April 6th, 2006


Unbalancing the Song

I was idly thinking about the Rocky Horror Picture Show the other day, remembering a recent conversation where I talked about the differences between the musical (RHS = Rocky Horror Show) and the movie (RHPS = RH "Picture" S). One of the songs neat the beginning of each, "Over at the Frankenstein Place", has a portion removed:

Brad sings a solo (after Janet and before Riffraff):
I can see the flag fly, I can feel the rain
Just the same, there has got to be
Something better here, for you and me..
From my 2001 soundtrack of the Rocky Horror Show (which is *much* better than most of my other RHS soundtracks), I can hear how it's supposed to sound (and it's actually pretty nice). With the section, the song sounds more regular and careful (perhaps more "square" or balanced? It's hard to put a name on what I'm talking about), while the RHPS version feels like it's conforming to a different stylistic/plot reality (set of customs), showing more difference between Brad and Janet's experiences through the film. I think it musically works better to have the solo in, but in some subtle sub-analytically-accessible way, it's better for the overall development of the story to keep it out.

I had a daydream (possibly inspired by another person's post on my LJ friends list) about another reality where all the pets I've ever had are not dead, they're just living in different cities or otherwise separated, like many of the friends I've had over the years. In the daydream, I went to visit Dr Forrester in Boise, Wally in NYC, and Frank in .. hey, wait a sec. There actually is a pretty good chance that at least some of my former pets are actually still alive. I didn't think of that. In any case, I daydreamed going to visit them, and hanging out with them in a coffeeshop, and catching up on new neurotic habits they've developed (my pets usually end up becoming as odd as I am when they've been with me for long enough). There's something odd about meeting up with a former cat and hearing that it plays hockey with soap stolen from the shower... .. I try to be quotable: "Having Cats is like having creepy stalkers (except instead of creepy, they're actually cute)".

I've recently found myself in the odd situation of not going to places after work for the reason that I know everything and everyone that will be there. The predictability is somehow really off-putting, and so I often just beeline to Srees restaurant to grab dinner and go right home. I don't actually have things to do elsewhere, but it'd be nice to see more variety in where I do work. I should determine if there's a good way to get to the Beehive (and back) by bus from my place.

I have a theory that a Bildungsroman-motif in a short story would be interesting to try to reverse, with a precocious kid. I should give that a try and see if anything interesting comes of it.

I recently have been moving/merging home directories in my cluster onto NFS-space to prevent duplicated home directories (and to make backups easy). Unfortunately, this places me in the realm of things hanging or misbehaving when they want to do file locking. After some prodding around, I managed to fix problems with GIMP (after fun debugging with strace) saving files by pointing the temp and work directories into subdirs of /tmp, and also doing "chmod 0 ~/.recently-used" for all users. There has *got* to be a better, more general solution for this kind of thing though.

Because I am curious, at the end of this line, for LJ users, there *may* appear a lj userlink to my lj blog. This is possibly interesting in that it tells me that LJ feeds can still use LJ markup.dachte

I am still a bit weirded out at the missing quirks on my laptop (that Fedora5 fixed). Firefox starts every time I ask it to (meaning the script I wrote to continually kill and restart it until it actually gives me a window is no longer needed), the mouse is incredibly sane (no seizures at all), and doing clever power management stuff no longer hoses the system. This is all weird and hard to get used to. Of course, I still have only the partial display (out of laziness/SIGTIME, admittedly), and mplayer (which has always been quirky no matter where/how I install it) doesn't have the least-quirky configuration I figured out last time. It has *always* failed to play some subset of my mp3s, depending on whether I get the packages from the mplayer headquarters, livna, or one of the other places to get binary RPMs (and codec RPMs), or even if I compile it myself. The subsets are disjoint, and has something to do with choosing between different mp3 engines. XMMS, which is gui and therefore full of hate, can play all my mp3s and oggs. I need to remember what left me with the smallest set of nonplayable mp3s and go back to that configuration. Alternatively, I can continue to convert any mp3 that doesn't play in mplayer into an ogg until there's nothing left that's a problem.

I am very much looking forward to the arrival of my accordion. I am also thinking about a novel idea for a "band", or maybe just a sporadic "let's do X" kind of thing -- Sing By Email (SBE). Concept: I de-voice a song (using xmms), send it out to people, and they all sing it, and I both post the Karaoke online for people to be amused and for other songs, we all sing different parts (but are not ever in the same place), submitting it and I (again) glue it all together. Could an entire choir be done piecemail? A band? Could it work and be cool? I think it'd be tremendous fun to find out. ... Mmm... so looking forward to accordion and musicy goodness.


Life Without Cell Walls: Friendships Outside of Clubs

My laptop is fully happy again, after having both gotten mplayer reconfigured (hint: Do not use livna's mplayer, instead use official RPMs and futz with binary codec packages) and gotten my video back (the livna folk hacked the old binary package install enough to work with the current X). Hurrah.

At the supermarket today on the way home, after getting bread (which I always get because I go through it fairly quickly), I had a lot of trouble figuring out something else to get. I want something tasty, healthy, and novel to spice up my diet. .. In the end, I relaxed the middle constraint and got ice cream and chocolate chip cookies. I keep thinking that there must be some undiscovered class of foods out there for me. Maybe if I were dating someone who knew how to cook, or if I were willing to cook more often, I could experiment along these lines. Does anyone have any suggestions for novel things that I should try?

I should note that today's lunch at the faculty club was ruined by their inclusion of something that breaks two rules of my personal taste in food:

  • Pineapples should never be mixed with other foods
  • Pineapples belong to a class of foods (another example being carrots) that should not be cooked
I have in recent actions moved beyond the point where I can blame some things in my life on other people/bad luck/etc, in that I have actively chosen a part of the current path I've been on. Perhaps the fact that I'm thinking about it in terms of blame is a sign of unhealthiness in perspective though. Meh. Either way, it feels both liberating and worrying that I've done this.

Completely unrelated, I've told someone some details about a past part of my life that, so far, I don't think I've told anyone. It's kind of odd to have done so, but I suppose it was relevant, and it amused me to do so. Well, I don't know if amused is quite the right term to describe the odd juxtaposition of lightness and weight that characterises part of how I make some kinds of decisions, but .. perhaps it's the best I'll find without a few silly hours with a thesaurus.

Tortfeasaurus Rex continues on his mission of destruction, this time to my snacks and tea. :)