Over the years of riding the bus, I have noticed that Murphy’s Law applies very well to the pain of catching a bus. They are as follows:
- Your bus will always arrive 3 minutes before it’s supposed to. Causing you to watch as it drives away
- If you leave for your bus early, it will be late.
- If you choose to leave your bus stop and walk to your destination along the bus route, you will see your bus as you are between two stops and can run to the closest one.
- If you leave to catch an earlier bus because the bus you usually catch is always full, the previous bus will be late and will negate catching an earlier bus.
- If you leave to catch an earlier bus because the bus you catch is usually late, the previous bus will have arrived early and you will end up waiting an extra long time for the same bus you normally catch.
- As soon as you sit down in a handicap seat, someone will need it within the next 2 stops.
Please feel to add more in the comments.
Music Track Day was yesterday. It was one of the most ambitious things I have ever done. It was also one of the most successful things I’ve ever done.
The concept is crazy and I am still in awe about how we pulled it off. Inspired by “Hack Days”, which is where people get together and spend the entire day hacking a project and then they show it off at the end. You’re in a room with lots of people and you spend the entire day – usually 10am – 10pm just having fun and interacting. Our Computer Music Course Union (http://uvicmucs.wordpress.com/) had done a “Music Hack Day” at the beginning of the previous semester, and I had wanted to do something similar with recording.
I wanted to get in as many bands as possible, spend all day recording them, and have one or two songs done to show off to everyone when we were done. The concept is the same, but we quickly learned that the logistics of a Track Day vs a Hack Day are very very different.
In the works since October of 2011, Thor and I have been planning out just about every thing we can think about. We contacted at least 10 different bands to gauge interest in our idea. I wanted to get a range of sonic groups, so we settled on Bucan Bucan, Ben Parker, the UVic Jazz Combo, and Amy Wood.
The bands had been locked down, and now the logistics of how everyone would flow came next. We were able to book three different rooms for the entire day of Saturday the 14th, so this gave us some options. We decided to do bed-tracking in our Phillip T. Young Recital Hall, doing piano, drums, guitars, and the entire jazz band there. The second room was used for overdubbing and the third for mixing. The biggest challenge was planning how each group would rotate from room to room.
We slotted 3 hour sessions in each room, and surprisingly each group was finished before their allotted time was up. By keeping the drums set up in the hall, with the mics adjustable for each group, we were able to quickly switch from group to group – this turned out to be very helpful in keeping the day flowing.
The schedule went as follows:
9 – 12 – Jazz
12 – 3 - Ben Parker
3 – 6 - Amy Wood
9 – 12 - Bucan Bucan
12 – 3 – Bucan Bucan
3 – 6 – Ben Parker
6 -9 – Amy Wood
9 – 12
12 – 3 – Jazz
3 – 6 – Bucan Bucan
6 -9 – Ben Parker
9 – 12 - Amy Wood
The bands and the plan was in place. We had 4 lead engineers, 12 people who were interested in being involved. Each lead engineer was assigned 2-3 assistants to help with their session. Once the sessions got going, people were able to flow and see what was going on in the other sessions happening simultaneously. I was there at 7:45 to set up our 100 foot snake from our mixing studio to B037 where we did overdubs. Unfortunately the session I was running wasn’t until 3pm, so I was a little tired when that came around.
Bucan Bucan did a rambunctious track with loud horns and shout choruses, whilst the Jazz Band laid down some great tunes. Ben Parker brought in soulful blues song and Amy Wood played a lovely ballad for us. So much great music and great musicians in one place.
I got to work closely with the fantastic Amy Wood as she recorded a beautiful piece. I’ve listened to Amy’s music before and will hopefully be providing a review of her CD “Cinnamon Heart” (which you can get for free – here) shortly!
I can not imagine how an event like this could have gone better, all the people I worked with made things so easy. The bands were great, and were incredibly patient with us as we moved mics and tried out new things. The biggest problem we had was that the coffee I had brought wasn’t ground fine enough, and we had the wrong filters. Other than that, the entire day was great. Our mixing engineer spent 6 straight hours mixing 2 different bands and did a great job with all of that.
For a crazy and outlandish idea, I was so amazed at how well it went over. I will add some of the mixes of the bands as they get posted.
Thanks to everyone who was involved, the bands, the techs, the assistants, Kirk McNally, Shawn Trail and a host of others who had their hands in on this. You can see all the tweets from the day with #MusicTrackDay
To me at least. Mostly because I’ve taken a class on this and actually understand what a merge sort is. Sigh.
I saw this photo on the tumblr of a friend of mine a few weeks ago, and I’m just getting around to writing about it. It’s part of a bigger series of weird interesting facts about the body, but this one stuck me as the most prominent. (The rest are here if you’re curious - http://www.icanhasinternets.com/2011/10/mind-blown/) And I feel like this is not only true physically, in terms of all our cells and stuff, but also in terms of who we are as a person and emotionally. We all know we go through different stages in our lives and they happen at different times for different people. But would it be too far of a leap to assume that maybe these changes occur every seven years when all our cells from our “previous self” have finally disappeared?
Seven years ago, I was 14. I was in the 9th grade and was in the middle of maybe my second style cycle. I had ridiculously long hair, thought I was hot shit because I wore pink, played drums in a shitty junior high band and listened to Sum 41 and Blink 182 all day. I had had some random “girlfriends” but not a first kiss, and had played hockey almost all my life. I had dropped out of band class because I had hated it the year before. And I think this was about the time I got my first Facebook page. It was a few years later that my brother graduated and went to Australia, and my parents went to meet him shortly after, leaving me alone on my first week of high school. Getting to band practices in October in Calgary by bus at 6am was not fun.
If you know me know, I’m sure you’ll hardly believe that that’s what I used to look like. (Aside: Part of me wants to retake this picture when we get back together at Christmas time. Kind of like these ones – http://irinawerning.com/back-to-the-fut/back-to-the-future/)
Somewhere in my grade 12 year I went through another shift. I think it a big part of it was during my trip with the high school band. It was during this trip that I discovered the rewards and the hardships of the career path I was slowly beginning down. I got thrown into a huge leadership role and kind of reveled in it. In grade 12 I was also playing and coaching hockey, had a few more girlfriends, had a first kiss, made a Grad Film, played a solo for our entire graduation class + families, and got accepted to my first university of choice. My musical tastes branched out more, I now liked screamo and emo and acoustic and punk and rock. I had almost mostly given up the drums and picked up the guitar and a mixing board. I even made a CD (Granted it’s terrible and I never want to have to hear it again – but those of you with a copy! Hold onto that sucker, you can sell it for millions later). I fought with my parents a lot – mostly about my current (and as I found out later, crazy) girlfriend.
