Monday, February 1, 2010

In which the curse is broken

Fevered dreams can only haunt you until the fever breaks. Tonight, er, last night, wait..wait.. this current night shift, yes, just happens to be my very last weekend/night shift combo (for the time being). For some time now (approximately 6 months) I've been laboring through vorpal mysts as a 3rd shift man-nurse. As my first post-college job it's been no surprise that I stuck to the odd sleeping habits I worked hard to garnish through late night cram sessions and sweaty fingered game playing debauchery. However, at this station in my life I've come to the conclusion that the night time is best observed with one's eyes closed.

There seems to be a crooked connotation connected to the late shift that I'm having a hard time clearing. In my mind I'm (not in Carolina) taking a step back from the machismo I've added to the twilight warrior 7PM-7AM selection. In a way it feels as if I'm pulling off my morphine pellet lined gun belt, sheathing my problem solving battle axe, and flipping back my low light night vision visor. Plainly put, it feels less "cool" to be working alongside the day walkers. However, this doesn't change the fact that my list of pros and cons are swayed against the moonlit direction. As a matter of fact, I welcome the new. What was once a moot/mute/mutated point has now developed into the reality entering my life next weekend.

Here's an simple example of the night shift machismo equation:
+ =

I wonder how my life will change by merely dialing the clock back twelve hours each weekend. Will I find it more fulfilling? I consider the time spent with my lovely counterpart in crime quite valuable, yet oftentimes I'm straining to pay attention to our plans and playtime due to my scheduling oddities. This was something worth investigating for some time, laying heavily on my mind. The result of the change is worth exploring.

Sometimes I muse upon the old dusty story told by Chuck Palahniuk in his book Fight Club. Yea, it's overdubbed and miss quoted a thousand times by every blossoming neologian this side of the Bean, but I can't help myself from imagining what it would be like if I could simply switch one half of myself off at a time, allowing for an around the clock coverage of my doings. Sleeping seems like such a burden until I find myself in my own bed, wrapped in every blanket woven into existence since the 1920's, and arms gently tucked around my loved one. Burden then blossoms into absolute bliss.

(The old moosey)

Aha, I picked up a new IPhone application tonight worth mentioning. It's called "our stage". It works as a Pandora substitute yet has a flare for music yet to be brought to main stream. I'm digging the metal list at the moment and am swiftly moving towards the blues section. I can't wait to see what turns up.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

In which Conando rides into the sunset

It's been a while, but despite my best efforts to ignore Internet based self actualization: I'm back (said with a slightly Arnoldian drag). As any budding blogger would bequest, I'm bounding back into broadband bragging to belt out a bloated brick of belligerent brain brew. So here's a list of current events in relation to all things related M (moonkin too).

1) I just found out my main squeeze is part mermaid. With a few casual trips to the aquatic center under our belt, it's plain to see that M. and I have not only found a new way to blow off steam.

2) I prefer to keep my head under the water and watch slightly distorted torsos move in slow motion beneath the waves rather than practice swimming away from sharks. (Isn't that why the others perpetually traverse the lanes?)

3) In a little less than two weeks my night shift position will be no more. Tip toeing out from the comfortable shadow of nocturnal nursing seems like a more than promising endeavor, but I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a small bit of anxiety involved in the switch.

4) I saw the movie Avatar. This cinematic experience reinvigorated my interest in the film making process. Thinking about the sheere amount of work involved in the making of such a piece of work makes my head spin. From top to bottom, inside and out, that flick proved its worth again and again. However, considering my age I wonder how I would have reacted to this movie if 15 years were subtracted (or added). Consider how people were affected by Star Wars when it originally hit the big screen in the late seventies. Depending on how impressionable the viewer is, media such as this can end up shaping the way he/she looks at subsequent films and modern day mythology indefinitely. Was Avatar that good? I can't wait to see! (in 20 years?)

