Sick on a Sunday

Take Care, Take Care, Take Care

Posted in Entertainment, music, Random Rants, Things That Own, Uncategorized by jamie on March 27, 2011

Moments are difficult things to capture. Artists in many mediums have taken different cracks at it. In the world of literature authors like William Faulkner and James Joyce have produced works that, while not the most easily read, are certainly among the most important. Their stories represent an attempt to capture all the subtleties of a moment in time through the written word. Faulkner and Joyce take all the grimy, ugly, and inconvenient details of life that less daring authors sanitize, and throw them right in your face. At times one might be tempted to put down one of their books, not because it’s too sophisticated to enjoy, but because it feels too real.  With the turn of every page the reader begins to wonder, doubt, and eventually become convinced that maybe life has no real meaning. We’re born, we live, we reproduce, and we die. Life flows from one moment to the next with little to no regard for what befalls the wicked and the righteous.

That all seems very bleak, but as Explosions in the Sky stated through the title of their most well known album, “Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place,” there is beauty in the world. With their latest work “Take Care, Take Care, Take Care,” they make a strong argument for music as the best equipped medium to capture that beauty.

From the opening notes of the first track of the album, Last Known Surroundings, the band takes hold of the listener’s imagination. Sunsets, fields, deserts, mountains, streams, city  streets, cars, skylines, living rooms, bottles, smiles, Explosions have given sonic life to all of these things and more in the musical arrangements present on Take Care, Take Care, Take Care.

Now don’t go getting the wrong idea about this album. This isn’t a cliched easy listening experience. This is rock music. Powerful drums and expansive guitar tones dominate the musical expanse of this record. On this album Explosions in the Sky have finally found the perfect middle ground between shoegaze and head bang. Whenever the band threatens to lull one to sleep with subtle guitar work, a thunderous eruption of percussion and rhythm is never too far behind. The dynamic works both ways. The uncharacteristically short Trembling Hands is possibly the most energetic and bombastic Explosions song to date, but it’s followed up by the subdued beauty of Be Comfortable, Creature.

Explosions in the Sky represent the head of the so called “post rock” movement. A wave of bands who have abandoned vocalists and strive to show the world that a five piece rock band can be every bit as epic, expressive, and important as the symphony orchestras of old. Much like the works of Faulkner, Joyce, and other stream of consciousness writers, the music by bands like Explosions in the Sky is anything but traditional. It takes hold of you and demands your full attention, but the reward for giving one’s ears over to the band are rich indeed.

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You Aren’t Worth Shit

I am an unemployed twenty-something who this week decided it was time to start looking for a job again. I have had a few interviews and have seen many more prospects which I have applied to. The most interesting part of job hunting however has been all the insulting craigslist ads I have come across. These are ads that require you to have a dizzying array of skill, experience, and qualities, as well as calling upon you to shoulder the responsibilities of multiple workers. A Magna Carta sized lists of duties and requirements alone don’t make the ads an insult to all workers, rather it’s usually the salary offered at the end of the ad.

Let’s cut to the chase here. I present to you my first in a list of ads I’ve seen on craigslist entitled “You Aren’t Worth Shit”

This ad appears to actually be for two positions. Either way, the person who listed it must think that job hunters are desperate, which they are, and therefore not worth an ingrown hair on a dog’s ass. The first job will be compensated minimum wage, and whatever lucky pleb gets the second more sophisticated position will be paid a staggering EIGHT DOLLARS AN HOUR.

 

Job #1
http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sgv/ofc/2172723829.html
***FULL TIME-DATA ENTRY CLERK & INTERNET MARKETING SPECIALIST (Rosemead, CA)
Date: 2011-01-21, 12:04PM PSTReply to: job-bqnnt-2172723829@craigslist.org
Immediate opening for a full time Data-Entry clerk
Job Description:
• Create spreadsheet files. • Process orders efficiently and accurately. • Answer phones. • Other related office procedures.

Qualifications:
• Detail oriented. • Working knowledge of computers (MS word, Excel, etc.) is a must. • Must type at least 35wpm. • Must be proficient in QuickBooks. • Ability to multi-task. • Minimum 1 year experience. • High level of accuracy. • Self-motivated, dependable, and able to work independently

If this looks like the right position for you to utilize and improve your skills, please submit your resume to hr@toners.com or fax to (626) 288-6638.

