Monthly Archives: September 2011

Top 5 Things I Dislike

Indy SnakeRiffing off of Brandon’s post about how the word “hate” is oft misused (and in following suit, also admitting that I am guilty of this occasionally) this is my list of things I dislike.

This is also going to be short – as I must LOAD ALL THE THINGS onto the moving truck today. So without further ado…

5. Humidity – Seriously. I dislike it. Heat I don’t mind SO much, but humidity drives me nuts… can’t stand it. The humidity is too damn high! (Yes this post is going to be full of meme’s, deal with it…)

4. Allergies – I love cats. I am allergic to cats. I own cats. My allergies bother me. This is my own damn fault… but they are too damn cute, and too damn fluffy, to not love. So I deal… but I still dislike allergies, or at least the fact that they exist.

3. Extremists from any religion – Yes, I’m looking at you WBC. Go to he… wait, nevermind…

2. Bigotry/Self-imposed Ignorance – Anything beyond this statement is a waste of my time. Enough said.

and 1. Snakes. Okay, so not really. I actually like snakes. But it gives me the chance to say two things. A: “Enough is enough! I have had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane!” AND B: “Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?”

Thank you, and goodnight.

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Music Over Time – Thrice Edition

ThriceDespite the title this is not an ongoing theme… just a clever title that popped into my head, ha.

Earlier this month Thrice’s new CD, Major/Minor, came out. Before I begin talking about *any* of this, I will say the CD is fantastic, and you should buy it regardless of if you are a fan of their earlier work. It is quite possibly their best album to date. Now on to the good stuff.

While Brandon and I were discussing Thrice’s new album the other day, I realized I have been listening to the band for ten years now, about how long the band has been around. Thrice is known for their vastly diverse sound on each album, with no two albums sounding alike. Thrice’s sound has changed so drastically over the years that they have gone from being a Post-Hardcore band, to an almost “Experimental Post-Rock” band. I first heard their music when I was in high school, a little while after the release of their debut album, Identity Crisis. With their first album Thrice was easily “classified” as a Post-Hardcore/Melodic Hardcore group, with a very punk sound and stressed, screaming vocals.

At the time, this was the style of music I was very much into. I had just gotten into Tool, as well, the year before, so my music tastes were nestled somewhere directly between “angry driving Rock/Metal” and, well, “angry driving Punk/Hardcore.” It worked for me at the time. Tool, System Of A Down, Thrice, From Autumn To Ashes… etc. Then Thrice’s next album, and possibly my favorite album of theirs, came out – The Illusion of Safety.

The Illusion of Safety, while sounding similar to Identity Crisis, is much more impressive of an album. The songs have a lot more range of emotion, and the music has definitely matured. Just from listening to the album, you get a sense that the band learned a lot after the release of Identity Crisis and worked very hard to show it in the follow-up album. Deadbolt and The Beltsville Crucible are absolutely brilliant for the genre of music that they are, with the piano outro to Deadbolt showcasing a much darker tone to this album overall. At the time, this album again followed along with my taste in music closely, pinpointing a darkness I was feeling at the time (ah, angsty teenagers), while still sliding into that post-hardcore sound I was really enjoying at the time.

And then there was my senior year in high school, and then the album The Artist In The Ambulance. TAITA came out while I was actually in Europe (long story) so I picked up the album when I got home in August. The album again was very different, with a much richer sound than the last. Many of the songs seemed to drift almost entirely away from the Post-Hardcore sound entirely, hitting a more Hard Rock vibe. Yet the album overall was still influenced heavily by that screaming vocal style and driving guitar riffs. At the time, I was getting ready to go to college and start a new chapter in my life (one that would change my life significantly for the better) and this album struck home for me. It spoke to me of change as well, and it’s an idea I clung to. This remained my favorite album for my entire freshman year of college.

