pandora_parrot: (Default)
During portions of yesterday, I talked to Amy about some elements of music that I've needed to learn about. She explained measure length and time (4/4, 3/4, etc.). I finally understand what that means... I mean... I knew for a long time what effect it has on the measure... 3/4 time means 3 quarter notes per measure. But what I didn't understand is what that meant for the music. It seemed utterly arbitrary. What she explained is that it reflects the structure of the music. How often you repeat what you're doing. That sort of thing.

I sat down for a couple hours last night and tried to fix the ending to Mechanical Savior. This is what came out of that. I'm calling it Mechanical Savior B. It's a lot nicer, AND I got to learn to use a synth last night.

The synth thing was kind of hilarious. Especially initially, it was just this mess of letters that had very little meaning to me. I had no idea what ANY of it meant. But it was incredibly easy to use, and I was able to start messing around with the sound there. I got several sounds that I kinda wanna play around with in other conditions as well. But for now, I did this.

Although I was enjoying doing things with Project B, I kinda wanna take this synth thing and mess around with it to see what comes of it. There's a few note progressions and certain sounds that felt certain ways to me, and I wanna see what comes of that, now that I have a tool like this. I'm also downloading some other synths to see what I can do with them.
pandora_parrot: (Default)
I'm learning to write music. I think I'll document my education here, because why the fuck not?

Messing Around: Here was the first thing I put together. Just a silly thing as I learned the interface. It kinda sounds like part of a military video game background music. Just 24 seconds of stuff.

Anxiety: The first real "song" type thing I put together. It's short, but it's a little more complex and involves more stuff... I also felt like this was some sort of video game background.

Mechanical Savior: Don't ask about the names. Whatever. This song was my first "full song." I put together some loops and then composed them together. I also soloed over them at the end, and honestly, while I like some of the ideas there, I'd want to clean it up or remove them entirely. I do like where I was trying to go, but I don't think I got there, and didn't want to put in the effort to make it all the way. I wanna come back to it though, because I think I can improve it. Some bits in the solo really make me wince. Ugh.

Dark Rave: Seriously, don't worry about the names. They're mostly random, tbh. This one is probably my favorite so far. I really like several parts of it, and I could actually see myself listening to it.

Bridge Song: Aborted. I tried to take the Final Fantasy Bridge song and do something with it, but my lack of skill with the tools rapidly got in my way, and I couldn't figure out what I could do about it. It was really frustrating.

Project B: I decided I wanted to try making a fast song. OMG is this hard. At first, I couldn't figure out how to make fast drums, so I watched a bunch of videos online to see how they do drums, and I see you use cymbals a lot more. I learned while working on this that they're called hihats. I also learned what BPM meant! LIke, I knew it was "beats per minute," but I had no idea what a "beat" actually was. How many bass drum notes there were? I had no idea. Turns out, it's quarter notes! OR really whatever notes are at the bottom of the timing thing.

After this, I continued to work on trying to get something to go over those drums, and was finding it nigh impossible. I took a break to work on my scales, and found that my fingers remember all of my white key major scales, which is nice. I'm working on relearning the black key major scales and moving onto minor scales.

Today at work, I'm listening to a tutorial on how to use ableton to make EDM, and discovering a lot about how to think about music. First of all, a strong drum beat is more valuable than a fast drum beat. You can get good dance music without it being breakneck fast. I might abandon Project B to try some of the ideas I'm learning from this. I also found that I might be able to get that cool synth the dude uses, Xfer Serum for $10 a month from something called Splice

Avery thinks I shouldn't bother with a paid synth right now and just try this free one. We shall see.

I wanna listen to more music to learn this stuff, but I also want to look at tutorials to get a better sense of how to "see" the music. My symbolic library for representing and understanding music is so poor, I don't really understand the structure of what I'm usually listening to. It's just this mass of nice sounds, but what is in there doesn't make a lot of sense to me. God, there's so much to learn here.

