Archive for the ‘Random Thoughts’ Category

Has it been a month?

It’s funny to think there was a time that I updated this thing every day.  Go figure I’ve been too busy experiencing all kinds of things that would be perfect to write about but once I’m done riding the wave of excitement, writer’s block tends to set in.

So I turned to drugs.

Herbs, actually.  Gingko Biloba, liquid form, measured with an eyedropper, 2 times a day, 4-5 on the weekends.  This is not normally the way I solve my problems, but after a little online browsing I decided to give this a try. 

It’s like I can actually see the doors in my head opening, thoughts I’ve been wanting to share peaking out with a clarity I’ve not had access to in years, pretty amazing in that way.   

Of course, the purpose of this treatment is so I can be more prolific on writing music, especially now that I have a very talented wordsmith by the name of Tiana to write me some words for the playing and the singing.  We call them “lyrics” in the business. 

This is why I never followed through with the “Song-of-the-Week” idea (much like the Nightmare reviews that I never followed up on, but that was for different reasons. . . a guy can only rape his own childhood so many times). 

But as the doors continue to open, things will be shared.  Wonderful, and, if things should go bad, painful things.  But who needs yet another blog of angst and depression?  I’m a bit old to go Emo. 

-Z

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It’s Friday, a few random thoughs out of boredom

My morning ritual is pretty standard:  Start the alarm at 6:40 and hit snooze a few times so that by 7:20 I’m ever so slightly more rested and still have enough time to get ready for work.  But today that hitting of the snooze button had me waking up at 8:05.  Not plenty of time to get ready. 

Of course, I was less than 15 minutes early to work, but that’s not the point. 

The cool thing about my bus ride is that it takes the express lane on the freeway and then pulls into the bus tunnel, so it has practically no traffic to contend with.  The thing that’s not cool about getting out at the bus station is that the escalator is single file.  Those who know me probably know I’ve a bit of a pet peeve about people standing on escalators during peak commuting hours.  I’ve calmed on that issue a lot, but it’s still a bit annoying to me when some punked out hungover couple practically sprints to be the first one off the bus only to slowly stagger and wobble their way over to the escalator where they make the rest of us stand.  A minor petty annoyance, but narcissists bother me. 

But, despite all those things, this has been a really good day.  My company’s monthly casual Friday, no complaints there.  Perfect weather for drinking, looks like it’s going to be a beautiful weekend.  And, like with any good weekend, I’m going into it with no plans. 

Well, that’s not completely true.  Saturday at Midnight I’m going to Cinemapocalypse: a travelling exhibition of exploitation films, b-movies, that kind of thing.  

Oh, also, did you all know that Salvador Dali made a film?  Yeah, “Un Chien Andalou”.  It’s very bizarre and I don’t quite get it, but it’s pretty amazing to watch and I think you all should.  If for no better reason than the extended boob-groping sequence.   YouTube seems to have the video in two parts.  Sadly, though, my work computer doesn’t have speakers so I have no clue how the sound quality will work out.   But it’s free, whereas I’ve $0.20 in late fees. 🙂

-Z

A pleasently unexpected side effect

So in my last post I talked about my new music project.  I will remind that while on paper it sounds like a pile of awesome, I’m also extremely rusty and the first pieces are. . . well, rough.  Due to my only having a single day this week in which to sit down and do any work (and considering I’ll be out of town on the Sunday at which I would be required to do a single miss), I will be missing one week.  But I suppose that doesn’t matter as I’ll probably have at least three or four of them completed by the time I purchase the space upgrade.  Maybe more.  Who knows?

But none of that is what I’d like to talk about just now, but rather the side effect of said project. 

In my life, especially the last few years, I’ve had a tendency to second guess myself.  Like, a lot.  Emails go unanswered or take hours to write when 10 minutes would do, the blog goes unupdated, music gets unwritten, the list goes on. 

Well it’s been about two weeks.  And while it’s tough to conjur specific examples, at least not ones that would sound groundbreaking an huge, let me just say that I have experienced what could only be described as a tremendous surge of confidence ever since starting this little experiment.  Once I force myself to just say or do stuff that I can’t simply take back I instantly feel many times better.

Anywho, just felt the need to share that.

