Thursday, January 29, 2009

moving on...

one of my blogs is completely gone as the site where it was located crapped out and the admin said everything was lost. unfortunately, it was some of my earliest blog work and was possibly the most emotionally impacting work i had written. it had even been given the nickname "mental meatloaf," which was never really explained to me, but i think in all honesty it may've been a back-handed compliment (or just back-handed).

i have plowed through my other blogs, sifted through cross-posts, and i think i may've tapped every original blog-worthy post. of course there's my stumbleupon account, but most of that isn't blogging, however i did transfer the blog-like entries over to here. if there's anything i missed, i'll post it if i come across it. therefore, all posts past this point should be completely new and current.

thanks for reading thus far and i hope to further provide you with quality future reads...

back-words... just a thought or two...

*** this excerpt accompanied a photo and between the two, i had a fairly strong reaction. btw, the city is called shinjuku. here is the image link:

November 24, 2008
just a thought or two...
"Homeless in Tokyo - Tokyo
A homeless man in front of the lockers outside Keio department store. Sinjuku is a very busy area with a lot of department stores and a lot of people passing from there every day. While the shops are still open homeless people just wonder around waiting till they close so that they can lay their paper mattresses outside them and sleep. There is usually no interaction between the homeless and people passing by as homeless people don't usually beg and passers by try to ignore their presence. Tokyo, © Androniki Christodoulou"

The way homeless people are treat across the world is much the same. During the Great Depression many people were homeless due to no fault of their own. Sometimes that is still the case. Sometimes I wonder how it would be if ever I were to become homeless. That's why I try to help when I can- even when I haven't had an income. My mother and my great uncle also do what the can, each in their own way (she gives food and he is a minister at a homeless shelter). I know charity begins at home first, but sometimes I feel like my poverty may be a king's wealth to another, so I try to help when it doesn't absolutely break me because I, too, am usually hurting for money. I would be one of those people, silently hurting, never asking for help. To be in such a position is embarrassing enough as it is without having to as for help as well...

back-words... joke...

September 20, 2008
here is an old favorite joke of mine. i told it years ago and recently had a chance to tell it again, so i thought i would share...

There once was an Indian whose given name was "Onestone". So named because he had only one testicle. He hated that name and asked everyone not to call him Onestone.

After years and years of torment, Onestone finally cracked and said, "If anyone calls me Onestone again I will kill them!" The word got around and nobody called him that any more.

Then one day a young woman named Blue Bird forgot and said, "Good morning, Onestone." He jumped up, grabbed her and took her deep into the forest where he made love to her all day and all night. He made love to her all the next day, until Blue Bird died from exhaustion.

The word got around that Onestone meant what he promised he would do. Years went by and no one dared call him by his given name until a woman named Yellow Bird returned to the village after being away for many years. Yellow Bird, who was Blue Bird's cousin, was overjoyed when she saw Onestone. She hugged him and said, "Good to see you, Onestone."

Onestone grabbed her, took her deep into the forest, then he made love to her all day, made love to her all night, made love to her all the next day, made love to her all the next night, but Yellow Bird wouldn't die! What is the moral of this story?

Well, you just can't kill two birds with one stone...

back-words... recipe...

September 19, 2008
Congo Bars

Makes about 15 dozen
Cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, or pecans are all fine substitutes
for the macadamia nuts.
6 cups macadamia nuts
1 one-pound box graham crackers
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1.5 cups packed sweetened shredded coconut
Caramel for Cookies

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spread macadamia nuts on a baking sheet, and
bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Set baking sheet on a wire rack to cool.

2. Line an 11-by-18-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Using a food processor or rolling pin, finely crush graham crackers. Place in a medium bowl. Stir in melted butter. Press mixture into the bottom of prepared
baking pan in an even layer. Sprinkle the chocolate over the graham crackers. Sprinkle the coconut over the chocolate. Sprinkle the reserved nuts over the coconut.

3. Using a microwave or double boiler, heat the caramel until liquid. Drizzle caramel over macadamia nuts. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool. Cut into .75" x 1.25" pieces.

back-words... recipe...

September 19, 2008

Martha's version of the Congo Bar varies slightly from traditional
recipes in that she prefers to use Valrhona chocolate chunks instead of
chocolate chips. The fine-quality Valrhona chocolate makes them taste
better than ever.

Congo bars became popular in the 1950s, back when cacao beans were
imported from Central Africa, which, in those days, was known as the
Congo. But bar cookies have been around since at least 1896, when a
recipe for them appeared in that year's edition of the "Fannie Farmer
Cookbook." Bar cookies are just that much quicker to make than drop
cookies, which can mean a world of difference if you're pressed for time
but are still inclined to give your family home-baked cookies. They are
deliciously dense, rich, and moist in the center and perfectly crusty on
top. You can substitute chocolate chips for the Valrhona, if you like,
and you can use walnuts, almonds, or peanuts instead of the pecans.

Makes 18 two-and-one-quarter-inch bars

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for
buttering the baking dish
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
2 1/2 cups (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
Vegetable oil spray for spreading dough

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9x13" glass baking
dish, reserving butter wrapper. Set aside. Sift together the flour,
baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

2. Using a wooden spoon, beat butter and sugar in a medium bowl until
light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time,
mixing well after each addition. Add sifted flour mixture, and mix until
just combined. Add chopped nuts and chocolate, and mix to combine.

3. Place the dough in the prepared baking dish. Using the reserved butter wrapper, spread dough evenly. Bake until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Remove to rack to cool slightly before cutting, about 20 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut into 18 2 1/4-by-3-inch bars. Store in an airtight container up to 3 days.

back-words... recipe...

September 19, 2008
Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies

brownie batter:
4 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour

cheesecake topping:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups raspberries
1 tablespoon sugar

confectioners sugar, for sprinkling Brownies (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Butter and flour a 13" x 9" baking pan.

Make brownie batter:
In a metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water melt chocolate with butter stirring, and cool. Whisk in sugar and eggs, 1 at a time, and whisk in vanilla and salt. Whisk in flour until just combined and spread batter evenly in prepared pan.

Make cheesecake topping:
In a bowl with an electric mixer cream together cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy and beat in lemon juice, egg, vanilla, and salt. Beat in flour and spread mixture in an even layer over batter. Scatter raspberries over topping and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake brownies in middle of oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until top is puffed and pale golden and a tester comes out with crumbs adhering to it. Cool brownies completely in pan on a rack and chill, covered, at least 6 hours or overnight. Cut brownies into bars and sprinkle with confectioners sugar.

back-words... funeral...

*** i wrote this after 10pm. it was a hell of a day. since my dog, pogo, has separation anxiety due to being weened from his mother much too early and because i think of him as family, it was my choice to bring him along rather than leave him at home. my great uncle conducted the memorial and funeral services. i wasn't allowed in with pogo and i wasn't going to leave him in the car alone. so we stood outside of the chapel while the memorial service was conducted. later we went to the plot where the funeral service itself was conducted. there was no wake; the casket was closed. there was no tombstone present at the time; it wasn't ready yet. afterward some cemetery authorities shooed us away rudely several times. we couldn't even see her lowered into the ground. i had wanted to light incense at her grave, but circumstances didn't allow for it then.
since then, i have slowly eased my way back into doing things. some things still remain. i had been researching buying a new car to replace my current 14 year old car, but that will have to wait even longer. i had also looked into schools to resume and complete education so i could make a career shift/adjustment, but at this point i'm not sure if its time to resume that effort quite yet since i scratched the other cornea this month. i have resumed studying japanese, but i need to study more diligently.
time is no longer on my side for certain things, and yet i still feel like i need more time. i always felt more comfortable about moving on when there is nothing left to leave behind, but it's hard to move on when you are also leaving things behind. what concretely marks a point of separation/moving on, or is there even such a point in every situation? lately i think maybe such a point doesn't always exist and you have to make one for yourself while forging your way. i think maybe that has always been a difficult thing for me to do.

July 25, 2008
today was my grandmother's funeral. it was a difficult day for many in different ways. i came home and crashed afterward yet i am still tired... tomorrow my family celebrates my uncle's birthday early before he and my cousin leave town to return home. i should find some time to talk to her since we almost never have that opportunity. next week, i should think about easing my way back into life and routine again. what a long strange trip its been...

back-words... still dealing with death...

*** my grandmother's passing was not instantaneous; it was a long and extensive process full of suffering and emotional trauma. the day they took her off life support proved to not give her a peaceful death. instead, her body struggled, but wasn't strong enough to keep her alive on its own. my mother suffered the worst of all my family members. its ironic because she and my grandmother weren't close at all, but they had made their peace in the end, so that changed how she would feel about things. she continued to stay at the apartment for a bit longer, but eventually came back home...

July 8, 2008
still dealing with death...
i'm slowly getting back into stumbling again, with the help of a few precious friends. My grandmother's funeral won't be til the end of the month, so i'm kinda holding off on life's guilty little pleasures- to some extent... once that has come to pass, i feel like then i can get back on track with things i withdrew from shortly before she passed away.

on an additional lighter note, my grandfather is out of the hospital and his pneumonia is starting to clear up. i am glad he didn't throw in the towel upon my grandmother's death. we know he doesn't have much time left in this world due to an incurable longterm illness which he has had for decades, but we aim to make him as comfortable as possible while he is still here. after all, the point is he should be happy...

back-words... dealing with death...

