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Transitioning into liminal space

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General Update [Jul. 3rd, 2017|03:26 pm]
Transitioning into liminal space
[Tags|, , ]
[State of Being |okayokay]

Danae is home from school and brought chimken nuggers with her! Yay! *tailwags* Doggos love chimken nuggers.

I drove up to Kenosha after work on Saturday to visit my family and pick up my loft bed. Erik bought it from me after I'd been half-heartedly trying to find a buyer for a few years, so I had to bid it a fond farewell. I'd like to have one again if I have room someday. I like climbing around on things; might as well be able to do it at home too!

Sunday morning I drove out to Elgin and helped unload and assemble the bed in Erik's new place. It's a cozy, turn-of-the century place; I like it. I met a friend of his who was there to help get data service set up. Since the former occupants had decided cutting wires was a much better idea than actually unplugging things, there was a bit of work to be done.

Since Danae was out at a LARP Saturday evening, I took Piper with me through the whole trip so she could get her food and insulin on time. As usual, it was impossible to get her to interact with my parents' dog, Wonka, without becoming a snarling ball of fury. She's been like that with just about every dog she's met since her surgery.

Which is why I was shocked when, with a little soothing and encouragement to both dogs, she and Erik's dog, Fluffly, behaved very nicely together! I took a few pictures and videos of the two of them; without them, I think it would have been hard for Danae to believe! I hope we can set up more play-dates for them, because she really needs more dog socialization if we can possibly provide it.

What else? I'm cleaning up the condo so we can show it to a new potential housemate. I like him quite a lot from his introductory email; if he's as compatible in person as he is in email, I think he'd be a really good fit.

And I'm back to digitizing Lisa's records. I'm kind of hoping to finish them and get them back to her so the crate's out of the living room (and so she can listen to her music again of course!) and possibly have room for a cabinet for audio gear. I ended up leaving my Marantz receiver in Kenosha because I just couldn't think where I'd put it right now! For the meantime, I'll live with running my Klipsches with my curb-found Sony surround sound receiver. In a way, that's kind of cool because I'll get a really good sense of that sound before I hook them up to a vintage analog unit to compare.

I helped Tim get my old speakers out of his room and into the spot that the disassembled loft bed had been in. He had my soundsystem set up in there, and is glad to have more room. I helped rearrange the shelves the stereo was sitting on so he can put his computer there on the wall; it worked out pretty well.

It was good to see family. It'd been a few weeks and I miss them. Tim said he'd be down here more often, but train tickets are pricy. Now that I have a job though, I'm happy to pay his fare once in a while; we may get together this week to watch SGDQ on the couch here and play games!
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Trying out the New Speakers [Jun. 30th, 2017|09:53 pm]
Transitioning into liminal space
[Tags|]
[State of Being |contentcontent]

I set up my new speakers last night and listened to a few things. It sounds cliché, but I never knew what I was missing. Pink Floyd, Indigo Girls, Nirvana, Violent Femmes; in every song I listened to I heard details I'd never heard before. In Porcelain, the third track on Moby's album Play, I heard faint static. I thought it might be noise on the line and paused the CD to listen, but it stopped. It's actually on the track. I can hear vocals more clearly than I ever have. I hear background sounds in Enya's and Jethro Tull's music that had always blended into the background. I can distinctly hear where in the left-to-right soundstage the instruments have been mixed, and sometimes it sounds like a singer's voice is *in my head*.

These were unquestionably worth the money. Now I need to figure out where to place them for proper sound while I'm sitting on the couch, and then learn how to dial them in with my equalizer for that spot. Right now, they're sitting on each side of my computer desk, angled toward my chair. They might live there for a little while, but the goal is to be able to lie back on something soft, close my eyes, and listen.
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New Speakers, Surprise Road Trip, Better Mental Health (yay!) [Jun. 29th, 2017|12:30 am]
Transitioning into liminal space
[Tags|, , ]
[State of Being |hopefulhopeful]

Alright. Things are much better after the weekend. Maybe it has something to do with there being an external framework forcing me to do things other than lie down. Maybe it's time passing from the events that caused major stress (though I'm still feeling really anxious about volunteering at the shelter tomorrow). I know that some of it is much-appreciated love and support from Danae and time spent dating pigeons and snuggling with Phaedra. Things are better. Maybe I can set something up that will give me something to do this weekend.

In the meantime, I was a bunny taxi today. I took five rabbits to the vet and six back. I had an hour between those things, so I bought paper for the shelter, then went to the nearby Best Buy. So empty looking! But coincidentally, they had a set of the Klipsch speakers I'd decided were a possible purchase. I listened to a few different things on them at the demo station and they were wonderful. Describing the experience to Danae and Nathan, I said that it was kind of like this: you know when you have an itch really deep in your ear and it's impossible to scratch it so you kind of massage the area around your earlobes and it only kind of makes it more frustrating? Listening to these speakers was like being able to scratch that itch, except with sound.

