02 March 2010

Unexpected Pleasantries

I do not understand.

So, from the moment I started college, and first owned a computer, my music collection has been largely digital. I can keep CDs organized like nobody's business. But files? That's a different story.

It's been incredibly disorganized for the last couple of years, and has really needed attention. So I had my parents ship the external hard drive to Chicago, and finally sat down to sort things out. What motivated this? My iPod stopped showing up in iTunes a while back. I haven't been able to add new music since Novemberish. It was starting to be a problem.

It was an overwhelming process, which turned out to be easier than I expected. A couple of days later, I'm done. I don't even think I have a lot of duplicate tracks lying around. So I'm all set to restore the little bugger of an iPod that isn't behaving, and lo and behold.

There it is. In iTunes. Pretending it's been there the whole time.

Sometimes technology amazes me.

23 February 2010

Cool Stuff Today

Earl brought into the office this little foam nerf gun. Apparently he has about 200 of them, for some reason. It's a little immature, and very tempting.

The chord progression I was playing while working on songwriting stuff apparently matches up somewhat with "Defying Gravity" from Wicked. So that's stuck in my head now.

Here's something I drew at work yesterday.

'Kittery Tide' would be a Girlyman song, yes.

09 February 2010


At playgroup today, there was this little boy named Henry. He really likes the new DuPont race car riding toy that's pretty new. He likes it so much that even when he's had it for a while, and then Sam really wants to play with it, he won't share. So his mom picked him up and forcibly removed him from the toy. Henry got over it (after a while), and Sam got his turn.

Well. There's this country named Ukraine, and a woman named Tymoshenko. She had her turn as Prime Minister, and lost the recent election to Yanukovych. I know it's tough. The Orange Revolution didn't result in the changes that everyone wanted, and she's lost support. But Yanukovych won. He might not be the shiniest future for Ukraine, but he won. There was not evidence of massive election fraud.

THIS IS HOW THE WORLD WORKS. It doesn't matter who you are. It doesn't matter how terrible and horrible and mean the winner is. When you lose an election, you give up your seat, or give up your credit as a respected European leader.

Give it up, Tymoshenko, or I'll send Henry's mom over there.

04 February 2010

The Altar Guild Comic Book, and Today's General Adventures

Exciting current events:

1. My phone was stolen. This has been inconvenient, to say the least.
2. Allie is coming.

In light of #1, the timing of #2 is impeccable. It is not time to fret; it is time to gallivant around the city whilst munching on bagels and discussing theology.

I am now proud to present the first of a few installations of 'The Altar Guild Comic Book'. At church, we are compiling a church customary (or something akin to one), which records how the church functions. The altar guild is in charge of the sanctuary materials and physical preparations for worship. Their handbook reads like an Emily Dickinson poem, with many, many capitalized nouns. Here's what we're learning today:

02 February 2010

CPJ Update

A few minutes' poking around the Committee to Protect Journalists website shows some interesting statistics.

1 journalist was jailed in Russia in 2009.
3 journalists were killed in Russia in 2009.
52 journalists have been killed in Russia because of their work since 1992.
24 more journalists have been killed in Russia since 1992, with unknown motives.

Those four categories, for China:
24 jailed in 2009.
0 killed in 2009.
2 killed since 1992 for their work.
1 killed since 1992 with unknown motives.

So, congratulations China, on not killing lots of people. But you still put them in jail. Let's work on that.

Russia, you and I have had this talk already. On the positive side, one of those tags is no longer accurate, but that's the work of Colombia and the Philippines, not you, Russia. 30 cases of complete impunity? Why on earth do I love you so much, Russia?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

What's been going on in 2010?
Journalists are hiding and the police are raiding newspaper offices again.

General Adventures

I have been reading a lot of webcomics recently, and I have found it inspiring. So, here are three moments from my day, in comic form.

18 January 2010

I have barely managed to stave off tears.

1. The
2. alpaca
3. sweater
4. isn't
5. fitting.

A brief play. Featuring the Voice of Reason (as played by the hypothetical presence of Cory) and Bethany.

VoR: There, there. Tell me about your gauge swatch.
B: I totally knit one! It was long and skinny, and was on size 6s, I think. It mostly was to test out colorwork patterns. The colorwork goes around the bust, and below that on the body is ribbing. So I knit that on size 5s. I cast on 240 sts. I took the ribbing, and measured the gauge unstretched, and stretched, translated both of those into the body measurement (which yielded 220.5 sts and 262.5 sts). So I picked one in between.
VoR: So you cast on 240 and started knitting. Then what happened?
B: I knit 6.5 inches, and transferred it to waste yarn, to try it on. It looks a little bit too big. It stretched a little, but it could probably stand to be smaller. It should be about 40 sts smaller by the time I hit the waist, but it could be about 20-32 stitches smaller right now, too.
VoR: So, when you say it doesn't fit, you mean it's too big?
B: It's at that point where it might be too big that it looks a little off and I won't wear it much. But it might be okay. I can't tell. I really wish you were here to give me an opinion. Am I crazy for considering steeking?
VoR: You're a little crazy, yeah. It's probably not the best way to handle it, yeah. You should probably fix it, though. It's better to take a long time making it, than to end up with a sweater that you don't like. That's not even the uber-perfectionist in me talking.
B: So I'm going to lose about 40 sts, at least. It's too late to be starting those now. Do you think it would work for me to go back a couple of inches and start them there? Rather than frogging the whole thing.
VoR: That could work. You should be really careful with your measurements, though, and plan the decreases out. If you wing it, you might have to go back again. Since you didn't swatch the ribbing the first time, use this as a swatch, and measure a few times before you take too much of it back.
B: This sweater is going to take forever.
BoldVoR: It won't take forever. Maybe a while. But then it will fit and it will be awesome!
B: I guess.

