Friday, October 09, 2015

Band Review: Call Tracy

Call Tracy is a pop punk band from Prague.

I enjoyed listening to them. There were times when I thought they could be amped up more, especially for their earlier music, but I have listened to their July release, Golden Cage, a few times now, and I am pretty happy with it.

"Hard to Find" was the track that made the strongest impression on me, due to the way the vocals are used. They tinge the music with regret and nostalgia when the instruments would otherwise feel more aggressive.

The band has just returned from a tour playing several dates in Italy, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, which they referred to as their first tour. This seems like an important milestone. For a band that has already produced solid work in the recording studio, being able to perform well live should open an exciting new phase for them.

Definitely worth checking out. Fans of Blink-182 may especially like.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Band Review: Caleb Ryan

I have only been able to find one song by Caleb Ryan.

Initially I thought there were more, but if you follow the link from "Dreams" on iTunes to the profile, the rest of the songs are a different Caleb Ryan, whose sound is more acoustic and country. The "Dreams" Caleb Ryan, possibly better referred to as Caleb Freeken, creates electronic music and is from Utah instead of Texas.

It was odd to find the level of presence established with only one song, but it looks like Ryan started with streaming video games and creating other Youtube content, where the music is a more recent development.

So there is not a lot to review yet. I think "Dreams" sounds pretty good. If he can put out more songs of a similar quality he should do okay, especially by appealing to his existing fan base.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

This next section: To Do

Finally, here is the column of things that I feel like I need to do. Not all of them came in conjunction with specific things in the Problems and Wants columns. Some of them are even already done, which is comforting. There is still quite a bit to do.

I actually wrote about the whole paper that the columns came from in early June. I probably didn't dig deeply enough then, but maybe I needed to have the shallow look at it before I could get here.

To Do:

Make a Vision Board
This seems like it should heavily incorporate the Wants, and it is something that I feel like I need to do, but I have a hard time picturing it. Part of it is that I am so verbal that when I am conceptualizing what I want, it is all words, but it feels important to come up with a visual representation as well.

Meet physical needs
This comes from the realization that when I am disconnected from my body I don't take care of it. It means letting myself have adequate sleep and proper nutrition, but also getting my shoulders looked at. It means not just listening to my body, but answering it affirmatively.

Moderate Changes
I have written about this before specifically in regards to making sure to get at least one serving of whole grains plus three different fruits or vegetables. I do better when I remember to do this, and it is also helpful if I make a point of eating every three hours, alternating meals and snacks. That takes a lot of planning, and I don't always manage it, but it helps and I want my physical needs met, so...

Write a fat heroine
I think I actually expressed the importance of this best after I drew my first comic and wrote about that. I didn't think specifically about someone who looks like me as much then, but I did see how you feel differently about a character, even when it's you, and how important things can come from that.

I don't know when I will have time to do this specifically, but there are some changes that have already taken place that I think need to be treated separately. I think I will get there Tuesday.

Look at chakras
I did this one! And I am not a chakra expert, but the image it gave me, of building up from a firm foundation, has been important.

Month of reading screenplays
I did this one too! And it was a good experience where I learned a lot. I still have not written any screenplays since then. I started one, but I realized that the premise was too ridiculous for the serious tone. I haven't decided whether to be more or less ridiculous yet.

Create comics for other works
Okay, one of the options you have on Amazon Studios is to add storyboards, and because drawing and comics are important to me, I would like to add a drawn segment for each screenplay there. I would like to draw the near drowning segment in Family Ghosts also; maybe I could post it on Deviant Art or something. I don't know when I will get to this, but I am sure my drawing ability will make it frustrating. I will do it anyway.

Work on family history
I am on a pretty good flow for this. It is something where this current cycle will last for a few months, and then start another multi-month cycle, so this will go on for years, but I am pursuing it in a sustainable manner, which is what was needed.

Complete contacting singles
This is something I have been working on for a few months, for making contact with all of the single adults in the ward. The people left have missing or wrong phone numbers, or they never answer, and so I am kind of stalled, but I think I know what to do next.

