Saturday, December 08, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

Compassion & Sympathy?

When a hawk attacks a bunch of pigeons, it chooses the weakest, which is quite logical/efficient. Where is the source of compassion and sympathy?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Four Harpsichords!

Johann Sebastian Bach
Concerto for Four Harpsichords [in A minor, BMW 1065]

"One" ideal listening situation: Driving slowly through a small street with lots of trees, spring/fall weather, sunny day, feeling the touch of air on skin, giving a good volume ...

Movement 1 has a superb ending, a full climax in the last 20-30 seconds

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Terror Presidency

An important book by Jack Goldsmith
Goldsmith, Jack Landman. The Terror Presidency: Law and Judgement Inside the Bush Administration (New York : W.W. Norton & Company 2007).

On Amazon

Friday, September 28, 2007

William Blake

Watched "Dead Man" tonight, directed by "Jim Jarmush", with Johnny Depp playing the role of "William Blake", and music by "Neil Young". Film is a visual poetry ... that's all, a master-poetry-piece!

William Blake on Wikipideia


Dead Man on Metacritic

Neil Young on Allmusic --- His work on "Dead Man" reminded me of the music theme [by Ry Cooder] of Wim Wender's "Paris, Texas"

Learning and Roaches

This will be a long post ... that probably won't be ever written ... HAHAHAHAHA

2013-07-11: My roach phobia has declined. Incidentally, I was discussing it with my therapist yesterday, that I am afraid of roaches in my home but much less so in other people's homes and such, and I suggested that this is less of a phobia and more a sign of taking too much responsibility (over-protection, and over-control) for everything in the domain of my personal/private life.
We can learn a lot from our phobias and situations that makes us react with anger, desperation, depression and such.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hamed Nikpay:

He is a semi-traditional singer and instrument (Tar, Setar, ...) player. Here are a couple of his videos on Youtube. His voice seems deep and the music has very interesting Jazz treads ... His instrumental work is in this CD. (You can download a good sample of the CD!] I actually like the CD a lot, it is unexpected to see such a variety in traditional Persian music from such as a young player ...

******* First one:



******* Second one:

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Bird

Watched the "Bird", directed by "Clint Eastwood", with "Forest Whitaker" playing the role of Charlie 'bird' Parker. A good film, both Whitaker and "Diane Venora"performances are good, and directing is also superb. But certainly, it is a must-see for anyone interested in Jazz music, even remotely!

[Bird on Allmovie]

[Bird on Metacritic]

Friday, September 21, 2007

Prince of Denmark

One of the most famous trumpet tunes, and apparently a very popular piece for wedding music. I was looking for the identification of this tune, and finally I found it when it was being played on TV music channel. It is a work by Jeremiah Clarke, composed around 1699. [Here is a sample on Barnes&Noble]

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Beauty

We watched the two-hours season premier of this show last night, what a guilty pleasure :)

http://www.cwtv.com/shows/beauty-and-the-geek

Was a lot of fun, for a lot of different reasons!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Razumovsky

Beethoven's "Razumovsky" string quartet, is a superb string quartet. The fourth movement is specially joyful and refreshing. I highly recommend giving it a try!

String Quartet in C Op. 59 No. 3 'Razumovsky', Movement:4, Allegro molto.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGcY84pgBkQ

Monday, September 17, 2007

Tennis

Played tennis for a couple of hours this evening, life looks just a bit brighter now, this week should kill myself with sports and activities to survive this new wave of depression ...
The previous post ... should have written it in the middle of sleep ... cannot remember anything :)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

acting and redemption

i had been thinking some deep thoughts on the two topics, but before i could turn on the computer and right them down, poof, they are all gone ... sorry

Animals

Why have we become so different from animals?
- no animal thinks about "right occupation" or "right education",
- no animal look for the best way to spend the leisure time!
- no animal seems to bother about how to enjoy life,

Of course, animals have much lower standard of living,
most of their time is spent looking for food, and then mating,
once an animal gets sick, its either fast recovery or getting killed
by competitors,

there is no concept of fairness, and kindness, in animal life.
there are no expectations,
It is exactly this expectation that is killing me

Are you ready?

I am ready. I have recovered (almost) from a two-weeks flu, totally sucked, and after a long hot summer the weather has turned fantastic since Friday. Therefore, since Friday evening, I am experiencing one of the worst phases of depression for about two days now.
I feel all doors close on my face, I hate myslef and everything around me. I have a deep feeling that I am wasting valuable moments without even slightly enjoying them.
Sometimes, I am lying on my bed for a while and all the time thoughts, chains of thoughts, pass my mind at unbelievable speed, to the extent that I almost feel the nausea from a fast bumpy ride.
I do not smoke, drink alcohol, do drugs; I hate myself and everyone and everything around me; I wish I could start over everything anew from somewhere and sometime else. But of course, I have so much experience with my depression to know these thoughts are less genuine than dreams of a junkie to get clean.
Nevertheless, I feel I am ready.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Death and the Maiden

I like Franz Schubert, really, it's just that his works sound very beautiful initially but lose their strength after a few times! Here are my two favorites (I do not listen to big orchestra pieces often, so I have no idea about his symphonies,...)

