Friday, February 26, 2010

New Website
Lots of neat stuff there!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Change You Can Believe In

Dear Lovely Readers,

Hi.  Karen here.  I want to be the first to tell you is getting a major upgrade in the next few weeks.  There will be a series of updates, including:

1. Host Change: I will now be hosted on Laughing Squid servers.
2. Platform Change: Blogger will no longer be my method of publishing.  Wordpress will fill that roll.
3. Design Change: With the introduction of Wordpress power I will completely redesign the site.
4. More content: I've been slacking off it the content area the past month.  Mostly because I haven't had time at work to make updates.

You can still read this blog's past entries at I will not be deleting this blog.

Firmly yours,

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thom York, I Never Knew Ye

Radiohead often times is associated with a depressing mood. Many of their songs, on first listen, can give you an overwhelming sense of melancholy. And even though you soon realize that their music is the greatest of our generation, you still can understand the association of sad faces.

While YouTOOBing today, I came across this gem:

Either Thom is drunk or high or has just a case of the giggles. Whichever way, I love it. It shows a side of him/Johnny which is rarely seen on stage or in public. It shines a little sun on a band which is commonly in the shadows.


Friday, July 18, 2008

An Open Love Letter To Joss Whedon or Joss Whedon: How He Has It Right

As most of you know, I am a HUGE Firefly fan. It is one of my favorite shows...EVER! I fell in love with the show immediately upon viewing the pilot episode and I haven't looked back from Firefly fandom since. The best dream I ever had was when Capt. Malcolm Reynolds himself, asked me to join the crew of the Serenity after I graduated from college. The pain of waking up from that life was truly tragic. If there was anything as tragic as my dream being a dream, it is that the show was canceled after only one season, thanks to the idiots at Fox. Joss Whedon did not deserve to have his dream of the "Space Western" crushed so soon.

Speaking of Joss, I'm just going to come right out and say it, Joss Whedon is a f**king genius. You can quote me on that. Sorry for the profanity, but it's needed to stress the gravity of the word 'genius'. For a guy to create such complex worlds as the Buffverse, Angelverse, and Fireflyverse, is just incredible. Read more about his other work on Wikipedia here.

During the WGA strike, Joss (being the true creative force he is) couldn't stop the creative juices from flowing, so he and his pals decided to create an alternative form of entertainment. Enter, Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-Long Blog:

It is a hybrid of a comic book/sci-fi show/musical. Joss is no stranger to the music world. Two notable mentions, The Buffy Musical: Once More With Feeling and the Firefly theme song. Both are incredibly campy and incredibly good. Dr. Horrible feels like a natural branch from the Whedonverse.

Dr. Horrible is exclusively online and comes in three installments. The first two acts are already available online (click link above) and act three comes out tomorrow. Please go watch them over and over again, you won't be disappointed. Both Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion are hilarious and I can't wait to see how he ends the story.

On a side note, and really the meaning of this post, I believe Joss Whedon has it right, in life I mean. The guy has surrounded himself with his friends and they all work to create really funny and really good entertainment. He has created his own production company, Mutant Enemy Productions which is responsible for some classic hits (Buffy, etc.), spends time writing awesome comic books, and is adored by millions of fans. The guy knows how to live and how to work. And he's pretty socially enlightened as well! He describes himself as a feminist and frequently features LGBT peoples in his work with complexity and understanding.

So, I salute your Joss. I hope to one day have it right like you. In the meantime I will continue to appreciate all your Joss-y goodness.

Firmly yours,

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Oh, Edward you flirt!

While googling today I found this absolutely ridiculous picture of Robert Pattinson, I just couldn't resist adding a caption.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Music Is Your Time Capsule

I am a music freak. Like most people my age, I can hardly go any where without having my entire collection of music at hand. Thanks to technology we can do this, at a reasonable price. My 30G iPod Video holds all my music, some videos, and backs up some old photos to boot and it only cost me about $250 two years ago.

Even though Apple is a huge ass and makes it hard for users to copy stuff OFF the iPod, iTunes is still a pretty awesome media player. The iTunes store and Amazon MP3 integration built into iTunes makes buying and playing MP3s easy and convenient. Even though you have other choices in media players (I also like Winamp I used it before iTunes came along my freshman year) that offer the same features, there is just something really simple about iTunes.

One cool thing I've noticed about iTunes is its capacity to serve as a time capsule for your life. When you enable the "Date Added" category column in your library you suddenly can track back through time. For example, if you and your best friend went on a road trip back during Fall 2004, you two probably downloaded some kick ass songs to make a sweet playlist. Or you went through a really heart smashing breakup that one summer and was hopelessly devoted to Taking Back Sunday. By sorting your songs with the "Date Added" feature, you can go back and look at what you listened to. You see, we forget a lot of things! Some times its really awesome to be reminded of how music touched and possibly even shaped our lives. There lies a little, subtle, story in that data. It's really quite neat!

In effort to not lose this information to a iPod crash, like what happened to my iPod mini back senior year. I decided to immortalize (digitally) my iPod data. Thanks to Google spreadsheets I am even able to publish it to the web. See it here! You can also see my music collection and be inspired!

I encourage all of you to back up your data, whether it be iPod data or just important things in your life. The Internet is such a wonderful thing and allows us to organize our lives in ways we only imagined a few years ago. Google in particular has made the transition to a digital life easier than ever.

For those who know me, really check out the list. It's at some parts kinda funny!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Opinion : Comments "Speak Up!"