I also cut my hair short for the first time in a while. You can always tell when a guy is ready to move onto the next stage of his life when he cuts his hair short and gets rid of the mop top shaggy teen look. Some guys keep it going out of high school, but it usually gets cut eventually. So far, the 7 year trend isn’t coming true, it seems to be closer to 3 or 4 years for me at least.
And this is where I’ve kinda plateaued. I haven’t changed much since then. Still super tall and skinny, 6’5″ 150lb, a broomstick some have said. One or two more girlfriends, maybe a bit more experienced. My style hasn’t changed all that much, I’ve grown into my “professional hipster” mentality and have learnt to rock it. University kicked my ass in my first two years, calculus almost killed me. I met one of my best friends and girlfriend here and learned a lot from her. I’ve had the same recording job now for 3 and a half years. I’ve become “that recording guy” in the school of music. Music has become one of the biggest factors in my life. Not only is it becoming my job, but I am always discovering more things about it and more styles that I am enjoying. I breached the 10 000 song mark this summer. I don’t fight with my parents anymore, or my brother – I think the distance was good for us. And I’m almost done my degree. Hopefully two more semesters and that’ll be it.
So now, it’s been 4 years since that last “style shift” in grade 12. Hold on.
It’s been 4 years since high school.
That’s kind of gross. Most of my friends now are people I met when I was in high school. I still talk to all those people. I always wanted to be that guy who made all these great friends in University and went to all these parties. I always told myself I wasn’t going to be like my dad and never go out (at least he tells us he never went out – except for the one time he threw up over a bridge into a river – he does like to tell us that story). But I didn’t go out. Well, I didn’t go out A LOT. I mostly stayed in, I was content staying in. Partying was never my thing. I have met some great friends here though. I’ve got some Bro’s who I hope I’ll keep in contact later. And really, that’s what I’m thinking about now. What’s later? What’s next?
I’m almost done my degree.
What am I gonna do after? I’m feeling like that’ll induce another “style shift.”
Where am I going to be in four years? Who am I going to be in four years? Who are you going to be in four years?
(Also – a little more Nicole Byblow for your listening pleasure)
I love these 3D chalk drawings. This is also a super sweet idea, taking the Terracotta Army and turning them into Lego people. Neato.
Mind = blown.
I guess it’s that time again that I write something here. Because apparently I have a few more people now who actually read this blog. And believe it’s a “music” blog. It’s mostly just a collection of me and what I find interesting, which just so happens to be mostly music.
To quickly catch up. I quit my job at the Gap, today was my last day. After school started up I was not enjoying that job in the least. It became the part of my week that I least looked forward to and that I couldn’t stand while I was there. Most of the people I enjoyed working with there either quit or dropped their availability such that we never worked together. To me, that job was always bearable at best, but it was when you worked with good people that made it enjoyable. And the exact opposite happened when you worked with bad people. I think that I only liked a handful of those who worked there. And I despised most of the rest. For example today – one of the people I dislike, spent a good 45 minutes, wiping down a stand of clothes with a paper towel. Why? I have no idea. It seemed like such an illogical waste of time when he could be doing something that was actually worthwhile. This is the same guy who has been working there for at least 2 years, and still will not put away processed women’s clothes because he doesn’t know where they go.
I will stop before I start ranting about all my ex-coworkers. And will just conclude by quoting Bilbo Baggins:
“I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”
Continuing on – I am the proud owner of Victoria Royals seasons tickets! Which has been really quite awesome. I’ve only been to two games so far. But still very very awesome. Excited for the rest of the year.
Moving on, the first month of school has blown by and I’m still trying to find the time to catch up with my homework. Spending a lot of time at the Gap didn’t help as it usually wrote off Saturday’s as a day to get anything done. I have taken on a greater role as a recording tech at the School, and now I manage the other 3 techs who I work with. It’s seems like a lot more work than it actually is – as you spend generally 15 minutes out of every hour doing something work related. So it feels like it never stops. This also means I’ve spent less time doing recordings that I enjoy – which kind of sucks, but I guess it’s okay. I’ve been making more connections and contacts – especially via Twitter – and building up quite a good reputation with the professors.
As of this weekend, I am fighting off a cold. Doing my best to stay healthy as the year goes on. I find I’m eating a lot at school and never have the energy to make a meal when I get home. I’m trying though! Shots of cold medicine have been my friend this week.
Also – Girlfriend has left me for Arizona. She went there to talk at the RMMLA conference on something or other. So I am home alone for the week with no one to love me. I miss being with her and coming home to her here. And it means I won’t have anyone to share Thanksgiving with. I’m all alone.
And the day she left, I was on the radio! Wowie. The station here does an hour long segment called My Turn. People get to come in and play whatever music it is that they want and talk about whatever. It went really well and I made a few contacts in the business. I think I could see myself hosting a radio show. I’m not sure if it’s the end all be all of what I want to do, but I could see myself enjoying that for a few years. Below is all the bantering bits from my hour on air.
I guess that’s all that needs to be said in this catching up bit. Maybe I’ll leave it at that and write another post tomorrow…
In 1970, a game theory expert named Dr. Myron L. Fox gave a lecture to the University of Southern California School of Medicine’s psychiatry department, and it was quite well received.
The catch is that “Dr. Fox” was no game theory expert. He was an actor named Michael Fox, who was coached by researchers to make sure that he didn’t say anything relevant or understandable during the entire lecture. The experts in the audience didn’t notice.
The experiment established the “Dr. Fox Effect,” where a brilliant delivery technique distracts listeners from the fact that a talk is complete nonsense.
I don’t think I will ever be able to sit in any lecture and believe what my professors have to say from here on out. How am I to know that the people teaching me – are who they say they are? We take school, and life for that matter, on such a blind faith that the people around us are equally good.
