Sunday, February 11, 2007

Making Toast

Jennifer and I did a reading last night, reprising our roles as Miss Matilda Manners and Miss Edwina Etiquette. It was in Rolf's living room, and we were the openers for a band from Waterloo called Agile Like This. They were really fun. They had a song about how great feminism is. That made me happy.

I was also happy with our performance, though I was way more nervous than I remember being for the launch at venus envy. The more intimate environment, I think.

After ALT, Aurele, Eric and I went to the Shanghai for a bit of kareoke watching and a drink. It was super messy there, end of the night "I drank enough to get my courage up to sing that Meatloaf song that goes on for one hundred excrutiating years but then I didn't stop drinking and now I'm doing weird dancing while other people are singing" kind of messy. It was entertaining, but a little strange, voyeuristic, like we'd caught the last act of something a little naughty that was supposed to make sense, instead of just dropping in to the local to have a beer.

For two days in a row, I have had two breakfasts. First breakfast has been a leisurely and lovely chat over toast and coffee and sliced pear, served with a side of making out. This morning, I introduced my gentleman caller to the Two Commandments of Megan's House.

1) Thou shalt not get peanut butter in the honey jar.
2) Thou shalt not flip the flip-top lid on the toothpaste tube. Thou shalt unscrew the entire cap because it is cleaner and nicer than getting the flip-top lid all cakey and gummy with old toothpaste that is impossible to help getting jammed into the flip-top hinge.

There's really only the two rules. Other than the common sense rule of treating me, my cat, and my belongings with care. But I've set the bar high enough at this point that people who don't get the unspoken rule don't usually make it to my apartment. At least not twice. And I don't serve them coffee.

My gentleman caller gets the unspoken rule. And then some. In fact, my gentleman caller seems to intuitively understand that the way to my heart is to ask me to help him organize his record collection and then listen patiently while I list all the ways in which that most enjoyable task could be accomplished.*

I get that most people don't see the wisdom of not flipping the flip-top lid right away, and must be shown the way and the light of entire cap removal.

* By band name, by genre (which would, of course, mean the creation of a controlled vocabulary), by country of origin, by label - all those alphabetically ordered. Then there's the idea of arranging them chronologcially. Of course, it will most likely be alphabetically by band name, and then chronologcially by album, because that is what makes the most sense. Because I said so.


madkevin said...

Genre (and then alphabetically within genre) for sure. It's the only thing that makes sense, although if I had ever walked into a girl's apartment and found her CDs listed alphabetically by label I probably would have proposed on the spot.

Asteroidea Press said...

Sloth, I challenge you on genre making the most sense.

Unless, of course, you had either very loose categories or had compiled a tight controlled vocabularly. Subject indexing is more slippery than band name and year. What if something sounded like emo to you one day and screamo the next?

But then you get the treat of having to answer these questions with lengthy debates, so it's a win-win situation.

David Scrimshaw said...

Does your toothpaste not come in tubes without flip tops?

Asteroidea Press said...

you know, i wondered if someone would cotton on to that. thing is, i'm a cheapskate when it comes to toothpaste. the cheap kind i like only comes with a flip top. and really, the effect is the same as long as people follow the second commandment.

madkevin said...

Genre-listing is an art, because you can use the spaces between genres as well. Like, for example, I use "stoner rock" and "metal" as a classification - so say Hawkwind in on the extreme end of stoner rock, and Slayer is on the other extreme end of metal. But as the genres move towards each other, they start to mix, so say Mastodon is closer to the stoner spectrum than Slayer, and Electric Wizard is closer to metal than Hawkwind. Thus, you can capture the entire continuum of music. The only problem with this is that every time you buy something new you have to rearrange large portions of your CD collection, but nobody said obsessive categorization was easy.

Interestingly, I have a totally different system for my DVDs: I list them thematically. So, for example, my horror movies are shelved in order from most plausible to least plausible premise, from left to right. So it goes like: Jaws (sharks are real, and they will eat you), 28 Days Later (virus infection), Dawn Of The Dead (zombies, less plausible than viral infections), Near Dark (vampires aren't real, but the blood-transfusion thing might work), American Werewolf in London (not real, but wolves are genuinely scary), Ninth Gate (the Devil is completely fictional).

