I should not be awake now. [I started writing this at 4:30.] I've documented my recent data
and gotten Perrine to put a pawprint on the signature line
attesting that she knows I only slept for one hour, and I'm
sure I'm entitled to compensation (especially since this is
the second night in a row and severalth time in a twomonth),
but I don't know where to send the complaint forms. I can't
find the Sandman's office in the blue pages of the phone book.
(I'm not even certain which department I should be looking
under -- Health & Social Services, right?).
So in frustration at my addled-sleep-addled*
brain, I've weighed my options, having chosen to stick to the
traditional emotional responses this morning. From the
"suggestions for acting out" table on the "feel grumpy and
put-upon" mood response page in the "traditional responses"
section of the manual**, I picked "the
world" as my primary acting-out target and "other members of
the class you feel wronged by" -- in this case, brains -- as
my secondary target.
So I'm going to describe a game that came into my AddledSleepAddled
brain while I was composing the first paragraph, which I somehow
managed not to forget again while inventing the second paragraph.
It's a game for brains. For the brains of musicians.
Play a duet using the largest and smallest members of an
instrument family -- e.g.: piccolo flute and bass
flute; ukelele and bass guitar***; slide
trumpet and bass trombone (or bass sackbutt -- I think those are
prettier and I like the sound); bongos and tympani; garklein
and extended great double contrabass recorder; bombard and
bassoon. Or possibly extend the boundaries of 'family' a
bit: mandolin and double bass; soprano natural trumpet and
anaconda****. The thing is, every
few measures, the musicians have to swap instruments with each
other, so their hands have to adjust from tinycrampedfingerpositions
T O . . . G R E A T . . . B I G . . . S P R E A D S. Bonus for
picking transposing instruments in different keys and using
sheet music all written at concert pitch. Finally, each time
the tune repeats, it's played transposed by a fifth up or a
fourth down (depending on what will fit on the instruments
being used), but it's not transposed on paper -- you have to
sight-transpose from the starting key.
First one to fail to play on her turn due to lack of skill,
falling down with a giggle-fit, or a hand cramp, is out.
Whether that makes her the winner or the loser ... I don't
know and don't care, as long as one of the musicians makes that
each-side-of-the-face-having-a-different-reaction -- half-startled,
half-WTF, half-wincing, half-confused as to why the math doesn't
[†], that means that
somewhere inside that person's head a synapse exploded in a
burst of cheesy special effects with Kirk and Spock standing
nearby making tickmarks on their lists of statements and
puzzles lethal to computers equipped with speech recognition,
completely unaware that in their smug self-assurance at the
inherent superiority of organothinkers over mechanothinkers,
they are standing inside a rapidly crumbling metaphor inside
an organic brain providing what could be used by some cyber-rights
agitators as evidence of the opposite of what they think
they're proving. Where was I? Back about eighty
words. Thanks. Wait, who are you? Don't ask -- you
don't want another nested footnote, do you? Mu.
... synapse exploded, bruising neurons and those little
star shaped thingies I can never remember the names
of[yup, another footnote after
all] and generally producing a response along
the lines of "My brain hurts" or, if I'm really lucky and am
still in my "Must Hurt Other Brains To Cow My Own Into
Behaving officially, but really just because I'm feeling
grumpy and want to be mean" mood, "Ow, I think I just
spraned my brane!" (all the better if I can hear the
misspellings -- I know a few people who can pull that off).
If you manage to take out the brains of anyone in the audience
as you go down, so much the better.
Then perhaps I will feel I have adequately shared the
pain, in my grumpiness at having spontaneously woken after
a mere hour of sleep.
So quickly, let's get some volunteers in here so I can
get back to sleep!
PEDAL TONESoh no, not
* In case any of you are just as sleepy,
I mean "addled by having had my sleep addled". Or if you
prefer, "[(addled sleep) addled] brain". "My addled-by-addled-sleep
brain." One could also make a case for, "my sleep(addled) addled
brain," if one wished to try one's
or "my secondarily sleep-addled brain," but that suggests
that sleep was the addler, rather than the addlement of the
sleep addling the brain, I must add. Of course, choosing between AAS,
SSA, and ASA drew my mind back to ninth-grade geometry class, and
the various theorems used for determining congruence. I elected
to go with "addled-sleep addled brain" because the symmetry
appealed to me, and because I have a vague recollection THAT
I'M TOO DAMN SLEEPY TO VERIFY BY WORKING THROUGH IT, BECAUSE I'M
FEELING SO A.S.A, that the angle-side-angle theorem
was a little easier to prove than the others.
