Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Minor Functionary of the Underworld

That's me, right there. Guy in the boat. Charon, would be the mythological Greek version. And that there is the River Styx. Essentially.

I mean, at my work, it's not a river, but actually an underground tunnel that goes something like three city blocks, to the Medical Examiner's office. You just keep on going, past some labs, past the rack of HR forms you can fill out to have your paychecks mailed versus direct-deposited, and past the office where we get flu shots. Just the other day, I was taking that walk with a former patient, a person who I can confidently say will never need another flu shot again.

It's a strange thing when your mental "To Do" list has items like "go get a body bag," and "fill a plastic bag with ice, and then tape it over the eyes of a dead person." But hey, that's medicine. A normal day for me is very often... just not. Not by most standards.

It's very sad, most of the time, when someone dies. Some deaths are merciful releases from the sort of existence I wouldn't want for myself or anyone I care about. Some are terrifying in their randomness. None are entirely comprehensible. Me, I find it reassuring simply to know that my last moments on earth will be, among other things, just another part of someone's workday.

It would be cool if someone near me would give that person a coin, though. 'Cause I sure don't get anything except the exercise and the reflective quiet time in a creepy basement tunnel.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

...and a grateful nation rejoices

Spotted at Costco, in a dream I had last night, printed in black lettering on a yellow sign, and just in time for the holidays:


Underneath, it continued:


Sometimes, I just crack myself right the hell up.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Soundtrack

Hmm. I just found an interesting idea, over at Amber's, and although it's a Web meme and therefore ever so slightly hateful and lame, I'm intrigued. Not to mention, it's 6am on my day off, which means I need to kill an hour until the time I would be getting off work, so I can maintain a sleep schedule for the overnight shifts I have later in the week.

I shall cut n' paste the instructions, so as to save those precious keystrokes. I'm tired, dudes.

If Your Life Was A Movie
Here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Play, iPod, etc.)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool.

Okay, so interesting idea, right? Now, immediately upon seeing this, I planned to steal it. In fact, it would be rude of me not to actually read what whatsername has listed for songs. One minute, k?


Cool. I don't know about half that music, but that's fine. Cool idea, well-executed.

Anyway, as I was saying, simultaneous to deciding to steal this idea for a blog post of my own, I wondered whether I should mention that I sort of have a soundtrack already. See, I was/am toying with doing something screenwriter-ish with my year out east in school, and that's why the extremely rough treatment I have for that already has, if not a soundtrack, at least a concept and an iTunes playlist.

I do know actual real screenwriters and authors and whatnot, and I myself have some training and a sliver of experience -- just none of the arts-helpful sorts of discipline or ambition. Still. I'm throwing that out there. It might be fun to see whether there's any overlap. However, I won't cheat and use just that playlist, because the thematic unity would be too heartbreakingly awesome.

I will, of course, personalize and refine this exercise by adding way too much commentary. You know how things work around here. Ready? Here goes. Full library. No Mulligans. Hitting 'Play'... now.

Opening Credits:
Anybody Wanna Take Me Home, by Ryan Adams
(Well, this is clearly The Awesome. It's good credits music and everything.)

(Oh, and by the way, may I just take this moment to say I don't endorse or condone what, judging by a look down the list of upcoming scenes, is a fairly boring and far-too-linear biopic structure for this movie? Cool, thanks. Okay, hitting 'Next' now.)

Waking Up:
Jesus on the Radio, by Guster
(Well, sweet. We even get a song in which the first words are "Five AM, March Sixteenth," which is about as literal as a "waking up" song can get. So it's in keeping with the anvilicous strucure. I do love me some Guster, though, and waking up to banjos means it's a bouncy morning.)

First Day of School:
In Like With You, by the Judybats
(Anybody who knew me in my school days, just shut up right now. Next.)

Falling In Love:
Confetti, by the Lemonheads
(Oh, too good. As a child of the 80s and a man of the 90s, this is a Hell Yes. )

Sex Scene:
by Tom Petty
(Hmm. Okay, sensitive yet driving. Sure, why not?)

Fight Song:
Across the Universe, by the Beatles
(That is just all manner of fucked up. Maybe the flock of birds at the beginning is scared off by me scuffling with schoolyard bullies, or getting mugged, or something. "J'ai Guru Deva, muthafucka! Bamm!")

Breaking Up:
The Zephyr Song, by the Red Hot Chili Peppers
(Hm. Maybe. If I'm turning away at the right moment, and striding toward the camera manfully, while some chick gradually fades into out-of-focus irrelevance. Even still, it's too on-the-nose. You never put a song with the words "fly away" into a breakup scene. Plus the guitar solo is hella lame.)

It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry, by Bob Dylan
(Ummm... all I'll say here is, that would have been a much better prom. And also, I've become confused by the structure all of a sudden. In this movie, I've had sex and violence and we're only now getting to the prom? Jeez, how long is this epic film?)

Catchy, by Pizzicato Five
(It's in a language I don't speak, it's too long and rather repetitive, and yet there's something about it that makes me want to shake my ass. Also, some woman is sighing heavily in between verses. Yep, that's life all right.)

Mental Breakdown:
(Please be something cool... be something cool... no whammies...)
Here Comes the Groom, by John Wesley Harding
(AH HA HA HA HA HAHA HA! I love you, iTunes! You are a funny, funny program.)

She Goes On, by Crowded House
(I always thought of this as a song that would be at someone's funeral. Let's say I'm driving, but I'm preoccupied with somebody dead.)

The Disappointed, by XTC
(Damn, this is getting to be one broken-hearted drag of a movie, man. Bummer.)

Getting Back Together:
High, by the Cure
(Well, okay, then.)

People Love to Watch You Die, by John Wesley Harding
(People, it's official. My iTunes is a bitter, broken, sarcastic bastard. Sorry about that. It's a great song, really, just... hm.)

Birth of A Child:
Gyroscope, by the Dismemberment Plan
(Wow, for just a fraction of a second there, I thought that said "Gynoscope." I think I've nearly stayed up late enough.)

Final Battle:
(Oooh, the climactic final confrontation. Nice. Let's see what we've got... the tension mounts... aaaannd...)
1974, by Ryan Adams
(A hit! A palpable hit! It's guitar-driven, it's aggressive. "The city is an animal, ready to eat..." And bonus points for hearkening back to the opening credit music, too... just like John Wesley Harding is the bloomin' Angel of Doom in this movie, Ryan Adams is the Patron Saint of Kick-Ass. I can deal with that.)

Death Scene:
When it Started, by the Strokes
(I have no complaints about this thoroughly kick-ass closing credits music. I guess maybe in this movie, I died of coolness. By the way, this is the version with "New York City cops, they ain't too smart," so maybe I was gunned down in a hail of bullets, reaching for my cell phone. Or maybe, I had a black iPod, and I was trying to fast-forward myself out of a jam. I bet it was John Wesley Harding's fault, somehow.)

(Yeah, I like that. It's pretty Meta. Like "Adaptation" meets the end of "There's Something About Mary," when Jonathan Richman gets shot through the chest. Fade to black, kids. I'm going to bed.)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Disturbing signs of getting older

I was awakened from a dream this morning by the ringing of the phone. But that was cool with me, because what started as a dream with decent potential to get all sexual had instead turned into a dream that featured a very large buffet of tasty mexican foods. The hell? Even in my dreams, I'd rather attend a cheese-drenched cocktail party than an orgy?

The three-cheese burrito was particularly excellent, it's true; all the nubile college women agreed.