Throwback Thursdays and year of selfies
I am getting pretty close to the end of the throwbacks, and there have been some good insights here, some of which have had their own blog posts. I do have more clarity on the selfies, where I think they will need to be daily and not merely weekly, and starting on the Friday after the last throwback would make sense, except my camera just broke. Of course, people usually do selfies with phones anyway. Regardless, I do need to do a year of daily selfies, and technical issues may delay the start. That is for getting comfortable with my appearance.

Transcribe mission journals
There were some really hard times on my mission, some of them specifically pertaining to relationships with others, and with depression, and I think there will be something in going over them.

Bridgestone course, other driving classes
This would be to get comfortable with driving. In the other blog post I mention stunt driving courses and maybe going on a racetrack, but I don't know how available those would be, or how expensive they would be. This would be a course for getting used to different road conditions and knowing how to respond, and it seems practical.

Costumes and dress up
I still don't know what this will mean. I have written about having given up on costumes because I don't like drawing attention to myself visually, but then does fighting that mean embracing those fears and freely being hideous? Does it mean trying to look good? Should I try a cosplay? Because I just missed ComicCon? Maybe it will be all of the above.

Reading list
I have not spent enough time digesting the very long reading list. I have written out a column of the book titles next to my three columns, and I will start going over them again. I don't know that each book will get its own post, but I at least need to think about each book individually and see if I have more to say.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

This next section: Wants

Many of the wants came directly from the Problems section; if this is a problem, I want it fixed. Some of them are also things that I would just like to have. Maybe I have had them before, and liked them, and maybe sometimes they are things that I have never had but would like to try.


Be connected to body
I think I covered this enough yesterday.

See good in myself
This is intended as a counter to the shame, in that if there is always this feeling that there is something wrong with me, then it could be helpful to remember what is right with me. It may not work. I remember being in a really bad place once and I did write out a whole page of things that were good about me, and I'm not sure it made much difference. Still, it could help.

I love doing this so much, and I just can't afford it in this current state. I am so grateful that my sister did pay for me to go to Pennsylvania, but she can't keep doing that.

Have flying dreams
Remembering that this used to be a common thing and now it never happens, I feel - possibly mistakenly - that having that dream again would be a meaningful indicator of healing. It would mean I have gotten something back.

Be financially secure
Right now it is not just that I don't have money for fun things; I am in constant dread on how I am going to pay for necessities. That may very well be the worst thing about my life right now.

Be able to give
That being said, I am always seeing things where I want to be able to help. I have damaged myself sometimes by helping, and I am past that now, where I will really only give the money if I have it, but it's depressing not to have it.

Not have loneliness be a problem
I am not sure whether this means not being lonely because I have companionship, or reconciling myself to a certain amount of solitude, but I want to be free from the pain of it.

Know my worth
This kind of goes with the shame, but also with the loneliness. I am always worried that I annoy people, and I frequently can't share the things that I want to share with anyone who is interested. Even if that is not intended as personal rejection, it feels like it, so add that to perpetual singleness and it can feel like I am this unwanted oddball. What I want is to at least have perspective on that, especially if it's them and not me, but even if it is me.

Be able to trust
I can see really valid issues for not trusting, but I suspect that I am too untrusting. It isn't even always personal. I worry about whether enough people will bring food to a potluck, so will try and bring multiple things. A lot of my overfunctioning comes from there. I want to be better about that, even if all it means is deciding that sometimes it's not important what everyone else does.

Be okay with my appearance
Previously this would always have been losing weight, whether there was a specific number in mind or not. I would still love to be thinner, but I think it is more important to accept myself as I am. I don't think I can make any further progress until I do. The fat has always been a large factor in the shame.

Feel cherished
I am not officially saying that I want to be in a romantic relationship, but this would be something that I would have previously expected to get from that type of relationship. I don't know what those possibilities are; I just know that it's something that I want. I'm sure it is more fundamental that I value myself, but if I am honest about my desires then I want to be treasured by someone else. Maybe I have to treasure myself first. If I fully understood everything I wouldn't be writing about it.

