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How the Music is Actually Going

Haven't had time to practice since I've been sick, before today. Today I just can't bring myself to sit in the bedroom at my desk to work on homework, when the living room is so sunny and the bedroom is so dark and semi-stuffy. Since I also don't want to drag all my equipment - audio interface, external hard drive, MIDI keyboard - out to the living room table when I'm just going to have to put it away this evening, I decided to practice my violin, even though I am still behind in two classes (only a week, though - the flu set me back two weeks so I am well on my way to catching up.) So, practicing.

I think in order to get used to recording live and being recorded, I'm going to record all 40 etudes from one of my etude books. That will also vastly improve my practice efficiency, I bet. It will also give me a bunch of random things to pad out a demo if I need one.

I take back all the mean things I said about Pro Tools, too.

Also, I really must practice being a perfectionist. Must remind self that "I'll come back and fix it later" IS NOT A PRODUCTIVE IDEA.

Also decided on contents of demo reel: tweak music from one of my projects, now that I know how to do better production and sequencing and so on. Strip sound from a scene and redo it entirely myself - it just occurred to me that it would be fun to do this with one of my favorite games Legend of Dragoon, if I can rip the video. And, the film that I am working on with majueen. Potentially some Rock Band tracks.

MUST HAVE THIS DONE BY JAN 1, so hopefully I can shop around for jobs/internships.

Oh, Children. So Young and Impressionable.

So, while biking yesterday, I realized where I got the idea that classical music was super-high-stress, competitive, and disappointing.

When I was in second or third grade, I read a book (can't remember the title) in which the main character was a teenage girl who discovered she had some sort of genetic disease that would gradually lead to blindness. From this book, I learned about seeing eye dogs, and how blind people use canes, and that sort of thing. However, the main character's sister was a violinist who wanted to get into Juilliard. (Fairly sure this is how I heard about Juilliard as well.) This sister practiced 5-6 hours a day - basically, whenever not at her high school and not being forced to do other homework. She constantly stressed about anything that took her away from her violin. After all this practicing, this character DID NOT make it into Juilliard.

What did I, as an impressionable seven or eight year old, learn from this?

1) Playing classical violin is a lot of work. Not fun. This was not portrayed as hours of fun a day, it was hours of OMG MUST SUCCEED!!!!1111!!!! work. Blech!

2) After all this hard work, you will still suck and not succeed at your goals.

Is it any wonder that I never felt motivated to be so competitive at music? What's the point in pouring your heart and soul into something and still being rejected?


So I have the flu. IT SUCKS. I suspect it's AH1N1, because I had my regular flu shot just before I left my job. I'm a bit worried, because I seriously can't afford to get healthcare while I'm waiting to hear from the state re: health insurance. (mmmm, beauracracy.)

The most frustrating thing right now is that I can tell I am still super-excited about Rock Band Network and my classwork, but it is buried under a delightfully thick layer of malaise, coughing, and neck aches.




Except for between the hours of about 7pm and 1am yesterday, this weekend has totally been full of FAIL.

Friday: Power went out in the morning. I couldn't leave to work on homework somewhere else, because someone had to be home to let the oil guy in SO I COULD HAVE HEAT. Then, it turns out they didn't have any record of our delivery. So there was no heat and no power, and I spent all day unable to be useful and/or productive for no good reason. When I went out to play in the subway, all the good available spots were taken. So no income, either.

Saturday: Power came on about 5:30 am. I had social plans that I had to drop to finish homework that didn't get done because of power outage. Said homework took me much much longer than it should have; thankfully partitioning my audio hard drive (eventually) solved the problem. Also, afternoon plans did not happen because we were waiting for the oil delivery which came by about 4pm-ish.

WIN: Two parties Saturday evening. Met/hung out with fun people.

Sunday: IT'S FUCKING SNOWING. Continuing to plow through homework. I had two social outings that I turned down because two classes have chats Sunday night... I just logged in for the first, and apparently at 5:30pm the professor posted that he had to reschedule due to a session running late. Second professor also has posted that he decided to have chat tomorrow evening instead.

