June 7th, 2002


Insomnia Segues into Responsible Living

When one wakes at 4 a.m., that's too early and clearly a case of dysfunctional insomnia. But if one stays awake until 5 a.m., then one is merely up at an early hour to face the day.

Since we got the cable last month, after a year's hiatus until cable sprawled to our particular tract of sprawl, my first bit of gratitude was for the fact that after-midnight programming still seemed to be the best source for good old movies and interesting documentaries. In addition, I had developed the belief that all the best old TV shows come on during the odd hours. I am not sure why people who are up at 3 a.m. deserve better television, but I am somehow glad they get it.

This morning my belief was tested. I will skim over the part about how the Charlie's Angels episode featured one of the last gasp cast arrays, and the accompanying rhapsody about how Kate Jackson was my favorite Angel.

Initial indications this morning were that I was again in a dawnland cineplex of ecstasy. Some John Wayne movie in which he is a British officer being smuggled out of occupied France by a femme fatale whom I should know but could not place came on. Those Nazis in movies always have well-pressed uniforms--evil has its own dry cleaner. When it went off, and I decided that I really don't have enough soccer in my soul to watch Spain v. Paraguay in the World Cup, I began to channel surf.

I came upon an infomercial in which pornographic movie stars were touting the benefit of an herbal remedy
for which fairly remarkable scientific claims were made. Now, I get spam e mails about such claims--often from .ru addresses, on a recurrent basis (who said that Soviet science was unimaginative), but the
surreal concept of watching porn stars market health supplements on cable TV was a novel one for me. I might not have even known they were porn stars, but for the make-up and the certain "I cannot say what". I kept waiting for the Saturday Night Live stage band to strike up a weird muscular muzaky version of "Born to Run", but this infomercial was real. Nellie Olsen, playing on another station on what seems to be the 24 hour a day channel for Little House on the Prairie episodes, would have been shocked. I personally thought the whole set up a good exemplar of the evils of banal vice.

I watched televangelist Joyce Meyer explain how when she was filled with the Holy Spirit, she was thrown out of her church because she just wouldn't shut up.
Her audience burst out in appreciative cheers and applause. Blessed are the less than meek, for they shall inherit the Kingdom of Trinity Broadcasting.
I kinda like Joyce Meyer, though, because if she doesn't quite say how the cow ate the cabbage, she gives knowing glances to the audience *as if she knew*. Her gospel might be summarized as "when you're Saved, it's hard as hell", which strikes me as a profound, if unintended, metaphor for the human condition. Watch my money, not my mouth, though--no donations or requests for charismatic literature are going to issue from this particular unitarian.

I did my first recording with my Goodwill J.C. Penney
cassette recording outfit. Best thirteen dollars I ever spent. I am torn on whether to use my diatonic glock and my 5 dollar diatonic keyboard on top of the vibrating metallic field sounds, or to go for a more industrial sound. To me, most industrial music is a good reason to string together song titles and group names with those cool German phrases which mean "when my airplane burst the stratosphere the lightning struck my beer", but where ability is limited, tastes must adjust. I listened to that CD by the Mountain Goats last night--All Hail West Texas. A good listen. I like low fi sincere stuff.

If Sunday is that moment when Monday looms large, then Friday morning is that moment in which a world of possible weekends stretch out ahead, sundered only by a perfectly manageable amount of work. I plan to take this world in my hands like a giant Super Ball and throw it on the pavement of my dreams. Oh, and do laundry.
  • Current Music
    electric football field hum
abstract butterfly

I know when postcard rates are increasing--it's when I just bought 50!

I completed seven very...artistic....postcards with charming sketches and brief tangential aphorisms for postcardx, using my new, fancy one dollar set of 24 "Smooth Design Fine Line Markers". My theory is that an artist should have only the best array of materials with which to work. Ooops, I left the crayons upstairs!
  • Current Music
    "and everywhere are skies as blue as mine"
abstract butterfly

3 minute song

Dee Dee Ramone's death mattered to me. I don't own any Ramones records, never saw them live, have only seen Rock n Roll High School in fits and starts. Dee Dee hadn't even been a Ramone for years and years. Yet there's something about people who flicker out at 50 from self-defeating behavior that affects me. The candle burns so quickly no matter what one does, and one's own personal road accident could be around any corner. But losing oneself to a drug overdose--the idea saddens me. The Ramones understood that rock music had become in essence a parody by the late 1970s. The Ramones accentuated the self-parody--gimmicky common surnames, retrograde leather jackets and sunglasses, a sound like a dental drill with lyrics from the graffiti on a high school desk. Whether they were recording their first album for $ 6,000, or making a B movie in which mice explode, the Ramones got something about life that can only be said with cheap amps played over 90 second spans. Now they're leaving us, one by one.
  • Current Music
    wanna be sedated
abstract butterfly

I love the nightlife, I want to boogie

I came home exhausted from a work day in which I got many but not all things on my to do list done.
I must work more tomorrow.

A really fascinating letter had arrived from voodoukween(many thanks), which really got me thinking. I'll look forward to writing a detailed reply. This will help me meet my new goal of actually writing paper letters again, instead of just the long, poorly edited e mails which are my forte. I love the spontaneity of e mail, but I also love that feeling of opening mail. Because I "think" in prolix paragraphs and tend to write what I am thinking,
I do worry about bombarding folks with "thoughts".
I must work on concision and on hitting "send" less often.
Paper letters make one pay the price of fitting an envelope.

I fell asleep after I read the letter, and woke after
unmemorable dreams at 9:30 p.m. to unmemorable TV. I drifted away again, until my wife called on the telephone to regale me with stories of hanging out with a friend's kids in Nebraska. Now it's 11:30 p.m., and I must go to some place that serves breakfast food as comfort food near midnight. Although I'm of an age in which I am well familiar with various forms of the disco palace, it seems as though the nightlife I love has over the years always been more tilted to scrambled eggs than the hustle. I do remember, though, a time when one got one's hair "feathered" and was slightly reluctant when one had to decline a full blown perm.

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  • Current Music
    Alice Cooper, "School's Out"