Friday, July 27, 2007
I didn't know what to write, so I began to simply type as much as I could. I typed and typed. I wrote what I could in the speed that I comfortably could -- that is, I wrote swiftly, though not as swiftly as I possibly
could -- and I composed nothing of particular value, and nothing that required any measure of consideration. I just typed, in the hopes of getting something accomplished. What that was, I did not know.
Did it work? Perhaps. Perhaps not. It certainly provided me with something to do as I sat there, too caffeinated and too self-conscious. I didn't produce any major works of art. I didn't write anything terribly inspiring. My short story, the first chapter of my novel, the central thesis of my prize-winning essay -- all that would have to come another day. I didn't write anything I could take home to my mother -- or at least, to mom's nursing home -- certainly nothing worthy of reading aloud, "Here ma, look at what I wrote! Listen to this..."
Still, I felt I'd accomplished something, if only an insignificant item that wouldn't warrant even an entry on a weblog. I had erased myself for a few minutes, forgotten that I was sitting there, jittering from an overload of coffee and in full view of everyone walking through the doors of the cafe. I think that's all I really wanted, to forget myself for a few minutes. There were other ways of doing this, sure, but I wasn't any good at them. Some folks meditate, but I couldn't forget myself while meditating. I was always aware of my body -- its minor aches and itches, the sense of its mechanisms, the smell of my armpits. I've been told that some people, in order to induce the meditative state, focus exclusively on their breathing -- or simply the sound of their breathing -- in order to lose self-absorption. Yet I always grew anxious when attempting to do so. Whenever I performed any breathing exercises, I would become too
aware of my lungs, my heart pumping, my breath exhaling. Rather than losing awareness of myself, I would become irritatingly aware of every mechanism involved in my act of breathing. Some might think this would be evidence that I was achieving my goal -- but I assure you, dear reader, that I was never able to lose myself when concentrating on anything bodily, as it would inevitably lead my mind to unsettling matters. In the case of my breathing, my mind would begin to grow anxious contemplating the effects of my renewed smoking habit, the genetic possibility of pulmonary disease, the potential ulcer being induced by these very concerns, et cetera...
So meditation, or any form of Inactivity, wasn't for me. Then there were folks who could forget themselves in the act of performing the opposite: Extreme Activity. These folks ran. They hiked, or they mountain-climbed. They swam, they surfed. They sky-dived, they bungie-jumped. They raced cars, they chased cars. They crashed cars. They lost themselves completely in the extreme activities in which they were engaged. So absorbed in these acts, they were no longer "in their heads", their minds concentrated on accomplishing the outstanding feats in which they were engaged. All of these activities required either physical endurance or some amount of money, neither of which I was in possession of. I wasn't fit, physically or financially, for Extreme Activity. Besides, had I the ability to engage in these acts, it is more likely that my neuroticism would have compelled me to worry myself to a heart attack -- that is, through worrying about worrying myself into a heart attack. That's simply how my mind works.
Technorati Tags: something that happened, meditation, writing, writer's block, Self, Harold
Thursday, July 26, 2007
By the way, that rally I mentioned yesterday
will be attended by Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Gospel Choir, who just happened to be a guest on the Live Test Show
) yesterday! Can you believe it?!? How amazing and coincidental is that?!?!?!?!! How absolutely unlikely can that possibly be???!!!? OMIGOD I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!
Okay, so I went a bit overboard there. It was simply one of those serendipitous events or something -- not that big a deal unless you're superstitious or a little bit spooky. If you're into that kind of thing, though, here's another spooky (or serendipitous, or whatever) moment: Right now as I'm typing this post I'm listening to an archived episode of the Live Test Show
, which I just discovered in podcast format
, and my show The Audio Herald
is being talked about by the show's hosts.
OMIGOD!!! THIS IS AMAZING!!!!!! I CANNOT BELIEVE IT'S HAPPENING IT MUST BE THE WORLD ENDING AND CHRIST IS ON HIS WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Technorati Tags: something that happened, serendipity, Reverend Billy, Stop Shopping Gospel, Live Test Show, TalkRadioX, Audio Herald, Internet radio, podcast
I have been informed that Friday there will be a rally in New York City
, in Union Square, in defense of First Amendment rights:
Please join the Filmmaker/Photographer contingent at this Friday’s First Amendment rally at Union Square. Recently proposed regulations seriously threaten the rights of photographers and filmmakers to operate in NYC, and they could go into effect as soon as this August. Other laws already restrict our rights to parade, dance, meet, bike, shout, and assemble.
The Press Conference and Creative Rally will begin at 6:30pm, taking place in the north end of Union Square. More details are available on the website Picture New York
Technorati Tags: rally, press conference, First Amendment, Picture New York, photography, filmmaking, something that happened
Monday, July 23, 2007
Quick break for an historical fact that you are sure to be unaware of (and unlikely to care about). Today I received an email newsletter from the Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corporation
, and in it was stated the following:
July 23, 1924- The La Monica Ballroom first opened its doors. The first night's attendees included many of the area's most wealthy and famous people. A crowd of 25,000 people lined the Pier to watch the celebration.
