Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I Am A Total Music Geek

I just took the music geek quiz. Have you taken it yet?

Of course the quiz only confirms what I already well know - I am a total music geek. Thankfully, I've not yet crossing the link yet into total musical dorkdom. Thank goodness for that!

Not only am I a total music geek, but so is my squeeze. Scary. I bet he would even score higher than me on this quiz.

Then, there's this website, which lists the top 10 music geek accesories. I won't tell you how many of them we already own, because it's verging on embarrassing.

I noticed there are a few entries focused around CD organizing activities, which both of us are guilty of doing to a frightening degree. Still, I'm happy to report that we haven't actually gone to the length of getting alphabetized dividers for our CDs, because, by this point, we've converted over to almost exclusively using our networked music servers & electronic musical devices like Roku & iPod technologies, etc. So there's obviously no point in using dividers.

However, the fact that we even do the basic activity of "organizing our music collection" in the first place would alone qualify us for the definition of "music geek."

We both do totally insane music organizing things. Things like organizing our humongous CD collection in alphabetical order, with subcategories of classical music & soundtracks falling into in their own separate sections. And then ripping the entire collection to a networked server, & on top of that, scanning each & every barcode of our existing CD collection into our own personal database, & then logging & cataloguing each title. We've still not completed that project yet, because it's such an overwhemingly huge task.

Yes, I know. Totally insane.

Has it been 3 years now since we first started that project? 5 years? I have no idea; we've lost track of how long this project has been in the works. It's obviously not a priority, or we would've had it completed a while ago. Then again, gainful employment can really gets in the way of completing that task quickly. Otherwise, we'd have been done with that project years ago. Yeah, right. Who are we kidding.

Thankfully, we're no longer collecting physical CDs which can take up a hell of a lot of space. As with most people our age, iTunes has been our new best friend for a while now.

Speaking of musical geekiness, I found some sites using the search term "music geek" & came up with some interesting links. Check them out:

--Of course, there's the Urban Dictionary definition. I immediately went through & did a mental checklist:

Music geek - one who;

1) enjoys creating and listening to music. ✓
2) generally lives in a school band room. ✓ (But only from elementary school until university. LOL. Sad but true.)
3) spends multiple hours a day learning to play multiple instruments.
4) believes (American) football was created for pep band and half time. ✓ (American football? Is that a sport?! I thought it was just a lot of grunting & running around. Just kidding.)
5) makes 'percussionist jokes' instead of 'blonde jokes'. (Um, sorry. No, thankfully, I don't make either kind of joke. Jokes of that nature are just plain stupid. ;) )
6) knows what the word 'skosh' means. (Nope, had to look that one up just now.)
7) can legitimately say "this one time at band camp...." (Thankfully, nope. Not THAT nerdy. ;) )

4 out of 7. OK, maybe it's not as bad as I thought. LOL.

--Then there's these sites:
--Top Ten Music Geek Accessories (as mentioned above)
--MusicGeek.org (an independent music-focused site)
--Total Music Geek (blog)

Hope you enjoyed that little journey into musical geekdom. Let it be known, the musical geeks shall inherit the earth.... ;)


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Missing In Action

I have not been on Blip.fm for what seems like months. Admittedly, I've just gotten out of the habit of blipping there. However, there's more to it than that. There's a lot going on in my world right now & frankly, I just don't really have the time to blip much at present, especially not in the same manner & frequency as past blipping "sessions." As many of you surely know, I used to go thru spurts of blipping songs like there was no tomorrow. More recently, it's been a slow drip-drip-drip of blips instead of a rapid-fire succession of blip-blip-blip. ;)

Another factor is that there are so many social media outlets out there that sometimes one tends to grab my focus for a while, while the others must necessarily fade into the background in order to compensate. ;) After all, I've only got so much available free time right now to devote to social media, and so, something had to give.

Nonetheless, there are a lot of special Blip DJs and I really do miss chatting with so many of them. I noticed that a lot of my Blip pals -- especially the ones who "go way back" as veteran blippers :) -- have a lot more followers now, as do I, and so, sometimes it seems that we are all overwhelmed by the amount of responses we get there, and so interaction with these Blip pals has slowed somewhat. An influx of responses can do that to a person. :) There's only so much a person can process at a time before hitting the "information overload" saturation point. It's like we're all just trying to catch our breath and hang on tight for the wild ride that is Blip.fm. I know I get that way a lot of the time.

While I do try to respond to as many people as possible, reblip, and give lots of props, the amount of interaction there can sometimes be overwhelming. Admittedly, there are times when I just want to blip & not interact much, so I can go into my own musical zone/headspace and listen to particular selections or song sets; and then there are times when I'm more in the mood to turn outward and interact, reblip, & give props out the wazoo. :)

At any rate, I do enjoy Blip.fm quite a great deal, and hope that time-permitting, I'll be able to return there more regularly at some point in the near future.

Hope you have a great night!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Anyone Ever Notice This?

Here's a question I'd like to ask: Why is it considered verboten to talk about one's follower count? My take on it is that I think that there's some irrational fear that just the simple act of publicly talking about it or revealing one's consciousness of it will somehow make the numbers go down. :-)

One is supposed to pretend that one is unconcerned with any such issues.

