Tron: Legacy – Main Theme

This is gorgeous, and I’m totally jealous of this guy’s ability to play, the light up keyboard that he’s got with the excellent piano samples, and then the “Guitar Hero” type player-piano roll that comes down to tell you which notes you’re meant to play. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜Š Obviously he already knows how to play this, so the falling notes are just a bonus… but take a close look at them each time a note is played. ๐Ÿง The digital “gel” that contains the particle effects, where the “dust” from a recently played note gets “pushed out of the way” by the next note’s exploding dust. ๐Ÿค“ Should be played full screen, in HD, maybe with headphones, and definitely in the dark…

Get A Hobby

Bad dreams ended up waking me last night around 3am, and I’ve been up ever since. Kinda doesn’t matter what sleep schedule I keep these days, given that I’m not going anywhere and I didn’t even realize what day it was today. Not meaning April Fools Day, just meaning that I didn’t realize it was Wednesday. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ Point being, anxiety filled sleep, waking up early… it didn’t lead to much of a day for me. I did text with Dad and Genesee a bit, and she got me thinking about playing the keyboard again. ๐Ÿค”๐ŸŽน๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

I forget what she said, but it reminded me that thanks to the YouTube Music app searching my own videos for music to add… I ran across this old video of me playing Don’t Wake Me by Skillet. ๐Ÿ˜Ž And when I did, I realized that if you put that keyboard in front of me now I’d have no idea how to play it. Elton John made a comment on his Melbourne Symphony album, that he was playing some songs that were so old that he had to re-learn them as well for that concert. ๐Ÿ™‚ So that’s one thing I’m gonna try to make time for… “keyboard dickin’ around time” every now and then.

And then thanks to NASCAR and iRacing running these virtual races on the weekend… and apparently a dirt track / winged-car race tonight… that’s got my mind back on video games. ๐Ÿค“๐ŸŽฎ๐Ÿ“บ I’ve got an XBOX One and a Playstation 4, yet it’s probably been at least six months since I’ve even turned either of them on. ๐Ÿ˜• Once I got into a funk a while back, my brain just never seemed interested in reminding me that I’ve got kewl shit that I could play. So I’m gonna go through my games tonight and figure out which system I’ve got the best racing games for, and I’ll probably try to re-familiarize myself with all that. ๐Ÿค” I used to be good. Years ago I was really layin’ ’em down at the road courses, or at least it felt that way. (Wow, that was from 2013…)

I don’t wanna get ahead of myself, since I’ve already got a couple options there, but I’m probably gonna play around with time-lapse and long-exposure phone photography like I usually do each spring… plus I’ve got a couple new photogrammetry apps for creating 3D models from a series of regular digital photos, so that might keep my attention as well. Meh… we’ll see, I guess.

Don’t mind me… just doing a little more “talking out loud” to hopefully burn these ideas into my brain a little more effectively. ๐Ÿคฏ It’s not like I’m making valuable use of my time otherwise, so I might as well be doing something that I used to consider fun, eh? ๐Ÿ˜ All this time stuck in the house might help me figure out where “old me” went. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป

Balance It Out

There’s only so much that I can do to prepare for the various things coming up in my near future, but I still end up feeling like I “didn’t do enough” work on it – if at the end of the day I don’t feel like it has eaten some of my soul. ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜… I’m being dramatic, but it is pretty damn stressful when I get to over-thinking it.

So today I took a few hours in the morning before I even started thinking about it, although my cousin then texted me about help with troubleshooting her laptop that had just died. ๐Ÿ˜ I told her that I’m currently booked up, but that I had just spent several days bringing my own laptop back from the dead, so I might be able to help when I get some free time. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป

During the middle of the day I did focus on some things that I definitely needed to research further, but in order to flush it from my brain for the evening (other than talking about it here) I just got in the car, rolled the windows down, and took a cruise as I listened to some of the older and / or more obscure songs on my Spotify playlist. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ It actually helped, since right now my living room is littered with letters, hearing notices, research, rescheduling, insurance paperwork, etc. ๐Ÿ˜ Just getting away from that made a difference.

(I suppose I just shouldn’t ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป leave ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป that ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป stuff ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป out ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป once I’m done with it for the day. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜)

But for the time being I’ll just have to play it by ear like today, making sure that I don’t dwell on this stuff for longer than I should… although I know that I can’t “run away” in my car each time it feels too heavy, so we’ll see what I figure out. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜ Today wasn’t bad though. And I was joking at first, but I think I really will pick all this stuff up in an orderly fashion and put it on the desk for the night. ๐Ÿ™‚ Out of sight, out of mind.

