laugardagur, maí 05, 2007

Check it: http://blog.waywarddiamonds.com/

miðvikudagur, janúar 25, 2006

So it's been almost a year.

I'm not really coming out of blogbernation, but there's this think called "clocking" going around, so I figure I'd take part.

7 things which I want to do before I die:
1. Find the love of my life and make a family of my own
2-7. Everything else is pretty much fleeting and doesn't really matter that much. I could say things like "skydiving", or "learn another language", and those things would be fun, but far from necessary for me to be happy.
7 things I can do:
1. Create music
2. Write
3. See the big picture
4. Annoy people (myself included)
5. Learn something new really fast
6. Get along with almost anybody
7. Empathize
7 things I can't do(or am very bad at):
1. Schedule, organize, keep things straight
2. Find my significant other
3. Find any sort of direction in life
4. Keep my focus consistently
5. Deal with ignorant, biased, people.
6. Live far away from loved ones
7. Stop myself from falling into temporary depression every now and then
7 famous people that fascinate me:
1. DaVinci, simply because he could sleep for 15 minutes every hour instead of 8 hours a night.
2.-7. dunno
7 things that intrigue me in other people:
1. How people can get hung up on something 100% inconsequential.
2. How short-sighted and narrow-minded many otherwise intelligent people can be.
3. How another person can make my heart melt.
7 sentences or words which I frequently use:
1. Sæll
2. Bah
3. Ertekkagrínast
4. vottðef0kk
5. theoretically...
6. I read somewhere that...
7. dísus

And finally:
I have a feeling that I know or understand something that nobody else knows or can understand. I merely have yet to discover it.

miðvikudagur, maí 25, 2005

Today's topic is Music and Age.

I recently applied to my old music school to start my singing studies formally (been taking private lessons). I was accepted with no problems. However, 5
other guys were not. The reason? They were too old.
It had nothing to do with their background, their proficiency, or money. They
were simply too old.
This struck me as a little odd, so I did some digging around. Apparantly it
has to do with the fact that music schools here are supported by the City. So
they don't want to support older people. Fine. Allow them to apply anyway,
just make them pay full price.
But no, that's not allowed in Iceland, because everything is supposed to cost
the same for everybody. So music school for the older people costs the same,
they just can't buy it.
Hmm, anyone else see a double standard here?

So anyway, these people are told pleasantly to go apply to the music college,
where (I gather) there is no age bias. Problem is, when they go there, they
are told they do not have enough background to be admitted. Where can they get
the appropriate background? Why, in the original school, the one with the age
bias, remember?
When people raise their voice about this blatant discrimination they are either
told "go take private lessons" or "what the hell do you want to start learning
music for at your age? You should be ashamed!". Let's discuss the issues those
2 comments raise.

Private lessons are fine. However, they do not replace a full music education.
You do not explicitly study the literature surrounding your instrument. You
do not partake in any group activities. You do not get to absorb the culture
surrounding your instrument and its relatives. You do not get to meet other
people who play your (and other) instruments, and do not get to play with them.
These aspects of music education are collectively MUCH more important than
private lessons.

Now we come to an issue which I feel is so absurd it borders on being absolute
gibberish: the bias people instinctively have towards grownup beginners. This
is apparent in many other fields, I'm sure, but I want to talk about music.

Let's take an example:You go to a concert at a music school, let's say a young relative of yours is
playing. He plays well for his age (maybe only 10) and you are proud.
Following him is a 50 year old man, playing the same instrument, and does so
better than your relative, but still only at a beginner's level. What is your
immediate response?
Disdain, disgust, embarrasment, shock, etc.
For some unexplainable reason, people think there is something "dirty" about
this situation. "I mean for god's sake! This guy MUST have some ulterior motive, right?
Nobody in their right mind would begin music studies at the age of 50, let
alone put themselves in a position of ridicule like that, would they? I say
he's a child molester, let's ostracize him."

People, get your heads out of your asses.

