Fired up the stereo today, hadn’t listened to music for a while, live or recorded, but was in the mood today, stereo and computer were both free.

I’ve got a collection that pretty much spans time as far as what has been recorded, and genres, though popular music, what used to be called “top-40” and rock of various subtypes is the majority, though there is so much music now that blurs the boundaries. The different genres are not so clearly defined anymore and I have a lot of music that fits into the, “I don’t know what the hell you’d call it” genre.

The computer has allowed me to digitize a lot of music I have on vinyl, a lot of it was noisy, ticks, pops, hiss, and then clean it up with software, remove the ticks and pops and hiss, fix a number of other problems. It’s time intensive though because it takes a lot of tweaking for every piece of music, different threshold settings, different EQ, different unique problems in each recording.

Listened to Bob Marley – Simmer Down, Toots and the Maytals – Bam Bam, Cab Calloways – Loose Shoes, Ruth Brown – If I Can’t Sell It, I’ll Keep Sittin’ On It, Deathcab for Cutie – Soul Meets Body, Richard Thompson – Don’t Roll Those Bloodshot Eyes at Me, Belly – Feed The Tree, Madonna – Ray Of Light, 10000 Maniacs – Candy Everybody Wants, Barnaked Ladies – Brian Wilson (Live version), Red Hot Chili Peppers – Under The Bridge, Nerf Herder – Courtney Love, Neil Young with Crazy Horse – Mansion On The Hill, Puffy Ami Yumi – Asia No Junshin, Size 14 – I Touched Her Ass, Courtney Love – Doll Parts, Norman Greenbaum – Spirit In The Sky, Interpol – Evil, Oingo Boingo – We Close Our Eyes, and I’m done for now.

One thing I’m really enjoying about this era is music. Don’t like the conservative right wing wacko politics, the wars, the total lack of concern for the environment, but this is absolutely the best period in my life as far as music goes. I like a lot of older stuff as well, but I think this era has produced some of the most unique and creative music.

I think what has made this such a great era musically is the Internet, and in large part the peer-to-peer networks that the major labels were all telling us would be the death of the music. On the contrary, they’ve allowed truly artistic and talented musicians to gain an audience instead of the tightly controlled formula shit the major labels kick out.

Size 14 is a good example of a group that would have never been heard of, selling CD’s off their website, my favorite song of theirs is “I Touched Her Ass”, and it’s complete shifts in tempo and style in the song and one awesome guitar riff two minutes and forty or so seconds into the song that makes it, it is high energy, it’s BIG guitar if ever there was big guitar.

My absolutely favorite song right now is Death Cab for Cutie’s Soul Meet’s Body, I love that song, everything about it, the lyrical content, the music, the harmonies, the guitar work, it is just goes right to my soul. It’s a great song all around.

Listening to what I think is the best song Oingo Boingo did and totally out of character from the rest of their work, We Close Our Eyes, and having a birthday coming up soon, having my 19 year old daughter left home a month ago, this one really has special meaning to me right now, we close our eyes and the world has turned again.

I’m done listening to music now, that last song, too much emotion I can’t handle any more right now.

No Dreams

Strange, after the crazy dreams the night before last, remembered none when I woke up this morning.

Haven’t seen the girl reflected in my monitor since I last wrote about it. Haven’t had time to research the history here yet.

Received a funny e-mail from some lady in Russia today who as near as I can tell is looking for an American to marry her so she can gain citizenship. She didn’t outright say that, but she describes herself in one sentence and then asks if I like Russian women, if I’m planning on traveling to Russia, and if I think I’m right for her. How could anyone know that from a one sentence description.

I hope she didn’t take it as overly rude, I did tell her that since I was already married I couldn’t be her citizenship ticket.

I can understand her desire to get out though. Countries that spend all of their resources on military and starve their citizens are no fun to live in. Wait, that would be here too.

I did also talk to a couple of local women on a couple of sites I am on, that helped my spirits a bit. Funny how someone who is a complete stranger is more willing to share the details of their lives with me than my own children. But that’s okay, it boosted my spirits significantly and I actually was able to get some work done last night.

I do wish my children were at least as willing to share as a total stranger, but perhaps being a total stranger makes it feel safer. My kids might worry about what I think about them, a total stranger doesn’t care what I think about them.

Life Challenges

A constant challenge life presents is to act upon what our heart tells us we should be doing rather than acting out of pain or anger. Usually, these are two different things and doing the former is constructive and improves our lives, but doing the latter is destructive and usually hurts us more than the person we are angry at.

Right now, I find myself in a unique situation where both what I know I need, to build my network of friends locally, people I can talk to face to face, do things with, is the same thing I feel motivated to do out of anger as kind of a “screw you, I don’t need you anyway, I can find other people that WANT to be a part of my life” message.

Even though the gross objective in either case is the same, make new friends, become more socially involves with real people locally, the subtleties very likely will be affected by my motivation, and I’m having a hard time being heart motivated right now, and I fear with disastrous consequences if I can’t get that under control.

This is an aspect of forgiveness that I think a lot of people miss, it’s not so much for the benefit of the person that harmed us as for our own good. Anger and hatred are often more destructive to the angry hater than the target of their anger. I know this intellectually, yet I’m having a hard time internalizing it and acting accordingly.

Making friends for the sake of making life fuller and more satisfying is a positive thing and if done with that motivation I believe it will improve my quality of life, mood, overall functioning. On the other hand, if done as some sort of revenge, then it’s going to worsen relationships with people that I care about, even when I am angry at them.

