Don’t you see what’s happened? I’ve become George!

The gym got new treadmills, and they’re fabulous.  I didn’t know the old treadmills sucked until I ran on a new one.  The deck is so wide and smooth, it felt like running in grass.  I listened to In Your Dreams by Stevie Nicks in order twice through.  I ripped it from the CD into FLAC files and loaded it on the DAP I got on MassDrop.  I listen to an album with various headphones and amps because it reveals details I miss otherwise.  (I take my music listening seriously.)  When I finished, I was all disoriented like I just woke up.  I’ve been smiling since.

I saw previews for The Dark Tower movie today.  It’s the first I’ve heard of it, and I’m ecstatic.  I want to see a lobstrosity, and all the other creatures described.  Especially Shardik.  I remember reading that in 8th grade.  It’s a good thing I finally watched TV today.  (I abandoned it in favor of Stevie Nicks, and Fleetwood Mac live concert DVD’s weeks ago.)  Now that I’ve seen Mick Fleetwood play Dreams, I’m copying his technique.  He makes the drums sound like a thunderstorm in this song, and it’s so good.

M. wants me to meet his parents.  They’re coming in August and will return home with his sister.  Naturally, I’ve decided to start feeling anxious now.  Sigh.  My virtual presence device project is at a frustrating point.  Basically, hiring a college student to carry a video rig is the most logical and cost effective solution so far.  It solves the problem of theft, vandalism, teasing, etc.  Not to mention transportation, and all the other logistical bummers I’ve encountered so far.  I was hoping for a robot, but it’s not looking good.  Ah, well.  Maybe I can find a college kid who talks about robots while being my virtual presence device.  I’m off to read.

When the aliens land, who do you think they’re going to relate to?

The weather is so perfect today.  It’s been around 70° F and breezy.  I have all windows open as far as they go.  It’s going down to 46° F tonight, so I hope I remember to close them later.  I drove to one of my Senators offices with a sign before work this morning.  It said:

2016:  Veteran

2017:  Preexisting Condition

I got lots of thumbs up and honks.  The Active Generations (seniors) bus made my day when the driver did shave and a haircut, two bits on the horn.  I’ll be visiting the other Senators office next week.  I plan on finishing the Stevie Nicks documentary this weekend.  I like it better than the first one, that’s for sure.  The first one was too tabloid.  I’m not interested in gossip or details about people’s private lives.  That shit baffles me.

I’ve been reading The Dark Tower series by Stephen King.  I just started book five.  It’s fascinating and has incredible depth.  I can’t comment further until I finish.  I’m off to continue.

What does the little man inside say?

The Depression Monster is riding my back. It’s at minor annoyance level.  I’m a bit surprised by my suspicions of why I’m feeling low.  I think it’s because I’m studying Stevie Nicks, and I’ve come to a rough point in her past.  I’m at the overwhelming betrayal:  She was told she had to stop using cocaine or she’d die. Clearly, she stopped.  When she was recovering from addiction to cocaine, she was prescribed Klonopin.  It led to a worse addiction.  That’s a pretty big mind fuck.  I’m experiencing it retroactively, but apparently, my empathy didn’t get the memo.

I paused the documentary at that point to process what I’ve learned so far.  Fame is ugly.  It’s not new information, but watching Fleetwood Mac lose their innocence was hard.  I now know Rumours was created from pain.  They were all experiencing raw grief.  The successful album says a lot about their professionalism and abilities.  Most people don’t want anything badly enough to endure such circumstances.  They were about to make it big, but I don’t think they knew it.  They certainly earned it.

It bugs me something so sought after is basically a trap.  A trap for drug addiction, and a new type of loneliness exclusive to famous people.  It triggers my protective nature.  Fuck the universe for tempting so many people to strive for fame before revealing it’s true nature.  People don’t like to be fucked with, especially not after pouring everything they have into reaching for excellence.  Fuck.  Also, the men interviewed in this documentary are pissing me off.  They’re music producers from the late 70’s, which is probably enough explanation.

They’re accidentally doing a fairly good job of conveying how things went down, but you have to read between the lines.  They’re inarticulate and behave like frenemies at best, ex-lovers at worst.  Nobody is watching this documentary to hear about how butt-hurt the producers are decades after the fact.  Besides, Gen X women know misogyny speak fluently.  When men describe a woman as a bitch, diva, full of herself, bossy, and/or demanding, we are aware it actually means she was a formidable leader.  It says she didn’t submit to male dominance.  It means she’s someone worthy of our attention.

