Piddling (Day 339/365)

For some reason my brain would not engage today. For once I had gotten plenty of sleep, but nothing would make my head start working. I listened to the two songs from Moonlight a couple of times, but nothing new occurred to me. I thought about getting through another handful of pages in the Logic Express book, I’m only on page 141 out of nearly 600, but even just following instructions was too much.

Finally I decided to open up the lyrics for Moonlight and see if anything happened there. Nothing did, exactly, but I decided while I was in there I’d go ahead and create pages for each song.

I’ve been using a little program called CopyWrite to work on the lyrics. Why not just a word processor? I don’t know. This popped up at some point in my life, and its quasi-notebook approach seemed a good place to work. It allows me to scratch out lyrics in the writing window, and keep notes about the song in a little “drawer” out to the side, and since it’s a notebook, I have all the songs at my fingertips. It also allows writers to tag pages with things like “chapter,” “draft,” “character,” etc.

However, it has some shortcomings that have begun to bug me. For example, its text formatting is very limited, with no strikethrough, which is very odd for a project manager, I think. Changing the name of a page, from “Harrison’s song” to “Sheer Poetry,” for example, was a matter of right-clicking instead of just hitting enter like it is everywhere else in the Mac world. Lots of other little things as well.

The last straw was when I went to create a page for “We’ll Run Away” and it wouldn’t allow an apostrophe in the page title. That’s just stupid. CopyWrite saves all your pages as separate files in a project folder it creates, and Finder naming conventions do not prohibit apostrophes, so why was CopyWrite balking?

Online I go to look once again at Circus Ponies’ Notebook. I’ve been eyeing this program for a while, but every time I download it, I think that I really don’t need it. But now I think perhaps I do. I look at all the screenshots, I watch the rather long video tour, and I am impressed.

Just to make sure, I head over to MacLife’s website and double-check for all the similar programs. I’ve looked at most of them over the years, and none of them have ever gotten me excited enough to download them, and Notebook seems to have the edge. So I download it for at least a 30 day trial.

(It also occurs to me that Grayson might find the voice annotation function useful. I know if I were sitting in a political science class being conducted in German, I’d like to be able to take notes while recording the lecture for later listening, on a Cornell note-taking page, no less.)

So I spend most of my morning transferring the pitifully few lyrics I have from CopyWrite over to Notebook, and then tracking down my post where I list all the songs and transferring that information over.

Notebook doesn’t have a little drawer for notes on a page, but I decided to create a separate “divider” for the notes on the songs, then link them back and forth.

I can also drag the Finale files into the Notebook to link each song to its score. For “Sheer Poetry,” for example, I could drag a couple of poetry websites onto the page for quick reference.

All in all, not a bad decision.

In other news, the All-Campus Chorus concert was this afternoon. Vivaldi’s Gloria went off without a hitch, and then the orchestra played Smetana’s The Moldau and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Russian Easter Overture, both of them fabulously. The Moldau especially is just a beautiful piece, a work of genius undimmed by its lush popularity.

And finally, tonight I taught my last Period Dance lesson for the summer, the “ragtime” dances: tango, foxtrot, Castle Walk. The kids have had a great time, and it’s been fun watching the regulars get into it. What’s really neat about the Land of Pan-Dimensional Mice is how hard the kids will work to have fun. My heart is always especially warmed by the number of boys who show up every week to learn these dances. Next Sunday, the Grand Ball!

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