Location: Rosemead, CA 91770 Compensation: Minimum Wage

Job #2

***INTERNET MARKETING SPECIALIST***

Ink cartridges and Toner company is looking for a dedicated hard working Marketing/E-Commerce Manager to implement the marketing development of a new website.
Requirements
•FTP / HTML / CSS / Domains / DNS / SSL •PPC / SEO / SEM o

Adjust bids to out rank the competition. o Develop and manage SEO program, ensuring site, links and all content is optimized to build organic traffic. o Manages the development and execution of internal and external advertising production, including landing pages and banners for company website, Build SEM partners and Affiliate partners. •Build Product pages from beginning to end (Magento). •E-mail marketing campaigns. •Managing affiliate network and Commission Junction, including product feeds, product launches, setting-up commission tiers, working with top affiliates, reporting and optimizing the sales channel. •Social Media o Facebook o Twitter •Anaylytics o Track and analyze all relevant e-Commerce metrics to improve traffic and conversions. o Competitive Analysis: Ongoing competitive analysis of similar sites •Develop full scale marketing plans and schedules – breakdown structure to estimate required effort. •Prefer familiarity with Magento Shopping Cart •5+ years experience (references & background check will be conducted)
Knowledge of the following is a plus: •Experience in marketing in the jewelry industry. •Java •AJAX •Flash •Wikis •PHP •MySQL

To apply and have your resume reviewed, the following MUST be included:
• Cover letter including salary history & requirement.
• Resume

  • Location: Rosemead, CA
  • Compensation: $8/hr

Things I Think When I Eat Salad

Posted in Uncategorized by jamie on January 17, 2011

1. This salad could use more bacon.
2. This salad could use more cheese.
3. There are too many green leafy things in this salad.
4. OH FUCK TOMATOES.
5. I can has moar bacon?

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“Do you ever feel like an adult?”

Posted in Uncategorized by jamie on September 30, 2010

A friend just turned 26, and at his birthday party he asked no one in particular, “Do you ever feel like an adult?”

The unanimous answer was “Just when I pay bills.”

This works for me.

Facebook Questions

Posted in Uncategorized by jamie on July 28, 2010

Single-Sentence Movie Reviews

Posted in Entertainment, Uncategorized by jamiemarie on July 13, 2010

Bottle Shock (2008): If you like Californians, and hate the French, you’ll like this movie.

Enemy at the Gates (2001): They made a sex scene with Jude Law unsexy.

Genre stabbing

Posted in Uncategorized by jamie on May 26, 2010

I love it when writers speak to the audience through a character and poke fun at the tired conventions of their own genre. Like in this little diddy:

Woman in alley: Thank you! Thank you! That thing was going to kill me!
Spike: Well, what did you expect? Out alone in this neighborhood – I’ve got half a mind to kill you myself, you half-wit.
Woman in alley: What?
Spike: I mean honestly, what kind of retard wears heels like that in a dark alley? Take two steps and break your bloody ankle.
Woman in alley: [annoyed] I was just trying to get home.
Spike: Well, get a cab, you moron, and on the way, if a stranger offers you candy, don’t get in the van!

Pantsless blog statistics

Posted in Random Rants, Uncategorized by jamiemarie on May 17, 2010

I just checked the blog stats here.

blog stats

“pantsless”?!?!  THREE TIMES?!

I don’t know if I should be proud or ashamed.

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How Generative Grammar Doomed the Twelve Colonies of Kobol!

I’ve been trying very hard to enjoy SyFy’s Battlestar Galactica spin off series Caprica. It has a few moments of genuine brilliance, such as a gorgeous shot of the first Cylon in the twelve worlds hugging a childhood friend. It also possesses two male leads, Eric Stoltz and Esai Morales, who shine in their roles. Unfortunately the main plot threads of the series tend to be bogged down by a handful of sluggish side plots that struggle to approach anything approximating engaging. That all changed while I was watching Episode 7 this week as two extremely nerdy facets of my life collided on screen.

Behold, Jane Espenson!

What do I have in common with this lady? I definitely was not one of the head writers on Battlestar Galactica, and last time I checked I also wasn’t one of the head writers and executive producers of Caprica. Well according to the ever infallible Wikipedia, Jane Espenson, like myself, studied Linguistics in college. Now her focus wasn’t on generative-grammar, but no Linguistics undergrad manages to receive an education in the field without acquiring at least a shallow understanding of generative grammar. In a Cylon goo bath nutshell the theory of generative grammar stipulates that the unlimited variety of sentences which human beings are capable of generating derive themselves from a finite set of rules within our brains. These rules determine what the structure of a sentence can and cannot consist of.

