blog


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Autumn

It's been a mild autumn so far, and reminds me of late September back home right now. And that reminds me of all the things that remind me of home. I'm missing home.

The violin is far too awkward—actually, I'm far too awkward for the violin. In a little less than a month I'll write another comp ARCT exam, and then in January I'll be resuming voice lessons. Who knows whether any of this is leading anywhere. I'm still mulling over my grad school decisions, and don't think I'll be able to come up with a satisfactory solution. The worst thing about everything is that I'll probably always regret something.

With any luck, my song cycle will be performed on Saturday during one of the Canada Music Week concerts. With a little more luck, I'll actually be there to hear it, since Saturday is one of my work days and the concert is in the afternoon.

Christmas and snow! It will be glorious.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Something about fall here reminds me of spring back home. The same fresh/crisp edge to the air; the way afternoon light slants through windows; the ground dampened by rain that could easily pass for new-melted snow. As glorious as the ultimate mildness of this city is, I miss the optimistic, happy feeling of seeing life begin, like new blades of grass or crocuses emerging.

Here, there is no such thing as the awakening of life. There's a perpetual green instead of greening. The closest thing is when the trees bud out, but springtime here doesn't feel like springtime as I've come to know it. The air, the light, the ground; this place has just got its seasons mixed up, I guess.

Down the street is a derelict cafe with its curtains closed, but you can still see through in the evening to the disaster within. It's clearly been abandoned for years, but for some reason the lights are always on inside. The neon sign above the door turned on every night, too, until quite recently. A sign in the door says that the cafe has been in the same location since some year in the 1930s. It's always been autumn on the side-street by that cafe, since I've lived here. The leaves were fallen and crisp in early summer, and something about the sidewalk is just... autumnal. I've ranted before about pavement/sidewalks, though, so I'll leave it at that.

Been thinking about getting back into singing, soon. It's not a long walk to an ARCT.

Friday, September 19, 2008

to sum up

Oh look, 3 months to the day since I last updated.

NIN was fantastic live in Pemberton, though Pemberton itself was severely marred by fatal levels of toxic dust and inconceivably horrible traffic jams. So, NIN will be even more fantastic *AGAIN* in December, right in town! Pre-sale tickets sold out within minutes, but we got some later during the general sale. Also, Radiohead was fantastic as well.

I started working at the music conservatory, and am back at my studies now. This year I'll be trying violin for the first time, too. Best of all, I won first place in the open category of the conservatory's composition competition, as well as second place in the province's Registered Music Teachers Association contest.

And no, I don't have a Flim transcription. Time has been in short supply.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Writerly Updation

There are a few writerly things I've been keeping under my hat, but I think I'm finally in a position to talk about them.

Firstly, ScribeFarm has launched a newsletter, and it includes comics by "Poorly-Drawn is my Middle Name"... i.e. me. Except the characters are supposed to resemble people, which takes me quite out of my element (i.e. Poorly-Drawn is my middle name). You can catch issue 1 here.

Secondly, I have a new freelance "gig" as a Contributing Writer for an online magazine, and my first article has been published. I don't know if I'll make much money at all on it, but I'll be better off for the experience. Though I have to write 40 articles in the next year...

Because blogging jobs require you to show your experience in, well, blogging, I've started up a new blog. It's what you'd call "topical," I guess, or at least that's the plan. I'm going to try to write almost-daily there, and that might even become possible in the future.

I have some sort of vague hope to develop my conference paper into an article, but I think time is running out on that one.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Return

I had a good time at the conference, and enjoyed my too-short stay in L.A.

Saskatchewan involved a kite-flying day, walk in the creek, and miscellaneous events:



Since then, we've moved to a new apartment. Goodbye, Clover Point:

Monday, May 12, 2008

the coming week

Tuesday: first summer class starts
Wednesday: finalize conference/travel stuff
Thursday: fly to Los Angeles
Friday: conference
Saturday: fly to Regina
Sunday-Monday: quality family time
Tuesday: long-awaited neurologist appointment, then regular doctor appointment
Wednesday: fly to Victoria
Thursday: resume summer class
Friday: try to catch up in new seminar class and composition
Saturday: finally, finally, Ryan returns

Thursday, May 08, 2008

One week from now, I'll be in Los Angeles. I'll have most of a day to kill before my conference, too.

So if you happen to live in Los Angeles, and you want to hang out or come to the conference and, you know, listen to me talk about Year Zero (in ways that literary/cyberculture people might find interesting), please do.

hint hint

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

pmogging stuff

Take my freaking awesome new PMOG mission, Reznor Off The Label. (Why not take my three-part Year Zero mission series while you're at it?) What? Not a pmogger? Sounds like you should request an invite from me.

