Monthly Archives: April 2011

To the Follows

Now having played both lead and follow part a lot, I can say that the follows have the easier time dancing.  It’s also much easier to improve–you just dance with a bunch of good leads and you learn things as you go along.

But!  Being a follow is not without its downsides.  And so we should all take a moment to thank the follows for putting up with a bunch of things, including:

-Leads who have bad breath and/or smell bad.  This doesn’t happen quite that often, but it’s still much more often than it should be.  Ugh.

-Leads asking you to dance and you feel obliged to say yes to be polite even though you don’t want to.

-Leads who make it difficult to waltz.  For some reason I have never really danced with follows who make it difficult to do a basic turning waltz step.  It happened a few times in social 1, probably, but in social 2 I’ve never had that happen.  But here I am as a follow and we’ve got quite a few leads in social 2 who force me to jump through hoops in order to just keep the basic turning step going.

-Leads being too forceful or having a frame that’s way too close (for example, cross-step waltz).

-Leads who either get offbeat and stay offbeat, or worse yet, just have no sense of timing at all.

-Leads who don’t protect you from collisions (though this isn’t bad at all because you can save yourself from most if not all of them).

-Leads who just bounce all over the place so that dancing feels like you’re constantly going over speed bumps.

Yeah, partnering as a follow kind of sucks.  I don’t think I’ve ever danced with a girl lead that wasn’t okay though.  Hmm…I guess the only ones who suck are men.

OHC133

http://compo.thasauce.net/rounds/view/OHC133

You have suddenly been gifted the ultimate power. Will you use this power for good or evil? Is the power from a physical or intangible source? This weeks theme is “The Ultimate Power.”

My entry: http://compo.thasauce.net/files/DDRKirby_ISQ__-_DDRBot9000(OHC133).mp3

sci’s two entries that I sampled from:
http://compo.thasauce.net/files/sci_-_Return_of_the_Undetermined(OHC112).mp3
http://compo.thasauce.net/files/sci_-_ADD_Sea_of_Thoughts(OHC132).mp3

Wow, this one was fun.  The night before compo I was like “huh I wonder what I should do this week” and I ended up deciding that I always want to glitch up sounds but I’ve never REALLY torn apart stuff and mangled it to heck.  I think I still have a ways to go in that art (look at what sci and InvisibleObserver do), but this marked the first time that I’ve actually sampled from songs heavily.

Anyways, I spent a long while before compo ripping the heck out of two of my favorite entries from sci (one of my favorite OHCers!), learning how to use FL’s Edison audio editor in the process.  The end result was something pretty random and fun, but surprise–there’s also a kickass unts section in the middle which somehow just came out of my mind and was epic epic awesome.

I’d recommend you listen to the two sources first, as you can only appreciate all the rearranging and slicing that goes on in my song if you’re familiar with them.  Even before the compo started I was like “sci, you might probably like my entry.”  And I already had all the stuff sliced up.  So when the theme came on, it was cue for me to just…well, start messing around with them.  The “ultimate power” would be…sci’s samples.

Okay, but I didn’t want to spoil it right away, so I start with some dark spooky textures, and then I actually have some NES sounds, to give the image that some hero is walking around and then gets some magical item.  The fadein pad sound here is ripped from sci’s song, AS is the little “fanfare ditty” (though side note: that fanfare appears only in sci’s fixed version, not the OHC version).

The next drum loop is sliced from return of the undetermined, and then we get this fun riff that should be familiar to probably everyone, using an instrument which is…sampled from ADD sea of thoughts.  The “dingdingding” bell sound is also from return of the undetermined…so the only thing that’s not sampled here is the bass xD.

Then we get some random “PPENIS” from ADD sea of thoughts as well as “kirby” from “ddrkirby”.  After a silly arpeggiated synth, I slice up one of the main choruses of add sea of thoughts, and then we get a pad that I ripped from there.  The “beep” lead as well as the organ chords are also sampled.

THEN, we get to a section which has nothing sampled at all–it’s just pure kickassery.  I bring the 4-on-the-floor beat along with a trademark “kirbysquare” synth, and then add in a massive phat sidechained bass, which on the second repetition grows even more massive as I add in FIFTHS and a high NES lead on top of it.  So it’s epic.

