sylvansafekeepe: (SheldonDuck)
So, a friend of mine posted a link on Facebook:

http://samizdat.cc/cyoa/

And now I'm all nostalgic about Choose Your Own Adventure books. And I sort of (with [personal profile] reldnahkram's urging) want to write one. It shouldn't be too hard.

However, what I'm considering doing is writing/running it on LiveJournal, if there's enough interest. I'll post a page or two a week or something, and give people ample time to debate which option to take at the end of each scene. Then people can vote on where to go next. I just need to decide beforehand whether things should be planned out to a certain extent, or whether I write each scene off the top of my head (since cheating/switching choices won't be an option unless there's a loop somewhere).

If you read LJ frequently enough, and are likely to be (and interested in) participating (all you really have to do is vote), let me know.

Also, it's sort of a shame that November's half over, 'cause this would be an awesome Nanowrimo project...
sylvansafekeepe: (Default)
I should be asleep.

But I am on YouTube instead, watching Magic draft walkthroughs.

Vaguely angry that events have conspired such that I'm going to miss the next who-knows-how-many larger Magic tournaments in the area because I already have other things on my schedule those days. It is comforting, however, that most of those 'other things' are music gigs where I'll be getting paid, rather than paying money to other people like a Magic tournament would entail.

Euurgh.

Sep. 26th, 2009 07:32 am
sylvansafekeepe: (Default)
I'd sort of forgotten how much I dislike waking up early on weekends just to attend prereleases in Philly.

Now I remember.

TuneFail

Sep. 10th, 2009 03:08 pm
sylvansafekeepe: (Violins)
So, I'm in the process of putting tune sets together for use at the Scottish Social dance in Lansdowne this Saturday (you should totally come! Never mind the existence of the Swat Contra and Joanna R's party thing!).

I had just finished creating a set for The Road To Mallaig when I discovered that we aren't actually doing that dance -- I marked the wrong title tune when I photocopied the music from Originally Ours. We're actually doing Gang the Same Gate, the title tune of which is on the same page. So I put together another set, which was vaguely annoying since the title tune is in E flat.

Then I discovered that Susie Petrov's book of tunes already has a complete set for this dance, and it works a lot better than mine.

*facepalm*

At this rate, I'd give pretty decent odds that we'll somehow manage to botch the set when we're actually performing.
sylvansafekeepe: (Default)
1. Tell a crowd of approximately a dozen friends and family (some who were visiting from India) that my apartment's previous tenants no longer lived here, and no, I did not know what their new address was.

I'll update this if other interesting stuff happens.
sylvansafekeepe: (EvilFrog)
As a general rule, I like nature. I like animals and plants, and I'm happier when I'm surrounded by greenery.

But if the songbirds that regularly start their singing at 3:30 in the morning do not SHUT UP in the near future, I will be forced to explore extreme options.

Namely, the one that involves me purchasing a shotgun.
sylvansafekeepe: (Default)
I opened one of the most absurd Sealed pools ever at Friday Night Magic tonight. Unfortunately, it only yielded a 1-2 result, since I got mana-screwed/flooded in 4 of the 5 games of my first two matches.

To smother the pain, I consumed 4 cherry turnovers from Genuardis. In restrospect, this was probably a mistake. Oof.

Real post at some point in the near future, where I'll talk about engagements and goats. The two topics are unrelated.

Huzzah!

May. 19th, 2009 11:21 pm
sylvansafekeepe: (Violins)
At Irish session at the Shanachie tonight, I actually knew all but two of the tunes! Or, rather, I knew most of them, and managed to figure out all but two of the rest by the time we finished playing them.

AND I managed to get everyone playing Arthur Darley's Swedish Jig. Next step: crooked Canadian tunes.

Today gets counted as a success, despite the fact that I didn't accomplish much else.
sylvansafekeepe: (Violins)
But it's filled with lawn care equipment, so there's not a ton of space. And the kitchen has better acoustics.

