blog


Friday, December 29, 2006

"little man on the traffic light"

I can't wait until my domain expires. The blasted server is always down/hacked/not being awesome. And I can't figure out how to transfer the domain to another host. I just hope it expires when it's supposed to. I guess you get what you pay for.

Innumerable thanks to Ryan for helping get my Rhine score suitable for posting. Friggin enfoiblement.
  • Mozart's still cranking out new pieces

  • I love the Ampelmännchen. "Little man on the traffic light." I got a great Ampelmännchen shirt from a Berlin store that only sold Ampelmännchen-related items.

  • Longest song ever. 639 years, that is. "The actual performance commenced in the St. Burchardi church on September 5, 2001 with a pause lasting until February 5, 2003. The first chord was played from then until July 5, 2005. The latest sound from the organ was a three-note chord, A below middle C, C above middle C (A3-C4-Fis4) and F-sharp, which began on January 5, 2006 and concluded on May 5, 2006. The performance is planned to continue until September 5, 2640." Oh that John Cage.

  • I think my drawings may be broken. Can you see Dec. 30th's drawing? Man, I really need to host them elsewhere.
I'm terribly addicted to Facebook. (Fun fact: I tried making a facebook account for "Banjo Patterson," and it wouldn't let me. "Enter a real name," it said. wtf? Banjo Patterson is(was) a very famous Australian poet!)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Great Poems

The golden age of poetry is probably over. Here are my favourites. I've always planned to write a Water Night-esque piece for the Horace poem. Moreover...I will. And furthermoreover... I just wanted to say furthermoreover.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Beginnings of a music plot

Christmasfest was good times. A great variety of roast beasts were involved. I'm going to have to go into the liqueur-making business.

I didn't realize you can take some theory classes by correspondence. I also didn't realize that you can get an ARCT in composition and/or theory. Here's the requirements for the Comp & Theory combined ARCT:
  1. 3-hour exam in each of the following courses: Renaissance Counterpoint; Baroque Harmony and Counterpoint I; Baroque Harmony and Counterpoint II; Classical Harmony and Counterpoint; Romantic and Post-Romantic Harmony and Counterpoint; Post-1900 Composition Techniques; Orchestration I; Orchestration II; Analysis; History I; History II; Ear Test.
  2. Three compositions and one 5000-word research paper.
  3. Viva Voce oral defense of work submitted in Part 2.
  4. Also must have the pre- and co-requisites of harmony, history, counterpoint, and analysis.
I think I've got me a new project. Right after I finish the Performance ARCT, or maybe I'll work on as much theory as possible now... you only have 5 years to finish all the requirements for the ARCT after you write the first exam, and with so many exams in Part 1 of the Comp/Theory designation it would take a lot of concentrated study. Certainly not while I'm doing my Master's.

So I'm thinking I'll do the 2 remaining exams for Performance ARCT theory co-requisites this year (I do believe that I could be ready to write the exams in August), take a couple years to get back into the vocal groove, and do that ARCT. And then maybe, maybe, I can do up the necessaries to tack on the teacher's ARCT, but I doubt it. And then, when I can afford the time, I'll tackle the Composition/Theory ARCT. But that's a lot of exams, plus three compositions (one piece has to be for orchestra—I've only done the slightest of orchestration), plus a fairly lengthy research paper which shouldn't be too much of a problem but then again maybe it will.

This is the plan. What it will gain me in the end is slightly unclear, as always. I'm fine with that; the more degrees/designations the merrier. I was sad I didn't complete my BFA, but this is an alternate route that I've actually been working on since I was 13 without realizing it.

Speaking of music, I completed the score of Rhine but it will have to wait to be posted. Stupid Finale doesn't export MIDI and I can't find my disk to install it on my Mac, so I tried to scan the printouts and it's so bad that the staves have only three lines. But there you have it. At least now I have a copy of it. Hey... could this count as my solo instrument composition? Probably it has to be way better. Ah well, all in good time. I'll get to compose a choral piece too (choral or chamber, that is, but I'm a choral sort of person—ever since NYC I've wanted to compose like Whitacre).

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas songs are crap

Sii-ii-ii-ii-ii-ii-ii-ii-lent Ni-ii-ii-ii-ii-ii-ii-ii-ii-ght.
Ho-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-ly Ni-ii-ii-ii-ii-ii-ii-ii-ii-ii-ii-ii-ii-ght.