Then at 2:38 we get a drop and we get this lovely, lovely awesome bass pattern that I love.  After another glitch I add in that oh-so-familiar-by-now NES lead on top, and then after that there’s an arp in the background playing around too.  This part is just ROCKIN, if I do say so myself–probably the best UNTS I’ve made in awhile. m/

After that we get a random “screw the vagina” from ADD Sea of Thoughts, and then a really fun part where I rearrange the “calc.exe” section of Return of the Undetermined, also adding a 4-on-the-floor beat in the back, plus another NES lead.  Fun!!!  After some glitching we end with the exact sampled end of Return of The Undetermined.

Yeah, so this entry was stupidly fun AND kicked ass.  A rare combination, but it does happen once in a while!

Forever

This is the closest I’ve ever been to someone.  Ever.  And perhaps, for the very first time, when she says that we’ll probably close to each other for the rest of our lives, I believe it.  Somehow, even if she flies off into another distant world, there is still some angelic thread that connects us.

…or at the very least, my persistence and unwillingness to let go.  We can both count on that. =)

Glowsticking performance

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PYK4AOfeNU

Too bad the first few seconds got cut off–I kind of wanted to see that, since I had a really good sense of euphoria at the time (it helped that the music was really loud at the onset).  There was probably a couple of seconds where I was going with my eyes closed.

Anyways, performing glowsticking is an interesting thing.  I most often glowstick alone by myself, but I think the ideal way to glowstick is at a dance venue, where other people are watching you but also dancing.  The problem with having an actual audience watching you is that there’s this slight pressure to do things to please the audience, and moreover, the drops break the flow =that= much more.  When I’m doing a solo vid and I have a drop (or a few) sometimes I just leave it in the final edit nowadays because I find that it doesn’t break flow that much–I just keep going, sometimes with a clever floor trace (muahaha).  But having drops in a performance situation feels a lot different, because you know the audience is thinking “aww…”.

Another thing that I reaffirmed today (not that I didn’t already know it): with glowsticking, just like social dance, and just like music production, it’s much easier to be creative, flow naturally, and come up with good ideas when you go SLOW.  When you’re at high tempos you fall back on what you already know because there’s not enough time to think critically about things, so you just have to stick with things that are already in muscle memory, without being conscious about it much at all.  So it’s not like sticking at high tempos is bad per se, but it’s necessarily just an exhibition of things that you already know, since it’s hard to think about it.  For improvement, you’ve gotta slow things down a lot.

It’s easy to see how that applies to social dance.  With music production it’s…well, actually not the same, but in the end the result is kind of similar, at least for me.  I just find that when I set out to make songs that are 140BPM or faster it’s somehow just harder.  If you do melodic stuff, then more beats are crammed into the same time, so it’s like there’s more work.  Whereas for something at like 100BPM, my patterns can be a lot more relaxed and it still all works.

freehanding confidence = shot

bleeeeeh.  i did some freehand practice tonight to prepare for performing tomorrow.  I’ll be fine and people will like it just fine but I’m not really happy at where I am right now.  The creativity wasn’t flowing; I was getting stuck in stale moves and transitions.  Next time I freehand I need to just focus on not even dancing at all but going really slow and flowing into new things.  I guess next time I’ll listen to some downtempo music to help me think harder.

edit:
actually, you know, watching my latest vid, my freehand isn’t -that- bad.  I still need to really get better, but I think today was just worse than usual.  I’ll just call it a fluke.

I wonder…if I stopped blogging and writing altogether, would I talk more?  I’m not willing to try because I would -never- want to give up blogging and writing, but it’s an interesting thought.

Huyen over at http://heyhuyen.posterous.com/ is in CS377T – Behavior Design: Using Technology to Create Calming Habits and talking about using technology to calm people and destress them.  I just had the idea of applying a similar viewpoint to my own self-expression issues.  Not necessarily using technology, but the idea of habits, and creating motivators, etc.

So now I can play death 500 comfortably until I misdrop, I can play shirase 500 on edge, and I can even do shirase 600 with top focus.  Shirase 700 is where I can’t handle it anymore.

Hourou Musuko anime

Yes, so I marathoned the Hourou Musuko anime this past weekend.  The last time I looked for Hourou Musuko wallpapers was before the anime even started airing, so I’ve gotta redo that search and I’m sure I’ll find many many more.

The anime was overall, very good and I liked it a lot.  I felt like that manga had a stronger impact, but I appreciated the beauty of the anime.

Nitori looked absolutely stunning as a girl, with color and proper shading.  The wig was beautiful.  At times I was sad because he was dressed as a girl without the wig…and really, without the wig he isn’t nearly as cute.  It made me kind of jealous, even, really.