I realize how crazy this makes me sound, but you'd be surprised at how fast I can find stuff.

4th Dwarf said...

Say, Ms Asteroid, I'm with you on this "genre" issue. My Neil Diamond records would be all over the place. One album he's a rocker, the next he's a balladeer.

Ariel said...

Tee-hee. You sound like John Cusack's character in High Fidelity. I'm afraid you would hate to see my CD collection. It's degenerated into piles -- sometimes out of the box. The DJ I've been dating is aghast ... That's why having most of my music on my laptop/ipod is so much better. Forced organization. And I'm pretty devoted to playlists ....

coyote said...

Us coyotes just rinse the fliptops on toothpaste periodically under hot water. Works like a charm. When ya got claws, and no prehensile thumbs, twisting the tops off is far too twiddly....

Milan said...

I've been thinking of organizing my music by time of day, or perhaps mood -- mine, that is, and what I want to listen to at the time.

(BTW, I'm a tech writer, and my Google Alert for "controlled vocabulary" was what brought me here.)

Anonymous said...

1. Anything but alphabetical is crazy! ...but I do have a pile that's just crap -> Donnie and Marie, Bad Brains - Rise, lot's of Genesis.

2. There is an "è" in my name. But you get points for not using an "O".

3. I don't know.

Asteroidea Press said...

Okay, so MadKevin, does that mean that "stoner rock" and "metal" are beside each other on the shelf? And what about thrash? Is that separate? Is it on the other side of metal from stoner rock? What do you do, if, as Dwarfie says, you have an artist with two totally different styles? What if they're on the same album?

And I love your film classification system, but I do worry.

What if, some day, you're incapacitated on the couch by your sheer slothiness, and Shorty has to
get a DVD or CD for you? Will she have the patience to do it?

Ariel! Out of cases! You make me faint!

Aurèle, you are going to have to blame our Espig for my lapse in accenting. I meant to ask, did you see J5 when they were here?

Milan, welcome to the first post I've written with responses in the double digits. Thank google.

madkevin said...

Actually, the "heavy" part of the Sloth Musical Classifcation Spectrum (SMCS, patent pending) goes something like this: Psychedelic => stoner rock => stoner metal => black/doom metal => metal => thrash => punk => hardcore => industrial => experimental/noise => Mike Patton.

Artists that have wildly different musical styles constitute their own genre. So for example, Tom Waits is outside the spectrum, because really the only thing that connects, say, "Nighthawks At The Diner" and "Bone Machine" is that his name happens to be on both of them.

Clearly, this system still needs tweaking, but I really think I'm onto something here. Will Sloth one day be synonymous with Dewey, he asks referring to himself in the third person?

As far as the Shorty goes, I've got that covered. See, part of the path of the truly slothful is to spend a small amount of energy now to maximize potential slothiness in the future. So I periodically burn DVDs full of MP3's of my music collection so I can put the DVD into my player and choose from dozens of records without ever leaving the couch. Brilliant, right?

Evey said...

The real problem with flipping the tooth paste lid is that NO ONE CLOSES it. No one in my house will close it, so the thing gets clogged. SO annoying.

e.s.pig said...

The genre classification system is appealing for its browsing benefits. However, nothing beats the rush you get when someone mentions a song and you walk over to the stacks and tell them the album, year, label and who played cowbell in seconds flat. This can only be consistently done with good old reliable alphabet. It is also amazing to notice how many of my favourite bands start with the letter "s".

Sorry Áürëlê, I know how sensitive you can be.

Anonymous said...

This is the only way, but then again I am a librarian....The problem with this is that some subject headings are for music while others are about music. Ugh. Mix the books with the CDs? Nope. By the way, my 1362 is PACKED!

