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Wed, Aug. 27th, 2008 11:08 am

So, I had two interviews this week. One was at Warner for a position at the business office. The other is a position that Volt had me try out for. Both are full time, nine to five, administrative positions. They're both temporary positions, but still either one would be nice. What's really cool is that I probably have a good shot of at least getting one of them. The one that Volt set up pays more, so I'd be taking that one if it were offered. The Warner one would also be great. I know the people there and I know the atmosphere well enough. It just doesn't pay as much as the other one. However, both would pay more than I'm making right now. Also, both are relatively nearby, instead of out at the airport. Warner is, well Warner, so that's close - the 4 still sucks though. The other one is right off of the 17, which goes right in front of my house. It takes about fifteen minutes to get there. It's wonderful. Plus, both would need me to start within the next week. Basically, I could be gone and away from security very, very soon. Hallelujah!

In other news, I need to get cracking on my composition for one of my contests. The deadline is September 15, so I don't have a lot of time left. I've been struggling to write anything lately, what with my job situation as it is currently. I'm hoping I can take some time this weekend to put it together. With the prospect of a new job, it may end up being actually possible to pull it off. Stress and composition are not easily partnered.

Other than that, I'm really tired. I've not gotten a lot of sleep in the last couple days. I think in the last forty-eight hours, I've had about seven non-consecutive hours of sleep. Having a day job will be a major relief on that end. I've just not been able to sleep during the day very effectively. Even the Unisom isn't helping as much anymore. Although, if I get the downtown one, they'd want me to start on Friday. That means I'd be leaving the airport to go right to work. So, that will be a little hard. Totally worth it, though.

So, could you tell that this has mostly been about my potential future employment?

Update (8-28-08): I got the Warner job. I just need to hear back from the downtown one, which will be hopefully some time today. Either way... NO MORE SECURITY!!! Hmm... out of context, that doesn't sound so good. :P

Update 2 (8-28-08): Okay, so I didn't get my first choice, but that's okay. I'll now be working for Warner! I called in to let them know I accepted the position. I also called to my operations manager to let him know that I resigned. I had to leave a message, but I'm sure I'll be getting a call at some point. I let him know that tonight would be my last night on the job. As for the new job at Warner, I start on Tuesday - Monday being Labor Day and all. Yay!

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Current Mood: sleepy sleepy
Current Music: "..." -...

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Wed, Jul. 30th, 2008 09:41 am

There are certain people in my life that I sort of just assumed would always be there. People like my mom or my brother. Granted, I'm well aware of the fact that mortality is something that we cannot escape, save intervention from God. It's just that the mind constructs around these people as though they are pillars of an unshakeable foundation rooted in the core of the Earth itself. It is no wonder then that the loss of one of these pillars is so unbelievable that the mind simply does not comprehend it's absense. To think that someone so essential to the framing of the mind can die defies the structure of it all. The mind protects its structures and reinforces them at every step. That is, until the step falls out from under it.

I say all this because I have had one of my pillars die this morning. My uncle Frank, or "Corky" as we always called him, passed away from the leukemia he's been battling for the last couple years or so. To say I didn't see this coming would be foolish and immature, but, at the same time, he's been one of those constants in my life. I just never really considered his mortality as part of my reality. Now that he's gone, I'm more shocked than anything. I'm very sad, but I don't think I've fully comprehended it yet. I think there's a whole lot more I'm going to have to deal with later.

This is not the first time someone close to me has died. At any given moment, I could name off a dozen people while still forgetting to mention several more. One of my first - of many - thoughts this morning was a concern that I was getting too accustomed to death. I think I am prone to stuff away my emotions or shove them in directions - such as art - that may bottleneck later, instead of letting them take their course or deal with them directly. Most of the time, I think I do it because it's inconvenient to take the appropriate time to deal with the grief and other emotions. The truth is death is always inconvenient. There are good things about death - such as relief from suffering - that make death's timing a little easier to bare, but there are always unfinished projects, unfinished conversations and laughs, and unfinished dreams. There is always something that needs to be done instead of grieving. There's always work and jobs and there will always be the art of keeping up appearences. And yes, these are things which can't simply be shoved aside. It's far easier to put away the emotions for a better time - which never does come, by the way. It should be no surprise, then, that I was at first very tempted to shut away my feelings and try to live out the rest of the day until I could figure out what I thought about the whole thing.

I would like to keep from bottling up my emotions over my uncle's death. I wish I could take a few days off work - although I probably could with this excuse - to really meditate on it, but I know that I will just have to go back again eventually. Seeing as how I'm working graveyard currently, I can probably get away with my meditation there. Not that the setting is particularly appealing, but it's what I've got at the moment. At the same time, I'm not entirely sure I know what it means to deal with it. I don't think anyone can really answer that one, though. I'm sure there are many books out there by very smart and intelligent psychologists and philosophers on the matter, but I think it comes down to each person differently. I've got to find out what it means for myself. I just know that bottling it up won't cut it.

In the meantime, I - like the good musician I am - have started by turning to music. I'm currently listening to Gabriel Fauré's Requiem, which has greatly helped me in the past. Music scholars often refer to it as the "Lullaby Requiem" because of the calm and lyrical feel it has. I prefer it to all the other major requiems written for almost his exact reason. It seems a more mature approach at dealing with death than the usually violent or grandiose settings of Verdi or Mozart or even Britten. They're all wonderfull pieces of music, but Fauré's seems the most... healthy, for lack of a better word.

Anyway, for those of you who find prayer an appropriate response, please be praying for my uncle's family - especially his wife, children, and his children's families - and my mom and my other uncle - who are probably taking this particularly hard. Thanks.

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Current Mood: sad sad
Current Music: "Requiem - Offertoire" -Gabriel Fauré

3CommentReply

Sat, Jul. 19th, 2008 03:36 am

Here's where I stand at this moment. I've been working at my job for two years now. I have never wanted - and had reason - to quit than I do now. However, I need to pay rent, so I can't do anything until I get a new job. I had attempted applying at T-Mobile, but missed the mark in the interview. Now, I've applied - and been accepted - with Volt, which is a temp agency. Thankfully, my skill-set is very easy to place for a clerical position - which is what I want - and I'm practically guaranteed nothing under $10 an hour. The problem is just placing me in a good location. So, I'm waiting to hear on that. Until then, I'm still at my site.

Read more...Collapse )

In other news, my concert with the Rain City Symphony will be on March 11, 2009. The location and ticket prices haven't really been announced, but, if you will be in Seattle around then, please think of dropping in on the concert. There's also a dress rehearsal on March 4, 2009 if you can't make it to the main one. This will be the world premiere for my piece "Awaiting Halcyon". I'll post more details as I get them.

I could go on about what else is happening in my life right now, but I'm falling asleep. I'm trying to adjust my sleep pattern before I start my first grave shift on Sunday night. It's not working all that well. If I can't stay awake until at least 6 AM tomorrow, then I'll be pretty screwed.

Good night.

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Current Mood: sleepy sleepy
Current Music: "..." -...

1CommentReply

Sat, Jul. 12th, 2008 03:57 pm

VoicePost
122K 0:37
“So this is day 5 in the week from hell. Apparently I am working 6 days in a row for Todd and me overtime because of the scheduling yeah. So over the 4th of July one of my co workers had taken the weekend off because of military stuff and so in order to cover for that I had to work Tuesday and Wednesday which means that I'm working from Tuesday till Sunday without any breaks and all sorts of fun. Anyway I'm gonna go now have fun.”

Auto-Transcribed Voice Post

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Mon, Jun. 9th, 2008 03:05 pm

My heart burns over so insignificant of things
For a small grain of guilt, my mind trembles
Over a word spoken out of place
Over an action that no one noticed
Over a thought that affected no one
And here I am, ashamed
Why?
My guilt is not over some grevious sin
My pain is not for some horrendous wrong
My suffering is not over evil and spite
It's over nothing
A word, an action, a thought
Why?
Images - vivid and searing - in my brain
A word that would be laughed about by anyone else
An action that would be joked about later
A thought that few would even pay attention to
I've remembered them all
Why?
Why must I be crippled over this?
Why should I be in pain for so little?
These words mean nothing!
These actions are just moments in time!
These thoughts are gone in a instant!
The past is the past
Leave it be!
Why?
Why must I suffer for so little?...

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Current Music: "..." -...

1CommentReply

Mon, May. 19th, 2008 01:06 am

a) Tell you why I friended you.
b) Associate you with something - fandom, a song, a colour, a photo, etc.
c) Tell you something I like about you.
d) Tell you a memory I have of you.
e) Ask something I've always wanted to know about you.
f) Tell you my favorite user pic of yours.
g) In return, you must post this in your LJ.

