Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

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Returning to Center

I spent the afternoon helping Kim with her grant at the Cancer Center. This consisted both of assisting with the actual project and taking Skylar on adventures at the neighboring University Medical Center. The Bean was both fun and feisty. She ran off and hid in a conference room, tried to burst into a room with a big "Biohazard" sign on the door, talked about how cool it would be to jump several stories down onto a waterless fountain, and tried, in her words, to "log in" to every computer-like device she found. This was entertaining but exhausting, particularly when she pulled her best mother's daughter and told me I had no right to restrict her liberty of movement.

We finished at 5:30pm and had a mellow late "lunner" at Beyond Bread. Kim and Skylar went to see Racing Stripes for a second time afterwards, but I stayed at home. I needed a break. I've been home alone a lot lately, but usually in a state that prevents clarity of mind. At first I puttered aimlessly. But then I realized that I needed to compensate for my weeks of humming the hits from Barbie: Princess and the Pauper by blasting Kim's old stereo at high volume.

It did the trick. I feel a lot more centered now. I started by listening to Beat the Retreat, the early 90s compilation of Richard Thompson songs covered by various "alternative" artists of that time. When I heard Bob Mould's rendition of "Turning the Tide," however, I realized I was in the mood for stronger fare. I skipped ahead to the Dinosaur Jr. cover of "I Misunderstood," then ejected the disc in favor of The Melvins' Singles 1-12 I bought at Bookman's the other day with Beat the Retreat.

The first track, an awesome cover of The Germs' "Lexicon Devil," was perfect for my mood. Yesterday evening, after we dropped Skylar off at another "Kids' Night Out," we drove around in New Silver listening to Metallica's . . .And Justice For All at chest-rumbling volume. Kim picked it. She was ready for something like that after her hellish week. Enjoying her choice, I remarked that, at their best, The Melvins manage to be similarly tight, only a lot more slowly. The Germs cover is fast, but still proves the point.

A few more sludgy numbers and I was ready for something a little more 80s. First I played the first song, "The Setup," from Mission of Burma's ONOffOn, then Gang of Four's "Anthrax," which was as good as I remember it, then "The New" from the first Interpol album, and finally The Killers' "Mr. Brightside." It was a great sequence. All told, The Melvins' cover of "Lexicon Devil" and "Anthrax" were the biggest high points, but everything sounded wonderful. I needed to clear out all that waxy buildup. I have to do a better job in the future of reminding myself to take my own advice: "Why spend all that money on therapy or mood-altering drugs when you can bring home a few CDs instead, turn off the lights, and immerse yourself in sonic bliss?"

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