I would question the anime’s decision to start in the middle of things, instead of starting where the manga did.  Perhaps that way they could get to some of the more complicated things like Nitori’s relationship with Anna, but that also meant they left out many of those crucial scenes when Nitori is exploring his girl self for the very first time.  Those scenes really resonated with me, for reasons that should be quite obvious.  The scenes of Nitori having dreams of himself as a girl…him trying on clothes for the first time, in secret, feeling so nervous and self-conscious and afraid and yet excited at the same time…and him having an anxiety attack at the barber shop…these scenes are really the “uwahh” moments for me that get to me, so I was disappointed to not see some of them.

Perhaps two of the major things that I did appreciate about the anime adaptation were the humor, and how the relationship with Anna played out.  Actually, I found that the anime stayed very very close to the manga–a lot of the scenes and dialogue felt very familiar. (it also helped that I reread the first bunch of the manga a short while ago)  Except the comedy was portrayed much, much better, since you just can’t get the same kind of comedic effects in a manga.  So that was great.

Like I said, the anime stayed very close to the manga, so perhaps I’m imagining things if I think that Nitori’s relationship with Anna was portrayed any differently.  But regardless, I felt that it was more compelling this time, somehow.  Maybe they managed to work some nice subtle emotionalities into it that I really appreciated, even on a subconscious level.  But I really liked it.

I’d like to say one more thing about that, though–while I was watching, my friends commented on how “yeah, they definitely don’t seem like boyfriend and girlfriend” since Anna was doing things like giving him advice on clothing and such.  And that’s true–it really felt more like a big sister/little sister relationship.  But you see, that’s just -another- facet of Nitori that resonates with me…because I think someday, when I find the someone just for me, I want them to be a big sister of sorts as well.  Maybe not all the time, but at least some of the time.

I’m curious to know what other people think of Hourou Musuko, since I’m obviously viewing it through a much, much different lens, where it strikes so, so close to home.  “It’s an anime about me.”, is even what I tell people.  And really, it’s not very far off at all.  It’s almost chilling.  But what about other people?  Do they feel the same sense of sympathy?  Do they have the same understanding of Nitori’s feelings?  Does this anime help people understand me better?

Shuuichi Nitori-san…you are perhaps Sayuri’s biggest idol.

I’m so happy right now.  To have someone care for me, know me, and love me, in this way…It makes everything worthwhile.  It’s almost like taking all of the happiness of love and subtracting out all of the nervousness.

Heart-to-heart talks…they make me melt away.

I’ve said this before, but it takes me a long time to get to appreciate someone’s eyes.  I’m not entirely sure why that is…maybe it’s because I seem to almost never lock eyes with someone unless I’m really comfortable with them, or maybe because it takes me a while to really learn someone’s eyes.  But there are very few people whose eyes I really appreciate.  Maybe only -one person-, actually, right now.

Someday, when I find the “someone just for me” that Chobits talks about, I will learn to love their eyes.  And there will be many more of these moments, staring into each other’s eyes.  Understanding.  Me, with a quiet, yet deep smile.  A smile that’s not wide at all, but one that encompasses my entire being in a serene, peaceful expression of contentedness.

Perhaps my angel is the answer to the prayers I have always been making over these years.  She is the only angel I’ve ever had.

To be friends with an angel…

This world

My angel often has that sense of wanting -more-, like this mortal world isn’t enough for her, in a way.  Yes, it’s true that she’s sometimes overwhelmed and in that sense the world is too much, but in another sense it’s like she wants to be destined for a greater meaning–and that’s why I often think of her as being high up in the sky.  The analogy works because well, she’s my angel after all.  In contrast, I guess I would be the one that’s under the sea.  It’s just as serene (if not more so), but in a different sort of way.  It’s slower–everything is a little more languid and a little more fluid.  And no one can really see deep into things because the light doesn’t reach.  And the analogy works because there are also times when I have that “part of that world” sort of feeling.  I guess that’s why my “animal I would be” is a turtle or a tortoise.  I’ve always liked the water, after all (though I dislike swimming).

There are times when I feel unsatisfied with the world as well.  But there’s a subtle difference.  For my angel, the world isn’t enough, but for me, the world isn’t -good enough-.  To me, it’s not that the world is too mundane, or too meaningless, and there’s no desire for anything fantastical.  But there is a sense of disappointment, in that it just doesn’t comply to my standards–high as they may be at times.  I wouldn’t want to go to a different world…but I might want this one to change a little bit.  Unfortunately, much of my magic is incapable of changing the world at large.  I only have abilities that quietly affect the things that are around me–without affecting myself.  And then abilities that change my own perception of the world.