My thoughts and points might seem meandering and tangential, but give me a chance to pull it together towards the end.

I have always been fascinated by creation. When I was a kid, I attempted to memorize the first chapter of Genesis, and the part about the creation in the Mormon book the Pearl of Great Price always fascinated me to the point of what some might consider obsession. When I was very young, I was always interested in how the world began, and I read many books about outer space, both fictional and non. I remember when I was in 8th grade, I did a report and presentation on stars. I always found it fascinating that among the complex mysteries of the everchanging world and universe is the fact that for everything there is a beginning and an end, that there is a life cycle going on around us all, which we are irrevocably a part of.

I have read a lot of science fiction concepts, and one particular fascinating one is that of the perpetual motion machine. A perpetual motion machine is a concept of a machine that, once started, continues to work on endlessly. It is the nature of things to eventually fall apart, break, and die. Even the most well-oiled machine eventually corrode with rust, falls apart, and dies. Death is a part of life. Even the luminous and seemingly eternal stars in the endless night sky have their own life cycles where they eventually go nova, and in doing so, replicate and create more of their kind. To me, it speaks to the power and majesty of creation, that after something so encompassingly destructive occurs, something can be created that can eventually turn to life, life as we see and know it. And because I believe in hope, I believe in something more. From death, life and creation can occur, and I believe can overcome.

I am reading a book on quantum mechanics called Finding Schrodinger’s Cat, and one thing that struck in my mind in the discussion of Newtonian laws of physics is that every stays at rest, or moves with constant velocity unless an outside force acts on it. Well, this got me thinking about our thoughts, and how they continually move subject to the free will (agency) that we have, and how they, similar to objects in Newton’s law, continue moving until outside forces work on them, and that how the forces outside us can impact the thoughts, goals, and intents in our minds by thwarting them in a different direction, and yet somehow we are endowed with the power inside our minds to let those thoughts and ideas continue where we wish them to go despite what outside forces that eventually turn into inside forces that may hinder them from progressing into some ultimate goal.

Free will is a miracle that we humans have yet to replicate, despite all of the progress that has been made in computer technology and artificial intelligence. The desire to continue onward, to live, to live no matter what, to replicate one’s own likeness, to me is what makes something alive, and is akin to the desire to empathize, and the desire to create, whether it be art, invention, or anything built from hands and/or mind. They are made of an attempt to put a part of oneself into said creation, and the best creations, in my opinion are created selflessly–the best stories to me are the ones that are not merely fantasies put on paper or vicariously living through an artificial avatar, the best self portraits are the ones that reflect its creator the most truthfully as to how that creator truly is, and deep down I believe in a being, a divine being that after making his own creation, intended to create something in his own likeness because he wanted to put a part of himself in his creation, which is why Adam is made in his own likeness, and subsequently so is Eve. That is why I believe that in LDS doctrine it is said that Jesus Christ–whose birth we celebrate during this season–as the firstborn of a perfected, omniscient being, is himself perfected and omniscient. I believe that when God made his creations, he did so with the intent of putting some of himself in them, with the intention of teaching those whom he made in his image into becoming like him, to the point that those who continually heed his counsel and endure to the end can become even as he is. This is what I really believe, that

In Einstein’s theory of relatively, matter and energy are interchangeable and from what I can understand, one can become the other, though how this works, I have only an inkling. One of the things that I understand about it is that matter and energy are interchangeable, and that there are forces which govern the physical world in which we live that we have only of inkling of beginning to understand. Now, I know that I am delving into pseudoscience, but bear with me for a moment for the purposes of this thought experiment, and take a moment to think, Are not the greatest discoveries made by those who ask “What if?” Now take a moment to entertain a possibility, a “what if,” and take a moment to think about the energy that exists in this world, and not just the power of the machines which we use to travel, to build, and increasingly, to think, and think of all of the energy that you have and use and not just to move, but to think. Think through all of memories, all of your sorrows, all of your joys, all of your motivations of doing anything in which you endeavor to do to become something more than yourself, and entertain the idea of what if all of the energies of your thoughts, your words, your actions, all of that energy was somehow converted into matter — what sort of that matter would it be? What if all the tears of those somehow subjugated or imprisoned in whatever way was converted into some sort of physical matter or manifestation. What the shared experience of people actually mattered significantly to the effect that something could be created because of it? What somehow it already did? What all of your thoughts, efforts, and energy were somehow incontrovertably part of being, part of your spirit, to the degree that even should you die, should your body fail you, you would still be? And now I know that some of you think that I’m really crazy – that I think that I will still exist when I die, but from my experiences, and after all I’ve really learned, I still believe that there something still that exists in me that will linger on after I die, a part of me that can’t die and that i believe in that there is strength in belief–you all have seen it–that there is even power in belief, and that through that power I and everyone else can and will live again, and that this is possible in the selfless sacrifice of a man who lived some two thousand years ago, that that man through his selfless life, example, and ultimately his atonement made through a selfless prayer right before a betrayal that led to his crucifixion and death, caused this man to raise himself from the dead and that there will come a time when the veil that clouds our minds in this temporary life and world will be rent and we will be able to see him and live once more, and that those thoughts, energies, and matters created from them will ultimately decide our spirit’s eternal fate. Now, I know that plenty of you will have corrections you will want to make from this, but I do want to conclude that this is my belief, and that many of may have very fine testimonies that you believe that are more encompassing and right than mine, but this is mine, and this is my gift to you. Amen and Merry Christmas.


