Upbeat Cynicism

what do you mean i lost my mind?

Posts Tagged ‘navel gazing

Again, for now

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I’ll be posting here until I get some backside stuff worked out on my domain.

Also, while I’m still posting through Identi.ca, I now consider my Twitter feed as my front-end (in no small part because nobody can pollute it against my will, which is not true of Identi.ca at the moment). It’s in the right sidebar. But, while here on WordPress.Com, no daily digests, because they’re not automatic and I don’t want to bother to do them by hand.


Written by [IMH]

19 May 2009 at 8:11 pm

Posted in Announcements

Tagged with ,

Melodic musing

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Lately I have been possessed of an urge to create music.

Which is nuts.

I mean, I’ve never had much of a head for music, apart from genuine appreciation. I played trumpet in band for a few years in school, and was better than I had any right to be (which is not to say that I was good). But apart from that, I don’t “see” music in my head the way that musicians apparently do, and the few times I’ve ever had a tune pop into my head that seems at all original, it has vanished within a matter of minutes.

I can’t read music for squat. Oh, sure, put some sheet music in front of me, and I can slowly plink out the notes on a piano, after much thought and strenuous deliberation. It might even sound vaguely like the melody the composer intended. But past that, I can’t read it at all.

Part of the impetus for this is a long-gestating novel I’ve been noodling with off and on for several years. As conceived, the book is experimental in form, and I’m quite unsure that it will ever be finished. The conceit is that it is a book-length set of liner notes to accompany a tribute album for a fictitious band. I know the name and tone of each of the thirteen songs on the album, and have partial lyrics for some. And I’ve wavered back and forth as to whether music should actually be created for the project. So, that’s been at the back of my mind for some time.

Then there was the recent, very ugly breakup I’ve gone through. The breakup itself hasn’t inspired much in me (other than relief), but it has made me go back and re-examine some very old business from my past. One day in February, as I was sitting at my computer working on something else, I opened up AbiWord and, without a lot of conscious thought, pounded out some very suggestive fragments of what I first thought was a poem, but then realized was better thought of as a song. A Social Distortion song, in metaphors and tone. There’s no tune yet, but it sits there, waiting for life to be breathed into it.

Another decision I made recently, also in connection with that very old business, was to write and, hopefully in the next year or so, shoot a short film. And one of the most important aspects of this is that I already have the open source soundtrack picked out and arranged. The music didn’t quite come first, but choosing and arranging it helped me get the film clear in my head. There’s no need for me to compose in this case, but for some reason it makes me want to be able to do so anyway.

Furthermore, it bothers me that I cannot talk about music in any intelligent way, and particularly jazz. As a specific example, I am absolutely unable to explain to anyone else what modal improvisation is. And if I can’t explain it, I can’t feel that I genuinely understand it, certainly not in the way that I like. (My current understanding is limited mostly to recognition — I can say “that’s (probably) modal improvisation, and that isn’t” but nothing more than that.) This lack of language when it comes to music can be embarrassing, such as when Allison Crowe’s manager left a comment the other day, and I felt like emailing to apologize for how poorly I described her work.

So the question is, what remedies am I going to apply to these underdeveloped areas of my mental life?

Well, I’ve downloaded a text on music theory to study, and am hoping that will help in my abstract understanding.

I got a cheap “learn the harmonica” set from Barnes & Noble over a year ago, and I’m starting to go through that. (It’s a nice set, incidentally, including not only a decent little harmonica and a book, but also a CD and a DVD, all purchased for something south of ten dollars.)

I also have a couple of LiveCD Linux distributions that are geared toward audio or multimedia production, dyne:bolic and Musix. Either one runs on my desktop reasonably well. I’m thinking of using them to teach myself the software, and to hear how truly awful my sense of musicality is, maybe by creating an album in a day.

I don’t have oodles of time to devote to this self-improvement, but I’m going to take a whack at it anyhow.

Because it is necessary

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I take no joy in posting this, but, as will be clear, I must.

My relationship with my former fiancee is now ended and all ties have been cut. This would normally be a private matter, except that she has exhibited such contempt in the past for even the most basic forms of ethics and morality that I must now preempt the very likely event that she will continue her ways.

My name is Ian Michael Hamet, and if you get a message from me that seems off or odd or in some way not right, there is a good chance that it is not from me.

There are a few ways of ensuring that it really is from me. The easiest is to check to see that it is signed with my PGP key, available at the bottom of this post and on my Contact page. If it is not signed (which happens when I send from web mail most of the time), then reply and ask for me to verify with a signed response.