So, in an effort to actually improve my playing, I bought a Griffin iTalk thingie that records stuff to my iPod. I can now tape myself practicing, then find all sorts of things I'm doing incorrectly. Discoveries so far:

1. I play way too fast. Like, 40+ BPM over what I hear on most recordings, to say nothing of dance tempos. This obviously causes all sorts of problems, but creates answers as well. For example, most of the times that I'm having difficulty playing something, and am feeling completely hopeless and incompetent, it's because I'm trying to play the damned tune at one-and-a-half times the speed it really needs to be played. I knew I had a tendency to speed up while playing, but I didn't realize it was this severe. The flip side of this, of course, is that if I learn everything really fast, I'll have all sorts of time to do weird stuff with tunes when actually playing for dancers, since I'll feel like I'm playing in molasses.

2. My ornamental triplets (or trebles, shivers, whatever the hell you call them) always occur at the same speed, regardless of how fast I'm actually playing the piece. I'm unsure whether this is supposed to be the case or not.

3. On a similar note (pun intended), I can't pick out bowed triplets I've played on the A or E strings. I'm not sure why -- I can hear those that I play on G or D strings. And I'm not doing anything differently when I play them. Two possibilities: one, the recorder is relatively crappy; it's entirely possible it just can't pick up the breaks if the note is above a certain pitch. Two, it's the strings; I'm trying out Evah Pirazzis with a Goldbrokat E, to see if they're as good as everyone raves about (conclusions so far: I really like their sound, but I'm torn between them and my usual beloved D'arddario Helicores, which have a lower tension and cost $40 less per set). I wonder if the Evah A simply produces fuzzier triplets than other strings.

4. I'm excessively fond of tunes in A minor or D minor. This isn't a bad thing, but I should try to expand my horizons a bit. Also, all of my current noodling seems to eventually turn into Paddy on the Turnpike. This isn't a bad thing, either.
sylvansafekeepe: (Default)
I've never tried playing a full-day Magic tournament on 3.5 hours' sleep before.

We'll have to see what happens.
sylvansafekeepe: (Default)
I just want state that I'm not actually opposed to the whole "I like to rise when the sun she rises" idea. That's OK, and is something that I occasionally do (though not that often recently).

Preceding the sun on this whole 'rising' thing is an entirely different story.

*grumble*

Happy May Day, y'all.

(at least it hasn't started raining yet -- knock on wood)
sylvansafekeepe: (SheldonDuck)
Stupid "trapped in the late Cretaceous" dreams. I actually survived longer this time than most, mainly because I was bright enough to go out onto a lake where the raptors couldn't follow me (I used giant lilypads). Raptors can't swim.

T-Rex apparently can, however. Which is f-ing terrifying.
sylvansafekeepe: (Violins)
I didn't feel at all prepared for this dance (I printed out the music earlier in the day), but I was pleasantly surprised at how well things went. I think the trick is just convincing myself to relax.

The whole thing was just really, really fun.

Also, Wes's idea to call ourselves "Mr. Darcy's Lonely Hearts Club Band" was awesome.

Unfortunately, I missed the ceilidh in Lansdowne. Stupid scheduling conflicts.
sylvansafekeepe: (Violins)
If you are playing a fast, note-y reel set for a dance (in this case, General Stewart's Reel), and you know that the dancers are doing The Montgomerie's Rant next, do not, under any circumstances, proceed to annihilate the first set of tunes.

Because if you do, you will f-ing DIE during Montgomerie's.

Ow.

(this is obviously more relevant if you're the only melody player, but still...)
sylvansafekeepe: (Violins)
Just got back from a late-night cast and crew dinner at Chili's. Very interesting show tonight. We discovered that only three members of the violin section were able to make this performance. This by itself is problematic, since the score sort of needs a minimum of 4 violinists to play all of the notes on the page at times. What made it crazier for me was that I got promoted to principal second, with all the responsibilities it entailed. In this case, responsibilities included being the only person playing the second violin part. Oh, and I also had to do solo/duet stuff with our concertmistress. No, I hadn't looked at any of those parts before.

