the rite of the Drinkgredients

w/ Dave

starring GIN as Chief Drinkgredient

The dicey ice is removed from the Place of Cold.
They are counted one by one into the chalices.
Whilst so doing, the following is to be thought, silently:
"One for me, one for you..." etc.
The tray of dicey ices is returned to the Place of Cold.

The GIN is removed from the Place of Cold.
She saith, "Let there be GIN,
and there was GIN."

And, there,
is GIN.

"In the beginning, there was GIN, and lo,"
The Shots are poured. "it was poured, and did divide the night from day,"
The Splashes are poured. "and the day from night."

The other DRINKGREDIENTS are removed from the Place of Cold.
She saith, "She spaketh,"
whilst holding in her hand the first Drinkgredient,
"let there be tonic for those who wish tonic,"
--lo, she poureth the Drinkgredient into the appropriate chalice(s),
and placeth it then upon the Surface--
"and juice unto they who wish juice,
in accordance with the prophecy."
This Drinkgredient, also,
she poureth into the appropriate chalice(s)
whilst these words are spoken.
And then, verily, she placeth it upon the Surface.

The onlooker(s) proclaim(eth): "Yea."

The DRINK(S), yea, she distributeth.

The Drinkgredients are returned to the Place of Cold,
whilst she saith,
"And lo, the Drinkgredients were returned to the Place of Cold.
The administration has no further comment."

The Drinks are consumed.

Tuesdays With Abhorrent Fiends vol 41. (primetime social mores, or, why Kareen yos'Phelium should watch more TV)

An original is a Code unto herself.
~Liaden proverb

As mentioned in earlier posts, I've been reading a lot of Miller & Lee lately. So I've spent a lot of idle brain-time (for example, while standing over a copy machine for hours at a time, getting a crick in my shoulder from repetitive paper-shuffling) pondering the differences between the world I live in and the Liaden universe. What sort of things make it so immersive and attractive, and how similar social necessities are addressed differently here versus there.

There are different measures one must use when considering relationships with others as individuals, versus those same people as members of a group. The proper ways to respond to various circumstances, the duties and privileges attending one's role in a relationship, are slightly distinct for each. Furthermore, virtually none of the parameters of such duties and privileges are things made explicit in our culture. With the arguable exception of the workplace, where relationships-as-members may be defined by an employee manual, company code of conduct, etc. Otherwise, persons learn normal cultural expectations of behavior in a sink-or-swim immersion course. Because the cultural norm is at best loosely defined, the quirks of individuals may be compared and contrasted only against one another on a case-by-case basis.

Now, a Liaden, or many another character in the worlds of fiction, would have little difficulty distinguishing between the many roles of the individuals with whom they relate most closely. they would say, This individual upholds such-and-such melant'i, of which this or that aspect pertains to the current situation. If a Liaden were concerned about how to properly serve the interests of clan, kin, and allies given limited resources, she would need only to study the Liaden Code of Proper Conduct in its many volumes to enlighten her as to the most appropriate path. (And in most extreme uncertainty, an intrepid seeker could dare to elicit the advice of one Kareen yos'Phelium--the editor, reviser and expander of the Code, mother of one, and stickler extraordinaire.) There would thus, in Liaden society, be an explicit standard of behavior, an absolute baseline against which all action might be judged.

That our culture does not have an equivalent of a Code of Proper Conduct is by and large, to my eye, a good thing. A very very good thing. For while it would make people like me a lot more comfortable in knowing where we stand, it would give many jerks needless weaponry against those who are honest yet unsubtle. I would rather life be more difficult and confusing for me than have it be wretched and helplessly miserable for a much larger number of largely blameless persons.

The closest thing we have to a Code, I suppose, is the collective attitudes and mores of the characters on primetime sitcoms. No joke, there. The tenor of the cultural norms provided therein neatly fits the phrase "lowest common denominator". Sitcoms, like any representative art form, may be considered to serve two purposes for the viewer--an exoteric, or revealed function and an esoteric, or hidden function. Let us take as given, as an aspect of its definition directly extrapolated from its name, that a sitcom is a comedic piece in which the driving force of the story is the complexities of a social situation. Hence, situation comedy; sitcom. Inherently an aspect of our cultural understanding of social behavior.

The exoteric function of sitcoms is to entertain, amuse, distract. Following the Greek tradition of the comedy, comic main characters are persons equal or lower in social status than the average viewer. Modern usage has transformed this into moral equality rather than economic. For example, the Bluth family in the series Arrested Development. They possess (at some points) a great deal of money and a certain amount of social power, but are made morally equivalent to viewers through their arrogance, stupidity, and dysfunctional treatment of one another. Watching the exaggerated misfortunes and bunglings of our equals lets us laugh, and provides relief from the strain of facing similar troubles in real life.

The esoteric function of sitcoms is didactic. The way characters behave in primetime is the way that network executives believe the average viewers are least likely to object to seeing characters behave. Primetime is, by definition, the part of the programming schedule with the largest viewership. The rise and fall of programs in and out of that coveted timeslot is determined, in turn, by ratings--a statistic which itself measures viewership. It is rather like a real-time democracy among those who own televisions. A vast majority of persons who are part of this viewing public are aware of this process, even if they could not fully articulate their awareness. Therefore one may take it as a known, a cultural commonplace, that the social norms understood collectively by the characters on primetime sitcoms, are a very good approximation of the social norms prevalent in our society as a whole. I say prevalent, because this situation is also understood to be informal.

Now, in any society, a stigma attaches to a person who deviates overmuch from social norms, whether by falling short or by demonstrating too much zeal.

In Liaden society, a person who was lax or ignorant of Code could take on the shame of being considered barbaric, unreliable, stupid--qualities usually ascribed to foreigners. (As witness the phrase, "rag-mannered as a Terran.") A person who erred in the other direction would take on the stigma of being too stuffy, uninspired, or waspish. In other words, they would suffer the more genteel shame of a person too unimaginative or too cold-hearted to vary outside the accepted structure.

In our society, the stigmas are almost reversed. Television, and with it the "original" versions of the current acceptable social paradigms, is something brought into people's homes. The expectation is that a person will watch television on her own and later discuss it with friends, or watch it along with friends and discuss it as they watch. The group will thereby add nuance and interpretation, confirm some aspects of the "original" norms and reject others. Thus, it logically follows that a person who adheres too exactly or too enthusiastically to social norms as they are practiced on television is considered barbaric, not socially integrated, or inept. A person whose ignorance or even knowing refusal not to practice TV-sanctioned behavior patterns is given the benefit of the doubt, provided she shows herself willing to correct errors once made aware of them, and so long as her eccentricities fall within widely acceptable limits. A lack of knowledge of TV standards of behavior might, for example, indicate a social life so rich and active that the person's social group has evolved from the standard into behaviors far beyond the meager efforts of one's own group.

