Archive for June, 2008

26
Jun
08

Girl Talk’s Public Domain Pillow Fight

Girl Talk wants to be the undisputed queen of the mash up scene. A swirling miasma of musical oneupsmanship spawned from roots in hiphop sample culture via filesharing and DRM free audio warez, mash-ups stradle classifications like coked-up reverse cowgirls. Pop culture is distilled and mixed together. Unwittingly the artists comment on historical relevance, seperating existing songs’ wheat from chaff. “Generic Southern Rap Song #2801” and “Cardboard Bland Adult Contemporary” are forgotten before they even hit the streets. But there’s something there right? Something interesting when you dissect the innards. As Jay-Z said “You made it a hot line, I made it a hot song.”

 Using a lifted riff here or an accapella verse there, a talenter masher defies an audience who believes the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts. Potentially, it can be cacophonous, funny, surreal, offensive or outright bad. Girl Talk usually rises above the genre’s shortcomings, mixing up clever seques and edits. Personally I’m more a fan of groovier and a touch less hyperactive artists like 2 Many DJs, Hollertronix or DJ Z-Trip, but Girl Talk still has his niche with me. Not an expert on his music, I know a stride when I see it, and when he hits his (which is often) it’s a site to behold. Rarely too clever, smarmy or outright shrill, his music is solid and sometimes sublime. Eventually, the novelty will wear off as samplespotting is only fun once. But after the dust settles there’s still enough meat on Girl Talk’s bones for those who dine on this stuff.

He’s followed the lead of other artists who’ve finally realized people are always going to pirate their music and wondered “why not give them the option to choose their price point”? Establish good will, and add another dimension to the process of consuming: cost evaluation. In all this hoopla around the demise of the recording industry, the rise of peer to peer piracy, and the feasibility of online sales, I never see the idea postulated that an artist could stand to earn more money if he allows his fans to name their price. It may be unlikely, but consider it this way: free music is everywhere, and fans are impulsive. Give them the option to browse your music, and maybe they’ll decide to pay more than you expected. Adults with disposable income, especially those who grew up in the pre-internet era when teenage groupiedom was essentially guaranteed, can be a loyal bunch. We’ve matured, yet are still treated like petulant children by the recording industry, the media, the credit industry, almost all big business. Maybe when an artist decides to treat us as equals and says to us “Hey, we’re all adults here, how about you chip in on the gas?” we’ll drop a twenty instead of a goose egg. And maybe, after having consciously chosen to get in the car with this eccentric stranger offering us his experiences (for free), and having decided the trip was worth some cash, we’ll want to plan another Girl’s night out in the future.

So here’s the album, for whatever you choose to pay. Enjoy.

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24
Jun
08

Health management

I have type 1 diabetes. Unlike the majority of people with this form of diabetes, I developed it later in life. Typically, it’s a associated with children, and has been called “Children’s Diabetes”. I got it when I was 25, and a part of me wonders if it would have been better to have had it since childhood. As an adult, adapting to life with diabetes is challenging and I think with  Type 1 it is probably more so. With the more common type 2 diabetes, your body becomes inefficient at processing sugars. Often, you can maintain a somewhat normal existence by studiously watching what you eat. Granted, it’s still a bad condition, and with improper care can be just as dangerous as type 1. However, as I was recently reminded, even a small misstep can be extremely dangerous with type 1.

Things like diet, exercise, and insulin management all have to be learned. Old habits have to be dropped, or cut back on severely. If I had had to learn these behaviors in childhood, management would now be a lot  easier. But oddly, I’ve always looked at this affliction as sort of a penance to be paid for a lifetime of spiritual wrong doing and physical abuse of my body. There’s probably a smattering of Catholic Guilt in there, and it’s ultimately probably not a healthy way to view this disease. On further reflection, I could probably stand to view this less theologically. Overall, it’s another in a long line of lessons in humility I find myself going through as I grow older.

Up to this point I haven’t done particularly well managing my disease. My blood sugars have been consistently astronomical, and I haven’t gone through too much effort to regiment myself with a healthy lifestyle. It’s not fair to say I haven’t done anything; I really have accomplished a lot considering my circumstances these past few years. But it’s often pretty easy to forget that. I’ve always been bad with patience. Taking time to reflect and relax is definitely not the feather in my personality’s cap.

Recently my wife and I moved the furthest from civilization we’ve ever been. We don’t live in the swamp, and we can get to the gas station without wasting half a tank on the trip, but it is out there. And it’s far from all our old haunts: our family, our friends, the bank, the university, the book and thrift stores, and also our doctors. Coupled with the fact of my endocrinologist, who had served as my De Facto general practitioner, dropping me as a patient, we’ve been re-evaluating our health care support system. The summer has been filled with appointment on top of appointment, getting us up to date with our various physicians. Friday I saw my new general practitioner.

