Monthly Archives: December 2013

Turning The Other Cheek

On the side of all my unpredictable, unstable, and inconsistent creative work that I do, I work part-time in retail, selling luxury goods. I am the newest addition to our sales team. Out of everyone there, I probably make the most mistakes.

For a lot of my co-workers, their job is their life. For them, there are no other options. Many of them carry out their job in a very aggressive manner. I, on the other hand, am so relaxed as I work and it really is apparent. I work there because I enjoy it. If this part-time job does not work out, I know I can just move onto another one that I enjoy.

Few weeks ago, our store had our annual holiday party. Everyone was in a good mood and looking beautiful in their fancy clothes. But as the night progressed and more alcohol was being consumed, some of my co-workers loosened up a bit too much. One of them felt it was the opportune time to say to me, “Daniel, you are a real fuck up to the team!… You just don’t care enough… If you even dare to tell our manager about this conversation, I’m gonna kill you…”

Heart in Eye

Of course it hurt to hear all of this, especially when I have only had good intentions for others at my workplace. I felt misunderstood. My emotional sensitivity also intensified the hurt that I was feeling.

The old-me would have resorted to the use of my psychological strategies to escape my present difficult emotions. Having learned from my past the ineffectiveness of this response, I did something drastically different. I allowed myself to just feel the pain without judging whether the feeling was “good” or “bad,” whether my co-worker’s behaviour was “good” or “bad,” or whether my co-worker was a “good” or “bad” person. I resisted my impulse to investigate why such words were spoken and what had to be done to “fix” the problem. I lived in the present moment, even though that moment was not so pleasant. I also meditated on positive truths about who I am as a person. By doing all of this, I was able to keep myself calm and allow my difficult emotions to fully make its way in and out of my system while centering my identity. After giving myself all the time that I needed to grieve over the experience, I forgave her. In no time, I was feeling much better.

Then came the time to think about what to do next. The old-me would have immediately, without hesitation, confronted my co-worker. I have so much confidence in my communication skills and my mind’s ability to rapidly organize the thoughts and ideas in my head that there are not too many types of people, social situations, or sensitive topics that I feel threatened by when words must be used. In the past, I would tactfully expose the crimes of my wrongdoers and draw out their emotions of guilt to get them to stop doing the things that bother me. This practice worked out for me very nicely for many years.

For the first time, however, I realized that this kind of confrontation was actually my mechanism of control. Underneath it all, I simply feared getting hurt again. Rather than going back to my old ways, I took a chance and resisted this form of control. I kept my heart and mind open to be inspired with a better course of action. In prayer, I asked my God that I believe in, “I am pretty sure my way will achieve the outcome that I want, but is there something else You would rather have me do instead?”

Shortly after, I had a “vision” of my co-worker’s life growing up (religious or not, “psychic”-like experiences are not so abnormal in the lives of a lot of highly sensitive people). I saw (with my spiritual eyes, of course) her growing up, making mistakes, and people being very hard on her. I saw a whole string of hurtful words being spoken onto her and crushing her. I saw her desperately trying to build her self-worth through perfectionism. Her lack of grace on others when they made mistakes stemmed from the lack of grace she received growing up. I sensed the many areas of brokenness within her and just knew what she needed to hear for emotional healing to take place.

On my next day at work, I wrote her a Christmas card that included a Starbucks gift card. I wrote something along these lines (the original was much longer, of course – I just don’t remember all the things that I wrote, word for word):

“I didn’t know the extent of all the frustration and damage you experienced as a result of all my mistakes. I’m sorry. I did not mean to make you feel that I did not care. The truth is, I do care about you and appreciate you as a person very much. You are an amazing, delightful, beautiful woman with a good heart… [specific examples…] I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. ~ Daniel”

After reading my card, she came to me, thanked me, and gave me a big hug.

I am not sharing all of this to boast to the rest of the world “Hey, look at me, I’m such a saint!” No. I share all of this to inspire others to try it out when people behave in nasty, hurtful ways.

One of the questions I get asked very frequently from my blog readers is, “Hey, I’m pretty sure my husband/wife has OCPD and it’s driving me insane. How should I break the news to him/her?” This entire blogpost is my answer: I do not think that it is so necessary to “break the news” to anyone. Rather than pointing out people’s faults, weaknesses, and crimes, I think it is much better to love one another and see people’s attacks as clues to their inner brokenness.

