I spent a very quiet day yesterday, not really leaving our house until time for dinner. I entered three remixes in a remix contest, then deleted one after a review confirmed my suspicion it was awful. The other two were not so awful, merely casually bad, and one got a nice review for its "originality". I had a meal of turkey barbecue (sans sauce) at the local Dickey's BBQ.
I forgot to bring home my complimentary giant yellow drink cup, which shorts our cup collection one unit. I would have not registered to casual stemware at Gump's some fifteen years ago had I known of the ability to designate a freebie yellow plastic BBQ cup as one's primary drinkware.
Our local homeowners association sponsored an adults-only party in the neighborhood pool down the street. I did not attend, in part because my wife is out of town, and in part because I am not a "party person". I don't really drink, and although I love conversation and connection, I find that I am rather an acquired taste, who does best when I am among people who "get" me. I noticed, when I went to walk our dog Ted, that the brick walls to the entryway to the pool had little tiki statue things, which I guess is an indication that the pool party was on in earnest. It's a good community building idea for them to have such a function, though I noticed during our walk that many parents were busy with their kids, and could not attend a kidless function.
People often have a kind of vanity about their own pets, and I'll freely confess mine. Young Ted, as I call her, though she is ten years old, has a magnetic effect upon children. They are drawn to her, which, I suppose, makes it a good thing that she likes them. She'll sit upon their approach and smile while they somewhat inexpertly stroke her back. Due to her mildly diminutive size (though she is on the large-ish side for a lhasa), they imagine she is a young puppy. She has the personality of a young puppy, so it all works out.
Last night Ted's charm came in handy. A father we see at the park often was having trouble getting his toddler boys loaded into the family van, over by the swimming pool. Suddenly, the kids, who have petted Ted before, spotted Teddy and headed her way. The littler boy in this family is a charming fellow with reddish-blondish hair, somewhat sparse, called Yousef. Yousef is one of those ages in which he understands a lot of words, and speaks a very few words, and is mostly very reliable on waving "hi" and "bye". Yousef came gently up to Ted, who patiently submitted to his somewhat inexpert petting efforts.
"You see, they're heartbroken,", their father said to me, "they had hoped to swim".
"Well, Teddy's glad to see them,", I replied, and then, as the father was trying to get the boys to come back to the van, added "wave goodbye to Teddy!", with which request the boys, and in particular young Yousef, complied with alacrity. I think that kids are such fun in that newly-verbal state, when every moment is a bit of an Annie Sullivan experience, as things come slowly together. Ted lives perpetually in a pre-verbal state, although she has worked out how to bark for attention with alacrity.
We were pleased to hear that our friend, Ted's former vet, a wonderfully kind person, has gotten engaged in the time since she left our fair city to move to her childhood home in Modesto. We hope that the price of real estate in California, coupled with the price of rural acreage in Texas, her love of animals, and the fact that she and her fiance have jobs with mobility possible, will send her back to north Texas. I'm glad she found a man she finds suitable to marry, as she's one of those women who wants to be a mom and who has immense "mom" potential. She's one of the good guys, and it's good to have good things happen for friends.
I'm always amused by the sheer lottery of these things. Our friend is an attractive and genuinely kind person--one of those big-hearted vets who loves keeping golden retrievers. It's hard for me to imagine her being single for 20 seconds, much less into her 30s. I attended a party once, in which someone's much older relative said "if I were only 20 years younger, I'd propose myself", and our friend is the sort of woman who inspires that kind of sentiment in men. Yet she had a hard time finding the right person. There's so much chemistry, calculation and just sheer molecules colliding in this courtship business. I think, too, that some attractive women do not realize their own allure. There's also more than a bit of grasping the realities at hand, rather than living perpetually in one's imagined reality. It's all beyond me. But I do observe that often people with good looks and a great personality experience the problems that others imagine belong only to the drab and mundane. The painted ponies continue to go up and down as the wheel, as in the song, goes round and round. But I know that I am not really up for profound analysis when I begin quoting lesser Joni Mitchell songs mid-post.
I got a postcard from an LJ friend which came at just the right moment, and made me happy. I fretted with a shareware vendor who promised instantaneous registration codes, and then failed to e mail them most of the day. I don't really expect instant service, but when it is promised, then I tend to bank on it as a planning device. At day's end, I got the e mail advising me of a registration number for an even cooler upgrade product, so sometimes things work out.
I am waiting to see the eBay mini-disc recorder on which I got an incredible deal. I think the reason I got an incredible deal is that the recorder looked in the picture on the sales ad as though it had been "rode hard, and put up wet". Let's hope it works well, as advertised. I don't worry if the weatherperson is weatherbeaten, but I care which way the wind blows. This will enable me to make a reasonable fidelity recording of insect sounds, for use in synthesizing music.
I get a daily digest from the surprisingly active nature recordists' yahoo message group, where fervent discussions of "pre-mic--essential?" and "which Sennheiser mic do YOU use?" inspire tremendous insight and information exchange, but also a curious kind of debate style that can even leave a feeling or two wounded. Life is all about the "tone of typing voice" in which one types arrows in the pre-mic debate wars.
Meanwhile, at the oddmusic message group, the folks have discovered all kinds of wonderful recordings of things like "singing sands" and the seismic register of the tsunami. My hope is built on nothing less than singing sands and oddmusicness. I am working out a theory of compassionate noise, but it will wait for another day.