Life's Learning Curve

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Kellam
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Life's Learning Curve

Postby Kellam » 24 Jan 2013, 09:05

I have been on a path of self discovery for some time, an actual quest. Around a year and a half ago, I realized I was an alcoholic. Coming to terms with that set me off toward a life change. I didn't know what that was, but I knew it was where I had to go. Thankfully, it turned out to be the lifting of a veil of denile that I had worn for so long I didn't even know it was there any more. When I saw myself, the parts that I had denied and buried, reflected in a disperate group of strangers I got relieved of the tension and fear that had haunted my life. Just by turning to a camera and sharing snippets of their lives, these folks opened a door that I knew had been there, but that I couldn't define. Just by making themselves a bit more visible to the world at large, these strangers had led me away from the path of self loathing and self destruction and self denile that I thought was the only path. Finding myself Asexual, and free to be good with that, litteraly saved my life. After the movie, I found Apositive, in that first
week, reading the posts on this site sent me into one of the best moods of my life, when it was hinted that there were other sites to explore, I wandered off. Not to stray permanently but just to expand my experience. Just as I started to come out to family and friends, with the help of folks here, my Granddad died. He had spent most of his storied life in the closet, an intelectual humanist he had explored so much of the world. When my Grandmother died in the 1990's he was encouraged by her to finaly come out as gay, and did so. I had always admired him for that. Losing him was hard, but I had this new life spreading out infront of me. So I delt with my grief the best way I could, I started making and making. I went into a frenzy almost. I had foccused on the aven site, sometimes tragedy can put blinders on you, and just began to post like crazy. It was the sharing that I had experienced both here and there that I was so compeled by. This revelation of not being "broken" or being "a wrong person" of not "not existing" was sliding into my every thought. I needed to share back, I felt compeled. I'm not a shy person, and I have nothing to loose by exposing my true self. I had seen swankivy's vids among others so, I turned to my youtube channel, a place where I had been making crude little videos, art for art's sake. It is my most visible perch. I whipped up an idea based on the "It Gets Better" campaign called "Asexuals are Rare Birds". Basicly I aim to make as many different types of videos touching on asexuallity as I can and post them in every topic area of youtube, leave them lying around ready to pop up out of nowhere. When I was searching for myself, I was looking everywhere, but didn't know what I was looking for. It was only because of my interest in social/cultural documentaries that netflix offered me (A)sexual in the first place. So, I'd learned, visibility happens through diversity of media. My first video in the "rare birds project" was slapped togeter in an afternoon. I didn't put a ton of work into it, just an hour or so. I needed to get something out there.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtkA2VQxWZw

I've now completed two videos. The second is a music video with just a tag on the end about asexuality. I didn't know Apositive's policy about including links in videos so the info at the end was (asexuality.org), I'll add apositive.org if its ok to do so! The second video took 30 hours and three days to produce. I had written the song about a month before coming out. It was the last subliminal message out of thousands, that I had penned in subconcious attempts to admit I wasn't straight. I even posted the vid on my facebook page.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6iDpcVtD8M

I see visibility as not just the vehicle to change lives but to save them. I thought about ending my life many times, whenever I was trying to be straight. I love to make creative projects, but I've always felt that my work lacked any real purpose. I couldn't recognize that my own work was shouting asexual viewpoints and I became ashamed of it over the years and hid myself from view. Well, that shaming blind eye is opened now. It is confident in what it sees, it feels pride instead of shame, my work (as well as my sense of self) now has purpose. I'd always thought that the things that make me different somehow meant I was lacking, I want to share with the world the fact that the truth is that my differences complete me, and that there are people in the world who share my differences. We do exist! If there is one thing strangers should know about me its that I love gift economies. Just by existing, you all gave me my life back, I can't help myself, I have to share that with the world!

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ParaLLL
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Re: Life's Learning Curve

Postby ParaLLL » 24 Jan 2013, 09:28

First: *sends hugs* I'm sorry about your grandfather. He sounds like a really awesome person, I think I'd have liked to meet him.

If you want to find more asexuality things, you might be interested in Tales of a Homoromantic Ace; there's a link in the Contributions (Miscellaneous) forum. (It was originally called The Asexuality Chronicles when I posted it, then the name changed, and happily someone found it again, so you'll have to scroll down a bit.)

I understand about wanting to share and encourage visibility; I've been contemplating various mostly unrealistic ideas for a while, partly because I'm not good at anything like art or movies or music that I could spread... I definitely do understand the motive/wish/need to share, though.

And I like the videos! More messages are always good.


