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music in la grande ville [Mar. 23rd, 2008|04:00 pm]
s e m stevens
I think i'm a fairly selective shopper. My approach to certain things, like CDs, has involved an increasing amount of research and lists so that i can make the best use of libraries, rental options, and a comparison of 9 Canadian online retailers for example. A truly obsessive strategy that is also meant to set me up nicely whenever i have a chance to walk into the record shop offerings of The Big City (whichever non-Kingston destination that happens to be). Just add time and there's ample room for browsing or taking advantage of whatever particulars a store has to offer. On Friday (March 21) i took my list into Cheap Thrills in Montreal, but it was really the particular offerings of the store that consumed the majority of my spending.

I didn't even look through much of their used offerings, which appeared to be surprisingly specialized. I did spend a lot of time with a $5 section, which contained a lot of unexpected offerings from labels such as Constellation, Kranky, and Alien8. There were probably about 20 albums i could have happily purchased from this cheapie section alone, and though i narrowed down the pile, i still went a bit overboard with my purchases, as always seems to happen with me when let loose in a good CD shop, despite arriving with a particular item list in hand. I made some risk purchases out of the $5 offerings, including 3 albums from Tanakh, who i had never actually heard before, though mostly this worked out. I came home with about 3 items in my bag that were a bit ridiculous in the sense that i should have looked more closely or given more thought to including an EP (i always seem to accidentally get caught up in those) and an Aesop Rock that is divided into separate accapella and instrumental mixes, and for which i have no remix intentions. I also spent some time browsing through through their specialty sections, which basically comprise various forms that could be called experimental. A good selection, and of course some temptations, but my complaint comes in how all of this is organized. Not even staff understand the difference between avant-garde, actuelle, noise, etc. These unnecessary subdivisions were evident when i attempted to cross two items off my list (a couple that i was quite certain that Cheap Thrills had in their inventory -- from checking their web site -- and that aren't easy to find, especially outside of Quebec). Staff basically didn't know which of a few possible sections to look in, but in the end both albums were placed in my hands.

The 2 specific purchases (beyond the $5 section that is) are both on a label called Victo, which releases recordings of performances made at Victoriaville's annual Festival International de Musique Actuelle. Both of these incidentally from the 22nd festival. They are: Wolf Eyes & Anthony Braxton - Black Vomit, and Martin Tétreault/Kid Koala - Phon-O-Victo. I only have first impressions at this point, but it sounds like a lot of turntable goodness to explore on the Tétreault/Kid Koala. I've only heard it while riding in a car at this point, which definitely isn't the most appropriate place to absorb the range of sounds and cleverness that seems to be happening here. The Wolf Eyes/Braxton, my most expensive purchase of that day at $20, i fear may be a representative of one of those improv/jam sessions that really only work in the moment when you happen to be part of it. It, at least initially, comes off as mostly directionless and not very interesting until near the end. In both cases i was attracted to these CDs when i found out about them because of the particular combination of artists.

Thursday night was good times indeed in Montreal. Silver Mt. Zion, no, sorry, ahem, Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-la-la Band was a pretty amazing show. I have to assume that they're not an easy band to set up for live sound with their many parts, large dynamic range, and even Efrim being a bit all over the place relative to his mic, but the sound was clear at La Tulipe, even at the intense parts. Even the parts that left me uncertain on album settled much better in this setting.
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CDs & music, y'know [Mar. 17th, 2008|01:20 am]
s e m stevens
Shouldn't be much of a matter at all, but recently i bought a couple of CDs, an action i have performed quite regularly in the recent past, but this couple is my first recorded music purchase in at least 8 months, since before living at my current residence. For this particular purchase i endured the pathetic state of Kingston's CD shops to buy from an old-school bricks-&-mortar style shop, rather than save my money and have a decent selection available to me by utilizing online retailers, mainly because i had a gift certificate to make it easily worth my while to do so. By doing so however, and after scouring this store's inventory, a couple of Stereolab related releases came to my attention that never should have escaped it in the first place.