Getting Back on the Horse, Part II

No, this isn’t another exercise post. I just wanted to update anybody who reads this that I just got another job as a paralegal in a town nearby me, which is an unbelievable relief for me. I am very excited to be working in the legal field again. During my period of unemployment, I began thinking of going to a law school, but I would like to work a few more years in the field as a paralegal first before applying. There is a book I highly recommend – “Law School Confidential: A Complete Guide to the Law School Experience: By Students, for Students” – that is really good and describing what it’s like and what it takes to do well. I don’t know how accurate it is yet for the experience of actually attending law school and it is somewhat out of date as far as describing using technology, but it gives good study tips. I still plan to take the paralegal certification exam with NALA in September; hopefully all of my time off studying has helped. Well, til next time, friends, be good!

Letter to No One

Life is a funny thing…

Well, I should have no reason to feel this way really, but right now I am in position where I could take my life in several different directions and it’s worrying me, because worrying is what I do. Another post by another user about friends of opposite sex got me thinking, so I decided to express my thoughts here. This is a long post.

Life is a funny thing, and I feel like every year I am always surprised as to where it took me from where I was the year prior. It always seems some place I never would have imagined. Being born in Colorado and moving several places there as a young child, I was used to being displaced. Then I moved to Kansas when I was 7. I would say that was the most constant place I lived in my life, having lived there for 7 years.

After that, my life was in motion and constant transition from one thing to another: moving to Missouri, living with my cousins in Utah, moving to Illinois, moving to Wisconsin, going to college in Idaho, moving down to Utah after graduation. I have joined groups, clubs, and cliques, and there just seems to be hardly any constants. I am just a wallflower. I just wander through life looking for something, something that I’m not sure of myself. Someone whose presence is to be tolerated and then quickly forgotten when I leave.

The thing is, most people’s answer to me when I say I am searching for something would be to say that I need God, but I don’t know how much that would really help, after all the effort I have put into it trying to find God already. I have already read the scriptures in their entirety with still that empty feeling inside me. Sometimes I catches glimpses of things, of feelings that I have never witnessed before.

I have no idea where I will end up five years from now. I miss the predictability of youth, where the future seemed laid out before me. Sometimes I catch glimpses of memories I had of childhood, happy ones where I see something new from them I had never seen before, and I want more of that, but I don’t even know how to find it. I have tried drawing and writing and music, but the “something more” I am looking for eludes me. I want to create something that encapsulates that something – then I would feel my life had meaning, that it actually mattered.

I keep trying to contact old friends and rekindling something, but I don’t think it will help me to find what I am looking for. I feel like I am on the brink of doing something spontaneously drastic, but my first goal is to get a job and trying to be self-sufficient.

I don’t really know how to conclude this thought, so I thought I’d just add a video I liked here.


This is a topic that I have been interested in for awhile, mostly because of my love of music. I hadn’t realized it, but I have been listening to some Electronic Dance Music (EDM). I know that there are multiple subgenres of it, and because I have been curious about it myself, I decided to find out more and do a post of what I found out. So here you have it.

There is a lot of confusion for most people about labels and stuff in this genre. Many people call it Techno, but that’s actually a subgenre of EDM. Rave music is another term that is sometimes used to describe it.

So there are 12 subgenres that I’m going to be discussing. They are house music, techno, trance, dubstep, drum and bass, grime, trap, hardstyle, breakbeat, and downtempo. There are other subgenres, but those are the ones I’m going to be focusing on. This is the website I’m getting most of my information on.