(Also, less relevantly, the 'rare birds' comparison is making me think of when I took a high school writing class, got annoyed with all the 'write in the style of __' assignments, and spent most of my end of class portfolio's introduction declaring 'I'M A MOCKINGBIRD CHEEP.'

Not at all actually related, but. It amused me.)

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Re: Life's Learning Curve

Postby Kellam » 24 Jan 2013, 09:52

I'll go look for your post now, thanks for checking out my vids, glad you dug them. I'm sorry your hs creative writing class seemed so lame, we never did anything like that. My cw classes were basicly free periods where the only activity required was writing whatever! Volume was put over quallity. Its like the old saying, "How do you get to Carnegie Hall? . . . Practice, practice, practice!" I realy learned that in my years as a noise musician, sometimes you make nothing but crap, sometimes you make a diamond.

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ParaLLL
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Re: Life's Learning Curve

Postby ParaLLL » 24 Jan 2013, 10:03

The class wasn't that bad actually; it was good for learning technique and trying new forms and approaches, and I probably got more done with a specific assignment every week than I would have getting to just write whatever. I just complained because I wanted to do my stuff my way all the time and nothing else.

For the sake of relevance and because I have no one else to bounce ideas off of, my most recent ridiculous idea is to find/make asexual-themed shirts, probably ones that actually include the word asexual, and wear one every day for a month, to see what happens. I'm just not totally sure if that would be too obnoxious, though.... It doesn't seem like it should be, but then it is my idea. Any thoughts?

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Re: Life's Learning Curve

Postby Kellam » 24 Jan 2013, 10:22

Actually, I was watching swankivy vids and got the same urge, t-shirt urge. I pulled out some shirts and wrote aven on the front and asexuality on the back. Aven's just got a good and self explanatory acronym. I only wore them for a week, I'm to broke to do laundry at the moment, but got people questioning. Honestly, the word "aven" seemed more compeling to people than asexual. The punk/activist in me wants to make them more agressive. On one I included the legend "No means, No thanks!" but I don't want to detract from anyone's suffering and I remembered that its similar to an anti date rape slogan. Since I'm out a bit more than I was when I was here last, I've started relishing the chance to confuse heteros. The couple friends I told face to face for instance, I start off by just saying "so, I'm not straight" . Hilarious, the look on thier faces! They go straight to "gay?". Ha! I've learned to like the idea of confusing them for a while, I've spent enough time confused in my life that I think my turn is over. Also, couldn't get "tales of a homoromantic ace" to work. Any idea?

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ParaLLL
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Re: Life's Learning Curve

Postby ParaLLL » 24 Jan 2013, 11:07

One I had an idea for a while ago was "one ring to confuse them all," based on AVEN's black ring and me knowing way too many geeky references that I have no business knowing. I was mostly thinking of 'Hi I'm an ace!' type ones, though I'd want a variety and I'm not sure what else I'd use... something to work on, anyway.

I know some people have mentioned blip.tv not working for them; I haven't had issues with it, so I don't know, sorry. I'm currently being amused by this video, if you'd like to try a link to a video instead of the series.

The series used to be on youtube too, but apparently isn't anymore; in looking for it I did discover that there is a "The Asexuals" band with videos on youtube. Not sure if they're referring to asexuality or amoeba, though.

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Re: Life's Learning Curve

Postby Kellam » 24 Jan 2013, 11:54

Nice, I like those shirt ideas. I'm a tattooed person and as soon as I saw the abreviation Ace I was inspired. Thought about a tat with the a-s-e spelling, that seems to have the most potential for questions. I want to combine it with a playing card motif but I loathe gambling and don't want to be associated with it. I supose my main focus shirt wise would be on fonts, I'm a retired graff head and am still an entusiast of the genre. On the shirts I made with markers I used a punk/metal font and a blocky one based partially on CA's latin gang fonts (just borrowing bits and ideas, again associations are paramount and I have no patience for violence.) and old-english fonts. Another phrase I came up with was "I'm not what you think you see" for the front of a shirt, with ASEXUAL! in big letters on the back.

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ParaLLL
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Re: Life's Learning Curve

Postby ParaLLL » 24 Jan 2013, 12:10

Yeah, Ace makes me think of the tropes as much as asexuality. Since it seems to be something people are agreeing on, though... I do like the 'ase' spelling better, but then I think I'd just get people trying to lecture me on how I spelled it wrong. Which I suppose would be one way of starting conversations....

I don't really know much about graphics; my thoughts would mostly be along the lines of 'can I read it? Okay then,' though something better than awkward paintbrush handwriting would probably be a good idea. Maybe stencils or something....

