Monday, March 06, 2006

Bad-Tempered Gnashing of Teeth

I’ve never really woken up today. That’s pretty unusual for me. I don’t know if I’m ever-so-slightly hung over from the glass and a half of white wine I drank at an Oscars party last night (and if I am, how pathetic is that?) or if I’m fighting off a virus. All I know is that I spent the day in slo-mo autopilot. Luckily, I had work that didn’t require a tremendous amount of concentration. But I couldn’t have gotten through it without Earl Scruggs’s banjo pickin’. I listened to “Cripple Creek” about 20 times in a row and have come to the conclusion that it is the cheeriest and perkiest tune in existence. Listen to a snippet of it here, and see if you don’t agree.

My assessment of the tune is confirmed by 18th-century theory on the emotional characteristics of key signatures. "Cripple Creek" in the key of G Major, which, as you may or may not know, embodies “everything rustic, idyllic and lyrical, every calm and satisfied passion, every tender gratitude for true friendship and faithful love--in a word, every gentle and peaceful emotion of the heart.” Isn’t that lovely? Beware, however, of D# minor, which evokes “feelings of the anxiety of the soul's deepest distress, of brooding despair, of blackest depresssion, of the most gloomy condition of the soul. Every fear, every hesitation of the shuddering heart, breathes out of horrible D# minor. If ghosts could speak, their speech would approximate this key.” I must say, I’m not a bit surprised. That freakin’ key’s six sharps tripped me and 99% of my fellow high school band members up every time. Also to be avoided: A-flat major (AKA "the key signature of the grave") and G minor, which speaks of “discontent, uneasiness, worry about a failed scheme; bad-tempered gnashing of teeth; in a word: resentment and dislike.” But you knew that.

Enough with the musician geekiness. I was easily distracted today, and got not as much done on the work front as I would have wished. And I further cut into my work time, by taking a break to make a large vat of split pea soup, so that there would be some nutritious food in the house. There hasn’t been any for a week or two. Hey, I wonder if that has anything to do with why I’m feeling so out of sorts? I know it has something to do with the rather alarming number that appeared on the scale when I got weighed at the doctor’s last week. True, I was wearing boots that may have weighed 5 to 10 pounds, but even so, there's no denying that my weight is creeping up on me. This is just so bad. I've been eating crap and not exercising as much as I should. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to stop living my life so haphazardly, and I’ve done not the slightest thing to address that.

What a crappy blog entry. I really am bleary today. Unable to focus or think in a linear fashion. Distracted by banjo pickin’ and the key signature of the grave. At least I won’t have to eat Duncan Hines brownies for dinner. Or, I should say, at least I won’t have to eat only Duncan Hines brownies for dinner. I feel kind of like this guy.

Half Head

I’m working at about half my head’s usual capacity. I like this sculpture, though. It’s located (appropriately enough) outside the Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology at the Oregon Health and Science University. Recognize it, Diana?


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