To me – this also explores a problem with academia and just learning and writing. Any joe-schmo actor can come off the street and learn to read or speak in a well formed manner that makes it seem like what he is saying is actually legitimate – and I feel the same way about papers and writing.
Anyone can use enough buzz words and double talk and circular speaking to say a whole lot without saying anything at all.
So it seems like it’s been forever since I’ve actually written a decent post on here. I feel like now is as good of a time as ever. So let’s get started jah?
Getting the nitty gritty stuff out of the way first…
- I have 3 more days of classes
- I have passed enough assignments in all of my classes such that if I pass the finals I will pass the course
- I wrote a paper on the “Evolution of Greek Architecture in Relation to the Developments in Mathematics” or something like that
- I recorded/produced my first track (see Never Know [post below])
- I went to for the first Vancouver for reading break (see pictures on Flickr [on right])
- Worked 30+ hours in the last month doing recordings
- Learnt to play most of Chopin‘s Prelude in E Minor (see Ben Zander video [below]
- Got knocked out in the first round of the floor hockey playoffs. Scored one goal all season.
Anyways, that’s really all I can think of for the moment. The biggest one on that list is probably the trip to Vancouver. Girlfriend and I went for reading break, which was in the beginning of November (10th – 14th). We stayed in a cheap little hotel which was actually really nice. The trip wasn’t the greatest, and didn’t really compare to when we had gone to Seattle a year previous. I was sick going over there, and had to truck around a fistful of kleenexes everywhere we went. In the two days we had there, we walked close to 15+km around the city, from Gastown to Yaletown to Granville Island to etc etc etc. We got to see Robson street and the malls and such, which was nice. It would have been a lot better if we had an entire week to spend there and take everything at a more leisurely pace. There’s much more of that city I would like to see.
Girlfriend really wanted to go see Bodyworlds which was on at the Science World, so we did that on the night of the 11th, and to be honest it wasn’t that great. I’d seen it before in Edmonton a few years back, and this one was pretty lackluster by comparison. The exhibit was smaller and had less interesting pieces and it was pretty enclosed versus the large open space in Edmonton. So that was a downer but we carried on. Girlfriend wanted to go to the art gallery too, but we just didn’t have the time or the energy. Maybe another day. We were in bed by 10pm each day and up by 8. We definitely don’t know how to vacation.
Oh! I forgot something very important that I did in the last week! I met Alexisonfire! As you may or may not know, they are one of my favourite bands of all time and a group that I really enjoy in all aspects of manner
and music. So it was pretty cool to meet them finally. If you don’t know their names tough, because I’m going to refer to them as such. This is only my personal opinion and experience so it may not be a true representation of character, but Dallas and Wade didn’t give the best impression to me. Dallas was very “Hi, Autograph? Photo? Next?” or at least that’s how it was to me. There were quite a few other people there and that was a disappointment but to be fair I wasn’t the most outgoing individual there. I had a nice chat with Steele and he seemed genuinely interested in what I had to say. Same with George and Ratbeard, and I enjoyed my conversation with them. So it was kind of a interesting experience. It was kind of like “Okay-go-ahead-make-awkward-conversation-with-people-you-really-admire-who-don’t-care-who-you-are-for-a-half-hour.” But it was cool to do. I don’t think I’d do it again, especially for that price tag ($100).
All that being said, the show was pretty ridiculous. With people climbing up on stage and crowd surfing, combined with the terrible sound and the show having to be done by 9:30 (to accommodate all the clubbers on a Friday night) I think it was a mediocre experience. It had it’s highlights and it’s lowlights, but that’s to be expected.
I’m not sure what else to write tonight…exams are coming up, and I will be done by the 18th. So hopefully I’ll write some more posts coming into the holiday season. (I actually was going to type Christmas there, but then changed it to holiday. Isn’t that so politically correct of me?)
And for something completely different! A Hipster Hitler comic!
- Alexisonfire wants to cool down a bit (theglobeandmail.com)
- Music Review: Putting Some Muscle in Chopin Along With the Poetry (nytimes.com)
- Sunday Stories…Last Minute Homework and an Evening with Chopin! (crazygoangirl.wordpress.com)
So for the past few weeks I’ve been working on producing this song for one of my recording classes. This is probably the first output that I can post that I feel confident in. There may be some balance issue to be sorted out shortly. I just wanted to give you guys a rough idea of what it’s sounding like!
It’s sampled from the Lights’ song “Second Go” and my singer and I rewrote the lyrics and melody/harmony. To be fair she did all of the melody writing.
So I hope you enjoy! Leave me a comment and tell me what you think!
[Update:] Just so you know, I’ve uploaded a 2nd cut which is a little better quality and actually has all the instruments! I hope you enjoy! Again, leave your comments and thoughts if you choose.
For the full gallery click on the link above.
Just a little info about these pictures. They come from a place in Toronto called Brick Works, which used to be an old brick factory in the industrial district of Toronto. Now it’s used as an urban art area for young talented graffiti artists. Although illegal, the preserves of Brick Works defend the site.
And defend it they must, from the mayoral candidate Rob Ford, who wants to clean up the place if he comes into office.
Personally, I love this idea. I am a huge fan of graffiti as an art form, and I believe that his is the perfect place for such an art to blossom and expand. I feel that there needs to be a certain designated spot in a city that is maintained by someone, where graffiti artists can come and show off their work. If BrickWorks stays and is maintained, and by that I mean that someone paints over it every month or so, then the artists won’t have to deface other public spaces. They’ll be able to work in their own creative thinktank.
We have a wall like this in Victoria that gets re-done every so often. It’s super cool to see the effort those guys put into creating such large scale quality art.
In other news, my trial with my crazy landlady was last Tuesday. It did not go in my favour. Unfortunately the BC Residential Tenancy people don’t have any jurisdiction over landlords if you share a bathroom and kitchen with them. A fact I knew going into the trial, but I was told that I should proceed with my claim anyways. She ended up telling me how mad she was that I was wasting her time, and how I was harassing her and such. Now I need to remind you that I hadn’t emailed her, talked to her or seen her since I had moved out. The only things I had done was send her the original complaint, and the subsequent evidence. I didn’t really expect to win going in, but it feels good to know that I pissed her off that much more, it was definitely the right thing to do, and I’m glad it’s over and done with.