1- Sonata for Cello and Piano, D. 821, "Arpeggione"
I have listened to the Cello-Piano version, but the guitar-violin version is even better, or more romantic? :)

2- Death and the Maiden (German: Der Tod und das Mädchen)
This is a very strong string quartet. "Roman Polanski" has made a film with the same title, "death and the maiden", which is based on Ariel Dorfman's acclaimed play of the same name. I liked it a lot, when I saw it a few years ago! I think this is among very good performances of "Sigourney Weaver" (after "Aliens" of course!!:) By the way, she attended "Stanford" and got her masters from Yale?!!!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Where War Lives

NPR's "Fresh Air" featured an interview with the Canadian journalist/photographer Paul Watson. The interview is labeled "captivating" by "Lens Culture" weblog.
He is famous for his photographs of body of a U.S. serviceman, dragged with ropes through the dusty streets of war-torn Mogadishu, Somalia, on Oct. 4, 1993. The dead soldier was one of five Americans killed during the first day of a major U.N. assault on warlord Mohamed Farah Aidid's military command.
link to one of those photos , Another photo from the same set

He has written a book, "Where war lives", published a couple of weeks ago. I found the interview and Watson's personality and career interesting. He does not have one arm from birth, and he is dealing with major depression. I guess his book should be a good one too.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Alexander Street

Alexander Street Music Library has started a blog, and it has weekly free MP3 downloads of classical music.

PS. Unfortunately, old downloads are not kept available, each week the new one replaces the previous week's.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Trio Sonatas

I am listening to J.S. Bach's "Trio Sonata"s ... it is so peaceful, especially this performance that is somehow slower than the others I heard before ... if there is a heaven, J.S.Bach should be played there most of the time :)
* * *
By human natural tendency to overdo everything, I looked up more performances of "trio sonatas" (JSB) on our "second" online music library (!), and to my surprise all of them were performed by one/two keyboard/piano/organ, but no strings, so I did a little search: [Source - wikipedia]:

The trio sonata is a musical form which was particularly popular around the 17th century and the 18th century.
A trio sonata is written for two solo melodic instruments and basso continuo, making three parts in all, hence the name trio sonata. However, because the basso continuo is usually made up of at least two instruments (typically a cello or bass viol and a keyboard instrument such as the harpsichord), trio sonatas are typically performed by at least four instruments.
The melody instruments used are usually both violins. A well-known exception is the trio sonata in Johann Sebastian Bach's The Musical Offering, which is for violin and flute.
Johann Sebastian Bach's trio sonatas for organ (BWV 525-530) combine all three parts on one instrument. Typically the right hand, left hand, and pedals will each take a different part on a different sound, thus creating the same trio effect.

Hawk Update:

1) Today, for the fourth time overall and third time in the past month, I saw a hawk eating a pigeon (at the usual spot!) My interpretation is that the hawk(s) have grown-up and are much better hunters now ... unfortunately, the last 3 times I was not lucky enough to see the actual hunt!

2) I used to see mostly one and sometimes two hawks around ... but a couple of days ago I saw 3-4 of them, in fact during a mating process, I assume males were competing to get the female ... the flight patterns and what they did to grab attention was quite interesting

Monday, August 27, 2007

Artist, a Reserved Artist ...

Thanks to a Friend, I found and took this test, with the following outcome:

My map:
------------------------------------

------------------------------------

and here is another map (whose ? ;)

--------------------------------

--------------------------------

Sunday, August 26, 2007

And is found at last ....

After emailing car-talk and following their answer, I found the piece they play around 40 minutes into their show here, [their music info]. The piece is "Plastic Banana" composed by "David Nichtern" and is off of the "Tony Rice" self-titled album.According to "allmusic",
"Tony Rice is one of bluegrass' most inventive
flatpicking guitar players. Although he's
displayed a mastery of the genre's traditions,
Rice set the standard for more contemporary styles."

Here is the CD review, courtesy of allmusic.com:

"This eponymous release was the first of Tony Rice's many albums for the Rounder label, and hardcore bluegrass fans will probably consider it his best. Joined by an impressive roster of sidemen representing both the old and new schools of bluegrass playing (including David Grisman, J.D. Crowe, Jerry Douglas, and Darol Anger), Rice runs through a program consisting primarily of bluegrass standards but also including a number of forward-thinking modern compositions, such as David Nichtern's "Plastic Banana" and Grisman's swinging "Rattlesnake." This album is one of the early landmarks in the development of what came to be called new acoustic music, an instrumental genre that drew almost equally on bluegrass, jazz, and classical traditions and came to be championed by Rice, Grisman, Anger, and a few others in their circle. But as Rice's warm singing on "Hills of Roane County" and "Banks of the Ohio" and his fiery flatpicking on "Big Mon" and "Farewell Blues" attest, this is also a very fine straight bluegrass album. It's difficult to pick out highlights, but the joyful "Eighth of January" and the wonderful twin fiddle arrangement on "Big Mon" are both definite showstoppers."

For the Love of Ballet

Watched "The Company" [Allmovie, Metacritics] by "Robert Altman". I have seen "Gosford Park" and "A Prairie Home Companion" from him.