Too Pure (whose releases at least normally show up at CFRC) apparently released a sountrack last fall to a film called "La Vie d'Artiste", which is a composition resulting from another intersection of Stereolab and The High Llamas -- specifically, this album is by Tim Gane, Sean O'Hagan, and maybe some other folks. First impression: it sounds decent, though it does ultimately resolve as a soundtrack with a fairly unintrusive, laid back feel that would fit in with the better of the late 90s lounge revival era, and abundant theme repetition.

The other is a release of 2000 called Schema (self-titled) on 5RC which manages to be new to me, someone who has at least been claiming to follow Stereolab with interest, 8 years later. Schema is built from members of Hovercraft (who a recent revisit to revealed as an experimental freak-outish instrument rock (from the last half of the 90s) that is largely like a somewhat modernized music in the style of Pink Floyd's "Interstellar Overdrive") and Mary (the dead one) from Stereolab. First impression: easily the better of the 2 purchases. Textured and at least a bit droney music, and more appealing than Hovercraft. So these chance spottings should be fun for a while.

In other news, i'm heading to Montréal this week for what will ridiculously be only my 3rd time to that city just down the road. Of course i have Fairmount bagels, Schwartz's smoked meat among other food indulgences in mind, and plan on sticking my head in some CD shops (i'll take suggestions sine i really have almost no clue at this point), and am excited by the chance to see some friends that i don't normally have the chance to. But what brings me to Montréal initially, and where my building excitement really lies, is Silver Mt. Zion (and probably some variant of the Memorial Orchestra/Tra-la-la Band) playing at La Tulip. This show is cheap ($13) and not so surprisingly sold out, plus the venue looks promising. This brings me to a couple of new releases on Constellation Records to also get excited about...

Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-la-la Band - 13 Blues for Thirteen Moons
Admittedly my favourite Silver Mt. Zion albums are the early ones, where they sounded most directly descended from Godspeed You! Black Emperor, in what i call classic Montréal post-rock (late 90s/early 00s). If nothing else however, "Horses In the Sky" from 2005 made it clear that Silver Mt. Zion had evolved into something else, mainly something where Efrim placed dominant lyrics and singing. This is fine at most times, perhaps despite Efrim's quite apparent inability or unwillingness to sing. Sometimes the very charged lyrics are grating, and it's these that seem to be the ones to get repeated. Other than that becoming a problem at a couple of points on this (13 Blues...) release, the intensity, especially regarding the contributions of the strings, are still in full effect and make it work. Worth noting, i think, that this album is introduced with a strange construct of high pitch tones flailing through the first 12 tracks, or about 1 and a quarter minutes, which have no association (to my interpretation) with the album.

Evangelista - Hello, Voyager
This follows on Carla Bozulich's "Evangelista" release of 2006, which was easily one of my favourite releases for quite some time owing to its construction of songs and sounds from a very specifically (yet indescribably abstract) constructed dark place. Evangelista (shifting from album title to band) consists at least mostly of the same people who played on Bozulich's 2006 album, which includes members of Silver Mt. Zion. It does not carry quite the same beautifully brooding dark place throughout, though it does show up. Perhaps this one is slightly more rock with its anger and passion, though i haven't quite pinpointed it. Still great, but i am glad that this one isn't the introduction to this Evangelista notion.
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testicular surgery time is here [Mar. 6th, 2007|08:06 pm]
s e m stevens
Tomorrow's the big day when this big (right) ball gets deflated.  Though the testicle itself shouldn't actually be altered and have to go through anything quite so painful as how that proposition sounds, and instead an accumulation of liquid stored in the vaginalis surrounding the testicle will be drained and further accumulation prevented.  A bit of anxiety, but mostly the process is set in motion and is ready to go in the morning.  Can't say that i'm a huge fan of the general anaesthetic, or having to be at the hospital by 6am, plus i'm not sure what to expect for recovery.  Interesting what it will be like to not have this grossly oversized ball to carry around.  Surgery is scheduled for 8:30am.  I have no idea when to expect to awaken, and further, be home.