Then again, there is always the remote possibility that the person is an alien, newly beamed down from outer space, or a foreigner whose channels are all different and holds no passion for Americana, or a lost wolf-child who has bumbled through life seemingly without the benefit of any television whatsoever. Based on the occasions when I have fallen into the role of lost wolf-child in that sense, I would surmise that humans, Liadens and all other thinking beings are equally frightened and off-put by the discovery that you and they have no common source of culturally expected behaviors. Whether they sketch a hasty bow and retreat (Liaden style), or nod and smile in a frozen sort of fashion while edging unobtrusively towards the door (American style), there is no help for the situation. One must pick up Volume One and turn to the index or plop down in front of the set and start surfing, or risk remaining a pariah for life.

But do not despair, children of the children of the counter-culture! For even lacking in a large and opinionated social group to facilitate the process, one's individual responses to the standard have been known to suffice. So long as there is a response, preferably one which reveals an ironic and nuanced understanding of the social values and obligations of duty inherent in the standard, this is enough to allow strangers to judge one's character. If for example, your favorite Simpsons character is Nelson Muntz's mother, but you put up a spirited defense of your unusual choice and remain conscious of the irony, then few social groups will fail to accept you with open benefits of the doubt!

Miercoles con los Amigos Invisibles vol. 11

[This Wednesdays unintentionally left blank. If ever I figure out what I originally meant to write about on this particular Wednesday, I will do it. Otherwise, enjoy the brevity.]

Tuesdays With Abhorrent Fiends vol 40.

Is there a theme to Tuesdays with Abhorrent Fiends, really? Naah.

It hasn't had a theme, really, it's just been my excuse to get in a blogpost on Tuesdays. But now that I'm shooting for a different type of blogpost on every day of the week, it makes sense to try and impose some specificity on it. So, if there's been one, it's only that everyone (including me) may be classified as Abhorrent Fiends at one point or another. And that by contemplating the Abhorrent Fiends I know on Tuesdays, I may gain some insights into the dark and sinister nature of the Universe.

Speaking of secrets of the universe, I have found a shiny new toy: the Galaxy Zoo. This is a wonderful website where mutual enrichment between scientists and laypeople can take place. Scientists who have obtained images of galaxies from around the universe can get laypeople to slog through the tedious images and help to classify them according to certain basic types. The laypeople, meanwhile, get to look at pictures of galaxies on the internet and classify them, FOR SCIENCE. Which is way different than looking at, say, pictures of humans on the internet and classifying whether you think they are hot or not FOR LULZ. Or looking at pictures of cats with captions and deciding whether or not they are funny enough to email to all your family and friends FOR YOUR EVERLASTING SHAME.

And if you are lucky, you might come across something as exciting as Hanny's Voorwerp! Voorwerp, sadly, is merely the Dutch word for "object". Since Hanny is Dutch. So it's not some cool scientific name for a hitherto undiscovered race of space goobers. I bet Hanny wishes it was. On second thought, she might not. Especially if the goobers turned around and eradicated all human life for being so impolite as to notice them.

Musical Monday vol 2.

This weekend I sent Mom the setlist and lyrics for [moving all the same]. Yep, I have enough songs for an album now! Twelve guitar-arranged songs--unless you count emptiness / the only road as two songs, in which case it's thirteen. Check it out:

1. but the ghost
2. emptiness / the only road
3. distance
4. road don’t go
5. that bitch
6. give the people what they want
7. static
8. promise to keep
9. Morningstar
10. teeth of the storm
11. where home is
12. destination please

I love all these songs, and think they will make a wonderful album. Thematically sound, ordered in a way I like, covering all my bases: some of the very first songs I wrote right along with some of the most recent. Now all I have to do is practice them more...and record them...and play them in front of non family members. XD Not necessarily in that order.

This morning I have a song stuck in my head that I haven't written yet. Haven't finished writing anyway. I know generally what it ought to sound like and I have the chorus, but the rest hasn't shown up yet. This is exactly what happened with [teeth of the storm]--I was carrying that chorus around in my head for two years before I got the rest of the song. It goes (with G, C, F, Am on each line):

the phone repairman
ain't been there, man
and I'm calling, I'm calling
and I can't get get get get get get get

Every time I sit down to play I'll run through that a couple times, then experiment with possible chord sequences for the verses, then bitch poutingly about how I don't have the rest. Then Dave will snort and smile and shake his head at me, and I'll sigh and blow myself a raspberry and play something else.

Yesterday, it was [mama winter]. Wanted to play that and [teeth] back to back in honor of the year's first snowfall, which I did. I figured out the chords for [mw] on the keyboard, then looked them up in my handy-dandy guitar chord chart. (Dm C Bb, FYI.) I will need to work on finger-picking a lot more before I can make it sound close to how it's supposed to, though. [mw] is an aria, so I always imagined it with just a few drifty violins in the background. This is possible to recreate on an acoustic guitar, but will take practice. The song was demanding enough vocally all by itself, and the smoking and the pharyngitis do not help! :) But I will master it. Gotta have something to do till I can lay ahold of the rest of the phone repairman song!

Now I want to write about the thing I'd thought about writing last Monday.

Me, Mom, sisters and Dave had gone to see some Olympic gymnasts perform that weekend, Amber's treat. It was a wonderful show, full of highly talented and trained people who made dazzling feats of athleticism look easy and fun.

The band, however--the band stuck in my craw. Not because they are other than what they're supposed to be, but because I'm still immature and filled with envy. They got have the stage, see, and they got to accompany the awesome gymnasts and exhort the crowd (unsuccessfully) to go crazy. I got to sit in the audience and eat my liver. They are called KSM and are a Disney recording group. One of their songs, Permission to Fly, was actually quite good. It helped that the song was accompaniment to some of those acrobat ladies who suspend themselves from two long silk banners and swing and twirl and look awesome doing it. The acrobats started out the song wrapping one banner around themselves, holding out the other like a wing, and being lifted up into the air to swing out over the crowd.

But I was jealous of the band even before they ever came on stage, to the point where it detracted somewhat from my enjoyment of the show. Right at the beginning, when everyone was being announced, the lights went down and some people carrying glow-in-the dark dragons (the kind they have in parades) danced all around the performance area. Which I should have been deeply stirred by, especially considering how much Miller & Lee I've been reading lately. But there were two things fighting each other in the middle of me: the crying-cause-it's-pretty feeling versus the scowling-cause-I-feel-stupid feeling. Stupid, sadly, was not eradicated, and kept getting in the way when I wasn't forcibly shoving it out of the way. I still was able to be awed by things and moved to good tears or near them once or twice. I don't see live shows that often and this one had a lot going for it. Wrestling with my insecurities, however, is a dumb, dumb reason to stint on emotional impact from a show.

