Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Time For Confession

to some it doesn't happen often, and i am definitely among them. i think its fair to say that the rigors of daily living can only prepare you so well for such an occurrence, but i suppose that is a big part of why we're here, living. the 'it' of human experience i'm alluding to is the rarity of becoming briefly obsessed with a song you would typically dismiss simply on premise. these songs stop life in its steady gait. the sum of everything you thought that you knew previously microscopes into a new perspective, demanding thought. how do you recognize a fleeing musical obsession? when you are so overcome by the preoccupation that blood surging through the ravines and canals of your veins carries its tune and you find yourself drawn to the alabaster rim of the bathroom sink to splash cool water across your face, that is when you know.

and above all, you can't help but sing along.

Petrarchan conceits, Vivaldian melodies and Shakespearean emotion coalesce in just under six minutes of splendor. your pores swell to welcome the new beautiful sound into your very flesh and bone. it is a song of momentary incomparability, a ditty seemingly without the temporal grounding of known instrumentation, not heavenly, but bizarrely magical. each verse dissects your sensibilities; for it is a musical autopsy whimsically fiddling with your heart, mind and the enclave of your intestines where butterflies reside.

today, a predictably episodic bluegrass foray into wartime emotion got me. the dixie chicks got me.

on "traveling soldier" the banjo and violin float just beneath the beautiful high harmonies as the song addresses the delicate heartache of a small town gal who falls for the all-american boy off to deal with Victor Charlie and his communist bullying. the song builds towards an (admittedly) cliche marching cadence near its conclusion with her weeping beneath the bleachers of the football stadium at the loss of her beau. somehow the impermeable fortress of my usually wrought iron cynicism was bypassed and i found myself chiming in, even annunciating Vietnam as "vee-et-namm". i dunno, maybe it was just being in the right/wrong mood at the right/wrong moment, but i must have listened to that jewel seven or eight times today.

The Dixie Chicks - "Traveling Soldier" (mp3)

Monday, July 23, 2007

we are the sleepyheads

For the first day in a little over a week I woke this morning to the whispy tapping of french rain on my window. i only give the raindrops the distinction of being french because they are a particular kind of rain. always soft, almost misty, in its descent from the clouds. they come from strata without vengence, from a faction of the heavens polite enough to wake you with a kiss rather than an alarm. all that to say, it is really a lovely way to wake up. with glenn off to texas the room was decidedly still and only the awkwardly synchronized cooing of overfed pigeons on the balcony interrupted my sluggish thoughts.

i stepped over a roommate sleeping in the living room floor en route to the restroom. his breath softly hummed groggy life into the pillow, but the cloudy windows of the room's french doors cast an accentuated shadow around his sprawling figure like that of a chalk outline.

my morning routine soon behind me, i made my way down to the street clad in my obnoxious red rain coat. the street recoiled in the candescent violence of my water-resistant garb, but i wasn't nearly as awake as my wardrobe postured. it was a lazy walk to the metro station, passing the closed shop windows of the neighborhood optometrist and florist. i was momentarily roused from the hazy stroll when sam cooke's 'bring it on home to me' (mp3) fell into the predetermined cue of my ipod's shuffle feature, but would be lulled back into my warm walking reverie by the fates' decision to have cooke's soulful crooning followed by the warm electronic melody of a Mum song (mp3).

on the familiar platform waiting for the line 12 train i rocked back and forth from ball to heel. headphone buds in my ears, i let my drowsy eyes wash over the others waiting for the train. all the familiar stereotypes were present: young professional in a sharply tailored suit, fifty-something male with irrepressible eyebrows elegantly folding his morning paper into origami cross sections to isolate a particular article, poorly dressed & overweight young woman who's already cradling the cigarette between her fingers that she'll smoke upon her arrival, passed out bum contorted to the rise and fall of a row of plastic seats, etc., etc., etc.

across the tracks a well dressed older man stood awaiting the southbound 12. his hair was whispy, white and perfectly 'french' in its ability to be simultaneously untamed and refined. he looked nautical (read: ridiculous) in a double-breasted navy blazer, complete with shimmering toyish buttons, and beige slacks. a gaudy golden anchor embroidered on his blazer or an astrolabe protruding from his back pocket would have completed the ensemble, but i managed to sheathe my amusement with a disinterested smile. we made momentary eye contact from across the divide before my body constricted and fell into the grasp of a sudden yawn.

it is common knowledge that there are gradations of yawns ranging from those light reactions to someone else's yawning up to shockingly exaggerated full face yawns. this particular yawn was the latter, but to the nth degree. this was of that brand of yawning which causes your chest to heave forward to such unnatural proportions that the seams of your carefully selected and hopelessly ironic vintage t-shirt wince at the stresses being infringed upon them. this was a yawn that causes your eyes to seal shut and your jaw to perform a reptilian unhinging from its sockets to facilitate the respiratory vacuum. this is the yawn that results in temporary memory loss, dry mouth and dizziness.

this is also the yawn that is most difficult to cover with one's hand.

as my eyelids withdrew into their puffy folds of socket i found myself exposed before the sailor across the tracks. i felt like an immature child before him, like a grungy american peasant stowed away on some metaphorical boat. just then his train came into the harbor in the time lapse motion of every day life, i lost sight of him. moments later the doors would close to the train and i spotted him. he had made his way to a window seat across the cart and was craning back peering at me through the window. and then he really drove the nail. he raised his hand to his mouth, mimicking a yawn as a means of tutoring me in the ways proper etiquette. as if i were one of his grandchildren. i pretended not to see him and i casually turned away as the southbound 12 lurched away from the platform.

it rained all day today. it rained a polite french rain, but long enough to soak me to the bone.

and now a completely unrelated (but awesome) 'take away show'.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Currently Applicable Vocab

skinnyfat (adj.) - the current state of jason's physical health and its most accurate descriptor

(n.) - the state of mind one enters into after reading Lolita; often characterized by an intense and violent aversion to the sight of twelve year old girls

quadrate expulsion
(v.) - the overzealous act of simultaneously yawning and stretching while lying in bed. typically seen in males celebrating the absence of their (similarly heterosexual) male bedmate; each limb elapses its respective corner of a queen sized bed

monopwned(!) (n.) - the resultant emotional state of having had the misfortune to sit down to a game of monopoly with jason

lymanitis (n.) - a condition in which one becomes dangerously obsessed with 'The West Wing'