April 1st, 2009

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

LJ's little enforcement herd

LJ, for those of you not on it and thus not aware of its plans, is unrolling another set of bright! shiny! new ideas! they know we will all love!!!   (What they love is bragging on themselves.)

As before, they haven't fixed any of the things that bug me, nor have they ever replied directly to me when I've either complained or asked for help.   They are proposing (among other things) to institute an automatic "LJ cut" so that ALL posts are truncated behind a "read more" line after very few characters, because, they announce brightly "nobody" wants to read more than 140 characters on their Friends Page and now we won't have to suffer if someone has a long post and we have to scroll past it.

They didn't ask this "nobody."   So I (along with x-thousand other people) commented.  I said  I didn't like or want the changes.   Why?  Because when a post is partly behind an LJ cut, I don't know how long the other part it, or what's in it, and therefore waste time clicking on the link to look--and then having to click another link to get back to the Friends Page so I can scan the rest of the posts.   LJ cuts slow down reading the Friends Page.  I can easily scroll through, ignoring posts that a quick scan shows to be uninteresting.   But if people want to use them, fine--only it should be the user, not LJ, who decides where the cut goes. 

This brought forth a bunch of snarky replies to my comment.   So I gather that what LJ staff does, instead of dealing with any of the far more serious issues in their software and management, is watch eagle-eyed for anyone to complain and then pile on (along with their best buddies)  to teach them their (lowly) place in the LJ world.   Apparently they don't want anyone to step outside the lines of total adoration of everything LJ does. 

Tough.    If I like something, I say so.   If I don't like something, I say so.  If a million other people like something I don't like, that doesn't stop me from saying (and having the right to say) that I don't like it.   If a million other people don't like something I like, that doesn't stop me from saying (and having the right to say) that I do like it.  I don't care how many others like/don't like what I like/don't like.   Sucks to be you, running a business,  if you can't accept a complaint with equanimity when you wanted kudos.  

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woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

So you thought you could sing...

It was that kind of rehearsal.   I had cracked open time and found a little most days to at least look at the hardest of the Bach pieces, but this week's that meant not getting ready for my house guest.   I skimped the music until today ("Yes, yes, I'll work on *this* page today and *that* page tomorrow...") 

And lo, other than the professional ringers brought in to pep up the rest of us,  many others were worse off than I was.   Scoldings were the order of the day.  It is one week and two days before we have to sing the hardest Bach bits, and though it's better than last week, it's not enough better.   Our director pointed out that we've had sectional rehearsals (not every week but more often than not) for something like six weeks.   True, but I missed three weeks when sick.   It surprises me that I've caught up with people who were there all through. 

But I'm not perfect yet, either.  One reason I prefer to sit right in front of our director is that if I'm going to make a blunder, I want to know it immediately, before I fix in concrete what I did wrong.  But that's exactly what makes the center front dangerous.  You cannot, absolutely cannot, miss a note, an entrance, an intonation, a consonant, without it being noted.   Not commented on with your name attached, but "Some altos are rushing that entrance..." which will narrow down to "one alto is still rushing that entrance" if you don't fix it.   Tonight, I was doing fairly well until, trying to hang on to a dying breath for the last beat, I lost the vowel and it twisted on me, into a sort of flat, almost nasal, diphthong.   He stopped the choir: "ALTOS!  That's not how to sing that word!"  

"I did it," I muttered.  

Yeah, it was that kind of rehearsal.   But we ARE better....and we put overtime tonight.  All working time, too.  He said, at one point, "This isn't fun, I know...you don't know how much fun we could have if you all had all the notes!"   But I was having fun, in the same way that a strenuous athletic workout can be fun.  Singing with David is multi-tasking--so many things to be aware of simultaneously--reading the music, expressing the music, controlling the whole vocal apparatus, awareness of others in the choir and of course being attentive to him.  Like all good conductors, when we're "on" he can direct us with facial expression and very little movement...when we're not, he waves his arms, squinches his face, sways around, even stamps his foot, etc. 

This after a day that included a lot of work as well.  I was tired when I went and sort of fell out of the car when I got home, after 10 pm.   But now I need to put in another hour on the revisions, because my editor and I are having a chat in the morning and another set of revisions came in this afternoon.