*** this was posted to stumbleupon, hence "stumbling." my grandfather has been in and out of the hospital a couple more times since then with the same problems. the help isn't helpful and i think they will be replaced, or at least they should have been when things started to disappear from my grandparent's apartment at the facility. my grandmother's funeral was july 25th, 3 days before my uncle's birthday and less than a month before my mother's birthday. her passing was less than a month after my grandfather's and cousin's birthdays. everything has moved on to some extent since then and yet it also hasn't. most of the family has been permanently affected in some way to this loss. i, for one, never got to prove to her that i am not a failure, as she once deemed me to be. i hope i show some sign of change to my grandfather before he passes. mostly it doesn't matter to me anymore. i finally made peace with those sorts of issues long ago...

June 23, 2008
dealing with death...
i just figured maybe i should drop a blog since i havent really been stumbling for a while... my grandmother's health has been getting worse over the last few months and she finally passed away tuesday, june 3, 2008 at 7:00 pm, est. her services will be in late july. since then my grandfather's health has significantly deteriorated. it seems maybe he has given up on life. he is in the hospital with pneumonia- a kind that can be fatal to people either in his age range or with his kind of medical condition. as he has both counting against him, this is a very serious situation. he has also recently lost control of his mental faculties and in their place, is dementia, hallucinations, and memory issues which all seemingly transpired over night. its possible that it will clear up when the pneumonia is gone, but there are no guarantees. he also has a wound on his ankle which hasnt healed for over a year even with skin grafts and now the doctors are discussing amputation. the remainder of my family is at odds with each other. i feel alone more than ever and have postponed most things until life gets better, which includes stumbling. i hope to be back soon...

back-words... jung at heart...

*** there will definitely be more on this later. i have about 4 different results on the jung myers briggs personality test- most saying i, not e, but i am sure i feel a little e in me...

April 9, 2008
jung at heart...
why i dont test the same every time, i dont know. however i do have my suspicions the tests just arent adequate enough to fine tune the gray areas- now jung says im an enfj, however i know while i may have occasional social tendencies, i vastly prefer remaining home. go figure- an introverted former raver who still works with music...

back-words... holiday greeting...

March 23, 2008
holiday greeting...
happy easter to all near and far.
get some chocolate and rub it all over someone who deserves it!
just kidding...

back-words... unreliable technology...

*** oddly enough, i can't find a blog anywhere that specifies the date of death of my eternal hard drive. this blog would be the earliest to mention it and while i know it was right around this time frame, i'm a little surprised i didn't mention anything sooner, except perhaps i was hoping to acquire more concrete information in regards to a solution. many times i will not post about a problem until i am aware of how to resolve it, unless i am searching for feedback.

March 10, 2008
unreliable technology...
After owning a couple LaCie drives and having them both die, I finally understand it wasn't my fault. Upon searching for a replacement drive, I found reviews on Amazon for the exact product I had which just died after a little over a year. I have never seen more negative than positive reviews for a product before. This was really enlightening and I just wanted to share this with anyone considering a LaCie product.

back-words... updates...

February 7, 2008
snocap store is set up and posted to several sites.
soundclick store is up to date.
remastered a collaborative album into a solo effort and loaded it to all stores.
set up an account with tunecore to distribute works to several online retailers.
set up accounts with shoutlife, reverbnation, purevolume, & scriggleit.
still resolving issues with last fm regarding former label association.

one thing i have learned through all this was that even though i didnt sign any contracts things quickly became legal in the end. regaining control of my rights has been a challenging process. further more, i discovered i was once again a victim of identity theft, which has been a great burden. I am working hard to make everything right and remove or gain control over all fraudulent accounts. progress continues...

back-words... music update...

February 3, 2008
music update...
a reply from apple:

Dear Scott Cherry,

Thank you for your interest in iTunes.

After careful consideration of your application, we believe that the most efficient way to get your content up on iTunes in a timely fashion would be for you to deliver the content through one of the several digital service providers with whom we currently work.
ive been approved! hooray for me! =)

back-words... music update...

February 2, 2008
music update...
from snowcap:

Thanks for joining SNOCAP!

Your artist account has been created and you should receive an email message from us shortly.
Next steps:

* Follow the link provided in the email to activate your account.
* Log in to SNOCAP with your email address and the password you created during signup.
* Upload your mp3s, set your track prices and get your store on the web!

Thanks again for choosing SNOCAP. We look forward to working with you!

back-words... music update...

February 2, 2008
music update...
this from apple:

You have submitted your application. You're done!
Thank you for submitting your application to the iTunes Store.

We will review your application and contact you about getting your music in the iTunes Store. We will also keep your application on file, so there's no need to submit it more than once.
i will be keeping my fingers crossed as i can use any avenue of sales available...

back-words... info update

*** my feb. 1st entry stated i had parted company with a label. stumbleupon was the only place where i apparently blogged a follow up update.

February 2, 2008
info update...
both myspace pages have been corrected,
my soundclick store is up to date,
and i will be loading more mixes to lowercase sounds.

have a good weekend...

back-words... poem...

January 16, 2008

over here, over there
cuff you to a chair.
give you a mouthful,
pull your hair.
nibble on an ear,
taste a salty tear-
can't get enough
of that sexy stuff
called lovin'...

back-words... fruitcake recipe...

December 27, 2007
Fruitcake Recipe
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups dried fruit
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
lemon juice
1 gallon whiskey

Sample the whiskey to check for quality. Take a large bowl.
Check the whiskey again to be sure it is of the highest quality.
Pour one level cup and drink. Repeat.

Turn on the electric mixer; beat 1 cup butter in a large, fluffy
bowl. Add 1 teaspoon sugar and beat again.

Make sure the whiskey is still OK. Cry another tup.

Turn off mixer. Break 2 legs and add to the bowl and chuck in the
cup of dried fruit. Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets
stuck in the beaterers, pry it loose with a drewscriver.

Sample the whiskey to check for tonsisticity. Next, sift 2 cups
of salt. Or something. Who cares? Check the whiskey.

Now sift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table.
Spoon. Of sugar or something. Whatever you can find. Check the
whiskey... repeat...

Grease the oven. Turn the cake tin to 350 degrees. Don't forget
to beat off the turner. Throw the bowl out the window.

Check the whiskey again.

Go to bed. Take the rest of the whiskey with you. Who the hell likes
fruitcake anyway?

back-words... holiday greeting...

November 22, 2007
Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends!
Eat well, be happy, and be thankful for all the little things in your life. :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

back-words... surprise...

November 7, 2007
today i found myself with the surprise of updating my information all over cyberspace. why, you ask? because my record label gave their site a face lift. among many additions of features includes a collective page for the artists they endorse. we no longer have individual pages, so i no longer have a specific page that is just mine. i am, as the pet shop boys put it, one of the crowd. i also have to toss out my business cards since they feature a homepage that is no longer mine- in fact, it now shows videos made by other artists. life happens and you move on...

back-words... 1974 Central - apology…

*** this was my last post to 1974 central. nobody replied. sometimes i debate if i want to post any further to this site, but i feel like everything has been falling on deaf ears thus far. i would like to see 1974 central really take off and become an amazing archive to the world for the year 1974, but somehow i kind of doubt that will ever happen. i'm just not sure how to make it work on my own, plus while it may be my desire, it really isn't my place; i don't think i even have all the controls the admin does. additionally, this is very draining to do with such limited resources that one really needs a team to work on such a project...

June 17th, 2008

I would like to take a moment and apologize for not posting anything in recent weeks. Things have been very difficult here as my grandmother passed away recently. My family has been doing many things to try to keep each other going. Unfortunately, it has left me physically and emotionally drained on a perpetual basis. It’s difficult to carry on with many things recently, but rather than keep you hanging as to what happened to my regular posts, I felt I should offer an explanation. We were in hopes she might survive, but her health continued to decline. I have felt the need for a little time off from this while I get family arrangements sorted out. I was in hopes to feel motivated to post trivia sooner, but I am still lacking the drive and have had to put many things off while things are still being resolved. I hope to return with more posts as soon as possible. Thank you…

back-words... 1974 Central - Trivia Post #6...

May 19th, 2008
Trivia Post #6

1. Which Premier Russian dancer defects to Canada and joins the American Ballet Theatre?
2. Feb. 27: People magazine debuts, with ____ gracing the cover as Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby. Who was that actress?
3. Jan. 21: The U.S. Supreme Court decided that pregnant women of which profession could no longer be forced to take long leaves of absence?
4. Feb. 8: The three-man crew of ____ space station returned to Earth after spending 84 days in space. Which space station was this?
5. Who was the first black model on the cover of a major fashion magazine (Vogue)?
6. Which world renown life-saving maneuver was developed to save choking victims?
7. Which English classic rock group formed the new label Swan Song Records with their manager Peter Grant?
8. Who resigns as premier of Israel?
9. April 3-4: The second worst storm of the 1900’s struck America’s heartland, killing 315 people and injuring over 5,000 people. What was this storm “event” called?
10. How many tornadoes occurred during The Super Tornado Outbreak?

