i love creaking

Do you know what sound I love? Creaking. One time when Jenn and I were road tripping through the Rockies, we stopped at a lookout. It was cloudy, grey, windy, and chilly out. The view was beautiful. While we were taking the view in, I noticed a quiet creaking sound coming from somewhere close by. I investigated and found the source was a speed limit sign on the road that was hanging on hinges, swaying back and forth in the wind — I guess high winds in the area tend to knock regular signposts down or something. Anyway, ever since then, I’ve wanted to make a creaking wind chime similar to that speed limit sign — basically just a big, thin, light piece of whatever attached to some rusty hinges, hanging from a post. I fucking hate most wind chimes but there is something so eerie and vaguely unsettling about creaking that I definitely want more of it in my life. It’s like how I enjoy reading dark and Satanic books while on summer vacation. It provides a nice counterbalance to all the good vibes, you know? Just give me a hint of Satan in each day, give me a reason to be afraid, even when things are otherwise great. I want that sense of unease to pervade every day of my life.

I’ve been putting off making my creaking wind chime for five years or something like that, but just now, I was out by the wood pile and heard a similar creaking that I really dug. I checked it out and found a swaying tree in our yard is causing part of the firewood pile to rub against itself. It was such a welcomed, haunting sound that I thought, “I need to blog about this and then get my ass in gear and make a fucking creaker.”

So that’s what I’m going to do as soon as I get back from Duncan.

tinkerer

“Satan, it’s me, Margaret. Do you read me? Over.”

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A tale of cat turds and extra sensory perception

Last night, it was snowing like a bastard so I went outside and moved my car to make it easier to get out when I left for work this morning. I cleared the snow off the car, hopped in, and started it up. Then I smelled the strong, pungent, unmistakable stench of shit in my car, like I had stepped in it and brought the foul stuff into the vehicle with me. But, strangely enough, I hadn’t. There was no shit anywhere. Not on my boots, not in my car, not anywhere I had walked in the snow. I shrugged and put it out of my mind, and finished what I was doing.

I went back inside the house a minute or so later to find Jenn coming down the stairs, holding our cat as far away from herself as she could, proclaiming that he had just shat in our bed, and was continuing to shit as she carried him outside. That’s right, the cat shit in our bed. He’s an old barn cat named Masuku who has always loved to come inside whenever we allow it, and Jenn thought we should bring him in last night on account of the inclement weather. But I guess it’s been so long since he’s been inside that he has forgotten what is expected of him there, and Jenn said she walked into our bedroom to see him squatting right in the middle of all our blankets, confidently releasing his bowels into our most intimate of spaces. It wasn’t like he was terrified and spraying diarrhea; no, these were fully-formed solid turds he was depositing, and continued to deposit as Jenn rushed down the stairs with him.

That will be the last time Masuku is ever allowed in the house. He really went out in a blaze of glory. Much manic cleaning ensued.

That’s a gross little story in itself but for me, the most fascinating aspect of this debacle is that I inexplicably smelled shit in my car right around the moment Masuku shat in my bed. How strange. I was just saying to someone recently that there was a period in my life a few years ago where I experienced several strange coincidences that really made me go, “whoah, this is spooky.” I wrote about some of those things here and here. I’ve gone a long time without experiencing anything spooky so as much as I want to puke at the memory of our damn cat shitting in our bed and down the stairs, I have to be grateful for — and try to focus on — the cool, mysterious experience related to it.

why-does-my-cat-poop-on-my-bed-1200x-orange

Huh. Apparently it’s a thing. How about that.

Little world

I found this post in my drafts folder. I wrote it last October or so. I’m not sure why I never posted it so I’m posting it now.

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Today, Jenn and I went for a hike on Maple Mountain. There was a forest fire there this summer so we wanted to see what the burnt area looked like before anything has had a chance to grow back. It was fascinating, and a little spooky. The burnt bark on the remaining trees was now spongy from the recent rains. Stella was unconcerned with the larger implications and ran around like an idiot, loving every minute of it. For an area so close by, it was a neat and different little outing.

And last week, Jenn and I took Stella for a night walk through the forest trails in our neighbourhood. We hike these trails virtually every day but almost never at night, and it was a completely different experience. There was no moon out that night so it was really dark. Jenn had a headlamp on and it gave the woods a Blair Witch Project vibe. Once we got back onto the road, we saw two white owls perched on the power line overhead, their unflappably (ha) stoic faces staring hard at us. We hear owls around here a lot but don’t see them often, and this was the first time either of us had seen two owls at once. It was crazy how a walk we do all the time was so different from usual.