Once I'd heard them in person, I decided to jump on Craigslist and see if any were available. I'd missed some R-14Ms because I hadn't decided on Klipsch yet, but just two hours ago someone had posted some R-15Ms for sale. He wanted $150 for them, when even on Amazon they're $210 a pair plus shipping. I think it was meant to be. Having the 15s instead of the 14s was a little bonus. They're entry level but are the nicest bookshelf speakers in their line, and while the specs are only mildly better than the 14s in frequency response, they can handle 85 watts of sustained power rather than the 50 watts of the R-14Ms. Not that I'll likely be playing music that loud in a condo. The only sad part is that the low-end response falls off below 62hz, and extends only to 54hz. There's only so much you can do with a 5.25" woofer. (Yes, insert jokes here.) I have a powered sub as part of a 5.1 channel setup I could use with them, but that introduces all sorts of problems if I'm looking for hi-fidelity as opposed to thumpy bass. I'll probably do without for listening to stereo sound.

So anyway, there was a surprise trip to Sycamore, Illinois tonight to buy them. The seller and I talked about various options for meeting up, but our schedules didn't play nicely. We decided on tonight.

But tonight was our housemate's birthday dinner at Olive Garden (rescheduled since his planned picnic was rained out). So I met he and Danae for a nice birthday dinner, then dashed out to make the drive. I was a little nervous that I wouldn't be able to hear the speakers first, but felt reassured by discussing the issue on the phone. I felt even better when I met him; he's a really interesting guy! He's a professional magician and plays some venues in Chicago as well as near Dekalb. We talked about magic, juggling, working for yourself vs for a company, photography, theatres, and, of course, music. He made a few recommdations and sent me some links for some electronic and experimental stuff that I'm definitely going to follow up on. I think we have similar tastes.

Ok, time for bed. Maybe tomorrow I'll have a chance to hook up my pretty, pretty new speakers that I was caressing on the way home. (And these things really are pretty.) But buying speaker wire may have to wait until the weekend. The first disc will be, of course, Dark Side of the Moon. Thinking about Clare Torry's strange, beautiful, wordless wail on The Great Gig in the Sky on the nicest speakers I've ever owned really gives me something to look forward to.

Spec sheets for those who care (all 0 of you since Cmcmck moved excluisvely to Dreamwidth and I haven't set up over there...)

R-14M: http://assets.klipsch.com/product-specsheets/R-14M-Spec-Sheet.pdf

R-15M: http://assets.klipsch.com/product-specsheets/R-15M-Spec-Sheet.pdf
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(no subject) [Jun. 26th, 2017|10:58 am]
Transitioning into liminal space
[Tags|]
[State of Being |tiredtired]

It's really hard today not to just go lie down and sleep. Saying that I spent 28-30 of the last 36 hours either in bed or on the couch would be a decent guess. I guess I'm just having trouble processing all this stuff recently.
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Bad Dreams [Jun. 25th, 2017|04:38 am]
Transitioning into liminal space
[Tags|, , ]
[State of Being |uncomfortableuncomfortable]

I was feeling depressy last night and went to bed early, figuring that extra sleep would do me good.

I woke up half an hour or so ago from a new variation of the recurring dream about school. I'd missed a couple of days of class at some point, and I was walking back to campus. I was worrying more and more about not being able to catch up on what I'd missed until I got to the point of just not being able to keep walking. I was too scared and ashamed to go back to classes that I felt so behind and unable to catch up in. I called Danae on my cell phone to tell her I was in crisis and didn't know what to do.

After waking, I got some snuggles and reassurance from her before getting up for some yogurt. But I'm still feeling that 'in a crisis and don't know what to do' feeling. Maybe I'll lie on the couch and pet Piper. I love my strange little foster dog who loves me as much as a dog can. Her regard for her people makes me feel a bit better about myself.

Part of this is connected to work drama, too. A staff member quit because of her feeling that she was being singled out for continual criticism and micro-management. A board member asked to talk to her to hear her side, and invited her to come back while said board member works on making some changes. She returned, and I'm glad because she's my favorite person there. Today, there were notes in our mailboxes telling us who to bring any complaints about people to, and that we should not be having any political conversations at work or "gossiping" about other staff, board members, or the public. There's clearly some ill-will behind the scenes that I do not fully understand, but which makes me really uncomfortable.

I really miss having a therapist. I hope I still have a job in two months when my insurance starts.

