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Subject: Mood: Melancholy rss

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The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
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*sigh*

Last night, I started reading The Salmon of Doubt, the last book by Douglas Adams, published posthumously. I had been putting it off for years, partly because I felt that a collection of the writings lingering on his hard drives was probably better off being left unread. During those years, however, I read Shirley Jackson's Just an Ordinary Day, and listened to nearly everything by Stevie Ray Vaughan that was released after his death. It was then that I realized that there are some good things still floating around after a creator's death, and I would be unfair to myself and to Mr. Adams if I didn't read the book.

The other reason I had been putting it off is because I knew that as soon as I finished the book, I would no longer be able to pick up a Douglas Adams book and think, "Wow, I'm going to discover a new Douglas Adams book!" This was it -- he wasn't going to write anything else as brilliant as THHGttG, or the Dirk Gently books, because he wasn't going to be there to do it. So, I felt a little bit of heartache as I sat down last night to start the book. Of course, I laughed as I read through it, but there was that lingering feeling that this was it. I wouldn't hear any of his clever wit after this book.

Then this morning, on the way into work, I popped in a CD that I've listened to a few times before -- Streetcore by Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros. For those of you who might not know, Joe Strummer was the guitar player/singer/songwriter for The Clash, and he died back in 2002. I had been a Clash fan for a few years before then, but I hadn't heard any of his work with the Mescaleros until just last year, and it's superb. The last song on this CD is called "Silver and Gold," and it has a very sad refrain, given that the album was released posthumously:

Yea, I gonna go out dancin' every night,
I'm gonna see all your city lights,
I'm gonna do everything silver and gold,
And I've got to hurry up before I grow too old

To listen to the punk music he created with the Clash, and then to hear the folky kind of music he created with the Mescaleros really gives you a feel for how talented he was. And, like Douglas Adams, that genius is gone.

So, like I said in the subject heading, I'm feeling a bit melancholy today. I think when I get home tonight, I may just curl up in the dark on the sofa, with my towel, of course, and listen to "Ramshackle Day Parade" a few times.
 
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Goo
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Try to be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in, and try and live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations.
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You're in the funk
You've got "the malaise" as we call it. You got a touch of the funk. It's time to bring in a U.N. Funkbusting Force!

You basically have to options when fighting the funk and malaise. Avoid and escape or embrace it. There are good times for both. I am currently dealing with 2 deaths close to me. An old friend of my wife died last week on the huge Los Angeles train wreck and a family cousin died in a fire last week (4 year old little girl named Katie). It's some heavy, heavy stuff. So, sometimes, I just can't think about it and I game or get busy.

But you can't always run. Sometimes I allow sadness and grief to run its course. That's what you are doing. Embrace it for a while. If you constantly avoid it or avoid thinking about how it makes you feel, that's stuffing it. And stuffing builds up and comes out later in crazy ways.

What I do when I'm really funked up or malaised out about something is that I pick a safe time and set it aside to explore it. Like what you are thinking about doing tonight. You go home and for a certain amount of time you are going to not avoid the funk and just let it work it's way out. I'll do that about Katie. Right before I'm going to see some family or friends or do something fun and distracting, I'll say, I'm going to think about the fire and all my fears and emotions and sadness about it for 20-30 minutes, and then I'm going to let it go until next time.

Ok, I'm babbling at this point. I think I will spin some of The Clash tonight though. Most of my Clash collection is on vinyl but I do have a 2-CD greatest hits which is great.

Rock on with the lights on.


-goo
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Tom T
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Mr. Adams
I worked at a software development company which worked with Mr. Adams while he was alive. He was a very friendly, compassionate person, and it is too bad he did not get some more years to share with us all.
 
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Dave Kudzma
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That's some wise goo
 
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Wow. David, I'm sorry to hear that two tragedies have touched your life like that. I'll definitely be thinking of you.

I don't really feel grief, because I didn't know either Mr. Adams or Mr. Strummer. It's hard to think how I would react if I lost people I knew, who were close to me. I think I'd probably just shut down.

David, I'll keep you in my thoughts. I hope you pull through all of that OK.
 
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Goo
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funky funk
Yeah, I'll be fine. Life does what it does and it's our job to accept it. Fighting it doesn't work so hot for me. I have a tight family and we pull through this stuff in pretty healthy ways.

I did kind of turn my response from funk to grief. And I know you are not grieving. But I totally understand the funk. It's similar but different. Melancholy, like you said, sums it up well. I just wanted to say that I like your approach. Embrace it but don't dwell in it. If it starts to linger, think of things you are thankfull for. That's what I do. I'll list out my gratitudes: wife, baby, home, bgg, Acquire, family, job, coffee, smooth beer, health, Knizia, etc. It usually snaps me out of it. If it's a particularly nasty funk and that doesn't work, I'll do something nice for someone and something nice for myself. I'll write a note to a friend or buy a gift for a friend then buy a new game for me or go read at a coffee shop (one of my favorite life experiences). That will usually do the trick.

Anyway, just bringing some U.N. Funkbusting Force. We all get the funk. It's just that some chose to stay there. I'm compiling quite a long list of friends who have been to the emergency room or doctor for chest pains and a list of friends who are on or have tried anit-depressants. Both lists are growing steadily. It's like our whole generation is afraid of something (and afraid of their fear). My deal is that if my melancholy lingers too long it turns to anxiety (that dicey intersection of worry and obsession). Anxiety can be rougher and linger longer.

Again, I babble. Someone shut me up. I swear. I was looking at my numbers for geeklist comments and journal comments and I thought, what a freaking windbag.

Rock out with your c*ck out.


-goo
 
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Mary Weisbeck
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I know what you're saying, Isaac. I feel the same way about Harry Chapin, a genius musical story-teller. He told them with rhymes that didn't sound forced, but natural; and many were stories that had a moral or sociological point. I still think of all the great stories he'd share if he were here in this fast-changing world.
 
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Chester
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Thanks for reminding me of how sweet and clever Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency was to read. The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul seemed borderline somber to me in comparison, but I still enjoyed it.

Have you played Starship Titanic? While the game is not without its bugs, Douglas Adams' humor comes shining through. I'm afraid my son destroyed the 3D glasses that come with it...but I still have a copy of it floating around here somewhere. (I'm talking about a PC game, BTW.)
 
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... the 3D glasses that come with it ...


I don't think I realized that the game came with 3D glasses. I'll have to check my copy of Starship Titanic when I get home.

Hm. Now that I think about it, I have a signed copy of that game. But I can't remember how I came across it.

Did you read the book Starship Titanic? I know Douglas Adams didn't write it, but Terry Jones did a great job of capturing that realistic lunacy that was such a staple of Mr. Adams' work.

I'm feeling a bit better, now. I'm sure this will creep back in when I get home and read more of the book, but I had some amount of excitement this afternoon, which helped with some of that funk.
 
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