I like this stuff. I like it when we are able to experience new things in places we are already extremely familiar with. It makes me feel like we are doing a good job of keeping our brains turned on, of looking for and appreciating the subtle changes around us. I’m proud of that.

babymetal: one year later

this is the weirdest thing. it was around this time last year that i first heard of babymetal so i guess the cold and gloomy weather reminded me of it and had me listening to them even more than usual for the last week. then i thought i should write a blog post about how i feel about babymetal one year in, to see if the novelty had worn off or anything like that. i started and wrote, “i got into babymetal almost exactly a year ago.” then i wondered, what was the exact date i got into them? i knew that i had emailed peter, slayer dave, ben, and dylan (my super elite casual metal conversation bros) when i first learned about babymetal so i searched my email for that particular correspondence.

i found it, and guess what date that was. november 29th, 1 year ago to the day. if that’s not spooky, i don’t know what is. it certainly makes me feel like something is telling me, “yes david, babymetal is awesome.” anyway, this is what i emailed to the SECMC guys one year ago:

i’ve seen this name mentioned on blabbermouth several times recently, sounded stupid, didn’t care. finally wore me down and i checked it out. in typical japanese style, it’s fucking weird. so it’s a teenage girl and two pre-teen girls essentially singing japanese pop and dancing to very competent metal. i actually like the dancing, silly japanese girl shouts, and pop aspects more than the metal but overall it’s pretty neat.

i clearly remember feeling like “i’m going to be annoyed by this any second now…any second now…” but after a week of repeated listens, i tucked my tail between my legs, admitted defeat, and realized i actually really liked babymetal. and now here i am, a year later, and i still love em for all the same reasons. there’s one particular live video of them from the metrock 2013 festival that i really like. the japanese crowd is going nuts, you can see crowd surfers and circle pits. it’s with the skeleton band who don’t actually play their instruments but they are so much fun to watch, jumping around and acting goofy. even though the music is canned in this vid, su performs all of her vocals live, and you can tell by how pitch-y she gets that it was a really exciting show. she’s obviously really pumped from the crowd and over-performing just a little bit, getting a little sharp here and out of breath there, but combined with the crazy crowd, fun skeleton band, and super fun dance moves, the little vocal imperfections make the performance riveting to me.

watching and listening to this particular live vid reminded me of the depression i spiraled into after getting into babymetal. it was really weird, and tough for me to figure out. here’s what happened, in a nutshell. basically, a lot of babymetal’s music reminds me of being a teenager in shawnigan lake, of endless sunny days and driving around with friends and going to beaches or gigs or parties and camping on mount baldy and late nights. it gives me the same feeling that i experienced in those happy times, those times in my life that may as well be a silent grainy 8 mm film from the 60’s, or an episode of the wonder years. life was pretty much non-stop fun and good times then. i didn’t worry about plastic bags in the ocean, re-injuring my back, making sound but green-friendly financial investments, widespread corruption in government and business, the impending extinction of countless animals, glaciers melting at astounding rates, and racial issues. so it felt really bittersweet and beautiful to listen to babymetal and be clearly reminded of that simple, wonderful, long-past time.

then i started feeling shitty, and i couldn’t figure out why. it lasted two or three weeks. finally i went for a walk with dana and talked about it with him. after a little while and some good chatting with a good bud, we figured it out: i was depressed because i could remember carefree times of my life and relate when other people experienced them, but felt like that period had passed for me and i could only ever now view it as an outsider. i felt like i could look through a window and see people inside, experiencing the same joy i used to when i was a kid, and say, “yup, i remember feeling like that. it sure was great.” but due to adult life and my bitter outlook on the world in general, i could no longer be in there with those happy folks and actually feel that joy myself anymore. i felt relegated to a grey adult life of worries and concerns, and that sucked.

as soon as i understood why i had been feeling so shitty, i actually felt pretty much fine again. i guess just understanding the root of my problem gave me a lot of comfort. i also realized that i was being a huge baby and still had lots of description-defying fantastic times in my life, like the first time i went to burning man with jenn. they may be a bit harder to find now but those moments are still around. i also learned that those moments happen more if i actively seek them, by just going out, partying with friends, doing cool stuff. perhaps not by mere coincidence, the summer following this depression was the best one i’ve had since i was a teenager, full of old-fashioned, carefree joyous moments and tons of fun with friends. how about that, life isn’t always so goddamned bad after all. amazing.

and that deep personal insight babymetal gave me is only icing on the cake. even disregarding my profound experience brought on by their music, i still love babymetal. i still think their whole package is fun, heavy, professional, smart, and well-executed. i still listen to them on a regular basis and don’t think of it as a gimmick or novelty. to me, it’s just a new, crazy, legit thing.

conclusion: after one year, i still think babymetal is just as awesome.