Sunday, October 17, 2010

Paid for What?

Let me tell you a little bit about my job.

I work in SEO. Search Engine Optimization. As simply as I can describe it, we help our client's sites appear higher in the search results, thus increasing their web traffic, and by extension their sales.

My office has 8 regular employees, and a number of intermittent visitors. There is never a dull moment. (Except that time when the other 7 of the 8 either took the day off or went to meetings and lunch.) We have a lot of fun. Need proof?

How's that for proof?

A few weeks ago one of the owners showed up with 8 NERF guns. We had a war.

As if my job wasn't cool enough already, now they are paying me extra to write articles for one of the clients. I almost don't believe it. It's almost as good as being paid to have a NERF war.

Then today a friend called and told me he's been offered a regular paying gig, and wondered if I'd like to join him from time to time and make a few extra bucks. It's like my whole life is being monetized, and all I have to do is everything I like.

I should also mention that for the first time in memory, I like every class I'm taking. Homework is actually pleasant. It's as though the universe itself is turning in on itself. Can it last? Only time will tell. For right now, I'm going to keep loving life.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Here's the thing....

...I hate those obligatory "I haven't posted in a long time so here is my oath of renewed regular postage" posts. First of all, they are usually lies. It sometimes lasts a little while, but be honest, you're going to find yourself writing another one in a few months. Second of all, they are always lame. It's a sorry excuse for a post. Sure you get the variation "recap of the last 6 months," and that's a little better, but really it's still a cop out.

So this is not one of those posts. I make no promises. I may or may not write again soon.

Let me tell you about this:

I saw The Social Network today. It's the movie about Facebook. I really liked it. It actually inspired me. I came home with a hankerin' to do some math and programming. I decided that it was time I really get serious about life. I don't want to be an average guy any longer. I want to be really good at whatever it is I do. If that means extra math work, then I'ma do it. If it means filling in the many gaps in my C++ class on my own time, I'ma do that too. I may not have my billion dollar idea yet, but you can bet I'll be ready for it when it comes.

If you're nice to me, I may even share the wealth.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

float like a feather

It all started with the trailer for the new Facebook movie "The Social Network."

If you've seen it there is no way you didn't notice the amazing choir rendition of "Creep." It is at once moving and disturbing, something few can accomplish, but Thom Yorke has mastered in his songwriting, and this choir has magnified. In all the countless versions of Creep that I've heard, none but maybe Damien Rice have done it justice. Now there is another.

I began looking into it and found that the performers are a Belgian women's choir, Scala and Kolacny Brothers. I too, thought it odd that a women's choir has the word Brothers in it's title, but a little looking told me that Scala is the choir and the Kolacny Brothers are the conductor and pianist. They have a number of rock and pop songs they have covered, and every one of them is fantastic. Here are a few.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Sometimes I need a break from analytical thinking. From worrying. From regular concerns. Today was one of those days. Most of the day was physical labor, some for exercise, some for sport, some chores, and some to help a neighbor in need. Then I read a good book. Finally I made my retreat to the ultimate refuge: music. Tomorrow I will attend church services and will feel whole. Just in time for school to start again next week.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Life sometimes provides fascinating motifs. One expects patterns in mathematics. As one learns more math and how it applies to the natural world, one begins to see order in the chaos of the universe. Things like the natural log, the prevalence of sinusoidal functions, and the fact that two and two always and obstinately equals four, regardless of what objects you may be counting, are all indicative of said order. So when I see people carrying bagels in ziplock bags everywhere I go, with no apparent relevance to one another, I am nevertheless awed by nature’s display of uniformity.

Is it a sign? Maybe.

Will I change my shirt because of it? Probably.

Will I then see someone else wearing the same socks as me? Very likely.

Oh Mother Nature, you are such a tease!

Now playing: Band of Skulls - Patterns
via FoxyTunes

Friday, June 25, 2010


So Mogli fell asleep in the car on the way home tonight. Naturally, I carefully tucked him in when we got back and went about the business of getting to bed myself. About thirty minutes later I heard him get out of bed and walk down the hall and into my room. I assumed he needed to pee and was, as he often does, checking to see if he can get in our bed, and, upon hearing that he cannot, asking to be tucked in after he relieved himself. “I’m in hear bubby” I called to him. But then I heard the tell tale tinkling sound and guessed he would finish and climb in my bed and I would move him momentarily. Something about that tinkle just didn’t sound right though…

He was still standing at the scene when I walked in (but what he was doing can barely be described as standing). In front of him was a Spin magazine with Paramore on the cover that had previously been dropped there haphazardly. It–and the floor around it–was soaked in urine.

“What are you doing?”

Just an unfocused stare and another wobble in response.

*sigh* “Go get in bed bro.”

After another unfocused glance, he attempted to comply. He made it halfway down the hall before he forgot what he was doing and began wandering, ending up back by my side a moment later. My second attempt at sending him to bed only earned a quick circle, starting toward the door and coming back to where I was standing in a few uneven steps. I carried him to his bed, where he immediately resumed his deepest sleep without so much as a sigh to hint at his escapade.

