2019 December❮❮prev

December 1, 2019

november 2019 new music playlist

December 2, 2019
What A Five-Star song???

Whole Lotta Funk (Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars vs. Led Zeppelin)
DJs From Mars
Fun mashup.
For some reason I've been stockpiling old Best of Booties.

Hypnotize Mama (Notorious B.I.G. vs. David Guetta ft. Nicki Minaj, Bebe Rexha & Afrojack)
DJ Schmolli
Hiphop mash.
For some reason I've been stockpiling old Best of Booties.

Tempo (feat. Missy Elliott)
Excellent hiphop. Wish I could roll my Rs.
Caught this on some random tweet.
Track Suit Kopanitsa
Emperor Norton's Stationary Marching Band
"Track Suit" is a popular song in the HONK crowd- this mixes it East European hardcore.
My friend Dave B had a copy of the new ENSMB album when it was still upcoming, we listened to it on the way back from PRONK
Trombone Shorty
Instrumental, some sweet horns.
My young bandmante Ezequiel loves this song, we might try to work up an arrangement for our group.
Nicki Minaj
I think there's a Street Fighter backstory I'm missing here...
this page on Tik-Toks
Under the Milky Way
Very pretty and romantic song.
Reading up the back story of that old VW "Pink Moon" ad, originally they were thinking of the original version of this, but I liked this better than "The Church"'s original.
Once In a Lifetime
Talking Heads
Kind of a classic...
Saw David Byrne live recently! Realized I didn't have much of his older stuff.
Atheists Don't Have No Songs
Rocky Mountain Jewgrass
I think Steve Martin made up this song maybe? But I like this version better.
Found a reference to it doing Blog cleanup...

To Turn You On
Nataly Dawn & Ryan Lerman
This song moved me greatly when first hearing it... it just captures all the energy of every post-breakup person I've chased after.
- found doing backlog grooming
Holy Water
Struggle Jennings
Kinda redneck hiphop, and I think Jesus-y?
from the end credits of the season finale "What We Do in the Shadows"

Super Good
Russian song - Melissa look up the translation, about how many of his peers left the country but the singer stayed behind and is doing "Super Good"
From "What We Do in the Shadows" orgy episode end music ...
You Spin Me Round (feat. Silver Letomi)
The old How To Make A Blockbuster Movie Trailer had this song with "Introduce Unexpected Cover of a Classic Hit" (more specifically, 'creepy gal singing...' I'd say) - they released it as a single but honestly they left way too much movie trailer in it - a proper moody female vocal cover of "You Spin Me Round" would be awesome.
What More Can I Say
Angry hiphop.
Seeing Trever Noah live, this was his walk-on music.

Beautiful modern stuff.
Heard in a New Jersey Old Navy

They Don't Make Em Like Me
Pigeon John
I adore the Motown sound of this, combined with modern stuff
This was background music for a new RAZR phone ad
A Thousand Miles
Vanessa Carlton
What am I, a young woman in the early 2000s? Maybe.
Some random Youtube recommendation.

The Wire
Acoustically these folk are doing really interesting stuff, and the breakup theme, but from the breaker rather than breakee, is a good match to "To Turn You On" above.
This tweet: "What is the name for the mental disorder where you listen to The Wire by Haim five times in a row" --@bea_ker

As a liberal, do you agree with Donald Trump on anything at all? An interesting point about how Trump maybe has the benefit of challenging some of the presumptions of the global political status quo. Right now I'm reading "A Warning (by Anonymous)" and I think both that book and the Quora answerer also point out that- he does not study issues nearly deeply enough or listen to enough studied opinions for a person who wields as much power as he does.

Also, compared to the Neocons, he's less bellicose - GWB nostalgia is kind of weird given that whole Cheney Iraq trumped up thing.

(I am by no means a Trump supporter or fan, and I also recognize that focusing on his global political outlook is neglecting the damage he is doing to so many groups at home.)

To be an American is of itself almost a moral condition, an education, and a career.
George Santayana
via Eun Kim's "The Ying and Yang of American Culture: A Paradox", a turn of the millennium view of the USA from a Korean lens. (Found in a used bookstore in Maine)

photos of the month november 2019

December 3, 2019

December 4, 2019

Last night Melissa and I did Christmas decorating- my dad's old "folk art" minimalist tree (Melissa really sees my only-child nature in how many of my ornaments have my name imprinted...) and the more real-looking one she prefers, with lots of lights.