(As violently demanded by samhobbits :P )

Current Mood: sleepy sleepy
Current Music: "..." -...

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Sun, May. 18th, 2008 03:47 pm

VoicePost
284K 1:24
“Hello, I am posting from work. Um, just wanted to do a couple updates. One is that I am completely moved into the new place - though I'm overwelmed with boxes at the moment. But, it's nice to finally be done with the actual moving part of it. Um... At the moment, I'm at work. I would rather be at home, but, you know... that's... that's how it goes. And... and... um... right... I think that's pretty much it. Oh, oh, oh!... I should probably mention that, um... this is one thing that I have actually been keeping from LiveJ... LiveJournal because I didn't want to, you know, scare off the possibility, essentially. But, there's actually a piece of mine that's going to be performed, uh, by a symphony, called "Awaiting Halcyon", and it will be performed by, uh, the Rain City Symphony in... in... Seattle. Basically, what happened is that, uh, I sent off the piece to the... the Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra competition. Uh, but it didn't... you know... it didn't win. But, the director liked it enough that she said she wanted to do it with a different orchestra. So, ta da! And that'll be performed some time - probably May 2009... which I'm hoping to go to. Alright... well, um... that's the big news. That's... about it right now. Alright. Goodbye.”

Transcribed by: abadoss

1CommentReply

Wed, May. 7th, 2008 03:10 pm

My Dearest Love,

I know it has been too long since I last wrote to you. I have many concerns on my heart that I wish for you to know. Most importantly, I want you to know that I greatly long for you to be here with me. I pray I find you soon. I only wish I knew where to look.

One of my biggest concerns is that I have not been doing a good enough job preparing myself for you. I feel like I have been wallowing in my loneliness instead of working on finding you. There's the old saying that I should be happy as a single before I can be happy as part of a couple, but I am finding that to be of little comfort or constructive use. At the same time, I am uncertain of whether or not I should be looking for you at all. I don't know if I am supposed to look or if you are supposed to find me. I'm also afraid that neither of us will find each other at all or - worse yet - that we've already found each other and passed on by. It pains me to even consider that I may never know you.

I keep seeing glimpses of you in the women I meet and know. It bothers me greatly. Those sudden glimpses always fade and I am left with an even stronger pain in my chest. It is like having you ripped away from me a million times over. Each time is more painful than the last. I want these brief glimpses to become a permanent vision of you.

Please know that I still wait and look for you. I want to meet you more than anything in this world. There are too many moment that we have yet to share. I want to spend my life with you - as much of it as possible. Though I will wait, I must admit that I grows more difficult each day. I wish you were already here.

Even beyond the end of days, I will love you. I have always loved you and will continue to do so. Find your way to me soon, as I find my way to you.


Your future husband,
Kenneth Keyn

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Current Mood: lonely lonely
Current Music: "..." -...

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Thu, Apr. 24th, 2008 02:59 am

So, why am I online - knowing full well that I need to wake up in roughly four hours - instead of bed? Well, I'm pretty sure stress is in there somewhere. I'm really stressed out because of an impending move that will need to take place within the next week. Jeremy and I got an apartment, after a frantic month of searching. It was a financial nightmare to set up. It took Jeremy's dad taking out a loan - which we will be responsible for paying him back on - in order to cover the deposit and first month's rent. The rent will be $695 a month, which means Jeremy and I will be paying $347.50 a piece. The only utilities we'll pay for are electric and internet/cable. I'd prefer not to have cable, but it's hard to get just internet on its own. It also has a dishwasher - thank God! There is on-site laundry, but it's like $2.50 a load. There's no storage, so we'll have to get rid of a lot of stuff, as it is also a smaller unit than Tabor Terrace.

I was troubled about how the apartment would be set up, in terms of furniture. I am particularly picky about how everything is arranged, as it plays on my psyche as well as my sense of artistic pride. I'd feel like a idiot if I couldn't arrange my living space with some sense of creativity. Anyway, using an online floor planner, I used measurements from the apartment and various pieces of furniture to create a layout. I'm not sure how accurate the measurements were, but at least it's an idea of what it will look like. I hope it translates well.

Also on my mind, is that I'm soon to be paying off my student loans. I realize that they're willing to work with me as much as possible, but I really don't know how I'm going to do it in the long run. My career doesn't pay unless I get a miraculous break and my job is shitty and is doubtfully going to lead to any advancement. I do plan on pursuing better employment, but I was also considering going to my district manager and see if there was anything inside the company that would pay better.

What's more, I'm concerned with the manner in which my career is going. I seem to be up against a wall in my music. I need a serious break. I wasn't able to get into grad school, again. No one wants to hire me for any projects. I've received no commissions. And I can't seem to find any information on composition contests that have significant rewards - "significant" means just about any reward at this point. What makes it worse is that, because of all the time that I have to work and deal with things, I've not written much music at all lately. Compared to my first official year as a composer - where I composed around sixty pieces of music - I've been doing practically nothing. I need time to compose.

I'm going to attempt to go back to sleep now... Hopefully it will work...

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Current Mood: stressed stressed
Current Music: "..." -...

4CommentReply

Mon, Apr. 14th, 2008 09:13 pm

To be honest, I never thought I'd ever be thankful for having student debt. I'm sure many of you are aware of - and some paniced by - the fact that today, April 15th, is the day when tax forms are due. I was particularly freaked out because of my situation regarding a certain sum being owed to the government because of my... inconsiderate employers messing up my W-4. I had prepared my taxes online, but the site I was using wouldn't allow me to set up a payment plan - only the full amount would suffice. So, I'd put off doing anything until I figured out what to do.

Turns out, Jeremy had also put off his taxes - not for the same reason - and decided to fill them out, what would now be, yesterday. The site that he does taxes on includes a rather interesting section that I hadn't noticed on my tax site. There seemed to be a section devoted to Education Deductions. Well, turns out, if you paid tuition - not referring to paying off loans, but to the expenses that the loans cover - you are eligible for up to $4000 in deductions.

When I heard that Jeremy had done that, I asked him which site he was using, transferred my tax info over to it, filled it out up to the point of that section, and then went diving through all my old mail to find my tuition statement for 2007. Now, under normal circumstances, I'd be kind of pissed off by the results of my taxes. However, in light of what they might have been, I am elated. I went from owing the government $353 to being owed $15. I also had to pay $60 to the state of Oregon, but compared to $353, that's cakewalk.

Needless to say, I am wonderfully relieved. I'm also looking forward to my incentive check - which now won't go to paying off my taxes. Of course, Jeremy's tax return is going to be amazing. Yet, while I'm tempted to be envious, I can't help but be thankful for the near miss on this practically certain fíasco.

Next thing on my list; going down to the district office on Wednesday to correct my W-4.

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Current Mood: relieved relieved
Current Music: "Penny Lane" -The Beatles

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Tue, Apr. 8th, 2008 02:52 pm

Are the things that I am sacrificing worth the purpose for which they sacrificed? More importantly, is my purpose worth what I am sacrificing? These are questions that imply meaning deeper than the words with which they are expressed. I do not know my purpose. I do not know that which calls me from a deep longing – or some other emotion which has no name – and I do not know where it expects me to go. I have made my plans and I know the course that I would desire to go, but I do not yet know my purpose. I expect my purpose will reveal itself once it has been accomplished or death take me… or perhaps both. I do not know my purpose, but I know what I have sacrificed and what I still sacrifice.

I have sacrificed love. While it is within me to question whether or not I mean all forms of love – i.e. “love your neighbor” – I believe I am specifically talking about the love between man and woman. For seven years, I deliberately sacrificed love under my Commitment because I feared I would taint it for the one true love I knew I would find. I did not realize that, even after releasing myself from the commitment, I would still shape myself in a way that sacrificed love. And yet, I have not found her. The one true love has eluded me so far and I have to consider whether or not it is because I have sacrificed her. Perhaps I have sacrificed her in the name of finding her.

I have sacrificed friendship. This hurts me a great deal to admit, but I cannot deny that I have hurt those around me by my sacrifices. I aspire to a noble purpose that I cannot define and lose sight of my friends and their needs. I am not sure I know how to explain this one further, but I feel it. I am detached from them.

I have sacrificed family. In my pursuit of this purpose, I have ignored my family. I have lived up to the title of “Lost Child” – as is the role of the youngest child in a dysfunctional family model. I have gone out on my own, saying, “No, thank you. I can do it,” to my family time and time again. It is a true wonder that my brother continues to stick with me.

