I am trying to work on some Ecto formatting problems, hoping to make my blog more readable. An offline blog editor is an absolute essential for me. Since acquiring a Mac, I have not found anything satisfactory. I have switched to HTML Editor Mode, hoping the editor will not put "br" tags between my paragraphs and double-space them anymore. It is possible to remove these in my in-browser Blogger interface, but I might as well be saving my entries to a text file and copy-pasting when online if this is the case, rendering this not-free software useless. The Mac switch has been a tricky adjustment for me. I have always used Windows-based computers and am used to a great deal more control over my files than I now have. I first encountered the "Apple" culture on my iPhone which was basically the only option available to me when my last Treo died, and Palm was no longer a part of my plan. I loved the fast browsing and brilliant visuals. My Treo looked like an 8-bit game from the 80's compared to my beautiful iPhone. However, I have never been able to master the iPhone on-screen keyboard. No one else seems to have this complaint. I think it's that I was used to writing a great deal on my Treo, often entire chapters of my novels or very long blog posts. I feel like the iPhone is not geared for writers and find that disappointing. In addition, I have found when I do try to write a long piece of text, in an app or in an email, the app will crash and my work will be lost. Saving to a draft periodically is awkward. So it feels like the iPhone has effectively ended a whole era of my creative online activities. It has made me feel like the Apple world is for consumers, not creators. Getting a MacBook did not dispel that. Part of the problem for me is that making graphics or web pages is passe now. No one has bothered to develop much of that kind of software to utilize the Mac's great graphic abilities. At the same time, the Mac has been great for publishing through established channels like Flickr, Facebook and YouTube. I can't dispute that and, in that way, the Mac has opened up some new creative online opportunities for me. I would never have considered buying and setting up a webcam or microphone on my Windows laptop, but these are built into the Mac. I've become a complete Photobooth and Youtube junkie. I've become a complete exhibitionist, actually. Anyway, hm, I'm really of a mood to weigh pros and cons. You can tell we're under the sign of Libra. Last night's concert was probably my best concert for "me" ever, but I felt let down by my band. I thought about not sharing the negativity but I think if you share the right things in the right way, you can make the world a better place. Thinking about things is good exercise for your brain anyway. Just being there was so exciting for me. I wore gothic lolita, and my makeup went together just right. We were both truly ready to see a concert and just sort of "be" somewhere exciting at night. I loved the scene and the venue. I loved the crowd. I've never been among a crowd that I liked more, really. I love the South Side of Lamar. We parked right next to the Absinthe Lounge: more wonderful memories. I felt very "arrived." I felt like my self-esteem was really just about where it needed to be for once. I felt secure. We were both really in a great place with ourselves and the world. However, watching Evanescence, I realized some things about the band that are probably obvious to most others: (1) their sound is very produced (2) Amy Lee writes all their music, and they are not really a "band" It was a very business-like production, all in all. This came through most obviously in some technical difficulties that created awkward moments. Amy Lee handled them concisely and crisply. I couldn't not think about Amanda Palmer's words about performing to a live audience, giving them what they want, "mindless sex," and connecting with them, "making love." It's a cheeky expression, but I felt that Amy Lee/Evanescence was delivering a product in a very matter-of-fact way. I was left very cold that she did not introduce her band members or give them any special features, solos or chances to show their personalities. I think it's completely okay to be a solo performer, but if your band members aren't contributing song-writing, influence or even special talents to the band, you should feature yourself as a solo performer. The concert felt uneasy, like a shoe that didn't fit quite right. Amy Lee's talents are better than ever. Her live singing has improved tremendously. I can't believe she managed to come up with a third album of nu-metal that does sound exactly like the other two, and most of the content on it is truly amazing. Seriously, I have been playing it nonstop. However, the concert felt like an empty house, reminded me of when I've visited an old church. The preacher was still there, a few congregation members, but the "presence" has gone. I do wish that she would change her direction somewhat so that I could continue to admire her creative force. I don't really want to see her creative work tainted by the obvious influence of a record-label. When I first heard Evanescence in 2003, it was everything for me. I was entering the real world and realized I had a chance to make my own identity. This voice really said everything for me. But since then, I found a whole lot of other music that was much more original and complicated, opening up a whole new world of music for me. I pretty much turned off the radio and have not turned it back on since because the stuff played there is completely inferior to all the indie/European music I've found. So yeah, that's my concert review. Hits: wonderful memories, personal journeys, great talent. Misses: corporate and cold, don't like to see a controlling lead, surrender to your emotions on stage. Want to see it be real for you. P.S. Well, musing a little more, another thing that gets to me is I feel really affected by how my band's emotions are. For example, when we saw Leaves' Eyes in Austin, that concert was epic, but the front-woman did not look happy or smile at all. I know they were at the end of a long tour, but I couldn't take total pleasure in the concert because I felt like the concert wasn't right for them. They obviously needed a break. Contrasting that with other concerts, Melora Creager seemed more than happy to express herself in the Gypsy Tea Room on two different occasions. She looked like a free spirit doing what she needed and wanted to do. Buying a piece of merch from her and having a brief interchange with her was something I still think about on a regular, almost every-day basis. That merch is on my refrigerator and I look at it every day, even though I don't listen to Rasputina anymore. I could really feel her spirit and it hasn't stopped inspiring me since. She was doing what she needed to do. It was right. Just like the YouTube channel I'm thinking about making, it's not really about music or books, it's about ideas, feelings, experiences and in general a quest, a personal journey, that is what I'm all about right now. I should prob delete the P.S. oh well.