Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day 8: Stand-up Pandora station Day 9: Bow shopping Day 10: 11/11/11

Okay, so I'm catching up 3 days worth of new things. It's been pretty busy, but here's the scoop!

Day 8: I started my first non-music Pandora station. This sounds incredibly dull except for the fact that I queued up stand-up comedy and my life has gotten strangely more exciting. A co-worker had mentioned having a stand-up station, so I thought I'd give it a try. A month ago I visited a friend who is an aspiring stand-up comedian and we spent a lot of time watching stand-up. When I got back, I continued the trend and got hooked on Patton Oswalt. So, I seeded my station with Patton Oswalt, and then added Louis C.K. and Demetri Martin. They're probably my favorites.

Listening to stand-up is a lot different from music. First off, the style of comedians that I chose meant I was blasted with dirty jokes and cuss words for a pretty good amount of time. Second of all, every now and then I'll miss jokes because I'm busy working on something else. I usually treat Pandora as a background audio, and it's weird with stand-up.

I'm a bit hooked, but I've also noticed that with this addiction is a rise in my sarcasm levels and new, strange phrasing of how I speak into setups and punchlines. I can't imagine this is particularly healthy, so I may have to balance this out in the future.

Day 9: I've gone violin shopping before, and I've gone electric violin shopping before, but I've never gone bow shopping before. They treat it really similarly to the former: you go to a violin shop, let them know what you're looking for, and they lay out a selection and leave you alone for an hour. What I think makes bow-shopping so unique is the fact that it's bows. The differences between them are harder to tell, and yet so very, very important. I remember when I was little, my dad told me that a large percentage of playing violin is in the bow, and I was shocked, seeing as the bow barely seems to do anything.

So, I decided to try out different bows mostly to see if I could even tell a difference. My current one is very cheap, but made from a very durable material. It's good for its price, but I've often had teachers who complained about it.

The differences between the bows were indescribable, and probably partially fabricated in my mind. The main things to check for are weight, balance, and bounce, but playing on them was a new experience. I remember for one bow that had good balance, it sang even when I used slow bows. I felt as if I was holding my breathe underwater, and I was Aquaman. That's the best that I can really describe it, which goes to show that I barely know anything, but am purely going by instinct.

Day 10: I feel like I'm a day behind if I'm celebrating 11/11/11 on day 10. I gotta go back and check my math. I must have skipped a day! I'll do something extra over the weekend. I started brainstorming for 11/11/11 a week ago. Suggestions my friends came up with included eating "11"-shaped foods like twix bars and 2 pocky sticks at a time using chopsticks. I ended up going with listening to Spinal Tap music, after 11/11/11 was declared Nigel Tufnel day because "these all go to eleven." At 11:11 a bunch of co-workers made a toast. I mentioned that I'd listened to Spinal Tap, and then they proceeded to go around the circle and all name what they'd listened to that morning, none of which were Spinal Tap. And I wanted to be like "No guys! You're not getting the point!!"

I'm not actually a superstitious person. And yet, something about 11:11 gives me a tiny flicker of hope. It's not that I believe it's good luck. To me, it's more a recognition that there are tons of things that are not in my control, and that some of those things are good things. I think it's not so much a wish as it is a recognition. At any rate, this 11/11/11 wasn't particularly magical, nor did anything special happen. But that's what I sort of expected. Especially with my cynicism levels riding high from this stand-up kick.

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