from Palos Park, IL

  • Activity

    • Lost In Translation

      14 years ago


      Since I was bored, I decided to see what would happen if I used Babel Fish Translator to translate some English text to Japanese, then take the Japanese text and translate it back to English. I decided to use some famous proverbs. A dash in between quotes signify what the original quote turned into when it was translated back into English.

      "A penny saved is a penny earned." - "As for the penny which is rescued it is the penny which is obtained."

      "A rolling stone gathers no moss." - "The stone of rolling does not gather the moss."

      "Actions speak louder than words." - "From word you speak behavior with yell."

      "Never look a gift horse in the mouth." - "Never, at the gift of the mouth you do not have to look."

      "Nothing is certain but death and taxes." - "Is not certain, not to be dead tax at all."

      "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." - "The day apple left, it maintains the doctor."

      "April showers bring May flowers." - "The April shower comes having the May flower."

      "Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you." - "Being to desire in order to designate those as you make other things."

      "Cleanliness is next to godliness." - "As for the cleanliness there is next door of Satoshi God."

      "Dead men tell no tales." - "The person who dies is not the story."

    • Sophomore Year/Summer Reading

      14 years ago


      Well, I went back to school last Thursday. It's going to be a really tough year: all honors classes and one AP course a semsester (Microeconomics this semester, Government next). However, I feel that English is probably going to be the toughest class. My teacher really seems to take pride in being a tough grader, but we will be reading some books I'm looking forward to (Siddhartha and To Kill a Mockingbird most of all). On the bright side, all my teachers do seem helpful and nice, and perhaps best of all: my Spanish 3 teacher will actually teach me some Spanish (unlike my Spanish 2 teacher last year).

      I did have to do some reading over the summer for English, but you only had to read two books of your choice (from a list of about 10) and do some small tasks for each book read. I chose Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five (a book I haven't read in about 1 or 2 years) and Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End. Those were really the only books that appealed to me; there were a few books clearly geared more towards females (Joy Luck Club, anyone?), some very long books you'd prefer to take your time with (Don Quixote), and I find Ayn Rand's writing to be pretentious, difficult, and dry, so Anthem was out.

      Anyways, the books I did read were both excellent. I don't think I need to list the merits of Slaughterhouse-Five, as it's an undisputed classic and carries some great messages. I do feel, though, that not enough people know about Childhood's End.

      I will admit that I picked it because A. I knew Arthur C. Clarke from 2001: A Space Odyssey and B. There was a Pink Floyd song called "Childhood's End". Granted, the song ended up having nothing to do with the book, but it's still a great book. It's about an alien race called the Overlords who come to Earth and unlike so many cliché science fiction novels, where the aliens conquer Earth and humanity ends up rebelling, they actually take steps to eliminate war, poverty, ignorance, etc. They become a benevolent dictatorship of sorts. However, people are wondering if they have a hidden agenda, and are trying to make humanity complacent and lazy to make conquest of the human race an easier task. However, the book is ultimately about how the Overlords help usher humanity out of its childhood - the book is perfectly titled. The events that took place at the end of the second and all of the third part reminded me a lot of the Human Instrumentality concept in Neon Genesis Evangelion. Hideaki Anno must've been reading some Clarke when he came up with that concept, eh? Overall, it's an amazing sci-fi novel that's a relatively easy read, yet offers some great observations about humanity's place in the universe. I can also see how revolutionary it was, considering it was first published in 1954.

    • Lucky Day

      14 years ago


      Yesterday was an extremely lucky day. Why? Because I found $90 ($60 in cash and $30 as a check) in the pair of shorts that I was wearing from my birthday 2 years ago (the check was dated from 2003, which would probably be easier to deposit rather than cash). Don't ask me how I somehow managed to find $90 in a pair of shorts I haven't worn/seen (I usually don't wear shorts) in 2 years - but it's best not to ask questions when luck comes your way, right? So, I've figured out that I now have $255 total, and I've decided to have it all go towards my new guitar. I've also decided that I'm probably going to save up for the Rickenbacker 360 (Ricks have always been my favorite guitars, with Gibsons in a close second). Now, if I was just saving my money just from birthdays, Christmas, etc. it would be a a pretty long time to save up for a guitar like the 360 (MSRP is about $1659 I think - but I've seen brand new 360s with cases go for as low as $1100). However, I've also figured in the fact that I can drive freely next summer and thus having a job would be at its most convenient.