Good movie, with excellent music and lovely ballet performances, but without any specific/significant plot ... I specially loved a small piece of dance/ballet on one of Bach's Cello suites, it is fantastic ...

Friday, August 24, 2007

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Master-piano-piece

Suite for Piano: Pictures at an Exhibition
Pianist: Nami Ejiri

Piano pieces are masterfully chosen and played!

Amazon does not carry it :(

I listened to other performances of same pieces (from Mussorgsky), among them Alfred Brendel's, and I think Nami Ejiri has done a very good job, but who am I to say ...

But more importantly, Mussorgsky's piano suite, Pictures at an Exhibition, is a very beautiful, romantic, piece ... highly recommended!


Courtesy of "NAXOS MUSIC LIBRARY":

Mussorgsky, Modest Petrovich (1839-1881)
Mussorgsky was one of the five Russian nationalist composers, roughly grouped under the influence of the unreliable Balakirev. Initially an army officer and later, intermittently, a civil servant, Mussorgsky left much unfinished at his death in 1881, nevertheless his influence on composers such as Janácek was considerable, not least in the association he found between speech intonations and rhythms and melody. Rimsky-Korsakov, a musician who had acquired a more conventional technique of orchestration and composition, revised and completed a number of Mussorgsky's works, versions which now may seem inferior to the innovative original compositions as Mussorgsky conceived them.
Operas
The greatest of Mussorgsky's creations was the opera Boris Godunov, based on Pushkin and Karamazin, with a thoroughly Russian historical subject. He completed the first version in 1869 and a second version in the 1870s, but it was Rimsky-Korsakov's version that was first performed outside Russia. The opera provides an important part for a bass in the rôle of Boris. Other operas by Mussorgsky include Khovanshchina, completed and orchestrated by Rimsky-Korsakov. A later version by Shostakovich restores more of the original text. The opera Sorochintsy Fair, after Gogol, completed by Lyadov and others, includes the orchestral favourite Night on the Bare Mountain, an orchestral witches' sabbath.
Piano Music
Mussorgsky's 1874 suite Pictures at an Exhibition, a tribute to the versatile artist Hartman, has proved the most popular of all the composer's works, both in its original version for piano and in colourful orchestral versions, of which that by Maurice Ravel has proved the most generally acceptable. Linked by Promenades for the visitor to the exhibition, Mussorgsky represents in music a varied collection, from the Market of Limoges and the Catacombs to the final Great Gate of Kiev, a monumental translation into music of an architectural design for a triumphal gateway.
Vocal Music
Mussorgsky wrote a number of choral works and songs, many of the latter of considerable interest, including the group The Nursery. The Song of the Flea, based on Goethe's Mephistophelean song in Faust, is a bass favourite.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

So Fragile Called Reality

Hard to imagine anything more meaningless, less reliable, more imaginary, than feelings ... except beliefs !

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Modesty and Humility

Where is [MY] modesty and humility?

Good, but Shallow, Musician :)

I think I have already mentioned [HERE] "Mohsen Namjoo", and here is another of his very innovative and good music, but very cheap and shallow lyrics, to the extent of becoming borderline K-SHER!

Here is "Wikipedia" page on him.

Actually, I kind of like the K-KHOLI of his lyrics ... my favorite part:
"EY KHATERE'AT POONEZ, NOK-TIZ TAHE KAFSHAM ..."



How about this one? I am deep under KAF! :)



Friday, August 10, 2007

Deja Vu

We went to this place[Churchill Grounds]
to see/hear this person[Mace Hibbard]
It reminded me of this show[Frank Catalano]
we went to in this venue[Any's Jazz Club]
in January 2007 when we were in Chicago for AEA / AFA.

***
and everything he touched became poem!

The Old Man and the Sea

People make bad decisions, or so it seems from an outside observer's point of view

So, there is an old man, runs one of my favorite coffee shops, and reminds me of Hemingway and his last novel

Yesterday, he explained to me his plans to destroy his retirement fund by taking out the money and day-trading. Luckily for him, he has not yet succeeded in timing things and market is looking bad right now

I tried my best to change his mind, but I have a feeling that it did not work

People make really bad decisions in their lives

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Journey - Revisited (Polished?)

Looked back over his shoulder, into the dark,
Felt a chill,
Could not stop, no rest, no way back,
No chance to fix the damages,

Vague image of future,
Mass of darkness, pain of despair,
laid in front
And the eternal question, is it worth the effort?

----------------------------
THIS IS BEYOND REPAIR, the main feeling is already lost, the sense of turning your neck and looking back at nothing!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Ubbelievable .. ??!! Mystery - the pickup artist

We saw his (Mystery!) new reality-tv show on Vh1: The pickup artist ... it is fun to watch:
http://www.movieweb.com/tv/news/26/21526.php

and Conan has interviewed the guy as well (he has a book!):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJJH167E4VU

Believe it or not, it has inspired me to think about "social interactions" and their hidden costs! Why some people dislike social interaction ... is it because they do not want to bear its costs?
More links:
http://www.vh1mystery.com/

http://www.tvsquad.com/2007/08/02/the-pick-up-artist-hits-vh1-monday/

Friday, August 03, 2007

hawk news:

Today, after more than 6 month, I saw for the second time one of the hawks (outside my office) eating a pigeon. I did not catch the haunting scene, so I do not know if the hawk snatch the pigeon in the air, or like last time on the building.
While hawks is eating the doomed pigeon, another pigeon comes close, to about 3-4 feet from them and watch the scene for a few minutes, what does it "think" about this???
I should have had a camera to capture it, too bad that I am so lazy to buy a digital camera.