M 1-5000 Music
1 . A1-A15 Music Printed or Copied in Manuscript in the United States or the Colonies Before 1860
2-2.3 Collections of Musical Scores
3-3.1 Collected Works of Individual Composers
3.3 First Editions
5-1490 Instrumental Music
6-175.5 Solo Instruments
176 Instrumental Music for Motion Pictures
176.5 Instrumental Music for Radio and Television
177-990 Music for Two or More Solo Instruments
180-298.5 Duets
300-386 Trios
400-486 Quartets
500-586 Quintets
600-686 Sextets
700-786 Septets
800-886 Octets
900-986 Nonets and Larger Combinations of Purely Chamber Music
990 Chamber Music for Instruments of the 18th Century and Earlier
1000-1075 Orchestra
1100-1160 String Orchestra
1200-1269 Band
1270 Fife (Bugle) and Drum Music, Field Music, etc.
1350-1353 Reduced Orchestra
1356-1356.2 Dance Orchestra and Instrumental Ensembles
1360 Mandolin and Similar Orchestras od Pleactral Instruments
1362 Accordion Band
1365 Ministrel Music
1366 Jazz Ensembles
1375-1420 Instrumental Music
1450 Dance Music
1470 Chance Compositions
1473 Electronic Music
1480 Music with Color Apparatus, etc.
1490 Music, Printed or Copied in Manuscript, Before 1700
1495-5000 Vocal Music
1497-1998 Secular Vocal Music
1500-1527.8 Dramatic Music
1528-1529.5 Duets, Trios, etc. for Solo Voices
1530-1546.5 Choruses with Orchestra or Other Ensemble
1547-1600 Choruses, Part-Songs, etc. With Accompaniment of Keyboard or Other Solo Instrument, or Unaccompanied
1608 Choruses, etc. in Tonic Sol-Fa Notation
1609 Unison Choruses with or Without Accompaniment of Every Kind
1610 Cantatas, Choral Symphonies, etc for Unaccompanied Chorus (Secular and Sacred) With or Without Solo Voices
1611-1624.8 Songs for One Voice
1625-1626 Recitations, Gesprochene Lieder, With Accompaniment
1627-1853 National Music
1900-1980 Songs (Part and Solo) of Special Character
1985 Musical Games
1990-1998 Secular Music for Children
1999-2199 Sacred Vocal Music
1999 Collections
2000-2007 Oratorios
2010-2017.7 Services
2018-2019.5 Duets, Trios, etc. for Solo Voices
2020-2036 Choruses, Cantatas, etc.
2060-2101.5 Choruses, Part-Songs, etc. With Accompaniment of Keyboard or Other Solo Instrument
2102-2114.8 Songs for One Voice
2115-2146 Hymn, Psalm, and Choral Books
2147-2188 Liturgy and Ritual
2147-2155.6 Roman Catholic
2156-2160.87 Orthodox Churches
2161-2183 Protestant Churches
2184 Other Christian Churches
2186-2187 Jewish
2188 Other Non-Christian Regigions
2190-2196 Sacred Vocal Music for Children
2198-2199 Temperance, Revival, Rescue, and Gospel Songs
5000 Unidentified Compositions
ML 1-3930 Literature of Music
48-54.8 Texts for Music
110-158 Bibliography
155-158 Sound Recordings
159-3799 History and Critcism
410 Composer Biographies
459-1380 Instruments and Instrumental Music
1100-1380 Chamber and Orchestral Music, Band (Military Music), Electronic Music
1400-3275 Vocal Music
1500-1554 Choral Music (Sacred and Secular)
1600-2881 Secular Vocal Music
2900-3275 Sacred Vocal Music
3400-3465 Dance Music
3469-3541 Popular Music
3544-3776 National Music
3800-3923 Philosophy and Physics of Music
3928-3930 Juvenile Literature
MT 1-960 Musical Instruction and Study
40-67 Composition
68 Improvisation
70-86 Orchestra and Orchestration
90-146 Analytical Guides, etc.
170-810 Instrumental Techniques
820-949 Singing and Voice Culture
955-960 Production of Operas, Music in Theaters