Friday, November 18, 2005

Ramblings for the Evening (11/18/05)

It's Friday night. When I was in college, I would be partying at this time of night. Now, I sit here at my computer wondering why I can't get to sleep. My wife, who still isn't feeling well, is passed out cold. Not me. Granted, when I was in college, I had mastered the four hour night. Go to bed at 3 and wake up at 7. No pain. Guess it caught up to me. Of course that six day experiment with no sleep didn't help much.
Might as well get to the rambles.
So, without further ado: BRONCO BILLY!
Songs to the Key of Me:
A student asked me what song truly represents who I am. Now, first of all, there cannot be one song to describe a person. There can be one song at the time, but we feel different things at different times of the day. This is one reason why, during my student teaching, I had the Senior English class create The Soundtrack of Your Life. In essence, the students had to pick no less than five songs, explain how the song speaks to their life, and then choose lyrics from the song to illustrate the point (teachers: feel free to crib. It's what we do). The students got into that assignment. It made up for making them read The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka...or so I was told.
Anyway, the second point is that when the pressure is applied, it can be hard to boil your life down to one song. However, because I haven't been able to sleep, the perfect song came right into my head: "Overkill" by Men at Work. Do you know this song? If not, the lyrics are below. Discussion will continue after the song.
I can’t get to sleep
I think about the implications
Of diving in too deep
And possibly the complications
Especially at night
I worry over situations
I know will be alright
Perhaps it’s just my imagination
Day after day it reappears
Night after night my heartbeat shows the fear
Ghosts appear and fade away
Come back another day
Alone between the sheets
Only brings exasperation
It’s time to walk the streets
Smell the desperation
At least there’s pretty lights
And though there’s little variation
It nullifies the night
From overkill
Day after day it reappears
Night after night my heartbeat shows the fear
Ghosts appear and fade away
I can’t get to sleep
I think about the implications
Of diving in too deep
And possibly the complications
Especially at night
I worry over situations
I know will be alright
It’s just overkill
Day after day it reappears
Night after night my heartbeat shows the fear
Ghosts appear and fade away
Now, except for the part about being alone in the sheets (as my wife is asleep there. However, not wanting to wake her up, I wait till she passes out and then I sneak away to continue my insomnia).
If this song is my representation (and I only thought of it because of the opening line) then it means I worry about things I can't fix. It's true that I do. Though I would never admit to them personally, I worry about my students alot. Some of them don't realize how great they are, how smart they are, or even how talented they are. Some have a screwed up view of the world that has no real basis. I could go on and on.
I worry about my wife, of course.
I worry about my family members.
I think really random thoughts when I can't sleep as well (more on that later).
I've said this before. My brain is like a radio that gets four stations in clearly all at once, and I can understand each station all the time. It's really weird.
So, let me open this up to you, my dear readers. What are three songs that represent who you are right now? Give it some thought before you answer.
And don't worry about me. As the man says, "I'm not dead yet. I feel happy."
Leab, Psychologist...For Free:
I ended up playing psychologist again today. I know there are people and students who get so pissed at me when I do that, but you know what? As much as you don't want to admit it: I'm usually right. That's what happens when you've gone through Hell, seen people go through Hell, and guided people back from Hell.
Anyway, I bought some windows tonight. (I know, seems like a weird segue, but it comes back.) The guy (I won't use his name or the company name) shows up at my house to do some measurements and to talk to me about payment (I managed to haggle the price way was a good night for me in the saving money department). We sit in my kitchen and start talking. Now, I've met him before and remembered some information he told me about his kid, his wife, and such. I ask him how all that's going, and suddenly he's my patient. He starts telling me about how his co-workers attack him for his political and religious beliefs (he's the only Liberal and the only Jew where he works), how he's unhappy with the direction of the world (COUGH--TOM--COUGH), and more. A quick 15 minute visit became an hour. 60 minutes while I tried to help him sort his feelings. This is happening to me more and more. One of my students told me I should be a counselor. I don't think so. I like helping people, but sometimes I hear these problems and...well...I don't think they're real problems. If you don't like the Goldfish your mom bought you, just tell her. She won't die or hate you because of it. Come on.
Still, it makes me wonder if this thing is passed on from generation to generation. My father has this same problem. He goes to the post office and some schmuck comes to him for advice. It's weird.
Sometimes, though, people really don't want help. They just want someone to reiterate the beliefs they have back at them. Let's try to make that less vague. Person A belives Democracy is going down the toilet. Others disagree. They tell someone, "I believe that Democracy is dying." Person B then says, "Ok, you believe Democracy is dying." Person A now has heard their belief made concrete. It has been reiterated to them. Make sense?
Maybe not. I AM rambling here.
Random Insomnia Thoughts:
-Who decides what the "it" toy for the Holiday is. Are there a bunch of kids who play with these things and say, "I want that all the time," and thus the publicity is born? Is it adults trying to think like children?
-History is cyclical...unfortunately. Having seen Good Night, and Good Luck, it's amazing to me how much our society now is starting to look like America in the 1950s. Look out...your neighbor MAY BE A TERRORIST. Check the threat level! Anyone who disagrees with this is UN-AMERICAN!
-If a dog and a cat have a close relationship, is that like a gay couple in the animal world? Or is it more like a rich uptown/person from the wrong side of the tracks relationship?
-Why aren't there more new Rabbi/Priest jokes?
-Why can't the government just give us an even number for stamps? 39 cents? Come on. Just make it 40 cents now and leave us alone for awhile. A sheet of stamps would be a straight 8 dollars. That works for me. Now were looking at $7.80. Great, I get change back that's both bills AND coins. Not cool, U.S. Postal service. And why can't I give my postman money at Christmas? I can give a doorman, sanitation worker, even a cop money at Holiday time. Why not a postal worker. They deserve it now.
-Why is that fashion went back to the 60s, 70s, and 80s, but not to the 40s when everyone dressed really nicely?
-If emotions are nothing more than an amino acid, then it would be really easy to inhibit them with a drug...hence anti-depression medication.
-Why is it that countries like Germany and Ireland, which have such great beers, come here and drink Budweiser? It makes no sense to me.
This last one actually happened tonight, so it's funny that I was thinking about it.
-If you go to a restaurant and remember information that the wait staff has given you (what they're studying, funny stories, etc) does that mean you're flirting or just a nice guy?
Personally I want to know as the girl at the Greek place thought I was flirting with her, because I remembered she dropped out of Law School. I was just being nice. How is that flirting?
Believe me, I got ALOT more. I'll wait, however.
Like Mr. DeRusha, I get some pretty interesting hatemail here. Sure, I'm not a TV reporter, but I apparently write things people don't like (and some of you still don't get that the whole Sherno thing was and still is a joke).
Still, let's not pick on DeRusha for reporting on the Sex show, ok? He's doing his job, and his joke about "sex in the middle" was funny.
You can send hatemail to me all you want, but let's try not to hate a reporter for...oh...I don't know...doing his job.
Contact from the Slanderous One:
I spoke with the Slanderizer. Slanderous Minneapolis will return soon, but I have been given the ok to have slander once a week until SM returns. Look for a Vascellaro story next week (your turn is coming J.D....It's coming. Ok, just kidding. You I can stand).
And finally:
Loving my Readers:
Sure, I get hatemail, but I know there are also a few of you out here who check in to see what ole crazy here is spouting today. I appreciate it. Whether it's Sherye and D.J. down in Bama (Roll Tide!), or the "crew" in Hawaii, I'm glad something I have to say either makes you think, laugh, or just be pissed (and for you Brits, that's the anger, not the drunkeness, though I wish I could do that with words).
So here's a toast to you, my dear readers. May you be healthy, wealthy, and wise.
Until Monday, Guten Nacht.