House music

Notable Subgenres: Deep House, Progressive House, Electro House, Tech House, Tribal House, Moombahton, Garage house, Hard house, Jazz house, Kwaito, New Beat, Progressive house, Trival

Notable Artists: David Guetta, deadmau5, Avicii, Swedish House Mafia, Frankie Knuckles, Afrojack, Hardwell, Daft Punk, Claude Von Stroke, Benny Benassi, Zedd, Wolfgang Gartner, Danny Tenaglia, Erick Morillo, Sasha

Notable Labels: Spinnin’, Anjunadeep, Musical Freedom, Size Records, Revealed Recordings, Toolroom Records, 100% Pure, Dirtybird Records, Ed Banger Records

Origins: Late 1970s – Early 1980s in Chicago, United States

Musical Origins: Disco, boogie, soul, funk, electro, dub, Hi-NRG, jazz/swing

Instruments: Sampler, Drum machine, Synthesizer, Turntables, Sequencer, Personal computer

Tempo: Between 118 to 135 beats per minute (bpm)

Characteristics: Repetitive 4/4 beats, off-beat hi-hat cymbals, synthesized baselines. Kick drum on every beat

The rhythm is defined by electronic drum machines…. While early house music has similarities to disco music, there have been many different changes with in the genre itself. A lot of off spring genres are based on the original house music.

Basic Elements: The basic beat of House music is often defined by drum machines…. The Beat is one of the most important element with in a genre like house music. The main issue with House music is that you may use a lot of different percussion elements can and will be used in any type of sub genre. It may also be noted that the percussion elements will drive your music in a specific mood.

I have listened to a lot of the artists that play house music, although I didn’t know that was the specific name. It is clearly the most mainstream of these subgenres, as you can see from the list of notable artists.



Notable Subgenres: Minimal

Notable Artists: Carl Cox, Richie Hawtin, Derrick May, Juan Atkins, Victor Calderone, Nicole Moudaber, Adam Beyer, UMEK, Chris Liebing, Brodinski, Gessaffelstein, Boys Noize

Notable Labels: Music On, Intec Digital, Drumcode, Bromance Records, Boys Noize Records

Origins: Mid 1980s, Detroit, United States

Musical origins: Electro, post-disco, industrial, funk, synthpop, house music

Instruments: Synthesizer, keyboards, sampler, drum machine, sequencer, personal computer

Tempo: Between 130 to 150 bpm

Characteristics: Repetitive instrumental music. 4/4, with bass drum on each quarter note pulse, backbeat played by snare on second and forth pulses, and open hi-hat on every second eighth note.

One thing that became obvious as I read: Techno is NOT a way to describe all of electronic music, but it is one of the genres that’s been around the longest. It”s not my favorite of these styles, but I do enjoy listening to it every once in a while.



Notable Subgenres: Progressive Trance, Tech Trance, Vocal Trance, Goa/Psytrance

Notable Artists: Armin Van Buuren, Tiēsto, Roger Shah, Above & Beyond, Ferry Corsten, Judge Jules, Dash Berlin, Markus Schulz, Aly & Fila, Paul Oakenfold, BT

Notable Labels: Armada Records, Anjunabeats, Garuda, Magic I, AVA Recordings, Perfecto Records

Tempo: 110-150BPM

Characteristics: Trance is known for repetitiously building up and breaking down huge melodies.

The best way to generally describe the trance genre is that of dance music based around rifts and anthems, which can be either highly energetic or very chilled out. Trance tracks often intermix major and minor chords to create “epic” sounding, similar to classical organ music. Most trance is built around the 4/4 beat, and a lot of trance can be very uplifting. Uptempo, uplifting and often euphoric energetic synthesized sounds pumped by a beat and massive hooks, often with long breakdowns building slowly to create a tension and expectancy on the dance floor.

From what I’ve heard of trance, I’m not as much of a fan of this as styles like house and trap, but there are a few songs of it that I have and liked, such as Armin Van Buuren, and Paul van Dyk.