-Z

Surface-effect art by Norman LeBret

Not every painting I create is a gem.  Not every rock is a gem.  Neither my paintings, nor a rock will have equal appeal to everyone.  I never know what the painting will look like until after I combine the oil, pigments and substrate.  -Norm LeBret
Not every painting I create is a gem. Not every rock is a gem. Neither my paintings, nor a rock will have equal appeal to everyone. I never know what the painting will look like until after I combine the oil, pigments and substrate. -Norm LeBret

Rather than explain what surface-effect art is, here’s the explanation given in his artist statment:

Surface-Effect art is a variation of abstract impressionism that was made famous by Jackson Pollock. The physical interaction between the artist and components of the visual art, is expressed as an incipient merging of the pigment, oil and surface. Surfaces have chemical and physical characteristics that influence how different substances interact. One example may be the static charge on the surface of glass rod, after being rubbed vigorously by a perturbed cat. Another is the weird behavior of lava lamps, where a homogeneous substance bounces and slides against little blobs of itself–the blobs are distinct from each other only by shape, size… and energy. The bulk material becomes disaggregated as it is heated from the light bulb below; rising throught the lamp, blobs separate as thermal distribution and density begin to vary within the bulk–then blobs bounce off the energy-barrier surfaces of each other. 
                                                                                                                                             Personally, I find myself fascinated with the intellectual approach to making art that has an abstract and natural beauty. I’ve had the specific process he uses explained to me a couple of times but, as an artist in my own right, I find it better to explain less. Besides, viewer interpretation is always far more interesting.  Find more of his work here.

Ugh, that Nightmare 4 review is coming. . . but it’ll be a while. Here’s why.

I don’t know why, I used to think it was one of my favorites but I’m finding myself able to watch about 15 minutes at a time.  It’s not like it’s so bad I can’t watch, but I get bored and restless QUICK when it comes to this one for some reason.

I did make it all the way through The Strangers though.  It wasn’t bad.

Actually, if they did a little something about those two main characters I’d’ve thought it was pretty damn good.

I mean, here’s a horror movie that takes most of the mistakes that horror movies make (too quick of editing, reliance on jump scares, some sort of explanation to justify the horrific events taking place), and does the exact opposite.  Also it had a fantastic soundtrack, especially Joanna Newsom.  I’d never heard her music before but it’s the kind of sound that makes you feel warm inside while simultaneously sending a creeping sensation up your spine.  I mean that as a compliment, by the way.

I love the moment in the film when there’s a heavy pounding at the door accompanied by the lyric: should we go outside?  should we go out. . . side. . .

Okay, until next time.

-Z

Breaking through my spam filter earns you a plug

My favorite, the Hanging Bubble Chair, on clearance at $895 (marked down from $3,500).

My favorite, the Hanging Bubble Chair, on clearance at $895 (marked down from $3,500).

Imagine my delight this morning when I received an email asking me to comment on this gentleman’s website, Regency Shop, for reasons that I am clearly a connoisseur of modern design/home decor.  He knows me so well.

So if you’re into handsome furniture at affordable prices, give them a look see.  I’m sure you’ll find just the thing to fit your ultra-modern lifestyle.

On a different note I have not forgotten about the Nightmare reviews, I just simply didn’t anticipate that the 3rd film would not be available right away (after procrastinating for too long to begin with).   Apparently it should reach me today in which case do look for a review sometime very late tonight.

Now go buy some furniture.

-Z

Debate > Haircut

I was so anxiously awaiting the trimming of my wild mop today. I’m not kidding, my hair’s so long that it currently obscures a small portion of my forehead. Yeesh!

But, alas, no trim today. No, today I will be heading over to the Nickerson Street Saloon to see if John McCain can finally win me over (said with a mostly straight face). This will be done, likely, over a nice Pipeline Porter (October’s beer o’ the month,) and a nice big Saloon burger! Yum. . .

Seriously though, vote.

This disgusts me: Unusual rap punishment

I just read this article at msn.com this morning and, while I get that it was supposed to be funny, actually makes me angry a little bit.   Here’s the paragraph from the article that got me:

Andrew Vactor was facing a $150 fine for playing rap music too loudly on his car stereo in July. But a judge offered to reduce that to $35 if Vactor spent 20 hours listening to classical music by the likes of Bach, Beethoven and Chopin.

Now let me get a few things straight:  I generally dislike most rap music and I very much love most instrumental music and I still find this terribly offensive.  First and foremost I have a problem with the law telling someone they need to change their taste in music.    I even believe that and understanding and appreciation for music history could improve a person’s life, but that’s a choice they make for themselves.  Even if there was a clear case of classical = smart/rap = dumb, it’s still a person’s right to be dumb.  A more fitting punishment would be to put a rig on his personal stereo so whenever he listened to his favorite music all he would hear would be the muffled bass. 

