“a strong voice coming from the space”

a while back, i made a few lists of my favourite songs of all time (they can be found here and here). i have another one to add to the list: jabdah, by koto.

specifically, the 7″ remix (seen above) is my favourite version, largely because of how it starts so strong, right out of the gate.

an old friend of mine introduced me to koto a year ago. he sent me this link as a half joke along with a bunch of other “serious” music but this was the only thing that stuck out to me. i loved the synth sounds, the melodies, the flow of the song, the guy’s keyboard dance moves, his karate gi, the space station stuff going on in the background…all of it. it was sort of like babymetal in that i knew it was silly and i shouldn’t like it so much, but i did, and i still do.

something else about jabdah that i loved was how it made me feel. it makes me feel really fucking happy, like i just don’t care anymore about pollution or politics or any of that boring shit. at first i thought it was just because it’s a happy, upbeat song, but after listening to it many times in the last year and giving it much thought, i realized recently that the reason it makes me feel so good is that it literally makes me feel like a kid again when i hear it. so i wondered why it would make me feel like a kid, and i realized that it was the combination of the various synth sounds with the melodies — together they remind me of other 80’s synth music i liked as a kid, particularly danny elfman’s gratitude and harold faltermeyer’s axel f, both from the beverly hills cop soundtrack.

now, this element has a few layers to it: like most kids, i didn’t worry about all the stuff i worry about now. life was simpler and happier then so hearing music that reminds me of that happy time makes me feel good. that part is obvious. but going further down the rabbit hole, i also remember listening to the beverly hills cop soundtrack while on a road trip with my dad to drumheller, alberta to see dinosaur bones. i remember camping with my dad and brother, loving the tyrrell museum, eating rocky road cereal (a once in a lifetime treat from my dad), and visiting our relatives who had pinball machines in their basement — all things i really liked and have since associated with the beverly hills cop soundtrack.

so when i hear jabdah, its overall sound reminds me of the beverly hills cop soundtrack, which reminds me of that great road trip with my dad and brother, which reminds me of how good it felt to be a carefree child doing fun things. that’s why i like it so much.

well, that and the fact that jabdah‘s just a great song.

i like unraveling these mysteries of my own mind. i’m like my own therapist sometimes.

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finding myself through dish washing

more talk about washing dishes. brace yourselves.

1 – when i have dinner at someone else’s house, i like to do the dishes afterward not only to help out and reciprocate their kindness but also because i want to avoid the awkwardness of drying the dishes and having no idea where to put them. trying to help out but requiring ample assistance when doing so is a horrible, pathetic thing.

on a similar note, it’s funny how good i feel about helping clean up at get togethers because i used to absolutely loathe it. the fact that i was soon going to feel obligated to help out always cast a gloom over whatever fantastic meal the host was graciously providing me. oh yes, i was incredibly, ridiculously lazy and selfish, and i am still ashamed of it. i was the same way with thank you letters after christmas. my parents would be on my ass to write to uncle bill and aunt lois and the various other mystery relatives who kindly sent money every year despite having never met me (at least as far as i could remember), but i couldn’t have given less of a shit about thanking them back then. the worst part is that the war of attrition with my parents sometimes ended with me winning, not writing any thank you letters. it’s awful. i’m so embarrassed. it might be residual guilt from those thankless years that drives me to try to be more vocal about my gratitude now.

2 – when i wash the dishes, i no longer fill the sink with dish water. instead, i fill the largest pot or mixing bowl and use that for my dish water. it probably uses less than 1/4 of the water of the sink. i started doing that a few years ago when we were put on severe water restrictions due to drought and it’s stuck with me since. i’m proud of this method because it’s super simple yet very effective.

taking it one step further, when i’m finished washing dishes i can take the pot or mixing bowl outside and water the fruit trees and ornamental plants with the stuff. marion showed me that part, bless her eco-friendly heart.

i must be really thin on material these days.

end

i just took the dog for a walk and got to pondering life and death yet again. it’s a tireless subject, really. today i was particularly focused on the idea that it is possible to keep pulling one’s perspective on life further and further back until the picture is so big that absolutely nothing on this planet is of any consequence anymore.

red-giant

fuck it.

for example, there are a lot of political, environmental, and industrial issues that i care about a lot, and our current conservative canadian federal gov’t is basically doing the exact opposite of what i want. it makes me both furious and depressed sometimes. when i get that fucked up about those issues, i console myself by doing the best that i personally can to make the changes i want to see, and remind myself that some day in the next 45 years or so, i’ll die anyway. at that point i won’t have to bear witness to any more crazy large-scale bullshit, which will be a blessing. sure, it also means i won’t be able to have any more fun here with jenn and our friends, but you have to look on the bright side of things.

but that perspective still leaves me concerned for future generations. what horrors will we bestow on them? choking toxic smog, acidified dead oceans, rampant collusion by gov’t and industry, slow erosion of personal freedoms in the name of fighting terrorism? that can get me down too.

everything is fine, just keep working.

so i take another step back and think about how, if we don’t end up killing the entire human race ourselves, the sun will do it for us when it becomes a red giant and cooks earth to a scorched, barren rock. it may even completely swallow the earth, reducing the entire planet to ashes.

when i think about that — about how not only will i die relatively soon, or how our entire race will eventually die, but how even the planet we live on will eventually disappear forever — well, i can’t help but feel a little less awful about giant oil spills, horrifying human rights abuses, and the global food crisis. nothing we have seen or done here, good or bad, will survive. the only traces of people, our problems, and all the rest of earth will just be atoms scattered throughout space. all those oil spills won’t matter a damn then.

c’est la vie

so i just keep living my life, having the best time i can, and when things start to seem shitty, i try think about the end of everything we know. then all those big problems seem absolutely insignificant: nothing here really matters because it will all end one day. it’s very comforting.