What I Made This Week

Not much. It was the holiday, and I was visiting relatives. While I had great intentions, my actual output didn’t amount to much. Basically just a bunch of tiny bits that will hopefully develop into stuff:

“For When Your Soul is Dying” and “For Duke” — these are a pair of song fragments that I’m going to save to work any more on for February and FAWM. What I did on them might technically be cheating, but the earth will continue to spin, I think.

“Esther Jenkins, Senior Ninja” — a silly little comedy song that’s currently in my sights to finish quickly. There’s really nothing too deep about it.

“Whiffenpoofs”, “Hats”, and “Pregnant” — potential bits for season 2 of Three Legged Race‘s Weathered Adolescents. That’s a long way off, though.

“Moose Hunt” — this was originally intended to be a Weathered Adolescent bit, but I’m going to propose it instead as a standalone video. Mainly because I want to play a character different than the one that I would be playing if it is a WA scene.

 

What I Made This Week

Last week felt more like a groundwork kind of week than a results one. I did:

* Finish “Bob“, the song that’s been in waiting for a year and a half, and

* Launch Sciencey Vids, my new… thingy… of offbeat but interesting videos on a variety of scientific topics.

* I also started, and possibly finished, the music for “This is a Galaxy”, the second Sciencey Vid.

None of those three things are really major parts of the week, though; “Bob” and Sciencey Vids were both mostly done before this week, and the music for “This is a Galaxy” really won’t be that involved.

My biggest project this week was something for my actual job. I don’t tend to discuss day-job projects here, for a number of reasons, but this one is worthy. I’m going to be making a series of videos promoting National Library Week, and I think that they will be cool.

Fairly time-consuming, too. This week I spent a lot of time pulling some excerpts from our video archives, which will form the basis of the new videos. I also found a number of music selections that may be useful for the project.

Music: Always the Moon

Of late, I’ve been working to prepare for my first-ever actual ukulele performance, which will be next Tuesday as the musical guest at Democracy Burlesque at Mary’s Attic at 7:30. So I’ve been spending a lot of time lately working three songs—coincidentally, the three I’m planning to play—in hopes of not utterly humiliating myself. I’m pretty confident I’m to that point, so now I’m working to get to the not-make-any-errors point, which may be tricky. I’ve not been playing long, you see.

Anyhow, this is one of the songs that I’m planning to perform, and the only cover song. It’s “Always the Moon” by Jonathan Coulton, who is the reason that I took up uke. (There are a couple of ukulele players who he has been known to have accompany him, so I figured, why not me?) It’s got a pretty clear “You fucked me so go screw yourself” vibe underneath the creation and apocalypse myth, so it’s been, shall we say, meaningful for the past year or so.

Rabid Fans

So, on Monday, I posted a new song, “Katherine Heigl,” to YouTube.

I’m really not mentioning that solely to plug it again. (Even though I am pretty proud of it.) Really, I’m mentioning it to comment on its commentators.

There are, apparently, hordes of rabid Katherine Heigl fans.

And I thought she was just something people accepted as one of the hazards of modern life, like Two and a Half Men, but apparently people really are passionate about her.

Well, two people. But considering that the video only has 36 views so far (I’m only famous in the future, not famous now*), extrapolating that out to the entire country means that some 16 million people in the US would squeal involuntarily if she wears a new lip gloss.

The first comment came approximately eleven minutes after I posted the song, from user ohmygosling, who wrote “If you’re sick of her, then don’t watch her movies, nobody’s forcing you to. Geez.” Then, a few seconds later, just to really zing me, she added “And here you are saying how there’s too much of her, and you’re just adding to that by singing a song about her.”

I guess you have to respect that kind of passion. Or you would, if it were focused on anything remotely worthwhile.

Anyhow, ohmygosling has a Twitter account where she gushes not just about not just the divine K.H., but also Friends, How I Met Your Mother, “Lobster”, “Mondler”, and “Lexie.” I assume those last three are characters from something. That’s just the front page of her Twitter feed, incidentally; going any further might be creepy and certainly isn’t necessary under the guise of research.

Ohmygosling is also 22, according to the YouTube profile, so maybe that explains some things.

Even more, ahem, interesting, would be the second Heiglaniac, Kat4luv, who wrote “Katherine Heigl, Katherine Heigl, Katherine Heigl, Katherine Heigl , Emmy winner!! yay!! I love her so, please please please I want Katherine Heigl’s photos, news, movies, interviews, what ever, hell, 2 years, 2 f*cking years & no Heigl on red carpet, that’s cruel, no it’s a crime, over expose? my foot.”

She’s 40, according to her profile, which is kind of sad. Not that she’s 40, but that she still has the ability to get so offended over a comedy song.

Ah, I’m not here to judge, and certainly not to complain. I’m here to share comments that I found incredibly amusing. I guess that’s actually kind of judging, but oh well.

*Oh, and I’m perfectly willing to be hypocritical. When I’m famous, I want my fans to deliver verbal (not physical) smackdowns to anyone who says anything bad about me**.

**Not really. Should I become famous, I think I’ll be able to deal with it if anyone writes a ukulele song about my overexposure.