I think this is complete & utter bullshit. Frankly, this issue needs to be addressed straight-on, without pretension & falsitudes. It's time to get real. It's time to be honest about one's feelings on the matter.

So, I'm just gonna lay it out here straight.

Let me just say that first of all, I think that there's a lot of pretending going on & a lot of people say they don't care about such things when deep down, they really do. I think that some people will feign disinterest in the topic while secretly wishing the numbers go up, as if increasing one's followers serves as some sort of validation of one's own musical tastes (i.e., on Blip.fm) or opinions (on Twitter, Facebook, or one's blogs, etc.).

To obsess about such matters too much is clearly considered to be uncool. It's somehow viewed as immodest or needy, or attention-seeking.

I find the whole issue ridiculous and interesting all at once. On the one hand, it's easy to say one doesn't care when one has a lot of followers. :) However, I do think that the numbers game can have a psychological bearing, even if it isn't publicly acknowledged.

Do I care if I have lots of followers? Well, honestly sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. It depends upon my mood. Most of the times I don't care, but it also depends upon the context and the social networking medium itself.

For example: Right now, this blog has only a handful of followers. I am OK with that. You want to know why?! Because right now, this space feels cozy and intimate, and I'm really enjoying that. I feel like I'm having a conversation with a few chums, and these likeminded souls are hanging out here, because they feel some sort of kinship with me. Or at least that's the vibe I'm getting at any rate.

If this blog gets really big, I might not care either way, because I'm anonymous here, but it might make me think twice about what I'm writing.

As for Blip.fm, I usually don't take unfollows personally; I figure, people probably heard something I blipped that was out of line with their own expectations of what my station was all about. That's their prerogative. I do sometimes feel that some people are a bit too trigger-happy to unfollow; no one quite knows what makes people follow or unfollow sometimes, and I'm not going to attempt to figure that one out.

It would, however, be interesting to conduct some sort of poll on that, to see how Blip.fm users are affected by various DJs. I can't speak for others, but personally am not likely to unfollow a DJ unless they play a whole string of songs that I absolutely cannot stand. :) If it's just one song here and there, I will probably tolerate it, especially if I like the majority of what they play.

Also, I will admit to following some people more for the bond I have with them, than for what they blip. Now, in most cases, these qualities overlap, but there are also some instances in which I'm not in the mood to hear a particular genre of music 24/7, and there are definitely some DJs out there who happen to focus on a predominant genre to the exclusion of all others. However, I'm not likely to unfollow them because I know that there's going to be a time when I will want to hear their music again, even if not for the moment. :) Music is often mood-oriented, so I take that into account when listening to DJs. They have moods and so do I.

Overall, I take into consideration both the person behind the music & the music itself. Both are equally important to me. In other words, I tune in because of what DJs have to say about music & life as much as I do for what they play. Blip.fm is about forming bonds with others and having interesting discussions.

While it might be hard to have that sort of connection with everyone, especially when one's follower count skyrockets to a large number, and it's honestly overwhelming to reply to everyone and everything, it is possible to have some quality conversation there.

Lately, I haven't been in a very talkative mood there, & have been "missing in action" for several days in a row. However, now that April 15th has come & gone, I will be able to rejoin the living there & participate a bit more fully. :)

I really do enjoy Blip.fm, but I also want to feel free to have options. If I don't want to blip, I don't want to feel pressured to constantly be there & or even sometimes to interact if I don't want to do so. Blipping is an optional activity, and for me, that's what keeps it enjoyable. I also have a real life, which is full of people and ideas and experiences, and I want to be able to live that life without feeling beholden to the virtual, electronic one that beckons me into its seductive web. :) I'm adamant about keeping the virtual world at bay, only because I want to preserve balance between it and the "real world." I don't want either world to disappear, but each has to be held in check, so that both can be adequately enjoyed.

Peace out,

Finding Beauty in Words

“I held a moment in my hand, brilliant as a star, fragile as a flower, a tiny sliver of one hour. I dripped it carelessly, Ah! I didn't know, I held opportunity.” ~Hazel Lee

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

“Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.” ~Confucius

“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart.” ~Helen Keller

“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.” ~Kahlil Gibran

“When you reach the heart of life you shall find beauty in all things, even in the eyes that are blind to beauty.” ~Kahlil Gibran

“Beauty, more than bitterness, makes the heart break.” ~Sara Teasdale

“Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.” ~Sophia Loren

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~Used by Nelson Mandela in his 1994 inaugural speech (Maryanne Williamson)

“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.” ~Ashley Smith

“It's beauty that captures your attention; personality which captures your heart.” ~Unknown

“You don't love a woman because she is beautiful, but she is beautiful because you love her.” ~Unknown

“For every beauty there is an eye somewhere to see it. For every truth there is an ear somewhere to hear it. For every love there is a heart somewhere to receive it.” ~Ivan Panin

“Love of beauty is Taste. The creation of beauty is Art.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, February 19, 2010

Observations & Reactions

I've just finished reading the latest blog post of someone I happen to know as part of my larger social circle.  (Please note that she's an acquaintance & not a good friend of mine.)   Since I don't want to give away any clues as to the identity of this blogger, let's just call this person, "Person X" for lack of a better name.