5) Conan (A.K.A. Co co, Conando, Conzies) gave a heart wrenching farewell to NBC and the famed Tonight Show last night. As much as I wanted to pound my fist on the table at the miss doings of fat-cat NBC execs for this decision to boot my long time late night hero, Conan was sure to waylay my ill emotions with a truly heartfelt good bye speech. Either Conan is 6'4" of integrity or his salute was monetarily fueled. Who else could see cut through the "victim" cloud as cleanly as he did in order to uncover the grateful truth? I'll miss his shenanigans, and I feel jilted by this abrupt change, but it may just be for the best.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

In which the guitar gently weeps

Last week Savannah was visited by one of my all time favorite singer/songwriter: Ben Kweller. Somehow M. and I managed to grab the best seats in the house (read: front row-center). It being my first visit to Trustee's theatre here in town I felt like I had driven miles from Savannah in order to catch the show. Warm, cozy, intimate: these are words I'd use to describe the venue. (albeit the hyper-patriotic usage of the American flag for the common trappings and curtains was a bit much)

The show started with somewhat of a clumsy bang as B.K. knocked over his guitar stand, however, it immediately brought the artist down to the human level for me. I've been listening to his music for about five or six years at this point and had the luxury of seeing him perform live twice. All three shows were great, but this one topped the chart. This was his first time playing in Savannah despite the fact that his music seemingly has a strong (although underground at the moment) following here. Alone on stage he seemed extremely vulnerable. Supposedly he's been locked away in his studio recording what is to be his next album campaign. From the few new songs he dropped on us during the show, I have somewhat high hopes for his next installment. It sounds as though he'll be leading away from the alt-country "trucker" theme into an up tempo, guitar heavy, rock cascade. Needless to say, my fireplace is stoked. Recently I've had a bad string of luck concerning some of my fallback favorites churning out surprisingly sub-par work. I trust ole' Ben. He's changed horses in the past, and I've changed right along with him.

I first heard of B.K. from a gal I met back in college named Samantha. She was the kind of girl that kept track of too much music for her own good. She seemed to almost become a mix matched chaotic quilt of musical genres and lyrics. Sometimes while talking to her I felt as if she was answering my questions with stolen lyrics rather than original thoughts. Regardless, this person knew for sure that I was meant to listen to Mr. Kweller so hesitantly I skimmed his first solo album "Sha Sha". Almost immediately I fell in love with the honest, bare knuckled, only slightly post pubic alt-punk that reminded me of my favorites. Before I knew it I was listening to him squelch out familiar lyrics while on my travels. I took a small mp3 player that contained no more than his music with me to Turkey for a five week excursion.
In moments of boredom or solidarity I'd play through his songs one by one until they were as good as memorized. Sometimes I think it's better to have less music to choose from. It really allows for a more intimate connection to the song and album as a whole. Since then I've quelled (not Kwelled, see) most of my insistent thirst for music by quantity in hopes of rendering my ears slightly more appreciative of the music I already have.

Back to the show:

Ben peeled the onion of his set list back until finally we arrived at the encore. What had been a very calm and sterile relationship between the stage and its onlookers was torn to shreds with the last two songs. M. and I were sorely missing our chance to dance together to some of his best songs but finally our opportunity arrived when Ben beckoned everyone to fill in on the stage's brim. I must admit I didn't hold back as I jumped into position amongst one hundred others as the other five hundred sat on their knuckles in jealousy. It was in that moment that I realized I was never meant to be sitting down at a performance such as this again. As grumpy and tired out as I'm getting in my old age, the desire to be on my feet clapping and celebrating the music I love hasn't left my body. Before I knew it the concert was over and we were in line to get a crack at small talk with Big K. How I wish we could have mustered the courage to invite him out for a stiff drink and a warm conversation on such a cold night. Something tells me that we'd be quick friends.

In which the end is nigh

Greetings fellow bipeds. We've made it another week on this spinning azure orb. (despite the encroaching doom for told by the heralds of countless religious and political sects) Yes, doom. The end of all. Is it possible? Why are we so mystified by the idea of a fiery ending? I guess when it comes down to basic story telling there's always a beginning, middle, and end. Oh, and we humans loooove stories! It makes sense that we'd apply the same framework to the mysterious meaning of the universe. (Opposites attracting/Cause and effect/Entropy) It seems there's a thousand and one possibilities concerning the end of time, and it's up to up to us to choose the flavor. Does this remind anyone of Baskin Robins?

"Step right up to the counter and take your pick! There's thirty one mouth watering apocalypses to shovel down your alimentary canal!" Oh, oh, can I have the one with slavering ninja goat women (complete with pancake hats) infiltrating my government!? *winks*
I feel like it's in our nature to want to end things with a bang. Global warming and the god forsaken Revelation seem to be nothing more than a means for self inflicted ego stroking. However destructive, chaotic, and sometimes ridiculous these stories about the near dystopian futures sound I can't help but wonder if it's all made up to make ourselves feel a little more important than we really are. If that's the case then I'm in hot pursuit of creating my own topsy-turvey trail into the abyss.
What's your flavor?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

In which I learn how to fly

I'm a man of habit. Or should I say habits? Either way, there tend to be plenty of rituals that I go through in order to feel like myself. Whether it's completely redundant things such as waking up on the same side of the bed every morning or something more eccentric, (read: raiding with a hand made crushed velvet magical druid cloak "of moon ray bombardment") it all adds up in the end.