Not too long into it, it occurred to me that this is exactly the sort of thing my tower/turkey dream was telling me about. The turkey, in this reading, would represent emotional satisfaction, the recharging of the spiritual self which takes place when you allow yourself to be moved and awed by beauty. I deny myself spiritual nutrition when I let envy get in the way like that. The rich dreampeople I was mad at would represent people like KSM--people who have the audiences and the visibility I crave, but whom I feel I can outdo musically. The fact that I didn't have a ticket in the dream translates to me not feeling I have the right or don't deserve to have that kind of power. Or maybe that I don't have the actual right to count myself among them, since I am not a performing musician. So they are richer than me, even spiritually, in that specific way. Because what they have, they share with everyone who hears. And the storm is--gotta think on what the storm is. The emotional energy swirling around in a concert hall? The unconscious spiritual life of music-listening people? Something like that.

But I should cut this entry off now. Some of my co-workers want to hear me sing Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You again, and I have to brush up on the lyrics.

Thanks, universe. (And coworkers.) That really does make me feel better. :D

True Story Thursday vol 2.

I've been reading far too much Miller & Lee lately, so I'm afraid my prose for this entry will be in the mode of Liadens talking about other Liadens. For me, this style of writing is something I associate with wry good humor. When I read or write it I am always alert for little puns, little refreshing or fun things to be read between the lines of an otherwise straightforward statement. I've been having a weird day for inside-the-brain snarking at myself, mainly because I'm still sick and that tends to make one cranky. So I figure a True Story Thursday done Liaden style will help me feel better and drain away some of the snark.

A couple of weeks ago I encountered an individual named John.

He was an older fellow; I'd've guessed him at early to mid fifities. Short, Caucasian, vaguely heavy in an American sort of way. Graying brows, a hat he professed himself too embarrassed to remove, a nose just on the bulbous side of normal. Prominent blue eyes which sat squarely on that odd little edge between total intensity of focus and utter lack of expression. Mind locked up like a bank vault below the public level, sense of space hypervigilant. His clothing had been chosen with the same sort of slovenly exactitude I myself have employed when low on self-confidence and/or desiring to appear an unattractive target to would-be beggars and thieves. We were standing in line at a McDonald's. I found his hamburger order to be so unusual--no cheese, no condiments, double onions--that I couldn't resist a quick visual scan for curiosity's sake. As I had made eye contact with him, he felt it appropriate to engage me in conversation. Not being otherwise busy during my lunch break I decided to see where this went.

Within a few minutes the talk had degenerated into the sort of life story-swapping chiefly sought out by those whose current levels of human interaction have been far, far below their preference for a considerable time. To make a comparison among persons I have known well, John's manner of interacting could be compared to Myke. Save Myke was always more circumspect, more aware, and more cautious of how he spilled his emotions. I found John's way of interaction, his eagerness to reveal all within himself as readily as may be, to make himself of service in any way possible, made me miss the kid. That nostalgia was a good part of why I continued to lunch in his company for some few days.

Which is not to say that I found John's company disagreeable for himself. Only that, as Douglas Adams has noted, doing anything whatsoever a person wishes is a very strong grip to have on them, indeed. And that the more intense and obvious became John's desire to be of service to me in some way, any way, the more cool I felt inclined to be. Inclined especially to be more protective of my personal information--phone number chiefest of all. He had flat out asked, as though he had every expectation not to be refused, that we exchange cell phone numbers the first time we met. So another aspect of this man I found interesting was his seeming (perhaps, pretended? twittered my mental antennae) total ignorance of the true balance of obligation. This balance being: that the person who does a favor puts the receiver in his debt. That his eagerness to have me owe him a debt, even a small and informal debt such as may go unremarked between friends, aroused primarily my suspicion. And not the gratitude for his solicitousness he seemed to think was the natural response.

Needless to say I insisted from the outset, and continued to insist, on paying for my own lunch.

I was intrigued by this person; I wished to know the depths of his self-awareness regarding the structure of his actions. Here was one who was at every turn positive, encouraging, complimentary. (Though quite defensive on the subject of compliments. He seemed to take the word "flattery" for an insult and was painfully certain to insist that all he said was heartfelt and genuine. With which I readily concurred, that aspect of truth being entirely beside the point.) Was this behavior the result solely of low self-esteem--the sort which leads a person to believe others always their superiors, and themselves fortunate to be noticed? Or did he seek to place myself in his debt in order that he might, through the manipulation of emotional bonds, seek to direct or even constrain me in some way?

It is rare to find a male so adept in the latter art that he will practice it knowingly upon the unwary. But I confess myself half convinced. After nearly two weeks of meeting for lunch every day, I had refused to budge on the subject of contact information. I was always vague on the subject of making plans for anything other than lunch, with or without a third person present. He had run up against certain hard limits on content areas I was unwilling to discuss. (And the content areas in which those hard limits were discovered, indeed, cemented my suspicion even further.) So it came about that on a Thursday two weeks ago he told me, professing his regret, that he would be busy on Friday and could not make lunch. We agreed to lunch again Monday at the same time and location. That Monday, and the entire week following--whether out of habit or curiousity or on the off-chance the poor man had been on the level and merely taken ill, I cannot say--I undertook to be in the usual meeting place at the usual time. He was not.

In truth, I am uncertain how to react. To send my prayers into the taig, for the health of a friend gone missing? Or to gloat over my perspicacity and peruse the Wanted postings to see if I recognize a sketch?

Tuesdays With Abhorrent Fiends vol 39. (nothing is final!)

Well sir and ma'am, here we are again.

I had a really great idea for Musical Mondays yesterday, but didn't post it up due to a combination of lethargy and actual work to do. But that is not what this post is about.

Also had an interesting dream last night, which involved my dream-posse being superheroes and working together to demolish an enemy yacht which was sailing towards us. And a different member of my dream-posse getting chompsorbed by an evil biomachine thingy after reading words on a screen connected to a pillar which turned out to have been part of the machine. But that, also, is not what this post is about.

This post is about this post I made on my other blog.

I am quite proud of it. Although I am nervous about it as well.

