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>29 May 2003
>28 May 2003
Wednesday night sing-a-long
The band boys are coming over this evening for an acoustic session. I wanna switch up the way I come at writing lyrics a lil bit. I didn't know how limited my scope of music experience/knowledge was till I moved to the big city..
I'm still singing that Lizzy song in my head. It's pretty cool to hear a song that you like, and pick up a guitar (and download some tabs) and be playing it an hour later..
In related news, if Santa Claus happens to be a benevolent Internet scanner, just know that the two things (materially) that I want most are a Vox AC/30 and a new iPod. Back in the ole days when I had me a real jobbie job - i'd have bought them for myself months ago. Right now, they've been wants for like the last 6 months..
>27 May 2003
Tueday night sing-a-long
From Ben Kweller - he puts on a pretty decent show. (it really amazes me how many good songs are just variants off the same chord progressions of each other)
And like my momma said,
don't you let it get to your head.
When you know you're being fed
I'm so proud to know you..
Lizzy I'll write, i'll sing
telephone tellin you
i'll be home soon..
Random thought for the day
The world is both a beautiful and an ugly place. Take the time to indulge in both; for without knowing both, how are you supposed to really know either one?
>26 May 2003
On Friday I must've spent 2 and a half hours on trains and at least 45 minutes in cabs. I did have a lot of places to be - and I was glad that I made it out to all of them. It was cool to see Javs before he made it out for the whole summer. I'm more at ease that the living situation next year will work out fine.
Two out of the three weekend nights i've spent in Brooklyn anyways. It really might be a lot easier when I move out there.
Yesterday, Red Hook was cool, and it was nice to see Mei and also hang with Todd and Sharon before they went on their Spain trip. I hope they have fun - and bring me back soemthing cool. I think i'm still digesting all the BBQ that I ate. Anyways, tonight is gonna be a chill night.
>23 May 2003
Cool Matrix view/review
>22 May 2003
Random business idea..
Just read a story in The Stranger about the moving on of a lady who helped promote a cultural scene for teens in Seattle. Which got me thinking - when I grew up in suburbia, I did have a lot of great things, but I would have loved to have been exposed to art, books and music at a younger age. I wonder if it's possible to perhaps put together something along the lines of a mini Barnes & Noble combined with an art gallery/art lab space (perhaps with instruction?), and a music studio/performance space.
I wonder if the economics of that could be tweaked to make it something actually functional? Well maybe i'll find some backers start it up one day..
>21 May 2003
Personality trait or personality flaw?
All my life, i've been really good at moving on to the next thing and not really stopping to look back. Whole groups of friends, activities, girls, music - whatever.. I just take the next thing as it comes along and run with it.
I kinda think that re-inventing yourself isn't a bad thing, as long as your core person stays the same, which I think is true for me.
I'm going to try my best to keep up with my friends from home - I know that everyone misses me and I miss them too. I don't want that group to become some forgotten piece of the past. I know that i've changed a bit since i've moved up here and I hope that we can all grow and change together as these years go by.
But again I can't help but feel that of the new friends that i've made up here, that they won't be a part of my life after I leave here (most likely after graduation). When we were all in Rincon, someone asked who of the group was most likely to drop out of existence and not speak with anyone anymore - The consensus answer was Robinson, even though I was part afraid/part realistically thinking that it was me..
Well, I guess that really is how life goes. The people that you really click with you stay in touch with and those who were just around for fun/company just will drift away. It's kinda sad and melancholy but not alltogether in a bad way. I will enjoy the time that I spend in NYC, no matter how close/not quite close I feel with those around me. You dont need to make best friends wherever you go...
It's not my money, It's Mr. Perkin's and Mr Stafford's!
It's a pretty crappy thing to be disappointed in the classes you took in a semester, especially when tuition is like 17 grand a year. But then again, I do get to live in NYC. Oh well - when I move back in with my parents so that I can afford the student loan repayment then i'll complain for real. Now i'll just hope that next year's classes are more challenging/rewarding.
You say you'll give me, a highway with no-one on it.
Treasure just to look upon it, All the riches in life
You say you'll give me eyes in a moon of blindness
a river in a time of dryness, a harbor in the tempest.
But all the promises we made, from the cradle to the grave..
When all I want.. is you.
>20 May 2003
Yet another.. Movie night
Saw the Matrix 2 - it was pretty decent for a sequel. I think that the main point that im gonna take from it (and what re-inforces some of my personal beliefs, anyways) is that we do all have the power of choice. Whether we make the good ones or the bad ones, the power of choice is what truly makes us divine.
I'll rant about my theory of determinism and 'fate' on some other day. (Maybe tomorrow at work!).
>19 May 2003
If 'these' aren't the best days of your life, then why bother living them? (That goes for everyone at every age)
1. What drinking water do you prefer -- tap, bottle, purifier, etc.?
Don't drink water too often. Not usually picky about where I get it from.
2. What are your favorite flavor of chips?
Probably Sour Cream & Onion, even though they do a number on your breath..
