Saturday, May 29, 2010

Can it be a timesuck if it's time that doesn't suck??

I say possiblidetrimententatively no.

Just got the APC40. Still less than a novice. But a grand freaking time so far!!! Set it up with the Oxygen8 keyboard; no more room left to plug in hard drives until I route 'em all in via firewire 800 (the firewire 400) is going to the sound card. So, for the eventual playing live, going to have it well set up for samples.

But you don't care about that. I'm just blatherin'. Here's another quick tune I cranked out:


Next steps - take the 16-odd (and I do mean odd) songsnippets I've posted up here so far, put them in some kind of order, and start working with them - and then I have an entire set of odd original beginnings for fun, fun music to fuck around with.

Thank you Great Whatevah for giving us the beauty and power of music, among many other things. And so constructing us that we appreciate it, because it matters to us. That's the double-edged sword isn't it? To appreciate how great something is, we also may have to have a space for it inside; a space that, when we don't have this great something or aren't generating it, is empty and in loss.

Thankfully with music, among many other things, this lack is easily rectified.


The kind of name a clothing company would have, if it existed to create new faux-kitsch t-shirts for the teeming hipster masses with slogans on the front like Patton Oswalt's classic mindblower: a unicorn on skateboard that says "powered by puppy kisses!"

Or maybe a guy with a leafblower, only he's standing on a giant's head and blowing leaves out of his brain dude! Like literally blowing his MIND whoah ha hah!

That kind of clothing store.

Only run by Kevin Bacon and five other people. Maybe Ethan Hawke, Samuel Jackson, Gwyneth Paltrow and Queen Elizabeth.

And Another Tune Down, Another Tune Down, Another One Out the Bus

The Firewire Bus, that is, to completely jam together references for those who know Queen by way of Al Yankovic and those who know computers...come to think of it, probably a pretty overlapping crowd...

So anyway, just had fun jamming this tune out as a way to learn more of Ableton, as I eagerly await my APC40. The purchasing of which I hope isn't a mistake, as I really should be writing fiction. But I've just been missing some simple fun too much.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Patton Oswalt declares war on the music geeks

Patton Oswalt starts razzing a guy in the audience, and then finds out he's a musician - at which point, it's all over.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

And now battling it out for the front burner - music again!!

I just ordered an Akai APC40 from Amazon. It means being boringly smart with my budget otherwise for the next few weeks, but I'm psyched. After watching videos on YouTube, it seems like just the tool to do what I've had to do with one mouse for years.

Your new God

Writing is great and I'm good at it, but it can be rather solitary. To (I think) quote Robert Heinlein once said, "There's nothing shameful about writing, but you should do it in private and wash your hands afterwards." Music is that direct communication that surpases words. Also, it maketh the booty move. I'm looking forward to practicing and getting set up to play out live at least a couple of times, just for the thrill of directly subjecting people to my ideas and hoping that they get something good out of it.

A new tune I just made, while warming up the learning curve Ableton and the APC40 have in store...


Boiling off the Back Burner - photography again

Just had an absolutely GRAND time taking photographs of Kiyomi, a Long Beach yoga instructor.

We went to a location in Malibu that I'd previously been hipped to by my friend Cary's wedding, around this time last year.


Photography is pretty damn awesome. I had some dirt on the sensor too - it's amazing what a simple computer program can do. I used Adobe Lightroom 2 - a fantastic program.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lord of the Blings

Three Blings for Paramus Princesses under the sky,
Seven for Goths and Metalheads in FYE stoned,
Nine for Jersey Shore fashions doomed to die,
One for the Dork Lords in their parent's basement thrones
In the Land of Jersey where the Turnpikes lie.

One Bling to rule the Mall, One Bling to find them,
One Bling to bling the Mall and in the darkness bind them
In the land of Jersey where the Turnpikes lie.

...ok, all I really had was "One Ring to Rule the Mall". : )


Where we can buy the shiny crap we've all our lives, so we can then let go of it and move the next ethereal mall.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

'Lost' - more like 'Betrayed'.

Just watched Lost's final finale. Emotionally cathartic - but without revealing a single goddamn thing. Which makes it some of the laziest, cheapest, borderline deceitful bait-and-switch writing I think I have ever seen.

I really thought they were going to pull it all together. As this last season continued without any resolution, I really thought it was going to end in a final masterstroke - because that's what it would have taken. I believed they CARED enough to do that. Naive, I know.

Now it's wreckage is scattered on the desert island of modern television; the sad remains of something that once seemed it would take flight.

And I'm diagnosing the scene of the accident. The culprits seem clear in method and motivation. In this interview, they present their account of the events:
...we made a very conscious choice to ask, "What are the big questions? And most importantly, what are the paths of these characters? Where do they lead?" And we followed those paths and tried not to trip ourselves up getting too diverted from that. We felt that that's the thing that's ultimately going to make the finale work or not work....That's the best we could do.
Translation: When our stories weren't interesting we threw in new mysteries and promised a pay off, and when it came time to pay off on them we just didn't care.

"That's the best we could do," is a sad excuse to make for this kind of utter laziness.

But with that kind of laziness present from the beginning, how could the first two seasons have been so good? Well, is it just coincidence, that this writer left at the end of the second season? 

Those first two seasons were so good, that I hung on for hope as the writing degraded for the next four years. And some of the most interesting ideas appear to be his - the Dharma Initiative, for instance. He very politely doesn't specify why he left. I think it was because he was trying to bring the ideas into some kind of resolution, and the rest of the writers, and especially the producers, just didn't care.