I stopped posting the POEE forums several months back out of a combination of boredom, bereavement, and cowardice. Those boys do not play nice, nor are they especially big fans of the types of content I produce most readily. Also I do not like doing things that upset people, which is a favorite hobby for many of them. I like to gain people's trust and then sneakily trick them into thinking of things from a point of view slightly different than the one to which they are accustomed. I do not like taking a radically different point of view and beating someone across the face with it until it leaves some kind of an imprint in the brain. I admire and enjoy people with the chutzpah to do so, but it is not my style. Also some of them made fun of me. Which under normal circumstances I am able to stomach, in the service of building a case for the legitimacy of my opinions through sheer stubborn reasonableness. But I was using my stubborn for other things this spring and summer and thus didn't have that much to spare for them.

However, the element of cowardice still leaves me disappointed in myself. In my private mind I feel I've gone down a peg and must do something to regain my own good opinion. To reaffirm my faith in my adherence to my nominal faith.

If you decide to be a Discordian, as I see it, you must work out for yourself what exactly that means in practice. It could be extremely vague. It could be totally meaningless to anyone but yourself. But it is important to come up with some standards of behavior for yourself, and then once you've come up with them, live up to them. Or at least judge yourself by them in as accurate a manner as you can devise. Otherwise, what makes you better than all those Sunday Christians and Saturday Jews and Friday night Satanists--the ones who talk a big game, but don't actually try to live out their so-called religions on a day-to-day basis?

I fall more in the category of "completely meaningless to anyone but myself", I think. Since I believe all judgments of morality are contextual, the distillation of a concept of honor is itself a process of experimentation, a sort of drunken lurching towards a dimly perceived truth. I worship chaos principally by attempting to create order. First in my personality, so that my perceptions of the world around me are filtered only through symbol sets with whose construction I am intimately familiar. Second, in my interactions with others, so that I evoke only those responses and provide only those stimuli which I judge to be appropriate expressions of my will given the structure of the relationships between me and the other people. Third, in the pattern of events in my life, so that I behave in ways which produce the kinds of experiences I want to have for reasons based on observation rather than assumption. (i.e., I pay my gas bill because I've had it cut off before and hate to be cold, rather than because paying one's gas bill is the sort of thing a grownup and a good citizen simply does.) Makes for a longer learning curve than is strictly necessary, but it suits me fine.

This is a religious observance for me because the attempt to create order, especially when the attempt is continuous, only throws into sharp relief how permanent, self-evident, and omnipresent is chaos. How even the most restrictive set of rules and laws is a thin stick dancing in a mighty wind. How really, really flexible I have to make the stick if it's gonna be worth dangling from.

But I am digressing in order to stroke some of my favorite shiny words and watch them refract.

Today I was reading a quite nice book lent to me by Amber called No Constitutional Right to Be Ladies. It is an exploration of American laws regarding women, in the context of the perceived legal balance between obligations and privileges. I am just now getting into the chapter which discusses the relationship between the privileges of citizenship and the right to bear arms.

And it occurred to me that this topic has implications in an area dear to my heart. That is, membership in a social group and the presumption of the authority to determine legitimacy. Different members of a group, based on their differing levels of authority within it, have of course different mandates from the group for determining the legitimacy of an idea, viewpoint, course of action, what have you. But this mandate to bear ideas is analogous to that of bearing arms. To be a citizen conveys the right to bear arms, just as it conveys the obligation to bear arms in defense of the group. To be a citizen conveys the right to hold opinions, just as it conveys the obligation to express those opinions regarding things one judges to be for the best good of the group.

So inasmuch as I am a member of my extended family, my presence and participation in it can be expressed in a number of ways. For example.

a tower, a turkey, a text and a tart (dream log)

These notes are marked return to sender
I'll save this letter for myself
I wish you only knew
how good it is to see you
see you

~Foo Fighters

Well now! I've been speculating on the symbolic functions of several types of activity in my dreams, and last night I had a dream with all of them and then some.

As a final word on my scary and embarrassing medical saga, I resumed penicillin-ing last night. It does cause some notable throat irritation. But in the absence of a panic attack and the other things I'd done to make my throat and lungs angry with me, it does not in fact cause me to die. Or even to become convinced I am going to die. So I can continue medicating my stupid pharyngitis. Good news there.

I went to bed early, a little before eleven. My hope was that the extra sleep would do me good and help my immune system win faster. Instead (or perhaps in addition) I got an awesome long dream! Sequentiality was disturbed during this dream, so I'm just going to set down these scenes in a sequence that seemed most fitting as I reviewed them over the course of the morning.

I was on the floor of a dimly-lit room which was shaking violently. The floor was carpeted, with that functional thin carpet of an indeterminate dull color through which you can feel the hardness of the floor. The ceilings were high, I wasn't paying attention to entrances and exits. I felt very calm, comfortable even, as though being in a dim, violently shaking room were a perfectly normal situation. On a low table in the middle of the room were several things, including my glasses. I had to get to my glasses and put them on. But because the room was shaking and jerking and trembling so violently, it was incredibly difficult to move even a few inches from where I lay. Again and again I tried, clawing determinedly for handholds on the carpet with both hands, then with both hands and feet, trying to scoot myself across the floor. Finally I did reach the table, get my glasses, and put them on. The feeling of satisfaction was the sort that makes you say, "hmph! 'bout time."

I was on the top floor of the Sears Tower. Through the floor-to-ceiling plate-glass windows I had a crystal clear view of the city, and the storm brewing over it. The sight of both exhilarated me. Clouds and lightning and wind and rain and all their stormy colors raced over the city, which despite the cloud cover was lit all through by the clear glow of the half-sunlight you get at dawn and dusk. I was practically dancing with excitement. I had to see more. I knew the view from the east side of the building would be best, so I ran around towards that side of the tower.

When I got there, however, the place was filled with rich people in fancy dress, who looked at me scornfully. I knew that the entire top floor of the tower was filled with them, that this was their party, and I didn't have a ticket. I was moved away from the windows by means not pictured, bitterly enraged and frustrated that I was no longer allowed to look out through the windows at the storm. I ended up in an interior room, low-ceilinged, lit with wall sconces that filled the room with yellowish electric light. The room could be compared to a smallish conference room at a rather nice hotel, right down to the high-quality fake ficuses by the doors. Other people were already seated at dinner tables throughout the room. They were also in fancy dress, but like me had been refused entry to the party going on outside. Some looked up at me sympathetically when I came in.