So:
-"one ring to confuse them all" (which I might not use until I can A: learn to draw a decent ring, and B: get around to reading those books)
-"Hi, I'm an ace/ase!"
-"Asexuality exists" would... not have so much of a fun impact so be a bit more potentially obnoxious, but I might use it
-I probably won't use any of the cake references; those would just be too confusing.

If you don't mind if I borrow some of your ideas, that's actually not a bad number.

Hm... I also like the idea of "I am:" and a list of check one boxes; straight, gay, bi, pan, other, and then a 'drawn in' asexuality box that's checked, and maybe a demisexual one as well... that's probably also getting too political, though.

I have kind of a fondness for playful things. And also pointed ones, but I try to restrain that impulse.

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Re: Life's Learning Curve

Postby Kellam » 24 Jan 2013, 12:28

You can steal my ideas if I can steal some of yours, I particularly dig the "Asexuality exists". You could make it snarkier "I exist and I'm Asexual" perhaps...off the cuff. For handmade shirts without screenprinting, stencils are the way to go, rubber/lino block printing is pretty easy too. The best part is you can use screenprinting ink with a roller on blocks and over stencils. I have a huge wealth of old-fashioned art techniques in my head, no high tech computer skills though, so feel free to pick my brain if you need to.

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Re: Life's Learning Curve

Postby ParaLLL » 24 Jan 2013, 12:34

Fell free to! Though I can't claim "asexuality exists" as mine; I think it's the name of an AVEN-run blog or something similar... regardless, not originally mine. Variants on it could definitely be good too....

I've done some with stencils (for cross country) and lino block prints (art class); mostly the stencils, though, and I have no lino blocks, so I'll probably stick with stencils. Those at least I can make easily enough; I've got about infinite unused note cards laying around.

>.> I'll probably come up with some idea a week from now that either involves 3D, the shirt changing design, or something equally ridiculous and appear, going "so how do I do this?"

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Re: Life's Learning Curve

Postby Kellam » 24 Jan 2013, 14:22

Ah the fickle nature of the creative process! I love it, couldn't live without it.

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ParaLLL
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Re: Life's Learning Curve

Postby ParaLLL » 24 Jan 2013, 15:09

So true. Lacking creativity drives you crazy, having it drives you crazier.

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Re: Life's Learning Curve

Postby ParaLLL » 25 Jan 2013, 22:55

So, I now have this sort of ridiculous but maybe awesome idea. Since tee shirts are both easy and apparently popular, (seeing as we currently have 100% support... which I'm pretending actually means anything)(and since AVEN apparently sells so many, which probably means more) what about turning it into a project? My mind is coming up with 'make a blog! Make a blog for everyone!' because I've been reading those recently, but I'm sure there are other options than that, which I will think of once my brain gets unstuck.

But. Some sort of place for people to share stories and pictures and such about wearing ase (I like that spelling so much more...) tee shirts and how people react to them. A thread on Apositive could work, but we have kind of a small membership and I tend to want to spread everything I do/think of to get more people to do it....

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Re: Life's Learning Curve

Postby Kellam » 30 Jan 2013, 06:46

Yeah, I realy dig that, the whole blog idea. I'd be willing to make a youtube video promoting it. I've actually spent the last couple days making shirts. One of my roomates moved out, an iresponsible-young-punk-rocker. He bailed on the last bill he owed me and some delinquent rent. Under 50 bucks. The point is he was a t-shirt maker (I do have access to screen printing equipment, but I don't know how to). He left a bunch of great punk shirts behind, I finaly got my first Ramones shirt, just the way I'd always wanted to get one. He also left two blanks and a hoodie, for the band Leftover Crack, that was so ofensive nobody would wear it. I painted out the hoody and on all three items I put, yeah Aven on the front, because I think its good for subtle visibility. On the backs I put the classic "Nobody knows . . . " done in spray paint stencil and rephrased.

NOB
ODY
KNO
WSI'
M...
ASE!

I centered that on the spine. Tim Armstrong of Rancid put my perspective best, he's a bit of a punk poet. " Yeah you know my heart I wear it, I wear it on my sleave! Yeah!". The punk in me will always have a need to show pride in myself, as loudly as possible.

Just had a thought, what if we set up a facebook page for the blog and photo sharing? It could be a way to link up asexuals on the most ubiquitous social-networking site?