Much better

Apr. 5th, 2017 05:17 pm
pandora_parrot: (Default)
I went and became a furry... Because that's what you do in 2016 or 2017 or whatever.

Everyone's a furry now, didn't you know?

Eh, it's okay. I've been furry adjacent for over a decade, so I basically count.
pandora_parrot: (activism)
This started as a letter to someone, but it's good general advice to myself, and anyone else that needs to hear it.

We live within a system that is generally referred to as a kyriarchy. That system has taught all of us to perpetuate the systems of power present in it. Women are "crazy" and "bitchy." Blacks are "uppity." Poor people are "jealous" and "greedy" or just "pitiable." etc. etc. Our thoughts and language are constructed, in part, by a society that seeks to place certain people at the top by stepping on those below.

As much as I hate it, to me, it's never a question of "if" someone engages in ableist, sexist, racist, homophobic, etc. behavior. It's a question of "what" behavior a person has, and how to change it. It's not about attacking a person and calling them a ____-ist. It's about recognizing the behaviors we have that affect certain people around us disproportionately, and negatively.

To me, this is a liberating thought. Knowing that we all have these behaviors, that we're all "a little bit racist" (as the song goes) enables us to spend time LEARNING about it and changing. We can, without taking it personally, learn how to be better people, every day. Instead of using its ubiquity to dismiss it, embrace it and do a better job of changing.

To be a good ally to those that are lower than you in some axis of oppression, you need to, at least in part, be ready to be called out, (or called in). When someone tells you they're being hurt by something you're saying or doing, when it exists along this sort of axis of oppression, listen.

Yeah, it's true that sometimes, people aren't going to be right. No member of any minority group is a perfect representative of their entire group. Sometimes, people project things onto their kyriarchical oppression where it doesn't belong. But regardless, an ally should always listen to it when they're being called out in this way.

Simply put. Allies don't get it. As a white person, I'll never grok what it means to be black. I'll never fully understand the life experience of what a black person goes through in life. And any ally, on any axis, is more than likely disadvantaged when it comes to understanding how behavior can affect those they claim to support. Chances are, as an ally, you don't know what you're talking about. So shut up and listen and learn.

When you're called out. Stop and think about what is being said. Talk to other socially conscious people about it. Learn about it on the internet. Educate yourself.

But for the love of god, don't get self-righteous about how you're not ____-ist and how the person who is being hurt is mean to call you ____ist.
pandora_parrot: (me)
You will forever be my favorite social network, even if I don't use you anymore.
pandora_parrot: (me)
It is not inaccurate to describe me as an atheist, a skeptic, and a fan of science. I don't really "identify" with these things in any meaningful sense, since I don't feel these things define my identity so much as they describe my behavior.

I'm a fairly strong atheist, as evidenced by this: http://paradox-puree.livejournal.com/818024.html

But there's an issue with atheism. The body of people that are atheists tends to be white, male, educated, of higher income, etc. And the biases of these groups dominate the gestalt perspective of "atheism" as a group. Many prominent atheists have issues with sexism, racism, classism, etc.

Among many things, there is, amongst these folks, a belief or worship of quantifiable and verifiable truth as the highest possible virtue or value in the world. For some, all other forms of truth are irrelevant or inferior. Subjective, emotional, moral, ethical, perceptual, and mythological truth.

There is this sense that the quantifiable and verifiable aspects of reality are the only ones worth relating to. But our subjective emotional experiences are worth looking into.

When I step out under the night sky and look up at the stars, taking in a breathtaking view, you can quantify my heart rate. You can quantify my reaction. You can quantify the fact that I report certain emotional reactions. But none of that is relevant to the reaction I have, which is of a sense of connection to the vast universe that we are all a part of.

Words like "reality" or "truth" or anything like that are loaded terms. Each exists only within a set context. The objective version of reality and truth is certainly extremely important, and recognizing what happens there is vital to our happiness and success, but it is just one context within which you can evaluate the "truth" of something. Another might be one's emotional truth, or other forms of subjective truth.

