10.16.2006

I'll never have a chance to go to CBGBs

10.15.2006

A Mini Celebration

Yay!!!! As it turns out, after digging a little deeper (okay, A LOT deeper) I dont have to go to school tomorrow to hunt through print versions of periodicals all day.

Wahoo!!!
Yay for me and my awesome researching skills.
Yay for journals that have full text available online.
Yay for not having to wake up at 5:30 in the morning so I can get to school pre-rush hour.

ps- add another 5 hours to time spent researching online... just a little more left, hopefully i can get it done before i pass out for the night.
  • I think that grad school is going to make me ocd... or at least overly organized. the further and further into I get, the more and more obsessed i'm becoming with organizing everything I can. For example: My simple Daily To Do lists have gone from handwritten notes jotted down onto scrap pieces of paper as I think of them to catergorized and prioritized lists on the computer (with due dates and automatic email reminders so I dont forget important things.)
  • # of hours I have spent doing research in a library in the past week: 7 (not including time spent researching online at home which probably adds a good 10-12 hours to that number), # of hours I spent driving to and from the library: 4 (and I have to go back tomorrow)
  • I've started drinking caffinated drinks primarily for the caffiene (rather than thirst or flavor) again.
  • While down in Atlanta I made the comment that I was going to enjoy being able to sleep in while I still could because I knew that it would be ending soon (like when I get a real job). Since making that comment, I've only slept past 8:00 twice. I guess I made the comment a few weeks/months too late.
  • # of assignments due this week: 4... and I'm only taking 3 classes. I dont plan on sleeping much over the next couple nights.

10.13.2006

Yoga and Me

This week I started a yoga class. I had a few reasons for deciding to take the class. First of all, I haven't really been exercising much lately. Partly because I've gotten busier (though that's really just a lame cop-out), partly because I no longer belong to a gym, partly because I can't stay committed to working out. So I figured that if I signed myself up for a class (that I have to pay for), I'd be more likely to stick with something. So I started looking around for classes I could take. I narrowed down my options to either yoga or pilates because I thought it would be good for me to do something that would increase my flexibility (which is and always has been pretty much non exsistent) and strengthen my core area (especially my back which has been bothering me a lot lately), and I also wanted something that would be somewhat relaxing and give me an opportunity to release the stress of my week.

I looked for classes in the area (via google searches... which are really starting to drive me crazy) but eventually just ended up looking through a catalog for the leesburg rec center (Ida Lee) which offered a Hatha Yoga 1 class. I don't really know anything about all the different kinds of yogas, so I have no idea how hatha differs from anything else, but it was the only beginning class I could find at a time I could attend (and it was far cheaper than any of the private yoga classes).

So Thursday I headed over to Ida Lee, feeling a little nervous, but glad that I was finally doing something again. There aren't too many people in my class. This week there were 5 (including me) and apparently 2 others should have been there, but were out of town or something. Of course I was the only one who had never taken a yoga class before, so I was a little nervous when we got started. But I think I did pretty well. I was definitely the least flexible person in there, which didn't surprise me too much. We learned some basic elements and 3 different poses (though I haven't really done them enough to know how to recreate them). I was most proud of the fact that I didnt fall over while holding the poses, there were a few times that I almost did, but I was determined not to make myself look like a fool.

The best part of the class was that it was very relaxing. Which is what I wanted. We started off with this centering thing. I knew that yoga was kind of "out there" before signing up and and I wasn't really sure how I would react to that (because it typically makes me feel uncomfortable--which I often express in giggles), but this wasnt too bad. The instructor kept saying that we should only concentrate on what we were doing and on our breathing... which of course made me think of everything but that at first, but as the class went on I was able to forget other things. But that's probably because I had to completely concentrate on what I was doing so I wouldn't look like an idiot. Oh we also had to listen to Enya-ish music the whole hour, but after a while I was able to block that out.

Overall the whole thing hardly felt like a work out (as in I wasn't panting and out of breath by the end). The hardest thing was the stretching, which I definitely felt, but I didn't push myself beyond what I could handle. Other than that, it all felt pretty good. At the end of the class we just laid down and relaxed for a few minutes. Any workout that requires laying down and doing nothing works for me. And when the class was over, I felt pretty good.

