Sunday, January 31, 2010

Orgasmic Duck Soup R.I.P.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

No Talking Tuesday # 121

The List:

Chicken salad sandwich (wheat)
with Yucatan soup

It definitely has a Cronenberg vibe

No Talking Tuesday # 120

The List:

I just remembered I don't have a

Want to drive me probably down
the street to get boxes?

10 small boxes
2 medium boxex

Sunday, January 10, 2010


My two friends and I have created a band.
That band is Nipper.

Myspace Page

Free MP3 Download


Nipper - Where Did You Go? (Where Are My Shoes?)

Vocals: Jason
Lyrics: Bira
Keys: Ali
Beat: Bira

Nipper - Baby Making Practice

Vocals: Ali
Lyrics: Jason
Keys: Bira
Beat: Jason

Nipper - I Climbed A Tree

Vocals: Jason
Lyrics: Bira
Keys: Ali
Beat: Bira

Nipper - Dead Billy's Ankle

Vocals: Ali
Lyrics: Bira
Keys: Bira
Beat: Jason

Nipper - Unimaginal Girl

Vocals: Bira
Lyrics: Ali
Keys: Ali
Beat: Bira

Nipper - Where Did You Go? (Where Are My Shoes?) Outtake

Nipper - I Eat Your

Vocals: Jason
Lyrics: Bira
Keys: Ali
Beat: Bira


A little while ago, Bira, Jason and I were sitting around Bira's apartment in our damp swim trunks, smelling faintly of chlorine, from an afternoon swim. I kept eying Bira's new full length keyboard and eventually slipped away from the conversation to play with it. What little I can play of the piano is purely based on an intuitive tactile relationship to the real thing, and as such, am completely impotent when playing on keyboards. That notwithstanding, I became completely absorbed in the luxurious freedom to assign any instrument to the keys, and began going through all the instruments in his database. It was a thrill to hear semi realistic French horns, oboe, cello etc. all commanded and modified with the same movement of my fingers I've ever only known to create piano sounds.

After about a half hour of methodically going through every instrument in turn and riffing on it for a few minutes, Bira leaned over his computer and improvised a beat that matched well with what I was playing. I continued to play against the beat for another couple minutes while Bira went into the kitchen to scribble on a piece of paper. He returned explaining that he had written lyrics that Jason was to sing over my keyboard playing and beat, and that Jason wasn't allowed to study the lyrics before hand, and any rehearsal or planning was not to be allowed. Jason nervously positioned himself in front of a mic set to record the computer speakers and his voice at the same time, and we set about recording our first song which went on to become "I Eat Your"

The results were hilarious and not all together as terrible as we would have imagined. So we set about recording another. We switched roles at writing lyrics, playing keys, creating the beat etc. An hour later we had written and recorded six songs and one outtake. We then proceeded to change out of our swim shorts and into white pants and sunglasses for a photo shoot in Bira's kitchen.

It then became time to come up with a name. I felt and sting of inspiration and throwing my arms into the air declared "We must call ourselves Hiroshima 3!" An argument ensued as Jason and Bira attempted to explain to me that an ironic American band calling itself Hiroshima 3, is in bad taste. I replied indignantly "What? Hiroshima is a city like any other. People there live, laugh and love like anywhere else. Why should they be forced to exist under the stigma of the bomb, and for that to be their only source of identity?"The argument ended in a stale mate as the only other worthwhile name we managed to come up with was Jason's idea to call us "Ten Piece Nugget".

Bira digitized the recordings from tape, I color corrected the photos and scanned the lyrics and put us online. And in the conversations involved in doing these things, naming and transferring files etc. We kept referring to the band as Hiroshima 3 in absence of a new name, and eventually through repeated use, the name became fixed in our minds, and so the matter was settled. That is until I spoke to my Japanese co-worker, and played him the songs and asked him what he thought of the name. He confirmed my fears that the name was in bad taste and asked if I had any others? I replied with my default name for anything which is "Nipper" (actually I usually go with Ltl Nipper) he liked it and thought it matched the music and vibe much better. So it became. And so it is, forever and always....Nipper.
New Year's Resolutions 2010

Lifestyle & Time Management

In bed by 1am
Continuing my pattern of moving my bedtime back an hour every year.
(Since my abominable college days when I was averaging a six am bedtime.)

Wake up at 8 am
Time to end my lifelong late to bed late to rise style.
To help my post Paris bakery morning fresh bread priorities.

Swim five times a week
I haven't done this since my LA days and miss it.
Plus I do my clearest thinking when I swim, and could use some of that.

Attend more Concerts

Learn a partner dance
IE. swing, tango, salsa, ballroom etc.

Resume it.

Get an apartment and settle down in East bay.