Then in 2005, Vheissu came out. This album is perhaps my least favorite album (though I by no means dislike it) of Thrice’s. It is also Thrice’s first album that delves into Experimental Rock. The album is by no means bad, as I said, I just didn’t feel as strong of a connection to it as I did (and do) to the rest of the albums. Vheissu did, however, come out at a time where I was beginning to get heavily into Philosophy studies and was very much into experimental music, so it fit in well with the other bands and albums I was listening to at the time. I gave it quite a few good listens, and enjoyed it immensely for its almost “randomness” at the time.

Then, as I was entering my final year of college, The Alchemy Index (Vols. I & II and Vols. III & IV) came out. Immediately I was struck dumb by the album, before I even heard the songs. The theme alone of the album, a mini-album for each of the four elements, played perfectly with how I thinking at the time. I was exploring a lot of my personal beliefs at the time and nature and alchemy were playing heavily into that exploration. This album, spaced between October 2007 and April 2008 fit perfectly into that. And the album itself is beautiful. Each mini-album captures the element it is trying to portray perfectly. When listening to Fire, you feel the heat of an inferno wrapping around you. When listening to Water, you feel the gentle waves lapping against you… as if floating on an ocean. With Earth, you feel the strength of mountains resonating, and the folksy/acoustic sound really strikes deep into the soul. And Air has this ethereal “Art Rock” sound that really floats through you… perfect for its name. The two-part album is considered by many to be the band’s greatest effort to date, and also seems to chronicle the band’s evolution as well, with Fire being a much harder sound, and each album representing a change in the band, with Earth and Air sounding much more like the band’s most recent efforts.

Then, in 2009, Thrice released Beggars. Beggars was a massive change, with a much more Indie/Blues/Rock sound than their previous albums, much like Earth and Air of The Alchemy Index. The album came out in a time where I was trying to work my way through life, aiming to put in a hard days (or nights, as the case was) work, come home, and relax. The album spoke volumes to me in this sense, and at the time, I was listening to *a lot* of blues… so it fit right in. Beggars also came as a bit of a surprise. At the time I was listening to a lot of older music. I had been ignoring new releases and new bands for about a year at the time, so when Beggars came out I almost missed it. Right around the release date I happened to be at the mall and noticed the new album and picked it up. I could also blame this album for my journey back to newer artists and music. All I can really say is that Beggars really hit home for me at the time, and I’m glad I found it when I did…

Enter 2011, and Major/Minor. Major/Minor is the exception to the rule. With a history of changing their sound drastically from album to album, Thrice really threw their fans for a loop with Major/Minor, which sounds like a much more polished, meaningful Beggars. A fantastic album, and (for me) their best since The Illusion of Safety, Major/Minor really tells a story I can relate to. At this point in my life I’m changing direction and trying to get onto the track that I’ve wanted to be on all along, as a writer… and other things. This album really just infiltrated my soul. And again, I found out about the album on its release day… I hadn’t been paying attention and didn’t even know the band was putting out a new album.

I find it fascinating that as my taste in music has changed over the years, Thrice has been right there beside it. I’m sure many people who grew up with The Beatles or The Who, both of whom had drastic sound changes over the years, could say similar things… but to me it’s nice to know that there is something I could always relate to at every changing point in my life.

And to wrap all this nonsense up, here’s a song from the new album, Words In The Water… enjoy.


Big News

Well, I promised a big news update this week, so here it is.

On October 1st, 2011, Crista and I are moving to Somerville, MA. For those that don’t know Somerville is north of Cambridge, MA (where Harvard is), and is part of the Greater Boston Area. So yes, I am moving back to Boston. Not for school either. Crista and I have found an apartment and are going to be living and working in the area. Eventually I’ll hit up Grad. schools, but for now I’ll just be writing and whatnot. This is pretty exciting for both of us, and we are looking forward to being on our own. It was extremely nice of my parents to let us live with them for a while, but it’s time to strike out. Head off into the big, wide world.

So those of you who have been following my various exploits of the past few months, you can safely assume I won’t be working on the Lazarus movie anymore. I feel quite confidant that if they choose to continue with the project they will be successful, and I have discussed the use of the script I wrote with them… but that’s over and done with for me now. Moving on!