Notable Subgenres: Brostep, Luvstep, Thugstep

Notable Artists: Skream, Benga, Skrillex, Borgore, Coki, Mala, Nero, Flux Pavilion, Kode 9, Rusko, Bassnectar, Excision, Datsik, 12th Planet, Caspa, Joker

Notable Labels: DMZ, Tempa, Wheel & Deal, Dub Police

Tempo: 138-142 beats per minute

Characteristics: Dubstep… is a minimalist interpretation of its lineage. It has no interest in garage’s dramatic excesses; even vocals are rare. Nearly all dubstep productions are focused on low-end frequencies that pummel the listener like a wrecker’s ball.

Contrary to popular belief, dubstep was not directly born from a love of dub music; it started as a darker, more experimental take on the 2-step sound that was running through London in the late 1990s.

Dubstep has its roots in 2step garage and early dubstep, sounds that managed to balance their gender references– low masculine bass with high feminine vocals– to create a delicious blend.

I have to be in the mood for it to enjoy this music. Too me, it comes off pretty hard in a way that I don’t always like. Also, I prefer vocals in my music.


Drum & Bass (Jungle)

Notable Subgenres: Drumstep, Liquid Funk, Techstep, Neurofunk, Jump-Up

Notable Artists: Goldie, Ed Rush & Optical, Bad Company, Roni Size, Dillinja, London Elektricity, High Contrast, Andy C, Netsky, Pendulum, Noisia, Chase & Status, Sub Focus

Notable Labels: Metalheadz, Ram Records, Virus, Hospital Records

Tempo: 160-180 BPMs

Characteristics: Jungle is the most rhythmically complex of all forms of techno, relying on extremely fast polyrhythms and breakbeats. Usually, it’s entirely instrumental — it is among the hardest of all hardcore techno, often consisting of nothing but fast drum machines and deep bass.

Drum & Bass might be one of the most intense, misunderstood sounds within the EDM scene. While its roots are in the hardcore rave scene of London in the early 1990s, it mutated into a darker, more sinister sound all to its own, gobbling up reggae/dancehall sub-bass with sped-up breakbeats. The obvious emphasis on the drum work and bassline gives dnb its name.

Based almost entirely in England, Jungle (also known as drum’n’bass) is a permutation of hardcore techno that emerged in the early ’90s… As its name implies, jungle does have more overt reggae, dub, and R&B influences than most hardcore — and that is why some critics claimed that the music was the sound of black techno musicians and DJs reclaiming it from the white musicians and DJs who dominated the hardcore scene.

There’s one band I like, Krewella, which plays music which contains elements of house, dubstep, hardstyle, electonic rock, and drum and bass. I like a lot of their music, so I attached a link of one of my favorites.


If you’re interested in a more characteristic sample of it, here’s this:


Notable Subgenres: 8-Bar

Notable Artists: Terror Danjah, Wiley, Tempa T, Dizzee Rascal, Kano

Notable Labels: Butterz, No Hats No Hoods

Tempo: 130 – 140 bpm

Characteristics: Grime, like drum & bass, is a genre born from a number of different sounds. You can trace parts of dnb, garage, hip-hop, and dancehall as influences, but the hyper take on the 140 BPM zone, packed with half-time beats at one moment into string-driven 4×4 kicks the next. Grime has remained an underground phenomenon, even if acts like Dizzee Rascal and Kano have received mainstream love.

One thing was made clear from what I read about the subgenre: grime is NOT a sub-genre of hip-hop.

Grime is an underground curiosity in North America, but remains a foreign language to this continent’s mainstream. And that might never change: grime is faster than hip hop, darker than pop and nowhere close to rock. So far only one grime star, Dizzee Rascal — government name Dylan Mills, b. 1985 in East London’s Bow estates — has managed a ripple of retail attention on this side of the Atlantic.

Grime is a music that was born in East London, lives in East London… and maybe only makes sense in East London. It is a mutt genre, a bastard blend of street English, Jamaican dancehall reggae and two kinds of rave music: (1) drum ’n’ bass, an electronic party monster built from breakbeats, or loops fashioned from the percussive “breakdown” sections of other songs; (2) a U.K. delicacy called garage, which rhymes with carriage and feels like R&B running a fever. The sum is a fast clatter of syncopated claps, alien chirps and machine bursts. Grime vocalists resemble turbo-charged rappers, racing to match backing tracks that thump about 130 times per minute — near your target heart rate for vigorous physical activity.

So I’ve been following youtube channels that have provided some commentary on grime, especially from Blackpool. There’s a youtube channel called BGMedia that showcases a lot really, really young people attempting grime. There’s a short documentary on it. There’s one that particularly stands out and is featured on other channels named Afghan Dan. I’m not sure of how much of typical grime act he is, but here is a sample.



