Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Books I've read in 2013

I read almost 35 books in 2013! That is totally a record for my book-reading--over twice the normal amount. In 2012, which was a 'typical' year, I read about 14 books. But thanks to my degree, my comprehensive exams, lots of bus rides, and a month in Ireland with a lot of airplane time, I got a lot of reading done. So many of the books were about sound art and multimedia for my doctoral exams- I have a much better grasp on many topics that I've always loved, but previously only known at surface-level.

I don't have a lot of qualifications as to what constitutes a 'book', but it has to be more than just pictures. Novels are just as included as small books, though, as well as reference books/non-fiction.

Some of my favorites from the past year were:

Sound (from the Documents of Contemporary Art Series)
Francis Bacon's Studio- Coppock
The Soundscape- R. Murray Schaffer
Janet Cardiff- A Survey of Works
Two Boys Kissing- Levithan
Kafka on the Shore- Murakami

There were also two great graphic novels-slash-storytelling books in the mix:
Marbles, by Ellen Forney
The Principles of Uncertainty- Maira Kalman

I love when the format of a book surprises me. Kalman's book reads like a memoir, but is full of paintings, photographs, hand-written stories, historical tidbits, and has the feeling of looking through someone's scrapbook. I liked it so much I read it twice this year.

I don't even want to know how many music albums I've listened to, or how many electronic music projects from students I graded. Some numbers are just best left unknown.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

All the Tiny Things to Do in the New Year

I am not one for resolutions, but I do usually set some larger but achievable goals most every year. They're usually related to learning skills and acquiring things that make my life a little better, so I guess if you want to call them resolutions, so be it.
Last year my 'to acquire' items were a brand new keyboard (my old one was from the early '90's but stayed trusty til about 2011!), a new bed and mattress, and new sheets for said bed. All those things were a little out of my price range but I made them happen, slowly but surely.
This year's 'to do' list includes learning to knit. I know how to crochet but just haven't learned to knit, and I really want to make my own lopapeysa (Icelandic sweater). It's so simple, so they say. Well, now that I work literally next door to a craft store that gives knitting classes, I can't really have an excuse.
I will also finally work up the guts to by Creative Suite 6; right now I'm on a janky old CS2 from about 2005, but thankfully it's done what I needed up until recently when it started malfunctioning. So onward to better software! But I don't think I'm going to go as boldly as subscribing to their cloud service, where you pay a fee each month. I like having a hard copy of a product in case things go wrong, and my internet connection is never guaranteed, so I don't want that to be a factor in where or when I can work. 
In 2014 I want to finally do a jewelry show or craft show, which will mean setting up an LLC for myself, getting a tax ID, and trying to get 'n by nathan hall' a little more in gear. As I finish my doctorate I think the jewelry design part-time work is going to be very helpful for my not going crazy in thinking about THE FUTURE.
And finally, I set up a page for myself as a composer and artist on Facebook, which I hope separates my personal life from my private life a little bit. And perhaps gets some new fans! I'm hoping for 500 'likes' by the end of this year, which I think could be totally do-able.

It's a lot of tiny things to do, but hopefully 2014 will all add up to a great year.