dear steve

I would like to thank Steve for allowing me into his home and letting me be part of something really special.

The last couple weeks have been an amazing experience. I was able to learn so much. From the stop motion animations, the sound recordings, and the video syncing. It all let me part of something creative and unique.

Highlights of the trip:

  • Any time spent down in the mine.
  • Highway coasting behind semis.
  • Rocking out with our voices in the car.
  • Dinner with Briggs.
  • Denison Tour.
  • Whit’s custard shop.
  • The cat gun.
  • Being able to perform in front of people in Philadelphia (albeit behind a computer).
  • Setting up and learning about the sound system.
  • Blogging.
  • Creating.

And the quote of the trip: “This is the Denison bridge, where many a student has tried to kill himself and failed.” - Steve (while pointing at 12-foot-high footbridge)


The day was busy as we were getting everything finalized and written for the final rehearsal tonight.

Sometime in the day we ate lunch at a Chinese fast foodish place. Everything is a blur before lunch. Mostly what I remember from the morning is: viola stand made, Ashley finished up arranging some songs, Steve finalized the last video patch, Tina finished editing all the final set lists…the amount of finished tasks goes on.

Aaron arrived early and he began to get everything programmed into the drum pad. Steve finished up sequencing a couple songs so we could start rehearsing them as he continued sequencing more songs.

We rehearsed the songs, and the captioning system.

More songs were rehearsed.

At around 9 pm, a complete, full, all the way through, run, was done. It was a bit sloppy in spots, mostly on scene changes and what not. But, overall, it went relatively smooth.

Another scene change run was done. Thoughts were inputted and changed.

A packing list is currently being made, while the morning plans are being scripted.

Car 1: Green Dodge Minivan (Ashley, Ryan, and almost all of the equipment) Estimated time of departure from Steve’s: 12:00 pm EDT Estimated time of arrival to Hotel: 8:00 pm EDT

Car 2: White Toyota Prius (Steve, Tina, Aaron and Beth) Estimated time of departure from Steve’s: 6:00 pm EDT Estimated time of arrival to Columbus Airport: 6:30 pm EDT Estimated time of arrival to Aaron’s: 8:00 pm EDT Estimated time of arrival at Hotel: 4:00 am EDT


Awakening was delayed as Ashley and I slept past the alarm.

I was greeted in the kitchen by Tina’s already-brewed coffee. She stated it might be too strong, but it was just what the doctor ordered.

Steve was busy sequencing and Tina was creating a book cover for one of our props. So, not being needed, Ashley and I headed to joannfabric to pick up some velcro to secure the Mac minis to the projectors. We chose the industrial version. A trip was also made to Kroger to pick up some bread and fortune cookies for props.

Upon returning, I practiced the subcaptioning, as Tina sang. Steve and Ashley were composing new songs at that time.

We finally recieved news back that we could not use a local outdoor ampitheater because they would not unlock the power outlets for us. The outlets were for “their” use only. We could still practice there, but no power…

Feeling dejected, Tina searched for new parks, and then we tried to go hunt them down. We succesfully found two, however neither park had power outlets in or near their covered shelter. The third alleged park is m.i.a.

We returned home with another sense of dejection. However, Ashley and Steve had both finished up with their two songs. So, in rejoice, we went to go practice them. They went well, some parts needed some adjusting too.

Aaron arrived and our drummer man was here. He set up, and we began rocking out. His drumming skills amazed me, mostly on how quick he could pick up the bassline for each song, and then learn it and memorize it.

A couple dry runs were done of the script. I got to practice video for each non-musical scene. Things went well.

Aaron brought his commodore 64 to generate sounds to be used during the performance.

Currently a midnight snack is being eaten. Whether work has ended for the night has yet to be discussed.

lorem. ipsum.

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i wanna be a popstar when i grow up.

We spent a fair amount of time last night rehearsing Ashley and Steve’s “Disney on acid” arrangement of Drinking Song. People have asked me before how I feel about writing lyrics and then handing them off to other people to arrange. “How do you know that it’s going to sound how you think it’s going to sound? What if they get it wrong?”

When I wrote this piece of text, I wasn’t hearing trippy music. I didn’t envision pipecleaner fish and an octopus swimming around behind me. I wouldn’t have known if clarinet and ethereal piano sounds were the right instrumentation. Did they get it wrong?

