1. They’re Just Words

    Tonight my mind was just a bit over stimulated with a lot of thoughts so I decided I had either two choices. Over think it, obsess, become frustrated, and go on a long spiel about things, or make things as simple as possible. Opting to do the latter, I began looking up some definitions to words I could allow to do the talking for me.

    Institutionalize:

    Establish (something, typically a practice or activity) as a convention or norm in an organization or culture.

    Superstition: 

    1. Excessively credulous belief in and reverence for supernatural beings. 
    2. A widely held but unjustified belief in supernatural causation leading to certain consequences of an action or event, or a practice

    Theology:   

    1. The study of the nature of God and religious belief.
    2. Religious beliefs and theory when systematically developed: “Christian theology”.

    Religion: 

    1. The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.
    2. Details of belief as taught or discussed.

    Faith: 

    1. Complete trust or confidence in someone or something
    2. Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof
    3. A system of religious belief
    4. A strongly held belief or theory

    Science:

    1. The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment
    2. A systematically organized body of knowledge on a particular subject
    3. Knowledge of any kind

    If you’re able to connect the dots, you’ll see why I’m such an advocate of science. But maybe it’s just me…

    -James

    2 years ago  /  1 note

  2. Mothership

    That’s the mofuggin mothership, right there! 

    So anyone who’s spoken with me in the past 6 months or so knows very well how much I’ve gotten into Skrillex here lately. And it should come as no surprise that I’m obsessed with the Mothership Mix he put out not too long ago. Here’s the link you can actually hear the entire MASSIVE 2 hour long mix, complete with track listing.

    http://www.dubstepeden.com/2011/06/08/skrillex-the-mothership-download-mediafire-zshare-zippyshare/

    Of the 31 tracks used, only 6 are his original productions. This is, of course, excluding the first track which is his remix of Benny Benassi’s “Cinema”. Listening to this mix made me realize a few things I found interesting about Skrillex’s style that I felt merited some mention: 

    1. Lyrics.
    The vast majority of Skrillex’s music does not contain any actual lyrics. Almost all of them contain a soundbyte, usually used to denote a bass drop. It’s like “Dubstep for Dummies”, simplistic yet, extremely effective. I mean, many people who’ve heard Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites don’t even know it’s Skrillex, but they sure as hell can quote “YES OH MY GOSH”. And let’s not forget “My Name is Skrillex”. Actually, okay, let’s forget that one. It reminded me of Mike Jones’ style of rapping just a tad and let’s say I have some emotional scarring from that. Moving on. Once you remove all remixes from the equation and his Korn collabs, as great as they are, he never seems to do much with lyrics.

    The more important point of this particular note is that most of the songs he selected from other artists DO contain lyrics. I’m not sure if he loves these songs because it’s something he’d like to aspire to, or if it’s just because it’s on the opposite spectrum of the DnB scale. The mix has some REAL gems in it like Gemini’s Blue, Porter Robinson/Lazy Rich’s Hello, Chase & Status’ Plan B and an incredible remix of Deadmau5’s Raise Your Weapon. All of which have very moving lyrics. There are more, but this brings me to my next point:

    2. Remixes.
    Listening to this mix made me look up the originals to Deadmau5’ Raise your Weapon, Nero’s Me & You, Rusko’s Hold On and, most interesting of all, Pendulum’s Watercolour. Now, picking the remixes to all of these songs made a lot of sense in the context of the mix. Most of them were faster paced or even made into dubstep for the remix and thus fit better but the baffling decision was to use the Emalkay remix of Watercolour. It’s slower paced and doesn’t even feature, what I feel to be, the best lyrics of the whole song. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad mix but it’s just not better than the remix. The rest of the choices made perfect sense - Raise your Weapon is a nine minute ballad that would easily distract you from the flow of the mix, and throwing in Katy Perry’s E.T. would probably make most dubstep listeners tune out. I guess I’m not even complaining about the choice, just curious. Without harping on that any further, I’ll get to my final point…

    3. Transitions.
    While most of the transitions are nice and simple crossfades, there are a few little breaks in the track where he interrupts the flow of the track with some amusing sound bytes that one can only assume were outtakes from recording the opening speech. They’re funny, but really after hearing “That’s the goddamn motherfuckin’ mothership right there!” about 6 different ways, you kinda grow weary of it, ya know? Not a major complaint, but for someone as talented as Sonny, I’d expect more art in the mixing. Without the crossfades it’s kind of just a huge playlist. 

