Friday, December 16, 2005

To write without a computer

I've thought for years about buying a nice pen and pencil for all the scribbling I do. Lately I've been drawing a lot of graphs during meetings, so I decided it was time to procure a multicolor writing instrument, i.e. a clicky-pen. So I went out today and bought a Lamy 2000 4-color pen and the matching mechanical pencil.

I'm really impressed by the design that went into these things. The pen's color selection is gravity-based: hold the pen horizontally, and whatever color indicator is showing at the top is the one that pops out when you depress the advancement button. It's light given the four ballpoints, and it feels well-balanced. Not to mention the clip is sprung so it doesn't get all bent out of shape. The pencil is similarly well-designed, though it's obviously not as complex.

Now I'm writing Greek in style. :)

Monday, December 05, 2005

Sometimes you're just stupid

I was in my guitar lesson today, explaining to my instructor that I was still struggling with a passage from a piece I started working on quite some time ago. Well, it took him all of five minutes to figure out what I was doing wrong, and it took me less than a minute to correct the error in technique. Simultaneously gratifying and exasperating.

The passage is from Llobet's transcription of Danza Espanola No. 5 - I've mentioned the work earlier in my blog. The bars in question comprise a slow section with three voices, but the trick is that the highest voice is articulated with harmonics. Well, I was trying to use my m and a fingers to sound the harmonics and my p and i fingers to sound the base and middle voices, which is brutally difficult and completely unnecessary. Switching to i/a and p/m made all the difference in the world.

Shows I still have a thing or two to learn. :)


I've been delinquent about keeping y'all up to date, so here's a blurb on my birthday last month (11/11).

In short it was easily the best birthday ever, even beating out last year. Ten of us saw Late Night Catechism at the ACT Theatre, and then we had a party of eleven for dinner at El Gaucho's Pampas Room. The play, food, and music were all spectacular, but what really made the evening was my group of friends.

I often reflect on how fortunate I am to have the friends I have. Amber and her husband David, Max, Matt and his girlfriend Brittney, Mikhail and his girl Maiken, Ed and Karen, and Lekha were all there, as was my new friend Isaac. The woman I've been seeing and I rounded out the party. Unfortunately she had a morning appointment, so we didn't get much time alone together, but I was glad and a little flattered that she made it out.