Categorical errors occur often, and I think this is where issues arise. Many religious people believe their mythological or emotional truths to be objective truth. Many skeptics may focus only on what is objectively happening in a particular scenario and miss asking the question "What are people experiencing, why, and how?"

Concepts of science, objective truth, etc. are superbly useful, but they are but one tool in a large toolbox.
pandora_parrot: (me)
My life has fallen into a fairly pleasant pattern.

Monday: Attend or host Monday Night Dinner and Games with my friends in the evening.
Tuesday: Free day for personal time, or unusual activities.
Wednesday: DM D&D with the guys
Thursday: Date night with my wife
Friday: Play D&D or free day.

One day each weekend switches back and forth between these two things:
1) Exercise/Active date with my girlfriend.
2) DM D&D with the gals

The other day is a free day for planning activities like visiting my mother in law or friends.


Not a lot of room for discovering or building *new* friendships, nor much room for exercise, but it's fun and pleasant.
pandora_parrot: (me)
Ouch. That subject is going to earn me some negative attention.

And for that, I'm sorry.

Wow, let me do my best to do damage control on that before I even launch into my essay.

I respect everyone's choices to believe what they want to believe. And I also will not get on anyone's case about what they believe. I also acknowledge that I don't know everything, and there are things I might not know or understand. I also think there's a lot of value in many religious activities, behaviors, social steps, and I don't oppose all aspects of religion.

*breathes* Okay. Let's try to dig into this.

Read more... )
pandora_parrot: (peaceful)
I stood in the wings of the ship.

First, two people I barely knew, but SHE knew well, and I had come to know now, stepped in front of the crowd. Their swords crossed, blades clacking against one another as hard plastic weapons tend to do. Once, and then again, and a shout of violence. "HEY!" They walked forward and took their places.

Then again, two people stepped forward. One, a friend as old as can be. Another, another person SHE loved, and I had come to appreciate in our short time together. A clash, a clack. A shout. And they too walked forward to their assigned place.

Now, two of my most beloved, and HERS as well. Slowly they crept into position. Their swords clashed as the others did. One! Two! HEY! And now they too were in place.

It was my time. It was HER time. We stepped forward. CLACK CLASH HEY! We twirled around one another and again, our swords clashed, once twice, and we let forth another shout. Yet again, a third time we whirled about one another, weapons clashing and shouting. But this time, the voodoo Mamba at the stern of the ship shouted "HEY," to ask us to stop. Our parents walked up behind us, took our swords, and as a group, we walked up the aisle to be married.


Read more... )
pandora_parrot: (courage)
A friend asked: When looking for potential partners, how much does physical attractiveness play a role?

I answered: " I'm very into looks.... Someone has to look excited about the world, happy about the things around them. They have to look at the things around them and think about them. They have to look at me, and like what they see. I love it when they give me looks of attraction and interest, and I love to give those to other people as well.

I'm VERY into looks like those.

In terms of physical appearance, I like people whose physical appearance tells something about them that I find appealing, like the idea that they don't give a fuck about social norms of beauty. Like bright colors to indicate they're a happy person... Colored hair to indicate a sense of artistry and creativity... geeky t-shirts that indicate they're into things that I'm into... stuff like that.

But usually, when people ask these questions, they mean "looks" in terms of how well it matches the definition of beauty as defined by white heterosexual cisgender US culture. I Don't give two shits about how well someone matches that.. In fact, the more someone matches white heterosexual cisgender US beauty norms, the less attractive I find them."
pandora_parrot: (contemplative)
I was reading about a recent controversy involving Richard Dawkins saying describing a point about logic and comparing things. As I read about the conflict, the amount of inability of Dawkins and his detractors to understand one another across the barrier of communication was staggering. Many people completely missed what he was trying to say, and misunderstood him to a considerable degree. Meanwhile, he completely missed why everyone was upset. He condescendingly described it as an "emotional no-go areas where logic dare not show its face."

