Thursday, June 01, 2006

Enya makes me cry, I'm getting fat, I can't sleep, and I'm losing my mind

"Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore."

I don't mean that in a Wizard of Oz way; I mean that in an EBN-OZN, "AEIOU and sometimes Y" way. If you don't understand, you may be too young to read this blog (or just not retro enough).

Listening to the song again, as I walked Barky in the oppressive heat early this morning, I remembered how much I like how it combines weird with irresistible 80s pop. It tells a nice little story, which is interrupted by this seemingly non sequitur chorus about vowels, all laid over multiple layers of catchy, fluffy, 80s synthesizer goodness.

Of course, the chorus does relate to the story; both of them describe how difficult it is for people to communicate, especially using language.

I agree.

Probably not a great position for an editor to take, but it's true. If I walk into a pastry shop in Tangiers with some money, it's pretty clear what I want and what the shop owners want. I want to give them money, which they want to take, and they want to sell me pastries, which I want to eat. Problems only arise when we start trying to talk to one another.

First, which language to use? Arabic? I don't know a word, so that's out, even though it may be their native tongue. Then again, they are likely to be Berber, so perhaps Arabic is not their first language. There's French, which I can get by in, and which they may speak as a result of the lingering effects of French colonization. On the other hand, they may detest the French because of the lingering effects of French colonization.

Before I speak a word, I'm already confused. Easier just to point at the magdalena and hand over the money.

My favorite line about this is Burroughs' line, which Laurie Anderson used, "Language is a virus from outer space." You kids out there can Google both Laurie Anderson and William S. Burroughs. (For extra credit, describe how Ginsberg mentions Burroughs in his poem "America" and explain why Ginsberg seems to be upset when he does.)

Ironically, although language is a communicable virus, it doesn't really aid communication. Hey, while we're on the topic of communicable viruses and non sequiturs, let's talk about some of the symptoms of pregnancy that Mama has passed to Papa:

  • I've lost my freakin' mind. I can't remember anything. Just ask MetroDad. He made a nice comment about a photo of Barky that I posted yesterday. Yesterday. When I responded yesterday afternoon, I went on and on about how Barky looked so good in that hat, and how he had worn it for awhile, so we have a bunch of pictures of him in it, and so on. Fine, except he was referring to the picture that I posted yesterday of Barky sleeping on our floor, not the one of Barky in the hat that I posted sometime last week. Let's not even talk about how many things I've lost track of at work. That's just depressing.
  • I gained 15 pounds, and I'm on my way to 20. I know that it's not as much as Mama has gained, but she'll lose much of hers at delivery and much more during breastfeeding, and because she's a bike-riding, second-degree-black-belt rock star, she'll lose the rest of it within a year, I'm sure. Me, I'll still have my 20, if I don't have 25 by then.
  • Enya makes me cry. OK, almost anything makes me cry these days. Mama and I went through a box of Kleenex each watching the childbirth video in our childbirth class. Mama's admitted that using shuffle on the iPod is getting harder, because almost any sad song is too much to bear. I'm having the same problem--hence the EBN-OZN early in the morning. No crying to that song. This hasn't made music listening easy around the Bradstein household; we're the ones, after all, who had a bluegrass duo play at our wedding. When we told them that they could play whatever they wanted, the fiddle player, Mama's cousin, reminded us that "not many bluegrass songs have happy endings." We didn't care then. Those were just songs. Now they are emotional boobytraps, exploding in brilliant displays of emotion.
  • Comfortable sleep is a luxury that is wasted on youth. "Sure," I thought, 34 weeks ago. "Mama will get uncomfortable as she gets bigger. Sure, that will make sleeping harder for her. Sure, she'll get tired. Good thing I'll be able to sleep and stay well rested to take care of things that she can't do when she's tired." Except that I can't sleep either, and when I do, it's not very deeply. Just ask Zygote Daddy, who I often swap emails with after midnight; he's going through the same thing.
  • I've lost my freakin' mind. I can't remember anything. Wait . . . did I already mention that?
Anyway, you were saying something about an EBN-OZN concert in Kanzas? With Laurie Anderson?

Wasn't that you?


  1. Anonymous8:26 PM

    Listening to you is like taking a walk down memory lane, my friend. It's the male aspects of a spouse's pregnancy that nobody ever talks about. When my wife was pregnant, I turned into a semi-intelligible insomniac wuss with a penchant for Doritos and late-night scotch. It's par for the course. Don't worry about it.

    By the way, that extra 20 pounds? It's gonna be a bitch to lose (unless of course you decide to start breastfeeding.)

  2. Anonymous2:47 AM

    Say it with the King.... AMBIEN MMMMMMMMM. the King likey. It is a treat.

    TCB on some good REMS

  3. Ambien, you say?

    That works for colicky babies too, right?

    Oh man, now social services is on their way over. As soon as they're done at Britney Spears' house.

    Hey, I was just kidding.


    I'd never give 3B Ambien.

    Not when I could just mix up a little martini for him.

    Hey, stop knocking. I was just kidding.