Stop pointlessly dating and wasting time:
1.Do not continue dating a girl for whom I know things won't work.
2.Reserve physical intimacy and involvement only for when there is long term potential.
3.Create room for a shared narrative.
4.Stop relating to dates as episodes of the Ali-show and defining girls through myself.

Be nicer and more polite to parents
Be more patient and tolerant of nagging.
Engage them more, as opposed to purely reacting to them.

Travel to Japan and England

Japan to make me accountable for my language learning and for the cherry blossom festival.
England to indulge in all things old fashioned and handmade and bookish, and social stuff.

Begin marketing my art and writing
To galleries, competitions, literary magazines, open mikes, selling prints etc.
This is the year I promote my art,
instead of just making it to sit in the closet.
I cringe at the idea of taking time away from making art to hawk it,
but I have to bite the bullet and start allocating time for this, it's time.


Study Japanese
(Become grade school proficient)
I've been struggling with this for too many years.
Time to finally conquer this demon.

Go through all books/notes in library
Copy down all the circled passages and notes I jotted down in the books I've read,
to preserve and make them more accessible for writing and research.

Study chess seriously
Begin studying books/opening theory.
Raise ELO score to 1700


Ideal economics policy essay
Thoroughly research/analyze and write.
Explaining parallel democratization of choice/defer to specialized authority approach.

Finish rough draft.

Dating book
Outline it.
Time to work this out before all my ridiculous insights fade with my new cool down dating resolution.

Finish micro memoirs for:
Harvesting Mozart
Age liar
Sleepy Russian/Greece revelation/breakup/ bondage carnival
As an extension of the dating book, and to document my more epic romantic traumas for posterity

Revisit/outline Menaqui
Probably not as a game this time,
but I still feel the Nema character and her world has legs,
and worth revisiting and casting into a new shape.

Write paper about indulgent crossroads artistic resolution consequences

Write to favorite artists
To show appreciation.

Tell myself a bedtime story each night as I go to bed
Whatever I remember of it when I wake up I must copy in my sketchbook,
in the form of words and drawings,
and story continues the next night.
Story finally finishes at end of the year fully written and illustrated in serial form


Sculpt self bust

6 oil paintings

Average two pages a day in sketchbook

Paint Anya&Fox and Nema
With new high fidelity digital painting technique.


Finish Yucatan short
and output Paris and Greece film

New short film
My understanding of film and direction has matured greatly since my young film making days,
time to apply it to some projects that prove it.

Cinematography equipment

Get it and experiment and educate myself with it.


Master scales in all keys
If I expect to maintain my the rate of improvement in my music as it's been the last year.

Record music by year's end


* Print and paste this list on bedroom door and near computer monitor.

Check in:

April 1st:
  • Resumed swimming and required sleep schedule
  • Enrolled in palattes
  • In new apartment and nested
  • Submitted to at least one literally publication, gallery, art contest, live performance etc.
  • First three chapters of Japanese workbook
  • Read through one chess book
  • Finish transcribing notebooks organizing notes
  • Gotten into the groove with bedtime story
  • Painted two oil paintings
  • 150 pages in sketchbook
  • Finish character design and lock story for anya&fox
  • Finish prepping Yucatan film
  • Digitize France/Greece film
  • Finish micro memoir for harvesting Mozart
  • All books in library notes and passages transcribed

July 1st:
  • Enrolled in a partner dance class
  • Traveled to Japan
  • Submitted art/writing more
  • Raised elo chess score to 1600
  • Written economic policy essay
  • Script concept fleshed out ready for outline
  • Dating book outline completed
  • Written to favorite artists
  • Sketchbook to 300 pages
  • Finished digital painting of Anya&Fox
  • Finished Yucatan film completely
  • Final shape and concept for France/Greece film
  • Finished micro memoir for age liar
  • Finished a total of four oil paintings

October 1st:
  • Met and become involved seriously with a nice girl
  • Made considerable strides with submitted art/writing
  • Learned scales comfortably in all keys
  • Finished all workbook pages in Japanese 1 textbook, and comfortable with material therein
  • Finished micro memoir for sleepy Russian(...)
  • Finished fifth oil painting
  • Dating book outline fleshed out and have people review it
  • Indulgent crossroads paper finished
  • Menaqui story and have a new outline for it
  • Finished all beats in script outlined and ready for final write up
  • All books in library notes and passages transcribed
  • Acquired all necessary cinematography equipment

No Talking Tuesday # 119

No list, nothing special to report.

Monday, January 04, 2010

New Year’s Resolutions 2009
Year End Review

Review of how well I performed with respect to my new year's resolutions.

, Greece and Japan
Travel to them

* Mostly accomplished.
I went to France and Greece but not Japan.
Instead I replaced the Japan trip with a trip to Berlin, and a cross country US road trip, and a bit of time in Montana. So all in all I feel pretty good about this resolution.