I'd like to warn you that the following contains actual photos, which some (most?) are likely to be unhappy about:what"s been hiding in my pantsCollapse )
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vehicle anxiety [Feb. 17th, 2007|03:24 am]
s e m stevens
I made a bit too much of an ordeal about this to some people.  The story: Thursday (Feb. 15) was the most utterly ridiculously cold feeling day.  A record of the temperatures doesn't really indicate such, but that's all lies.  Freezing winds were worse than their usual winter cold snap punch in the face offerings and just made any number of clothing layers hopeless.  I seriously thought that people shouldn't be made to go out in such conditions, but of course we can't let weather stop us from carrying on with life for the most part.  I headed to work as a ridiculous looking bundle with toques and hood that wouldn't protect me from the kind of pain that felt like the worst ice cream headache, and a scarf around my face, with the result of reduced peripheral vision and my breath freezing to my facial hair.  All i wanted was to get to my destination quickly and not have to go back out (until it was time to groan about oppressive summer humidity).  Along my route -- at Division St., crossing Brock St. specifically -- i was crossing an intersection guided by traffic signals when a quickly approaching vehicle honks at me as if i've misstepped into the road and it had the right of way, and luckily slowed down enough that i couldn't help but fall into the hood of the vehicle partially, but continue to walk on uninjured.  I progressed into the intersection only since i saw the signal offered to me as the usual guidance from the traffic light.  If it wasn't me getting in the way of this driver it would have been oncoming traffic it seems.

Instead of doing much of anything, i think i only flung the term "asshole" at the driver, then walked around the car to continue on my route.  I'll be left with no idea if the incident even registered with the person in the car.  I really feel i should have done something, but the cold was an overriding concern that was already pissing me off.  As i continued south on Division someone came up from behind me to ask if i was ok, and confirmed that i did indeed have the walk light.  I was surprisingly unshaken, but very frustrated.  I wanted to be angry at something, but instead just sat in the lounge of CFRC and pouted with my weak coffee for a bit.

I already feel uncomfortable crossing streets where there is no clear indication of when the appropriate time to do so is.  I've often joked that i most certainly will be run down by a vehicle since my low vision can only add to the matter of driver's being seemingly unconcerned with pedestrians and anything other than perhaps their need to trim a few seconds off their journey.  I've often been frustrated enough when i think i have the ok but someone just has to drive through that light that just turned red against them.  I seriously don't see a lot of hope for not getting run down sooner or later.
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ghetto phone must die [Feb. 4th, 2007|09:26 pm]
s e m stevens
[image of ghetto phone, a.k.a. Nokia 5125]This modern marvel of mobility also transforms into a light-duty tank.  Tipping the scale with what must come at least close to a pound of itself, and boasting dimensions that will put a noticeable (and uncomfortable) bulge in your pants, with additional protruding antenna for added discomfort.  The large battery supplies a particularly short talk and standby time, while coming detached from the main unit far too easily.  For the visually impaired in particular, the monochrome LCD display is particularly difficult to read, meaning that by the time you've figured out who's calling, you've already missed the call, though the green LED back- (well, actually side-)lights add a cool, eerie, and not particularly helpful glow.  The unintuitive interface and menu structure will have you avoiding text messaging at any cost.  This provision of Nokia dates from somewhere from 1998 to 2000, and appears to never have been popular.  As a bonus, 3 games are included: snake (for which my unbeatable high score is 316, & yr not gonna beat it, bitches!), and 2 other useless offerings in which you can't really see what's going on.  Ghetto phone, a.k.a. Nokia 5125, like many models of a similar and even newer age is being rendered obsolete by Rogers, who is shutting down the TDMA and analog networks that this device works with at the end of May.  It should be noted that ghetto phone has served my purposes well over the past 9 months or so, giving me full abilities to send and receive telephone calls with mobility, especially since i paid nothing for this hand-me-down phone.  Ghetto phone will soon be laid to rest, or perhaps whipped down the basement stairs.

