Wednesday, February 28, 2007

situation normal

Well.... I guess it's not so bad. In some strange twist of fate, the owners were completely cool with me missing yesterday, and then ten minutes later threatened to fire the barista for playing rock and roll before 10:00. Who knew? No day would be complete without a little of Vivaldi's Four Seasons, after all. So today was a good day, especially when the owner gave me the authority to tell the new "new guy" he's doing things wrong. Not that I'd probably notice anyway, but it's still nice.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


I do not think this job is for me. I hate being told to come in to work early the next morning. I especially hate being woken up and asked to come in to work in two hours. I hate the short notice. I'm sick of being called "Maygan," despite many corrections. I really hated writing down the days I'm supposed to work this week, exactly as it was told to me over the phone, then being called today and told "you were supposed to work today. It's ok this time, but next time..." Sure, it's ok with him because he's cool, but I bet I'll get thrashed about it tomorrow. I also hate every minute of the job itself. I hate the migraines that I've been getting all week. I hate the $70/hour that I partially forfeited from music lessons (which I absolutely LOVE) just to go to stupid training (which I hated). I hate being on the verge of tears when the owner says "you can use your brain." And a pat on the shoulder doesn't quite make it right either. I hate counting the hours until I have to get up at 5:30 to go somewhere I don't want to be, then counting the hours until I can leave. I will hate life (even more than usual) if this continues. Guess I'm just a hateful person. But seriously, what kind of coffee place doesn't have normal decaf drip coffee??

At least someone likes me. My old freelance employer phoned up my Mom asking if I'd like to be their webmaster starting in the summer. :0 Webmaster! Like... my ideal job. I really hope I get it when summer rolls around. She was also saddened to learn that I had moved, because she thought I was an awesome freelancer.

At one point I had been thinking "hey, I've just got this great new job... well I might as well just skip the grad school and go ahead and just work here forever!" Talk about your addled brains. I must get that SSHRC so I can go to grad school!

Today's Analysis lesson was great as usual. I did my Mozart sonata of the week perfectly (as soon as he had finished marking it, my teacher said "Ok. go sign up for the exam.") The Mr. Brown quote of the week: "This is stupid." He said that while trying to find a minor-7th chord in his own composition. Yess! A composer who obviously doesn't pay much attention to silly chords and progressions rules! I bet it bugs him when RCM asks all those stupid questions about his pieces in their exams.

Heheh... in other news, I am a "diabolical genius." That is causing me endless amusement.

And, if you're in the Victoria area tomorrow (which I doubt):

Bike, Jog or Wheel with David Suzuki to Mile Zero in Victoria!

You're invited to join him as he completes the last kilometre of his journey across Canada.

WHEN: 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, February 28
WHERE: Meet at the Cenotaph under the large Canadian flag at the corner of the grounds of Legislative Building
WHAT TO BRING: Your bike!
COST: Free

The plan is to ride or jog along with Dr. Suzuki for the last kilometre of his tour and arrive at the Terry Fox statue at Mile 0 just after 10 a.m.

I won't be going, because I have to be at work. ):<

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Is that an active or inactive banana?

Blyarg.... I think I might be starting posts with that a lot. I have to be at work at 7:00 AM tomorrow... Catch the bus at ~6:10... I am so not a morning person. I wish they had told me when I'd be working sooner than this evening, then maybe I wouldn't have slept in until mid-afternoon. Watch, now that I know I need to get up early, I won't be able to get any sleep. Instead I'll be counting hours all night. Do you ever do that? Can't get to sleep and keep thinking, as the night progresses, "ok if I fall asleep now I'll have 5 hours of sleep.... ok now I really need to fall asleep if I want to get 4 hours of sleep... oh jees, is that the sun?"

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Blyarg, I thought I had a really great thing going with my new drawings site, but apparently I can't upload any more jpgs to it even though I have precisely 1958.5 MB of free space, because they're probably under the impression that I'm just hoarding hosting space. The Internet is out to get me, probably because I impersonate them in order to send menacing emails. From: and all that. So, today's drawing is brought to you by the letter L:

We were supposed to be training at Dolce Vita from Monday to Sunday of this week, but they decided that tonight would be the last training night, and even then we didn't do training but filled out forms. That is, the other two trainees did that. I got called in to actually work a shift today. First one on the job! I win!

So I kind of got thrown into things today. I also made tons of mistakes and won myself many a reprimand, but I guess that's how you learn (not me, I never learn). My feet are killing me—I don't know how this is going to be, full time. And I think it will be a lot tougher now that my Dolce Vita Sister dropped out of training :'( And, my tie is now made of panini oil.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sugar neutralizes the poison in coffee. Put more in, more!

