January 17th, 2004

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Hot Dream

In my dream my basement (which in my dream looks exactly like it looks now but is perceived differently) is the center of some vast technological entity like a space ship or a military style base (maybe like super hero headquarters). Something has gone horribly wrong with it and I'm trapped there and I must blow the whole thing up in order to save humanity. There's no chance for me to survive.

I rig up some bombs in two separate corners, both of which are key to what needs to be destroyed (don't know if they are like data core or phsyical super structure or what). My theory is that I will set up both devices in such a way that they will be timed so that the first blast will instantly and painlessly vaporize me and will also set off the second blast. Somehow I screw it up and the first blast is much more localized than I expected and so far from being vaporized I'm just exposed to intense searing heat, fire, and pain and the second blast doesn't even go off. I set the second blast off directly and it also is so localized that I just get thrown back and highly bruised. Now the entire basement is in flames, there's intense heat. I remember the extreme distortion of the air from all the heat. And I'm stuck with fire all around me just waiting to be burned alive, scared shitless of facing death, knowing I'm doing the right and the only thing possible.

There's some thought in my head that I may be pulled from the wreckage, I may survive. Should I try to prolong the pain to maximize that chance, or should I jump into the flames and get it over with?

Then I wake up.
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Deep Music Memory and Waxing Nostalgia

There's something about listening to old records that is really neat. Most of my favorite old vinyl is stuff that my mom played around the house when I was between like 5 and 12 years old.

The weird thing is that even though it's been 20 years since I've heard some of it, I have this deep memory of it. I remember the lyrics, I can sing along, I remember the tunes. And though the records don't bring back specific memories they fill me with such a comfortable feeling of sitting around the living room or "helping" with the house cleaning on a lazy Saturday (or in some cases Crazy Dancing).

I think most of my childhood memories are associated with music (and that one really strong memory of a particular night listening to Prairie Home Companion while playing Legos): either records my mom played or live jams around the house or gigs my dad took me to.

I think I want to make a mix tape of chronological soundtrack of my life. Songs that for one reason or another stick out in my memory and evoke specific moments in time:

Warren Zevon - Certain Girl ("I can't tell ya.")
The Roches - (That song that I think was by the Roches but that I haven't found among the records that has the line "French Fries on the Side", mom are you reading this? help me out.)
Ricki Lee Jones - Chuck E.'s in Love
Joan Armatrading - Down to Zero
Marianne Faithful - Ireland
Talking Heads - Stay Up Late
The Blasters - Border Radio
Jackson Browne - For America
Laurie Anderson - O Superman
Loudon Wainwright III - Daddy Take a Nap
Bobby McFerrin - Drive My Car
Tracy Chapman - Behind the Wall
Ben E. King - Stand By Me

And then mix in some tracks from old recordings of my dad and his friends playing at jams.

In my memory, sometime around 7th or 8th grade is where I started being conscious of music in a fundamentally different way. That is when my memories are less atmospheric and more analytical. That is when I started choosing music, seeking music out, having opinions about music. Before that, music just came to me and it was universally good and comfortable and part of life. I guess around that age is where I transitioned from musical nirvana (characterized by contentment) to musical samsara (characterized by desire). Though I'd hardly say my current relationship to music is suffering, it does lack that pure innocent childlike bliss.
  • Current Music
    Ricki Lee Jones - The Last Chance Texaco