I suppose we’ll never know if the magazine was just the first target he saw, the unfortunate bystander in the wrong place at the wrong time, or if he has simply decided he doesn’t like Paramore. Regardless, I’ll be on high alert any time he gets up in the middle of the night from now on.

Now playing: Paramore - Decode
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, May 1, 2010

number 9... number 9...

My brain, as I study for finals, break to work at a convenience store, and study some more, is beginning to feel like the Beatles track "Revolution 9."

By that I mean incoherent and nonsensical. By that I also mean awesome.

Today I learned to say "compere miso." I did not, however learn to spell it.

Capillary action is related to surface tension.

The foci are an equal distance from the center.

If you become naked... Hold that line!

Now playing: The Beatles - Revolution 9
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, April 29, 2010

To Those Whose Value(s)=Undefined

You can muddy the clearest of waters

Blur the most beautiful view

Give me purity, you will corrupt it

The simplest phrase you misconstrue

The most lucid concept you will obscure

You cloud the sky, however blue

And all of this with nary a thought

Or any regard for truth

Now playing: Incubus - Blood on the Ground
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I recently mentioned several unposted posts. One of them chronicled the adventures of Mogli's 4th birthday extravaganza. It involved Chuck-e-Cheese, seven hundred some odd tickets and the cheap toys purchased with them, cake, ice cream, grandparents, and lots and lots of balloons.

Along with turning four comes a doctor checkup. Being that his mother is a nurse,not to mention he's already had his share of emergency visits, he isn't afraid of doctor's offices the way many children are. In fact I dare say he was excited. He has backed off on the growing thing, only in the 84th height percentile, down some 10% or so from last year. He was declared fit as a fiddle, and the doctor told him he could have his kindergarten shots if he wanted them. He told the doctor that he quite likes shots, and yes he would appreciate having them post haste. No sense waiting around to get sick when such a fun thing as shots are available, right? He came home and showed me the dots on his leg and was just as pleased as could be!

Well, I went to class, he visited Grammy, and by the time I got home he was singing a whole new tune. It went something like "you can't pick me up or put me down or make me go to bed or let me stay up or give me a hug or let me go or stay here or go in the other room and I can't hold still or move because my shots hurt me too much."

Maybe next time he'll think twice

Now playing: Wilco - Shot in the Arm
via FoxyTunes before volunteering for early medical treatment.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Blue Funk

I have a lot that I have been meaning to say. Several unfinished posts lie in my draft folder, awaiting finishing touches like pictures, links, or just a good edit. I just don't feel like doing it. That seems to be my default state right now. Have you ever been in a mood that can't be described? This one is like melancholy and contentment with a splash of nostalgia and a pinch of... something else. It's certainly not sad, but not especially happy either. All I really want to do is make some music, but when I try I just get lost in it and don't accomplish anything. So the last few days I've done a LOT of stuff. Things that have been on my to do list for days, weeks, and even months. I feel very accomplished, but still incomplete.

Maybe some sleep will help.

Now playing: Norah Jones - The Long Day Is Over
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Let me just say it was a rough day....

But happy 311 day anyway!

Now playing: 311 - 07.Creatures (For A While)
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Phantom of the Opera

I've always liked the musical. It has everything: action and adventure, love and loss, mystery and intrigue, and great music. I learned quite recently that it is based on a book. Yes, I should have assumed as much, but I did not, and so was surprised when I saw it. That was a week ago. I just finished it this morning. It is amazing.

Gaston Lebroux writes the novel as an historian who has done a large amount of research in order at last to shed light on the whole of a great mystery--or rather several great mysteries that turn out to be one and the same. Take everything you know about the Opera Ghost and Christine Daae, and add an extra 5 layers of depth. (One for each cellar in the Paris Opera House in which the majority of the story takes place.) It's older English, translated from French, which lends beauty and character to the structure of the writing not found in our common language today. Due to this it is not a particularly easy read, but it is indeed a rich one. The tragedy of the story is especially expanded from that of the musical. He is uglier, more pitiful, and of a much more complex background. Meanwhile he is far more genius than Mr Webber gave him credit for, and not just when it comes to music. I found myself feeling great pity for him, despite the monstrous things he did, as did Christine and the Persian (a very important character in the book, omitted from the broadway production).

Too often, when you read the original work behind an adaptation, the latter deteriorates, sometimes so far that it's no longer enjoyable. In this case I love it more than ever. Consider this my recommendation to each of you to find a copy.