I have sacrificed God. I have questioned and questioned and come up with only more questions. I have become wary of anything that claims to be answers. Even names that we have attributed to our Creator – a name in its own right – are not without question in my heart. In all this tumult, I have found much truth and experience, but I have lost some of my relationship with the Divine. To say I have lost it all would be a bit drastic, but I spent more time with the questions than I do in my relationship. I have been living in liminality, expecting to find communitas with God – for lack of a better name.

All these and more have I sacrificed… all for this nameless purpose which has not revealed itself to me. What bothers me more is that I, since I do not know my purpose, I have no way of being assured that my purpose exists. The possibility that my purpose exists only because I say it does is too big a possibility to ignore. It is to say that I have purpose because I believe I have purpose, instead of believing I have purpose because I do, in fact, have purpose. Then I must question whether or not the sense of purpose is more important than the purpose itself. Is it more important that I believe I have purpose than the reality of purpose itself? Is my purpose to remind myself that I am human? Terry Pratchett claims that humans must remind each other that we are humans. We are not human until we remind each other we are. Who will remind me? Myself? Am I qualified?

There seems to be a common trend in the things in which I have sacrificed – or, at least, the things in which I recognize that I have sacrificed. The commonality is people. Human beings are what I have sacrificed. Love, friendship, family, God… these are things which are dependent on relationship. I’m not going to suggest that God is human – Jesus was, not God, and it’s a conversation for later – but the idea of human relationship is there. I have placed my focus upwards and been blinded to that around me. I have sacrificed humanity. How can I be human without humanity? I am, for the sake of argument, alien. That which is not human is alien. Does that mean I came from Mars and landed on Earth in a spaceship? No. It simply means that I am a creature called “human”, but I lack humanity. I need to be reminded of my humanity. As I have said on many occasions, we often need to be reminded the most about that which we know best. I am human, but I need to be reminded of it.

Perhaps a Zen approach is necessary. The philosophy of Zen simply states that the purposes of various things are simply to be what they are. What is the purpose of a tree? To be a tree. What is the purpose of a fish? To be a fish. What my purpose? Perhaps it is simply to be myself. Or perhaps not. The point is that I don’t know. I simply have to keep exploring the possibilities.

Lest we be sucked into a rant about possibilities and the ultimate anguish of freedom – a la Sartre – I think I’m going to wrap up for now. Simply put, I have a lot on my mind. I question where I am in life and what it is that I have chosen to do with it and all sorts of things like that. I am tired and exhausted from all the questions, but I refuse to stop asking them. It is too easy to make assumptions about things. It is too easy to simply live my life like a drone. I cannot be satisfied by fading into the background – thank you Roger S. Jones. I am not content with a prefabricated and bricolage universe – thank you Lev Vygotsky and Claude Lévi-Strauss. I cannot deny a sense of purpose in my life, but I am so frustrated that I do not know if I am doing that which would fulfill it. In a nutshell, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.

These are just thoughts.

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Current Mood: frustrated frustrated
Current Music: "..." -...

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Wed, Apr. 2nd, 2008 07:14 pm

Allow me to explain what has been going on lately...

First, I got rejected for grad school, again. That doesn't mean I won't still try, but it means that I am deferred another year, at least. It also means I'm in Portland for a little while longer. I'm frustrated and a little heart-broken, but I'm not horribly crushed. I just need to keep working at it. What this won't defer, however, are my student loan payments. I am not looking forward to that.

Secondly, I need to move out by May 11. During the summer, they're closing down the last remaining building to be remodeled. What this does is displaces all the students in that building to the other two. Then, there's a huge flux of students from the dorms that want to stay on campus during the summer. The college then decides - instead of the plan that is in place now, which is $280 a month for each individual - that they will now rent each unit at $1000 a month. With just Jeremy and I, that's $500 a piece per month. Neither of us can afford that and, even if we could, we could rent a house for that much and have more room. So, he an I are on the apartment hunt. Realistically, we're looking for a two bedroom apartment that is from about $550ish to $700 per month. It's proving a little difficult. The other problem is that we have to find a place that is close to both our workplaces and Jeremy's church. If any of you - those of you in Portland, obviously - see anything or know of anything, please let me know.

Third, I still don't like my job anymore and want to find something else. I need to get rolling on that because the summer hires are going to be coming up pretty soon and I need to get in before that happens.

Fourth, I hate money...

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Current Mood: annoyed annoyed
Current Music: "..." -...

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Mon, Mar. 31st, 2008 12:34 pm

Erik would've been 23 today...

Current Mood: melancholy melancholy
Current Music: "..." -...

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Thu, Mar. 20th, 2008 07:34 pm

I have often said that I make a distinction between what I feel and what I know. While the basic idea behind this remains solid, I think I need to make a modification to it. After all, the primary function of a theory is to be proven wrong. Anyway, instead of saying I make a distinction, which I do, I need to include that I make this distinction, but that does not mean that what I know isn't informed by what I feel. With that comes the realization that what I feel can often be informed by what I think.

What has helped me in understanding the issue - the the best of my ability - is a new definition of what "feelings" are. Feelings are thought about emotions. There is no such thing as a "sad" emotion. You feel sad. Obviously, there are the gnawing emotions that are wordless and raw creature emotions which feed into the feeling of "sadness" and such. But sadness is not an emotion.

Taking a look at how I've directed my life in the past, I can see where this new definition would have been helpful. Long ago, I sought to control my emotions. The best I could do was reflect on my feelings. I failed because I thought that my emotions were something my mind could control. I can choose how I react to my emotions, and specifically my feelings, but the emotions themselves are untouchable. I must instead learn to treat them, not as enemies of my mind, but as informers of my reality. They do not direct my reality, but they give necessary information toward the construction and interpretation of what is real.

Now the real challenge comes in trying to integrate this into my life. The way my life is set up now, there's no room for emotions as important information. Should they rule me? No. I simply need to start giving them an ear. Otherwise, I'm going to be faced with the same problem I've been struggling with my entire self-aware life. My emotions will well up and break any dam I attempt to place in front of them. I need to re-learn. I need to re-structure. And I need to do it on my own.

That said, it doesn't mean I don't want input from others or to be isolated. That is farthest from what I need right now. I am simply saying that no one else can do this for me. I just don't know what to do yet.

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Current Mood: contemplative contemplative
Current Music: "..." -...

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Tue, Mar. 18th, 2008 08:47 pm

I know it's been a while since I last updated my journal. My apologies. That said, I was hoping I might be able to get some help from those of you out there that might actually be reading this. I am looking to see if I can't land a different job. As such, I needed to draw up a new resume - seeing as how I only had an artistic resume. If you could, would you please look over my resume and tell me what you think about it. This is not to say I doubt my abilities to put one together, but I'd like to sharpen it, so it is more likely to attract the attention of potential employers. Read away:

My Customer Service Resume (Word Document)

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Current Mood: productive productive
Current Music: "..." -...

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Sat, Mar. 1st, 2008 10:22 am

We have taken the stars
And bolted them to the ground
To be trampled on by our industry
We who play as God
So bound to our creation
Suffer at the hands of our imitation

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Current Mood: groggy groggy
Current Music: "..." -...

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Tue, Feb. 12th, 2008 12:39 pm

So, I just got screwed out of a lot of money. Again. This time, it's with the federal government. I just did the preliminary work on my taxes. Lovely AlliedBarton decided that I was married and should have three state tax exemptions. I made a little over ten-thousand for 2007 and with those tax exemptions, I now owe the government $353. WHY?! I'm really really pissed. I honestly don't know where I'm going to come up with that much. What's worse is that the IRS doesn't seem to do payment plans. It's got to be paid in one big fat lump sum. I'm really pissed. I hate money. I'm particularly hating AlliedBarton right now. This sucks. I don't need this.

I'm really hoping Congress puts those economic stimulation programs into effect soon. I really use a check right about now.

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Current Mood: pissed off pissed off
Current Music: '...' -...

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Wed, Jan. 23rd, 2008 12:18 am

I officially completely everything academic for my undergraduate degree. All that's left is to pay off the business office and I'll have my diploma in hand. While I did graduate in December, I did so under the condition that I would take a CLEP test to cover a general core credit that I was missing. I took the test on Introduction to Sociology - which I didn't really study for - and passed by six points. There are a hundred questions and passing is fifty or more correct answers. I got a fifty-six. I may have earned a BA in music, but I studied for BS. Whatever the result, I don't think I'll ever want to try that again. I cut it too close this time.