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Pop Danthology 2013

dan·thol·o·gy

/danˈTHäləjē/

noun
an anthology of various creative works arranged by Daniel Kim.

Finally, after a total of 180 hours of work, I have finished the 2013 edition of my annual “Pop Danthology” music mix series.

SONG LIST

(In alphabetical order by artist)

  1. Anna Kendrick – “Cups (When I’m Gone)”
  2. Armin van Buuren feat. Trevor Guthrie – “This Is What It Feels Like”
  3. A$AP Rocky feat. Skrillex, Birdy Nam Nam – “Wild For The Night”
  4. Avicii – “Wake Me Up”
  5. Avril Lavigne – “Here’s To Never Growing Up”
  6. Bastille – “Pompeii”
  7. Bauuer – “Harlem Shake”
  8. Bingo Players feat. Far East Movement – “Get Up (Rattle)”
  9. Britney Spears – “Ooh La La”
  10. Britney Spears – “Work B**ch”
  11. Bruno Mars – “Locked Out Of Heaven”
  12. Bruno Mars – “Treasure”
  13. Bruno Mars – “When I Was Your Man”
  14. Calvin Harris feat. Ayah Marar – “Thinking About You”
  15. Calvin Harris feat. Ellie Goulding – “I Need Your Love”
  16. Capital Cities – “Safe And Sound”
  17. Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams – “Get Lucky”
  18. Demi Lovato – “Heart Attack”
  19. Drake feat. Majid Jordan – “Hold On, We’re Going Home”
  20. Drake – “Started From The Bottom”
  21. Ellie Goulding – “Burn”
  22. Icona Pop feat. Charli XCX – “I Love It (I Don’t Care)”
  23. Imagine Dragons – Demons
  24. Jason Derulo – “The Other Side”
  25. Jay-Z feat. Justin Timberlake – “Holy Grail”
  26. Justin Timberlake – “Mirrors”
  27. Justin Timberlake feat. Jay-Z – “Suit & Tie”
  28. Katy Perry – “Roar”
  29. Kelly Clarkson – “Catch My Breath”
  30. Ke$ha – “C’mon”
  31. Ke$ha feat. will.i.am – “Crazy Kids”
  32. Krewella – “Alive”
  33. Lady Gaga – “Applause”
  34. Lana Del Rey – “Summertime Sadness (Cedric Gervais Remix)”
  35. Lorde – “Royals”
  36. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Mary Lambert – “Same Love”
  37. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton – “Can’t Hold Us”
  38. Maroon 5 – “Daylight”
  39. Maroon 5 – “Love Somebody”
  40. Martin Garrix – “Animals”
  41. Martin Solveig & The Cataracs feat. Kyle – “Hey Now”
  42. Miley Cyrus – “We Can’t Stop”
  43. Miley Cyrus – “Wrecking Ball”
  44. Naughty Boy feat. Sam Smith – “La La La”
  45. One Direction – “Best Song Ever”
  46. One Direction – “Story Of My Life”
  47. OneRepublic – “Counting Stars”
  48. OneRepublic – “If I Lose Myself”
  49. Passenger – “Let Her Go”
  50. P!nk feat. Nate Ruess – “Just Give Me A Reason”
  51. Pitbull feat. Christina Aguilera – “Feel This Moment”
  52. Pitbull feat. Ke$ha – “Timber”
  53. Pitbull feat. TJR – “Don’t Stop The Party”
  54. PSY – “Gentleman”
  55. Rihanna – “Pour It Up”
  56. Rihanna feat. David Guetta – “Right Now”
  57. Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko – “Stay”
  58. Robin Thicke feat. Kendrick Lamar – “Give It 2 U”
  59. Robin Thicke feat. T.I., Pharrell Williams – “Blurred Lines”
  60. Selena Gomez – “Come & Get It”
  61. Selena Gomez – “Slow Down”
  62. Taylor Swift – “22”
  63. Taylor Swift – “I Knew You Were Trouble”
  64. will.i.am feat. Britney Spears – “Scream & Shout”
  65. will.i.am feat. Justin Bieber – “#thatPOWER”
  66. Ylvis – “The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)”
  67. Zedd feat. Foxes – “Clarity”
  68. Zedd feat. Hayley Williams – “Stay The Night”

LYRICS & SONG TITLES

(In order of appearance)

THE MAKING OF POP DANTHOLOGY 2013

There is so much that goes into the production of Pop Danthologies. Below is a pie chart that shows the breakdown of all the work I did for Pop Danthology 2013.