This person's blog has a gigantic following (i.e., 200+ followers on Google Friend Connect & goodness knows how many through their Atom feed). For some reason, her gigantic following pisses me off. Not because of jealousy, but because she is a horribly selfish, petty person. It makes me angry that other people identify with what she has to say, because I want to believe in people's better natures. Maybe these people just want to be entertained, but nonetheless, it's a sad statement with regard to the mindsets of lots of people in modern society today. By following her blog, they are lending credence to what she has to say, & validating her viewpoints via their tacit agreement.

"Person X" blogs about a whole host of different topics in a very straight-forward manner. I would suspect that the reason "Person X" has such a large following is that she is extremely honest about her feelings, allows herself to appear flawed & vulnerable in the presence of others, & admits to thinking horrible thoughts that other people also think but wouldn't dare admit aloud. She basically thinks aloud on her blog.

She blogs in semi-anonymity, & so, says whatever she feels like, without impunity or a sense of responsibility to her readers. But that's not the full extent of it. She herself admits that her comments are often bitchy & mean, & frankly often says things that make my ears curl.

Honestly, the more I read this blog, the more I want to unsubscribe. But of course, there's a catch: I'm part of "Person X's" social circle, so if I unsubscribe, she will notice (i.e., I'm following her blog via Google Followers via another, non-anonymous identity), & this will cause an uncomfortable social situation, because the social circle to which I belong is a very tightly-knit one. Most of the people in the "circle" are nice, but she seems to be the sole exception to the rule. It seems there's always "rotten apple" who's intent on dragging other people down with them (to their level!)....

I think I will just stop reading her feed in my RSS reader.

I can't believe the kind of petty things this person admits to feeling. It makes "Person X" appear so very small. "Person X" is also highly competitive, caught up in the status & success game, & is extremely insecure about her image & self-esteem. She focuses way too much on external factors -- For example she's obsessed with her physical appearance & others' physical appearance to an unhealthy degree. She harshly judges both herself & others for their shortcomings, but doesn't even seem to be aware that the solution is to accept the flaws & make peace with them, instead of trying to push herself & others to unnatural states of being.

She's constantly chasing after one ambition or another, but is so caught up in the game that she doesn't know when enough becomes too much. In my estimation, she has a somewhat addictive personality, & enough never seems to be enough for her, in both her personal & professional lives. She's constantly hungering after the love & approval of others, which is almost always going to be a lose-lose proposition, as the love she really seeks can never be found externally; it is to be found within herself. She doesn't give herself the love she needs to start with, & that is really, profoundly sad.

At the same time that "Person X" decries the unsupportive manner in which many women treat each other, "Person X" also embodies the very qualities she despises. "Person X" is clearly trying to escape the traps she has set for herself by blogging about it. However, instead of escaping, she merely chases her own tail while putting down others for doing the same. She clearly cannot see herself as well as she sees others.

This person also uses speech which is not only unkind to others, but also unkind to herself. I'm not surprised, because she has been the victim of childhood abuse, & is always going on about how she doesn't want to be a victim & despises the "victim" mentality, etc., etc. It's clear that this great injustice done to her & the hurt it has caused her deserve empathy, & not reproach, & that her attempts to distance herself from the role of victim are a direct result of these experiences. However, she has thus far been unable to press the mental reset button.  In my opinion, she could greatly benefit from professional mental health counseling, to help her piece her life together & heal from the residual effects of her childhood trauma.  Her behavior is unfortunate: Instead of choosing a better path, she has taken the low road. In her flight to distance herself from her past, she has chosen hatred instead of healing:  She hasn't yet learned how to make peace with her past, & is still a gaping wound in need of mending.  She clearly despises herself, & despises the same qualities in others that she cannot abide in herself. And this manifests itself in mean, hateful declarations.

When faced with trials & tribulations, we all have a choice in our response.  Will we curl up into a ball & crumble, run away, or fight head-on the things that haunts us?  And if we choose to fight, will we be noble & dignified in our responses or continue to lash out?

"Grace under pressure," to borrow Ernest Hemingway's phrase, is rarely easy, but it is the more admirable path.

All of us are flawed, imperfect beings. However, we should not seek to judge others by a different standard than we judge ourselves. In fact, it would be healthier to suspend judgment & just move through the world with graceful acceptance of our shortcomings & move forward by working with the gifts we have been given.

From the outside, she promotes the image of herself as attractive & successful, & has many male admirers. However, inside I suspect that she is constantly feeling frantic & unbalanced. Her writing seems to support my theory.

I don't envy this person in the least. I actually feel pity for her, but at the same time, don't want to have anything to do with her.  She can keep her kind of "success," because I would rather have a balanced existence than lead the type of life she chooses to lead.

As you may have guessed, I am not a jealous person by nature & am actually fairly happy with my own intrinsic & extrinsic qualities. In other words, I clearly feel no hatred or jealously towards this person, & truly hope that, for her own sake, that this person can get their life together & align her insides with her outsides. I also hope that she will be able to see what a bottomless trap she's set for herself & will be able to dig herself out of it. However, I cannot be part of this person's universe anymore. It is corrosive & stifling to my very soul.