    Anyway, if you haven’t heard it yet, listen to this mix and broaden your musical horizons a bit. It’s just a great listen, albeit being a tad long.

    But really, is there ever such a thing as too much music?
    James D. 

    2 years ago  /  0 notes

  3. Special

    I’ve returned to my keyboard once again to send out a message that many won’t want to hear, let alone accept. Nevertheless, it needs to be said and there’s no nice way to put this, so I’ll just be blunt.

    You aren’t special.

    We’ve been raised our whole lives to believe that there is a normal, and that there is special. The more accurate terms, colorless though they may be, would be average and unique. There is an average for any measurable medium, humans included. The real trick to the word “average”, or any observational word, is that it’s all subjective. 

    The real point is that somehow, deep down, we all have something to prove. We all want to be better than someone else in some way. It’s instinct. Maybe it has something to do with survival instincts given to us when we were just getting the gene pool started. Maybe it’s something forced upon us by society by the premise that wealth and success automatically equal being better than the person standing next to you. I can’t be certain where it originates but, I can say this with a certainty, if you are looking to build your personal value by how much money you make or by how many people know your name, you are setting yourself up for failure.

    Just so we’re clear and I’m not disillusioning anyone too badly:
    Bad things happen to good people.
    Those who lie, cheat, and steal can become millionaires.
    Getting a college degree doesn’t guarantee you’ll make a lot of money in your career.
    Not graduating from high school doesn’t prevent you from becoming a millionaire.
    You can do everything right and still fail.
    And you can stumble into success by being in the right place at the right time.

    The point is, money is out there and there’s always going to be someone who has more of it than you. What really matters, what really makes you special is being loved by someone unconditionally. When you find someone out there who, despite all of your flaws [and trust me, you have a lot of them] can still take you by the hand, or put an arm around you, or give you a long hug and tell you that they love you and care for you and mean it, don’t let that person go. Ever. Because you never know when that will no longer be an option.  

    So I’ll leave you with this:
    Connect with other people - they’re just as fucked up as you, whether they show it or not.
    Never be afraid to love. Even heartache has it’s benefits.
    And don’t be too quick to judge someone - like I said, you’re fucked up too.

    Peace, love, and bacon!
    James D. 

    2 years ago  /  0 notes

  4. Listen. Read below.—————V

    3 years ago  /  0 notes

  5. Believe

    "Letting out the noise inside of me.
    Every windowpane is shattering.
    Cutting out my words before I speak,
    This is how it feels to not believe”  

    I had a “shit got real” moment today. The odd thing is these things usually happen rather suddenly, but today it was more like a tidal wave moving in slow motion, consuming my soul…

    Okay, that’s a bit dramatic, but here’s the long and short of it. 

    Today I realized how I’ve always been shut off from my emotions. I suppose this stems from having lots of bouts with depression and thoughts of suicide when I was younger. Since then I’ve started shutting out a lot of the negative emotions and generally have felt better. Well, better until it catches up to me. Then I have a day like today where I just feel like shit and don’t know why. Somehow my subconscious holds onto all of those negative thoughts I shrug off. 

    One of, if not, the most successful salesmen at my job held a meeting this morning and I was brought into center stage. Being at the center of a group of people and being addressed directly was a bit uncomfortable. However, I do realize that we grow the most when we’re uncomfortable so I played along with it. There were a lot of things said, but the thing that struck home was the term “Perpetual positive emotion machine”. 

    Could you imagine owning something like that? I want one. Badly. Hell, who wouldn’t? I mean I don’t want it to vomit rainbows and unicorns or anything, but just having something positive to hold onto in times of strife and hardship. Turns out, we can all own one but no one can buy it. You must become it.

    The concept is simple: Negative energy goes in, positive and negative energy comes out. Example: 
    Negative: I burned my toast.
    Positive: I burned my toast, but now I know that setting on the toaster is too high and I will never make that mistake again.

    Well, something like that, but on a much more important, life changing level.

    Becoming this will take time and more importantly, will take work. The first step for me is going to have to be getting in touch with my emotions again. This is frightening for me because I know how negative my thoughts are and where they tend to lead and how difficult it is for me to be able to get back out of them once I’m in them again. Honestly, I don’t know that I can do it. The opposite end is that if I DON’T I’ll never be able to achieve the things I want in life. I’ll tell you this, reader, there is nothing worse than having everything you want so close you can smell and taste it and NOT be able to have it. It’s one thing when your life dreams and objectives are worlds away and seemingly unreachable, but when they’re staring you in the face and you know you can have them provided you do X Y and Z, but X Y and Z are the most difficult things for you to do… it’s a real challenge.

