April 25, 2006

Bright Lights. Dark Places.

Tonight I made a decision in our bedroom and did a little rearranging. I moved the iHome alarm clock that Earl had bought me for Christmas off of my nightstand and into the Bear (Guest) Room. It has found a new home on that nightstand.

It’s not that I didn’t appreciate the gift. I love it. I can put my iPod in it and wake up to any track of the over 1500 songs on my iPod. For some reason it favors “Voices Carry” by ‘Til Tuesday. I think it’s an alphabetical thing. The problem with the iHome is that the display is just too damn bright.

Now I can sleep anytime, anywhere. I can announce to the world “I’m going to sleep” and be asleep within minutes. However, if the environment is too bright then my dreams seem all washed out. I swear I can see the shadow of Tom walking by my eyelids, much like someone walking behind a movie screen.

If the Blue Marvel suit last night didn’t tip you off, then I’ll just go ahead and say it. I’m odd.

I don’t know why alarm clock manufacturers have decided to abandon the good old red-LED lights on the early electronic alarm clocks and have opted to start using backlit LCD displays instead. The backlighting makes the display very bright. It makes me nervous. I don’t like the room to be lit up like Times Square. I never liked a nightlight as a kid and I certainly don’t like one as an adult. I feel like I’m getting a sunburn on my face. It allows me to things I shouldn’t see; mostly Tom’s activity in the middle of the night. He stands on Earl’s pillow and stares at him. He then bounds across the bed chasing my kicking feet and then bounces off my balls en route to the nightstand, where he installs himself to stare at me for a while.

It’s all very unnerving.

So my trusty old General Electric alarm clock from 1987 with it’s comforting red numbers has moved back onto the nightstand. I guess I’ll wake up to the sounds of the local NPR station.

At least I won’t be able to see what’s going on while I’m sleeping.


Tonight at the gym I tried to watch a little television as I was chugging away on the spazzmaster, the stationary bike and the treadmill. I watched a little bit of Jeopardy. It became abundantly clear that there was not a single gay micron among the three contestants as they all had dumb looks in their face when presented with the category “Broadway Musicals”. I mean, is it really difficult to say “What is South Pacific?” when presented with the clue “Bloody Mary lived on an island in this musical.”

After I rolled my eyes at Jeopardy I tuned into the mind numbing “Television’s Most Outrageous Moments”. Now there was a waste of electrons, but it did keep my attention for the entire half hour. I was considering flipping around the dial a little bit but that chance of crossing paths with American Idol made it too risky.

After “Outrageous”, I decided to throw caution to the wind and tune into “American Idol”. Instantly I had the feeling that the audience, the contestants and the three judges were saying “Isn’t this thing over yet?”. Ryan Seacrest was saying “Look at me, look at me, look at me” but with nary a trace of his vocal high register lest we think he’s anything less than Village People butch.

I started flipping around the dial again when I stumbled upon Paula Abdul sobbing into her drink about how wonderful the mediocre puppet of the moment on stage was. That sent me over to “Hope and Faith”. Commercial break, let’s AI again. It took approximately 10 seconds of Kellie Pickler’s amazingly out-of-tune performance of “Unchained Melody” to make me decide to flip back to “Hope and Faith” and to keep it there.

Luckily, I then heard “Love Come Down” by Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King come on the gym stereo system and well, the earbuds came off because after all, “Love Come Down” trumps all.

As long as it’s not sung by an AI puppet.


“April Showers Bring May Flowers.” That’s what we were taught early on in elementary school. I rarely paid attention to my kindergarten teacher, hence one of the many reasons she thought I was mentally retarded, but I do remember her croaking on and on about “In Like A Lion and Out Like A Lamb” and the April showers bit. I suspect these cutsey sayings are meant to divert one’s attention that the weather just basically sucks when it’s raining and we should be sing-songy about the whole ordeal.

With our vacation so close that I can taste it but really can’t touch it, I’m itchin’ to hit the road. But if the behavior I exhibited on my way home just now is any indication, this may be a bumpy ride.

I feel like ‘stupid’ has taken over, especially when it comes to manners and social graces. People talk on cell phones loudly and in the most ridiculous locations. Drivers ignore the basic rules of the road, creating a mini island of chaos in the middle of four lanes of pavement. Voters turn a blind eye to the issues gripping our nation and opt to vote against things like same-sex marriage because it smacks against their narrow minded beliefs of what love is.

Anyways, as I was driving home for lunch on the local expressway, I was passing a car in the right lane (which is correct) and came upon a woman going 50 MPH in the left hand lane. The speed limit is 65 MPH, by the way and surprisingly I was only going 65. So I sort of paced behind her a little bit, planning on passing her once she moved back into the right lane.

Silly me.

She did not move into the right lane. Instead she flapped her arms like some one-sided see-saw indicating that I should pass her on the right.

Uh, that’s illegal. And two wrongs do not make a right. So I continued to pace behind her. She flapped some more, undoubtedly making fart noises under her armpit all the while. I finally got sick of her flapping and just said “screw it” and passed her on the right. While doing so, I rolled my window down and extended my arm out so that she could clearly see that I was flipping her off with as much flip as I could muster.

Now, that’s not being very nice. I know that. And I shouldn’t spread more gloom, there’s enough to go around.

But she moved over to the right lane after I passed her. I guess she got the point.