another four-bar loop

8:06 – Rise, shower.

8:30 – Sitting.

9:00 – Haru gets up. Breakfast.

In the morning I’m sucked in by a website that I end up not actually using, though it does give me an opportunity to test a new system for writing and uploading web materials.

13:15 – I go and get chips – it’s raining, so not as cold as I thought. We eat them, then I have more fudge. Probably a mistake.

The doorbell rings – a very damp postman delivers a package from H’s mother, containing Japanese food (mostly for tomorrow night as far as I can tell),

Then I finally get back down to colouring in, with occasional cups of tea.

Don’t quite finish. Bum.

19:10 – Dinner.

An email from the Registrar alerts me to something I neglected to do when I made this site. I do it.

I play with Logic again, creating another four-bar loop.

More reading on the web and testing software.

23:22 – Posting this. Soon to bed.

it masquerades as “just the right amount”

6:00 – The alarm goes off. I look at the clock, and realise that it’s set for an hour earlier than I actually want to get up. I reset the clock.

6:48 – I sort of wake up and am sort of relieved it’s not yet 7:00. Sort of.

7:00 – The alarm goes off again. This time I get up.

Shower.

I read a bit while waiting for Haru.

8:10 – Sitting.

8:50 – Breakfast. Granola. The coffee has had an hour on the stove over a very low heat to mature, as well, which makes it very smooth.

10:20 – To work, colouring in.

13:10 – Lunch – Spaghetti carbonara. After lunch, tea.

Back to colouring in.

19:10 – Dinner, again by H. Chicken teriyaki, rice (with sprinkles) and salad.

On the sofa, reading, some planning. Oh, and fudge. Perhaps too much. There is very definitely such a thing as “too much fudge”. The only problem is that it masquerades as “just the right amount” until it’s too late.

The netherworld twixt Christmas and New Year.

9:15 – Rise, sitting.

10:15 – Breakfast. Toast and honey.

10:45 – Hot shower and shave.

13:00 – Haru goes out.

At the computer. I actually spend the day here, looking at ideas to make myself more productive. “Not spending the day on the internet looking for ways to make myself more productive” does not, strangely, figure in any of the suggestions.

That said I do find out a lot of things that might come in useful later, in particular ways of tying together different bits of information using Quicksilver (a productivity application for OS X).

The netherworld twixt Christmas and New Year.

16:30 – Haru returns.

Still on the computer, though.

19:20 – Dinner.

20:10 – Watch Ghost in the Shell. Cool stuff. I can’t imagine why I’ve avoided Anime for so long. Perhaps I’ve been saving it up for myself.

23:00 – Writing this. Soon to bed.

that something has successfully boarded the train

9:00 – Get up, shower, breakfast.

Packing.

12:00 – Out to Bath with Sara and Oscar. Lunch in a cafe, then a look round Bath Abbey. I take an interest in the overwhelming Victoriana of the place, and wonder whether it’s something to do with the 19th Century Anglican heirarchy. I should probably read more Trollope.

Walk around Bath, then to the station.

14:12 – The train arrives and we get on. The train refuses to leave. All the people who have come to say goodbye to their loved ones are looking back up the platform at something. When, after several minutes, that something has successfully boarded the train, their collective gaze returns to their relatives on the train and the train leaves the station.

15:30-ish – Paddington, tube to Elephant, then walk home, stopping at the corner shop to get milk, coffee and bread.

The flat is very cold – I’d turned the heating down while we were away, but it heats up overnight. I get a portable radiator out.

Tea and pannetone.

Seinfeld Season 5, disc one – One of my Christmas presents.

I make chilli.

A documentary about Ivor Cutler. Another christmas present.

22:39 – Writing this. To bed at some point soon.

Various degrees of hit.

6:00 – Rise, shower.

6:20 – Sitting

7:00 – Breakfast (slice of toast and cup of tea each)

Final packing.

7:45 – Out the door, to the tube and Paddington Station. Decide to get a cup of coffee, thinking the queue isn’t moving that slowly, then realise that it’s the queue to pay, the actual coffees are appearing at a glacial rate, so ditch the idea and go for the train.

8:30 – the train leaves.

10:00 – The train arrives in Bath. Sara picks us up and takes us to her house. Tea/coffee according to taste.

We go out again to get ingredients for dinner tonight at Sainsbury’s (not quite the hell we were expecting, though most of the trolleys largely contained beer) and an out-of-the-way Oriental supermarket for soy sauce and chopsticks.

Back to the house.

Long game of Uno Extreme, which is… extreme.

I win.

Ha.

Assisting Haru with the dinner – Japanese-style pork milanesettes with soup and rice and sesame-seed beans. Various degrees of hit.

Chillin’ in the living room with the tv. (Alleged) Celebrity WWTBAM, CSI, Law and Order. I love the Law and Order modus operandi: “We’ve decided that this person is guilty, even though there’s no evidence at all to demonstrate this. All we need to do is trick him into confessing”.

To bed.

Tomorrow being Christmas, and the next day Boxing Day, I declare myself Off from the journals.

enough for several toasts

7:15 – Rise, short shower.

7:30 – Sitting.

8:10 – Breakfast.

Answering emails and dithering. I realise that I don’t have enough time to do Christmas shopping this morning, so don’t. Bach continues on the radio. My wife is making Christmas Bread. Hurrah!.

12:30 – Mr Hicks arrives and after a cup of tea and a chat we work our way through the trio variations of the AAD Bach (variations 5-9), rotating the parts so that we each have a chance to play each part. Extraordinary how this changes the piece, and I was very struck by the fact that each piece had an optimal configuration that just worked for the piece. Variation 9 is out there, man.

15:30 – Mr Hicks leaves.

