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Part time geek, Part time writer, Full time realist, full time thinker.
Current Month
Oct. 19th, 2008 @ 05:40 pm *stunned*
Current Mood: shockedshocked
collie13 showed me this LJ entry.

I think it's worth reading. Please pass it on. And write Pepsi.
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Oct. 18th, 2008 @ 05:49 pm To get back into the swing...a Meme!
Current Mood: amusedamused
Actually, it's not so much a meme as a quiz that I entirely made up on my own...for reasons that I cannot recall now, I was amusing myseld watching the hokey opening sequences for a bunch of 80's cartoons on Youtube... how many of these catch phrases can you remember from your days watching TV? Match the show to the words (or song lyrics):

1. ...knights of the magical light!

2. We are so very proud to be, a super-future family!

3. ...his spectrum's got such super-vision!

4. ...we met some new friends. From 'out of town'.

5. Darkness...ha-as fallen...on the victims...of the Zone..

6. ...they're joining together to fight for what's right, everywhere!

7. With powerful new young heroes proving their worth, four become eight...

8. No guts no glory, taking a stand. Ready to prove it again...

9. ...glamour and glitter, fashion and fame!

10. Thundering across the stars to save the universe from the Monster Minds!

11. ...when out of the darkness a lawman appeared! With powers of hawk, wolf, puma and bear!

12. ...Fighting crime in a future time!

have fun!
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Oct. 15th, 2008 @ 01:28 am ...the quiet of night...
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: "Wake For Young Souls" - Third Eye Blind
Most of the time, I busy myself with things to keep me from thinking about myself.

It doesn't mean that I don't think at all. I think about other things. How I like a song. What my strategy is in this game that I'm playing. Having involved conversations with friends online. Kicking back with friends and geeking out. Focusing on my workpile at the job. Thinking about the book I'm reading, fiction or non. Burying myself in some sexual fetish satiation (sorry, TMI, I'm sure.)

The problem is that most of the time, thinking about myself turns dark. It delves into the places where my weakness lies. My lack of confidence. My desire to, 90% of the time, not venture out of my comfort zone. The truth that I feel qualified to do the job I'm doing, and nothing else, ergo why try and look for another job? The fact that I've never been able to successfully finish a single semester of college.

And of course, there's my problem. I don't want to focus on the negative. I want to be less stressed, I don't want meaningless sympathy from others. I want to fix the problem. It's not as if I want a whole lot more than I have. Just a little more. A little more money, a living situation where I'm not dependant on my roomate, a work schedule that allows me to socialize like normal people.

If only I had a plan. If only I could make a plan, have a drive, a goal, something to actually work towards, that doesn't seem pie in the sky. If only I knew where to look, get my foot in the door...I would be unstoppable, if only I could get started.

And everyone sees it. My newest friends, the ones I've known barely a year, see this about me so clearly because I'm a transparent, sensitive, 'nice guy'. They admire the good in me, but they also see the lack of confidence that I seem to wear like a shroud.

I wrote this, in the hope thoughts might come, that a lightbulb would go on, and I could understand what it is I need to do. And in the end, I suppose I do know what I need to do: I need to reach out for help. I'm not going to manage to solve this in my own head. I never do. I always need the feedback, the insight, the support from others.

...that's really all I have to say. It's the end of the day, and I should go to bed before I drown in vaciliation and doubt. Night, y'all.
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Aug. 9th, 2008 @ 01:05 pm The Dangers of Advertizing.
Current Mood: blahblah
Current Music: "Wordplay" - Jason Mraz
Okay, so, recently, I decided to try something new.

I admit, I'm a little annoyed by the whole DRM thing, but mostly because it only gets in the way of using the songs I bought on iTunes with Audiosurf. For the most part, I get along fine with my Ipod, and I have no problem with a dollar per song.

But an advertizement caught my attention when my newest Netflix DVD came...apparently there's a new site called eMusic that was offering a special enticement: a 30 downloads, 14-day trial. Instead of charging people per song, they charge folks like netflix does: a certain amount of downloads per month for a monthly fee. As a longtime Netflix member, this doesn't sound too bad: I've gotten plenty of bang for my buck with Netflix, but the only problem is that I don't purchase new music nearly as often as I like to watch new DVDs.

Still, I decided to give it a look. I find out almost immediately that as a result of the whole 'no-DRM' thing, that the bulk of the music available are indie artists. The Big 4 record labels still don't want to give up their DRM, so not a lot of mainstream talent. And those few times you can find some of your favorite older artists, it's not the classic music you expect. It's re-records and/or remixes of the old songs by the original artists...some of whom don't sound nearly as good as they did in their younger days (in a few cases, there's only one or two members left of an old band, like 'A Flock of Seagulls'). For myself, I'm one of those people that tend to be attached to the patterns of the songs I'd heard, so these remakes are dissonant to my ears, even if they can still belt out the tunes (that's one of the reasons I don't care as much for concerts)

Now I realize, maybe I'm being judgemental, here. Maybe I'm not giving these newer indie artists a try. Maybe I'm missing out on great music. But it does annoy some that it feel like maybe eMusic are trying to milk money out of old artists while passing their remakes off to consumers as the real deal (There are some songs on there that are the originals, but they're few and far between, like Ace of base). Also, there's lots of reviewers that defend the remakes and the site, saying that you shouldn't be expecting cheaper prices of your favorite mainstream hits, here. And they have a point.