We’d had a full lab workup done, and were discussing the results. In a nutshell, they’re not good. My blood sugars were predictibly in sub-orbital flight, and I’ve developing damage to my kidneys. As my doctor put it, I’m too young for this, and it’ll just get worse and more frustrating as I get older.

At his suggestion, I’m adapting a drastically different approach to my health management. He seems pretty decent as far as doctors go, and he helped develop a simple, but probably very effective plan. There’s no more sliding scale for insulin. This means, I will only be taking a set amount of insulin once or twice daily (depending on early results). In the past, I was “supposed” to assess my blood sugars before and after meals, and deal out insulin to cover high sugars, large meals, etc. In theory, this is probably the most accurate and “in control” way, short of an insulin pump, to deal with sugar fluctuation. However, it assumes a certain finesse that can only really be gained through trial and error. I’ve had too much error, and this method just isn’t working for me. Down the line, I hope to develop healthy habits, but for now I essentially need to be forced into a monastic eating existence.

So, I’m now on a strict 1500 calorie a day diet. 2000 when I exercise. Meals are planned, snacks are forbidden. I don’t have an insulin safety net to land on should I decide I want a large bag of Sun Chips and a pack of Peanut M+Ms. It’s kind of daunting, but in a very real way I’m tired of trying to do this on my own. I’m glad my doctor is being forceful and taking control of this situation. Compared to my endocrinologist his methods are not very scholarly, but I’m not working on my doctorate here. Like Calculus, I just want to pass this test and get on with my damn life.

 P.S. Spell check is erroring out on here, forgive me for my sins.

19
Jun
08

Keystyles open doors

One of my old favorite hobbies was “keystyling” (text freestyling lol), while drunk over IRC, AIM, whatever. Even though it’s you know, kinda gay and kinda wack, it was fun back in the day. Well, a drunk friend forced me to repeat this nonsense last night, and since I have nothing else to write about, here’s some logs. Keep in mind, my buddy, who shall remain nameless, was ostensibly drunk off his ass. So almost everything here is, embarrassingly enough, mine.

Here’s a hot instrumental to get you in the mood

<asciigod> pass the mic like a glass, I laugh/ like the joker, fuck you with a poker/ straight out the fireplace/ listening to dire straights/ money or nothing/ bitches in benzos stoned off endo/ like snoop, schoop like salt/ pepper your house if you’re in default/ 401k or bombay, saphire, expired tags/ drink that milk if it’s rotten/

<asciigod> wiener mobile racing off track/ off road, i unload on a track/ baker’s rack, holds my cookbooks/ take ya back to a crook’s nook/ crannies, filled like dentures on grannies/ fucking bitches in purple wigs/ let me reiterate to illustrate/ i’m fucking bitches in purple wigs/ suck my purple twig/ got branches like banks/ tyra, tie ya up and then spank/

<asciigod> it gets no iller, i’mthe semen spiller/ beat it was my favorite track on thriller/ chiller, like a slushee/ mushing/ fuck dog racing/ i’m into racing frogs/ hopscotch over your lincoln logs, dropping stinking logs/ i took a dump in the playground/

<drunkfriend> in her perm / drop the secret syrum /
<drunkfriend> what
<asciigod> the secret syrum, never fear em/ weak mcs/ stoned faced like easter island when i’m wildin’/ jack ass/ constantly suffering from acid flashbacks/ ascii this/ ask me this/ can you draw an NFO for my mp3 group/ oldschool shit like f-troop/ zoot suit race riots/ in space suits it’s quiet/ no one can hear you scream/ causing bad dreams about losing C.R.E.A.M./ i rule everything around me/ i’m astounding/ ripley’s believe it or not, i’m hot

Here, I inform my friend that this is this year’s birthday present, as he’s so amused.

<asciigod> this is your birthday present

<asciigod> birthday present, rabbits eat lettuce/ i eat rabbits/ furburgers with ketchup/ check out my get up/ i’m dressed like a clown/ the john wayne gacy of rap/ racing my ice cream truck/ amazing discoveries in back/ is this Dexter?/ showtime original when it’s show time/ i’m so sick/ if I was deaf dumb and blind/ I would own mimes at their shit/

Nasty.

Note to self: Hire super-producer, record club banger.