Notable Subgenres: n/a

Notable Artists: Heroes x Villains, CRNKN, Carnage, Mayhem, UZ, Flosstradamus, Baauer, RL Grime, Branchez, Brillz

Notable Labels: Mad Decent/Jeffree’s, Fool’s Gold

Tempo: 70 -110 bpm

Characteristics: Trap rap is defined by the content of its lyrics, but it also comes with a trademark sound: booming 808-style sub-bass kick drums, twitchy sixty-fourth-note hi-hats, dive-­bombing tom fills, and chilly cinematic strings.  … But the underlying principle of trap music is simple: instead of combining trap-style drum patterns with a rap by Rick Ross or Waka Flocka Flame or whoever, you pile EDM synths onto them.

To simply break it down, Trep music would be best described as a combination of:

  • 1/3 hip hop (tempo and song structure are similar) – with vocals sometimes pitched down
  • 1/3 Dance Music  – High pitched Dutch synth work, Hardstyle sampling, as well as a plethora of trap remixed of popular EDM songs
  • 1/3 dub (Low frequency focus and strong emphasis on repetitiveness throughout a song)

Trap, in an EDM sense, is the 808-heavy sound that dance music producers have been working within since early 2012. Many credit the production of hip-hop producers like Lex Luger and artists like Rick Ross and Waka Flocka as bringing a new acceptance to what had been for years a sound almost synonymous with southern rap artists like T.I. and Young Jeezy. EDM producers started applying the build-ups, drops, and breakdowns found within many dance music genres to this style of production, and created a monster. An obvious beginning to this scene was Flosstradamus’ remix of “Original Don” by Major Lazer, complete with samples culled from the infamous Trap-A-Holics mixtape series, and the sound exploded, to the point where previously-unknown artists like Baauer (with a little help from a meme that spread like wildfire) were catapulted to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 earlier this year.

Trap is a pretty harsh sound, but it’s one of my favorite styles of EDM. I have a trap playlist on youtube that I listen to sometimes while I write. I have a sample here from it.



Notable Subgenres: Hard Trance, Hard Dance, Happy Hardcore

Notable Artists: Showtek, Headhunterz, Wildstylez, Angerfist, DJ Issac, Tuneboy, Psyko Punkz

Notable Labels: Scantraxx, Fusion

Tempo: 140-150 BPM

Characteristics: The hardstyle of today is typified by tracks around 150BPM that are heavy on the distorted kicks thrown under insanely catchy melodies. Until [2014], professional vocals were really rare in this genre. Most vocals were only used for simple vocal stutters or clumsy monologues. … Other genres that can get used with hardstyle are Trap, House, R’n’b and Drum and bass.

I don’t have any original songs in this style, but I do have some remixes. I have a remix here of a song that I really like.



Notable Subgenres: Breaks, Florida Breaks, Big Beat

Notable Artists: Hybrid, Fatboy Slim, Chemical Brothers, DJ Icey

Tempo: 80-160 bpm, hovers around 130 bpm

Characteristics: Breakbeat is often mistakenly categorised as music which is not in 4/4 measure. However the most common criteria for breakbeats are clear drums and percussion in a 4/4 measure. The snare usually plays on 2 and 4: so . 2 . 4. … Basically, a breakbeat is the beat in that break…. In Primer notation: 1 2 33 4.

The unique percussion rhythm upon which the genre is based is one of the basis for the name. (The other refers to the Electronic music genre itself.) What makes this rhythm special is the use of a non straightened 4/4 drum pattern. This pattern is not to be found in House, Techno, or Trance. The rigorous use of syncopation and polyrhythm are the key features of this rhythm. Shuffling hi-hats and its beat-skipping kick drums are also other attributes of Break. Both of these have close connections with hip hop and b-boying.

You have to love how the idea of “breakbeats,” the isolated parts of classic funk and soul records that b-boys would dance to, started being used in a number of genres, including jungle and hardcore, to the point where an entire genre circulated around these beats was spawned. Acts like the Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim turned their devotion to these beats and used them as the backbone of their sounds, finding the perfect sounds and creating their own tracks – gaining a huge following during the “electronica” wave of the mid to late 1990s.

When I read about it, the names I recognized were Fatboy Slim and the Chemical Brothers, but the Chemical Brothers are the only ones I really listen to. So here’s a sample from the last Hunger Games movie soundtrack.


