Monday, May 02, 2016

Patrick performing and some other stuff

Hey, all. I'm off Facebook again because I just couldn't stand being on it. My hatred of it hasn't changed, and while I was on it for a bit to do some stuff with that class group I am in, I'm done with that and am back to not being on there. I just...UGH. It's not my thing. Mostly I loathe knowing that Zuckerberg is using my information for his own gain and that people I don't even know want to be fake friends with me/talk to me. I just...I deleted the app off my phone and that was a little better, but I still felt repelled knowing that my data remained available to Facebook. It's not completely gone, as in destroyed, but it IS deactivated. I'm leaving its existence in case I need to go back and have dealings with the class group again. If you wish to contact me and don't already have my email or phone number for texting, this blog's comments are the best way to reach me.

Here are some more videos of Patrick performing with his trombone collective. I hope you enjoy!

Tower Music by Vaclav Nelhybel

Come Thou Fount of Ev'ry Blessing arr. by Dennis Klouphaus

I also have a static picture of the group:

I really wish the performing space wasn't so dead. If it had been designed with a little more freedom of sound, they would've knocked us all backward with their amazing sound. No one here was less than awesome.

Patrick got me started watching Jessica Jones on Netflix, and it's good! I'm sad there are only 13 episodes, but it's a great show with a nice little creepy factor. When we run out of that, I think maybe we will go back and watch the season of Dr. Who with Rose as his companion, then skip Season 5 (we've already seen it twice-ish) and go straight to Season 6 with the new Doctor. I'm going to try to keep an open mind. Matt Smith will always be the Doctor to me, since he is who I began with, but I hopefully will learn that other Doctors are good as well!

My thumb is healing up. It still hurts to the touch, but it's well enough that I don't have to wrap it any longer, which is a relief. That was SO aggravating. But yay, better!

In other Better News, I think this theory I have is accurate: I'd been slowly having more and more brain shocks, and finally they were almost constant. I then began to feel that my teeth were moving, as it was getting unpleasant to close my mouth. I'd initially thought the shocks were due to some sort of drug withdrawal, which seemed very unfair as I hadn't changed anything.

I tried various things to get them to go away, but they persisted and I got awful headaches. I finally decided to fix my teeth with my retainers, and it dawned on me that perhaps the shocks were from my teeth moving and not the drugs. The last time I wore them, it only took a few hours to move them back. The hours were unpleasant, but definitely worth it. Today I have no shocks, and my teeth are in their proper place. Cross your fingers that it remains this way and I don't start getting them again later on in the day...

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Bio from Patrick's last performance, with the Washington Trombone Collective, complete with video

Professional trombonist Patrick Urion has been performing, teaching, and studying music across the country for nearly twenty five years. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Patrick began his formal music education in Chicago, where he studied with members of the legendary Chicago Symphony brass section including Frank Crisafulli, Arnold Jacobs, Jay Friedman, and Michael Mulcahy. After graduating from Northwestern and before completing graduate studies at Rice University, he performed with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago under the batons of Robert Spano, Christoph Eschenbach, Zubin Mehta, Pierre Boulez, and Daniel Barenboim.

A prolific and versatile performer, Patrick has played with the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera, Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra, Seattle Chamber Players, Auburn Symphony, Tacoma Symphony, Cheyenne Symphony, Fort Collins Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Boulder’s Dinner Theatre, Woodlands Symphony, Orchestra X, and the Northwest Sinfonia, one of the top studio recording orchestras in the world. With the Northwest Sinfonia, he has recorded dozens of soundtracks for television (including two seasons of NBC’s Community), movies (including Selma, Let Me In, Drag Me To Hell, Underworld: Awakening, Warm Bodies, Valkyrie, and The Incredible Hulk), movie trailers, video games (including the Halo, World of Warcraft, Diablo 3, Destiny, and DotA franchises), and studio albums by Two Steps From Hell, E.S. Posthumus, and Eliesha Nelson (for her Grammy winning debut album of Quincy Porter viola works).

Other work as a freelance trombonist include live performances with Chicago, Cheap Trick, Kenny Rogers, Pink Martini, and Idina Menzel. Since 2013, Patrick has also had the privilege of coaching the low brass section of the Seattle Youth Symphony, the largest and among the most distinguished youth orchestra programs in the United States.