I'm two days into training at Dolce Vita now. The practice orders we've been taking have been ridiculously complicated and unrealistic (I hope), but I've been holding up ok. Wish my memory was better. I believe we tentatively (and tentacularly... wait, Firefox says that should be spelled "intermolecularly") open on March 1. I'll have to miss part of both my theory lesson and training tonight. Last night I got a complimentary latte which kept me up until well past 6 this morning :S Note to self: Dolce Vita puts far more espresso in their drinks than any other place. Tradition, and all.

I've resurrected the phototoons. They take much less time to make than drawings. I always forget great new drawings ideas anyways, but my phototoons don't make any pretense at being funny.

Monday, February 19, 2007

If only I were the ent

My sister-in-law had her baby last night. This will be the third nephew. I shall call him "Octavian." Unless they name him something else, but that would be a pity (unless it's "Soda," of course, which would be pretty awesome).

Ryan and I went to see Strauss's Daphne the other day. It was the first non-Classical opera I've seen yet, and was pretty Wagnerian in approach (i.e. full of Leitmotifs, through-composed, no arias, etc). My favourite part was when Apollo struck down the shepherd with a light sabre... or a lightning bolt, one of the two. I also liked the ent. Seeing operas always makes me really really wish I was the one on stage. I could have been Daphne. Gosh.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Music Tests

Tone Deaf Test: I got 94.4% correct (exceptional performance)

Pitch Perception Test: at 500Hz I can differentiate between tones 1.2 Hz apart (59th percentile)

Rhythmic Test: Only 64.0% correct.... :( Still normal though. I protest that many of their "rhythmic phrases" were just filler.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

As long as I don't have to handle sauce...

I applied to Starbucks the other day. Starbucks. I have a Bachelor's degree (and a President's medal to accompany it) and yet one of my greatest aspirations has long been to work in a coffee shop. But what's a Bachelor's degree anyway? "So, do you have any cafe experience?" asks Starbucks. "Why no! None at all!" I reply. "Aha, well, yes, well... er, we actually just hired someone else."

But thank the Ganges I applied there! As I sat morosely sipping my frappucino (actually, I was enthusiastic about the frappucino, they're so tasty; but generally morose), I happened to notice a huge sign blaring at me from across the street: "HIRING BARISTAS ON SUCH-AND-SUCH DAY AND TIME." What luck! And to think, I was about to apply to Save-On on my way home.

Along came the day, and I boldly boarded the bus and walked right up to the building (and nearly walked right on by to catch a bus straight home... I panicked! Who'd hire me?). I went in for my interview and, since I didn't think I had much of a chance, I had no fear. And towards the end one of the interviewers says... "I can tell you right now that I'm very impressed." Very impressed? With me? Nobody has ever said that to me, at least not an employer-type person.

And that was that; as of today I am hired to my first long-term job.

And now the problem... what about grad studies? Applying to grad school and for the SSHRC was damn stressful and a heck of a lot of work, which means this is my only shot at it. And what about music? Here I was all ready to undertake an intensive 3-year stint of classes and exams to come out with a certificate in composition—what I have truly always wanted. Well, the music is probably doable, though on a much longer time-frame.

Can I do all three? During the past month of idleness, I swore to myself that I would welcome busyness, and that when it came I wouldn't complain even if I only had a few hours' time for sleep each night. At least this job won't be as stressful as the last (I'm guessing... hard to imagine, at any rate) and I might eventually get to be a barista, making unpotable drinks at international competitions and whatnot... no, I've got to keep the music in, somehow.

And the other day marked the 50th Briton call! I actually answered once, but it was just the same old machine message so I ignored it.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Chad Vader

Chad Vader: I love the first few episodes. Now the waxing on the floor is complete... huh? rmph! Can someone... have this droid repaired?

Barnyard in A Flat Major

Reason has pretty good sound banks (they're reasonable, at any rate, within reason), but in my 2nd variation the cello sounds like a cow and the viola sounds like a duck. I call it "Barnyard in A Flat Major." I've only got two variations so far, but you can check them out on my music page. Quartets are manageable for me, what with only having one problematic C clef, but I like massive blocks of sound that require rather more than four instruments.

I've been trying to work on a choral piece for a competition, but I've got my heart set on a particular text and unfortunately it always goes to a certain tune in my head... but I'm not liking how the tune turns out, it's too melismatic. You know, not mellifluous enough. It ought to be more behonied.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Water Rose: masterpiece!