Downtempo (Trip Hop)

Notable Subgenres: Chillout, Lounge

Notable Artists: Moby, Kruder & Dorfmeister, Nightmares on Wax, Boards of Canada

Notable Labels: Warp

Tempo: 90-120 bpm

Origin: In 1994, the genre of ‘trip-hop’ emerged as a combination of slowed down breakbeats, hip hop tempo, but usually without rap. Trip-hop also had elements of drum and bass, ambient and jungle thrown in: it was originally very much a British genre. …

Characteristics: Trip-hop wasn’t necessarily relaxing like ambient music; it was often moody and dark. The one thing it did have in common with ambient music, however, was its slowed-down tempo.

An interesting thing about trip-hop is that, while the name of the genre is hardly used today, the slowed down electronic and sampled beats gradually merged with other genres to such an extent that by the turn of the millennium, pop, rock, dance and even folk artists may use beats that were originally the preserve of trip-hop artists.

I think out of all these styles, I listen to this type the least. The closest I have come to it is listening to DJ Shadow.






House and Techno source:


Trance source:


Dubstep sources:



Drum and bass source:


Grime sources:



Trap sources:



Hardsyle source:


Breakbeat sources:



Downtempo source:


Other subgenres not mentioned: Garage Music, Dub, Hardcore, Ambient, Juke, Electro Music, Electronic Rock, Electropop

Other EDM examples I like:




Recommended Reading

So for those of you who don’t know, I’m a very avid reader, and although I haven’t done much reading lately, for this post I wanted to give people an idea of my reading tastes and give some recommendations. Here’s a list of what I’m currently reading, in case you were wondering:

  • The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  • The Bling Ring by Nancy Jo Sales

    Source: greatreads4teens.com/
  • Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
  • Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits by Debbie Millman

So, to start, as I was going over my read shelf on goodreads.com – a highly recommended reading site for reviews – and making different lists for books that I like, I didn’t realize just how many books I read for because I found them funny. Being a fan of books science fiction and classics, I had never thought about that before. It’s funny when you go through things from the past what you can gain new insight over.

Anyway, when it comes to reading, I tend to read a couple of books at once, picking up one and reading a bit, then reading from another one later, maybe going back to the first. I don’t finish as many books as I start, but I like to learn new things from whatever I read, so I am always picking up new ones to allieviate my curiousity. I made a couple of lists of books that I would consider must-reads if you are into a particular type of writing-style.


The first list of recommended books are my all-time favorites. These books emphasize irony and the characterizations, I found, are very vivid, along with the descriptions.

  1. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeAlthough The Picture of Dorian Gray is not a comedy, I still found a lot of the dialogue to be very witty. It’s more of a dark book, but I found that it is a Victorian novel which I had the easiest time reading. The tale of Dorian Gray and how he is drawn into the exorbitant lifestyle by a lord and lives life to excess without consequence due to a deal with the Devil was to me a thought-provoking work about human nature.
  2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsThis is a series of books, 5 written by Douglas Adams, and one called And Another Thing… written by Eoin Colfer after Adams’s death. I haven’t read the one by Colfer, but The Hitch
    Source: amazon.com/

    hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; The Restaurant at the End of the Universe; Life, the Universe, and Everything; So Long, and Thanks For All of the Fish; and Mostly Harmless are really entertaining. A science fiction book about Arthur Dent’s escapades as the world ends is filled with zany humor. I love the random incidents and details that happen in the books and how they connect later in the series with more important events. It leaves me to wonder whether Adams planned it all out or if he was just a write-by-the-seat-of-the-pants sort of author.

  3. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy TooleThis book is funny because of the absurdity of the situations that the main character got himself into. A story about a modern-day Don Quixote and how he wanders around New Orleans with all kind of ridiculous accidents caused by him is funny and ironic because of the main character’s social ineptitude. It had me laughing and wondering, would anybody ever do that in real life? And then getting on the Internet and realizing, of course somebody would.


The second list is a list of children’s books which I loved and would read again. They don’t really have a lot in common, other than the use of magic.

  1. The Witches – Roald DahlThis one has been a long-time favorite for me since I was a child. I loved the descriptions used in the story. It’s about a poor orphan boy and his encounters with a witch in his neighborhood.
  2. Good Omens – Terry Pratchett and Neil GaimanThis is a quirky story about the end of the world told through multiple perspectives. It’s irreverent in its humor and definitely doesn’t conform to traditional story-telling conventions.

