Did you know I play violin? (In my dreams)

I was going to write a post this morning about the dream I just had, in which I had to turn down a job as a violinist in a Tim Minchin concert, during the concert. But, I just awoke to discover, I had written the blog post about the dream while still sitting on the steps of the balcony during an intermission in that concert, so ... this is attempt number 2.

This would have been (in the dream) the second time I'd played violin for Tim. The first time would have been a few years prior, on his previous tour. (In reality: I did see Tim Minchin in concert, once, but I didn't play violin in that concert. I do not, in fact, know how to play violin.)

I arrived at the concert, with every intention of quietly enjoying a show performed by a musician whose work I admire. I sat down, while people were getting ready to start -- the house was already open, the show was to start in a few minutes. Somebody got my attention, and I was moved t oa new seat. During this move, I was also given a violin. At the new seat was a packet with lots of papers, and it became clear that I was expected to perform. 

I had no idea where in the show my parts were to be, what else was going to be going on, whether I could fake it, whether somebody else was around who could pick up the slack.

I frantically leafed through the stack of papers, looking for the music I was supposed to play. It wasn't there. It really, really wasn't there. I'm sure. I checked tearfully again and again, and the show's beginning was growing closer and closer.

Then, it occurred to me -- email! They would have sent me the music in advance, to practice. I checked, and there it was -- not just the music, but the invitation: from at least a week prior, from Tim himself, asking me to perform. The music was attached, and there was even a point in the email where he said if I couldn't do it, it'd be fine, Minna would do my part. 

I checked, frantically, but I couldn't see Minna anywhere on stage.

(I don't know who Minna is. (I do know a Minna in real life, but they don't play violin. (As far as I know.)))

I went to the music, and it turns out I was only asked to do two pieces -- one halfway through the show, and one at the end! I checked the set list, and the show was at least 8 hours long -- I had ages to learn these songs! (Dream concerts, it seems, drag on a bit.)

I opened the files, started trying to sort through them, and they were some of the most complicated music I had ever seen. (Reminder for folks keeping score: I don't actually play violin, in real life. I'm not 100 percent sure I've ever been in the same room as a violin.)

And I remembered I have another option: 

Wake up.

I shut my eyes, and resolved to awaken. And I did.

And then, for some fucking reason, I decided to go back into the dream.

(End of part 1.)

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Warp stabilization

I just started running warp stabilization on a clip for today's vlog. As of writing it's on frame 142 of 2732, so it's going to be another half hour or so before I find out if it works.

I recorded myself walking across campus with my camera hanging from my neck, pointed up at my face. So, like, you can probably guess how that looks? It's bad.  I didn't know if it was going to be that bad, but after cutting it I watched it back and it started to make me feel nauseous. So I really hope warp works. Otherwise maybe I'll just blur the edges and hope that diminishes the feeling?

When I first discovered warp stabilization, I thought it was a miracle. I couldn't believe how easy it was to just chuck all the camera jitter out of a piece of footage. I used it all the time.

Then, I used it on a video of a lecture, where the camera was mostly stable but frequently bumped. And let me tell you, it did not like it.

The room seemed to boil and churn, bulging and contracting around the professor as if he was a center of gravity distorting the architecture of the space.

Cleverly misapplied warp stabilization might make a really good Lovecraftian Horror effect. 

Apparently snow is complicated: T.X. Watson's vlog-shaped thing, episode 034

I'm really happy with this video -- I got to interview one of my modmates about their Division III work in animation. The footage was a solid half hour, and I could have cut it together into two more videos, depending on what I wanted to focus on. It was a great time, filming and assembling. Definitely worth trudging around in the snow in radically inappropriate shoes and pants.

Apparently snow is complicated: T.X. Watson's vlog-shaped thing, episode 034: http://www.txwatson.com/blog/2017-2-13/apparently-snow-is-complicated-tx-watsons-vlog-shaped-thing-episode-034

Snow-induced lethargy?

Yesterday school was cancelled due to snow, and I have no idea why, but yesterday was the most exhausting day of the past week. I was wrecked, and I only did, like, two things. 

But for some reason it seems like that's how everybody's day went?? My drawing professor this morning gave us an extra-long break because we all seemed so tired. My Posthuman Condition professor emailed us to give an extension on the one-page essay that was due today.

Is this a thing? Did I miss something, are snow days supposed to be physically taxing for some reason? I'm so confused why I'm not expected to have had a radically productive day yesterday -- in fact it seems like the exact opposite is expected of me, and everyone else.

Which is great, I mean, I'm not complaining. I just don't understand what happened.

Caught up on Elementary

I mentioned recently that I've been watching Elementary, the Sherlock Holmes adaptation. Despite the critical nature of that post, I like the show a lot -- and just now I finally got up to date.

Classes are cancelled at Hampshire tomorrow due to horrible anticipated weather, so hopefully I'll have a better blog post then than I do now. At the moment, I'm going to work on pulling the various threads of my life together so I can think in a straight line. (Just got a new notebook for a  bullet journal today, which I hope works out. The last one was too small and the paper was flimsy.) 

Tessa Violet illustration

2017-02-06 “Tessa Violet - Your Life Over Mine,” originally posted at my art tumblr, txwatson-art.tumblr.com.

This is an illustration of a still from Tessa Violet’s music video, for her cover of Bry’s “Your Life Over Mine.” I was going for a kind of Alphonse Mucha feel – I had this painting, “The Seasons: Spring,” open to reference for general style guidance.

I also recorded the whole process, which I may turn into a timelapse.

At last, shipping success!

I finally got my cross-stitch stuff to show up to the right place!

Photo: A cross-stitch on a hoop depicting a yellow triangle and a blue circle, resting on a box of embroidery supplies.

Photo: A cross-stitch on a hoop depicting a yellow triangle and a blue circle, resting on a box of embroidery supplies.

I think I'm probably going to vlog soon about cross-stitch, because it's been a really pleasant meditative practice in the day-or-so I've had it, and I'm excited about my reflections on it.

As you can see in the picture, I haven't got a pattern to work from, so I'm just making shapes. 

What does "Orwellian" mean?

A youtuber I recently started following, "Fandom Musings," just posted this video, which  explicates what "Orwellian" means, and what things about the current administration are Orwellian (and some things that aren't, but are awful for other reasons).

She covers the key points that I think everyone needs to understand about that book and this administration: that language is fundamental to thought. That the Trump administration is dismantling language, controlling information, teaching and practicing doublethink.

And she points out that this is not yet the world of 1984, and that we need to work very hard right now to keep it that way.