16:00 – I leave the flat to do my Christmas Shopping, which I’ve left to the very last moment again this year. I walk up to Fopp by Cambridge Circus, then Forbidden Planet where I browse for a very long time and finally get The Authority Vol. 1 for Jasper, Promethea Vol 1. for my sister and I look at the merchandise to see if there’s anything cool and kawai-i that my wife might like, but there’s not; then to MicroAnvika where I buy my father a Second Skin for his PowerBook, then to Virgin, where I buy nothing, then Foyle’s where I get Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable for Haru, and a calendar for Barbara, then to Fopp again where I get Fossil Fuel, the XTC compilation for Oscar and Ben Harper & the Six Blind Boys of Alabama for my mother. Then I call Haru and walk home across Jubilee Bridge.

20:00 – Arrive home. Short rest.

21:00 – To the restaurant downstairs, where we have Italian food (calzone for me – yum!), and Tony brings us an Amaretto each, enough for several toasts.

22:30 – Back upstairs for tea and ice cream.

23:26 – Write and post this. About to go to bed. Good day.

mysteriously

10:00 – Get up and answer the telephone.

Sitting, breakfast.

Answer emails.

Speaking to Judith about her cover.

Haru goes out.

Speaking to Ben about the Beowulf work.

Shower and a shave.

Making, and eating, a tuna fish sandwich.

I set up three Very Long Stereo Delays (Pluggo plugin) at different loop lengths in Logic and play soft synths through them.

Not an entirely original idea, but very gratifying.

Haru comes home.

I work out how to record a track where I’m playing into the loops using the drawbars of the B3 simulator.

Dinner – Beef and potato in vinegar sauce, scrambled egg and mushroom. Mmm. Washing up, then panetonne and tea.

I record a second track using the same delays and the electric piano simulator.

I sandwich the two tracks together and burn a CD. It seems that out of my playing around a piece of music has emerged, mysteriously.

Answering more emails, or at least trying to.

23:40 – Soon to bed.

and I just nod

9:10 – Rise

9:25 – Sitting.

9:55 – Breakfast.

Answering emails, Photoshopping, colouring in.

14:00 – Lunch – Spag Bol a la Kaizawa.

15:30 – DoA, Guitar Work. When I try to concentrate I find it difficult to stay awake. This is frustrating.

More emails, Photoshop and colouring.

18:45 – I allow myself a bit of Logic indulgence. I find four bars of very satisfying ping.

19:30 – To the gym. I run for an hour. The attendant spends a lot of time cleaning the machines, and I spend some time inhaling solvent. He’s pissed off because it’s his last day and he wants to go home. I’m feeling the urge to be annoyed, which I think I’m resisting. As I’m leaving he says a very nice Merry Christmas and I just nod.

Back to the flat, buying yoghurt on the way. Shower.

10:00 – Dinner by H again – delicious bacon-and-egg soup with left-over rice. My chopstick technique is slowly improving. We discuss possible things to do over the next few days.

More emails. A bit of internet.

23:40 – Post this. Soon to bed.

luckily I’m able to stop myself in time

7:06 – Rise, shower.

7:30 – Sitting.

8:10 – Breakfast.

9:20 – DoA, Guitar work.

10:30 – Cards and photographs, and also I finally find out about Lab colour in Photoshop. I knew about it but thought it was too hard, but an online article sparks my interest in it and instead of too hard I now consider it to be way cool. I retouch and print out a picture I took from the bus from Santiago de Chile to Mendoza in 2004, and feel immensely proud of myself.

The buzzer rings. It could be a delivery, but it’s not. It is, in fact a visitor for next door. What a surprise.

13:00 – Lunch.

14:30 – Trying to get my accounts in the post. Printing out of Excel is a challenge. I really just want the bits that I worked on yesterday in some kind of order, and what I get is random pages in a random order at various sizes. Everytime I think I’ve got it sorted out, it reverts to what I started with.

Also completing the cards.

16:30 – To the Post Office, slightly wound up. Kind of looking for something to get angry about, but also aware that I’m looking for something to get angry about, so luckily I’m able to stop myself in time.

On the way home I stop at Gramex and get a couple of CDs for Ben – Alice Coltrane and Quartet for the End of Time, then go to Konditor and Cook and get cake. Then go home.

Clearing the table and putting things away.

19:30 – Ben arrives for dinner. We move the table out to be more comfortable – it always surprises me when things that change the flat so fully are not only available but relatively easy.

Dinner by Haruko, then cake and chat.

22:30 – Ben leaves. Washing up and general settling.

23:30 – Posting this. Soon to bed.

but I don’t know which one it is yet

7:07 – Rise, shower.

7:30 – Sitting.

8:10 – Breakfast.

Haru returns to bed.

In between emails and so forth, my day is spent finding the bits and pieces and software to allow me to submit my accounts, as I should have done in July. This is my Big Primal Issue. Deep sigh. Sex, money and the use of time indeed.

13:15 – Begin cooking lunch. My attempts at a simple pasta dish always end up insanely overfeatured. I even go out to buy olives.

13:45 – Lunch is served.

Haru returns to bed, I return to the database and cover the sofa with bits of paper.

17:00 – H gets up again.

18:30 – It appears to be done, at least until the accountant asks for that pesky bit of paper I’ve lost. I’d include it, but I don’t know which one it is yet.

19:30 – Go to the gym. Run on the machine for an hour.

21:30 – Back in the flat. Haru’s cooked some soup. I take a shower.

22:05 – Dinner. Japanese soup with sweet potato and white rice with sprinkles. Very mmm.

On the sofa answering difficult emails and eating biscuits.

23:39 – Write and post this. Soon to bed.