I Have Friends

Some of you may be surprised to find out that I am not the only one of my friends who write and play music. I know, it's crazy. Rueben deGroot and I go way back, like to 2006. Things were simpler back then. The financial crisis was known back then as the "real estate boom". A fresh-faced Daniel Powter sang to us about having a bad day. Oh, and Rueben lived in San Francisco back then, rather than in Kingston (Canada!) as he does now. 

We played music together back then and had general good times. The thing that really sets Rueben apart from most musicians I know is his voice. His beautiful voice. I don't swing that way but if Rueben crooned a song just for me and I'd had a few glasses of wine, I'd consider it. Just saying! Anyway, Rueben came to visit earlier this year and brought me a CD of his most recent album. My CD player is broken and the CD player in my computer makes it sound like an airplane is taking off in my living room so the disc sat around for a few months before I  realized that I can actually rip CDs into my hard drive. Duh. I love a few of these songs so much that I really want other people to hear them too so here they are. I would like to especially recommend Mandolin, Little Red Mixer and Baby Wake Up (which tends to get lodged in my head). Anyway, here's what's what.


The Union

I released this video a few weeks ago but hadn't gotten around to posting it on ye olde blog yet. I've played drums for a long time but seeing as how I live in an apartment, I don't get to practice too often. Still, I bust them out for special occasions, like a song that needed some percussion. You can tell that I'm a true band geek by the way that I silence the cymbal during the quiet section. That's some orchestra-level skill right there, people.

Also, somehow I lost all the footage of me playing guitar for this track too. There are lots of guitars squeezed into this song and I was hoping to show that. Oh well. Next time.

If you're interested in more details (like lyrics) you can click here: http://theheated.bandcamp.com/track/the-union


Show May 1st!

There's a rad show coming up that I want to tell you about. It's not just rad because I'm playing, it's rad because it's a fundraiser for my friends who are participating in the AIDS Lifecycle. I'm really impressed with people who set big goals (like traveling from San Francisco to Los Angeles on a bicycle) so, of course I want to help out. To help, I made a flyer. Making a flyer, while having its own set of difficulties, is not as hard as riding a bicycle from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Just for the record. The event starts at 3:00 pm and the music will start around 4:00 pm. I'm on second so you do the math.

Here's the flyer. Not bad, huh? Feel free to grab it and use it however you want.

The whole process for the flyer started with some felt.

I wanted to create a scene from the ride itself and have been a little obsessed with that whale recently, so why not throw that in too?

I was having trouble figuring out how the whole thing was going to stick together until I remembered that I have an adhesive specifically for getting fabric to stick to things.

Last time I opened up this adhesive, it had separated a bit so I wrote a note on top to remind me to mix it up.

After all my felt pieces had a good amount of adhesive on them, I left them to dry overnight.

Here's a picture of Jenny taking a picture to be turned into a flyer. It's all very meta.



The latest round of bread baking went way better than the first round. I decided to attempt baguettes. Here is the recipe I used: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/classic-baguettes-and-stuffed-baguettes/i-recipe# 

One of my neighbors has recently gotten into baking too and she let me in on a secret way to proof the bread: boil some water and pour it in a pan, leave the pan in the bottom of a cool oven and let your bread rise in there. So, I did that and I got my bread to rise! I ended up with loaves that were nicely chewy, although they could have been a bit lighter and the crust could have been a little crispier. But overall, I was quite pleased.

Here are the loaves sitting on my heater. I only left them there for about 15 minutes right at the end of their multiple rises, while I preheated the oven.
Here they are before I tossed them in. Not bad, ed?

And here they are fresh from the oven. The recipe said to let them cool in the oven to get extra crisp crust. I don't know that I would describe my crust as extra crisp but it was definitely not chewy!

Aw yeah! Bread.


Helpful Neighbor

Last week, our neighbor knocked on our door and asked if we could help him and his twelve year old son move a couch upstairs. They had already gotten the couch up in the doorway but it was too heavy for them to get up the stairs by themselves. Jenny and I helped maneuver it up the flight of stairs, down the hall and into the far room. On the way down the hall, the dad knocked a photo that belongs to his wife off the wall and the frame totally cracked apart. 

"She's gonna be pissed," the dad said. 
"Well, maybe not. She knows what happens when you leave men alone," I replied.
"Did you hear that?" he asked his son. "She thinks we're men!"

The glass in the frame didn't break. It was just the corners that blew apart on impact. "I can fix it," I told them. I took the frame from them, clamped and glued it up, let it set, cleaned it and put it back together. If you ever get the chance to live next door to us, don't pass it up. Just sayin'.


Art Class

Last week was spring break. Normally that means nothing to me but this year, I'm actually taking a class that's not strictly online so it felt like a real break to have a week of from a class that meets twice a week. The class is basic drawing and it has been really helpful in showing me actual drawing techniques.

This one was created by taking a piece of a plant, laying it down on a piece of paper with a grid drawn on it and translating that to a larger scale grid on my drawing pad. Then we colored in all the negative space. 

This wasn't part of our homework but I used some techniques to make a design I had been thinking about for a dish towel. It's new for me to work on such a large scale but I'd say it's working.

I also don't usually use a felt tip pen but to get thinner lines for screen printing, I went big with thicker lines and then shrunk it down in the computer for output to a screen.

Here's a smaller piece of the crocus.

Here's a picture of the finished design, printed on a towel. I call it Spring Bulbs.