I’ve never been able to stand excessive noise. For as far back as I can remember I’ve always had an entirely intense aversion to excessive volume. I come from a world where there was entirely too much yelling. Having always bitterly hated and resented noise, I’ve had quite a difficult time coping with many things that are taken entirely for granted with most people. Everyplace I go, even to church and libraries, there are so many entirely inconsiderate characters constantly talking out loud and allowing their cell phones to make all kinds of noises, without bothering even so much as to attempt to be a little considerate of others. Besides my problem with noise in general I’ve always harbored an equally insatiable hatred of telephones too. My niece and nephews are all still extremely young, so of course they all still go overboard with their favorite music. Whenever I tell them it’s too loud, they inform me that I’m the one with the attitude problem. Unfortunately there simply doesn’t seem to be any interest, among most people these days, in showing respect to others when it comes to noise. It’s a kind of arrogance that is most certainly not restricted to the young. I’ve known of very many people significantly older than I, who live by the assumption that if they choose to yell or to increase the volume on televisions, radios, or other devices as much as possible, it’s somehow other people’s responsibility to learn to deal with it. Many times over the years I’ve referred to the time, when I was working at Citicorp Retail Services in Melville, New York, next to a department where all the people were constantly laughiing and yelling. The incessant noise drove me entirely into all sorts of fits of rage and fury. Of course, as always, I was the bad guy. To my chagrin there are several things in life that seem to be governed by a rule that makes it clear that the most utterly and undeniably inappropriate approach to life will always be specifically classified as the norm. Of course noise isn’t my only pet peeve. I also can’t stand liberals or any other totalitarian control freaks. You know the type, those who chant manipulative dictatorial catch phrases, like “The only thing intolerable is intolerance.” , while simultaneously attempting to control other people’s lives with no questions permitted. That, however, is something I have been known already to refer to under several other circumstances anyway.
Over the course of my lifetime I’ve gotten many compliments about my speaking voice. I’ve often been told that it’s quite distinctive. Once I’ve spoken to someone on the phone at least once he always recognizes my voice, from then on, whenever I call him. Over the course of the past two decades, I’ve always been a lector at the churches I’ve attended. My looks are not necessarily to everyone’s liking but I’ve gotten some compliments about them. It’s hard to say whether I’m forced to cringe more because of a video recording of me, or a recording of my voice. I should have to say, though, that my voice has such a distinctive quality about it that it always leaves me quite seriously taken aback. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find a video of me that would a representative example of my appearance. You can, however, very easily see my profile picture on my blog. I have a youtube video, though, that demonstrates quite clearly the offbeat nasal timbre of my speech. Ever since I was a kid, during the days of reel to reel and cassette tape recorders, I’ve always noticed that my voice has a one of a kind property to it. My parents were both from northeastern Pennsylvania and I was raised in Queens and on Long Island. Because of that, especially in my young days, I had an accent that was a combination of both places. As far as I can see my speech and appearance are like an underground cult movie or musical group. Not everyone can figure them out but there are people who find them quite exceptionally hep.
After a long hard day, or whenever I have free time available, I often like just to relax for a while by not bothering to do anything. Lately I haven’t been in the habit of watching television, though sometimes I watch a few “Seinfeld” reruns with Steve. Most of the shows I watch are old. As a general rule I watch decades-old reruns on METV, http://www.youtube.com or one of my DVDs. I haven’t set food into a movie theatre in quite a long time but I’ve seen a lot of very good movies on DVDs. Frequently I get something to eat, and I most especially enjoy coffee or tea. I was always really active in the parishes I was in before I came to Long Beach so I can soon start getting involved in St. Mary of the Isle too. Reading and writing invariably do me quite a world of good. Ever since I got started on writing blogs I’ve been trying to write at least a significant amount each day. I especially enjoy interactive sites like http://www.wordpress.com and http://www.blogster.com because I get to read other people’s blogs and to get a lot of feedback about mine, from them. We exchange quite a lot of constructive criticism. Now everyone knows about my conservative worldview and obnoxious sense of humor. Besides that I also read constantly. I read quite a lot of classic prose and poetry, theology and philosophy, and many periodicals I get through the mail and online. It’s April now so I have to figure out whether there’s a Barnes and Noble close to here so I can renew my card. It expires at the end of the month. I use it to get a ten per cent discount on each purchase. As everyone knows I’ve always been quite smitten with music, especially from the 1960’s though now that I can listen to online sites I get more easily to hear quite an exceptionally wide variety of styles. That’s a perfect form of relaxation for me. Lately I’ve really been practicing the guitar quite conscientiously. Of course a top contender for my favorite way to relax and to get away from pressure is simply not to bother with anything or anyone. I truly enjoy peace and quiet for its own sake. Since unwelcome noise has always driven me crazy, the ideal way for me to relax is merely not to bother to do anything specific. Just hanging around and minding my own business always does me quite a world of good. Solitude keeps me happy and sane. Under those really quiet isolated circumstances I don’t necessarily bother either to do or to think of anything specific. I just hang around. Lately since I don’t have a car available, I walk back and forth to Mass each morning. That’s turning out to be quite an especially beneficial experience for me. The nice weather, combined with the ability just to hang around alone for a while, besides providing me with quite a significant amount of exercise, really keeps me relaxed. Conveniently it’s never been unavoidably necessary for me to have only one specific thing in order to relax. I’m flexible enough that all these circumstances work out well for me.