Barfing Out Paragraphs (BTS)

It’s probably been a couple years ago now, but sometime back in the recent past Cassi introduced me to BTS. At first it was almost like a hostage situation ๐Ÿ˜… where when I would visit she would play different videos of theirs and “make” me watch. Then after I warmed up to them she’d just send playlists, knowing that I’d now watch them without her having to watch over me to make sure. ๐Ÿ˜ It’s a difficult thing… getting someone to give “your music” a fair chance… and even more so when most of the lyrics are in Hangul. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

But I quickly started to see what she saw in them. The lyrics of so many of their songs are filled with meaning… not typical pop music schlock, for the most part. And with seven members in the group, their choreography in their live performances and videos is definitely on point. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ƒ And then there’s that general feeling of being impressed at how hard they work to record their songs, produce their videos, learn the insane amount of choreography, going on tour, etc… meanwhile, most of them are also trying to learn English. ๐Ÿ˜ง The amount of dedication to what they do is ridiculous.

If you ever find yourself interested enough to watch some of their videos, make sure that you have the English captions turned on… or find someone who has made a Hangul / Romanization / English lyric video. After a while, it’s surprising how many words you’ll find yourself picking up and being able to repeat. ๐Ÿค“ And as for listening in the car or elsewhere… once you’ve gotten the vibe of what the song means from the videos, you can kinda take that with you without having to understand the language.

But since the time that I was “forced” to watch their stuff, to today… when I’m probably as big of a fan as Cassi is, if not more… I’ve definitely taken to them, and I’ve got a BTS / K-Pop playlist on Spotify that’s probably 60 songs deep. ๐Ÿ˜ I’ve been absorbing the language, watching travel videos from SK, giving other K-Pop artists a chance as well… it’s surprising how much interest I have in all this stuff that I hadn’t even thought of just a few years ago.

But BTS is huge now… and their fans, who go by “ARMY” … those of us old enough to understand, you’d call ARMY folks “Beatles Level” fans. ๐Ÿ˜ Most of them are young girls, but there’s a growing percentage of ARMY that cover all ages, all nationalities, boys, girls, men, women. ๐Ÿง’๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿฆฐ๐Ÿ‘ฑ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘ฑ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿง”๐Ÿป๐Ÿง“๐Ÿป๐Ÿง‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿฆณ We’re definitely outnumbered by the screaming and crying young girls, heh… but we still count.

But that’s the concert that I got the tickets for. ๐Ÿ˜ณ They’re doing a world tour, but unfortunately no stops in Ohio. ๐Ÿ˜’ It was funny, on the Ticketmaster site, after waiting in the presale queue – once I was able to see the seat map to try and pick two seats, all of the blue dots (seats) were turning to gray (taken) so quickly it was like someone was playing a sped up version of whack-a-mole. ๐Ÿ˜„

Being a bucket list concert, I went for two seats (on an aisle… heh) in the first level of the bowl seating. No nosebleed seats, where you’re so high that you feel like if you stumble you’ll fall and disappear into the depths of the stadium, never to be seen again. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜… I actually tried to get tickets last year, but they sold out before I could even pull the trigger. And this year, Cassi actually has a boyfriend now… but that’s hopefully only a slight complication. ๐Ÿค”

I actually like the d00d, and I think he’s generally okay with me, and half of the time when I see Cassi now I also see him, so that makes it easier to try to plan something out where everyone is happy. ๐Ÿ™‚ He knows what a big fan Cassi is, and how much this concert means to her, plus he knew coming into it that there was a chance I’d be getting me and her tickets this year if possible. And he’d go to the concert, but he’s not really a fan fan, and the tickets were expensive… so he’ll likely just come along on our road trip and be a part of everything except the show. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think it’ll be fine…

And like I told Cassi… he has every right to put the kibosh on it if he wanted to. Not many guys would be okay with their girlfriend going to a concert with an ex, let alone on an overnight road trip – so I bought the tickets with the idea that he’d be going too. But that’s if his schedule will allow it. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ฌ So if he can’t go, I’m not sure what will happen… but I told Cassi to let him know there’d be no hard feelings if he was like, “Umm… no, I don’t think I want my girlfriend going away with her ex for two nights alone, without me. Yeah, uhh… no.” ๐Ÿ˜‚ No hard feelings from me, anyway… but woo would Cassi be upset if she didn’t get to go to this concert.

