February 21, 2007

Spiritual Re-appropriation

Filed under: Life through my lens — base2wave @ 10:46 pm

So today is the beginning of lent. As a Buddhist, this should frankly be of little consequence to me, but once again this year I’ve decided to observe its tradition and "give-up" something for 40 days and 40 nights [Not including Sundays…] That being said for the next 40 days, I shall not eat any meat [excluding fish] and I won’t drink any beer or hard liquor [I can still have my sauce Wine.]

I gave these both up last year at this time as well, in support of L [She’s catholic] who gave up the same.  Despite her not actually being in town for most of lent this year, I have opted to do it again for my own spiritual re-appropriation, amongst other reasons.

I’ve become lazy in my practice of Buddhism, and specifically samadhi as of late. This is as good a time as any to remind myself of what I believe. Lent is supposed to be about quiet meditation anyway. Jesus spent 40 days in the desert being tempted by evil; contemplating his fate. Similarly Siddhartha Guatama [AKA: The Buddha], after years of ascetic practices resolved to sit under the Bodhi tree until he found the truth to breaking free of Samsara [The Wheel of Life, AKA the continuation of suffering]. During that time he was tempted by the demon Mara, but steadfast to his resolve to sit until he had attained Nirvana. So, I plan on using this "going without" to remind me to practice samadhi regularly in hopes or strengthening my experience and belief in the Path.

Also, I am raising the Goblin catholic, as I promised I would when she was born and her mother and I were still married. And since she is now five and old enough to understand some of the abstraction & context behind these things, she too is "doing lent" [She can still have beer and meat, she gave up deserts for Lent.] Thus is was important that set a good example.

And let’s be honest, even without any of the previously mentioned reasons, it’s a damn fine way to lose some weight and detoxify my body.

My family doesn’t really understand why I do this [not that they complain; shit, anything that keeps me this healthy isn’t a bad thing in their eyes] and some people are offended by a Buddhist participating in Lent. But, honestly, I could give two shits, I’m doing it for me and I will appropriate traditions as I see fit.

So, to all my friends that I owe a beer, I’ll make good after Easter. In the meantime if you wanna catch a glass of wine and some crawfish, you know where to find me.

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February 16, 2007

Peanut Butter & Diarrhea

Filed under: Life through my lens — base2wave @ 12:17 am

Maybe I’m just sick cause I found out that I have a jar of ‘2111’ Peter-Pan Peanut Butter in my pantry [well, it’s not there anymore]…

Luckily I’ve not had any PB from my jar of doom in a few weeks, so I presume I don’t have salmonella poisoning, but I’m still taking the damn jar back…

It makes me sad, I love Peanut Butter.

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February 15, 2007

Themeus Absentus

Filed under: Geek-ery,Life through my lens,Music,Writing — base2wave @ 11:18 pm

<WHINE>
Ugg, I’m fighting the sickness from hell currently. In fact, ill enough that it has taken me 3 damn days to even get this much written. I feel like someone has placed party balloons in my sinuses and inflated them to the maximum volumetric amount without bursting. My whole damn body aches and I can’t get comfortable. I took Tuesday off from work, when this first struck, but work called more times then I care to count. Basically, I’m miserable. That being said, the Goblin raised my spirits today after showing me the card she made me at school the other day. Clearly she understands how I feel as evidenced by this:


Click on the image to see why I almost peed myself with laughter.

Yes, my daughter has been pinned pretty well. Dramatics and all. Ok, I’m done…
</WHINE>

Oh happy day for geeky little basey! The new version of ml_ipod [the ultimate non-iTunes iPod manager for WinAmp] was released quietly early this week with a feature I’ve been lusting after since it’s inception, Audioscrobbler/Last.FM support! These means all everything I play on my iPod gets ‘scrobbled too! [My Last.FM Page is here].

For those not in the know… shame on you. Audioscrobbler/Last.FM basically tracks EVERYTHING you listen to [up until now limited what one listened to AT their terminal] and uploads the information [not the song] to your personal Last.FM page. Thus you can communicate with others who might have similar music taste to your own, as well as learn about artists you may or may not have been exposed to. They also include a Radio function, that plays things it thinks you might like, that you can more or less tailor to suit your preferences, that also tags songs to your profile. Thus you can avoid that whole “I heard this really great song on the radio but I have no idea who sings it” issue. The other great feature, that I am sadly don’t have much time for, but would love to use more, is personally tagging artists with your own keyword tags like “Shoegazer, Post-Rock, Bands-I’ve-Heard-Live, etc.”

So, yeah, the ability to also catch all the things I listen to when I am driving or out and about, makes for a happy basey.

I read a wonderful post just yesterday that I stumbled upon whist looking at something completely unrelated (don’t ask me what it was, I ain’t got a clue). It was a blog entry on “Why I blog” that really made sense to me. I’ve been self-editing so much; thinking “No blog something serious and meaningful and deep and blah, blah, blah.” that I hardly get anything out.