If you're into music notation software, I highly recommend LilyPond. It's really only good for final copies, but it's darn awesome for that. It's just like programming! And there's soooo many things you can do. You can do clusters! Like this. Not that I'm into clusters, it sounds like yowling to me. And you can write in various ancient music styles. And the clincher: it even has banjo notation! Banjo notation.

I've been starting some variation sets on on a series of Jean Berger songs. So I've been listening to When I Admire the Rose over and over trying to transcribe the voice lines, and I've come to the conclusion that a perfectly balanced choir of excellent singers is The Best Instrument. Most choirs aren't like this, but NYC sure was. I actually used to hate the sound of male singers, but the NYC guys were fantastic and the mens' parts in The Rose and Water Night are the ones that make my heart skip a little every time. Ah yes, my favourite choral piece of all time (and I think everyone would have to objectively agree that it is the finest choral piece ever written) is Eric Whitacre's Water Night. Hmm... two awesome songs... should be combined! Like this. Actually, they go together fantastically, especially at the end.

Anyway, while I was transcribing I noticed that songs don't sound as good performed with instruments other than voice. The notes are correct, but it doesn't sound quite as spectacular. Researching for my music encyclopedia has uncovered the reason: most instruments are tuned so as to be slightly out of tune... for good reason, and only barely, but still slightly. Whereas in a choir you don't sing a note, you sing your harmonic function in relation to the other voices, and if it's a good choir it will be perfectly in tune. Just intonation, or something. Whatever, the name isn't important. Not like augmented sixth chords built on the second scale degree, for example. Speaking of which... I should go do some homework.

Good news! Mini Goggles has been rescued!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Neapolitan sixth, German sixth, Italian sixth, French sixth... fucking dogs.

If I were in Saskatchewan right now, and if I had a baseball bat, I know of two fucking stupid dogs that would no longer have intact skulls. I hate fucking stupid dogs. They came at least four times, chased my llamas into a frenzy and somehow all the fence panels got knocked down (llamas have skeletons like birds—I can't imagine how they could knock down huge, heavy, iron fence panels without snapping like twigs). They bit at least one of my llamas, quite badly, and probably because she was defending her baby. And the baby? Ah, my beautiful little 4-month-old cria (the only one anyone wanted to buy, but we didn't sell her because she and her mother [both gorgeous] are the ones we were going to keep forever), that baby is now missing. Tonight will be -30 degrees... which means she will die. Who knows what other llamas are injured. My llamas have charged dogs before, and they kill coyotes, and I am truly, deeply, terribly, profoundly disappointed they did not kick those dogs to a pulp. My brother spent all afternoon running all over the fields, farm, and creek looking for llamas, rounding up runaway llamas, chasing dogs away, bringing llamas back to the yard, and setting up all those panels. He is some sort of superhero.

Aside from the fact that he never asks for help for anything, he is alone because my parents have come to visit me for a few days, which is most excellent. I've been getting pretty darn lonely. We've done a bit of touring, and an inordinate amount of visiting relatives and friends (inordinate is good... I've never actually visited all these people in one trip before, and never all here on the island, and certainly never all in the city. We've even managed to visit some of the Alberta relatives, right here in the city! There is no up-island trek whatsoever, for the first time in history!). And, I've also, you know, picked up a few rocks here and there. I've really got to stop doing that.

Today I had my first Analysis lesson. It shall be a lot of work, because although I was never bad at harmony, I never bothered to learn it in any permanent manner, just stuffed it into the short-term bin and promptly forgot it after each exam. Now I want to learn it for keeps, so I want to really apply myself to this course. I'll be doing a lot of reviewing all my old harmony textbooks that my parents brought me. My teacher asked me "what enlightened university" I had gone to, since I mentioned I had a particular textbook from my university days. And drat it all, he asked me if I had my Bachelor's and of course I said "yes," and I think he's given me homework somewhat more advanced than I'd like because he's under the impression my Bachelor's was in music. I also can't read the instructions he wrote out for me. But he is such a freaking awesome comp/theory guy.
  • Bah, I won three of those. Three! Beat that!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Deathly Hallows!!

woot woot woot WOOT!! The gaping hole in our collective souls will finally be complete. And if you don't have this particular gaping hole, you're seriously missing out!

So, 2 characters apparently die in the final book. I'm betting it's Voldemort and Harry. Here's my daring hypothesis: remember the horcrux? Unveiled in The Half-Blood Prince? Well, I think that Harry is a horcrux, which means, he must die in order for Voldemort to die! I'm so clever, aren't I? I hope there's a prize if I'm right.