School has been busy as expect this year. 5 classes and two jobs has started taking it’s toll on me. Luckily I have tomorrow off and I don’t work at all next week. Which is will be super nice to just relax and do homework. And boy do I have a lot of it. Two programs I have to code within the next three days. It’s super frustrating too, I get one program working kind of the way it’s suppose to, and then I find out that it doesn’t do everything it’s suppose to. I feel like I should get a better grade than I am going to given all the work I’ve done and the understanding of the assignment that I have.
It’s also a shitty idea for profs to have assignments and stuff do A) on Thanksgiving Day and B) after a long weekend. They’re not there to answer your questions, so you’re basically fucked if anything comes up on the weekend and you need help. Which is the boat I’m in.
For one of my last CSc assignments, I needed help with a program, and I had started with the right idea, but I was executing wrong, so I asked my prof for help, and this is what she said:
"No offense- but your code is so far off something correct that I don't think you have a clue what you are doing Did you try reading/understanding my code before you started? Was that covered in your lab section? Were you in class when I explained what you are supposed to do? Did you study linked lists and write code for them before? Have you read the section on linked lists in the text? All these things may be helpful to you.I annotated some comments into your code but because you need so much help, it might be better if you printed this version and brought it with you to my office. We could step through what your code is doing (which makes no sense at all) and go through what it is supposed to be doing"
So yeah, needless to say, I was not feeling too good about that assignment with all her great advice and assistance. It’s her tone, the snarky smart ass comments, and the little comments she makes about how little sense my work makes. I haven’t been at all impressed with anything that’s happened in that class so far and I can’t stand her as a professor. It’s just more proof to me that anyone who is a computer scientist should never teach.
Playing ball hockey on Wednesday’s, doing some recording. Got a sweet project for my recording class coming up, I have to re-record a vocal track to Lights’ Second Go. With annotated lyrics. It should be good! That happens on Friday, I’ll probably post samples as the project comes along.
Anywho, I think I’m gonna sign off for now. Bedtime.
- Getting graffiti: Toronto’s Brick Works shows off what Rob Ford would clean up (theglobeandmail.com)
- Evergreen Brick Works set to become cultural beacon in Toronto (theglobeandmail.com)
So school is in full swing again, and unfortunately this blog has taken a toll because of it. I have a few extra minutes tonight, so I feel like writing something. I’ve got a whole bunch of other random stuff and thoughts I’m gonna write down sometime, it’s just a matter of laziness.
The start of my third year has kind of come in as a whimper versus a bang. My schedule is very forgiving this semester, I only really have class on Monday and Thursday. Tuesdays has one class @ 7pm, and Fridays are off. So it’s pretty good. Again due to the program, I’m taking a mismash of courses, including the Art and Architecture of Ancient Greece. So hopefully things will be good as the year progresses.
Luckily, Girlfriend and I have still managed to maintain seeing each other fairly often. You’d think more often than we do, given we live in the same house. I am surprised how well the living situation is going. Being roommates is great, we usually have breakfast together and then do something in the night together, so it’s nice. The owners of the house are great and the cat loves me. Which is nice. Unfortunately my parents are under the assumption that Girlfriend and I share everything (food wise) and thus they have stopped pitching in for my food bill. I suppose this is fair, but hopefully when they come at the end of September, they will see how little we actually share, and have a change of heart. (Doubtful – but here’s to wishful thinking)
In other news, I’m spending too much money lately! I’m in the process of purchasing an Mbox Pro2 (pictured below) for $500. Which is a steal of a deal considering you generally pay $1200+ for it. It’s great because I can use it to record, I can plug in my other box into it, and I get access to the most used software in the business.
You see! Digidesign, the company who makes the Mbox, has also produced a program called ProTools which has become the industry standard. Well, Digi has also made it so that you can’t use ProTools unless you’re hooked up to an Mbox. So this is not cool. Thus I am buying one.
Secondly, I just bought VIP tickets to the Alexisonfire show that will be happening here in November. This means I get: a ticket &
- meet & greet
- tour poster
- exclusive laminate
- 7″ (DEMOS from OC/YC….super limited)
- early entry into venue
Most importantly on this list is the meet & greet. Alexisonfire has grown to be one of my favourite bands, and having the opportunity to talk to them is going to be awesome. I’m already thinking up questions to ask and all this other loser stuff. Victoria is the first stop on the tour, so I’m gonna be one of the first people they meet! Aweeeesum.
In other nerdy music news involving me, there’s a guy coming to our school to talk to us about working in a well known studio. This guy has worked with K-Os, R.E.M., The Tragically Hip and Rise Against to name a few. These are a lot of big names, and a lot of bands that I listen to. I’m super pumped to talk to him and see what he says about the industry. So I’ve got another list of questions going for him too.
That kinda runs injunction with some other news of mine. I’ve taken over the Facebook group for my program, so I’m being a big n00b and posting all the time in the group to keep it relevant.
Umm…other than that, I’m not really sure what else is going on with me. Trying my best to stay active. Girlfriend and I have started playing tennis, and I’ve joined a ball hockey team as well. So I’ve got lots on the go.
Oh! I suppose I can talk about what happened in the last bit of the summer. I’ve been working at the Gap most of the time, and still am continuing into the fall (5 classes, and 2 jobs – great). The Gap is great, and I love working there, right now it’s mostly weekends and Friday’s so the hours aren’t fantastic.
Also – this summer was probably the first summer where I actually read more than 2 books that weren’t comics. I read:
- The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
- The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
- The Producer as the Composer by Virgil Moorefield
- Think of a Number by John Verdon
All of them were really good, but I have to pick two out of the mix. Think of a Number was fantastic, probably the best book I’ve read in a long time. It’s a great serial killer/mystery/crime/psychological/fuck-with-your-brain type of book. Which I really enjoy. So I’d definitely recommend that one.
The second, The Producer as the Composer, I would recommend for anyone with any interest in music. It talks about the producers role in making music all the way from Motown to DJ’s of today. It was the first book that got me to listen to an entire Beatles album (Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band) and it made the music actually interesting to me. I went out and bought Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys, just so I could hear for myself what Brian Wilson did in terms of mixing and arrangements. So for me this book had a significant impact on my musical life and how I want to pursue my career.