The Super Outbreak is the largest tornado outbreak on record for a single 24-hour period. From April 3 to April 4, 1974, there were 148 tornadoes confirmed in 13 US states, including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and New York; and the Canadian province of Ontario. It extensively damaged approximately 900 square miles (1,440 square kilometers) along a total combined path length of 2,600 miles (4,160 km).
(Source: Wikipedia)

1. Mikhail Baryshnikov
2. Mia Farrow
3. teachers
4. Skylab
5. Beverly Johnson
6. the Heimlich maneuver
7. Led Zeppelin
8. Golda Meir
9. The Super (Tornado) Outbreak
10. 148 tornadoes

back-words... and you thought you were a Tiger…

May 16th, 2008
and you thought you were a Tiger…

Have you ever been out to eat Chinese food and you see one of those Chinese Zodiac placemats at your seat? It tells you what what your Chinese sign is based on what year you were born. Guess what? The Chinese year is based on the Lunar Cycle, not the Gregorian calendar followed by most civilizations. Therefore, just because you were born in a specific year, 1974 in the case, doesn’t necessarily mean that you are a specific sign, such as a Tiger. Huh???

OK, show of hands- who understands the Chinese Zodiac? and who doesn’t? I’ll explain some things to bring everyone up to speed.

The Chinese Zodiac is a 12 year cycle. Each year of the 12 year cycle is named after one the original 12 animals. The Chinese zodiac refers to a pure calendrical cycle; there are no equivalent constellations like those of the occidental zodiac.

That was pretty simple, right? Sure it was. Now here’s where things get interesting…

The 60-year cycle consists of two separate cycles interacting with each other. The first is the cycle of ten heavenly stems, namely the Five Elements (in order Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water) in their Yin and Yang forms.

The second is the cycle of the twelve Zodiac animal signs (生肖 shēngxiāo) or Earthly Branches . They are in order as follows: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep (ram or goat), monkey, rooster, dog, and boar .

This combination of 5 elements × 12 animals creates the 60-year cycle, which always starts with Wood Rat and ends with Water Boar. Since the zodiac animal cycle of 12 is divisible by two, every zodiac sign can also only occur in either Yin or Yang: the dragon is always yang, the snake is always yin, etc.

It’s a little mathematical, but still fairly comprehendable. Now let’s get a bit complicated…

Since the (traditional) Chinese zodiac follows the (lunisolar) Chinese calendar, the switch over date is the Chinese New Year, not January 1 as in the Gregorian calendar. Therefore, a person who was born in January or early February has the sign of the previous year.

Are you scratching your head yet? sort of? not really? Let me explain further…

Feb. 3, 1973 - Jan. 23, 1974 is the year of the Ox (Water).
Jan. 24, 1974 - Feb. 10, 1975 is the year of the Tiger (Wood).

Therefore, my fellow 1974′nians, if you were born between 1/1/74 & 1/23/74, you are an Ox. If you were born between 1/24/74 & 12/31/74, you are a Tiger. Can you dig it? Sure, it’s no sweat! Next time you’re out having Chinese with your friends and/or family you can blow their minds while waiting for your meals.

back-words... 1974 Central - Trivia Post #5...

May 13th, 2008
Trivia Post #5

1. February 19: BRMB (now 96.4 BRMB) begins broadcasting to which area?
2. January 6: ____ Radio Mystery Theater (1974-1982) debuts and is broadcast on 218 stations. Which major broadcasting company owned this serial?
3. Which American comedian, vaudeville performer, musician, and radio, television, and film actor passed away on December 26, 1974 (aged 80)?
4. February 8: After 20 years, ____ airs its 5195th and final episode on CBS Daytime. What was the name of this epic serial?
5. August 5: For the first time on a preschool children’s program, the UK show ____ covers the death of the main character, Inigo, as the actor who played him (George Woodbridge) had died & the show is renamed Pipkins. What was the name of this serial?
6. Which popular British sketch comedy which aired its final episode this year, is first shown in the US on KERA-TV in Dallas, Texas?
7. May 6: The $10,000 Pyramid moves to ABC with whom as the host?
8. September 11: Little House on the Prairie (1974-1983) starring whom, premieres on NBC?
9. Name That Tune premieres on ____ daytime with Dennis James hosting, and in nighttime syndication with Tom Kennedy hosting. Which major broadcasting company hosted this series?
10. January 7: ____ debuts in a 90-minute special on NBC daytime. The episode shows the first nudity (which was merely simulated and not visible) on American daytime television. What was the name of this series?

March 11: The children’s special Free to Be… You and Me, produced by comedic actress Marlo Thomas, airs on ABC. Free to Be… You and Me is a record album and illustrated songbook for children, first released in November 1972, and later in 1974 as a television special, featuring songs and stories from celebrities (credited as “Marlo Thomas and Friends”). Using poetry, songs, and sketches, the basic concept was to salute values such as individuality, tolerance, and happiness with one’s identity; a major thematic message is that anyone, whether a boy or a girl, can achieve anything one wants. The album has become a cult classic across the United States amongst many who were children in the 1970s.
(Source: Wikipedia)

1. Birmingham, England
2. CBS
3. Jack Benny
4. The Secret Storm
5. Inigo Pipkin
6. Monty Python’s Flying Circus
7. Dick Clark
8. Michael Landon
9. NBC
10. How to Survive a Marriage

back-words... 1974 Central - contributions & submissions…

*** since i have admin duties and capabilities i took it upon myself to make an additional request for contributions and submissions, neither of which has ever happened since my request, that i know of...

May 6th, 2008
Contributions & Submissions…

I would like to reiterate the desire for materials to post to the site. We would love to see photos, specifically of 1974, to post for nostalgia sake. Many of us have little or no visual documentation of our birth year and all that was important and popular. I handle our trivia section and it would be great if people sent links of their favorite nostalgia sites. While I have by no means exhausted my sources of information, I would like to keep a strong variety of information so that I may continue posting 1974 trivia as long as possible. Additionally, we would also like to see other documentation from the year 1974- video, sound bites, etc. Please contact our hostess or me if you have anything to contribute. Together, we can shed light on what happened throughout the world during this spectacular year. Thank you…

back-words... 1974 Central - Trivia Post #4...

May 6th, 2008
Trivia Post #4

1. March 3: Turkish Airlines Flight 981, a DC-10, crashes into a forest near Ermenonville, ____, killing 346 people. At the time, it was the worst aviation disaster in history. In which country is Ermenonville?
2. May 1: Who creates the first draft of what would eventually become Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope?
3. August 7: Peter Wolf, lead singer of the J. Geils Band marries which actress?
4. November 1: Which corporation ceases its legendary dye-transfer printing process?
5. March 17: A freight train on which railway is derailed when it hits a rock slide near Spences Bridge, British Columbia?
6. August: The Seoul subway opens in which country?
7. February 8: After 84 days in space, the last crew of the temporary American space station ____ return to Earth. Which space station was this?
8. Which robotic space probe had three scheduled flyby’s- Venus (Feb. 5), Mercury (March 29), and Mercury again (Sept. 21)?
9. March 25: the United States division of Service Games changes its name to ____. What is that company name which is still in use today?
10. The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics was founded at Naropa University in 1974 by which two Beat Generation poets?

Mariner 10 was a robotic space probe launched on November 3, 1973 to fly by the planets Mercury and Venus. It was launched approximately 2 years after Mariner 9 and was the last spacecraft in the Mariner program (Mariner 11 and 12 were redesignated Voyager 1 and Voyager 2). The mission objectives were to measure Mercury’s environment, atmosphere, surface, and body characteristics and to make similar investigations of Venus. Secondary objectives were to perform experiments in the interplanetary medium and to obtain experience with a dual-planet gravity-assist mission.
(Source: Wikipedia)

1. France
2. George Lucas
3. Faye Dunaway
4. Technicolor
5. Canadian Pacific Railway
6. South Korea
7. Skylab
8. Mariner 10
9. Sega
10. Allen Ginsberg & Anne Waldman

back-words... 1974 Central - Trivia Post #3...

April 28th, 2008
Trivia Post #3

1. February 18: The rock group ____ sells out the first of two nights at Madison Square Garden, without a bit of advertising for the show. Which group was it?
2. March 12: John Lennon is involved in an altercation with a photographer outside the Troubador Club in Los Angeles, California. Lennon and friend Harry Nilsson had been heckling comedian ____ and were forced to leave the club. Who was the comedian?
3. Who leaves Genesis and begins solo career?
4. The original Alice Cooper group breaks up. The band’s leader, ____, changes his name to Alice Cooper and goes on to a solo career. What was Alice Cooper’s original name?
5. Who released the album Autobahn?
6. Who released the album Natty Dread?
7. Which artist had the #2 hit Seasons in the Sun?
8. Which comedian/musician was born on September 19, 1974?
9. Angel and the Snake formed in 1974, but changed their name to what in 1975?
10. Who released her debut recording, “Hey Joe”, which many consider to be the first punk rock single?

In 2007, Fallon wrote the song “Car Wash for Peace” with all the proceeds donated to charity. He performed the song on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The View and dedicated a MySpace page to the cause. Around the same time, a video circulated on various Internet sites called LonelyFallon32, in which Fallon parodied YouTube celebrity Jessica Rose (a.k.a. lonelygirl15) and later performed the song.
(Source: Wikipedia)

1. Yes
2. Tommy Smothers
3. Peter Gabriel
4. Vincent Furnier
5. Kraftwerk
6. Bob Marley
7. Terry Jacks
8. Jimmy Fallon
9. Blondie
10. Patti Smith

back-words... 1974 Central - Trivia Post #2...