    Now I’m at the point where I recognize this situation and think to myself, “Well you said you really wanted this, and you said you’d do anything to make it happen… and yet you aren’t. Does this mean that this isn’t what you actually wanted? If not, then what do you want?” I still haven’t come up with an answer for wanting anything else so I know that this is what I want.

    But where do I go from here? It’s going to be a long road… I’d better start my map.

    More to come,
    James 

    3 years ago  /  0 notes

  6. Click play, read below ——-V

    3 years ago  /  0 notes

  7. Blue

    "Take everything and live for the moment,

    It’s only gonna bring you down tonight.” 

    I used to write a lot of blogs back when I was on Myspace, and they usually spawned from the emotions felt by a song… I’m bringing that back so now my blogs will feature a song above them to listen to while reading. I feel that’ll bring you a bit further into my world.

    Well there’s a lot of things going on in my life. Some good, others not so much. I can’t really go into detail, so I won’t but I will say this: I realize that focusing on what’s going wrong will only breed more things to go wrong. And that’s a feeling I wanted to share with you.

    The best course of action I can take is to keep my head down and focus on the improvements I need to make in my own world to move from the spot I don’t want to be in and get where I want in life. If you are somewhere in life you don’t like, and most of you probably are, then sit down, evaluate where you are and figure out the steps necessary to move forward. You wouldn’t plan a trip without first figuring out which route to take, right?

    Honestly, I’m speaking more to myself than to anyone else, but if you can gain some sort of motivation or courage from this, then it’s all the better. 

    I haven’t gotten much further than this just yet so I’ll leave you with this thought. Everything is connected. If your head and your heart can’t agree on something, you’ll never get anywhere. Take the time you need to negotiate within yourself what the next step should be and then commit.

    Taking it one step at a time,
    James 

    3 years ago  /  0 notes

  8. Meaning of Life.

    Since we all wound up on this big blue earth, mankind has been trying to solve the mystery of why we were all here and what the meaning of life is. I’m proud to say that I’m only 22 years old and have managed to figure out what everyone on this little mud ball of a planet has yet to realize.

    It’s all bullshit.

    Aside from laws of physics, really nothing means anything for certain. Things only have meaning because someone says they have meaning. Let’s think about this for example. The dollar. Why does it have any value? Because someone else says it has value and it has become worth everything to so many people. Somewhere in there someone figured out there should be some sort of mathematics behind figuring out how much money something could be worth and it’s just been downhill since then. Since then people have fought wars, robbed, stolen, worked hard for, saved up, and spent money. But at the end of the day, if there’s no one to believe in currencies, there’s no value to it. It’s all bullshit.

    What about religions? Whatever religion you want to follow, they all have the same basic rules: Be kind to each other, and treat each other well. There’s minor details separating every religion such as the name of the deity being worshiped or feared, or specific rules regarding specific situations, but they’re all basically the same. They each have a creation theory, creed, and speculation of the afterlife. Everyone’s drinking the kool-aid, there’s just lots of flavors. It’s all bullshit.

    What about working? You spend a large chunk of your life doing something you probably don’t like for people you probably don’t like for some green paper so that you can get food and shelter and pay for a bunch of other things you don’t actually need, but you convince yourself that you do need them so you still keep doing it anyway. Then eventually you’ll run out of money so you keep working and repeat the process until you’ve saved enough money to retire. It’s all bullshit.

    Now, the real discovery I’ve made today isn’t so much that it’s all bullshit, but rather what to do with it. There’s only really two ways to move from this point. You realize it’s all bullshit and then no longer see the point in living, and kill yourself. Or, you can do what the smart people do.

    Realize it’s bullshit, but play the game anyway because you know there’s -nothing- to gain from the alternative. The benefit, really, is that you’ll be happier and keep yourself from being bogged down with the negative emotions that caring too much about trivial things causes on all of us.

    There’s always a positive. Even if it’s covered in bullshit.

    Stay calm, live longer.
    James. 