I choose my friends with great care, and am thankful that this person is not a good friend of mine. It's easier to pull away from someone or avoid them completely when they are an acquaintance with whom one doesn't often interact or even see with any regularity.

While I'm not perfect, I'm happy to say that the people I do choose to hold dear to me are people of much better character than this person will probably ever be. It's true that while even one's own good friends might disappoint from time to time, it's much easier to be forgiving when one knows that deep down inside, they are good people.

I guess that the real matter is that I just cannot abide pettiness & shallowness in others. These are two traits I find highly unbecoming.

I don't care what my friends look like as long as they have good character & are loyal, honest, & trustworthy. That's what matters most.

Musical Musings & Other Thoughts

It just occurred to me that I haven't written much about music here lately. Some of the first few posts were about music & then I seemed to have stopped writing altogether about it. Don't ask me why. I write about whatever comes to mind at the moment, and apparently I've been thinking a lot about writing & philosophical ideas. However, music is always there, whether it's in foreground or the background at any given moment.

And while music is really important to me, I don't feel bound to write exclusively about it here. Just because this blog is called "Of A Musical Mind," doesn't mean that I've got to stick to writing exclusively about music or write about it in the literal sense. There are many other expressions of a "musical mind" that touch upon musical ideas without directly referring to them, per se. For example, the other artistic disciplines -- dance, creative writing, & the visual arts, etc. -- all have a unique interplay with music. I like to think of all of these entities as branches of the same tree.

Furthermore, a musical mind thinks, moves, & perceives the world in musical ways. It's about moving through the world with music in one's soul. When one has a musical being, one's senses are finely attuned to the almost imperceptible aspects that others might overlook. It affects one's outlook & moods in subtle & often profound, nonverbal ways.

People who have immersed themselves in music as a serious course of study (music theory, composition, musical instrument/vocal lessons, etc.) will already have a good understanding of what this can mean. A musical mind is structured differently than those minds that haven't been seriously immersed in music for a lengthy period of time. A musical mind is both a mathematical and artistic entity.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Importance of Allowing Yourself Permission To Write Complete & Utter Dog Doo :)

Robert Frost once said that sometimes he wrote great things and other times we wrote complete & utter dog doo.  Why is this statement significant?  Because you've got to allow yourself to write some dog doo before you can write the great stuff. :)

And this requires some poetic license: However, you've got to know the rules of grammar before you can break them. So, for example, if I've got a sentence starting with the word "because," it's not because I'm some ignorant sod.  It's because I'm using poetic license. The other reason is because this is a blog, & thus, less formal writing is required.

So there. Haha.

If we get all tensed up & put pressure on ourselves to only write when it's easy, or when we know we're only going to spin gold, then ironically, the well springs of inspiration will often magically dry up and disappear.  However, if we just let ourselves write, no matter what comes out, we have a better chance of hitting the "bullseye" -- i.e., moments of great writing.

If only we can let ourselves be free and just write.  Don't think too much.  Just write.  Write from your gut.  From instinct. Write about your imperfect, messy life.  Because we aren't frozen in time.  We move through it, ever changing.

Write about what is, about ideas, about what you & other are. Versus just sitting there, waiting for the words to pop out onto the page in some perfect form.  The secret is to just let go.

Have faith in your abilities, & take a big flying leap into the Unknown.

Ideas to Ponder

A worthy man is still worthy even penniless, a donkey is a donkey even if he is finely saddled." ~Turkish Proverb

This is one of my favorite quotes.  It cuts right through all of the bullshit.  If you base your self-worth on what they do for a living or what you own, you will always feel insecure.  You'll never feel like you "have enough" to deserve to be you.

It becomes about accumulation instead of existing.  In fact, it's too easy to forget to exist when you're too busy accumulating.  This is when people forget about their friendships & their family. They get tunnel-vision & are too wrapped up in the tunneling to dig themselves out.

The current recession has "woken up" several people. Woken them up to themselves. They can no longer hide behind their money & their valuables.  The whole rat race has a lot less meaning now than it did before. Consciousness was temporarily replaced with materialism, but hopefully now it's returned to some people. And while some people probably never had it to begin with, others have found again or learned how to develop it.  This is a good thing. A very profound thing.

A wake up call indeed.

You can't go back once you've been to the land of Enlightenment.  It's irreversible.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Cool or Cranky?

It recently occurred to me that sometimes what is expressed in music -- whether it is happy or sad, enthusiastic or angry, light or dark -- is often more accepted as an expression of truth than if it would be communicated via other means.

This can be expressed non-verbally via instrumental pieces or verbally via lyrics.

The same could be said of poetry.

I think it is because there are many people who are uncomfortable being confronted with these thoughts in other forms. As in, let's say, a face-to-face discussion, or a blog. :)

I often wish that other people would accept the full range of complex human emotions instead of trying to stop people from expressing them. I know that it isn't always appropriate to express every single emotion to everybody whenever one feels like it. However, that's not what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about the need for people to express themselves in safe outlets -- call it poetry, music, sports, whatever. There has got to be an outlet. Otherwise, people will just snap in two.

