My sleep bank is now so far in the red, I am expecting foreclosure on my brain any minute now.
Tim, I took your very clever advice, and asked my teacher at the kung fu center for a good acupuncturist. They recommended Batbayar Damdin (OMD, L.Ac., Graduate of Beijing University of TCM) at 2315 Patton Road in Harrisburg. I have a one-and-a-half hour appointment there this Wednesday, which is going to cost me $100, but dealing with regular neck pain for 15 years makes $100 seem like a small price to pay (provided it gets results).
Heh, I appreciate the recommendation of therapeutic massage, Sheryl, but I'm really not sure how much good it would do. Years of violin and viola practice are difficult to erase. The problem used to be a lot worse - on average, I woke up unable to move my neck without excruciating pain about every two weeks when I was a teenager - but since I stopped practicing regularly, my neck only seizes up very badly every two months or so (more often when I'm stressed). I can't sleep on my back at all - it's a sure-fire way to wake up sore. On problem days, people have mistaken muscles in my shoulders for weird lumpy bones - you could pummel them with a meat tenderizer for hours with no effect on the tension. I've put off finding treatment for a long time because I don't trust western medicine to help in any way worthwhile - i.e. I don't want some stupid band-aid remedy or painkillers - and eastern medicine, while I have considered it for years, always seemed so exotic and drastic*. But bugger it, I'm putting it off no longer!
*Also, my mother used to make me a medicinal soup made of reconstituted toad slime. I drank it while she laughed at me. It's these little experiences which make me initially reluctant to go to Chinese medicine specialists.
Any minute now, the piano tuner is going to show up! The piano started slipping out of tune a few weeks after he delivered it as it settled into the new space, and now there are several notes which sound atrocious. I've been waiting for him to return my calls after he stood me up a few weeks ago. And being a textbook Arian, my patience was wearing dangerously thin. If he'd delayed any longer, I might have started a blog hate campaign.
I'm rather excited about finally having a tuned piano again because Matt and I have begun to jam properly for the first time. No input from anyone else, just me on a piano and him on a Korg ER-1. I want to lay out a whole bunch of tracks and then spend some time adding vocals. It feels really good, though I am still debilitatingly insecure about my contributions. I suppose I would classify it as living somewhere in the trip-hop/IDM neighborhood. I'm moving ahead on this project partly because I caught the video for Coin Operated Boy by the Dresden Dolls online the other day, and I was so intensely jealous I nearly threw up. Brecht/Weill + punk in a piano+vox/drumkit duo! Why in the name of God didn't I think of that first? Why? Why!? And now they're supporting Nine Inch Nails!
Speaking of which, Matt and I will be attending both the NYC shows and both the Philadelphia shows this coming May. Despite all the college stress, this has definitely been a wonderful week.