Wow… I rambled quite a bit here. ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿค“ It helps though… helps me start mentally putting the pieces in place, keeps me excited and looking forward to it, and also keeps me on top of the situation so everything will go down with as few hitches as possible. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป But my life is so sedate, and I do very few “big things” anymore… and this is a big-ass thing, so of course I’m gonna be a little anxious about it. ๐Ÿ˜ But right now my anticipation and excitement is far outweighing those thoughts.

Terminate Background Process?

I feel almost silly for realizing this only just now, but I’ve figured out why my sleep got screwed up… why I have been feeling a little off. With as “aware” as I am regarding my struggles with anxiety, you’d think that any new potential issues would be immediately apparent. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Nope. ๐Ÿคจ For whatever reason, I typically don’t recognize an inciting moment until it’s already had enough time to have an effect. Like walking out of your house into a rain storm and then wondering an hour later why you’re soaked.

Not wanting to bury the lede any further, I’m pretty sure that ordering concert tickets the other day was what put me a bit out of whack. So you can maybe see why I wouldn’t have suspected that as the cause. Since, on its face, that concert is something that I obviously think will be fun, something that I want to do, something that I’m choosing to do. ๐Ÿ™‚ So the anticipation of waiting to see if I’d even be able to get tickets, and then managing to get really decent seats – all of the “Yay! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ of that masked the subconscious concerns that I always have when it comes to attending a concert these days.

I’ll make a separate post about the show, but yeah… when just this past year I skipped a Skillet concert that was less than 30 miles away because it was a general admission show, and I didn’t want to risk how beat up I’d feel afterwards – committing to a much, much bigger concert, and one that will require hours of travel time just to get there, it’s kind of a big deal for me. ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿฅด

So, without me even realizing it, I think my brain was running a background process that was contemplating all of the various issues that could pop up. ๐Ÿง โ€ผ๏ธ The main concern, obviously, is how I’m going to physically feel… before, during, and after. The long drive, the masses of people, trying not to “bop around” too much during the show… ๐Ÿ˜ and then the long drive back home, which will likely feel even longer than the drive there. When I can’t predict how broken I’m going to feel on a day to day basis here at home… it’s just giving quite a bit up to faith that it’ll all work out okay. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ

Now, despite all that I’ve typed here… I’m not sweating it as much as it probably sounds. ๐Ÿ˜ I’m still excited about it, still glad that I have something to look forward to, and planning it all out will even be fun. Figuring out the best travel routes, of course staying over the night before and the night after, checking everything out on Google Earth, and then the concert itself… I really am looking forward to it. I’d say I’m like 90% “Yay! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ and only 10% “Ugh… this could be a nightmare ๐Ÿ˜ณ

More details soon… ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐ŸŽŸ๏ธ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐ŸŽŸ๏ธ ย  ๐ŸŽตย ๐ŸŽค๐Ÿง๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿง‘๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿคโ€๐Ÿง‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘ฌ๐Ÿป๐Ÿง‘๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿคโ€๐Ÿง‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท ๐ŸŽต

BTS Comeback Trailer

Guess I haven’t made an entry for a little while. Been feeling a little sick, sleep has been screwy, and then of course I had my monthly doctor appointment yesterday which means several days of bullshit in order to get my meds. ๐Ÿ˜  I was able to pick up one of them today, but I’m not doing the “pay for it first and then we’ll refund you” thing like I usually do. Gonna try to wait them out until it is approved, since it legally has to be eventually. Meh… I’ve already explained and complained about that shit, and this month’s no different.

But there was something that put me in a good mood the other day. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ BTS released their comeback video for their next album, with a song featuring Suga called Shadow. If you’re a fan, you’ve probably already seen it, but if not… watch it first, before you read everything that I have to say about it below the video. ๐Ÿ˜

(Make sure you turn on captions by hovering over the video and changing the selection at the bottom.)

I’m a huge BTS fan now, thanks to Cassi subjecting me to their music long enough to where I began to like and appreciate it, but I’m probably just a bit short of being considered Army. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ My bias in the group is Jungkook, but with this video I think Suga just jumped ahead of J-Hope for second place. But for as short as this song is, to squeeze in three distinctly different styles… along with all the visuals… it’s just impressive for a “sneak peek” into their next album that drops on February 21st.

