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Some Random Things
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My brain wants to read music with its left half, but I know (says my left brain!) that I'm going to have to do it with my right brain if I am to "speak" sheet music fluently.

"Milky Pudding Tea," a flavour of bubble tea, tastes like liquid vanilla cake. It's really good, but very rich. There's only so much vanilla cream I can drink in a given span of time. I will reserve it for occasional bubble tea outings, rather than make it a standard. Next time I think I'll try it with pudding in the bottom instead of pearls. "Yes, milky pudding tea with pudding, please."

Tinwhistles are surprisingly versatile instruments. Also, my breathing is getting better with same.

At Imperial Hobbies' sale a couple of weekends ago, I picked up the World Tree RPG just because it looked like a cool setting. (For those of you who've clicked the link, yes, it's furry. I'm ignoring that and pretending it's just part of the setting, because, oy, I don't need that real-world social context to make anthropomophic animals work as an RPG setting detail. It's a shame, really... It looks like a great world and rules system. I can't imagine how many people have passed it by due to its association with furdom.)

I am getting better at the violin. I can pick out the notes to the first few bars of "Why Does The Sun Shine" as performed by TMBG. I'm concluding, though, that doing things like that by ear isn't going to get me any farther in learning to fiddle. I'm going to have to return to reading sheet music, because playing by ear does nothing for my understanding of the technical aspects of music like keys, notes, and such. It'll be no use being able to play the violin without that stuff: it'd be like knowing how to drive without understanding what traffic rules are.

Donnie Darko is no less screwed up on the second viewing than it is on the first. I had no idea that it had never been released in theatres in Canada until just recently. It was so strongly on my radar that I had just assumed that it had been a smash box-office hit. Silly me. Anyhow, still brilliant, still supremely twisted.

There are mice downtown. Specifically, there are mice living in a row of bushes near the courthouse, downtown. I noticed them because I saw what I thought to be a little, dark brown leaf blow along the sidewalk away from darthmaus and I as we walked down Burrard from the Cinémathèque, but it did a weird little scuttle at right angles to its previous trajectory, going off the sidewalk into a bush. Maus was sad for missing it until we walked two more paces and saw that there was a tiny horde of the little beasts in and around a couple of concrete benches. We sat for a few minutes and watched them re-emerge after we'd frightened them away, and they scampered and skittered about looking for crumbs. They were tiny, little over an inch long, and dark gray. I love encountering fauna in the city.

I got my student loan today. I know what I'm doing tomorrow morning.

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I know what you mean by learning by ear. When my mum wanted me to learn Stranger on the Shore on my clarinet I used to spend hours playing the record over and over and I thought I learned it reasonably well. I got to school and tried to play it to my teacher and not only was it so much difficult without the music there with you, but I actually had a lot of the original rhythms screwed up and I had to learn it from scratch with the sheet music all over again. You can never really trust yourself when you play by ear, unless you get really good at it.

For example, there's a kid at school who'll be in grade 12 this year. Even when he was in grade nine he could play these amazing piano songs as if he was a master in them. Great Balls of Fire was his particular favourite, and he could play it so well. Yet, he wasn't in the band, and he never played anything for the choir, and when I asked my band teacher about it she mentioned it was because he couldn't read sheet music at all. He had learned everything by ear.

So, while learning by ear often seems easiest and a little more satisfying (because you can actually hear yourself improving and getting closer to the song) it is significantly better to learn by sheet music. Unfortunately! Learning by sheet music can be incredibly tedious at times...

Can I be a mouse? Or a badger?!

I wouldn't pass up the World Tree game! Is it reasonable to do a one-off to try it out?

Hmm, I wonder if I ever get mistaken for a furry (you know, on account of I act like an anthropomorphic rodent about half the time). Anyway, it doesn't bother me. I'm bewildered by them and academically curious about the subculture; not offended or threatened.

The mice were nice.

Do you want to borrow my tinwhistle? I bet we could put together some tinwhistle/recorder duets! (although it would involve one of us playing in a hideous key signature ;-)

Re: Can I be a mouse? Or a badger?!

A one-off of World Tree might be in the cards. It will be a while in the making, though, as the source material is just so dense! There's a lot of meat in that book. I'm not sure whether I'd want to use The Window or the native system, though. On the one hand, roleplaying for the gaming aspect can be fun, and this one is designed with the flavour and world in mind. On the other hand, I already know The Window.

I'm mostly playing with the tinwhistle, because it was a challenge and because I could use it to practice reading sheet music. I already have your keyboard, so I'm good for sheet music. I would have to get significantly better at playing it to do a duet, in any case. ;-)

I actually don't think you'd get mistaken for a furry even by most furries, because the... I don't know, the signature isn't there. The social context of furdom is actually pretty independent of the whole funny animals thing; that's just what it correlates with.

Can I be a mouse? Or a badger?!

There aren't any mice or badger Prime species, unfortunately. The Primes appear to be bears, otters, raccoons, dogs, ant/mantis people(!), squids(!!), non-morphic panthers, and dragons. There's a lot of social stratification, too, so most "civilised" characters would be raccoons, dogs, ants, and otters. The bears are tribal, the ants pacifist workers, the squids criminal, the panthers untrusted, and the dragons nearly mythically-rare. There are morphic mice, but they're a low-intelligence pest species, like diminutive bandits.

Re: Can I be a mouse? Or a badger?!

There aren't any mice or badger Prime species, unfortunately.

And why, precisely, can't we invent one?

never been one to stick to RPG rules ;)

Re: Can I be a mouse? Or a badger?!

You'd have to read the book to see how madly interconnected and dense it is. It would be really hard to insert something as important as a new Prime species into the game without a lot of ancillary work to modify the place and mythology (and everything stems from one of those two things).

But, anyway, I was mistaken. Apparently there are physical variations of the eight Prime races. Some Gormorror (bearish) are badgerish, and some Orren (otterous) are ferretty, seallike, rattish, or mousey. So, yeah, you can be a mouse or a badger. :)

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