Indeed not so long ago (it's on the record here) i was one to regularly issue complaint about mobile phone users and that particular pop culture phenomenon.  Though i don't think that i've quite arrived at being exactly what i was griping about, there are indicators that the future potentially holds that for me.  In the summer, when my residence will at least see a shuffle of tenants, i plan on cutting off the land line, as i can't justify two phone lines.  But more, Rogers is sending me a free new phone to bring me over to their newer GSM network, which i find to be a fairly sweet deal, and am actually a bit excited about.  Sure the new phone, a Nokia 2610 (still in need of a proper name by me), is about as basic/entry level/bottom of the line as they come right now, and i did for a moment actually consider spending money to get something of better quality, but it's coming to me for free, and i don't need things like built in crap-cams and ass-sounding MP3 players.  And despite this model's rudimentary offerings by today's standards, it is still a huge upgrade from where i'm at at this moment, though it remains to be seen if it's more or less a plastic piece of trash with no durability.  I don't like wasting things, which is why i'd keep using my ghetto phone if i could, so i expect something, perhaps unrealistically, to give me years of service.  This colour screen, equipped with organizer functions, much smaller and more lightweight phone should be good though.

Ok, that's the end of the excitement about something so stupid.  Now go to cfrc.ca, and get excited about all the Funding Drive events happening this week, and the value you get out of your donation.  Thank you very much.
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hydrocele testis [Dec. 17th, 2006|08:54 pm]
s e m stevens
Wikipedia for getting up to speed

On Tuesday (Dec. 19) i will have some kind of assessment made on my right testicle.  I had this done about a couple of years ago followed by an ultrasound.  These examinations all came to be following one of those "routine" physicals with the family doctor that i had for the first time in about 10 years.  At that point i'd decided that all, or at least most, was well, and that nothing further (i.e., surgery) was necessary.  This thing has continued to slowly inflate however, which is the nature of this particular condition, so this time the plan is to go through with getting this taken care of before i have a lopsided watermelon sized package bulging out of my trousers.  Right now it's more like nearly baseball sized.

For most of my post-pubescence i just thought that this anomalous affliction of the balls was simply a characteristic of my physicality, though i did become a bit concerned about an eventual noticeable increase in size.  Otherwise, as is pointed out about hydrocele testis generally, there has been no pain, and only the physical awkwardness to cope with sometimes.  I have wondered why my left testicle is seemingly so tiny, and wonder if it could be related.  Before discovering that i was slowly accumulating liquid around my testicle i actually thought it was the testicle itself that was so enlarged.  I also figured it was somehow related to how i masturbate.  I was actually kicked in the groin a couple times or so in public school by kids who just found that afflicting that kind of retching pain, at least to a poor, wussy, outcast kid was one of the bullying joys of the playground.  It will probably never be known if those incidents is the cause.

For me at least any medical procedure is a bit unnerving, plus i expect that the surgery will cause more discomfort for a while than this little condition has ever offered me.  Still though, fairly minor ordeal.  I just never tell anyone about such things.
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summer (and stuff) [Nov. 23rd, 2006|10:12 pm]
s e m stevens
Sadly, i've neglected writing down the details of the remainder of the Vancouver/Victoria trip -- not just here, but anywhere.  I could and should recollect some of that now, but still my attitude remains, dictating that i just don't feel like it.  I've been almost equally neglectful of you LJ friends, as i've read almost nothing that you've posted over the past several months.  At this point, while waiting for mundane computer activity (damn you progress bar) i'm expending this quick moment to bring you a detail or 2 on what's been up with Scott E. M. Stevens (the M. stands for Me).