April 22nd, 2008
Trivia Post #2

1. October 30: The “Rumble in the Jungle” between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman takes place where?
2. November 24: A skeleton from the hominid species Australopithecus afarensis is discovered and is given what name?
3. December 24-December 25: Darwin, Australia is almost completely destroyed by what?
4. Volkswagen’s ____ automobile first enters production. VW will go on to sell 22 million, and the model is still in full scale production as of 2008. What model was unveiled?
5. The world population reached ____ billion people. How many billion?
6. April 9: Which American actress and adult industry queen is born?
7. Which infamous British graffiti artist touted to have been born in 1974?
8. Which “Mama,” an American folk rock and classic rock music vocalist (b. 1941) passed away on July 29?
9. Which American jazz pianist and bandleader (b. 1899) passed away on May 24?
10. Restrictions on holding private gold within the United States, implemented by Franklin Roosevelt in 1933, are removed on what date?

Australopithecus afarensis is an extinct hominid which lived between 3.9 and 2.9 million years ago. In common with the younger Australopithecus africanus, A. afarensis was slenderly built. From analysis it has been thought that A. afarensis was ancestral to both the genus Australopithecus and the genus Homo, which includes the modern human species, Homo sapiens.
(Source: Wikipedia)

1. Kinshasa, Zaire
2. Lucy
3. Cyclone Tracy
4. Golf
5. 4 billion people
6. Jenna Jameson
7. Banksy (aka Robert Banks)
8. “Mama Cass” Elliott
9. Duke Ellington
10. December 31, 1974

back-words... 1974 Central - Trivia Post #1...

April 14th, 2008
Trivia Post #1

1. The year 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on which day of the 1974 Gregorian calendar?
2. In response to the energy crisis, Daylight Saving Time commences nearly 4 months early in the United States. What day did this take place?
3. February 8: The debut album from KISS is released. What was it called?
4. March 29: Mariner 10 approaches which planet?
5. April 24: Stephen King publishes his first novel under his own name. What was that novel?
6. May 18: Under project Smiling Buddha, _____ successfully detonates its first nuclear weapon, becoming the sixth nation to do so. What was that nation?
7. June 6: A new Instrument of Government is promulgated, making which European country a parliamentary monarchy?
8. August 9: Richard Nixon becomes the first President of the United States to resign from office, an action taken to avoid being removed by impeachment in response to his role in which scandal?
9. Which professional stunt man fails to cross the Snake River Canyon in Idaho, when a drogue parachute deploys prematurely on his rocket-powered Skycycle X-2?
10. October 20: Ending nine years of nearly constant touring, which group began an extended hiatus after finishing their Fall U.S. tour at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco?

A common year is a common type of calendar year. It has exactly 365 days and so is not a leap year. More generally, it is a calendar year without intercalation. A common year of 365 days has exactly 52 weeks and one day, so consequently the next new year is one day of the week later. In the Gregorian calendar, 303 of every 400 years are common years. By comparison, in the Julian calendar, 300 out of every 400 years were common years.
(Source: Wikipedia)

1. Tuesday
2. January 6, 1974
4. Mercury
5. Carrie
6. India
7. Sweden
8. Watergate
9. Evel Knievel
10. The Grateful Dead

back-words... 1974 Central - frippery pursuit…

*** last year, i was asked to take part on a website based on the facebook group 1974 central. the website is actually a blog which allows its members to contribute various data specifically regarding the year 1974- births, deaths, discoveries, awards, achievements, world events, etc. officers were appointed for each month and i was appointed for trivia, since i suggested it and the month of march was already being represented by someone else.
to tell you the truth, the site is kind of dead and has been since mid-'08. the last ten posts were by me from april to june. no one posted since or even in between. none of the monthly officers have posted; nobody has posted at all. i took a hiatus when my grandmother passed away and haven't posted since, but i have been to the site a few time to check on things and sift through the comments awaiting approval. tonight i spent a few hours clearing out 105 pages of spam-ridden comments. the only traffic to this site since i last checked in has been spam. now that's amazing. for a while the site was offline, but i guess i have the admin to thank for that. funny thing is she doesnt ever reply to my messages anymore, so i guess she is pretty busy. i'm not sure if the site is worth maintaining further or if it will even stay up for much longer.
i would like to keep a record of the posts i have made while i am busy transferring old blogs so i will include a small 1974 central section within the back-words series. i hope you will enjoy reading these posts...

April 14th, 2008
Frippery Pursuit…

Welcome to the trivia section! I hope to shake things up a bit for you and provide an entertaining and (*gasp*) educational experience. Some things you may already know, some not so much. I’d like to keep it fun and not too much of a brain buster for everybody.

I would like to try a couple different formats and see what everyone prefers. Our lovely admin and hostess has given me carte blanche to Run this section as I best see fit. First, I will present a regular trivia posting regarding things that transpired during 1974. Second, I would like to present random 1974 factoids which may or may not be educational which will usually pertain to one or more questions I have posed in a given trivia post, but should certainly be interesting. Finally, a lot of consideration has gone into how to present you the questions and answers to the trivia posts:
How often do I present new trivia- daily, weekly, monthly?
How many questions should I pose per trivia posting- one, five, ten?
Do I present the answers below the questions within the same post?
Do I present the answers a week later?
Do I use invisible ink so you have to wipe your screen with lemon juice to reveal the answers? — well, that one is a bit of a stretch, but trust me, I have been interested in enhancing your trivia experience to the fullest.
So how about upside down text? No, just kidding… maybe.
I figure I will start off with a weekly posting of ten questions and I will present the answers below the questions. If that works well for most of you, I will maintain that format.

With this introduction out of the way, I will commence on some trivialities for your cerebral pleasure. I hope you enjoy the section. If you have any feedback, send me a note. I can’t make any promises, but I will do my best to run a decent section. Thank you.

back-words... welcome and intro...

Sunday, May 18, 2008
Welcome and Intro…
Hi, thanks for checking out my blog. There’s a few things I would like to detail before going any further. As you will see in my blogroll, I have several blog links listed. I keep more blogs than I have listed, but I use those the most. As a result, I will not be using this one page very often, except for posts related to 1974 Central which do not pertain to the main site, itself. In other words, posts that are specifically about me and my childhood would be here while posts about trivia and generalities about the year 1974 would be found in 1974 Central. If you would like to read about my work and general music topics as well as edm culture, then check out my dj and producer blog. If you would like to read my poetry, random meditations, and things that capture my interest, then check out the other blog i keep on myspace (scott blog). In case you’ve come across this page without knowing about 1974 Central, allow me to explain. 1974 Central is an e-community devoted to those who were born during the year 1974. It started out as a Facebook group and took off from there. This blog space is allotted as a result of being a member of that e-community, but I am not only a member, I am an officer as well. I am in charge of Trivia and I help with other contributions, submissions, and announcements. It’s something I enjoy doing in my spare time. I hope you will enjoy my various blogs and if you have a chance, I hope you will enjoy 1974 Central as well. Thank you…

back-words... introduction

*** links invalid. introduction is a culmination of information from other posts but a necessity being the first post for facebook.

October 7th, 2007
while im bound to repeat some of this info on a subsequent basis, i would like to use this first blog to introduce myself and provide you with some important links.

most of you know me as scott, some of you know me as djsquelch, and some of you also know me also as phase shifts. my life has always been and will always be about music. i dj and produce various styles of electronic dance music, or edm. these styles include ambient, downtempo, lounge, idm, acid, minimal, trance, house, techno, jungle, breaks, dnb, hardcore, happy hardcore, gabber, industrial, avant-garde, experimental, noise, acid jazz, dub, reggae, turntablism, jazz, disco, rock, & spoken word.

a lot of this is looking familiar, right? thats because i post variants of this information just about everywhere i go where i have a chance to post an introductory blurb about myself. i like to get the word out about what i do because this isnt a hobby; it is my life and i have many big plans.

i have many places where you can find me and i encourage you to take the time, listen to everything whenever you possibly can, and add me as a friend. while a lot of my work is available for free, i do offer a lot of it for sale. if you cant afford it i understand, but if you can, i would really like to see some financial support via album sales. theyre not that expensive, actually, and you can hear it all before you buy it. additionally, the free albums may not be free forever. i have yet to determine an album is no longer free, but it is my intent to pull an album from remaining accessible for free after a certain point. my album downloads are in the thousands, but it isnt paying the bills. other ways to support me would be to hire me to dj at your parties and clubs, request owners to have me to play at venues and festivals you attend, and recommend me to your friends. i would appreciate it beyond what words could describe.

without further ado, here are some useful links:
myspace- (my musician page) (my personal page)
amducias records- (my artist page)
soundclick- (my sales page)
lowercase sounds- (my dj page)

i usually release an album every month. when i do, i post an announcement along with some important links. i spin live online and i am about to resume a weekly show over at lowercase sounds. they host some of my mixes, which are available for download. more mixes will be supplied soon as well as a broadcast schedule. i am proud to call these places my home. i hope you will enjoy my work and encourage your friends to listen, too. thank you for your support.


back-words... my feedback for facebook...

*** sometimes i gripe by invitation. this was one of those times. i still don't like the new layout. i like the old layout of everything on one page. that way no one misses any details. i know how it can be; sometimes i feel lazy and don't feel like browsing extra pages. i know others feel like that, too. unfortunately, this is one of those times you bite the bullet and move on...

Thursday, September 11, 2008
My feedback for facebook...
I despise the new facebook layout. In fact, it isn't even design! Design is more than merely rearranging how things look; it's about clear and effective communication of visual information. This does not succeed in that effort. The worst failure being in hierarchal arrangement of critical features- menus are alway on the top or the left; this is the way most English-speaking cultures function. It would seem the individual or team facebook hired to create this monstrosity didn't not learn design in college, if they even went to college.

