinegar).
As I typed this, Mr. Man came in and regaled me about his recent adventures entering the bathroom after I sprayed the stuff on and getting hit by a tidal wave of vinegar fumes. So if you're averse to vinegar, you may want to defer this job. But for me, a simple spray-down after each shower beats scrubbing soap scum any day. Besides, that's what fans are for.

Pinterest does have its place. As do its detractors. Bless.