Ironically, I was going to write a post yesterday about how unsuccessful these hawks are in catching pigeons ...

Here is a nice site on "Urban Hawks"!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Old Story, over and over

Nothing compares to the beauty of a bird of prey (hawk, falcon) attacking a flock of pigeons ... Pigeons fly is really amazing, especially when they escape a hawk ... and the cool part is that most of the time hawks fail to catch pigeons, so this video is quite an exaggeration: [THIS VIDEO IS AMAZING!]:




Which brings us to the main point: more than the beauty of flying, it is the persistence of animals in what they do that amazes me ... they just keep doing and doing, over and over, ...
It seems to me that life is really this and nothing more or less, a short opportunity for doing nothing!

PS. What is the deal with "heavy metal" music on all "falcon" videos ... :)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

New Perspective

It sure has happened to everyone, to see things in a different light, to gain a new understanding of things, and so on. Here is some news, this is simply change in the chemical balance in your brain!
UNLESS, you have gained it by long practice, then it is a change in the chemical balance triggered by patience and endurance!

Burn Notice, Damages, and Blow-up!!!

Two relatively new TV series, that I found relatively good:

1) Burn notice on USA [Metacritics reviews -- score 69]

2) Damages, first pilot episode aired this past Tuesday on FX [Metacritics review -- score 78]

3) Mad Men, OK I have not watched it but it has good reviews ...

Watched "Blow-up" , well a five-star movie of "High Historical Importance", "High Artistic Quality", and "High Production Values" according to AMG[Allmovie review], and the commentator mentioned a couple of scenes as among the most well-known scenes in the history of cinema!!! Apparently, it is the Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni's first English-language production and his only box office hit! A beautiful film, but for me, one of the films that I have to be in mood to watch!
Vow, I found this cite with collection of pictures from "Blowup", it is AMAZING!!!!

PS (7-29-07): Michelangelo Antonioni was found dead in his apartment last night ...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Blogging and TV

Why do I enjoy reading blogs? and even more from writing idiosyncratic comments for some of them?

Why do I prefer TV programs to movies with much better quality... especially TV programs that are interrupted by commercials very 10 minutes!?

Exercise may help in finding the answer to these questions ... hmm, or maybe medication?!!!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Speaking of Faith & more ...

I do not like "Speaking of Faith", nor "Krista Tippett", but I really liked a recent program on "Stress and the Balance Within" which was interview with "Esther Sternberg". It was less B.S. than her (Krista) usual programs. I am also planning on reading her (Esther) book, "The balance within: ... ", she seems to know something!

On a separate note, I heard a very good review of "Richard Yates" book "Revolutionary Road". (Of course, I am planning to read it ... sometime in the future! that's why I put it down here.)

Finally, why people are so frantic about "cancer" ... what about other sources of fatality ... for example, dying from natural causes (aging?!) and accidents. Here are some statistics from "Mind Beautiful", but no one becomes even slightly worried about becoming depressed?!?!!:

  1. Mental illnesses rank first among illnesses that cause disability in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe.
  2. 4 out of 10 leading causes of disability in the U.S. and other developed countries are mental disorders – major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (WHO).
  3. It is predicted that by 2010, depression will be the leading cause of disability worldwide, not cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or AIDS (WHO).
I specially like "3"!

PS. See here: [ANAAR - Farsi!] ... MASHALLAH-HEZAR-MASHALLAH how many depressed we have among us [Iranians, I don't know about other nationalities!]

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Devil's Backbone

Just finished watching it, good film, very good, although a bit rough & violent, but very well made.

[Review on Allmovie] , [Meta Critics]

A very entertaining, unusual, and artistic approach to the horror/ghost movie-genre.

Directed by, "Guillermo del Toro" the Mexican director whose "Pan's Labyrinth" was Academy's favorite this year:

Best Art Direction (win)Eugenio Caballero 2006Academy
Best Art Direction (win)Pilar Revuelta 2006Academy
Best Cinematography (win)Guillermo Navarro 2006Academy
Best Foreign Film (nom)Guillermo del Toro 2006Academy
Best Makeup (win)David Marti 2006Academy
Best Makeup (win)Montse Ribe 2006Academy
Best Music Score (nom)Javier Navarrete 2006Academy
Best Original Screenplay (nom)Guillermo del Toro 2006Academy

Friday, July 13, 2007

Journey

He looked back over his shoulder, into the dark, and felt a chill,
He could not stop, there was no rest, and no way back,
No chance to fix what damages he had caused,

He could only see a vague image of what was in front,
But he could feel the darkness, and the despair, laying out in front of him
And he kept asking himself: Is it worth the effort?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Dead Poet Society