Part of facefook has been about allowing the users to make their pages look as they want it, but now that freedom has been effectively destroyed. Initially users had a choice in using the new format. I tried it and witched back on the first day. I hated it then and I still hate it now. I am disappointed facebook has forced this upon me, but then again facebook doesn't see a need for many of my freedoms since I must endure messages and notifications both in my email and here.

Just because I am not spammed to death on here doesn't make this better than MySpace. I'm not too happy with them either, but at least they didn't change the layout so disruptively for its users. At least their features are useful. Facebook, you've let me down again.

back-words... general update on life and such...

*** i could've sworn i posted this somewhere, but at this moment i cant seem to locate it so here's this one...

Entry for November 12, 2008
this is one of the few blogs where i haven't posted anything in a long time, so i figured i was long overdue for providing an update in regards to things that have been transpiring in my life since my last post.

this year has seen many things: another birthday, identity theft, a self-run business slowly rise and quickly fall, admin-level status at a web site, the loss of a family member, communication briefly re-established with other family members, and contemplation of career change accompanied with going back to school again. all this is on top of the daily and other incidental stuff with which i already deal. without a doubt, it's been quite the emotional roller-coaster ride, especially when i take into consideration my past and my future.

my birthday serves as a yearly milestone where i assess how far i've come, what i've accomplished, what i'm currently doing, and what my plans are. it's not so much of a comparison with other people as much as it is a comparison with what i feel i could be doing based on a potential happy medium that i generally try to strive for- nothing too great nor too poor.

as many of you know, last year saw considerable marks in success. i released 10 albums (with a cumulative 15,000+ download result) including a collaborative album which i later remastered as a solo work which i released this year. indeed i have plans for future works, both specifically and generally speaking. after pulling off to work independently, i was accepted to sell my work with apple itunes along with several other companies online. before i was able to send my work to each of these companies, my external hard drive died, which i have described in great detail in a previous post. this put my life at an abrupt standstill. i had no backup plan. if anything, returning to music was my backup plan. due to various medical situations, i've become limited in what i can do so working at home on music seemed like my best option considering my abilities and resources. even though it seems life has other intentions for me, i will not be giving up on this dream and it is my intention to slowly rebuild my way back to where i was before and surpass that milestone.

in the meantime, i'm still limited as to what i can and can't do. time has been slowly healing physical and emotional wounds. i have had time to reconsider life, options, and so forth. an option i've been giving strong consideration to is teaching english as a second and/or foreign language, specifically in japan. why japan? because before i was a live my family had been there while my grandfather was still in the navy and i have grown up seeing all sorts of things attesting to their love of being there and i have been captivated by these relics and on my own experiences found myself gravitating to all things japanese over the course of my life, so it only seemed natural that my first thoughts were of japan. asia, in general, is seeking native-speaking english teachers for all levels of education and they are paying very well and if you get a private job, then the pay is pretty phenomenal. I could really use something that would provide a decent, reliable income. that is something i have never had- its always been decent or reliable, but never both.

so here i am trying my best to become fluent in japanese so that i can go out there and get a job teaching english, but wait- don't i need some sort of experience and educational background in that field before landing such a job? yes, indeed i do. this means completing my existing education so i don't lose all the work i've already done over the course of about 7 years in four colleges. then i need to get an additional degree and perhaps certification as well as work experience before i can even go over there and work. additionally, i will have to perform a massive overseas move as well as getting a home, which will be monumental tasks in of themselves. i've already done all the research into that as well, but i've determined this is something that i want to do and even if it takes me around 7 years to accomplish, i will get it done.

sounds great, but what about the music? that will be sitting on the back burner as little as possible while i am trying to get all these other things accomplished. another goal of the teaching would be to better afford my ability to work on music and probably the repair (if possible) of my external hard drive. if i can get that repaired, then i can get back on track where i was with music sales and continuing further album work, broadcasting, and more. everything i had previously entertained doing in the line of music i still would like to do and i think i can be successful doing that anywhere in the world.

ok, so you mentioned a lot of other stuff happening thats been messing with your abilities... yes, my grandmother passed away this year. her health has been deteriorating for several years now and this year seemed to bring some considerable problems- a broken leg, a heart attack, and then spending her final days in a hospital where she would eventually die. the last medicine the doctors gave her lead to her death. they knew it might do it and my family was informed and for some reason everyone thought it was ok to do. well, she went into a coma, stopped breathing on her own, and after two weeks they finally unplugged her life support and she died a painful, scary death. she was also buried this summer and that was also an ordeal in of itself. i saw relatives i had stopped talking to for quite some time. i saw my grandparents' latest poor choice in assistants there as well. it was not a good day. i chose to bring the dog because he is family and he has emotional problems with being left alone for various reasons. because i had him with me, i was not allowed to go inside for the memorial service which was performed by my great uncle, her brother, how ever i was allowed to attend the burial service as that was outdoors. i miss the person she sometimes was, but not the person she became. her death cemented that things would never be good between us again, much as i had already suspected. in a way i had already said my goodbyes long ago, so the day felt very awkward for me. i think everyone had slightly different feelings on that day and continue to have slightly different feelings. everyone is slightly different now and yet they're still quite the same. things have quieted up between me and my relative once again. everyone is doing what they had been before, the only difference being that my grandmother is no longer part of the picture. it's been hard dealing with things in a way i can't quite describe. i intentionally abandoned certain activities i knew i wouldn't be able to perform during that time and i have resumed most of those activities, such as career and educational research, learning japanese, and a couple of recreational things online, but not everything is back to normal.

i was an active trivia official on a website dedicated to my birth year where i posted on a weekly basis, but now i merely hold the title as i haven't done anything there for months except excuse myself from activity due to family matters. i have resumed recreationally surfing the web and talking to friends online, but i still find myself testier about many things that i used to be more patient about and i've noticed with every major life-affecting event, that i get more and more like this and i don't really care for it. it's something that i try to keep in check, but i can't quite control it 100% of the time, either.

my grandmother's passing hasn't brought much change. my grandfather has seemed to grow more bitter of her, and he continues to tire of life. many of her things have vanished and it seems the help was involved, but he rehired them instead of hiring new help. this places quite a bit of unnecessary tension around the place because my mother will not go while any of them are there and if they are, she insists they leave. my uncle lives out of state so he isn't much help in many matters unless my mother pesters him to do something by phone or during one of his rare visits.

it's hard to keep focused when you have so much swimming around in your head, even more so when you're predisposed to having problems with maintaining focus. things have been breaking down right and left this year as well. my tv died so i have to use a small old one which means i can't really read anything on it or appreciate any rental in any great detail. i can't really afford a replacement at for the time being, either. my home has flooded some more this year and it got pretty bad. i am still fighting mildew problems and telecommunications problems as a result. i've been repairing computers in hopes i can get them all completely functional so that mine will work as they used to (if not better) and i can sell some others online so that i can get a little money. finding ways to make money has been a pain because it almost always costs money to make money. i was hoping to find ways to get ahead and it seems like i am barely staying afloat, all the while i am still receiving minimal financial assistance from my mother when she is able to afford it. i am lucky as most mothers wouldn't do this. i am trying to make the best use of her financial assistance, which does not always come as the easiest of choices. there are so many distractions and oh so many things to do, and there is always more to do than before. all i can do is keep trying and keep planning and someday i might manage to make things work ok...

back-words... yahoo300 button...

Entry for November 07, 2008
Hey who remembers having a Yahoo 360 button on their Yahoo browser toolbar?
Now who remembers why it was removed?

I remember both. Because I use so many yahoo e-community resources, I do use a yahoo toolbar and it has all the buttons I use to access the yahoo sections which I frequent regularly. One of those buttons used to be the Yahoo 360 button. Among many of the changes and plans yahoo has made over the years, they were planning to do away with Yahoo 360. However this never happened. Who knows why, but Yahoo 360 is still around. However, the button is not.

Guess what Yahoo? I want my button back!

back-words... production update...

*** i believe this entry may've already posted under another title, but it seemed fitting to post it again here after the last entry i just posted. i really don't want to get into specifics as to why i parted ways with this label. it's a terribly long story, there has been some lasting damage, and frankly i wouldn't be surprised if i were being watched occasionally for things that i may say and/or do, therefore at this juncture you will see no residual bitterness nor laundry-airing. aside from legitimate concerns, it just isn't very professional and i prefer to maintain a quiet distance. it's over and i have moved on. once things are right with my external hard drive, i will be on the path to bigger and better things, including hopefully picking up where i left off in terms of selling my work. i hope i will not have completely lost my entire fan base by that time as i've rebuilt from scratch before and it was a difficult and time-consuming process.

Entry for February 01, 2008
Today marks the end of one path and the start of a new path.
I have parted ways with Amduscias Records in search of greener pastures and broader horizons.
This means my music will no longer be available for free download at The Internet Archive.
During this time, I will be keeping my Soundclick store current.
You will be able to purchase my work there as usual.

I may also be reviving a record label I started a few years ago, Groove Rhythm.
I have several options and I will keep everyone posted with my progress as usual.
Thank you all for your continued support.

PS - While aspects of my production takes a new shape, I still broadcast weekly on Continue to count on great sounds from djsquelch & Phase Shifts!

back-words... update...

*** this link is no longer pertinent...

Entry for November 07, 2007
info update: i no longer have an artist page on the amduscias site.
begin here:

back-words... broadcast schedule update...

