sigmastolen: (bassoonists do it with their thumbs)
So I realized I didn't cross-post the last twelve days of the 30 Days of Classical Music meme, because I am the worst. So! Here we go!

Day 19 - A classical music piece from your favorite album )

Day 20 - A classical music piece that you listen to when you're angry )

Day 21 - A classical music piece that you listen to when you're happy )

Day 22 - A classical music piece that you listen to when you're sad )

Day 23 - A classical music piece that you want to play at your wedding )

Day 24 - A classical music piece that you want to play at your funeral )

Day 25 - A classical music piece that makes you laugh )

Day 26 - A classical music piece that you can play on an instrument )

Day 27 - A classical music piece that you wish you could play )

Day 28 - A classical music piece that makes you feel guilty )

Day 29 - A classical music piece from your childhood )

Day 30 - Your favorite classical music piece at this time last year )

So!  This has been a meme!  I feel… very liberated, now that it's over.  It's a weirdly heavy obligation, posting a specific thing every day.  Next time I do one of these, I'm going to plan it out beforehand, instead of jumping in with both feet and winging it.  Then again, the next time I do one of these, it will probably involve essays and/or picspams, because that's supposed to be the point of these memes, right?  …. I think I'll take a while off.
sigmastolen: (Default)

What Is Your Battle Cry?

Lo! Who is that, stalking through the freeway! It is Sigmaforsale, hands clutching a meaty axe! She grunts mightily:

"I'm going to brutalize you backwards in time, and throw you out the airplane door!"

Find out!
Enter username:
Are you a girl, or a guy ?

created by beatings : powered by monkeys

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30 Days of Classical Music
Day 12 - A classical music piece from a band you hate
cut for all the awful ever )
Time To Say Goodbye (Con te partiró) | Francesco Sartori/Lucio Quarantotto
(video above: Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman and an unidentified backing orchestra from some television special)

I was going to say something about how weird this day is -- "a band you hate" is bizarre in that "band" is probably not the word to use and "hate" is a very strong word to use -- 

but then I remembered that Andrea Bocelli exists.  And then I came across this on YouTube and I knew this performance existed specifically to be this day of the meme.

… I'm so sorry this had to be here, you guys. So sorry.
sigmastolen: (bassoonists do it with their thumbs)
30 Days of Classical Music
Day 06 - A classical music piece that reminds you of somewhere

Last Tango in Bayreuth | Peter Schickele (yes, he did publish this one under his own name!)
(video above: Tennessee Bassoon Quartet: Keith McClelland, James Lotz, James Lasses, Michael Benjamin, bassoons)

This one was a stumper, actually.  I don't strongly associate classical music to places, apparently?  Or at least, not that I was able to think of.  After much pondering, I decided to settle on a piece that reminds me of Idyllwild, CA, and the summer music festival.  My experiences at Idyllwild are completely tied up in the friends I met there -- we were called (or perhaps called ourselves?) the Bassoon Mafia, and our pastimes included reedmaking, crossword puzzles, Scrabble, Hearts, hiking, stargazing, being inappropriate in the library, and playing quartets (and other bassoon ensemble pieces).  This was one of the first pieces I heard "the guys" perform, and a couple years later I played it with the three other bassoonists I have stayed closest to.  Even after we stopped attending the festival, the four of us went up to Idyllwild just to be together in that place again.  I played a lot of music there, and I've played a lot of music elsewhere, but whenever I hear this quartet, I think fondly of Idyllwild and my beloved friends.

Wow, that was sappy.
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30 Days of Classical Music
Day 05 -  A classical music piece that reminds you of someone

Enigma Variations, Variation IX "Nimrod" | Edward Elgar
(video above: Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Daniel Barenboim, in a performance dedicated to the late Georg Solti)

This may be a somewhat plebian choice?  But Nimrod always makes me think of my dear friend M.  We supported each other through some really tough times in high school, and we both are really deeply moved (usually to tears) by this piece.  The obvious connection is that this movement represents Elgar's close friend Augustus Jaeger.  It tells a story of friendship and encouragement in dark times, and that was what we were -- and are -- for each other. 
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30 Days of Classical Music
Day 04 - A classical music piece that makes you sad.