Pop Danthology 2013 Pie Chart

MUSIC

GATHERING

The first and least exciting part of making Pop Danthology is gathering all the different instrumental and acapella tracks, audio stems, and full songs. I search all over the internet like a determined chef searches different markets and grocery stores for his ingredients. Mashup artists such as myself, however, are “chefs” who live in a world of many deceitful grocery stores that mislabel their produce as “fresh” and “organic” when they really are far from those descriptions. I am one “chef” who will not be deceived. I instead take the time to visit every “grocery store” in order to get ingredients of the highest quality. This year, I felt that there was a shortage of high quality audio parts compared to previous years. Nevertheless, after 33 hours, I was able to compile a ready-to-mix list of 179 (73 vocal, 41 instrumental, 65 complete with both) music files.

Pop Danthology 2013 Song List

PLANNING AND ORGANIZING

A lot of planning is required in the making of Pop Danthology because not all songs fit nicely into one stationary tempo and key (many other mashup artists do this but it distorts the sound quality and timbre of the original audio parts too much for my liking). In order to determine what keys to use in Pop Danthology, I draw up a chart like the one below.

Pop Danthology 2013 Key Chart[ the numbers above refer to the number of songs in that key ]

This key chart shows me that this year’s music, like many of the previous years’ music, is all over the place; there is no one key being predominantly used. I, therefore, had no choice but to use multiple key changes in this year’s Pop Danthology. The tempos of all the music this year were all over the place too. I had to use a total of 11 tempo changes in Pop Danthology 2013.

Pop Danthology 2013 Tempo[ This is Pop Danthology 2013’s tempo graph showing all the fluctuations in tempo from the beginning (left side) to the very end (right side) of the mix ]

I spent a total of 9 hours planning and organizing Pop Danthology 2013.

ARRANGING AND MIXING

The fun part began only after investing 42 hours into this epic project (talk about delayed gratification, huh?). This is the part I get to combine all the different sounds together to make new sounds. I spent a total of 114 hours arranging and mixing Pop Danthology 2013. A lot of that time, though, was spent just listening to my progress at full volume and dancing as if I was hearing it at a DJ concert. It is also during this part of the mashup making process that the only music I listen to, on loop, is my work in progress. Even while driving my car from one place to another, I examine all the volumes and frequencies of each individual audio part with a critical ear.

Pop Danthology 2013 Arrangement

[ Arranging my music on Logic Pro X ]

VIDEO

GATHERING

Unlike the music portion of the mashup making process, it is so much easier to find the official music videos to all the songs used in Pop Danthology. All it took was 1 hour of simple YouTube searches.

EDITING

Editing the music video was so easy as well. All I really had to do was find the video clips matching the audio parts featured in Pop Danthology 2013 and then stretch or compress them by the same percentage that the audio parts were stretched/compressed. I do spend the extra time, though, to carefully select video clips that are appropriate for all ages. I spent 23 hours editing Pop Danthology 2013.

POP… DAN… THOLOGY INTRO

Van Damme VS Dan

This year I decided to make a parody of Jean-Claude Van Damme’s viral Volvo commercial as my video intro. I could not have done this part without the help of:

Justin Lam (Lighting, Equipment)

Steve Tan (Editor/Compositor)

Website: threesixtyphoto.com Website: stevetan.net
Facebook: ThreeSixtyPhotography Instagram: @stevetan
Twitter: @threesixtyphoto Twitter: @stevetan
Vimeo: threesixtyphoto Vimeo: stevetan

Click here to read more about how Steve was able to make my floating head move so perfectly along with Jean-Claude Van Damme’s body.

DOWNLOAD

Pop Danthology 2013

Pop Danthology 2012

Pop Danthology 2011

Pop Danthology 2010

TITLE ART

(Click to enlarge)

Pop Danthology 2013 CoverPop Danthology 2013 Black TitlePop Danthology 2013 White Title

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