For those of you interested, we are moving into a 3 story, recently remodeled Victorian house. The owners are wonderful people, about our age, who bought and have been working on the house for two years now. We are moving into the first floor, and the apartment is pretty spectacular. We’re really looking forward to seeing it in person. Here are a few pictures if you are interested (with the previous tenants belongings in it).

Someville Apartment Collage

From left to right (top to bottom) 1 - The front view. 2 - The dining room. 3 - The living room (empty). 4 - The kitchen.

And there it is.

Now if any of you are wondering, we are still looking for things for the apartment. Mostly furniture stuff (a kitchen hutch, bookshelves, etc.). But we’re pretty set also – anything we get at this point is extra for us, so we aren’t too worried about it. Right now we’re just packing, taking inventory of our (too many) belongings… and getting ready. This is a big change for Crista, and an exciting one for me… so it’s taking some getting used to. Plus it’s a little stressful, but these things usually are.

Anyway… I have packing to do tomorrow, so I need to get some rest. If you have any questions… feel free to comment or drop me a message :).

~Ian


Blocking A Writer

Writer's Block MugSo this weeks Blogenning theme is writer’s block. FYI – I’ve been very busy as of late, packing, so I’m cutting down to 3 posts a week (you’ll get the third for this week tomorrow, sorry). And tomorrow’s post will be on why I’m packing, promise.

So – writer’s block. That dreaded curse. That infamous whore. That.. well, you get the idea. Writer’s block sucks. The closest “real job” comparison I can make is going to work at a desk job, getting there, and your desktop won’t boot. Nothing you try makes it turn on and work. So you’re stuck all day trying to fix it, or doing random bullshit till it starts working. And when writing is how you make your living, it’s even worse.

Kas pointed out in her post that writer’s block is a little more difficult to get when you write nonfiction. As a freelancer I haven’t gotten writer’s block at all. Occasionally I sit at a sentence trying to figure out the best way to convey the information I want to with it, but that’s different. That’s more akin to trying to pick between Chinese and Indian for lunch. I know what I want, I just haven’t decided how to achieve the goal, but I know I’m going to decide shortly. No, writer’s block really strikes when you write fiction. It can really fuck up your day…

A perfect example of this is NaNoWriMo. For the last three years I have joined in and attempted to write a novel during the month of November. Not too horrendous a feat I thought… I can handle this. I failed miserably all three years. The first year I got about a thousand words written, maybe. Great start, but then I just got stuck and didn’t know where to go with the story. And suddenly it was December. Cue in 2009. I was smart and planned out my novel in October, figured out the basic story and characters. And then a week into November I was “too busy” and never got any further than the first chapter again. Utter failure. To be fair I had just started a new job… but still.

And then there was last year – my best attempt. I cheated a little and used a story I had already started writing. I had about a thousand words written and decided I would just start from there and keep going. I already knew where the story was going… and it worked really well. I got a little under five thousand words written. Then Call of Duty: Black Ops came out… whoops. Bye November… Obviously I haven’t had much luck with NaNoWriMo. But this year… ah this year.

This year I have a plan. It’s almost entirely me-proof. I don’t see how I can muck it up this year. No games are coming out I “have” to have. Nothing is going on in my personal life to halt my progress. My only worry is that damnedable writer’s block. She’s evil… and she’s out to get me… nay all writers. I tell you… we should have a witch hunt… if writer’s block was a real thing. But you see, it’s all in your head. Many writers can recognize this… but it’s still a difficult beast to overcome.

A little while ago someone on Google+ posted a thing from Ira Glass about “The Gap.” Brandon also mentioned this recently. The Gap is very similar to writer’s block, but different in an important way. The Gap is more along the lines of quitting because you think you suck. And the Ira Glass piece is basically a kick in the pants “you don’t suck, get back to work son, there’s writing to be done!” It’s nice. And it’s also currently printed out and hanging next to my monitor to remind me that even if this story sucks, I can learn from it and make the next one better. Because sometimes we all need a little inspiration, right?

Writer's Block

Sometimes you just want to smash something...