Oh yeah, i can really only think of one thing i think.  I've applied for the CFRC Operatoins Officer position.  I think there were 14 or so applicants, 10 of whom were chosen for the first interview round that has been narrowed down to 5 for the second, project style round, which is where i am now.  CFRC volunteers are encouraged to engage with this part of the process and should have received details by email from the CFRC list.  The Ops Officer is the only permanent staff position at CFRC Radio.  For that and other reasons you are probably concerned with how this carries out.

Even though i think i might be in over my head, i'm still putting my full effort into this application process.  Though i must say that i really do like my Music Coordinator post, though of course something with more security and better than minimum wage is of course nice to think about.  With that though, i feel i have little to lost by making this application.  With over 10 years at the station, >3 as Music Coordinator, i do hold a lot of strong opinions about what works and what is appropriate for CFRC.  Best of luck to the other applicants just the same.

Only at CFRC would some of the hiring committee and some of the interviewees end up drinking together the night after the interviews.  We'er super sweet.

I suppose the other thing i'm up to is replacing a somehwat defective hard drive in my iRiver h120.  Had to order it from the US side, but i just couldn't handle the unreliable disk not letting me record with this machine.  High quality portable recording to replace MiniDisc being a primary reason that i bought it.  A benefit i'll get from this is a 50% capacity upgrade from 20 to 30GB.

Tell me that last detail was every bit enthralling for you.
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Vancouver daily sun [Jul. 2nd, 2006|11:41 am]
s e m stevens
I arrived in Vancouver at approximately 9pm PT on Wednesday June 28. The entire journey here ended out working nicely for me. The one stressful point was getting through Toronto traffic. My sister & Rob (her boy unit) did drive me to the airport, which was a sweet deal for me. I understand that they were caught in traffic that was at least as terrible on the way home, taking hours to get through Toronto.

My accommodation here with Lydia is spectacular, as she has fed me, including when i first arrived, and acted as tour guide. She lives just off of Commercial Dr., a great area full of life and diversity and all that good stuff. This area is apparently the place to see Wold Cup action. Commercial goes completely crazy, especially when Italy, Portugal, or Brazil are involved.

The weather has been perfect for these few daysc as well. Good for the abundant walking that i've been doing. First day, Thursday, i followed Lydia into work to visit CiTR. After seeing most of that, investigating Luke's (the musid director) stacks, and sitting around for a bit, i caught the bus partway back up Broadway, to Zulu Records. Spent a bit over $90 on 5 CDs. It being a quite expensive and strangely organised store (e.g., John Cage in jazz, Hot Chip in pop/rock) made the selection process easier.

After some time in Zulu, i walked over to Granville Island, which didn't seem to be an island at all. Very tourist oriented, but still has some nice areas for walking. I meandered my way back home from there (mostly via Broadway), which meant that i had walked a few hours that afternoon. When i got back to where i was staying i was too entirely satisfied with not getting up at all, and didn't put any effort into attempting to find the NoMeansNo show. I figure that this will likely be my biggest regret about this Vancouver excursion, as i think i should see NMN for sure, but mostly that was likely my single chance to experience the Commodore Ballroom. There's actually almost no music going on in Vancouver while i'm here outside of the jazz festival. Instead i stayed in and drank wine until 2am with Lydia, which is also a valid experience.

On Friday (June 30) i again didn't bother to get myself outside of the door beforea> 11. I headed in the other direction to CJSF. I thought it was forever away, with a ride on the "SkyTrain" (a.k.a. subway, but above ground and is in fact a robot that people willingly climb into) that must have taken at least very close to an hour. Turns out it wasn't that far at all, and i'd just taken the wrong direction on the loop. Which i managed to do both ways, even asking someone's advise as to which direction i should take on the way back. A couple of hours wasted on the transit system was indeed no fun, and very much like the kind of thing i do in an unfamiliar setting.

