favourite things | music note ornament

Royal Conservatory of Music: a little behind the times.

Following up on the new 2015 syllabus, the RCM is finally putting ear tests online, on their website. (The syllabus was last updated in 2008.)

I'm honestly a little disappointed, and wished I had stayed back at the seminar to point something out: the RCM is painfully behind the times. In this age of technology, the RCM can't afford to update every seven years. Even this shiny new online test thing feels painful - to have to turn around from the piano to face the computer, to log into this new interface... I'm going to struggle to get my kids to do this. It's so much easier to already have an app on the tablet.

Right now I use three apps on my smartphone for my students, and have encouraged them to download and use them too. One plays intervals, with a customizable playlist for different grades; one is a cute note-reading game where a little monster will eat notes they play; one is a speed-reading note reader that encourages you to score as quickly and high as possible.

(I was more disappointed with the ORMTA (Ontario Registered Music Teachers Association) chapter I had joined up with. They were all at least ten years older than me, I couldn't make small talk with them, and nobody in the group could tell me about the mandatory "mentorship" I had to do to join up properly.)
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violence is necessary | rawr

But I don't even know you...

I sound neurotic when I refuse to friend random people on Steam.

Well, I added someone, and on top of the "play with me" requests, he's already asked about where I live and what I do in real life.

I've known of his existence for less than 24 hours. Is it weird that I find this mildly annoying and/or creepy?
  • Current Mood: irate irate
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dragon li | happy pillow flail

Oh that delicious dim sum

Peter's back at 'work'. We live in a fortunate situation - extremely close to a main office - so they taxi Peter in to do some desk work a few days a week. His foot's healing up fine. He's progressed to hiking boots and can manage to walk without aid, but we went for a walk yesterday and he realized how much he needed to catch up.

Since then, however, we discovered a delicious Chinese dim sum restaurant near out place. We've been there so often - and are so recognizable (Peter asks for a bowl of 'gip jap' - Worcestershire sauce - when we eat) that they know who we are. We recently went with Peter's siblings to enjoy even more food, and walked away pleased with ourselves.

Just got off of a pair of absolutely excellent DOTA games. I regularly play Drow Ranger, but changed it up this time to play a support hero. It's definitely a different play style: instead of gunning for stats, I'm trying to build items to benefit everyone else.

And it's kind of nice. I feel intense pressure when playing my regular heroes to help out. As a support, you get the unenviable job of buying the courier and wards, and basically throwing all your money into things that help other people. It actually worked out great late game during one of our games, when a ward of mine pointed out someone who was ready to ambush us during a charge and we completely reversed it.
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dragon li | happy pillow flail


My community centre is getting a new piano! We've been on the same one for quite a while, and it's pretty beat up. I'm excited for something a little more classy and not looking like firewood!
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sort! | zombieclaw

Being fit and awesome!

Ever since I started running, Peter and I have started trying to be healthier.

Part of my running route involves passing a local grocery store. I'll stop in and purchase some cheap fruit and vegetables (it's Chinese-run, there's always something on discount), then package everything up in plastic baggies. It's easily a week's worth of snacks. I love fruit; Peter will eat celery and green beans forever. We started buying fresh bread, too, and Peter's resolved to stop eating junk food (restaurants tend to give him free food) and make sandwiches every morning for lunch.

I haven't noticed any difference in my physique, although in fairness I've only been running for three weeks - and it's more like "omg run" for 20 seconds, then 5 minutes of catching my breath, and occasionally being forced to rest because my legs are in too much pain. But hopefully this will get us fit and ready for LARP season.
sort! | zombieclaw


With the weather being...y'know, not snow, and LARP season inbound, I figure I need a way to get in shape. It sounds odd, but despite my skinniness I lack stamina, and short dashes leave me breathless.

Then I downloaded "Zombies, Run!"


At its core it's a running motivator; as you run around you gather supplies to build up your base. There are different games: the basic story, chases, airdrops to specific locations and general free runs.

I was really worried that if I didn't run fast enough, I'd just lose the game, but it doesn't penalize you for going at a slow pace; I can turn this on when I go on walks and I'll still progress through the story. But running is a good way to get healthy faster. :P

I have the main game. It comes with a complete story, then three chapters of each of the next two seasons; I'll have to pony up for the remaining chapters. Overall I'm impressed with this program and the writing, it feels really good! Sarah downloaded the 5k training game and she's enjoying it too.
liz | concerned


Dear parent:

I'm not a parent. But.

Your daughters are young, bright and beautiful. They love each other and play together. They work hard when given a push. They're not even ten years old, so it's perfectly natural for them to bounce around like pingpong balls when given nothing to do.

They aren't physically deformed, or suffer from mental illness or emotional trauma. They do what they're told. They're healthy - as healthy as any kid is, anyway.

Please stop stressing out so much over them. I don't think I've actually ever seen you relaxed; I usually see you yelling at them.

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violence is necessary | rawr x2

date night!

So for three weeks I'm off work, between sessions. While I do have some students in between who wanted extra private lessons, it generally means I don't leave the house much. At all. So I get stir crazy.

Finally Peter agreed that dinner and some mall walking out would be nice, if only to change up the "sit at home and stare at screens" routine. Except Peter got sick on the original date night, and I spent it caring for the poor baby.

Peter becomes a downright wimp when a cold lays him out: it sucks everything right out of him and if he gets the chance, he can spend a whole day sleeping, in between chicken broth, buttered toast, apples and Jello (our sick person's food). It honestly is like looking after a little kid: I tricked him into a nap when he wanted to play on the computer. It was cute.

We went out tonight, when he had a little more energy, to the Pickle Barrel. I really like it for the variety of food and the portions. Unfortunately, I was displeased with their Steak Diane - it looked just like what we cook at home - and lost my appetite at the sight of it. Really, it was a just a big plate of meat. We did find out that the mall had a Crepe Delicious, though, and went there for dessert - crepes with lemon and icing sugar. So good~ And then we bought alcohol, because we never seem to have enough of it. :P

(I am a terrible drunk. I get loud, and get overly affectionate with people, and enjoy draping myself over them, before going to sleep. It's better than dancing naked on tables... I also don't enjoy paying the price at the bar, and trying to figure out how to get home when not thinking straight.)

I picked up Pokemon Platinum again, and I'm enjoying just plain playing without min/maxing charts, etc. Many of the Pokemon are a complete surprise when they evolve, and I'm learning through trial and error what's good and not so good. It's making slow going, as I drop Pokemon I don't like or use.

Currently my team is the starter water Pokemon, a Ponyta (fire) and a Staravia (flying). I learned how to evolve Budew (grass/poison) to Roselia too late, so I'm just carting a new one around until it likes me. I also caught a Gligar (ground/flying) because it's so cool, but it's underlevelled. I'm in Hearthome now, and did a Pokemon Contest because I like these side quests that distract you from the main line - I got tired of "grind battle grind battle".

This winter's been brutal, I don't remember it being this cold for a long time. The roads are in terrible condition, and there's still frozen snow on the ground.