Personal Contentment 

It shouldn’t surprise people who know me that I’ve been making myself miserable a good amount of my life. Lately, I think I’m ready to change that by enjoying the little things in life, and by being realistic about what happiness actually means to me; I was chasing after an unrealistic unending sense of bliss to stave my depression. In reality all I’ve needed to do was just accept that bad things happen, mind my mood for a while, and then go play basketball or find some other fun activity to lift my spirits. I’m going to have good days, bad days, and awesome days. I don’t mean that saying “just be happy” will cure my depression, that’s not how mental illness works. What I am saying is that I’m done pushing myself into the dirt and makinge things worse. I’m not a “seize the day” kind of person, but I’m ready to live in the moment and fight the ghosts of my past that keep chasing me. 

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Walking Dead Review Postponed

Warning: spoilers and the rantings of a mad man named Kevin.

Hello everyone, as it stands I won’t be able to release a detailed review on this week’s episode of The Walking Dead until Tuesday, because of being busy with stuff and thangs. I will briefly state that I spent half of the time playing with my phone instead of watching the episode as it was just so boring. I only enjoyed the last 15 minutes or so. I don’t mind filler episodes from time to time, but filler placed before something huge will always annoy me to no end. More details to come on Tuesday.

-KCard 

Lost Life Passions

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I know how this person feels, this is what college did to me when it made reading into a chore for me rather than a hobby. I try to pickup and read books every so often, but concentrating on them just makes me fall asleep after reading a few pages. I just don’t have the mental stamina to read anymore, unless I’m editing something.

Hell, it even takes serious effort for me to write blogs if I don’t write them immediately. I don’t envy book lovers though, I’m happy that they haven’t given up on their primary passion in life. I suppose what I suffer from now is a strong lack of inspiration in my old passions. It’s important to remember the person I used to be, but it’s also important to keep my mind focused on the present and take things one day at a time.

I think I’m coming up through those awkward reflective moments of my late 20s where I start to “feel old” by lamenting my childhood and teen years being over. Something many people who grew up in the 90s like myself have experienced as well with the whole “90s Kids” nostalgia phenomenon.

I know things “can always be worse,” but I personally prefer the saying, “Things will get better for you.” I believe that giving people hope for tomorrow is more proactive, where looking at others people’s misery just stressed me out more. I have resolved to hope for a better future, while continuing to take steps in my present to reach that better tomorrow.

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GOT Short Review (Update on My Blog)

*Hello there, what a lovely night for SPOILERS!*

Hello again World of WordPress, Kevin here letting you know that I won’t be releasing a full review of Game of Thrones this week. I missed reviewing last week as well because I’m in a bind emotionally lately and don’t have time to focus my energies on writing as much as I uses too. My life is also going through some personal transitions, so I’m probably not going to be able to release blogs on a schedule anymore. I still intend to release reviews when I have the time, including the review for the UK band “Twist Helix”. Special thanks to Twist Helix for their patience in dealing with my lethargic arse.

Speaking of Game of Thrones, I did enjoy the last episode quite a bit, especially with how funny it was when The Hound killed those former members of The Brotherhood With Banners with that ax. I loved seeing Arya reclaim her identity after beating that nameless female assassin. Lastly, I’m glad Danny has returned to Mereen. GOT is becoming dark and bleak again like with how The Black Fish couldn’t help Sansa and Jon and Jamie saying he only cares about his sister. I look forward to next week to see if Ramsay will die in the upcoming battle for Winterfell. I’ve been looking forward to the death of The Bastard Bolton.

-KCard

Jaco Pastorious

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Photo credit: “The Basslink” via FaceBook

Hello again world of WordPress, I’m taking the time to write a fan admiration piece for the late, great Jaco Pastorious. While I’m primarily a rock bassist influenced by players like Steve Harris and Cliff Burton, I have nothing but respect for the players who pioneered the bass guitar into it’s own solo instrument. This is what Jaco Pastorious did with bass in the early 1970s, not just by being an amazing player who helped re-define and revive Jazz, but did so on his own terms (including his own unique sound in that he made the fretless bass guitar popular).

What does “fretless” mean? It means that the bass guitar has no metal lines to keep the bass strings intonated and that the fingerboard is just bare wood. Fretless creates a “smoother” sound than fretted instruments. See below:

What amazes me about some prodigious musicians like Jaco is how they they never let their fame go to their head.