There were serving tables to one side of the room on which roast chickens could be seen. The food did smell delicious. I moved towards a seat, still fuming. Some fellow--waiter, maitre d', or simply a guy sitting at the table I was headed to, not sure--asked me if I wanted to eat. I responded acidly, "I don't have a ticket, are you sure I get to?" I was then presented with a sort of basket in which there were only two pieces of chicken left, one of them clearly a wing. I picked up the other, hoping it was a drumstick, though it didn't look much like a drumstick. When I turned it over, it in fact was a drumstick, but a huge one, which had clearly been torn off the rest of the cooked bird and was a bit ragged-looking. It had to have been a turkey leg; no chicken drumstick is that large. I picked off a bite of meat and tried to find a nice crispy bit of skin to go with it. The skin was pretty soggy, though, and the piece I eventually tore off and ate didn't best please me. Come to think of it I'm not even sure whether I ate any meat or not. Just a substandard piece of skin.

Latter half of the dream is where remembering the sequence really gets tough. Frustrating, because a different sequence here would make big differences in how I should interpret it.

I was reading a poem. I got a distinct author-feeling in my mind, and when I was awake I easily identified the author-feeling as Mark Danielewski. The author of the awesomely fantastic and inimitable House of Leaves. He has a second book, a poem-book, called Only Revolutions, which is written with just as much skill but is too dense and over-the-top with the "omg look how formally convoluted I can make my poetry and it still lets me put blood in it!" to be any fun to read. (Not that I am in a great position to criticize on that score. We see our own faults in others most clearly, eh?) The thing I was reading was different, a dream of an epic poem. As I read, I went to the place the poem was about.

This was a cave; the walls, ceiling and lower parts were all roughly carved or worn from the same matte rust-colored stone. I was calm here, in the same way that I had been in the shaking room at the beginning of the dream. The ceiling was very tall, and the room was several times longer than it was wide. The floor was all pockets or little pits, some empty, some piled with human bones and skulls. They may have been laid out in a rough sort of grid, but I wasn't paying attention to that. A slightly wider ridge of the same stone ran down the middle of the room; I was standing on this. Through both the empty and the full pockets, and in and out through some of the crumbled holes in the walls, things like tentacles or smooth worms slid endlessly. They coiled around the bones and shoved themselves through the eye sockets of the skulls. Interested, I carefully thought about what would happen if I were to fall into one of the pockets, or even just leave the central ridge on which I was standing. The tentacle things would swarm over me, eating away all my flesh and leaving me a skeleton like the ones I saw. But I would remain aware; it would hurt when they took away my flesh, and every time one of the things slid over or through my bones, I would feel the crawling nastiness of it. And this would go on for ever and ever, just as it was for the bones I could see in the pits already. (Seriously, if dream-me didn't understand the practical difference between think, which causes dream things to actually happen, and think about, which causes dream things to be represented, I would be so metaphorically screwed in dream situations like this one. The idea made me shudder a little bit when I woke up and thought it over.)

Impressive as this design was, I still felt a feeling of smug superiority. I had a thought something like, "this is a place worthy of inclusion in Dante's Inferno, but my work has all three parts--the inferno, the purgatory, and the paradise."

I then turned my attention to the exits. The first exit, I knew was a trap. Ahead of me and to the right, just before the partial wall marking the midpoint of the room, there was a rectangular hole in the ceiling through which bright white light shone. I could see a thin ridge, which would provide less solid footing than the central one on which I stood and ran perpendicular to it. It met the right-hand wall at a spot almost, but not quite, under the hole. There were enough pocks and crumbled gouges in the wall--throughout the room, but there in particular--where it seemed quite possible that a person might be able to climb up the wall and pull themselves up through the rectangle of light. How I knew this was a trap, I don't know. What would happen if the trap was sprung, I also don't know, and didn't stop to think about it. The second exit felt dangerous, but wasn't a trap. It was straight ahead down the center of the room; if I just kept walking forward on the ridge where I stood, I would eventually reach it. This exit was just a door-shaped rectangle in the wall with total darkness visible in it. I experienced a mild and momentary worry about the lack of a nonthreatening exit.

Then I was reading the book of the poem again, and as I read I grew more and more excited, thinking to myself, "I am so better than this guy. I can best this, no problem", or thoughts of that nature. The last few pages were not like regular pages; they were behind iron brackets that made the book bigger and more solid but also made the text harder to read. The last couple of pages I almost couldn't read, until I realized they were meant to be backlit, and viewed through the brackets like stained-glass windows. I held it up until there was light behind it and managed to read the end of it. Still felt confident as hell I could do better, or had done better, something like that.

Hardest scene to place in sequence. Hence, likely most important in the dream. I was in the basement bathroom of the house I grew up in, and I was pouting and/or having a tantrum. Not only had I locked the door from the inside, it was a tall steel door with a reinforced lock plate, rather than the flimsy wooden one the actual bathroom had had. Pearl and Dave were outside the door, very worried about me. From time to time one of them would call through the door, trying to convince me to come out. I paced back and forth, sometimes almost totally calm, other times angry and sullen and crying. I must have come out, but I don't remember opening the door to do so.

Last scene, me and some other people were in a room chatting. The room felt a little bit under-constructiony, but was in the same place or building I'd been in when I finished reading the hell poem. I needed to go into the bathroom to make a wardrobe adjustment, and a hot blonde chick followed me in there. We didn't close the door completely. She was fully visualized, which is unusual in a dream-person for me, and just barely underage so she was deliciously taboo. She came on to me outrageously and I totally let her, up to a point, at which point I said something like, "We need to be careful, there's other people in the room out there."

I woke up briefly, a couple hours before my alarm rang. Both because I'd gone to bed a couple hours earlier than usual and because I'd left a ponytail holder around my right wrist, which had caused my right hand to fall asleep. Fell back asleep almost immediately, and I don't know if any of my dream occurred after that or not. I suppose it doesn't matter.

There's a lot of stuff in there that I'll be thinking about for quite some time. Right off the bat I can tell my unconscious mind is very, very happy about the idea of doing another epic poem. I also suspect that dream-me wants to shoot for a triptych, with denizen being the first part, the poem I need to start soon being the second part, and the third part yet to come. That's what I initially take the Dante comment to mean. Dream-me also believes (meaning that I myself internally believe) I am a better poet than Mark Danielewski and is prepared to be boastful about it. Conscious me tries to be more polite and always makes sure to point out my own bias and the relativism inherent in the appreciation of art, dangit.

I think the dream-poem may actually have been denizen. What other epic hell-poem do I really know well enough to visit as a dreamscape? Further, if at very least the template of the dream-poem was based on denizen, it would support the idea that this dreamscape was connected to my other dreamscape, the basement of the old house. And in this subject as in no other, my belief makes it so to a certain extent. Plus if the poem to which I felt so superior was in fact my own, I don't feel nearly so bad about my haughtiness and scorn. I hate scorn, as the early part of the dream makes clear!

