lundi, septembre 25, 2006

WiFi and Laptop Mixing

Well, this Monday morning started off with a bang. I had heard that one of the WiFi networks in the UofC portion of the residence building wasn't working, and went into the affected room this morning to check it out. To spare certain folks a lot of embarassment and possible retribution, I can only say that the resulting hour or so involved a bit of panic, some frantic interrogation, and some dumpster-diving. Most importantly, though, the network is back up.

During the same morning business, I also took that moment (post-panic) to ask about changing the day that the cleaning lady sweeps my room to another morning. So far, she's been coming on monday morning, which is usually my day to sleep in (a bit). I wouldn't have to get up until 10 or 10:30, but she's knocking on my door at 9am. And I prefer to be showered and dressed when that happens, so 7:30 it was, this morning. I managed to get that shifted to Tuesday, which is a relief.

Also, I noted that the next batch of students are arriving on the first of the month (as per usual), but the first of October falls on a Sunday. This means that the usual 2 days that I get to go through the welcome ritual has been drastically shortened. As a result, a bunch of kids are going to arrive in Paris sunday afternoon, jet-lagged, with nothing open, and I'm going to drag them through a tour of the building, a tour of the neighborhood, and then take them to get their metro passes. To blunt the damage, some of the folks at the residences suggested that I buy a bunch of pains au chocolat and maybe some coffee to greet the students as they stumble in. Sounds like a great idea, although I'll have to think through the logistics (i.e. not every student stumbling in that afternoon will be part of the Chicago party)

The folks at the front desk (who are super-nice, and—significantly—who are going to lend me a pressure cooker to make my food) suggested that since I work on electronic music, I should take care of providing something techno-y for the general welcome party at the residences sometime in October. The idea was exciting and terrifying, so I said "maybe, yes" on the condition that I could have a bit of time to research my options. Obviously, I didn't bring my vinyl and turntables with me, and I hardly have enough tunes to fill a night on vinyl anyway. However, I do have an iPod full of material (40Gb) and a copy of Ableton Live. I'm thinking of creating a bit of raw material to use in Ableton Live's improv interface. However, that probably won't provide more than an hour's worth of performance material (and live sets can get old after an hour, anyway), so I still need to do some research on programs like Traktor, that will allow me to mix my iPod tracks from a laptop. Speaking of which, I have to figure out how to get my music back off my iPod. Does anybody on here have some suggestions? I'm sure there's a few iPod hacks out there by now...

[Right now, there's another riotous traffic jam in the roundabout in front of my building. This time, there's a fire engine trying to get through and nobody is moving. Ah, Paris!]

The workday was surprisingly full of projects, but I was also surprisingly efficient. I also did a pretty good job of getting there right at the beginning of my shift, and leaving as soon as my shift ended. I've found that when I stay behind after my hours to do my own work, it tends to be interpreted as "I'm still available." Meh. That's fine, because there are plenty of nice places in Paris to do readings and such. Actually, I've taken to reading De Certeau on the subway ride to work. It's sort of like reading Foucault in prison, or Freud in a nursery, or Derrida in a void.

As I headed out from work, I had plans to hit LCL (Le Credit Lyonnais) to try to open a bank account. Admittedly, I had heard that LCL was not the best bank to deal with in France, but they have a branch one block from the UofC Centre, and they take care of all of the year-long students' accounts, which means that they already know what to do with bank accounts opened by foreigners.

I had actually thought about doing this before work, but I pulled on the door and it was closed. The sign clearly said that it was open Mondays at that hour, but there was no sign of life. After work, I came back, sure that they had just taken an early lunch (which is totally a possible explanation here), only to find a couple of contractors tinkering with the neon sign directly over the entrance. Clearly, it wasn't going to be open, despite their posted hours. An inconvenience? A little. A bad idea for a large and essential business to not observe its posted hours? Definitely. An apologetic word of explanation posted anywhere? Come on, this is Paris.

In the end, the afternoon wasn't a total wash. I went by my bakery and picked up a baguette for tomorrow morning (and, of course, this evening), a few choux pastries (mmm!!) and this thing called a Diplomate. I wish I had taken a picture of the thing, because its looks were SO deceiving. It looked like a GIANT brownie, about 4cm high and as big as my hand, covered with a topping of chocolate chips. So, after eating the choux pastries and feeling only a little bit guilty, I tried the Diplomate. As it turns out, a Diplomate is a french version of the English cabinet pudding, which is essentially a compressed layering of biscuits, bread, custard, and (in this case) coffee flavoring. Although the first bite bland and decidedly un-chocolatey, I kept on taking bites, convinced that the chocolate, promised by the pastry's brown appearance, would eventually materialize. I eventually gave up on the thing with about 3 bites to spare. Keeping in mind the actual size of the pastry and the fact that it was made mostly with custard (i.e., eggs and cream), I also had absolutely no appetite for anything else tonight. If you're reading this, mom, I swear that this is not my daily diet!

I also finally got around to doing laundry today, which made me feel rather productive. However, I managed to lose 3.50€ during the washing in a manner that was SO stupid, I won't even disclose it on this blog (see earlier posts to see how low I normally but the stupid-bar).

3 commentaires:

wayne&wax a dit…

google "senuti" (that's itunes backwards)

also, ableton will let you play full mp3s as well as smaller loops, though it might take a little time to get them all time-warped/beat-matched; if it's mostly 4/4 thumping stuff, though, the beat-mapping algorithm should get most of it, leaving but some minor tweaking to you (i.e., it'll probably guess bpm correctly, but you might have to tell it where the downbeat is)

LMGM a dit…

spanks, Wayne! I think "senuti" has some meaning in Italian as well, which is awesome. Yeah, I was aware of the track-mixing option in Live, but it's a bit awkward to use. Live gives a wonderful interface for loop-based, building-block improv, and otherwise more complex pre-arranged stuff. But Traktor seems far superior when it comes to mixing complete tracks. Mind you, depending on how much luck I have, I may just go with the Live solution. I'll blog the (likely amusing) results either way.

LMGM a dit…

p.s. the word verification for that last message was "blpdve" = Blipdive! That has to be an alias for someone by now. If not, I'm claiming it.

(and the verification for this message is "hfnjw". Hmmmm.)