Kate and I were reminiscing about how Christmas songs these days are crap, and the only stipulation seems to be that you have to drag out each syllable for ~9 seconds. Except for the awesome rock medley, where they must have a drum machine going. I am a poor boy too PA RUM PA PUM PUM!!! [bff-bff-bff-BFF! bff-bff-bff-BFF!] ... 'TIS! the season to be jolly, FA LA LA LA LA! LA LA! LA! LA! So harsh it's great.

Tomorrow is "Christmas" for my immediate family (excepting my brother). I can guess what I'm getting! (I bought and wrapped the presents, after all. To Megan. Merry Christmas.)

My favourite Christmas image: Brent and Hank pulling at opposite ends of an aluminum Christmas tree à la tug-of-war (Brent wants to take it back home because it's his; Hank wants be the good samaritan and take it to the dump). As it is yanked in twain, Wanda gazes heavenward: "God bless us, every one." Yes indeedy.

Either that or I just wanted to say "twain."

All I can say is there had better be some darn epic Boxing Day Celebrations (which would take place on the 24th, naturally, with the 23rd being Christmas—or "X-mas" as [I'm guessing] the makers of certain comic book movies will likely soon advertise it as. An X-Men X-Mas. I'd better get credit when that movie comes out.)

It occurs to me that I haven't been drunk in a very very long time. I should remedy that.

I kind of have butterflies, well not so much butterflies as an awful gut-wrenching feeling of uneasiness and disappoinment. fa la la la la

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Magic of Migraines

This is where I usually get titles for songs and poems. I almost settled for cattalo for my new jazz song. "Exeunt Cattalo" (titter titter—Julie-Anne was admiring my tittering the other day). Better than "Bootless Beetle-Headed Barnacle." Shakespeare is not a good source for titles. Nothing beats a random generator. On that note, there are two new songs and two new recordings of old ones. I think all the static I used to wrestle with was produced entirely by the Luther Chapel, because my recordings at home were pretty good (other than the piano not being great, but I almost like it better than Luther's).

Zumanity's publicist (i.e. the guy I had to send my last article to for review/editing) is named John McCoy. I find that amusing. He liked my article and wants me to send 2 copies of it to him in Las Vegas!

I am now a New Blogger blogger, as opposed to an Old Moldy Blogger blogger. You should be too. All you need is a google account, which—I like to say this whenever I can—if you're normal you should already have.

The (semi)final migraine diagnosis: learn to live with it. I will (maybe) stop complaining about it at least until the summer.

Mēgan's Guide To Living With It
  • Eat if you get hungry.
  • Never take a nap. If you must take one, for god's sake close the blind and turn on a fan. Better yet: go outside. If it's winter, shovel some snow. If it's summer, jump in the nearest pond.
  • Always do your stretches.
  • Ibuprofen and Acetaminopen both come in quick-release gel-cap form. They won't help you anyway though.
  • Migraine-strength ibuprofen is doubly strong as the regular kind; you should therefore not take the maximum daily dose that you dimly recall being on the regular bottle if you have the stronger kind. Especially not every day. Your stomach will hate you forever.
  • Always carry an emergency pill if you leave the house. Even if you're only going to be gone for a couple hours, even if you feel fabulous, even if you've felt fabulous for the entire week. Keep it in your pocket—your pants pocket—so that you'll have it when you need it. It's just going to be useless in your jacket.
  • Don't stop taking preventative pills, even if you start feeling fine all the time. Especially if you feel fine all the time, because that's what they (allegedly and occasionally) do, they make you feel fine.
  • If your temple feels like it's going to explode, it is probably more likely to explode than if it didn't feel that way. So make it stop feeling that way as soon as possible.
  • Don't think that just because you've had it for 2 days it will probably go away if you tough it out for another couple days. It won't. Eat the damn poison. What are you saving it for if not for moments like this?
  • Make your doctor prescribe something you know will work. After all, you're the one paying through the nose for semi-normal life; they should give you what's necessary.
  • Reiki's a bunch of bullshit. Don't bother with it. "The platelets on your head are out of alignment, that's why you're getting this pain. I'll just put them back in place." Or, my personal favourite: "Purple is associated with energy of the head. Here, I'll give you this purple glowstick. When you get a headache, look at it and your headache will go away."

