So I was across the street eating lunch in the cafeteria with some coworkers when, out of nowhere, I run into Chris Sikorski, a buddy of mine from college. The last I had heard from him he was working for the SEC in Chicago; he still is, and was in Cleveland doing an ‘examination’ [not ‘investigation,’ mind]. He couldn’t tell me the specifics and I didn’t really care to hear them anyway. We traded numbers and then last night I took him for a few pints at the Public House on Lorain. I’d never been there but I’d heard good things. It was disappointing however. It was like any other bar, apparently they felt that a Guinness poster and a few Irish flags turned it into an approximation of an old country pub.
Chris gave me the down low on work at the SEC, apparently his division does compliance [audits isn’t the right word but that is what it is, basically] of financial advisors to make sure they are fulfilling their obligations of disclosure agreements and not breaching their contracts. Then the issue deficiency reports and tell the financial advisors to fix it. So after all that work, the financial advisors get a slap on the wrist. I gathered that most of the problems are rather minor and are the result of negligence but since SEC compliance is such a big deal in the wake of Enron and all that hoo-ha his department has been hiring finance graduates like crazy.
I caught him up on my life too but I won’t tell you what I said because its all here in this thing.
Here I go again with more of this thinking stuff. You ever get the feeling that you’ve thought of something mindblowing and then find out later that someone else thought about it 100s of years before you and it was probably just chilling in your subconscious? Yeah, I hate that. So a few days ago I was blabbering about ontology to little avail. Almost a year ago I was blabbering on the nature of knowing to basically the same end.
And now, last night, they, unsurprisingly in retrospect, merged. [damn lotta commas] So I guess this is my version of the ontological argument. It ends with God = Nothing, which is rather surprising.
x = something
y = nothing
z = God
If y ⊆ x exists, where y is a subset of x, and z ⊆ x exists, where z is a subset of x, then y = z.
- Is y a subset of x?
- If x is the set of all that exists then y exists. Ergo, y is a subset of x.
- Are y and x opposites?
- At first blush it seems so, but if y were not a subset of x then y would not exist. [i usually start boggling at this point.]
If y DNE then there would be no concept of y.
There is a concept of y. Mere discussion of y proves this.
Therefore, y exists.
If z DNE then there would be no concept of z.
There is a concept of z. Mere discussion of z proves this.
Therefore, z exists.
If y exists and z exists and they are both subsets of x, then y equals z.
I am equating the conceptual with the factual. I have apparently also decided that everything in the set of x is mutually exclusive to everything else. So it appears that everything is permitted. So lets do whatever we want.
I was rummaging through my old sheet music last night in search of something simple enough for me to play on my guitar. While doing this I came to the conclusion that eight years ago I was a damn good saxophonist. Up until high school marching band killed my love of musical performance [a love that had already waned since becoming involved in organized ensembles in 6th grade] I was starting to play some Coltrane and learning the art of jazz improvisation. Then I up and quit. The upshot of this is that all of my sheet music is far too complicated for me to play on my guitar. For now at least. But something as mundane as this did get me thinking. [surprise!]
I am in a constantly struggling with my art. I have a well of creativity and imagination that I can’t quite ever fully tap into. I feel like I am standing in front of a leaking dike with a bowl and just catching dribbles until I have enough to take a drink. I figure this might be the typical state for many artists, and the periods of rapid productivity and genius are when the levee breaks. Since all art [except for writing*] is, by its nature, ineffable I think my difficulty lies in the basic connection between translating the ineffable into something. Which is a pretty damn big problem. A fundamental one in fact. A problem that says, perhaps I shouldn’t be doing art at all if I cannot translate.
My problem is that I’m not very good at any of the art forms I’ve been trying. I’ve avoided drawing and painting because I don’t know how to do them and I don’t think my mind is arranged properly to deal with that type of visual artistry. Filmmaking is the closest visual art to my mindset because it is siginificantly easier to make things look the way I want them to. My writing breaks down because I always end up writing about writing about things. I want to tell stories, not be a writer or filmmaker. I want to be a poet, not write poems.
