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Posts Tagged ‘music’

I have a difficult time with computer reformatting–that is a fact.  Over the past few years, I’ve had to reformat several computers and deal with the loss of nearly all of my data.  Over and over and over again.  I used to bitch about it a lot in my diary since it was such a yearly thing back in high school, and I had counted myself as lucky for lasting this long with my laptop.

But, all things come to an end, don’t they?

One very malicious virus from one not so official site.  I keep thinking, “If I hadn’t gone onto that website, if I hadn’t clicked on the allow button for what I thought was my virus-protection, if I had backed up all of my things beforehand…”  But there’s only so much you can do with ‘what if’s.  After a while, they stop mattering, and you have to see if you learned something from the situation.

I was reading about astronomy.  Astronomy! When the website forced a pop up that was suddenly taken down by an ‘Allow Disallow’ kind of prompt.  Seeing the pop up as Vista Total Security, I thought that it was the virus protection automatically installed on my computer and pressed allow.  What a stupid thing to do.  Vista Total Security, my friends, is actually a malware virus.  At first, it tricks you into believing it’s automatic virus protection, but after a few hours of constant warnings and pop ups from it telling you that your computer is infected, you begin to wonder if maybe Vista Total Security is the virus.  Well, it was.  And I immediately started backing up my files on my new external hard-drive.  Good thing I did, too, since my entire computer wasn’t working after five hours.

I called Marshall for some help with it, and he ended up recommending that I reformat the system by installing Windows 7, which I had happened to keep up here in case I wanted to switch over.  So, for several hours last night, I made the switch and then uploaded all of my previous information back onto my laptop.

Except some of it was missing.

Most of it being music.

Three fifths of my music.

Now, I’m the type of girl who collects music and takes it pretty damn seriously.  I organise it into wonderful playlists and care deeply about my connection to certain music.  So, seeing that 3000 of my songs were missing was a bit of a shock this morning.  I just stood there in front of my computer wondering how my iTunes could only have saved what was uploaded by CD rather than both CD and flash-drive.  I felt foolish for not checking beforehand that everything had been saved.  And I felt betrayed.  It should have copied, and even if I had known when I was transferring everything, there wouldn’t have been enough time to save everything before the virus took over.  It all came down to electronic betrayal, and I couldn’t help but feel frazzled.

But not too terribly upset.

Sure, the what-if’s have been soaring, and I certainly wish that I hadn’t lost so much, but I know that I can get much of it back.  I have so many CDs in my truck from my previous computers, so that’s a start.  My friends have offered me up their classical music to replace my Chopin, Vivaldi, and Tchaikovsky, and I’m confident that things can be right.

I realised today at lunch that, had this happened back in high school, I probably would have cried.  Actually, I know that I would have cried for at least a day because, when I did originally lose all of my music (even though it was only 400 songs at the time), I cried for days.  But I keep thinking about the situation now and how it really doesn’t matter.  I’ll get it back.  Everything I actually cared about will be back in my music library, and the world will move on, and I’m still alive, and my photos are all intact, and things are actually pretty damn okay.

Being positive in light of miniature disasters mean the difference between being able to handle the stress and completely shutting down, and I’m willing to start taking the stress on as direct challenges.  You delete my music?  I get it back.  Easy as that.

So, here begins the epic repairing of my music library.

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It’s been a while now, huh?  More than a month, actually, and this is the first post of the new year.  Not much has changed.  I’m back at uni, working on my psych degree and studio art minor.  Classes are going well, professors are mostly stellar, the norm.  I’m taking developmental psych, cognitive psych, ANOVA/experimental statistics, design 1, and logic.  All in all, mostly major/minor specific.

It’s snowy here.  And cold.  But that shouldn’t come as any surprise to you (come on, it’s Kirksville; we wear shorts when it gets above freezing).  My friends and family in Saint Charles recently got a foot of snow, which pretty much makes it the first time that Kirksville had less–even if we’re only talking by a few inches.

