Okay! I'm packing for my trip to California and I have a conundrum, which as usual (from your perspective) I solve by asking blog readers. These are my favorite running shoes:
Literally this pair, since I think I have six pairs of the same model and size in various states of wear. These are identified by the now-faded red marking on the laces at the front. Red Laces are a great pair of shoes; as you can see they've been "worn in" heavily. I ran my last 500 or so miles in these. They fit really well now, I get a good feel for the road in them, and they're totally predictable. But they're, uh, a little bit "worn in." Particularly, I'm concerned about the padding being squished to the point that it's not going to adequately protect my foot from the impact of approximately 32,000 strides. I have some other less worn and less comfortable shoes, including a spankin' new pair. But I'm worried about the unfamiliarity of those not being able to adequately prevent me from making a injurious misstep with a probability of less than 1/32,000. In the new ones I occasionally trip just walking around. (And I think such missteps are substantially more dangerous than a lot of hard impacts over time.)
Also, these smell bad.
(Also, I think it is kinda funny how all of my shoes wear in this exact same way, specifically the patch shaved to the foam on the right front sole, a blown out seam along my right pinky toe, and especially the hole in the left top carved out by my big toe. I wish I could get spot-reinforcements.)
So, my question is for blog readers who have or can feign expertise: Am I crazy to choose Red Laces over less worn but less familiar ones? You can probably dissuade me, but you must do so by tomorrow night.
Hey what's uuuup. Sometimes I get sad or whatever and the two best kinds of therapy for me are running and super-introspective attempts at dark songwriting. (Example: Quad Emotional Damage) Because here's what happens: I struggle to write sad-times sounding crybaby music and hurt or hurtful lyrics and I find out that I usually can't do it, or if I "succeed" that I don't even mean it and then the song is really just commentary on my strange self-punishing desire to feel bad and to put myself in the situation where I'm trying to write a song in order to express some kind of mean emotion I don't have, which also happens when I run really hard and that makes me feel bad for a different physical reason, and I shout "FUCK" and then I just feel like an idiot. Except with the songwriting, then at the end of the day I have a song which makes me feel better not just because I've kind of dealt with something in this neat metacircular way, but because I made something and that act is something that always makes me feel satisfied, 100% of the time without fail.
Today that song is Theme from Loss. If you are not up on your chess metaphors, this song might seem meaner than it is.
As of today I believe I'm in the best physical condition I've ever been in my life, by the way, because I'm training to run the San Francisco Marathon next Sunday. Is anyone else going to be there?
Shred Important Papers Quickly and Easily
(23 Jul 2008 at 00:16)
Hey, I'm back! I was without internet at home for a week. Now it's working again, and since I just had my scanner out for scanning some stuff (I was cleaning my room and I have a new strategy for dealing with all of the junk I've got but can't bear to throw away, which is to scan it or photograph it so that it fits in a smaller space, i.e. on the hard drive. More on that topic soon.) and then I found this funny advertisement:
I love this product. Aside from looking like it was invented with the Photoshop clone tool, have you ever tried cutting through an envelope with a pre-approved credit card in it, even with a single pair of blades on some heavy duty Fiskars? It ain't that easy—and with this Edward Scissorhands it will be five times as hard. Those envelopes routinely set my electric shredder on fire.
But anyway, the real thing I love about this ad is the suggestion to "Shred Important Papers Quickly & Easily". I don't think important is the right choice of word here.
Yesterday I went to California University of Pennsylvania (isn't that kinda confusing?) to teach computer science to high school girls attending a technology camp. This was fun. I taught them about graph algorithms.
I think my least favorite commonly experienced feeling is when I remember having an idea but I can't think of what it was.
If there was only one day per year, then it would be everyone's happy birthday every day! Wouldn't that be nice?
Tonight is the beginning of the ICFP programming contest. I will therefore be spending all weekend programming for fun and glory. You might recall two years ago that we designed and judged the contest (video, etc.), so the stakes are high for our team.
I realized that I can tell how nice a neighborhood is by seeing if the signs say "No dumping. $200 fine." or "You must pick up your dog's dumpings. $200 fine."
On the 4th of July long weekend (Independence Day in the U.S.A.) I recorded another album, called Conditional Independence Day. That is a tepid probability joke. It is becoming increasingly difficult for me to find a solid free day to do this, and since I've made something like 25 of these now, also increasingly difficult for me to be all uppity about the AAD rules. I certainly spent less than 24 hours on it (probably about 12) but they certainly spanned more than 24 because of a number of other fun things I didn't want to skip out on during the weekend. AAD regulars know this means at least -1,000 points for me.
I think there are some good songs on here. I kept them all in standard tuning plus capos that I have handy, because even though I love alternate tuning and weird preparations, I hardly ever play a song after recording it if it requires a lot of setup. I've gotten less bashful about playing for other people so this is important now. I actually found it very pleasantly easy to write these songs this time. On the other hand I had a muy malo time recording: Since I've gotten a new computer with Vista my old software (Cubase) doesn't work any more, and I can't emphasize enough how important it is to be familiar with your equipment and software and know how to get a good sound out of it without struggling. I struggled and my voice was failing from a cold (which you can hear prominently in Poison Control) and astute listeners will easily be able to tell in a bad way how many times I punched in on the vocals. Often I was just like, screw it. That's fine since AAD is not about perfection, but it is disappointing to me after reaching the level of satisfaction with recording process that I had on say Betrayal at the Knights of Columbus to take a step backwards. Oh, well.
Sometimes people complain that they cannot understand my songs as respects lyrical topic. For this album I therefore present to you this useful collection of abstracts:
Post-Glacial Identity. An iceberg with anxiety disorder risks withdrawal pangs for a chance to feel again—but is the melting glacier a metaphor for the disintegration of a relationship, or is it the other way around?
Oddity. Given the wherewithal by watching VHS archives of their favorite childhood television shows, a young couple attempt unlicensed surgery to remove a vestigial craniopagus twin from their newborn child.
New York Welcomes You. An out-of-state visitor gets a rude reminder that ignorance of the law is no defense, but a lucky blunder allows him to escape—only to find himself embroiled in a life of crime.
Theme from LOST. A flight from Australia crashes somewhere in the Pacific, and the passengers must fight to survive—but who are they fighting? (Meant to be an inappropriately sappy theme song for the television show.)
EURion. A clerical error leaves an important project sixty seconds shy of its intended length, but time stretch technology allows an impulsive recording to save the day at the last minute—literally. (True story. The epitome of filler.)
This Works on Average. A svelte woman needs a tracheotomy after shouting so many times at men who pick her up—literally.
Conditional Independence Day. A prodigious youth attempts a record-breaking marathon session of Dromedary Kong—but in his haughty carelessness is defeated on level 5.
Dioramarama. Upon closer inspection, an extra credit project proves to be a sophisticated and manifold booby-trap.
Poison Control. A cable installer unable upsell his customer to the extended package connives a complex long-term poisoning gambit—in an attempt to turn a later visit into a sexual encounter.