July 29, 2009


There is happiness.


July 21, 2009

We’ve all seen that clip many times. The quote is far more famous than the event. Many documentaries and opinions have been made in reaction to it. Many celebrations and homages.

But 40 years ago today we were all pressed to our televisions, watching three men fly further than we could imagine. Two of them landed on the moon and had time to walk in and take in the sights, along with samples for science.

It’s still a cold and dusty rock up there we can see most nights. It has no atmosphere. It has about 1/6th the gravity of earth. It’s empty. It’s boring.

But it’s also one of the greatest achievements man has accomplished. This morning I heard Buzz Aldrin mention how we came out of the water, we came out of the trees, and finally we’ve left earth. While we haven’t adapted yet, it’s the next point for man.

It’s also another use of fuel, a reliance on technology, and human’s desire to get there first and own it. But that complaint is for another day.

Walter Cronkite passed away today. I’m too young to really remember anything of his. But as a blogger, and an aspiring artist, I try to understand the world. As a journalist, he needs to be remember by any of us trying to understand the world.

He was 92.

Talking To Strangers

July 14, 2009


It’s me and a ukulele. It was supposed to be live sounding, but I can’t quite play it all at the same time just yet. It was supposed to be like Neutral Milk Hotel’s “Engine,” but I delivered it badly. The melody is that overdone awkward waltz I do. The words are on beat, meaning there’s no vocal melody. No vocal hook. Is there a ukulele hook?

It’s scary, I have a style. It’s self-conscious. It’s bad.

P.S. this is my 200th post. I was gonna do some weird calculations about how I my post total is 200 a lot quicker than I reached 100. But I think I’ll just leave it as it is.

0 for 10, maybe?

July 13, 2009

Can’t even get there…

It’s funny, now that I found ‘sunshine folk pop’ according to the allmusic guide, I’ve been feeling very excited about simply playing the ukulele. I’ve had daydream involving a city friend and I in a ‘downstate duo’ or something.

I never brought it up to him, and I don’t know how he’d react to it (not to mention, I can’t play the uke as good as he can play guitar, and my 3 or rare 4 chord songs involve the always exciting “7” chords, while he dislikes 3 chord songs). But still, there’s a part in all of us who want to be rock stars, even if only on a local level (although, let’s face it, if you’re in a band the place to be is NYC!).

All of my fellow downstaters have been kinda absent lately. One of them has the flu, another one has no money. A third kinda disappears now and then, but makes his presence all the more exciting this way. I’m not gonna visit my college buddies cause I’m saving up for something. And so, I was left all alone last night – perfect time to add another song to the demo! But, I didn’t.

The art of being indecisive is an exciting, if not somewhat lazy one. Instead what I did was my other fun independent thing to do, watch a bad movie. And in between laughing at its camp and pondering camera angles, I thought about how I should be making my Literally Independent Production movies. And how, even if my friend who wants to be a movie star has next to no money, and my camera girl has the flu, how I can poorly act, but still tell a story.

Will it get done anytime soon? I hope so – it’s been a while since I made a video. I just hope indecision doesn’t take over, and I listen to sunshine folk pop some more…


July 11, 2009

My Two Cents

July 10, 2009

“What backs our money?” I was asked this over a message board, and I replied with “Our Labor.” I then added “Perhaps both those words should be in quotes,” for example – “our” “labor”. I don’t know what made me remember this earlier today at work, but it bugged me. I work in retail, which also bugs me. And a lot of kids right out of high school also work in retail. I don’t know what minimum wage is, but let’s say they make $2/hr less than I do. That’s right – 2 dollars an hour less than I do.

How much work do they really do? How excited are they to be working? How many hours are they putting in a week? Does this damper their attitude? How much are they really making? And, how does that all compare to what I put in at work? Not that I’m terribly excited about working there.

What probably made me think about the question posed in the first paragraph was an overage I was charged last month. While I don’t earn the most money, and definitely don’t put the most effort into my work, an overage is still an overage. And putting 40 hours of my week into a bank account, and just barely putting in more than the overage was very disappointing. I may not love my job, but those 40 hours to break even could’ve been put to better use, and I’d be happy not making any more money from it (as long as I wasn’t losing money in the first place – although, I was). But that money could have also gone to hanging out with friends. I was lucky to pay for lunches the rest of that week.

So, what really does back our money? If the bank can charge me for an overage, where does my money really go? Did I earn it? Or did I just make up for what was lacking? I see the bills in my hands, but if I put them in and I’m still in the negative, was it like I even had money to start with? So, did I put labor into the ATM machine? Did I put gold in the ATM machine? Did I really have anything to start with?

The other side of the coin, however, is the barter system. Personally, I have nothing against the barter system. It makes more sense to me, on the surface. I don’t see how paper or a piece of silver really accounts for my hard work. But let’s say I’m a farmer and I grow corn. And I give you an ear of corn. That’s my hard work. Now, I can’t put an ear of corn into an ATM machine and have money, but I can sell it and have money. But, how much do I charge you for an ear of corn. FURTHER, if I were to trade an ear of corn to you, what’s it worth in…lumber, for example? That’s even easier than trying to trade corn with furniture.

So, what does back our money? The truth is this – our greed backs our money. Our desire to want things. Now, charging money for food is something I can understand. I would rather work all week and buy a thing of steak rather than buy a cow, wait for it to mature, kill it and clean it and cook it myself. But still, I’d be buying a cow from the start. And as much as I dream of owning a farm with solar panels and growing my own food, a steak’s a steak. I mean, c’mon.

So, if greed is what backs our money, are we truly in a recession? I remember hearing last summer how billions of dollars weren’t being used on airlines. I don’t see how greed can pay for a trip somewhere, but how many of you would like to see the Rocky Mountains or the Great Lakes or Great Britain or China? I guess to an extent I can see how greed would pay for a trip – “I NEED TO SEE IT FIRST!!! I NEED TO SHOW YOU PICTURES!!!”

And the truth is that, yes we are indeed in a recession. The proof with greed – it’s my time I sacrificed all week, it’s my hard labor, so it’s my money. I’ll spend it on what I want. And right now, not too many of us are spending it, so we aren’t getting out this anytime soon.

As much as I wanna believe I’m different from people, and don’t need money and don’t worry about social stats, it comes down exactly like my problem was earlier. I wanna work to use money for my friends. And when I’m in the negatives, why can’t I hang out with friends? I did indeed work all week, and sacrifice my time and labor.