I do actually have homework this weekend, which is thankfully a quite rare occurrence in recent weeks. I will be writing a short paper comparing Wendy Carlos’ performance of Bach’s 14th invention on Switched-On Bach with one by someone else where it’s the same thing but on piano. This should at least be more interesting than my earlier comparison of two performances of the same madrigal by Montiverdi (written in about 1638). I don’t have a problem with the idea of learning about baroque music, but in practice, it’s often uninteresting to me. Not Bach, though. Bach is sweet. It’s more the pre-Bach baroque that I’m talking about. If you’ve never listened to Bach, go do it right now. And then if you’ve never listened to Switched-On Bach, go do it now as well. And also, if you’re a pianist, try playing one of his inventions sometime. They’re not very easy, but so much fun to be able to play if you feel like practicing them enough. Ok yeah, Bach is the man.
So I’ll be writing that paper today, and also doing a bit more intensive design work on the “coming soon” emmettbutler.com homepage, which I hope will be up and running by about the second week of April. I just went through the process yesterday of learning how to scrape data from an RSS feed with PHP, and I built myself a little blog feed that shows summaries of my most recent posts on this very blog in a nice feed-y format. With that and the Twitter and the Tumblr feed, it’s shaping up to be a mighty fine homepage. Mighty fine indeed.
I decided that I’m going to live tweet during the hackNY hackathon on the 9th. That should be super fun.
So I’m back in the New York again, this time with a disgusting cold that I picked up in Downingtown. I got about 5 hours of sleep last night after laying in bed for an hour not sleeping, so I feel pretty awful today. Lots of tissues and jackets, for sure. I’m getting really good at Bach’s 8th Invention on piano, though, as that’s one thing that it’s easy enough for me to do even in my current state. I actually just got kicked out of one of the studios because apparently my practicing was too loud. I’m still going to classes today, even though I completely don’t feel like it. It’s ok, Mondays are my easiest days. I’m going to keyboard harmony in a few minutes, and then it’s back to my dorm to do some laundry and sleep.
I learned a lesson about Windows Media Player yesterday. Noticing that my book of Bach’s inventions came with a CD, I wanted to put them on my iPod. My laptop doesn’t have a working optical drive, though, so I had to use my family’s desktop (which runs Windows 7 and doesn’t have iTunes installed). Instead of installing iTunes, I saw that WMP can rip from CDs too, so I just did that. Turns out, though, the format they rip to isn’t one that iTunes supports! So I had to use VLC to convert them to .mpg, which is still not very well supported by iTunes (you can’t make AAC versions or apply album art). It’s really dumb, and I should have just brought the CD back to the city with me. Anyway, lesson learned. And I have the recordings, it just required a lot of manual transcoding on my part.
Lord of the Rings is awesome. I just watched the first two-and-a-half movies this weekend and they are still so good. I did notice, though, that after just eight years they’re already starting to show their age. The CGI and greenscreen effects are obvious and clunky in a lot of instances, and there are a lot of sets (Isengard at the beginning of ROTK, Fangorn forest interior, etc.) that look totally fake. I love these movies to death, but I really think they’re going to be complete cheese in a decade or two. Even compared to something that’s visually top-of-the-line today (hate to say it, but Avatar), they’re already clumsy and artificial looking. I mean, we’ll see. I love Lord of the Rings so much, don’t worry. It’s just an observation.
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving today (if you’re in the US (who am i kidding, right? (How do you like my use of nested parentheses?))). My relatives are all in town today and I haven’t gotten a single thing done – which is what Thanksgiving is for, I suppose. Actually I did – I started learning Bach’s 8th invention this morning and I’m decently good at it already. It’s going well. And now I’m watching Rocky III and redditing intensely. Speaking of, my Secret Santa assignment comes soon! I’ll post the thought processes and gift ideas, of course!
I saw this thread on reddit yesterday and wanted to follow up on the “pics or it didn’t happen” idea, so here’s my contribution.
I don’t feel like writing, but I hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving. (And if you’re reading because you got me for secret santa, welcome! Feel free to read and comment!)