Music Sharing: The Kind that Won't Get Me Sued and/or Fined


Yes, I'm testing embedding for online "mixtapes."

I was kind of going through some old fanmixes of mine from back in the day, sad that I could no longer offer them (there's a little bit of a complicated story about why I had to stop my Music from the Cube CD reviews back in the day).

This while I was streaming on Spotify *facepalm*.

In any case, I figured I'd try both Grooveshark and Spotify for sharing playlists. Let me know which one you prefer.

One way or the other, I think I might make some of my "mixtapes" available via here, Dreamwidth, and Twitter.

Samples of both playlists are below:

This one is from Grooveshark

This one is from Spotify


I'm Back...Kinda...Sorta

I know. I haven't been around much. I'm kind of crawling out from more than two years of personal gunk-i-ness, and my time seems to have contracted dangerously.

But I'm gonna try to post more often than "once in a blue moon."

Not that anyone is really left on the journals. *taps microphone* Heeellooooooo, is this still on?

In any case, I came across this and it made me howl.

Boston tourist Attractions, According to Unhappy Yelp Viewers

I'm not sure what is funnier. The reviews that completely miss the point, or the snark that gets served back.

Makes a perfect companion piece to this thing I wrote (holy cow!) six years ago called To All the Tourists I've Loved (and Not Loved) Before, which is a rumination on what it's like to live in and around a city that's an international tourist destination.

Whelp. Gotta go. I must work. Next up...corporate training. Which I'm putting off. Because I know it's going to be about brainwashing me into believing that being a doormat is the most important job skill I can possibly have.

The joys of corporate America, no?

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So, My Mother and Brother Found This Box...

So, my mother tells me yesterday on the phone that she and brother found this good-sized plastic storage box hidden behind some of my dad's stamp books (he was a big stamp collector). They hadn't opened it yet, and they had no idea what was in it.

We figured: Stamp stuff. Or maybe some 45 rpm records.

They were going to open it and see what was inside.

Anyway, I've been kind of sick as a dog, so I told them to go ahead because, well, sick.

They opened it.

They found cards. Father's day cards, birthday cards, some Christmas cards. Just about every card we ever gave my dad.

There were doodles my brother and I drew when we were kids. Movie ticket stubs (not all of them, but there doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason behind which ticket stubs were kept). Ticket stubs to plays we went to as a family. Baseball game ticket stubs. Programs from plays my brother was in. A couple of love letters my mother wrote to my dad when he was out of town on an extended training program one time. The MBTA pass and matching schedule for the day I graduated from college in Boston.

For some bizarre reason, a 1991 TVGuide where Star Trek was featured on the cover.

Bits and pieces of family life going back years that are puzzling as they are odd because none of us can figure out the rhyme or reason why these particular things were kept.

None of us even knew he kept all of this. That box was out in the open for years. I remember even seeing it. None of us ever wondered what was in it. None of us ever asked about it.

And yet, that's where my dad squirreled away all this stuff. My mother had never even seen him open that box. Not once in all the years they were married.

And we only just found it. Well, we didn't find it. It was there all along under our noses. We just never noticed it.

Christ. And now I'm crying again.

I thought I was okay with my dad dying. I guess not yet.

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Just a Little Vertigo Over Here

I had the weirdest experience today. For a brief second, I got to see me through someone else's eyes.

(And yes, it's as vertigo-inducing and disconcerting as you'd expect.)

I was talking to co-worker about past jobs/experiences and somewhere in the middle of the conversation she just starts staring at me.

This immediately has me wondering if I've got spinach in my teeth.

Then she says to me, "How on earth did someone like you end up here?"

Keep in mind, I still work at the Jolly Green Giant, which means everyone (and I do mean everyone) has more industry experience and formal science education than I do.

So I can feel myself tensing, getting ready to defend my right to actually have the job I do.

Then she follows up, "I mean, you've lead this really amazing life up to now, so I don't get it."