In this video Jaco stresses that there aren’t any shortcut to greatness in musicianship, Jaco himself spent many long hours to learn how to read music (starting at 4 minutes and 40 seconds in the video). Jaco also learned intonation for the notes on the fretless using a fretted bass (8 minute mark and onwards)  His response to being told how successful he was in this video was a sentiment that all musicians feel; “Hey, just get me a gig, man!”

Jaco struggled with manic depression and bi-polar most of his life, and was killed by a club bouncer in 1987. He left behind a wonderful legacy with his music, and I hope more people who chime in elitist comments like “Jaco never needed to slap or use a five string bass” will realize Jaco was just a normal guy who eloquently played what he wanted too. Other musicians shouldn’t be criticized for their preferences on technique or style, but instead on how much they dedicate themselves to excelling with that style or technique (withholding conversations about auto-tune).

While Jaco never directly influenced my playing styles (I’m a heavy metal bassist), his words about hard work ring true to me in how I should apply myself musically from now on. I had a hard time being a music major in college in that I couldn’t read music on a professional level, but if I had known that even the greats of bass got stuck on reading, and busted their asses off; it probably would have helped me get over my mental blocks with sheet music.

I hope this blog has spread some awareness into the mind of bass players for all of you non-bassists out there in the world. They say bass is often felt and not heard, and I find this to be true until people are made more aware of bass through being told what to look for.

RIP Jaco Pastorious, I’m sure you’re jamming somewhere in heaven with the other greats of jazz.

-KCard

Where I’ve Been Lately

Hello again world of WordPress, it is I, Darth Vader. I mean, Kevin again. I just wanted to give people another life update about where I’ve been with how infrequent my posts have been.

Big news, friends! My dating endeavors are done for the time being in that I’ve finally found a girlfriend. I don’t expect the relationship to be the same as my previous four year engagement, but it should be nice to start the chapter in my love life and be close to somebody once again. In other news, I’ve since moved out of my parent’s house (my childhood home), and I’m now living independently with my band’s drummer. I will be reviewing “Fear The Walking Dead” when I get a chance to catch up with the episodes now that I have a reliable internet connection where I’m living.

I’ve also received a promotion at work along with a pay raise, and bought a new car, so overall this year has been wonderful to me. I’ve had some bad moments here and there, but I won’t let that get me down anymore since things have finally turned around for me. I’ll be blogging with more television reviews and commentaries on how supporting Feminism has changed my life, and I won’t be writing Op-eds that contradict the movements I claim to support anymore either. It’s an end to the bad times in my past and the beginning of something better for my future

I don’t expect everything to be sunshine and rainbows, but I will try to not mind the rainy days either as I’m happy with where I am right now. I look forward to continue writing for my WordPress and Twitter Audience for a very long time to come. Thank you all once again for checking out my blog, you’re all the reason I keep writing.

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Note to Self II

Be sure to announce to WordPress that Kevin is coming off of your blogging hiatus, Kevin will be blogging about more local bands, and let WP know that we are going to review Breaking Benjamin’s latest album. PS, find a decent editor for this blog since my last Game of Thrones review sucked. PPS, check with your therapist as to why you are referring to yourself in the third person on the internet.

-KCard

I Know Now What I Was Lacking

In October 2014 I tried to up the amount of content on my blog to become a “power blogger”, but it ultimately fell short because I don’t post consistently on a daily basis. I’m not upset about it, but I understand what I was missing now: passion.

It dawned on me yesterday as I started to try and play Iron Maiden ‘ “Hallowed Be Thy Name” on piano and it made me remember why piano was my favorite instrument to play; it makes me feel alive. I realized that if I turn my hobbies into chores then I was going to hate those hobbies.

I am very prolific with how much content I post on Facebook, so I may attempt to post more of my FB statuses on this blog to bring up the content. If not then I’m just going to keep doing my own thing and write (and play) things that make me feel alive.

-KCard

Game of Thrones 5.6 “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” Review

*Spoiler warning and disclaimer: additional trigger warning also has a spoiler inside of it. I take no responsibility for spoiled plot points if you read beyond this point. I will be getting preachy in this review as well about the ending of the episode.*
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Trigger warning: discussions of rape and sexual violence.

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Content warning: swearing

Sorry aboot the seriousness of my warnings up there, I have a bad habit of committing a cardinal sin of social media: I have posted Walking Dead and Game of Thrones spoilers on Facebook. Some of my childhood friends still hold it over my head. I understand they’re angry, but it comes with the territory of me being an entertainment writer.

