Saturday, April 18, 2009

Photo of the day: Maybe

Nope. Not going to explain this one.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Noise vs. Nice
What is it that makes something melodious to one person and annoying to another? What part of the brain is it that makes one person love heavy metal while causing another to want to put a drill through their head? And it's not just music, it's sounds in general.

Earlier this evening, Husband went to a website that had this sound-game-torture device that he found fun and enjoyable. I, separated by one room away, found the same noise to be the soundtrack that pushes a sane person over the edge and into a crime passionnel. Seriously, I honestly thought if that sound went on even one minute longer I would have to take a drill to his computer and commit Macacide.

When I returned to the room I asked Husband what that was and he was going to navigate back to the site to show me. I told him not to. He seemed surprised. Then I told him that I thought it was one of the most annoying noises I had ever heard and he looked at me in total shock. He found it charming. I found it horrifying. The kind of thing they could have played at Gitmo to coerce confessions out of people.

So why is this? Husband and I are pretty close in terms of musical taste, but occasionally he'll put on something that makes me want to beat myself unconscious. I'm sure I do the same, but he's much nicer than I and never tells me. But it's always interesting how we can be in total agreement on one artist and in completely different solar systems on another.

I guess I just don't understand "taste." What part of us dictates what we like and dislike? Is it nature vs. nurture? Is it chemical? Is it the little grey cells of Poirot fame?

Whatever it is I know I never want to hear that freaky-ass website ever again.
Photo of the day: His Master's Voice

He sits on the desk in the music office. Next to the stereo. When Husband is holed up in there, listening to music and writing about jazz, he always has a mascot. Mind you, he usually also has a cat curled up on the back of the chair, looking out the window and making sure she doesn't misplace her favorite guy.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Photos of the day: Prickly Things

We planted herbs in our front yard but they were all either eaten, slept on, or scratched up by the neighborhood cats. So I planted cactus thinking that at least it would keep them from digging up our plants.

It hasn't entirely worked. We're still finding cat prints in the planters next to these sharp cacti. Once we even saw a kitty curled up next to one of these things. Must have armor-plated fur.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Overnight Special
Nights, these days, are long and sleepless. I've had insomnia since I was a child and have lived with it, at times with more grace than others, all my life. Thanks to my wonderful doctor and the gods and goddesses who invented Ambien, I can count on getting some sleep two or three nights a week. But I didn't time my refill correctly and I'm down to one pill and at least another 10 days before the refill arrives. Which means whole bunches of not sleeping.

Last night I was awake until Husband got out of bed at 6. I fell asleep at about 7, got up at 10 and zombied around all morning. I've had a few nights like this. I took the penultimate pill too soon in this whole "waiting for the refill" cycle and so I have to suffer through at least another 3 or 4 nights before I can catch up on sleep in the middle with that last, gorgeous pill.

Now don't worry, I'm not addicted. I just can't sleep without them. That doesn't mean I take them every night. I accept sleeplessness as part of my life and deal with the same way I deal with being 3 inches shorter than I'd like to be and not having the nose of my dreams. The pill just means I don't get into the same sleep-deprived weird state that comes with averaging 2 hours sleep a night for weeks on end. It allows me to have a break in the cycle and prevent that walking dead feeling that I'm feeling right now.

So here it is 11:15. Husband is curled up peacefully in our cozy bed, sleeping the sleep of the just. (And the damned cute.) Cipher (The World's Most Amazing Cat, Screw You if You Don't Agree tm) is likewise sleeping and cute on her favorite chair, taunting me with her enviable unconsciousness. And here I am, prepared for a sleepless night. I've spread cushions and blankets out on the floor into a comfy nest. I have a stack of British mysteries on DVD, a good book at my side, and a cup of hot cocoa to look forward to. I will watch movies. I will read. I may even go back to making hideously shaped crocheted cat mats for the kitties at the shelter. I will take random photographs of random things in my house. I will eat toast. But I will not sleep.

This is not a mind over matter thing. Please don't get all preachy and say "well of course you won't sleep. If you tell yourself that you won't fall asleep then you make it happen." To which I say "oh shut up." I've been like this forever. I know myself. I know when I'm capable of falling asleep and when I'm not. I will try. I will lie in the darkness and try to shut off my brain, then give up after 2 hours and go back to the movie. But trust me, I'm going to have another sleepless night.

But sometimes I don't mind. I like the calm passing of the hours as the world slumbers by. I like watching the moon shift positions in our window and the cat shift from her right side to her left on the chair. I like the TiVo gods who make it possible for me to always have something to watch so I'm not forced to look at the freaky ShamWow guy while in a weakened state (I swear that guy is Satan). Of course come 6 am I'm exhausted, silly and terrified of my own reflection in the bathroom mirror. But this, too, shall pass. And when my refill comes I shall celebrate by taking a pill on two consecutive days and getting two good nights worth of sleep. In the meantime, I hear Sherlock Holmes calling my name. Or am I starting to hallucinate?
Photo of the day: For Those in Peril

From a WWII memorial at the Presidio in San Francisco. This one looks out over the ocean and recalls those lost at sea.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Back on the Air
I went back on the air tonight after being off for nearly two months. It was wonderful to be back. I don't think I realized how much I missed it until I was actually picking out music to play. It was just so much fun to figure out what I wanted, what I was in the mood to share, what new stuff I hadn't had a chance to showcase. As it happened several friends were listening, due to my promoting the show on my Facebook status. It was such a delight to know people I love were tuned in and were enjoying the music.

