Happy Thanksgiving

My Thanksgiving day this year is off to a rough start. They play Christmas music on Main St here in Somerville now, normally from noon to 8pm, but something threw off the timer a couple of weeks ago, so we’ve had a few instances of overnight Christmas music recently. And last night, it played all night.

It all started after the big snowstorm a week ago. (You might say that it wasn’t that much of a snowstorm, but as the linked article points out, it was “the biggest one-day November snowfall in 136 years.”) That night, the music didn’t end at 8pm, and kept playing until around midnight. My guess is there was a brief power interruption that screwed up the timer. So that wasn’t too bad. Either the timer stopped it at midnight or someone managed to turn it off.

Then, Saturday night, the music started at midnight, and stopped around 2am. My guess on that is that someone screwed up the AM/PM setting on it. (And I guess someone managed to shut it off after a couple of hours.)

I thought we were over all of that, since it’s been fine the last few days. But last night, again, it started at midnight. And never stopped. The last time this happened was back in 2012. That time, I called the police, but there was nothing they could do about it. And I sent an email to the group that’s responsible for the music, and they apologized, which is nice, but none of that gets me back a lost night of sleep. My best guess as to what happened this time is that somebody tried to change the schedule for Thanksgiving and screwed up the AM/PM setting again.

So I got out of bed at 5am this morning and I’m now eating breakfast and listening to some quiet music by Hugar, just loud enough to drown out the Christmas music. (Which is still playing.) It’s looking to be the coldest Thanksgiving since 1871, according to the NY Times. (It’s 20° right now, with a “feels like” temp of 11°, here in Somerville.) I’ve been trying to talk myself into going into New York today, and the continuing Christmas music assault might be enough to force me out of my apartment, even in 20° weather. I don’t really know what I’d do in NYC today; all the museums are closed. I’d probably go see a few movies, I guess.

I did put earplugs in last night, but they didn’t help much. On one of the previous nights, I also turned on my air cleaner, hoping the white noise would help. (It turns out that the earplugs do a good job of filtering out the air cleaner noise, but don’t help much with the music.)

So now I’m thinking about options for better earplugs, noise cancelling earphones, white noise generators, and stuff like that. Here’s a thread from Hacker News from earlier this week, about brain.fm and similar products/services. I’ve been wondering if I could actually use Max Richter’s eight-hour work Sleep to get through the night. I think I also need to look at some of the stuff in this NY Times article from 2011. Bose makes something called Noise-Masking Sleepbuds that might be good, though they cost $250. That got me thinking about whether or not I could sleep with AirPods in. That led me to a reddit thread; results on that seem to be mixed. (And battery life on the AirPods is only five hours, so they wouldn’t last all night.) I’m not at all sure what will work best. I may go on a bit of an Amazon binge today, ordering a bunch of random earplugs and stuff.

Now, it’s almost 7am, and I’ve moved from Hugar to Relaxation Tape for Solo Space Travel by The National Pool (which is quite good). There’s a lot of good ambient music on Bandcamp, but that’s a subject for another day.

This blog post is probably a bit scattershot, since it’s being written on zero sleep, but writing it has helped me get through breakfast and lower my stress level a bit, so that’s something. I’m hoping the Christmas music will stop at 8am, assuming my theory about the AM/PM screw-up is correct. If that happens, I may just go back to bed. (Though the three cups of coffee I just had might get in the way of that.)

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