So while I don’t have any tips and tricks to help you overcome writer’s block… I do have advice. Don’t let it stop you. If you get stuck, either press on, or try something else and come back later. I know that 90% of the time when I get stuck it’s because I can’t figure out how to make the next part awesome… and if there is ONE piece of advice every NaNo-writer will tell you it’s, “don’t worry if it’s awesome, just write. You can make it awesome later.” So don’t worry… you can always fix something that’s broken, but if you have nothing to fix… you get nowhere.


Language Is The House Of Being

HeideggerStarting this off with a quote from Heidegger, as revealed to me by my favorite Philosophy professor was probably an evil thing to do. Because it sets the tone for this post… and any post in which something Heidegger related is the tone should cause you to hate me. Because at worst, you’ll hate me for reading Heidegger, and at best, you’ll just get a massive headache and hate me for that. And, on a very rare occasion, you might be interested in what I’m saying. But that just puts you into the same boat I’m in as I write this… so poor, poor you.

So… Language, a wonderful topic, which Kas picked for our weekly theme. Fascinating stuff, language. I could talk about the “elasticity of language,” but… I think Fry and Laurie already covered that…

But I digress. Language is the house of Being. For those of you who haven’t read Heidegger, there is a reason that the “B” is capitalized here, but that requires an entirely separate post to explain (actually, probably more than one). I will try, probably in vain, to explain the sentence, without delving too deeply into utterly confusing Heideggarian terms and philosophy. So… here goes.

In Heidegger’s Sein Und Zeit (Being And Time), he attempts to address the problem of the “fundamental question of the meaning of Being.” Primarily, how to even ask the question. The entire idea of Being is so complex and complicated that it is a “loaded” question anyway. And Heidegger pushes this even further by demanding that I, the reader, his “student” of sorts, ask the question properly. Of course, the basis of basically the entire 488 page book is how to ask the question properly… so he believes that this is an extraordinarily difficult question to ask. But the most important thing to remember when delving into the book, and the question, is that quote. “Language is the house of Being.”

Now… if I was going to do this properly I would take each word in that sentence and break it down to its roots, getting to the meaning behind the word, before trying to reconstruct the sentence… but again – an entire separate post would be needed. So for now I will address one part… which I hope will convey the complexity of the sentence. And it’s the word that probably raises the most questions in the sentence anyway – house.

Language Family Tree

It makes me quite sad how inaccurate this chart is...

What does Heidegger mean by “house”? Well, house has many different connotations. It can mean a building, which surrounds and shelters. It can mean a home, in the sense of where I “belong.” And it can mean other things as well… But let’s focus on house as a “home…”

A house is, as I mentioned, both a building and an idea. When I refer to my “home” I usually don’t mean the building I live in… I mean a place, or specifically, my idea of a place. If you really want to delve into what that means, go read Brandon’s post, because I think that covers it better than I could here. But yes, an idea of a place. My “home” is where I am happiest. This could refer to a building where my belongings and loved ones are. Or it could refer to the city I love being in. Usually it refers to some combination of the two. Or if I’m feeling particularly pompous Caring, it refers to this planet, Earth, which is my home for obvious reasons.

So what is the house, or “home,” of Being? Why is it “Language”? Well, in relation to Heidegger’s attempt to answer the question of the meaning of Being, this becomes fairly obvious. The only way to properly ask the question, is to properly formulate the question – use the proper language. This is where it gets tricky, because how do I know what the proper language is? Trial and error seems to be my general method… but I digress. Basically, if I don’t use the proper language, I can’t ask the question properly – which seems like a fairly obvious statement, but it goes much deeper in this case. Who determines what the proper language is in this case? Well… that’s what Heidegger tries to do for 488 pages… so I’m not going to attempt it in an 800 or so word blog post… sorry. My suggestions. Read the book. Or rather… forget you read this post. If you read the book you might try to hurt me… I have a feeling Brandon is already going to try and beat me with a shoe now…

Oh, and just to clarify – this was not a philosophical attempt to explain Heidegger’s Sein Und Zeit in laymens terms… it was simply a rambling rant on how language is a fickle bitch. Please don’t assume you know what Heidegger is all about just from this post… hell, I’ve read the book and TAed the class for 3 years and I don’t think I even know what the book is all about.


