accidental canon

So here’s the setup:

I’m at work, and i want to send someone an ecard.  I google it and pick a random ecard website, discover that you can’t turn off music on their cards by default, decide to move to the next one.

Go to the next one.  Find a card i like, try to open that card up in firefox, but for some reason the flash part isn’t unblocking from my flashblock plugin – i’m just getting a blank screen.  So i grab the link, copy it into Chrome, try it there.  Loads up no problems.

Halfway through the card, i want to see if there’s music playing in the background of the card, so i put in one of my earbuds that is permanently attached to the headphone jack of my work computer.  Yes there’s music, but it’s fairly unobtrusive, basically piano only, a melody that’s moving in a slight triplet swing and a bass line that’s somewhat mimicking that.  single note melody, single note bass, pretty minimal, although the swing feel and the harmonies are a little strange, but whatever.

So i go to the next page in Chrome, where i have to say who i’m sending to, give a custom message, &c.  The card itself isn’t on that page, but the music is still going.  a quarter of a second later i notice that half of the music i was listening to before was missing.  and then i get it.  Even though the visual part of the flash card in Firefox wasn’t running, the card still at least somewhat loaded because it was playing the music from the card in the background.  When i was listening to the card in my earbuds, i was listening to it playing twice in an accidental canon, offset by a few beats and a rough eighth note triplet.

and it was fantastic.  i mean, for the purpose of the ecard, the single simpler version was much better because it was much less intrusive.  but first hearing it in accidental canon and thinking that that’s what was supposed to happen?  outstanding.  it kind of makes me want to write a piece of music composed entirely of samples of crappy ecard music.  file that away for “way in the future” since i have about four other pieces i’m trying to get done before the spring of 2013.

irregular regularity

the biggest difference between being employed in an academic medium versus a corporate medium is what i’m dubbing “irregular regularlity versus regular regularity.”

as an example, in my second year at the UofO, even though my weekly schedule was fairly regular, my daily schedule was highly irregular.  my mondays were 8:00-23:00 days between teaching classes, taking classes, teaching high school, and having 100th Monkey rehearsals, Tuesdays were 11:00-19:00 days with the occasional 8:00 at certain times because of the electronic computer lab, etc.  by contrast, my current corporate job has a fairly regular daily and weekly schedule, varied only by time of the fiscal year, special projects, or crises.  otherwise, it’s your typical 8 to 5.

When i was in school, the stuff that dictated my regular schedule also ended up dictating my free time schedule, mainly because of what needed to get accomplished for the next irregular regularity.  Homework for this class, writing music for this section of the marching show, finishing up some Max work, socialising with friends because we just got out of rehearsal, and the like.

again, this severely contrasts my current paradigm.  There’s very little structure to how i use my free time since all of my work obligations i handle during work hours.  This would be fine if i managed my free time well, but lately i don’t feel like i’ve had the proper balance.  if we break my free time down into five rough categories of poker, socialising (both online and in real life), projects, time-wasters, and other (being things like random british telly, social diddering, domesticism), i spend much more time on the time-wasters than i do on projects even though projects takes higher precedence over time-wasters in my head.

i attribute some of this to the fact that most of my projects lack of deadlines or goals like they did when i was in an academic atmosphere, whereas the time-wasters in a sense *do* have goals because i’m trying to break 700k on chain factor or achieve this ranking on prolific or the like.  This has been bothering me for a while, and i’ve been working to try to change it, but it’s been difficult to do so, particularly when the peak crisis i was dealing with at work ate up all of my time in late march and early april made me so burnt out that i didn’t have energy to do anything other than zone out.

Recently i started playing live poker games at a club downtown that’s open from 6pm until 2am, and this has introduced an element of irregularity to my regular week since i’ve been consistently going to the tuesday evening mixed games and the saturday evening tournament and cash games.  Last week i started to scheme in my head an idea to use this new irregular regularity to help designate other days of the week to specific projects and create a rough outline of a long term project goal timeline.  Not that the time-wasters would completely go away, as i feel they have their own place in my life that isn’t deteremental, just that those time-wasters would dominate my free time less.  So i might make, say, monday and thursday my online poker days with a mix of some minor project or admin related to said project that i don’t need to devote huge energy to or a lot of hours at a time whereas wednesday and saturday daytime is devoted to projects more completely whilst sunday is devoted to domestics and some “others”, all as broad big-picture guidelines that i can adjust or refine on the fly based on individual circumstances.

we’ll see what happens.  right now DSR Squared is occupying my project thoughts more than anything else, but a part of me is looking for some material to write a choir piece for Jenni Brandon (i’m thinking Steven Brust material), another part of me is coming up with some video game medley music for Laura, another part of me is trying to figure out what i want my next video project to be, another part of my head is thinking about marching band stuff again, etc. etc.

my head sometimes feels like it’s too full.

crooked windows

whilst sitting with katie in my favorite place to get hot chocolate, she noticed that there was a painting on the wall in which the frame was not flush with the floor. Ansel Adams on a slight tilt.

we’ve had this debate before about how i like to have a small degree of deliberate chaos in my life which could have its representation in a hung painting or poster slightly off-kilter versus her need for visual order, and this brought it to the foreground again. While nothing about our contrasting viewpoints was new, this time it spurned two new ideas into my head.

one: create a work of art within a frame where the work itself is deliberately on a slight tilt from its frame. That way, when the frame is completely flush with the floor, the work is slightly crooked, or when the work is flush with the floor, the frame is slightly crooked. This gives the person who hangs it on the wall the freedom to interpet it however s/he wishes with no correct answer (even though most people would likely keep the frame flush to the floor).

two: create a computer windows environment in which the windows and their contents can be on a tilt. of course it would have to be user-customizeable, but the particular configuration i would employ would be a slight tilt, maybe 5 to 10 degrees in either direction. And i would also program some sort of randomizer – whenever a new window opens (beit a web browser window or new word processing document or what have you), the computer randomly chooses which direction and what degree of tilt the window will appear within a specified degree range (like -8 to +8).

i’m surprised that number two doesn’t exist already. you’d figure that other people would be into that sort of chaos like me and have more saavy computer programming chops than i do. But when i did an initial google, i didn’t find anything either Windows or Mac OS that would emulate something like that.

i wonder if i could get anyone to do something like that for me.