Quickies: Happenings this week

I’ve been spending lots of time in front of my computer doing various tasks as a by-product of ripping all of my CDs to the new AAC music format. AAC is higher quality than MP3 and others, and I want to make sure I have all of my music in a high-quality digital form so that it is easily accessible and I have a copy if the CDs get lost, broken, or scratched.

As a consequence of all the ripping, I’ve been doing a bit of browsing of the excellent Apple iTunes Music Store. I’m trying to be as legitimate as possible, so the few times that I’ve found music I like and have in MP3 format that I don’t have the actual CDs of, I’ve bought them off of iTunes. Now this archiving process is costing me both time and money!

I went and saw Cats with my grandparents and sisters at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. We got to take a quick tour of the stage level (everything is massively hugely big) and talk to the company manager. It was interesting, especially how the tour essentially works out of big boxes everywhere they go, everything is packed perfectly for use and restorage such that it only takes them 8 hours to setup and 5 hours to strike. Fascinating.

Cats itself was amazing, much better then the DVD (half of which I slept through). Each cat had his or her own personality, and the actors were incredible at staying in character, everyone reacted so well that several times I would see a “cat” slink by in the corner of my vision and it would take me a second to register that I was actually seeing a person, and not a true feline. The cats would play and frolick in very catty ways, one in particular was flirting with another. He nibbled on her fur and pranced about while she playfully pushed him away. When something loud or important would happen, every cat would perk up and sit at attention, it was really wonderful. The funniest part was seeing people acting as cats acting as pirates singing bad opera. Genius!

My conversations with Igor and Carol have led me to the conclusion that Brandeis in general seems so focused on the higher learning and liberal arts that the academic departments consider anything hands-on or potentially helpful in the real world as anathema to their curriculum. I need to investigate this further and determine how best to talk/write about it without offending absolutely everyone.

Finally, I’ve decided that my blog posts need to be funner. I’ve been reading the past Justice columns of Lex Friedman and I want to be more Friedmanesque. Guess this post isn’t much of a step in that direction, alas, but I’ll work on it.