Sunday, May 31, 2009

Everything in its right place

That is the title of a seminal song on Radiohead's Kid A album. It was the first album to follow what is, for my money, the greatest album of the 90s, OK Computer. Instead of staying with the same sound that won them deserved fame, fortune, and critical acclaim, Radiohead experimented and remixed their way to a strange new sound. The song is not about everything being in its right place, when everything is jumbled and patched together.

That is a bit how I feel about this last several months. It has felt like a transition to a brave new world full of experiments and risk. Gone is the stability of a home and routine. Even though we are staying in the home I grew up in, I have never felt so rootless. Maybe it has something to do with having all our stuff in storage.

Along with feeling my way around at work (Greasemonkey is my new pal), we've been searching for a house. It hasn't gone great, with our most promising candidate running into issues at the inspection stage. We want to cut the cord and be done with it.

Trying to work around this sense of disorientation has not been easy. I have taken up incessant media consumption in response. It's been Sufjan Stevens and the Decemberists on the radio, Team Fortress 2 and Zelda and Nethack and Dwarf Fortress for video games, Gordon Ramsay, soccer, and Top Gear on the TV, the internet on every screen in the house and in the phone in my pocket, on which I am typing right now... It's a good thing I have a family or I'd be a mole person right now.

It's not all bad but it is starting to feel like a dangerous new normal. For me it seems to be about forming relationships with machines rather than people. I start to resemble what I spend all my time with. You take a little break from being yourself and before you know it, you can't get back. I already feel disconnected and foggy. This has to stop.

Time to retreat like a turtle back into my shell... but at least I am awake again. Hope you and yours are well.

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