Funkin’ Classic

April 27, 2010

In Rochester today, we began our day with snow. At the end of April.

The sun has returned, thankfully, but the eclectic weather inspired this playlist of classic musicians. These are some of my fav songs by their respective artists, so sit back and enjoy 26 minutes 53 seconds of Kat-blended April SNOW Showers tunes. The price is right!! (its free!!)

Funkin Tuesday 4th Edition Drop/ Audio Player [[link]]

If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music. [[AlbertEinstein]]

Best Friends

April 23, 2010

When I was just a wee little ginger, mama bear used to ask me “who’s your best friend?”

The answer was “You are!” for a very long time. You, who ties my shoes, peanut butters my bread, and puts the straw in my juice box– you are my best friend, mommy!

And, then, one day, she wasn’t. Now, I have no recollection of when that day was. I couldn’t tell you who I considered my new best friend at the time, either. Maybe a stuffed animal. Or the girl who gave me a butterfly sticker at school. Maybe a potato bug in a jar, who knows? Regardless of who my new best friend was, mama bear was no longer fitting the bill.

Who’s your best friend?

What is it that qualifies an individual to be a best friend? When my definition of best friend changed from “provider of shelter and bedtime kisses,” what exactly did it transform into? Who are these people I surround myself with, and why??

These aren’t questions I ask myself a whole lot. By our mid-twenties, most of us have a pretty established network of people. We know who would bail us out of jail, and who would be sitting next to us. By this point, we know our friends inside out; and they know us the same. The good, the bad, and the awkward.

My best friends are the people who always tell me the truth; and stick around, even if (when) I get mad upon hearing it. My best friends are people who call me just because they were thinking about me; and don’t care that I do the same at any hour of the day or night. My best friends are people who have pulled through for me time and time again. And when I’ve had to walk it alone, they comprised my embarrassingly loud cheering section. My best friends are people who have seen me laughing, seen me puking, seen me naked, seen me absolutely full of rage. They get full back-stage access to the ongoing saga of my life.

My best friends have let me fall. They have also saved me from myself.

My best lady friend feels like an extension of self. When we speak, it’s more than just mere dialogue. So much more. We wax poetic for hours. Our questions are rhetorical; the answers are prose. She makes me think about people, about society, about relationships. We can always be the 15 year old girls we were when we met, and we acknowledge our silliness very openly. She pep-talks me, she consoles me, and she gives me her well-intentioned advice. We don’t see each other very often, but we never ever leave the same book– not even the same page– just pick right up where we left off.

My best male friends are like my brothers. One of them is my brother. They give it to me straight– the truth is not shaded, blurred, or bent. These men allow me to be the swirling cyclone of self-righteousness that I am, but keep an eye out for when I get dizzy and fall. They step back and let me make my mistakes, because they know I’m going to with or without their blessings, but never step too far away. We are all very different, we often fight, but in the end, I know that these are men who love me unconditionally and, in my opinion, there is a LOT to be said for that in this world.

I have moved away from home and met thousands of people. I have had 22 room mates. I’ve had 3 serious long-term relationships, and have shared shorter (equally valuable) time with a number of others. I learn more about myself every day from friend, foe, and complete stranger.

But if you asked me  to give a truthful single answer– “who’s your best friend?”

After 23 revolutions of the sun, I’m back at mommy.

You can borrow from the devil, you can borrow from your friend. The devil loans you twenty, but your friend will loan you ten. [[RobertHunter]]

This afternoon I bring you 27 minutes 51 seconds of atmospheric jams. Nothing offensive. Pretty mellow. We’re keepin it real low-impact today.

Without further adieu, its about to get funkin’ ambient–

Funkin Tuesday Drop/ Audio Player [[link]]

Momentous

April 19, 2010

In my short stint on this watery blue sphere, I have come to realize that the most monumental events in life do not occur on schedule. They are not organized or denoted. These memorable moments are not penciled in, nor do they come with a guest list, map, or itinerary.

