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Kung Fury - for a kickstarter project, it has high production value and some big names attached to it, and it's a pretty great over-the-top 80s action homage that's hilarious and amazing at the same time. The long "2-D side scrolling action scene" is absolutely fantastic, and while the script and the action fall apart towards the end, it succeeds at delivering an entertaining retro-pacakge that makes me wish that it had raised the necessary $1mill to make it into a feature film because even if it had resulted in wearing too thin with the longer run time, it would have been ultimately successful as a failure and therefore could not fail to be a success.

Fails the Bechdel test.  The only time two females are even in the same shot together, they don't ever talk to each other, they only ever talk to Kung Fury.

Mad Max: Fury Road - I remember coming out of the movie thinking that I had just taken the equivalent of three huge breaths.  The first real break in the film in the desert made me realize in the middle of watching it that a lot of time had passed in a way that felt simlutaneously like nothing and forever, and then it happened again, and then a third time.  Ultimately I describe the film as beautiful - not because of the success of the action scenes themselves or the beauty of the visual elements, but the construction of the film is beautiful - the depth of story and characters despite little dialogue and the overall flow of the movie both at that depth and at the surface from every short moment to every short moment and every long moment to every long moment was unlike anything that i've experienced in a long while in a single two-hour span of time.  I definitely need to watch it again, although likely not in the theater as it did start to make me feel slightly nauseous.

Passes the Bechdel test easily.

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two successful poker hands.

i haven't played a lot of cards in 2015 - ten sessions in total, and four of those sessions have been in the past two weeks.  Prior to that the last time was in february, and like the last time i was forced to take a break for a few months about three years ago, my playstyle has adjusted and i think in a good way.

The first time i adjusted, i went from being a fairly tight passive/aggressive player into a medium loose aggressive player. Gradually that turned into hyperaggressive, where i was generally seen as the table bully more often than not and would then be exploitable because of just how loose aggressive i had gotten. In the past four sessions i've recalbrated somewhat, still tending to be aggressive but dialing it back from, say, an 8 down to a 6-6.5, and I think it's served me pretty well, particularly on friday night because the table was so loose passive that there was absolutely no need to ever bluff, and last night because i was aggressive just enough that people were willing to call me with fairly weak holdings, and that built up my stack in such a way that my big score was huge.

There were two hands in particular that were very profitable - one where i went all-in for $137 and came out with $460 which is absolutely insane, and one where i went all-in for about $425 and came out with $900.

hand specsCollapse )
I still need to tweak my play more in regards to the vocabulary i'm comfortable with, but i'm confident that that will continue to hone and improve over time.  I still have yet to put check-raise bluffing into my vocabulary - even though it should be used as a rare weapon only, i've only done it maybe five times in my poker career which is much rarer than i should use it given the right circumstances.  maybe it'll happen in the near future, but we'll see.

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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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June 2015