December 1st, 2009

NCC-1701 Nebula 1

I know not, and neither does my subconscious, I think

Dream: my old Hermiston Herald office, poorly lit and repurposed as a furniture store.

I don't know why I picture my old office that way.

I do know the office where I worked is closed: the Herald's competitor the East Oregonian bought it earlier this decade, and moved it a few blocks down Hermiston's Main Street into what had been the EO's western Umatilla County bureau (the EO is based in Pendleton). The Herald had been there for decades. It had a lived-in, vintage feel. It had an interestingly awkward second floor in the back that looked out over the main floor; the interior wall between the front news/reception/ad sales area and the layout area didn't reach the ceiling, so one could see to the front doors. (Now I'm glad I didn't have co-workers who liked to yell down from there.)

I worked in that office for three fascinating years, September 1997 to August 2000. It, and the semi-desert area where Hermiston is located, is a recurring setting for my dreams. I usually dream of Hermiston at night, but better lit than night in the desert is supposed to be, like it's a gigantic set. (No, it's not lit the way Las Vegas is lit. The light is more subtle than that.) Only the interiors are darker than they should be. It only dawns on me now that I've pictured it that way. I don't know why. Maybe my subconscious knows why, or maybe it's trying to figure that out, too.

My subconscious seems to be trying to figure out a lot. Yes, Chris, even after this year of a lot of soul-searching, there's plenty more potential soul-searching waiting.
iAm iSaid

To grow a song

My mix CDs are shifting on me.

No, that's what it feels like.

My friends slipjig and rafaela have kept me well supplied with mix CDs. I rotate between a bunch of them, plus my usual personal collection of CDs. And sometimes I've forgotten which songs are in what order, and the next song seems unfamiliar, like I haven't heard it before even though I have, and it's as if my mix CDs are shifting on me.

Wouldn't it be cool if mix CDs could do that? More than random play on a CD player, more than shuffle mode on an iPod: what if CDs regenerated their playlist? Played an unexpected song?

(Someone figured out a way to sort of do this with LPs. There's a Monty Python LP from the 1970s that was called a "three-sided" record: one side had two grooves, each with its own content, and what you heard depended on where you dropped the needle. I heard of someone, I think a college acquaintance, who had that LP and had never known about the other groove until he finally just happened to drop the needle into the other groove and his mind was blown.)

It could be like this: Like maybe the CD had grown a song? Like mold in a petri dish? Like an extra arm in an unexpected place?

Admit it, this idea is impossible but cool. And "cool" should be allowed to trump "impossible," because the world can use more Cool.

This post has been brought to you by me being surprised by a song on a CD I've listened to dozens of times. And no, I don't think I'm forgetful...