The Birthday Boy, Juan.
Well, kids. This is it. The very last day. I successfully created a new one-minute audio piece for every single day of August. This has not been without challenges. Not going to bed until 2am, ditching plans/people to stay home and record something, forcing friends to let me record them, making an ace of myself as I ask a stranger on the airplane if I can record our conversation, screaming at the Internet as our wireless goes off and on, etc. But the very worst thing… I have had an entirely one-track mind. And what happens when you have an entirely one-track mind? You forget things. And the worst thing to forget? Your friends. And what's even worse? Forgetting your best friends. And what's even worse than that? Forgetting their birthdays.
Juan. I am so sorry I didn't call you on your birthday. For nearly ten years, you have always been there for me. Unlimited (free!) IT/web help, fabulous music mixes, evading weird dudes, rides all over Austin/Dallas, late night cravings, movies galore, and helping me keep in touch when I'm not that great at it. I am so sad to have made you sad.
So, the very last episode of the Daily Sixty series is dedicated to you, my dear friend. It features the voicemail that you should have received. Plus some bonus material featuring some very special guests. Happy birthday, Juanch. Everyone you meet loves you and I am no exception. This sixty seconds is for you.
Today, my sixth grade teacher and I became Facebook friends. I thought I was going to pee my pants with delight. She is just as beautiful as ever and I still cite her as my favorite elementary school teacher. Seeing her face compelled me to reflect on my sixth grade experience and I realized that I mostly just remember the boys. I am trying to forget the fact that I wore Pearl Jam t-shirts that hung down to my knees over JNCO jeans (seriously, Colleen?).
Out of my love for The Moth Podcast, I decided to tell the story in one take. Not exactly the same as The Moth (in which folks tell stories in front of huge audiences live without notes), but close enough to pay homage.
Salvador Mendez, this one's for you.
Tonight I had the pleasure of attending my first Sonic Soiree with an impressive crew of local audio producers. Once a month, we eat good food and we listen to good radio. Tali Singer shared a hilarious piece called LBJ and the Helium-filled Astronaut (it starts a bit before minute twelve). LBJ is talking to a man who has been hanging out in a helium chamber for quite some time (and has all the fun results associated with helium inhalation). Ol' Lyndon gets on the line and is 100% syrupy sweet. Thanking the astronaut for all his efforts and for being a good American, of course. This got me to thinking that I could really use some syrupy sweetness from such an influential character...
Enter today's sixty seconds. A smattering of presidential affirmations taken from a dozen or so conversations that LBJ had with various people in November of 1963.
Thanks, Lyndon. You're not so bad yourself.
Scared of the dark | ©Prima Linea Production
Confession: I'm afraid of the dark. Not in my bed, but pretty much everywhere else. Especially outdoors and in any sort of open space. I think someone or someTHING is going to jump out and grab me. Terrifying! I originally set out to use this audio piece to confront the phobia, but I only ended up justifying my fear.
I forced myself to spend five minutes of the night alone in my backyard... taking on the darkness. I recorded it and edited out the best sixty seconds to share with you all. But then I remembered the craze of the '70s... reversing records to disclose secret meanings and messages. So I did that with the sounds of the dark. And added some reverb. And now it is demonic and monstrous. So I will continue being afraid of the dark. Thank you very much.
Musical Russian Roulette. Made possible by the generation-defining software: iTunes. Here's how you play: put your entire musical library on shuffle with NO skips and NO vetos and NO creating sub-lists to look cooler than you really are! This is a particularly great game for long drives. Depending on the size of your song library, this can be super awesome or this can be super embarrassing. For me, it is typically both. So, for today's audio minute... a 10-song game of Russian Roulette using my iTunes library.
I decided to play for ten songs, using six seconds from each as my sculptural material. I imported the first 6 seconds of the first song in to Pro Tools, seconds 6-12 of the next song that came up, seconds 12-18 of the next song, etc. to make our lovely sixty seconds of audio joy.
The Roulette List
1) Wheel of Fortune by Kay Starr
2) Stability by Death Cab for Cutie
3) My Name is Hope by Kirsten Milsap, Hope Shepherd, and Daron Bradford
4) Inertia by Tears Run Rings
5) Metal Heart by Cat Power
6) Lover I Don't Have to Love by Bright Eyes
7) Needle in the Dark by Passenger
8) More Than Words by Extreme (NICE.)
9) Every Christian Lion-Hearted Man Will Show You by the Bee Gees
10) Black Math by the White Stripes
I made cookies tonight. From a cake mix.
My roommate Jodi told me of this miraculous way to make this rare form of deliciousness. Pick any cake mix your heart could desire. (I chose Betty Crocker's rainbow chip. Yes!) Add 2 tablespoons of water (maybe 3 would be better, mine were a touch poofy), 1 egg, and an entire stick of melted butter (this is why you hear the microwave in today's piece). Mush that all together and add in the cake mix. Mush that together. Then spoon the mush into separate bits of mush on a cookie sheet. Cook on 350 for 12 minutes. Should you desire an audio tour, you can hear all the steps in today's audio minute.
As my other roommate JaNae attests around the 58th second... "AMAZING."
My biological grandmother, Doris, died when my father was 14. My sister and I often conjecture how life would be different if she were still alive. I think my cousins do, too. She just seems so magical. And her being around might have helped my Dad from having to grow up so fast.
Turns out Grandma Doris was an audio producer before audio producing was cool (assuming it's cool... right??). If I have my facts straight, she had this machine that could cut actual records (the earliest version of my own gadgetry!). About a year ago or so, my dad acquired those records. A few tracks of her and my grandfather singing were digitized. The quality was atrocious, but I've worked here and there on making them better.
Today, I added a two-way radio filter just for kicks (helps you feel the moment!) and cleaned up some more noise. I love hearing her.
This is another one of those pieces that I could not bear to edit at all. My roommate Jodi and I were making cookies at 3 in the morning last night. I realized I hadn't done my audio work for the day. She obligingly offered to read the cookie recipe in her sexiest voice (with a touch of Transylvanian vampire). I was covertly recording the whole time we were working through this idea in hopes that something more spontaneous would come out of it.
We talked for about 10 minutes about all sorts of stuff until the greatest moment ever happened. She finally said, "Okay, go." I replied, "It's going. It's been going." Instantly reflecting upon what I might have on record, she proceeded to laugh for TWO MINUTES STRAIGHT.
I'm not sure how I got to be a 26-year-old single woman without seeing the BBC's version of Pride and Prejudice. This sad fact came up with a group of friends last week so it was determined that I needed to remedy the situation.
We watched all five hours of it this evening. In one sitting. It was glorious. (Thanks to Chelsea, Natalie, Brenda, Linda, Meridith, and JaNae for sharing this life event with me.)
My own eyes were privileged to behold the venerable Mr. Darcy coming out of the water at Pemberley. Today's audio minute features that blessed moment and an analysis of the universal female affection for Mr. Darcy. Enjoy.