But enough about classes and weather and cold!  There are marvellous things in which to be excited for!  New albums coming out this year, the marriages of both of my sisters, the tentative backpacking trip to Chicago, visiting family in Florida, and working at what is quite possible the best place in the world for three months.  It suddenly hit me today just how much is coming up within the next six or seven months.

Both of my older sisters are getting married: Joslyn in April and Jessica in August.  Joslyn’s will just include going home for the weekend, but I will have to get myself to Colorado Springs, CO for Jessica’s.  At first, my dad informed me that I would just fly there, but for the same price, I could give myself a multiple day vacation in Chicago and just take the train.  Sure, that’s an extra two days of travelling, hostel costs, food, et cetera.  But you know what?  I’m totally up for it.  My room mate and I started scouring the internet last night for train prices and hostels in the Chicago area and how to backpack your way across the country.  Now, I just need to present the idea to my mother.  That will be interesting.

Meanwhile, lots of new albums come out this year that I’m pretty darn excited about.  Florence + the Machine (whom I was gushing over a year ago), Kerli Koiv, Coldplay (about damn time), et cetera.  Loreena McKennitt and Robyn both just released new albums that I would love to get my hands on and might save as a special present to me for my birthday (or for getting through the semester, either one).

It’s strange to think that this semester will be done and over with in only three and a half months.  Come 6 May, and I’ll be back home in Saint Charles.  And on the 15th, my lease will start on the house that Jess, Noah, and I have up here in Kirksville.  I won’t be staying there for the summer, which leaves a bit of a waste in the rent that I will still be paying, but it will be fun to come up over weekends and start fixing the place up.  We’re pretty excited to get furniture and paint and mix-matched dishes into there.

Anyway, I hope that this was a sufficient update.  I’ve been working on another blog post for some time, but it really hasn’t been coming along well.  So this is my much more friendly alternate.

Keep it classy.

Missi

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Once again, I’ve nearly made it through an entire year.  As such (and to continue the tradition from last year), here are the accomplishments, triumphs, failures, and events that marked my past year.  Feel free to make your own to share!

  • I made it through my first year of university at Truman, finishing off with a decent GPA and tons of friends to boot.
  • Three and a half inch heels and four inch heels–I made them my bitch.
  • I went on an aeroplane by  myself for the first time to visit my dad in Florida for two weeks, where I tried Sashimi for the first time (practically raw tuna with wasabi and pickled ginger), visited Key West and some other nifty beaches, and got massively sunburnt.
  • If you caught that part about Sashimi, you’ve probably figured out that I became a pescetarian over the summer.  Half of my just didn’t care any more about avoiding fish while the other half just kept nagging about all of the great omega-3 oils and brain-helping nutrients.  This has allowed me to become pretty damn obsessed with sushi, by the way.
  • I started a pretty shitty fashion blog about Midwest fashion.  Now that I have a new camera, I plan on taking more pictures for it, though.
  • Which brings me to a creeper moment for this year: I definitely worked up the courage to ask random people to be models for my fashion blog since they were wearing cool outfits.  I’m actually pretty proud of myself for having the guts.
  • For a failure, I definitely had a big falling out with someone who had been my friend, leaving us in some kind of acquaintance limbo.  And I’m not too proud about playing dirty and being really bitchy about it, but my life had gotten to a major point where I had to either step up or drop into obscurity, meek and silent as I get walked upon.  You all know I’m not really the type to allow the latter.
  • I got a sewing machine!
  • And I’ve sewed all kinds of really crappy things; mostly for work.
  • Oh!  So, I got a volunteer job down on Main Street, Saint Charles at the First State Capitol State Historic Site in June.  I get to dress up in 1820s clothing, teach people history, give tours, work with kids, all kinds of fun stuff.  After a month and a half of volunteering, I managed to get a position with the Missouri State Youth Corps so that I could get paid for my volunteer work.  It’s been an absolutely amazing experience, and if all goes as planned, I will be working there next summer as well.
  • Over October, my dog, Teddy, passed away after a year and a half of massive heart problems.  I had spent the entire summer preparing for him to pass away, which helped me when it actually did happen, but that doesn’t make it any less sad.  You probably already know that he meant a lot to me, but I don’t feel very burdened.  So that’s a start.
  • My grandparents are still somehow making it.  My grandma was diagnosed with cancer last year, and she’s finally made the decision to quit treatment and just last these months out.  My grandpa, meanwhile, had a quadruple bypass that didn’t go as well as it could have, though he’s recovering now.
  • The rest of the family is decently healthy (or at least in comparison to my grandparents), though there was a lot of tension when my brother was kicked out for his misconducts that he’d been warned for years to cease.  He now lives with my dad in Florida, which seems to be working out better for him.
  • This past year, I’ve been building up a second family up in Kirksville (or at least it feels like that).  I signed the lease for a house for next school year with Jess and Noah, which is pretty damn exciting.  And we’re right next door to Ann, Ginny, and James, which means we’ll share a big side yard and have dinner parties.  Huzzah!
  • This implies that I’m still friends with everyone up at uni, as well as some new folks.  I also finished up my first semester of sophomore year and started my new studio art minor.  It’s been really neat to see my artwork improve over the semester, and we’ll see how much better it gets by the end of next year.
  • I went to Iowa for the first time.  No worries, it was as mundane as the sentence seems to convey.