To celebrate, Jeremy and I went out to Claim Jumpers at Clackamas Town Center. The last time I went to a Claim Jumpers was in California, about fifteen years ago. Anyway, the food was amazing. Jeremy had the Widow Maker - which, to his surprise, made him feel really full - and I had some poached salmon. We knew it was going to be a little expensive going in, but I think I may not have thought things through a little. Jeremy's burger was about ten dollars. My salmon ended up being twenty-two dollars. You know you're in for an expensive dinner when the menu shows for the price, "market price." It was amazingly good, though, so well worth it. The thought of any desserts - which were massive portions in themselves - was simply too much for us. We paid and left.

I think I'm going to have to be frugal for a little while now. Today adds to the events of Saturday, monetarily. What happened Saturday? I had the day off and decided to spend the day with Jeremy. We went to see "The Bucket List" with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson - excellent movie, by the way - and made a trip to Classical Millennium. I'm sorry, but I can't walk into Classical Millennium without buying a CD. It's like a candy shop for me. My last time in, I picked up a copy of Astor Piazzolla and Francis Poulenc. Saturday, I picked up another Poulenc and some Shostakovich. Good stuff.

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Current Mood: full full
Current Music: "Adios Nonino" -Astor Piazzolla

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Wed, Jan. 9th, 2008 11:41 pm

Today has been weary. My day began with two separate phone calls before my alarms went off. It's not fun to be awake to hear them go off. Shortly after, Loren knocked on the door because he wanted to continue playing Need for Speed on the XBox 360. I finished getting ready and left a little before noon - usually perfect timing to catch the right buses. I ended up waiting close to the maximum amount of time for each bus and the MAX. Luckily, I plan for such occasion by leaving two hours early. The 72, in particular, was irritating in that it was packed and kept getting wheelchairs. Lunch suck and all the other staple "woe is me" things.

Aside from that, I 'm starting to become overwhelmed in everything. I've so many more things to pay off and not enough money to pay them off with. I'm at the point where I simply no longer like my job. It's been over a year and a half and I'm just tired of it. Also, very heavy on my mind is that I am lonely. It's tearing into me as of late.

I'm afraid I won't ever find who I'm looking for. Worse yet, I'm not certain I'm looking for the right girl. I have this magnificent image of a woman in my mind. She's beautiful in all the ways I mean beautiful, intelligent beyond compare, and has a heart that could melt stone. She has strong moral and ethical convictions, is independent and strong-willed, yet is meek and humble. Oh, and she's my age. In reality... non-existent.

This woman sounds like a dream - and probably is. Yet, I've always been told I shouldn't compromise on matters such as these. "The perfect girl is out there," they tell me. There are a lot of people out there. So many, in fact, that I could meet a new person every day for the rest of my life and still never meet them all. My chances are only further thrown off if I'm not looking for the right person. Once data - like married, already seeing someone, gay, etc. - gets factored in, it's all downhill from there. This is, of course, without thinking about the slew of deal-breakers that weigh into the picture. In the rare and hopeless chance that not everyone has been eliminated, there is probably only "the one" left.

The obvious response would be to say that I shouldn't have my standards up so high, but I'm attracted to those qualities for a reason, aren't I? Just because something is so unattainably perfect, doesn't mean I shouldn't search after it. The next question being why I am not searching. I have many answers to that - among which are many "but, I am... sort of..." answers.

Dilemmas such as this would easily lend themselves in favor of pre-arranged marriages, but such is life. One of the thoughts that keep me going is the realization every choice, path, etc. comes with natural consequences - even if it's the right thing to do. Some consequences are imperceptable until ages gone by, but on the whole there are pros and cons to everything. An arranged marriage will have is fair share of problems, just as my current struggle has its disadvantages. A sudden shift to one of the other might provide a moment of bliss, but the consequences would catch up soon enough, once the novelty has worn off. It basically boils down to the old adage, "the grass isn't always greener on the other side of the fence." That's more of a paraphrase of the point behind the phrase, though.

This actually brings me back to my job. As I said, I don't like my job anymore. Yet, I don't know if I'll be able to find a better one. I'm going to try looking into a job at Classical Millennium or maybe even Sheet Music Service. I'm concerned that they may not have any openings, enough hours, or enough pay to be able to support me. However, the grass may not be greener, but at least it's in my field.

I'm tired of being in a position that has nothing to do with music. I'm tired of wearing a uniform and questioning whether or not I'm going to survive the bus ride home. I'm tired of sitting in a 6' x 10' pill-shaped box with no privacy or room to stretch. I'm tired of vague and ill-defined policies that I have to enforce and get yelled at when I do. And I am most especially tired of haggling and pleading with employees who barely speak English in order to get a restroom break. I might be pissing my pants, but I won't get a break unless someone is willing to cover me while I'm gone.

Then there's the politics between Budget's employees and us. Then the politics between us and us, which mostly just pisses me off. I'm not going to go into it, but just know that it wearies me. A lot. Schedules that keep shifting, irate customers, policy changes made nearly every day, etc. I'm just plain tired of it.

Sure, it's a good job. It pays well, has the hours I needed while in college, has fairly decent co-workers, is relatively easy to get to on Tri-Met, a good mix of busy and quiet times, etc. I am not saying it's a bad job, nor that I regret getting it. I'm only saying that I am weary of it and I'd like to leave.

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Current Mood: frustrated frustrated
Current Music: "..." -...

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Tue, Jan. 1st, 2008 05:00 am

So, I have to say that this New Years Eve was rather different from the ones that I've done in the past. The festivities began with a trip to the Oregon Zoo - tickets were free for the Zoo Lights thing they have going. We didn't really get to see much as most of the animals were asleep, since it was dark by the time we got there. Then we came back, got Papa Murphy's pizzas and started a game of Apples to Apples with our neighbors. We started at about 9:00 PM. We ended at 4:30 AM. That is, above all, the longest social game I've ever played. We took no breaks and went through the entire deck of cards. This is the party edition I'm talking about, I should add. It was a very hillarious evening.

Anyway, Happy New Years to everyone! I hope 2008 is better than last year! :P

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Current Music: "..." -...

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Wed, Dec. 19th, 2007 01:24 am

I suppose I should probably give an update concerning the last week or so. On Saturday, I graduated. I don't have my diploma yet, but that's because I owe the business office money and I need to take a CLEP course. I was allowed to walk in the ceremony, though. In truth, the whole idea hasn't really sunk in yet. So far, the only thing that's changed is that my work now thinks I have tons of free time. I suppose that's true, but there are other things that I need to get done - say doing laundry or getting a haircut, for example. As much as I'm grumbling, I'll appreciate the money later.

Anyway, I don't feel much different. I'm not suddenly smarter or more successful now that I've graduated - at least no more than I did the day before. I suspect that I will be much more aware of it once classes start for everyone else. I'm still living on campus through spring, so I'll get to see everyone trotting off to classes, while I pretty much just work and, hopefully, relax.

Of course, this is just until I am accepted to grad school. I've already sent off another application to New England Conservatory and I plan on sending ones off to Ithaca College, Longy School of Music, and University of Massachusetts Amherst. I'm really shooting for NEC, but my second choice would be Ithaca. Then, hopefully, after two years and another graduation, I'll have to decide about whether or not I want to pursue a doctorate. At that point, it's pretty much to see whether or not I can and to add a fancy title to my name. :P "Dr. Kenneth Keyn"... although, I don't know what my field is going to require. Perhaps, I might need it after all. Who knows? I'm not going to worry about it just yet.

Well, that's a quick summary for everyone. Take care.



(Oh, and I really hate bills...)

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Current Mood: sore sore
Current Music: "Me" -Plumb

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Wed, Dec. 12th, 2007 12:34 pm


Japan admits to lost pension mess

The most important news coming out of Japan this week is this mess over pension plans. The government claims that nearly 50 million Japanese people will have to check whether or not their pension information was accurate. Apparently, in about 20 million pensions, no one can identify who owns what. In a population of only 127.7 million, that's a terribly significant amount. I'm honestly curious what could have caused so massive an error. I want to think that there might have been a glitch in the systems they used to store the information, but I'm willing to bet there might have been some administrative errors in the process, as well. The Japanese people are rather furious about the problem. This might also affect the position of Prime Minister Fukuda, as confidence in his government is not particularly strong at the moment. I'm curious to see if this build up of scandals and mistakes will lead Fukuda to follow the footsteps of his predecessor, Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and resign. Perhaps he'll try to wade through it all. Only time will tell.