It's not normal not to express one's thoughts & feelings. At least, not for me. And I won't be stopped, regardless of the potential censure of others.

Unfortunately, American society often tries to regulate or intentionally (or sometimes unintentionally) stunt this expression. There are many Americans who only want to hear when life is good & things are peachy-keen. Furthermore, this behavior makes it difficult for them to embrace definition of what a true & intimate friendship really is, & can only be, at best, mere acquaintances. This is because true intimacy cannot be established with those who hide themselves away & only show the perfectly arranged bits that they want others to see.

Yes, it's important to put your best foot forward, as the expression goes. However, friendship isn't a job interview. True friends will love you no matter what. Warts & all. The sooner a person comes to realize this, the better off that person will be.

We don't have to be loved by everyone, just by those who are truly worth knowing & loving. To have one tried-&-true, loyal friend is better than having 50 fair-weather ones.

But back to what I was saying.... It's one thing to be an optimist, but it's quite another to attempt to enforce "fake happiness" in others. What I mean is that there's this unspoken pressure to only express happy thoughts, i.e., which is felt not just face-to-face but also via social media like Twitter & Facebook. And if you don't play by the rules, usually one of two things happen: You get unfriended or you get unfriendly responses. Sometimes you might get empathy or mirrored expressions, but that is usually rare.

The thing about these types of repressive behaviors is that it is dangerous for a person to attempt to silence others this way. Also, it makes interactions unreal & untruthful, & typically creates a wall between people. The people who try to do this also hurt themselves. Firstly, they are hampering their own inner voices by expressing a very limited range of emotions, & are obviously working extremely hard to stiftle any feelings of their own that don't fit the mold. These are the people who usually end up going postal. :) Instead of being real with others. And they usually repress in others what they most dislike in themselves. Ironically, this can be deadening & numbing to one's spirit & soul, the exact opposite end-result of what they were hoping to produce by "controlling" the thoughts in themselves & others that they do not want to deal with or accept. If they would only give voice to these expressions, it would free them to achieve an equilibrium & peace of mind that comes from self-expression. Balancing one's insides with one's outsides can be a beautiful thing. It just takes an awareness of the complete range of one's thoughts & feelings, & the maturity & wisdom to see the benefits of allowing oneself to give into these impulses in a safe & unguarded manner. That way, they won't end up in an even darker zone that comes from ignoring one's true feelings & a perpetual pushing-down of them. Then one will either implode or explode, depending upon one's personality makeup. And that is rarely a "beautiful thing" to witness. ;)

One cannot force other people to wear a mask of happiness when they are not feeling happy at the moment. As a result, when things are not going well, the tendency is often to keep it all inside & not tell anyone. Either that, or one will just tell a trusted few.

It might sound crazy to say this, but there are a hell of a lot of people who want to only talk to you when you are feeling perfectly happy. I can't hang with these sorts of people for very long, because they will only like & accept me for the parts they like. And they only want to see those parts of me. I can't be 3/4 of a person. Maybe it's easy to keep up the charade with acquaintances, because some people just don't need to know some personal tidbits, but that sort of interaction can never develop into a deeper friendship. That'd just be living a lie, & would also be highly dissatisfying.

I reject this attempt to silence what some people don't want to hear. Frankly, the people who behave like this can all go to hell.

I am sick of constantly having to be guarded about my thoughts & feelings -- which is something I've been raised to do, even though I know that it's wise to do so in a public sphere. But here I can be free.

I will speak my mind, & they can't stop me. Take that, you repressive assholes.

Ah, that feels much better. :)

That's The Way The Cookie Crumbles.....

I just realized that I forgot to Blip on February 4th, which means that I have to start over again at zero days to build up to my Level 2 "Hot Streak" badge. I was SO close to reaching 14 straight days of blipping (which is what's required for Level 2), having starting a consecutive daily blip-roll on January 24th. Oh well, c'est la vie ...d'un blippeur. :)

Other realizations, I noticed that my previous post on "privacy" got a rather frosty response, as I went from 11 subscribers down to 3. Again, oh well. :)

Let it be known that I am not writing here for others' approval. I frankly don't need it. Sure, I'm generally a very friendly & welcoming person, but people have to understand that a large extent of what I write here should not be taken personally. I am just being true to myself, & well, if others can't hack it, then I'm sorry but I'm not going to change who I am for others.

What I write here is not just little sunny ditties to make other people feel comfortable. It's about telling the unadulterated truth of what I feel & think at any given moment. It's about freeing myself & being able to express myself openly without fear of censure.

That's why I'm blogging anonymously. Get it now?! ;)

Also, people have to understand that anything I write here is a snapshot of my thoughts at any given moment & might not reflect my current state of mind. People have a zillion thoughts flitting through their head at any given moment, & I'm not going to be held to anything I say here as a frozen, unchanging personal expression. People grow & change, so naturally, so does a person's thoughts & writings. That's why they call it a blog meme.

