Reversing the Numbness

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Friday Music

It's Friday. I need music.

Actually, I have lots of music to catch up on from last week, because life dictated that I wouldn't have much time to do anything this week. I remember a time with fewer responsibilities. I wouldn't want to go back there for good, but I'd go back for the weekend.

Hair like Jesus wore it
Hallelujah, I adore it
Hallelujah, Mary loved her son
Why don't my mother love me?


There's always room for more music, though. What makes you feel free? Gimme gimme gimme!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Dream a Little Dream

Ah, the American way. In this great country of ours, we can dream big, take action, and make it happen. Just ask the inventor of the Cruzin' Cooler. This person had a vision one day that the world would be a better place if they combined a motorized Razor scooter and a cooler, and voila, the Cruzin Cooler was born. At first, I thought it was absurd. Do we really need this thing to exist? Then I thought of at least two types of people who could really benefit from this.

1. An enterprising youngster who wants to cover as much of the neighborhood as possible by making his "lemonade stand" mobile.

2. Someone on Dead tour (or Panic tour or wherever the old hippies have gone) who wants to go mobile with their veggie burrito business.

I'm sure there are more. The Dalai Mama wonders if a person could get a DUI on one of these things, which I think is a pretty good question.

Either way, the Cruzin' Cooler got me to thinking about other crazy ideas, which led me to stumble onto I haven't had this much fun on a site in ages! All of the crazy things on this site are actual U.S. patents, along with the actual illustrations that are on file in the patent office. Here are a few of my favorites:

The Duck Shield
Patent issued in 1997

This is supposed to attract ducks. Honestly. I think it's more likely to attract a bullet to the head. Maybe that dude Dick Cheney was hunting with was wearing one of these.

Robo Skater
Patent issued in 1999

Twenty-six wheels. Imagine the possibilities. Look, I'm turning 35 in a month and a half. If all of you pitch in a few bucks, you could get me one of these. I'd be Figure 2kin' it all over the place. Pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease!

Quick Draw McGraw
Patent issued in 2004

Keep missing phone calls? Have a Spider-Man infatuation? Buy one of these and you'll be saying 'hello' before the first ring is through. If they add a watch to the package, they just might have me.

Goofy Goalies
Patent issued in 1989

Uh. Hmmmm. And the cup isn't included?


I could go on for hours. This site is loads of fun, really -- check it out. How else are you going to find out what these are?:

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

You Gave Me More to Live For; More Than You'll Ever Know

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the day Jeff Buckley drowned in the mighty Mississippi. When I think of the volumes of brilliance the world was denied by this tragic event, it's hard to accept, but I find solace in listening to the amazing Grace, which still makes me feel like I'm in the greatest church of all every time I listen to it.

My Friday music will have to be unclogged tomorrow, because today, it's all Jeff.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Friday Music

It's Friday. I need music.

I'll start the day with some Mingus and Miles, then ease on into Rocket from the Crypt. After that? I think this poem says it best:

"Did you sneeze?"
"Yes, I snoze
And it blew off all my clothes
I was exposed
So I froze
And I lost all of my toes."

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Motorcycle Wave

As anyone who rides street motorcycles knows, there's a camaraderie between riders that is most visibly expressed through the "motorcycle wave," which good ol' helmetless St. Nick is demonstrating for us in this illustration. It's usually sort of low, off to the side, with a couple of fingers out, and non-riders can think of it as a sort of Fonzie-"heeeyyyy!" for the two-wheel set. (If you drive a Beetle or some other distinctive car like that, you've got your own little thing you do when you pass the 'others.')

I like this tradition. It's a nice acknowledgment that, at that very moment, the other person on the bike is probably feeling similar to how I'm feeling. We're sort of sharing an experience, and it's cool throw out a little I understand.

But not every rider does it. Sometimes you'll throw out the motorcycle wave and it isn't reciprocated. Why? Maybe the dude on the Harley thinks he's too cool for a Triumph. Maybe the squid on a Gixxer with the t-shirt and shorts thinks he's too fast for a Triumph. Maybe the dude on the custom chopper thinks he's too unique for a Triumph. Or maybe he just didn't see me?

For a long time I'd feel a little silly when I'd wave and the other person wouldn't wave back, so I started trying to predict. If it looked like the wave wasn't going to happen, screw it, I wasn't waving either. There were probably occasions where I saved a wave that would have been unrecognized, but there were also occasions when I noticed at the last minute that the other guy did throw out his hand, and all of the sudden I was the guy who didn't wave back.

I don't like that, so last week I made the decision that I'm going to wave every time, no matter what. Since then, I've yet to have one unreciprocated. I don't know if this is some form of karma, but I'm feeling pretty good about it so far.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Worlds most hated blogger?

What qualifies you to be the "Worlds most hated blogger?" Surely there are more devilish blogs out there. Most bloggers have probably come across this guy already, but if not check it out- it makes for an interesting study on how far some people will go to cheat the system.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Friday Music

It's Friday. I need music.

