Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.


Book Soundtracks

Filed under: Adventures with iPods,Art,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fiction,Fun,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Snake which is just before lunchtime or 11:17 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Music to read by…

So, as I’ve been cleaning up the massive pile of magazines that I accumulated over the past five or six years, I’ve been cutting out interesting articles. One of the more interesting articles, to me at least, was one in Wired magazine about soundtracks to accompany books. The article itself was called Books with a Backbeat and you can read it online if you follow the link. But, this got me thinking about music and books.

There’s an old “trick” that’s been given a modern twist, thanks to the iPod. In the old days, it was making a “mix tape” that your proto-character might listen to or give to someone. Now, of course, it’s all about play-lists on the character’s MP3 player of choice, which, usually, is an iPod. I’ve been thinking about this lately as I’ve been laying the ground work for my first attempt at NaNoWriMo. One of the ways people manage to get their word quota for that is by shutting out the rest of the world with music. Naturally, I’ve been ripping CDs and loading them onto my massive, 4 Gig Nano in preparation for drowning out the world. (Yes, for the inquiring minds that made the leap, Snow Patrol is on there.) But, I’ve been considering what the music I have selected will do to my writing. So, I’ve been looking at that article online again.

I’ve been trying to imagine what the sound track to my ur-novel will be like. Lots of Top 40 Pop? Rob Zombie for the fight scenes? Will that Paul Van Dyk that just came up in my random shuffle show up in a dance club? Will it drive my characters to a rave? (Do raves even still exist?) Will Bowling for Soup or Spoon be the love theme? Or will that be Sting or the Doors or, even, Warren Zevon? How is that all going to come together?
So, as I contemplate this conundrum, I’ve been looking at Albums to Books and seeing what some of my favorite books have been associated with by other fans. At least, I might find some new music out of the deal.

Oh, one other thing… One reason I haven’t used my iPod more is that I hate the earbuds that come with it. Sure, the sound is good, but I always feel like they’re about to fall out of my ears. Yesterday, I found these great Altec Lansing Clip-On Headphones at a local computer store. If you, like me, hate the default earbuds, try these babies. They stay put and the sound is as good or better than the iPod standard earbuds. I highly recommend them!
And, for all you fellow aspiring writers out there, or any artist really, what do you listen to when you create?


About Last Night…

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Dog and Pony Shows,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Monkey which is mid-afternoon or 4:00 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

I love that movie.
I actually don’t care much for Rob Lowe or Demi Moore, but that movie, set in Chicago, always reminds me of what I’d hoped life would be like in my late twenties. Ah, well, maybe in my next life.

Anyway, dinner last night went well. My friend Steve’s timing was perfect and he got here just as I was sautéing the onions to go with my Chicken Masala. Here’s how the food preparation went, and notice that I don’t feel guilty at all for the cheating involved. First, I cut up the chicken and the onions and put them in separate bowls. Next, I set up the rice in the rice cooker, but didn’t start it. Per the instructions on the jar of India Chef brand biryani masala sauce, I sautéed the chicken in a little vegetable oil, then added the whole jar of sauce and put the lid on the pan. While that was cooking, I started the rice and chopped the cilantro. Then, I set the table with my every-day, white dishes and flatware, but the better, clear glasses. As a jokey flourish, I folded the white paper-towel “napkins” into squares and put them into the glasses. After a quick check on the chicken, which had already started to smell delicious, I made a pitcher of instant, peach-flavored ice tea and set up the music. (The music, incidentally, was, in play order, Level 42, Level Best, then a mix CD that Steve himself had made and given me the year before, followed by Roy Orbison, Super Hits, and finally ending with The Very Best of the Doors, because that’s about the best way to end anything, I think.) By this time, the chicken was done, so I put it into a casserole dish with the rice, again, per the instructions, and added some other spices and a few onions. That popped into the oven and I started the broccoli. After that, I started the onions with a little extra vegetable oil, some garam masala spices and a pat of butter. While that got going, I lit the candles on the mantle and the kitchen table, including all my Saint Jude santos candles, and started the music. Shortly into the second song on Level Best, Steve arrived with a blueberry pie. Yum!
I knew I’d done well when Steve’s first comment on entering the house was “Oh, what smells so good!?” After I’d reminded him I was doing Indian, and he made appropriate “yummy” sounds, he saw the table. Now, in all modesty, I didn’t really do much there, but when a gay guy tells you how nice your presentation at the table is, you know it’s been done just right. So, while I finished up the onions and took the chicken out of the oven, Steve checked some voice-mail he’d gotten on the way over. By the time he was done, I had all the food on the table and was ready to go. As I mentioned, perfect timing!

So, we had a lovely dinner, scintillating conversation, and a grand time spoiling Hilda. You see, Steve is not only a “dog-person”, but also a keeper in the bird section of the Houston Zoo. He’s eicked smart and knows more about animals than anyone I’ve ever known. Oh, the stories he tells about things that happen at the zoo! “When miniature ducks attack!” I made a pot of coffee to go with the pie, which was also breakfast this morning, and we talked all the way into the first CD of The Very Best of the Doors. It was a very good time.

Today, after cleaning up what was left from last night and starting laundry, I set up a chunk of catfish for tonight’s dinner and prepped the last of the uncooked chicken to do up at the same time. Then, I can microwave that later in the week for a quick dinner. The catfish was already spiced, but I added a slice of fresh orange to cut the “fishy” taste. The chicken got liberally dosed with nearly random spices and the rest of the orange. Actually, that’s often how I cook. No recipie at all, but simply spices that smell good together on meat, sometimes mixed with something fruity, like apple, or orange or other citrus. My ex-wife was always afraid that it wouldn’t turn out well, but I’ve never had anyone be dissapointed in what I made. So, that, with some of the left-over rice and veges will make a lovely dinner several times this week.
Hey, you know, I like this part of being single again! I love cooking like this. Sass, you’re right, I did win in the end!

Powered by WordPress
Any links to sites selling any reviewed item, including but not limited to Amazon, may be affiliate links which will pay me some tiny bit of money if used to purchase the item, but this site does no paid reviews and all opinions are my own.