Monday, October 05, 2015

This next section: Problems

I mentioned previously taking notes on a big sheet of paper. It helped, but it was also pretty disorganized, jotting things down as they occurred to me. I went through again and broke them down into three rough categories: problems, wants, and to do.

These are the things that I am going to be focusing on for this next round of self analysis and (I hope) progress. Nothing should be too  unfamiliar, but when I spread out writings so much, it is helpful sometimes to have an outline. This week the posts will be going over the three columns.

There is one other thing segment that ended up being written across the top, but I think I will get to that next Monday.

After that, going forward there will probably be many blog posts about these things, and there will be journal sessions that may not be replicated on the blog, and other experiences, but this is what I am looking at.

So many of them have already been at least partially covered that I am going to include links unless there is something new that I already know is new (as opposed to things that I have not figured out yet, but will). These posts will act as handy references while I am going through this.


Disconnected from Body
I had actually made some progress here, and then slid back a bit. It is not automatic yet, so requires consistent effort.

Ashamed to cry, have negative emotions

Ashamed in general
This comes up in pieces in lots of places, but I'm not sure I have ever really delved into this persistent feeling that something about me is bad. That might be something I have to do.

This one is kind of outdated. Well, this is a topic that will come up again.

I don't believe I can be loved

Trouble trusting
I'm not sure that I have any posts that are really clear on this. It comes up in fragments in other places.

Can't drive

Worried about Mom

Bad feelings about Dad

Nothing left for me

Shoulders ache
I did mention this a little in the previous post about the mattress. I did get a massage, but it focused on my neck, which had some issues left over from a soft tissue injury. I think it is less likely that it is fasciitis now and maybe shoulder impingement, but I need to ask my doctor about it. I am scared it will be expensive, because even when it's just co-pays, those can add up. But I have to do something. It really hurts. I don't know if any of it is emotional, but one time when I was thinking of my responsibilities, and worrying, it suddenly came to me "No wonder my shoulders ache!"

Feel burdened

Friday, October 02, 2015

Band Review SNCKPCK

Snckpck does record songs, but it is probably better not to think of him as a band.

Landing on the home page the first thing you see is merch. Even once you start looking at albums, there is a definite theme in the graphics shown. I want to say the main product is cuteness, though that is kind of an oversimplification.

There are a lot of animals and bright colors and positivity. They are not always cute, but generally in that area. Tracks also feature animals a lot, and "beautiful" and "I love you" get used frequently. There is an intention of good-hearted innocence, often veering into silly and babyish, but I am sure it is sincere.

In many cases lyrics are more spoken than sung, and while there are some instrumental tracks that sound pretty good, the musical quality in general can be kind of grating. Occasional visits for a boost probably works better than extended listening.

If this is what interests you there is a lot of material out there, and it is all freely available.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Band Review: Against All Hope

I believe I am reviewing a Metalcore band from Fredericksburg, Virginia that has relocated to Everett, Washington, but it has been a confusing path.

It started with being followed by a band that seemed to be named With Separation. That the Twitter handle was @UTLfxbgband, which does not correlate to With Separation in any way that I can see, was unusual, but the link gong to a page for a band called Against All Hope was even odder. I can see that the Twitter handle @againstallhope is taken (by a Deathcore band in the Canary Islands) so that could be a factor.

That did make me a little nervous about reviewing - like, if I go where this link takes me, am I overlooking a band actually named With Separation? That was not my only concern, though, because there was also only one song. I punted, bumping them down to the bottom of the spreadsheet, and now they are up at the top again, so I am just going for it.

There is one song, available through Bandcamp. It is called "Ecclesiastes". It is not bad. I am not a huge fan of 'core in general, but there is good energy with the guitars. They add a more melodic vocal counterpoint in the chorus that provides some conflict with the shouting and creates a sense of struggle. Coming in at a little under six minutes, it breaks with its punk roots to nod at the metal ancestry as well.

That is all that I know to say.