One of the pieces they performed:

Monday, April 25, 2016

Dracula, you minx (and Lenore)

Why will Dracula staunchly refuse to have more character facets every time I read his story? It's aggravating. There's flat-out boring evil, and then there's evil-with-a-sly-twist-of-good that makes you sort of loathe yourself for kind of vaguely rooting for him.
Get up from your grave and rewrite a little more depth into this dude. I wouldn't care so much except I'm so fond of the classic and just wish it were even better. Were it swill, I'd have chucked it at once and not bothered.
...clearly I wish Victorian authors were still around so I could nag them into improvements.
There's this poem I found which was apparently originally in German, written in 1796, and most of Romantic society went into paroxysms of ecstasy when it was translated into English. It inspired an awful lot of Victorian horror writing and basically all of the vampire genre, despite no one in it actually being a vampire. (I'm putting it after the break because it's gigantic.)
For your reading pleasure, I present Lenore by Gottfried Bürger:

Thursday, April 21, 2016

I felt like adding to this.

If you can't read my chickenscratch, it reads: "Sometimes they are if you feel happy and then get hit by a bus". Yep.
Enjoy your weekend, all!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I just really haven't felt like writing.

I've got a bunch of stuff going on, and I've been pretty tired, along with handling awful med changes. You aren't likely to see much here until everything settles down. Including me! I've been killing some time between appointments and such with different artistic apps on my phone, and I came up with one that I feel resembles dragons:

It's amazing the stuff you can do with technology.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

In which I discuss (complain about) H.P. Lovecraft's writing

A lot of people, of course not all, are aware that H.P. Lovecraft is considered a master of Victorian horror.

Well, that's nice and all. He's atmospheric, which I appreciate, but he's also just way too vague. 

Bram Stoker was also a Victorian horror master, and you didn't see him being all coy about where his writing was going. Neither was Mary Shelley. 

There is a difference between establishing creepy atmosphere with definitive indications as to why exactly it's creepy and bringing it to life without giving the audience any clues as to why they should care.

For instance, Lovecraft will maunder on about Stuff in the Darkness and whatnot, but never really elaborate on why said Stuff is so creepy. Something like "the horrid light seeping from the colossal Cyclopean monuments struck fear into his very limbs." I made that up, but it's pretty close to canon. 

WHY is it horrid? Does it smell? Is the light reminiscent of some type of bioluminescent lichen that only grows on graves where cursed bodies are buried? WHY are we meant to be freaked out by this? Mostly I'm just annoyed that he manages to jam "Cyclopean" into every damn story he writes. 

When I first read that word, I happily imagined buildings with a giant eyeball stuck in them (à la Sauron in the Lord of the Rings movies). No. Nothing nearly so interesting. He only refers to structures, mind you. According to Google, Cyclopean means: 

  1. 1
    denoting a type of ancient masonry made with massive irregular blocks.
    "cyclopean stone walls"
  2. 2
    of or resembling a Cyclops.
    "a cyclopean eye"

Not very intriguing, LOVECRAFT. 

So, basically, giant chunks of stone sort of haphazardly jammed together. Terrifying. Also he uses the word "globbering". I'm not making that up.

WHY IS THIS HORRIFYING? Maybe because of the word's stupidity? I'm a little horrified by that, I admit. What does it even mean? I'm imagining a gurgling sort of slobbering sound, like a Saint Bernard being flushed down a toilet. Less horrifying and more oh-dear-God-call-the-plumber-NOW.

I'll give him props for excellent use of certain words, like "abyssal" and "darkling", but I staunchly refuse to be terrified by a bunch of vague crap floating around in the dark making clanging noises and globbering sounds, whatever the hell those are, unless I'm presented with some good hard data on WHY I should care.

Mostly at this point I'd settle for banging back and shrieking "SHUT IT, YOU!" until the irritating noises stopped.

Alternatively, burn the offending mess to the ground. Get it hot enough and stone will burn. So much for your Cyclopean crap. At any rate, I'd wager it wasn't the rocks clanking around. So just burn up whatever is being annoying and there you have it.

I wouldn't be so irritated with Lovecraft if he were consistently dreadful with no redeeming qualities. I'd just chuck him in the bin and be done with him. But he had promise. He could've done so much more with his imagination.

Oh Lovecraft, you aggravating man. I hope you're sleeping soundly in some Cyclopean bedroom with a clot of mysterious ooze seeping through the walls and something pointlessly yet horrifyingly banging around outside in the darkling light.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A lot of you have already seen this...

...but here is me with my lovely green hair! And also as a pirate:

The rings are flowers made of clay known as cold porcelain, and the headdress is actually silken ram horns.
Still hard to tell what they are, but Cap doesn't seem to care. He will defend me regardless of my headgear choices.
Arrrrgh. That is a honeycomb necklace, by the way.

My pirate sword. I was very fierce with it. Grr.