New Music for this Year (or at least music I was exposed to this year):

  • Kate Havnevik’s Melankton
  • Emilíana Torrini’s Love in the Time of Science and Fisherman’s Woman
  • Kingdom of Heaven Soundtrack
  • Loreena McKennitt’s The Book of Secrets and The Visit
  • ALL CAPS’ Bmin/E
  • Amy MacDonald’s This is the Life
  • Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs
  • Broken Bells’ Broken Bells
  • Coldplay’s Parachutes
  • Florence + the Machine’s Lungs
  • Fiona Apple’s Extraordinary Machine
  • Imogen Heap’s Ellipse
  • Joanna Newsom’s Have One on Me
  • Joe Purdy’s This American
  • Kate Miller-Heidke’s Curioser
  • KT Tunstall’s Eye to the Telescope
  • Modest Mouse’s Good News for People Who Love Bad News
  • Natacha Atlas’s Halim
  • Patrick O’Hearn’s Glaciation
  • Sigur Ros’s Takk…
  • Vampire Weekend’s Contra
  • White Lies’ To Lose My Life
  • Yael Naim’s Yael Naim

New Books:

  • Robert Cialdini’s Influence: The Science of Social Influence
  • Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451
  • Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations
  • Dude, I can’t remember the last time I read a new book for pleasure.  Aside from text book reading, I’ve been chilling with the old favourites: Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress, Memoirs of a Geisha, Dragon’s Bait, et cetera.
  • But, I’ve gotten into some web comics: Questionable Content and xkcd.

New Films:

  • HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS
  • Love and Death (a quirky Woody Allen film)
  • Troy
  • Darjeeling Limited
  • The Losers

I really haven’t done all that much this year aside from lots of music listening (shit son, way more than I thought after making that list), working my butt off, chilling with friends every chance I get, and finding some new hobbies (such as interior design/décor, art art art art art, reading webcomics, et cetera).  I’ve learned to love libraries and sushi and appreciate some of the people around me a lot more.  I hope that you all have had an interesting year with lots of learning and events.  Hope to see you all next year!

Missi

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I’m on hold right now with OfficeMax, Simon & Garfunkel lilting by.  Today has been the day of Simon & Garfunkel, whether while driving to Iowa on a spur of the moment road trip after visiting the hardware store or while waiting to find out if I can get a new camera.  Or, you know, a camera at all.  Imagine it, there you are, opening the box to a brand new camera.  You remove the cords.  The battery charger, the manual, the…  Ripped piece of plastic?

Oh yeah, the ripped piece of plastic that was supposed to be holding the camera.