I have yet to experience a birthday as illustrious as my first concert. I have yet to walk in a graduation that I recall as vividly as falling in love. In my head, there area vast number of moments that changed me forever. Some so brief, they flash by almost subliminally.

And I feel the feeling I forgot.

In an instant, a smell, a taste, a sound, can bring it all back. That time. That place. That second where everything felt so… infinite.

Being 14 on a winter’s day, walking the streets of suburbia with Nirvana in the DiscMan. Steely greys, desolate landscape. This place is a ghost town. Flash. Being 5 and watercoloring in the cool early morning sun of a summer’s day. I’m at a Fischer Price picnic table drinking a Mott’s apple juice box. An innocent. Flash. Being 19, rolling in the grass of a summer music festival. Belly full of wine, air smells of fried food. Spinning dizzy, smiles, kisses and dirt. Flash.

No video, audio, or photographic medium could ever capture the essence of these times. These moments could not be bottled, framed, or uploaded. They were not planned or anticipated. They just were.

Fully and completely lived-in moments. Times so well-placed and familiar, I often revisit them in my head, like dogeared pages of a favorite book. I can go back and be there. If only for a second. Times so beautiful, so sensory, I can hold them, they can make me cry.

Sometimes I think we forget to live for the moments we truly live in. We get so caught up in the necessity for documentation, organization, and fanfare, that we let these little existential pearls slip by unheralded.

It’s a simple thing to misplace your sense of wonder.

You are told a lot about your education, but some beautiful, sacred memory, preserved since childhood, is perhaps the best education of all. If a man carries many such memories into life with him, he is saved for the rest of his days. And even if only one good memory is left in our hearts, it may also be the instrument of our salvation one day. [[TheBrothersKaramazov.FyodorDostoevsky]]

Can’t Quit You

April 16, 2010

I tend to take a lot of terminology from my mama bear. That’s not to say she makes all this shit up, its just that she’s the one who passes these little nuggets of wisdom along to me. One term I find myself using more frequently than I would probably like to is “toxic relationships.”

A toxic relationship is baking soda and vinegar. Explosive chemical reaction.

A toxic relationship is everything, all at once. It’s drugs. It’s sex. It’s skydiving. It’s exciting and alluring.

Humans are addicted to our emotions. We want to feel. Something. Anything. When we find a person who stokes that fire and inspires our creative minds, we want more. Particularly when we find that we have the same effect, in return. Power over the emotional state of another being. And this doesn’t necessarily have to be a dangerous or bad thing. When a healthy dynamic is formed, partners are capable of bringing immense joy to each other’s lives.

Generally, a toxic relationship doesn’t start out at the bottom of the roller coaster. When people are matched in this way, it is usually while riding the high of the initial spark. When things are hot, they are hot. Passionate. Feelings so overwhelmingly intense, we framework them as love– often for lack of better terminology.

But the ups here are par for the downs. In a toxic relationship, we begin see parts of ourselves we hate. A toxic lover or friend will bring out the most deep-seated emotions of a person; dredging up heavy feeling from opposite end of the spectrum. We grow angry who we become, and finger the other person as a catalyst for our downward spiral. In a relationship like this, we are closest to our id selves. Animalistic. Passionate. Impulsive. Desirous.

Out of control.

When we forfeit responsibility for our own emotions, we begin victimizing ourselves. In our minds, we become martyrs; suffering for the sins of another. Victim self carries on hoping someone appreciates the elaborate cavalry march, the crown of thorns, and the heavy wood you have nailed yourself to. You may be wasting away, but have convinced yourself it’s for the greater good– it’s for someone who loves you.

But love should not hurt.

In modern America, too many of us were raised in environments where love did hurt. Where passion was elicited through anger or violence. Where mommy or daddy could drink the love away, but there was always the hate. That fiery red burning coal of emotion.