It's snowing and rainy, I haven't gotten dressed or showered today because I didn't think I needed to, and by the time I got myself put together it would be extremely late for socialness. Which would involve going out into the ANNOYING WEATHER.

I know I'm being bitchy about small things, but I seriously reserve the right to be bitchy on my own lj!


Brief Update

Finished with work either this Wednesday or next Tuesday (depending on how training goes.)

Project is due Wednesday evening by 9 pm. I WILL HAVE IT DONE. I mean, if I can turn in one project four days early (first time ever - go me!) I can totally do this.

New term starts next Monday. I am wicked excited!

Looking forward to an awesome weekend full of practicing, so I can start playing in the T on Monday.

My throat has been scratchy two mornings in a row, which probably means something. Can't get sick until after I am done working.

Look out, Interwebs

You know what would be TOTALLY FUCKING AWESOME*??

Timecube, selectively excerpted and rhymed, with a kickin' backbeat.

*And by awesome, I mean completely nonsensical yet possibly hilarious, with the potential for causing a large amount of WTF? in the populace at large.

Hard Drive Letters

Dear Internets, I know you has an answer, I've just gotten frustrated on which terms to Google to find it. Perhaps someone out here can help?

I keep the majority of my music on a USB hard drive, because hard drive space on my computer is at somewhat of a premium. This has become a problem; for the first 8 months of using iTunes, the drive was very consistently coming up as drive F: (I believe.) However, now that I'm using an audio (Firewire) hard drive for composing, now my USB drive is using a different letter (I:). This confuses the heck out of iTunes and makes it a pain to sync/listen to things. Is there any way to assign drive letters semi-permanently to drives that aren't always plugged in? I usually don't take my extra storage space on the road, so the drives stay home while the laptop comes with.

(Hopefully this trick will also work on flash drives...? That would be nifty, too, since I have 3 flash drives....)


The website pictureisunrelated.com/ is a violation of the [my employer]'s Internet Access Policy.
Please contact [employer] Support Center if you have any questions. This access attempt has been logged.
Reason for block: Tasteless

Although now they might be blocking gchat, too. Oh, Wikipedia! My remaining distraction!


OMG, I had way more fun than I thought I would. Why can't I clone myself so I can pursue all of the hobbies I want? Because now I would like to participate in LARPing on a larger and more regular basis... dammit.

There were two highlights of the weekend, IMO:

chainkill getting into yet another honor duel over the Skull Tournament that somehow (I'm looking at you, Lord Frederick the Instigator!) managed to become a rout. Hurray pretend drama! (Also, had more fun playing Skull than I expected, given my usual annoyance with team sports. I guess Skulls just involves few enough rules to be awesome!)

Finding out that the barbarian who was the other one in duel was actually an old acquaintance of my roommates' from their college days. An interesting Heathen one at that. Squee!

Note to self regarding next year:

I must work something up on harp. Given that all three of the Bardic Competition winners were singers, it appears that this crowd much prefers music over comedy or storytelling. There were lots of guitars, but nothing else, so maybe I can get points for uniquity*.

Also, I need to suggest to my coven that perhaps we should have a Lughnasadh tradition of holding the Funeral Games of Lugh, solely for the purpose of seeing other people hold a Pickle Spitting Contest. Good times!

I hope pictures get posted to facebook so I can tag them. Except for the sunburn, I feel pretty good about how I looked!

Hello to anyone else from the Blood Games who found this through the Interwebs! I'm Aurila, of Fable. Post a comment and say hello!

*I'm an American, and I made up a word. Deal.

I Know Because of My Learnings

It only took me about two hours to get a new Digital Audio Workstation (REAPER) up, running, playing nicely with my gear and the plug-in I wanted to use (Kontakt); to figure out why the simple five-part sequence I'm arranging wasn't playing back the way I wanted (issues with panning and assigning appropriate MIDI channels) and then fix said problems.

This is a distinct improvement over the first time I installed a DAW; it took me over a week and a frantic call to Cakewalk to get SONAR playing nicely with my gear. Not to mention an entire 12-week class to get the basics of using it to record audio and MIDI sequences.

Now, now I can actually arrange said sequence! Which hopefully will not take too long.