Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Exposure Meter & The Visible Refrigerator: The Electric Slide...Or, A Musical Exorcism.

I don't know which of the two statements by my son was more frightening last night:

1) That he's been learning the "Electric Slide" in Gym class for the last four months, and that this is deemed "physical exercise."


2) That he's been learning said has-been perennial wedding favorite dance to Bon Jovi's "Have a Nice Day." 

Let's look at #1 first. True, when I was his age at the same school, we had a unit  in gym on square dancing, which we all hated, and it was also deemed exercise. (The school must have some LCMS synod-wide school bylaw that states that outdated dances should be uniformly taught to the children at an age when they're barely coming out of the "opposite sex is icky" stage and discovering that they require deodorant.) I can't remember to what music we were square dancing, but in my dreams, it'd have been "One Toke Over the Line." 

The "Electric Slide," though? How passe. I asked Luke if he was also learning the "Macarena," and he said, "NO! Thank GOD!" I told him snidely that if nothing else, he'll be a hit at the next wedding he attends. He was not amused. I mean, come on. The kid's been ON STAGE at Lollapalooza with The Flaming Lips for crap's sake. When he's older and hitting on girls, he can whip that bit o' history out and use it to his advantage. Chances are, he won't be Electric Sliding down the hallways in high school.  

Dancing, period, for the very limited time the kids spend in Physical Education a couple of times a week, though? I can't ration that one out. I suppose Richard Simmons has had multi-million dollar success "Sweatin' to the Oldies" with adoring fitness fans for 3 decades and that counts for something. My vote would be to rigorously work their pre-teen asses off  and burn some serious calories, though. How do I purport they achieve this goal? Either of these two ideas popped into my head:

A) Dodge ball. Go back to fucking dodge ball. Our system in grammar school was to set up 3 books, and each of two teams would have to guard the books so that the opposing team couldn't knock the books over with the ball. Was hitting that elusive book over the goal of dodge ball as a combat sport in Phys Ed? Hardly. It was to beat the shit out of one another. And you always put the powerhouse, bigger kids as the book guardians. The rest of the lot of us were busy pegging the opposing team with these heavy rubber balls. It was grea fun and worked our muscles and minds.

B) Slam-dancing. Mosh-pitting. You jump up and down and float one another on your shoulders and hands, for a good upper body workout. Good leg muscles from jumping and kicking one another.
Preferably to this song, if you're going to pick "a song." Watch this live clip. Notice how the square kids in the audience just stand there dumbfounded while the punks rev things up.

On the above points, I believe my ex-husband would agree. It's a shame that dodge ball was eliminated and slam dancing/moshing is frowned upon at most concerts these days. An awful shame.

Looking at #2 without being hair-splittingly pedantic, I took the time to listen to the Bon Jovi song before I  started writing this blog entry, as I was not familiar with it. (I can't personally stand Bon Jovi, though I know a lot of people who can, which is why they're still dicking around arenas all over the country.) But this is the song my son's been dancing to. Blech alert! 

It's supposed to sound edgy and indie, but it's mass-market, innocuous crapola. But at least it's not THE "Electric Slide" song you hear at weddings. 

Finding out Luke's been listening to it now makes perfect why he comes home and blares emo techno and has a particular fascination with a song that ends "Death so close that I can taste it," which he sings in an angry, gravely voice that's supposed to scare me (it doesn't. It's just annoying.) I have gotten used to, in my old age, telling him to turn his music down, and in that regard, I've officially turned into my mother, and am showing my true age (40 in a couple of weeks!). Plus, his music in the next room often overpowers the music I'm trying to listen to in my room, also annoying. He's rebelling against being forced to listen to Bon Jovi in gym class, I'm sure of it.