      Therefore, I've estimated that about 2 to 4 years of saving (depending on various things) would grant me enough cash to buy a new 360 with a case. I've also decided that I should probably save about $1500, seeing as I'm not expecting to pay full price (as with many things, you want to shop around and find the best price), but you never know. Also, if I manage to find a good deal on it, I'll hopefully have enough left over to buy a better amp (hopefully a Vox, which I've heard is the best amp for getting that trademark ringing sound from a Rickenbacker guitar).

    • Birthday

      14 years ago


      My birthday was last Friday, on July 8. It was pretty nice - made off with $190, Killer 7 for the Gamecube, and by sheer coincidence (and luck), my dad got a $100 gift certificate for Amazon (which he gave to me after quite a bit of yardwork and such). Oh, and I got to see Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson last Sunday. I was near the front of the stage, too (it was a general admission concert, so it was first-come, first-serve for seating) - I'd say maybe 20 or 30 feet away (at most) from the stage.

      The gift certificate was a good thing, as it allowed me to get 8 CDs (two of them being 2-CD mini box sets) for only $25 (let's just say imports and shipping costs don't mix well). That leaves $165, and I hope to have at least $75 or $100 go towards my new guitar (which I haven't decided on - Gibson SG Special or Rickenbacker 360). The gift certificate also pissed me off due to high CD costs (which I've ranted about before, so I won't get into it again). I was originally planning on getting a few Delta Blues CDs (Skip James and Son House in particular), but there were several recent releases which I just couldn't say no to. In case you're wondering what happened to my "jazz goal", I found a bunch of CDs lying around the house which should keep me satisfied for quite a while (John Coltrane, Weather Report, Dave Brubeck Quartet, etc.). Here is what I managed to order, though:

      Roky Erickson - I Have Always Been Here Before: The Roky Erickson Anthology - Wow, now this is fulfilling - not only do I get the best of his stuff with The 13th Floor Elevators, it also sorts out the pearls from some of his poorly assembled solo recordings. Oh, and Erickson (yet another "mad genius" like Syd Barrett, Skip Spence, or Arthur Lee) actually gets royalties from this release.

      The Chocolate Watchband - Melts In Your Brain Not On Your Wrist: The Complete Recordings 1965 - 1967 - In their prime, the Watchband was easily one of the Top 3 Garage Bands In America in the 1960s (I'd say competing with...let's say The Music Machine and The Sonics). Sadly, any chance at success was probably crushed due to unstable lineups. Just to show you how screwed up their history was - the stuff that is the Watchband only in name runs 20 minutes longer than the real Watchband.

      The Birds - Collector's Guide To Rare British Birds - Not to be confused with American folk-rockers The Byrds, this was a tough mod rock outfit, and featured a young Ron Wood on lead guitar.

      The Misunderstood - Before The Dream Faded - I don't feel like repeating the Misunderstood's sad tale of what could have been, all that's left is 6 early psychedelic classics and the rest of the CD is solid mid-'60s blues-rock.

      Beachwood Sparks - Beachwood Sparks - modern indie country-rock outfit in the vein of Buffalo Springfield or Gram Parsons.

      Bob Dylan - Nashville Skyline - "Lay Lady Lay", "Girl From The North Country", and "I Threw It All Away" - 'nuff said.

      The MC5 - Kick Out the Jams - I don't know what happened to my copy, so I needed to buy it again =/.

      Skip James - Today! - Probably the strongest of his '60s "rediscovery" recordings.

    • Captain Beefheart

      14 years ago


      Well, I just recently bought Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band's debut album, Safe As Milk. Suffice to say, it's amazing. He manages to take blues-rock, which at the time of the album's release (1967) was a tired genre (not to mention the fact that with the exception of some bands, most blues-rock was overly derivative and/or failed to capture the spirit of the blues), strip it down to it's primal basics and turn it into something amazing.