Then this morning I woke up and my muscles had that you-worked-out-yesterday feel, which kinda surprised me since I didn't really feel too much strain yesterday. But as the day has gone on, I've been feeling it more and more. Nothing too intense, just enough to know that I actually did work out.

So I think this yoga thing could work out.

10.07.2006

Capo and "detune"

Okay one of the small discussions I had in the past couple days was about guitar capos. This came up because I saw someone playing a semi-hollow electric and he changed the capo in between EVERY song (seriously). And I'm not talking about putting it up at the 12th fret, it was like 3rd fret, 2nd, fret, off, 5th fret, all relatively low for capo purposes. Being the snotty musician I know that I can be (and being married to a very capable guitarist), it bothered me. I was explaining why this bothered me to some of the people I went to the conference with.

Basically capoing the guitar is a "only do if you have to or if it serves a musical purpose" kinda tool... and even then it's really only an ACOUSTIC guitar kinda tool. But people also know that you can easily change keys simply by sticking a capo on a different fret. And granted, if you need to change keys (usually to accomidate a singer's vocal range) at the last minute, and aren't very good at transposing, the capo is okay, but otherwise, just change the chords and play it sans-capo, like the capable musician you are. So the capo can be misused as an easy way to get out of doing something a little more difficult. Which is why I tend to be bothered when I see a capo (unless it is used under the proper conditions). And I get really bothered when I see a "professional" musician using a capo under the wrong conditions.

Then today Matt and I made a stop at Melodee Music and while wandering around I found a book about Guitar Capoing. I picked it up an kinda browsed through it... and it basically confirmed most of what musicians think about capoing. 1- For the most part it is considered cheating, or at least taking the easy way out (kinda how pool players feel about using a bridge ... just use it for the shots you absolutely can't get on your own... but now imagine someone using a bridge for every shot... that could be a little irritating), but it does have some functional uses and can add a lot of versatility to the instrument (by instrument here they are referring to acoustic instruments, it never once mentioned capoing an electric, especially since electrics have softer strings) when used properly... for instance capoing in order to have open strings be different notes, or to assist with alternate tunings. 2- When it comes to tuning the guitar to Eb, I finally understand the term "detuning" which Matt uses a lot. Unfornately, i always thought that that he was saying "D-tuning" as in tuning the instrument to D or down a whole step, and I kept trying to correct him by saying that E to D is a whole step, not a half step so he should be calling it "Eb tuning". But when I saw the term "detuning" in the book I finally realized my mistake. Detuning means tuning the guitar to Eb, and if you want to tune it to D, you call that Drop D. I was glad for the clarification.

Those are my thoughts on the capo and I hope whoever reads this was able to understand my thoughts amongst the insane number of paranthesis.

Atlanta

I spent the past few days down in the Atlanta Georgia area for a church conference. The conference was okay, not great, but still had some good parts. But I'm not going to write too much about the content because there are plenty of other websites and blogs that will do that much better than I would, so I'll let them handle it (catalyst conference). I will make a few comments about the trip itself and one thing about the conference in particular.

1- The area we were in looked pretty much exactly like the northern virginia area. A little hillier perhaps, but other than that, I kept forgetting that I was in a different state. There was a lot of new building going on, the trees looked the same, the roads and everything else looked the same. There were only 2 occasions in which I really felt like I was down south. 1- I saw a sign the said "Old Wood Georgia (or something-something Georgia)" which made me think "huh what an odd sign for a shopping center" until I remembered that I was actually in Georgia. And 2- We had good southern hospitality at a resuraunt... the waitress was very nice, and personable... which I dont see too often up here. Overall, I was surprised by how similar the areas were, and also surprised by the fact that I was able to get unsweetened ice tea in the south.

2- I dont like flying on small planes... especially when I have to sit directly between the two engines, as if small planes werent noisy enough to begin with.

3- I like hotels that have free wifi... I'm totally in favor of that becomming a bigger trend. :)

and lastly 4- Dave the Horn Guy (what this clip before reading the whole post). Now before I get too much into this, let me say this. I think it's great that this guy has the ability to do this. However, I also feel that part of what I found really intriguing about his performance was how original it was... and how on earth anyone could have ever thought up something like that. And then I found out.... while search for Dave the Horn Guy on youtube, I found a french horn guy... which I originally read as french-horn guy, instead of french horn-guy. But after reading some of dave's comments it seemed that this french guy was worth checking out... so I did... French Horn Guy. Interesting isnt it?