How does that relate back to Caprica? I’m glad you asked! (minor spoilers ahead)

Through a series of events in the pilot episode of the series a virtual reality avatar of Daniel Graystone’s (Eric Stoltz) deceased daughter, Zoey Graystone, is downloaded into the MCP (Meta Cognitive Processor, or brain) of his Cylon prototype. The Cylon performs admirably in a demonstration for the Caprican Defense Ministry, winning Daniel’s corporation a lucrative contract for an army of Cylons. Things don’t go as planned however, as every single copy of the MCP fails to produce a functioning Cylon soldier when placed inside of a Cylon chassis. Graystone finds himself in a real bind, with his company hemorrhaging profits he can ill afford to lose the Caprican military contract.

Here is where my studies run smack dab into the plot of my extremely nerdy choices in television viewing. In episode 7 the digital copy of Zoey finds herself on a virtual reality date with one of Graystone’s robotics engineers. It would take a lot of text to explain, but long story short the engineer does not know that the avatar he is out on a date with in virtual reality land is actually inside of the Cylon he spends all day tooling up. He thinks he is merely out on a date with a super cute computer nerd who lives somewhere out there on Caprica. So I’m watching all of this and feeling less than gripped by virtual Zoey’s lamenting of the lack of aesthetic variety in virtual trees, when suddenly she launches into this little diddy:

“That’s just it, that’s not the way to do it. Living systems use generative algorithms. With a generative model, the system would use a basic generative kernel of a tree and POW an infinite variety of tree like trees!”

Upon hearing this Graystone’s employee realizes that what’s missing from the other Cylons is a similar generative model in the MCPs. What’s needed is a finite set of rules from which an infinite number of unique artificial intelligences can be born.

Watching this, and knowing that the head writer and scriptwriter of Caprica is a student of linguistics herself was a virtual nerd overload. With the terms she used in the scene, and the general idea that was being proposed to solve the problem of the malfunctioning Cylon AI, there was no doubt in my mind that Espenson had to have drawn the inspiration for that scene from her studies in linguistics.

That my friends, is how the theory of generative-grammar doomed the Twelve Colonies of Kobol.

-Eric

Here’s a little song I wrote about the mystery of life…

Posted in Entertainment, Politics, Random Rants, Things That Don't Own, Uncategorized by jamie on September 5, 2009

douche1

If there is one group of people asking to be thrown up against a wall and riddled with high caliber ammunition, it’s guys who carry their acoustic guitars everywhere.

Like modern day Troubadours with only tales of themselves to sing, they have spread across the land. Sitting down to enjoy a cup of joe and a conversation with a friend at your favorite coffee shop? Fuck that, they’ve got something better. Whatever you two were about to discuss couldn’t possibly measure up to their unsolicited musings on life.

douche2

Quickly, say whatever you have to say while he clumsily tunes his guitar.  Nooo it’s too late, he’s started strumming the thing!

douche 3

Really though, where do you get off complaining? You’re just another working class drone, slaving away in an office for the beneift of  the man. You could never conjour up the same cogent analysis of the short comings of our society that the uninvited musican delivers with every passing note. He merely wants to enhance that dinner with friends you were already looking forward to after your 10 hour day of work and college courses with a little bit of his home made sonic flavoring. So what if it sounds like a go-kart running over rabbits, this is art we’re talking about here!

Been in love? Yes? Well have you written a song about it? I didn’t think so.  Whatever it is you’ve done, he’s done it harder. Anything you’ve felt, he’s felt on a deeper and more urgent  level. Having a little trouble keeping up with the universal language that is music? Well relax and let him teach you a few lessons up and down the fretboard.

coffe

What’s that? You want him to shut the fuck up so you can get back to conversation with your friend?  How dare you! This is his art, his heart, and indeed his very soul. Your free time is but a trifle before the spiritual experience you’re about to be a part of. Why, it isn’t like there are millions of these guys just walking around sharing their music to the unwilling and willing a like, don’t be silly!

Oh, and did I mention he’s quite the harmonica prodigy as well?

harmonica