Okay, here’s the shit I wanna comment on, sorta in order as it happens in the video…

  • First thing I noticed is that the music is actually the background for the chorus of Fake Love. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ Also, the way he runs down the hallway is a flashback to Jungkook running in the Fake Love MV.
  • Second thing: Suga rapping in English. ๐Ÿ˜ณ Wat? ๐Ÿ˜…
  • As he runs down the hallway, it’s him taking all of the ambition that he’s thinking about, and choosing to break through to where the lights are bright and the shadows are waiting. Clothes change from light (good) to dark (bad).
  • Once he’s broken through and found himself in the spotlight, gained the fame, he feels the weight of the shadows of what his life used to be like – before he became a celebrity… making him question if it’s all worth it, basically abandoning who you once were in order to become what he now is.
  • Once he’s on the stage, all of the people in the audience are just blank, still, and holding their phones in the air to record – rather than fully experiencing what he’s doing. ๐Ÿฅบ He even looks dejected as he looks down on them. (Kind of a burn to some of the fans.)
  • At different points in the video, “ORUL82?” pops up for a few frames… which is obviously a reference to that track on a much older album, which was about following your dreams no matter what it takes – but it didn’t have the dark spin of Suga now knowing the negatives that go along with fame. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ
  • Then you see the two versions of him… one on stage performing, and the other in the audience – apparently representing the younger version of him that would watch other performers and want to be famous like that.
  • Then the “shadow” version of him takes over, telling him how those feelings of uncertainty, regret, insecurity are always going to be there, that there’s no escaping the bad feelings if you’re gonna also strive to get the good things that come with being at the top of your game.
  • Even though the shadow side is portrayed as being “dark” or “bad” … that’s the side that has his confidence, that knows both good and bad are inside of him, and that those two sides are gonna fight sometimes – but that if he learns to accept it he’ll be able to move forward with more peace. ๐Ÿ˜Œ
  • But with the way the song ends, it looks like he still hasn’t been able to reconcile both the good and the bad, as he just gets lost in the crowd of swarming fans.

So yeah, in a way it’s the typical “be careful what you wish for” or “it’s so hard being famous” type narratives that a thousand other songs have, but the visuals in this video really do tell a compelling story. Lots of callbacks from when they were younger and much less in the spotlight, using cues from Fake Love in both the music and visuals, but with their shadows now stalking them all right outside of their hotel rooms, the visual reminder of “ORUL82?” which had a much more optimistic view on striving to hit your goals in life, etc.

It really makes me wonder what the album is gonna be like. ๐Ÿ™‚ The current phase of releases is under the “Map of The Soul” theme, and this album has “Shadow” and another track that will be called “Ego” – so I don’t know if it’s gonna be a half-and-half album where the first part is all optimistic and light, and the second half is all hard and dirty, tackling stuff like anxiety and depression and loneliness or what. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Heh… I say that I’m not Army, but as soon as that video came out I began noticing this, noticing that, catching all the references, etc… so maybe I am getting closer. ๐Ÿ˜ I actually tried to get tickets for me and Cassi when they were touring in the US, but they sold out so damn quickly. ๐Ÿ™ By the time I was able to access the Ticketmaster site and try to select two seats side by side – after “You are in the queue” for about 15 minutes – all that was left were single seats scattered around the stadium. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ Hoping we get another chance this year.

If you wanna see a ridiculously well-choreographed concert performance from them, click here. ๐Ÿ˜Œ

The “Subjectively Positive” One

This is gonna be another really long one… it’s more fun for me this way. ๐Ÿ˜ Settle in and enjoy.

Now, this is something that’s almost impossible to explain to someone who doesn’t or hasn’t experienced severe social anxiety. ๐Ÿค” But last Saturday, after spending about a week and a half without even leaving my house, while trying (and failing) to adjust to a new medication, and still tending to my gimpy knee… I had to go to a concert in Columbus. ๐Ÿ˜ At the Schottenstein Center, which holds about 18,000 people. 18,000 loud, screaming, drinking, super enthusiastic, having an awesome time, concert-goin’ people. ๐Ÿ˜ย (God bless ’em… heh) Oh, and we had “Meet and Greet” VIP passes for Debbie Gibson and Tiffany after the show.

The story begins last year, when my friend Jim got us tickets to see Phil Collins at Nationwide Arena. I had seen Genesis before, but never Phil on his own… so it was a bucket list thing. We had a great time, so in the fall of last year when “The Mixtape Tour” tickets came available – I went ahead and got our tickets, sort of as a birthday gift / way to pay back his generosity re: the Phil Collins tickets.

