Playing with Wordle
This is a fun little site that creates word clouds based on text you give it. I gave it a link to the blog here and it turned this out 🙂
I’m sitting in the Senior High auditorium for the last time right now. Tonight is Shannon’s final orchestra concert after 7 years of musical education. I think out of all that time, I’ve missed two of her shows.
The high school orchestra has mostly consisted of about 800 violins, cellos and violas, and about 4 or 5 wind instruments. Shannon plays clarinet. Only once in the 4 years of high school have I been able to see her, because the instructor tucks the winds way at the back.
But tonight is different. Tonight she’ll be called up to sign the Big Yellow Bass as is traditional for departing seniors and receive her Letter. I think it will be lovely.
It’s about 8 minutes to showtime. The stage is empty but I can hear strains of instruments coming from the nearby bandroom. The seats are filling up and we are ready to enjoy the likes of Bartok, Mozart and Bach.
I can’t think of a better ending to my birthday 🙂
I wrote the above stuff as I sat waiting for the show to begin (I heart my iPod Touch). Below, I’ve added some audio I took as well as some pix.
The first song:
The last song:
Shannon talks about the last concert:
Suddenly noticed a large influx of James Marsters fans dropping by here after someone posted a link to my Captain John Hart music mix on Livejournal. Helloooo JM fans 🙂 I am a fan of old Spike there, and a while back I was having fun playing with Sony’s Acid Pro music mixing software. I made a bunch of mixes using some cool loops and some funky dialogue from Buffy, Angel, Torchwood, Bones and 24, which are four of my top 5 favourite shows. (The fifth being Doctor Who of course :))
Here are all the mixes if you want to check out some other ones. The Torchwood one seems to be going over well. These are really just a bit of fun. I hope you like them though. If you could ‘Right-Click and Save As’ to help me preserve bandwidth, that would be shiny 🙂
I’m not feeling it this year. The whole Christmas thing. My family is scattered, I can’t be with everyone I love, and my TV blackout for most of the year has contributed to not being subjected to a barrage of xmas ads and feel-good shows like Charlie Brown’s Christmas and Rudolph (“I want to be a Den-tist!”). This might be a good thing, but stuff like that usually gives me the end-of-the-year warm fuzzy xmas vibe, and I’m just not getting it this year.
Ah well. So in the spirit of not feeling like it’s Christmas time, Shannon and I are going to spend Xmas day watching 80s movies. A Festival of Legwarmers and Frankie Say Relax shirts, if you will 🙂
So far on tap, we’ve got:
Dudes – a cheesy fave of mine
Night of the Comet – yet another fave, featuring zombies and epic shopping.
Terminator – because 80s movies don’t get any better than this.
Breakfast Club – Shannon’s request.
And that’s all I’ve thought up. Could use some recommendations though 🙂 We’re just watching stuff I already have on hand because I hate going to Blockbuster. So here’s a list of movies I have. Tell me in comments, or tweet at me what I should add. Thanks for your help 😀
One of the best websites I ever discovered is ficlets.com. It’s a site that’s almost Twitter-like with its constraints. The idea was to write a little story but you were limited to 1,024 characters. That’s not much. The beauty of it was that other writers could prequel or sequel your story, or if you just couldn’t contain it in one ficlet, then you could create a serial.
The site totally re-energized my writing fever. I’d been in a slump, lacking the will to just get on with it. If you know me or have read this blog for a while, you’ll know that I would love to write a novel some day. But one thing or another comes up and I just get away from it.
Ficlets was amazing. It helped me focus. It taught me how to tell a story in a short space and forced me to get creative with imagery and word use. The generous and lovely feedback from an awesome community of Ficleteers helped me dream up the first idea I’ve ever had that I thought was actually viable as a novel-length story (I have trouble getting past short story stage.)
But the mastermind behind Ficlets had to leave the project and it was left to languish. Though he tried valiantly to save it from extinction, AOL refused to let development on it continue for whatever reason. Probably because it didn’t make them any money. (Do people really still use AOL?)
They are working on Ficlets-inspired site though, outside the AOL realm, and that makes me happy because I dearly loved that place. So I thought I’d post a few of the Ficlets I really liked here. The rest will be saved somewhere on my hard drive and maybe serve as future novel ideas 🙂 Oh and I often hear a song and dream up a story behind it, so a lot of my little ficlets were inspired by good tunes.