To me it was OK ... Starting from the strength, the movie plot was faithful to poetry/ literature, it started from a conventional point and interestingly developed into a tragedy, with the usual exaggerations, etc.
The downside for me was a rather childish and repetitive view of the world it offered.
Reviews: [On Allmovie ] , [On metacritic]
It is good to watch it once, but not twice!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

History: Credibility and Expertise ... [Iran]

Here are my thoughts after reading this:
http://www.roozna.com/Negaresh_site/FullStory/?Id=41755

History, the last time I heard, is a field of study, and I assume doing historical research, regarding recent or ancient events, needs expertise. I am sure nobody in Iran takes "historians" seriously, as professionals, but this ever-growing confusion about historical aspects of our recent
past, could be the result.

Almost everyone I know, especially among Iranians (my sample is biased toward Iranians obviously) finds him- or herself eligible, or indeed obliged!, to dispute and analyze historical events, usually based on a very small sample of observations.

Anyway, that is why I am becoming sick of all these disputes and individual's reading of history ... there is no way to check the credibility (according to "SOROUSH", "ZIBAKALAM" is a charlatan! ) ... no credibility, no expertise, ... what is going to be the outcome?

Monday, July 09, 2007

Abstraction ... Revelation ... Addiction

A great place for revelations is under shower ... today, while taking a shower, it revealed to me that the most "real" abstraction in life is "addiction" ... of course, I do not know what "real" means here, and furthermore, why "addiction" has such an honorable place in life, but here we go, you cannot argue with revelations, you can deny them or accept them, but nothing comes out of questioning them ...

Real Abstraction: Being dissociated from necessities of life, but not through conceptualization, but in reality! [I guess I am making this up!]
In other words, "real abstraction" is not limited to human-kind with the power of mental abstraction!!!

There are experiments that animals are "addicted" to a source of pleasure, and it is documented that in some cases object would die from self-pleasuring and not eating !!! [See here]
Well, I should be more careful in weaving K-Sher, here is a very interesting, Rat-Park, experiment: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rat_Park
Although it seems that the first view has much more support among academics.

Note to myself: Seems interesting book/website: http://www.peele.net/lib/moa.html

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Notes on a Scandal

I liked the movie ... very much, and the music by Philip Glass ... excellent!

Allmovie: 3.5 / 5
Megacritics: 73/100 [critics' average]
Rotten tomato: 87/100 [critics' average]

Director, Richard Eyre, seems average-good ... well, to be honest I don't know his works much ... Iris seems to be one of his best. Both "Judi Dench"and "Cate Blanchett" performances were great. I did not know Judi Bench, and I had the impression from "Babel" that Cate Blanchett is mediocre! They both nominated for many awards, including:

Best Actress (nom)Judi Dench 2006Academy
Best Adapted Screenplay (nom)Patrick Marber 2006Academy
Best Music Score (nom)Philip Glass 2006Academy
Best Supporting Actress (nom)Cate Blanchett 2006Academy


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Sufjan Stevens

I have listened to his "Come on feel the Illinoise" (link on Allmusic), It definitely sounds original and after a few times quite charming. [His page on myspace] I recommend it, highly!

Another interesting group: BowerBirds [on myspace], especially I am captured by this tune: "In our Talons" (you can listen to it on their myspace page) from their [ Hymns for a Dark Horse album] .

Monday, July 02, 2007

Strange Music

Clip name: Diazpam-10

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I am not sure about the quality of the music, but it is certainly innovative!!!!
Well, to be honest he sounds a little bit "K-Khol" but anyway ....

Sunday, July 01, 2007

East Asian (Japanese) Gore/Horror Movies

I find the details in this discussion amazing, all about "Gore" movies (featuring extremely disturbing killing, ... scenes):
Link to the discussion
I do not have the stomach for such movies, but the discussion is quite seducing:) !!!

PS.1 In fact, Porn+Gore Cartoons are amongst the most famous cultural exports of Japan! To get some idea read this book:
Snakes and Earrings, also on amazon
It has won many prizes, so it is worth reading, and it is not really extreme, after all, it is only a novel!

PS.2 "Allmovie" description of the"Slasher"sub-genre of "Horror" movies:
Link to Slasher on Allmovie

Sunday Afternoon

On a Sunday afternoon
feeling blue is not news

I look at a happy couple
and it hits me
I hate myself
therefore I exist

I look at the laughing woman
and I think
she would be happy
without the man

Where should I look inside
for a source of love
and empathy
... So lost in my self

* * *

I remember the time
an undergrad in S.U.T.
hungry for attention
for love

I remember raging back and forth
between home and school
this friend and that
many times a day

I remember looking for sympathy
an escape from darkness
a reason to be happy
and calm

I remember
and I think
how simple-minded

I remember
and I wonder
what has changed
in fifteen years

Light Sleeper

Accidentally, this post is also related to sleep, well, marginally! Paul Schrader's "Light Sleeper" is a story being told by a small-time, formerly addict, drug-dealer. A "good" movie, for general audience, but if you can relate to its characters and its music, then it becomes a "great" movie.
Link: http://www.allrovi.com/movies/movie/light-sleeper-v29314