I know a series can end well, without chickening out on the ending. The Shield did it. Six Feet Under did it. But not Lost. "Emotional closure" doesn't cut it. You don't end a story with "and it all was a dream!" Let alone "and it all was a dream, except not, because it's somewhere beyond space and time, except it isn't, because...well a bunch of stuff happened but Kate told Jack she loved him. Here, buy the box set!"


We may just need a government agency to make sure this never happens again. the Television Intelligence Agency. They can pursue the quality control for shows that bill themselves as intelligent. They won't have a lot to investigate, that's for sure.

In the mean time, at least there's this:

OS X-communicated

Thou hast offended the divine Jobs, the creator and destroyer of platforms.

God tested an earlier version of Steve Jobs, named Job. Jobs' revenge was to grant the angel Satan a gig at Microsoft. Jobs has continued to contract with him via marketing. 

For your wantcrimes of daring to want features Jobs has decided you don't really need, he will OS X-communicate you by taking away your Apple products. So you'd better Think Different than question his divine wisdom about:

- wanting a button to eject a disc
- wanting to use Flash
- wanting to use a phone network that actually, you know, connects phones
- want to use an iPhone to see breasts
- wanting to use any browser besides Safari

Friday, May 21, 2010


Where you decide where you want to be born in your previous life.

Why must time only run in one direction?

Thursday, May 20, 2010


A prophet whose predictions are so wildly, obviously wrong that he is listened to for entertainment value - and doesn't realize.

A phrase I created a number of years ago, referring actually to Nostradamus. Because if you actually read his prophecies, they are about as meaningful as predicting a ham sandwich could have mayo.

...But now listed here, because I just saw someone else use the phrase in a comment at the brilliant Sadly No. And I figured I should at least put my stake in the ground here. As much as it's weakened by the honesty of admitting at least one other human came up with it too.

I couldn't have predicted that. I'm no Nostradumbass.

Monday, May 17, 2010


When you're ready to do what you actually want to do in life, a bit earlier than usual.

For some people, this may even involve working. Which is SICK!!

Saturday, May 15, 2010


The kind of relationship that continues much longer than it should, because the apartment is just too good to leave.

This is sometimes resolved by going back to the pay-rents.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Douchebaggage (n)

The carryon luggage in the lives of those who believe they soar above our lives, but instead crash among us and disturb us in their wake.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Homemade coffee for the win.


Cold, filtered water
Organic fair trade coffee beans

 Coffee grinder
 Coffee press

- grind the beans.
- heat the water.
- put them in the press.
- filter the coffee.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Conservatism and mental illness

Specifically, the legacy of the sainted Ronald Reagan.

Let there be no mistaking my position: I think he was a charming man who was good to his friends, gave the American public a soothing image of leadership, and committed great harm first to California, and then the US and the world.

This harm was due to his following of basic real-world conservative ideology. In surface terms it's "small government and personal responsibility". In real-world action, its "Winners call the shots, and losers can go fuck themselves". Where "Loser" is defined as anyone who is not powerful to begin with.

To provide cover for this core ideology takes a lot of work. The many smokescreens involve "State's rights", "Big government is always bad", "activist judges are a travesty". But you can tell they're smokescreens because such issues are never problems when they can result in something conservatives like. The outcome of Bush v. Gore in 2000, for instance. The huge expansion of Federal government power and removal of constitutional restrictions on executive power under Nixon, Reagan, and both Bushes. The many activist judgements of Scalia, Roberts, Alito and Thomas.

With inconsistencies like this, to follow conservative "philosophy" thus becomes an emotional matter. Following any one of the many items that make up the current conservative movement to a logical conclusion results in unacceptable cognitive dissonance. So any logical thought is cut off immediately once it reaches a certain point. This is literally mental illness by choice. It explains how Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh have any listeners, let alone Sarah Palin. It also explains how the GOP is paralyzed in terms of providing actual solutions - trying to solve any single problem will alienate most of their constituency.

This is not something new. It dates back to conservative intellectual William F. Buckley and before. For good fun, look up the debates of Noam Chomsky vs Buckley. The match was the logical equivalent of Bruce Lee vs. an angry fat kid.

And this is because holding the tenets that Buckley did, logic was *impossible*. Don't get me wrong, Buckley was a very smart man. His skill was in wording conservatism so that it actually *sounded* reasonable. Instead of a bunch of emotionally-based crap meant to support the status quo of keeping WASP's in power. (And I say this as a WASP.)

What is particularly interesting to me, then, is the result of this actual chosen mental illness in action: an increase of *unchosen*, untreated and potentially dangerous mental illness in the streets.

This is on my mind because yesterday a woman lost her mind, cut loose and stabbed 4 people in a Target. A target that a friend of mine almost went to that same day. Here in Los Angeles - which has more than its share of truly crazy people with nowhere to live but on the streets.

One of the main reasons for this is California's legacy of conservative policy in action: the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act which Ronald Reagan as governor passed in 1972. It made involuntary commitment much more difficult - so the truly crazy who don't think they're crazy can roam the streets *until* they do something defined as criminally insane.

This same act also pushed the mentally ill onto community centers, i.e. off of state budgets - and also without increasing any of the local or community budgets. Thus also allowing Reagan to cut the state budget.

Which is what really matters - lower taxes. Because who cares about some people who are so crazy they might hurt themselves or others? They should have chosen to be born healthy, or at least rich.

Does that sound like a prescription for a society that works well - for anybody, including the rich?

If you said no, congratulations. You have chosen a sane outlook on social policy.