Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Arcade Fire - Wake Up

Well. It's kind of obvious I've been listening to The Arcade Fire a lot since their label got onto eMusic and I downloaded their Funeral CD a week or so ago. Whoa. Some article drew a comparison with The Walkmen, which I agree with in that The Walkmen are experimenting with sounds and making new stuff as well, but The Arcade Fire is just a unique gorgeous growing thing that's really, really, great. It's like they've got bits of everything from TOBASOL to Talking Heads to T Rex in there. And lots of other flavors I haven't identified yet.

So I had noticed that they were playing with David Byrne at the Hollywood Bowl next month. And then I forgot. And then I went to a fansite and was reminded. And it's a Sunday night! And my g/f is not working the next day! And tickets were only $30 each! So it should be a great show. The Arcade Fire and David Byrne and his stuff under the stars.

Arcade Fire - Crown of Love

I am back from Palm springs where we had a regional meeting for a couple days. LA is freezing compared to the 105-111 days I just experienced. When I was there, I went on the aerial tram to Mt San Jacinto State Park where it was 70. I sat next to Heraclitus' stream. I stuck my hand in and delighted in the snowmelt freeze. I sat on a rock in the shade and listened to birds chirp and the stream rush. I stuck my hand into the same stream and thought about it also being a different stream. I thought about how the stream and I are mostly empty space, that we don't really touch each other at all. Then I discarded silly scientific babble and enjoyed the icy water babbling over my hand.

My G/f's oldest daughter is graduating high school today and I have to get her a gift but I also have to leave early to get there so I have little time and even littler ideas.

I have so much to do that everything is crying out with equal urgency at every frequency, so it's all a soothing whitenoise. It's a bed of nails. One nail could kill me. A few hundred support me evenly. So it's a peaceful day. But it's time to do something. It's what I was born to do, this something.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Arcade Fire -- Rebellion (Lies)

Well. Like sands through an hourglass, so are the days of our lives.

People keep dying. It's almost like it's MEANT to happen.

(I mean, we know that death is an aberration. It's a sickness. It's meant to be conquered. At least by the wealthy. In ten or twenty years, we'll have people living forever. Except those who can't afford the cell replacements. But anyway. That's like it is today. We lucky few have diseases like anorexia and anxiety and alcoholism and obesity, and everyone else has tuberculosis, malaria, and measles. We worry about our commutes and they worry about getting murdered by the repressive government/fanatical rebels. You get the idea.)

But once in a while, doesn't it seem like life and death are somehow linked!? Like one should go hand-in-hand with the other? It's almost as if a force was behind the universe and this force set it up so that new life comes from the death of old life or something... nah. What crap. We must cure Cancer! We must cure Heart Disease! We must cure Death!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Aimee Mann -- I can't Help You Anymore

Zoo yesterday. It was fun, chaperoning my daughter and her friend. I was all prepared for it to be sunny with a big hat, and wouldn't you know it, it was overcast and cool the whole day. I think the chimpanzees were the highlight of the day -- those and the giraffes. Unfortunately, the zoo is an odd experience, because so many animals are in the enclosures facing away from us, and that brings us up to a weird truth about zoos. When we got to cages where the animals were in a corner or not near us, we felt irritated, disappointed. Like the Taliban who had shot at the lion in the Baghdad zoo, we may have, if allowed, or if we could have gotten away with it, poked the lions and wolves and other inconveniently oriented animals with long poles or shot rocks at them with slingshots to make them turn to face us. As much as we go to zoos obstensibly for education -- the kids had to fill out a few pages about a particular endangered species -- it ends up being entertainment and exploitative. The animal must present itself to us, must look our way, must be visible so we can be appropriately entertained and enlightened. I suppose that if zoos did their work with endangered species, like the condor captive breeding program, without having the public come in to look at the animals and be entertained, the useful and inarguably good things the zoos do would not get done, but still, it is a weird thing to basically go to the zoo and expect animals to be there when we get to their cages (or, to be diplomatic, enclosures). When we left, there were a few people outside the entrance with anti-zoo placards and Villaraigosa signs. Perhaps it was Hahn people trying to turn people off Villaraigosa, I don't know, but one sign talked about the animals suffering for our entertainments, and when it comes down to it, that's an inescapable truth, just as it's inescapably true that we slaughter animals and cause untold suffering just because we like the taste of meat. And eating meat on such a flimsy justification -- "but we like it! -- is reprehensible. Of course, these are all arguments and thoughts I think best left for adults. I am not going to tell my daughter that zoos are exploitative and evil, although I may wonder. Just as I am not going to tell her eating meat is evil, although she knows I don't eat what I refer to as "dead animals." But you know, I really did enjoy the zoo. I think my favorite part is always the aviaries. I like birds.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Genesis -- The Battle of Epping Forest

I got my Tiger DVD yesterday and upgraded my iBook to 10.4. The only negative thing I noticed is that right-clicking in Finder results in the beachball and a minute of Finder non-responsiveness. Doing the same thing by going to the regular menu works instantly. Which is odd. I wonder why Macintoshes have support for right clicking and scrolling and the like but sell expensive mouses that don't even have right-click? It's like starting people off with a needless disability.