Thanks, hypothetical Cory, for helping me get through this. You and the theraputic Koolhaas hat are going to make it all okay.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Apparently this weekend happened in the present tense.

1. I'm going to leave for Milwaukee sometime between 3 and 4 pm.
2. I'm going to leave for Milwaukee sometime around 5 pm.
3. It's 6:00. I'm totally leaving in a few minutes.
4. 7:00. I leave for Milwaukee.
5. Folk show: John Stano. Then: X Files! Hungry (7x03) and Hollywood A.D. (7x19).

1. I awake, for some reason, at 8:30, and write blues lyrics.
2. Strong desire to play the piano overcome by the fact that it would wake up the entire house.
3. Walk three miles to Fiberwood Studio. Buy 2205 yards of Jaggerspun Zephyr laceweight. (50/50 wool/silk).
4. Excursion to mall with David, Zach and Ashley. In perusing Barnes & Noble: learn key phrases in Czech, and brush up on my Python programming skillz.
5. Dinner and X Files with David. By which I mean, delicious Indian food. Also, this animated show that was a lot like the X Files, and Firefly (Ariel). Firefly is almost the X Files, in that it was frequently communally watched by the Danielle/Kathryn/Linden/Liz/Bethany crowd, and prominently features both Jewel Staite and Adam Baldwin, who were both on the X Files.

1. Close, and try to lock the door behind me as I leave the Milwaukee LVC house at 7:00 am. Subsequently realize that I have left my iPod (with the epic two-hour playlist) inside the house. Fortunately, my door-locking attempt failed, and I don't have to call anyone and make them get out of bed to let me in. IPod was retrieved, the door was locked, and I was on my way.
2. Successful Sunday School class. I forget to bring the story, and have to tell it from memory, but the kids get it, and we have a good discussion that relates Shiprah and Puah to Rosa Parks.
3. Bowl-a-thon for the SOA watch with Amanda. The LVCers are cursed with bowling 9s.
4. Game 1: 73. No stirkes, no spares; I bowl 9s in four frames.
Game 2: 78. No strikes, no spares; I bowl 9s in six frames.
Game 3: 154. Three strikes, three spares; I bowl 9s in two frames.
5. General failure to journal for songwriting. Sigh.

14 January 2010

Thursday 13-01-10

Fell asleep, finally, at 5 a.m. What an incredible way to kick things off.

Thursday: food decisions.
1. 11:00 a.m. - Yogurt freezes well. Note to self: it does not unfreeze well.
2. 12:30 p.m. - Lunch: carrot.
3. 4:30 p.m. - Realization: I actually brought my lunch, forgot about it, and thought the carrot was all I had.
4. 5:00 p.m. - Realization: I am very tired and very hungry. It is negatively altering my perception of reality. Really, everything will be pretty okay.
5. 9:00 p.m. - Slight food coma after dinner with Lauren and Peter. Slightly the fault of Amanda, who couldn't decide which dessert to make, and just made two.

Wednesday 13-01-10

Emotions of the day.

1. Excitement.
2. Frustration.
3. Petty frustration.
4. Excitement.
5. Frustration.

Frustration is about actual things. Petty frustration is about how you walk out of the grocery store and realize you forgot to get one of the two items you went there for. Excitement is about singing the B-52s 'Roam', and recording #4 from yesterday.

12 January 2010

Ain't it funny how time slips away...

1. Breakfast at Ann Sather with Amanda and my dad. Cinnamon rolls the size of hubcaps.
2. Knitting/crochet group at Immanuel. Amanda finished her hat, the superstar that she is!
3. Got to climb on ladders again, in the deChristmasing of Immanuel's sanctuary.
4. Stopped at Borders for the second time of the week(to pick up some issues of Interweave Knits I've fallen behind on).
5. Babysat. After the kid was asleep, WKMT had this really odd set of five or six folk songs that were all about cannibalism. It creeped me out.

1. The grand return of Sunday School.
2. Got sucked into a long conversation with Francisco about politics, Russian literature, and eastern European pop music.
3. Knit.
4. Got bored with sweater.
5. Fell asleep at 6:00 p.m.

1. Meh. Monday was Monday. I should have played the Bangles' song to make it better. Let's just skip it.

1. Staff meeting. Stayed alert without tea.
2. Lunch: сельодка под шубой. Salted herring under scallions under potatoes under beets. Plus, in true Russian fashion, mayonnaise.
3. Played around with my favorite chord (Cmaj7) a bit, and ended up writing about four measures of piano music. I never write piano music.
4. Songwriting class at Old Town! Learned about song form, reviewed basic chord structures, and 12-bar blues. Considered making 'the Guacamole Blues' into an actual blues song.
5. Finally merged my old Google account with the Gmail one. Now when I blog, it doesn't log me out of my email! Partay.