I’m noticing similarities between Stevie Nicks and Carrie Fisher.  They’re both survivors and storytellers.  They’re understandable to me.  I’ve probably stated this many times, but understanding is the path to love.  When you understand someone, you can’t help but love them.  Loving those who don’t know I even exist is surprisingly delightful.  It’s a safe secret.  I’m not very good at being a fan of famous people.  I rarely go to concerts because the other fans scare the shit out of me.  I’m pretty sure a lot of famous people have been traumatized by their fans.  We should rename fame.  It should be called Public Pain.  (I’m a huge fan of stating what’s meant.)

I can’t recall ever meeting anyone famous.  It’s a perk of living in South Dakota.  We’ve all rehearsed how we plan to act should it ever occur, but even my rehearsals haven’t gone well.  My imagination is kind of an asshole.  I’m barely able to manage it, (mostly because it amuses me too much to try very hard.)  The only famous person I’m confident I could meet (without regretting my behavior ever after) would be Michelle Obama.  I know exactly how that would go down.  She’d smile and offer to shake my hand, and I’d immediately start bawling.  I wouldn’t be ashamed because I know so many who would react exactly the same way.  (She’s probably used to it.)

I know I’m rambling on and on, but I can’t help myself.  I haven’t spoken to anyone but my cat in a few days.  (It was deliberate, but I’m an inch away from too weird, to begin with.)  So here we are.  I still have a profound sense the end of my life is impending.  It’s been over six months, but the feeling hasn’t waivered.  I hate to admit it, but I’m enjoying the planning process.  (I think it’s just that I like planning in general.)  I’m at a point now where I recognize I need to write a short story about my childhood nightmares.  It’ll be a cleansing.  I’ve always been reluctant to write it because it’s a horror story and it’s not reality.

I would suck as an author.  I have the discipline and imagination.  I don’t have the thingamajig required to convince anyone a fantasy is real.  The things I love most about novels are things I’m only capable of recognizing, not reproducing.  I’m pretty sure identifying them is more fun, though.  I don’t do the foreshadowing dance anymore, but I still get a burst of joy every time I recognize it on a first read.  That’s a lot of mileage considering I was in primary school when I learned of it.  But as a writer, I don’t foreshadow, I announce in advance.  Sigh.  Sophistication is a bitch.

Why give me comprehension without the skill?  That’s fucking mean.  But I’m not complaining, just rambling.  I’ve managed to put off this short story for most of my life.  I guess it’s time to purge it.  I’m extremely curious about what comes after life if anything.  I’m mostly sure the answer is nothing.  The thing I like most about that possibility is its nature; there can be no regrets.  The itsy bitsy chance someone imagined it right, or even close, is still enough to get lost in for a while.  It bothers me a bit that I’m not grieving, though.  Does it mean I’m ready?  We’ll see.  I’m off to beat my drums.





Have you ever seen Elaine dance?

Ladies and gentleman, hold your devices tightly.  From here on out, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.  The countdown has been reset to expire on June 30, 2017.  The catalyst is once again the threat to repeal the ACA (Affordable Care Act).  Unlike before, I’ve decided against a dramatic exit specifically designed to shame Paul Ryan.  It’s since come to my attention he’s soulless and impossible to shame.  It may be a prerequisite for a GOP leadership position.  (I’m not sure souls exist.)

It was a logistical nightmare, anyway.  Assuming I don’t die hilariously in the meantime, there will be no drama.  This pleases me.  I don’t have enough data to produce a significant probability regarding the vote.  I refuse to go black hat to acquire said data.  Fuck the dark side.  The Rule of Two (and Three) has been shattered beyond recognition.  The Sith have spent decades planning this coup.  It’s surprising how poorly it’s gone when you consider the time and money spent.  Fortunately, empires built on lies implode.

Oddly, I feel relieved and curious more than anything else.  In the meantime, I’m having a blast jumping and flapping to Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac.  I spent at least 40 minutes doing it earlier.  I have a playlist with just that song, so I can repeatedly listen without interruption.  Rhiannon is like Chiquitita by ABBA; it’s a hug made of music.  I used to listen to Chiquitita on repeat when I needed to cry but couldn’t.  The song wept for me.

This weekend, I get to beat on an acoustic drum kit for two hours.  I’m bringing my noise canceling headphones.  I’m going to be louder than I’ve ever been in my life the whole time.  I’ll be in a soundproof practice room, so nobody will mind.  I’m so excited.  For someone who can’t tolerate thunder, I sure love playing the drums.  Probably because I can control the volume and there’s no suspense.  We had a thunderstorm this morning.  I wore my headphones, but I couldn’t find my cat for a while and started to panic.  She’s mostly black and quite tiny.  She was lying behind the sofa, curled into a ball.  I looked there a few times without seeing her before I used a flashlight.  Sigh.

