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Showing posts from August, 2016
We've finished moving. We all survived. Three humans, four common agouti-coated Rattus norvegicus, four colorful cichlids, and one bottom-feeder called a "pleco" which I'm told is actually some kind of catfish, but which is functionally a small armored Roomba.

(I don't have any clue how to deal with fish. You can't pet things in a water tank, and you don't spoil fish by feeding them, so I'm out of ideas. My introduction to the pleco was walking into the living room one day to find it smashed belly-first against the front pane of the aquarium, eschewing dignity of any kind, licking frantically at some invisible food molecules on the glass. Ah, I thought. It's an underwater rat. I know scavenger behavior when I see it.)

Every time I move, someone, generally a middle-aged white person, reacts to my new place like I've just arranged to rent a room in Mos Eisley. I haven't spoken to my own parents in something over five years now, so this time …

Saturday Serial: "The Boscome Valley Mystery"

Quick note: I may be on enforced hiatus for a few days. Jazmin called Comcast and told them to roll our account over to the new address on the 28th, so naturally they cut off our service last night with no warning. We have to pack the everything before tomorrow, so I can only spend so much time at the library before everyone involved starts pitching random unsorted objects into tote bags and maybe crying from exhaustion.

In the meantime, the Saturday Serial is queued up already, so at least you've got something to listen to?

Hey, technically-trained music people...

I have what may be a stupid question.

I have been trying to puzzle out vocal technique for the past week or so, because banging a new thing into my head is what I do when I need to distract myself from personal chaos. Having gotten bored of imitating generic Auto-Tune quantization (reasonable success, given I am not a robot) and trying to get myself to sound less American when singing J-pop (less of a triumph), I've moved on to trying to figure out what the fuck Brian Molko is doing to sound like that on tape. Fans call his style 'distinctive'; detractors call it 'nasal'. I call it evidence the man has never had a formal voice lesson in his life, because any vocal coach worth their salt would tell him to stop doing just about everything he does, retroactively if possible.

That's not the stupid question. I figured that part out. The tl;dr is that their debut album was super high and pointy and Molko realized that was going to get real old, real quick, so he drop…
I worked a gig Saturday night that took so much out of me that when my co-worker nicked some chocolate chip cookies out of the staff kitchen for me, I didn't eat them. I was so tired that food didn't taste good anymore. It was just a mouthful of crumbly stuff that really wasn't much fun at all.

When I ran out of things to read on the late train home, I started desperately pawing through my phone for something to think about. Though my playlists are generally albums in proper track order or a collection of a dozen or so loose songs that won't stop circling in my head, I load entire discographies onto the storage card for exactly these kinds of emergencies. Usually there's something weird enough in the directory of bootlegs and B-sides to keep me awake until I get to my stop.

I ended up listening to this on loop. That is Brian Molko on vocals, and probably him on the guitar, too; it's one of the B-sides to an early Placebo single. It sounds almost entirely unlike…

Saturday Serial: "A Case of Identity"

So apparently we're moving again, this time to a house in Dorchester. Those of you who have been around for more than a year will remember that moving is, to put it mildly, not my favorite. It generally turns me into the Simple Dog. I never have any money, and have spent my entire adult life being either thrown out of rooms because the semester ended or priced out of apartments because the landlord jacked the rent. I am moving with Jazmin again, because she asked. She was actually nervous when she brought it up. I don't know what she thought I was going to say -- "Well, I've only spent years finding people I can actually stand to live with, I think I'll strike out on my own and do it all over again"? I have no idea why she and her boyfriend seem to enjoy having me around the house, other than I help with bills as much as I can, and I do a lot of the dishes.

These rats have never moved before, and consequently have no idea what's going on. The longest trip…

Saturday Serial: "The Red-Headed League"

It's like a million degrees in Boston right now, which is starting to put a crimp in my plans. I tried to go down to the dance studio today. The studio is un-airconditioned, and the heat index was 105°F. I realized that was a terrible idea about five minutes after I got on the train, so I returned a bunch of library books and bought some ginger ale at CVS and came home. Apparently I am the person those Excessive Heat Index warnings are for. Goddamn it.

I didn't bother changing out of my dance gear when I got back. Hot pants are not technically underwear. I don't need to put on any additional pants to leave my room, even if other people are home.

This was a lot easier before I realized that I wasn't supposed to be this uncomfortable when it's hot out. I always knew I did not like being out in the heat, and in fact I put my foot down when I was about twelve and flat refused to go on any family outings that involved being outside, but I didn't really think it was …
Holy shit, etizolam is brilliant.

I took a test dose at 9:30, on top of a full dinner. (The roommates who have a vested interest in my existence knew I had it, and were watching movies in the next room over when I did this. I'm not stupid.) It kicked in by 10. By 11:30, I was not exactly all the way back, but I could have taken a shower or cooked a pot of pasta without injuring myself or burning the house down. Was pretty much normal by the time I went to bed, only a wee ghost of a headache from the hypotension, and no hangover in the morning.

Welp. That's getting chucked into Ye Olde Box o' Nuclear Options, where the Sudafed lives. Moving generally leaves me two cocktails away from becoming the Simple Dog, so I'm probably gonna need it. An effective dose for me is somewhere between a quarter and a half a milligram, and it's diluted to a strength of ~0.1 mg/mL in a 20 oz water bottle. I'm, uh, not in any danger of running out. Ever, maybe.

For the record, I hav…
I learned very early on that authority figures were unreliable.

My parents like to tell the tale of my first steps. I was fairly old for a non-walker, by their reckoning -- something over a year -- and had shown no real interest in doing anything about it. The adults were sitting around someone's living room having adult conversations, when I, on my mother's lap, started squalling. I wanted one of my toys, which was across the room. Nobody got it for me. It evidently didn't occur to any of them to put me down and encourage me to stumble over there myself. They were busy talking. Eventually, I ran out of patience for this, squirmed free, walked all the way across the room to where my toy was, and plopped down to play without them. No stumbling, no falling. Just one day I didn't walk and the next day I did.

My mother thinks that story is cute. A lot of people do. I understand that parents can't -- and shouldn't -- drop everything to cater to their child's eve…

Saturday Serial: "A Scandal In Bohemia"

It transpires that I am in fact able to stop a state of panic attack without Xanax. It takes a dose of phenibut on the order of grams, plural, plus a handful of Benadryl. I suppose it is good that I now know this, in the general sense that it's always better to know something than to not know something, but I wish to avoid doing any reproducibility trials. Ever. The process is intensely unpleasant.

Firstly, I now understand why filmmakers depict the world from the point of view of a character who is under sedation as viewed through sort of an underwater-wobble. It's not exactly that, but that's probably the closest one can get with commonly-available video filters. It happens, as I discovered when I tried to read something, because your eyes forget how to properly coordinate a saccade. Instead of hopping systematically forward in sync, they lurch from point to point like a pair of poorly-coordinated drunks holding on to the opposite ends of a dog leash. Dissociatives give …
I passed out on the Green a few weeks ago. It was kind of a perfect storm of terribleness. Things were hurting. Aleve lasts 8-12 hours, but Tylenol wears off after 5-6, so that's when I woke up.