Read more... )
pandora_parrot: (me)
What is "right?" What is "wrong?" These are questions that have plagued a lot of people, and are often used as a strong justification for the existence of absolute morality, and as a consequence, absolute knowledge. After a long time of work and study, I've settled on an epistemological system for evaluating truth and morality that works pretty well for me, for now. I'm going to talk about some of my ideas related to this. This may be a bit stream-of-consciousness-y and not necessarily the best organized thoughts. But I wanted to write it down anyways. Usually in preparation for a subsequent essay that is more focused, coherent, and correct.

Read more... )
pandora_parrot: (chaos)
More and more of my posts on facebook lately are getting back to "long form" writing like I used to do here. I think I might start trying to cross-post. I like being able to journal my life. And things are definitely improving.

Today's entry:

"Spent last night playing a very old school game while cuddling with Jessie. Tie Fighter! It runs GREAT in DOSbox, though you need to fiddle with the settings a bit to get the joystick to not act all wonky.

It's so great to play this sort of old game. It's like a step back into the past."
pandora_parrot: (computers)
Gosh, I've missed writing in here. :) It's really good to be back. :)
pandora_parrot: (Default)
Is this thing on?

I'm not necessarily planning to come back here just now... Just was checking in, as I'm looking around to see what's happening in the world. How are y'all doing?

Anyone still listening?

Facebook kinda sucks these days.
pandora_parrot: (courage)
If you haven't noticed this already, my live journal is already pretty much dead.

Yes, it's partly because of the massive exodus from LJ to Facebook/Google+/Dreamwidth/etc.

But it is also because of a lot of things happening in my life that have changed around how I use online media.

I don't know exactly why I've used LiveJournal over the years, but I can tell you some things that have been beneficial for me about it. More than anything else... talking about what's going on inside my head and having people support or approve of it has been incredibly helpful and beneficial, and God knows I've had a lot going on in my head over the past 7 years.

When I started this journal, I really lacked self-esteem. I felt disconnected from everyone and everything. I felt incompetent, incapable, and small. I felt like I didn't matter, that everything I did was shit, and that people really didn't like me; they just put up with me. My thoughts were bullshit wrong nonsense that just needed to be destroyed and ignored or something.

Having this journal, I was able to share about my thoughts and feelings to an audience, and be told that I wasn't shit. I wasn't crazy for thinking about the things I was thinking about. I wasn't a terrible person that failed at everything I did.

I also used LJ as a means by which to reach out and connect with people. I met hundreds of people from all sorts of walks of life, all with different perspectives, interests, etc. I learned so much, and explored whole avenues of thought and being as I associated with various kinds of people. I experimented in many ways, including sexuality, relationships, etc. I sought to find my own identity, especially in the face of the lack of identity that I had had previously.

In any case... it was a grand journey, and I truly adored it.

But that journey is over now. At least, that chapter is over.

My life is the best it has ever been. I am happier and more comfortable and at peace than I have ever been in my entire life. My life is by no means perfect, but it is lovely.

A huge element of this change is simply my career. In the past, I believed myself to be a terrible programmer that would never amount to anything or progress in her career. I now work at one of the most awesome companies in the world, a company that theoretically hires only the "best of the best of the best, with honors." Sometimes, I struggle with understanding why that includes me, but most of the time these days, I just accept that people think well of my engineering skills and leave it at that. I enjoy my work, and people enjoy working with me. That's good enough for me.

I've also been hugely influenced by a very different outlook on friendship. In the past, I would often think that I was just annoying everyone around me and that people were looking for an opportunity to ditch me as soon as they could. I felt that I had to please everyone as I desperately tried to keep them in my life, lest I lose them and everyone else and be alone.

Now, I've built up years of strong relationships with some wonderful people. I've got strong, close-knit friendships that have stood the tests of time and hardship, lasting 15 years, 7 years, or whatever. I continue to meet new and wonderful people that I add to that list. And... I don't try to people please like I used to. People don't like me. Fuck em. I don't like them? Fuck em. I'm not desperate to keep people in my life anymore. Yet people stick around and show me that they like me lots and lots.