It occurs to me the Dante comment may also have been referring to phases of spiritual development. The rectangle of light in the ceiling of the hell-place was familiar and not just because I knew it was a trap. And since we're talking about representations of the internal architecture of my personality before, I can say with confidence have dreamed that rectangle before. From the other side. That danged "demon factory is closed" dream. In the empty-and-freshly-painted workroom in the basement of the old house, there was a rectangle in the floor. Through that rectangle I could see into a hell-place, and the monochrome little girl looking up at me from it. Neither of us moved towards the other, nor did anyone present move to speak while I was in the workroom. From which I conclude that opening is now a window, not a door. Used to be a door. Now a window only. Hence, to one on the underside, a trap. A bird smacking into a window horizontally can be horribly injured or killed. How much moreso a person (or thing) who makes a precarious climb up a sheer wall above a pit of certain doom, and makes an awkwardly angled leap at what looks like a clear opening? If I can figure out a way to do it, I should find a way to write something on the window. Y'know, for safety's sake. I'm not in full communication with all parts of me at all times, and in any case I wouldn't want any of my invisible friends (or friennemies) to get hurt.

If I go ahead and make that connection, declare those dream landscapes to be flush against one another in this way, then this dream says some interesting things. The existence of the second exit down there I find especially intriguing. A further basement of mine, or a point of egress into some admittedly unpleasant area of the collective unconscious? I am not entirely sure I want to find out.

The earlier part of the dream, in the tower, I find encouraging in some ways and embarrassing in others. For example, the glasses. Things which, when you look through them, make your sight clearer. A good symbol for the availability to the unconscious self of a personality faculty which would otherwise be difficult to describe in terms of its components. An ability to put things in perspective. Very good to have. It interesting, because ever since the time I accidentally took the image of the measuring stick with the broken-off pointy end into a dream with me, I've been trying to think of a more permanent weapon-symbol I could transit in a similar way. Seems I've been wanting to make something other than the thing I needed next. Ah, well. Let's not get ahead of our curriculum, young Skywalker.

The shaking room, which turned into the Tower, is one of those locations that makes me want to conclude the action was taking place outside my personality. At very least it represented many aspects of my relationship with the world outside myself. In the past I've had dreams where I encountered something like a massive burst of static which felt like a powerful electric shock and woke me up out of my sleep. Sometimes with a temporary holdover of dream paralysis, sometimes with an out-of-breath feeling as though I'd just been dropped into bed from a height. The shaking room in this dream was actually a hell of a lot like one of those bursts of static/electricity. Except I was able to hold myself together and just barely able, with a great deal of effort, to recognize what I needed to do to compensate and then do it. Good progress there if so.

My anger and envy of rich or powerful people, and bitterness because I feel excluded from the most exciting parts of public life, were right upfront in the dream. I try to be polite and not let such feelings make me act like a jerk in waking life. But it's clear I still need to deal with those feelings. Or else my desire to act mean and rude, even to people other than the ones at whom my anger is directed, will still be there. And I will deprive my soul of its best available sustenance (soggy chicken skin, anyone?) because I am being sullen, which isn't good either.

Basement bathroom part is interesting. That was one of my childhood scaryplaces and I have dreamed it before. But this is the first time I was my full self and also in that room. I had locked myself in, I was upset, and realpeople were worried about me and wanted me to come out. So, some areas of negative emotion that I am walling off and keeping entirely to myself. Which are hurting me and making others worried about me. When I am able to move outside of this pocket of sulky and bitter and angry and scared, then good stuff happens.

Whole morning spent on this dream log--so glad things at work are slow. :D But I haven't managed to create the very first Fiction Friday yet. :( Maybe this afternoon, maybe next week. We'll see how I feel.

True Story Thursday

Married To The Sea

And if I swallow anything evil
put your finger down my throat
~The Who

So last night I ended up going back to the hospital again. At around 11:30pm. I gave up on getting treated and still being able to work today. Ended up getting home around 2am, with a blood draw mark on my other hand, no medical help, and the conviction that I'd behaved very foolishly. Driven Dave to distraction and waffled on what to do or not do. My brain was less than no help. Every new little twinge was met with: Is it deadly? Am I imagining it? Can I afford it? Can I afford not to be able to afford it? Can I has a cigarette now?

While waiting to be processed for registration I had a very bad time. Breathing became much more difficult, so I started forcing deep breath after deep breath. I learned a little later it was the considered opinion of the nurses that I was merely hyperventilating. If that was a panic attack, sirrah, it was the worst I've ever experienced. At one point my lips and chest and arms and legs were simultaneously trembling and numb, my left hand crooked into a claw I could not straighten, and I was weeping with fear because no matter how deeply I breathed I could not get enough air. The nurse said I was hyperventilating and should try to just relax and breathe normally. The same advice, mind you, that Dave has given me on the previous couple of occasions I've had attacks of shakes and difficulty breathing. However, as this was happening, a man was wheeled in on a guerney, having recently arrived by ambulance. I heard the EMTs remark he was probably on PCP. He was twitching, disoriented and aggressive; he tried to fight anyone who came near him and lurched off the guerney, tumbling to the floor inches from where I was sitting. Needless to say his situation was a danger to others as well as himself, and all hands nearby focused upon getting him subdued and settled and moved to a place where he could begin to be treated.

I was ashamed that I could not move out of the way and equally ashamed that I could not make my symptoms go away at will, as the nurse appeared to think they should. I am well accustomed to being perceived to be faking it. This was one of those times.

Sure enough, after a period of breathing normally, squeezing my left hand between my knees, and rubbing my forearms as best I could to encourage normal circulation, the shakes and numbness gradually subsided. The nurses directed me to sit in the pre-registration area, and there I concentrated on emptying my mind, not forcing breath one way or the other, and remaining still. Only a few times did I have a frightening chest and neck constriction like before, and after half an hour or so those, too gradually subsided.

So, blood sample drawn, urine sample produced, registration forms filled out, I went to sit in the waiting room with the very large crowd who had gotten there before me. It was by then almost 1:30 in the morning. I'd overheard one of the male nurses remark that this was far from the most crowded night they'd had this week. Ended up chatting with a guy who said he'd been at the hospital having various things treated since very early in the morning, but had been in the waiting room this time since 6:30pm. I started the conversation with "What are you in for, if you don't mind me asking?" We talked about illnesses and injuries for a few minutes. His were all injuries; as he told it he'd been jumped in an alleyway by five guys, four wearing ski masks and the fifth not someone he recognized. Later at one point he asked, "You got health insurance?" and I said, "Hell no, if I had health insurance I'd be at the rich people hospital across the street," which got a chuckle. I'd been wanting to use that line all week.