Whoever said learning is only for the young? I have had people (whom I
otherwise consider enlightened) answer this with "of course it's not just for
the young. But those older people shouldn't show themselves like that, and
they definitely shouldn't be playing with the children. I don't care if they
study music, as long as they keep it to themselves." This sounds like someone trying to be liberal about something he thinks is vile and despicable. "I don't care if that person takes part in domination games in the bedroom as long as he keeps it to himself."

This is plain and simple, unfounded discrimination. There is no "grey" about
this matter, it is quite black-and-white. Just imagine what would happen if
someone were to act as shocked when seeing a person of a different skin color
studying music; or a different gender. Hmm, are we back in the 19th century

A final note: whether or not you have the potential for music proficiency at ANY age, has nothing to do with this argument. I will discuss that in a future post

miðvikudagur, apríl 27, 2005

So what is it with everyone's obsession with "finishing" things?

Actually, wrong question. The right one is:

So what is it with people who can't (or won't) get started on something if they realize that it can't (or most likely can't) ever be finished? Why is "finishing" something necessarily the high point of a project? I mean, how many people go on a vacation and wait for it to be over with crazed anticipation?
In my mind, the actual "doing" of things is what is important. As some wise man said "it's not the destination, it's the journey" (paraphrased by Freysi). I have never really finished anything I've ever written (with the exception of that one short story, but that's not really finished, need to fix it up). If I all of a sudden started thinking "what's the point of me writing at all? I never finish things" or "ok THIS time I'm gonna finish this story" (causing me to become more and more bitter as I impose this deadline on myself and never fulfil it), then I would probably never write anything ever again. Which would be a terrible loss for me, because I so enjoy writing. And when I'm writing, the only stuff going through my head are things directly related to my writing, not worries about when it will be done, how much I have left, or whether I will ever finish it.
I think those kind of thoughts are destructive, which is one reason why I don't want to make any passion of mine my daily work.

Books, movies, TV shows, they're different. Oftentimes I'll sit through something I don't necessarily enjoy very much, if only for the sense of completeness I get at the end. But that is so different from a personal project. In media, you are taking part in a prewritten story, which is written in a way to make you want to see more, to find out what really happens. In real life, there ain't nuthin' written before hand. So the fun is in the "writing", not the completing.

Let's say, for sake of argument, that you could download the memory of having written a bestselling novel straight into your brain. You know have the memory of all that hard work and the sense of completeness after having published it. But you never really experienced it. How many of you have ever wished you could relive some moment, or some period in your life? *raises a hand* It's the experience that counts, not some self-imposed feeling of satisfaction after completing something. It basically boils down to this:

Who cares what you do as long as you're having fun?

I have this feeling that some people force themselves to stop having fun and pretend that it's important to have a "reality check" and reassess the situation. Example:
Programmer A and B have good jobs and good job security. They both start working on a project in their free time and spend every waking moment on it. They both have lots of fun. However, they both realize that this is probably something which will never be completed; which they will never get any recognition for. Programmer A takes that thought and trashes it, he doesn't care, he's having fun. He'll stop this project once he stops having fun. Programmer B takes that thought and considers it carefully, realizing the truth behind it and scraps the project. Thus the project is no longer bringing him enjoyment.

Now which makes more sense to you? I think the key word in there is recognition. Some people feel the constant need to be patted on the back for what they do, and thus are not able to glean enjoyment from anything they do not finish.

Bah. Anyway, just me ranting, dunno where I wanted to go with that.

mánudagur, apríl 25, 2005

I've been sitting around for a while, twiddling my thumbs when I thought "Hey, why don't I go ahead and blog?" Been a while.
Couple of notable things have happened recently:
- Moved into the new house with mamma and pabbi; me own little apartment.
- Bought a car
- Got my payraise
- Set my apartment on fire

Apart from that, I've just been enjoying myself, playing video games and just hanging around :)

I'm almost back into my apartment, they managed to clean everything and I'm still waiting for the carpenter to come and replace the floor in my bedroom, then it's just out to buy a new bed and move back in. There's still a strong smell here though, not smoke but from the cleaning stuff they used.