Sunday Reviews

Sorry for the lack of movie reviews. As I mentioned a few times, I was traveling for two weeks, and this week things have just been hectic. I promise to have one for you next week. It will probably be on a documentary… if I get my xbox working again (long story – got hacked, etc. Account is frozen).

So, do not despair, there will be a return to the Sunday Review. Just not this week’s. Stay tuned for a real post later today though!

~Ian


Writing, an Adventure in Itself

TyperwriterAs a writer, in particular a freelance writer, one has to occasionally turn a blind eye to certain things. Editors making changes to your work you don’t agree with, being paid far less than you think you are worth for certain jobs… etc. But you also get to do something you love – write. Because honestly, who would choose to be a writer if they didn’t love to write. It’s a trade-off. But how do you really get into the writing process? And how do you deal with those little things I mentioned?

As with most creative work, I think it would a fair assessment to say that a lot of people give up after a few attempts at becoming a writer. You get maybe one or two stories/articles published, and then there’s a dry spell, and you go looking for a 9 to 5 job again, and never come back. But then… some of us are stupid crazy enough to keep writing… The ones who end up crazy, broke, or both. So again, how do you deal with this? Drinking is an option, though your liver might decide it doesn’t want to continue its lease at the end of the year… And of course there’s smoking. But are there healthier ways?

I don’t know, tell me if you find one please.

Furthermore, what’s the point of dwelling on it? If you fail, no big deal, lots of people fail. If you succeed, you’re lucky. Just go for it, right? But how do you balance striving for your dream… and starving? At what point do you say “This wall of whiskey bottles and peanut butter jars can be my fortress of solitude no longer?” Well, if you really love it, you don’t. And they find you full of whiskey, with peanut butter smeared all over your face in a frenzied attempt to stave off the purple weasels living in your underwear (which you aren’t wearing).  Or you say “The hell with it, I’m going to sell my soul and get this published…” and make a few bucks off of an article you really only spent 10 minutes on Wikipedia researching. But hey, it sounds good, and they’re willing to give you 25 cents a word for it… right?

Will Write For Food

So really, how do you take away all the bullshit and get to what you really want to do, get paid to write? You don’t. I guess that’s the sad bottom line. You deal with it, or you find something else. Because in the end, if you actually want to make money doing this… you deal with it. And you hope that one day you’ll be lucky enough to be half as rich and famous as Stephen King. But until then, you deal with it to pay the bills.

So what’s the point of this rant? I’m not sure. Part self-motivation to stick with it. Part inspiration for you, my loyal reader (note the singular – hi mom). And maybe part explanation. I write because I love it. I write because there’s nothing else I can think of doing and still be happy. Perhaps I write because there is a problem in my brain… either way I know I’m nuts, but this is what I want to do. And by Cthulhu… it’s what I’m going to do.


Home Again, Home Again

So – I’m home from my cross-country adventure. It’s good to be back amongst the cats, dogs, and with Crista and my Dad. Though driving a 16 foot Penske truck across country was fun.

Right now, I have a pounding headache for some reason. I just wanted to update and say “Hey! I’m not dead!” Or something like that. Also there will be an in depth post about the trip at a later date, which I am working on, including tons of pictures taken by my mother.

So for now, hello to all of you once more… it’s good to be back. Now where is my whiskey?

~Ian


A Letter to a Younger Me

So, as many of you know, we have a weekly rotating theme amongst the blogenning. This weeks theme was chosen by Brandon, and is in fact – a letter written to ourselves, 10 years ago. Also, sorry for the lack of updates this week, things have been hectic. So, here goes.

Back To The Future

Don't worry, this isn't how time travel works...

Dear Ian,

Relax. It’s okay. I know… flashy portal appearing in front of you, a piece of paper popping out. Just weird. But it’s cool, I promise. Apparently we’ve mastered time travel. Although… we can only send letters back… it’s odd. Anyway.