    Source: neilgaiman.com/
  3. Holes – Louis SacharA story about a kid who goes to a juvenile imprisonment and detention facility for a crime he didn’t commit. It has a nonlinear story line and uses vivid imagery.


These books are known for having a very unusual writing style that some might find very jarring. I like these books because they offer new perspectives through unusual tales.

  1. Slaughterhouse-Five – Kurt VonnegutThis is a satirical novel told in a nonlinear storyline. It uses irreverant humor and absurd characters, which I really enjoyed.
  2. A Clockwork Orange – Anthony BurgessThis is a science fiction classic and it is told through made-up slang, which makes it hard to follow. It tells the story of a teenager living recklessly and commits acts of mindless violence with his friends until he is caught and sent to prison. The Ludovico technique they use to cure his delinquent behavior reminds me of the time I had laser corneal cross-linking eye surgery, as my eyes had to be held open by clamps with occasional eye drops by an attendant, as I stared into a light for a half an hour. An excellent dystopian tale.

    Source: amazon.com/
  3. Fight Club – Chuck PahalniukThis story is also follows an odd narrative through an unreliable narrator. Tyler Durden is one of the most memorable characters I have encountered in fiction. The ending just makes the story even better, once everything becomes clear.

In retrospect, I guess you could say that I really enjoy nontraditional story lines with clever lines and a bit of random added in. I’m not sure what to say about that but just that I like what I like. Quirky and ironic books just make me see things differently, I guess.

I have a final list of authors and books that I recommend as worthwhile reads, written in no particular order. If you have any that you recommend to me, let me know!

  • John Green – Paper Towns
  • Stephen Cbosky – The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  • Steig Larsson – The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
  • Octavia E. Butler – Parable of the Sower, Parable of the Talents
  • Philip K. Dick – The Man in the High Castle
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby
  • Sylvia Plath – The Bell Jar
  • Vladimir Nobokov – Lolita
  • Beth Goobie – The Lottery
  • A. Lee Martinez – Gil’s All Fright Diner
  • Suzanne Collins – The Hunger Games
  • Nancy Farmer – The House of the Scorpion
  • Stephen King – Carrie
  • Harper Lee – To Kill A Mockingbird
  • Frances Hodgson Burnett – A Little Princess
  • Charles Dickens – Great Expectations
  • Ken Kesey – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

The Business of Nostalgia

Maybe you’ve seen it in a Buzzfeed article remiscing about trends from the early 2000s. Maybe you’ve been reminded of it by a recommended TV series on Netflix you watched years ago. Maybe it manifested itself in an old song playing on the radio that reminded you of your teenage years. Nostalgia serves as a reminder to us of the past, whether it b

Source: Instagram

e of music, trends, fashion, or just experiences had.

Miriam Webster defines “nostalgia” as:

  1. the state of being homesick: homesickness;
  2. a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition; also: something that evokes nostalgia.

For this post, I’m going to focus on the second definition given—that of a “wistful or excessively sentimental yearning.” There is an apparent interest in nostalgia present in social media: #ThrowbackThursday is a thing, articles showcasing Nineties trends become viral on Facebook, and many more nostalgia vehicles exist and are created to remind you of the past. And this isn’t lost on investors. It’s because of this we have seen so many remakes and reboots of old movies, TV shows, and other forms of media. Corporations are and have attempting to channel a feeling into a profitable enterprise. But is the business of nostalgia actually profitable?

Source: disney.com/

Some of the recent spate of nostalgia-driven ventures include reboots of old TV shows that self-declared kids remember as “oldies” but goodies. Shows like Full House, Boy Meets World, the X Files, The Magic School Bus, and others are being rebooted in response to the trends in nostalgia. In a Vogue article titled “What Is Behind the Surge of ’90s TV reboots?”, Sarah Mower writes:

Think about it: We all enjoy re-watching films we idolized as when we were just kids, even if they no longer hold up as well as they once did… It’s human nature to look at the past through rose-tinted glasses, and we apply that romanticized memory to our dearly departed TV series. http://www.vogue.com/article/90s-tv-show-remakes

Businesses are aware of the effect of nostalgia and how it affects sales. An article in the Atlantic by Megan Garber disclosed how Spotify takes into account birth year when it streams music in order to target music from a user’s younger years.