Remember in school when the teacher told you, "There are no stupid questions"? Now, we all know there ARE stupid questions. From the questions with painfully obvious answers to those that are just plain dumb, you should always ask the question to yourself before you speak up. But I believe teachers told us this because they wanted to encourage discussion. Discussion is a tricky thing. Some times it comes easy, most times it takes some effort.

The Web 2.0 movement is all about the community. Sites like Reddit, Digg, and various personal blogs depend on the user to stay alive. Without the user, there would be no content. So forms like comments are really important, and always (almost) encouraged. However, along my journey into the Web 2.0 community at large, I've found that not all sites truly encourage holistic participation. For example, the Gawker blog empire. You actually have to audition to comment. They say they don't want "spammers", which is a legitimate concern. However, there are always those freaky "I'm Not A Robot" pictures and other means to ensure you're getting a real commenter. So why do they have the audition process? They do it because they want to shape the content of their site, even the community created content, just like big brother. I like to compare their process to reality television. There are a select few who get commenting "privileges" (the cast) and then the producers (Gawker's editors) guide them through the show. I don't like it. If they are worried about boring or stupid comments, they've already failed. I've seen plenty of absolutely ridiculous, sometimes offensive stuff.

I guess my argument really is null though, it's their site and they can do whatever they want with it. All I'm saying, though, is not allowing the free flow of comments hurts their product. I will admit, I'm no "star commenter", but sometimes I actually have something useful to say (shock I know) and it really chaps my ass to have to try to "Apply to Comment" and then never see my comment on the board. I've stopped trying.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Review : Album : Coldplay - Viva La Vida

Coldplay is like the ex-girlfriend I'm deciding to give another go, after she decides to knock off the nonsense and step up to the plate. X&Y was Coldplay's nonsense and now Viva La Vida is stepping up to the plate. The album makes up for the disappointment X&Y left in many hearts four years ago. For me, it secures Coldplay's place in the list of bands who have changed their sound without sacrificing quality.


'Lost!' - After about ten or so listens, this is my favorite song on the album. Why is this track so critical? The position on the album. It is a jolt to the heart of Viva La Vida's life. 'Living in Technicolor' and 'Cemeteries Of London' are not strong enough to make you step back and be impressed with Coldplay's revolutionary album"; 'Lost!' is. Two very key aspects to this song. First, the percussion. It knocks you in the face with a tribal beat and one of my favorite elements; hand clap! This steady base endures through the song and is what makes it great. Second, the organ chord progression is very catchy. I almost didn't want Chris to start singing his predictable lyrics. However, he doesn't do too bad in this one. "Just because I'm hurting, doesn't mean I'm hurt." And you can tell Coldplay themselves wanted this track to be important, they put it on there twice.

'Lovers In Japan'/'Reign of Love' - The Cure. The beginning of the song is straight out of the Robert Smith playbook. However, once the rhythm kicks in we're off riding on a new era Coldplay song. There is great movement in this piece, you almost feel compelled to run as the song suggests. It then transforms into 'Reign of Love' a classic Chris Martin love song that almost lulls you to sleep.

'Viva La Vida' - I love it when strings are used in pop music and this song is basically strings and percussion. I have no idea why Johnny is playing his guitar in the iTunes commercial, there is no guitar part. Unlike most songs on X&Y and some on Viva, the lyrics to this song are not predictable. Chris did a good job of telling of a story and it takes a few listens to actually follow the words and their meaning in this song. You can definitely hear the Arcade Fire influence at the end of the song with the echoing ohs.

'Death and All His Friends' - This one immediately caught me with the line, "so come over, just be patient, and don't worry". Contrast is what makes this song great. You begin with a quiet classic Parachutes like piano riff with Chris barely whispering. Then at 2:12 it begins, Coldplay's arena power ballad. An instant concert classic, along with 'Lost!', you can almost see the grand technicolor lights that will kick in half way through. The inspiring chant "No I don't wanna battle from beginning to end, I don't want a cycle of recycled revenge, I don't wanna follow Death and all his friends". You cannot help but rally.

What I Disliked:

I'm not sure what happened to Chris Martin between the time he wrote Rush of Blood to the Head to the time he wrote X&Y. Maybe the sudden dive into celebrity caused a blackout in his creative mind, but Viva La Vida is (like X&Y) lacking quality lyrics. Especially when compared to the lyrics on Parachutes and Rush of Blood. Viva La Vida does have some good lines, but a majority of the word Chris cries in falsetto are cliches and simple rhymes. Most guilty song of poor lyrics: 'Violet Hill', "was a long and dark December, from the rooftops I remember", come on! It sounds like he used a rhyming dictionary for kids.

Listening to Viva La Vida and then listening to Parachutes I realized the only indicator that it is the same band is Chris' voice. The band has changed its sound so dramatically that you can't help but wonder what could have been if they would have suck with the simple, almost folksy, acoustic guitar/piano genre.

At least they have found some footing in the new genre they reached for with X&Y. The album is a success and will do well in sales, but even more so the concert tour will prove to be a smash hit with an arsenal of crowd pleasers.

However, for me, the old Coldplay of Parachutes and Rush of Blood to the Head will always be why I take notice.

Coldplay - Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends : Grade 3/5.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

From Above

It's out there. It's real. The universe, infinite darkness and discovery, we don't think about it often enough, we're so caught up in our own little planet.

Completely bare assed, mooning the cosmos! It's incredible, it's horrifying, it's right there!

Definitely something on my "If you had 3 wishes...": Spacewalk, and gaze.

(photo via and more at:

Friday, June 06, 2008


Why doesn't Dell have mac capable drivers on its website? How in the hell am I supposed to get the brilliant resolution?