Anyhow, I'm glad that there are at least 5 people who don't seem to mind my unrepentant, unadulterated honesty here. :) Thank you readers; I appreciate the fact that you feel kinship with me & have shown your support by subscribing. It's nice to know there are at least 5 likeminded souls out there in the universe.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Embracing the Power & Complexity of Words

Like so many others, I write poetry as a way to connect to the realm of emotion & to express a certain side of myself that isn't immediately visible or obvious, that is, without further examination or communication. Often, but not always, this results in a sort of "purging" of the things I keep tucked away in the basement of my mind. This doesn't mean that I can't be happy or joyful, but rather that it's important to release thoughts so that I no longer feel bound to them. Poetry, like much of writing in general, is not just an escape or flight from what haunts us or from the vagaries of our current obsessions; it's a way to free the mind.

J.R.R. Tolkien did this; he gave us a fantasy world that illuminated our deeper realities more fully. It wasn't a flight so much as a statement of what & whom we need to pay attention to & how we come to some very difficult, very real decisions. He didn't dodge the issues; he hit them head on with searing accuracy. He was communicating essential truths & things he felt very deeply inside. That is one of the reasons his works speak to so many of us. If you haven't read his works, I urge you to do so. They will leave you transformed. You can't read him & remain unchanged or unmoved. Even if you aren't a sci-fi/fantasy fan, you might enjoy his writing.

The power of words is undeniable. They carry what I like to call "the energy of our innards" & speak volumes about who we are as people. That is why we have to choose them very carefully.

We send messages through our thoughts, words, & actions all the time, even if we aren't fully conscious of it in the moment. This is why I make an effort to think a great deal before speaking or writing; I want to be certain that I am sending the messages & energies I truly intend others to see.

Do you use words to create more beauty or to be more ever-present in the world? What kind of energy do you want to put out there in the world?

I challenge you to think about the ways in which you use words on a day-to-basis.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Who I Want To Know & Be Known By

I recently discovered & joined the Blip NING, thanks to a fellow Blipper who put the link in their Twitter profile.

I thought I'd copy what I'd written there & put it here, so you can get a better sense of my personal boundary lines & what I'm all about:

Subject: My Privacy Policy - Thank You For Respecting It. :-D

Please note: My twitter ID is NOT @musicalmind. If you follow that person, you won't be following me. :-D Please don't ask me to reveal the ID (or my real name) to you; if I'd like you to know what it is, you'll be the first to know. This is done not to be unfriendly, but as a screening precaution. I am a very private person & only want to be truly known by people I can relate to on a deeper level.

Also, since this NING forced me to list a location, I listed Cambridge, MA, because I am fond of that area. I won't confirm or deny whether or not I actually live there, because I don't want to talk about basic, superficial details like "where I'm from, my favorite color, or my real name." Those things don't truly tell you about what's in a person's mind, heart, or soul.

Here's what I will tell you: All I will say is that I am from the United States, but consider myself a citizen of the world & have been fortunate enough to see a great deal of it. I also speak several languages, am well read, & have seen a heck of a lot of movies. I am a creative & sensitive soul, but also love the science & technology. I am a well-rounded individual and have many interests.

When I do chose to share specific personal details with others, it's because I feel highly connected to them. These are the individuals who have shown themselves to be kind, open-minded, honest, perceptive, and trustworthy. They are the ones who are highly attuned to the nuances & subtleties of life, versus those who stomp through life without taking notice or appreciating the small gifts that life gives us. There is much wonder & beauty in this life, but it takes a truly aware & responsive person to be able to observe & know this, & to both connect with & build upon it. These are the people I want to know further.

Also, life is more than just mundane facts & figures. It is rife with struggles & complexities, but also filled with beauty, humor, & the wonder of discovery, & these should not be glazed over lightly like a blob of whipped cream from a can, casually aerated onto a sundae, with a cherry hastily dropped on top. :) I have an impatience with those who dwell in the petty minutiae & never venture beyond concrete details of one's life. To dwell in ideas & to act from them is a higher state of mind.

To quote Eleanor Roosevelt: "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people." Chew on that for a while & reconsider where your own thought processes may lead you. Do you want to be small-minded or think beyond yourself & your immediate environs? Which type of person do you want to be? The choice is always up to you.

Peace out,

Monday, January 25, 2010

Honesty is Not Just the Best Policy, It's the Only Policy That Matters

“You can bend it and twist it... You can misuse and abuse it... But even God cannot change the Truth.” ~Michael Levy

“I love you, and because I love you, I would sooner have you hate me for telling you the truth than adore me for telling you lies.”

There are a lot of bullshitters in this world. That's for sure. I'm not one of them. Even in the real world, my non-anonymous state, I am probably one of the most honest people you will ever meet.

People say it's unwise to be so honest. I say that they are wrong. If anything, my life has been richer because of the honesty I give to others. And you know what? When I'm honest, that gesture usually gets reciprocated by others.

Friends have told me how much they appreciate me telling them the truth when no one else had the cohones to do so. Now granted, I'm not talking about being completely tactless or cruel in the delivery of the truth, or giving it when it's unsolicited. (I tend not to butt my nose into situations, but am there for my friends should they ask me for advice or simply need a shoulder to cry on or a supportive ear.) There is a way to be honest without being tactless or hurtful. I prefer that route.

