Kenshin2, Me

Irritations

Noise...so much noise...so much static. Horrible news reposted on Facebook. Horrible people posting blindly about how great they are. (Unfollowed! Should have done that a while back, but on good days I enjoyed laughing at train wrecks.) Horrible people doing horrible things, and the constant discussion of it. Can I have a trigger warning for trigger warnings? I'm exhausted. Yes, that's a expression of privilege. I acknowledge it. It doesn't change the fact that bad news and bad things are cumulative.

Perhaps I should celebrate instead; the fact that I am bombarded by tragedy at every turn in part means there is no tragedy of my own to occupy my time and thoughts. My current trials and tribulations involve tight schedules with too many social activities, feeling frustrated by the minor irritations at the job that pays me almost six figures a year, feeling fairly creative with no real drive to actually get something down, and the vague distractions that cover keeping up with the administrative side of a life I share with a wonderful partner.
  • Current Mood
    blah blah
Kenshin2, Me

New Years!

I view resolutions for the new year as somewhat spurious, but this time around I think I've actually got some worth doing. (read: realistic and constructive) The two primary objectives are simple - a new music creation of some sort every two weeks and a new original painting every two weeks. Substitutions are allowed, so for example: 1) I'm working through a book on painting with straightforward examples, so three of those will be an acceptable substitute for one original work. 2) While I'd like to go for every other week swapping back and forth doing paintings a few weeks in a row or music a few weeks in a row will be fine. 3) As far as music is concerned it should be either a new posted mix or a new track that's at least in final rough cut status. Posting the original work is still a sensitive topic, so I'll play that by ear. (I really have no idea why I'm so touchy about posting original music and I should make a point to address that.) Last but not least, I need to lose 20lbs. I originally targeted a lower amount, but 20 should be both more realistic and satisfactory from a health standpoint.

These three goals are reasonable, especially since I'm just looking to focus my creative output into more of a scheduled/regular thing. It's also a loose target thing, so it's certainly not the end of the world if I miss a checkpoint. If I can hit every checkpoint I will be unbelievably happy. If I can't hit every checkpoint, I'll just have to settle for "contented." Not a bad plan, if I do say so myself.

-M
  • Current Mood
    busy busy
Kenshin2, Me

Brain Aches

People have asked from time to time what my various disorders "feel" like. What it means to be bipolar or obsessive, or how I process input differently thanks to the sensory modulation disorder. Most of the time I can give an answer in approximate terms based on the specifics of the question, but there are times when the easiest metaphor involves other injuries. Take today, for example. Today I just feel "strange." It's not a positive feeling, but also not something horribly depressing. If you've ever had a limb twinge in the rain or cold, that's what this feels like - only it's my emotions, my responses to what people say. That uncomfortable feeling when you realize you can't just instinctively rely on your body part to work correctly, when an old injury flares up and you're limping slightly; that sort of thing. It puts me ever-so-slightly out of sync with the world, a mode that others rarely notice but can be one of the more overwhelming conditions to be in. It's also the kind of day where I instinctively seek out close contact with other people, because it's both distracting and provides a steady amount of immediately obvious positive feedback in my interactions with others. I matter. I'm not stupid. I haven't done something horrible. I'm not lame. I can be funny. I can make people smile. I can make others happy.

(On the flip side if I can't make that close contact then I'm likely to be a complete hermit for the rest of the day; online contact or telephone calls lack the amount of proper feedback to be comforting. It can even make things worse as the tendency is to start looking at every response in SOME sort of negative tone. They're taking forever to respond, are they made at me? That sort of thing.)

The mood - like that pain in your leg or side - always goes away, eventually. Good conversation, sleeping, or even a nice marathon gaming session can brush the whispers aside and let me shake it off. It will pass. Hell, I will probably feel better by the time I'm walking in the door at home tonight - a change of scenery usually helps. These twinges haven't even been all that common over the past few months, and things have been really good overall. It's worth jotting these things down, though. I need to get back in practice of doing this so that when something BIG hits, I can use this as a release valve.

-M
  • Current Mood
    drained drained
Kenshin2, Me

Wondering What To Do - But Not How You Might Think

Arg, this was sitting in my buffer from several weeks ago, complete and unposted:


It's fairly common for me to spend time in my day wondering exactly what I should do with my free time/day/life. What's extremely uncommon is that these days I have an amazing pool of successful things to pull from. I finally got around to painting with acrylics a few months ago and it's taken off in some great ways; it's not the constant struggle that sketching/drawing always ends up being. (Perhaps it's the deeply ingrained belief that my drawings should be as perfect as possible.) Paint is such a different medium and I don't have a long history with it, so I'm able to be okay with the fact that I'm not great yet. (There's also the fact that it's easy to do complex abstract pieces in paint, neatly side-stepping the entire question of "accuracy.") I've gotten comfortable with the materials themselves so I've picked up a "paint every day" book with 50 simple project paintings designed to teach various techniques. It's been extremely helpful, and I'm eager to put brush to canvas as often as I can.