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Wed, Dec. 12th, 2007 05:56 am

McLaren talks about the need for beauty in our lives. In light of that, free write about something that is beautiful. Try your hand at a poem or a song or a story or a painting . . . (if you do something that you can't post here, bring it to me or take a picture and email it, or record it and send it to me).

Then reflect: How do you find mystery, beauty, and/or poetry in your major, in the job you hope to get, and in your life?


A Jay on the Rail
By Kenneth Keyn

We met one day along the path
This fellow and I
We stood in silence
Eye to eye and thought to thought
We waited each for the other
Determined both to outlast the moment
A sound caught my ear
And a worm his gaze
The moment was broken
I continued my walk
He to his flight


Some of the time, I find that the really simple things all around me are the ones that capture me the most. On occasion, I'll be stopped by a bird or a squirrel, just doing what they normally do or a certain vista that I come across. It's the whole "stop and smell the roses" idea. In those little moments, I find so much beauty.

It seems so far removed from what I work to do, particularly with music. I usually aim for amazing masterpieces, but find that the simple things are the ones that stand out the most. I find that if I simply pay attention to what's there, instead of trying to continually add stuff on top of it, I'm more likely to find true beauty. I try to work with this idea by taking the very complex and giving it as much simplicity as possible.

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Mon, Dec. 10th, 2007 03:11 pm

Received some good news...

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Sat, Dec. 8th, 2007 02:36 am

So, be praying for me please. I've got a lot on my shoulders right now and I've got not much time to take care of it all. I'm feeling stressed and overwhelmed, but I know, that if I focus, I can finish out everything. I need strength (physically and emotionally) and focus. Thanks.

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Current Music: "..." -...

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Tue, Dec. 4th, 2007 01:21 pm


Scandals do in first female governor

In this article, it talks about the first female governor in Japan, Fusae Ohta, choosing not to run for a third term due to scandals. First, I will admit that it never occurred to me that the Japanese have governors. I think I sort of assumed that everything was run by mayors and the government, which is silly in retrospect. Secondly, I've noticed a strong trend in Japanese politics for resignation over (what, in the US, would be minor) scandals. I'm really impressed with the sense of morals in the politicians of Japan. They will resign over hurting the trust of the people, rather than wait for an investigation and possible jail-time to even consider the matter, as is the popular trend in America. Granted, she is not actually resigning, but the idea is pretty much the same. Third, I did not know that Japan had never had a female governor (allowing for the fact that I didn't think there were governors, in the first place). Japan had allowed for equal sufferage of women when its current constitution was written, at the end of the Reconstruction, so it seems strange to me that it would have taken this long to have a female in office. I'm now curious to see how many women actually serve in high level government positions throughout Japan. I'm not sure what I'll find. I could find that there's a high percentage, and the governor position was just a fluke, or I could find that there are few, if any, in office. It would be interesting to research.

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Mon, Dec. 3rd, 2007 01:07 pm

Record 20% of Japanese say U.S.-Japan relations not good

This article, found on a Japanese news site called Asahi, talks about the results of a recent poll about the perceived relationship between Japan and the US, as well as with South Korea and China. The poll indicated that the Japanese/US relationship was viewed less as what it should be. The percentage of Japanese that feel this way is at a record high for the country. However, it's amazing that the record is only %20. Ever since the Reconstruction of Japan following World War II, Japan has always been highly receptive to the US. Even in it's record low of confidence, the number is only %20. Were it a school grade, it'd still be considered a B-. Some students would love a grade like that. :P I'm curious to see whether or not that number will rise or fall in the next couple years. The article didn't really go into detail about why, but it did mention that, while Japan/US relations were going down, relations between Japan and South Korea, as well as with China, were improving. However, the percentages are still way off from Japan/US relations. 50% believe relations with South Korea are good and 26% believe relations with China are good. Those are a far cry from the 80% of Japan/US relations.

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Mon, Dec. 3rd, 2007 02:23 am

So early in the morning light, I find
myself awake for no good reason. Here,
when I should be in bed, resting my mind,
I am awake when I should sleep, I fear.
I see my bed and hear my pillow's call.
I feel my legs and arms, oh, they do ache
and groan. My eyes, like thrown against a wall,
peeling themselves away. What a mistake!
Yet I can't sleep when I want to. I yearn
to sleep, but can't. I would be justified
in staying up if I were just to learn
to go to bed - not to keep my eyes wide.
Perhaps, one day, I might get better yet.
But first, I'll need to quit the internet...

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Current Mood: creative creative
Current Music: "Just Be" -Kenneth Edward Keyn

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Mon, Nov. 26th, 2007 03:26 am

As I've done in the past, I'm going to make a wishlist. This is so that anyone who is even remotely interested in getting me anything for Christmas/my birthday/graduation has a viable list of possibilities to work with. I am not suggesting that you HAVE to get me anything. I'm only trying to help out those that WANT to get me something. I wonder if I can disclaim this any further...

Anyway, I already have some very helpful lists published from Amazon.com, IMDb, and Weaponmasters.com:

Amazon.com wishlist
IMDb list of movies I'd like to buy (DVDs please)
Weaponmasters wishlist

Aside from those, I have some other general things:


--Books-- (preferably unabridged)

The Merry Advantures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle
Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
The Ethics of Ambiguity by Simone de Beauvoir
Meditations on First Philosophy by René Descartes
The Free Choice of the Will by Augustine of Hippo
Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle
The Republic by Plato
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (mostly for humor value)
The Science of Discworld I, II, & III by Terry Pratchett

(For those books that were written in another language, the original language would mean a lot to me, but I also wouldn't be able to read them... use your best judgement...)


--Artwork--

If you want to buy me art, use these two links as a guide of what would fit my tastes...

Paths and Trails on Art.com
Favorites list on deviantART

I'm also looking for frames, but you should talk to me before getting any, as I would need to get the measurements right...


--Music CDs--

Sting - My Funny Valentine (Japanese release/import via Amazon)
Jake Shimabukuro - Dragon
Michael Giacchino - Ratatouille (soundtrack)
Howard Shore - Lord of the Rings soundtracks (all of them)
Turtle Island String Quartet - (anything really, since I don't have any of their albums)

CDs that contain...

Poulenc - Three Novelettes For Piano
Bach - Mass in B minor
Bach - Magnificat
Shostikovich - Piano Concerto No. 2
Debussy - La Mer

(If in doubt, look for: the Vienna Philharmonic; the Cleveland Philharmonic; the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields; the Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire; the London Philharmonic; Herbert von Karajan as director; Robert Shaw as director; Dietrich Fisher-Dieskau as a soloist; Deutsche Grammophon label; Naxos label; etc. If you're really in doubt, just come ask me. I won't be too concerned about a spoiled surprise.)


--Music Scores-- (i.e. sheet music)

Poulenc - Three Novelettes For Piano
Debussy - La Mer
Brahms - Ein Deutsche Requiem
Fauré - Pavane
Bach - Magnificat
Shostikovich - Piano Concerto No. 2

(Please talk to me if you want to deal with these.)


--Movies--

Please refer to the IMDb list, but here are some highlighted ones...

Les Misérable (Liam Neeson)
1776
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
The Gods Must Be Crazy I & II (1980 & 1989)
King Ralph
The Incredibles
The Jungle Book (1967)
Keeping the Faith
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Star Trek: Generations
Star Trek: First Contact
Star Trek: Insurrection
The Teahouse of the August Moon (1956)
My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
Hamlet (1996, Kenneth Branagh)


--Practical/Miscellaneous Things--

Gift cards
Money
Clothes (please ask me first)
Stetson cologne
Black leather bomber jacket
Djembe
Two matching curtain rods (ask me for dimensions)
Four curtain panels (preferably green and not foofy)
Portable MP3 player
Noise-cancelling headphones
Corded power drill (with phillips screwdriver bit)



I figure this is enough to give a good idea of what to look for. PLEASE DO NOT THINK THAT YOU ARE REQUIRED TO GET ME ANYTHING. This is just in case you want to and need an idea of what to look for. That's all. Also, on the linked wishlists are some rather expensive items. I do not expect anyone to pick those up. Those are on there mostly as wishful thinking.