At CJSF i basically visited with Magnes, the station manager, which was quite nice. It was a quiet afternoon there with very little of anyone else around. As with CiTR, i didn't keep the patience to stick around as perhaps i should have. In this case it could have meant meeting with Ed, the music director. In retrospect i realise that it probably would have been better to swap which days i'd gone to which stations. CJSF was bound to have more folks to meet if it wasn't the last day before a holiday weekend, and CiTR is apparently quite happening on Fridays, with Nardwuar, DJ Ska-T, and a hiphop show which Luke calls the best in North America, and Lydia calls the host a very humble guy, who happens to run Beatstreet Records.

After finally making my way to downtown i spent the next few hours walking about. I had no idea where anything was or which direction to go in when i got out at Granville station, which itself was a bit of a lucky choice. Not bringing any kind of map or guide for Vancouver or Victoria was the stupidest omission on my part. I soon decided to head toward the water, finding my way along paths through a harbour, and along a trail north of downtown, which i later discovered is probably part of Stanley Park. Along those shores i did get to submerge my feet in Pacific waters.

With no shortcuts or alternate routes that i knew of i had to walk the entire route inhttp://cdn.scratchrecords.com/"> the opposite direction to get back to downtown. From that point i began to search for Scratch Records, having no idea of even the address. About 90 minutes of searching around while asking everyone who looked young enough to possibly know yielded no results. After finding food and a pint i dragged my exhaustion and stiff, aching legs back to my accommodation and went to bed early.

Could have been content with going nowhere on Saturday (July 1) were i not wasting time on the west coast. So i hung out in the neighborhood of Commercial most of the day, often having to push my way through mobs of excited footie fans. Damn, the street was crazy after the day's games. Canada Day was an afterthought in this area, with some family/kiddie type stuff in the park, but the footie fans were dominating some of that area too. I recorded some of their ritual chanting or whatever it is these jocks were doing.

After spending the day in and out of Lydia's apartment (hadn't seen her all day yet at this point) i decided to hop on the SkyTrain to downtown around 7pm, which went more than smoothly this time. Because of my hesitancy at an exit in Granville station (damn blind tourists) i was spotted by former CFRC programmer and Vancouver resident Martin. This incredibly unlikely chance is still amazing me. I hadn't been in contact with Martin at all, or even heard anything about him since he left Kingston a few years ago. He proceeded to tour me around all the streets/areas of downtown that i was supposed to go to and bought me pints. During our course we bumped into a pack of CFRC/Kingston activist community fok, including Sean (don't even know his last name). Holy Fuck!

After Martin departed i walked around Gastown for a bit, grabbed a couple more pints at some Irish pub, and before heading back home scored some bud with the help of an old hippie. Indeed a first time for me. Before getting into the station my need to urinate was becoming desparate. Wasn't helped by finding no washrooms, going in the wrong direction that didn't lead to the SkyTrain, then missing my stop and having to go back. I couldn't make it home and found a spot on a side street. Again, this is not like me. I went to bed a bit stoned and a bit drunk.

Today, now at 1pm, this entry, initially mostly written yesterday in my pen and paper type journal, is all that i've done so far. Time to get the good coffee in me.
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shame of over-drinking [Apr. 15th, 2006|01:56 am]
s e m stevens
Six days have passed since i've consumed a drop of alcohol.  This is not written as though i'm a recovering alcoholic, though i do drink regularly and these days it's unlikely for more than a day or 2 in a week to pass without me having a drink of something.  Last Saturday evening while out having a fun time i drank so entirely too much that i was as wasted as i've ever been, and haven't had desires on alcohol so much since.  It was a situation that i can find no pride in.