I enjoyed seeing how most of the events of this episode unfolded. Namely it was nice to see Theon recover his sanity a small bit and for Sansa to finally stand up for herself in that (not too) fanservicey bath scene. I enjoyed seeing the Boltons plot against Stannis, and it was interesting to see how Cersei’s continuing to spin her web of power by getting Ser Loras and Margarey imprisoned. It was funny how quickly the “rescue/kidnapping” subplot in Dorne got resolved (thus paving way to a much greater rebellion subplot). Lastly, I enjoyed seeing Tyrion and Jorrah outsmart their captive slavers (for now).

I didn’t like seeing Loras and Margarey get imprisoned, I hated knowing that Sansa is in grave danger, and I really hated that last scene in the bedroom and here’s why:

I knew bad things would be happening to Sansa because of Ramsay, but I didn’t expect Ramsay to rape Sansa right in front of Theon like that at the end of the episode. I respect the simplistic nature of how evil Ramsay really is, but I heavily despise his character for these stunts that he pulls. At this point even The Joker would take one look at what Ramsay did and say “Damn, that’s fucked up”. The only villain more evil than Ramsay that I’ve encountered is the comic book version of The Governor from The Walking Dead (though they might be equal at this point).

Feminist media is ready to boycott the TV version of Game of Thrones over this mess, and I don’t blame them for not wanting to watch it. I can’t believe that there are people who said that Sansa “deserved it due to her own stupidity”. The only stupidity I see here are the people (mostly men) who constantly support the victim blaming portion of rape culture. This might have been in character for Ramsay and historically accurate of the time period, but it was still in poor taste. I don’t know where things will go from here, but I bet you all the gold that’s owed to the Iron Bank that Jon Snow would go off the deep end about what Ramsay did.

I’m going to keep watching GOT until the series ends, but I’ve pretty much left my hopes of any happy plot resolutions happening behind at the door. This show doesn’t fuck around, even though many of the GOT characters do. And with that, I will post a song made by Iwan Rheon (Ramsay) to erase the bad images left in my head from this episode:

I just found out today Rheon (which ironically rhymes with Theon) is actually a pretty damn good singer song writer. I hate Ramsay, but I still know to separate my emotions on the character from the actor.

-KCard

 

Game of Thrones 5.1 and 5.2 Review

*Spoiler warning: Rhymes with “soiler warning” but is grammatically correct and leaves much less of an undesirable mess short of internet flame wars.*

Speaking of procrastination on a Sunday (refer to: my latest reblog). Oh well, I’m all caught up on Game of Thrones the show, but I still need to pick up the books to re-discover the love of reading. I did recently pick up volume 1 of the GOT graphic novel though (I’ll review that as well when I finish it).

Seeing as I have to review two weeks worth of episodes of I’m not going to bother with summaries. I’m just going to touch upon what I liked and didn’t like.

What I liked: Tyrion is still the same old lovable smart ass we’ve known from past seasons. “Can I drink myself to death on the road to Mereen?” I’m also happy to see Tyrion and Lord Varies working to restore Daenerys to power in Westeros. Another thing I enjoyed seeing was the chemistry between Stannis and Jon Snow. To me, Stannis is a more interesting character than he was in season two, and is an interesting second father figure to Jon. It’s also good to Brienne of Tarth still kicking ass, as usual. Lastly, the pacing this season ‘s wonderful given how much plot they have fit into the last few episodes.

What I didn’t like: Cersei Lannister is more evil than Joffrey and Ramsay IMO, she’s down right cold blooded and heartless. I can’t believe the level of hatred she feels towards Tyrion, and not caring for innocent dwarfs who died by beheading. At this point I shouldn’t be surprised though, Cersei has been the cause of great suffering for many through out the series. I also disliked how Danaerys had to have that rogue council member executed by beheading for killing that Son of The Harpy. It’s a stereotype of the series when the protagonists stubborn sense of righteousness causes their followers to loose faith in their leadership (refer to: Rob Stark).

What I’m hoping to see: I know a few spoilers from the books, but I have tried to not spoil too much for myself. I’m hoping that the next few episodes help us see where the wars to come are going to be headed, maybe season five is where they start deviating from the books more. I’m hoping for more happy endings than sad ones, but I won’t get my hopes up knowing GRRMs tendency to troll his fans.

If there’s anything else I should cover in my next (hopefully on time) review, just let me know in the comments section.

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