It would seem that, given my luck (or lack thereof), I purchased the display camera’s box, which means that my camera is sitting out for other people to touch and oogle over.  Ew.  So after a conversation with the manager of OfficeMax, who was actually quite understanding and kind about the situation, I have been guaranteed the actual camera and a new box since it was an accident on their part that the empty box was given to me to buy.

All fixed.  Problem solved.  But what have we learned?  Check the contents of the box before you buy, not after.  It’s just like how, when I got Chinese three weeks ago, I should have checked the vegetable fried rice before getting back to the dorm.  Why?  Because, even though the box was labelled with a V does not mean that it won’t be chicken fried rice.  Luckily, that one was taken care of in time for dinner.

But I laughed when I heard the Simon and Garfunkel playing in the background while on hold.  It’s what I had listened to on my mini-road trip to Iowa.  Kirksville is rather tiny, only around 17,000 people, but it’s the beacon light to all other northern Missouri towns–the “Northern Star”.  Once you pass Kville and head up north, you reach a whole lot of nothing aside from horse-drawn carriages and towns that boast their population of 437.

I passed at least eight Mennanites in their carriages, making me smile every time.  Small town.  Small town.  Small town.  Gas station and closed diner and Welcome sign.  Deer running up hills and into valleys and across highways.  A brilliant, pink and orange sunset blinding me over the hills that crept out from nowhere.  It was a place that looked more pleasant in its death than it would have in its full-bloom or spring or summer.  You could see so far in the crisp air, see the snow still sticking to the shaded grass and the ice patches on the ponds.  A simply beautiful drive.

And I listened to Simon and Garfunkel’s greatest hits, bobbing my head to Mrs. Robinson and humming to myself as I stopped for gas in an ugly little town inside of Iowa (I had missed the Welcome sign to Iowa, leaving me driving an extra twenty miles until I came upon the first town that was larger than an outpost).  It was the type of trip that made me really, really yearn for my camera, and I was kicking myself for not having opened it sooner.  Which is probably why I immediately opened it upon returning home to Kirksville and starting this whole circle of Simon and Garfunkel.

“Hello Darkness my old friend,
I’ve come to talk with you again.”
Sound of Silence,  Simon & Garfunkel

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And now I’m right back at school and with so many interesting, challenging, fun things to do before now and when I go back home in two and a half weeks.  Wow.  Such a short amount of time before I’m heading right back, yet everyone makes it out to be such a long time.  But really, that’s two weeks of classes (and, oh you know, five exams), six chapters of psych to read, one stats assignment, three art projects, and Mrs Dalloway to finish up.  And then four/five finals!  I can do it, I can do it!

This weekend, I’m taking two days out on Friday and Saturday in order to make a (spoilers) for my mum for her joint birthday and Christmas present.  I’ll tell you what it is after I give her the gift, and I’ll be sure to put up pictures (with my new Nikon Coolpix that needs to be removed from its box).  Rest assured that it is something both artsy and never previously done by me.  My art professor is giving a class to a few of us about how to make unsaid object, so it will be pretty exciting to learn a new skill (even if I will be probably horrible at it).  I’ll give you a hint if you promise not to tell my mum, though.

Anyway, Thanksgiving holidays went well, though I saw less of my friends than I had anticipated.  I had two delicious meals with my mum’s side of the family and also with my dad’s/sister’s, was able to visit my work and chat with the managers, went to a bonfire with friends, and I even went Black Friday shopping to get money off of some boots I had bought a few days before ($100 off of the original price is incentive enough for me to brave the hordes of shoppers).  Somehow, Noah and I found a spot at the very, very front of where we wanted to be at the mall.  And thank God, because otherwise, it meant parking at least a half mile away, which would require us to cross seven lanes of very busy traffic.

