Saturday, August 24, 2013

still-sound 190. Saturday morning

When I came out of the bedroom this morning at 7:30, the windows in the living room were white with fog.  By the time I finished a cup of coffee and finished telling Rosie the pug how pretty she was, the sun had started to burn through the moisture.

I'm going to celebrate my dad's birthday tonight by cooking shrimp scampi - the dish he would make for me when I'd visit him at his house.  

Today I'll wear a tie.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

still-sound 189. ASMR

I didn't particularly enjoy my piano lessons as a kid.  I dreaded them to some extent except for the end when my teacher would flip through the pages of the lesson book choosing a song for me to learn for the following week.  The sounds of the pages turning and a few directions jotted down with a pencil would cause goosebumps to crawl all over my arms.  My scalp would go all tingly

It turns out I have a weird fetish.  I didn't even know that it existed or had a name until a few days ago.  It's called ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response).  Certain sounds trigger it.  In college I often hung out with my friend Aviva, a (then) active smoker.  Sometimes the barely audible crackle of the paper and dried leaves as they ignited from her drag on the cigarette caused waves of shivers over my upper body.  The mouth noise of the cigarette leaving her damp lips as a smoky breath exhaled sustained the shivers.

Similarly I felt waves of tingly relaxation while sitting in Aviva's room as she brushed her hair.  Aviva was, apparently my ASMR supplier.

This all sounds sexual.  But it's not.  The ASMR never extends south of the waist.  It's more of a deeply relaxed response. I don't have it often as I used to (as I kid I was covered in tingles).  I now only get it occasionally.

And like tickling yourself, you can't effectively cause an ASMR on your own.  I feel nothing when I turn the pages of a magazine.  Unless it's an exciting magazine of course.

I most recently noticed it while watching an episode of At Home With Venetia in Kyoto.  Venetia visited a basketweaver and they spoke very quietly in Japanese.  The sounds of the whispered consonants and the crinkle of the basket as they passed it to one another drew me into a deep, shivery relaxation.  Covered in goosebumps I rewatched the scene several times - but did not experience the ASMR as strongly.

I thought everyone had this response although I've asked a few friends if they ever got waves of tingles from the sound of pages turning.  (They don't).  But apparently some people do - and I'm apparently part of a strange fetishy brotherhood.

I didn't know it was 'a thing' until I started searching for videos on youtube of relaxing sounds.  Origami tutorials. Basketweaving. I typed in 'pages turning' and stumbled upon an entire world of sounds.  Most of the videos had 'ASMR' in the titles.  A google search later revealed its meaning.

I've watched several of these videos the last few nights.  My favorite was of a guy pretending to be a librarian.  He checks out books, fingers through the pages, jots something down on the back page and whispers comments as he does so. Some of the books had that wonderfully crackly cellophane, protective wrapping.*  You would think that I would be a tingly mess, but despite finding it deeply relaxing, did not have an ASMR.  Maybe I don't respond as well to recorded triggers (unless, of course they happen to be Venetia whispering to a basketweaver).**

*Again, this sounds sexual.  It's really not.
**Since writing this post, I've watched quite a number of ASMR videos and had the full-on tingle response!  It was triggered by Maria, the queen of this genre.  Her youtube name is Gentlewhispering.  It was a video of Maria whispering in Russian while tapping and stroking various belts that did it.  I know this sounds weird as I write this...

Monday, August 12, 2013

Friday, August 9, 2013

still-sound 187. Soap

Growing up we only ever had Dial soap in the house.  My mother maintained a belief that it was somehow better for our skin.  That and Keri lotion.  When the bar dwindled to a slight, cracked version of its former self, my mother would throw it into the pink plastic hamper holding our dirty laundry.  She hoped that the soapy dregs would help to deodorize.

When my parents started to live apart, my father switched from Dial to Irish Spring.  I completely supported his choice.  I looked forward to watching the commercial where an actor sliced through a bar of the marbled green soap with a pocketknife as though it were a piece of cheese or fruit.  Clean as a whistle.  Dad used Irish Spring for the rest of his years.  Whenever I visited him in his home I could smell the soap throughout the house.  I bought him a bottle of Vetiver by Guerlain which he wore on special occasions, but I actually preferred the scent of Irish Spring.

Lately I've been using soaps by Juniper Ridge.  It's a line we started carrying at the perfume store where I work.  The flavor I've been using is called San Jacinto.  They're all natural so they don't lather up in the way I'm used to - but that's fine.  I feel adequately clean and my apartment is filled with the smell of evergreen.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

still-sound 186. Tiles

This morning while walking Rosie I looked up above the door to a building and discovered really cool tiles.  The building is part of the respiratory hospital campus near my home.  I must have walked past this building a hundred times (literally, a hundred times, at least) and never noticed the tiles before.  I imagined how amazing this building must have looked when it was first built.  It still looks amazing but somehow it doesn't invite anyone to notice it anymore.  Like when you wear a new shirt and a perfect stranger compliments you on it -- and you know very well that if you wore an old shirt, you would have never received the compliment (even if it still looked good).