      Not to mention the fact that there are also some interesting additions - African rhythms, jazzy drums, fractured and distorted guitars, etc. The album is still very accessible, however, even with the weirdness (both musically and lyrically) in songs like "Abba Zaba" and "Electricity". This album strikes a perfect balance between too-easy accessibility and the avant-garde. Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart) is also the possessor of an incredible four-and-one-half octave voice (according to AllMusic and other sources). Perhaps the most amazing thing about it, though, is that he is possibly the closest anyone has ever come to reproducing the sandpapery growl of legendary bluesman Howlin' Wolf.

      Overall, it comes highly recommended (doubly so for fans of Frank Zappa), and thanks to imbenurnot for introducing me to the Captain. As an added bonus, I actually have a chance to get Captain Beefheart's hardest-to-obtain album (and allegedly his best, I've heard in various reviews, mostly due to the darker and almost conceptual nature of the album), Lick My Decals Off, Baby.

    • I'm Back

      14 years ago


      Well, I got back home from the Caribbean cruise I was on today. It was my first cruise, and it was a pretty damn fun week, except for three things:

      1. Not enough time spent at ports - like 8 hours tops at each of the 3 ports of call (San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Maarten).
      2. I didn't meet anybody around my age until the latter part of the cruise.

      And well, the third thing I wouldn't exactly call a problem or even a negative thing. Just something I wasn't expecting to face at all. Let's just say I was faced with a major decision and I believe I made the right choice (although obviously part of me regrets not choosing the other path). It wasn't exactly an easy-to-make choice, though I feel a lot more mature because of the choice I made.

      Wow...I just realized how bad at being cryptic I really am.

    • Yay! I'm Trendy

      14 years ago


      I saw this form on a bunch of people's profiles, so I've decided to fill it out, too:


      Name: Matthew T.
      Birth date: July 8, 1990
      Birth place: Downers Grove, IL
      Current Location: Palos Park, IL
      Hair Color: Dark Brown
      Righty or Lefty: Righty


      Your heritage: Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Czech, Irish
      Shoes you wore today: New Balance
      Your weakness: Women, money
      Your fears: Dying young
      Your perfect pizza: Any pizza is good pizza
      Goal you'd like to achieve: Get involved in the music industry (session man or songwriter, perhaps?)


      Your most overused phrase on AIM/MSN: lol
      Your thoughts first waking up: What time is it?
      Your best physical feature: Height, agility, eyes
      Your bedtime: Late, usually 2 AM during the school year, 3 or 4 during summer
      Your most missed memory: I don't really have any missed memories


      Pepsi or Coke: Coke
      McDonald's or Burger King: McDonald's
      Single or group dates: Single
      Adidas or Nike: Adidas
      Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea: Lipton
      Chocolate or vanilla: Swirl - the best of both worlds
      Cappuccino or coffee: Cappuccino


      Smoke: No
      Cuss: Hell yeah! Fuck yeah!
      Single: Yes
      Take a shower: Yes
      Have a crush: Yes
      Think you've been in love: Maybe, maybe not
      Liked high school: Freshman year was great, hope sophomore's going to be good, too
      Want to get married: Yes
      Believe in yourself: Of course
      Get motion sickness: No
      Think you're attractive: Don't know
      Think you're a health freak: No way
      Get along with your parents: Most of the time
      Like thunderstorms: I can't sleep and I lay and I think/The night is hot and black as ink/Oh God, I need a drink of cool, cool rain!


      Drank alcohol: Yes
      Gone on a date: No
      Gone to the mall: No
      Been on stage: No
      Eaten an entire box of Oreos: Not after hearing a classmate present a poem called "The Chocolate Seduction" *shudders*
      Eaten sushi: Yes
      Been dumped: No
      Gone skating: No
      Gone skinny dipping: No
      Stolen anything: No


      Played a game that required removal of clothing: No, but I wouldn't mind :)
      Been trashed or extremely intoxicated: No
      Been caught "doing something": I'm on the other side of the house, I don't get caught
      Been called a tease: No
      Gotten beaten up: No


      Age you hope to be married: Maybe mid-twenties
      Number of Children: 3
      How do you want to die: Don't care
      What do you want to be when you grow up: Hell if I should know


      Best eye color?: Blue or Green
      Best hair color?: Don't care
      Short or long hair: Don't care
      Height: Don't care
      Best first date location: Movie Theater
      Best first kiss location: Anywhere


