Saturday, February 28, 2009

Flowing Through Starcoated Tunnels...

Here we are. The last, 28th day of February 2009. 2 months of the 15th year of my existence have been passed, and it's been 2 weeks since my last post. So, what exactly has the world held for me recently?

As week 8 didn't include anything special, I'll cut down the chase and go straight to my winter holidays. I've been doing some minor stuff everyday while watching Kyle XY episodes from YouTube (because the Finnish TV quitted showing season 2) and the Nordic World Ski Championships from the TV (in which Finland has won more medals that at least I, personally, expected). I've translated the chapter 7 of my book (see below), started a completely new one, almost finished the new song I've been working on (which is currently entitled "Dive Inside") and continued the short story "Walk" that I started last October. Despite these, I think the best news is that I've finally got my computer problems sorted out - you see, yesterday, I got a brand new Fujitsu Siemens AMILO laptop (almost completely the same as my previous computer, except that this is completely black while the previous one had some grey here and there). It uses Windows Vista operating system and has an incredible 320 GB worthy hard drive, while my last computer's drive only held 110 GB. I also got F-Secure for it and thank God, Microsoft Office 2007 for a very reasonable price (now I can finally access all my songs and writings without manually changing the extension to .zip and then decoding the text out of them). No major problems exist as of yet, and while I think that XP was slightly better than Vista is, I'm satisfied.

During these 2 weeks, I've checked out one new band called 36 Crazyfists. They're a metalcore group from Alaska, who don't really reach the level of Demon Gunter and Killswitch Engage, but are still very enjoyable. Most importantly, they've influenced me. I've also been practicing a lot of P.O.D. stuff lately.

Now that I got the results of the Breath of Darkness awards, I'll just share them here.

Best Song - P.O.D. - Every Time I Die
Best Band - P.O.D.
Best Christian Band - P.O.D.
Best "Heavy" Band - Metallica (took all the votes)
Best Progressive/Experimental Band - Avenged Sevenfold
Best Album [All-Time] - Deftones - White Pony
Best Album [2008] - Metallica - Death Magnetic
Best New Influence (January 2008 - Present) - Metallica
Best Lyricist/Singer - Chester Bennington
Best Guitarist - Jimi Hendrix
Best Bassist - Traa Daniels
Best Drummer - Noah "Wuv" Bernardo, Jr.
Best Wicked Breath Track - Lie Down

So P.O.D. clearly took the most category wins, if we also count the best bassist and the best drummer categories. What comes to my list, I'll rather post it tomorrow (gives me time to think and you'll save time because there's still a lot to read...).

Here is the translated, 7th chapter of my book, as previously mentioned.