I was in Big-Sky, Montana, a couple of days. A great change: cool (high around 70) and dry. The drive from Bozeman airport (40 miles) reminded me of the opening scene in Stanley Kubrik's "The Shining". The conference was useful, some new ideas and some interesting presentations and discussions, but I could not help being overwhelmed by the "club" environment there and sense of being left-out. Anyway, I am not in a particularly great mood for quite a while, so I am probably biased here.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Convoluted Nightmare

I was napping this afternoon when I started to see a bad dream and woke up for a few seconds, and went back to sleep. Expectedly, I went back to continue the same bad dream, so after a few minutes I started again to wake-up .... and I opened my eye in exactly the same place that ES30EH and I were napping, and I decided to get up. For some reason my eye closed as I stood up and when I opened my eye, I was on my back---exactly the same position that I opened my eye into when I woke up ... This happened a couple of times before I realize that I have waken up in another dream, and then I started to panic ... I tried hitting ES30EH to wake ES30EH up and get help, but of course it did not succeed, and then I tried talking to ES30EH in a gibberish language :) and surprisingly I could hear ES30EH voice telling me not to bother (this really happened, as I learned later).

Here is also a mini poem to celebrate this occasion:

My layered nightmares
avoiding dreadfulness of real life

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Out of context?!

... probably, and intentionally! Anyway, a very nice quote:

" .... Overattachment builds when we grasp for short-term relief from doubt; it moderates as we let go of needs for certainty. This mean more than nonattachment from blind hopes for comfortable experience at every moment. It also means giving up false expectations that insecurity and pain can be eliminated. And it demands relaxing amid the unpredictability and uncontrollability of real life."
(Boice,2000, p.178)

Drawing a woman from the inside out.

Someone has put a HUGE amount of work into this.

http://fcmx.net/vec/get.swf?i=003702

afterthoughts -- private vs. public art

S.Ch has had serious talks with me regarding the last post, the second poster. S.Ch believes I am going too far ... S.Ch's basic argument is that, it is one thing if you want to swim in your private pool naked, and it is another thing to do it in front of other people ... good argument, I guess, I just have to find the right answer

Friday, June 15, 2007

desperate

Q: You do a mistake over and over again and find yourself in the same misery,

A) you are stupid,
B) you are sick,
C) everybody, except you, is sick,
D) This is human nature,

Q: Do you think animals (non-human creatures) can consciously recognize a pattern in their lives?

A) yes,
B) no,

Q: Do you think "learning" is anything beyond recognizing patterns?

A) yes,
B) no,

Q: What does it mean, to learn how to cope with a situation?

A) To recognize patterns that define the situation,
B) To experiment with possible reactions to the situation,
C) To anticipate the situation and be able to avoid it,
D) To generalize reactions learned in simpler situations to the new one,

Contractors:

Three contractors are bidding to fix the White House fence. One from Iran , another from Mexico and an American. They go with a White House official to examine the fence. [All at the same time?!?]

The American contractor takes out a tape measure and does some measuring, then works some figures with a pencil.

"Well," he says. "I figure the job will run about $900: $400 for materials, $400 for my crew and $100 profit for me." The Mexican contractor also does some measuring and figuring, then says, "I can do $700:: $300 for materials, $300 for my crew and $100 profit for me."

--**----**----**----**----**----**----**----**----**----**----**----**--
My favorite persona is Mexican, I wish the joke would end here with more elaboration on the Mexican contractor!
--**----**----**----**----**----**----**----**----**----**----**----**--

The Persian contractor, Hassan, doesn't measure or figure, but leans over to the White House official and whispers:
"$2,700."

The official, incredulous, says, "You didn't even measure like the other guys! How did you come up with such a high figure?"

"Easy," Hassan explains, "$1,000 for you, $1,000 for me and we hire the guy from Mexico ."

Thursday, June 14, 2007

An "Impossibility" theorem --- after all!

The concept of "improvement" is ill-defined for individuals. Even if we ignore the deeper "impossibility" of change, and assume that people CAN change, there is no way to know whether a change is in the "right" direction.

Improvement is only "statistically" well-defined. Human kind has improved through history into a having a much "safer", "healthier", "happier" life, ON AVERAGE. Again, there is no way to decide if a person "A" is now happier than if s/he would live 200 years ago.

PS. I should have discussed the "impossibility-of-change" theorem somewhere before, maybe not here?!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Dreamland ...

What if we could pass other sensations, not just video and audio, via internet? Imagine that one could post a very good "..." on the internet and everyone could use it! Isn't it cool?

PS. fill in the "..." with your favorite

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Beet - Metal - 2

I have an idea but it needs some time to be implemented. Here is the first movement of Beethoven's "Quartet in E minor, op. 59" (Allegro) [Sample From Amazon]

I want to modify the music to emphasize the ultra-metal content of this movement. Unfortunately, editing music is not as simple as editing pictures --- at least to me, so I am not sure when I can complete the project, but I am already excited about the results.

What I have in mind is essentially the opposite of this:




And finally a performance of Op. 135, a truly superb quartet,

Friday, June 08, 2007

Israel --- and Iraq?

