Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Music in our generation

Standing in Kohl’s yesterday, I overheard two people talking about the Nickelback song that had come on the radio. “Oh my god, this song brings me to tears,” says one and the other replied “I know, isn’t Nickelback such a good band?”

Normally, I could give a hoot as to what you listen to, but seriously? Nickelback? If you enjoy listening to music that is based around the same tone of voice, the same chords, the same rhythmic patterns, and the same everything, then I suppose you would like them. Personally, I don’t think they’re anything to write home about.

Don’t take me as being pretentious in saying that everybody should listen to high-brow jazz or classical, turn on Rush for your rock fix, and all that other complex stuff. I listen to Lily Allen and the Spice Girls when I’m bored. At least they have a different flavor to each song. I don’t feel like I’m going to a white bread buffet.

A few years ago the biggest thing was Linkin Park. Now, I remember I tried getting into them when Hybrid Theory was released, but after a month of playing the record on and off, I realized that I still couldn’t tell the difference from song to song. They all sounded exactly alike. This has been a trend for YEARS, but I don’t recall a previous generation that revered this music so much. Perhaps I am pretentious. *Turns up Beethoven*

Monday, December 28, 2009

Religion, Christmas, Oh?

The bulk of the holiday season is over this year: Thanksgiving through New Years) and we’re getting ready to bring in the new year. Stop.

I want you to think about something: Bringing in the New Year.

How exactly do you “bring in” a new year as opposed to a new month, week, day, even second? What’s the difference? Is New Years a holiday worth celebrating? It’s a day or two off from work and another excuse to get plastered and party. Oh. How is this different than a weekend? Maybe I’m just overly cynical or too much of a “blah” as my mother calls me.

As for Christmas, most people that know me very well know my distaste for Christmas. I see this season as being a happy time for three people. The businessman will most likely make a fortune in preparation for this time of the year, although a percentage of them might go bankrupt due to an underwhelming Black Friday or something of that nature. The Christian will celebrate the birth of their savior. The child will open presents under a Christmas tree and have thirty new toys to play with for a week before they get bored.

I’m none of these people.

Another reason to enjoy Christmas is getting together with family for fun times, relaxation, great food, and laughs all around. Although that is the case with me to a limited extent, I can’t say that I’m all too fond of that idea. My family is small, I see them normally, have fun times, relax, have great food, and laughs all around. Christmas in my case feels like any other day, with longer lines, more crowds, and more pressure.

So, the season of giving? Businesses advertise “Big Savings” and “Season of Giving” to consumers as a ploy for them to get more money. Ever think about that $200 thing you bought on sale for $50 during Christmas? Yeah, you probably thought, “Wow, what a great deal!” Think deeper. Think about the family that didn’t get paid because of the cost difference. Think about that minimum-wage store employee that has to get written up for not selling an insurance plan with 20x as many customers in the store that need to be engaged. Great bargain? Yeah, for you while dozens more get the bad end of the stick. I hope that makes you feel wonderful.

I don’t think that there should be a day specific to the world that we have to be nice to each other. If you truly enjoy being with somebody, that should show year-round.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Dumbest Generation, really?

So the point in question is this book, The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don’t Trust Anyone Under 30).
http://tinyurl.com/ydovxev < can be purchased here from Amazon.com
The author has an interesting point and brings up a number of facts, but I have a serious argument to make, actually… Three.

First of all, skills required in today’s world differ greatly than those that existed in previous generations. There’s a level of ignorance that overshadows this and many people from yesteryear’s generation refuse to accept this change. Our society treasures the ability to read, write, and articulate things in every day life, but careful analysis of the business of social networking will show you that even those in the generation questioning our generation fall to these problems. Bad grammar isn’t solely found among generation X, in fact, in my experience, I find that it’s more problematic in older generations!
So back to the point of my first argument, the skills required in today’s generation are of computer literacy. Without literacy of today’s technology, one cannot enter the workforce of tomorrow. I think that we all can agree on that. Today we face problems like identity theft, which computer-literate people are not immune to, but more protected from it. You don’t need to know how to spell, as spell-check is available to you. Seriously, the amount of time wasted to just open up a dictionary could lose you several minutes of productivity and will throw you off task. Your next sentence might not even make the same sense or bear the same consistency had you not looked that word up for a simple spelling of. Today’s world doesn’t necessarily NEED the ability to spell in order to be successful. You need the ability to create a point and validate and justify it.

Second, the point about Social Networking. Social Networking is one of the fastest growing fields in the business industry. Utilizing it is free, fast, and you can get to a large audience for a minimal amount of time, especially with the creation of bots that will advertise for you. Anybody that’s taken a basic course in computer programming should know how to make their own, or you can just hire a student to do one for you for under $100, and you have a free advertising tool at your fingertips.

Particularly in my case, I don’t use sites such as Facebook (I do now - Dec. 23, 2009) and Myspace. I do have social networking, but I can justify my reasoning for each one. I use Twitter as a replacement for RSS feeds; I use Flickr since I don’t use Facebook to make photo galleries online; Last.FM is a great place to find new music, etc.

The older generation of people that I know are on such sites like Facebook more often than most of my friends. A certain family member, for example constantly informs me of family matters on Facebook that I could honestly care less about. This person is 51 years old, and I’m 24.

Last, I’m finding that older generations may claim to be supreme readers and such, but from observation alone, I found that most people older than me are too tired from daily work to read, or at least that’s what they claim. When they do read, it’s typically “Pharmacy literature” and has little stimulation to the brain. They also watch more TV than most people I know that are my age. In fact, most of my friends don’t own a television, or if they do the only thing connected to it is a VCR or DVD player (Or Blu-Ray for you high-techies).
I conclude this by saying, “Hey, old people, accept the change. Our necessary skills for life are vastly different than yours, so just accept it already!”

