Writer’s Workshop: Music To Chill To

There’s a genre on Accuradio that calls itself “chill.” Naturally, I was curious, so I went to take a look at it. It looked to me like a grab bag of disparate music styles. A couple of channels feature electronic music, there’s a New Age channel, a couple of lounge channels (which appeal to my charming, suave and debonair international playboy side), and a couple of other styles. Natually, whenever something confuses me like that, I run immediately to Wikipedia, which defines chill (or chill-out music) as “a loosely defined form of popular music characterized by slow tempos and relaxed moods.”

Duh. It’s music to chill out to.

You can chill out to pretty much anything, from smooth jazz to progressive rock to the sounds of nature to white noise and anything and everything in between. It’s all a matter of taste. So why, then, do they have a specific category called “chill”? The Wikipedia article makes it sound as though there’s something specific about “chill-out music” that sets it apart from all the others, and I’ve been driving myself crazy trying to figure out what that is. And that led me to the conclusion that maybe there isn’t anything: maybe the reason those types of music are there is because they don’t fit anywhere else, but that they’re relaxing, so we’ll just dump them in the Chill category and be done with it.

One of the songs that was playing a few minutes ago on the “Transport” channel was “Divine Moments of Truth” from a band called Shpongle.

Interesting, wouldn’t you say? I have no idea what it is, but I kind of like it. I think I’ll need to spend a little more time out there.

Writer’s Workshop: Perchance To Dream

Lately, I’ve been trying to go to bed around 11:00. I decided a few weeks ago that I really have no reason to stay up much later than that. I can remember when the night’s festivities were just getting started around then. No more.

I sleep well most nights, but after dinner I start falling asleep. I’ve already checked that it isn’t diabetes, so that isn’t the issue. I’ll be playing Slices on my phone, and the next thing you know I’m waking up from a nap. Not a long one, but I’ll know I’ve been sleeping and won’t have a clue when I fell asleep.

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Discovered a new game: Slices. Got tired of Two Dots.

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I have really vivid dreams. Maybe it’s the bupropion I take before bed or all the stuff I take to keep my blood pressure at an acceptable level, but I go to sleep and weird things start happening in my head. One recent night, I dreamt I was walking around in a cubicle farm, looking for my desk. Another time, I dreamt about getting up. When I woke up, it was time to get up, and I had to do it all over again.

This morning, I had a dream where my conscious mind was talking to my unconscious self. That’s never happened before. It was like I had access to the real world from my dream. I wish I could go the other way, and be able to enter my dream world from the conscious one, because weird things happen. Like I’ll be on the “L” in Chicago (the elevated trains, especially the ones that circle the downtown area, which is why Chicagoans call it “the Loop”), and when I get off the train I’m in Marshall Field’s. I’ll walk out the door and be in the lobby of Harris Bank (where I used to work), take the elevator to one of the floors and get off into a hallway in a Courtyard Hotel (I stayed at them a lot when I was traveling). I’ll go into one of the rooms and find myself in the grill at Norris Center at Northwestern. And it’ll just go on like that. Sometimes I wake up so tired I have to go back to sleep.

I wish I could remember some of the weirder stuff. Maybe I should try recording it.

Accidents, Turkey, and Thanksgiving (Writer’s Workshop)

This is one of those weeks where none of the prompts seems to call out to me and say “write me!” So, I’ll choose the one that says “write a post inspired by the word: accident,” hoping that I might run into an idea by accident while I ramble.

I’m sure you’re familiar with Bob Ross, who had a show called The Joy of Painting (as in portraits and still lives, not as in interior decorating) on PBS for a number of years. He used to say, “There are no mistakes, just happy accidents.” Notice he said happy accidents, which are different from the regular kind, like falling down the stairs or running your car into someone or something.

I have a friend, Bernard, who used to drive me to the airport back in my traveling days. One day we had just left my subdivision and got in an accident with a lady who ran a red light. She thought it was all right to turn left because the person in the lane beside her turned right, which you can do if the light is red and have checked to make sure it’s safe. Anyway, she hit Bernard’s car on an angle. She was driving a Ford Tempo, he was driving a Cadillac Sedan de Ville. Her car was fine; Bernard’s was totaled. Fortunately, none of us was hurt, though Bernard caught the airbag right in his face, so he was stunned for a while. I missed my flight, but that didn’t matter; I was more worried about him.

The only kinds of accidents I get into anymore are the kind where I do something on the computer that I hadn’t intended on doing. This morning, for example, I kept shutting down my browser every time I thought I was just closing a tab. After about the fifth or sixth time, I decided I had had enough and did something else. It’s aggravating, yes, but not a painful accident.

I don’t know if you’d consider this an accident, but one year around this time Mom was talking to one of her colleagues at school, who told her that she put the Thanksgiving turkey in the night before and cooked it overnight at a low temperature (like 200° F). Mom thought this was a great idea and put the turkey in the oven at 10:00 Wednesday night. When she got up at 7:00 the next morning, the turkey was done. Thing was, she had invited a couple of her sisters over for Thanksgiving and said that we’d eat at 4. She called them, they had a good laugh about it, and we had Thanksgiving lunch instead of dinner. The turkey was all right, a little dry maybe, and when one of my aunts went to get it out of the roasting pan, the wings and legs came off in her hands. But it was good, as I recall.

Cranberries, just because. Source: Pixabay

I hope you have a wonderful and accident-free Thanksgiving, and that your turkey isn’t done at 7:00 AM.

112 Words About The Holidays (Writers Workshop)

I can’t believe that next Thursday will be Thanksgiving. It seems like the year has sped by. We have a casual attitude toward the holidays. For example, we don’t do a turkey on Thanksgiving, because we have turkey a few times the year. We’ll probably have ribs and side dishes, mashed potatoes for Mary, mac & cheese for me. Oh, and pie. We don’t decorate the house for Christmas because of the cats. We’d just as soon drive around the neighborhood and look at everyone else’s Bacchanalias. We love the week between Christmas and New Year’s, because it’s quiet. We have pizza rolls on New Year’s Eve. Neither one of us remembers why.

Wow, that was quick…