Now playing: Andrew Lloyd Webber - The Music Of The Night
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Blood? Blood. Crimson copper-smelling blood, his blood. Blood. Blood. Blood. And bits of sick!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Humanity's Greatest Achievment

As it turns out all of humanity reached it's peak when this video was made in 1976. There is nowhere to go but down from here. If this is the quality entertainment brought about by communism, maybe I'll give it a try after all!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

the tricks they play

Have you ever been on the news? It's happened to me twice now; The Reporter and his trusty sidekick Cameraman hiding around a corner, waiting to ambush the next passerby with a barrage of questions asked so quickly and worded so craftily that you can't help but support they're story no matter what you really think. Then you spend the next part of your day thinking of hundreds of things you could have said that would have been a whole lot better. I tried to find the story so I could link to it, but I was unsuccessful. Too bad to, they got a great shot of Bryce and me crossing a street after our interview.

Now playing: Ides of March - Vehicle
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Something strange has happened in the past few months. I've always enjoyed classical music, some more some less, but it's always been quite a passive enjoyment. My father frequently listens to various movie soundtracks while working away in his office. We used to blast the local classical station with the windows down in my high school parking lot, but that was just for the reaction of the other students. Once or twice we turned on the same station and narrated what we imagined the story of the current piece to be. It has never been a large part of my life though.

Last year we got the Twilight soundtrack. A few months ago we added New Moon. Both include some very lovely piano pieces. Muse's last album has a Chopin Nocturne as a song's outro, and Matthew Bellamy has incorporated classical piano into his songs on several occasions. That is where my craving began. It started with just piano, anything I could get my hands on, be it Rachmaninov, Beethoven, or even David Lanz. From there it has expanded. Last week my Mrs watched Pride and Prejudice while I did chemistry homework and I couldn't stop thinking about the music for days. I downloaded the soundtrack and gave it a number of spins over the subsequent days. I just can't get enough.

Never have I wished more that I could play the piano.

Now playing: Various Artists - Dawn
By "Various Artists" they mean Jean-Yves Thibaudet
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I hate college kids

They drive me crazy. There are 3 main breeds:

The Career Student--
These are the ones who take one or two classes per semester, often working in no particular direction, and who will likely never earn an actual degree. They do this firstly so they can utilize the school as a social realm, mingling with others of their kind, having never moved past the high school state of mind, and secondly so they can avoid any actual responsibility in the world. "I can't get a full time job, I'm in school!" is a common thing to hear from them. They are also more often than not loud, obnoxious, and greasy/foul smelling.

The College Conformist--
These are the ones who live in a strange paradoxical world where nothing is more important than individuality, and individuality means being and thinking exactly the same as the rest of the herd. It is from this group that you find the blind "activist" preaching peace with Mao's Little Red Book in one hand and the Communist Manifesto in the other and wearing a Che t-shirt and never even blinking at the irony. You're likely to hear them say something like "the right are a bunch of fascists because they shut down free speech; we need to shut down Fox News and talk radio." This is also the group that includes the indie rocker, for whom quality of music comes secondary to the attitude with which it was written. You will overhear this explanation from one of them: "My favorite band is The Pants That Go On Pink. I'm sure you've never heard of them, they're totally underground. I know about them cuz I'm in college. They recorded their album gathered around a hand held tape recorder, it was such an amazing artistic idea. They never actually learned how to play their instruments either, that's what makes them such brilliant musicians." Finally this is the group containing the nebulous drifter. This is the one who just goes where the wind takes them. Their favorite music is whatever happens to be on the top 20, they wear whatever the TV tells them to, and speak with all the currently hip colloquialisms. They will say "did you see what that celebrity said on the reality show last night? I wouldn't have a life if I couldn't watch other people pretend they were living their normal life in front of cameras. I need to go potty, can someone please hold my hand?"

The University Type--
These ones are the extremely arrogant type who do things like write in the school newspaper but can't spell, punctuate, or construct a proper sentence, let alone string two together coherently. Yet they are far smarter than the rest of humanity. They comment too frequently in class, but don't have enough genuine wit or wisdom to spit at. This is the group I'm particularly upset with today. Let me tell you why. My chemistry teacher is perhaps lacking in social skills and charisma, but he knows chemistry very well, and clearly loves it. He is very meticulous in writing down everything we need to know. Yep, it can get pretty boring, but it's better than him moving so quickly through the subject matter that no one can possibly keep up. Occasionally he'll write something down incorrectly, and send all the "smart" kids into a frenzy. Today the problem was that his periodic table gave the atomic mass for flourine as 18.99 and ours was an even 19.00. It was pretty easy to see, since each piece of the equation was .01 grams off. Yet they all went nuts. In his most condescending voice one asked "how could the two flourine molecules have an atomic mass of 37.9 g when flourine is exactly 19 g? 19x2 is 38." He went on to do it every time it happened through the entire class. I wanted to shake him and yell "He's not an idiot, he's just looking at a table that didn't round the way ours did! Think for yourself man, or are you only the self proclaimed smartest person in the universe when the answers are being written down on the white board? Good job, you know 2nd grade math, here's a sticker! Did it ever occur to you that the guy with the Master's degree and a decade of experience also knows how to add?"

They're idiots, the lot of them.

via FoxyTunes