Thursday, December 23, 2010

Vet Trip

Hey everyone! Welcome to Boyd's World, for all you new-comers. For those of you who haven't seen it, I have a guest post on Consumable Sarcasm that will be posted sometime today (Thursday). I'm totally going to blame my week-long silence on that, instead of plain-old laziness.

So, yesterday we took our cat Mozilla in to the vet's to be fixed. Our vet is in a town half an hour away, which is actually fortunate. You see, the town it's in was built around a sugar beet processing plant, which is really just a horrible concept. For those who don't know, the processing of sugar beets releases a smell into the air that can best be described as a combination of burning crap and stagnant, rusty water. And it will get in your car. And it will make you sick. And if you don't breathe, it will get on your tongue and you will taste it.

Anyway, we take him to that vet because the prices there are way better than anywhere else. It's a pretty old-school place, where they make no attempts at appearing to be a hospital-type place. They don't wear gloves, they don't sanitize the tables between animals, and they're incredibly laid back. That might sound like a turn off to some, but it's actually kind of nice. The place comes highly recommended by all the professionals in animal care, which also says something about him.

We picked Mozilla up the next day. As soon as I got inside the reception area, I was gagging with the smell inside. It reeked of cat pee in there, which let my mom to comment, "Wow, I couldn't imagine living with an animal that smelled like that." Yeah, I couldn't either, until we got to the desk and asked for our cat. "Oh, you're picking up the stinky cat? He's responsible for this smell." He sprayed in the office sometime after his operation, and it was horrible. To make things worse, the receptionist told us we couldn't submerge him in water to bathe him for a couple weeks. I don't know what would happen, but I assume he would start to turn inside-out at the point of incision or something.

Driving home, he sprayed again. By this time, between the smell of him and the smell of the town, I was dying. When we got home, my mother tried to get him clean with washcloths and disinfectant wipes, but it wasn't really working. He reeked, and refused to stay confined to the laundry room (the only room that could handle the stench). To make things even worse, my girlfriend was coming over in a couple of hours, and it would be the first time she hung out at my house. I wanted her first impression to be one of "hey, this is nice" and not "why, why does it smell so bad??".

We ended up rushing into town to buy some candles, and managed to cover up the scent pretty well. Mozilla helped out by constantly cleaning himself, which was actually pretty effective in stench-removal. He still stinks, but it's manageable now.

Well, I hope you all a happy Festivus and a Merry Christmas! Don't forget to air your grievances today, and to engage in feats of strength with your family!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snowed-In Sunday

Lazy, snow storm day today. I woke up at 8 this morning, and I haven't left the house since. Shockingly, there's only so much time you can spend on the Internet before it gets really boring.
To make things worse, our DVD player is starting to break. Fortunately, we made it all the way through Scott Pilgrim before it did. I'm not sure what I would watch if it was working, but it would probably be better that the three channels I get over the air.

To make things worse, I'm at a loss for bookage. I have been reading the His Dark Materials series, but I finished them Friday night. Looking past the very controversial aspects of the series, they're incredibly captivating and great. I was completely sucked in by the writing, and now I can't think of anything that will be able to fill the hole they left. I seem to recall having similar problems last time I read them, although that time I didn't know how they ended and was even more crushed by the sad ending. I picked up Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman to read earlier, and I'm hoping the short stories will ease the transition back into reading again.

To make things worse, I loaned Bobby my only microphone, so I can't make any more recordings. I suppose that's for the best, considering my voice is completely shot. Mixing a persistent asthma cough, a possibility of tonsillitis, and about half a gallon of Arnold Palmer spells out serious issues for my throat.

To make things worse, now I'm disguising an average post about a lazy Sunday as a theme post. Hopefully, the ends justify the means!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Laptop Recording

Guess what is only a week away? Christmas break! Sadly, teachers are giving more homework than ever to compensate. Even worse, textbooks and notebooks are larger than ever, and it's nearly impossible to carry all of them home at once. Stupid pictures in textbooks...

Anyhoo...

Last Friday, I spent the evening home alone whilst my mother was volunteering at an event of some kind for some sort of organization. In an attempt to be productive during the 6+ hours I had to waste, I decided to move my guitar and amp into the basement, and set up a mic. I recently found out about a local youth center that has a complete, professional recording studio set up in their complex that is free to use for anyone ages 12-18; In preparation to go there, I need to practice singing into a microphone, and tighten up all my songs.

Anyway, I played in my basement with my guitar and the microphone for a while, and I was really happy with how it sounded. However, I couldn't be 100% sure I sounded good without recording myself and then playing it back. Instead of going and getting my mp3 player and making really crappy recordings like I would normally do, I decided to try and use my computer - and the mixing software on it. I recorded a guitar track, then layered on a vocal track, and finally made a really simple, generic drum track to go with. I mixed them all up, made them sound all pretty, and listened to the final product (link to our page; it's the one titled "I Don't Know").

It sounded really sweet. So sweet I had to take down the version of the song that was on COS's Facebook page and add the new one. When compared to the new one, the old version sounds like a whiny, off-pitch 10-year old singing a generic break-up song over a super-slow, messy guitar. Meanwhile, the new one has a fast, crunchy guitar, favorably distorted vocals, and...still sounded like a generic break up song. Well, two out of three ain't bad.

I'm really excited about re-recording all our songs in this manner, which will hopefully tighten everything up and make us actually sound like we know what we're doing. Maybe?