This is the most amazing laptop I've ever seen. The sound holes are truly delightful. I love the video where he turns it on and off. I never actually knew there was such a thing as steampunk before I started pmogging, but it's pretty pervasive there.

Monday, May 05, 2008

The Slip

It's May 5, and you know what that means: follow those mp3 tags to nin.com. In a shocking display of punctuality, the mystery was actually revealed at midnight. To quote:
as a thank you to our fans for your continued support, we are giving away the new nine inch nails album one hundred percent free, exclusively via nin.com.

the music is available in a variety of formats including high-quality MP3, FLAC or M4A lossless at CD quality and even higher-than-CD quality 24/96 WAVE. your link will include all options - all free. all downloads include a PDF with artwork and credits.

So get over to nin.com and get The Slip. CDs and vinyls will be available in July, too. Can ya Digg it?

Thank you, Mr. Reznor.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Three people up to something

Now I feel official over at ScribeFarm:


My associates Mathmission and Riscy:


Why are we cartoon characters, anyway? Weird...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Spend the day with NIN: watch this video 2500 times



After you've done that, listen to the brand new NIN single called Discipline, which hit radiowaves across the U.S. on Tuesday (to everybody's surprise). Later that evening, it was available for free download on nin.com, and the multitrack is on the remix site as well.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

total incoherence

Just got back from a conference ("just" means several days ago). I like Twitter. And my other blog. Here's a few seconds of a song I made a terrible recording of two summers ago.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

More of the same

Radiohead recently set up radioheadremix.com for listeners to remix their latest single, Nude. Not an April Fool's joke, as some readers believed. The thing about radioheadremix.com is that you have to buy each of the five multitrack components through iTunes if you want to remix it. This is a far cry from remix.nin.com, where Reznor not only lets you post anything NIN-related (so long as it doesn't infringe on the copyright of other artists), but he has provided (or will provide) multitracks for all of his recent music (in a variety of formats) and moreover has used the remix site to provide instrumental versions of all the NIN catalogue of vocal music. You don't have to pay a dime to use remix.nin.com, where you can get a good choice of Year Zero, Ghosts, and even a few Niggy Tardust multitracks. So you can vote for your favourite Nude remixes—so what? Like this article says:
What's sort of unclear is what actually happens to remixers who get the most votes. According to iTunes' New Music Tuesday e-mail, "Select mixes will be made available on iTunes later this year." Uh, OK. Then what? Do the creators get a portion of the sales revenue? A "thank you" e-mail from Thom Yorke and Co.? The glory of saying, "You love me! You really love me!"? Or perhaps some American Apparel back-warmer emblazoned with "I Won a Radiohead Remix Contest and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt."
People have been rating and commenting remixes on remix.nin.com since its inception; it at least has a community feel. Why does Radiohead take every good NIN idea and turn it into some commercialized contest? Reznor is revolutionizing music in making it an artist-community conversation; while Radiohead has the appearance of doing the same thing, it doesn't seem to me that they have that same intent.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

assorted stuff

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Heading South

My conference proposal has been accepted, so I will be speaking at the UCLA Southland Graduate Students Conference in May. I've never been to the U.S. before. Nothing sets a plan in stone like booking flights. This is truly exciting, because it is a giant step in the direction I had been hesitantly hoping for a while back.

[I just spent a little over an hour reading my entire blog since last February, searching for a post I could have sworn I'd written so that I could link to it in reference... Did I not write, at one point, about how I hoped to introduce cyberculture studies into my MA program somehow because I wanted to focus my MA essay on it? I distinctly recall writing it, at any rate, whether or not I posted it. As a sidenote, my blog used to be a lot more interesting than it is now.]

Anyway, take my word for it that it's exciting times, indeed. As fate would have it, I'll be in Los Angeles talking about "Unlocking Year Zero: Temporal Dynamics in a New Type of Immersive Text" on the day before Trent Reznor's birthday.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Please don't boycott us - we'll give you an ARG

Jane McGonigal (key game designer in I Love Bees) officially announced her newest ARG, The Lost Ring, in a recent blog post on her Avant Games website. I hadn't really paid attention to The Lost Ring before now, but I find a lot of things curious about that post, and about this ARG in general.