You stumble out of bed half asleep and feel your way to the bathroom door. It's still dark outside, and you see nothing until you make your way to the light switch beside the sink. Your eyes reject the sudden burst of light and order your hands to shield them, to temper the light, to let it in gradually.

As your hands are finally allowed to drop to the sink, you look in the mirror. Only you don't see yourself. You see me. You scream, and so do I. You desperately drop your face into the sink and splash it with frigid water. You pause, but ultimately you look again, and you see the water dripping off of my face.

You test me. You feign to the left, duck, do a half spin, back again, then an impossible-to-predict mix of fluttering hands and facial expressions. But I'm with you, in real time.

So you give in. We cock our heads, then look up and slightly smile. We flair our nostrils ever so slightly, take a deep breath. You see that you're in control. We bow.

We hum a tune -- do you remember what? -- and then part forever.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

My Favorite Things

This post is inspired by two people, Rob Zero and Winters.

Both of these guys have recently posted in the 'my favorite things' category, and that got me to thinking of my own favorite things. I can't come up with five things, like Rob did, but I do have three. (My iPod doesn't count because it's merely a vessel for music, which I don't actually own but am privileged to use.) In order, they are:

1. My motorcycle.
This one is almost too easy. I love it, plain and simple. It makes my life better.

2. My heated mattress pad.
I live in a place that gets really cold in the winter, and -- Oh. My. God. -- do I love this thing. Seriously, every night, as I climb into my bed/womb, I realize that it's the best moment of the day and I rejoice. I wish I could express in words the love I have for my heated mattress pad.

3. My mosque alarm clock.
A friend of mine who is in Iraq sent me one of these, and it sits proudly on my desk. The alarm is unrivaled. Wanna hear? Check it out. And it's got, like, three more tracks than that. It's brilliant.

Just let me have these three things. You can keep the rest of it.

Jerry Falwell 1933 - 2007

I know we avoid religion here but, c'mon, you have to admit you laughed when you saw this picture below the headline. I can't take credit for the idea of marrying the two, but I will take credit for posting another conversation starter on RtN.

Book Crossing

I was leafing through an issue of Mental Floss magazine when I came upon an ad for Pretty neat stuff. Sort of like the well-known Where's George site does for money, Book Crossing allows people to tag books before releasing them as free offerings in some public place. The idea is that whoever finds the book and decides to take it home will go to the site, enter in the book's ID number, write a journal entry about it, and then pass it on for someone else to enjoy. As the person who registered the book, one can track the progress of the book throughout the years to see how it's touched random people's lives.

I sort of like communal things like this. Hell, every now and then, the Dalai Mama and I jokingly consider selling everything and going Zendik. While that's not really going to happen, giving away books to is. I'm starting with Dostoevsky's "The Idiot," which had a profound effect on me when I read it a couple of months ago. This one is going to be a "controlled release," meaning I'm giving it to a friend, but when she's finished with it (and after she logs it into the site), she can put it wherever she wants. Tonight I'll find something cool to release directly into the wild, like at my favorite coffee shop. If you've ever been to the Blue Moose, you know exactly what I mean by wild.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Three is a Magic Number

This is probably the most famous of the Schoolhouse Rock toons from the '70s (also the first), but I hadn't seen the original in a long time. I can't believe how good this is, on so many levels. It's a great song with catchy and cool lyrics, a classic melody, and I think it's actually beautiful in places. I really like the art and the minimal animation, too. I can't wait to show this to my kids tomorrow.

Japan's Edith Piaf

Edith Piaf is known worldwide as one of France's legendary entertainers, but Japan's hottest up-and-coming crooner, Nanako Suzuki, is only now making waves outside her native country. Here she is taking passion to a fever pitch in a riveting performance that you won't soon forget.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Friday, May 11, 2007

Friday Music

It's Friday. I need music. I'm starting the day off with Pink Floyd's The Wall, and then I'm finally going to spend a little time with John Coltrane. Beyond that?

I'm a pile of old bricks and a bucket of mortar.

Build me.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Free Music! Free Music!

Wow, it's all about music this week at RtN, and it's not even Friday yet. I cleaned my desk today, and I still have three copies of Poor Bailey's two-CD Pyrite and Gold album. As I've said before on this blog, I love this band.

So check them out. Listen to "Mental Telepathy Is Dead" and "Mary Lee My One and Only," and maybe even the others. If you like them, and you're one of the first three people to tell me so on this post, I'll send you one -- free! (You'll also have to e-mail me a mailing addie at If you're in my office, you can just borrow my CD.

All I ask in return is that you come back and tell me what you think of the album. A full review would be bitchin'.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The Soundtrack of My Life, Part 2

I've created my second song.

