A Dark in the Light

I don’t like the dark.  I’m not afraid of the dark.  Not really anyway.  I just don’t like the dark.  It’s more of a “fear of the unknown” thing.  And it’s not really fear, exactly, I just don’t like it.  And since I don’t like the unknown, and there is a lot of “unknown” in the dark, I don’t like the dark.

But I should also say that I’m talking about utter darkness.  Complete darkness.  Can’t see my hand in front of my face darkness.  I don’t like that.

These days it’s not really something I often have to worry about.  And I’ll bet you don’t either.  Turn off all your lights and look around.  With modern technology being what it is, I bet you’d be hard pressed not to be able to see clearly enough to get around easily.  So many appliances and devices in our homes these days have some sort of light on them, even when they’re “turned off”.

In my living room, there are two lights on the front of my printer.  The modem which sits on top of my DVR on my TV stand has five lights lit or blinking at all times.  There’s a clock on top of my mantle that is back-lit with an orange glow.  Even my laptop, when completely powered down has a light next to the port the plug is in.

In my kitchen the stove, microwave and iPod dock all have illuminated clocks on their faces.  When the automatic timer has activated it, my Keurig machine has a back-lit LCD display that is quite bright.

In my bedroom, right now there are three separate alarm clocks, all with lit faces, not to mention the face of my iPhone which is often turned on and lit up.  There’s even still a VCR in there with a lit LED display.

There happens to be a nice soft, blue night-light in the hallway which was there when I moved in and I never bothered to unplug.

Add to all that, the street light right outside my front door which shines through the windows in the kitchen, living room and bedroom, even through the closed plantation shutters on all the windows.

I have ambient light, all the time.  Not enough to bother me, but enough to keep me comfortable in my surroundings.

I am also not a morning person.  I do not rise easily.  I do not spring out of bed at the first sound of the alarm clock and I am not raring to go with my day.  It takes time for me to be awake enough to get out of bed.  (This is the reason there are multiple alarm clocks  in my room.)  The clock on my night stand goes off at 6:30 and tunes to my favorite morning radio show.  The clock on the dresser across the room goes off at 7:00 with an obnoxious beep that gradually grows louder until it is acknowledged.  I throw the covers back and slowly push myself into an upright position before dragging my self just far enough out of the bed to reach across and snooze the clock.  Then I plop back down on the bed, pull the covers over my body and I’m out cold again in seconds.  Nine minutes later we repeat this process and I crawl back into bed slightly more awake than the last time.  Nine minutes after that we go through the whole thing again and nine minutes after that and nine minutes after that.  With each interval I am a little bit more awake.

At some point, I lie in bed, listening to the radio show, 75% awake and 25% not while I wait for the alarm to go off again and I debate whether this will be the time I get up and stay up.

And that’s were we were today, sometime in the second quarter of the seven o’clock hour, when suddenly the radio show went silent.  I opened one eye and reached out to turn the radio back on when I noticed that the clock face was blank.  That’s when I realized that when the radio went silent I had also heard a downward sliding groan of noise outside.

There was a momentary resurgence of power and then the downward sliding groan again and everything was silent.  The power in the entire neighborhood had gone out.  I called PG&E to be sure and they were already aware of it.

At 7:20 in the morning it is not exactly dark around here.  The sunlight pierced the louvers of the shutters and the house was sufficiently illuminated.  And yet, with out all the random ambient lights and without all the soft hums of electronic components, it seemed oddly dark.

Not spooky.

Not scary.

Just… Dark.

A Drop In – (In which I Parenthesis You To Death)

Oh hi!  I didn’t see you there!  I’m sorry, I don’t really have time to talk right now.

Okay, so, yeah, I’m cheating a little bit… again.  Or at least I feel like I am.  I really don’t have time to write a deep and meaningful post (or even a shallow and meaningful post).  Today is laundry day and I’m supposed to be getting ready to go to Michelle’s house.  She texted me a little bit ago and told me, “Stop playing games,” (I had just sent her my moves in Dice with Buddies – If you have an iProduct and you’re not playing Dice, you’re missing out.  It’s like Yahtzee, but on the phone and it’s fun, quick, mindless entertainment (in which I don’t routinely get my ass kicked.)) “and hurry up and get here so we can go to Red Lobster for dinner.”  (The girl is a sucker for Red Lobster.)