And probably the third most important thing I can think of right now that is contributing to my current sense of serenity is that I am now secure in the knowledge and understanding of "What's wrong with me?" For years I tried to answer the question, "Why am I different from other people?" Trying to find the reason for the odd disconnect I felt from people. Now, I understand that it is a combination of prosopagnosia, CAPD, and being LGBT. Armed with the certainty of those three things, the majority of difficulties or oddities about my past are easily explicable.


With all of this going on... what I write about has changed considerably. You might say that my writing has gone from that of a child to that of an adult in some ways. In any case, it feels to me ill suited for livejournal, or at least, this particular journal. It feels like this is more or less the end of this journal. A fitting final story in this particular chapter of my life. Whether it really is the end of it or not is hard to say, but it feels very much like this is the terminus of this particular journey.

Of course, this *IS* the eternal journey. My journey will never end. I'm always going to be innovating and exploring ways of existing, being, etc. While I have found peace and calm in my life, and much of the struggles that have characterized the last 7 years are over... there are so many adventures to be had in the future. Not the same ones. Just different. :)

So with that... For those few left that are still listening... I bid you adieu. I hope to see you again if we cross paths in the future! :)

This is Paradox Puree... signing out. :)






...And she lived happily ever after.

To be continued...
pandora_parrot: (Default)
Each year, I do an annual review of the previous year and talk about what's coming up for the next year.

This year I'm doing things a little differently.

2011 was... a very difficult, but extremely rewarding year of my life. Almost all of the loose ends of stuff I've been dealing with came together, and I basically just got my life in order to more or less completely.

I'm going to spend 2012 enjoying it, and sharing my happiness as best I can.

That is all.
pandora_parrot: (Default)
I've been frustrated by my CAPD the past few days, because it has been cropping up at work as I start on a new team. There's a guy here with a strong accent that makes it near impossible to understand him without a lot of concentration, and all the initial technical conversation is difficult to follow.

I've also been further delighted by using ASL more lately. I came up with a neat analogy to why I'm feeling better about ASL than spoken English, despite knowing English better.

Trying to understand spoken English is like trying to read some English text on a TV screen with a bad connection, causing it to be covered in static. Trying to understand ASL is more like seeing a relatively clear picture on the TV, but the text is all in Spanish.

In the analogy, I feel more comfortable with the latter situation because I can try to learn Spanish. I can't try to learn anti-static. When the static is bad, I simply can't understand what's written on the TV, or if I do, it takes incredible concentration and effort to do so.

What's additionally frustrating to me is that the "static" comes and goes. Usually, there's not much of it and I understand things just fine. But other times, the "static" increases, sometimes to levels that make it nearly impossible for me to understand people.

A lot of my fear and trepidation around doing things like visiting offices, using phones, etc. comes from my fear of that "static." I wonder, "When I call the doctor, will I get a lot of "static," or will I get a clear line?" "When I go to this office, will there be "static" or not?" I'm fine if the "static" doesn't appear, but if it does, I can't understand what's going on very well.

And because I hear so well when the "static" isn't around, people expect me to hear and understand well all the time, which simply isn't the case.

(EDIT: I wonder if the analogy can also be used to explain the difference between typical deafness and CAPD. Whereas I see the whole image, but covered in static, they see a relatively clear image, but it is missing significant pieces. We both struggle to understand it, but for different reasons.)
pandora_parrot: (Default)
I feel as though I've reached the point where I feel like I've resolved some of the turmoil I've experienced over the last few months over finding out that I had CAPD. I feel as though I've integrated this into my self-image, have adjusted my behaviors to better manage my issues, and am now moving on...

A lot of my anxiety and difficulty in integrating this knowledge into myself revolves around the fact that this condition has been with me since birth, but I've never understood it.

Read more... )
pandora_parrot: (Default)
It may only be a mild-to-moderate hearing problem, and it may only affect me a portion of the time, but it affects me enough to upset me and warrant further reaction from time to time.

Read more... )

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