Flash forward to last Saturday… and it took every ounce of oomph that I had to make myself get up, get ready, and go to the venue to meet Jim. ๐Ÿฅบ My anxiety was so bad that up until the minute I was finally able to make myself get in the car, I wasn’t even sure I was gonna be able to do it. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ But I had already cancelled on Jim on a few other things, and I would feel like a giant shit if I bailed on him again, and he ended up just going by himself. So I honestly went more because of Jim, rather than a desire to actually go. Well, no… that isn’t entirely accurate… because I absolutely wanted to go… heh… like I said, it’s hard to explain how anxiety can overrule anything that you think you might want or be able to do. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Heh… I’m realizing that this isn’t gonna sound like a positive experience, so let me go ahead and interject here to say that I did have a good time while I was there, and was glad that I went. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was the getting there and getting home that were the biggest hurdles for my uncooperative brain. And of course there had to be construction all along the freeway on the way there, which is always fun – anxiety or not. And then when I got there, because I left so late, I ended up having to walk… *consulting google maps* … I had to walk “Total distance:ย 2,885.24 ftย (879.42 m)from the parking lot to the venue. ๐Ÿ˜ง But I had my cane, I took my time, and didn’t die too much. ๐Ÿ˜ In fact, not only did it help me to unwind from the traffic, but it continued my DIY physical therapy that I’m trying – to avoid the costly, painful, inconvenient, time consuming, real thing.

The thing that probably saved the night for me, once we found our way to our seats, was that we were at the absolute top of the seats. Literally everyone in front of us, with the backs of our chairs being against the wall. ๐Ÿ˜Š Plus the seat next to me was empty. ๐Ÿ˜ I can’t stress enough how much of a difference it makes to be “outside” of the humans rather than surrounded by a sea of them in every direction. So for the duration of the actual show, I was golden. ๐Ÿ™‚ Me and Jim, catching up on shit, no assholes around to be a nuisance, a decent view of everything due to the big LED screens, despite being in the very definition of “the nosebleed seats” for the concert… and it was awesome. I was glad that I “made” myself go.

Then the show ended. ๐Ÿ˜ณ At which point we had to navigate through the herd of exiting humans, trying to figure out where we had to be to do the Meet and Greet part of our experience. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ Buttloads of people, slight confusion of where to go, the prospect of meeting a couple of celebrity singers… so, again, I found myself *this close* to just walking out one of the nearby doors and just waiting for Jim to go and do that part on his own. But he said the right things I needed to hear, I took a few woosah moments, and once a lot of the people were gone we found our way to what was essentially the basement under all of the seating. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

Sorry, I’ll try to tighten this up a bit. ๐Ÿ˜ There were different M&G packages, some with just Debbie, some with just Tiffany, some with both – so thankfully, even though they had us all crammed into a relatively small waiting space, we got to do our thing pretty quickly since we had the dual package. Got a hug from Tiffany, they both autographed my lanyard, and while there was a little confusion with the official person taking the photos – it gave me some time to actually talk with Debbie while we had a short wait.

She asked if I had a good time and I told her “Oh, absolutely…” with a smile, but since other people were distracted I was able to lean over to her and kinda quietly say “… but man is my social anxiety kickin’ right about now.” Heh… probably a little weird, but it would have been awkward just standing there silently as we waited for the photographer to get ready. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ But she just smiled back at me and said she actually knows what I mean, and that before each show she usually stays in her dressing room with her piano and just plays some random jazz or classical to help her get rid of herย pre-show anxiety. ๐Ÿ™‚ And that was a comforting thing to hear… since rather than her thinking I was a weirdo, she could actually relate. Then we got the pic, I got a hug from her as well, and that was that.

Well, that was it for me I mean. ๐Ÿ˜ Jim still had to get his picture with them… but keep in mind, Jim wasn’t Jim for the night… he went as Squirtman. ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜„ The orange body suit, the cape, the Squirtman puppet, flashing LED glasses, the cowboy hat… heh… the whole deal. That was actually another good thing throughout the night – because when you’re next to Squirtman, you’re essentially invisible – which was perfect. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

He got there an hour before the doors even opened, so he was parked right in the first lot and was able to give me a ride out to my car – since all of the walking and stairs and such did finally take its toll on me. ๐Ÿ˜•ย I did have the typical “I need to be home”ย voice repeating in my head as I was driving, but the goody feeling from the concert buzz made the long drive home much more bearable than some drives I’ve made in the past. ๐Ÿ™‚

So yeah… yay me. ๐Ÿ˜Š I did a thing. ๐Ÿ˜

If you remember any of these bands or singers and wanna check out some clips, here ya go:

Alrighty, that’s about it. Congrats if you made it through all of my (hopefully) descriptive weirdo rambling. ๐Ÿ˜‰