Laser Focus

I am set for Friday at lunchtime to correct or completely wreck my vision by way of a laser beam to evaporate the surface of my eyeballs. This elective PRK surgery, alternatively described as an industrial energy beam calibrated to char away the cornea, will permanently change how I see the world. With good fortune my vision will be clear, free of ghosts and halos, and I will not be blind. Yes, that’s the best I’m hoping for – that I will not be worse off than now with the hassle of glasses. This has brought me to some contemplation as to which of my vital human senses I would be willing to sacrifice, if I had the choice. On purely pragmatic terms it would have to be my sense of taste since that’s just for the joy of flavor. Vision may be the worst practical function to lose since that must be how we perceive the most information. But I think I’d still miss my hearing the most if that would cut out music from my life.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if there was some kind of corrective laser surgery for your inner ear. Maybe it would open an extended frequency range so you could hear deeper sub-bass and jam out on music for dogs. More realistically, it would be a benefit to humanity to get some relief from tinnitus, of which I think I suffer mildly. When I’m heinously sleep-deprived (pretty much daily) there’s a high-pitch ring deep in my head. I can tune it out most of the time, but when I think about it is definitely there. I can function just fine, and filter it out, but it’s always there. I expect it will get worse and I may become less functional. As a matter of fact, I do have a real problem holding a conversation with even moderate background noise. I think about the life of an audiophile who might outlay serious cash and other resources to attain pure, immaculate audio reproduction. I can only dream of a medical miracle that could plug deep into the brain and bypass all the flaky wiring in between.

Missing Member

Which band member is just overhead, redundant, obsolete? If we want to be manically efficient, it should a self-sufficient one-man-band; a pathetic loner strapped into twelve quixotic instruments, speaking a cacophonous, single voice. I have witnessed a one-man-band, with a clarinet wired up to flop a snare drum and smash a cymbal, and it was a rhythm echoing in an uncanny valley. Mechanically, the human mind can only really process one thing at a time, so the beat was lock-stepped to a single train of thought, and it was like an author who has never met another human being, so all the dialog read, literally, like a monologue. Continue reading

Feline Longevity

Falling in love with an adorable kitten we are amused until it soon grows to be an adolescent nuisance. Likewise, there are bands that, in their time decades ago, seemed relevant and were briefly the focus of universal attention. They may have been genuinely talented and creative, but their moment passed and the adoration moved on to another infatuation. I’ll come up with a few examples in a minute, but I want to continue the idea of the living, furry creature with a full lifespan. Long, long after we may have forgotten about the kitten and moved on, the maturing feline continues making a living being a cat. Continue reading

LCD Timewarp

I’m back in the boisterous Provo Coffee Pod, a little bewildered. Despite the draw of the Utah Pride Festival this weekend in SLC there are still numerous iPhone metro-bohemians left in Utah County on a Sunday afternoon. I guess the population skews back to the other side of the tracks over the Summer. Much of the ecclesiastically endorsed BYU demographic recedes back out of Zion and we’re left with more tattoos, piercings, and (god forbid) sun dresses. I’m only complaining because I’d rather be tucked away in a nice quiet corner of the public library, but that kind of establishment is considered to be ungodly and an abomination on the Sabbath. Since I’ve lived in Provo so long I had the impression that all libraries are closed on Sundays, to let the dusty, weary books, and their librarian curators, rest their spines. But then I came across a library with its doors unlocked, lights turned on, and literary select diverse – and open on a Sunday. So now I’ve got that pebble in my shoes. Continue reading

Turkey Buffet

Netlflix online streaming is great for swiftly pulling up a long list of movies to watch, but I can flip through the list of suggestions for so long, with no interest, that I get bored, give up and do something else. First world problem, I know. I start out thinking there’s got to be some great movie, enlightening documentary, or hilarious Louis CK masturbation joke that will broaden my horizons. Netflix is limited by whatever feasible licensing deals they can manage, and they seem to be making a killing at securing utter shit cinematic bombs. At least you have a choice of what shit to watch, and the long chance for a serendipitous discovery. On broadcast television and radio you are almost certainly locked into abysmal mediocrity. The big outlets cringe away from taking any chances and from missing the center of mass of the broadest audience. Continue reading