I realized I didn't have an appropriate holiday drink like a nog or anything so here is my new recipe:

King Santa's Beard:
Pour 1 or 2 shots of Crown Royal Whisky in a tumbler. Put a big dollop of spray whipped cream on top.

Universality and diversity in human song gets into some questions I've been thinking about; how much of our formal music system is universal, maybe tied into some mix of math and our shared neurobiology, and how much is just a cultural artifact?

FOLLOWUP: on FB Nick B reminded me of this:

And say simply, Very simply, With hope: 'Good morning.'
Maya Angelou

take good notes

December 5, 2019
One of my new favorite podcasts is John Green's Anthropocene Reviewed where each episode the author takes 2 arbitrary artifacts of humanity - or sometimes of the universe - talks about them, and then gives them a rating on a scale of up to 5 stars.

Recently he talked about the Apple Notes app... or rather, his use of having an ever-present note taking device at hand. Green says that before he would scribble into whatever book he had at hand, but the iPhone changed and collated his random thoughts - sometimes almost inscrutable when read years later.

(I kept a bit of a journal like that on my PalmPilot in the late 90s, but the energy for that evaporated when I started blogging (for the public stuff) and keeping a daily "mundane" journal (for the boring or private stuff))

Anyway, journals are some of my favorite writing to read, from Carrie Fisher to Andy Warhol to Lena Dunham, I really find it charming. John Good shared some of his in the podcast-

No bright line between imagination and memory.
is an important point but I love this most of all:
Driving alone at night is heartbreak without the agony.
What a perfect line! I think too of that feeling I recorded 13 years ago - "reclining in the car in silence at night after arriving home and turning off the car and the radio"

I was kind of hoping Green would get into some of the new version of Notes - the one you can get on an iPad, and use a high-rez stylus to take notes in handwriting but also with doodles and what not (it really has a distinctive UI) but it's not that kind of podcast, really.

I love to take in the good whenever I eat an orange. I have at least two a day, so I get an opportunity to experience this moment often. As I break through the skin, I gently close my eyes and breath in the sweet scent. I hold that pleasure in my mind and think about how I'm the first person ever to see inside this orange and taste its fruit. Although this experience takes less than a minute, it has an enormously positive effect on my mood and energy level. I look forward to it throughout the day.
Man quoted in "Hardwiring Happiness"
(repost from 2013)
kitty kitty dumdum on the hunt!

Sigh. I probably put too much faith in the calorie counts at restaurants... above is from Cosi's online PDF menu, below is a cropped photo of their menu board in person. 540 vs 260 is sort of a big deal if you're trying to run a tight ship calorie-wise.

I know I don't always make the wisest nutrition decisions when I'm playing the calorie game, but man, my capacity for self-deception is too vast and my inability to "be good" in an unmetered way too small to go without.

December 6, 2019

[Sing-song] Technically correct is the worst kind of correct
Kole Ross on the Watch Out for Fireballs podcast

December 7, 2019

Two things I love that I had forgotten about, unearthed in my old blog cleanup:
Turns out the most valuable thing you gain from making something is the experience of making it. You can use that experience to make more, better things
J.F. Sargent
In the beginning was the Plan
And then came the Assumptions
And the Assumptions were without form
And the Plan was completely without substance
And the Darkness was on the faces of the Employees
And they spoke unto their Supervisors saying
"It's a Crock of Shit and it Stinketh!"
And the Supervisors went unto their Department Heads and sayeth
"It's a Pail of Dung, and none may abide the Odor thereof."
And the Department Heads went unto their Managers, and sayeth unto them
"It is a Container of Excrement, and it is very strong, such that none may abide by it."
And the Managers went unto their Director and sayeth
"It is a Vessel of Fertilizer, and none may abide its Strength."
And the Director went unto the Vice President and sayeth
"It contains that which aids Plant Growth, and it is very Strong."
And the Vice President went to the Executive Vice President and sayeth
"It promoteth Growth, and it is very Powerful."
And the Executive Vice President went to the President and sayeth
"This Powerful New Plan will actively promote the Growth and Efficiency of the System."
And the President looked upon the Plan and saw that it was Good
And the Plan became Policy
via rec.humor.funny.reruns.

I'm glad we figured out the kitty Dean is so easily enthralled by the "feathers at the end of a fishing-pole"-type teaser... trying to get him to play-hunt with toys that lacked feathers but were otherwise similar was kind of an uphill climb.

I've taken to listening to podcasts while playing hunt with him, which keeps me occupied so that the sessions are a bit longer. Though now I'm wondering about the idea that feather teasers are to Dean what podcasts are to Kirk...