It was Tuesday morning. Mark, Adrian and Noah had decided to go wander around the center and had ended up in an old record store. The coldness of the winter holidays and the feeling of freedom circulated the boy's minds while they were trying to decide was anything worth buying.
The biggest reason to why the boys had left their secure dreams short and had went to spend a Tuesday forenoon outside, was Mark and Adrian's need of knowing more about one of the band members. No one basically knew anything about Noah. He was a lonely freak, who clearly knew what he was doing, but who was very hard to communicate with. Even more than Noah himself, the boys - especially Adrian - were interested in knowing why Summer was so defensive towards the newbie. Noah wasn't handsome at all, and his character was very mysterious. Why was Summer so interested about him? Adrian had to find out, who this boy named by the Bible was acting to be.
- What kind of music do you like? Adrian asked Noah while walking pass him. Adrian himself was going towards the metal section.
- Everything possible, Noah laughed. - I mean, everything goes. I do listen to hard rock and metal the most. He picked up Disturbed's newest album and closed it to his hold. Adrian lifted his eyebrows confusedly and tried to look for something suitable for him. Everything, however, was either too expensive or outside his taste. Quickly he went to Mark to see if he had found anything.
- You find anything?
- No... I told you that we should've went to that other store, after all, we've found rarities from there before, Mark sighed. The owner of the store began to look resentful, because the boys hadn't done anything else but been looking at CD covers for their whole 30 minute-long visit. Eventually, Mark and Adrian decided to leave the store with empty hands, while the owner was able to be happy with Noah, who bought yet another CD in addition to the one he had taken earlier.
- Does he think that money grows on trees? Mark snarled as he stepped out of the store. Noah came after a while, pretending that he hadn't heard Mark's mockery. Together they decided to go to eat to a Hesburger that was on the other side of the street.
After ordering three portions of French fries and soda, 2 chocolate soft ices and 2 hamburgers, they sat down to a table to wait. Adrian had snatched the day's paper and started to read it industriously. Mark wasn't interested at all about the day's news. He was more into asking questions from Noah.
- Do you have interest on anything besides music then?
Noah stared towards the table and didn't raise his head even while speaking.
- Considering that you see my guitar strumming as a hobby, sure, I do other things too. I write all kinds of stuff, like stories, album reviews and of course lyrics, plus I play drums beside guitar.
- I see.
The waitress brought the meals onto the table and Mark continued his grilling after drinking some soda.
- What do you watch from TV?
- Sports, a few drama/comedy and crime series. Lately, I haven't watched TV that much.
- What about the social side? Are you dating someone?
After a short, bothered moment, Noah answered:
- I'm not currently. Why this interrogation?
Adrian and Mark looked at each other trying to find a reasonable explanation.
- We just want to get to know you better. After all, you are the only member of our band who we know nothing about yet, Adrian stuttered.
- I feel like that's not the only reason. You seem to think of me as some sort of a threat, Noah said straight out, making the boys confused. As he noticed the reaction, Noah knew that his suspicion had been correct. So, he continued;
- I'm not sure, do you think of me as a musical or as a social threat, but I can assure you, that I'm not here to make enemies. If something about me or the way I act bothers you, tell me about it. I'm not very social, but I can try to get along with you, if you do the same.
Adrian and Mark were totally confused. They couldn't believe that the boy sitting beside them was the same age as them or that he could be so sincere. While the silence fell down on the three, Noah left to pick up some ketchup for his fries, giving Mark and Adrian the chance to discuss on purpose.
- He's unbelievable. Does he read our thoughts or something?
- Nah, he's just a psychologist by nature.
- Not that it's a bad thing. I like his attitude, Adrian said making Mark explode.
- What, what are you talking about? Don't tell me you're going to let it go and be his friend?
- Why not? He seems sincere.
- Don't you see that he's faking? And that he's trying to take Summer from you? There are no people like that. It's bullshit.
- Hey, calm down. You're not acting like you should. Ever since Hannah left you, you haven't been the relaxed and vivacious Mark you used to be.
- Well how could I be when there are people like him stalking all over the place? God that you have to analyze.
- Forget it, you have a twisted mind. It's not his fault that Hannah didn't want to continue.
- So it’s my fault then? Mark stood up from the table and left, just when Noah came back.
- I wouldn't have thought that he'd take it so heavily, Noah said with his corners of the mouth slightly up. Adrian spreaded his hands and replied;
- He's having a hard time right now. Hannah broke up with him sometime ago. Everything annoys him and no one would necessarily like to be in the same space with him.
- But you must, because you're his best friend? Noah asked.
- I guess so. We're not childhood friends or anything, but we know each other for a several years of time. And I don't usually abandon people I know from a far.
- Me neither, even though I don't have that many of them.
- Well, you can't really read Mark at the moment, but here you have at least one new friend, Adrian said happily. Noah seemed thankful. He thought that it was nice to know that Summer wasn't the only one he could turn to if needed.