3. Of all the things you can cook, what dish do you like the most?
This is gonna seem gross, but I still make myself Kraft Mac & Cheese, with some browned ground beef. So good, and yet so so bad.
4. How do you have your eggs?
Over Hard (Like the egg that's on top of an Egg McMuffin
5. Who was the last person who cooked you a meal? How did it turn out?
Kathy (last girl that I dated..) - It was some in the box indian food but it turned out pretty decently.
New Urbanism Rant
I think i'm starting to coherently form my argument about what I don't like about New Urbanism. It's like a disney version of a real urban environment - too manicured, too perfect, too thought-out. You can't plan a city. Cities just happen. You can lay down the infrastructure, the blocks and lots and etc, but then things must be left some organic way to create itself.
The only way to ensure retail within walking distance of an area (a main tenet of new urbanism) is to have compact enough of a development pattern and enough of a diversity/openness of allowable uses that commerce will locate itself. You can't force the laws of markets and profit.
>18 May 2003
Six Feet Under is one of the best shows on TV. And that's all I have to say about that.
Artist of the day
Charlatans UK. Haven't really heard them much before, but i've been getting a bit more into Britpop lately. It's not overpowering like a lot of 'homegrown' rock/alt acts are - more introspective in a way.
I know I'm as good as my neighbour
A starter for ten
I can't promise I'll always be with you
I promise I'll always be there
Oh, I wonder what you people do with your lives
Oh, I wonder what you people do with your lives..
My opinion on NYC nabes..
I really, for some reason, have always liked Brooklyn Heights. I walked through today and nothing seemed to change that notion. It's not sexy like the 'Burgh or the E. Village, and it's just as residential as the Hill or Upper East/West, but there's just something to it that I really like. Hopefully next year I (we) can find a cool place somewheres out there.
Time to head into the studio tomorrow to hopefully finish mixing hollywood and fired. Then we can throw all three done songs so far on a CD. It really is amazing how much good production helps out your sound, and no matter how far I go with music from here on out, it's a lesson that i'll always take with me.
>17 May 2003
Saturday morning rant
Okay, I just read in the Wash. Post about people that are blaming the movie 'The Matrix' for their behaviours (such as killing and dismembering a landlord).. While the effects of violence in todays popular culture may lead to some copycat behaviour, I don't see how this is different from watching Tom and Jerry or old Bugs Bunny cartoons in violence level. Kids have anlways been exposed to violence, it's just now that people are trying to make a scapegoat out of popular culture.
As if pop culture killed their parents, not them..
Anyways, I for one believe that there is not one moral standard for every person of every race, creed, religion, background, upbringing, etc to follow. Every person has their internal levels of morality and of right and wrong, which is true for their own being.
Now having said that, I also believe in personal responsibility. you ALWAYS have the ability not to act out on something, whether or not you deem it to be moral or immoral. Eating tubs of crisco would be a completely moral thing to do in my book, but you'll never ever catch me doing it. Why? Because I have the capacity to make decisions.
If you kill someone, whether or not you truly believe that you are in the Matrix universe or not, you deserve the consequences for your actions. I believe that we have become a society that is so mired in being politically correct and 'fair' to everyone, we somehow lost sight of personal responsibility.
Every single last thing you ever do - you made the choice to do. If you are able to reap the rewards for good decisions that you have made, you must be able to take the negative consequences of the bad decisions you have made.
The wonder years
Wow. It's hard to explain, but over the last week or two I feel like im growing up a bit. There's not this insatiable need to be out anymore, to relentlessly flirt anymore (too much at least) or whatever else..
Not sure if this is just a temporary thing or not, but i'll find out soon i'm sure.
>16 May 2003
At the movies.
Saw Bend it like Beckham yesterday. It was a cute lil movie. Although given that the two girls are supposed to be seniors in high school, they more seemed to act like freshmen. But hey..
Also decided that i'm going to try to go to Angelika and Sunshine to watch indie movies more often. They seem to ring a bit more real that a lot of the other crap thats out there.. (Spoken just as I plan on watching the Matrix 2 over the weekend.. )
>15 May 2003
A New York state of mind..
Just picked up two more Salinger books. I just finished reading Franny and Zooey and re-reading breakfast at Tiffany's a few weeks back and realized that I had been prepping myself for my New York experience subconsciously... I'm not sure whether I like Capote or Salinger better - they both write concisely and beautifully.
If any one happens to stumble upon this post and has read a great (short) book, please lemme know in a comment. (I only read short books cause I have a short attention span..)
Ever since I got my first tattoo, i've been jonesing to get another. I want a cool arm tattoo, on the inside upper part of my forearm - only drawback being that i'll have to buy a whole lot of long-sleeve shirts for work. I'll do some more research on it...
>14 May 2003
Yet another summer
It's that time of year again. Everything slows down a bit, and lots of people go here and there to do their life things. This might just possibly be my last real summer for a while.. I really must take the time to appreciate it.
Addicted to alt-country
Got a hold of the first Wilco album a month or two ago. It's in a pretty constant rotation lately..