It irks me to get upset over irrational things, but I love that little fur ball.  I’m still amazed by how sweet she is.  She winked at me the other day.  I wasn’t certain I’d seen it, so I looked again, and she repeated the performance.  Yep.  I awwed.  Even when she’s a little shit, she’s sweet about it.  She doesn’t just fling my remote off the coffee table.  She makes sure she has my attention first.  She gently pushes it to the edge, then stares at me.   I think this is her way of telling me she wants a treat in the next few seconds, or the remote gets it.

I didn’t sleep last night, but my body is telling me tonight will be different.  Before I sign off, I want to apologize to the bloggers I’ve been neglecting (especially my Pocket Sister!)  It’s not you, it’s me.  My daily schedule is out of whack, and I’m flailing.  (Just flailing, though, which is miraculous.)  I’ll be by soon to see what you’ve been up to.  I’m off to waste time laying still for a few hours, so I don’t hurl from sleep deprivation.

She’s a bitter, unstable person. I need more.

Welp.  I got my Fleetwood Mac Rumours CD.  While listening intently, I had to laugh at my misinterpretations of the lyrics.  What I thought I heard while laying in bed as a kid is so much different than the actual words.  The songs make a lot more sense, now.  (My versions included a lot more humming than the originals, too.)  I like the album art.

After listening to it over and over again, in order, I played along on my drums.  Then I went on YouTube to watch some live footage.  I got sidetracked.  I know now it was inevitable.  I saw Stevie Nicks performing Rhiannon.  (The whole band was there, of course.)  I put my study of Fleetwood Mac’s history on hold and searched for Stevie Nicks.

I almost lived my entire life on earth without knowing about Stevie Nicks!  Tragedy averted.  I will admit, there were a few moments when I resented everyone I’ve ever known for not taking a few seconds out of their busy lives to inform me Stevie Nicks exists.  (My inner 5-year-old is still pouting in the corner.)  I know.  How the hell did I not know?  So I got over myself, and all is forgiven.

I wasn’t allowed to listen to popular music as a kid.  I used to sing while my sister played piano at her recitals.  It was the only exception.  So at least I know about Barry Manilow.  I was called the Human Tape Recorder growing up.  Most of what I heard and repeated was without comprehension, which I suspect made it worse.  My parents were strict about what I was exposed to, for obvious reasons.

I do remember an incident where I sang a song my sister taught me from Jesus Christ Superstar.  Apparently, it was controversial or something.  I was too young to notice (or care.)  In a way, I’m glad I’m just discovering Stevie Nicks.  It’s exciting.  I listened to her in a few interviews on YouTube at various times in her career.  She’s brilliant.  (No Mariah Carey Syndrome.)  That’s the point where I became a Stevie Nicks fan.  I love her voice.  She’s beautiful and fascinating.  I feel like I won the jackpot and my face hurts from smiling so much.  It’s been a joyful day.  I’m off to read.

Mile 114, clean as a whistle!

Today was unnecessarily dramatic.  I hate when that happens.  Fortunately, it was someone else’s drama.  I recovered quickly.  My body took a few hours to get the message, but I spent much of that time on my drums.  I’m still addicted to Rumours by Fleetwood Mac.  I used to hear these songs when I was laying in bed pretending to sleep as a kid.  My older siblings played music often, and it’s always been a big part of my life.  I have an incredible memory for music.  I can remember my location and how I felt when I last heard a song.  I remember the first song I learned when I was four.  Music is almost always playing in my head.  Every song I’ve ever heard is in there, waiting to be queued up when triggered.

My ideal learning method is through music.  Even if the lesson is beyond my comprehension at the time, it’s stored away and recalled when more information is acquired.  Many of us learned the alphabet through song.  I was taught through songs on Sesame Street.  When growing up, my siblings, nieces, and nephews and I would invent songs to amuse ourselves.  The last time, I remember we made a song called Yahoo Jen.  It was a cautionary tale about online hookups, based on an experience my nephew will never live down.  I laughed so hard that night.  It’s probably obvious, but I’ll go ahead and admit it.

Hi.  I’m Alison, and I’m a spontaneous singer.  I don’t sing loudly, so it’s easy to ignore.  I love every person who has ever caught me singing and decided to join in.  Remember that episode on Rosanne when DJ brings home a spontaneous singing frenemy, (remember who played his mom?)  Like that, only I don’t deny it.  I think it’s mostly unconscious.  I think music leaks out because I have so much inside me, and I refuse to let any of it go.  I’m off to read.