War Requiem, Op. 66 | Benjamin Britten
6. Libera Me  - Strange Meeting ("It seemed that out of battle I escaped"), Wilfred Owen
(video above: Peter Pears, tenor; Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone; Melos Ensemble; London Symphony Orchestra; conducted by Benjamin Britten)

In the War Requiem, Benjamin Britten manages to celebrate the valour of individual soldiers, comfort a grieving, war-ravaged country (the Requiem was composed for the reconsecration of Coventry Cathedral in 1962, after the original was destroyed in a bombing raid in 1940), and mourn the senselessness of war in a single intensely powerful, sorrowful piece.  Britten, a pacifist, quoted Wilfred Owen, whose poetry is intertwined with the traditional Latin texts, on the title page of the score:
My subject is War, and the pity of War.
The Poetry is in the pity …
All a poet can do today is warn.

The selection I've chosen here is, arguably, the climactic moment of the piece.  The text is Owen's poem, Strange Meeting, which is narrated by a soldier "who goes to the underworld to escape the hell of the battlefield and there he meets the enemy soldier he killed the day before."  The orchestration is particularly sparse, letting the tenor and baritone soliloquies speak for themselves.  The line, "I am the enemy you killed, my friend," is the point in the piece at which I begin to weep inconsolably, every single time.  To listen to the entire thing in one sitting is a singularly harrowing experience.

Runners up:
Adagio for Strings, Op. 11 | Samuel Barber (yeah it's cliche but whatever it tugs my heartstrings.  what can i say, i'm easy.)
Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis | Ralph Vaughan Williams (it has a kind of stately melancholy that thrills me and sweeps me along and it doesn't exactly make me sad but it makes me…. well, melancholy (thesaurus fail, sorry)) 
sigmastolen: (bassoonists do it with their thumbs)
30 Days of Classical Music
Day 03 - A classical music piece that makes you happy:

A Midsummer Night's Dream | Benjamin Britten
(video above: countertenor David Daniels sings "Welcome Wanderer - I know a bank," which is my favourite aria from this opera.  This is the Opéra National de Lyon production, under musical director Harry Bicket.)

Yes.  The entire opera.  Benjamin Britten is my favorite.  Gorgeous, ethereal "green space" music; text painting that makes me giggle; and, if you're lucky, singers who are also gifted comedic actors (especially the Rude Mechnicals).  Oberon is a major countertenor role, and I love countertenors, especially in music from the last hundred years.  (Of course, if you don't have a countertenor (as OperaUCLA did not when I fell in love with their production and saw five of their six shows), a sexy mezzo adds a certain something to the duets with Titania, particularly if it's not played as a trouser role.)  Also, Opera Does Shakespeare is pretty much ALWAYS GOOD.

RUNNERS UP (because this was a hard day to pick just one):
La Valse | Maurice Ravel (in which Bernstein gets down with his bad self.  La Valse is fun for the whole family!)
Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity from The Planets | Gustav Holst (Jupiter brings jollity.  It's true.)
Flight | Jonathan Dove (this link goes to's Music Sampler because I am a snob and don't like any of the five clips of Flight a that exist on YouTube.  The ending of this opera makes me sad, but I fell in love with it (while playing contrabassoon in the pit for OperaUCLA) much the same way I fell in love with A Midsummer Night's Dream.  I need more people to know about this opera!)
sigmastolen: (WDCH)
Posting late because I did this latelate last night on Tumblr and forgot to cross-post! Wooo!

30 Days of Classical Music
Day 02 - Your least favourite classical music piece:

Turfan Fragments | Morton Feldman
(video above: Orchestra of the SEM Ensemble, conducted by Petr Kotik)

This was less difficult for me to choose than yesterday's.  I floundered for a short while, and almost chose Boulez's infamous Structures 1a (although, as spiky and unpleasant as it is, I decided that it didn't deserve this dubious distinction, because I respect what it represents) -- but then I tried to think of pieces that I really have not enjoyed seeing performed, and it was suddenly obvious.  I attended one of the LA Phil's Concrete Frequency series from January 2008, and heard Turfan Fragments.  Don't get me wrong, Concrete Frequency as a whole was fabulous and, in my opinion, a huge success.  Even the rest of the program this piece appeared on was great.  And I have enjoyed quite a few of Feldman's other works -- The King of Denmark, for example, which is not the greatest on recordings but is absolutely captivating in recital -- but not Turfan Fragments.  It was definitely the lowest-energy piece on an otherwise lively program.  I had a really difficult time keeping my attention on the piece, which is very hushed and disjunct and hard to follow.  I just plain didn't like it very much, and it was obvious that the orchestra didn't, either.  Sorry, Mr. Feldman, but Turfan Fragments was not a good time.
sigmastolen: (bassoonists do it with their thumbs)
30 Days of Classical Music
Day 01 - Your favourite classical music piece:

Scheherazade | Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Eugene Ormandy, 1978