Meridita said...

1. Common Pleasure, Jason Mraz... because he puts into words, and it's just Right On, how I feel about some aspects of l i f e.
2. Forever My Friend, Ray Lamontagne... because half of it rings SO true, and the other half is bass ackwards. I'm re-evaluating a friendship at the moment.
3. I'll hafta get back to you on that one...

And this was off the toppa my head, so maybe I'll re-evaluate this list, and perhaps at a more sane hour, too... : )
Have a good weekend!

Admin Worm said...

Slanderizer: "Been given the okay..." What is this, The Godfather?

Solving the world's problems: Cough cough... Maybe you have broader shoulders than I do, Leab. I used to play that role, but couldn't do it anymore. I'd have people (drunk or sober, didn't matter) rest their heads on my shoulder and tell me the horror that was their lives. And I'd pat them on the head and lend advice or simply listen and they left feeling wonderful.

And I added their problems to my own, and as you've witnessed in my writing it's really, really fucked me up.

I still listen, and with those closest to me I actually empathize. However, when people who think I care "open up" to me, I nod appreciatively and go through all the motions but don't allow a bit of it to get inside, or I'd go crazy.

The song that defines me: Girls just wanna have fun, but instead of "girls" substitute "Bald middle-aged guys who are really depressed and work shitty jobs..."

Admin Worm said...

P.S. I agree about the stamps. Remember my post office blog/column recently? Generated more angry mail (ironically) than anything else I ever wrote. The Gazette published a sizeable rebuttal.

Before the holidays I hope to write a piece about what it was like to be raised by a life-long postman. It ruled, actually. That should throw people off.

sheryl said...

We have something in common.
Besides Meridita.

Bill R said...

Leab, I've read about your insomnia and I had suffered from that myself for quite a few years. I finally went to my doctor last Feb. Since then I've had a sleep study and found the source of my lack of sleep. It's different for everyone, but I just wanted to chime in and if you haven't talked to your doctor about it, give it a try. Ask about a sleep study. I'm lucky, I've been sleeping better since I've been diagnosed with sleep apnea. You might not have apnea, but you could and won't know until you get it checked out. Maybe you already have had a sleep study, just encourging you to check it out if you haven't, it helped this middle aged insomniac finally get some sleep and feel better.