She is benediction
He caught a glimpse of her at the party. She moved with a liquid grace that called to mind a lithe tigress on the hunt. Her eyes scanned the room, searching for her prey and when her gaze fell on him, he shivered.
She is addicted to thee
She watched him throughout the night. The way he laughed with his friends, the tousled hair and dancing eyes; his elegant clothing doing little to hide the strength and cut of his body. She wanted him. She focused her attention only on him.
She is the root connection
He took every opportunity to watch her. Every time their eyes met, neither could look away without some distraction to tear them apart. An anxious host refilling their drinks, or potential suitors trying their luck on the handsome pair. He shook off the host and moved towards her.
She is connecting with he
The air fairly crackled with energy. He reached for her hand and drew her close. He whispered in her ear, “Have you called to check on the kids hon?”
Oh God I’m going to die up here. Alone. Surrounded by so much silence it’s deafening. They never prepared me for the quiet.
They think I’m already gone. My wife, my children, the world… They’re mourning me right now. Would it be better or worse if they knew I was still alive? Probably worse. Impossible situation. There’s nothing they can do to save me. I’m stranded in this tin can. Infinite space and everything in it laid out before me and I’ve never felt so alone in my life.
It is beautiful though. Cathy my love… I hope you continue to look up at the stars like we did when we were kids. Remember what dreamers we were? Don’t look up and worry about me floating out here. I’ll… I’ll be gone.
I’m passing over the states honey, as I write this. It feels like I’m looking in on you and the kids one more time, making sure you’ll be okay. Don’t cry for me. The oxygen won’t last much longer and when it’s gone, it will be like going to sleep.
And I’ll go to sleep loving you with my last breath.
They marched into the neighbourhood with the pulse-pounding beat of a terrible rhythm. Hundreds of jack-booted soldiers poured in from every street, every alley. Restless eyes rolled in their sockets, searching for the strays that had eluded them.
Three children, filthy from a brief life of scrabbling for scraps huddled behind a dumpster. They whimpered quietly, unsure of where to hide but seeking the comfort of a barrier between them and the soldiers. Vague memories came to them of being tucked safely into their beds by beautiful women who filled them with love and safety. The memories only served to increase the terror now. Love and safety were gone, taken by the very soldiers who hunted them now.
The children felt them first. Waves of hatred infiltrated their natural defenses and permeated their minds. The soldiers had stopped their deadly march and stood still like dispassionate sentinels. As if they were one, they shut their eyes and pushed their energy outward.
The children cowered.
I looked at it carefully, suspiciously even. I’ve never tried this before. I’m unsure what my reaction will be. Will I like it? Will it disgust me? Will it be worth the price I paid?
Warily, I open my mouth. My eyes close and I begin to pass judgment on the first taste.
I’ve never felt such smoothness on my tongue. I immediately swirl it around and breathe deep. It slides and glides over my taste buds like a sensuous lover. As I slowly savour, the rich flavour infiltrates every crevice, every hidden corner of my mouth before slipping down my throat. It leaves a satisfying coolness behind like an echo. I shiver and offer up a slight smile and a satisfied, “Mmmmmm” to no one in particular, before taking more.
Another bite. Another burst of near-ecstasy. Another shiver.
I want more. I need more. So smooth. So rich.
But all too soon the little cup is empty and I’m resigned to licking the little foil top, wishing to lap up every molecule of that delicious chocolate pudding.
Going to be reworking this blog a bit. It was time to update the header and I might redo the columns a little. I think I went widget-happy 🙂
Believe it or not, this is relaxing for me, mucking about in code and photoshop, throwing things in a figurative bucket and seeing what comes out. Work’s a bit… tightly wound right now with a big redesign due in less than 2 weeks and xmas stress (everyone else is stressing. Not me. Xmas is gonna be soooo mellow this year, I can’t wait.)
Anyway can’t write much atm, but cross your fingers for decent weather Saturday so we can go to Lincs and see Jo and fam. last time we attempted it this time of year, we spent some quality time in a ditch just outside of town 🙂 If it wasn’t frowned upon these days, I would so buy a little SUV that can handle it around here. Ah well.