Monthly Archives: September 2012

An Embarrassing Story

Okay here’s another embarrassing story from when I was little, because I have lots of them and they are fairly straightforward to write. This one’s about another close friend in middle school. I’ll call him Dave, but that’s totally not his real name.

This is actually pretty difficult to write about and make public, but I’ve been having trouble thinking of topics for posts. So here I am, writing a story which relates the distance I was willing to go in order to avoid doing my homework. It’s time to come clean.

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Why I Don’t Use the Word “Bitch”

I don’t say “bitch”. This is an attempt to explain, to myself and to others, why not.

I won’t claim to be well-read in feminist theory, and certainly not able to give real answers to any gender related social or philosophical problems facing the world. Modern feminism is a complicated thing with a massive cannon canon standing behind it. The Wikipedia article even mentions post-structuralism in regards to gender and sexuality. Yikes. I’m not even gonna touch the history and historiography of feminism as philosophy. I’ll try to keep things fairly simple, as they remain, perhaps deludedly, in my understanding of things.

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The xx – Coexist

Listen to the whole album streaming here for a short while longer. I’ll put up a link to Grooveshark as soon as such a thing becomes a thing. [edit: Here is that link]
Be aware, Grooveshark is not quite legal. Make an informed decision as to whether or not to use their services; the artist does not receive payment for Grooveshark listens, but the same might be said for Spotify or Pandora

I was initially somewhat underwhelmed. Not every album has to be some grand statement, but at first I didn’t hear very much to listen to in The xx’s Coexist. I noticed immediately its more ambient approach to production and arranging. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s not definitive, as their first album was. The album reveals a satisfying, delicate intricacy upon further listening, but I don’t feel it has the staying power of its predecessor. That being said, I like it. It’s touching.

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My Rating System, and Ethics of Piracy

I feel like I’ll be doing music reviews pretty regularly, so I’ve had to decide on some rating system that reflects accurately and simply my feelings on a piece. I won’t pretend to give you a well-informed opinion on the music I review; how I feel about an album is very personal, and not subject to standards of objectivity. Nor will I deign to use some contrived point system to judge albums. I’ve thought of a simple, realistic rating system. I doubt it’s original, but here’s the gist:

I’ll decide whether an album earns itself a “Buy”, “Stream”, or “Don’t Bother”.

I’m a college student with very limited funds, so a “Buy” is high praise. It is also necessarily going to be very rare. To ensure my sincerity in rating, I’ll make an effort to actually buy albums I give that rating. If I ever find myself making real money, then some inflation of ratings may occur. Right now, a “Buy” might be a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10, and a “Don’t Bother” would be a 5 ish or lower.
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Apology

My best friend throughout elementary and middle school was this dorky, chubby Eastern European kid with gigantic cowlicks in his hair. I thought he was the coolest person ever, and I couldn’t imagine anyone I would rather spend time with. Let’s call him Phil.

In second grade, I had trouble making friends. I remember being outgoing, but unable to communicate effectively with my classmates. My accent was very thick back then, and children rarely had the patience to parse my slurred and broken speech. I had my few friends, but I was regularly picked on by some of the popular kids. I became an introvert by necessity, satisfying my need for adventure with internal fantasy. I could stand on a manhole and pretend it was a portal to Disney Land, or I could convince myself that I was an alien with super powers. Though I often found myself alone, I was never lonely.

Still, when my second grade teacher introduced Phil to the class, I decided immediately that we would be friends. He sat close to me, and I ingratiated myself quickly. I hoped to keep him away from the cool kids, who would certainly turn him against me. Somehow, I was successful. We soon exchanged home phone numbers. Playdates were arranged. It was the beginning of something beautiful.
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