Hate, to me, has always symbolized the most passionate form of love. It takes a true love of something to invest the time and energy for hate into it. And that is where addiction to toxic relationships forms it’s roots. So far down in the human psyche, it’s where love and hate diverge. It’s where pain and pleasure weave in and out. It’s bottom-of-the-ocean dark, and rational mind can only fantasize about the creatures who inhabit these recesses.

It is not hard to see why the addiction to passion is formed; it makes us feel alive and empowered. But in a toxic relationship, we don’t just want a fix. We want more. And more. Till there is nothing left. And then we dig. More and more. At one another. While entrenched in each other’s psychological base camps, we wage guerilla warfare. This is when relationships become dangerous, scary, and very very unhealthy.

So how do we get off the junk? When do we say enough is enough and walk away? Bruised, battered and burned, but still alive. When do we take the lesson and leave the rest? I suppose that’s the hard part. For some, love seems to always hurt. The martyrs, sacrificing everything for nothing, all under the pretense that they are providing a service that nobody else could. These people are gluttonous for punishment because they don’t know anything else. They ignore the pleas from concerned friends and family to just put it down. These people are preyed upon by the weak and power-hungry for their need to feel needed. They couple with others so terrified of emptiness and desperate for the ups that they take the corresponding downs.

No matter how far down they go.

Man With a Plan

April 14, 2010

Planning is an almost exclusively human compulsion. The drive to create linear order is an urge to control time and space– the past, present, and future, all at once.

We like to plan things, even those of us who believe we loathe it. We are a species capable of projecting our future selves. We can, in fact, even envision multiple future realities: best case and worst case scenarios being two very basic examples. In doing so, however, fear of failure, setbacks, and disappointment also become very real– right in the conceptual stage. Ego. Superego. Concern.

Once humans have envisioned our future selves, a cornerstone of “normal” psychological functioning, we immediately begin to worry about that distant being. Some sort of strategy for controlling the environment and circumstances of that individual is desired; after all, that person is you!

Maslow created an empirical hierarchy of needs. He postulated that humans spend their lives striving to meet these needs on a constant basis. Based on this widely accepted theory, members of our species must be capable of forecasting fate if we wish to advance and feel personally fulfilled. Just the act of being an intelligent life form is, then, its own struggle– not even to mention outside forces interfering with these pursuits.

So we plan.

We play the chess game. We make appointments and reservations. We save money and paid time off. We estimate costs. We use calendars and clocks. Time is of the essence until the future is the past. And we learn so we can plan better next time.

Some people are good at this; capable of ensuring that not only their needs are met, but the needs of those around them. These people are successful in controlling past perceptions, current events, and future opinions. There are whole fields of study and an occupational niche for these planners. Why?

Because, then there are people like myself, who spend so much of their lives connecting the past and the present, that the future becomes an afterthought (if that makes any sense?!). Sometimes, things go well and the universe just unfolds itself fortuitously for us. Other times, we are met with the disappointment and failure we may have been able to prevent, had we just thought ahead.

So? I suppose it pays to have a backup. A universal old go-to for the times when all else fails.

Me? My contingency plan is glitter.

“The best laid schemes of mice and men gang oft agley.”


I wrote an entry about technology. Blogged, so very ironically, all about my generation’s crippling dependency on electronic devices and digitized social networks. I mused about losing our fathers, embracing big brother, and finding love outside ourselves. An entire segment of this increasingly vanilla global culture not only afraid of being alone, but clueless as to what that even means.

And then, of course, the WordPress App on my iPhone deleted the draft. entirely gone. 450+ words.

So it goes. Better luck next time.

There are a hundred other things I could expound and pontificate on, sure. But, instead, I’ll keep it short and sweet. Why? Because its funkin tuesday already!

Without further adieu, 26 minutes 59 seconds of funkin’ reggae to get you movin’.

It’s Funkin Tuesday Drop/ Audio Player. [[link]]