First of all, I find an official announcement of an ARG pretty surprising. Granted, the ARG wasn't revealed in this way; it was revealed in the usual ARG-type manner via "strange packages" that were delivered to various people around the world (mainly USA, from what I gather). But in the past, puppetmasters have taken a silent, no-comment approach instead of an in-your-face "here are the steps I recommend you take if you want to get involved." Seriously, she actually gives you steps. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

What's really so odd about this ARG is that it was co-sponsored by the International Olympic Committee. The first sentence in McGonigal's blog post states that the ARG was created for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Well, pretty cool break for Avant Games, to be honest. As McGonigal says, the Olympics brings the world together through sports, and this is a chance for her to make a truly global ARG—this one spans five continents, and all ARG content is going to be translated into eight different languages. That's huger than anything to date. So, as far as ARGs go, this is spectacular. But the fact that the IOC and McDonalds and an interactive marketing company called AKQA are among the big co-sponsors makes this ARG look like a "Come to Beijing! Don't boycott us!" gimmick. Even moreso when we look a little futher...

Those "strange packages" obviously weren't enough. McGonigal said that they soon had 1,000 players, but that they wanted millions. ("They"?) I suppose this is why the puppetmasters spoke out, flashing the big "ARG ALERT" sign. I've seen ads for The Lost Ring on various social networking sites now. Step 1, as it happens, is to watch the ARG's trailer, which is truly cinematic. There is something wrong with the phrase "ARG's trailer." You can't even look at The Lost Ring's website (where a lot of ARG content is located) without first either watching or bypassing the trailer. Watch that trailer, and then compare it to the Year Zero trailer, which was more game content than anything else.

Having said all that, I think all the advertising is just a way to make people aware of the game and bring people to the main site where they can learn more. I've got no head for collective discovery, myself, and there is truly a lot to the game. Trailers and ads aren't part of the game, they're just gimmicks to bring you to the game. And, what do you know, maybe this game is a gimmick to bring you to the Olympics. Funny old world.

Friday, March 21, 2008

What's the matter? Low marker intake?

  • Two new transcriptions: The Fragile (Bridge School version) and 12 Ghosts II. The latter would be best if I waited for the multitracks, but (uncharacteristically) I actually got a request for it. So, the best I can do is post it with a caveat.

  • Low marker intake? The picture (without my added words, that is) makes me laugh every time. I'm tittering right now, just thinking about it.

  • In other NIN news, Trent Reznor recently announced the Ghosts Film Festival. Never lacking in innovation, that one. Incidentally, Radiohead announced a similar deal soon afterward, except theirs is quite clearly a competition with a big prize. It's not that I find it amusing, how the striking similarities in the way NIN and Radiohead are going about things lately highlight their striking differences in values (Radiohead seems to be going to great lengths to maintain their dependence on the "old" model while NIN is very outspoken against that model). I just don't know a better word for it than "amusing."

  • NIN is also playing at the Pemberton Festival this summer. So far it's their only 2008 show listed on nin.com. And it's in Pemberton. How random is that? You can bet I'm going.

  • The Passively Multiplayer Online Game. Not really fun, or game-y. But it's fascinating that once you download the plugin this previously invisible world is revealed, and it's everywhere on the entire web. You find things—crates that other players have stashed, portals to other websites, "lightposts" that other players have put up from which you can take dumb "missions" that are rarely interesting—on many webpages you normally visit. (p.s. if you're interested, drop me a comment and I'll drop you an invitation. You don't need one to join, but this way I can earn a badge... or even three badges, if I invite enough people. And after all, it is a game, and I've got to keep one step ahead of *certain* opponents.)

  • What a crappy week.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

ScribeFarm's 3rd Contest... and GO!

Fun Fact: ScribeFarm's 3rd contest is running as of today, and it's highly fast-paced. The deadline: this Monday! No prompt this time, and hardly any limitations. Take a chance, have some fun. Here are the rules:

1) Work must be original; no scouring the net for something someone else wrote!

2) If you submit a piece of poetry, try to keep it fewer than 1.2 million words. We don’t mind reading what ‘cha got, especially if it’ll win. But try to limit yourself to the length of 3 encyclopedias.

3) If you’re writing prose, well… the same thing applies. Don’t kill the mods!

4) We’re not going to officially state that humor pieces will do better, but the mods tossed around the idea of making this a contest of humor. So…yeah…nudge nudge…

5) The deadline, folks, is THIS MONDAY, the 10th of March, 2008.

6) You can submit up to 3 pieces, and must be sent to scribefarm@gmail.com

7) Lastly, and SRSLY, don’t forget this…you must have your Scribefarm/Fictionpost username at the top of your entry / email / whatever. YOU MUST HAVE IT THERE, and MUST BE A MEMBER OF ONE OF THESE TWO SITES.