Basically, what I’m trying to tiptoe around here without scaring you is that there’s no point to anything and then you die.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, cheer up! As oxymoronic as it sounds, sheer insignificance can be really empowering. The pressure’s off. You don’t matter and never will. So it’s time to do what you want! “Ohh, I shouldn’t be spending so much time playing solitaire/watching TV/picking my nose.” What are you feeling so guilty about? You aren’t going to cure cancer, and even if you did, you would still die, and so would everyone you cured, so unless curing cancer is fun for you (and it certainly is for some people), do something else. Whatever you want. It can even be something really stupid. Like collecting rocks. Or sitting and pretending to be a rock. Or sitting and pretending to be a rock who likes to play video games all day while eating cheese. Not because it matters, or because it means anything, but because you like doing it.

An excerpt from Why I Blog – written over at Schnozzfest

I need to accept that I don’t have to have something epic to say. My life is as thrilling as everyone else’s. And I have my moments of clarity and humour. And besides, I imagine few other people can say they were hit on my a dwarf in a bear costume… [It was a Rockettes incident, I never got around to blogging it…] I’m going to write about what I want, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll find it interesting, or think I’m funny (please god, tell me you think I’m funny…). Maybe you’ll like the podcasts. Maybe you’ll hate them. It really doesn’t matter. The end all is, I enjoy doing it. And I needed to remind myself of that.

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February 12, 2007

Listening in Blue Shift 02: Sunset – Icelandic Music

Filed under: Music,Podcast — base2wave @ 12:11 am

Those of you that know me, are well aware of my fondness love unnatural obsession with modern Icelandic music. I can’t place the ground-zero of this particular infatuation, but I know it has been in the sides of my brain for several years now. I don’t speak Icelandic; nor do I understand it, for that matter [though that is somewhat irrelevant as much of this is sung in English], but the music always moves me on a truly emotional level. And so for the second podcast I thought I’d share some of the songs & artists that Iceland is producing. Enjoy.

Listening Blue Shift: Icelandic Music

Listening In Blue Shift 02
Sunset: Icelandic Music

  • [00:00] Blindfold: Sleepless Nights
    [from the self titled, Blindfold]
    The solo project of one of my favorite artists, Birgir Hilmarsson, AKA: Biggi. One of the most somber & immediate songs I think I’ve ever heard.
  • [04:40] Múm: Green Grass of Tunnel
    [from Finally We Are No One]
    Glitchy and fragile music-box melodies. If there was a sound that Iceland brought to mind [never having been there] Múm would be it.
  • [09:29] Björk: Who is It?
    [from Medúlla]
    So I haven’t the faintest what rock you must have lived under for all of the 90’s if you aren’t at least passingly aware of Björk. Regardless, she isn’t afraid to try new things; some work and some not so much. This particular song is truly amazing if you consider there are no instruments being used to make that songs. It’s two beat-boxers, Mike Patton [from Faith No More], and Björk. Check this video clip out to really get what the hell I am talking about. [link]
  • [13:32] Benni Hemm Hemm: Beginning End
    [from the self titled Benni Hemm Hemm]
    Big, bright orchestral swells; it’s a bit like Iceland’s answer to the Polyphonic Spree without the choral robes spectacle.
  • [15:51] Sigur Rós: Saeglopur
    [from Takk…]
    Listening to Sigur Rós has a tendency to make one forget that the rest of the world exists, leaving you alone in the open-ness of their sound. In the past, the lead singer, Jón Þór “Jónsi” Birgisson sang in a made-up language, called “Hopelandic”. This is song is allegedly sung in Icelandic. Would I know the difference? Probably not; but it’s damn pretty music.
  • [23:06] Ampop: Rodent
    [from Nature is Not a Virgin]
    Biggi’s ambient-pop group. Sawtooth synths and icy rhythms with Biggi’s trademark almost ghostly vocals.
  • [28:03] The Album Leaf: Eastern Glow
    [from In a Safe Place]
    Ok, so this isn’t ACTUALLY from Iceland. But this album was mostly recorded and mastered in the relative isolation that is Sundlaugin [Sigur Rós’ studio], giving him [Jimmy LaValle] a very “Icelandic sound” [whatever that REALLY is].

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Play

February 3, 2007

Site Fix

Filed under: Geek-ery — base2wave @ 3:48 pm

It was brought to my attention the site navigation bar was broken when viewed with Internet Explorer [I use Firefox, it looked fine there…].  I tracked down the tags that I had neglected to close in the code and it should be working fine now.  Sorry.  I suck.

February 2, 2007

Listening in Blue Shift: Music You Haven’t Heard

Filed under: Music,Podcast — base2wave @ 1:46 am

So I’ve been saying I’d do it for close to a year now, and I finally decided it was time to make good… I bring to you the first of many music-mix podcasts…

Listening in Blue Shift: Muisc You Haven't Heard
Listening in Blue Shift: Episode 01
Music You Haven’t Heard

I’d love to hear what you think of it, so if you’d like drop me a comment. And if you liked an artist from the podcast, buy an album or a t-shirt from them.

I intend to have this listed in iTunes by this weekend; so those of you with who preffer iTunes will have an easy was to subcribe. The rest of you can geek out with me and just use the RSS feed and a podcatcher…

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