May 26th, 2006

abstract butterfly


Last night, after a Thursday dinner of monsoon rolls and seafood noodle soup at a Thai restaurant, I explained to my wife my theory that a label-maker is the only thing that stands between me and
an impressive CD collection. My interest in Creative Commons music, you see, and the rise of netlabels, means that free or very low cost wonderful music is available for the download. My main obstacle in realizing this goal is my desire to have solid print on the CD rather than my hand-written scrawl.

My wife, who has lately been to all sorts of mpressive courses at the local community college, involving all kinds of new software wihch nobody ever uses in real life, but which human resources departments always ask about during the interview, put in a note of caution. A professor of knowledge as to the mountain of spices which is computer-lingo advised that one should never label a CD, as it would ultimately gum up the works of one's CD player. He suggested the inelegant Sharpie pen.

I've known the Sharpie pen, I grew up with the Sharpie pen, and let me tell you, dear readers, the Sharpie pen is no Jack Kennedy. The problem, of course, is not with the pen at all, just as Dorothy did not really have to get the broom of the Wicked Witch of the West, but could instead have clanged those ruby slippers/silver shoes and flown automatically. The problem is a simple matter of penmanship.

I print-write rather than write in cursive. The results are marginally legible. My sister, who is in all things more artistic and capable than I am, calligraphs a beautiful hand, in between bursts of playing piano entirely by ear and offering healing balm to all and sundry. But my own handwriting is perhaps one grade above "prescription writing quality" and one grade below "legibly filled out UPS delivery form". I'd say "I'll buy a book", but I still am trying to figure out that book about drawing on the left side of the brain, because my brain resolutely tells me it refuses to pick sides, and that I must look to the purchase of comic books if I wish well-drawn graphics.

Perhaps I should find a one day course. For that matter, perhaps I should find two one day courses.
The first course, offered by, no doubt, an extension school for a local suburban park and recreation department or some such, should be called "Cursive You--Calligraphy for Dummies", while the other course could be "Simple Drawing--Make GIFs that your Friends can Guess what You've Drawn and Get it right by the Third Try".

If I could teach a course, it might be "Freeware Synths and Samplers--and You", or "Thirty Five Fun Afternoons costing less than one dollar each". In the meantime, I am throwing vanity to the wind, buying a Sharpie pen, and beginnings a major ambient music download movmeent.