Are We Friends…?

The title of the piece is the eternal question for someone who spends all of their time online. I am constantly fighting with myself, trying to decide whether or not someone is a friend or just an entity online. It raises the question: can someone who you never meet or talk to on a regular basis be a friend? I would argue yes.

Most likely the person is in your feed because you appreciate their input or you enjoy what they produce. Where it gets dicey is having too many people in your feeds that just agree with everything you post, causing your opinion to never be pushed or strained. This causes an almost utopian existence.

Tell me my opinion is shit. Well, only if you can back up why with evidence or statistics. I will always hear out alternate opinions that are not just trolling for trolling sake. The idea of never having my opinion tested is actually a fear of mine. I make sure to read something that goes in the face of what I believe pretty close to daily. Worst case: I learn how right I am to have that view.

Do I always do this? Is my mind truly open and accepting of every view, even if it contradicts my own views?
Hell no. I do try incredibly hard to keep my mind open, but some topics I have a very hard time challenging my opinion. That only doubles if I think an alternate way of thinking is detrimental to the human race.

Religion is one place that I am steadfast even if it is easy to disprove my opinion on a matter. I believe that the end is the end, and there is no further existence outside of what we have right now. I will fully admit, a big part of that is a fear that my actions will have further repercussions down the line that I never intended. I need to think that when I die, I no longer have any attachment to this mortal coil because I cannot fathom hurting those in my life. Even if I die a natural death and there is no immediacy in my passing, I do not want to dwell on the people who might be negatively affected by my passing. Not that I put much emphasis on my importance in others lives, but I worry about how my parents would deal if I went before them. I worry how my wife will cope, if anyone will help her out, and what happens to my dogs.

Thankfully, in my mind, we die and nothing that happens after matters. The book I have been writing for months? Lost in the files of this computer I am currently sitting at. If I worried about every facet of my life, I would be a wreck. I actually take comfort the most of my friends live far away from me: if I die, they might never know.

I digress.

What is a friend? Someone who you are happy to know that they are still alive. Someone who’s words matter in your day to day. Someone who you can honestly say you love.

The New Keyboard

Yeah, that’s the full reason why I said “I vanished!”: I needed a new keyboard.

You never really realize how often you use the ‘L’ key until you can’t anymore. I mean, the first part of this paragraph contained 4 cases alone, and it was more of a fragment as opposed to a full sentence.

What did I get in the end? Another Mac Magic Keyboard. This is my second one. The first, I purchased back when I got my Mini, so back in 2007 (give or take). Either way, my old keyboard was about 10 years old. It put up with a lot of shit, missing keys, broken buttons… I will miss it, but I am surprised that it lasted this long! I feel bad that I never gave it a proper name…

Something else that is kind of cool: I got faster internet! Fido had a deal for a year for 35 a month no contract, so my wife and I jumped on it. Took a little less than a week after repairs to the modem had to be conducted. We went from about 15Mb/s to 75.1Mb/s (at time of writing) and now everything works so much better!

Business talk! Patreon pricing has changed, like I mentioned on the previous blog. So, please consider donating to this project!

I have another book sitting just shy of 80% complete. I have put it out there to a couple of publishers, but if no bites before December, going independent again.

Anyway, that’s enough of this ramble. First…

WITH NEW INTERNET SPEED COMES A NEW VIDEO.
It’s the drumming one that I found on an old camera. I uploaded it, then took it down because I hated the way it sounded. I recently found the pure audio recording of the session. I have now re-mastered and re-uploaded the file. I hope you enjoy!

Look how young am…

~”New” Video

The other day my parents sent me a rather unnerving question. They had found an old video recorder, it was full, but had one video. There was no further information than that.

I was not a bad kid. I would not have recorded anything damning. Not usually, anyway. Still, my blood ran cold at the thought of what I found interesting enough to record.

Turns out, it was me drumming for just over three minuets.

It didn’t suck.

I use the quotations to emphasize the video is new TO THE INTERNET! It was recorded several years ago, and it cuts off randomly. Sound quality is shit, but I was near the top of what I could do musically. Judging by the recording and how it randomly cuts off, I think the really impressive stuff was played just after the end. That does not excuse that the video is still kind of neat, and contains a being not massively explored.

Give it a watch! Let me know what you think.

Just a reminder that Martha comes out on Friday. I am super proud of it, and excited to see what everyone thinks. This also means there will not be a “plain text.” update on Sunday, but I will return the week after with more information and, hopefully, Good News!

That time they messed up…

A few years ago, a bunch of friends and I went to see Animals as Leaders and Between the Buried and Me in Toronto. I came with full expectations to have my face melted and my pride to be destroyed, but I left with nothing shy of unbridled hope.

CAFO, and this should shock no one, is one of my favourite songs of all time. It starts with a bang and never really lets up, not to mention that is has one of the strange syncopation bits dead centre of the song. My goal, before I ended up in hospital, was to learn every bit of that song. I knew full well that I would never perform it for anyone but me, but by jove! It would be such an accomplishment.

AaL jumped into their set and I was far from disappointed. Every accent was a perfect match, every solo was nailed, every motion was beautiful.