But I spent a lot of time reading comics (such as Questionable Content and xkcd) and watching old episodes of Cowboy Bebop, which sort of felt like me from eighth grade coming to punch me in the face.  After six years of travelling, it’s built up some momentum.  My brother also gave me all of Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law before he set out to move in with my dad, which, yes, happened on Sunday.  Hopefully he will be getting along a lot better down in Florida than here in Missouri where it’s just constant bickering.

The rain is coming in now, though, with chilly winds and so little light that it should be criminal.  I’ll set off to listen to more Natacha Atlas songs on Youtube so that I can decide which of her albums to buy today since I have a coupon from Amazon.  Oh, decisions, decisions.  Halim or Gedida?  Both are awesome albums of Egyptian/Arabic/French songs blended with electronic, hip hop beats.  She’s like listening to a young generation from the Gaza Strip.  So I’ll leave you to go decide on an album, though there’s really no wrong choice; both that I’ve previewed are amazing.

PS: If there were any more links in this post, I’m pretty sure WordPress would explode.  I just thought it would be fun to give some examples and references to you folks for all of the crazy things I chat about.

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It’s been a year.

Okay.  Almost.

It’s nearly been a year since I really picked this blog up and decided to let it be more than the single posts about Christmas from 2007 (yes, for all of you who did not know, this blog has been alive for quite a few years).  I don’t really know what to say to my blog.  Happy Birthday?  No.  Not really.

A year ago, I was sitting outside in the Quad, dreading the winter that was to come, watching the people around me, feeling so philosophical.  I guess not much has changed.  I still chill in the Quad all of the time (just maybe in different places), still watch people to figure out more about what they may be like, et cetera.  Maybe I wear more scarves now and my hair is longer and I have more music in my iTunes library.  That’s about it from the physical perspective.  But, you may wonder what has changed in this past year:

Well, I’m more outgoing; that’s for sure.  I’ve opened up more than I could have imagined by talking to strangers and being genial.  Unfortunately, this also means that I’ve been more open with how I feel about things, which causes drama and anger.  People have thought that I’ve grown meaner.  I think I just grew more honest and maybe a bit more secure.  Sometimes, that backfires.  I question whether I want everyone around me to know that I’m excited or happy or stressed.  Sometimes, I turn back into the girl I always was in middle school and just hide everything.  As unhealthy as it is, I still find it comforting to hide behind my mask at some times when I’m not completely sure of my surroundings or if I just want to know I still have the strength to play this charade.  It’s an INTJ trait, I’m afraid.  We are a manipulative bunch, after all.

I’ve made new friends, too, and I guess you can say that I’ve lost some others.  I didn’t know a year ago just how amazing my dorm house was, but now I see all of these people I love every day, and it feels like the best family one could ever have.  We spend our time together, working, playing, relaxing, cooking, stressing, and everything else that a family shares.  It’s blissful, and I’ll be sad to leave when, in another year, I find myself no longer in the dorms.

I’ve also learned a lot.  That should be a given since I’ve been at uni for a full year, but I never would have imagined from last year just how much I would learn.  So much of my classes has been applied to everyday life or general conversations, and it leads me to wonder just how I got through in the past without the knowledge that I now have.  It’s also been exciting to apply what I learn in one class to other subjects.  Something about intuitively combining information in order to allow it presence in another department of life is terribly exciting.  It’s the proof that I’ve learned instead of just absorbed information for it to be squeezed out of me come exam time.

Also, I’ve multiplied my music and film collections.  Here are just a few for you:

Music:

  • Fiona Apple’s “Extraordinary Machine”
  • Loreena McKennitt’s “The Visit”, “The Book of Secrets”
  • Yael Naïm’s “Yael Naïm and David Donatien”
  • Kate Havnevik’s “Melankton”
  • Florence + the Machine’s “Lungs”
  • Imogen Heap’s “Ellipse”
  • Nickel Creek’s “Why Should the Fire Die?”
  • Patrick O’Hearn’s “Glaciation”
  • Kingdom of Heaven Soundtrack
  • Emiliana Torrini’s “Love in the Time of Science”, “Fisherman’s Wife”
  • Joanna Newsom’s “Have One on Me”
  • Beirut’s “Gulag Orkester”

