Discovering Night Panther

Music is so intensely personal and completely a matter of preference.

Once in a while there is a moment when a track or tracks of an album totally grabs you, at that particular time at that particular place. Tonight, I had such a moment. My Rdio new releases play later queue was randomly streaming and suddenly, the tune of Fever by Night Panther started playing through my headphones.

music, rdio, nightpanther

Night Panther

The album is their debut, I guess, Night Panther by Night Panther.

I cannot describe music in general – that is an exercise for another day. The band’s Soundcloud tag is “sex pop” which provides zero clarification as to the kind of music it is. The best I can do is synth-pop-indie-singersongwriter, not that my description is any clearer.

The album is just fun and rich in harmony and musical instruments. You can hear the track, and the rest of the album for yourself here.

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Letting go of a blog

Since 2010, I’ve maintained a collection of interesting stuff gleaned from usually nighttime travels on the web, called “Parenthesis“. It was housed on Posterous, which recently announced it would be shutting down as of the end of April 2013.  Sadly, I uploaded the last post for that blog today but happily, everything is moving over here to WordPress.

Here is that last post below (which will most likely “die” or whatever defunct web posts do, after this month):

FOUND A NEW HOME…..

Ever since the announcement that Twitter purchased Posterous in March 2012, I felt marching orders were pending. Two months ago, the not-entirely unexpected news that Posterous would be shutting down on April 30, 2013 broke over the web, and sadly, I starting looking around for another platform to which I could transfer Parenthesis.

I considered self-hosting, but seriously, with a full-time job, a young child, a thesis-in-progress, along with the normal concerns of a family with a mortgage, mobile carrier plans, and a student loan, that isn’t the option for me at this time, time-wise or budget-wise. (Though I’ve learned that there are awesome WordPress camps offered in British Columbia that inspire me to attend and develop my self-hosting mojo that may one day translate into an awesome site that won’t depend on anyone else’s service.)

In the end, WordPress was the only familiar, no-fuss platform that was available for free and that inspired some confidence in longevity over, say, competing interests of the company (YES, Twitter, this means you).

The new blog is Things in Parenthesis (alas, just “Parenthesis” was not available) and fortunately, most everything from the current site transferred over to WordPress.com very smoothly.

It is with fondness that I part with Posterous, as it was one of my first forays into any kind of web blog (Theomama’s Blits was that first foray), and one that provided newbies with a very user-friendly platform along with support, tutorials and even a bit of HTML training.

So, thank you to Posterous and its developers.

For my few readers, I look forward to seeing and engaging with you about media studies, culture, remix and visual culture at the new site.

empty chair

Back at it

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So the house is vacuumed, boys are out, I’ve got my coffee, the house is tranquil, and I’m back to tackle that thesis chapter.

Very happy. A good Saturday morning start.

Meaningless stats and finding a new home for my study blog

So, I just noticed that I tweeted my 3000th tweet today:

It’s fitting that this is the tweet that spurred on the process of migrating my media studies blog, Parenthesis, from Posterous over to WordPress (at least, right now, that’s the plan).

Posterous was so nice when it was in its heyday, and I’ve spent many hours customizing, rearranging, doing some coding, to get it to where I want it (and it’s still not even meeting all the requirements). It was a beautiful service, with easy-to-learn options, and ideal for a brand new web-o-sphere explorer.

I thought last year when Twitter took over that it was the beginning of the end but didn’t prepare well for that ending to come. Well, it’s here now.

Today, I’ve begun backing up that blog and preparing to move it to its new home.

 

Connections near and far

You don’t have to be local

I came across this most fascinating take on the tension between local and global by Derek Sivers. It’s something I’ve been looking into and thinking about in my research studies.

Sivers defines the two as such:

If you’re local, then you’re probably social, doing a lot of things in-person, and being a part of your community. But this means you’ll have less time to focus on creating things for the world.

If you’re global, then you want to focus on creating things that can reach out through distribution to the whole world. But this means you’ll have less time to be part of your local community.

In his conclusion, he strongly affirms that he is more global than local, that he prefers the global connections and work. Consequently, he spends less time in his immediate, physical community.

This post resonated with me because for a while, I’ve had some guilt about not being able to invest more in our local community here. Time really was a scarcity and some of it I chose to spend on my online work and projects and thus had this feeling of “losing out” on local opportunities and relationships.

It’s almost a new kind of normal to be as connected with folks far away as much as we are with people in our immediate physical environment. As Sivers points out, it’s highly possible to be MORE connected with those afar than near.

Can you even imagine this in a world 10 years ago? Even 5 years ago, smartphones and tablets, and more to the point, the social apps that they host, were not nearly as common as they have become in the past couple of years. They probably have a lot to do with enabling us to be connected the way that we can with those far away from us.

