I set up a file server for the Chorallaries, to store the archives, especially of concert recordings, but also poster designs, videos, arrangements, and all other digital media. It took about 7 hours, in total. The system is beautiful in its simplicity; hopefully, it will work.


It seems that I forgot to go to class yesterday. My first class was canceled, and this so disrupted my routine that I plum forgot about the second one.


Three years ago, I went to Swapfest, a crazy electronics bazaar held once a month at MIT. It’s difficult to describe the enormity of Swapfest, or the incredible nerd concentration, but let’s say that if you were hunting for spare parts to repair decades-old computers, this would be the place to go. Three years ago, I bought a mini-tripod for my camera at Swapfest for $1. I used it to take some of my favorite long-exposure photographs, right up until it broke in the middle of the night in the middle of the Sahara, as I was taking a picture of Orion rising over a moonlit dune. I thought I’d never find another one.

Today, while buying printer paper at Micro Center, I spotted a nearly identical tripod, with the same construction, for $0.99. I bought it without hesitation. Now I know where to go when this one breaks.


Today was beautiful. Upwards of seventy degrees, dry and nearly cloudless. I decided it was the perfect day to run some errands. First on my list was to buy a set of booster cables for my car, so that the next time I leave my headlights on I have a decent shot at getting running again. I ended up bicycling to the nearest AutoZone, which, unsurprisingly, did not have a bike rack. From there, I wandered around a desolate, beautiful industrial park trying to find a way back to Cambridge, but there was no through route, and by the time I found my way back out I was seriously thirsty. I grabbed a drink at a convenience store on my way to a $10 haircut in Harvard Square. It’s summertime!

On the way back I couldn’t help but notice the huge commotion in front of the Town Hall, so I stopped. Among various things on the lawn was the MIT Solar Car team and their car, which famously flipped at 40 miles an hour midway through the last trans-Australia race, was repaired, and still took 4th place overall. I started talking to the team members and one immediately recognized me and addressed me by first and last name. So that was fun.


I broke two glasses today. The second glass broke when I knocked it off the kitchen counter. I caught it against the lower cabinet, but it shattered and cut my hand. It looked like a big cut, but amazingly, it bled almost not at all, and sealed within a few minutes.

Showering tomorrow morning is probably not going to be fun, though.


This afternoon was SGBIS, which stands for Spring Greater Boston Invitational Songfest. This is a stupid name. It should be called the MIT CPW Concert, where CPW stands for Campus Preview Weekend. All the student choirs (I dislike the term “a cappella group” almost as much as I dislike the term “glee club”) perform.

Anyway, it’s a concert, and I sang. We opened with a rendition of the THX intro sound, used in movie theaters to show off their speaker systems. Our first song was Papercut, and I did percussion. I think it went well. I did vocal percussion, which was a lot of work even though I asked Chris to join at the end so I wouldn’t have to work so hard. When the song stopped at the end my hands were trembling so badly that I couldn’t hold the microphone still. Halfway through the next song my legs were still shaking enough that it took some effort not to fall over. This is probably just my usual reaction to an adrenaline rush, but I do wonder if there isn’t a bit more going on. Vocal percussion requires a strange mixture of breath-holding and hyperventilation. A percussionist must breathe extremely rapidly to avoid missing a beat, breathe as deeply as possible to avoid needing further breaths, and then greatly compress that air in order to make noise with it as it exits. I imagine this forces an unusual amount of oxygen into the bloodstream.

I guess nobody really knows, although I do know someone who’s studying the effects of tension in the torso on airflow dynamics in the lungs.

Hopefully we’ll get some recordings of the concert. It’s always nice to know whether you actually sounded decent.


I got jumped. In the rain. Then I drove around for about twenty minutes. Afterward, my car started by itself, so I think I’m good to go.

Thank goodness.

Two guys

I mentioned before that my car’s battery is drained. What I didn’t realize is that today is Street Cleaning Day for that side of the street, meaning that, as they blared on the loudspeakers as they drove by at around 8, “you will be tagged and towed.” My roommate Emily had agreed to bring over her boyfriend with jumper cables to get me going again, but that’s not until tonight, and street cleaning always happens in the morning. I wandered around, but no one had cables. Eventually, I was the only person parked on that side of the street. After pestering everyone I could find to see if they had jumper cables, I noticed a spot had opened up directly across the street. I put my car into neutral and started pushing it backwards. Two men standing by the side of the road noticed and joined in, and before long I was behind the wheel and they were pushing. A few minutes later, my car was perfectly parallel parked on the right side of the street.

All this before breakfast. Some people are saints.