Note to self 2: Idea for song: “For the Children”

17
Jun
08

Advanced patience

Growing up is a lot about patience and routine. Sure, the acrobatic moments of impulse decisions, spur of the moment road trips, romantic weekend getaways, and lottery winnings tend to get all the gloss, but normally success comes down to sweat and grind. This has all been said before. One percent inspiration, ninety nine, etc. But still, sometimes you have to reflect on, and observe, the effects of patience in your life. Without learning how to deal with the rigorous ennui of life, we’d all be street people. And street people don’t have careers, investments, great works of sculpture or blogs. Or do they? I hope not, that’d totally blow my hypothesis.

I’ve finally gotten around to arranging my investments into a purpose driven format. Instead of just throwing all our savings into one giant pile at the end of the bed, I’ve now got a neat system figured out with percentages, pie charts and email notifications. What happens is I’ve got six short term savings goals to accomplish. Money gets placed in one account, but instead of being viewed as one balance, it’s hypothetically divided into several sub-accounts. The original article from which I drew inspiration for this tactic suggested it was a way to satisfy a person’s need for impulse gratification. Oddly, I’m finding the exact opposite to be true.

Until recently, my wife and I only had one accomplishment to aim for: moving to our new place. This worked out okat the time, as we were fairly novice at saving and investing (and I guess we still are). I had just come out of a pretty severe, several year illness, and she was just starting to work her way up in her career. Just paying bills was ok, saving towards a move was a nice, simple icing on the cake. In a way, any amount of savings thrown towards this goal was good. So if we had, for instance, one hundred dollars to save, putting fifty away and spending fifty on entertainment seemed ok. It was a stepping stone on learning the patience of savings. At the same time, I could pretty frivolously spend small amounts of money at will, which I found very satisfying. My wife, God bless her, is content to just read and put together jigsaw puzzles in her spare time. This onus is all me…

Now that the money’s divided into six chunks, with some fairly large end goals each (two, six, ten thousand dollars, etc) that hypothetical one hundred dollars earlier doesn’t really gratify at all. Even a larger sum, say a thousand dollars, only bumps up the balances in small, very unrewarding increments. And I think that’s the lesson that I am learning here. I feel like an addict when I give up significant portions of discretionary income. But if I don’t, the amount being saved feels almost negligible. I’m left needing to save more. I question “Do I really need this XXXXX?”, or “How much would foregoing XXXXX raise the balance in X account”.

It’s totally baffling to me that an exercise designed to satisfy an impulse should instead be making me slowly, and psychologically painfully, learn to adapt a new, more mature form of patience.

I have mixed feelings right now, but I’m sure in a month or two, the rewards will be worth it.

 

 

11
Jun
08

Houston Rap (Finally!)

I’m wondering what to tag this post. I can actually unironically put “Houston Rap” there. And that’d be ok. Although this is really Cali V. Florida rap. Radman and me. Recorded around 2003/04… I forget the exact timeframe (drinky drinky). This isn’t the only scene rap out there, but sadly, I think it’s probably the best.

Screwed up by my adopted “Internet Son” DJ Singsing. This is his masterpiece before going into the Marines. Good work! Also, his name isn’t DJ Singsing. Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

This is also notable (to me) for being my first video production and my first upload to youtube. LOLs all around on this on. 😛

 

10
Jun
08

Sudo grep “deez nutz” | Yourchin.txt

In regards to earlier posts, here and here. I submit the following information.

 

Lol.

 

Score. Me: 685. Suckas that play me: 0

10
Jun
08

BULLETS

Monolake is pretty good music for work. Try it out, become a slave.

I love to-do lists. I especially like putting easy things on them, then crossing them out. “Buy Coke”, “Check Email”, “Clean out wallet”, “Shower”. Very gratifying.

Saw a good friend today. He lives about 5 hours away, but occasionally visits his parents who live here, or attends conferences in the area. It was a good time. To paraphrase him “Time flies when you’re wasting it”.

Record stores aren’t as fun as they used to be, but if I’m with my homey and they drop Herbie Hancock’s “Rocket”, a fierce dance battle will ensue.

It’s going to be a really long night. I got up at noon. Have a meeting with the school counselor at 9am. Working, now.

Back on eBay after so many years. Well, it feels like years. I don’t really miss the days when I was near death, hustling to sell everything I could find not bolted down to buy cereal. But I did a whole hell of a lot better than I thought I would, with a lot of left over inventory and crap I had laying around. Score for the vacation fund?

Lil’ Wayne’s Tha Carter III leaked a few days ago. Not a huge fan, but should I get caught up in the zeitgeist? It would be nice to have something to listen to besides The Re-Up Gang this year. On second thought, no, I’m perfectly ok listening to the various Re-Up projects until infinity.