Friday, December 15, 2006

Freelancin'

One last article to go, then I will be done with deadlines and interviews and all that jazz. One benefit of freelancing is that I sometimes get to talk to interesting people. The final article is about an alumnus who is in Cirque du Soleil. Hmm, that's kind of neat, I think to myself. Turns out I got to interview Canada's world-famous clown Izzy. Pretty darn neat. The surprising thing is that I actually have heard of her before. But I still don't have enough words!
  • :0 My goodness, so much free sheet music here. They don't have Liszt's Vallee d'Oberman but I've finally located it elsewhere. Someday I will obtain it and learn to play it.

  • mobius bottle!! In one end and out the other... to infinity! I like their suggestion for cleaning it: "Expose the water (but not the glass) to a beam of pure antimatter."

  • Ich bin ein Kaboodler. From which you may notice there's a new lapsura store. (For future expansion or elimination.)

Who's There?

I just discovered that my great-grandmother was a Russian princess. Which means you should do as I say.

Knock knock.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Fed Up

Can you believe it? I'm actually sick of watching π.

Argh, I should have been done this blasted article today... My head is so throbbing and I can't think of anything else to write but I still don't have the word count I need. If I make it any more wordy it'll be obvious. Ugh, who's the idiot that invented pain? I don't mind if it's useful, like ow don't touch that it's hot type of pain, or quit bumping your shins on everything you clumsy oaf type of pain. This is just a big waste of time and life.

I ask you, what kind of advice is "oh just go to emergency when you get them"? Yes, just go to emergency, where you'll wait for five hours (on a good day) under those lights that say "BBBBBZZZZZZ!!!" and the smell of hospital (bad place if you've got a touch of nausea). If you're lucky, you can increase the wait time of everybody else and prevent someone with a real emergency from getting timely attention. Do this roughly twice a week? No thanks, I spent my one and only emergency visit with my head between my knees, trying hard not to throw up or feel bitter towards the guy in handcuffs escorted by police who got in right away because he was bleeding all over, then the nurse screwed up both my hands trying to put in an IV ("Oh look, I missed your vein again. You can tell because, see this here, your hand is filling up with the fluid." "I CAN SEE THAT, TAKE IT OUT!!!").

Failed treatments to date: many many. Yes I cower in the dark wearing sunglasses and earplugs. Precioussss. Apparently my pounding temples and I are 10 times more likely to have a stroke. I'm not sure compared to who. Maybe Gollum.

These stupid surveys...


Very frosty. Char keeps peering in the window. I can't sleep.

According to my calculations, my last piano lesson was Dec. 15, 2001. From my mom. Before that, my last lesson with another teacher was in May of that year. And then two days ago I resumed them. Well, mostly I just learn it myself, with my mom saying "now play this scale", "four-note chords will fix that", "you mean you memorized that all since yesterday?" I find it necessary to memorize things so that I can look at my fingers at all times. Technique still needs much work, but less than it would have taken all those years ago. I've also somehow picked up the ability to sight-read partially satisfactorily, something that I had a heck of a problem with back then.

I seem to learn better on my own. It's like my gr. 4 music history exam, for which I perused a textbook for two weeks, crammed for two weeks more, then pretty much transcribed the textbook into the exam, for which I got a 94. You can bet I wouldn't have gotten through all the material if I had actually taken it from a theory teacher.

Now really, all I need is gr. 5 history (I can learn that on my own no problem) and gr. 5 analysis (a month at most), work up my vocal technique, review the scales and learn the new ones, breeze over intervals (my ear training prof always got mad at me: "How can you name thee eenterval vithout even tinking about it?! You say eet before I am feenished playink!"), learn some ditties, do up the ARCT. That's a handful.

These things are always the same. Why do I get them all the time?