Because I’m single, I’m thin, and I’m neat.

The above Seinfeld quote cracks me up because I misinterpreted the intended meaning of “neat.”  I laugh anytime I hear someone refer to a personality as, neat.  The word, neato, if pronounced with the proper enthusiasm, can render me a quivering heap of giggles on the floor.  There are perks to having older siblings who were teenagers in the 70’s.  Flipping through photo albums showing them in their plaid bell bottoms on holidays is still a favorite.  I still don’t understand what the orange, avocado, and mustard yellow everything were about, though.  Did those colors look better in the 70’s?  Asking for my eyes.

My eyes are glazed over from reading news articles all day.  I can’t believe I have subscriptions to The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.  I’m not complaining, just marveling at how much 45 has impacted my life.  I used to only read articles about artificial intelligence, computers, games, gadgets, etc.  I’ve cut back on some of my interests due to the state of emergency in American government.  I tend to do my best when I’m intensely focused on a small number of projects.  I can juggle three at a time, but two is better.  The extra one only when I’m not sleeping for a stretch, (but I suspect I waste as much time staring into space from being overtired as I gain from not sleeping, so it probably doesn’t count.)

The Resistance is my priority.  My other obsessive focus is on my drums.  I had to take a day off from practice to let my hands heal.  I’ve been playing along with Fleetwood Mac, Rumours.  It’s such a good album.  I understand now why drummers move in ways I used to find awkward to watch while they play.  It’s because it feels good.  I do it too and laugh at myself when I realize.  I used sticks dipped in rubber (on the grips) and no gloves.  Mistake.  I peeled a disturbing amount of skin off my hands today.  Then obsessed over the new skin for a bit.  I’ll be wearing gloves going forward.  I wasted at least 30 minutes messing with dead skin like I had nothing better to do.

I got my laptop back yesterday.  Everything looked like it should, but I still stayed up all night shortening the lifespan of my hard drive.  I appreciate TSA for getting it back to me so quickly and intact.  It’s clear lots of people leave stuff in security because they have an impressive Lost and Found department.  The process was as easy as typing, “I left my laptop in security” in a browser.  The first hit was TSA Lost and Found website with a phone number.  It had automated instructions informing me to give them 24 hours, then call and see if it was turned in.  I talked to them on Sunday, and my laptop was back in my hands on Monday afternoon.  That’ll do.

Apple got my attention with the iMac Pro.  I haven’t had an iMac since the G5.  It’s been Macbook Pros and mini’s since.  I’m just going to get the new 10.5″ iPad Pro with a 512 GB SSD.  I have an iPad Air 2 with a 64 GB SSD.  I use it mostly for making music.  There are some amazing apps for IOS, many of which let you download samples and instruments.  Faster and more space?  Yes, please.  My sister will appreciate the old one.  I have a one in, one out policy now.  I’ve progressed in my mission to get rid of my excess stuff.  I’m not done yet, however.  I need to purge my t-shirts.  I have an obscene number of them, mostly from sites like TeePublic, Woot Tshirt, Teefury, and DesignByHumans.

I was going to make some quilts with them, but I’ve since changed my mind.  Instead, I’m going to drive down to the state mental hospital with a box full.  It’s about an hour away.  It’s a surprisingly nice facility.  It was built by a former governor who I believe had a spouse with mental illness.  It has an Olympic size indoor pool, full-size indoor gym, music rehearsal room, and the wards are arranged around an indoor walking path that loops around.  I love such thoughtful architecture.  It’s one of the buildings I’m proud of in my state.  When you consider our laws regarding the mentally ill in South Dakota are embarrassing at best, it’s remarkable.

Here, the police transport the mentally ill in handcuffs and leg shackles.  I’m. Not. Fucking. Kidding.  The last time I went down to see the building, I talked to a kid who was from Rapid City (western side of the state).  He was 14, and they brought him there on a prison bus with prisoners seated adjacent to the mentally ill patients being transported to the state hospital.  They had him in handcuffs and leg shackles for the entire 5-hour trip.  He told me the prisoners taunted him and the other patients, calling them derogatory terms for MI.  He was crying by the time he finished telling me.  It really shook him up.

I’m pretty sure it would have shaken me up, too.  I reported it to a local advocacy group.  They told me it would be wise for people with mental illness to move east because people are more understanding there, (practically a quote.)  It’s 1960 in South Dakota.  I felt ashamed to be an adult that day.  The building is nice, though.  Sigh.  I’m off to read.