Friday, 12 February 2010

Life During Wartime

I watched some horrible movie while on the trainer the other day, but at the end it had a funny cover of "Burning Down The House." Like everyone else in the world, I have a few records that are touchstones to eras in my life. Although now that I say that, a friend and I had a conversation the other night about our first "must get" records - those records where you absolutely couldn't wait until they were released and were at the record store, cash in hand, the day they went on sale. For the record, mine was The Joshua Tree. I can remember tennis practice one day and everyone was talking about it. I think the U2 record preceding Joshua Tree was Unforgettable Fire, which I'd liked a lot, and everyone was buzzing about how The Joshua Tree was going to be the greatest record ever. My friend's was Wildflowers by Tom Petty (he's a couple years younger than me - a pandemic if ever there was one). It's funny how, when you're in high school, these vibes take over and everyone gets on the same page for stuff like this. Even though the debate over getting the vinyl or the cassette has long died, as have most record stores, as has the act of paying for anything with cash, I think a lot of people still lust for the thrill of being on that vibe and having a huge connection with "everyone." Is there any other explanation for Twitter and Facebook?

Speaking of Facebook, if anyone out there knows of a way to "no, thanks" people's relentless updates without having to actually go through the offensive step of firing them as "friends," please let me know. I'd kind of like to keep my account because it acts as a pretty good rolodex, but wouldn't you know it people who are super huge loudmouths in person have a tendency to be such on social media. 6 updates a day? Really? I suppose I'm a pretty big loudmouth, but subjecting people to the minutia of my minute to minute life is just a bit strong for me.

This would typically be a point in the post where I relate this to cycling somehow, but I am not going to do that. Instead I will briefly discuss Talking Heads. Stop Making Sense was an appropriately named record for the time when it appeared in my world. Part of being in that "everyone" vibe is the contradiction that it often happens at a point where people are developing individual identities, temporary though they often are. Lots of trial runs. Stop Making Sense and Talking Heads in general weren't on the "everyone" vibe, but man did I listen to that shit until it wore out. "Once In A Lifetime" was such a big song for me. That was to become a big theme for me, which has continued pretty much ever since, and I'd suspect is the real "everybody" vibe - that as much as we all might fit under the great big blanket of "everybody" at various times, individuality still tries to stick a toe out from under that blanket. The blanket offers a lot of things, including some reassurance that you aren't a sociopath, but I think the only ones who are really able to completely subjugate themselves to the blanket are the sociopaths. I get up too early lately, I might have stopped making sense.

When I typed the title for this post I misspelled it Life Curing Wartime. My intent was to invoke that it's been like Life During Wartime the last few days - all rules thrown out, hardships great and small, etc. It'd be great to be able to talk about a life curing wartime, but sadly I think wartime is a state for which there well and truly is no cure.

Totally annoying chest and head cold seems - seems - finally to have been able to book a rescheduled flight the hell out of me. In deference to this reduced state, I've been doing a lot of endurance and tempo riding on the rollers. This exclusively riding indoors crap has seriously gone over the limit. Now the only fun is in deflecting and redirecting, trying to come up with some new angle to keep from going completely off the reservation. Success for me is right now graded on a significant curve. Yes, I'm a few pounds fatter than I should be now (which in turn is a few pounds fatter than I should be before long) and would probably get dropped by the myself of a year ago were we to go on a ride. On the other hand, being able to ride toward the upper end of tempo for an hour plus on rollers without freaking is a capacity I don't think I've yet enjoyed. Enjoyed. Hah. That's a good one. Anyhow, as I said a while ago, there's no rush. The Rock Creek rides and early season races will be cruel mistresses for a while as the engine reacquaints itself with gears higher than 3. Hopefully "everyone" is in about the same spot. Unfortunately, knowing some of the sociopaths around here, that ain't the case.


Jim said...

Stevie Ray Vaughn and Texas Flood, Couldn't Stand the Weather. Miles Davis, Kind of Blue. Talking Heads, Stop Making Sense. REM, Life's Rich Pageant. Grateful Dead, Terrapin Station. Kinks, Give the People What They Want. Dead Kennedys, Frankenchrist. Cowboy Junkies, The Trinity Session. (Hey, don't laugh, I was dating a communist German performance artist at the time... it was the closest I ever got to soulful, pretentious little git that I was.)

Those are the landmarks I recall as bookending one or another significant period in my life. There are probably others.

living with a ninja said...

Does the fact that the only album, that i ran out to get was Phish's Junta make me a total hippy? It's amazing that i'm not selling crocheted iphone covers at Phil Lesh and friends shows right now.

Drew Armstrong said...

This is going to be me on Sunday.

Including the music. Sue's arranged it.

TerribleTerry said...

unfortunately....I wasn't out buying music. My childhood selection was limited to what I could steal from some other poor fellows car.

John(ny) said...

I remember it like yesterday. X - Under the Big Black Sun, spring of '84.

Regarding the FB serial posters, lick on Hide to the right. You can always unhide them sometime. Definitely saved me from seeing everyone else's Mafia Wars/Farmville crap ALL THE TIME.