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Jumping ship?

i've used FCP for years.  The version that we have at the office is FCP Express.
I've heard so many negative things about FCP X that even though they don't exactly apply to me, i'm considering making a switch to Premiere Pro, especially since Tulane owns a license to Creative Cloud so it's basically already bought.  I guess i should learn After Effects too, just for fun.  The biggest impact that I think it will have is on the revamped TUMB Pregame video that i want to try to do this summer after all of the music arranging is done.

I'm a little hesitant about it.  A long time ago before Premiere Pro existed, i tried using Premiere 5 or 6 and it was counterintuitive to me because i was so used to how FCP worked and Premiere was very different from that.  It's kind of like any switch that i've failed to do, Finale to Sibelius being the prime example - there are pros and cons to each paradigm and if i can rattle off a piece of music in Finale in two hours, why take the 10-15 hours to learn a new program?

The analogy isn't quite parallel and recent greater understanding of the Adobe Suite in general makes me feel like the switch would be okay.  I recently fell in love with InDesign and am familiar enough with Photoshop and a little bit of Illustrator that maybe the jump to the video application will be seamless.  We'll see how it goes when i can first bite into it around mid-July if everything else goes according to schedule.

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today is a 09:30-20:00 day, tomorrow is a 09:30-23:00 day, Wednesday is do-my-taxes-and-then-have-rehearsals-until-22:00 day, Thursday is a 09:30-17:00 but then socializing from 17:30-22:00 day.

Next week on Sunday i'm doing a drumline candidate interview, on Wednesday we have the concert band concert, on Friday and Saturday i'm adjudicating a band festival and then officiating a wedding on pretty much straight after i do my adjudicating,

The following week will be heavy recruitment time and then my friend Corinna is coming into town for the last weekend of jazz fest.

May, please get here.  i need a break.

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So from Thursday to today (Saturday, i know it's past midnight) I adjudicated with the Worldstrides Heritage Festival in Nashville, and the following fortunate events happened:

1. The room type that was originally planned for me in the huge big opulant and super expensive hotel was booked solid, so they had to give me what they called a 'parlor' room - meaning that i didn't have a real bed, i only had a pull-out sofa bed.  The pull-out sofa bed was fine, probably better because it was firm and that's what i like.  As an apology for this 'inconveniece', they gave me a $100 credit to the room which i used to have two expensive hotel meals - one which was not worth it, and the other one which totally was.

2.  As it happens, the College Band Directors National Association (or something like that) was having their national conference this past week in Nashville, and my friend Matt Westgate (husband of the ever fabulous friend of mine Erica Drake) happened to be in town at the same time as me.  I haven't seen him in about two years when i wrote his wind ensemble a piece of music when he was still at Xavier, and it was good to get dinner and drinks and catch up and also get a vague promise of me writing his wind band at UMass where he is now a piece - where he said, "yeah, you can write whatever you want."

3. The second day of adjudication only involved two groups, so we got out super early.  My flight was originally supposed to leave at 18:45 and had a connection to St. Louis (what.) that would have eventually put me in New Orleans at 22:00 - not in time for me to go to Caylie's birthday party.  I got to the airport at about 14:30 and talked to the attendant at Southwest who said that a flight change to a direct flight that left at 16:30 and would have gotten me to New Orleans at 18:00 would have cost me $160.  Since i didn't pay for any of this trip really, i was loathe to do that.  She told me that if my flight had a delay of 15 minutes then i could get put on standby for the earlier flight for free, and that i should be able to get on the flight since there were plenty of open seats.  I didn't think that it was likely that Southwest would actually delay a flight that much earlier to get me on the standby list, but when i went to that gate to check on it right around the time that they were about to board, i was joking with the woman behind the counter, saying, "i don't suppose you could convince the flight to delay itself just by 15 minutes so i could get on this flight, could you?" and very soon after she said, "as a matter of fact, your connecting flight *is* 15 minutes late, so here you go."  I got back at 17:45 instead of 22:00 and was able to go to Caylie's party.

It was only three days ago that i finished running my contemporary music festival, and i was amazingly happy with how that went.  The Nashville stuff was a great end to what was a crazy but positive week.

Now on to the next one.


So not that i've written in here a lot lately, but i have to hermit a little further in the next couple of weeks and also not read the friends page   quite so dligilently because i'm doing pretty consistent 12-14 hour days of straight work plus some weekends.  Bascially between trying to sort through and do admin for all of the drumline applicants, rehearsals for the Green Wave Brass Gigs, rehearsals and promotion and etc. for my contemporary music festival, recruitment season, and trying to get everything else lined up for the fall, i'm super slammed.