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Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: "In My Arms" -Plumb

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Tue, Nov. 20th, 2007 12:53 pm


Japan ups checks for foreigners

I found this particular article rather interesting. Due to the "War on Terror", Japan has been in an uneasy position. Japan is an active supporter of the United States and it's involvement in the War on Terror is significant. This leads the Japanese to believe that they might be targets for terrorist attacks. In a move to lock down on potential terrorists, the Japanese port authorities now require fingerprinting and photos taken of every foreigner who passes through the country, including foreigners made citizens of Japan. Human rights organizations claim the move could incite xenophobia, which has been arguably a problem for the Japanese for many centuries. While the government claims that it is a way of protecting Japan, and possibly cutting down crime, it still has some elements of the old Japanese trend of xenophobia that has been demonstrated thoughout history. If Japan continues on this course, does that mean a new era of isolationism? I highly doubt that it would work, however, seeing as technology - particularly the internet - has made communication between Japan and the outside world a commonplace staple of life. I'm curious to see where this goes.

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Thu, Nov. 15th, 2007 04:19 pm

These beautiful and damaging thoughts
Breaking down wall and tower
Crash upon my mind
Flow into the gaps
Etching their names behind my eyes

I once thought
That one day
I would be strong enough
To hold back
The ebb and tide
Of my tears

I hope that day
Never comes

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Current Mood: drained drained
Current Music: "My Sweet, My Lovely" -Plumb

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Fri, Nov. 9th, 2007 03:03 pm

It's such a weird feeling for me not to have to work today. Yes, I'll be working my tail off in the play tonight, but it's a different kind of work. Artistic work and job work are worlds apart. By this time, on a normal Friday, I'd be just getting done with my first hour and wishing the other seven would hurry up. I think the thing that separates the two is that I'm more inclined toward artistic work, rather than job work. Granted, I don't know of many people that are absolutely enthralled with their jobs well after the honeymoon.

Don't get me wrong; this job is far better than many that I can imagine. It pays relatively well, has hours that fit my schedule, and it's not insanely difficult work. Plus, there are some days where I get a quiet evening with nothing going on, where I can read a book or just relax a little. If nothing else, I'm building up an impressive work history. I've been there since June of 2006. That's nearly a year and a half. I haven't seen a raise in that time, but that's another matter.

Anyway, so I'm at home just sitting in the quiet. Well, obviously I'm on the computer, but the point still remains. I have an afternoon that is normally supposed to be filled up with work. Now, I just have an afternoon - until call time for the play tonight. It's nice, but also kind of eerie. I feel like I should be doing something. Hmm... if I were really smart, I'd be doing my homework, but I don't think that's going to happen tonight. Not with the play coming up.

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Tue, Oct. 30th, 2007 01:35 pm

It seems interesting to me that the most peaceful moment of my day, so far, was when I came home - my class having been cancelled for the day - and noticed all the pine needles all over my porch. I took a broom and, for about a half hour, just swept the porch.

Here's the context behind this, which will make the irony more apparent: I hate chores. I really don't like doing chores because I often feel that they keep me from doing things that I need to or that I want to - i.e. music.

Secondly, I had just come out of a chapel service where I was essentially force-fed "Sponsor a child" guilt-trips. I don't care what the issue is or how valid it is, I do not respond to guilt-trips very well at all. I grew up on guilt-trips and I give myself them enough as it is. I feel horribly manipulated when I'm guilt-tripped. The main reason is that I feel every single emotional string they're pulling very strongly.

I may not show it on the outside or even in my language sometimes, but I am horribly emotional. I'm sensitive to everything, it seems. I think the main reason why I act and behave as stoically as I do is simply because it is a reaction to the raging tumolt that is my emotions. So, to play around with my emotions is a great insult to me. I have a hard enough time keeping them in check as it is without some moron going around and tipping things off-balance. When this kind of thing happens, I close down and shut it out. I've gotten very good at this over the years.

Now, I am very stubborn about this one thing; I refuse to do charity out of obligation. I will only do so when I am able to choose to do so on my own accord. Meaning, I want it to come naturally.

"Coming naturally" is what I felt when I went to sweep the porch. I saw a need and I did something about it. There was no stress about cleaning up for some important person that was going to drop by or the anal-retentive obsession with having something spotless. I simply wanted a clean porch, so I swept it. Simplicity. I saw a need and I acted.

Granted, the need I acted on isn't going to feed the hungry or end world poverty, but it's that kind of impulse that I'm looking for when it comes to helping other people. I see a need and I do something about it. No guilt-trips or righteous bullshit. Just need and action. It often seems that those that go around telling me that I need to do this or do that or donate here or there are actually inhibiting me from feeling a natural call to help. I feel my heart hardened because I'm continually guilt-tripped. Then I give myself a guilt-trip for feeling hard-hearted about it. Which only further... you get the picture.

Yes, I need to be helping the poor and hungry. Yes, I know that all Christians or followers of Christ or however you want to say it are called to care for those who are not cared for. But what's the point in doing these things out of obligation? Where is the love in being guilted to do something? Why should any of them think I actually give a damn about them and not the need to satisfy my own guilt?

I refuse to patronize them. They are real people. Real people do not need, and most often do not want, to be pitied. I certainly hate feeling pitied. Maybe I deserve pity. Maybe they deserve pity. But it doesn't matter. They're really human beings who need sincere love. Just like I need sincere love, so do they. I'm not going to do something out of guilt. I'm going to do it out of love or I won't do it.

Need and action. No more. No less.

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Current Music: "..." -...

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Mon, Oct. 29th, 2007 02:27 am


Japan PM asks for more discipline

This week's most pressing news from Japan covers Fukuda's run as PM so far. To have scandals in his cabinet this early on is not looking good for Fukuda. One scandal involves close ties between a former deputy defence minister and a defence contractor. I'm not entirely certain what this scandal is about, in detail. It simply mentions that they played "dozens" of golf games together. My guess is that a golf game is considered on par with a secret meeting (badumpsch). Another involves whether or not the Japanese navy is refueling US ships being used in Iraq. Currently, the Japanese mission only supplies ships that are operating in Afghanistan. Providing support to Iraq-bound ships would violate the law currently in place that allows the mission in the first place. Both scandals, especially so early on, could really offset Fukuda's attempt at effectiveness as PM.

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Mon, Oct. 29th, 2007 02:16 am

What different views of danger are presented in the readings? How would you say that safety and/or danger fit into the Gospel? Do you want to be dangerous (in a Claiborne kind of way)? Why or why not?

Danger seems to be a pretty consistant theme in the readings that we've gone over. It seems that there is a lot of advocacy for not letting danger come between purpose and action. With a generation like mine, that seems to think it's always on the cutting edge and doing the dangerous things, we're really a very sheltered and safe-loving people. I think, even if we never go as far as Shane Claiborne, that my generation could benefit from a little danger. It certainly helped the faith of the first century Christians.

I think that danger is intimately tied to the Gospel and the life of a Christian. If we continually seek safety, how different would we be from anyone else. I suppose the truth of it is in the expression of it, though. "Danger" is going to mean different things for different people. For Claiborne, it meant advocacy for the poor and homeless in face of opposition. For Reuven, it meant befriending the guy who tried to kill him. For me, it might mean something completely different - perhaps challenging those of my own proclaimed religion. I don't think physical danger is the only type that we are to encounter. However, that doesn't mean that we can shirk away from physical danger because of it.

I do want to be dangerous in a Claiborne kind of way, but I want it to come from my means and expression. I'm not really a bandwagon type of person. I've been on too many to enjoy the ride much. I think I can use his model to fashion a means of my own. Just as Mother Teresa told him, "Find your own Calcutta," I still need to find mine. In the meantime, I'll keep searching for where I'm needed.

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Mon, Oct. 22nd, 2007 03:12 am

Be very honest with yourself. Reflect openly and creatively on what you have that is important to you. You may or may not say it is important to you, but your life and your identity show that it is important to you. What do your possessions mean to you? What things help to form your identity or the image you portray to others? How much of a motivating factor to you are money and possessions?

I think of all my possessions, I value my computer (at least by action) more than most things. I spend the most time on it than anything else. However, a lot of that has to do with the software that allows me to write music. The other part (a rather significant portion) of it is, to be honest, the internet. I spend a lot of time networking online and also, granted, wasting time. Other than my computer, I value my swords, pieces of artwork, music collection, books (with particular emphasis on Terry Pratchett novels), ring, and my curtains (it's strange, but they're important to me). The swords, I value because of the artform, which I practice. My pieces of art speak to me in various ways and give my dwelling place a sense of home. My music collection is important for the very reason that I'm a musician and I need inspiration sometimes. My books open up different worlds of imagination. Terry Pratchett novels just delight me to no end. My ring is a symbol of ideals that I have chosen to uphold. It is also a reminder of my past and the commitments that I've made. My curtains block ambient light from outside, so I can sleep at night.

