The Color of Noise

White noise, pink noise, grey noise — now in designer colors! Having recently come out as someone who hears voices from the fan in my bedroom window, I may as well also admit to nepotism when it comes to the color of noise. White noise is familiar noise, and pink was always there for me when I wanted to express my angst in a dark yet lyrical way. But what's coming out of the fan can only be described as grey, which may account for the accent that adds to the difficulty of deciphering the voices' true intent. It certainly isn't black and white, and though true intent is rarely transparent, I don't see the humor in a fan that doesn't say what it means.

Admitting a noise-color bias is one thing, but I enthusiastically deny having come down with schizophrenia, and it's unlikely I've been newly gifted with the ability to receive radio broadcasts through my hair. That would be insane. Instead, I believe this is a simple case of air in a hurry, which is often mistaken for humanlike speech by those neither fully awake nor altogether asleep. This so-called La La Landor Grey Area 52, for those whose color perception remains unhampered by technical jargonhas been poked and examined with microscopes and white papers alike, leaving little to the imagination that runs wild wherever dreams are sold.

Pecuniary interest aside, an accumulating wind in the halls of Dreamland is never more than the sum of its parts, or the product of its blades. Though plastic is favored for its malleability, wind-driven voices are clearer and more to the point when a paintable material is used. A noise by any other color is still a noise, but suffering for the questionable taste of others isn't my idea of high fidelity.


Punctuation Ethics

Mirroring situation ethics with a semicolon to spare. Reflections of mirrors afloat on the water;
A blue recollection of words in the glass
A retrograde journey, like father, like daughter;
The mind in the mirror foreshadows the past.

The Rhythm of the Rails

The loco motives of semantics derailed.

Sometimes, the light at the end of the tunnel leads me to the awkward realization that my train of thought has derailed before it even had the opportunity to hop a freight. While jumping the tracks of musical folklore may result in a similar rush, hormones in a hurry don't care how many channels were blended to achieve the final mix, nor whether the boxcar is responsible for keeping track of its riders, restless or otherwise.

Years of training have taught me that, when the going gets tough, the tough get hopping. The proof of this can be seen in the shoelaces tied together by pranksters, who never tire of abusing the semantics that would allow boarding in a more reasonable way.

Next time I'm overcome by the need to ramble, I'll be leaving my shoes behind. Putting the pushcart before the locomotive leaves the horse to decide what goes in the playlist, and as any audio engineer will tell you, two tracks of rhythmic clunking don't make a lullaby any more than four tracks improve the headroom in a miniature caboose.


Guerilla Navigation

Where do you want this chillin' done? Out on highway 61.

When I'm bored, I enjoy driving under the influence of the synthetic female voice from the GPS navigation system, letting the day's dramas melt away in the mirror behind the seat. The mispronounced street names always make me smile, and I have to laugh when I'm routed into oncoming traffic, or onto a bicycle path.

After entering a destination, it's fun to disobey the directions in an attempt to force the system into hysteria.

"In one-quarter mile, make a u-turn to stay on East Embryo."

"In 300 feet, make a u-turn to stay on East Embryo."

"Make a u-turn."

"Make a u-turn."

[warbling shriek]

"This is a bad neighborhood."

When I'm in one of my little moods, I like to fool the navigation system into believing I'm on a bicycle, when in fact I have no intention of even rolling down the windows.

"Continue west on East Embryo for one-half mile."

"In one-quarter mile, merge onto Viva Apocalypse Bicycle Trail."

"In 300 feet, merge onto Viva Apocalypse Bicycle Trail."


"Merge! Merge! Merge!"


"I want to get out."

When I'm in one of my larger moods, I understand the futility of expecting an electronic sextant to do my thinking for me, but then I remember that I can't see the stars anyway, so it's all good.


Gaseous Fanfare

A fanfare of flaming gaseous factoids. You will recall that timing and delivery are crucial elements in the pizza industry, but if memory serves up a plate of cold cabbage where gas exploration is concerned, it may be that you simply haven't been attending classes on a regular basis.

As you may or may not recall, a gas mine doesn't exactly dig itself, nor is it capable of drilling down to the root of the argument, which is where the process of discovery comes in to play. After recess, the professor may decide that a pop quiz is the proper tool for separating fact from factoid, thus alerting the graduate student-in-waiting to the possibility of physical exercise.

As you have undoubtedly forgotten, illuminating quarrelsome details is best left to the experts, but that doesn't mean you should remain silent. Raising your hand is an excellent way to start, particularly when it's followed by one or more glib factoids delivered with the air of authority, which should be ignited beforehand for maximum effect. While the nonglib factoid is likely to result in unwanted doubt, on-time delivery lulls the recipient's eyebrows before they have the opportunity to go nonlinear, or otherwise get out of line.

As I struggle to remember the cardinal points of history's droning lecture, the three-point memory aid tattooed on my cheek reminds me that forewarned is forearmed, but that isn't the only place I should expect to find a tattoo.

1) Drilling for natural gas in my underwear is less likely to bear fruit than unnatural gas.

2) Gas is a known byproduct of cabbage.

3) Cabbage isn't fruit.


Parroting the Dreamer Within

Polly want a monolith?

If dreams are sideways expressions of waking thoughts and activities, those who spend their waking hours standing on their heads should expect east and west to be reversed. It follows, then, that no such expectation exists for the north and south poles, since the inner ear never accompanies the dreamer where frivolous delirium is the only option on the menu.

In space, any directional cues come directly from headquarters, which is useful if the audio hasn't been muted for naptime, or otherwise made to squelch objectionable content that might intrude on the dreamer's sense of equilibrium. Unlike its terrestrial counterpart, the spacefaring ear has no qualms about ingesting whatever is put in front of it, even when the result is of questionable taste.

In a similar way, pondering the inverse relationship between a microwave and a bird is likely to result in dreamwise regurgitation, which is only hastened by the related ingredients of evolutionary speculation and an iconic alien lifeform stewing in its own incomprehensible juices. In other words, it should have come as no surprise when a parrot pecked its way into my quiescent mind. Obviously, a quiescent mind isn't always a dreaming mind, and dreams are free to fly in and have a look around any time the window is open, so the insinuation that I might have been sleeping is wrongheaded, and mean.

The point I was trying to make is that, when a dream-parrot is bobbing its head and spewing gibberish, such as "Polly want a monolith," it's the dreamer's responsibility to decide whether or not the bird is using a pseudonym, and how it is that parrots so rarely employ the concept of a polymonolithic entity, if indeed they ever do.