This week’s listmaker: Erik Styles. Erik is a freelance project manager and writer, clipboard enthusiast, and member of local bands The Odyssey Favor, Rick Dodd and the Dickrods, and Finest Grain.
What are you doing with the holes in your head? Here’s what I’m doing with mine these days.
Eyes (OK, sticklers, Ocular Cavity): BluBlockers.
I recently received a pair of Blublockers as a gift. I’m going to go on record as saying that these are the best noggin-oriented gift I’ve ever received. I think we all know these babies sharpen things up and improve your freestyle skills, but they do so much more. They are like the swiss army knife of headwear. Yes, you can use them to block out the sun and be done at that, but that’s kind of like using the Victorinox Champion to spread peanut butter. They function as sort of an anti-depressant, like looking at the world through rose-colored glasses but not the ugly pink ones. More like the weird yellow ones that mean I’m stalking you or let’s see other people whatever those mean. I also put them on to make everybody in blue jeans appear to be wearing black jeans. Nice Michael Penn reference, world. Keep up the good work.
What I did not realize until I visited the official website was just how safe I now am. The site assures me, “We’ve received several letters from people who were in serious car accidents who would have been blinded had it not been for their shatter resistant BluBlocker sunglasses.” So long, seatbelt, I’ve got my BluBlockers on! I’ve also noticed that when I wear them driving, other drivers tend to give me a fair amount of distance as they ponder the quality of my vision, the likelihood these glasses were issued alongside a medical marijuana prescription, and my general decision-making abilities.
Ears: The Tallest Man on Earth’s There’s No Leaving Now.
My ears were very happy to learn that The Tallest Man on Earth has a new album out. It’s called There’s No Leaving Now. If you aren’t familiar with his work, The Tallest Man on Earth is actually normal-size Swede Kristian Matsson, whose lyrical skills have earned him numerous comparisons to Bob Dylan. That said, his music doesn’t sound quite like anything else I hear these days. Actually, it makes me nostalgic for an earlier era when music also didn’t really sound like this. The initial simplicity of his songs tends to give way to new melodic threads with each listen. He relies heavily on alternate guitar tunings that seem based on a dare but I imagine are the result of unrelenting curiosity. If I think too much about it, I get a little annoyed at how well this guy writes stunning poetry in a second language to accompany the beautiful melodies he creates on an oddly-tuned guitar. So I try not to think too much. I just listen.
Nose: The Nasal Irrigation Squeeze Bottle.
When it comes to Neti pots, most people seem to be firmly entrenched in either the “that’s messed up” or the “greatest thing ever” camp. I live in the latter. So I was very happy when I stumbled upon the Neti pot’s angry little cousin, the saline rinse squeeze bottle. It’s basically the same concept, flushing the sinuses with warm saltwater, but these flushes are worlds apart. The Neti pot gently dribbles water through your sinus canal carrying with it those cooperative bits of snot that care to come along for the Sunday drive while the squeeze bottle kicks down the door to your skull, grabs everything it can see, changes direction by bouncing off of your frontal lobe, and beats a hasty retreat out the other side. It’s glorious. I occasionally have trouble finding them, which makes me wonder if somebody was found on the bathroom floor with a hole in the back of his head and one of these guys still jammed halfway up his nose. I don’t look it up because I really don’t want to know.
Mouth: Tap water.
I drink a lot of water, from the tap whenever possible. I love tap water. For those of us who don’t live in the Sahara, tap water suffers from its perceived abundance. It’s hard to appreciate because it’s always around and gives unconditionally. It’s the Ann B. Davis of beverages. We don’t really think about it until it threatens to go to Seattle to take care of its made up aunt. (What? That metaphor is airtight). I still get annoyed about the ubiquity of bottled water. It’s not so much the environmental impact of all of those bottles and all the gas we use to transport something that is already piped right into our homes. For me, it’s the economic principle. I don’t want to give my money to people whose balls-to-soul ratio is front-loaded enough to charge a fellow human being a dollar for twelve ounces of water. I don’t like those people. I don’t want them to have my money. So here’s to you, tap water. Today I shall drink you in. I shall strip off my clothes and cover myself in you. Unfortunately, familiarity breeding contempt and all, I’ll probably take a dump on you, too. No offense. Our relationship is complicated.