How’s it going? You’re probably pretty bored. Poland, NY sucked, I know. But it gets better. You do get to go to Boston for college, but not the school you’re thinking of at this point. And you meet some damn awesome people, I promise. Though things don’t go perfectly, it’s better than a lot of other options. Also, don’t worry so much about your major, you’re going to change it once you meet a certain professor anyway.

I probably shouldn’t reveal too much of the future. All I have to say is keep reading… and watch more movies. There are some interesting things going on in the near future, and you’ll want to be a part of them. Speaking of… something crazy is going to happen in a few days… don’t ignore it. It’s going to change a lot of things in this country, for better and worse (mostly worse)… so stay on top of things.

Life does get interesting here in the next few years. You get to travel, see parts of the world, and have fun doing it. Don’t rush things though, and remember to pay attention to the little details. Also, stop caring so much about what other people think of you. They don’t matter. You do. If you’re happy that’s all that matters, so relax a bit. Remember, no one’s perfect, in fact, most people avoid perfection. So just be yourself, to hell with everyone else.

So… I know this finds you well, and I know you can’t write back. But just say hi to the cats for me, and give mom and dad a hug.

~Ian (at 25, almost 26)

P.S. – The winning numbers for the MA powerball on Feb 14th, 2004 are/were 10-24-25-35-43… Enjoy.


Busy Day

Lots of things to do today, not much time to write.

Utility Work Ahead

I’ll try and give an update tomorrow about some of the stuff we’ve been doing. More than likely, it will be about food.

Mmmmm… food.

~Ian


A Change of Seasons…

Fall LeavesYes, obligatory Dream Theater reference. So – I’m big on nature, as many of you faithful readers (Hi Mom) may know. In particular, seasons and weather. I love thunderstorms. I love blizzards. And I love fall, or autumn. It’s my favorite season by far, and there are a variety of reasons for that. My birthday is in the fall (October). My favorite holiday, Halloween, is in the fall. The weather cools off (damn heat…) and it gets a little windy. And perhaps most important of all, the fall is the season that most symbolizes change for me.

It’s the only season, I think, that you can really see the world around you changing, constantly. Plants are changing color. People’s wardrobes are changing. The temperature is dropping. Ever constant change… a constant reminder that everything is constantly changing. It’s fantastic, and I love it.

Every day I wake up during the fall I tend to have a smile on my face. I’m just happier during the fall. It’s like the oppressiveness of summer heat has been lifted, and I’m free to rejoice. It’s awesome, in the original sense of the word, not the socks and hotdogs sense of the word. So really, what is so special about the fall?

Well… for one, the blatant weather changes make for a huge difference that’s right in your face. And of course, schools start up in the fall… so you have that, especially if you live in a college town. And there’s sports for those of you that care about them. But what else? Why does the fall seem to have that magical feeling, at least for me?

I think a big part of it is the atmosphere. People just seem friendlier. Maybe they know Christmas is coming soon. Maybe it’s the relaxed weather. Maybe it’s the way the leaves whip around in the wind randomly. There’s just something in the air. Besides smog… And of course there’s the fact that sometimes you get a random light snowfall – and snow always seems magic. At least it does when you don’t have to shovel a couple hundred pounds of snow down your 10 foot driveway…

Autumn Snow the Hollows

Mmmmm... light snow cover...

But in the end, I think the main thing that makes me love the fall is change… and how obvious it is. That “in your face” brutality/finality of it. You can’t avoid it, and you certainly can’t stop it. It’s just one of those forces of nature…


In Flight

US Airways PlaneSo, I’m sitting in the airport terminal currently, waiting for our flight to board. We showed up a little earlier than we thought (traffic was good) so we have a little over two hours to kill. Well, closer to one hour now – It’s 12:10 (flight boards at 1:20). But nothing exciting so far. If you read my previous post on airport security, specifically the new security machines, you’ll be interested to know that Philadelphia International Airport does in fact use the millimeter wave machines… which are significantly safer than the Backscatter x-ray ones (despite what the TSA claims). One benefit to showing up so early is that we literally sped through the machine – security took us maybe 5 minutes, tops.

