some simple things that make me happy

Friday, 27 June 2008
  1. Putting together a homemade spaghetti sauce with lots of veggies and spices.
  2. Throwing my Outback in low gear and powering up a hill (particularly if said hill leads to Williamstown).
  3. The sound of a squash ball hitting the wall.
  4. Watching a lathe on automatic feed turn down material.
  5. Turning on a radio and instantly hearing a song I’ve been thinking about but haven’t listened to in a long time.
  6. Writing useful functions that work properly and integrating them into my codes.
  7. Watching a charcoal drawing take shape.

events on my mind

Thursday, 19 June 2008
  1. Squash ladder match #3
  2. Binghamton Airshow
  3. Ithacafest
  4. Williams Reunions
  5. AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference and Exhibit
  6. Jonathan Coulton concert in New York, NY
  7. Spore Creature Creator Trial release

semester’s over now

Saturday, 10 May 2008
  1. Northern Water Snakes
  2. Enemy at the Gates
  3. Robert Downey, Jr.
  4. Book sale
  5. Modeling clay
  6. Window envelopes
  7. Scrambled eggs
  8. Nimbus clouds
  9. Callithump
  10. Twelve-hour airplane flights
  11. Five hundred dollars
  12. Science fiction

(ordered) list of my favorite classical pieces

Thursday, 10 January 2008
  1. Luke and Leia, John Williams (Return of the Jedi Soundtrack).  Yes, really.  It’s Williams at his least Williams-y, heavy on the strings and woodwinds, and when the music soars, chills go up and down my spine.
  2. Metamorphosis I, Philip Glass.  So simple, and yet it conjures up such intense emotions of longing and solitude and, somehow, hope.  I could put it on loop for hours and imagine a light, steady rain in the evening just as the sunset breaks through under the clouds.  (Or I could imagine Kara Thrace’s apartment.)
  3. Symphony No. 3,  Symfonia Piesni Zalosnych, Henryk Gorecki. Incredibly moody, diving to dark depths and then soaring to great heights.  That Dawn Upshaw recording is completely entrancing.  I first heard it in the background in a studio art class; I’ve been wracking my brains to see which piece I produced while listening to it.  Unfortunately, I think I got too caught up in the music to really make a drawing that came from the piece…
  4. Jupiter, The Bringer of Jollity, Gustav Holst.  I love most of the Planets Suite, particularly Mars and Jupiter.  Jupiter is so upbeat and strong, marching forward with steadfast determination and optimism and climaxing in triumph.
  5. Adagio for Strings, Samuel Barber.  Also the choral Agnus Dei based on the Adagio.  Listening to this piece, I feel like I am looking at stately cathedrals and towers, or perhaps graceful ships and slow-moving creatures, that are almost bigger than human comprehension.  You just hang on those sustained high notes.  I would have picked this over the Blue Danube Waltz for the space scenes in 2001.

Some runners-up:

  • Mars, The Bringer of War, Gustav Holst.  It’s just so mindlessly driven.
  • Final Duel / Into the Death Star, John Williams (Return of the Jedi Sountrack).  Again, yes, really.  Partly this one is so great because of the emotional state of the movie at that point.  It just overpowers you…because if you will not turn to the Dark Side, then perhaps…she…will…!
  • The Firebird, Igor Stravinsky.  It’s a good piece of program music and takes you to a great finish.  Like a condensed version of Beethoven’s 6th.
  • Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, From the New World, Antonin Dvorak.  Yeah, probably overplayed, but with good reason.
  • Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Ludwig von Beethoven.  Well, it’s just classic.

Things that make me nostalgic

Tuesday, 27 November 2007
  • Legos
  • Copperline
  • Star Wars
  • My drawings
  • Problem sets from Prof. Bolton’s classes

well, well…

Sunday, 22 July 2007
  1. Glider and tow plane
  2. Champagne Supernova
  3. Vermont
  4. Paycheck
  5. Red October
  6. Mozzarella pesto burgers
  7. Jupiter
  8. Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene
  9. The Gates of the Desert

I like

Wednesday, 25 April 2007
  1. Paychecks getting deposited
  2. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C Minor
  3. Gliese 581c
  4. Free food