Half an hour later, Noah was walking to his home. Adrian had stayed downtown after they had eaten and ended their conversation, which varied from their musical tastes to Noah's lyrics and Adrian's own compositions. With a pretty good state of mind, Noah was on the way of putting his Nokia's media player on, as he saw Mark walking about 10 meters ahead of him. Noah thrusted the headphones and his mobile back to his pocket and decided to walk pass Mark as quickly as possible. He didn't want to spoil his good mood. Mark, however, recognized the one passing him.
- Are you going to walk by without saying anything? Mark asked while Noah was already a few meters ahead of him.
- Yes... Your opinion has become very clear already, and I do not want to share mine.
- Mark took a few steps forward and stopped in front of Noah, almost spitting onto him.
- You don't trick or scare me.
- Neither do you. You don't want to be my friend - fine, I don't care, but let me tell you that you don't want me to be my enemy.
- Oh really? Mark said sardonically. - And what would you do then?
- I'm just saying, that words can hurt more than actions. And I have vocabulary if needed. I'm not acting anything, I'm exactly what I say I am. If you change your mind, my friendship is still on offer, Noah said, ready to take turn. Mark, on the other hand, wasn't fully finished.
- I swear, that I will never be your friend. Instead, I'm going to do everything I can to stop you from ruining all of our lives. You get me? Mark yelled, but Noah had already left the scene.
Noah began to wonder, if the whole band thing wasn’t meant for him after all.

I'll copy/paste the third part of Walk too, hopefully you'll care to read it.

"Apparently, there really was a God, and he had something else planned for me than a death caused by freezing, because next thing I knew, I was in a room full of mirrors. Since I still had my senses, I thought why not take a look at myself, because it seemed like I didn't feel my body. The scene reflected by the mirror was shocking. I looked exactly how I was supposed to. Dark hair, green eyes that wonder around like crazy, a sincere face - simply the appearance of a great thinker. Yet, no matter where I tried to touch, I couldn't feel a thing the mirror was showing. So I decided to see what else was in the room. After discovering that it truly was a room full of mirrors, nothing else, I sat down on the floor, thinking that nothing mattered anymore. That's when I heard an echoing voice, which said the following: “Don't quit. Embrace yourself. Embrace your faith. Believe.”
As I wasn't completely sure what the voice meant, and was it God or just my imagination perhaps, at first I did nothing. But the voice kept coming back - 3 times until I decided to take action. I went in front of one of the mirrors, focused really hard and blocked all my senses. Then, I slowly reached out for my hand. I still didn't know what the tool I was reaching it with was, but the mirror started to create an image of me reaching my left hand with my right one. And, after struggling a bit, it actually worked. I was somehow really thrilled, ignoring I still didn't know what was going on. That, however, didn't last long, as the whole place started to spin and I once again ended up to another place.
Having discovered my body, I was now able to move and feel like a normal human being. So, I was able to sense that I landed on soft ground, and that the place was spherical. I stood up, and took a look around. It didn't take long for me to discover 3 doors, which all had signs in them. The first one had the letters "I" and "Y", the second one had the abbreviation "vs." and the last one included the number "7" in it. I took a glimpse at the ceiling of the place, but it was black and empty, and I was certain there wouldn't be any voices or hints this time for me to figure out which door to choose. So I simply took 2 steps back and ran eyes closed towards one of the doors. Would it be the right one?"

I'm sure you've had enough to read for tonight, so I'll just stop here and post my recent lyrics tomorrow. Besides, I got other things to do on my second last day before going back to school than writing to you what I've been up to. Duh, like eating pizza, watching Kyle XY and writing a song...

"The night breathes different and the cold was named anew. He sits in the wordless space..."

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Depression Period.

I know what you're thinking. "Is he so busy that he forgot to update?" "Did he just decide to push this blog aside?" "Has he been in an accident or something?" Answer for all is no. I've simply been through a period that might of just been the hardest time of my life so far.