*** while this link is valid, i have not broadcasted live on there since march '08 when my external hard drive died. i do have a couple of recorded mixes that circulate the playlist when others aren't broadcasting live and they are available for download as well. it is my intent to resume broadcasting on lowercase sounds asap...

Entry for October 21, 2007

i finally have a new schedule with a new station. starting 10/30/07, i will be hosting labor of love on lowercase sounds every tuesday night, 8-10pm eastern. tune in and kick back as i play deeply chilled sounds. broadcast sessions will be focused around ambient music, ambient sounds, and other chilled genres and tempos applied in an ambient nature. often resulting in delicious fusions that promote relaxation and an upbeat vibe. i already have a couple mixes posted for free download and i will have more to share soon.
check out the site, bookmark it, and get ready for a weekly adventure that will rejuvenate your souls.
i will provide additional updates as changes occur.
tune in, feel the vibe, dig it.

back-words... update...

*** none of the links are pertinent/valid except for the myspace and soundclick links. as previously mentioned, i am no longer with a label and acid grave folded. this post is also a culmination of other posts. sadly, i barely used the yahoo360 blog at all, wasting great potential for additional exposure; i was still learning facets of self-promotion at the time...

Entry for May 14, 2007
hey there, its been a while since i last posted, but i have a number of things to share...

first off, im sorry if you cant find my broadcasts anymore. im sure this problem is not uncommon lately. i have also been affected by legal actions courtesy of the riaa, so i no longer have a home that can afford to let me broadcast sweet tunes online. i will not let this stop me. i am in the process of finding a new home who can afford to let me play...

in the mean time, i have mixes posted at in the form of torrents. there are 15 active seeds currently and i will keep them up or reseed upon request as long as possible. there are tracklists with each mix.

and last but not least, i have signed on with amduscias records. i have two releases posted online for free downloads right now. you can find several free releases under the amduscias label right here:

just as a reminder, i dj as djsquelch and produce as phase shifts.
current info always hits my blog first so you may want to add me over on myspace:
...and if you wish to purchase any tracks, you can find my shop here:

i hope you all will enjoy the tunage!

back-words... introduction

*** none of the links are valid/pertinent except for the myspace links. this was my first post on my yahoo360 blog and it was a culmination of part of one of my myspace introductions and part of a broadcast schedule posting. i figured the combined information would be a good way to start off this blog. I've never really been much of a blogger, so most of my blogs and postings to various forums and mailing lists have been music related. considering that factor, there will be many blogs and posts i will not be transferring here as they are merely cross-posts stating things already stated and posted here. when the transfers are complete, that will conclude the back-words series of posts. i hope you appreciate the play on words, homophonic with backwards, since these are all posts from the past...

Entry for September 01, 2006

artist, musician, writer, thinker, dreamer... life is about finding a balance and being happy while youre here... my music helps me find and achieve that balance. to learn more about my music, go to

My personal page is located at

i am also a photographer and traveler and have driven alone all over the united states and been to europe. i have driven to upstate new york, down to south beach miami, chicago, and i have driven to california twice; once to long beach l.a. area, and once to santa cruz. i have documented these travels a bit and every month i add about 45 more photos to my spot at

a lot of the time i just clicked while i was driving because of no place to pull off, but theres some good ones in there. these journeys have taken me to some intense places physically and spiritually. as much as i learned from all that i am still finding myself picking up new lessons from those experiences. life is an incredible journey. keep your eyes open and experience as much as you can while its still possible. more to come...

i broadcast regularly on a few stations online. if you are familiar with my djsquelch and phase shifts accounts on slsk, then you know what to expect... check it out:

my stations:
to listen -
to listen -
for info -
for info -
*daily broadcasts.

lazy station:
to listen -
for info -
*mondays live at 7 pm est for 5 hours.

to listen -
for info -
*daily prerecorded and live broadcasts.

for those who dont know me yet, i dj and produce the following genres:
ambient, downtempo, lounge, acid jazz, idm, trance, minimal, acid, house, breaks, jungle, dnb, avant-garde, noise, hardcore, happy hardcore, gabber, experimental, industrial, dub, reggae, turntablism, jazz, disco, rock, and spoken word.

tune in, enjoy the vibe, dig it...
thanks to all for listening and continued support.


i just thought i would mention that it snowed about an inch or two yesterday. it's noteworthy because it almost never snows in this area anymore. it is at least the first snow of the year, if not for the whole winter season, thus far. i love the snow and cant get enough of it, especially when so little falls. i miss the snow. i have many fond memories associated with snow. Unfortunately, today it is gone, much like those moments i so fondly remember. at least it will snow again...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

taking yet another break...

this concludes transferring blogs from both my myspace accounts, but never fear, i have more to go! yes, it does seem like a lot and this was the majority of it. if you thought 65 from my music account was a lot, todays count was 74 transferred, plus i omitted several cross-posts that were musically related. i still have some more to go before i am through and as usual, i will continue to try to omit repeating further cross-posts. i will call it a day for today and resume soon with more- possibly even the rest! i hope you've been enjoying reading along. thank you.

back-words... haiku...

*** originally this was untitled, but i think surprise makes a nifty title. it's the only haiku i have written that i can think of- at least, there wasn't any in my archive. i hope you enjoy this one...

Monday, November 10, 2008

sipping her hot tea,
she choked spitting in disgust,
this is old water.

back-words... banking frustrations...

*** this is almost more of a multi-part blog as i had additional follow-ups posted.

Friday, November 7, 2008
banking frustrations...
Recently, I came across a situation with my bank charging me a $50 penalty fee based on an error they made. I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't like having my money disappear unless I knowingly and willingly spend it. I thought I would share my note to them. I have yet to receive a reply. By the way, the subject line of my note to them was "NFCU makes an error and I eat a $50 penalty fee..."

As you can infer from the subject line, I am very upset with the way NFCU has been keeping track of my account. Not only did I opt out of paper statements since my accounts are now accessible online, but I check my account on a regular basis to keep track of my balance standing so that I may ensure I do not over draft my account. NFCU, on the other hand, does not seem to live up to their promises.

If I were to overdraft on my account NFCU used to allow such a thing as long as it wasn't by too large of an amount and I would always replace the missing funds within a day or two, max. These days, NFCU will automatically prevent an overdraft from happening during the transaction at the sales location, be it online or at a store. At least NFCU will usually do that- not always. NFCU is also supposed to display pending transactions to my acount, but often those pending transactions will disappear a day or two before they are posted, thus making my account appear to have more available funds than what it actually has.

This discrepancy is a gross inconvenience when I make a point to ensure I have available funds before I make a purchase. Under the presumption that NFCU account tracking is accurate and up to date, I make a purchase. Only later, such as today via a letter in the mail, do I find that I have been hit with penalty fees amounting to $50.00 for two transactions totaling less than $22.00 that should have been able to clear based on NFCU's accounting.

Another situation like this happened a little while back where I was waiting for an e-check to clear. It was listed as pending for days beyond when it was supposed to clear. Then the pending listing was gone and I saw I still had available funds for another transaction (which I made) and I find myself hit with another penalty fee for overdraft, of all things.

Today's alert of a penalty fee hits particularly hard. I confidently conducted transactions under the presumption that NFCU was keeping my account balance accurate and thus I had funds available. Instead, I find this was apparently an inaccuracy and now my sharecheck account is showing a negative balance and NFCU withdrew what little I had in my savings account, which of course didn't even compensate for the $50 penalty that I feel I've been unjustifiable awarded. If anyone should have a penalty fee, it should be NFCU for not keeping better track of my account balance.

These days, I conduct all my transactions electronically. This should make it considerably easier for NFCU to keep my account balance as accurate as possible. I also find NFCU's arbitrary decision to charge $25 as a flat penalty fee regardless of penalty amount to be in gross abuse of its account holders. What if I had made 5 small transactions that day? That would have amounted to $125 in penalty fees! Does NFCU think that is fair? Surely, I hope not.

For years NFCU did not conduct business this way. My entire family has been using NFCU for generations and I feel NFCU has been slowly declining in appeal in recent years. It's frustrating to me to see this happen. If NFCU will not relinquish such a short leash on its account holders, the least NFCU can do is keep the account holders' accounts accurate! If NFCU cannot keep an account holder's balance up to date and accurate, then the penalty fees should be reconsidered. The reason I am faced with these penalty fees is do to NFCU's own error in displaying my account balance incorrectly. Therefore, I would like to see these penalty fees removed as they affected both my accounts adversely. Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.
Scott Cherry


I have a reply from my bank and it came the very next day- imagine that! Interestingly enough they removed the $50 penalty fees from my account. However, they also contradicted themselves more than once. They said it was a one time courtesy and its is in fact the second time they have removed penalty fees they charged in error. They also said they prevent overdrafting the account balance and yet they clearly dropped the ball because they failed to keep my account balance accurate and up to date when i had double-checked prior to making purchases. In essence, They said, "we're wrong, but we will pretend we are not wrong and we will more than likely make this mistake again at your expense. Without further ado, here is their reply...

Subject: NFCU makes an error and I eat a $50 penalty...
Navy Federal Response 11/07/2008 : Thank you for using Navy Federal Online. A review of your account indicates that on 3 November 2008, PAYPAL INST XFER tried to debit your account for $5.93 and $15.94 but they were returned due to insufficient funds (NSF) and your account was charged $50.00 in NSF fees. Please understand that each time the amount of a Visa Check Card Point of Sale (POS) transaction is processed and exceeds the balance in your checking account, your account will be charged $25.00. Each time a check/ACH debit is presented for payment and returned for insufficient funds, your checking account will be charged a fee of $25.00.