If one bothers to put some thoughts on paper, perhaps one is just hoping to remember what one meant when one comes back to it later. And if one manages to slip those words onto someone else, perhaps she is just hoping that it will have some kind of meaning for them. Any kind of meaning.

The danger, then, is not that the composers will get it wrong, but that they will get it right. I’m not sure that I can hold onto the amplified meaning that this piece now contains for me.

But given that I actually have to sing this – in front of strangers. Who are musically inclined. And sober – I had better hold on tight.



It marked the first day of rehearsals. Preparation was needed before we started.

Like any good morning, I awoke to the sounds of Robert’s voice downstairs. He had stopped by to drop off the projector mounts, the projector and the mac mini. He will be back later to drop off some 3chip cameras.

The mounts were still in their raw form, so Steve applied a layer of black spraypaint to cover them up. We also had to widen the mounting holes just a little because they were too close together. 4 1x2 wood pieces were cut to place between the projector and the projector mount in order to raise them up an inch. This allowed for the power plug to be plugged in. The wood pieces were painted and the mounts got another coat too. They were left to dry.

While inside, Ashley practiced and edited some of the music. Steve finished up adding closedcaptioning functionality to the video syncing software. All of our “popsongs” will have closed captioning running, which is controlled by me using a footpedal, one word at a time.

Tina arrived a little into the afternoon. She has been working on props/imagery/generalcoherence.

With the paint dry, the mounts+projectors+Macs were brought to the practice room and set up. It took a little work, but the two projectors finally lined up. My laptop was setup to control the two minis. Video set up was complete.

Steve started setting up the all the audio tech stuff. Mic checks were run, and then Steve showed us the wonders of a little black box he had. Turning the volume up, and starting to create some feedback, Steve pressed a button and the blackbox eliminated the feedback. This was done several times to different mics and at different volumes. Ear protection, consisting of two fingers, was worn.

We heard news that Aaron was not gonna to be able to make the rehearsal tonight, seeing how he had just drove back from a gig in Chicago, and he was feeling quite under the weather.

So, I stepped in, and we did another runthrough of the script. This time we were mic’d and it was recorded so we could play it back over and over, and grind the lines into our heads. After that, or maybe before it, we had some amazing pizza from Donatos.

I started to edit the newly recorded script while the musicians, Steve, Tina and Ashley started to rehearse a bit.

When I was done, we did a couple full-run-throughs of one of the songs with the video, subtitles, and music. It was quite hard for the first run to get the subtitles exactly right. But now I have the song memorized for the most part (only 6 run-throughs later) and it was getting easier at the end.

More video ideas were discussed for different scenes. Videos that were going to be mixed were added and saved for the different scenes.

Ashley and I threw in the towel and went to bed, while Tina and Steve continued discussing and finalizing video for scenes.


It is late; the day is blurred at the moment. I am sure the more I write the more I will remember, thus defeating the title of the post. However, I will divulge.

Steve, Ashley and I headed to Polaris Grill to meet up with Ashley and Steve’s Grandparents to celebrate their Grandma’s birthday. We had a lovely brunch buffet. As Ashley’s Grandma stated, “The variety here is good.” It was one of the best buffets I had dined upon. Gifts were exchanged, goodbyes were said, and we headed back to homebase.

A carwash was spotted on the way home. We decided to visit it after Steve went to get a haircut.

One of Fantastic Sam’s employees gave Steve a new postpunk hairdo. It is magnificent.

On the way home we pulled into the carwash station. Upon seeing the 6 car line to get an automatic carwash, we decided to use their manual station. With 8 quarters loaded into the coin acceptor, our 4 minutes started to tick down. Ashley applied the initial rinse, and then I applied the foaming soap. The foaming brush was steered around the car by Ashley as I waited to unleash the high-pressure rinse. I rinsed. Steve coated the car in a strange pink and orange substance, I rinsed with some other low-pressure rinse. A shiny coat was applied last. It was a very intense 4 minutes. Some spots were missed, but for a timed run, it was overall highly successful.

Upon returning I was given the privilege to edit all of the sound clips we had recorded in the last week. The main task was to edit the radio announcer parts. I enjoyed the work thoroughly. As I was editing and cutting, Ashley was hard at work composing a melody for one of the songs in the upcoming performance. Steve was finishing up the code to his newly updated video program syncing display-looping fading thingy. From what I remember from last year, the program has many new features. I am excited to be running it this year.