I think that’s enough for tonight. Ima go to bed now. More specifically…girlfriend’s bed!
If there’s any books you think I should be reading, please let me know!
Oh, Canada. Study finds kids don’t know the words to the national anthem | Macleans.ca – Canada – wire – Features
Well this is gross. I wonder if I know the person/prof who did this study!
Oh, Canada. Study finds kids don’t know the words to the national anthem
May 12, 2010 – 15:56
The Canadian Press
VICTORIA – A new study says more than half of Canadian high school choir students are out of tune when it comes to the national anthem.
The University of Victoria study found that less half of the students surveyed knew the melody for “O Canada,” and only 67 per cent knew the lyrics.
Music education professor Mary Kennedy says many students mangle the words, changing “thee” to “the,” swapping “thy” for “our,” and in some cases even paying homage to “our home and nature land” instead of “native land.”
Newfoundland high school choir students were the stars of the national study, while Quebec students hit a real sour note.
Kennedy says the study was undertaken prior to the Winter Olympics, where Canadian fans became known the world over for their spontaneous renditions of “O Canada,” but she notes nobody was checking for lyrical correctness or proper pitch.
The music professor says she would like schools to take more care in teaching students the national anthem.
So I guess it’s been a long time since I’ve actually written anything about my life on here. A lot has gone on since I last posted.
I ended up having my best semester in school, with 2 A-’s, a B+, a C+ (which is being appealed), and a C. Hurray for me.
I moved out of my place in residence at school. I have definitely accumulated way too much stuff over my two years living there. I had two medium sized tupperware containers and one large (maybe 6 foot x 2 foot x 2 foot) tupperware container – just filled with books and stuff and crap and all this stupid random stuff. I had 2 x 3 ft ziploc bags full of clothes, 1 5 ft ziploc bag full of clothes. Then one re-usuable bag for my picture frames, two gym bags, one box for my keyboard. And that’s just stuff I left there. I brought home another box and another tupperwear, my guitar and two suitcases of clothes. And then some shoes and other crap.
So I was fortunate enough that my two roommates had gotten a storage locker and had enough room for my stuff too. On my last day I got my stuff into the locker and headed downtown with girlfriend for dinner at our favourite little Chinese place. Which was nice. I really miss her lots. She won’t be coming home at all this summer. She’s finishing up her degree and staying behind without me. Makes me sad.
I flew out here last Wednesday and got home late-ish. And every time I come home from the airport I hope and dream that my mom will let me sit in the front seat on the car ride home. And every time, without fail, my hopes and dreams are shattered. So I finally got home and relaxed.
And that’s what I’ve been doing basically for the past week. Nothing. I went to see the KGB on Thursday. They were pretty good, luckily we came early enough that we didn’t have to pay the $15 cover. I was impressed that they’re playing so many shows and have a bit of a fan base going. It was really awkward, I saw my old band teacher at the show that night. He came and sat with us and talked for their entire set. Unfortunately he conned us into buy tickets to his jazz show on the weekend. We got suckered and bought tickets. (http://www.myspace.com/kronicgrooveband)
This show was at the Beat Niq and featured a bunch of people I had never heard of. It was okay – probably not worth the money we paid but whatever. It was what I like to call free jazz – which follows a very loose form of chorus – solo – solo – solo – chorus. Where each player (there was 3 and a drummer) would take solos. This is fine and all, but the choruses sound so off and random. The band doesn’t really sound like a band. Each player does their own thing and the sound is very incoherent. I’m not sure if this is the sonic goal of this style, but it’s definitely not something for everyone.
So basically the only point for me coming home was to work all summer and make lots of money. So far that’s a flop. My brother has deemed me a ‘jobless shithead’. But that’s okay. Maybe I’ll just free-load of my parents all summer. Sounds like a good plan to me. I had an interview today with the City, as an event crew member. I’m probably going to get this job, but it’s only on call, so that probably won’t yield very many hours. I was going to have an interview at the Gap – but the guy hasn’t returned 3 of my calls. I also had an interview @ CJSW – the local university radio station. Doing a job that I would really love. Unfortunately I got a phone call from them this afternoon saying that although I had a great interview and a great portfolio – there was just someone out there that’s better than me. The shitty thing for me is that my resume is so specific that it doesn’t apply to anything else. I really have no skills in the service industry. Or any other industry other than my own. Sigh.
Umm. I hate being home. I hate living with my parents. They drive me insane daily. Every time I sit down for dinner, I feel like it’s the “15-minutes-of-interrogation” where they try and ask me as many questions as possible in a little time span. Since my brother took our other car to Edmonton with him for the summer, our 3-piece family is left with one vehicle. My dad takes the bus to work (how green of him) and that means my mom and I have to share our other car. This is a pain in the ass. Being at home is a pain in the ass. I spend most of my time in my studio – where I lose most sense of time with no windows.
Most of my friends here have been either too busy or just don’t care. When talking to them about coming back they all seemed excited about seeing me and wanting to hang out. So far I’ve seen four people since I’ve come back. I don’t expect that number to get much higher in the coming months. I’m starting to learn that people are generally really excited about the idea of seeing you when you come home from university – but in practice it doesn’t really happen.
I’ve been having a terrible time being away from Girlfriend. It’s terrible trying to do a long distance relationship again. We said we were going to break up for the summer – but it’s just stupid and too hard for both of us to not want to be together. I hate being away from home, from her, and Geoffery. We’ve been watching lots of new Robert De Niro movies, Raging Bull, and Taxi Driver. Both weird fucked up movies. De Niro was good though. I’ve been watching the second season of Parks and Recreation – it’s pretty good. Definitely better than the first, but not as good as the Office. Hopefully it keeps going. Next is Breaking Bad.
Sigh. Here’s a few pictures of my new set-up at home.
So basically I hate being home and I hate living here! How are you doing? Probably better than me. Can’t wait for this summer to be over.
So I am busy doing some ‘studying’ for my listening to music class. Which is really just sitting here and being on the internet while I listen to some odd, and modern, and terrible music. All in preparation for my first of two finals on Monday. Not that both finals are on Monday, I just have two, and one of them is on Monday. The other is on Saturday. It’s in computer science. In case you cared.