I still wonder about how much cats understand it's a game - they of course live a bit closer to their instincts than folks, but still I don't think they're under too many illusions about the reality of the situation. Also, how tuckered out do cats get from this? Like it doesn't seem like an extended exercise session, but probably cats are built for sprints (after quiet and patient lurking)?

December 8, 2019

Hello from NOLA! Hearing Nutcracker Suite and Rudolph drift into the hotel room is a little odd given the general climate and newness of the city to us, sort of a "Die Hard is a Christmas Movie!" situation.

December 9, 2019

ship stretching is a real-life loony tune way of getting better use out of cruise ships...

NOLA first half

December 10, 2019
Melissa and I are about halfway done with our NOLA getaway... here are some photos splitting the difference between "documenting our trip" and "I like the way this photo came out" (so not showing all the food diary shots, I'm better at eating food than photographing it.)

Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.
Andre Gide
Found this quote I grabbed 16 years ago... it really summarizes an important aspect of my philosophy. There is an objective truth, and you should feel compelled to align yourself with it, but you can never be certain you're there, and an important part of both understanding both probability and empathy is to be respectful of other's view of it, so long as there is a good chance they are being sincere and not obviously cynically manipulated.

Heh, another relevant previously blogged quote form 5 years ago:
The universe of ideas is just as little independent of the nature of our experiences as clothes are of the form of the human body.
Albert Einstein

December 11, 2019

My favorite bit of new-to-me language use around NOLA: "it's been a minute"- a kind of rueful recognition of it actually having been a long while. I mentioned that that to our tour guide Butch yesterday, and he came back with "go to make groceries" where most other parts of the country would say "go to buy groceries"
Venture too far for love, she tells herself, and you renounce citizenship in the country you've made for yourself. You end up just sailing from port to port. Still, there is this sense of missed opportunity. Maybe there is nothing, ever, that can equal the recollection of having been young together. Maybe it's as simple as that. Richard was the person Clarissa loved at her most optimistic moment. [...] It had seemed like the beginning of happiness, and Clarissa is still sometimes shocked, more than thirty years later, to realize that it was happiness; that the entire experience lay in a kiss and a walk, the anticipation of dinner and a book. [...] What lives undimmed in Clarissa's mind more than three decades later is a kiss at dusk on a patch of dead grass, and a walk around a pond as mosquitoes droned in the darkening air. There is still that singular perfection, and it's perfect in part because it seemed, at the time, so clearly to promise more. Now she knows: That was the moment, right then. There has been no other.
The Hours, Michael Cunningham
Cultivate an awareness of the moments you might be having even now, people! Even if our once tender hearts are a bit scarred over, and so that we fear Cunningham was right and there 'will be no other', that we won't feel as deeply as we did in our youth- or that in our middle age, after we might not have so many decades to create focal length and see how meaningful a moment that was -- I think there's still time for moments.

(I'd also take the chance in stumbling over this old Cunningham quote to plug my old 24 Hour Comics Day work Of The Moments.)
Took Me Eleven Minutes to do That Thing I've Been Avoiding for Three Months: A Memoir

4 little somethings about nothing

December 12, 2019
  1. I've always loved the Edie Brickell song "Nothing", and how it plays with the concept of nothing as it's own thing and nothing as the lack of anything:
    Are you mad at me? Let it show
    Don't tell me nothing I don't wanna know
    There's nothing I hate more than nothing
    Nothing keeps me up at night
    I toss and turn over nothing
    Nothing could cause a great big fight
    Hey what's the matter?
    Don't tell me nothing.
  2. Lately I've been noticing the word "nothingburger". It's a pretty damning put down - tapping into the visceral need for sustenance but then pulling a bait and switch, leaving folks metaphorically chewing on air.
  3. Growing up with certain kinds of religiosity can cultivate a sense of personal nothingness that can be hard to shake. Ideally, yes, we are precious because of that spark of divinity God graced us each with, but you know, one's own finite nature divided by the infinite nature of God... that's about as close to zero, or nothing, as you can get. And I think that has had a negative synergy with my fixed mindset - it's hard to think of growth and development of nothing, there's no there there!
  4. Moving to cosmology - so why is there something rather than nothing? ( "And if there were nothing? You'd still be complaining!") My favorite theory scientists have is that nothingness is surprisingly unstable - at the quantum level particles are popping in and out of the nothingness all the time, and it might be they key to understanding the origin of the universe. Nature abhors a vacuum, but a vacuum kind of abhors itself, it turns out.

Dunno if it's weird to have a chip on my shoulder about being part of Generation X...

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