Tina arrived and helped finish up the newly reedited 4 person script. The chaos and/or devastation that hit last night seemed to be in the distant past. All things had returned to normal.

Steak ‘n Shake was visited again, on the grounds of a particular person craving a milk shake. I enjoyed my shake.

The basement was cleaned out, and a mock stage was set up. A character placement and blocking run was done on the new set. Most of the staging questions got sorted out.

We are currently waiting for Robert’s reappearance to the world to get One LCD Projector, One Mac Mini, and One Pair of Projector and Mac Mini Truss Mounts back from him for the upcoming rehearsals. We need them badly to set up and test the visuals. We do not want to be the creators of a headache-like feeling because our animations are too wickedly awesome for people’s brains to handle when overlapped with other wickedly awesome video.

The not so long post has became long as predicted so…

edit title :: “a not so quickiepost”.


After Emilio del Rosario’s newest student informed us yesterday that his piano practice was going to interfere with his plans to perform with us, I knew had assumed too soon that the script was finished. Didn’t some poet say that you have to revise as long as you’re living? (or something like that – I’m not a quoteperson.)

I drove home in some sort of blind rage, singing along full volume to Green Day and almost hitting several cars while changing lanes. Once making it home without killing anyone, I had a beer and called my current flame, who calmed me down with his summary of The Idiots Guide to the Crusades. I went to bed, got up and went to church and came home to work on today’s Columbus Dispatch sudoku puzzle, which ironically was five interlocking sudoku puzzles. Go figure.

Then I attacked the script. I wish I could say like a fourteenth century crusader, but that would sound too courageous, and I don’t like war metaphors anyway. It was more of a rabid raccoon attack: hack this, cut that, combine these three lines into one, froth at the mouth…

I’m starting to view preparation for this performance as some twisted form of budget therapy. Like yesterday, I got over my fear of singing in front of people and today I’m getting over my dislike for the revision phase of the writing process. I’m also learning to channel my stress in productive ways – such as road rage and sudoku.

Disclaimer: Steve, I’m not blaming you in any way, shape, or form for anything. Especially not the sudoku.


The day started like any normal day, Steve hacking on stuff starting around 8am, waking us up at 9am (but us sleeping an additional hour or two).

Steve was hard at work, editing all the video we had created in the last week. Ashley and I headed down to the mine to finish up the last day of stopmotion. The goals were floam and kitchen utensil animations. With the creative ideas running thin, we slowly banged out a couple good animations involving floam, including an amazingly cool subatomic particle collision. The kitchen utensils, however, posed a greater problem, seeing how all we could really do was rotate or spin them. However, we managed to get some good footage. With that done, all stopmotion had been completed.

Tina arrived around 2 pm to work on music and other activities. Steve continued to edit video, while Tina practiced some of the singing parts in the performance. This was all being done while Ashley and I finished up the filming.

Feeling confident in the day’s tasks, we headed to Molly Woo’s to celebrate Ashley’s 20th birthday. The restaurant was built into the local mall, but do not let that take away from the value of it. The interior was decorated with red lanterns and an entire wall was dedicated to niches filled with vases. Very fancy. The food was good, however, for the price, it was a general consensus, that either there should have been a lot more of it, or that it should have been more creatively designed. But, overall, a very enjoyable experience.

A near fatal blow was dealt to Project Ruori upon returning from Ashley’s birthday dinner. Apparently, our keyboardist and lead actor, Max, found it was better for him to spend his time this week in Chicago. He allegedly has a very important piano lesson June 5th, 3 days after the performance, and he needs to practice for it. This topic will be left at that.

Now. Everything has screeched to a standstill. There are many possibilities to overcome this obstacle, however all are very time consuming. Most likely, at this time, the script is going to have to be rewritten for four characters, and the music is going to need a complete overhaul. Other outcomes are possible, but are becoming increasingly improbable as time moves forward.

Tina has headed home to start work on a 4-person rewrite.

Luckily I have blind faith in Steve, Tina, and Ashley’s creative abilities to make this happen.

Also, if one happens to be in the Columbus area, and then, perchance, is able to play the piano and have some kind of acting abilities, do leave us a comment or something.