A house performance headlined by B.A. Johnston was exciting and fabulous, and all the while i was sucking back the remains of the scotch that i'd brought with me, or at least drinking enough of whatever else was coming my way to compensate for what i didn't drink out of that bottle.  After performances were done, we moved to The Toucan, and though i had definitely been handed over to the care of the alcohol by that point, i wasn't feeling bad in any way at that point.  After a bit of time hanging around at the bar (visiting Laura's DJ première there) i ordered a Creemore.  I only had a sip of that pint before i was running from the Touncan in a new found need to get the hell home, or at least out of there.  I think the timing of the poor ol' neglected Creemore was coincidental, but an overwhelming drunken ill feeling had found me, and i had sat myself on the curb in front of the Toucan for a while finding comfort staring and occasionally puking a bit into the sewer grate in front of me.  I wasn't moving from there any time soon, except that someone from the drinking establishment had called a cab for me, mentioning something about concern for the police coming around.  This staff person was the only person i'd made any attempt to communicate with since i ran from the bar, though what i meant to be something like "thanks" was likely incoherent mumbles.

When the cab pulled up directly in front of me (it could have been there a while and had to maneuver itself into getting my attention) i managed to pull myself in, communicate where i needed to get to, and even remember to ask if  he could accept Visa (as i had no cash on me).  I also wretched a bit at first most likely causing concerns about having a puker on board for the cabbie.  When i was dropped off i managed to pay (you should see my signature on that receipt -- apparently it's valid though), unlock my front door and pull myself through to the kitchen floor with more wretching, knowing that i had to get the cat fed before i could go to bed.  Feeding the damn cat was the hugest chore conceivable, and i simply lay on the kichen floor for quite a while just thinking about it.  My house mate came home, and watched some TV while i was lying there.  Eventually, i started pulling myself down the basement stairs to get this cat feeding process over with.  Or at least begun.  At about 2 steps down i paused to puke a bit and rest for another moment.  Eventually i did the rest of the stairwell to be marked by puking again.  Eventually, i got food to that damn kitty.  The housemate said something to me about needing help or am i alright, and i mumbled something back.  He brought back a bucket, and cleaned up my upper stairwell deposit.  Now, before getting to bed i would have to retreive the bucket, clean the bottom step, and make my way back up a second time.  This too did eventually happen, but i can't imagine where that will came from right now just thinking about it.  When i'd finished with all my business in the basement i simply crashed on the kitchen floor for a good couple of hours only to notice that the sky was beginning to take light.  At this point i got myself to bed.

I thought at first that i might be alright when i awoke, but indeed the hangover made itself known.  I was useless for Sunday.  I was mostly comfortable just to stay with my bed and leave it at that.  I was still fairly drained during Monday.

This is a shameful moment of my life.

I am having a beer while writing this.
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my application for OCD [Dec. 18th, 2005|03:01 am]
s e m stevens


how i fell in love with my idiosyncrasies

I've been tagged twice over for this and will now finally get on with it.  I suppose i may need to state the rules here.Collapse )  I don't know what a "meme" is/means, but that probably doesn't matter.  The great thing about doing this so completely after everyone else has finished with and forgotten about it is that i can gather my ideas from what everyone else has put out there (i.e., steal).  In addition to my big 5, i can respond to everyone else's list, all in one convenient (to me) location.

  1. staring into the light: I find myself staring into lights.  I recall having no explanation for this at one time when a friend asked me what i was looking at.  I seem to have an inclination for looking at a light source, though not so much for the sun.  I thought that this was something that i used to do a lot more of, but i just caught myself doing it tonight, so i don't know.  My father was a moth.

    1. textures/colours too: Similary i like looking at or into objects up close.  This seems to mainly be transparent or translucent items, and usually looking through at a light source.  I don't think i usually start at this consciously, but i really like some combination of colours, textures, and perhaps some mysterious other that i get into when looking at light through liquid, or looking through a glass shape.  You bet, articulation is difficult with this one.

  2. fidgety mofo: I'm always toying with anything that's in my hands, or picking up anything that's near.  It perhaps looks like a distraction, but i feel it goes along with the likes of a conversation.  I'm sure this shares a direct relationship to the item above.

