Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Music Break: Jazzanova

So sayeth Wikipedia:
Jazzanova is a German Berlin-based DJ/producer collective consisting of Alexander Barck, Claas Brieler, J├╝rgen von Knoblauch, Roskow Kretschmann, Stefan Leisering, and Axel Reinemer. Formed in 1995, the group is one of the foremost proponents of the nu-jazz, chillout and jazz house styles of music associated with record labels such as Compost Records and Sonar Kollektiv. They have also experimented with Latin jazz, which can be heard on the song "Tres Bien"...

Their latest release is the studio album Of All The Things, released on October 21st 2008.
Most of Jazzanova's tunes (like my personal favorite "Behold These Days") is relaxing and exemplifies the chillout genre. Yet the video below for "I Can See" is uplifting and a great song in anticipation of the springtime bloom.

Monday, March 23, 2009

What's in a name?

Image via smh.com.au

One of the few recent bright spots regarding my extended family is the pregnancy of one of my favorite cousins. Admittedly there are numerous faults with her bearing a child such as the fact that giving birth puts her health somewhat at risk. Worse still, however, is that the father is a married man who abuses her and treats her with callous disregard.

(Then again, she actually likes being with such an overbearing prick to the point that he might be by her side when she gives birth. So there went that.)

Though the circumstances may be problematic I'm very happy for her and sincerely hope that the child lives a happy, healthy, and satisfying life.

Since I'm so overjoyed at her impending birth (mid-May?) I decided to help out by figuring out an appropriate name for the girl. I've been told that a name has already been decided by the mother but perhaps I can change her mind!

Anyway, before providing my five picks here are some basic guidelines behind the names I chose:
  • Since my cousin and her family is in Colombia I decided to choose names in Spanish. Furthermore, there appears to be an atrociously annoying trend over there of using English-language names with altered spelling. (i.e. Lady -> Leidy; Jonathan -> Jhonatan). I'm sorry but that concept makes me cringe!
  • Speaking of trends, there's the terrible custom of calling people by abbreviated forms and not using their full name. Years ago, for example, I knew an acquaintance named Pilar yet her friends inexplicably called her "Pili". The other day I nearly broke my TV when someone referred to a woman named Maria Catalina as "Maricata". That name sounds like a virus for crying out loud!
  • As the saying goes "brevity is the soul of wit". Hence, no names with four syllables or more.
  • Preferably no names of any family members.
  • Lastly, I tried to choose names that sound unique for Colombia but that don't sound too unusual or out of place. (This is probably the most subjective category of the four).
Without further ado, here are my selections:
  1. Paloma - I adore the symbolism related to the name since it means "dove" in Spanish. (A represntation of peace). The name is a mere three syllables and there's no way it can be shortedned without sounding terribly out of place.
  2. Rosa - I have to confess that this bends one of my rules since it's the name my aunts and uncles call my mother. Yet I like that it's very quick and easy to say in both English and Spanish.
  3. Liliana - The danger with this name is that it can easily be shortened to "Lili" and thus break one of the aforementioned guidelines. In its full form, however, the name rolls of the tongue easily and has a nice, poetic sound.
  4. Belen - This was the only name that I couldn't come up on my own in that I found it via a quick search of babynames.com. Aside from adhering to the above guidelines, what also appealed me to that name is that it's a unisex moniker.
  5. Cristal - Three of the four names already mentioned end in "-a"; thus, I tried to choose one that doesn't. Cristal just so happens to be the name of a girl I had a massive crush on many years ago though that's not why I selected it. Rather, it's because I thoroughly enjoy Juana Molina and her song "El Cristal." (Is that a lame reason?)
I would be flattered should one of my chosen names be placed on the girl. In the end, however, that is of little importance so as long as she's a wonderful person who will live a full and fantastic life. I really hope that should be the case.