But i will be back here and may pop my head in when i have a break. Until then, my love to every single one of you because you're all awesome.  

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i think i just remembered that a couple of nights ago i had a dream that involved my first girlfriend from high school, Rebecca.

i don't remember anything about the dream whatsoever, just that she was in it.

I wonder how she's doing.  Maybe i should dig up her old hotmail email address and see if it's still valid.  it'd be good to catch up and see what she's all about.

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I've cooked this a few different variations of this pulled pork tacos recipe and it's pretty interesting to see how different physical areas have reacted to it thus far.

A lot of the variation that i do has to do with amount of kick - the recipe calls for 3 jalapeno chiles and i've done 3 jalapenos and 2 seranos along with some cayenne and chili powder here in New Orleans and been told that it has the right amount of kick, and i've done it with 2 jalapenos only with lime to cut some of that flavor in Pennsylvania and been told that it's way too spicy.

I also opt to do a pico-de-gallo topping instead of the citrus salsa, and that probably makes a difference too because i imagine that the citrus salsa cuts some of the kick that the pico doesn't becaues there's minced jalapenos in the pico that i make.  I imagine too that the citrus mango salsa provides a middle depth to the flavor that kind of lacks when you opt to do the pico instead, so i may need to go searching for something else, some sort of avocado or guac thing that will provide the middle flavor that fits right with what i want.

Cooking is fun i think is the theme of this dazed entry.  Yeah.  Cooking is fun.  Especially in a geat quality dutch oven.  I'm so glad i purchased one.  I'm so going to make a pot roast some time this spring.

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PS to Illustrator

I've discovered in the past week or so that everything that I've been doing in the past several years in Photoshop i should have been doing in Illustrator instead.

So now i'm slowly learning Illustrator. Today it was a two-hour struggle where i tried to get a Thing to happen and it wasn't happening but then it generated a result that was an accident that I kind of like, so now I'm trying to tweak it. And if i was in Photoshop, i could have had it figured out at least somewhat in half the time, but that's kind of the joy of discovery and the joy of going down an accidental path, so i guess it's all right.

Time to go play cards for only the second time this year. Boy have things changed. For the better, but still.

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From Squarepusher to Hundred Waters

Somewhere during my undergraduate degree i discovered Squarepusher.  I forget exactly why or how - i do remember pretty vividly the video for Come on My Selector which may have been the catalyst, but it's hard to say.  I know that I was kind of getting into a bunch of IDM at the time for the first time.

In any case, when i moved to Eugene for grad school, there was a day where my brother told me about a Squarepusher concert up in Portland (where he lives) so i decided to go.  It was a gig where Plaid was opening for Squarepusher.  I had never heard of Plaid at this point, but it turned out that Squarepusher was super sick and had to cancel his appearance, so Plaid took the whole show, thus starting my obsession with Plaid.

Plaid is one of a very few set of bands that i have remained a consistent fan of for the past fifteen or so years.  Their US appearances are rare, and i've thus flown out to see them when they play in a city where i don't live that fits in my schedule.  My fandom of Plaid has exposed me to other artists that I like and have become fans of (e.g. both Luke Vibert and Clark opened for Plaid in concerts and I still listen very regularly to Clark and still have a passing interest in Vibert, Plaid is on Warp Records and has thus exposed me to PVT), and this has happened again as of last week because I got some news that Plaid is about to release a new track that is a remix of a song by a group called Hundred Waters.

And yeah.  Hundred Waters is pretty fantastic.

It's interesting - it kind of represents music that i used to listen to more than music i listen to now - it's very reminiscent of Bjork/the Sugarcubes in some ways mixed in with old Cocteau Twins and, well, Plaid.  So it almost doesn't fit any of the rest of my Google Playlist, yet for the past week i haven't been able to stop listening to a YouTube mix of their tracks at work and at home.

There's an interesting sort of inventiveness with some of their rhythmic structures that is pretty disguised because their music is generally very relaxed - and you don't think of 7/8 time being associated with relaxed music.  I guess i would describe the music as rhythmically intriciate and intimate without being intense or overbearing - something that I really appreciate after listening to a lot of IDM in my youth and thus burning out on the more intense versions of it such as Venetian Snares and some early Squarepusher.

Plaid's remix version of the song is outstanding too in its own right.  It's very Plaid, yet very Hundred Waters at the same time in different ways.

Anyway, the point is that i think that despite some rather strange resistance to buying albums of new bands sometimes, i think i'm about ready to pull the trigger on these guys.