  3. sleep needs:
    • I must sleep on a side.  When i fall asleep on my back the results are invariably disturbing dreams.
    • I need some kind of coverage.  A sheet will do, but having nothing feels incomplete or uncomfortable to me.  This has nothing to do with temperature.
    • The blankets must be fairly even with each other and cover me entirely, excepting my head.  I can't handle a toe or a shoulder not being tucked in.  Again incomplete or uncomfortable somehow.

  4. lists: Let this mark my organizational aspirations.  I make lists of all sorts of things.  Potential CD and DVD purchases, and more uselessly, the features i want in things i can't afford.  Lists for stuff i should read and recommendations.  Lists for all sorts of insignificants that i can't think of right now.  I have no list of lists though if that's what you're thinking.  Mostly these lists are just lost rather than kept, proving the entire operation to be futile.  I'd've been picked on more in high school for this, but there was someone else around with a worse list habit than mine.  This habit fits with my desire to have everything organised, but being too lazy to do anything about it.

  5. fantasyland: Far too much of my time with my mind engaged in a sort of internal soap opera.  While lying in bed i basically execute episodes largely of self-pity, and occasionally otherwise based on my fantasies.  This entails fantasising about some of the primary things that i wish for in life.  Love and sex for a large part.  I put myself into a place where i have that sort of life love/soul mate sort of companionship for example.  Where i can cuddle with a person who shares mutual desire and adoration with me, instead of filling that void with cuddling a pillow.  Sometimes i retreat to my room specifically to engage in this fantasy world, and it's often difficult releasing myself from it.

an assortment of stray responses:
  • Numbers have specific colours to them in my mind.

  • Excess energy/fidgetyness makes me need to get out of my chair and do a walk around the place often, especially at work.

  • I usually take stairs 2 at a time, occasionally 3.

  • I drink water constantly throughout the day (though i often forget to at work), and need to have water by me at night too.

  • I will centre certain things or set them in what i consider a proper spot.  For example, placing my pint in the dead centre of a coaster, and setting that coaster on a specific spot on a table or place mat.

  • I've caught myself walking on the tips of my toes when walking downstairs barefoot at night for example, even though there is no need for this at all.  I don't think it even saves on any noise.

  • There's a particular position for my pillow under my head just filling in my neck, but having no part in accommodating my shoulders.

  • I bite my nails so much.  I'd bet that i have all you nail biters beat.  I bite into bits of skin on my fingertips.  I bite toenails sometimes too.

  • I used to avoid things like cracks in the sidewalks, at least sometimes, and had other particular patterns to abide by.  I've at least given up the sidewalk cracks thing mostly as i just can't be bothered, but it creeps in sometimes.

  • I like to finish as near to the last little crumb when eating, and i like to include every bit i can when preparing food.  For example, getting every last grain of rice from measuring cup to bowl to pot to plate, or every scrap of coffee out of the grinder.  I think that there's a frugal tendency here that accounts for this, believing that i'm getting the most out of something.

  • I almost never make my bed.  Waste of time.

  • My home cleanliness needs some major improvements to meet my own standards, but in some situations at least i am a bit verminophobic.  I can't touch the kitchen garbage can without feeling a dire need to wash my hands.  Also, i have to wash my hands after using the washroom anytime, anywhere.  While this probably sounds like common sense, i have to say that i'm appalled by how often at least men don't wash their hands after using public facilities.  I also hate when washroom facilities don't include hand soap and a means to dry one's hands.

  • I have no idea how to drum, at least by any remotely formal measure, but i drum or tap my fingers on just about any hard surface.  Usually with music playing out loud, but sometimes it's coming purely from my head.

Now it's your turn.  I'm going to break from the rules slightly as i only have 6 LJ friends at the moment who haven't already done this.  I don't want to leave just one person out.  I tag:
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