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Re: Life's Learning Curve

Postby ParaLLL » 30 Jan 2013, 07:37

That would be great! Maybe get a bunch of pictures of sample shirts to start with, to give people ideas? AVEN has a lot of various shirts to sell, but they didn't seem all that creative or varied to me....

Facebook is bleh to me; I really don't use it. It'd certainly be a good idea, though. And maybe post on AVEN? Or talk to their visibility project mods first, probably. As long as they don't take over the whole thing as an AVEN project. ...Actually one of the AVEN mods is sort of a friend of mine; I'm not sure which forum she's in charge of, but I can find that out and talk to her either way.

Do we want to keep typical AVEN symbols (cake, black ring, gradient triangle, spade and black or red heart... there are probably more I'm missing), think of new ones, or something else? Symbols will definitely become involved at some point if more than a few people join this, so we could just let people come up with whatever on their own or have some suggested ones.

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Re: Life's Learning Curve

Postby Kellam » 30 Jan 2013, 09:52

Yes to everything, and I can post on Aven about it. My computer is so old it dosen't like facebook so I'd have trouble setting that up until the spring when I'm getiing a new one. Couple months. I've been thinking of starting a youtube channel for asexual videos. I am in the process of making a ton and I'd like to seperate my purely creative work on my other chanel a bit. I invented an Aven logo last night and today I made one for the new channel based on the Aven one. I'm thinking of calling it the Asexual Visibility Group. It'll be for all the outreach videos I've been writing, my "Rare Birds Project" , wich is based on Dan Savage's "It Get's Better" campaing in that I'm trying to encourage any out Ase's that are bold enough to make "I"m Asexual" vids. I would gather them if sent to me and post them or the response video format could work. I've been trying to figure out how to do this and adding another section for "Wearing Ase" would be awsome. I've also been making music videos with an Ase theme. I think I posted my rap video here, well I just recorded a hardcore punk Ase song. I'm gonna shoot the video tomorow.

I will definitely check with Aven mods before I do use the name Asexual Visibility Group, I don't want to step on any legal toes but I also want the channel to be a seperate and autonomous entity. I'm old school anarcho-punk so I have no intentions as far as proffit. I'm all about DIY of course and I can even see making Ase t-shirt making how-to vids. The possibillities are endless.

I GOTS A FIRE IN MAH BELLY!!!!

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Re: Life's Learning Curve

Postby Kellam » 30 Jan 2013, 10:34

Just had a rethink on the youtube name. Asexual World Channel. I don't think I'm crossing any legal lines this way and it has a classic TV station ring to it. Good call letters too, AWC. And the logo typeface I designed still works, two diagonal letters and an open round on the end. After I shoot a couple more videos this week I'll set up the channel. Thanks again for coming up with this idea. I think if we both run with it and do what we can do, we could make something realy cool. I knew I had to come back to Apositive for a reason!

Side note: I would like to include links to both Aven and Apositive on the AWC. Who do I ask if the Apositive link is ok? Also, do you know of any other even lightly trafficked asexual networking sites? This has realy got the old grey matter churning. Even done halfassed it should be good! :)

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Re: Life's Learning Curve

Postby ParaLLL » 30 Jan 2013, 13:35

Hm... okay, so I can't tell what forum my friend is a mod of; I'll ask her about it.

If we do get other people involved, someone else could handle facebook, unless you want to?

A channel sounds good! I think there are some asexuality... collections, or something, that AVEN runs; have you seen them?

Asexual World Channel is a bit farther from AVEN, so that sounds good.

For the Apositive link, I assume KAGU (I think her name is Nancy?), she's coowner, and normally the one I see posting. For smaller sites... the only ones I know are things that AVEN links to; they have a list of other sites/communities, I think in the Visibility and Education forum; Resources for Visibility or something links to it.

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Re: Life's Learning Curve

Postby KAGU143 » 31 Jan 2013, 05:18

I'm very frequently floating around in the neighborhood, kinda like an asexual cold virus or something. :D
I've been watching and reading the interchanges recently, and smiling a lot. I know you can't see it, but just trust me, okay?
I approve!

And it's perfectly okay with me if you want to link to Apositive. :)
If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

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ParaLLL
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Re: Life's Learning Curve

Postby ParaLLL » 31 Jan 2013, 08:32

The best cold virus ever!

Kellam
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Re: Life's Learning Curve

Postby Kellam » 31 Jan 2013, 20:16

Sweet! :)

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ParaLLL
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Re: Life's Learning Curve

Postby ParaLLL » 01 Feb 2013, 03:50

So, being concerned about other unwanted associations, I looked up 'ase.' (Wikipedia immediately tried to add '-xuality' to it, which is probably only because I've looked it up on Wikipedia before but amused me anyway.) So, according to Wikipedia, Ase is:
-a town in Nigeria
-an acronym for lots of things ranging from space research to precious metal standards to sign language
-a suffix used in biochemistry

So not anything that I think will be too overwhelming, or that I mind too much. Google gives similar results, with more focus on cars.

