It's not (aka She's not)

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/01/14 03:01 -05:00, original URI:

And playing on the stereo now is the last track on Aimee Mann's Lost in Space (It's Not):

I keep going round and round on the same old circuit
a wire travels underground to a vacant lot
where something I can't see interrupts a current
and shrinks the picture down to a tiny dot
and from behind the screen it can look so perfect
but it's not.

So here I'm sitting in my car at the same old stop light
I keep waiting for a change but I don't know what
so red turns into green turning into yellow
but I'm just frozen here in the same old spot
and all I have to do is to press the pedal
but I'm not.
no I'm not.

People are tricky you can't afford to show
anything risky anything they don't know
the moment you try... well kiss it goodbye

So baby kiss me like a drug, like a respirator
and let me fall into the dream of the astronaut
where I get lost in space that goes on forever
and you make all the rest just an afterthought
and I believe it's you could make it better
though it's not
no it's not
no it's not...

I remember being backstage at the Moore once a few years back at a meet and greet with a bunch of fans and Aimee, and I mentioned that this was one of those songs that I wished could keep going on and on with new verses exploring the same theme (all before the last verse, of course). She looked almost pained when I said it, which makes sense given how this song does push the vocal range a bit.

Maybe that's intentional -- really deep songs aren't supposed to be easy. This is not a song I would ever do in Karaoke or anything, so I know where she's coming from.

Later I told John Stewart (no, not the Daily Show guy) about my suggestion and he just looked at me and just shook his head. Chutzpah, it is.

Anyhow, the reason for all of this introspection? My friend Liz who I spent New Years Eve with passed away the other day, not nearly as far into her "itinerary" as she wanted to be, something that will probably haunt me for some time to come. I had some rough moments and I actually decided not to blog about it until after I had passed through enough to fake it with people. And I am past some of it, and this post will sit up there on the server for a few days so I have plenty of time to take it down if I change my mind.

I wasn't at the funeral. Would being there have given me closure?

Probably not, I already said farewell as best as I ever could have.

I have actually tried to write a fourth verse to the song twice now since I started writing this post and stopped each time when I felt myself starting to almost tear up. Maybe I am in denial about something.

Hang on, the phone is ringing.

Okay, I'm back. I was about to say the person calling was doing it awfully late, though actually it is only 11pm on a Friday, and she will probably be going out later, still. I must really be getting old, but I kind of decided I was in for the night and wasn't even tempted to change my mind when someone tried tempt me. Perhaps I should rethink that a bit. No sense sitting here by myself....

But either way, I did manage to make it through the verse, in my head. Let's try to commit it to blog:

Though I kept looking in her eyes as I searched for answers
going through motions although I really can't say why
could I have tried harder, or done something different?
it wouldn't feel any easier to say goodbye.
and I can't close my eyes and pretend she's still there
'cause she's not.
I know she's not.
no she's not.

The scansion is a bit off, maybe I'll tweak it later....

I think I took six months off my life writing that (by the time I was done with it).

On the other hand, I think I may have added a year to my life reading it and singing it to myself (by the time I was done with that).

And I imagine I'll still be faking it for a while to come. Because I feel like one of the best parts of me, a part that I took for granted and just assumed would always be there, is gone now....


This post brought to you by(U+4de3, aka HEXAGRAM FOR DARKENING OF THE LIGHT)

John Cowan on 14 Jan 2008 1:55 PM:

Nothing says you can't cry while writing, just try to keep it out of the keyboard, is all.

Michael S. Kaplan on 14 Jan 2008 2:01 PM:

There is a pain quotient issue, too. But point taken....

Arvin Meyer on 14 Jan 2008 9:57 PM:

My condolences Michael, I didn't know her. That, apparently, is my loss.



Tom Wickerath on 15 Jan 2008 3:29 AM:

I'm sorry to read this sad news. It's always tough to lose a close friend or family member.


PS.  In your original post, you wrote:

"a PNL (Perfectly Normal Liz), the secret inspiration for normaliz.dll in Windows." Out of curiousity, I searched my hard drive for this file, named in honor of your friend. The closest I could find is a Unicode-related .dll file named "normalization.dll" (

I think that you should demand that whomever renamed this file restore it's original name.

Michael S. Kaplan on 15 Jan 2008 3:40 AM:

The old name is still there as it was, in Vista. Windows needs those 8.3 names in the system32 directory....

Michael S. Kaplan on 15 Jan 2008 12:51 PM:

Also, dllhelp does not seem to include Vista files, which would explain why it does not have info....

T on 19 Jan 2008 2:44 PM:

I am truly sorry for your deep loss. I wish I was better at knowing what to say and do at this time.

Michael S. Kaplan on 20 Jan 2008 1:55 AM:

Is there ever a right thing to say? I never know (Liz was the one that song 'One Week' was written for, as she was the type to laugh at a funeral and so on -- so she is my example of embracing having no idea what to say)....

But thank you very much for the kind words; since I am generally not the type to laugh at funerals even if the deceased would have wanted it, genuine sympathy goes a long way with me. :-)

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