Friday, June 17, 2011

Happiness is a Warm Gun (or, The Magic iPod).

I have been in almost a coma of unhappiness this week, for about 6.5 reasons. It's been so bad that when the cashier at my neighborhood grocery store asked, "How are you today? Find everything you were looking for?" I wanted to say, "Actually, no. I did not. Perhaps it is because you don't carry a cure for the shattered hopes wrought by too many years watching insipid chick flicks, reading Jane Austen, and listening to pop music."

Five of the reasons for my gloomy disposition are too personal to delve into at the moment, but the other one and a half are as follows:

1 - Incessant fighting with progeny (twin school-aged girls) on the eve of a long summer trip to see in-laws and other family;

.5 - The inability of local dining establishments to produce a Tomato-Basil Soup that does not taste like tepid pizza sauce in a bowl.

When I am in this state, only two things help assuage my misery: prayer, and divination. (Three, if you include New York Times crossword puzzles, although their difficulty often brings forth severe anxiety relating to my potential as future Mensa member.) Prayer is personal and introspective, requiring little more than a quiet place and some concentration. Divination, however, needs tools.

The ancients were big fans, with oracles and their attendant priests or priestesses being quite the rage. Perhaps the most popular spot was the oracle at Delphi, until the Christians put an end to it. (Apparently getting high off the fumes billowing from the spring and predicting the future was deemed kind of pagan.) Plenty of other options sprung up to fill the basic human desire to know the unknowable: horoscopes, tarot, magic eight balls (The kind you shake, not the kind you consume. Although that COULD lead to some visions, I suppose...) All of these pale in comparison to my favorite fortune-telling device: my iPod.

Scoff not! My iPod is wise, all-knowing, never wrong! I admit, my musical taste is eccentric at best, laughable at worst - and yet - no matter. This is how it works. I concentrate. Squint my eyes. Ask a question. Press the 'forward' button ONCE. (The iPod is on 'shuffle', and I must accept the result. No pressing again.) LO AND BEHOLD! An answer appears. Let's give it a go, shall we?

1. Will I ever be happy again?
Tom Petty - "Even Walls Fall Down". That's actually a good one!! Nice and hopeful.

Some days are diamonds
Some days are rocks
Some doors are open
Some roads are blocked

Sundowns are golden
Then fade away
But if I never do nothing
I'll get you back some day

2. Will my children be functioning members of society?
U2 - "A Day Without Me". I'm going to take that as a yes. Yay!

3. Should I work at becoming a more bloggy blogger?
Elton John - "I Want Love". Now, other than the fact that this random selection seems to point to the fact that my musical tastes are decidedly middle-aged (I plead the fifth...) I think this says it all.

Experimenting with adding music to the blog! Click on the streampad player below, or just click on the song.

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Scar Tissue
U2 - One
Tom Petty - Here Comes My Girl


  1. This post kicked some serious ass, my dear. Lighting all kinds of (metaphorical) candles for you-- fellow insomniac.

  2. Nice post.

    "The ancients were big fans, with oracles and their attendant priests or priestesses being quite the rage."

    Later, they would also point to random passages of The Aeneid for guidance. I still use this tactic occasionally. :)

  3. Thank you for following, Hektor! Although The Aeneid has a special place in my heart, I think I lean toward The Odyssey more...all that "rosy-fingered dawn" and "the wine-dark sea" and such...:)Funny story, I wanted to be the oracle at Delphi for Halloween last year, and carry around a cauldron of dry ice to simulate the (portable) vapors. In the end, it seemed like I would be spending the evening explaining myself, so I just settled for Athena! :)