As requested we have waived $50.00 NSF fees as a one-time courtesy. Please note that Navy Federal will not waive any further fees unless a fee is charged due to our error.

Please note, when a member makes a purchase with a Visa Check Card, the merchant usually sends through an authorization request which is approved or disapproved. If approved, a one-day hold is placed on the checking account for the amount of the transaction. The following day, the hold is removed and the funds are returned to the checking account. This is a standard operating procedure with many financial institutions. After the hold "drops" off the account, you have the opportunity to "use" the funds again until the transaction actually posts. Since the merchant is responsible for submitting the transaction for payment, Navy Federal has no control over the amount of time this may take, in some cases, it may take several days for the actual transaction to post to the checking account.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please let us know.

Posted by scott on Saturday, November 08, 2008 - 9:33 AM


imagine my great dismay when i woke up this morning to find my banking institution had fucked with my account again. theyve done a better job of trying to cover their collective ass this time, yet they still contradict themselves plus the overdraft service they offer is supposed to already be covering me. does acquiring it again make life magically delicious? i think not...

Your Message 11/13/2008 : What are you doing to my account??? you just took out $50 dollars again today and I have not been conducting any transactions since I last communicated with you. I have had no notice of and failed transactions, nor any any other problems. Please stop removing $50 dollars from my account! You are supposed to refuse transactions that would overdraft my account when there are insufficient funds, not let people overdraft my account and then charge me for it. This is only few days after my last correspondence with you. Frankly, I feel like I need overdraft protection from NFCU! I've never felt so violated! Leave my account alone!

Subject: NFCU makes an error and I eat a $50 penalty...
Navy Federal Response 11/13/2008 : Thank you for your follow up message. A review of your account indicates that on 10 November, the available balance in your checking account was $1.53. On that day, PAYPAL INST XFERT tried to debit your account for $5.93 and for $15.94, but they were returned as NSF and your account was charged $50.00 in Return Check Fees.

Please be advised that when an item has been returned to the payee's bank, the payee is permitted to submit the item for payment as many times as necessary until it is paid; therefore, you will need to obtain the status of the item from the payee. Each time an item is presented for payment and is returned for insufficient funds, your checking account will be charged a fee of $25.00 the next business day.

Please note that we are unable to waive any more NSF fee as we have already waived $50.00 in Return Check fees for you as one-time courtesy. It is your responsibility to ensure that sufficient funds are available at all times in your account in case an item is presented for payment.

Our NAVchek Line of Credit service provides overdraft protection for a checking account and allows access to the credit line directly without first having to deplete the checking account balance by the negotiation of special NAVcheks. This service is available in increments of $500.00 up to a maximum of $15,000.00, subject to Credit Committee approval. The annual percentage rate (APR) on a NAVchek Line of Credit is 14.9%. The minimum monthly payment required on a NAVchek Line of Credit is 2% of the total outstanding balance shown on the monthly Statement of Account or $20.00, whichever is greater. If the account is over limit and/or past due, these amounts will be included in the amount billed on the statement.

You may apply for a NAVchek Line of Credit online by clicking on "Checking" located in the center of our Home page. When the next screen appears, click on "NAVchek Overdraft Protection" and "Apply Now" to complete the application. If you prefer, you can call 1-800-336-3333 or 703-255-2626, 24 hours a day, seven days a week to apply. If your NAVchek Line of Credit request is approved, we will mail a NAVchek Line of Credit Agreement and Disclosure for you to sign. It cannot be faxed to you or printed at a branch. Once we receive your signed agreement, we will activate your new line of credit and make it available for your use.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please let us know.

Posted by scott on Thursday, November 13, 2008 - 5:32 PM

back-words... of consumer frustrations with a favored product...

*** Downy never did reply to me. perhaps they considered me to be a flake or worse? i think they could have at least addressed my product inquiry...

Sunday, November 2, 2008
of consumer frustrations with a favored product...
Who has a favorite product? Chances are that we all have at least one. Chances also are that at least one of our favorite products have become hard to find or even discontinued. If it starts to happen to you too many times you might feel a little frustrated as a result. The following is a letter I sent to Downy because I can no longer find a product they declare is not discontinued and should be found at any of my local stores. What transpires of this is yet to be known, but I thought I would share my experience thus far...

Citrus & Light™ Ultra Downy® with Febreze® Fresh Scent-
This is possibly one of the best products Downy has ever released. My family has used Downy for generations beginning with my grandmother. Now I use it, too. However, being a male, I prefer something a little more masculine which is why I prefer the Citrus & Light scent.

Unfortunately in recent months I cannot find it anywhere anymore- not at my usual grocery stores (Giant, Safeway, Harris Teeter) nor at places such as Target, KMart, or WalMart. I cannot even find a way to purchase it online. What is the situation? Your Q&A section does not specify Citrus & Light as being discontinued, only "compacted." The product line area of your site does not indicate anything is discontinued at all. I find the lack of continuity distressing.

About a month ago, I tried to acquire a coupon for Downy on your site, but it was for a specific line I had no interest in. Shouldn't I, the consumer, be allowed to choose which style of Downy I choose to apply a coupon toward? It's a little misleading to offer a coupon toward downy and then realize it is toward only one specific style or type.

The lack of continuity between shapes, sizes, and opaqueness of bottle is also disconcerting- it becomes difficult to search for things if they do not mark a basic commonality. Downy's effort to shake things up to look fresh, new, exciting, and different fails- and this is coming from a multi-generational family user. I'm sure opinions and concerns from a user with a background such as mine bares more heft. As I say, I love the product; I am just dismayed at how Downy has been handling things as of late.

Additionally, I do not see a point in making multi-lingual product labeling. As your company has specified, this product is for North American users- not South American, not Central American, nor others. While the Unites States in particular may be a massive multicultural melting pot, our national language is still English and we should encourage all new-comers to this great country to learn its national language if they haven't already. Downy should realize English is a major international language being learned and used world-wide, especially for business. With foreign countries actively searching and hiring native English-speaking teachers to teach the language, it would seem that Downy, a North American company, would choose to sell a North American product in North America in its native tongue, English. All the extra translations do is clutter up the packaging and aside from that Downy is pretty easy to use- one doesn't even need pictographs; one capful for one load and it can either be tossed in during the rinse or a Downy ball can be used, which is what I do.

The Downy ball really eliminates the hassle of an extra step in my laundry process, which saves me time to get other things done. Clearly I love the product and the convenience it adds to my life, so why why not make things easier for longterm users such as myself by making the bottles easier to buy, find, and read?

I really would like to buy some Citrus & Light™ Ultra Downy® with Febreze® Fresh Scent, but I just can't seem to find it anymore. I can't adequately describe what a frustrating experience that is. Surely many of the individuals who comprise Downy have endured similar situations with being unable to find favorite products.

Additionally of note, I am aware my little tirade may not be received with open arms, but is it not the desire of a company to please existing customers and not to lose them in the hopes of acquiring potentially new customers? If there are multiple departments within Downy as I suspect there are, it would be my wish to have my letter forwarded to as many of those departments as possible so that they may gain the perspective of an existing customer with a longterm multi-generational consumer commitment such as mine. Otherwise, it would seem my thoughts are merely in the rinse. Thank you for your time and consideration. I remain in hopes you can shed some light on where I can purchase more Citrus & Light™ Ultra Downy® with Febreze® Fresh Scent.

Scott Cherry

back-words... Energizer energized me...

Monday, November 3, 2008
Energizer energized me...
Recently, I purchased a pack of batteries and I was surprised at what I found inside.
It turned out to be a coupon, except that the coupon had expired about eight months earlier. So my thoughts followed the following sequence:
Woohoo! a coupon- that's rare!
Ooh, a buck off; I can use that.
Oh, it's expired...
Damn, I bought old batteries!
...because of course, if the coupon is expired, it means that the batteries are also old since coupons are meant to expire ahead of purchase time. Simply going back to the store would most likely result in an exchange for more old batteries with an expired coupon contained within. Who needs more of that? Not I...
With this thought in mind, I decided to navigate my trusty browser to the Energizer website to see if I could find a direct way to contact them and indeed they had the typical contact form one would find on many websites. I explained to them what happened and that while i wasn't specifically looking for restitution, I felt they should have a heads up that a store was selling a less than fresh version of their product. Having completed my little note, I sent it off ans gave it very little thought.
Days later, I received snail mail from Energizer. It was in response to my online communication with them, which surprised me as I expected if anything at all, I would get an email. However, as I poured through the hard copy template communication, I realized they were indeed acknowledging a foul up and as a way of making amends they gave me a $10 coupon! Granted it's only applicable toward the purchase of only one product, but if I apply it wisely I can get something very useful out of this coupon and maximize its worth, plus it expires toward the end of next year so I have time to consider my options. Not bad, huh?

back-words... water balls...

Saturday, October 25, 2008
water balls...
a friend shared this with me and i thought it was pretty interesting conceptually. perhaps it might even have some practicality...


back-words... an anime explosion...

*** my original post on my personal myspace page blog included graphics from the original posting of this article, hence the references at the end of the article. i would recommend reading the original source material, if still possible.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008
an anime explosion...
I really needed cool professors and courses like this when I was in college...
I felt like sharing this because because I think it is a good article with strong, valid points. A lot of anime is deeply philosophical and explores complex psychology. It isn't just pop culture, a fad, or kiddie stuff as some people presume. In many ways, it is more sophisticated and adult in nature than the classic cartoons that our parents and grandparents enjoyed as children and still enjoy to this day.