What have I been listening to a lot these days, caught in a depressive episode that seems to be getting worse and persisting since I had the hysterectomy exactly a month ago? Lots of Hole. Lots of The Bee Gees' early stuff. Janis Ian's "At Seventeen." Sebadoh. Warren Zevon. Naturally, The Flaming Lips (trying to concentrate on their more uplifting songs, like "Enthusiasm for Life Defeats Existential Fear," Parts One and Two, though it's been a "Soft Bulletin" kind of week this week, "Feeling Yourself Disintegrate"). The Beatles, especially "The White Album," looping "Piggies" and "Long, Long, Long" and with "I'm So Tired." Lots of George Harrison and John Lennon. Garbage. Clapton.Michael Nesmith's more sentimental country/rock songs. Kate Bush's "This Woman's Work". Led Zeppelin. And a continuous loop of Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road." (That's a song I used to listen to when I was getting shitfaced drunk on vodka towards rock bottom of my alcoholism.)  Too much Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett solo material.  And, of course, Simon and Garfunkel's "I Am a Rock," which I posted a couple of days ago. Songs about dying. It's not exactly the practice of good mental hygiene. 

Music has the power to change our moods and behaviors. It's used as therapy for a lot of people. But it's all in the choice of music. I guess Bon Jovi's "Have a Nice Day" is a good enough sentiment for kids Luke's age, but his Mom, in a deep funk, can't get beyond the depressing bent.  

My pick for most self-pitying? The Janis Ian tune, "At Seventeen."

Coupled with lots of ditties from Hole's "Live Through This," especially "Miss World.":


...and lest we forget the saddest song The Bee Gees ever recorded, featuring lead vocals by Robin Gibb, who is dying from cancer, "I Started a Joke." This is where my headspace truly is. The song, most poignantly: 

Furthermore, this classic from The Bee Gees, "Words." Because while a beautiful song, my favorite line is "It's only words. And words are all I have to take your heart away." The only way, besides music, that I can seem to get through to anyone. Because I'm heartsick, though not heartbroken in any realm... I explained to one of my friends "my brave face." My game face. I used to flash it, mentally and physically, when I'm in a depressive episode at my former job. And historically, depressive episodes for me are VERY rare. I'm far more hypomanic than I am depressive. But I truly am living the life of a nun. Not just depressive, depressed. The bare essentials are getting accomplished, but not much more than that. Goals aren't being achieved. Deadlines aren't being met, often. At least the bills are getting paid on time. 

I wanted to put this song below, among others from this post, on a new CD for a friend of mine, and to entitle the mix as "Propinquity." I'm still convinced he's not looked up its definition. I chose "All We Have is Now" by the Flaming Lips because to me, anyway, it's so totally true. We have only so much time on this earth, and no one can guarantee us a tomorrow, so we better live in the "now."  "...all we'll ever have is now..." (Provided I continue to discredit the idea of reincarnation, though I put a lot of thought into the concept.) FYI, I have 3 different versions of Michael Nesmith's "Propinquity" song on my iTunes, 2 live and one recorded. Can't decide which to put on the CD for him. 

The propinquity effect between me and this particular friend has physically gone, for we no longer see each other 4 or 5 times a week. We see one another every couple of months, which is how I told him I *didn't* want it to be. He promised never to abandon me, but I feel abandoned anyway.
Work sucks up like 80% of my friend's time. The rest is filled with obligations and things to do that don't include me. We're reduced to infequent texts, emails and 20-minute phone calls. I still believe in our emotional/intellectual/soulful propinquity, though. And the time we do get to spend together, I believe we mutually treasure.

A soulmate is a soulmate and we encounter many of them throughout the course of our lives--friends, lovers, no matter who they are. It's a virtually unbreakable bond. So I hold tight to that concept. "You and me were never meant to be part of the future. All we have is now...." But alas, while he's so busy managing his overly-hectic, tiring life, I'm missing him. Missing his wisdom, his wit, his storytelling, his dimples, his many things. And it's safe to say I even cross his mind very little, judging from the lack of response or a listening ear he's extended during this depressive episode, whereas other friends have said to call them anytime if I need them. I think we *are* meant to be part of the future. But we have to work at it, our friendship. You can't expect a plant to thrive and grow if you leave it alone in the shade forever and never water it. It needs to nurtured. Often. 