Several people have told me how "refreshingly honest" I am. I hear that a lot from people in general. While I was sincerely touched by these expressions, I also find it troubling that this is considered to be such a novelty in the first place. Frankly, it's a sad commentary on how a lot of people choose to live their lives -- i.e., in a state of perpetual dishonesty. I don't know how they do it. Maybe these people don't realize how important it is -- to their own & others' well-being -- to be honest with themselves & the people who matter to them. Dishonesty is like acid; it corrodes everything it touches, & eventually will sap the life from people & crush their souls & psyches. Lying to oneself & others has a very high cost; it takes a mental & physical toll, as the concealment of truth requires way more way effort & energy than simply being forthright & honest.

Conversely, when a person is honest, they exude a certain fearlessness, & as cheesy as this probably sounds, "an inner glow." Of course, this is often not without hardship or struggle. The truth isn't often accepted by others. Justice, doing what's right. It's not always meant to be easy, but it can be felt so deeply. It can power us through the darkest days & nights. If we shine with passion & purpose, no one can stop us. Even if takes a while to get there. (As Confucius wisely wrote: "It does not matter how slow you go so long as you do not stop." Currently a favorite quote of mine.)

Honesty takes courage & conviction, & is character-building. It makes the statement, "I have the balls not to care what others think because what I've got to say is more important than other people's approval; this is what's right, so I've got to declare it."

[Please note that the above statement is NOT the same thing as what I like to call "TMI disease." :) No holds-barred personal self-disclosure about minor details of one's life is not the same thing as declaring the essential truths that matter.]

I believe so strongly in the principles of honesty, that I would rather be quiet than be dishonest.

We have much to learn from little children: Children are born into this natural state of telling the truth; it's time we all return to that state. "The truth will set you free."

Invitation to Join Me on BLIP.fm

If you haven't already done so, I'd like to invite you to join me on BLIP.fm. Come & see what all the fuss is about! It's really fun, & a great way to discover new music, & to become part of a musical community.

To join, just click on the below invitation from me, which will take you directly to the sign up page on Blip.fm:

Friday, January 15, 2010

Nevermind the Mainstream.....

Just thought I'd share some interesting (read non-mainstream ;) ) musical resources with you:

Rock's Backpages
The Quietus
Orkus Magazine

And for what's happening on the alternative scene, check out Stereogum. This is probably nothing new to most people who pay attention to the alt.rock scene.

An old favorite of my mine is NME. During my junior or senior year of college (it was too long ago to remember those sorts of details!), someone in my dorm room who had subscribed to NME used to put their read magazines in stacks out in the hallway, which happened to be right outside my door. Oh how lucky that was for me. I wasn't one to spend money on loads of magazine subscriptions, but was quite happily the willing (if obviously unintended) beneficiary of those free, discarded stacks on their way to recycling. In the loose sense of the word, I was recycling them twice, first by reading them after someone else had already read them, & secondly, by taking them to recycling after I'd read them. LOL.

As they say, one's (wo)man's junk is another's treasure. :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Some Cool Quotes

Sometimes I include quotes in my Blips. Here are some that I like & wanted to use, but were more than the alloted 140 chars. ;)

“No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed, & love of power.” ~P. J. O'Rourke

“To live for results would be to sentence myself to continuous frustration. My only sure reward is in my actions and not from them.” ~Hugh Prather

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." ~Friedrich Nietzsche

"What's encouraging about meditation is that even if we shut down, we can no longer shut down in ignorance. We see very clearly that we're closing off. That in itself begins to illuminate the darkness of ignorance." ~Pema Chodron

"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen." ~Samuel Adams

"The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles." ~Jeff Cooper [NOTE: I would argue against the latter point: The evil in some (wo)men's hearts isn't necessarily a permanent state of being; I believe that people can be persuaded to a better path through other means. While the rifle might be the most immediate, short-term solution, it is not always the wisest.]

"The Prohibitionist must always be a person of no moral character; for he cannot even conceive of the possibility of a man capable of resisting temptation." ~Aleister Crowley

"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew." ~Abraham Lincoln

"Indian cinema has been delivering a certain aesthetic to its audience very successfully for years and I can say without any shame that I love song and dance. I'd hate to see that disappear and as an artist I am happiest to put my all into an art form, as you do with song and dance." ~Aishwarya Rai

"Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state & remain in it. This is a kind of death." ~Anais Nin


Here are some quotes that I either have used in Blips, or plan to use in the future:

"Democracy means that when there's a knock in the door at 3 am, it's probably the milkman." ~Winston Churchill

"The best jockey hinders the horse the least." ~Eddie Arcaro

"When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny." -Thomas Jefferson

"The first affirmation I need is really my own. I don't look beyond that. I don't read what's written about it. For me the fun is making the film." ~Woody Allen

"It was only when I realized how actors have the power to move people that I decided to
pursue acting as a career." ~Cate Blanchett

"I didn’t know how to manufacture an opportunity, but I was determined that when a chance came my way I would be ready." ~Sheila Chandra

"Thank you for the tragedy. I need it for my art." ~Kurt Cobain

"Celebrity is death.. celebrity. That's the worst thing that can happen to an actor." ~John Cusack

"A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do." ~Bob Dylan

"Food is life, life is food. If you don't like my approach you are welcome to go down to MacDonalds." ~Keith Floyd