If there’s one thing I absolutely can’t stand, and quite bitterly resent, it’s any unwelcome unnecessary noise. I can’t stand any kind of noise in general anyway but at least I’ve been able to resign myself to the kind that’s unavoidably necessary by definition. It wouldn’t be realistic for someone to hang around an airport or construction site and to cuss people out for being too loud. Over the course of my lifetime I’ve always had quite a razor’s edge relationship with sound. This is also true in my dealings with language, the written and spoken word. Nothing impresses me anywhere near as much as well written and well performed music, or when someone writes or speaks articulately. When,however, I have to be subjected to something that’s poorly written or spoken, played or sung, it gets me crazy.
For as long as I can remember I’ve always been compulsively articulate and very conservative. Whenever I either hear, or read, something that’s either inarticulate or of a left wing ideological slant it makes me cringe. Language should be used solely as a vehicle for the conveyance of the truth and not as a means of promulgating an ideological agenda. Besides that I’ve always been quite prone toward getting all my tenses, cases and other linguistic proprieties entirely in order. Everyone knows about my notoriously hypersensitive nerves. For approximately the past two decades we’ve been bombarded with cell phones. Ever since I was a kid I’ve never been able to stand the telephone anyway. I not only don’t like the sound of its ring, or having to talk on it. I can’t even stand to be in the company of someone who’s talking on the phone. Now that each and every single one of us has a phone in his possession at all times it’s quite a major chore for me to attempt to accept it. I’ve never been able to understand why cell phones are considered acceptable in churches and libraries. In the old days, churches and libraries were considered places where peace and quiet was mandatory. Now phones are allowed. A couple of months ago, Mary Anne, Steve and I went to see “Madama Butterfly” at Lincoln Center. I couldn’t help noticing that when the people who are in charge there say cell phones aren’t allowed they really mean it, and patrons respect that fact. In churches and libraries, though, the people in charge claim that cell phones aren’t allowed but they don’t bother to enforce it and everyone leaves his phone on, thereby subjecting the rest of us to endless unwelcome noise. Throughout my life I’ve always been subjected to people with very loud voices, as well as bad music and flagrant misuse of language. I can still remember, from when I worked at Citicorp Retail Services in the late 1980’s and 1990’s, a representative example of the unbearable impact that noise can have on me. When I was working in the Sales Processing department with Sal, Carole and Yolanda, Miz Kitti, Doreen and Kimbley, there was a department within earshot of ours where the employees were unbearably loud and unruly. They literally yelled, and even laughed hysterically for no reason, all day long. It was quite an unbearably torturous experience for me. Unfortunately it turned me into a nasty, anti social little creep. I got very bitterly angry and resentful. There appears to be something about unwelcome noise, and a poor command of language, which I truly find entirely unbearable. I’ve always really liked to consider myself quite good natured, a jolly good fellow. When I have to deal with noise, or with someone who’s inarticulate, though, I truly am subjected to quite a torture treatment. My ability to accept it and to maintain my cheerful side takes quite a beating. I’ve tried all sorts of ways to maintain my cool but it’s quite a frustrating problem. By now I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve learned to accept the simple facts that it’s a loud inarticulate world, and that all I can do is to try, as politely and as firmly as possible, to convince people to be a lot more respectful of others, both by being a lot quieter and by speaking and writing a lot more articulately.