Before I start talking about identity, I think it's important to note that I am now aware of the difference between your use of the word and mine. The way that you use identity is more like to what I would call "personage" or "persona". The way I use the word is more like the core essence of a person. For the sake of this journal, I'll use your definition.

My ring used to be a major part of my identity. It represented a commitment that strongly shaped my life for about seven years. A more recent decision to let go of that commitment has downplayed the ring's importance in my identity. However, even having a ring reminds me of that period of time. My swords help perpetuate the image of a swordsman that I place upon myself. My music collection can be used to show my diverse, yet selective tastes in music and thus could conceivably be used toward establishing identity. I didn't list these as some of my important items, but I've been noticing lately that the addition of my fedora and trenchcoat to my daily wear have had some interesting effects with how people view me.

I wouldn't necessarily say that I'm all that motivated by money or possessions. I enjoy having both, but I'm not going to compromise a great deal to get either. A work a job so that I can have money, but the money is not the end goal. The main purpose of the money, in my life, is to sustain a lifestyle in which I can fend for myself, while still being able to be generous to my friends and family. I like being able to take care of myself and do things that I enjoy, but I don't like feeling selfish with my money because I don't have enough to do both the things I like and be generous.

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Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: "..." -...

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Tue, Oct. 9th, 2007 04:17 pm

Silver stars and white horizon
Chill, dense air and white lace trees
Line the meadow, peaceful and calm
This still, still Christmas Eve
In the distance, smoke curls upward
Fills the air, the scent of fireplaces
Breathe the memories of ancient past
Guides the mind through countless ages

And perhaps there's something better
More romantic, more serene, more lovely
Than viewing trees and smelling the air
On a late night Christmas Eve
Of all the ways in which I may discover
All the moments and joys and things so fine
I am certain of this
This single moment... is mine

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Current Mood: creative creative
Current Music: "This Moment is Mine" -Kenneth Keyn

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Mon, Oct. 1st, 2007 07:20 pm

Since time immortal
Has stood a stately portal
The doors unto my heart
Long have they been open
Awaiting guests to come in
And share in their part

Long've been the doors untouched
Naked and hollow, the corridors
Empty and forlorn, the table set
Bland and dark, the colors

Thought I, to add some light
Dislodge the grey of night
And pierce the cold dark air
A touch to the decor
To add a little more
Thought I, it would be fair

None but the air come in
A reluctant guest at best
For it swallows my life
And leaves with the rest

Should that portal be sealed
Would it ever be revealed
That many had waited outside?
Likely would it be forgotten
As if it had gone rotten
My heart will have died

Long've been the doors untouched
Naked and hollow, the corridors
Remain they open to the world
Until there be one that adores

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Current Mood: lonely lonely
Current Music: "..." -...

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Thu, Sep. 27th, 2007 01:21 am

I had a scary revelation today... well, yesterday. In class, we were watching Schindler's List. I happened to be paying attention to the music (big surprise) when I had the sudden horror of realization that the theme I was hearing, and so loved, was not very much unlike one of the themes I had used in my competition piece that I sent off to Bellevue. The moment I got home, I rushed and opened up my file and listened to the playback. To my relief, while I did indeed get my inspiration from the theme of Schindler's List, I had modified it in my memory, such that it could not be called plagarism. Thank God my intervals were not correct or I would have been in some serious trouble. However, I'm pretty sure that the judges might notice the similarity (yes, I know I mixed a concrete with an indeterminate, so sue me). Hopefully, I won't get docked for that.

A few days ago, I checked to see if there was a confirmation on my package's delivery. It arrived and was confirmed, so I know they have it. I've yet to hear anything back, but I honestly don't expect much until the winners are announced. We'll see what happens. I'd like to think that I put a pretty solid piece in, but insecurity is part of being an artist. The better you get, the more you realize that there are a lot more people who are better than you and, compared to the number of people that are better than you, there's not a whole lot of opportunities to fill. Basically, it comes down to two or three things: One, that those who are better than you are doing something else instead; two, that those who are better than you and not doing something else were too lazy to turn anything in; and, three, that those who are better than you, not doing something else, and aren't lazy have hopefully had their packages lost in the mail. Slightly cynical, I know. Slightly mean-spirited, yes. But, in truth, it's not fair to wish that on others because you know that they might be wishing exactly the same thing of those who are better than them. It's always a struggle for everyone. If you're beat, you're beat. Just got to try harder next time. After all, that's how they got better than you in the first place. They got beat and just kept trying.

(By the way, in case you weren't paying attention, this applies to everything one does in life.)

In the meantime, I've just got to wait to see and keep going with what I'm doing. Either way, I've got a pretty cool piece out of it. I'll be sharing it once I find out the results of the contest.

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Current Mood: contemplative contemplative
Current Music: "Theme from Schindler's List" -John Williams

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Mon, Sep. 24th, 2007 03:58 am

How would you describe the relationship between yourself, the religious community with which you most identify, and God?

I'm in a rather precarious position with the church. I grew up a fifth-generation Seventh-Day Adventist, but, throughout my life, have ended up in all sorts of different denominations and ranging from very conservative to very liberal. Very early on, I was actively involved in church ministry - such as prayer teams, drama teams, security, sound tech, etc. - from, at least, age eight or so. What I found, about ten years later, was that I was going to church for the sake of going to church and that I didn't know how to set foot in a church without taking on all sorts of responsibilities. I wasn't going to worship God. I was going to support the church. As such, I am currently on hiatus. In addition to being burnt out by ministry, I also have some personal convictions about the nature of the church, in its current form, that keep me from going.

My relationship with God is also in a precarious position, but for totally different reasons. I am constantly seeking after the depth of God and so I run into obstacles - such as the limits of human understanding, the nature of time and space, etc - that get more difficult to get past the deeper I go. I'm also, very strongly, struggling with the name of "God". In general, I'm even having problems with the idea of putting a name to "God" in the first place. The problem I have is that the names that we associate with our Creator have not always been attributed to Him and Him alone. "God" is a proper name for a Teutonic deity. "Lord" is a translation of Baal. The practice of applying multiple names to a deity is borrowed from pagan practices. What's worse is that the one name that is given by the Creator Himself, is one that we don't know how to properly pronounce anymore and it's not even supposed to be used. Along with a multitude of questions and doubts and seeking things out, that's where I am in my relationship with Him. I still trust him, but I've got questions.

What is the relationship between your community and other communities? How do you view members of those other communities?

As I implied above, I don't really have a religious community with which I identify. I know how I respond to religious communities, but that's not really the same thing. I have many frustrations with the modern churches. My main frustration is that a significant core of them shove pre-packaged Jesuses onto unsuspecting people, assuming that - because they're the correct church - they are guaranteed to turn them into an uber-Christians. It's unrealistic and it disregards those people as people. I believe true evangelism is simply to seek always after God in your personal life and be a good friend and support to those around you, regardless of who they are or where they stand. Let them ask, don't try to sell them some one-size-fits-all doctrine. It's disrespectful.

Why do you identify with your faith community?

I'm having a hard time with this set of questions. My circumstances are such that I don't quite fit into the community that makes up most of Warner. Because of the place that I am at in my faith, I do not identify with any faith community to any degree of significance. I am simply seeking after God and my path has taken me in a slightly different direction.

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Current Mood: sleepy sleepy
Current Music: "Fill Her Up" -Sting

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Mon, Sep. 24th, 2007 03:20 am


Fukuda set to be new Japan PM

This week's most pressing news from Japan involves the election of Abe's successor in the Liberal Democratic Party - which holds a strong majority of the political power in Japan. What this means is that Fukuda, Abe's successor, is pretty much on track for becoming Japan's PM. The importance in this election is that he was running against a much more outspoken candidate. It shows that the political balance in Japan is teetering and they want someone who will stabilize things. I personally find it very interesting that a quiet little man like him was elected. It kind of gives me hope for politics, really.

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Current Mood: sleepy sleepy
Current Music: "Tomorrow We'll See" -Sting

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Sat, Sep. 22nd, 2007 01:59 am

I had a rather interesting thought tonight. I just had a meatball sub and when I was reflecting on it - in the manner of something that may not have settled well - I accidentally referred to it as a matzaball sub. Following the inner chuckling that resulted, I then thought about what a matzaball sub would actually taste like. I also wondered if anyone has ever tried it. Granted, I don't remember the taste of matzaballs. It makes the idea kind of hard to construct with my taste memory, but there's a good chance it might actually work. I do imagine it would be rather starchy, but so is a meatball sub. Oh, well. Maybe someday I'll try it.

