Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Slice of Life: Slow Motion

The moment I got home from school today and slowly set my backpack down, I breathed a huge sigh of relief.
I've survived another day.

It was getting pretty late by that time, so I decided to whip up some potato soup for dinner. I always have every good intention of morphing into Rachael Ray in the kitchen, but that hasn't successfully happened quite yet.

As soon as I put the soup on, my roommate came out of her room, computer in hand, with a song to show me. She argued that the song, a mellow mix of slow beats, was the perfect slow-motion-running-through-the-airport type of song. I agreed.

We became even more curious about how many good slow motion songs exist, so one of our new goals is to create a massive playlist of only the best. As my roommate started clicking through her songs to find some material for our self-appointed project, I began to act out some slow motion scenes. It's more fun and addicting than you'd think, trust me.

Amused with myself, I asked my roommate to call out some scene ideas and I began to feel like Ryan Stiles or Colin Mochrie from "Whose Line is it Anyway?" I took on the personality of a comedian, not necessarily a good one, but sufficient for my living room and a one person audience. As I acted out a baseball player hitting a home run and a distressed individual realizing they have lost their life fortune gambling, I heard some unusual noises from the stove area. My soup was boiling over and sullying our newly-cleaned stove that I spent hours scrubbing the other night. Luckily, the soup was still salvageable but my dreams of becoming Rachael Ray were dashed. Perhaps my future lies in slow motion improv acting. It's definitely an option if such a thing exists.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Slice of Life: The Soundtrack of My Life

It's like that moment when everything starts to go in slow motion... Now, don't think I'm crazy. I swear to you that it has happened. When I was in the middle of a dance competition once, the host school decided that the floor needed to be so shiny that they waxed it an indefinite number of times. Girls were dropping faster than flies and I happened to be one of them. At the moment before I hit the ground, I could hear some pretty intense "call me to the light" music and everything around me literally started to strobe before my eyes in a weird state of slow motion. I can't make this stuff up.

I began thinking about this incident today as I sat at a computer in the library. There have often been times in my life that I can almost hear the music that should be playing in the background at that particular moment, the soundtrack of my life if you will. These moments sneak up on me. It can occur in a dramatic or exciting moment, but there is no rhyme or reason to it. This morning I sat in the midst of a room full of students in the library, all abuzz with their own lives and situations; however I decided to plug into a state of isolation and erase them. In this case, I was listening to actual music. The music I began playing from the playlist entitled "Finals Study Playlist" from 8tracks.com, which my roommate so kindly got me hooked on, swept over me like a massive wave.

I was working on some basic reading and assignments for one of my classes but I might as well have been embarking on a mission to save the world. I suddenly became like Nicholas Cage in National Treasure and the urgency hit me. The slow ebb and flow of the horns, the piercing staccato of the strings, the ethereal "ahs" of the choir, and the rising rumble of the timpani called me to action.

I worked even more feverishly with the development of the music. As I finished my work, the music tapered off as well. It was time to go to class. I took out my headphones and the ambient noise of the hundreds of students around me began to seep back into my hearing. I smiled to myself, knowing the adventure I had just left behind. It's okay though, because I'll be back to it soon enough. The soundtrack of my life, while interspersed with short periods of silence, continues to play on.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Slice of Life: Supposed Clutter and Junk

One man's trash is certainly another man's treasure. I walk back from classes, my mind in a whirl. I have just spent hours and hours sitting in the same classroom on campus, figuratively sorting through piles and piles of English strategies, books, tools, mechanics, and so on. My brain feverishly continues to sort and organize the information as I walk across a spattering of ice spindling across the cold sidewalk. As I get to my car, my mind still seems cluttered and the headache starts to set in.

Getting home, I decide I need a mental break. I turn on one of my favorite shows. I always enjoy Pawn Stars and American Pickers on the History Channel, but today it will be Storage Wars. Watching "The Collector," "The Young Gun," "The Mogul," and "The Gambler" bid on piles and piles of what seems like junk, realization begins to set in as the headache subsides. There is obvious value, often thousands of dollars of value, sitting in those cluttered piles. All it takes is understanding, time, and work to turn the messy clutter into something of worth. Many would say not to bother. It's too much. It's just junk. But no, the bidders know better and now so do I.