Second, I don’t like the idea of “classical” music being seen as a punishment.  It really is real music, and it’s very good.  Looking back on the public school experience I can attest to music education being a joke.  It’s taught very much like math, no enthusiasm, no passion.  And while I’m on the subject, why not have a passionate teacher for math, or any other subject for that matter? 

My last point has everything to do with the generalization of classical music by either the judge or perhaps just the wording used by the people who wrote this article.  Let me clarify, the classical era of music took place between 1750 and 1810.  The composers they  listed were Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin. . . okay, let me break this down.  First of all, many Bachs composed music so I can only assume they meant Johann Sebastian (but this is just a nitpick).  Johann Sebastian Bach lived between 1685 and 1750; thus, he wrote baroque music.  Beethoven, they got right, he lived from 1770 to 1827 (way to go, article).  Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) wrote what we musically educated folks like to call romantic music.  

Any of you reading this might be thinking “So?  Most of this music sounds the same, why not just call it classical music?”  My answer to you is yes, much of it does. . . and, really, I don’t care if you use “classical” to describe any and all music written for horns and strings.  I wouldn’t even tease or mock you behind your back.  I realize that music education is a joke and honestly most people don’t have time to consider these things, and that’s fair.  However, if you’re in a position of power and find it appropriate to forcibly educate someone, well then you’d better have the goddamn facts straight your own self.

So Andrew Vactor may be an asshole and if that’s the case I’m glad he’s getting fined for his mass irritation of others.  Upping the fine for repeat offenses is another measure I would support.  But leave my music the hell alone when looking for a punishment.

-Z

Biden vs. Palin. LIVE UPDATES!

Hey all you loyal readers (holy shit, I actually have readers,) are you ready for the greatest moment in American history? Well that probably won’t be tonight, but it will most certainly be a lot of fun. It is currently 3:52 p.m. (not 10:51 p.m. as wordpress is so delightfully telling me,) so said debate hasn’t started yet. It is likely I will miss a minute or two of this debate as 6 is right about when I come running in the door. However I will be attempting updates every 10 minutes or so as this fucker progresses.

So grab your beverage of choice and let’s enjoy this circus together.

-Z

  • Got in late, it’s funny how Palin is criticizing Obama’s voting along party lines. Also, open message to my computer: “YOU’RE KILLING ME, SMALLS!!”
  • We really do need a maverick! hehe
  • Sarah Palin lies about Obama tax increase.
  • McCain voted for same tax, interesting
  • Oh, “I may not answer the questions the way you want to hear.” Let’s just not answer them, really.
  • Over 250k a year? Tax those fuckers! I’m dying over here. They. Can. Afford. It.
  • She brings up small businesses. Obama flat out said this would not affect the small businesses, or at least I think he did.
  • Biden needs to say things once. Don’t pull a Kerry and drown us in your point.
  • Haha, “The ultimate bridge to nowhere.”
  • Palin still wants us to belive that putting the campaign on hold would have been the right thing to do.
  • How could she not go back to energy? Does this in a convoluted way have to do with bankruptcy?
  • Okay, climate change should be good “yeeeaaahh” says Palin.
  • She doesn’t want to come off as completely ignorant. “maybe a little bit man made.” It’s cyclical. Way to own up, Biden!
  • Was that a nucular I heard?
  • “Tolerant” of gay people. That’s good for you, Sarah. You look so uncomfortable. Well, Joe, I don’t like your answer on marriage equality but at least you didn’t stammer.
  • Please tell me somebody out there is doing a word count on “nucular.”
  • Oh, Joe, don’t speak in the third person.
  • Whee! They both love Israel! Well, I love THEM!
  • “That’s not what we’re doing there, we’re fighting terrorists!”
  • My god, it’s full of stars! Okay, this is distracting. I’ll comment after.

Okay so maybe that wasn’t the smashing success of multitasking genius that it was hoping for, but you get the general idea. Sarah Palin was an idiot, as expected, spewing out endless amounts of rhetoric, and Joe Biden held his ground quite firmly. I think he showed a tendency to hammer points home a little TOO much, but I’d rather have that than two self-proclaimed mavericks.

-Z