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9/2/09 06:50 pm - Latest lifelong to-do list

This is always evolving... here's what I was thinking a month or so ago.. it's my quite optimistic to-do list! Lisa said she recently crossed off everything on her list(!!) so I was inspired to make one. She has to make a new one since hers is finished...
TO DO...Collapse )

6/18/09 08:20 pm - Nexus

People wonder why ST 7 is my favorite.

It's cause I'm hoping to get back here:

Entering the Nexus

5/2/09 02:08 am - party

I would facebook-status-update about how drunk I am right now, and how often the cops came to the party due to noise complaints.

But then my mom and grandma and advisory committee members would read it.

Damn facebook!

5/1/09 03:34 am - Sondheim (edited to fix some details)

Sondheim was looking pretty good for his age tonight! He gave an interview at the IU Auditorium, and it was awesome.

An evening with Sondheim...Collapse )

4/30/09 02:53 am - stupid music thing

Aha, this wins my stupid thing prize for the week: the top breaking news story on CNN's web page included a picture of the swine flu virus, and I figured it was going to be an article about some quick progress that was made in understanding the virus. Instead, however, the "news" was that some weirdo decided to make some crappy avant-garde music based on the structure of one of the proteins in the swine flu virus.

I could take the letters "swine flu" and map them to musical notes and rhythms and play them over and over with a synthesizer, but who cares?

4/30/09 12:29 am - dataset

I love the kind of data I get to use in some of my work. I'm writing a python script to parse this kind of stuff:

60    0    1    The
61    0    1    taste
62    0    1    of
63    0    1    her
64    0    1    cherry
65    0    1    chap
66    0    1    stick
67    0    1    I
68    0    1    kissed
69    0    1    a
70    0    1    girl
71    0    1    And
72    1    1    li
73    2    1    ked
74    0    1    it

#    Title    I Kissed a Girl
#    Source Filename    Katy Perry - I Kissed a Girl.xml
1    2    4    4
2    3    4    4
3    4    4    4
4    5    4    4
5    5.5    2    4
5.5    6.5    0    4
6.5    8    7    4
8    9    5    4
10    11    5    4
12    13    5    4
13    13.5    5    4
13.5    14.5    5    4
14.5    16    4    4
17    18    4    4
18    19    4    4

#    Title    I Kissed a Girl
#    Source Filename    Katy Perry - I Kissed a Girl.xml
0    4    9    3    0    major
4    8    7    3    0    dominant
8    12    2    3    1    minor
12    14.5    5    3    0    major
14.5    16    4    3    0    major
16    20    9    3    0    major
20    24    7    3    0    dominant
24    28    2    3    1    minor
28    30.5    5    3    0    major

4/29/09 02:02 am - plane thing

I don't get this news story about the 747 freaking out everyone in Manhattan a few days ago. I'm frankly not too surprised that it didn't seem like a big deal to the guy in Washington to have a plane fly by. I think it's whacky to want to take a photo there -- that's another issue. But *I* wouldn't have ever worried that a plane near NYC would cause some huge panic! I don't understand why the news hasn't mentioned this:

NYC is surrounded by 3 crazy busy airports. Just a few months ago, that one famous flight was taking off, flying over your unforth 's new apartment, then it hit the birds, and had to fly left over the GW bridge and landed in the Hudson... I'm not saying that Hudson landings are common, but in my mind (and experience driving up the NJ turnpike into NYC), the area is swarming with huge planes, like no other place on earth!

Why did this one freak everyone out, when the plane that was flying by and hit the birds & landed in the river didn't freak everyone out?? I guess there must be something special about the area right around the tallest super-downtown part of Manhattan, whereas planes flying by just a little tiny bit away from there or a tiny bit higher up are normal.

In my mind, NYC has planes flying all around it 24/7. I'm sure there is something a bit wrong with this mental idea, otherwise the one a few days ago wouldn't have been noticed.

But I think that, except for native New Yorkers or something, it doesn't seem like a big deal to have a plane nearby, 9/11 notwithstanding, because it's sandwiched between these 3 huge airports! Not only that, I'm used to flying into Newark myself, looking down at the buildings, the Statue of Liberty, etc etc. Doesn't seem like an out-of-the-ordinary spot for an airplane!

People are saying that the whole thing demonstrated that some D.C. guy had "a felony lack of common-sense".... but I think to the rest of us, it's not strange to have planes zooming around near Newark, JFK, and LaGuardia.

My point is that this was an easy mistake to make, and I can imagine almost anyone doing the same thing.

4/23/09 12:40 am - Lea Salonga day

I was listening to Miss Saigon OLC yesterday and today, and it's just so amazing. I was also thinking about how funny it is that my prototype of an Asian girl singing is Lea Salonga's voice in Miss Saigon... but also her voice is my prototype for an Arab girl, because she sings Jasmine's voice in Aladdin. So my mental space of female prototype voices is very weird, in that it's also Lea Salonga for the exotic girls (my prototype for European girl singing voice is probably Susan Egan, which is also weird because she's American). Lea Salonga is Fillipino, but she has an American accent, so it's weird that I associate her voice with both Southeast Asia and the Middle East!

Here is a nice little bit of Miss Saigon video cut together -- Sun and Moon plus Last Night of the World. Duets just don't get better than this. "I'd Give My Life for You" is in here too, just to prove how much she rocks (or at least how much Boublil/Schoenberg rock...)

Anyway, I rewatched the incredible Lea Salonga audition video for Miss Saigon today, so she's on my mind. That video is so incredible, with Schoenberg at the piano and her sight-reading Sun and Moon, and making an interesting little mistake at the start.

Later, I found her engagement home video, which is cute -- it's hilarious when her and her fiancee's friends start singing Whole New World (quite badly!). Apperently one of the people helping is "Eric". All of this is 7 years ago, but I hadn't run across it before.

Then, I saw the video of her wedding, which is great because her fiancee is sobbing during the whole thing -- he's so emotional! It's great. She sang during the ceremony, a sweet little song called Two Words.

Also, here's the video of the end of wedding, reception, etc.

And finally, here she is singing the beautiful song Too Much for One Heart cut from Miss Saigon (although most of the melody is in the phenomenal duet "Please" -- which is one of the most highly emotional and gorgeous musical moments I know of on stage, even though it only lasts for about 8 measures... it feels there for a moment like someone ran Berg-style postmodern music compression on romantic emotional content!)

2/9/09 11:46 pm - Stalked by Obama

A few weeks ago I was minding my own business and went to NSF headquarters in D.C. to give a talk. Obama showed up and made it hard to get on the subway, but there was a big party.

Today Obama went to Indiana, but I had already come down to Ft. Myers, Florida for another talk, so he's apparently on his way down here, in time for my Tuesday talk.

Why is Freedom Train One/Air Force One following me around? Maybe he wants to steal the secret to music cognition from me! I noticed during the inaguration that Aretha Franklin's musical knowledge had been sucked away mysteriously after Obama got to her -- hope that doesn't happen to me!

2/8/09 06:05 pm - Island + Dentist...

I am at this pretty resort on a Florida island for a conference. However, a chunk of my tooth just broke off, so it's not as awesome here as it was a few hours ago. It hurts a tiny bit, but luckily not too bad... I was waiting for the extreme pain to hit but so far I'm ok. Scared to eat though...

Anyway, can anyone recommend a good B-town dentist? I'd appreciate a reference -- assuming I can wait until Friday, of course...
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