---

I just left a Facebook group for Furries over 30 after someone made disparaging comments about "SJW"s. I don't feel a strong connection to furry as a community (as opposed to furry as a concept) anyway, and politically-connected agitation isn't worth my presence there.
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Bolero and Old Records [Jun. 24th, 2017|08:50 pm]
Transitioning into liminal space
[Tags|, ]
[State of Being |disappointeddisappointed]

I bought a really pretty set of Victor Red Seal recordings of Ravel's Bolero a couple days ago at a thrift store. They're the old shellac records; the hard, brittle material that predates vinyl records. I hadn't realized that almost all (maybe all?) of those shellac records are actually 78s. Somehow, I thought that, because they were 12" discs, they'd be 33 1/3s. I put them on my turntable and there was...a lot of static and some strange, low-pitched noises. I set it to 45 rpm and it sounded...*kiiiiiind* of like Bolero.

I need to get a copy of that on CD. It's a really soothing piece of music, despite it's associations with both The House on the Rock and a potential progressive and fatal neurological dysfunction.

I have little to no interest in the equipment to play 78s. Vinyl is complicated enough. I guess I'll redonate them?

restoman, I wish I was still close enough to come over and spin them up on your Victrola.... *hugs*
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Physics? Feh. What does that have to do with real life? [Jun. 24th, 2017|08:12 pm]
Transitioning into liminal space
[State of Being |annoyedannoyed]

"Andrew Jones has a degree in physics, but his real passion is speaker design." -Cnet.com article

Because there's no relationship between those two things, right? I mean, you wouldn't expect some physics geek to care about music or the real world. They'd probably be busy designing some kind of deeply complex system that balances numerous design tradeoffs and materials limitations in order to sensitively translate variations in electrical signal strength and frequency into the movements of a diaphragm that's nimble enough to respond to those changes and produce carefully modulated pressure waves in the air. Yeah, that kind of physics has *nothing* to do with music.

'Cause physics doesn't have any relation to real-life applications.

Am I reading too much into that opening? I'm just annoyed by the implication.

https://www.cnet.com/news/mission-impossible-design-great-sounding-affordable-speakers/
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Dog Handling [Jun. 23rd, 2017|09:50 pm]
Transitioning into liminal space
[Tags|, ]
[State of Being |tiredtired]

I just took Piper for her evening walk and paid conscious attention to how I handle her. Most of my dog-walking time these days is spent with a twelve-pound, half-blind dog who's scared of manhole covers and has been known to trip over curbs. I love her, but I think she's lulled me into sloppiness. Once I get further past the uncertainty and lack of confidence I'm feeling right now, it's something I can learn from. It may take a while before I believe I merit a chance to show that, but that's the way my brain is broken.
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Politics [Jun. 23rd, 2017|08:52 pm]
Transitioning into liminal space
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[State of Being |hopefulhopeful]

"[Robert Muller]'s very, very good friends with Comey, which is very bothersome." -Donald Trump

I understand that when you're at the top in business, you can surround yourself with sycophantic ass-kissers who'll fabricate reasons to support your every whim because you're the highest bidder on their loyalty. It explains this world view: this critique that Mueller is going to manufacture evidence to support his friend's perceived vendetta against Trump. But it doesn't work like that. Any evidence that turns up will not survive the level of scrutiny it will be subjected to unless it's real and valid. To believe differently is in the realm of conspiracy theory.

Also, NPR says that five senators have come out as no votes on the revealed healthcare plan. One commentator suspects that resistance will diminish as the deadline comes closer, but I couldn't help but take pre-emptive joy in hoping that the Senate Republicans pushing for McConnell's plans are fucked.
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(no subject) [Jun. 23rd, 2017|08:52 pm]
Transitioning into liminal space
[Tags|, , , ]
[State of Being |sadsad]

It's been a rough couple of days.

There was a dog fight at the shelter I volunteer at yesterday. The dog who initiated it was on a leash I was holding, and that makes me responsible. The shift captain and other volunteers assured me that everyone did the right things in response and that no one was hurt and that all is, or will be, well.

But it only makes me feel a little better at most. As someone handling a shelter dog in that situation, I owe it to the people and the dogs there to always be in control. Two dogs were injured, and I feel like I'm one small step away from having injured them myself. I wanted to tell the dogs how very sorry I was that they were hurt because of me, but of course they wouldn't understand. If I drank, it would have been a night for drinking. Instead, I went home and ate a giant bowl of ice cream, the rest of my Turkish Delight, and a mini key lime pie. Then I went to bed.

It takes me a long time to feel confident in my competence about most anything, and I'm well into the land of self doubt. I feel like I don't deserve the responsibility of helping handle the more difficult shelter dogs. I'm second-guessing myself about a lot of things I felt confidence about. I'm scared of going back to the shelter next week and seeing the people and dogs there, and feeling shame and embarassment.

Then, at work this morning, I talked to a woman whose sister had just died after a prolonged illness. Said sister had two cats, and the caller couldn't take them due to serious allergies, and was trying to find a shelter to surrender them to. I had to tell her we couldn't help; we're more than full. I gave her info for other shelters, and one of the three was one she hadn't tried already, so I hope it helps. But I felt pretty depressed, again, after that.
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