One such habit I've gotten myself into as of late includes queing up a 60 minutes podcast before my head hits the pillow. While my eyes grow heavy and bones sink into the mattress I prefer to be whispered the world's well known secrets. A shred of me believes that given the hypnotic drone of the podcast and my sleepily seduced state I have a chance to become some sort of super intelligent/informed spy.


Figure this: I'm facing off (in a crushed velvet green druid tux) against my nemesis (a Nazi extremist lunch lady of course) when all of a sudden the laser I'm struggling to disarm is coded with a password question steeped in the trivia surrounding 60 minutes and their most recent topics. I punch in the obscure answer and within moments the world, no, galaxy is saved! Thanks habitual podcast use!
Well, maybe it's not quite that important, but I do hear about a few interesting albeit irrelevant tidbits here and there. (You know, the kind friends nod their head in agreement to while slacking their jaw and drooling in a trance from sheer boredom while conversing about it) Enter the birdmen.

No, not:

These guys are extreme hikers, skydivers, and by definition: idiots. Grabbing their parachute, a fancy helmet camera, and what looks to be a jerry-rigged inflatable water raft from Rite-Aid, these risk takers throw themselves off cliffs in Norway. Reaching speeds of 140+ MPH and skimming along the cliff's jagged ribs, they open their flaps and soar over the sprawling valley beneath them like...well..birds. (Big, neon, screaming birds.) Rad, huh? Going back to my previous point about subconsciously learned ninja spy skills: it makes complete sense now! Given my well endowed, sleep induced skill set: I'm on my way.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

In which my brains are digested

Yes. Braaaaaaaaains... When two good things in life are conjoined or mixed the results can oft' be messy. While this may prove to be an unsuccessful venture in the adding and subtracting of shampoo+conditioner, Zombie art married (no pun intended) with the realm of Marvel is a delight.

While browsing through a few friendly blogs I happened upon this model of one of the most iconic heroic symbols of modern day pop culture. However, as you can see the web head has clearly fallen victim to the dread malady. What I find particularly interesting about this take on our friendly neighborhood Spider man is that despite his now darkened, macabre appearance and questionable intentions, I'm still filled with an ingrained allegiance to his original nature. Is it simple enough to surmise that my fan boy core cannot let go of the wall crawler's glorious past or does the rabbit hole go deeper? Eating the flesh (albeit reluctantly at times) of his own family should be a clear indication that this pillar of justice and good no longer deserves such high regard. Nevertheless, I believe that it's in my nature to not only forgive this old friend for his wrong doing, but also cheer for him as he rends flesh from bone. What sick natured grey matter has silently brewed beneath my skin? Am I the one who has fallen short of valor? Are my questionable morals taking the lead or am I once again falling victim to a hero in distress? If the later is true then it seems something very interesting has been accomplished by its authors. (It's an age old trick might I add) Give the hero a flaw or inner demon to overthrow and he's immediately humanized. "BUT HOW CAN YOU HUMANIZE SOMETHING BY TURNING IT INTO THE NIGHT SHAMBLING UNDEAD!?" you might ask. Now that's a question for another blog entry isn't it?

In which I look at Paradise X

Slowly but surely I'm finishing a Marvel series being drawn up by Alex Ross and written by Jim Krueger. 4 books in and I'm nearly to the point of exasperation. Tell me that comics are shallow and flat. Go ahead. I'll throw this existential mind grenade your way. In comparison to other graphic novels of this size (Crisis-D.C.), I'd say the character development and story continuity is right on par. However, I find it difficult at times to keep the typical linear progression through the book's pages. Due to the premise (a rogue character unwilling to settle with his own fate decides to change everyone else's to benefit the "greater good") there's a mess of time traveling, cloned, and duped characters floating around that can leave one's head spinning. I feel like when the whole saga is said and done I'll be able to sort out the details, but for now I'm happy with simply enjoying the lush art work and witty dialogue. I know I'll be sorry when I flip that last page.