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brain droppings
I saw MC Frontalot last night. It was fun, but I wish I had done my homework (i.e. listened to a bunch of his music), because I think I would have gotten a lot more out of it if I had been able to follow the lyrics better. I also couldn't follow the lyrics of Boss Level, the opening band, but they were rockin' so hard I just didn't care. I had a pretty good view of their bassist so of course that's what I paid attention to. He was using a Fender five-string, which of course reminded me of how much I've been tempted to get one of these (in black, of course). I was doing a little window shopping today and I happened to notice an Epiphone Viola Bass because it's so small and adorable. It has a 30.5" scale, so theoretically it would be easier for me to play than a full-size (34" scale) bass. It had a really nice sound, too. I can't really see myself getting one, though; I refuse to stockpile musical instruments unless I can play them well, and that's still a long way off.

I finished reading Anathem a couple of weeks ago, and I was really impressed. IMHO it's easily Stephenson's best work so far. As usual, it was jam-packed with cool ideas, and the plot hung together a lot better than usual. It followed a single main characters (highly unusual for Stephenson), and IT HAD AN ENDING! My main complaint with most of Stephenson's books is that they mostly seem to run out of steam and just stop instead of getting to any kind of satisfying conclusion.

I'v started reading Use of Weapons. For far it seems pretty much like any of Bank's other books: not mind-blowing, but still a very good read. I had forgotten how much Banks likes to use unreliable narrators to keep you guessing. I swear this one is told half in flashbacks to episodes where the main character is semi-conscious and/or hallucinating. It's not a good bed-time book, because it's just too difficult to follow what's supposed to be happening when I'm half asleep myself.

My poi spinning is coming along very nicely. On Saturday I started doing backwards 3-beat weaves, and with some encouragement from Monkey, I learned how to turn so I can switch between forwards and backwards weaves seamlessly. I still end up hitting myself a lot, but I have the technique, so now I just need practice.

I made myself some 200-gram poi heads. Out of sugar, so I can use a pound of sugar to make myself healthier! They only weigh twice as much as my glow poi, and they feel much heavier. It's amazing how different it feels to spin them, and how fast they wear out my arms. I think they'll be a big help when I start trying to learn more new moves, or if I start trying to teach moves, because I can spin them much slower than the lighter poi. I think they'll be especially helpful for learning turns, because turns are mostly about turning your body without interrupting what the poi are doing, and heavy poi are a lot harder to interrupt.

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There's a knack to listening to Frontalot that you pick up eventually. He's so fast and flows so smooth that even though he enunciates quite clearly until you get the hang of it it's really hard to tell what he's saying. Which is kind of a shame because his lyrics are really, really cool.

It's a fucking tragedy that Anathem didn't win the Hugo last year, and it appears to be mostly due to people not wanting to read a book that size, which is a damn shame. Instead, Gaiman wins it for kid-lit. Oh well.

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