"NPR" had a short radio-series on "six day war":

It seemed interesting and relatively balanced.

In this part:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=10758103

one Israeli mentioned that after the six day was there was huge optimism that Israel can bring advancement and prosperity, and modernity to the occupied territory ... but things did not go the way expected:

"You know I remember the euphoria that I, as a solider, had after the '67 War," Livni said. "I thought — here we are coming with a modern state into a very backward area. And we would teach them new methods of agriculture, new ways of dealing with industry. At that time, I was euphoric about the chances that we had now to work an agreement between the two nations that were at war."
Little by little, that idealism slipped and hardened into realism, Livni said. Jerusalem, a city he had hoped would become a model of coexistence, became more and more divided.
Jewish settlements expanded in the occupied West Bank. Palestinian violence grew. In Jerusalem, each side withdrew into its own neighborhoods.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Self Explanation?

I guess I could spend some time explaining the "roots" of, or "rationale" behind, my interest in nude paintings ... I would start from the pure form of enjoyment embedded in watching it (more generally in sexual activity ... although I do not really believe this? :) probably said something about the nudity-phobia in the society, and would end with the calming and anti-depressant effects of painting in general ... So here we go, I did it ;) and I can go back to painting

Professional (Nude) Posters

  • Samples of professional nude posters ... i am having second thoughts about my talents ... :)))
Your favorites?






Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Park in Korea

Also see another "Blog" and a more serious piece of "news" on the park.













Saturday, March 31, 2007

Judgement at Nuremberg

It is a very important, and significant, film. Very well made ... but more importantly, very important questions, the film goes well beyond the director's intentions (in "allmovie")

Friday, March 30, 2007

Elephant

Very nice film. See its review on "all-movie" and "Metametrics".

A low-key (slow? contemplative?) movie ... great choice of music, especially in the feature part (on the set of ... ), on DVD ... The director, "Gus Van Sant" is sort of strange, I liked his "Drugstore Cowboy" a lot, probably his best film. Also "Good Will Hunting" is good, although a bit ... superficial? I have not seen his "My Own Private Idaho", supposed to be a good film

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Iranian art and culure:

I believe we should watch this clip and keep our heads up and believe that it is a representative of our culture, why not?

OK, this is a very hard task to do ... I just watched an episode of PBS great performances on Daniel Barenboim ... it is beyond imagination, especially his knowledge of Beethoven's piano sonatas .... beyond imagination

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

EAR FARM -- 2006 top 15 albums

I only know 3-4 of the bands, but those that I know are good. Anyway, here is the "2006 LIST".

Observations from Iraq:

This is an excerpt from "morning edition --- Tuesday 3-27-07". I was impressed by the story:

An instructor here says U.S. soldiers can face even tougher choices.
Lt. Col. John Nagl wrote a book about fighting insurgents called Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife.
He remembers working closely with an Iraqi police chief who provided valuable intelligence. Then, he learned that the man he had trusted was supporting the enemy — "providing weapons, ammunition, body armor to the insurgents in Fallujah who were then fighting the Marines. And against some of my soldiers."
Nagl said he found himself "faced with a horrible dilemma."
"What do I do to this police chief who has clearly risked his life to help us? Every time I think about it, I wonder if I did the right thing. But ultimately what I decided to do was — nothing. My assessment was that for Ishmael to stay alive this is the minimum he had to do — this is the minimum tax he had to pay to the insurgents."
Americans who once had a mission to completely transform Iraq now pursue the more modest goal of taking any support they can get.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Charlie Rose and Henry Kissinger

The second half of the show is talk with Henry Kissinger. It is really educational, he is totally in a different level:

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Hosein Alizadeh and Hamavayan

The performance was good, very good relative to other Persian music! The performers were very good!
Well, to be truthful, something bothered me ... a lack of genuineness, I am not sure ... But there were points of excellence ...

I think, Iranian music does not value time and creativity enough. They seem to take audience more or less for granted. The repetition is abundant, both in form and even more in content.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Natsuo Kirino: Grotesque

Today, "Fresh air" introduced this Japanese writer, Natsuo Kirino, and I am very curious to read her novels' translation in English. Apparently, she is a crime/noir writer. Her latest translated book is "Grotesque".

By the way, it is a nice feeling listening to "Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto #2 In C Minor, Op. 18 - mv 1.Adagio sostenuto" in the last hours of a year, before the start of a new year. A nostalgic feeling, remembering a year in flashes, ....

Good listens (from EARFARM)

It made sense after I listened to it a few times (loop mode on windows media player!):

Squirrel Nut Zippers - "Wash Jones"

This one is more hooky:

A Place to Bury Strangers - "Never Going Down"

Now, to completely change pace, did you know that there is a rock song of 63 minutes? Ultimate Doom-metal-progressive-rock masterpiece as some claim!!!
Read more on Allmusic and on EARFARM .
Here is a 10 minutes sample:

"Jerusalem (Pt. 4)" by Sleep

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Smart Bird?

I loved this short clip:

http://www.upchucky.net/flash-fun/smart-bird.html

The bird trainer looks very familiar ...