But the Dashboard thing is cool. Spotlight works great to find stuff, though on this new laptop there's not much to find. And Automator is Cool. One thing I've learned with iTunes is how important it is to backup my iTunes library files, and I was able to quickly figure out how to use Automator to do a script that saves the iTunes library files to my USB thumbdrive when I click on an icon. Next I'll figure out how to have the same thing done automatically on a schedule for all my crucial documents...

I also started doing useful work on my brother's website last night, updating show dates by using Fetch. I had been using FrontPage and it LOOKED like FrontPage allowed me to edit text files right on the server. Perhaps it did not but made it seem like it did? Anyway, I have to download the file from the server, then make the changes, then put the doc back on the server, but then it overwrites just fine. Next I have to try to modify html pages. Obviously it should be the same process, but doing it via FTP makes you think more than using FrontPage. Of course, using FrontPage to do additions of photo pages and changing text in textfiles was a big waste of money. I originally wanted to learn FrontPage and how to do all the cool html/asp/blah blah stuff, but it's too hard to figure that out and do my real work and parent.... I think I may end up, after a little adjustment, getting the website handled easiler with the iBook...

Monday, May 09, 2005

Bruce Springsteen -- Rosalita

Well. Monday. It's showery today, but right now, when it's time for me to go, it's sunny with pretty clouds. I had a presentation this morning and the rest of the day was putting out fires, some of which I had set myself. But I got Tiger in the mail today, so tonight I'm installing and playing with widgets I think, as well as trying out different FTP products to find the best way to keep my brother's site updated with new gigs and photos...

Mother's Day was great until the rollerblader ran into my mom and knocked her down (Venice Beach)... luckily she didn't need stitches or anything. Honestly. Besides that, she had a great time.

I have my daughter back, so I have to leave right now to get her from daycare before it closes. I love LA, and having to leave an hour and a half early... I would take the train but I just missed it today...

Friday, May 06, 2005

The Stills -- Ready for It

It's Shabbat already! I am so happy but at the same time, horrified it's the end of the week and I have so much undone. I need better focus at work! Like right now. I gotta go.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Specials -- Nite Klub

It's a cool overcast day. My favorite kind of weather.

I am overly involved with my iBook, learning how to do everything on it. I wish I was like my g/f and able to use my computer and not learn everything about my computer. As it is, I am messing about with video importing and editing, which is really not something I need or want to do. But one thing that's good is that having a bunch of new software to learn makes me want to do creative stuff, and although I do creative stuff all the time, I want to do more -- like interesting gifts and cards. Not the usual dumb cards that look tacky but really cool innovative stuff like birthday brochures or booklets. And I need to get back into poetry writing. The iBook is so small it makes it a lot easy to take out and use.

I am becoming increasingly aware of time's passing because I've been looking at old photos and recordings, and my daughter was 5 years old a second ago, and now she's 11. I miss the little girl, even though the almost-teenager is a wonderful, wonderful person, a lot of fun to be with and immensely kind and compassionate and creative. But I miss the way she was before. I miss the way I was back then as well. I don't think I was different but I'm sure I was in some ways besides looking skinnier or fatter depending on what day it was.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Peter Gabriel -- Only Us

I am now one of the switchers, one of the Windows users who has gone over to the Mac world. I bought an iBook this weekend. I wasn't sure if I should get the Powerbook, but after being honest with myself about what I use my laptop for, it made no sense to spend the extra money. The iBook does everything I need, and does it well.

Even though I've switched, I am, like a large portion of switchers, still firmly in the Windows camp. First, my old laptop is going to be my daughter's laptop, and so I'll still be dealing with Windows. Secondly, there are a couple things I have to figure out how to do on the Mac, so I'm still using the Windows machine for that stuff. Third, I work with Windows at work. So it's like speaking one language and work and another at home, I guess.

The Mac is set up to make it pretty easy to switch. There are some things that are frustrating -- I have some needling issues, like the ten year old AVIs of my daughter that I can't get to work in Mac (I'll have to mess with them on the PC and export them to a straightforward mac-friendly format) but overall it's been easy, helped out by the fact that all my personal and calendar stuff is on the Palm, which was easy to set up on the Mac. And the 12" iBook is so light and portable compared to my old 15" Dell... about half as thick as well. Also, it's about the best-priced 12" you can get, even considering Windows PCs, when you include the included software. It has 10.3 on it, but for $10 I ordered Tiger, so that should be here in a few days, and then I'll be up-to-date and happy happy. As far as the computer goes. And then I'll have to make my apartment as nice and sparkly and clean as my iBook...

Monday, May 02, 2005

The Clash - Police On My Back

My Significant Other -- she really is like the Other part of me -- and I saw Electricidad this weekend at the Mark Taper Forum. Wonderful play. It was basically the Electra story updated to East LA Cholo culture. It managed to be very local in time and place -- the action takes place only about 5 miles from the theater -- and yet very classic and mythological at the same time. The playwright, Luis Alfaro, did a great job in balancing the Spanglish used by the characters, the hilarious contemporary culture references, all the stuff that made it immediate and palpable to us Angelenos, with the timeless elements of tragedy. It's a great examination of being true to one's culture while yet at the same time being true to one's soul. Each of the characters has motivation and cause for their actions, each has a fatal flaw, and although you know the tragic heartrending violent end is coming when you sit down, it's no less painful and tragic when it comes.