So, yeah.  I really shouldn’t be here right now, but I didn’t want the day to go by without a post (and I likely won’t be home before midnight in WordPresslandia – which is 11:00 my time).  (Did you know, I just learned a new rule about parentheses and periods?  Apparently, according to the Roget’s (I think I’m spelling that right) Writing Guide on my desk at work, the period goes inside the closing parenthesis if the entire sentence is in the parentheses and outside the closing parenthesis when only part of the sentence is inside the parentheses.  I always thought it was always supposed to be inside the closing parenthesis.  Go figure!) (I’m pretty sure I’m also breaking some rule about parentheses inside of parentheses, but whatever!)

Anyway.  Cheating.  Yeah.  I kind of am, because this is going to be one of the most pointless, long-winded, without saying anything, posts I’ve written in a while, but the thing is, how cool would it be if I could post a picture of my February calendar with all those little grey dots over each of the dates, like I did for January?  AND – and I”m not making any promises here – but how cool would it be if NEXT January, I can post twelve pictures of twelve little calendars with little grey dots on every one of them???  So since I didn’t have time (or inspiration) – (What’s with all the freakin’ parentheses, today?) to pre-write and schedule a post for today, while I’m not supposed to be on my computer, I had to stop in really quickly to tell you that I don’t have anything to say today…

Sorry to have wasted your time. 😉

Anyway, I have got a few things bubbling around in the back of my brain and so I’ve got things to write about in the coming days, but right now, unless I want to make THIS a habit, I’ve got to get a move on!

Talk to you later.  Thanks for stopping by!

Stumped

What do the following songs have in common?

 

Lose Your Way, Sophie B Hawkins, Bounce motion picture soundtrack

Just Another Day, John Secada, No. 1 hit Mix

We’ll Be Together, Sting featuring Annie Lennox, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason motion picture soundtrack

You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling, The Righteous Brothers, Top Gun motion picture soundtrack

Dancing on the Ceiling, Lionel Richie, Dancing on the Ceiling

What Kind Of Man Would I Be? (Remix), Chicago, Chicago – Greatest Hits 1982-1989

Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do), Basia, London Warsaw New York

Love Is, Brian McKnight & Vanessa Williams, Beverly Hills, 90210 – The Soundtrack

When The Heartache is Over, Tina Turner, Ally McBeal:  For Once in My Life

Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover, Sophie B Hawkins, The Best of Sophie B Hawkins

Cruisin’, Gwyneth Paltrow & Huey Lewis, Duets motion picture soundtrack

All Night Long (All Night), Lionel Richie, 20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Best of Lionel Richie

Unchained Melody, Righteous Brothers, The Very Best of the Righteous Brothers

White Christmas, Robert Downy Jr. And Vonda Shepard, Ally McBeal:  A Very Ally Christmas

What’s Love Got to Do With It, Tina Turner, Tina Turner:  The Collected Recordings

Georgetown, David Foster, St. Elmo’s Fire (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

We Can Last Forever, Chicago, Chicago – Greatest Hits 1982-1989

Bette Davis Eyes, Gwyneth Paltrow, Duets motion picture soundtrack

Love Theme from St. Elmo’s Fire (Instrumental), St. Elmo’s Fire, St. Elmo’s Fire (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Lonely Teardrops, Huey Lewis, Duets motion picture soundtrack

 

I don’t know either, but my iPod seems to think they belong together in the Genius Playlist I just listened to, based on Lose Your Way by Sophie B Hawkins.  Sometimes the genius confuses me.

For those of you really in the know, and paying attention, you’ll notice there are only 20 tracks and not the usual 25.  What’s that about?

Sing a New Song

It may be somewhat surprising to learn that, despite having grown up in Oklahoma, I was not a fan of country music.  All that twang and depressing subject matter just wasn’t of interest to me.  One of my favorite jokes was always, “What happens when you play a country music song backwards?  He get’s his wife back, his dog back and his truck back.”  This was only made that much better when I once saw a country music video showing an overhead shot of a cowboy lying in the back of his truck with his girl and a dog lying on the ground next to the truck.  As the video progressed the woman disappeared and then the dog disappeared and I burst out laughing thinking, “what happens if you play this video backwards…”

I was forced to listen to, and then eventually came to like, what was then modern country music, in the mid-90’s, when I was dating a girl who I thought I was going to marry and who decided that she was going to become a country music fan and always had it on in the car.  I listened to country music pretty regularly for a while after that and it was only after I moved to the bay area where there is no country music station that I quit.  I had a number of country music albums by that time though and most of them have made their way into my iTunes and therefore, fairly regular rotation in my music listening routine.

Michelle doesn’t dislike country music though it is a LOOOONG way from being her preference.  Our tastes overlap fairly well, though she does like some of the more… urban?  R&B?  stuff.  I’m not even sure what you’d call it.  Let’s just be really tacky and say that her tastes are more ethnically correct…

Michelle also doesn’t like anyone to hear her sing.  She thinks she has a bad voice.  Truth is, she sings fine.  She may not be recording any albums anytime soon, but she shouldn’t be embarrassed for anyone to hear her singing.