Brand-New Song: “Katherine Heigl”

I’ve been playing ukulele for about six months now. So I’m obviously still a beginner, but at the same time, the improvement is also clearly showing. Case in point: I recorded this new song in four takes. Yeah, you can hear a couple glitches here and there, or at least I can, but it isn’t bad. By comparison, the last original song that I put on YouTube, “Mayan Apocalypse Chord“… well, I don’t remember how many takes, but I know that it took more than 45 minutes of tape.

Audio-only version at the Internet Archive.

The story of this one is pretty straight-forward. It’s a reaction to celebrity overexposure in general, and hers in particular. I actually wrote the lyrics some time ago, I think when The Ugly Truth came out, and out, and out, and out, and out. But it took until now for me to be emboldened enough to try writing music for it. That is, I suppose, a logical and quite nice effect of FAWM.

FAWM song #2: “Jackasses with Horns”

“Jackasses with Horns” page on fawm.org

Wrote and recorded this one in a day, which is a nice speed-up for me. This song came pretty easily, and I’m as happy with it as I could imagine being with a song that I spit out so quickly.

The title refers to the unicorns of Unicorn City—jackasses with horns is what they’d be, if they were evil, which they (probably) are. Of course, at this point in the show, the only person to hold that opinion is the stableboy, who has to deal with their very sharp horns if they happen to wake up while he’s cleaning up their little steaming presents for him.

This idea is actually a lot less prevalent in the final version of the show than you might expect from the title, but it was the true inspiration for the show. Originally, I was just planning to write a sketch comedy set in a fantasy realm, but the stableboy-who-has-to-care-for-unicorns-he-hates was the only idea that I liked. So that started a story that kind of grew around it.

Anyhow, this will certainly get an edit to make a few things more precise, but for the most part, I’m quite happy with it.

Lyrics:

Every evening, forty-seven minutes past the break of dusk.
Half a mile away you’ll be assaulted by the musk.
Don’t show early or the monsters won’t be yet asleep
But get there late and you won’t have time to feed and muck and sweep.

Special hay bales, that’s the only grub they deem fit to consume
Treated with rosemary, comfrey and a single orchid bloom.
They won’t frolic if they do not get the perfect blend
It all smells the same once it get out of the other end.

Because

They’re not noble.
They’re not bright.
They’re all stubborn
And they’re full of spite.
Stupid blooming bloody unicorns.
Jackasses with horns

“They’re so gentle” all the stupid little girls are proud to squeal
Til they see you, then they’ll try to butcher you like you were veal.
Horns as sharp as baselards, each one aimed at your spine.
They gave me three belly buttons two in front and one behind.

Oh-oh-oh

They’re not noble.
They’re not bright.
They’re all stubborn
And they’re full of spite.
Stupid blooming bloody unicorns.
Jackasses with horns

In nightmares I hear them
Bleating a scheme
I wake every a-after-
Noon in mid-scream.

And then I arrive here
In moonlight’s gleam.
They’re plotting someting
A wicked regime!

I can tell you think that I am influenced by all this booze
But I swear that I have more than thoroughly a-paid my dues.
Fifth time you get bit you will not think they’re cute no more.
And you’ll want to join me in my one-man holy equine war

You’ll see that

They’re not noble.
They’re not bright.
They’re all stubborn
And they’re full of spite.
Stupid blooming bloody unicorns.
Jackasses with horns

FAWM Song 1: Where the Unicorns Are

\”Where the Unicorns Are\”

Here’s the first one… in all it’s confused, muddled glory.

PINCHAL:
Aathenaar isn’t known for much.
I’ve heard it’s a bit of a dump.
If the kingdom were a body
Then it would be the

EMMALINE:
Navel?

PINCHAL:
Rump.

It’s got no grand cathedrals
No nature to behold
They say the dining’s only fine
If you wish to dine on mold.

The baron is a tyrant
The stench is quite bizarre

EMMALINE:
Then why do you want to go there?

PINCHAL:
It’s where the unicorns are

EMMALINE:
Oh. There are nice things, too.

Every house is made of wood,
Or maybe dried-out straw.
The kids and cows will play outside
From the start of spring’s first thaw.

PINCHAL:
But… the unicorns?

EMMALINE:
Oh. I don’t know about that.

PINCHAL:
Have you been there?

EMMALINE:
Well, no. But I have a friend who… well, wants to.

WAJIDA
Aathenaar has gone awry
Its people need to learn how to defy.
If they would let me I’d be their ally
So much suffering I could rectify

EK
We’ve got the sun above us
And salty earth below.
I can keep fourteen percent
Of every single crop I grow!

BRANGE
Money Money Money

PINCHAL
A unicorn is mystical
Can inspire a career
And that is why I need to know
Will I find some here?

ZEB
They’re mean and awful nasty
Why doesn’t everyone agree?
Those bloody beasts should all be
Exterminated by me.

You’ll want to drown your sorrows!
EK
There’s a noble underclass
WAJIDA
And all the dragon attacks
WAJIDA and EMMALINE
Are now a thing of the past

PINCHAL
I hope that when I get there
I find in Aathenaar

ALL:
The happiest cleanest most industrious best protected most alkaline most heavily taxed fourth most pungent curiously alcoholic barony with a population of over 500 and under nine hundred and ninety nine in the entire kingdom!

That’s where the unicorns are!

BRANGE
Cash!