Thanksgiving Recap

What a week it’s been!

My personal big news was, of course, finishing NaNoWriMo, and finishing my novel. The final thing clocked in at about 52,000 words (102 printed pages). Preliminary reviews of this first draft are generally positive, though the consensus seems to be that it ends too abruptly. I’ll have to fix that. I have the draft online, but for various reasons I don’t want to make it globally accessible. If you’d like to read it, drop me an email and I’ll point you towards it.

Tonight I met some of my fellow novelists up in Northampton: Grace, Leah, and Suzanne. Grace (who is 11! how many of you had written 50,000 words of a novel by that age?) is a first-timer like myself; Leah and Suzanne are on their third times. Hopefully we’ll keep in touch through the editing process. I also got word from Anna, who made it to 40,000! That is incredible not only because it’s 40k, but because that means she did close to 15,000 in a VERY short amount of time. Rawk!

Oh yeah, there was also Thanksgiving. It was nice. We went to the home of one of Becky’s colleagues, whose mother was in town. They had prepared a wonderful feast and we ate and then went home and took the traditional Thanksgiving nap. It was very low-key and nice.

We also got out Christmas Tree and decorated it! Since we’re going to be away for Christmas, we decided to get it earlier than normal. I’ll upload pictures of it soon.

We also went to a hockey game! My friend Dan got us tickets (his dad works for the Springfield Falcons hockey team and scores free tickets). It was a lot of fun, even though I didn’t really have a great idea of what was going on (I mean, I get the whole puck-in-the-net thing, but the procedures for doing so and rules I don’t know). Hopefully Kurt and Anna can get me up to speed on hockey.

I have iTunes running on my machine now, and I must say, it’s some kinda sweet. It’s got a lot of very nice features, though I wish it had some others. I highly recommend checking it out. (I really wish it wasn’t such a memory gobbler, though, and it had a nice stay-on-top panel like WinAmp.)

To test it out (and to decompress from NaNoWriMo) I used it to make a new compilation CD called Greatest Misses. I liked that I could rip, add to the library, create the playlist, and burn all from the iTunes program. Sweet. The CD I made is so titled because it contains songs I absolutely love that somehow never made their way onto one of my Cool New Music Tapes. Here’s the track listing:

DISK ONE

  • A Matter of Trust – Billy Joel
  • What’s My Scene? – Hoodoo Gurus
  • Here Comes Your Man – The Pixies
  • Pack Your Bags – Dash Rip Rock
  • You Trip Me Up – Jesus and Mary Chain
  • Life in Laralay – Love and Rockets
  • Every Little Thing She Does is Magic – The Police
  • Under the Milky Way – The Church
  • Running Up That Hill – Kate Bush
  • Overkill – Men at Work
  • Girlfriend – Matthew Sweet
  • Epic – Faith No More
  • People Are People – Depeche Mode
  • Ana Ng – They Might Be Giants
  • Never Talking to You Again – Husker Du
  • Say Hello – Miracle Legion
  • New Frontier – Donald Fagan
  • Can’t Hardly Wait – The Replacements

DISK TWO

  • De-Luxe – Lush
  • Big in Japan – Alphaville
  • Pocket Calculator – Kraftwerk
  • If You Leave – OMD
  • Praying Mantis – Don Dixon
  • In Your Eyes – Peter Gabriel
  • Tired of Sleeping – Suzanne Vega
  • With or Without You – U2
  • Alison – Elvis Costello
  • Driver 8 – R.E.M.
  • Breaking the Girl – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Sticky Jazz – Shriekback
  • Lorelei – Cocteau Twins
  • Indigo Eyes – Peter Murphy
  • Ordinary World – Duran Duran
  • Lightning – Ultra Vivid Scene

I’ve also started playlists for another “lost” Cool New Music Tape, one with songs from when I was in Lafayette, and a new Cool New Music Tape. Woot iTunes!

In other music news, the RIAA has added a new trick to their arsenal, in addition to suing 12-year olds and sabotaging CDs. On the RIAA site there’s a list of which labels belong to the RIAA. Turns out that list is a lie: there are labels on it that aren’t RIAA members. An error? I doubt it; I think they’d know who gives them money and who doesn’t. No, more likely, it’s a lie for the purpose of inflating their support. Including those labels makes it look like more labels support them and their actions than may really be the case. And this is causing problems. Here is an NPR story on labels discovering that they’re listed as RIAA members when they aren’t, and what they’ve had to go through to be taken off the list. This is especially important since many people, myself included, are trying to boycott RIAA labels. I don’t want to support an organization that operates the way it does, that gives more money to lawyers to sue consumers than it does to artists.

In fact, The Minders have a new CD out on Future Farmer records, which is listed as a member label on the RIAA site. I had resigned myself to passing on the CD. But once Anna brought the NPR story to my attention, I decided to email Future Farmer. Sure enough, they are NOT RIAA members, which means woo, new Minders CD, but also means they get to go through the ordeal of getting their names off.

ANYWAY, we also got a little Christmas shopping done, though we were not part of the mad group hitting the malls at 5:30 AM on Friday. I picked up the new Lego mini sets, and they’re really cool, though I like my own Sith Infiltrator much better.

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