So now the waiting time. We ate breakfast(lunch really) and sat around for a bit… but now we’re just sitting back and relaxing. I needed to charge my phone (forgot to charge it last night… I have to screw at least *one* thing up when I fly…) and found an outlet… which doesn’t work. So I’m charging my phone through the laptop right now… ha! Technology at its finest.

That’s all I have to say for now… more updates in flight!

Well, the time is now 2:45 and we are in the air. Something exciting did happen! Our flight was delayed… lol. Only by half an hour, and they expect to make that back up in the air, so our arrival time shouldn’t change much.

It’s been over three years since the last time I flew – Boston to Philly that time. And I have to say, not much has changed. They still go through the same spiel before take-off. The boarding is still the same (backwards… people seated in the rear of the plane should board first damn it… it makes so much more sense… but anyway). And I still hide my iPod and listen to music during takeoff. Because damn it, I want music. Takeoff is boring, uneventful, and if we crash during takeoff more than likely I’ll die… so I don’t need to listen to any instructions. I’ll be too busy waiting for the plane to rip in half so I can try to dive out… haha (you think I’m joking…) And I can do that with headphones in, thank you.

So yeah, flying isn’t that big of a deal. It’s mostly just sitting around, waiting. Kind of like train rides, but at least you have interesting things to look at out the windows on a train. Right now I can see… clouds. Meh. More later if anything interesting happens…

5:40 p.m – or rather, 2:40 p.m. in SF… Just went to bathroom and noticed something… why is there a sign pointing out that there is an ashtray in the opposite lavatory, when smoking is prohibited entirely on the plane? Silliness…

No Smoking?

I mean... I assume it's for you to put out your cigarette when they catch you... but still. Why?

7:10 p.m. – or rather, 4:10 p.m. in SF… I swear… there is a constant stream of people going in and out of the bathrooms on this plane. And it’s not like everyone has gone. I think it’s the same 15 people. Insanity. I’ve been one of them of course – but with my eye allergy thing, I need to put my eye drops in. But I mean, damn. I don’t think this many people used the bathroom on my flight to Europe… damn…

Over-all I’d say this was a good flight (so far). Not much turbulence. There HAS been a kid banging on the back of my seat for almost the entire flight, seriously (no stereotyping here)… but considering his dipshit parents didn’t bring any toys for him to play with on a five to six hour flight… I don’t blame him! Some people should be sterilized… I’d be kick seats too… or people… heh. Apparently the kid has been crying/screaming the entire time too… but I’ve had my headphones on for the entire flight, so I don’t care (that’s *one* reason I bring them in the first place…). One more update when we land!

Well the eagle has landed. Or, more accurately – I’m in San Francisco. BOW TO ME CALIFORNIA. Or something…. End of the flight was extremely uneventful. We landed… we got off the plane. Met my Uncle Michael. Aaaand now we’re at his house, relaxing. San Francisco is… foggy. I approve. Michael pointed out something very important though… When you leave the airport, it was 68, and bright and sunny. Michael lives 15 minutes down the road… and it’s 10 degrees cooler, and overcast/foggy. Insanity. My kind of city it seems. Also – the hills are awesome. I wish I had brought my bike.

So now, I leave you. In another time zone… a part of the country I have never been in… and off to do more important things than write on my blog… 🙂

~Ian


‘Cause I’m Leavin’… on a Jet Plane…

I know when I’ll be back though…

Just a reminder I’m leaving for San Francisco in a few hours. Here’s the deal – if you can wait till tonight, I’m going to blog my entire flight/trip. I will write my post while in the airport/on the plane. I figured that will be interesting. So stay tuned for my real post later. Just wanted to give you a heads up!

~Ian


The State of Things

Confused by TechnologySo in this crazy world of constantly updating technology, constantly evaporating employment opportunities, and inflation, how exactly is one supposed to keep up with current trends? You can read about them.