    3 years ago  /  0 notes

  9. Yesteryears

    I was in a conversation with the girlfriend while she was putting on make up. She was having trouble applying some eyeliner or something and I said “I’d be glad to help you if I knew anything about makeup” and she said “Well you could learn. It’s a great profession.” I said well yeah, but only if you make it big like that one make up artist you liked so much. Then she said “Yeah, but she’s stopped doing so much professional stuff after she had her kid” And for some reason that started a long thought process.

    Yeah, women tend to put their lives on hold once they have kids.
    That’s why they get paid less in the job force because no one knows when they’ll end up having kids
    But not every mother leaves her job entirely to start taking care of her kids.
    Hell the bad mothers don’t care about their kids, only their careers.
    Wait, I was raised by a single mother who went to work 40+ hours a week to support me.
    I wonder if she ever questioned whether or not she was doing the right thing?

    This prompted me to grab my phone and text my mom to ask her if she ever thought she was a bad mother for never being there for me because she was always working. She responded “No, I kept working because I wanted to support you. My only regret was that I didn’t get you an actual father instead of a sperm donor” And I thought about this for a second and responded “Yeah, but I obviously never really needed a “father” I mean, I had my godfather there to be my father figure when the rare occasion should show that I needed a male to talk to about something, but for the most part I either figured it out on my own or I could talk to you and my godmother about everything else.”

    Then she hit me with this one, “Yeah, but I worked so hard to not put just anyone over you or have you think I was a slut because of all of “mommie’s friends” or “uncles” and now I’m alone.”

    What have I done? My mere existence has basically ruined my mother’s chances for happiness and she only ever wanted to give me the best and… then she interrupted me with this text. “Stop your fretting, son. I just wish I could still do for you like I used to.”

    Here I am, 22 years old and living on my own and my mom is sitting at home with an injured back from the years and years of working hard at a job she hated just to put food on the table and clothes on my back. And she’s telling me that despite her own previous sacrifices she’s made to make sure I get to where I am right now, she still wishes she could do more…

    I don’t understand…. I really don’t. And I’m not worthy of that…

    I didn’t know how else to respond other than to say this. “No, it’s my turn now.”

    It’s time to step up, James. 

    3 years ago  /  0 notes

  10. Sunlight

    Having just had a birthday a couple of weeks ago, it’s coming to my attention that I’m getting older, and more importantly, better.

    I’ve spent a great deal of my time focusing on the negatives in my life because I knew no other way to look at things, but I think things are considerably different now. My best response to negativity in the past was apathy, but now I feel that I’m grabbing hold of a positive attitude and learning the truth behind “If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change how you feel about it.” This is largely due to my new job and, more importantly, my boss. The incredible thing about it, is he probably has no idea.

    A job is only as bad as the people you work with. You could have a career in doing something you absolutely love, but if you’re surrounded by people you can’t stand to be around, you probably won’t be there very long. Alternatively, you could work for a waste disposal company and shovel shit all day, but if you love working with the other people there with you, you can find some joy in going to work. That being said, my new work environment is absolutely incredible. Even when it’s hard, it’s still enjoyable.

    My respect isn’t very hard to earn, but few have done it in as short a time as my current boss. I’ve worked for quite a few people and most of them demand respect because of their position. While I can understand why many do this, it’s really a show of laziness on their part and a lack of effort to prove themselves worthy of my respect. I came to deeply respect this man on my first day of work. I’m not sure if respect and understanding go exactly hand in hand or which one needs to come first, but I do know in his case I came to respect him long before I came to understand him and it has never worked that way before. I like it.

    This new job, without going into any details, feels like new territory for me in so many ways that it’s taken quite a while to adjust and prepare myself and here I am 2 months into it and I still haven’t conquered it. This is hard for me because I’m used to having a job down in 2 weeks, but I feel the growth is taking me somewhere incredible. This is, without a doubt, the most respectable and honorable company I’ve ever had the pleasure of working for and I know that if I gave so much blood, sweat, and tears to other jobs that lead nowhere, I need to give infinitely more to this one. I will become the best and then even better. This is my resolve.

    Aside from work, I’ve lived in my new apartment for little over a month now and I love the place. Of course there’s some issues, but they are minor and will be resolved. It’s HUGE for an apartment, nearly 1500sq ft. Best part, it’s about a 5 minute bike ride from work opposed to the 30 minute ride to my old jobs. I have to say I’m in such a better place mentally, physically, and financially than I ever have been. The best part? It only gets better.

    Grabbin’ it for ya,
    James

    3 years ago  /  0 notes