Hello. Good morning. Today is Thursday, and so of course it’s time for the most recent edition of my weekly blog post.
I’m writing this post on my phone, using the Google Docs app, because unfortunately, even my petite, eleven-inch-hypotenuse laptop seems to be too much to carry around in my backpack, given how badly my back and hips and ankle have been behaving. I don’t think it’s so much the weight of the thing that’s the issue as where it tends to rest‒right up against my lumbar spine. It may not truly be triggering any problems, because my back and hips and my right knee and ankle are in pretty severe pain no matter what, even though I’ve lost two belt notches worth of weight recently. However, reducing the load in that area seems to decrease my pain, or at least to cause less of an exacerbation, so for now I’m writing on my phone, so to speak.
I keep trying to find things to do that decrease my pain, but all my attempts have so far been quite unsatisfying. Perhaps the Dread Pirate Roberts was right after all, and life is pain. Or was that the Buddha? Anyway, one or more of those great philosophers said something about life and pain being inextricable.
I’ve been writing The Dark Fairy and the Desperado on my phone this week as well. The two main characters have finally met! Of course, the Dark Fairy immediately tried to kill the Desperado, but that’s to be expected. It’s slightly slower writing on the phone than it is with the laptop, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, but as I’ve also mentioned, that may be good for keeping my writing more concise. On the other hand, my verbosity may not be something any device known to humanity can curtail.
I posted the most recent section of Outlaw’s Mind here this week. There’s still quite a bit to go before we reach the point where I’ve stopped writing it, and I hope those of you who read it are enjoying the story.
In other news, yesterday I recorded, overdubbed, edited, and posted a video of me playing and singing the Beatles song And I Love Her, and I’ll embed it here. I’ve been half-heartedly working on getting it into playable shape for a while, and I decided I needed to have a rhythm track (which I had to create the new-fashioned way, beat by beat, on Audacity, since I have no drums), and that it also would be much better with the little accompanying arpeggios* during the second, third, and last verses in the background. I wanted to be able to do those at speed when I played them. To pat myself on the back (which doesn’t help my back pain), I only got the basic chords from a guitar book, but did the (admittedly simple) key changing and worked out the solo and stuff for myself. I’m reasonably pleased with the results, though it’s far from perfect. I’ve gotten pretty good at throwing these videos together at least, including sound editing and backing tracks and the like; I did these things literally in my spare time yesterday morning.
There’s no need to feel obligated to watch the video of me playing, though; I certainly take no joy in looking at myself and it’s hard to imagine anyone else would. It’s basically there to prove that, yes, except for backup/overdubs, I really did play and sing it all at once, myself…and because the milling masses mostly only seem to respond to video** anymore‒but here it is in case you want to listen:
I’m not sure what else there is to talk about today. Of course, there are always subjects that could be raised, but I’ve not really done any discussion or commentary, either here or on Iterations of Zero, for quite a while. The whole process seems utterly pointless (not least because of the aforementioned predilection of the populace for video***); my energy level is steadily deteriorating, and my motivation is doing so even more. I’m not convinced that anything I write or say or do will make any difference, even for me. I continue this blog mainly out of stubbornness.
I did do a slightly curious thing this week. There’s a horror novel that I used to read and reread a lot back when I was a teenager: Floating Dragon, by Peter Straub. The events of the story begin on May 17, 1980. Indeed, there’s a line in the book that goes, “On May 17th, 1980, the Dragon came to Patchin County.” That line is always bouncing around my head at this time of year, so on Tuesday (which was the 17th) I decided to buy the Kindle version of the book, though I haven’t started reading it yet. I miss my old, battered paperback copy, lost now with all my other possessions from before 2013. It had the amusing characteristic that the way the title and author were written on the spine, if one read them in ordinary left-to-right fashion, seemed to say, “Floating Peter/Dragon Straub”. I wonder if the publishers realized that after the fact and were duly embarrassed. Anyway, it was a good, albeit very weird horror story, and I still can recite parts of it from memory, such as:
“You were dreaming for a long time, and then you were not. You were asleep in a place you did not know, and when you awakened you were someone else. You had a drink in your hand, and a woman was looking at you, and Dragon, the world was yours again.”
With that, I’ll call things to a close today. I hope you’ve enjoyed this atypically written blog post, and that you’re all as well as you can possibly be.
*Is it supposed to be “arpeggi”? That’s how Radiohead spelled it in the title of their song Weird Fishes/Arpeggi, and they’re Cambridge-educated, albeit probably not in linguistics. Then again, I studied English at Cornell. Not that such a thing matters much anyway, since the word in question is Italian…but it’s not being used as Italian, but rather as a term of musical jargon. I should probably just look it up, but where’s the fun in that?
**Angels and ministers of grace defend us from anyone who might think to ask most people to read.
***Perhaps we should retire the term vox populi and replace it with visus populi.