On my way out I talked to a different guy, who was smoking near the entrance. He was like, "You're leaving, and you ain't been seen yet?" I explained that since I'd thought it was a penicillin allergy, if I had been right, I'd be dead by then. He sympathized; he was allergic to penicillin himself. Said the experience was awful, your lungs fill up with water like that (fingersnap).

It's a strange sentiment to come away with, but what I said to myself as I walked home was this: People are smart. People use all the perspectives they have all the time, they do as much as they know how with the information they have, and all the time they are looking for how to go on. Never underestimate them. I thought on all the people I'd met that day and how each in their own way was very smart indeed. (Well, maybe the guy who lurched off the guerney and tried to fight all the EMTs wasn't having a very smart time. I don't know what's going on with that guy. Hope he gets help and/or does some very smart things, if there are any available for him to do.)

The silent implication being: I'm people too. And however dumb I feel, I am not dumb all the time. Never underestimate me either. That's what Dave told me when I got home: be smart about yourself, be smart about taking care of yourself.

I felt worse for scaring him like that than I do for the wasted time and money. Sure, I was scared too. Still am. But I'm a person who is hyperaware of myself. It's far too easy to let that hyperawareness slide over into panic when there's something wrong I don't know how to fix. And as the inside of my mind becomes gradually more hospitable, I'm bound to start paying more close and dreadful attention to the workings of my body. Which has been manifesting as a kind of hypochondria where I freak out way more than is necessary over a genuine but not life-threatening illness. I don't want to become addicted to hospitals the way Tyler Durden was to support groups.

I have got to start another epic poem. It is probably the only thing that will occupy enough of my attention-paying dealies to ameliorate this situation. Especially since I do have a serious respiratory illness and need to try and take my stupid penicillin, even if I have to work up to full dosage gradually. Can't afford to go running over to the ER for a six-hour wait and a big, fat bill every time I feel like I can't get enough air. I think I will call one of my aunts for advice tonight. Maybe then I won't feel such a fool.

Miercoles con los Amigos Invisibles vol. 10

Last night, I had a dream from which I remembered only one scene. This lasted about twenty subjective seconds.

I and my allies (not pictured) were standing in front of the entrance to our place.
Our place felt like a combination of two types of location. Firstly, a mine, but one where the shaft extends horizontally into the rock of a hillside rather than vertically down underground. Secondly, a high-tech scientific facility of the sort where special security protocols control entry and exit.
A stranger came up to us. His intent was hostile, and he wore a full-face gas mask, of the sort that has goggles to cover the eyes and two air filters jutting out to either side of the mouth, all mounted on a rubber mask. He was wearing something like a battered, grayish-black jumpsuit. I was aware that he was about to release a toxin into the air, and turned towards the entrance as if to go inside. The others present remained where they were standing. Instead of going inside, I turned back to inspect the stranger and his gas mask. There was a small LCD screen mounted on the front of the mask, which I had previously not noticed. I studied the screen more closely. Words scrolled across it, and I read them. Just as I began to comprehend what I had read, a puff of soot or smoke exploded into the air around me. This was the toxic attack I had known the stranger brought. I knew I was breathing the cloud in, had been exposed to it because I had not gone inside. I found myself unable to breathe and woke up in a sudden panic.

I returned to this image several times throughout the day, but didn't feel especially like writing it down. Now I do.

Yesterday I did indeed take off work to go see a doctor about my throat. As I mentioned in today's earlier post, it was the doctor's opinion that I have acute pharyngitis. He prescribed penicillin, which I was able to pick up at the pharmacy after work today.

In the interests of honesty, I did smoke a total of five unfiltered cigarettes today, in addition to what I smoked when I got home from the pharmacy. This doubtless aggravated my throat and lung situation. In the past couple of weeks that I've been feeling bad, such behavior has been known to irritate my lung tissues to the point where breathing becomes painful and requires greater than normal effort for a time.

However, when I took my first penicillin this evening, it got stuck in my esophagus about halfway down. My neck and upper chest began to tighten up and developed a burning sensation. I became dizzy. My left trapezius is normally tight and somewhat sore, but that and my neck just above the collarbone feel as though someone has grabbed them. Someone who occasionally squeezes.

The first thing I did, of course, was panic. I suppose I haven't got much of a handle on panic after all. I attempted to extricate the pill from my stomach. Due to both the large quantities of liquids I had consumed in order to swallow it and my unfamiliarity with the procedure, this attempt was not successful. Dave and I briefly discussed a return to the emergency room. I then had the bright idea to call mom and ask her if I am, in fact, allergic to penicillin. As a child, she informed me, I had not been so. Which was a very great relief to me. When I went on to describe my symptoms in more detail, she allowed there was a possibility I'd developed a sensitivity to penicillin in recent years. If so, a Benadryl or Claritin might help. Her recommendation was that I call one of my aunts, both of whom are nurses, if I still got worse after that. Dave also pointed out, once I was off the phone, that penicillin tends to forcefully drive bacteria out of infected tisues, and this movement may account for some others of my symptoms.

It's been almost an hour since I took that damn Claritin. I've been typing this post almost the entire time. My symptoms are nearly unchanged, though a back rub from Dave and the relaxation of some back, shoulder and neck muscles provided temporary relief. And irony of ironies, I want a cigarette ever so much.

In all my reviews of the remembered dream scene, I could never recall the words I read on the LCD screen or even the sense of them. Ah, if only it had read "don't take the penicillin" and I'd also remembered it. That would have saved me a bad time. But I am sure my unconscious uses the symbol of the act of reading in a different, less direct way. Reading and eating may actually be similar symbols in my lexicon.

[Here I attempt to smoke that cigarette I want so much. When this proves unwise, I go to sit under a hot shower for half an hour. I emerge, clad in Dave's bathrobe, obtain spicy chicken soup, and return here.]

In fact the last time I read anything in a dream, it was a document, delivered in a case which also contained a condom, sealed with an angry red circle. This was the dream where I fought stormtroopers and later sneaked out posing as one of them. (I was a jet trooper, and stayed close to the ceiling. Memories of Battlefront II influenced that image for sure.) Which dream occurred a day or so before that unpleasant Saturday during busy season when I left work early to go to the hospital. Where after many hours and (dismayingly expensive) tests they discovered the small ovarian cyst which, while painful, is not actually a long-term threat to my health.

