No Pressure – Journal 1/7/18

I woke up this morning and found that the internet was off. By morning, I mean 11 AM, and by off I mean “Comcast wasn’t up to snuff in my neighborhood today” (the danger of monopolies commentary is surely in the subtext). My first instinct was to think that this was it. People are taking to the streets at last, upset over net neutrality. Comcast killed everyone’s internet and this is how it all begins. I struggled to find a channel to tune into on TV, and by that point I had discovered that Comcast hadn’t been malicious in the way I had thought, no they had merely been incompetent as a corporation. So that’s good.

My day started as it meant to go on.

Today is one that’s been spent entirely in a funk. Lightheaded, dreamy, mopey, one of those aimless days that comes around every so often. I thought what might have caused it yesterday was that I was eating too much. It seems that may be the opposite case, I’ve discovered, as the things we have to eat around the household are mostly zero sodium. We started putting the pieces together yesterday, when we found that my blood pressure was reading 118 instead of 120. Not bad, but today was much worse.

Today my blood pressure read 108. Bit of a drop, and that would most likely explain my not-great mood and constant lightheadedness. I never want to make a racket about when I’m not feeling well because no one likes a whiner, but man I’ve never felt this before. It started just when I was reposturing, but now it’s a constant stream of feeling like I’m dreaming, and that I’ll wake up soon.

The chief suspect of this mood is the lack of sodium in my diet that is normally present in spades. So hopefully now that I know I should be eating more metals, I might sit up in bed after waking tomorrow and not feel drunk.

So there’s the title of this journal. No pressure! Because I’m so laid back if I’m left in a natural state I will simply float away.

And yes I wrote a poem about it.

I write to you today from a laptop that has a newly-installed Windows 10 Pro OS on it, since I have found that it’s not going to be easy to translate 50 gigs of workable Radio Reality City into Linux formats. So that was abandoned quickly. I’ll only be touching Linux again for their server OS.

With the new year in full swing, the goals which terminate in February are approaching quickly. I found myself sitting down to begin printing Abandon Ship to find that I was out of ink. “Alright”, says I. “I’ll just swing by Best Buy after work and grab some.”

So I do that, get home, and it’s the wrong ink. Great, now I have to double check what my printer takes, come back, return this ink, and buy a new one. Fine, I can do that. Swing by Best Buy again, return the ink I had, and get the one I need.

Get home, and find that I needed HP’s 62 cartridge ink, not 61 like I was currently holding in my hand. God dammit. Queue the Edgar Wright montage of me doing the same exact thing, returning the ink, and then actually getting the right ink cartridge I needed.

I feel like the fact that this happened is an issue. They don’t have a consumer printer that comes with upturned bottles of ink you can just add to? I feel like that’s the easiest solution here. Anyways, I popped the ink in, and kept its packaging so I know what to get next time.

That in mind, Abandon Ship has officially began printing. A few copies to take to those bookstores I mentioned a while back, King’s Books (which I had been calling King’s Row, for some reason. Probably vestigial Overwatch on my mind) and the UWT bookstore are on the list, as well as the Mad Cap Tea House and the Nearsighted Narwhal. Very Tacoma heavy.

For Christmas I got a stapler that is very long, so I can finally get the binding of my chapbooks right on the center of the leaves. It’s a very simple, dumb thing to most everyone else, but that was exciting. That’s a gateway to slightly more professional publications! Something I’m proud of! Strategic and intentional!

Also, on the sidebar and front page, you might notice a little video that popped up here at https://radioreality.city.


I engineered the sound, the video, the editing, took the photos of the content, all that stuff. This is the first true multi-media piece of art that’s come from the station.

I’ve gotten it in my head that I should start finding topics to “cast” to put the Radio in Radio Reality City, since this place is pretty much lacking any kind of audio. In the spirit of that, I made a short intro stinger for such a thing, and this video is that.

Going forward, I’m going to mix samples from the Xilent Powerpack and various radio noises I get from my own devices to make the audio behind RRC. This video includes Xilent samples, and radio tuning sounds meant to mimic the chirping of birds. These are motifs I want to remain intact as I go along.

I was really proud of the short 11-second thing I was able to throw together in about 5 hours. The goal is to make backing tracks that I can play and read my poems over, possibly releasing them as digital downloads. First, I need to see if my equipment can do that. Then we’ll see what we can do.

I’m a chapter deeper into House of Leaves, having stopped reading today after hitting the milestone for chapter 4. It just gets better and better.

And today I did something I haven’t done for a very very long time.

When I was in high school, when all the angst and bullshit got to me, I would retreat to my bedroom where I had “Somewhere Else”. It was my happy place. In canon, Reality City is located in Somewhere Else because of this. I got to Somewhere Else by attaching my ropelights to an audio-sensitive receiver, and wiring all my speakers to play from one input. I would turn off my main light, turn on something to tune out to, and drop in when I wanted to clear my head. Often, this was a song like 1981 by Deadmau5. Just sorta let me get away, in its own special way. I haven’t had the setup active since maybe 2015.

Today my weird sodiumless mood caused me to go into a sort of mania where I built the portal to get there again. Lightheaded, I laid back on my bed and had a good long think. Stared in the mirror. All that auture, weird shit you see characters do in movies when they want to look forlorn or something (e.g. I’m a badly-written character). It helped. So Somewhere Else is alive again and I feel like that should mean something.

Poetry, probably. So I’ll be writing again tonight.

In my struggle to get proper printer ink, by the way, I found myself trading in a bunch of PS4 games to get my hands on Horizon: Zero Dawn. I have not regretted it one bit. Like House of Leaves, I’m barely 10% in, but I highly recommend it!

Man, I have consumed a lot of media since my last journal. Okay, here’s another.

Black Mirror? Fucking fantastic. I thought the original Twilight Zone was good, no if you want a good “fuck with your head sci-fi” then most certainly you go to Netflix and you turn on Black Mirror. I’m two episodes in and it is possibly one of the best shows I’ve ever come across. Yesterday afforded the opportunity to sit down and watch it, after procrastinating it for nearly a year.

That’s it for me tonight. I need to find sugary and salty things to eat to revive my blood pressure numbers.

This is Jake Thomas Shaw, The Host of Radio Reality City, saying thank you very much for tuning in! A lot is happening, and I hope to fabricate something really cool in the audio spectrum soon!

Consume reality! Radio Reality City!

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