Tuesday, February 26, 2008

ALSO: regarding the end of the world

I found out that human genetics bottlenecked around 74,000 years ago to just about 200 of us (all of us descended from 200 people around that time). Think of that! Probably 99.999999999% of humanity was killed (likely from a volcano), and NOW look at us! Agent Smith (from the Matrix) was right: we're a virus--there is no stopping us! Not even by us! And look at the earth, too! How well Gaia has recovered from all her catastrophes. I'm not advocating stupidity (I'd prefer we not bottleneck again because there were only a few people in my high school class of 200 that I liked--imagine if that's whom I had to choose from everywhere! Plus I'd have to mate with some of them!), but when global catastrophes (super volcanoes are my disaster du jour) start to get me down, it puts things in perspective a little bit.

Monday, February 18, 2008


guess who's going to the debate!!!!!!!!!

(me) (i am)

Friday, February 15, 2008

true story

my freshman year of high school (I think), I went with my dad to work on an album he was helping produce. I thought it sounded like a pretty cool thing to do (and who's more concerned with doing cool things than a high school freshman?). It turned out, it mostly involved several hours at Kinko's, with nothing for me to do. Except once I had to go across the street to Eckerd's to get something for dad (Hubig's pie and a CD of some kind). (Whenever I spend time with Dad, there seems to be some point at which I am tasked with getting Hubig's pies). (I don't like Hubig's pies much. An example of a Hubig's pie is this: sugary applesauce, surrounded by some kind of dough, and deep fried.). Also at some point during the Kinko's night, I was tasked with NOT BLEEDING ON THE COPIES. There was an exacto knife involved. I had an intuitive knowledge that had I been old enough to drink, the whole experience would have been more fun, and less flourescent-lights-at-3-AM, Oh-god-I-just-ran-into-my-algebra-teacher-super-embarassing, I-wish-dad-would-talk-to-me-for-once-if-only-because-he's-the-only-sane-looking-person-here-right-now-and-that's-pretty-sad.

BUT MY POINT is that it was all for a CD by Bruce "Sunpie" Barnes. And somewhat at random, three of the discs I chose to review this week include Mr. "Sunpie" Barnes!

Artist: Various
Album: Original Soundtrack: Schultze gets the blues
Genre: Zydeco
rotation: Medium
filmkombinat 2004

I love accordian! If that sentence made you shiver, this might not be your album. Each track filled me with nostalgia, either of German classes past, or my years in Louisiana. For more about the movie, see [link], but basically, it seems to be a movie designed to end up with this soundtrack: the soundtrack itself is an oddysey through German/Texas and Cajun cultures via their music. One thing I like about the accordian is how many countries use it in their traditional music. Rather than a polka album, or a concertina album, or a zydeco album might, this compilation will remind you that if there's anything the accordian as any instrument isn't, it's one-note. There's the joi de vivre of the zydeco tracks eagerly shaking hands with the stout-hearted German polkas. The maudlin capacity of the instrument is not deeply explored, despite the title of the movie (though the 3 "Schultze Ballades" do capture some whistfulness). Some of the tracks are historical recordings, and some (Wittenbecher's) are for the movie. Look, there is even yodeling (track 13)--what more does one need?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

the last ones

Between zombie movies, Doctor Who, and Children of Men, and climate change conferences, I keep thinking/dreaming about the very last humans that will be alive. I don't go into elaborate "What if" scenarios like the mentioned works of fiction, I just wonder idly, things like: will they be on Earth? Will they look like humans? Will their language have any evolved form of the English word "Cut" (this one is kind of random)? Will the very, very last human know they are the very, very last? Will the very, very last die of old age? What will be the very, very last thing he or she eats? Or smells? Or touches?

My mind keep saying "But intelligence would evolve again. Or humans would evolve." But there must be a very last intelligent life form, trillions of years in the future. There MUST, if time isn't on a loop. And how lonely will they be? There was some Neil Gaiman book where a kid traveled to the far, far future, when humans has evolved past recognition, and just could barely subsist on Earth. I found that so disturbing. I don't know why this is a thing...that fascinates my mind completely. But it is. Something to do with my search for a lack of meaning.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Monday, February 04, 2008

productive procrastination!

For once I procrastinated with something that I would have eventually procrastinated about--I have done my taxes! Now, if I can just finish my 2006 and 2005 taxes...

It's a really, really nice night here in Austin, for those of you not in Austin, and not awake. I'm listening to Tchaikovsky, and the balcony door is open, and really, for someone that just got through several hours of tax code fine print, I'm in a pretty good mood. Wait 5 minutes, though, when I pick up the project I've been putting off. I will need a whole lot more classical music to fix that mood. And like a truckload of burritos. Yeah.

Tonight I had a strange experience: I watched, and enjoyed, the second half of the superbowl. I even threw my hands all in the air and yelled at one part!

But alas, no more procrastination is to be had. It's Russian transportation policy again...