The thing to remember, though, is that the quality of that connection, of those relationships, are key. I know that having a lot of online friends is not the same as having deep, thoughtful relationships worked out over years of shared wine and story telling. That’s not to say that you can’t cultivate that kind of friendship with people far away online. But it really takes work and personal investment – of time, commitment, and sometimes, emotion – to make those global connections into something of value. This isn’t any different than what we do with people in our local community, it’s just that the nature of “meeting together” is different by way of location.

Late night prowls


men asleep father and son

So, while the rest of the world sleeps away (see above: at our place, too), I’m whittling away the wee hours of the night catching up on academic writing/ thinking/processing/reading.

This is not a healthy time to be up. But it’s. so. dang. productive.

What this means is that I have not found a good path, yet, for my work/home/school balance. I’ve been trying, really trying, to get school work done in the regular day. But after coming home from the office at 5:30-ish, sitting down for dinner, cleaning up, putting our little one to bed, it’s 8:30 pm and I’m pretty tired and my mind doesn’t process well at that time. It takes a good hour or a bit to get into solid processing, mode, too, after cracking open a chapter or article, so it doesn’t work at all if I’m totally bushed.

And thus the reading and writing lags (well, the academic reading and writing. Fanfic? That’s another story.)

So with my first deadline since I completed my first year of graduate studies coming up this week, I’ve been trying something new: sleeping when the little one sleeps, getting up at 11:30-ish (which is actually nice because then I get to see my husband when he comes in from his job at midnight), then working for 4-5 hours, going back to sleep until 7 or 8am then getting ready for a new workday.

After a few days of this, my body is more tired than usual, but it’s a new schedule. I don’t know if I can maintain it for a long time, but it’s been helping me get some good reading done. So while I feel wierd and creepy being up this late, I take comfort in the fact that there are probably tons of grad students who are also late night owls, finding their groove in the wee hours of the dark night.

Pinterest and Panoption

What a terrific read from the website viz : visual rhetoric, visual culture, pegagogy.

It’s about how we represent ourselves on-line, and how Pinterest has made it so easy to appropriate other “objects” (via repins or retweets) to speak for who we are and to visually perform our self-identities to the Pinterest network and beyond.

I think that part of the incredible success of Pinterest is because of its uniquely visual format, which sets it apart from delicious or diigo or other link collecting services. (Part of why I love Evernote, and before that, Microsoft’s OneNote, so much is because those desktop services let me clip and save images into my digital notebooks and then display them so that I can search and identify them by looking at pictures rather than reading text). Pinterest has made that link between our desire to showcase our innards: our interests, our desires, our passions, and our draw or pull towards a visual way of consuming information.

The author of this post compares Pinterest boards to the public communal bulletin board in coffee shops or grocery stores and makes a bunch of other interesting observations throughout the piece.

Highly recommend it. Catch the full post here.

A man and his phone….

Emailing Facebooking Twitting Googling etc (Taken with instagram)

Emailing Facebooking Twitting Googling etc (Taken with instagram)

 

Along the lines of an earlier post about Chris Crutchfield’s video project, here is a photo that showed up in my Tumblr feed today.

There is a photo project out there, I wish I remember by whom, looking at people and their phones in all sorts of places and times of the day. We have very interesting relationships with our phone in this day and age.

It’s a topic totally worth looking into more deeply.

Collaboration and commiseration with the cohort

Ah, breakfast.

All the better for the company of my fellow students. This time it was at The Loop in Calgary’s Myrtle Loop community and double delight in the fact that it wasn’t too cold venturing out earlier than usual on a Saturday morning.

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One piece of advice we heard a couple of times during our orientation week last fall was to really make the most of the relationships at grad school. It’s easier and harder than it was in undergrad: easier because it’s such a small cohort (less than 15 for this year’s PhDs and MAs together) and harder because everyone is so. dang. busy. Between reading, being a teaching/research assistant, writing papers, journal entries, articles and proposals, it’s hard to make time to meet, let alone coordinate getting together. 

But it’s so worth it. 

Conversation topics on this Saturday morning, other than food and shopping and goings-on in the city, consisted of:

  • hashing it out about the professors – who’s demanding, who was unfair, who has good advice, who doesn’t, who’s helpful, who isn’t (and it was all relative and personal)
  • assignment expectations
  • the stages of our writing (which pretty much we were all agreed on: nowhere yet)
  • the stages of our thinking about writing (lots of progress, different stages, there)
  • WTF about readings and theory

No one was really (yet) at the bitching stage and it was the best Saturday morning social gathering I’d been to in a while. 

I really don’t want to sound cliche, but it was really really good to know that none of us were truly alone in this master’s degree process: we were on similar pages with similar, yet different, struggles and cares and there was a true sense of encouragement and support amongst the group. 

If anyone ever asks me for advice about going on to graduate studies after a bachelor’s degree, I’m now going to include that same advice: get to know your peers and make relationships with them.