Disclaimer: Birdmonster would like to apologize in advance for the loopy rambling, misguided whatnot-ery, and slew of shameful "humor" that will ensue at the end of this introductory warning. Birdmonster is still drunk. Drunk enough to refer to itself in the third person, which is quite a feat, considering it's actually four people. Birdmonster needs to remember Mondays are for sleeping, cribbage double-headers, and home cooked crock-pot dinners. Gin is a poor substitute for all three. Next Monday: naps, cards, and stew. This Tuesday: ache-y noggins. Onwards:
When I started this whole "listen to music for 24 hours straight, then go 24 hours without it" thing, there were a few things I didn't properly account for. Firstly, I overlooked the fact that I never came up with a catchy name, which, as any scientist knows, is half the battle. When I discover a dinosaur, for example, I'm not going to name it anything that ends in "saurus." Instead: "Lord Awesome the Kick-Ass." What ten year old wouldn't love that? Secondly, I thought that music all day would be easy, enriching, and downright enjoyable. Like so many good hypothesis...es...es...hypothesees....es.....guesses, that was wrong, wrong, wrong. Allow me to explain.
It started easily enough. Alarm clock muzak jazz, relaxing bus ride with Ryan Adams and Primus (not exactly kindred spirits, I'm aware), croissant with Cinematic Orchestra. I was enjoying myself. I got to select my own private soundtrack for every piddling detail of an otherwise drab Monday. Suddenly, my bus ride seemed more poignant, my croissant more epic. I was a living, horrible art house movie where nothing happens.
Then, the little snags began. See, if you're really going for music all day, you need accompaniment while eating, while sleeping, while talking on the phone, while, say, squatting over the toilet at the office. (Which in itself brings up countless quandaries. What, exactly, is good pooping music? Are people going to be slightly perturbed when you walk into the bathroom, rocking out, with headphones in? At what point will this actually get you fired?) By eleven o'clock, the experiment was starting to be a bit of a hassle. I was talking to my boss with one earphone in, trying to explain, no, "I'm not horribly rude, I'm just trying to... oh I love this drum part" when I realized that yesterday wasn't going to be easy. I hadn't fully realized I spend about two or three hours of my work day haggling with people on the phone. This becomes much more difficult when Tina Turner is offering to be your Private Dancer.
I really noticed how burdensome the whole thing was on my bus ride home. Usually, the whole "music while struggling through the crossword I stole from the coffee shop" thing is really pleasant. The bus is empty and I'm trying to figure out who the only palindromic band with a palindromic hit single is (ABBA, by the way) and I'm on my way to the couch and a cozy book. But by 5 yesterday, I was starting to feel stressed out. My thought process was breaking down. It wasn't stupidity, per se, but complete distraction. At home I watched Jeopardy with my girlfriend (while listening to Cake but eating spaghetti) and struggled endlessly. I actually knew the final answer and had to spend twenty second pacing in circles like a skittish Labrador before actually remembering Edward R. Murrow's name, followed, of course, by berating the people on the television who got it wrong to the tune of "This Long Line of Cars."
Then, us Birdmonsters got to judge a local band contest at night. This was good because live music is far superior to recordings, and, quite frankly, I needed a drink. The problem was, I didn't need several. Half-drunk, I almost blew the whole thing when I went outside without my iPod and spent the next ten minutes humming to myself while pretending to talk to some guy who may or may not have been on serious uppers.
But I learned plenty. I learned that music all day, if you're diligent about it, isn't all that hard. It's just annoying. I learned you can overdose on your favorite thing in the whole world if you really put your mind to it. I learned there's a reason everyone loves the Beatles. (News flash: they're really good).
On Thursday, we try to go 24 hours without music. I'd try to do it today, but band practice would be fairly difficult. Until tomorrow.