** No, you can't borrow it -- do you know
how hard it is to find one of these? And even when you get one
from the source, they won't send you the manual until your
warranty has already expired, so it's no wonder so many people
are looking for the instruction manual. Interesting that it
turned out to be a lot like a manual for an RPG. (Hmm. First
edition, and it came with a large stack of numbered errata slips,
and some of the numbers are missing, so I don't know where all
the mistakes are. And waitaminute, all of the pages about gender
had a printing problem and came out blurry in my copy. WTF?
Anyone know where I can get a copy of the second edition? Did
they change the Wandering Opportunities Table much in 2ed?
*** Technically, at least by musicotaxonomists
(or are they taxonomusicologists?) the ukelele is classed as a
type of guitar. (And the bass guitar should really be called
the double-bass guitar, since it's the same range as
the double bass viol ("doghouse bass", "upright bass", "bull
fiddle"). That's why a "tenor guitar" is smaller
than what we XXth/XXIst Century folks think of as a "regular"
guitar. The standard guitar is a bass instrument ... sort
of ... er, like the, ah, piano is a, um, bass instrument.
I'm a gonna go lissen to some wailing, screaming classsic rock
guitar solos now, where my favourite bass inatrument plays way
above the treble staff (even accounting for the fact that
guitars, bass guitars, and double basses play an octave
lower than written).
**** Yes, the anaconda is in fact an
extremely large serpent (IIRC, they were made of brass instead
of wood) and that was the name some people used for them, not
something I made up trying to be cute. Well, okay, it
was something I said trying to be cute, but right
after I said it the person I was talking to pointed to a
page in a book showing that I'd had yet another joke stolen
by yet another time traveller (okay, maybe not, since they
didn't have time travel back then[see: how to use
a fake missing footnote after a clearly incorrect statement
to see who tries to retcon it]) and the "anaconda"
name got play before I was even chicken-scratches on my
designer's drafting table. So don't blame me for that one
even though it's all my fault. Unless it makes your brain/brane
hurt, in which case the DM will give me +2 glee points if you
F Unless, of
course, both musicians experience brainsprain at the same
moment, and divvy up the facial expressions between them.
† Well, five asterisks in a row
looked unwieldy, and I didn't trust the cantilever
(can't have that row of asterisks break off and scatter
themselves all down your screen, confusing things, can we?
Or worse yet, overbalance the whole word so that it tips
forward and slides out of position? That would never do.
So I borrowed a trick from Roman Numerals, but I wasn't sure
what symbol should mean five asterisks. I use a Remington
keyboard layout, I noted that 'V' is down two rows on the
diagonal then left two, from 'I'. So I started at '*',
ran my finger down two on the diagonal then left two, and
landed at 'F'. So "F:*::V:I", and presto, I had a shorter
footnote without having to go back and change the first
four to digits.
[yeah, one more footnote
anyhow] "Astrocytes". Somebody less sleepy
go make a pun tying astrocytes to asterisks in the context
of this document. ("My God, it's full of stars!")
seven and a half
"Do you feel lucky? I know what you're thinkin': was that thirteen
commas in that footnote, or fourteen? Do I have one more left to
comma-splice you with?
[said the bowl of petunias]
"Foot" "Notes". Am I not clever? What? It's juvenile and
predictable? Why, I ... I ... Look, gimme a break, I only
got <whine>one measly hour of sleep</whine> [Error:
invalid mood pseudo-tag, author must fix or be laughed at. Attempt
to imply separate whining section in an entry written entirely for
the purpose of whining. Raw contents next door.] And I
had to do something to remind folks that the inspiration for this
entry was the clever musical game[Warning: Narrative inconsistent
withSHADDAP, YOU! I'm tryin' ta finish up a journal entry
here! *ahem* Was the mental imaage of the clever musical game,
not the poor sleep[Warning: NarrSHUT. UP. Or I'll drive
through your datacenter with e biggest damn electromagnet I can
put on my car! [Note: According to MapQuest, Six Apart is
2819 miles from you by road, with an estimated driving time of
41 hours 26 minutes. The edge of your rage will be blunted by
the time you arrive. Pbbbbbbbt!] Okay, fine. I was pretty
much finished and ready to post this anyhow.