"Favourite" is a really difficult thing to choose, because classical music (and all music honestly) has so much variety, and I love different things about all the pieces I love.  I ended up choosing Scheherazade because it is a piece that I am always excited to hear, and always excited to play.  I got to see the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra perform this in March, and it was so thrilling that I literally couldn't hold still afterwards -- I was bouncing everywhere waiting outside the artist's entrance, waiting for the bus, the entire ride home, and well after I was back at my apartment.  This is a suite that really has it all: poignant violin solos representing Scheharazade, weaving the captivating stories that save her life, meaty solos for the woodwinds and brass, swaggering heroes, a love theme that tugs at your heartstrings, and most of all, sweeping adventure and Rimsky-Korsakov's sumptuous orchestrations.
sigmastolen: (bassoonists do it with their thumbs)

Day 01 - your favourite classical music piece
Day 02 - your least favourite classical music piece
Day 03 - a classical music piece that makes you happy
Day 04 - a classical music piece that makes you sad
Day 05 - a classical music piece that reminds you of someone
Day 06 - a classical music piece that reminds you of somewhere
Day 07 - a classical music piece that reminds you of a certain event
Day 08 - a classical music piece that you know all the words to
Day 09 - a classical music piece that you can dance to
Day 10 - a classical music piece that makes you fall asleep
Day 11 - a classical music piece from your favourite performer
Day 12 - a classical music piece from a band you hate
Day 13 - a classical music piece that is a guilty pleasure
Day 14 - a classical music piece that no one would expect you to love
Day 15 - a classical music piece that describes you
Day 16 - a classical music piece that you used to love but now hate
Day 17 - a classical music piece that you hear often on the radio
Day 18 - a classical music piece that you wish you heard on the radio
Day 19 - a classical music piece from your favourite album
Day 20 - a classical music piece that you listen to when you’re angry
Day 21 - a classical music piece that you listen to when you’re happy
Day 22 - a classical music piece that you listen to when you’re sad
Day 23 - a classical music piece that you want to play at your wedding
Day 24 - a classical music piece that you want to play at your funeral
Day 25 - a classical music piece that makes you laugh
Day 26 - a classical music piece that you can play on an instrument
Day 27 - a classical music piece that you wish you could play
Day 28 - a classical music piece that makes you feel guilty
Day 29 - a classical music piece from your childhood
Day 30 - your favourite classical music piece at this time last year
(from Facebook)
sigmastolen: (Default)
In the absence of enough brain for actual content, have a meme!

My (first, middle, and last) name becomes u h o.

[ profile] tubamaphone1, I know you're laughing right now.

Meme Time!

Jan. 21st, 2011 09:39 pm
sigmastolen: (Default)
... I really wanted to write "Tiem!" in the subject, as is my custom, but I couldn't resist the "--me --me!" pattern. :/


• Go to Wikipedia and hit random. The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.
• Go to and hit random. The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.
• Go to flickr and click on explore the last seven days. Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.
• Use photoshop or similar to put it all together. Post it with this text in the caption.


If you don't have a graphics editor, the one I use is Seashore. I'm not sure how intuitive the new version, 0.5.1, is, but I found version 0.1.9, the latest stable version, really easy to learn and use. The main thing, of course, is that I'm cheap and Seashore is free. [/software plug]
sigmastolen: (Default)
oh boy
1. Bold the names of guys you’d definitely get with.
2. Italicize the names of guys you might get with after a little persuasion.
3. Leave the guys who don’t do anything for you alone.
4. Put a question (?) mark after the guys you’ve never heard of.
5. Strike the guys you wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole.
6. Add three guys to the list.

This list begins with RPattz. I cannot contain my laughter. )


Alan Tudyk
John Cho
Marlon Brando

(Jesus, who are all those dudes up there?)
sigmastolen: (Default)
You guys all know that fanfiction is perhaps my biggest vice, yes? More all-consuming even than booze or shoes (which RHYME OMG :D) and much more secret.

Most of the time when I have a deep attraction to a book, movie, or television show, I seek out fic. Inception was pretty much love at first sight (after it finished breaking my brain) and clearly since it opened there has been a veritable explosion of fannish activity, very much including fic. The Inception Anonymous Kink Meme, however, is so far disappointingly vanilla. Misspelled poetry? Not very kinky. "how x met y" ? Also not kinky. Saccharine fluff? Definitely not kinky. Somnophilia, genderbending, BDSM are all go, but what is with all the schmoop? Get it out of the kink meme. I don't inherently have a problem with vanilla fluff, but it belongs in some other, vanilla, fluffy comm. GAH, HONESTLY. To see what a proper kink meme is like, check out [ profile] sizeofthatthing, [ profile] kinky_torchwood, and [ profile] touchyerwood.  Because Whoniverse fen are PRO at kink.  kthx.
sigmastolen: (Default)
(What I just thought: "A meme walks into a bar..." PUNCHLINE, ANYONE?)