Life for me has been rather peachy lately. I’ve done the more ‘partying’ in the last two days than probably all year. On Thursday after work, I came home and had some wine and drinks with my roommates. And yesterday I went to a friend of mine who I used to live in residence with and played poker. It was a $5 buy-in, and I thought I had a pretty good chance going in. I ended up placing third and a hand that I played right. I just got beat by a pocket pair. Unfortunately. Other than that, the night was good. We had to cab home because the stupid buses don’t run past 11:30 here. (That’s a little bit of an hyperbole, it’s more like 11:35.) We cabbed downtown and tried to catch a bus, to no avail, then we managed to meet up with some guys my friend knew, so we shared a cab with them, all the while talking very loudly with the cabbie about hockey and politics.
Thursday was a crazy adventure of it’s own. I had to go downtown to work. This involves me bringing: a recording box, 100 ft cables (x 2), two microphones, two microphone clips, a microphone bar, and a microphone stand. Well first, I take a bus down there, lugging all this equipment, then I get to the church, to discover that I can’t get in for another half hour. So with nowhere to go, and a big tub full of recording equipment, I head to the place where all the crazy’s go. McDonald’s. I essentially sat there for 20 minutes just watching all these 16 year olds come in with their 25 year old boyfriends and socialize. It’s so odd. Once I did get in, I start setting up, and realize that I don’t have a microphone clip. Just one, for two mics. Great. I made a few calls, with no success, so I decided to wait that one out and focus on my other stuff. Well that didn’t go so well either. The recording box I was using decided to not work for me. At this point the choir started showing up…
Now side-note: Everybody I have ever met has known That Guy. He’s the one in the class who seems to know everything about everything and feels the compelling need to tell everyone else what he knows. Well in my case, there were TWO That Guy’s in this choir. Both of them are in my recording techniques class and definitely wanted to help me out with the problem. Now, to make this simple, the recording box has one cable that goes from the box to the computer. So you can’t really screw that up. But nonetheless these guys were crouching down, trying to figure out what’s wrong with the cable, jiggling it, plugging it in and out. Even though it really wasn’t their job and they just wanted to be the hero. So ONE guy, who just so happens to work at a music store, get’s on the phone with his boss or someone, and starts asking what the problem is. By this time we’ve acquired a small congregation of onlookers trying to see why the recording guy is fucking up.
So when another member of the choir arrives, who is another recording tech, I ask him for his advice, and he said we should go get a new cable. But since he needed to be there with the choir, he gave me his car keys to drive back to the school. Which was quite a shock for me, no one has just given up their car to me for something like this. I thought maybe he’d drive me or something. But that was fine. It was the first time I’d driven a car in almost 4 months, but it’s just like riding a bike. Or so I’ve been told. (Thanks Dad)
Eventually I get back to the church with what I needed. And when I did get back, the other recording tech guy came in with a brand new box. Apparently he had gone to Long & McQuade and picked up a whole new rig. Anyways, the stuff eventually worked and the show went fine.
Goodness that was a long convoluted story.
Umm…Trying to remember what else is happening around here. Girlfriend and I are back together. We’re working things out, and going to try long distance over the summer. And see how that works out and then make a call then. (I think? Right Girlfriend?) She always searches my posts for mention of her name. So here it is! LOOK HERE GIRLFRIEND. Hi .
So, my second year is done. And after all these thoughts of switching schools and dropping out, I think I’m deciding to stay here. It just means less courses each semester. I feel like I’ve been doing better in most of my courses this year. We’ll see after I get the marks back. I’ve definitely become accustomed to getting B’s and C’s now. It’s not great, but I feel I’m learning it and still enjoying myself without pushing it to the breaking point.
The whole housing/living situation is getting pretty interesting here. My one, more well-off, roommate’s parents were here over easter. And it’s look like they’re going to buy us a house to live in next year. This is a crazy idea to say the least – in my opinion. I am perfectly fine living wherever and I feel like a house would be a little over the top. I have made this clear to these guys and I’m considering other options for living. Girlfriend and I still want to live together, and hopefully that can happen if I make lots of money this summer.
Well I guess I should get back to ‘studying’. I leave you with one of the pieces of contemporary music that I really like.
Firstly, I need to make a rant about jelly bellys. The jelly bean that comes in god knows how many flavours (apparently it’s 50). And when you get a big bag of them, as my roommate did, and you take a handful, you have NO FUCKING IDEA what flavours you have. They’re all basically the same colours. So you have to sit there and look at the bag to try and determine if the ones you got are actually going to taste good. You might get a white one and be like “Oh Score! Cream Soda” and then you eat it, and nope! You were wrong, it’s coconut. Disgusting. They need to just settle on like 10 flavours. Or make specific packs with fruit jelly beans, or what have you. Grr.
Secondly, I went to see Shutter Island today with friendgirl. It was actually a really good movie! I was kinda excited to see it, and it wasn’t at all what I expected, but very good none the less. Again I’m realizing that I can’t watch movies for the story anymore. I’m ooing-and-awing about how good the shots are and how well the music fits and wondering how much Martin Scorsese uses a green screen. I’d recommend it.
Classes are starting to wind down here. It’s hard to find motivation to do anything in these last few weeks. Mostly played video games the last few days. I’ve got a few more assignments to finish up and I really don’t want to do them. It’s so hard especially with this long weekend coming up. Thursday is April Fool’s Day! I’ve got a pretty good prank planned, but I don’t want to disclose any information regarding it in case the victim reads my blog. The roommates have been talking about plans for next year and moving in together again. This is all fine and dandy, but part of me doesn’t want to live with them again. A big part of me wants to live with friendgirl, but as it looks now that isn’t happening. I enjoy living with these guys, but I like meeting new people and making new circles of friends. But I’m not sure what to do. Everyone in the house is a little weary about living with our one roommate who isn’t really cutting his slack. We hardly see him, and what time he is home he spends in his room, or with his girlfriend. Which means he never does any chores unless asked, never hangs out with us. It’s stupid to think that we’d want to live with him again. And now I’ve heard that he wants to bring a friend to live with us next year, making it 5 in a house. Which I could totally see, seeing as he relates to no one here. But it would just be easier if he lived with other friend alone. I dunno. Just a ramble.
Here’s a song that I like right now!