 

Guy 1: “Hey, I was just reading about the new Chromebook, it looks pretty cool.”
Guy 2: “I’ve had one since the pre-release dude, they’re alright…”

But that doesn’t work out too well, does it… Well, you could go into debt trying to keep up with owning the latest e-reader, tablet, laptop, ipod, smartphone, hybrid car, laser watch, Internet tv… But then you’ll wind up homeless and talking to tin cans your best friend about how cool that “new-fangled” Android tablet is… Of course, you could always steal it all… *ahem* ANYWAY!

So how do you keep up? Well, a combination of reading about it and purchasing it is your best bet. Obviously that’s a bit extreme in some situations, so what’s your second option? Demo it. That’s right, go to Best Buy and hop up to the display model and play with it for half an hour. Unless there is a line of people just itching to play with the new iPad2 (ha) I doubt they’ll kick you out. So just go nuts. Make it run benchmarking software, look up youtube videos of cats, listen to music, update your blog, watch porn… This way you know what you’re interested in. What you think will be the best suited “new toy” for you. This is how I found out I hate tablets. I can’t stand the full touchscreen input model. Don’t even like it on phones. I have a snap out keyboard for a reason… But that’s just me. Some people love them.

Some of you are probably thinking the obvious question (if you’re even still reading) though… Why bother at all? It’s all going to change in three months. The next laptop that reads your mind for input and has a holographic display instead of a lcd monitor is just around the corner, so why bother?

Because it’s fun. Why not? If you have some free time go play with a new toy. Maybe you’ll fall in love. Maybe you’ll find out you can’t stand laptops with no optical drive. Maybe you’ll find something else interesting in the store you didn’t even go to look at. “Hey, the new Red Hot Chili Peppers CD is out… I should pick that up.” But that’s not the only reason. It’s a good idea to keep abreast of new technology. No one wants to be the old man shaking his cane from his porch. “Darn kids and your long hair and rolling rock music… back in my day…” No… you want to know what’s going on. What’s new? What’s innovative? What can I rack up more debt buying…

Demotivational - Dean's a Technophobe

And please stop talking to be about your "tube."

So ultimately it comes down to you. What do you care about? What do you want to keep abreast of? My friend Brandon takes random trips to his local Guitar Center just to play with new guitars, fx pedals, etc. Just because he can, and he likes to keep up with what companies are trying that’s new… or just seeing what he likes that is already on the market. It’s a good idea and never hurts. But do yourself a favor and research it for yourself too. Especially if you want to make a purchase. You never want to head to the store and find out you paid twice as much for a knock off of an awesome product… Or got fooled by a store display into buying a crap item…

Bottom line? If you care about innovative technology… read up on it, and try it out where you can. it never hurts to keep up with the changes, and hey, who knows… it could land you a job too


A preview…

Here’s a… preview, of something I’ve been working on.

Every morning before starting work, but after showering (rarely), and getting dressed (also rarely, as he usually sleeps in his suit), Richard Snow plays Russian Roulette with himself. He loads a single bullet into his Colt Detective Special -a snub-nose .38 special revolver- holds the gun up to his head, and pulls the trigger. He started this practice approximately three years ago, and continues it only on the mornings that he works, being every single bloody day, including holidays. You see, Richard is a private detective, and he does a job that if you did it it might drive you to play Russian Roulette as well. It goes a little something like this…wake up and get off of the couch in the office (yes he sleeps in his office, he doesn’t exactly make enough money to rent an apartment), piss (hopefully into the toilet), splash water onto face and into hair, (this would be the point that Richard tempts death) grab jacket and head out the door. After this, promptly go to the generic corner store down the street and buy a pack of cigarettes and an energy drink that makes the hand shake and heart beat 3 times faster than it should. Smoke a cigarette while walking once around the block, go back to the office, go inside, and sit down… spending the rest of the day smoking, drinking shit flavored coffee (until 4pm, when he switches to scotch) and glancing at the phone once in a while to see if it rings on command. It doesn’t. Anyway, put the gun down, there’s more story here to tell.

As usual, this is covered by my CC-NC-SA. I hope you enjoy it…