For the first audio file, I uploaded my version of Aaron Neville doing "Don't Know Much." Ask the Dalai Mama and she'll tell you that I was doing this years before Horatio Sanz did it on SNL.

For the image, I uploaded the cover of Travels With Roscoe.

For the second audio file, I uploaded myself as the devil saying "Come with me for everlasting life."

For the rhythm, I sped it up a bit.

The result is my second possible theme song, "Shithouse Bonkers."

The Soundtrack of My Life, Part 1

My pal GtotheLow turned me on to Pete Townshend's new project, The Lifehouse Method. If you haven't heard of this madness, be sure to check it out. Basically, he and a mathematician/composer friend of his have come up with a method of writing music automatically. It's basically a personal-theme-song generator, and it's based on input that we, the people, upload.

So I gave it a try. The first thing I had to do was upload a voice sample, either talking or singing, and I uploaded me doing the first verse of Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight," which has been my boy's lullaby du jour lately.

Next I had to upload a photo. Their computers somehow analyze this? I uploaded the drawing from my profile.

Next, just another audio file of any noise that described how I was feeling at the moment. I sort of hummed a funeral dirge -- wasn't so happy in the wee hours of the morning!

Finally, I had to upload a beat, so I recorded myself tapping out some kind of rhythm. There was nothing distinctive about it, as I'm not that strong a drummer.

Then it whirred and fizzed and bumped and popped, and all of the sudden it spit out my very own, one-of-a-kind, absolutely free theme song! Produced by Pete Townshend no less!

I call it "Sleek's Song." Check it out.

Well, what do you think? Is it a song or a hearing test? And what's up with all of those soaring, single guitar notes? Who would do that?

In my opinion, it's as heartless and soulless as you'd expect from a computer-generated song. For some reason, I keep listening to it, though. I have two more free songs left, and I'll be sure to upload them as soon as they're released.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Job Perks

My job can get intense at times, but it can also be extremely cool, thanks to some of the perks that come along with the gig. Take, for example, the nearly-two-months-pre-release copy of the Beastie Boys' new album that dropped on my desk yesterday. There are die-hard fans out there setting up tents at their local stores, eagerly awaiting this instrumental release, the B-Boys' first new album in years, and here it's being shipped off to me months ahead of schedule. What a perk!

Oh, yeah, I also just got an assignment that's sending me to Moscow in June to watch a bunch of guys on dirt bikes flip and write a road-trip story about it. I guess that's pretty cool too.

But the Beasties! Yes!

Monday, May 7, 2007

The A Confederacy of Dunces Excerpt of the Day

Ignatius rejects his mother's idea that he consider psychiatric help:

"They [psychiatrists] would try to make me into a moron who liked television and new cars and frozen food. Don't you understand? Psychiatry is worse than communism. I refuse to be brainwashed. I won't be a robot!... The only problem that those people [psychiatric patients] have anyway is that they don't like new cars and hair sprays. That's why they are put away. They make the other members of the society fearful. Every asylum in this nation is filled with poor souls who simply cannot stand lanolin, cellophane, plastic, television, and subdivisions."

"Ignatius, that ain't true. You remember old Mr. Becnel used to live down the block? They locked him up because he was running down the street naked."

"Of course he was running down the street naked. His skin could not bear any more of that Dacron and nylon clothing that was clogging his pores. I've always considered Mr. Becnel one of the martyrs of our age. The poor man was badly victimized."

Friday, May 4, 2007

The Battle Of Good And Evil Rages On Outside My Office Window

See that? It's my office window, and on the other side of it is my motorcycle. It has a heart (and gas tank) of gold. It's good, and it loves me.

Now look in the background, off to the left, up on the hill. See that building? It's a Wal-Mart. And not just any Wal-Mart, but a Super Wal-Mart. A year ago it was just a wooded hillside, but now that building sits there, hulking, menacing, evil, like the devil's castle.

Most days, the evil wins. It seeps into my window and chokes me, flicking my ear lobes, sticking its fingers through my trachea and punching my eye balls. But not today. Today I have protection.

When the sun comes out, like Samson with his hair, my motorcycle gets stronger. It's small compared to that Goliath, but on this day, it's strong enough. The evil was cast back, reflected like Medusa's image, and I am safe and sound.

My bike Triumphed. And I love it too.

Friday Music

It's Friday. I need music.

I had a dream about Neil Diamond last night, so that's how I'm starting the day. I still have a few things to get to from last Friday, too, but then I'm a blank score. (And it doesn't have to be unfamiliar to me; whatever you're feeling is great.)

You are the sun, I am the moon.
You are the words, I am the tune.

Play me.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Blogging 101

Since Reversing the Numbness is blowing up in popularity, I figured everyone would enjoy this article about the rules of blogging.

Brass Balls of the Month Award

Courage and will like this is awfully rare in the world today. What a noble and courageous animal.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Thursday Night Plans

Good company, convenient location, and spousal approval? I'm so in.