I may post some more later depending how the tides turn,
I am finally coming off of one of the most hectic weeks of my year. Last week almost killed me. Starting on the Friday previous, making that the 12th. I worked that night, the next night, and the night after that. On that Wednesday my parents arrived in time for my jazz band concert on Saturday. That Thursday night I had a rehearsal for said jazz band, and then a midterm the day after in my recording class. Then Saturday was the concert and dress rehearsal, so that day was basically a write off. And then to top it all off, on Sunday I had to finish a 1300+ line assignment for my computer science class. Throw in seeing your parents everyday and them harping on you about just about everything. It did not make for a good week.
My parents being here caused me a lot of stress. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned, but Girlfriend and I are, or were, hoping to move in together in September. As of now it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. My parents flat out told me that if her and I wanted to live together then I would have to pay for all on my own. My parents very generously cover a large amount of my expenses while I am in school. And depending on whether or not I find a job this summer, I could have little to no funds of my own. This has caused a point of conflict for me and girlfriend, and for my parents and I. Girlfriend is questioning whether or not she wants to maintain this relationship, when in the long run it is probable that it will not last due to our individual goals. My parents like to think that they’re letting me make my own decisions in what I do, when really I feel as though they are adding a significant amount of influence by saying that they won’t pay. It’s ridiculous and stupid and grr.
In other news…well I don’t really have other news. It’s looking like I’m moving back to Calgary this summer. I really don’t have many other options, nobody here has looked promising with jobs. And I’ve been applying much earlier than I did last year. The thought of taking more courses has crossed my mind. But I think I would go insane going almost 3 years straight without a break. Maybe I’ll apply to Banff again. They rejected me this time, but that could be because the competition was so great and my recordings weren’t that good.
Speaking of recordings, I get to do something pretty cool tomorrow. My recording class wants to do a session on recording drums, so I get to play for them! It’ll be fun being on the other side of things for a change. Hopefully I’ll be able to listen to something to drum along to…I feel that it’s really hard to play drums to nothing. Oh well, we shall see tomorrow. Maybe I’ll get a recording of it and I can post it for everyone to hear!
Oh drums! Jazz band. Sucked. Go figure. I played my three songs and left. There was nothing to stay there for, our ‘leader’ was just using the forum as a promotion for her and her band. The ‘guest’ artist she invited is a blues harmonica player. Together, him and our leader have two bands together, and they will be touring to Germany in May. Definitely a big fucking joke. I was so pissed at that, and really glad I left. The school is trying to find a new jazz teacher. Thank God, and one of the candidates is Matt Brubeck (Dave Brubeck’s son) and he taught us a class on Friday which was pretty cool. See video of Dave Brubeck playing piano and you will understand how good his son is.
And with that, I think I’ll sign off.
Greetings faithful following!
If you do follow this, neat! You should leave a comment and let me know what you think or what you want more of.
So I haven’t really written anything for a few weeks, so I’m gonna sum up my life into maybe 1000 words. Umm last week I went to an Alexisonfire show! It was amazing as always. I don’t think I will ever be able to find another band who has the same energy as them on stage. So that was great, I got another t-shirt from them. I feel like I have some obligation to buy a shirt from a show. To say that I saw this band when they came and I support them. Dunno, that’s just me. Girlfriend was commenting on how she’s never been to a show before. And I couldn’t believe that. She was like “What do you do?” And I kinda felt stupid saying things like “sing along with the band” and “jump up and down” and “try your very best to make eye contact with them.”
It’s weird, especially with a band like Alexis, I feel that they have a certain almost ‘god-like’ attribute to them. You could say that I idolize these guys, and wish everyday that I was playing music I loved for a living. I still have secret dreams about meeting some random guys in university and making it big playing drums. Doubtful that will happen, but hey, as my dad says, “A man has to dream.”
And then I can get all philosophical about the whole mosh pit thing. How it’s like one whole collective that ebbs and flows as one person surges to the front and how each person has to pick up the guy beside him when he falls and you’re all trying to seek the same common goal. I don’t really know where I’m going with this, but there’s something somewhere in there…Anyways.
Speaking of playing music, I found out that I get to play 3 songs in my jazz band concert coming up. There are 12 in total. I find this is fucking ridiculous. I put in the same time and effort as the other drummer, and he gets more songs than me. There are two I feel that I should have for sure. I walked out on a rehearsal last week because the songs we were going to play in the next hour weren’t mine, so I felt it was pointless for me to stay. That rehearsal, I played for 10 minutes out of two hours. It’s completely frustrating being there and going to these things twice a week. I feel that my band director has a grudge against me because I missed two rehearsal’s in the last month. I don’t get it. I’m basically set on giving up on it soon.
School is good, been pretty busy with most of my classes. My recording class is probably my favourite as I’m actually doing something I enjoy. For the first time ever in university. I was doing a course evaluation for one of my classes yesterday, and one of the bubbles asks “Why did you take this class?” and never once have I filled out “My own interest”. Every class I’ve taken is a “Program Requirement”, and for that, my program sucks.
So this last weekend kinda sucked for me. I had all these great plans with girlfriend that didn’t happen like I wanted, so I was really sad about that. And then Sunday was just a blunder. They had to cut the power to all of campus for all of Sunday to fix something. So there was really nothing to do. One can only read so much throughout a day. It didn’t help that it was grey and rainy most of the day. Luckily I had a plan, get my haircut. Well, I spent the 45 minutes getting to the mall, and then another half hour waiting for the hairdressers to be open, because apparently I was going to be the first appointment of the day…Which was the first problem. Eventually I find out my hairdresser is late and so I rebook for later in the day. So dejected I went home, and preceeded to play guitar, and broke a string. Blah, it just sucked.
Anywho, bedtime for me.
Blahh. That is the best way to describe the entirety of today. Blah.
I officially hate reading break. It’s so terribly boring. I have absolutely nothing to do. I suppose I could be playing guitar or recording or actually doing some reading, but I just have no motivation. I am in just a very blah zone this week.