That said, as I was browsing around, I found something odd that caught my eye in the Spoken Word albums: 'Sex with Gina97'. An album by - you guessed it - Gina97. What is it? An 'album' of dirty talk and recordings of sex and masturbation from some random girl. And this is not her only album on the site, either.

I'm not sure how to feel about this. Am I a prude? No. But I tend to think this kind of thing has its place, and a music site is not that place. It feels like it cheapens it, and takes away credibility, that they accepted these recordings in the hope of somehow drawing more people in, or something (to be fair, it's not like the advertized her 'album' on the main page, but still).

At any rate, I decided to write about it to give people fair warning should they see the same advertizement. Nothing against indie artists. Just not sure I should be paying $10/month on the off chance I may find something I like sandwitched in between a tired remix of 'We Built This City' and Gina97 getting off.
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Jul. 26th, 2008 @ 04:35 pm In memory of Diane.
Current Mood: calmcalm
It was a gloomy, rainy day when we held Diane's funeral. Mom was down with a sore throat and other sundry ills, so I drove alone to the church. I had forgotten the church was right next to the old Waldorf school, which was the beginning of my school experience...I was there from Nursery to grade 2, and they taught a very different way there, very artsy and avante garde. I sometime wonder how different I would have turned out had I kept going there.

I was a few moments late, but missed only part of Grandmother Polly's sermon on Diane's life. After that, many people, starting with my father, spoke admirably about Diane, about her laugh, about her vibrance and her kindness and her warmth. There was much laughter, which is one of the things I appreciate about a UU funeral.

I finally came to the microphone, and told my story:

    ...just as Mike ane Diane figured so prominantly in my father's life...to me they were part of the bedrock of my childhood. I lived with them off and on, as my father did after the divorce. And as a child, I did not understand that 'tonic water' was not just another soda. I drank it like normal people drink Coke. And Diane knew this...every now and then, she'd be asking me what I wanted to drink with a meal, and I'd say 'I'd like some tonic water, please'. Many years later...at a party that I barely remember, we were talking casually. And at one point, she asked me what I was drinking. And I told her, 'It's a gin and tonic.' And she looked at me with knowing eyes, and I knew what that look meant.

    Leaning close, I said to her, 'you know why it is I like this drink, don't you?'

    And she laughed...and I will always carry that wonderful laugh of hers in my heart, forever.

The service came to a close...there was a hymn sung, as well as a church singer that did Bette Middler's 'The Rose' which was the song sung at Mike and Di's wedding. And for the postlude, they played a recording of 'Here Comes the Sun' by the Beatles...and for a brief time, it stopped raining, and while the sun didn't actually come out, it was calm.

Then we went to the graveyard in Acton, and the sun really *did* come out, and shone down on us as the final rites were performed, and Diane's casket - built and crafted by Mike's close friends - was lowered into the ground as we all watched. It was a very solemn moment, and few eyes were dry. From there, we went back to Mike's house, where there was a ton of food, and more sharing of memories along with other conversation...including some beautiful pictures of Diane from over the years.

I will miss her. Someone mentioned that she's the first of my 'immediate elders' (as in, from the generation immediately before mine) to pass on, and they were right. Dad made comments about me and my brother being prepared, as if suggesting that some day soon, we'll have to do this for him.

I hope that day is still very far away. It was hard enough for me to face Diane's death, and I was not as close to her as some. it was hard enough for me to face the passing of Granny B and Arthur, both lost in the years just preceeding.

But I suppose I know that I will face that day with aplomb. I know that I've already made plans for my own passing. Ah, mortail coil, we shall meet again.
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Jul. 22nd, 2008 @ 09:51 am The Paper Mirror
Current Mood: tiredtired
I've been mentioning the concept of the 'paper mirror' to a lot of people recently...I don't know who originally coined the term, but this young woman, an awesome talent who prints her Zine, Geraniums and Bacon, at my store, is where I learned the term from:


Yeah, okay, it's not a pithy entry discussing the term myself, but she explains it better than I do. And it's a Livejournal post, so there! :P ;)

The funeral is happening on Thursday...I'm glad I had yesterday off, because between work and that, I feel like I'm gonna be wrung out this week.
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Jul. 20th, 2008 @ 09:19 am A few words...
Current Mood: sadsad
A beautiful, decent woman died last night in her sleep, succumbing finally to cancer.

It is sad, and it is heart breaking for the good husband and fine son she leaves behind. For the many people whose lives she touched along the way, including mine.

But at least for her, there is no more pain. And after we grieve, we too will heal, and she will live again, happy again, in our thoughts.

I feel her absence keenly, even though I was not as close to her as others in my family were, because she was part of the bedrock of my childhood. I remember her laugh, her kindness, I remember the houses I stayed in with her when I was young, with my father.