So how to get the motivation right and do the right thing? That’s a tough one, a work in progress.

Disturbed Sleep – Strange Dreams

Had very disturbed sleep and odd dreams last night. Kept waking up into a semi-conscious state, where you’re not really sure where you are or what’s around you.

But when I finally woke up all the way, I first had this dream where my wife, Raymond, Eddie, and I lived in a different house, small house without a basement, with an undeveloped area of land behind it. In the back on this land, some homeless people had primitive shelters they constructed with pieces of old plywood and stuff they found lying around.

Our next door neighbor had his dog stolen. Raymond spotted the dog in a television newscast so we called the police to let them know he’d seen the dog and where it was.

Then I thought the people who stole the dog were coming after us.

The dream morphed at this point and we were living in the house I grew up in, but it wasn’t with my parents, it was the wife and I and remaining children.

But this person was still coming after us. I went down into the basement and locked the basement door, then into the garage and made sure it was secured. Then upstairs and locked the front and back doors and the screendoors.

Then we went up into the attic with a cell phone. The plan was, when we heard them break in we’d call the police and they could capture them.

But then the dream morphed again, and I found myself working with this young woman at a college administering the computer systems. She was really the brains of the operation, I was pretty much a slacky. She discovered a password file entry that appeared to not be legitimate, it appeared modified to grant a student priviledges they shouldn’t have that would allow them to do things like change grades.

So we got in a car to drive to this persons location. Not exactly sure what we intended to do when we got there but that’s the way dreams go sometimes. We went up this one street that had a dead end segment at the end, and all of the sudden the streets were snow covered. I saw a car coming from the dead end and I knew something bad was going to happen and sure enough, it flipped over.

Then we made a left onto a street just before the dead end, and another left onto a two-lane arterial that headed towards a four lane, kind of like how 5th NE goes to Northgate Way north of northgate. Anyway, this car came in the opposite direction then turned sideways into our lane forcing us to stop. This big guy got out of the car and threatened to kill us if we didn’t mind our own business. He was running a grades for money racket.

Then the dream morphed again and my wife and I were in some kind of public transit center, like a bus tunnel stop or something. There were escalator and stairwells going up and down to multiple floors. There was a gunman chasing us and the floor we were on dead ended. But there was small elevator at the end, which I got onto. For some reason Tina didn’t follow me. But I got out at the next floor and headed down to find her then we went back up the steps and the gunman came down a flight in the opposite direction. I saw him but he didn’t see us so we climbed up really fast to get away.

I woke up after that, stiff neck and bad sinus headache. Pretty odd dream.

It’s still a challenge

Did receive a communications from our new found friend, seems our photo scared her off. This is unfortunate because I know to get out of this depressed state I have to increase my physical activity and social interaction.

I just can’t do the gym/swim thing, it’s just too painful. If I could find someone to accompany us and give me something to think about, someone to interact with, it would make it easier. I thought for a short while we had that but it fell apart.

Our ours make finding someone to accompany us difficult. We usually go after 11 PM, so we need a late-night person, preferably someone with a membership at 24-hour fitness where we go to work-out and swim, when we did.

Beyond that though I really need some live and in person local people we can do things with. I have lots of net-friends scattered all over the world but that just does not replace face to face human interaction which now seems so missing from my life. My wife is much better at making friends. Unfortunately, the friends she makes either don’t like me, are day persons, or have health issues that prevent them from going out and doing anything physical.

No Hangover

Although I only had two drinks last night they were strong. Tasted like a open bottle of rubbing alcohol smells.

But oddly, I didn’t have a hangover this morning. I did sleep solidly for close to nine hours which for me is a marathon session, felt a little irritable when I woke up, but that was it.

Old Apple Pie

Do you have any idea what Apple Pie that fell behind something on the floor and didn’t get noticed for a couple of weeks is like?

I don’t even want to conjecture on what some of the stuff growing on it was.

And the stickiness factor of the remains… Oddly enough, after some experiementation, I found window cleaner dissolved it.

Things In The Mirror May Be Closer Than They Appear

I’ve been thinking about my mental state lately.

I’ve come to the conclusion that my view of life is something like the view one gets looking into a convex rear-view mirror. You know, those rounded mirrors that give you a wider angle view but at the expense of distorting the image making things appear smaller and farther away than they really are.

It makes both time and distance seem farther away. Your children are born, the time when they will grow up and leave it seems so far away, but then BAM! It hits you unexpectedly.

And then the distance, seems so great, even though you can get on a phone and for almost nothing be talking to them.

I think everybody shares this to a degree, always, when we look back on the past it seems to have gone by very quickly. That phenomena is often referred to as time compression.

But I think my mirror is a bit more convex than most.

I wonder to some degree how this may have been affected by experimentation with various hallucinogenic substances when I was young.

The hallucinations I experienced were largely visual and perceptual, occasionally auditory. At first they are very disorienting, but after a while you learn that you can not trust your senses. And maybe that learning contributes to the sense of distance. It’s hard to be convinced that things I can only see or hear are real. But if I can touch something it is real to me.

There is a period after a baby is born in which it has not learned the permanence of objects, that is, when something leaves it’s visual field it believes that it no longer exists. Knowing that something, not visible, still exists, is a learned response.

I do wonder if I didn’t unlearn that to some degree, causing me to experience my daughters moving out to be more like a death than mere distance.