On the way to Cache Creek Wednesday afternoon my iPod in my car was, as always, on random and there wasn’t anything that she might object to that came on.  At one point I even heard her singing.  I started to say something, only, every time I tell her I can hear her singing she stops  and I didn’t want to embarrass her or have her stop singing, so I didn’t say anything.  I was surprised at first at the song she was singing, because it was, shall we say, more ethnically appropriate for me…  Also, it was from October, 1994 and it surprised me that she’d be familiar with it.  But she does have a couple of years on me and she was actually far less sheltered than I (I didn’t really come to know the song until about five years ago, so…)

As we were driving through the parking garage at Cache Creek, a song by Terri Clark came on.  The song is called Cure for the Common Heartache.  If you have iTunes (and who doesn’t these days) do me a favor and go listen to the preview.  I tried to find a way to post a sample here, but I’m just not that technologically savvy…  Anyway, the song is quite twangy:  “This mornin’ I’m achin’ all over.  Cain’t eat.  Cain’t sleep.  Cain’t rest….  Is there a cuuuuuure for the common heart ache.  An unknown prescriptiooooooooon, any loser can take…”

(By the way, for the record, there has only been one Terri Clark song, ever, that I didn’t really like a lot, so I’m not saying anything bad about her!)

I turned to Michelle, right before I turned off the ignition and said, “This is a country music song… In case you were wondering…”  I was making a joke, because the song is the epitome of country twang (though I still like it,) but she thought I was apologizing, or in some way making a joke that suggests she doesn’t like country music.

“I was singing that other song,” she said somewhat defensively.

“Which song?” I asked.

“You know.  The one about the cowboy and the horse.”

Now this is not much of a description to know which song she was talking about, except that I immediately thought of the song I heard her singing earlier and had a feeling that’s the one she meant.  I sang a few bars, “I’m a cowboy.  On a steel horse I ride…?”

“Yeah, that one,” she said as I was unable to keep from laughing.

“Honey,” I said a little more condescending than I meant to, “that wasn’t country.  That was Bon Jovi!”

(Also?  Heh.  The clothes!  My Goodness!!!)

Moving Melodies: Happy

Unless this is your first time visiting my blog (and if it is, welcome! I hope you’ll come back) you know that from time to time I get hung up on a certain song that comes on my iPod and I listen to it repeatedly until it is thoroughly engrained in my soul.

Toward the end of last week, on one of the rare occasions when I wasn’t listening to my audio textbook while driving, this song came on the iPod in my car.  I don’t even know where it came from.  I obviously heard it somewhere and it must have spoken to me.  I’m sure I Shazam‘d it to find out who and what it was and then I turned to iTunes to procure it for future listening pleasure.  Since the iPod in my car was loaded and installed right after I bought the car last November and hasn’t been updated since, I’ve obviously had this song in my library for quite some time.  I didn’t even recognize it when it started playing.  (Perhaps some would say this is an indication I didn’t need to buy the song, but I’m so glad I did.)

Check out this video.  Lyrics are listed below.

Happy performed by Leona Lewis

Someone once told me that you have to choose
What you win or lose, you can’t have everything
Don’t you take chances, you might feel the pain
Don’t you love in vain ’cause love won’t set you free
I could stand by the side and watch this life pass me by
So unhappy, but safe as could be

So what if it hurts me?
So what if I break down?
So what if this world just throws me off the edge
My feet run out of ground?

I gotta find my place, I wanna hear my sound
Don’t care about all the pain in front of me
‘Cause I’m just trying to be happy, yeah
Just wanna be happy, yeah

Holding on tightly, just can’t let it go
Just trying to play my role, slowly disappear, oh
But all these days, they feel like there the same
Just different faces, diffent names, get me out of here
But I can’t stand by your side, oh no
And watch this life pass me by, pass me by

So what if it hurts me?
So what if I break down?
So what if this world just throws me off the edge
My feet run out of ground?

I gotta find my place, I wanna hear my sound
Don’t care about all the pain in front of me
‘Cause I’m just trying to be happy, oh, happy, oh

So any turns that I can’t see
Like I’m a stranger on this road
But don’t say victim, don’t say anything

So what if it hurts me?
So what if I break down?
So what if this world just throws me off the edge
My feet run out of ground?

I gotta find my place, I wanna hear my sound
Don’t care about all the pain in front of me
I just wanna be happy, oh yeah, happy, oh, happy
I just wanna be, oh, I just wanna be happy
Oh, happy