It all started off with the computer problem I had already been struggling for weeks. My XP didn't boot anymore (or actually, it did, but it got stuck in the "welcome" window). I obviously thought that it was because of the viruses and took it to a repair shop. I was willing to run a reformat, but first I really needed to back up all my important data (i.e. all my lyrics, my book, my demos and the music I listen to), but it wasn't possible because my account was password-protected. In the end, it was found out that the Service Pack 3 update for XP had caused my PC to perform such behaviour and I had no need to format. I was delighted, and took my computer home, but... MS Word didn't work, I still had plenty of viruses and the computer was still behaving very suspiciously. It worked good enough though, so I just spend the entire January copying my files to CDs, hoping that once I reformat, everything will be fine. Well... last Saturday I finally decided to format, as I discovered that the warning message I received on startup wasn't caused by a virus or a fake alert, but was in fact a true warning saying that my hard drive is dying. So I reformatted - 2 times - and my computer got clean of all the viruses (if there were any remaining, because I had used about 10 different spyware/virus/malware protection programs and deleted all the infections they detected) and all the junk, yet the error message kept coming up and my computer is still getting slower boot after boot. So, I basically got 2 options now - either buying a new computer or a new hard drive, and I've decided to go with the latter. Let's hope that I can say goodbye to using safe mode and going through various trouble after buying and installing the new disc.

Had enough ha? Well, that's unfortunately not all.

My new years was very relaxed as was the whole last holiday week of 2008. I think that it did good for me to be out of the virtual world so to speak, but it did worry me that I wasn't able to continue my book or update you on anything, let alone communicate with my internet buddies. But the real issues were still coming. Throughout January, I broke my mp3 player (which I have been able to get to work now though) and my mic (which lost it's recording quality so I pretty much couldn't record anything but silence) and I went through significant struggle on my life in general (somewhat because of school, but mainly it was as if an evil seed was planted in me). I've now converted it as one of the tribulations God has set on me. I'm now feeling a bit better - I have for several weeks already - but for a long time I lived in a position you wouldn't want to live. Call me weak, but there were times at which I was very depressed.

In addition to all this, my music is doing better than ever. I have about 5-8 new lyrical ideas, countless riffs and interludes written, with my self-exploring being a huge inspiration. Due my recent happy mood, I've also (finally) been able to start out some uptempo songs. My guitar playing has become even more versatile, and so has my drumming. I got a bass guitar on the 30th of December, and I've started out creatively with it. I'm also going to use my keyboard on atleast 2 songs on my upcoming EP. So far I've finished 2 songs for the release in total, and at the moment I'm trying to decide which of my ideas I'll pursue into full songs.

It's been hard to look for any new musical influences while I haven't been able to use my computer properly, but during the time after the repair and before the reformat I got interested of HURT again and got their independent release "The Consumation", which immeadiately surprised me positively. I also got the soundtrack to Demon Hunter's 45 Days, but haven't really had time to listen to it. Throughout January I was pretty addicted to Killswitch Engage, but recently I've been more into bands such √únloco and Limp Bizkit (I know what you're thinking, but Wes Borland is a genious when it comes to guitar!). I've also been learning some more songs with bass and guitar, like Bored by the Deftones and Southtown by P.O.D., but at this time I'm not really thinking of making a serious cover (and yes, that means that the OSC cover I was talking about in December will unlikely happen).

Recently I've also started watching 2 TV shows very actively - one is the humoristic How I Met Your Mother portraying the search of 'the one' for the main character and the other one - which is my favourite currently - is Kyle XY, which is about the mystery of a teenager who seems like a normal boy, but has in fact been developed in an artificial womb and is now trying to figure out who he can trust and how he can live a semi-normal life. I recently also made a website dedicated to bands, TV shows etc. that I'm interested in, but after a few days I gave up on it. Maybe I'll continue it during my winter holiday, which is one week away now.

Oh, almost forgot! The Breath of Darkness awards were somewhat as popular as I expected, with 6 voters in total. Unfortunately, I've lost some of the lists you sent me, so I can't publish the results until I find them, sorry.

Just so I won't leave you completely dry with my newest efforts, here's a list of some of the titles for my new demos. Some you might find pretty interesting...

Small, Wary Mind
My One Last Poem

Well, that's about it isn't it? If I forgot something I'll share it in the next post... Let's just hope it won't take another 1½ months until then.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Sincerely, Jon2