Films:

  • Kingdom of Heaven Director’s Cut
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • Marie Antoinette
  • Pleasantville
  • Mean Girls

Books:

  • Great Expectations (Dickens)
  • Wuthering Heights (Emily Brontë) (even though I hated every single character)
  • Sense and Sensibility (Austen)
  • Fahrenheit 451 (Bradbury)
  • All Quiet on the Western Front (Remarque)
  • Never Let Me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro)

You can have at it on the media that has been with me during the past year.  Meanwhile, I’ve learned how to make three new types of hats, bake bread, make vegetarian entrées, pay bills, and work at a summer job basically teaching Missouri state history.  So, it’s been educational and new.

But I still want to assure you that, if the ground was not so wet, I would be outside right now, watching everyone around me, listening to some good music, and thinking about everything that happened to occur to get me in that spot and everything that was to occur.  I may not be listening to Muse, and I may not be commenting on my personal philosophies, but I would still be there.

I might as well be right now.

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Oh dear goodness, I’m practically rolling around in my childhood right now, listening to Dixie Chicks on shuffle and scribbling song lyrics into my diary.  It’s moments like these that remind me that I still have some type of grasp on who I used to be and continue to be.  And even while most of these songs are such rubbish, so much makes up for it: Chris Thile mandolin solos, choruses shifting into minor chords, power building up in bridges.  Oh, the bluegrass of the late nineties and early 2000s was magnificent.  Think on it–Dixie Chicks, Nickel Creek, O Brother Where Art Thou?, Alison Krouse.  A lot of great bluegrass came out then.

In fact, a lot of great music came out in the nineties, but it’s taken me until nearly twenty years later to realise that this crap was… well, not crap.  My room mate for next year is really into nineties alternative, which I started getting into about five years ago, and I’m fairly certain that you’re going to be able to walk into our room and feel like you’re in your childhood.  Matchbox Twenty will be playing in the background while you reach for my Skittles candy machine and a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  Only our laptops will give us away.

One day, I’ll look back at the nineties and 2000s as the “Good Ole Days”, and I will lament about the kick-ball and hiking in the woods and climbing the trees while singing Spice Girls and shoving Pokèmon cards into our Lisa Frank binders.  God, I still have those Lisa Frank binders full of Pokèmon cards in my closet, right next to a bin of Beanie Babies that I was so sure would be worth a ton of money and put me through college.  But you can buy those same Beanie Babies from a garage sale for fifty cents, so, so much for that monetary adventure.

But I’ll look back at all of this in wonder; that much is certain.

I was reading Fahrenheit 451 today while waiting for the mall to open and let me buy a Father’s Day present, and I was surprised by how everyone around me reminded me of the characters.  Sure, in limited ways, but so many people are the sheeple like the majority of characters, and I wondered if I would be like Guy or Clarisse or Mildred or Beatty.  When we read things like this or Animal Farm or Ishmael, we always want to pretend that we would be one of the enlightened ones.  One of the people who catch onto what society is up to and starts fighting the system and thinking for ourselves.  But, in all reality, would we really be that person?  Or would we be following the motions like anyone else, living day to day with no other question?  Would we wake up and go to school or church or work like every other day?  Would you be the one to sit in front of the telly and soak in everything that it had to offer?  I was that person for so long before waking up, but as I read, I still can’t help but realise that I would be one of those people.  I’d be a sheeple right next to everyone else.

We can’t all be a Clarisse.

Will books be banned one day like in Fahrenheit 451?  It makes me wonder if the good old days will be right now because of the knowledge that we presume to be free.  And it’s something to think about.

But for now, it’s best left to Dixie Chicks and scribbles of what I think into a diary that no one will ever read.  It’s better off in poems that tell stories of far away places where people learn lessons in the strangest ways that no one else will understand but in glimpses of another’s mind.  It’s better left to sentences that don’t know how to end.

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