Tuesday, January 18, 2011

whoa, happy new year! what is that noise?

it has been a minute. and for the next minute I shall take the opportunity to quietly discuss a certain sensitivity of mine: my sense of hearing. if there was a quantitative scale with which to measure hearing capacities, which I'm sure there is (ok, quick wiki research reveals yes. it is called the RMS (root mean square) sound pressure and is measured in Pascals. numbers times 10 to the -5 power are not as snappy sounding as the common quantitative measure of visual acuity, say, 20/20. or 6/6 if you belong to the church of metric.), I would reveal mine hear and perhaps there would be a moment of mostly metaphorical and maybe even some literal silence while you stand amazed at what couldn't possibly be true. I have excellent (tho at times selective) hearing. an odd blessing at times. I can hear, coming up my stairs, if my neighbor down the hall has the tv on, the high pitch whine is like an invisible laser to my brain. I can hear my phone ring (it's on vibrate) in a crowded room, my ears able to discern its particular cry out of the din of public enthusiasm. it comes in quite handy for many situations. and not so much for others.
exhibit A: my living situation. I live next to a pack of wild animals who spend their waking hours (which subsequently become my waking hours) galloping laps around their apartment, while operating loud kitchen machinery and listening to every episode of every season of every tv show imaginable. and when they are not doing that, they are moving furniture. I would like you to believe that that is just a common homespun analogy, but, ok, well it is. but also it's like they are the reason why that metaphor exists. I have woken up, middle of the night, confused, frightened, and ultimately irritated, to loud noises and earth quake motions. who the heck rearranges their apartment at 1 in the morning? ah yes, my neighbors. and it seems their inspiration was piqued once again at 7am. tho I can't imagine the results where worth writing home about seeing as their laborious process involved so much incomprehensible blathering and inefficient, or shall I say localized, carriage of unseen items. ear plugs alone are not enough to block out perpetual NoiseFest '11. and a polite request on my behalf to them to not move their furniture so late at night or early in the morning is out of the question. it is obvious that they love the feng shui. I shall not stand in the way of Love. although losing sleep over it is apparently not beyond the realm of reality.
and ok, really, it does not take the hearing equivalent of 20/20 vision to hear my neighbors every stomp, so my point is just that I am sensitive to all things auditory. including, but not limited to, accents. or more specifically, dialects. which leads me to. . .
exhibit B: the mists of avalon. this book has been on and off my reading list for years. since high school when I witnessed a theater friend of mine carry it around for the better part of a year. it is a hefty endeavor, plowing thru that literary milestone. and I, for one, do not have that kind of time. I do, however, engage in certain activities where my listening capabilities are free (I am speaking of art), and an affinity for books on tape. so thank you seattle public library for loaning me the great work of genius that is mists of avalon on cd.
it takes place in britian. a fact cemented in stone via all their fancy lilted manner of speaking. I have found, in the past, that if I am around an accent long enough, I pick it up unwittingly. I'm like a refrigerator to a magnet. I'm not sure how I feel about that analogy. regardless, I found myself the other day, faced with the fact that within some moderately pedestrian sentence spoken in my own personal affectation, a single word of very british pronunciation slipped in line and marched out with the rest of them like it was the most normal thing in the world. I don't think anyone else noticed. and I was more or less amused by it. and I'm only just finishing Book 1 (of 4 books) that make up the entire arthurian drama, each book consisting of approx 12 cds, each of which are approximately one hour in length. according to some (wikihowtospeakwithabritishaccent), that is more than enough time to master the art of fooling people into thinking I am not of this land. that last sentence would be a lot funnier if I could actually read it aloud to you, faked british accent and all.
so for the time being, you must imagine it, and maybe the next time I see you, you will find yourself asking yourself 'where in the name of the goddess has ilvs been that she talks thus?' again, funnier if you could hear it with the accent on it already.

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