I...yeah. I'm not sure how to respond to that.

Because I don't think it's been all that amazing. Chaotic, yes. Bordering on poverty for half my adult working life, definitely. Longs stretches of boredom in between periods of driving myself crazy, absolutely.

Not to mention that I still don't feel like an adult, despite the fact that I am (age-wise, anyway) adult-like.

But amazing?

I've never been called amazing in my entire life.

So I think I'm going to tuck this compliment away and on those days I feel really, really bad about myself I'm going to take it out and look at it again.

That's one hell of a holiday season present, that is...

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Jeff_Annie_Remedial Chaos Theory

Fess Up. Who knew this?

Richard Pryor can...

I mean could...

Holy shit, that man could sing!


In other news, I really will respond to all your expressions of sympathy. It's just I've been doing a lot of sidling up to those posts, y'know, keeping them in my peripheral vision.

Then the point hovers over the comment numbers so I can click and respond and...


And I run away. So, still working up the courage.

Otherwise, my mother is doing okay, as is my brother. It's a process.

Anyway, enjoy the video and the jaw dropping moment above.

Because...well...holy shit!

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Adventures in Obit Writing 101

Breaking radio silence because I...

Okay, I admit it. I can't stop laughing.

So, yesterday we make funeral arrangements. We went with the Italian Tribe's family undertaker, who is pretty much one-stop shopping. He deals with everything, he gives us "the family discount," and we give him money.

(Well, we give him money after inspecting the itemized bill, of course. Bless the People's Republic of Massachusetts, because itemized bills for funerals aren't just good business, but they're also the freakin' law.)

In any case, one of the items that are included in the one-stop shopping is a paid obit for the local paper. Great!

He will write it. Not so great!

As someone who, when visiting the parental units on Sundays, would read the obit page of the local paper for the sheer joy of insanely written obits with massive misspellings, timelines that didn't make sense, and leaps in logic that defied comprehension, there was no way I was going to overburden the clearly already overburdened copy editors at the local paper.

I insisted: I see it first.

Funeral director has no problems with that. Great!

Side note here: Back in the day, when I was a newspaper reporter, myself and every single one of my co-workers had to come up through the obits desk. Every single one of us had to write obits for almost zero pay. Some for months, some for years. I did my time in college by writing obits for a very large metropolitan daily every weekend for three years (this was so I wouldn't have to do it after I graduated college).

The idea here is your basic obit is your basic newspaper story in structure and style. If you can't write an obit, then you need to pack your bags and go find another line of work. It was the proving ground to prove you could do it.

So, back to today.

I get the obit from the funeral director. As I'm reading, I start giggling. Then I'm laughing. Finally, I'm laughing so hard that I can't catch my breath.

I have discovered the source of the local paper's obit insanity.

Turns out, the funeral directors pretty much write the obits and submit them directly into the local newspaper's electronic submission system. Then they go directly into the newspaper.

There is no one reading them. No one copy-editing them. No one even checking that the obit makes a lick of sense (my dad's obit had him becoming a mailman when he was 8 years-old). As for misspellings? Fuhgedaboutit.

Needless to say, I tore the whole thing apart and re-wrote it. I left in the personal stuff the funeral director included (sooooo not okay back in the day, but hey, back in the day you didn't pay for it), but otherwise it was re-written and restructured within an inch of its life.

Guaranteed it will be the best-written obit to hit the local paper in months. Guaran-fucking-teed. And that's just based on the fact that all of the words are spelled correctly.

I think I've hit on the perfect post-retirement job when I retire a few decades from now.

I'm gonna go around to all of the local funeral homes and offer to write all of the obits for $20 a pop. Back in the day, I could pound out four to five obits an hour. Get yourself a steady stream of five to 10 obits a day, that's one to two hours' worth of work a day, and that's $100 to $200 a day.

It's totally a plan.

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Death in the Family, So Disappearing for a Bit

As you may have noticed I haven't been around much for the past year? Two years?