Oh, and tonight was the night they were taping the performance for the DVD.

It actually went remarkably well, considering. Minimal mistakes overall, although the cast seemed a bit nervous at times, probably due to the knowledge they were being filmed. Things worked out rather nicely for me in that, while I don't think I hit that many wrong notes anyway, I was seriously drowned out by our concertmistress's violin.

Those of you who know me and the type of violins I like to play may ask how this is possible. Yes, my violins tend to be loud. But this instrument is in a class of its own. I was talking to the owner about violins, and got to try hers out during intermission. Amazing projection, incredible resonance and cutting power, and ridiculous depth too. Easily the best instrument I've ever gotten to play in my life. It was made by Hiroshi Iizuka, a luthier who actually works in Narberth/Penn Valley.

I want him to make me one, even if he does mainly make violas and not violins.

There's a small problem, though: he has a three-year waiting list. Oh, and his instruments cost about $25k. This is what happens when you're a multiple-gold-medal winner at the Violin Society of America competition.

*sigh*

While I'm relatively happy with my instruments, getting the chance to play even better ones always makes me want to upgrade. I just need to figure out where to procure the money...

I don't really need two kidneys, right?

Watchmen

Mar. 6th, 2009 03:37 am
sylvansafekeepe: (Default)
Back from seeing Watchmen.

Thoughts. Obviously contains spoilers. )
sylvansafekeepe: (Violins)
Interesting discovery of the day: my stand-mate in pit orchestra knows Jeremy Kittel, having gone to school with him in Michigan.

Opening Night is this Friday. I still have the comp ticket, and I can possibly procure an additional two. You know you want to go to one of the performances.
sylvansafekeepe: (SheldonDuck)
So, at Sweeney Todd rehearsal tonight, our conductor asked me if I could do her a favor. It seems that our drummer can't make two of the performances, and he has some fairly conspicuous parts that need to be played. Nothing difficult, more like atmospheric stuff that occasionally needs to show up in the musical numbers (knocking, banging a washtub, etc). These parts also occur when the violins aren't playing anything. And there's a space in the pit next to the violin section.

I'm sure you can see where this is going.

On one hand, I'm rather amused. I seem to be the de facto nominee for anything that needs to be done during this show (I was already nominated by the pit to fill in a minor role where the actor constantly forgets to show up on stage -- the role being that of a prisoner being sentenced to death. I apparently look like a career criminal). On the other hand, I can't wait for the first time someone decides to crack a drummer joke in my presence (ex, "What did the drummer get on his SATs?" "Drool.").

At least I don't need both hands to play the percussion parts. This will allow me to hold my violin between chin and shoulder, drop my hand to grab the mallet/drumstick, play the drum part, and return my hand to play the violin part in time.

I think this'll be fun. Although it's just a matter of time until I have to strap cymbals to my feet...
sylvansafekeepe: (Default)
Snow is pretty and sparkly.

But shoveling it takes away some of its luster.
sylvansafekeepe: (Violins)
I have one remaining complimentary ticket to Narberth Community Theatre's production of Sweeney Todd. Performance dates are March 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, and 21 at 8 PM (Fri & Sat), and March 8 and 15 at 2 PM. I am unsure which, if any, of these dates are currently sold out.

First person to stake a claim gets it.

(I can't really help with transportation, but the theater is all of 2-3 blocks off of Montgomery Avenue in Narberth. I'm certain there are SEPTA stops nearby).

If someone got to the ticket before you, but you still really want to see a performance, let me know, and I'll give you a phone number to order a ticket. Or you could go to the Theater's website (www.narberthcommunitytheatre.org) and find instructions there.

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