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Re: Life's Learning Curve

Postby Kellam » 01 Feb 2013, 05:44

Wow, nice research on "Ase" (I would have never thought to do so). I'm sure there are tons of other meanings associated with something with so few letters. Thankfully language is maluable, gay used to mean happy after all. By the way, the facebook thing, I don't realy want to set that up, so if you do go right ahead, It was just a suggestion. I will set up a youtube channel though, I'm working on that. As for promotion goes, i have just been given space on the LGBT site Freedom Requires Wings. So I'll be able to promote any Wearing Ace (orwhateverspelling) blogs, pages or channels we come up with on that. I'm trying to script a Wearing Ase video to post when I open the channel, basicly I'm very excited about this. I'm just not the most organized person. I'm allways trying to run before I can walk. I always figure that I can learn to walk once I'm too tired to run anymore.

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Re: Life's Learning Curve

Postby ParaLLL » 01 Feb 2013, 07:16

I can't take too much credit; it took about five minutes. Thanks though!

Facebook: I don't really know how, so since we're planning on making this a large thing anyway, I figure we can wait until there's someone who does like working with facebook that we want to work with, and ask them to do it. I doubt it'll take that long; facebook's pretty omnipresent.

Do you want this to be primarily a blog, advertised various places, or primarily a... movement is a bit strong, but thing to do, which a blog is one of the various places it's organized? I'm not totally clear what we're aiming for at this point. And yay for advertising! I think I've seen Freedom Requires Wings, but read a bunch of stuff once and then never wandered back.

Organization is not my best skill, either. >.> Fortunately, extreme organization probably won't be needed, so that should be okay.

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Re: Life's Learning Curve

Postby Kellam » 01 Feb 2013, 08:02

Its good to know we're both scatterbrained. I've been seeing this as an amorphous thing. An idea, a meme to be spread. Any idea that seems good, like the facebook thing, could be done by anyone who wants to contribute. My idea is basicly to start spreading the concept, do what I can to organize it and see what develops. I'm not into control so if you want to go right ahead. If you see a place to make a centralized blog, or just see that as a good avenue to follow then I think that would be a great thing to do. I don't want to spread myself to thin with promises I can't keep. I think this is important, any visibility action is, and I want to be able to keep my bit going so I'm cautious about taking on too much. I don't want to exclude anyone, this isn't "mine" its "ours". That is, its yours, mine and everyone's.

If you see the bennifit of the two of us forming some organizational structure, I'm all ears. I'm just not prone to that direction. I've been loving this back and forth brainstorming as well as the fact that we're having it in a rellatively public forum.

For the AWC, outside of the vids I produce I want to post videos by other Asexuals. I'm not interested in culling them for quallity, I would only reject atacks. I've been thinking of sub-genres to have on the channel and I'm even interested in (well meaning) response videos from the rest of the world, questions and statements of support. Basicly, I'm still mulling a ton of stuff over and I'm seeing the channel as all-encompasing.

So yeah . . . whatever, whenever, however and whomever. That's the short answer.

ASIC

Re: Life's Learning Curve

Postby ASIC » 03 Feb 2013, 13:22

ParaLLL wrote:according to Wikipedia, Ase is:
-a town in Nigeria
-an acronym for lots of things ranging from space research to precious metal standards to sign language
-a suffix used in biochemistry


When I see 'Ase' I can only think 'Peer Gynt' :-)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrhMv_4Q-YU

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Re: Life's Learning Curve

Postby Kellam » 04 Feb 2013, 12:05

ASIC wrote:
ParaLLL wrote:according to Wikipedia, Ase is:
-a town in Nigeria
-an acronym for lots of things ranging from space research to precious metal standards to sign language
-a suffix used in biochemistry


When I see 'Ase' I can only think 'Peer Gynt' :-)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrhMv_4Q-YU




Nice, thanks that was realy beautiful, perfect winter music. I did notice they also spell Ase, Aase. But I like all the associations that come with the word. They seem equally obscure. And the word seems like it should mean something. It invites questions. Ase. People might even think its a delliberate misspelling of the word ace, in an attempt to advertise one's stupidity, an "I'm with stupid" kinda shirt. It hides in plain sight and invites notice.


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