Basically, you enter some text and it analyses it using some unknown criteria and tells you what famous writer you write like (and gives you a badge! for badges click through cut below.)

Anyway, when I copypasta'd some of the more coherent paragraphs from recent journal entries, it told me I write like Stephen King. And when I put in the text of a homework assignment I did yesterday (a page and a half on articles about ESL and Ebonics and junk), it claimed I write like H.P. Lovecraft. And then when I entered some paragraphs from a piece of fiction I've been toying with, and that was apparently like Oscar Wilde. But other, more fragmentary paragraphs from my (appropriately titled) "collected scraps, variable origin" file seem to be written more like Chuck Palahniuk.

Anyway, I guess I think the whole thing is kind of crap. I write like me, and you write like you, and all of the authors in the meme's bag of tricks write like themselves as well. But it was an interesting experiment, kind of like the one where the program analyzes text to determine the gender of the author.


Actually, the "we don't need no stinkin' badges" quote is kind of appropriate for today's focus on vernacular dialects. Huh. (Of course, my brain also wants to turn it into the "badgers? we don't need no stinkin' badgers!" quote from Weird Al's movie, UHF. WHICH COINCIDENTALLY CAME UP IN CONVERSATION OVER DINNER TODAY)


Jul. 4th, 2010 01:17 am
sigmastolen: (Default)
because I fail at doing anything right now, including making a real LJ post, responding to intelligent comments, and reading for my classes.

Go to
Look up your name
Post the first definition it gives you

but oh god here's ALLLLL of them because LOLWTF (also, as a blanket application for the rest of this post: [sic])

1. Sumner
That guy at school that everyone wants to get with guys girls even teachers he is just so sexy and fucking boss you cant ever fucking touch that kid
Sumner is such a fucking man love i just want to coress

2. Sumner
Sumner's are grangorgeous girls who frolic with gnomes in magical rain-forests in the mountains of Saskatchewan and devour the souls of oompa loompas. She has the ability to turn anything she touches into instant pixie dust; which when snorted makes you shrink 1.337 inches exactly. Sumner's also carry a scent of Uberpixel, which is concocted from Smurf toes, Muppet fuzz, and leftover Lamb Chop hand puppets which when combined smell like Jesus with a hint of chocolate.
"I was on 'The Price Is Right' last week but Drew Carey threw me off stage when I accidentally quoted a Sumner for $50,000,000.. when the correct amount was priceless."

3. Sumner
A small, but groing, suburban town in southern/mid-southern Washinton State...USA
I was in Sumner last weekend... It kinda sucked!

4. sumner
Gordon Sumner is the legendary frontman of the band the police
Yo dude, Gordon Sumner and the Police rock!

(oh god, the best part about the last one is that the tags were don't, stand, so, close, to, me)
sigmastolen: (Default)
First: a meme I must have done at the beginning of last summer, before the cable was set up in our old apartment!

Second: This morning, during my "walk easy 30 min," I saw a woman out walking her dog. A woman in her 40s or 50s, it looked like, walking her teeny-tiny yorkshire terrier, wearing an orange mini-dress and four-inch espadrilles. Oh god, it was priceless. Only in fuckin' LA.

Third: All last week, my run days were cycles of run 1 min, walk 2 min. Yesterday, the times were reversed, to run 2 min, walk 1 min and it was awful. Especially since yesterday was hazy and roasting-hot, and I was miserable. I ran a cold bath the minute I got home. Today was a walk day and I can't decide if I wish it were a run day, because while it is even more hazy out, it's dark and cloudy and comparatively cool. (Which is not to say that I'm not still sitting here with all the windows shut and the A/C on.) I'm dreading tomorrow a bit, when I'm supposed to run 3 min, walk 1 min, not to mention Friday and Saturday, which are both run 4, walk 1. This is happening, though. I'm doing this.

Fourth: Then again, it's a good thing that today was a walk day, because I gave blood last night and I probably wouldn't be able to run this morning. I was practising last night, but had to stop because I got dizzy. Yay!

Fifth: The kittens are afraid of my bassoon, which makes me sad. They hide under the bed whenever I practise. :C


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