Nostalgia marketing is apparently a thing, and apparently according to this Forbes article,

Source: Instagram

it works particularly well among millenials. This is probably due to the fact that millenials, many of whom are inundated with student loan debt, look back on their childhood as a carefree time without the burdens of adulting that they are overwhelmed by now. Combine that with the overabundance of information on the Internet, and you get a generation of people going through quarter-life crises.

A Digiday article explains this:

Vladimir Vukicevic, co-founder and CTO of RocketHub, demonstrated in a rather wonky blog post that products based on nostalgia tend to depreciate slower over time. (Vukicevic only looked at tech products for his research.) And while marketers have used nostalgia as a tool for years, consensus is that millennials have a stronger affinity to the sentiment than previous generations: Nostalgia not only evokes better times — and a sense of belonging — but also makes younger consumers feel more fashionable. http://digiday.com/brands/early-onset-nostalgia-surge-cola-mad-libs-renaissance/

However, companies should be wary that not all nostalgia-driven ventures are money-makers. Many of these do not get the response that was hoped for by creators. Girl Meets World was cancelled by Disney, the Ghostbusters remake was a flop, and some nostagia-driven marketing campaigns fall flat.

These articles give advice for companies looking to attempt nostalgia-driven marketing:




It seems that the best nostalgia is story-driven, reinvents itself, and engages the target audience. A rehash of an old trend isn’t good enough, it needs to still stand on its own feet. There’s a reason why old trends go out of style. It’s important to figure out the target audience and find out from them what they really liked about the old trend and how it’s relevant in today’s world. Hopefully in the future we will see more works that manage to appeal to nostalgia while still being original.

Getting Back on the Horse

Well, here I am on another journey for getting in better shape. I got in pretty good shape last summer, but sadly, after my stay in the hospital I could not keep on my habits and am worse off than I was before I started going to the gym last summer. Here is me last summer: 1465667256145

Now I have to admit, I am now at the highest weight that I have ever been in my life, which is why I got the gym membership and am resolutely determined to get in the best shape of my life…. again.

Here is me currently:


Last summer I was very fastidious about keeping track of my exercise efforts. So I started taking snapshots of my final time every time I used a cardio machine and brought a journal to write down my work with the weights. Here are some samples:

Here was my general weekly work out plan: stretch daily (morning and night, though the morning one I started slacking on as my insomnia increased), one day a half hour on the treadmill (4 minutes walking, 4 minutes running, switching until the remaining 6 minutes are spent cooling down) and 15 minutes on the rowing machine; the second day that week (not necessarily the next day) 15 minutes on the rowing machine, then weights on 6 different machines – 3 sets of 15; and then on Saturdays another go on the treadmill (same routine), and then weights on at least 6 different weights machines (3 sets of 15 at least).

Doing this while working full time as a paralegal was exhausting, to say the least. And yet for some reason I was becoming increasingly restless, with a racing heart, racing thoughts, and an inability to sit still. I was walking around my neighborhood and Liberty Park for hours in the evening. I was walking to the grocery store and carrying my groceries home (even though I had a car). I was coming to work an hour early so I could walk around downtown until I started work. And every night it was getting harder and harder to go to sleep. I remember one time driving to work struggling to keep my eyes open. This all lead to my eventual nervous breakdown.

So now I plan to work on being in shape with a caveat – I will do things in moderation and giving myself breaks. After all of the medical bills I ended up with when I left the hospital worse off than when I went in, I need to focus on my work and getting out of debt. So I just need to buckle down and be a grown up. Let me just say that Adulting is hard.

My cousin added me to a Facebook group focused on motivation for improving health and I have gotten into the accountability thing. I have started using the S Fitness app on my phone to keep track of my steps (yeah, funny I just now started since having this phone since April) and I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app to keep track of calories. I am currently doing about 2 days a week at the Planet Fitness gym of 15 minutes on the elliptical and 6 of the weight machines (3x, 15 reps), although I today started experimented working with the free weights today, which I want to continue in the future. I am also studying to get my Paralegal certification, though the official study book turns out to be more of a practice exam book instead. (I got 50% on the Communication part of section one and 70% on the Interviewing part.) I also started a bullet journal to keep track of my goals and progress in all areas of my life and spent most of today filling it out.


It’s a little sloppy, but it does the job. I have a lot of goals for 2017 and I want to be organized to keep track of my progress attaining them.

So I am here fighting to put my life back together again and am so grateful to the friends who have stuck with and supported me during this time. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.

I know this post was sort of meandering, so thank you for sticking to the end. If you want to, please leave a comment on any goals you are working on for this year. Thanks for reading!