You've got a.. blue eyed soul..
And if you don't.. let it show..
It'll leave you, you won't even know..
Without your.. blue eyed soul.
Jealous 'lil boys and girls
Quote from the Washington Post's Carolyn Hax. (Which is a great column, BTW)
How do you recommend handling jealousy (when it's YOU who are the one who becomes jealous easily)?
Ask yourself why you feel so threatened. That's all jealousy is -- a sense that if there's any competition at all, you'll lose to it.
What do they think they're playing with, Monopoly money?
The Administration, under it's 'Distort any half-truth just to get what I want' attitude, is now pushing for another 'sunset clause deal' that will phase in the tax exemptions on dividends by 50% the first year, 75% the second, 100% the third and fourth, and then fade into the sunset and go back to the current system after five years. Who exactly is it that they're trying to kid? Either offer it up whole, or compromise down somehow. You know that when five years rolls around, somehow the sunset will have been repealed. This is just a play to ram it through Congress and worry about things later.
And you know what? I wouldn't even halfway care about cutting taxes if there was ANY restraint on holding back the Federal budget. This previous years (2002) Federal Budget was 2.011 trillion dollars, while 1999's budget was 1.7 trillion dollars. That's a 5.75% average annual increase, which easily outstrips any inflationary explanation. Where exactly is it that the other half of the cut taxes and reduce spending equation is supposed to come into play?
[update] - The Senate passed it. Complete with the sunset bill. Every day I think these guys get more and more out of touch.
The meaning of life
Don't settle for things just because they're accessible or are better than nothing. Hold out for what you really want, and when you get it you appreciate it that much more.
>13 May 2003
Funniest thing i've read today
It's about sushi, drinking and boxers.. hilarious.
I'm not quite sure what to make about this whole Bill Bennett thing. I know it's kind of getting to be old news by now, but I just wanted to add my viewpoint to the millions of views out there already. I think that there's nothing wrong with gambling, and if you choose to gamble, then that's your own call - you deal with the consequences. Which is kind of the way I'd feel if say - a president decided to have extramarital relations with an intern.. his problem, he'll deal with the consequences. Or if a president somehow used to be a drunkard and perhaps a drug addict through his younger years.. his problem, he'll deal with the consequences.
None of these things are any of my business, really.
A really cool story from the SFGate. If people get the chance to succeed, it doesn't matter where they come from.
See, I happen to be studying urban planning, and also tend to find myself a libertarian on many issues. Something that pains me is the rift between libertarianism and smart growth. Many libertarians would argue that people have voted with their feet (and cars) to the suburbs. Many smart growth advocates think that the answer is to attach reams of new rules and exceptions on top of existing land use regulations, whereas I think the real answer is to start fresh with them.
The force that has both created the ability for sprawling mega-suburbs and also stopped market forces from delivering a more clustered and urban environment is the current zoning/land use system, combined with the extraordinary power than small citizen groups have of warping the development process.
People want development, they want density. The reason that developers want to tear down the house next door to you and 'destroy your quality of life' with a set of rowhouses or apartments isn't because they are evil - it's because there is actually a market for small and expensive housing units that they can make money by fulfilling. Take down the rules and regulations that make it hard to redevelop and redensify cities (especially inner-cities and inner-ring suburbs), and I could almost guarantee that smart growth would begin to happen by sheer market inertia.
My personal suggestions:
1 - Integrate many of the currently separate zoning designations for residential and commercial/retail. Really, the only land use that needs to be split off is heavy/medium industrial sites, and there really aren't as many of them around these days.
2 - Review all zoning ordinances related to the lot usage (setbacks, height restrictions,density restrictions) and pare them down so that they are actually the minimums needed for public health/safety/welfare. Do we REALLY need a 3 acre lot for a house? Doesn't that seem the least bit wasteful? These and other 'requirements' are somehow justified by planners and residents in a lot of places.
3 - Simplify the environmental process (brownfields assessments, SEQR [or it's equivalents], wetlands and such) so that developments are not held hostage to inane and often ambiguous decisions of environmental authority by differing bodies.
4 - Allow/Require on-street parking for any area that is or expecting to be an urbanized area. Cars take up space.. a lot of space. Make it be space that's already existing and available.
5 - Simplify the public review process. Projects can literally be stopped in their tracks because of the pseudo-corruption involved in the process. Neighbors often have good reasons for stopping development, but more often than not hide behind the demons of 'increased traffic and/or noise' and many other such complaints just because they were there first and don't want anyone new to change their little worlds.
Smart growth can and should happen, and it can happen via the market and not by increasing regulation and taxes and impact fees and the like.
>12 May 2003
Yet another.. random thought
I think that someone in charge figured out a long time ago that the best way to keep control is to keep everyone scared.. of something..
communists, drugs, terrorists, sars.. etc.
because what are we without fear? Free, I think..
I'm beginning to believe that you should be more open to people about how and what you think about them. Maybe i'm wrong.. maybe it's just another phase of the mid-twenties life crisis.. But i'm thinking not.