Further, if you see my name on some web service or other, check it against my ClaimID page. If it’s not there, then it’s not mine (excepting some dating profiles, at the moment), and treat anything said in my name as being fraudulent.

Roanne Valenzuela has demonstrated, repeatedly, that she is not above forging web accounts and profiles in order to slander and defame individuals — not just myself, she has done it to others as well.

She has also demonstrated that there is no lie she will not tell to achieve her ends, even if that end is simply causing the most minor frustration to her “enemy”. She has, for instance, accused me of “impersonating” her “husband” on Flickr in order to get other Flickr users to block me. (She has never been married, and I present myself under my actual name on Flickr.) I posted this information on my profile to forestall future lies about me, and she now claims that I am “attacking” her by telling the truth about her actions. In my judgment, if she did not wish to “look bad”, she should not have done things which would cast her in such a light.

This is on top of last autumn’s melodrama, in which she falsely accused me of statutory rape, for no reason other than she wanted to “get back” at me.

So, any accusation directed at me must be treated with suspicion, as it may very well be her making the accusation under an assumed identity on the internet. Any accusation she makes directly should be treated as a lie or, at the very best, a statement that has only the most tendentious, tortured, and distant relationship with reality. Even if some statement she makes is, strictly speaking, true, she has no compunction about using fact to give completely false impressions.

When I make a mistake, I own it — as shown when I inadvertently plagiarized J. Neil Schulman, admitted it immediately when I realized it, offered to do any blog post he asked as penance, and then did so.

I am not afraid of my mistakes, but I will not tolerate slander or libel. Roanne Valenzuela is above neither, and has demonstrated it repeatedly. The fact that she keeps erasing her past postings from the internet only further proves that not only does she do such things, she knows them to be wrong. She makes the error of thinking that if the evidence is erased, the damage “undone”, then she has then done nothing wrong.


Anything that is said about me, especially if it seems like tabloid material, please do not accept without at least checking with me first and letting me know.

Thank you.

In which I finally join the microblogging fad

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If you look over at the sidebar, you will see some additional cruft under the heading of “Microblog”. I never quite saw the appeal of Twitter, especially given its tendency to excessive downtime, and its apparent difficulty in providing correct links to posts. Plus, it’s not open source, and I get touchy about who owns my data.

Enter Identi.ca. It is, indeed, an open source Twitter (the software is Laconi.ca), and it has no problem with you controlling your own data (though anything you post is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license — with which I have no problem). And if ever I don’t like how Identi.ca works, I can install Laconi.ca on my own server, port my data over, and run my microblog my own darn self. Plus, it lets you cross-post to Twitter automatically, so you can establish a double presence with little effort, and be seen by a wider audience.

And now, I am consolidating my online identity further, with the help of a modified Twitter Tools plugin. Even if I don’t blog for days, I should be able to post some pseudo-tweets, which will now be turned into a blog post on a daily basis, as well as turn up in the sidebar.

So even if I don’t feel like writing, there should be signs of life around here, almost every day. Yay.

Written by [IMH]

28 March 2009 at 12:49 pm

This I believe.

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Logo There are
or fewer people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

There ain’t fewer than one, but I’ve certainly never even heard of a second.

Written by [IMH]

25 March 2009 at 8:23 pm

Posted in Humor & Fun

Tagged with

Posting to resume

with 5 comments

I have been battling depression.

The personal life did a more-than-fair impression of the Hindenberg, in super slow-motion, which was the major factor. Thus, had I had the desire to write — which I emphatically did not — the misanthropy would have been ascendant, and the benevolence all but nonexistent. As I cannot stand myself when I am morose, bitter, and pathetic, I can hardly expect anyone else to put up with it, so my silence was all to the good.

Anyhow, things are no longer bottomed out. They are not exactly on an upswing as yet, but given that I have (mostly) shed a burden I was no longer strong enough to bear, the simple feeling of relief is enough to buoy me for some time.

I’m not quite sure what this means for blogging. I’m (clearly) trying to get posting again, but I have no idea how consistent (or even persistent) I can be about it at first. My emotional reserves have been empty for a long time, and are only just starting to refill. I don’t want to mess with that, so if I need mini-breaks to keep recharging, I’m going to take them, with or without notice.

I’ll start posting movie reviews again in a week or two, and have a few other posts planned, but I also need to get back on the writing horse with my scripts again, among other things, so not all my limited energy will be going here.

Written by [IMH]

11 January 2009 at 8:41 am

Posted in Blogosphere

Tagged with