Anyone who knows me knows that I enjoy all things geeky and nerdy. Part of that is my never-ending quest to find the most efficient, most ethical, and most future-proof software for my work. These three things are often at odds. I thought I would take a moment to document my current workflow. It will be interesting (to me, at least) to come back to this in the future to see how my opinions have inevitably changed.
Over the holidays, Jillian and I took the plunge into hi-fi, and bought a new stereo and turntable.1 It’s something that we’ve wanted for a long time, but never really considered until we were relatively permanent in our location. The world of hi-fi is a little intimidating, especially regarding vinyl. Nevertheless, fidelity aside, I’ve found that playing physical vinyl records, or even CDs, forces me into a more engaged act of listening than when I stream music.
This evening Jillian asked me if I remembered what happened two years ago today. Somehow it had totally escaped me. Two years ago, Trudy had a seizure. And then she had another one at the doctor’s office. And then another one in the ER. It was one of the scariest times of my life. It was the week before classes started. We were in the children’s ER in Miami, and I kept getting badgered by one of the admins at work about setting up the theory placement exam for auditioning students.
I started playing hockey again last year. I’m so grateful that Jillian encouraged me to start playing again when we moved back to Canada. It had been close to 20 years since I played any kind of organized hockey. I’d skated a few times over the years, but I can’t remember the last time I even owned skates. Thankfully, I learned to skate when I was 4 or 5 years old, and you don’t lose those skills (entirely, anyway).
In an effort to promote the discovery of new music (something I’ve resolved to do myself), I thought I’d share a few albums released somewhat recently. If you follow me on social media at all, most of these should come as no surprise (sorry). Below are several painfully and unfairly short reviews. Maybe I’ll get around to writing longer ones sometime in the future.
Vulfpeck, Thrill of the Arts (2015), The Beautiful Game (2016) Vulfpeck is a funk band from Ann Arbor, Michigan.
There is some irritating commercial (maybe an Apple commercial?) that uses a catchy pop tune that includes the lyrics “work work work work work” over and over again. After seeing the commercial for the thousandth time, I finally googled the lyrics and discovered the song is called “Work From Home” by Simon Cowell’s frankengroup Fifth Harmony.1 The song features an unchanging bouncy synth groove throughout, with the song’s sections defined solely by melodic and lyrical content.
I want to start writing regularly about songs (or parts of songs) that have intrigued me, inspired me, or that have driven me crazy. The first song I’d like to discuss, as you might’ve guessed, is Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream.”
Our daughter Trudy was born in 2013. As academics are wont to do, we thoroughly prepared and researched our impending project (parenthood), only to find out that things were entirely different in the real world.
This was going to be my “year in review” post, but I only have about 15 minutes to post this or I’ll break my first new year’s resolution on Day 1! Instead, I thought I would quickly write down the resolutions I’ve been thinking about. Lord knows I’m terrible at these, but maybe putting them out on the public web will hold me accountable (I have my doubts).
1. Write more.
I’ve seen countless takes on what happened two days ago. I don’t think that there is any singular answer regarding why things went the way they did: Economic anxiety, identity politics, economic anxiety leading to identity politics, blind partisanship, misogyny, the DNC fucking up their campaign, a poor choice of candidate; these factors all likely contributed in some capacity to the perfect storm for Trump. And it doesn’t really matter right now, anyway.
Today is a sad day. We are saying goodbye to our beautiful blind wonderpug, Prudence, who has been in our lives for nearly 10 years. Prudence was the rescue dog of all rescue dogs: picked up by Animal Control, sent to a kill shelter, saved by a pug rescue agency, and eventually adopted by us. We were poor, recently married grad students when we drove from Tallahassee to Fort Walton Beach to pick her up.