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Student piano recital, Dec. 3, 2009

Unfortunately, all of these videos have been taken down. I closed my Youtube account for personal reasons. Thank you.

February 25, 2010

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Nichole Genco's bedtime story

Tonight I'm having a rather difficult time sleeping, so my friend Nichole was tricked by me into reading me a bedtime story. She didn't have one available so over AIM she sent me this cute little story, written completely impromptu and it made my night better. I think I'll go to sleep now.

11:03 PM: once upon a time
11:03 PM: there was a village
11:03 PM: where the townspeople walked on their hands
11:03 PM: they had legs and feet
11:03 PM: but were never told how to use them properly
11:04 PM: the king made sure of this
11:04 PM: as he wanted his monarchy to be the fastest, most powerful of all
11:04 PM: so he walked on his feet
11:04 PM: his wife, the queen, walked on her feet
11:05 PM: and their son, the prince, also walked on his feet, although he was a toddler and fell quite a bit as toddlers do
11:06 PM: one day there was a wheelbarrow accident in the town
11:06 PM: and a wheelbarrow had fallen off its wheel and fell on its owner
11:07 PM: everyone yelled, but nobody could help him
11:07 PM: they yelled for the king
11:07 PM: who
11:07 PM: stomp
11:07 PM: stomp
11:07 PM: stomped
11:07 PM: over to where man was injured
11:07 PM: and lifed the wheel barrow up with one arm and pulled the man out with the other
11:08 PM: what a strong king!
11:08 PM: everyone in the town clapped their feet together
11:08 PM: well
11:08 PM: meanwhile,
11:08 PM: a townwoman was giving birth to a baby
11:09 PM: a baby boy named elias
11:09 PM: elias didn't know it, but he had had a curse put on him
11:09 PM: but an old hag from next door
11:10 PM: the old hag's husband was actually the father of elias
11:10 PM: and elias' mother had had an affair with the old hag's husband
11:10 PM: 9 months earlier
11:10 PM: so, elias had a curse put on him
11:11 PM: the curse was said in swedish, so nobody was really sure what the curse was about
11:11 PM: but they knew, as soon as elias popped out of the womb
11:11 PM: he had
11:11 PM: no
11:11 PM: arms
11:11 PM: !!!!!
11:11 PM: elias' mother screamed in horror
11:11 PM: because this meant, elias could not walk!
11:12 PM: if you remember, townspeople walk on their hands
11:12 PM: so poor elias
11:12 PM: did not have arms
11:12 PM: as he grew
11:12 PM: his legs, strangely, grew strong
11:12 PM: and his feet, strangely, grew big
11:12 PM: and strangely, he was able to walk
11:12 PM: ....
11:12 PM: on
11:12 PM: his feet!
11:13 PM: as a toddler, elias could run and jump and do all these amazing things that the townspeople had only dreamed of when they dreamed of their precious king
11:13 PM: he was able to do all these things! amazing!
11:13 PM: well, the king
11:13 PM: was FURIOUS
11:13 PM: he soon had ordered elias to be mutilated by dogs
11:14 PM: the king screamed
11:14 PM: well
11:14 PM: when elias was thrown into the pit of wild dogs
11:14 PM: the dogs were amazed with the lack of arms
11:14 PM: and even more amazed that elias could run and jump and twirl and dance!
11:14 PM: they immediately became his best friend
11:14 PM: (s)
11:15 PM: so elias and the dogs were buds and the king sure was sore!
11:15 PM: he screamed
11:15 PM: elias was thrown into the tiger den
11:15 PM: and the tiger took one look at him
11:15 PM: and yawned a big yawn
11:16 PM: the tiger didn't care about elias one bit!
11:16 PM: he fell asleep right then and there, even with elias there as bait
11:16 PM: the king screamed
11:17 PM: the tied elias to a large pole
11:17 PM: and got the sticks
11:17 PM: they beat him with the sticks
11:17 PM: and then BAMSPLAT!
11:18 PM: one of the armymen accidentally stuck a stick into elias' missing arm hole
11:18 PM: he tried to pull it out but it was a no go
11:18 PM: he couldn't get the stick out
11:19 PM: and the other army men were so amazed by this
11:19 PM: one of them said, "let's try it with the other side!"
11:19 PM: and they did it then too
11:19 PM: elias was in pain from this
11:19 PM: he couldn't take it
11:19 PM: and he shrieked and writhed
11:20 PM: and the binds were pulled
11:20 PM: and he was set free from the pole
11:20 PM: elias ran through the crowd
11:20 PM: and up to the old hag's house
11:20 PM: she was on her death bed
11:21 PM: "m'aam please. i know i know i am your husband's child, but i need your help."
11:21 PM: she must have been delirious
11:21 PM: because she said, "you have to help yourself."
11:21 PM: and as she said that she put her hand on one of the sticks
11:21 PM: and shook it as if it were a hand
11:22 PM: elias didn't realize what she was doing
11:22 PM: but she was changing the curse
11:22 PM: to a happy uncurse
11:22 PM: the sticks
11:22 PM: had become
11:22 PM: ARMS!
11:22 PM: and elias was able to move them
11:22 PM: and pick things up
11:22 PM: and he ran to the king
11:23 PM: and the king said, "YOU FOOL!"
11:23 PM: and elias ran up to him
11:23 PM: and stabbed him right in the chest with his stick arm
11:23 PM: the king was dead
11:23 PM: and elias taught everyone in the town to walk on their feet just as they should have in the beginning
11:23 PM: the end.