My friend told me about one of his friends who is putting on an art show featuring younger people, and he told me to look into it to display my photos. So I did and I am going to be in this show later next week. So I’m trying to prepare to get some photographs together, and I’ve decided I’m going to get 3 printed for this show, two 8 x 10′s and one 11 x 14 to kinda be the feature piece. So I put in my order to Black’s and figure they’ll be ready by the afternoon sometime. So a few hours go by and my two 8 x 10′s are ready, and I’m like okay, the 11 x 14 will take a little longer that’s understandable. So I wait and I wait, constantly checking my email to see if this 11 x 14 is done. Eventually I got sick of waiting and met up with a friend for coffee (which is probably why I am up so late yet again). And she told me she had the same problem with Black’s last Christmas, she said it took them a week to print her photo because they have to do it in Toronto or something. So I was like fuck and eventually went home, called Black’s and they told me it should be ready in about ten days, which is just fucking great, I’m not going to have it in time for the showing. So I basically wasted my entire waiting for this photo to be ready, when really it’s going to be a whole week.
Hopefully tomorrow will be better, I’m going to go pick up my 8 x 10′s and find some frames for them @ Value Village. Maybe I’ll do something productive. Unlike today.
This whole week has been full of waiting and hoping. Girlfriend has been busy just about everyday except Monday (my birthday) with her papers, and with one roommate at work, one roommate in Calgary and the last having his long-distance girlfriend here, I’m pretty lonely. So I’m waiting for either Girlfriend to be done for the day, and then I get to spend a little bit of time with her before she goes back to work or to bed. And I’ve bought those shoes and waiting for them to come, I also won a new camera lens on Ebay, so I’m waiting for that, I’m got an iPod for my birthday using Aeroplan points, and that’s going to take 4 – 6 weeks to get here, so I’ m waiting for that to arrive, my best friend sent me a birthday package yesterday, so I’m waiting for that, and my brother is suppose to be sending Girlfriend her Christmas present sometime, so I’m waiting for that too. All in all, I’m waiting for 6 things to get here. And whoever invented package tracking sucks. Because I will check the status of these things about 15+ times a day to see if they’ve moved.
I’m not sure what else there is to say…my life has been far from interesting. Oh!
So it was my birthday last week. Well technically still this week, and for that I got some nice Lego and a guitar strap from Girlfriend, and amaretto and a mini-tripod from my roommates. But the best part was what my mom gave me. Well, made me. Well…knit me. I got a dark purple sweater vest from her. Great. Just great. She had me open it while I was on the phone with her, even worse. I had to pretend like I liked it. I am never going to wear it ever, I will provide a picture for your comedic enjoyment. So that’s just perfect. Now she can knit big things, I’ll be expecting a full sweater and mitts and toques for Christmas now. Blah.
I feel like I’ve probably posted this song before, but it’s one of my favourites. And since I said it was a Matthew Good night, I figure I should post some Matthew Good.
And with that, I bid you adieu.
Just isn’t happening…
So I lay in bed with Girlfriend as she’s asleep and I’m not. This was reversed about 3 hours ago, but being the idiot I am, having a nap @ 9 pm, makes sleeping hard. I suppose I’ll write a nice blog entry.
Today, well officially today, is Valentine’s Day. So to all you lovers out there, enjoy your guarenteed sex. Girlfriend and I will be spending the day at the museum, then massages, then dinner @ the Keg. I had to book our reservation on Monday, and we get our table @ 8 pm. Which is crazy if you think about when you would have to call to get a good time. I’m not very good at Valentine’s Day. Never really have been. Especially being away from home makes me lazy. I don’t have the supplies to make a handmade card and I kind of just don’t like it. I don’t know, that’s just me. I know I should be one of those perfect boyfriends who gets a present and makes a card and blah blah blah, but for some reason I don’t like Valentine’s Day. Maybe it’s because I was born the day after and it’s just really annoying. I always feared the idea of getting a Valentine’s day card for my birthday and people being like “Happy Valentine’s Day! Oh, and yeah, we’ll just get you one card for your birthday too.” It’s stupid, but eh. For this reason, Girlfriend and I didn’t celebrate V-day last year, a mistake she’ll never let me forget; but nonetheless I’m trying to do better this year. She’ll be getting the heart shaped box of chocolates, some other chocolate, and I want to get her flowers, but it’s going to be so goddamn expensive. Why does society say that I have to buy my girlfriend flowers on this specific day?! I’d much rather buy them for her at a random time then for her to expect them. Blah, stupid holiday. I also really hope that Girlfriend doesn’t read this blog so she finds out what I got her….
Speaking of holiday’s, I am on one for the next week. School is out for reading break and thus I will get to relax and enjoy some time off. Unfortunately I will probably spend a few days strictly doing homework. Sigh this is the life of a student.
Another holiday coming tomorrow is my birthday. Those of you who read my blog via Facebook will notice a discrepency between my real birthday and my Facebook birthday. This is a stupid social experiment of mine to see how many of my friends really know my birthday and how many rely on Facebook to tell them. I’ve already had a few people send me messages expressing statements of confusion. I received a package in the mail from my parents for my birthday, and to be honest, it sucked. I got a comic book which I already have, and I think they got my brother years previous, and some chocolate. Also I told them I had got it and opened, but not opened the wrapped presents inside, and my mom told me to open a specific one. My Mom knit me a sweater vest. A purple sweater vest, that I will never wear. It’s dumbfounding how tacky it is. My Mom told me she knit it for me because she thought I liked sweater vests, I own one, which was a gift, which I got 3 years ago, which I also rarely wear. You would think she’d pick up on this. Now I feel obligated to have to wear it at least once. Or more than once since I will be asked everytime I go home, “Oh where’s your vest? Do you wear your vest?” No.
So hopefully the rest of my birthday will be better. In other news, I found my shoe! Silly roommates brought in a bar(like an actual drink bar) and placed it over my shoe a couple of weeks ago. We moved the bar last night and found my shoe under it. Yay.
Yet again, I fall back to the topic of Facebook. The social networking site has now turned into an online forum to express beliefs, rants, feelings, and blah blah blah. I feel like FB is the new place to protest and attempt to make social change. People make all these stupid groups saying they’ll donate a cent to Haiti for every person that joins, there are memorial groups for every second person who dies, there are groups for schools and for trying to change your school. But do these really do anything? In my opinion no. Nothing will change because someone made a Facebook group, no one is really going to get out there and protest. Groups are the easy lazy ass way for someone to show that they care about the world and it’s causes but they’re too lazy to get the fuck out there and do anything about it.
Anywho, I think I’m gonna try and get some sleep.