Here's the original song in question:

And here's the Plaid Remix.

And here's another Hundred Waters song with neat rhythm and a freaky video:

which i"ll cut because it"s bonus material.Collapse )

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nothing in absolutes.

seven years ago i wrote a blog entry concerning new year's resolutions and the reasons i didn't believe in them. The important gist of the entry went like this:

when it comes down to it, hard dates in *any* historical context personal or global aren't anything more than a symbolic handhold for us to be able to grasp things easily. sometimes for my own reference i'll use those dates to help me put the pieces together, but placing special significance to that one isolated moment just feels wrong. When i think of when Katie and i were still together and think of "celebratory milestones" such as a year anniversary or whatnot, i generally don't think of those moments as Special because i did my best to celebrate every moment of our relationship as a whole. and the events that led to our first going out, us living together, us breaking up - those single dates didn't define those moments as much as that "time period" and the chain of connections that made those events progress logically and naturally.  So to grasp onto a date that is defined not by me but by some pretense of a holiday and use it as a means of retrospect or futurespect makes even less sense to me and my context.

I still generally uphold to this principle and that had defined why i never did resolutions - because why should i choose a date such as that to decide to make a change more than make that decision on any other date?  If i need to change something, i'll just resolve it whenever it needs to resolve.  To anchor that to a specific date is to use it as a crutch.

Some years ago, i started doing Lent - not for any religious reason, but i used it as a trigger mechanism for exactly the purpose of what New Years Resolutions does - i would sometimes "give up" something such as chocolate or whatever, but more often i would use it in a productive way - "i'm going to take a picture every day of lent" or "i'm going to find something to clean every day of lent" or "i'm going to write music every day of lent". I would use that as a means of getting out of a particular kind of rut and try to change habits, use lent as an artificial kickstart to do something different.

Which isn't much different than doing a new year's resolution if done the right way, so after a lot of consideration, i decided to break my previous resolution of not ever making any new year's resolutions and, well, make some resolutions as a means to try to kickstart some habits that had fallen to the wayside and do a few new things to try to keep my composition career in motion.  The two resolutions are:

1. put myself out there more again.  Write in this blog again, write in my professional blog again, and also start up a quarterly newsletter using MailChimp to create my list and create the newsletter itself.

2. Engage in social media more.  Sure, i browse through things on facebook and g+ briefly, but i don't spend any actual Quality Time on those networks, and i've sorely neglected this space.  I really do care about people and strangers and i feel it's important for them to know that more than i have recently more out of laziness than anything else, and that also produces the sort of return i'm looking for regarding my professional career too.

Once the new semester starts next week i'll be on top of all of that a lot more and put the necessary energy in.

So hi there livejournal. here's me trying to make a comeback.

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random telly - 50 words or less.

life has been so sodding busy and stressful this academic year that i've been doing the more typical method of escape of using telly as my downtime.  Here's some random impressions of what i've been occupying myself with and what i think about them in 50 words or less.

Gotham - ultimately boring because they're trying to establish too many things at once.  All of the main players are two-dimensional pieces of cardboard with the surprising exception of Penguin.  Fish Mooney and Barbara are particularly awful.  I'll stick out the season, but i don't expect much.

The Flash - It's a middle-school kid trying to wear adult clothes.  Plots and character developments tropes aren't bad ones to use but they're executed poorly and can be downright laughable.  Probably going to drop it on a weekly basis, instead marathon-watch the complete season to see if the seeds planted actually go anywhere.

Constantine - The script-writing for episode one was pretty bad, but it planted good potential. episode two was unfocused but better. Constantine is okay, Zed is eh, and i *really* dislike the blatant sexual tension angle. That chemistry needs to disappear or they just need to fuck and get it over with.

SHIELD season 2 - A few minor missteps and annoyances, but otherwise it's a strong start to what's become a solid and highly-entertaining show. Strong scripts, great character development, although i wish they hadn’t changed the Fitzsimmons chemistry from season one.  May’s fight scenes are absolutely captivating, i could watch those for hours.

Doctor Who Series 8 - Episodes are hit and miss, but the hits have been fantastic, particularly Listen and Mummy.  Capaldi struggled in the beginning but has become pretty awesome, and i still love Clara.  The Pink development happened too quickly, kind of like the cramming of young River in Let’s Kill Hitler.

NFL - this has been a flabbergasting season, but in a good way because you never really know who's coming out on top or how the individual players are going to perform.  e.g. WTF Arizona, Dallas, Lynch, Foles, and WTF Saints! Hopefully the win against GB and the Panthers changes everything.


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May 2015