Girlfriend Stop dating around like an idiot and settle down with one ___________
Give less attention to crazy women
And more to emotionally healthy women

* Hmm, this is a hard one to evaluate...

I would say that for the most part I continued dating around like an idiot as I had been. But with the important difference that about half way through the year the opportunity for something real finally presented itself with one of the girls I had been dating, and after I got the emotional and chemical green light within myself, I really went above and beyond in trying to make things work with her. Ultimately after months of struggle and drama, it didn't. Though it ended poorly, In retrospect I actually really surprised and impressed myself with how constructive, compromising, and patient I could be when I become committed to trying to make a relationship work. So that being said, I can look back on the attempt without regret or disappointment. Unfortunately after things ended, I spent the remaining months of the year resuming my excessive dating ways with greater frequency and pointlessness than ever before. Something that shall not be allowed to continue in the new year.

So though I failed in this resolution, I learned I'm not as hopeless as I had imagined when it came to making commitments and seeing them through, and hope 2010 presents me with another such opportunity with someone I'm more compatible with.

Oil Paintings
Paint at least 6 awesome ones

* Failed.
Caused by my lack of prioritizing and not being settled in any one place. I spent the year working in the bay, having a place in LA, and traveling. I finished one oil painting, which I gave to my friend as payment for a bet I lost the year previous...

Finish it _______
transcribing old note/sketchbooks _______
Piece together and organize all like ideas and themes

* Mostly failed.
I transcribed almost all my note/sketchbooks. But haven't yet organized the ideas therin, let alone write a script from them.

Yucatan short
Finish it

* Mostly failed.
Finally digitized the footage, and rendered it out as a frame sequence, but haven't yet color corrected, edited, etc.

Master scales And be able to improvise freely in all keys.
Not just C major

* Failed.
Again, lack of prioritizing and not being settled in any one spot, and therefore unable to buy a piano. Which meant my only practice time was every few months when I visited my parents in Santa Barbara.

Old Negatives Scan and edit them

* Accomplished!

Japanese S
tart taking it seriously and become conversational

* Failed.
No excuse, just didn't apply any energy or time to this. Very sad.

Short Film S
tart and finish at least one new one

* Mostly failed.
I recorded some super 8 footage on my travels, but haven't yet processed and edited it into anything.

Record Music (my best of) by year’s end

* Accomplished!
Just simple piano recordings, but still something.

Anya and Fox Finish it in at least high quality storyboard form

* Failed.
Got as far as finishing the outline, and drawing some key scenes, but nothing that would constitute a full storyboard.

Literary Publications Begin submitting to them

* Failed.
Didn't do anything even close to this.

Mamiya or Hasselblad Get camera and appropriate gear

* Accomplished!
Got a Mamiya before my Paris trip and have fallen in love with it from the first day. I've since bought a second one to replace my travel battered original, plus a bunch of lenses and gear. Couldn't be happier about this.

Cinematography Get appropriate gear

* Failed.
Though I don't feel bad about it, because not being settled in any one spot this year, it wouldn't have made sense for me to have stocked up on cinematography gear.

Sleep Schedule
Commit to a more sensible one ________________
Don’t stay up past
2 am without a good reason

* Mostly accomplished.
I was able to average a 2:30 bedtime. Which is a huge improvement for me. I was sceptical that I was going to get anywhere near accomplishing this resolution, so am pretty happy about it.

Make this your internet start page to be reminded each day Also paste a print of this by computer monitor

I did this, but it was at my computer in LA which I was rarely ever at this year.

Check in at 6 months (July 1st) and be at least half way through all quantifiable resolutions.

Didn't do. Though it was a good idea. If I had, I'm sure I would have performed better.

Don’t start regressing in areas you are doing well in. Continue swimming, and Pilates. Stay addiction free, don’t start eating crappy food, don’t get lazy in general.

I half failed this. With all my moving and traveling I stopped swimming and Pilates. Though I did get much more into biking, have continued to eat well, stay addiction free, and stave off lazyness.

You’re not getting any younger. Many of your friends are settling down, and you are not as far along in your art as you hoped to be by this time. Don’t let down ten year old Ali. Be more awesome.

I'm trying little Ali I'm trying!
Piano Improvisations

Here are six improvised piano sessions I recorded recently
with my laptop atop a shoe box on my parents piano,
in keeping with my new year's resolution to record the best of my music by the year's end.

All obnoxiously simple themes garbled through sloppy fingering and mostly weak musical ideas.
They do however accurately represent the current level of my music,
and mark a vast improvement from how I played a year ago, which is encouraging.

Improvisation 1 in C Major

Improvisation 2 in C Major

Improvisation 3 in C Major

Improvisation 4 in C Major

Improvisation 5 in C Major

Improvisation 6 in C Major

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