"Picasso had his pink period and his blue period. I am in my blonde period right now." ~Hugh Hefner

"Listening to music, someone’s gone ahead making a wind pattern and you’re following in the shadow of that pattern and moving through it. When you’re in the front singing, you’re the beginning." ~Antony Hegarty

"All those rich lists in the Sunday Times are so far off the mark. I don't know about anyone else's, but mine definitely is. It used to go up millions even though I'd just been sitting around doing nothing." ~Mick Jagger

"Record companies, believe me, no matter what record company you're with, they're going to try to hype you, because, really, all record companies are interested in is making money." ~Elton John

"Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we're being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I'm liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That's what's insane about it." ~John Lennon

"My music will go on forever. Maybe it's a fool say that, but when me know facts me can say facts. My music will go on forever." ~Bob Marley

"Success makes so many people hate you. I wish it wasn't that way. It would be wonderful to enjoy success without seeing envy in the eyes of those around you." ~Marilyn Monroe

"O great creator of being grant us one more hour to perform our art and perfect our lives." ~Jim Morrison

"I really, really do generally, first and foremost, make creative decisions based on what feels right, and anything monetary follows if it’s good, I believe." ~Jamie Oliver

"Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't going away." ~Elvis Presley

"That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college!" ~Homer Simpson

"Dancing and singing were always like games to me. I sang constantly." ~Tarkan

"One thing I don't feel is separation from the crowd. I don't feel like we're speaking from a platform, I feel like we are communicating on the same level." ~Eddie Vedder

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Some Blip DJs I Recommend

Here's a not-so-brief list of some of the Blip DJs I recommend listening to/following. (This list is by no means all-inclusive of all of the fab Blip DJs I follow.) Most of the below people have gotten several props & RBs from me, which is always a good sign. It means we are a fairly good match for high musical affinity. :)

For the record, the people on this list can have 5 or 50,000 followers, it doesn't alter my opinions of them as DJs in the least. I'm doing my bit to increase other people's awareness of them, because I think that a large majority of what they blip is creative &/or diverse, & of course, in excellent taste:


A First Post

Hello there & welcome, whoever you are. :) Chances are, you've probably landed here after checking out my Blip.fm profile & are now wondering what this space is all about.

So first, a little background information on this blog: I created this blog in conjunction with my Blip.fm account. First came the Twitter account (which I'm keeping a secret for now -- that's a not-so-subtle hint that it's not @musicalmind ;) ), then the Blip.fm account, & then the blog. In truth, I only created the Twitter account so that I could interact with my favorite Blipsters. And I'm keeping my Twitter account locked down & private, because I don't wish to be followed by the world there.

My attitude towards tweeting & blipping is highly reflective of my attitude towards a lot of subjects: I honestly don't care to have 5 zillion followers. Frankly, I'm simply amazed that I even have as many Blip followers as I currently do -- 1718 followers at last count. Wow. While I do sincerely appreciate the follows, I don't play music for others' approval. I play it for my own enjoyment & the enjoyment of other like-minded souls there. People who are on the same wavelength as me, & don't necessarily need a translation. Everyone else, especially those stuck in their own self-imposed musical boxes, can take a flying leap. ;)

I'm extraordinarily open-minded as far as music is concerned. In other words, I'm not going to play classic rock or alternative all day long, so you can just kiss that expectation goodbye right now. :-P I like almost every genre of music with the exception of country western, and then even there, I can make some minor exceptions.

I'm also frankly annoyed with people who are stuck in "racially & culturally delineated" boxes as well. Of course, this problem has started to fade to a large extent, but, as an example, there are still a hell of a lot of white kids that only stick to indie, rock, metal, pop, punk, &/or alternative, (or some combination thereof), & don't seem to give a rat's ass about anything else out there. (And that's just one example of the "frozen mind" syndrome that I'm talking about. Of course, everyone is entitled to their own taste & their own opinions. I just think that a whole lot of people are losing out on what they haven't yet been able to wrap their minds around.)

I'm gonna play hip-hop, rap, salsa, jazz, classical, du-wop, zydeco, rai, electronica, as well as musical genres from people, places, & eras that are as vast as this wonderful planet of ours. It's time to get over your cultural biases right now. I'll have none of that. Time to expand your minds, people. Step outside of your comfort zone. Take a big flying leap (into the unknown), pun intended. ;)


Of course, the reason I created this blog (as well as my Blip & Twitter accounts) under the "musicalmind" identity was so that I could remain anonymous & speak my mind in an uncompromising & undiluted fashion (or at least as much as humanly possible without revealing anything tremendously revealing on a personal level). In these online spaces, I frankly want to be known solely for my thoughts & musical taste, & don't care to divulge too many concrete personal details like (real) name, rank, & serial number. That way, I can express what I truly think & feel without feeling hemmed in by other people's opinions, judgments, & expectations.

The personal details aren't really important & just get in the way of minds connecting on a deeper level. You can still know a person without knowing these sorts of minutiae.

If you want to get know me, you can. By knowing the larger thoughts & ideas that I present here.

So if you want to learn something new about music, just stick with me, kiddo.

Over and out.

MM (Or M&M, as some Blipsters like to call me ;) )