The show was nothing special, just my usual type of music, but it all seemed to fresh because I'd been away for so long. I'm thrilled I got to keep my Tuesday night slot and so happy that everything worked out tonight. Only one minor technical glitch, but other than that it was smooth and the music flowed well.


Now for the non-happiness.

I went to the funeral mass this morning for the relative I mentioned in a previous post. I think everyone I'm related to was there, many of whom I haven't seen in close to 20 years. There was a full Catholic mass -- and it's amazing how I still recall every word and knew every response. I didn't say them, mind you, but I remembered them. I was also one of the few people in the congregation not to take communion...and act which did not go unnoticed. I was also the only person there in jeans, which was not a sign of disrespect. You know how you hear women say "I have nothing to wear?" Well in my case, it's true. I lost so much weight during the mystery illness that none of my old clothes fit. I have four pairs of blue jeans in my current size and that's it. Absolutely nothing else. No dress slacks. Not even a black pair of jeans. Just those blue jeans. (Have I mentioned I hate to shop? I have? Oh, well then you'll understand.)

The service itself was made bearable by the fabulous singer. He sings with the SF Opera (I wish I knew his name) and performed one of the most beautiful renditions of Ave Maria I'd ever heard.

I didn't go to the burial or the lunch afterwards. Instead I went to the Presidio for a photo day but got blown out. When the wind nearly knocked me over I realized it was too cold and too windy to be out trying for the perfect shot. So I cam home. But I'm glad I went to the was nice to see so many cousins and it felt good to pay respects to someone that I did, in fact, respect.
Photo of the day: Calling Chicago

One of the best gifts Husband ever gave me is a set of bound TIme Magazines from the 30s and 40s. It's a time capsule of Nazi build-up, ads that make cigarettes a cross between a diet aid and a magic Zen pill, and a society that put women firmly in the kitchen, making soup for their hard working, hat-wearing men. This ad is just random but it made me laugh. Hell, I'm goin on 4 days of sleeplessness here, tissue paper makes me laugh...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Photo of the day: Mom's Least Favorite

At Easter dinner with the family the topic of least favorite vegetable came up. Yes, we are that desperate for conversation. The usual suspects were mentioned: Brussels Sprouts, Lima Beans, Zucchini... And then we came to my mother who said "onion." Who doesn't love onions? My mom. No onion rings. No grilled onions on a burger. No chopped onions in chili or soup. No onions.

My family is odd for so many reasons.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Pen Porn
Some people have embarrassing addictions. Porn. Gambling. Shoes. Well here's my deep, dark secret....

I have a thing for office supplies. (The first step is admitting you have a problem.)

Hello, my name is Decca and I'm a pen addict.

I have no idea where this comes from, but I love office supplies. I am constantly on the lookout for the perfect pen. And here's where Husband and I differ. For him it has to be black ink, fine point. Me, I'm a blue ink girl, medium point. I can't stop the search for the One. The pen that feels perfect in my hand. Is great for both writing and doodling. With just the right color of blue. I have no idea how many pens I've bought, only to be disappointed when it turned out they skipped, smudged, or just never called me again.

But this craving isn't limited to pens. Nope, I love all-things office supply related. Brightly-colored file folders. Staplers. Paper clips. Highlighters. (Oh man do I love the highlighters. Of course I haven't had need of a highlighter since grad school, but those neon colors just get me every time.) Binder clips, God's gift to the terminally disorganized. It's like Office Depot is my Nordstrom.

Occasionally this compulsion takes an international twist. This happened after Husband and I discovered the superiority of Japanese supplies. There's a Japanese store we've been to that sells everything from J-pop CDs to an orgasmic assortment of pens and notebooks. Shopping for notebooks there is like buying crack. The soft covers. The thick pages. The photos of tiny bunnies, sexy anime characters, or the phrase "stop me before I buy another fucking Japanese notebook I'll never get around to using" in Kanji.

You'd think with all these tools I'd have the most organized home office ever. And you'd be wrong. I don't actually use all of these, I just have them. The binder clips see more action keeping cereal packages closed than keeping our tax paperwork together. The highlighters sit mockingly in an old coffee cup on the desk, taunting me to highlight something...anything...just to give them a workout. The pens get a bit more work, writing checks, grocery lists, memo reminders. But I still don't do justice to their quality. The porn-soft leather notebooks sit in piles, waiting to be used....but I've only used about 1/17th of the last notebook I bought and I'm not ready to give that one up yet.

The one thing that gives me comfort is that I'm not alone in my weirdness. Husband has the same addiction. I can't get him out of the Japanese store without at least pens. Yesterday he spent about five minutes looking all over the house for his perfect baseball-scorekeeping pencil. There were pens and pencils in abundance, but he had to have this specific pencil or else the baseball-scorekeeping would be sub-optimum. Freak. You'd never catch me doing something that obsessive.
Photo of the day: Remnants

In honor of Easter I give you random bits of Catholicism. THe BVM in candle form and a set of silver rosary beads. The candle gets lit, as a joke, during sporting events to help the teams win. Being fans of SF sports, I can tell you the candle rarely helps. The beads lay dormant in my drawer until I stumbled across them while doing a clear-out for the charity truck.