Monday, March 03, 2008

1 Ghosts I 7 hours 10 attempts 0 downloads = mobius album

Well, it only took an hour and a half for the Ghosts order page to load, and it's been five hours since then, during which time I've tried to download the album roughly 10 times using the download link I received (which was a "one-time-only" link, and which maxed out once during that time, but the NIN camp had to reactivate everybody's links so that everybody will be able to get the music once the site is stabilized after the addition of more servers). But who's counting, really? I'm sure it will all work out "soon."

In the meantime, I've transcribed 1 Ghosts I. (Ghosts tracks don't actually have names, they're just called "5 Ghosts I" or "15 Ghosts II" or "36 Ghosts IV." It really helps you remember all the songs, I suppose. I wouldn't know. I can't hear them, can I?)

Edit: there's now a 9 Ghosts I transcription up as well.

Edit #2: How I imagine it's going, about now

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Ghosts I-IV

Nine Inch Nails self-released a new album today, Ghosts I-IV. 36 instrumental tracks, obtainable in a variety of ways. The site seems to be tragically overworked, and I've been unable to get a download yet.

Friday, February 29, 2008

leap year festivities

Merry Femandnesday! I hope everyone has celebrated appropriately.

In other news, I need to invest in a scanner. It took me all day to get a workable image of that drawing.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Swiss Rendezvous

I've just returned from spending a spectacular week in Switzerland, visiting Ryan.




I got to stay in the beautiful Swiss countryside, explore Geneva, wander around Meyrin. I got to tour ATLAS (and eat rabbits at CERN). We went to the Roman capital of Helvetica (now Nyon). We went to Montreux, and then up into the mountains. And we ate all sorts of tasty things. I had run-ins with the bus police ("The Swiss Bus Police: Never Around When There's a Riot, But Always There to Give You a Fine "), and with customs. It was one of those surreal experiences in which I saw the world happening and myself happening in it, living in it. My god, it was a fantastic trip. Some of my pictures are on Facebook.

I recommend that everyone able to go to the English Idol at U of R definitely check it out (Thursday, Feb. 28). I went in 2006, and gushed about it as soon as I got home.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I'll tell you what's truly fascinating. The dimensions of our modern page were finalized in the 12th century. Before that, it was a gradual shift from the square pages of the scroll to the familiar rectangular ones we have in our books now. In a sense, then, the page as we know it has been around since the 12th century, and it hasn't changed significantly since then.

Now the fascinating part. Fibonacci lived from the late 12th to early 13th centuries. He, and other Medieval mathematicians and architects and scribes, had a rekindled interest in Classical Greek geometry, such as the Golden Section. The ratio of the page that was born in the 12th century is about 0.7:1, which is almost the perfect rectangle produced by the Golden Section. The shape of our paper is governed by ancient geometry. The spiral really is everywhere.

(P.S. I might be speculating a little.)

Friday, February 08, 2008

The "Interactive Fiction" of Year Zero

Edit: I have edited this post, because apparently I jump to conclusions too quickly. It's all good, we're still in business.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

New Beginnings

Talked to a prof today about new research directions.

Exciting times, indeed.

Edit: I forgot to mention. Grain Magazine 35.2 "Look Around! / Short Grain" Oh hell yes.

Monday, February 04, 2008

My Fabulous Past

So it had been a long day of researching—abnormally long, because I had been procrastinating on starting these two big projects, which I have a feeling might be momentous in my academic career if I can get them off the ground. And I came across a link to a website that had gone offline years ago, but the link still worked. The miracle of The Internet Archives. And, being the narcissist that I am, I delved into the snapshots of my own website's history, if available. Turns out the only two archives they made were of a css stylesheet and the day my drawings page got hacked. There's a lot to be said for quality hosting.

(Even if I did scuttle my own website recently.)

(Several times.)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Scribefarm

If you're at all into the world of the writerly, I encourage you to check out the contest we're running over at ScribeFarm this month. It's open to members of both ScribeFarm and FictionPost, and you have the option of writing either a prose or poetry entry based on the image chosen by staff for this contest.

Even if you're not into contests or are too busy, I hope all you writer(s) reading this consider joining ScribeFarm. The forum is, at this point, mostly not about the contests and rather more about the content members bring on a daily basis. Note: only registered members have access to the poetry/prose that is posted.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I'm back into classes. Spending these days rapidly coughing out my lungs, for which I've been prescribed narcotics to counter the effect. It's not helping.

Ryan's gone again for four months.