By the time they got to CAFO, I was expecting them to have already called it a night. I could not believe the stamina, not to mention the level of dexterity, that I was baring witness to. Sure enough, CAFO was going beautifully. I could not believe how fast every member had to be to keep up with the incredible pace already set by the recording, and they had amped up the speed for stage.

For those who know what tempo is, they moved the slider up 40-50 BPM faster than the recording was. To match that speed with the single=stroke rolls present in the beginning of the song is, for lack of a better term, stupid.

Then, they got to the part I could never quite match. They could not do it either, and just made a bunch of noise to mask the drummers flub. Some would say that it was a disappointment to witness a hero fail at a performance.

I was elated. I could not have been my pleased to see a mistake in my life. It was at that moment I realized that the person I put on the highest pedestal was just that, a person. It sounds stupid: foolish even. I argue that we are all guilty of idolizing someone, and we all need to remember that they are just people, even if they are the best at something. They had to become great, and were potentially worse than you when they started.

That is not to say that you should give up and never try, just be easy on yourself. know your limits and do not get too discouraged.

With all of that said: it is not a bad thing to think that you are not good enough! In fact: I would argue that no one ever is good at anything, but can always get better at it! The biggest catch is to not give into feeling inadequate and giving up. That is always difficult, but just realize that there is always better.

Take drums, for instance. You could be the best at what you play, held on high as the epitome of what is possible in the genre. Then, you come across Maps and Atlases, or Chon, and realize you strive to be the best over in that world, as well. So, you start at the bottom of another ladder that is totally unrelated to where you came from.

Now, that may sound daunting and debilitating, but the point is that you should enjoy the journey. There is no end, and you should not try to find one. That would be boring.

Again?

Guess what happened this week?

WE BLEW ANOTHER FUSE IN THE APARTMENT!

I would not find this SO bothersome except that the chart showing which fuse is for what is so worn out that I have a better time reading Mandarin than I do trying to figure out what the fuck I am doing.

I had an interesting idea for a post! I don’t have time to get it all ready before this goes live, so it will have to wait a week. Though not research heavy, I want to make sure that I get my facts correct. I also plan on garnishing a few opinions from the wheelchair community. This way, if my writings are wrong, I cannot take full blame!

So, yeah: be on the up-and-up for that next week.

In case, for whatever fucking reason, you want to help: the topic will be on learning to move in a wheelchair. Leave me a comment, and we’ll talk. I have some metaphors and tips lined up.

I am going to take advantage of this post to gush about my favourite EP. “Everywhere and his Nasty Parlour Tricks” is one of Modest Mouse’s many EPs that they have released over their long career. This particular one came out in 2001, just before “Good News for People Who Love Bad News.” It feels like it. All of the floaty guitar lines and strange, yet horribly brilliant, lyrics. It was so close at hitting my top list that I published a while ago

I have been asked why I don’t link the albums/books I am talking about, but funny story: I DO! The image below the post (and above this explanation) is a link for the Amazon page for the item in question. Usually, it is right to the Amazon store page. Sometimes I can only find an independent seller. Anyway, I am sorry to get so condescending about this, I just wanted to put the explanation somewhere to quell any further inquisitions.

I talked to someone…

I actually talked to a psychiatrist. Mind you, it was not in the traditional sense. It was through an interesting resource at betterhelp.com where they do sessions anyway that would be beneficial to you.Was it my cup of tea? Well, not fully…

The system they have in place is fantastic. You can either talk to someone through messages or over the phone. I had this fantastic person who was actually engaging for a bit. She was asking valid questions and proded me to open up into areas that I had not explored in a while.

The issue I had with the system is that it was not for me. Not from the sense that it was always available: that part I found very interesting and handy. The issue I ran into was that I forwarded her towards with blog when she started treading over topics that I had written about recently. That would have been fine, except she vanished for hours. In hind sight, she was reading, but to me she just… disappeared.

It was about two days later that I received another message from her saying “I think you sound angry. Care to elaborate?”

Ironically, I was too angry at that statement to politely reply, and I cancelled my account immediately. You see, there is no ‘contact had read’ notification. From my interaction, she just vanished for a day or more. I was disheartened, but relieved at the same time.

The relief comes from a place where I worry that I am more broken than what I know. In the brief conversation that we had, she let me know that I was not. The concern about my internalized anger is something I knew existed, and I have been working in my own way to fix it (which is probably not healthy).

I digress, my point of writing this is to point out to my readers that such a service exists. It is relatively inexpensive, as well. I would recommend that everyone, even if it is just one session, give it a try. The psychologists are all accredited. Yes, it is strange baring yourself to a screen, but at least it is better than spinning in your mind waiting for the next cat video to upload.

Todays recommended buy is from Cat Power. Sun is an interesting release for her, much less blues bases than her other albums, but still maintains that etherial, dream-like sound. Easiest comparison is Norah Jones but more commercial and more drugged-out.

On a side-note: another thank you is in order to Joey and Bree. Your Patreon contributions have cemented ansP releases every month this year