In honor of my new neighbor, a young pot-smoking guy just out of college who works in advertising and enjoys bringing over a steady stream of his pot-smoking friends to party on the balcony just outside my bedroom window on weeknights, I purchased this little white-noise number, the Marpac Sleepmate 980.
It's awesome. Although it doesn't fully eliminate the sound violations from my sphere of awareness, it does dull them enough so that I can reign in my anticipatory anxiety, slow my boiling blood, and talk myself down onto a calmer plane. Did you know that stress responses - like quickening blood, platelets getting sticky, and rapid breathing - increase one's susceptibility to disease and health challenges?
There's no need for me to outrun any saber tooth tigers, yet when I hear my neighbor at times when I don't want to hear him (when my need for silence and quiet goes unmet), I get stressed, and my body reacts just as it would if I had caught site of a tiger ready to pounce - albeit probably with much more anger and much less fear than if my neighbor actually were a bloodthirsty saber toothed tiger. Why is it that saber toothed tigers went extinct? Anyone know? I'm too tired to wikipedia it at the moment.
Anyway, getting back to the most terrific sound machine ever. It's fantastic and highly recommended. I keep it on the first setting to create a relaxed, noise muting environment. It's like a little white noise sound cocoon that envelopes and soothes, the effects of which are magnified by my earplugs (I can't quite break myself of that habit yet). Sensory deprivation. One day I'm going to go in to a dark sensory deprivation tank where I float on water in a wet suit that makes it impossible to feel the water, with ear plugs that make it impossible to hear, pitch blackness that makes it impossible to see, and no noise or smells. It would be awesome, and perhaps a little scary. It would have to be simple and easy to get out of instantaneously, or otherwise the anxiety would ruin the experience.
I'm tired and rambling slightly and clearly in need of my white-noise machine induced dream time. I'm on Book 5 of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Chronicles and continuing to voraciously eat them up one after another. All I want to say is that I love Jean Claude and Anita and can not wait until they get together. If I were Anita, I would absolutely choose Jean Claude over Richard. Richard is sexy but he's also kind of a pill. Jean Claude would totally take him. He's like Geoffrey from the Angelique books. Dashing, strong, and dangerously sexy, and a vampire to boot.