Conversely, there is a greater degree of propinquity between my Pastor and I, since we see each other on a regular basis. We've forged a friendship because we're in each other's presence all the time.  That's the propinquity effect in action--forming relationships/friendships/kinships with people you encounter often. That's how I got to be friends with this particular friend and with Pastor Dave. Just as an example.

Physical propinquity has never existed between one of my old soulmates, my best male friend, who lives in another state and always has. He travels the world, so our communication can be scant, though he checks in more regularly when he's on the road. Still, our emotional propinquity is solid. And we thrill at the joy of when our physical propinquity is present. EXPLOSION!

PS-- I love you though you're chicken.


Anonymous said...

Miss Thang I,
Depression is very, very common after surgery -- I blame it at least partly on general anesthetics. Make sure your shrink is aware; meds may need to be temporarily adjusted if things don't improve.

IMHO, depression also responds favorably when people give themselves in service to other people. I'm so glad you have your church band because it is surely healing. However, I am wondering if some additional service opportunities might also be helpful to you during this time? Or, are you studying in prep for your return to school? I hope so.

Just trying to be helpful during a difficult time for you.

~Miss Thang II

Andrea Miklasz said...

Common, but to last a month? I'm in between psychiatrists right now, and my PCP doesn't know to tweak mental illness medications.

The trouble is, I can't figure out what's MAKING me depressed. Perhaps the unavailability of friends (locally) who are too busy w/their own lives (I know that sounds selfish of me, but it's really self-sacrificing as we call it in CBT.

Church was electric tonight, literally and physically. I was into the music and played very well. I told Pastor last night that I hope the group grows (we lost a lead guitarist and piano player who were husband and wife and left the church). So the bassist, who can also plays lead guitar, has filled in, and me on the drums is the extent of our musicianship for now. Hoping God blesses us with some talented, dedicated people soon. We had a new guitarist who wanted to join, spent a weekend with us, then said he wanted to spend more time w/his family so he couldn't play this weekend. Yet they were all in church tonight anyway. Puzzling. I warned Pastor that people have whipped in and out of the band before, and that he needs to impress upon any individuals who join the band that it's a large time commitment 2 weekends a month. So we'll see...

I'm taking Abnormal Psych again in summer semester at the JC, which I hope and pray is my last pre-requisite. (I may have to take statistics, EEK!!!! FAIL!!!) That'll eat up mornings for 8 weeks this summer at least. I should be getting all my grad school apps and whatnot in order--order more transcripts from Knox, get my letters of rec all in, and start applying to more than one school. Yet the depression leaves me with no energy, no drive, no passion other than to write and read difficult philosophy and religious books of different world religions.

In summary, I' ma cloistered nun who hasn't had a date in a year (apart from "dates" with married men that don't materialize to anything, you know who I'm talking about). I have depression but am sleeping manically, on 4-5 hours a night, and functioning as well as can be expected the rest of the time.

My energy should be concentrated on important shit I need to do instead of writing in my room all day and night. It's especially hard when I don't have Luke home. I am very lonely in general.

Also, as per former blogs, fighting w/another church family, who are a bunch of simpletons.

Ripped a stitch out of my hoohah last week and was put on bed rest for 4 days. Saw the gyno--she said the stitches up in there shouldn't have come out yet and certainly not with a flood of fresh red blood. All over helping my mom load a 10 lb box from the front door to the car, bearing less weight than my mom was. Ack. Bed rest sucks.

I still promise you an email reply on that other site, which I vow to get to ASAP.

Thanks for YOUR listening ear and for being helpful. You are my sister in Christ and I adore you.

Miss Thang 2