Anyway, I'm not sure whether I'll continue updating this blog. I originally thought of it as a way to keep people back home updated on what was going on while I was in the states. Now that I'm home....maybe I'll just post on Los Otros. We'll see.

föstudagur, desember 10, 2004

Ok, I wrote this about a week ago, but blogger has been acting up, so here goes again....

Hey guys.Well, a lot has happened since last time, biggest news of course that I've moved home. And by that I mean HOME; back in my old room at my parents' house. It's a temporary situation, but it's just fine for me. People have been telling me "good LORD Freysi, don't move back home with your parents", but I really don't see what's the problem with that. I mean, as long as one's life is separate and one pays rent, what's the difference?For example, m&p bought this great new house (which they haven't yet moved into) which has an apartment on the ground floor. At this point it is very likely that I will move into this apartment when they move there and pay them rent. It definitely will be different from now, since I will have my own kitchen and washroom, but I'll still be in my parents' basement.So anyway, got my computer back together finally (thanks for sending my mobo Freyja, I'll figure out how to repay you :) ), and I'm slowly but surely re-establishing my presence as a trumpet player around here. I have a job now, working as an "engineer" (fancy name for a programmer) at a company specializing in DNS software. Apparently they are some hot shit in the business world today, making deals with companies like Nokia, British Telecom and Microsoft. It's interesting stuff, the place is nice (it's an old Icelandic townhouse that has been renovated. The sales department resides in what was once the manure house), and the people are crazy. The salary is decent enough for someone with no real experience in the industry, only those 2 summers at Kögun, but in three months' time, they will reevaluate my performance and we will renegotiate a contract. I expect a significant raise at that point.I'm also planning all sorts of other stuff. I'm looking at the possibility of completing my MS degree here alongside work, or maybe taking something completely different, like business or psychology, maybe even back into music, composing or something. On the hobby side I am going to take singing lessons and am working on setting them up now. I'd also love to learn how to play the drums. As a direct result of this new work I've rekindled my interest in networking and once I finally move I am going to get a couple old computers and fool around with them. I am also going to set up one computer with some music software, get myself a decent keyboard and a mike and attempt to write some music. And finally, I'm going to get back into shape.So lots of stuff going on. Apart from my hobbies I have a bunch of stuff I need/want to buy, which shouldn't be a problem now that I'm making money :). A car, a real stereo system, a real TV or maybe just a projector, a real phone, and of course, a playstation 2. Ahh the necessities in life.By the way, I will keep this blog in english since I still have a handful of american readers.