Current Mood: amused amused
Current Music: "..." -...

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Mon, Sep. 17th, 2007 01:00 am


Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced he is resigning after less than a year in office.

For this week, this is the most pressing news from Japan. It's interesting to see the way in which political figures in Japan respond to pressures over policy and scandal. According to the article, his resignation was over mounting unpopularity for his support of naval deployment to Afghanistan, scandals involving his cabinet, and his political party doing poorly in the most recent elections. A related article cites possible political deals, ill health, and political mutiny - and any combination thereof. Whatever the cause, there will probably be a lot of turmoil in the Japanese political system for a little while as they figure things out.

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Current Mood: sleepy sleepy
Current Music: "..." -...

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Mon, Sep. 17th, 2007 12:52 am

What is a friend? What do you look for in a friend? What kind of friend do you want to be? What would you want your friends to say about you as a friend?

I've spent a lot of time thinking about what it means to be a friend. I have come to various answers at various times for various reasons. For example, a friend can be someone to spend time with, someone who is willing to help at any moment, someone who I can always trust and confide in, etc. As of late, I've come to the zen-like understanding that friends are those who pursue friendship with me. I refuse to think that "friends" are something I can "have". To assume that you can possess friends, assumes a manipulated, and somewhat dead, relationship. By realizing that friendship is a pursuit and not an object, It places more value on the intentionality of both involved. Friendship is a process of growing together and learning together and actively seeking after one another. It's the same kind of intentionality that we are called to when we are to seek God. So, to answer the second question, I look for someone who is willing and able to be intentionally seeking after friendship.

As for the third question, I hope to always be someone who pursues friendship to its fullest. I'm certainly not perfect and I'm certainly not without need of help. I still have my biases and I know that there are places where I am not doing enough. But I always look to address it. I want to always value seeking.

I genuinely hope and pray that others are able to see this in me. In some regards, this can have two effects: people are drawn in or people are put off. There are some who may be put off by the idea of being so intentional about friendship. Some might even be scared of the idea. I'm looking for those who are not.

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Current Mood: sleepy sleepy
Current Music: "..." -...

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Sat, Sep. 15th, 2007 11:35 pm

Today was one of those I-Want-to-Quit days. Surely, anyone who's kept a steady job knows what I'm talking about. It's one of those days where all the little things pile up, only to be set off by one more thing. I had a customer that was practically hostile tonight. That in of itself would be enough to make one of those days, but add to it the fact that I only had about two hours of sleep the night before. I'll explain that bit in a second. Anyway, in my entire stint at Avis - all year and two months or so of it - I have never had a guy this hostile. This was the worst I've ever had. I'm just thankful that the majority of the night was rather slow or I would have been exceptionally pissed.

As far as staying up late, I had planned on submitting a piece to the Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra Composition Contest. I originally thought the deadline was in October. Turns out I was mistaken. The deadline was September 15, 2007. Yup. Today. So for the last four days, I've been working frantically on my entry. I finally finished it last night and spent the remaining time printing out the score and parts. I then had to take it to a post office so it could get postmarked for the 15th. I feel very sorry and very grateful for my roommate, who I kept up trying to find all the printer cables and got up early to drive me to the post office. In return, I bought him lunch at Gustav's on Sandy Blvd. and will be buying him a tank of gas later on. Anyway, the thing is complete, printed out, and sent off to BYSO. If I win the catagory that I submitted for, it will be a nice $750, but - more importantly - it will be all sorts of shiny on my résumé. I put a lot of work - granted rushed - on that piece, so I hope it does well. If not, I'll at least have the ability to say I was a participant. I also just want to hear a live orchestra perform a piece of mine. It also opens up the possibility of publishing. I'm excited to see what becomes of it.

Hmm... thorn and a rose, huh?

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Current Mood: exhausted exhausted
Current Music: "Awaiting Halcyon" -Kenneth Edward Keyn

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Thu, Sep. 13th, 2007 12:12 am

I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don't believe I deserved my friends.
-Walt Whitman (1819 - 1892)

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Current Mood: blank blank
Current Music: "..." -...

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Sun, Sep. 9th, 2007 11:56 pm

How would you describe yourself to a complete stranger? To your best friend? What kind of categories would you use? Which of those categories/elements of identity are most important to you?

To a stranger, I would describe myself as, foremost, a musician and a composer. I'm a complex, deep, thoughtful person who's interested in gaining understanding and learning as much as is possible. I'm loyal to a fault and I consider honor and respect necessary, more now than ever. Granted, I'd only describe myself this way if I were asked. I generally don't go about describing myself to everyone I meet.

To my best friend, I'd hope that I wouldn't have to describe myself, but I'm assuming that I would describe myself somewhat the same as above. When it comes to information about me, I'm more willing to share something if I'm asked. It just feels a little self-centered to just say it whenever.

Now, I'm a little confused about the catagories bit. I don't generally catagorize my identity. I suppose that might be because of where I place my identity. Most of what I consider my identity is internal. My identity lies within me and is not comprised of what I do, what I've done, where I come from, where I've been, or anything other than the inner me who is not altered by anyone but me. To me, the importance of finding an identity within myself is more important than attaching myself to an external identity. I don't think I've answered the question the way it's supposed to, but that's just me.

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Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: "Theme from The Godfather" -Carmine Coppola

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Wed, Sep. 5th, 2007 12:03 am

Describe the environment in which you grew up. Use these categories as a guide: rural/suburban/urban, poor/working/middle/upper-middle/wealthy, large family/small family, religious/non-religious, conservative/liberal. How has your environment shaped your spirituality? What has it made you more and less aware of? To what aspect of the “thicker life” do you want to awaken?

I grew up in an upper-lower/working class, highly religious, moderate, relatively small family. I say this mostly in hindsight, however. Thoughout my childhood - and even into my adulthood - those catagories were constantly shifting. To begin with, I and my family were much more conservative. With the departure of my father, a shift began toward the more liberal. Eventually, we settled into a more moderate view. To generalize my growing up, I would say that I lived with constant change. What this made me realize is that there are few things that I can take for granted or assume will always remain stable. Change is one of the few constants and, while I personally don't like it, I need to be prepared and able to not only survive change, but excel in it. I've also found that in order to ever have any sense of stability or support, I need to invest in things which are not - to borrow the words of Plato - of a lower, or less enduring, form. Granted, finding out what is or is not a lesser form is a constant struggle, but I've come to understand that the stuggle is part of the form. Anyway, in my experience with constant change, I feel that I've lost touch with what stability feel like. I'm not willing to start something that will not be lasting, so few things are started. In some cases, this may be projects or even relationships. I have a certain sense of whether or not something is going to last and I can't, in good conscience, ignore it. In truth, I have no definite way of knowing what is going to happen in the future. In some sense, by assuming the duration of something, I cheapen its potentiality. If there's anything that I would like to awaken, as far as the "thicker life" is concerned, it would be the ability to allow things to progress as they will and not place an expiration date on them.

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Current Mood: contemplative contemplative
Current Music: "All You Need is Love" -The Beatles

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Mon, Aug. 27th, 2007 03:51 pm

I'm back in school - again. Anyway, for two of my classes, HUM 310 - again - and History of the Pacific Rim, I am required to do journal entries online. Well, turns out I already have an online journal and, rather than start up a new one, I'm going to use this one. What does that mean? That means that there will be here, every week, a journal entry dedicated to each class. They will be obviously marked, so you know what's classwork and what's not. However, I do encourage you to make comments on them if you would like to. I'll still do my normal entries - which might actually benefit from my more frequent use. We'll see.

Current Mood: contemplative contemplative
Current Music: "..." -...

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Tue, Aug. 14th, 2007 02:57 am

Be to me hope
And light of the sun
Find in the haze
My future
Bright and glimmering

Let these words of mine
Be the tomb of my fear
To seal in rememberance
A time long past
A shadow and husk

Let me fly and soar
And find breathless beauty
I long for the stars
I yearn for new horizons
Bring me the sky

Be to me hope and dreams
Find in me
Light and sorrow mixed
The engine of my soul
That propels me to the heavens

Seal my thoughts
And capture from my voice
Fear and doubt
Forever held
Where I shall be no longer

Find my feet on clouds
Dancing with the wind
See that I am free
Free of all that held me
All that held me captive

Be to me hope
Be to me love
Be to me reality

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Current Mood: contemplative contemplative
Current Music: "Empyrian Dawn" -Iona

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