I cannot manage more to say: my heart is full.

Wind to thy wings, Diane.
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Jul. 18th, 2008 @ 01:17 pm A return to the board.
Current Mood: contentcontent
Current Music: "Ophelia" - Natalie Merchant
One of the most necessary things in the world is conversation. One of the most engaging things is conversation between people with a common ground, and an openness to permit the free flow of ideas between both persons.

I have been so focused on this in the months since I stopped posting regularly on LJ. When I wanted to think big thoughts, when I wanted to expand my mind, when I wanted to get out the thoughts in my head, I sought out someone to talk to. Most often it was collie13, or one of my other friends, those I spoke to regularly. Although I admit, it was more from a desire of instant gratification rather than necessarily craving more social contact: I have always had a limit on how much social contact I need on a regular basis. I got away from writing, feeling that I had nothing to say, nothing to ask, that could not be said in person.

Yesterday, I had an interesting conversation. The circumstances are complex: I'll sum up by saying that I had driven my mother out to see longtime family friends, M and D. D is in her final days (cancer), and we came up to show support for them. As it turns out, there were many people around, including my father, family members, and friends and co-workers. People had been coming in and out for a few days, now. We didn't get to connect with M and D as much as we'd hoped (D was asleep and not up to talking anyway, and M was being pulled in all sorts of directions), but my mother and I did have an engaging discourse with M's brother, P.

P's a fairly serene fellow. His smile and his simple security, I think, would be enough to calm anyone, make them feel better. He connected with my mother with ease, the two of them very much kindred spirits. Even myself, who is very different from my mother in fundamental ways, found P very easy to talk to; it was not the first time we'd met, but it had been a long time since we'd talked, and certainly not with the weight and wisdom that I'd acquired over the last eight years.

He intuited, after only a little conversation, that yes, I am a writer, although it had been a long time since I'd put my thoughts to media (save for a very few instances as resulted from gaming, laying out a fictional backdrop for a new character). And I confessed my reticence in writing, recently, which he accepted with aplomb.

"When you're writing, you're a writer." he said to me. "When you're not, you're something else. There's nothing wrong with that, but the writer is still in you, waiting to surface again when you need him." (I paraphrase, but the sentiment is close enough)

P's nature is one of gentleness and understanding, and it's very easy to get caught up in that. Moreover, our ongoing conversation did not feel like I only the student, and he was only the teacher. We both learned, and both taught: we both had ideas and concepts to bring to the table, and both came away richer for it.

No less because it encouraged me to write this entry about our encounter, and will, perhaps, be the spark to the candle again, encouraging me to voice my thoughts once more. I forget that as a writer, I sometimes need to express myself this way...that will never change. The writer will always be inside me, will always be an integral means of expressing myself.

And I will be patient with myself, and not get down on myself when I do not write. The writer's time will come again.
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Mar. 11th, 2008 @ 01:37 pm Experiences from my trip into New York City...
Current Mood: contentcontent
... everything is expensive in Times Square. The plays, the hotels, the food, the museums, the ride to the top of the Empire statebuilding. Woof.

... Wicked is a fine play (if a skosh simplistic, but hell, it's a *play*) and the woman that does Elphaba is an incredible singer.

... Central Park doesn't hold a candle to Boston Common.

... for every car, there's ten pedestrians. At *all* times. How the cars get anywhere, I've no idea.

... The play November, with Nathan Lane. Go see it. He makes the funniest George Bush-clone I've ever watched (actually no- Nathan's President is a skosh smarter than GWB.).

... They have some *interesting* art at the Guggenheim. Although a skosh too many fake tigers riddled with arrows. (you had to be there)

... did you know that pigeons actually sit on the ledges of the Empire state building? They're so cute, cuddling deep into their feathers.

... the half price tickets line is *long*.

... why is it no one can take pictures of anything any more?

... why is there an M+M store? And why do people buy things there? o.O

... There are a lot of billboards. Way more than in Boston. And I doubt I will buy anything as a result of any of them.

Neat trip. But glad to be home.
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Feb. 25th, 2008 @ 05:55 pm The ones you missed!
I don't expect anyone else to make any guesses at this point, so here it is:

1. You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to a fair trial. You have the right not to be tortured, not to be murdered, rights that you took away from Tariq Husseini. You have those rights because of the men who came before you who wore that uniform. - spoken by Denzel Washington, in 'The Siege'.

7. Say one word about this hat, and I'm outta here. - Paul Giamatti, in 'Paycheck'.

8. It tastes like the back of a fucking L.A. school bus. Now they probably didn't de-stem, hoping for some semblance of concentration, crushed it up with leaves and mice, and then wound up with this rancid tar and turpentine bullshit. Fuckin' Raid. - once again, Paul Giamatti(loves on him), talking about a particular batch of wine, from 'Sideways'.

11. Well I am... over-fuckin' whelmed. What d'you want for that, a junior g-man badge? - Al Pacino being himself in 'Heat'.

Not bad! Give yourselves a pat on the back for getting so many, friendslist!
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