Happy Birthday, La Monica Ballroom! As I was posting this, I had no idea what the La Monica Ballroom is/was; a quick Google search turned up that it was "the site of some of the earliest national radio and television broadcasts". Cool.
Technorati Tags: something that happened, Santa Monica Pier, La Monica Ballroom, broadcast history
Remorse. What it for? Why do we feel remorse? I suspect the feeling is some sort of adaptation humans have developed -- but for what purpose? Why must we feel bad, or remorseful, for our behavior? The answer may seem obvious: We feel remorse so that we won't repeat those behaviors.We sense that our behavior is wrong, unhealthy, unhelpful -- or in a strictly Darwinian sense, harmful to our survival. We're remorseful so that we won't repeat the errors of our ways.
So let's hope the remorse I'm feeling right now is enough to prevent me from becoming a Gossip.
You see, this evening I had a lengthy conversation with someone -- a conversation I was somewhat reluctant to engage in, at first, but proceeded with anyway. A conversation with a person I hardly know, having encountered him exclusively through the Internet, and only through a forum thread, a couple of Skype conversations, and perhaps one email. The phone rang this evening, and I answered it to find this person's voice on the other end. My gut instinct told me to tell this person I was busy, that I couldn't take the call right then, that I had some pressing business to attend to. I ignored my gut, though -- I suppose I had felt that I'd been avoiding this person long enough, and I didn't want to seem rude or off-putting. So I took the call. It's also possible I was somewhat intrigued with what the person might have to say. Then again, perhaps I was just practicing at overcoming my Phonecall Anxiety, or simply trying to use up those extra minutes my mobile phone provider grants me on the weekends. Perhaps this evening I was playing the part of The Nice Guy, anticipating that my inner Snape would turn out to be good.
Turns out, Snape was bad. (My
Snape, anyway -- I haven't read the book yet, so don't think this is a spoiler or anything.) This evening I became the gossip I often pride myself on not being. This evening, after the Skype call ended, I proceeded to Skypecall some fellows who "know" this fellow a little better than I do and I gossiped with them about this person. I repeated some of the nonsense I believe the fellow had related to me; I questioned his sanity. I chuckled about his ideas, his perceptions, his ambitions. I may have even called him a name or two.
On the one hand, I have to admit that I enjoyed engaging in the gossip, to some extent. At the time, I felt I was forging a bond with the fellows I was gossiping with; I was One Of The Guys for once. I was Proving My Loyalty to my boys; I was Helping Out The Cause. I was The Man Of The Hour, the
Whatever. I was simply gossiping, and it felt kind of good. Until it didn't.
Before you think I'm being too hard on myself, let me assure you that I'll be over it by sunrise. Unless, of course, I'm not. Still, to better assure you that I will be -- or to distract you, anyway -- here's a link to a Talkchat recording
-- that is, a TalkShoe conversation that I engaged in earlier today with a fellow AMP member and recording artist, Samantha Murphy. Sam is tentatively scheduled to host a Talkchat every Saturday at 5pm EDT; here's her TalkShoe page
I must go; there's a rat in my room. Literally.
Technorati Tags: something that happened, gossip, behavior, remorse, Darwin, TalkShoe, Talkchat, Samantha Murphy, Harold
Labels: anxiety, behavior, consequences, coping, remorse
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Returning to the astronomy topic
, a project called GalaxyZoo
"harnesses the power of the internet - and your brain - to classify a million galaxies." I've just now signed up for the service and run through its tutorial, and am already "analyzing" potential galaxies! It's kind of fun, actually...
Technorati Tags: something that happened, GalaxyZoo, astronomy, science, research
Friday, July 20, 2007
I see the following news item as a win for the artists among us; it's certainly a win for the Creative Commons
(and, arguably, a promotional "win" for PodTech
). A 'Net entertainment network called PodTech (ultimately) responded appropriately to a videoblogger's request for proper attribution for his work:PodTech Pays Lan Bui for CC Licensed Photograph
Technorati Tags: something that happened, Creative Commons, copyright, Lan Bui, PodTech
Thursday, July 19, 2007
In my view, a love for astronomy
is complemented by a passion for space exploration. Most folks watch space
or simulate space
, some folks collect space
, and other folks discover space
. There are a few who are even attempting to commercialize space
I'm not quite sure what my point is, other than pointing out to you some interesting links I've discovered (in the paragraph above)...
Technorati Tags: something that happened, space exploration
Sunday, July 15, 2007
I believe that lately I've been posting some well-considered, well-constructed and worthy-to-be-read compositions here on something that happened
. Well, no more, reader -- it's time to get back to business as usual! It's time to begin posting the regular drivel I became (in)famous for...
Otherwise, there will be nothing to read (or listen to, or to view) here, ever...
So let's say we begin with this personal note to myself, which should be of no interest to you: I must remember to re-read this article regarding the disappearance of Venus
, and our Evening (sometime Morning, and oft my Mourning) Star. It's time to whet my astronomical appetite; my stomach has long been fed with the mundane.
Technorati Tags: something that happened, Harold, return to form, astronomy