pyesetz: (arctic-fox)
  1. I can no longer play the piano.  I actually sat down at one, for perhaps the first time since about 1992 1994 Hanukkah 1995.  I was able to pick out bits and pieces, but couldn't remember enough notes to play anything through.  Also, I kept losing notes on the left paw but not the right, so every other measure or so I would find myself "off by one".  One fur who was present for this said that it sounded like the beginning of a horror movie.  As usual for my musical productions, no recording was made.
  2. Some birds secrete milk to feed their chicksIt's true!  That lactating pigeon is somebody's mommy.
  3. Republicans are so evil, they'll even vote against motherhood, apple pie, and puppies.  Well, against motherhood, anyway.  Apparently the GOP wanted to show its love by voting *for* Mother's Day before voting *against* it.  Up next: a law declaring Satan to be Our Lord And Savior.
  4. Not every lie told on SlashDot is refuted by another commenter, though I suppose I should have known this already.  Today, a commenter claimed that the plaintiff wins in 100% of cases decided by the BC Human Rights Tribunal.  Various respondants suggested that it was because so many of the plaintiffs are Jews.  The Tribunal says their conviction rate is 36% and only 2% of complaints involved "religion or politics".
  5. [Poll #1185879](This question can be skipped, like all questions in LJ polls, while still participating in the rest of the poll.)
pyesetz: (Default)
I was daydreaming recently about attending the FurAffinity United convention (9-12 August 2007, Central NJ).  I imagined sitting in the lobby with my laptop, whistling for several hours until something decent finally came out.  Of course, that would never happen.  ("Creating a public disturbance", yadda yadda.)

Today I was reading Stephen Dubner's blogpost about Canada, which led me to Jessica Simpson, which led to Dolly Parton and also Talk:Jessica Simpson, which led to Whistle Register (a.k.a. flageolet).  Yes, I'll do anything to avoid paying work!

Anyway, the whistle-singing I used to do in college is not like "Mariah Carey hitting a C8 note".  It was much lower-pitched and more akin to ventriloquism: forming consonants with the back of my throat while the front made whistly noises.  A few times I tried switching from whistling to singing, but found that to make the same note the usual way required a complete rearrangement of my mouth parts.  Perhaps I could achieve that with practice.  Making the same whistle-note on inhale and exhale requires a rearrangement of mouth-parts, but I got that down pat years ago.
pyesetz: (Default)
I am excessively proud of the title, “Quibbles and Bits”, for my comment on this post about Conservative Judaism's decision to allow gay rabbis.

When I read this story I thought of a certain cougar who sometimes complains about having been short-changed in the "equipment" area.

I haven't been watching Battlestar Galactica, but apparently they use the word "frack" a lot (with meaning similar to "smeg" on Red Dwarf).  Scott Adams gives us this riff:
Galactica is a military ship under continuous threat of annihilation by Cylons. If you were on that ship, you'd be cursing too. For example, you might be tempted to yell "frack!" when you discover that the hot chick who fracked your brains out is actually a frackin' Cylon who is now pregnant with your frackin' baby that is half human and half frackin' toaster.

I was reading on SlashDot (at a high comment threshold) about EMI, one of the robber-baron music conglomerates, which is thinking about selling music that doesn't automatically assume that the customer is a criminal.  Because of the high comment threshold, I didn't immediately see the post for which the reply was "Celine Dion isn't quite THAT bad".

Wired has a blogpost where they ask people to vote on which technocrat put his foot in his mouth the most this year.  It's mostly tired old Bush/Cheney crap, but then there's this one:
E-Bay Feedback: NEUTRAL: Excellent communication, but should've poked holes in box before shipping the kitten. Refunded.
pyesetz: (mr_peabody)
Below is a fisking of the song "As Lovers Go" (Chris Carrabba, Dashboard Confessional; A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar; Shrek 2).  It's the only emo song I know, so I'll assume its faults are typical of the entire genre.  Here are all the lyrics.  Don't expect any great insights from me: in high school English my worst subtopic was poetic analysis.  Apparently I just don't see anything in poems.
She said "I've gotta be 1honest, you're wasting your time if you're 2fishing round here."
Starts well.  1"Honest" is well-sung as /ʡʌ.n̩.ɪst/, clearly audible despite all the plucking, strumming, and drumming of the other instruments.  2"Fishing" introduces the central conflict: the girl has already said "No" before Carrabba even begins mouthing his pick-up lines.
And I said "you must be mistaken, cause I'm not 3fooling, this 4feeling is real."
3,4What's the word for the sound relationship between "fooling" and "feeling" here?  “Ablaut” doesn't quite fit.
She said "you've gotta be crazy, 5what do you take me for, some kind of easy 6mark?"
This is her last line in the song.  IRL she probably walks away at this point; the rest of the lyrics are Carrabba's fantasy about what he *should* have said.

5The syncopation pattern he's chosen for the song matches up well here with the natural speech-rhythm of this utterance.  Perhaps he's had this line burned into his brain by too many failed pickups, or maybe he just has a good ear.  6In "mark", Carrabba does a great job putting some vibrato(?) into his /ɹ/ without corrupting it into a Europeanish trill.  But the /ʌ/ vowel is too broad, sounding more like /ɑ/ (as in "mahrk").

Sorry about all the IPA symbols in this post.  No wait, I'm not.  It's the only hammer I have and I'm going to whack every mole I can!  Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] porsupah, for the link to this handy IPA chart with example sounds.  But I probably got some of them wrong.
7No, you've got wits, you've got looks, you've got 8passion, but I swear that you've got me all wrong.
Wits, looks, passion?  What is he searching for—a Fame castmember?

7Every lyrics site says this verse begins with "No", but I can't hear it.  8I would have expected "passion" to be strongly accented here, as the most-desired feature in the prey he's hunting, but Carrabba mutes this word and slurs it into the following conjunction.  Some phrasal-prosody thing, perhaps?

I'm sorry now that I didn't bother attending the free Music Theory classes offered at the All Newton Music School in conjunction with my piano lessons.  My teacher, Ms. Broughton, thought I should be a concert pianist, but I didn't want to work that hard—computer keyboards are *so* much easier!
All wrong.  9All wrong.  But you 10got me.
In a typical pop song with A-A-B-A structure, this would be a "bridge".  But this song's structure is more like A-B-C-D-A-B-C-D, so I don't know what to call section B.  Anyway, it's too long for my taste.  9Nice wail, interleaved with fancy drumming, but just too long.

10"Got" is a pun, compared with its meaning in the previous verse, and it ties in with the hunting-and-fishing metaphor that floats through the background of this song.
I'll be true, I'll be useful; I'll be 11cavalier.  I'll be yours my dear.  And I'll 12be-
long to you, if you'll just let me through.
Fiskars... Australian for shears )

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