      Number of people I could trust with my life: Around 20
      Number of CD's I own: No way in hell I'm counting all of them
      Number of piercings: 0
      Number of tattoos: 0
      Number of times my name has appeared in the Newspaper: Maybe 4 or 5 times
      Number of scars on my body: Don't know, maybe 2

    • Jazz

      14 years ago


      Okay, I've got a new goal for my music collection - try to build up my jazz collection. It's pretty pitiful - a few vinyl LPs and 45s/78s here and there, and a few CDs. I was looking for Coltrane's A Love Supreme the other day, but opted instead for The Ultimate Blue Train - and I'm actually glad I did. There are 3 box sets which cover Coltrane's three major eras (Atlantic, Impulse!, Village Vanguard), which makes getting a majority of his work a lot easier. Of course, since there are so many jazz artists (just like there's so many blues, R&B, rock, etc. artists), I need to have some focus. So I'm going to focus on getting material by these guys at first:

      -John Coltrane
      -Thelonious Monk
      -Miles Davis
      -Louis Armstrong
      -Charlie Parker
      -Ornette Coleman
      -Cannonball Adderley
      -Dizzy Gillespie
      -Duke Ellington
      -Mose Allison

      I think with this list I cover several styles of jazz (bop, avant-garde, free, etc.). I also do cover a very underrated figure (Mose Allison), although Allison isn't necessarily strictly jazz - he often combined jazz and blues. However, he did gather some recognition with rock artists (his three biggest tunes with the rock crowd are probably "Parchman Farm", "Young Man Blues", and "I'm Not Talking"). I know I missed plenty of jazz artists, but it's a start, isn't it?

    • Stax Vs. Motown

      14 years ago


      I was bored on Sunday, and I started wondering - what's my favorite R&B label: Stax or Motown? A bit odd, I know, but when you wake up at 5 PM and have nothing much else to do, your mind starts to wander.

      Ultimately, I came up with the conclusion that they're awesome in different ways. However, I have a slight preference for Stax. Sure, Motown actually got white kids to buy music recorded by black artists (which was pretty much unheard of at the time - especially with the scale of Motown records being sold in the '60s), could produce countless classic tunes, and gave rise to the legendary Holland/Dozier/Holland songwriting team (which composed over 200 songs - and probably 199 of those were hits).

      Stax was the epitome of Southern soul - tough and gritty, rough around the edges - well, I think you get the point. Stax songs were also much more horn-driven. Also, the house band at Stax, Booker T. and the MG's, produced some classic music on their own ("Green Onions", "Time Is Tight", "Hang 'Em High", "Hip Hug-Her", etc.). A bunch of classic artists were signed to Stax - Sam & Dave, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Isaac Hayes, Albert King, Carla Thomas, and many other lesser-known acts.

      Perhaps the best comparison I can come up with is the Beatles to the Rolling Stones - one was slicker, more professional, but tough when they needed to be. The other was rough around the edges and grittier, but could still produce great music. I find this ironic, since unless were talking about Brian Jones-era Stones (and sometimes Mick Taylor-era), I will 7 times out of 10 take the Beatles over them.

    • Born Under A Bad Sign

      14 years ago


      Born Under A Bad Sign
      (William Bell/Booker T. Jones)
      Albert King

      Born under bad sign
      I been down since I begin to crawl
      If it wasn't for bad luck,
      I wouldn't have no luck at all
      Hard luck and trouble is my only friend
      Been on my own ever since I was ten
      Born under a bad sign
      I been down since I begin to crawl
      If it wan't for bad luck,
      I wouldn't have no luck at all
      I can't read, haven't learned to write
      My whole life has been one big fight
      Born under bad sign
      Been down since I begin to crawl
      If it wan't for bad luck,
      I wouldn't have no luck at all . .
      Wine and women is all I crave
      A big legged woman is gonna carry me to my grave
      Born under a bad sign
      I been down since I begin to crawl
      If it wan't for bad luck,
      I wouldn't have no luck at all
      If it wan't for bad luck
      I wouldn't have no no no no no no luck at all
      Yeah, my bad luck boy
      Been havin' bad luck all of my days, yes

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