þriðjudagur, nóvember 09, 2004

It's always funny how certain things pop up into your mind fully formed, as if your mind has been working on them without telling you about it. In fact, that's pretty much what happens. You think consciously about something, like "Hunh, that X is weird", then forget about it, but your mind does not forget. Then 2 months later, when you're on the toilet, you go "Oh yeah! That's what X is about." This happened to me just the other day, albeit not on the toilet. No, while I was in the groggy, half-comatose state I'm in early in the morning I all of sudden realized why I don't enjoy research in an institution such as UMD.
The important point here is that it's not that I don't enjoy research, it's that I don't enjoy it under the circumstances which I found myself the past year. I have many, many ideas which could easily become a full doctoral thesis, and new ones are born each day. I would love the chance to work on all of them, however - and this is what I realized - I want to work on them on MY terms. Even though the professors were not pushing me in any way, in fact were very laid back, I was still working under their terms and their schedule. So I can see myself being very happy getting some job and then spending my free time working on my own personal research stuff. This line of thinking ties directly into a philosophy I have now discussed with many people, and not yet come to any conclusion.The world today seems to be oriented in such a way to allow young people to "follow their goals". Parents (and others) encourage their children to "follow their heart" and to learn what they want to learn, the future be damned. I have read many many articles comparing people who went after "the money" and people who followed "their passion". Each time, the people who followed their passion are portrayed as having the obvious upper hand, both in salary (money follows passion) and in general wellness of being. However, in addition to this their is an ever increasing rate of divorce throughout the world and people are having children later and later; the "fundamental" family structure is changing. So I started looking around myself, comparing my family to many others I know.
Of all my close friends who are not musicians, I am the only one who has a "normal" family, i.e. parents are still together. (All my musician friends also do, but that is an unrelated, albeit interesting fact). My family is great, we always have lots of fun when we get together, and my friends who come over invariable like us. But we're the exception.What if - in light of the fact that people follow their passion for work - the enthusiasm people have for work is having this effect on the family structure? I want to take my pabbi as an example, even though our family has (thankfully) not followed this path of breaking up.
Pabbi works hard every day, and loves his job and is good at it. It's something he can focus all his efforts into and it has meaning for him. He comes home in the evening and almost always takes care of dinner as well. Then he poops out in front of the TV, often times doing some extra paperwork on his laptop at the same time. For the longest time, when I was younger, I didn't really understand the "pooping out" part. I always thought, "why doesn't he do something; something he enjoys outside his work?" Then I got my own job one summer, working as a computer programmer/designer. I'd work hard, on challenging things, programming fiercly, debugging, walking around, talking to people, debating my points and affecting the design of a multibillion dollar program. (yesyes, I'm gloating a little). Then I'd come home and poop out.
I realized that working all day on something which you can really pour all your effort into is exhausting. Even if I don't move a muscle all day, apart from typing and using the mouse, I'd be absolutely drained when I came home. Which I didn't like, because I had so many other things that I wanted to do, to work on. So that got me thinking...
Why spend my passion on my work? Why not save my passion for things I wanted to do on my own terms? People say, "To have a passion which you can get paid for is heavenly." I say, "to have a passion which you do get paid for is hell, for in the end, it will destroy your passion." Why not go do some work every day which is not too draining, physically or mentally, and then spend the rest of the day (with your extra energy) on things which you love; which you would really like to spend time on. And for those people who like to work out and want to stay in great shape, get a physically demanding job. Then you don't have to spend precious hours of your free time working out, plus you save the cost of paying for a gym. Let's say for example, your passion gives you 300.000 kr ($4,000+) a month, and the physically demanding alternative 170.000($2,500). Let's also assume you live alone. So after a workday with your passion you come home and are exhausted. More often than not you'll order in. You'll have high hopes of getting into shape, and pay for a gym. More often than not, you won't go. So you start to get fat, and depressed, and spend money on stuff to make you happy, etc. On the other hand, after a workday in the physically demanding alternative you come home and even though your body is tired, you have not spent any mental energy and have been spending the dull moments of your day pondering things to work on. You come home eager to try out the stuff you came up with today, to solidify the ideas. You don't have to worry about getting into shape, the job is doing it for you. You are getting paid to look good. As an effect of that, you eat better, you have more energy to do stuff, and generally feel better. Yes, you have less money, but as long as you get by and are happy, that's beside the point, right?
So these examples might be a bit extreme, and there are people who don't fit into either category, my pabbi one of them. He is in the former, but is in fact very happy with his life, even though he is tired after a day's work. However, my point still remains. Whether or not this is something that I'm seriously considering...I still haven't made up my mind on that. I probably need to experience more than just a summer's worth of full time work to figure that out. It seems to be such a different way of thinking, such a radical change from what we know, but also makes perfect sense to me. Anyway, it'll be in the back of my mind over the next few years. We'll see what happens.
As for real-life news, I'm coming home on Thursday, wheee!
Actually I land on Friday morning, but for me, it's only 2.60791 days til my plane leaves. I've been slowly but surely packing (too...much...stuff O_O ), and giving stuff away (the biggest, and most happy recipient being my trashcan). I already have on job interview. They wanted to meet me on Friday, but I said no way, so Monday it is. So anyway, I still have my old phonenumber if anybody wants to reach me over the weekend. I'll definitely be in touch with as many as I can.

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