Saturday, September 23, 2006

I did other things this week too...

Here are some of the other things I (or Brian) did this week:
1. Brian painted the baby's room and put together the crib, which he didn't have any trouble with. Hurrah!
2. We went to see Sufjan Stevens in Chapel Hill on Thursday night. I was supossed to go with my friend Dan, from work, who loves Sufjan. Unfortunately, Dan has been stricken with a horrible disease which is either a) a weird virus, b) a brain tumor or c) something strange like Meniere's disease, which my mom and my grandmother both have. Basically, he's been dizzy (and nauseous and throwing up) for almost two weeks. It really sucks, and the doctors don't really know what the problem is. I think they finally ruled out 'brain tumor', because he had an MRI earlier this week. He missed our retreat, and he also missed Sufjan, so I had to make Brian go with me. Brian doesn't like Sufjan Stevens. At all. There's one song in particular that inspires his hatred, from his Michigan album. Of course, its one of my favorite songs. When the concert started, I don't think Brian really knew who it was that we were listening to. The first three or so songs were ones I didn't recognize, so from albums I don't have, or maybe songs I skip on the ones I do have. Or new ones. Whatever. Then he played my favorite one, the one that Brian hates. As soon as it started up, Brian turned to me and said "OH. Its that guy." Ha.

The concert was really good though, I loved it. You've probably never heard him, but maybe you should give it a shot. My favorite album is 'Greetings from Michigan: The Great Lakes State', but you could start with Michigan or 'Come on Feel the Illinoise!' and probably do equally well. Dan and I have a theory that people who were in band or orchestra are more likely to like Sufjan. His music is very um... symphonic. For example, on this tour he traveled with a ~10 piece string orchestra and a trumpet and a trombone player. And Sufjan also plays the OBOE, which was my major instrument. He didn't play it in the concert, but he does on the albums. I have to love a guy who plays his own oboe parts on his albums. Other people in the band alternated on piano, guitars or banjo, and various mallet instruments. Also, they were all wearing elaborate feathered masks (these largely were removed after the first song though) and coats with butterfly wings on the back. The concert was at UNC, and was largely populated by UNC students who all apparently only have the Illinois album, because they only cheered when he said he was going to play something from that one (I say this like I'm so much better, but I'm really only one album ahead of the UNC poseurs). You're probably also wondering why these two albums are named after states, which is a little bizarre (and the songs are all related to the state too). Apparently he's planning on doing an album for each of the 50 states, so I guess he'd better get busy on that. He played a few new songs, but many of them were about birds actually.

3. My computer is back, but not back. They had to order a new logic board for it, with no known ETA. They just hung onto my computer for 2 weeks, not fixing it. I told my computer guy that this was sort of killing me, because I have a grant due next week and I'd really like to be able to work on it at home, where I get less distracted (however - here I am blogging, aren't I?). So he picked it up for me and told them that he'd bring it back when they got the part in. Yesterday was the first day I really worked on it much though, and I had all kinds of new problems with it. For example, the sound was totally messed up. You could try to adjust the volume, but really your only options were FULL BLAST or MUTE. The headphone jack wasn't working right either. If you pushed the prong all the way in, only the right headphone worked. To get them both to work, you had to pull it out a bit. Of course, the system volume was up to full blast (although adjusting the music volume thru iTunes worked for some reason), so when I got a new email, my notifying beep nearly blew my head off. The other problem I had was that it doesn't seem to go to sleep anymore (well, except when its being narcoleptic, which it still is). At work they're doing some crazy thing where they're grinding out all of the grout or caulk or whatever around all of the windows and replacing it (from the outside). They got to our lab yesterday. We taped up the windows to try to keep the dust out, but as we weren't really sure how well this was going to work, my boss had told us to cover our computers when we weren't using them, just so they didn't get all full of crap. So when we went to lunch, I closed my computer to put it to sleep, and covered it with a few paper towels. This should have been fine, because it doesn't really create any heat when its asleep, so it doesn't really need to be super well-ventilated (and I also covered it loosely so it would have some circulation, just in case). Well, when I came back the computer had shut itself off and was HOT. HOT HOT HOT. Apparently it hadn't gone to sleep at all and was running with the lid closed and was poorly ventilated, so it overheated (for real) and shut down. I couldn't get it to restart for 3 hours. My computer guy came up after I sent him a frantic email telling him everything that had happened, and he said that they probably actually screwed up my existing logic board when they were initially trying to repair it, so that the sound was messed up and it no longer knew how to go to sleep when it was closed. Super!

4. I had my glucose tolerance test on Thursday, so I got to drink the super sweet Glucola or whatever its called. Holy sweetness. And yuck. Hopefully I pass this one so I don't have to do the 3 hr test, where the juice is even sweeter and more needles are involved.


Jodi said...

Hey, thanks for posting about Sufjan Stevens. I like it! And I do fall into the "band" category too. I guess your theory still holds.

peppersnaps said...

I love Sufjan! A bunch of us were planning to see him here in ATL, but we bailed when we found out tix were $30, cause we're all kinda broke. :) But I'm glad you got to see him and it was a good show! Michigan and Illinoise are great -- you might like Seven Swans also (probably the one where the bird-related songs came from).