Well, anyway, aside from my life getting turned upside-down three years ago due to a complete change in my career -- and me returning to school -- part of that was due to my father being diagnosed with multiple system atrophy (MSA). It's a fairly vicious nerve disorder that goes undetected because of its non-specific symptoms.

One year ago, my dad may have been unsteady on his feet, but he could still drive. Yesterday, my dad was barely capable of walking, and what little he could do could only be done with the aid of a walker.

It's the hardest thing in the world to witness. My dad was a mailman. He could walk miles and not even feel the strain. Only to wind down to something like this.

It's not an exaggeration to say that sometimes I would come home from visiting on Sundays so I could take my parents for a drive or run errands for them, and would burst into tears minutes after walking through the front door. Hell, sometimes I would get off the phone after talking to him (it was difficult for him to form words at times), and I would burst into tears again.

His biggest fear was that he would end up bed-ridden and in a nursing home. God knows my mother did everything in her power, as did my brother, to make sure that he could stay home as long as possible.

And truly, my mother and my brother bore the brunt of the burden since they were right there, and I was living 45 minutes away. My job (such as it was) was to be the safety valve for everyone so they could vent when they needed to, or to fill in for my brother when he needed a break.

(Truthfully, something really karmically good needs to happen for my brother. If any man deserves it, y'know?)

Right. I'm rambling.

*takes deep breath*

So, my dad died this morning. A stroke that hit him so hard that he didn't know what hit him. It was sudden, and it wasn't.

The point is, he had breakfast with my mom. They watched their morning news shows. Then he went to the bathroom. My mother got distracted by a call, and a half-hour went by before she realized that he was still in there.

She found him on the floor, already gone.

So...bad day for the family. But, strange as this may sound, a good day for my dad.

He died exactly the way he wanted to. At home. After having a nice morning with my mom. On a beautifully warm fall day. And so suddenly that he never saw it coming.

Anyway, ummm, sorry for the rambling. I'm not exactly at my most emotionally stable at the moment, as one poor stranger learned this evening.

I was going in to vote in the special election primary (Why? I have no friggin' clue, given the day I just had. I think I was operating a bit on automatic to be honest.) and some guy looked at me and randomly told me to "cheer up and smile."

To say I snapped at him would have been a massive, massive understatement.

So, yeah. Not exactly a good person to be near at the moment.

I know things will be okay. I know this is for the best. But it's gonna be a tough holiday season coming up.

But we'll get through it.

'Cause that's the thing when bad things happen. It might feel like the world has ended, but when you crawl back to your feet the most amazing thing happens.

The world, as it turns out, is still there.

And that's not a bad thing.

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Awesome_August J. Pollak

Yay! New Blue October!

After the crashing disappointment of Any Man in America (their previous album) with its not-so-vague misogynistic overtones, I was afraid I'd have to abandon this band.

But they're back, and Sway is a sweet way to wipe out the bad taste their previous CD left in my mouth.

By the way, you can stream the entire CD under the cut. I'm able to embed the Spotify playlist.

(My God! Could this be a return to my Music from the Cube project? I abandoned it sometime ago because I was, ummm, contacted about offering downloadable tracks with my reviews. This would be a big, big way around this...)

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Fandom Annoyance #4,352

The amount of mansplaining going on in the Skyler White thread over on TWOP makes me want to pull my hair out.

While I agree one can dislike a female character for entire non-sexist reasons, and I'm willing to give my fellow fans the benefit of the doubt, excuse me for being really dubious when you claim to be one of those people who hate Skyler for entirely non-sexist reasons but then turn around and use sexist language and/or sexist arguments to bolster your claim on why you hate SKYLAR!11!!!!!

(Oh, and it's Skyler, not SKYLAR!11!!!!! At least spell the character's fucking name right if you want me to take you at all seriously.)

This post brought to you by a healthy dose of annoyance at men in fandom.

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