08 January 2010

Friday 08-01-10

Hey, look! It's my dad! In Chicago! Partay!

1. Canceled on my songwriting appointment with myself. (Don't tell Steve at the Old Town School.)
2. More instruments somehow showed up in Casa. Could this have been the entire purpose of my father's visit? Of course, not. That's preposterous.
3. Late lunch at Charlie's Ale House. The New Holland Brewery is a winner. Also, that bartender really dislikes Goose Island 312. "It's the Bud Light of wheat beers." Damn. That's harsh.
4. Knitting circle. Kristy was disappointed at the lack of fauxhawk. But Lynne's sea salt chocolate chip cookies made everything better.
5. Pizza and hootenanny, with photographs of a horn-rimmed Lou Malnati, and Brother Thelonious, respectively. Learned a lot of seventh chords. Probably forgot them, too.

Thursday 07-01-10

Best part of day: Georgian bakery. It's on Devon & California. 2812 W. Devon, or something like that. You should probably go there.

Obtained items:

1. Хачапури - (Khachapuri). These little cheese pies. Georgian classic.
2. Лоблани - (Loblani). Like хачапури, but with red bean filling. Even tastier.
3. Картошка с капустой - (Pastry with cabbage). Pretty basic, but good for cabbage lovers.
4. Пельмени - (Pel'meni - Russian dumplings). Some beef and pork, some with potato and cheddar.
5. Сельди - (Herring). For Сельди под шубой (Herring Under a Fur Coat, which is layers of herring, scallions, potatoes and beets. Covered in mayonnaise, in true Russian form).

06 January 2010

Wednesday 06-01-10

Today was another day of failing to go to the Georgian Bakery on Devon. sigh

Instead, the adventures of the day included...

1. Buying a new sketchbook.
2. Messing around with Google Groups, Calendar, Docs and Sites.
3. Being impatient in regards to the Clark bus.
4. Celebrating Lauren's birthday!
5. And finally remembering to mention this video.

Tuesday 05-01-10

Today I:

1. Felt reasonably productive at work.
2. Drew two short comics.
3. Went to my first songwriting class.
4. Briefly contemplated buying a slide for my guitar.
5. Saw Francisco's string quartet play a Shostakovich piece at a pool bar.

Also, I really like writing about people's hands. I wish I could draw their hands, too.

05 January 2010

Monday 04-01-10

1. Culinary activity #1: oatmeal + brown sugar + peanut butter + dark chocolate. Reasonable success. Needs tweaking, but has possibilities for greatness.
2. Picked up the socks that have lain neglected for several weeks. Knit half a row.
3. Tutored a six year old. Made words out of the letters in SNOWMAN and read a book about squirrels.
4. Contra dancing!
5. Culinary activity #2: hard-boiled egg failure. Instead: soft-boiled eggs.

03 January 2010

Sunday 03-01-10

No list for Saturday. Alas, the list for today wouldn't be incredibly exciting. I did at least look up recipes for black bread. Also, Herring under a Fur Coat, which is this incredibly delicious layered Russian salad. Well, incredibly delicious if you like beets. Which you should.

Today, really, the only interesting thing I did was watch Beauty and the Beast. I was probably less than 10 years old the last time I saw it.

Instead of giving you a list, I will tell you, in reverse chronological order, five things I've been thinking about recently that relate to sound.
1. Every time Ms. Potts spoke/sang during Beauty and the Beast, I was reminded of how much I like Angela Lansbury.
2. Some earworms (by certain folk-pop bands) are more than welcome during normal daily functioning. (And, unfortunately, they same cannot be said during bouts of insomnia.)
3. I really want to learn to play slide guitar.
4. I do kind of wish my bass was in Chicago.
5. The Cure, when not bashing around about how Friday is the best day of the week, is fantastic music for falling asleep to.

That being said, I really do have interesting plans for the next few days. I shall, in fact, succeed at doing cool stuff in January. It will happen; I promise.

01 January 2010

Friday 01-01-10

Remember this format from last year? Five item lists! Every day in January! Except maybe sometimes.

Today, among other things, I:
1. Watched X Files with David from LVC Milwaukee at 3 a.m. (Paper Hearts, 4x10) Very sadly, this may be the first X Files episode viewed by me in Casa Romero, possibly the second. For sure the only episode to be viewed in the last three months. (I might have watched one with some friends in September; this is still a pitiful frequency.)
2. Failed miserably at falling asleep, due largely to three Girlyman songs that wouldn't leave my brain alone.
3. Played guitar.
4. Tried to read a book
5. Contemplated testing the yeast in our kitchen fridge (I have all of these aspirations about baking черный хлеб (black bread) this weekend).

2010 doesn't feel much different. I'm still making lists, anyway.

Oh! And I finished Daybreak a couple of days ago. Quite pleased with it.