1. What is your occupation? right now, freelancer.
2. What color are your socks right now? my what?
3. What are you listening to right now? no, not at the moment.
4. What was the last thing that you ate? a BAGELLL, bagellybagellybagelly (from the bagel store, too! the only one left in Regina)
5. Can you drive a stick shift? Yes, but not so much in a city. Out here, just fine.
6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? neon orange
7. Last person you spoke to on the phone? somebody's secretary named Ellen. How do they expect me to interview people on two days' notice? People always say "well, I could talk to you late next week, if you want." "um, my deadline's this friday."
8. Do you like the person who sent this to you? I think the real question is, why do I get these every single day?
9. How old are you today? ~22
10. Favorite drink? mojito (the kind you get at a refreshment store, not the kind I make myself)
11. What is your favorite sport to watch? something extreme. uphill curling comes to mind. realistically, maybe bobsledding.
12. Have you ever dyed your hair? a couple times, temporarily, for halloween, long ago
14. Pets? a cat (Char) and a horde of llamas
15. Favourite food? anything but croast, and not most sauces.
16. What was the last movie you saw? Amistad. I highly recommend it, as in, if you haven't seen it, go watch it. right now.
17. What is your favourite time of day? late at night is when my mind works at full capacity.
18. What do you do to vent anger? storm out of the house and hide somewhere in the hills. It doesn't happen too often.
19. What was your favourite toy as a child? good ol' sega genesis. I am queen of streetfighter!
20. What is your favourite Fall or Spring? both, but not winter or summer.
22. Cherry or Blueberry? hey, where's #21?
23. Do you want your friends to email you back? what are you talking about? This is a blog, not an email-booth. People don't come here to talk on the phone.
24. Who is most likely to respond? nonsense, all nonsense
25. Who is least likely to respond? you're crazy
26. Living arrangements? on my parents' farm
27. When was the last time you cried? HAHAHA!
28. What is on the floor of your closet? binders of university classwork
29. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending this to? again with the nonsense
30. What did you do last night? sure didn't sleep
31. Favourite smells? mmmmmmm crayon smell. no, just kidding.
32. What inspires you? people and what they do (not all people, mind you)
34. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? I saw a menu the other day that said "pain burger." I've never tried that kind. I bet it's tasty. And where's #33?
35. Country you would most like to visit? so many, where to start? England, New Zealand, France, Germany, Switzerland...
36. Favourite dog breed? I don't know much about dogs, just that my llamas kill them. Ryan's dog is my favorite of all time.
37. Number of keys on your key ring? my what?
38. How many years at your current job? just started, it comes and goes.
39. Favourite day of the week? they're all the same
40. How many Provinces have you lived in? one
41. Favourite holidays? the ones with gatherings

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Burninating all those thatched-roof cottages

I love fire. You can erase a lot with fire. I've been going through my room getting rid of things, partly because I won't be hanging around doing nothing forever and I should really put things in order, partly because it's too cluttered to really do anything, and partly because I want to get rid of certain things and put everything in order before I have a stroke or something. Does anyone want a sheaf of drawings? Or perhaps a chapbook full of nonsense poems and old library drawings? No? INTO THE FIRE WITH THEM! (I am not an arsonist, I just find it fascinating that something can disappear forever. It's like toasters: you put in bread, and out comes toast. Where does the bread go?? Beats me.)

This was a new one for me: "This folder contains items whose name is too long for the Recycle Bin."

Christmas is so close... This will be the first year ever that all my siblings won't be together. It'll be a ... Christmas Miracle. Christmas has traditionally been my worst time of year: finals stress, good ol' winter depression, last year's fun times at the emergency. Hopefully most of that is school-related, and it will be the best Christmas ever.

41. stop being such a sarcastard
42. learn to play the guitar/violin/cello
43. get my gr. 10 piano

Friday, December 01, 2006

Day Without Art

Today is World AIDS Day. At the U of R, the Visual Arts department also booked an entire hallway in which they've set up for a Day Without Art. I won't get to see what it's all about though—I wonder how the Visual Arts dept will display a Day Without Art. Intriguing.

I saw a goose flying north today. It's snowing too darn much. I hate snow, but I'll at least allow it to be on the ground. But it should never be in the air.

Yesterday was productive, despite only fractional neck mobility and total lack of will to live (I'd forgotten how debilitating migraines can be). I fixed my laptop, finished my article... OK, here's where I really do kick myself for quitting J-school. Turned out not everyone was disinclined to be interviewed, and the rest of my contacts were great, plus I learned a thing or two about what's involved in book publishing. Most importantly of all, the magazine loved my article. I passed freelancing initiation!