I backread a bit just now, and that was one of the ones I didn't log. I wonder if there is a correlation between the logging of dreams and the occurrence of the events they represent. Here we have two unlogged dreams in which I had read a threatening document. Shortly after each I was diagnosed with a medical condition to which the dream symbols surrounding the text I read bear a notable relationship. But this speculation goes too far towards an assertion of correlation and the following attempt to determine if a causal relationship exists. Way ahead of myself there.

The boldest hypothesis I am willing to put forth at this time is this. My body and all its systems are connected to my brain. My unconscious mind has greater access to the data contained in these systems than my conscious mind. When there is an urgent problem with my physical systems, my unconscious mind may be able to represent some of this information in the form of a dream. Proper interpretation of such dreams may enable me to seek proper medical care more promptly when it is needed or determine when it may not be needed with greater confidence.

I go now to attempt rest or sleep if such are possible. May all be well, me included.

nigh-obligatory post-election post

This being the day after the election, I feel obligated to mention that it occurred.

I did not vote. This was because I was lax in registering myself, and sent my paperwork in too late. I was, however, pleased with the result. Obama was in my opinion the lesser of two evils and a symbolically important choice. Symbolic, both because of his race and because the Republicans will need time to shake off the stigma of having been the Bush administration's party. I try to be careful to say "the Bush administration" rather than "Bush," however. Because I feel a lot of the decision-making was rubber-stamped by him after it was churned out from the dim recesses of the Texas Mafia Committee To Commit Unprecedented Heists And Perpetrate Bureaucratic Evils Of The Usual Sort. The Heists subcommittee in particular is probably bathing in platinum champagne spiked with diamond dust right now, and snorting the ashes of the Shroud of Turin.

Obama does seem nicely presidential: me and Dave watched a couple hours of election coverage, right up to the President-elect's speech in front of a cheering crowd in Chicago's own Grant Park. Dave pointed out, and I agreed, that now every time we see him in public we'll be chanting in the back of our minds, "don't get shot, don't get shot, that's right, stay alive, don't get shot..." One of the downsides of living in a nation founded by crazy extremists who resorted to arms in defense of their local agendas is that, occasionally, we have homegrown crazy extremists who resort to arms to carry out their personal agendas, rather than considering the good of the nation at large. I don't deny that a vast, vast majority of Americans, whether they voted for Obama or McCain, have no inherent qualms about us having a black President. Their votes were based on policy and hype. But perhaps, perhaps there is some wackjob out there with a gun (I would wager an illegal and unregistered one, lest anyone imply I oppose the rights of honest citizens to bear arms!) who thinks a black President is the Antichrist or a harbinger of their favorite Eschaton, and thus believes it his or her sacred duty to assassinate the man. As several Presidents have been assassinated, who were doing things believed by most to be good and important.

Of course, no wackjob with a gun would be necessary if Obama's presidency were to backslide into ineffectual mediocrity. If he does that, he'll have assassinated that grand, hopeful symbolism all on his own. Which seems slightly likelier than regular-type assassination from where I sit. Oh me of little faith.

Since this is an off-topic post anyway, I'd like to mention that all I've got is acute pharyngitis, not anything scarier. Once I get ahold of my penicillin and start taking it regularly like a calm and patient patient, I'll be over this throat discomfort in no time. And taking an entire day off work yesterday to visit the county medical clinic was most instructive. It's exactly like the DMV, except with bored, harried nurses and doctors instead of the regular bored, harried clerks. And sick people instead of people who really, really want to be able to drive. I'm glad I came armed with a novel and change for the vending machines.

dream log, also

Okay. So I remembered a dream, too.

Me and Dave had a house, and we adopted a toddler. I remember the boy-child and the shape of the house right enough, but not why we lived there or how we came to decide to adopt him. My extended family was there--I remember aunts and uncles and cousins in great profusion, all milling around giving us advice and instructions. Mostly they got in the way and made me feel pressured and nervous.

Eventually I fled, leaving Dave and the adopted child alone in the house with my many relatives. I remember going to some surprisingly well-lit underground catacombs, asking someone about something. But the identity and context are gone now. When I woke up I felt guilty for having abandoned Dave and the dream-baby. Hope I can figure out what it represents, so I can rectify my behavior somehow.

musical mondays

Last night was my live debut!

Sounds impressive, to put it that way. Really me and Dave went with Pearl to her favorite hookah bar, which has open mic on Sunday nights. So I got to play stringy thing and my own songs in front of a crowd of strangers for the first time evar. Unless you count that now-closed coffee shop which had a poetry open mic or two--but I don't think I played guitar there.

Me and Pearl started off with Greensleeves/What Child Is This, which we always sound good doing. A brief attempt to practice in the car had confirmed I got to do the What Child Is This lyrics while she did the Greensleeves ones, because she remembered Greensleeves better. Then these, with Pearl singing along sometimes: "but the ghost", "emptiness/the only road", "where home is" (dropped a few chords but kept momentum), "destination please" (and got the high note okay!), and closed with a cappella "all-consuming." Me and Pearl need to practice together more so we can work out harmonies and stuff. I kept looking over at Dave, asking what song I should do next, but as much so I could reassure myself that he was there. Just like at home; made me feel much better. :) Bantered with the crowd some, too. It was the big fun! I must do it again, maybe other places, maybe same place.

Also, Pearl found a song I'd written earlier this year, on a tiny folded slip of paper I'd been using as a bookmark while reading War Before Civilization. She found the slip of paper when I returned the book and said, "Is this your notes about the book?" Because it was a slightly oversize Post-It covered on both sides with extremely tiny writing. I held it up and squinted and was like, "nope, this is a song." And sang her the first verse and first chorus, as the tune came back to me.


repetition - of the act
it gets easier, easier cause of it
repetition - just like that
it gets harder and harder to fuck with it

I closed my heart
cause I felt afraid
you opened your arms to me
anyway, anyway, anyway

repetition - knock on wood
turn the ares and the ises into the shoulds
repetition - hold on tight
what was nothing will soon be the only right

can I behave if you tell me true
need to be brave when I
talk to you talk to you talk to you

repetition - paves a way
superstition built on how it is today
repetition - of a step
cross the distance until there's no distance left

holding me back
from your loving eyes
I'll be fool for you fool for you fool
until I get wise

here's my heart you deserve it
love practice makes permanent
heart you deserve it
love practice makes permanent
practice makes permanent


So this is my idea. Divide up the days I normally post, and if I post on a day, make it thematic. Might be fun. Keep Tuesday and Wednesday how they are. Monday can be music, Thursday maybe fiction, Friday...I could take a page from You are Dumb and make it Spastic Topic Monkey Friday. We'll see.

Might be taking tomorrow off to go get this lump at the back of my throat checked out. It's become quite painful.