Thursday, May 10, 2007

Roundtable: Shut Your Brain Off

Life's getting busy again, and it's at points like this that I have to find something to take the edge off...Not just a beer, or booze, or whatever else you'd use to dull the senses a little.

I'm talking about the little things you do in conjunction to the mood altering devices mentioned above; whether it's a ball game on the TV, or a good book, or a jazz album, bad reality crapola...whatever.

Yeah, given my generation, the TV's been my little methadone dispenser. Lately, for me it has been netflixing through some TV shows (currently, The Wire and Homicide: Life on the Streets - which is remedial The Wire, anyway)...before that it was the Joss Whedonverse, the Game Show Network's Black and White Overnight block.

But the pure stuff? Sesame Street. The pure 70s - early 80s, pre-Elmo stuff. I had found this on the cable a number of years back, airing from 1a - 3a (who're they playing it for? There's no kids awake at that time)...It's like stepping into a warm little cocoon and regressing to an age where stuff just isn't important. No matter how stressed I was before watching an episode, I'd sleep like a baby after it was done.

What are your escapes from reality? What do you do, where do you go, do you go alone, or with friends?


At 6:00 PM, Blogger RW said...

I'm not going to make a funny this time. I'm going to be dead serious, and maybe reveal all you really need to know.

Vodka lemonades.

No, really. Think about it... what needeth I of reality?

At 6:02 PM, Anonymous LeeAnn said...

The beaches of Hawaii and if I can't get there then a hot bath reading a good book.

At 7:11 PM, Blogger Carol said...

Not answering the phone is my naughty indulgence escape, planting myself on the sofa with a stack of cartoons is another, and squandering a brilliantly sunny day indoors is yet another.
When I need to really decompress, I have to sequester myself - no outside conversations, no outside stimuli, no company. Just me and my thoughts.
Think "Iso Tank."

At 7:29 PM, Blogger Sereena X said...

I tickle people and dogs, think about making Rice Krispie Treats, have weirder-than-usual conversations, and when I really need to escape, I sing Pavement's version of "The Killing Moon."

At 7:59 PM, Blogger Joe said...

Comic books. Be kind to your inner geek.

At 8:34 PM, Blogger the beige one said...

RW, can I assume the basic recipe is akin to a screwdriver, just switching the mixer? If so, I see one of these puppies being consumed in the very near future.

LeeAnn, as the beaches of Hawaii (or Puerto Rico for that matter) are at least 8 months away, I'm gonna need to find a clawfoot tub pretty soon. Seattleites?

Sadly, Carol, I don't have days in which to extract myself from the day to day, so a pair of headphones along with some merchandise and a phillips head screwdriver will have to do for the moment.

Sereena, I'm now hunting for some Pavement...album? Will tickle the next dog I see...

Joe, dude, like cigarettes and music, I can't become a social comics consumer...In other words, my pocket book cain't handle it! I miss it, though.

At 9:25 PM, Anonymous Atul said...

I lose my stress by listening to powerful vocals-heavy music sitting in front of my home stereo system on my CD changer, no MP3 compression, just pure music.

The music I listen depends on my mood, but I'll do this and stay up much later than I should just to unwind more.

Alternatively, web-surfing and updating my tracking spreadsheets is also very soothing in an unexplainable way.

At 9:40 PM, Blogger JJisafool said...

"Scrubs" is my late-night video comfort food. Morality and humor that appeal to me.

For the farther-horizon needs, I agree with Joe. Comics. Massive graphic novel tsunamis from the library. I just read "Apocalypse VS Dracula" last night. Brain candy.

Then there's the music. Either the shit that makes me cry in my beer (any decent version of "Hallelujah," Patty Griffin's "Every Little Bit," SRV's "Life by the Drop," etc) or the ballsweat-soaked anthem rock (if you need examples, you just don't get it).

Truth to power, we be needing more comfort all the time, because the choices between escape and revolution are might slim, and smell like spoiled compromise.


At 10:49 PM, Blogger Carol said...

Ooh, I'm drowning my pre-meltdown sorrows in a Black Adder marathon right now (have a golf event coming up, and I am sooo not a "golf event" type of gal.
Joe's suggestion of comic book reading is awesome - I used to wile away the insomnia hours with Roberta Gregory's "Naughty Bits" and Diane DiMassa's "Hothead Paisan" back in the day.
Gotta get those breaks where you can.

At 12:29 AM, Blogger Deni said...

For me I suppose it depends on what level of escaping reality I'm looking for.

Music is obviously a major escape for me. Coming home and putting on the headphones and melting away to Robyn Hitchcock's The Ghost Ship or grooving out to Jane Says or the moodiness of any Cure album. The Killing Moon would be included in that mix, but it would be the original Echo & The Bunnymen and not that shitty Pavement version. Sorry Serena.

But if I'm really looking to turn off the brain I can just turn on ESPN's Around The Horn, one of my biggest guilty pleasures. I hate that I like a show, but I do

And if I just want to escape into a wonderful beautiful world that makes me feel all gushy inside I watch the Before Sunrise/Sunset movies

At 6:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is always the quick getaway winning combination of a big bag of Funyons, piping hot mac & cheese from the oven, a mess of chocolate, and a fat joint in front of Charlie & the Chocolate Factory.

At 8:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

scotch... music... TV on DVD... it seems like TV on DVD was invented for this purpose...

At 11:16 AM, Blogger Sereena X said...

Beigey, be sure to tickle the bottom of the dog's feet. It's torture. (That song is on the Major Leagues EP and a Matador compilation.)

Deni, are you serious? I'm not. That's why I prefer Pavement's cover and SM's improvisations.

At 2:19 PM, Blogger Prego said...

I used to go to a park on the edge of the Niagara Gorge near Ft. Niagara -- with friends or alone. Very relaxing. Tried it with the wife and kids... Not the same effect. Nowadays I just forget myself at the ice rink.

At 4:28 PM, Blogger ~A~ said...

I miss digital cable now. Back when we were living on base and didn't have to pay for utilities we could afford it. I would catch the pre-Elmo SS during bouts of pregnancy insomnia, late night nursings and sick kid watch. I had even taped it so the kids and I could watch it during the day. Now I have no clue where those tapes are and I miss retro sesame.

Lately my escape has been at the chicken coup. Watching the beedies run around and catch bugs cheers me up.

At 3:14 PM, Anonymous megspaz said...

I purchase lotions and hair hair products when stressed out. Does not matter if I even need them.

At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comics and sugared cereal


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