Musically I had to convert my entire studio into a digital form, selling off the keyboards and rack units in exchange for Ableton, Traktor, and a couple of desktop controllers. This has also had a positive impact, apparently working with the physical gear got just complicated/trying enough that it kept me from good productivity. The software is much easier to work with, and my output has been steady. I've recently realized that I need to spend some time analyzing music in the genres I wish to work with, because left to my own devices I have a tendency to add layer after layer until the track is a mess. (Or there are so many disparate parts that I get stuck trying to make them all fit together.) The truth is that I need to simplify the music and focus more on the production part that has been made so much easier, and I think that once I've truly reached that point I'll be churning out tracks like crazy.

It's been a very surprising and very pleasant six months. I've even re-added bead-weaving to the repertoire, which works out to my version of knitting: I can do it while talking up a storm. Between these three things I've been able to generate creative works at a pace that would actually boggle my past self.

-M
Kenshin2, Me

The Failure of Facebook and Futility of Maintaining a Blog

I suppose the title is a bit of a misnomer; Facebook hasn't really failed me and the blog is fine, neither one simply fits my current need. As it turns out when you're more than marginally damaged in the head you need a more out-of-the-way space to rant and rave, so I dusted off my LJ login to do precisely that. I haven't really had a chance to dump my thoughts out to really examine them, and as a result it feels like sometimes I can't sort them properly. Not that I currently have much to say at this EXACT second, I'm just at work and avoiding my tasks. I'll have more to say later, but at the moment I'm just trying to get a post in to finally cross this to-do off of my personal list.

In all seriousness I guess I do occasionally need a journal, which this site is more suited to than anything else I currently use. I have my doubts about the long-term viability of LJ these days, but it'll do. It's not like I have anything monumental to say, I just feel like saying it - and while I certainly don't mind putting things in a publicly accessible location, it just doesn't feel right for the social dynamic of Facebook. I'm in one of those weirdly transitional moods; a time when I feel like so many things are changing and the potential for awesomeness is high - I just need to get my shit together, be more organized, etc.

Weirdly enough that organization always felt most effective in journal form.

-M
  • Current Mood
    tired tired
Kenshin2, Me

More or Less Shutting This Down

Unfortunately the blog's crosspost plugin has completely ceased working, and I have no idea how to fix it. At this point this journal is more or less switching to inactive. I highly encourage anyone reading to head over to http://impulsive-designs.net, as that will be my online presence for the foreseeable future. Bookmark the feed in your favorite reader!

As a final announcement, I have been running a weekly podcast for the past month: it's a new continually mixed breakbeat set every Friday, with other genres possible on random days whenever time permits...which hasn't happened yet. The podcast is named Voyager, and is also searchable on iTunes with the author listed as MEA - the "name" (technically just my initials) I plan to use when mixing music either live or via the show. You can find show information with relevant links here: http://www.impulsive-designs.net/voyager-podcast/

Also - if you're on Twitter, follow me at @rane500 and tweet me to follow you back.

Shade and Sweet Water,
-M
Kenshin2, Me

New Mix Posted

Crossposting is temporarily down, but I don't mind doing it manually a few times:

I just posted Drone Warfare, another breaks mix. I went a little overboard on the transition EQ in a couple of places, but the mixing itself is very solid and worth posting. (Granted, I'll always think it's worth posting, I love listening to mixes of all sorts from other DJs so I record almost every session I spin where I'm not just screwing around or experimenting.)

Anywho, go get it! It's got some really freaky bass lines.

-M
Kenshin2, Me

More Mixes in the Works

I’ve kind of gone nuts with this controller, expect another couple of mixes shortly. I had originally intended to make the next one a jungle/drum & bass mix, but I’ve determined to mix the tracks I want properly I’ll need to create/sample some transition beats to use. It’ll take some time to track good beats down, so in the meantime I’m putting together another breaks mix, again with recent releases. (I plan on recording some ‘classic’ sets at some point, but right now there’s just too much good modern stuff.) This one will be a bit faster and even heavier on the bass, I think.

On an unrelated note, I hit the 20lb mark this week in terms of lost weight. The shocking part is that I’m not even halfway done, but I am definitely right on schedule. I stumbled across some head shots from about six months ago, and I was shocked at the difference…and at how chubby I had gotten. The weight lifting is also yielding some interesting results, as I helped a friend carry a lot of heavy furniture boxes up a flight of stairs over the weekend. Not only was it much, much easier than that sort of thing used to be, it did not make me tired or leave me feeling strained.

I could really get used to this.

-M

Originally published at impulsive / designs. You can comment here or there.

Kenshin2, Me

Yet Another Mix!

Beatport is so damn cool, and horribly addicting.  I was poking around in the breaks section and before I knew it I’d built up a shopping cart with an entire set of amazing tracks I’d never heard before.

Total time from purchase to finalized recording: less than 4 hours.

I am nailing this shit.  It’s called “The Natural.”  Go grab it!  It’s enough bass and funk to knock your eyeballs right out of your head.

-M

Originally published at impulsive / designs. You can comment here or there.