Kings and Queen

I am not a fan of French new wave cinema. I prefer a good US movie to a good French movie in general, but I liked this one:

Kings and Queen (2005): Allmovie and Metacritic

The director (in DVD interview section) praises American movies, and mentions that his idea of making this film has been to combine an American type, melo-drama, with a more comic approach! Anyway, he also mentions " François Truffaut " a few times, the way made me curious to check him out. I am not sure I have seen any movie from Truffaut. have seen, a few years ago, "Breathless" (1960) directed by "Jean-Luc Godard" and screen story by "Truffaut". I did not remember that I liked it particularly ... I don't have a good impression from "Godard", too artistic for my taste ...

In contrast, this is supposedly a very good Turkish movie that I did not like much:

Distant (2002) : Allmovie

Unfortunately ?! I did not like "Capote" either ... what's my excuse for this one?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

South by Southwest

Here is NPR on upcoming 2007 festival:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=8914101

and it introduces a few picks. The official web site:

http://2007.sxsw.com/

Apparently, it features both music and film.

Friday, March 09, 2007

A couple of good movies

Both movies are on the low-budget, independent, side:

JuneBug: Great movie, a must see for someone who wants to know rural America

Pieces of April: Good, good, movie, in contrast has more an urban feeling,

Although both cases have curious similarities

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

binocular, bird-watching, and taking pictures:



Bought a "Bushnell ImageView 11-1025" a couple of days ago. Started with looking at some binoculars at Target?!? and then tried to be smart and buy one with digital camera??!!?? for $70 ???!!!! and the result is in front of you:

Pretty lame pictures, although the binocular itself is not too bad for the price, but the digital camera ....

all are seen from my office window

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Russian Romanticism:

After so many years of listening to classical music I am beginning to get the depth and beauty of Russian Romantic music ... by listening to Rachmaninoff 2nd piano concerto, the 4th minute of the second movement ... it is a heavenly melody

2016-10-17: Still the same, here is a good performance:

https://youtu.be/rEGOihjqO9w




Friday, February 16, 2007

Clap your hands ... Say yeah!!!

A great new band, I have listened to their first album and it is very good. Especially, I liked three tracks 4 [instrumental],5 [details of the war - lyrics], 6 [The skin of my ... - lyrics] together ... they reminded me of Led Zeppelin's "stairway to heaven"

NPR has had programs on them, and praised their second album, but I have not listened to the new album yet.

Monday, February 12, 2007

NPR on heavy metal

Plus nominates for 2006 Grammy in "heavy metal":

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7350342


plus, heavy metal for interrogation!?! well, not surprising really:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1290449

Rachmaninoff: 2nd Piano Concerto

This is an excellent piano concerto:

Rachmaninoff: Concerto #2 In C Minor, Op. 18
http://youtu.be/rEGOihjqO9w



Especially the second movement (Adagio Sostenuto). I have the CD with "Sviatoslav Richter" as the pianist and its fantastic.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Kontroll

Watched this movie tonight: Kontroll
Good, recommend it highly

Dark movie, although surreal but not boring and not much confusing, fast pace, good music, humorous, a bit violent

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Beet - Metal

The distinction between music genres can be quite misleading. For example, listen to the second movement of Beethoven's first piano sonata:

Sonata No. 1 for Piano and Cello in F major, op. 5 No. 1. II Rondo. Allegro vivace
Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzCDoe5e9Bo

It has a heavy-metal hidden feature that I cannot describe but I am sure that will be much more apparent with a different orchestration. For example, note around 1'30'': It is amazing, the power of the beats ...

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

From Inside ...

What do you think about this comment:


Hi,

This is a voice of sanity from Israel. Someone has to stop this madness!
Israel is about to drop nuclear bombs on Tehran, Iran's oil and nuclear
facilities, This April!!! Good Innocent Iranians will die for nothing!
and the Good Inoccent Israelies will die too after Iran responds...How
can we stop this madness? The Media in my country has already started to
prepare public opinion for war with Iran. How can it be stopped?

Random thoughts

The reality of leaving in a random world is huge, and is a direct consequence of the "contemplative" power of human beings, and then comes religion as our guard against it.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Question + Prediction

1) What does it mean if you have a lot of problem making insignificant decisions, so that small decisions become more difficult than significant decisions?

2) If oil price does not drop to a low level, it is very likely for "AHMADINEJAD" to become the next Hitler ...


Monday, 2011-11-21:
It is amazing to read these old posts. To see how I did not have any clue that these insignificant decisions are what need attention. Good progress after four years!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Fandango (duet)- Boccherini

Very nice duet, amazing

https://youtu.be/zhFF6JwpvAo



A great video from the guitarist Julian Bream. Actually the two people are interpreted by himself, but separated in two videos. It is quite funny.
  • Wednesday, January 03, 2007

    Watching Falcons:

    I have been watching the falcon/hawk for the past hour or so, and it has dived into a group of pigeons at least 10 times or more without catching even one! It is very instructive to see how much energy the bird spends on hunting ...

    Clear Shallow Water

    I started reading this novel, `` The Driver ,'' by Hart Hanson , and I did not like it much and decided to stop. But then I came ba...