17 October 2007

Update (now updated)

It's been a long couple of days. Monday morning I went to get my snow tires put on, and had the unpleasant confirmation that they needed to be replaced. It wasn't really a surprise, as they were the same age as the tires that came with the car, and I had to replace THOSE last spring.

In the afternoon, I made chicken stew (YAY for shiitake mushrooms!!!) and graded stats tests. Mostly they did fairly well, and the average was high: 86%. I need to double check this, but I think the distribution was two-peaked. One peak was in the low 90's, the other in the mid-70's. I don't recall very many in the 80's. That's somewhat common on the material that's a bit more difficult. There'll be a group who really, really get it, and a group that doesn't quite. *shrugs* Then there was the concert...

Yesterday was Tuesday, and Tuesday is always busy. Today... not so busy, but I think I'm extra-tired from being extra busy the past two days. And there's another concert tonight. I did go over to College Market with people from my philosophy class again. Travis is still wrestling with the idea of detachment. To me, it's the idea that you acknowledge/accept the way things are, yet you're aware of where they're not...ideal, and you're aware of whether there's anything that can be done about this. If there's something you can do, you do it. If not, you let it go, or wait for a more opportune moment. Travis tends to take detachment as meaning something more extreme than that, but I think it's a middle path between not-caring and caring-too-much. Just like taiji is a middle path between collapsed (too relaxed), and tense (not relaxed enough). People are more likely to be too tense and too attached, and so the emphasis is on letting go, on detaching. Someone who is too detached would require an alternate path.

's all for now.
And now it's later. Good concert. It was the Symphony's Pops Concert, featuring a bluegrass group called Special Consensus. I love the bluegrass style, probably because it's so reminiscent of the older Celtic styles. My only objection to it is that it often picks overtly religious themes, but tonight was almost all secular with one, single gospel contribution. I'm sure there was a time when I could have related to it, but tonight I was mostly thinking "Road? There's a road to heaven? If you can't find the divine right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?"

Musicwise, the whole thing was awesome. Lyricwise...about half and half. Some songs were brilliant. Others left me puzzled. One song that they said was often requested at weddings had this somewhat vexing lyric:

Well, if you strike a match and set the whole world aflame
and they used up the ocean and still prayed for rain.
When they cry for the guilty, I'll take the blame,
and when no one is listening I'll whisper your name.

Ummm... maybe it's just me, but I have trouble seeing that as a good thing, especially as there's no indication that this fire was an accident. (I'd link to the site with the full lyrics, but it's got a rather annoyingly persistent ad-client that it wants you to install; I will mention that the writer is Michael Johnson, and maybe you can find a less irritating source for the rest if you're interested)

Lyrics oddities aside, I really enjoyed the Special Consensus. Their newest member, the mandolin player, was easily the best. His voice reminds me a lot of Chris Kane's*, and he is an awesome, awesome mandolin player. A mandolin, btw, looks like a quarter size guitar, so slightly smaller than a violin, and is played like a guitar. That kid has some fast fingers.

*Chris Kane played Lindsay on Angel**. He has a country group called Kane. Very edgy, enjoyable music. Nothing at all like the pop-garbage that generally goes under the name of country that would be indistinguishable from pop-rock if they lost the twangy accent. Kane plays good music.

**James Marsters, aka Spike, also has an awesome voice and a band. Unfortunately, I really REALLY don't care for punk rock.


John said...

James Marsters is in a punk band?
I did not know that.'
That explains the Billy Idol look Spike had going.

Qalmlea said...

Yup. I had to hunt for it, but it's called Ghost of the Robot (some mp3 samples available there). Hmmm... his web-site now has a rather bloggish news feature, which says he's got a new album due out, among other things.

Qalmlea said...

Hmmm... reading more closely, Ghost of the Robot may not be extant; the new albums only mention James and aren't up on the GotR site.

John said...

I was pretty indifferent to Lindsey in the first couple season of Angel. Once the show started developing him as more than just a corrupt lawyer, the character became a lot more interesting.


"You kill me? A flunky? I'm not just...No, Angel kills me. You...Angel... "

Best last words ever.

John said...

Even so, Spike was my favorite character in both Buffy and Angel. Except for season 4 of Buffy when he was basically comic relief.

Qalmlea said...

I liked him in Season 4 as well, and remember that he managed to, er, descend below comic relief to betray them to Adam. And another great line resulted (as best I remember):

"Why that--afer all we've done for-- No... I can't even pretend to be surprised."

I was mildly disappointed that Lindsay decided to stay evil, but we can't have EVERY handsome villain turn to the side of good. `/^