So I’m thinking that perhaps music is an art I can be good at. With music I don’t need to describe the ineffable because I can make it myself. This strikes me as the reverse of what I have just talked about. Instead of interpreting that which cannot be fully interpreted, if I play good music I can lead myself and others to a place where things cannot and do not need to be interpreted. Because being there is enough.
So when I was talking with someone [ok it was my mother] over the weekend she once again raised a concern about my content on this thingy. She worries that my Mennonite uncle, who apparently reads this… actually I can’t even tell what she worries about because she just says ‘I read it and then I think about C______, he reads it…’
I sort of know what she is getting at, but because her objections are so ill-defined I’m inclined to toss them out the window. I think she feels that, because C______ is Mennonite, he needs some sort of special protection from crude language [for instance, when I write ‘fuck’ or ‘raisin-tittied’ or ‘corpuscle’] and other vulgar behaviors. Which is ridiculous. We live in the same world and pretending to be something I’m not is dishonest. I’d rather be vulgar than dishonest any day of the week, and twice as vulgar on sunday.
Do I say the kind of things I say in here in front of my family? No way. There isn’t much room for vulgarity or obscenity when I’m with my kin, and there is also no reason for me to feel the need to be that way, so I’m not. It isn’t like I am a different person, it is just that I know the time and place where certain behaviors are useful. Family time = respect.
Which doesn’t really bring me back to my point but I will pretend it does anyway. Visiting my site is voluntary, if you come to visit I expect you to put up with how I say things. I don’t have to be respectful to anything or anyone for any reason in this space. You can call me out on obvious blunders and misconceptions [like Matty and the pics of dead folks]. I welcome that stuff and will engage in it. But if you say one damn word complaining about what I write about or how I write about what I write about you can go to hell.
so i remembered another dream i had last night. its pretty straightforward.
i go visit this little old lady with cookies who prophesizecies to me about what happens later on in my dream [sounds like the matrix]. i never remember dream dialogue so forget about what she said. it was basically something along the lines of i was in danger from some group who was after what i had in my head, some sort of important knowledge. [i’m thinking it was like something like what is in the head of the dude in the movie pi]. so then i leave and my dream cuts to me waking up after i’ve been captured. i’m wearing red-edged underoos™ [minus the undershirt and by the way, the old woman predicted this] and i’m in some sort of psychiatric cell. i know that somehow i’ve given my knowledge away and that i have to get some place rather quickly before something bad happens. so i bust out, beat up an orderly and take his shirt which says ‘feminist chicks dig me’ [i actually own this shirt and the old lady predicted that too] and tuck it into my underoos and then hop on a subway/el which takes me to wherever i needed to go to stop the bad guys and then i get killed [the parallax view].
no i didn’t wake up after being killed, i just went on to dreaming about something else.
So, because I have developed a few connections through my work and have started writing music reviews for Urban Dialect, I have now had guestlist access to two shows that I would otherwise had to pay for. Last night I waltzed in to the Grog Shop to see Waiting For Evangeline, Murder By Death! and Rasputina. The evening cost me $6.25: I bought a Woodchick and left a tip and paid metered parking. Not a bad deal for three and a half hours of music.
Waiting for Evangeline is based out of Akron. They were better than Yellowcard but I kinda got the feeling that they hadn’t settled down on their own particular style yet. They had some really nice riffs but every time the lead singer screamed I wanted to laugh. It needs some work. They were all business though and the crowd seemed to like them well enough. I grabbed the band’s sticker afterward to add to my guitar case. No guitar case is complete unless it is covered with random band stickers.
Murder By Death! was the band my coworker is good friends with. They all went to college together and she was at their first show ever and first road show. They had a cellist and keyboards in addition to the guitar, bass, drumkit combo. They were pretty good and they impressed the crowd. A couple of times the sound malfunctioned slightly but it didn’t slow them down at all.
Rasputina was really good. I have come to the conclusion from watching the cellist in MbD and the ladies of Raspy that the cellos is a mighty sexy instrument when played by a girl. It is also capable of being more metal than I’d thought cellos could be. Melora introduced their songs with quirky little anecdotes and then they would play and create wicked cool soundscapes. They also covered Led Zeppelin’s Rock and Roll, an amazing version of Heart’s Barracuda and CCR’s Bad Moon Rising. They also made everyone sit down so that everyone would be able to see them perform.