An Anime Explosion: Challenging themes, complex characters make Japanese animation a global phenomenon

What was the last Japanese movie you saw? Chances are it was "Spirited Away," the largest grossing movie ever to come out of Japan, or maybe it was "Princess Mononoke," another very popular film. The better question may be, "What was the last live-action Japanese movie you saw?"

That's because more than half of all movies and television programs produced in Japan are animation, or anime as it is better known. But these are not the cartoons of your youth—they are often sophisticated, sometimes violent and frequently have adult themes. You won't find the likes of Betty and Barney Rubble in these films. Instead, you'll see complex stories including love, growing up and female empowerment.

Dr. Susan Napier, the Mitsubishi Professor of Japanese Studies in the Department of Asian Studies in the College of Liberal Arts, first chanced upon these stories a dozen years ago when a student showed her a Japanese comic book, or manga. Rather than the children's entertainment she expected, Napier found herself drawn into an intricate story line and richly detailed art.

"This student showed me a manga called 'Akira,'" she said. "It was a groundbreaking manga that was later turned into anime and started a tidal wave. The artwork was beautiful—very dark and set in a post-apocalyptic future. That alone was so very different from my favorite Superman comics."

Not too much later, Napier happened to be in London when the anime "Akira" was released there.

"I was just amazed," she said. "I loved animation as a kid, but this was very different from any Disney animation I had ever seen. It was just superb, but darker and the music was very intense—it was an extraordinary, almost visceral experience. So much more sophisticated than I ever dreamed."

Seeing this film led her to write a paper to present at a conference on Japanese popular culture, which in turn led to writing her third book, "Anime: from Akira to Princess Mononoke" (Palgrave Macmillan), a book that was published in 2001. The book is in its fourth edition and already has been translated into Japanese, and will soon be translated into Korean.

"When I first presented at this conference, about half of the audience—those over 40—was unimpressed and somewhat disturbed," she said. "They were asking why I was wasting my time on this. The other younger half was very interested because they too had students coming to them to discuss it. I've found that it is such a huge subject, there are lots of interesting ways to approach it."

Certainly, anime has made its place in the hearts of American children with shows such as "Pokemon" and "Dragonball Z," but its popularity hardly ends at adolescence. Napier is working on a book about anime fans and what it is about anime that resonates with people of all ages and cultures.This student showed me a manga called 'Akira.' It was a groundbreaking manga that was later turned into anime and started a tidal wave. - Dr. Susan Napier

"When I ask people why they like anime one of the first things they say is because it is different," Napier said. "They usually mean the animated style, the music, more adult content with challenging themes and more complex stories. In the old days you wouldn't have Archie and Jughead dealing with the apocalypse."

Though the films are animated, Napier said that people often say that the stories feel more real than Hollywood cinema.

"You don't always have a happy ending," she said. "In America, we've had this desire for resolution—the guy and girl get married and go off into the sunset with everything tied up with a little bow at the end. Of course, real life is not necessarily like that—one of the things that fascinates me is when people say anime is more real than Hollywood film. They are saying animated work is more real than live action through the psychology of the stories, and the characters deal with things in a way that is more real. In the case of anime, it doesn't always work out. Sometimes the hero is left wandering or dead, and doesn't get the girl or the guy. I think that especially for young adults who are dealing with a difficult world, it is strangely comforting to not see the Hollywood ending, but one they can identify with."

Anime's reach goes well beyond Japan and the U.S.—a glance at a schedule of anime festivals turns up events in Costa Rica, Poland, Brazil, France and Germany to name a few.

"At this point, it is the only real alternative to American popular culture," Napier said. "What is fascinating is that—in an almost stealth operation—Japanese popular culture is huge. Not just anime and manga, but also things like Hello Kitty and video games. This is really making inroads into worldwide popular culture. It's very exciting to think that a very distinctive culture like Japan could have such an impact on the rest of the world."

But why animation, instead of live action film? It's all about the money.

"It's very hard to compete with Hollywood," Napier said. "Japan has a great cinematic tradition with Kurosawa and Oshima—they were world-class directors. But they are from the past. In the 1960s, as Hollywood geared up, the Japanese film industry started to lose ground and couldn't compete with the money in Hollywood. A lot of very talented people who may have gone into film, went into anime because is was so much cheaper to produce, and there was steady work for it in television."

One of the things that fascinates me is when people say anime is more real than Hollywood film. - Dr. Susan NapierThe jump to anime also makes sense when you look at the Japanese tradition of mangas and graphic novel storytelling. It was an easy transition from printed cartoon storytelling to animation.

"You have the manga tradition which is very important—in Japan you see adult men and even older women reading manga in a way that we don't in America," Napier said. "You had a comfort level with cartoons, and then not being able to compete with Hollywood blockbusters, it's almost inevitable that talented and original people would move into anime, where television was a very ready market. Then in the 1970s, you had television anime directors crossing into films and becoming very popular, and it created a snowball effect. You see a very different career path for talented, artistic people than you would in America."

While anime does have its own visual style, one component of that style is the lack of national, racial and sometimes even gender, distinction in the characters. The characters generally do not have the facial characteristics of the Japanese, or any other nationality for that matter.

"One thing that heartens me about this new world we are living in, is that with animation you don't have to look a certain way," she said. "You are no longer in a representational world where you have to be a white female or a Hispanic male—all of a sudden you can be anything you like. Everyone can enjoy this animated world where we have the freedom to choose any identity we like."

One thing noticeably different about Japanese anime versus American productions is the abundance of female protagonists. In addition to the very popular and mainstream "Spirited Away," and "Princess Mononoke," females are the central players in other series and films such as "Ghost in the Shell," "Vampire Princess Miyu" and "Revolutionary Girl Utena."

"There is a tremendous number of anime and manga that star female protagonists," Napier said. "A lot of people appreciate seeing a strong female character doing things, taking an active role in helping the world and having an interesting and active life."

But why is it so popular in Japan—a very patriarchal society? Napier believes you have to look at the country's past as well as its place in today's cultural landscape.

"Hayao Miyazaki (director of 'Spirited Away"'and 'Princess Mononoke') definitely likes to use female characters," she said. "He has said that it makes the story line more interesting than if you use an archetypical male hero—it can be fresher and more original.

"I think there may be a deeper subtext, a fascination with the female character as it represents modern Japan," she added. "Throughout Japanese culture the female principle has been very important. Early Japanese novels were written by women, which is very unusual, and their female protagonists were very important. If you look at folklore, there are many strong female characters, both good and bad. I think to some extent Japan often identifies itself in more of a female way, despite having a patriarchal culture.
Dr. Susan Napier at Momoko. She stands next to a plush toy from 'My Neighbor Totoro'
Dr. Susan Napier says that teaching an anime class is a unique pedagogical experience. She stands next to a character from "My Neighbor Totoro" (1988) directed by Hayao Miyazaki.

"Over the last couple of decades, there has been more interest in the woman—the young girl in particular, I think this may be a reflection of Japan's unease with itself and where it is going," Napier said. "I wonder if it is a projection about what it is to be Japanese in the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21st century, particularly in a film like 'Spirited Away.' I don't think it's any accident that it's a young girl pictured; I think it is these girls who are seen as representing the Japanese psyche. I think one reason it may resonate in America is that we are also wondering where we're going, who we are—not just female audiences but male audiences as well. It may be that we connect with the more vulnerable, less fixed kind of character of a girl rather than a boy who is more determined. A girl can explore things more and I think both male and female audiences can respond to that."

According to Napier, teaching an anime class is a unique pedagogical experience.

"It's more intense than anything I've ever done—which is great on one hand but exhausting on the other," she said. "What surprises me is that students are invested in the subject in a way that I've never seen before."

She said the discussions with students are much more lively than most classes because many of the students have been watching since childhood and they are dedicated fans of anime.

"It's hard sometimes to keep a balance in the classroom," she said. "I'm a fan, too, and I present myself that way, but I'm also a scholar and I can't always love anime all the time. For many of them it's entertainment, and some of them are disturbed that I'm looking at it from a theoretical point of view. They feel like I'm taking away their pleasure because I'm forcing them to look at things. Some people really enjoy that aspect and I've had them come up and say, 'Thank you for helping me justify why I love this so much, for helping me explain why it is complex and it's worth taking seriously.' But others say, 'Gosh, Professor Napier, you have too much time on your hands. What are you doing reading all of this into it—it's just popular culture?'

"It's been an interesting experience and I feel more invested in it, too," she said. "I love my literature courses, but it doesn't involve the same level of commitment from the students. While I have some authority since I've written a book, the students have their own form of authority because they will have watched every episode of a show and they'll have watched it four times. I can't compete with that, and I don't try. I let them know up front that it's not all anime all the time, but that it is a course in which we talk about themes and structure and aspects of popular culture. I hope that I'm showing them that they can approach their favorite thing in a different way. They may not like that, but I think that it will percolate down to them that these are subjects worthy of discussion on a fairly high intellectual level."

Robin Gerrow

Photos: Marsha Miller

Special thanks to Momoko,
705 West 24th Street,
for photo opportunities.

Banner graphic shows scene
from "My Neighbor Totoro" (1988)
directed by Hayao Miyazaki.
Image of female anime character. Tag reads, 'Oh my goddess!'
Japanese anime has an abundance of female protagonists.