Megan

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I went over to Megan’s parents’ house tonight to visit for a small wedding reception. I got a call from Megan on Thursday telling me that she was getting married on Friday, which was kind of a surprise since she had never even mentioned that she was dating anyone before. But it turned out she is pregnant, so I guess it sort of makes sense. So I went over today and hung out for a bit and met her new husband, Scott. He seems like a good guy. He works as a web designer somewhere in Dallas, so we chatted briefly about that kind of stuff.

New Year

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Everyone have a happy and safe New Years Eve this weekend! I’m going over to Ralph and Valerie’s house that night. Should be a fun time. Maybe next month I will finally get around to reading Perilous Power by Noam Chomsky. I bought it back in November, but the copyright date in the front of it marked as 2007 for some reason so I’ll use that as my excuse for having not read it yet. :)

Chamber music

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As always, I’m looking forward to starting some new chamber music soon.
I ordered a copy of the Piston duo for viola and cello to play with
Amirosh and a copy of Mozart duos K423 and K424 for violin and viola to
play with Jason. I just found out last night that Jason just came back
from his long gig in Florida, but he’s going to Colorado in a few days
to play a couple concerts. So hopefully by the time he gets back I’ll
have the Mozart duos. Also, I am itching really badly to start a
new Beethoven quartet.

Hacking

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I’ve been trying to do some Win32-related hacking in GTK. I got a couple theme patches for notebook rendering approved, and I’ve got a patch up for review that fixes an issue with windows not receiving enough expose events when they’re being resized. Now I’m trying to understand and fix some issues related to modality and transience of windows. That’s a pretty difficult bug though. Somehow I’ve managed to get Windows XP to have multiple titlebars highlighted as though the windows are focused, although only one of them is focused in the taskbar. I hate Windows.

I’ve also been fooling around with Ruby a little bit, and I installed Rails yesterday. I was initially deceived by its inclusion in Ubuntu’s apt repository. Apparently if you want to use Rails on Linux, it’s easier to just install RubyGems and install Rails and its dependencies through gem. The instructions on the RubyGems site was a little bit inaccurate for installation to your home directory, though. You need to make some environment variable adjustments:

export GEM_HOME=$PREFIX/lib/ruby/gems/1.8
export RUBYLIB=$PREFIX/lib/ruby:$PREFIX/local/lib/site_ruby/1.8

There are some problems with using the version of Rails that’s included in Ubuntu’s apt. Like missing very important features, like ActiveRecord and Initializer.

Benefit Recital

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Last night I played in a benefit recital for Valentina Mengjesi, an Albanian woman who lives around here and who has breast cancer but not much money to pay for the medical expenses. I have never met her, but she is a friend of some friends of mine, Amela Koci (who is a very close friend) and Tonda Sykes.

The concert went well. It consisted of the Corelli Christmas Concerto, Beethoven Op. 18/6 string quartet in B-flat, Vaughan Williams Rhosymedre, Mozart Horn Quintet K.407, and Saent-Saens Romance in F. Brian Brown played horn, Arthur Busby and Amela Koci played violins, Paul Palmer and I played viola, and Amirosh Issa was the cellist. At the end Amela’s husband Gjergji joined Brian for a horn duo, but I forgot the name of the composer.

Raconteurs CDs

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So, as I last reported I had ordered some live CDs of the Raconteurs from some of their live shows in the UK but the package was open and empty when it arrived. So I talked to the company, Concert Live, about it and they were kind enough to send me a replacement set. I just received that today, and I’m very happy.

Music and stuff

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I got a DVD a couple weeks ago of Alexander Markov performing the Paganini 24 caprices for solo violin. I saw this years ago on a bootleg VHS when I was at Peabody, and I blogged about it on Advogato. Apparently there were a number of people who wanted to see it, because I had four or five different people email me since that time asking me how to get the video. Some offered to pay me to make them a copy of the bootleg of the video, but it wasn’t mine.

I watched the whole thing, and it’s the same one that I saw back then. It’s sort of cheesily done, and it looks like the director/editor got some video editing software and wanted to try all the goofy effects out. It’s like when you open GIMP for the first time and you think it’s a good idea to try to use all the pre-built effects or something. So, the DVD is pretty funny to watch because it’s so bad. But Markov’s playing is very good, and it’s nice to see (when you can actually see.. there’s a whole section where they thought it would be a good idea to just shoot his shadow) and hear.

I got my Aluminium CD in the mail. It’s sort of an orchestral arrangement (supposedly avant garde, not not really in my opinion) of White Stripes music, which sounds sort of dumb but ended up working pretty well. At least, better than any other orchestral version of rock music I’ve ever heard. I think they tend to have more tunes than the bands that I have previously heard orchestral arrangements of.

I also ordered a set of CDs of live concerts of The Raconteurs from their UK shows, and I was really looking forward to getting those. Well, it turns out that the package was really poorly sealed or something because it opened up during transit and all the CDs spilled out of it and an empty package was delivered to me. I’m really sort of pissed about that. I contacted the company that sent it, hoping they’ll send me
another set. I feel like it is sort of their fault for not packaging it very well. I’m not really sure how else to deal with this right now, but I noticed that the shipment was insured.. although not for as much as I paid for it, so that is a little worrying.