curious thoughts and remembrances

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Squay-a' Poosh-a' 

Squarepusher's coming April Something-eth. He's playing at Antone's. Tickets are like 18 bucks. I already have mine. They're selling them at 33 degrees, probably at Waterloo, probably elsewhere. Who else wants to go? Go buy your ticket. This dood doesn't tour much, and it should be... exhilirating, or perhaps brain-paining. Anyway, GO TO THIS CONCERT. He's got the Neptunes, Thom Yorke, and Andre 3000 seals of approval.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Drinking in Massachusetts 


I'm reporting to you live from inside the Smiths' house in Georgetown, Massachusetts. I have been drinking margaritas and Harpoon IPA and playing the "dictionary game". Several members of my extended family are inebriated, and my aunt Peggy came out with a narrow victory over me, trotting in at second place.

Today was a celebration of my grandmother's 85th birthday. There were a total of about 30 or 40 people at the Smiths' house to eat and celebrate. This morning, before the celebration, I went to church with my whole extended family. My grandmother's church is a Congregational church founded in the early 1700's. The pastor was a man of about 29 who looked like Harry Potter. He gave a very moving sermon that started off with elementary school nostalgia of Valentine's Day and the politics of friendship in 3rd grade, then moved seamlessly into a somewhat political (religious? hard to tell the difference) speech on the issue of recognizing same-sex marriages, and how the history of the congregational church has always been progressive (they were quite ahead of most denominations with regards to civil rights for women and minorities). He was all about recognizing same-sex marriages. It was really cool to be in a very old church with mostly very old people, hearing a pastor talk to them about acceptance of gay marriage, and it looking like he was already "preaching to the choir".

Check out this picture of my grandma from 1941: click here. Warning: it's a big photo. I think she looks pretty. It was taken on the farm she grew up on.

So, I have one and a half more days here. I'm sad to have to go so soon. I've been having a really great time. I love travelling, and this large gathering of family is something that hasn't happened in at least 15 years. My grandmother, her 3 children (my Dad being one of them), and their families. It's been really great.


Well, maybe I'll go have another beer. Maybe watch a movie with the folks. It's almost midnight here, though. Maybe sleep. I shouldn't even be writing this now because I'm missing time with them. But, for posterity's sake, I had to jot a couple things. Peace out.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

The Snow is Quite Beautiful 


Oh, irony. The night before I leave for Massachusetts for 4 days, it decides to snow in Austin. It was gorgeous last night seeing those fat flakes fall.

I'm off! To the airport in just a little bit. My flight will probably be delayed by this snow. More time to sleep before seeing the family.

I just made a couple of snowballs with the snow off of Nicole's car, and threw them at the garage. It was a lot of fun... !

Friday, February 13, 2004

The King has Come. We call it the Advent. 

Hello, Blog.

We've grown somewhat distant. And although we meet in passing this night, forsooth, here comes a topic more appealing than this meta-chatter which we have presently pursued.

The lens, it can only focus on one depth. One looks to the distance, and the nearby assumes a fuzz. I was waiting for my toast, but the toaster, it was unplugged. I looked towards the future, and the sirens at hand crept up offering not employment but mere distraction. Ah, the sirens have become pursuers these days! I adjust the lens. Briefly, I see a face from the past, not too distant, never quite familiar. She is but one of three and I venture on Saturday to Massachusetts, celebrating 85 years of my grandmother's existence, nay, life(!), although I have experienced only 23.5 and have witnessed and remembered far fewer. I hear muffled sounds in the next room. Could it be romance? It might as well be cattle, for "moo" is all I hear. The moo of passion.

My toast is well-done. Too well, in fact, parched. The door opens as one cow leaves. And the other returns to tell of the sweet cud of discovery. Passed through three stomachs, it arrives as a half-nutritious testimony of triumph. A leap of fath made, or were you shoved? The result is the same for now, but the lesson learned may be none. The language of love is that of Romance, perhaps Italian, perhaps French. Call me a temporary German, for to sleep and make do describes every item on the itinerary. To dream is but a sidenote, under-appreciated.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

We made the news. 

I showed up at work at 6:30 this morning to aid in a breaking news story:
AuctionBin is Poised to Rule the Austin eBay Consignment Market

Saturday, February 07, 2004

New Fun 

Sammy and I recently purchased (I still owe him my half) a pair of Stanton STR8-60 turntables and a mixer and, whee, are they fun! Since starting to mess with them last night I've already spent at least 4 hours on them, setting out on a quest to be an amateur DJ. Right now, we don't have that much to work with as far as vinyl goes. Sammy bought a few 99 cent records at Half Price Books, including the theme from "A Fistful of Dollars", a Jane Fonda workout record, and the Doors' "Morrison Hotel". I bought a breaks record called "Ape Breaks Vol. 4" at Alien Records so that we'd have some solid beats to scratch and mix over. This type of album is just a collection of different rhythm tracks. The one I got is just drums playing various hiphop beats.

The first thing I've set out to do is to try beat matching, matching the tempos of two songs playing at the same time. This task is quite a feat when you're working with stuff like the Doors or a Beck acoustic song, because the tempo tends to drift a little during the song, whereas the rhythm tracks on the breaks record I bought are very solid. I downloaded a little program that allows you to tap the space bar to the rhythm of a song, and it computes the beats-per-minute that you're tapping at. From using that I've noticed that most of the songs I've tried it with tend to speed up by at least a few bpm by the end of the song. So, it seems nearly impossible to get a good beat match. But, I know there are ways to compensate for this speed variation, so maybe with time it will be possible. Thinking about this also gave me an idea to write some new software, but I'll go into that another time.

Scratching is a lot of fun. It seems easier to me than beat matching. You just pick a little section of a song you like and then go to town, scratching it back and forth, etc. I especially like making Jane Fonda repeat things like "buttocks tight" and "do it with your whole arm" over a hip hop beat.

If anyone out there knows where to get some good party records on the cheap, let me know! The expenses of having enough vinyl to adequately DJ a party seem nigh-prohibitive. But I'd really like to do some DJ'ing for parties. I think I'll look around on eBay for some deals.

By tomorrow night I need to record some samples of kitchen / food sounds for an upcoming music project I'm participating in with some Austin electronic people. I just thought I'd type that so that I don't forget.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

I'm in San Antonio, typing on my brother's new iBook. Behind me, my father is conversing with his friend Dave about basses. My mother and brother have gone to bed, as they both must attend church tomorrow at 11am. I haven't been to church in a long time. Tonight, in my old room, I happened across a scrapbook made by the Girl I dated for 2 years, back in the day. I met her at church. Looking at our old pictures and reading some of her poetry (yes of course the poetry is incredibly cheesy) I remembered more vividly than I have for quite some time how it feels to be in love without any doubts about your feelings or your relationship. It's a nice feeling.

It's now about 2 hours later and I just had a long conversation with my dad about relationships. At one point he said something like "How about not dissecting it and just enjoying it while it's alive? I prefer happy hopping frogs to dead ones." Honestly, it was brilliant.

I saw 8 Mile tonight. I liked it. It made me want to battle rap.

I'm tired. I had this great blog entry planned out. Real philosophical and stuff. Now it will never be written. Good night!

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?