The Sing-Off is back on

My Twitter feed started buzzing recently with a link to – the show is coming back to NBC for a fourth season. Ben Folds and Shawn Stockman confirmed it to the Twitterverse at large. Why do I care? Because the show is awesome.

That is all. 🙂


This update seems to be in a silly mood

Arestelle, you’ve disappeared again! Are you there? where did you go? …helllooo? (crickets)

I hear you asking this, don’t try to hide it. The echoes are still ringing over here. 😉 I’ve been playing with websites and my camera; I’ll post a few photos soon enough–had a little fun with light trails and want to go try a few more shots soon. But first, a little update.

I’ve continued to work on my Zazzle gallery. Now, in addition to the newish Facebook page and Twitter account, I have a really brand-new photography blog (mainly for images and updates from my galleries–playtime/everyday photos will come here first, still, mostly). I think it looks pretty snazzy! (…though I will, being me, play with the design & header image some before I decide whether to keep it as is.) And I’m pretty excited about all the likes my Lightscape II got already!

On the gallery itself, I’ve published a line of those notebooks I was talking about. (Please post a link if you see a review of these from a pen geek – I’m really curious about them!) I have also created (drumroll) image-by-image navigation within the categories. So now, when you find yourself in a category, say, Animals, that has several photographs in it on many different products, you can easily look through previews of all the photos therein and click the one you like. You’ll be whisked off to see just the products that contain that photo! Go ahead, try it! Before, you found yourself facing a jumbled heap of everything on all the photos. yikes. much better now.

Whew, that’s all I can remember. The navigation thing took a lot of the time I’ve been MIA. I’m still on Twitter all the time, though (thanks, boring office job), so if you wanna see what I’m up to when I haven’t put a new post up here, look for me there. Faisez attention, cependant — the snark likes to run amok in the Twitterverse. 😉


Half a year in the life of Arestelle, part ii

I feel like I’ve been going nonstop since January, and last weekend, when I took an extra day off to have a four-day weekend, was the first I’ve stopped for air since New Year’s. It’s not just the conflict with the employer and the Coursera classes and the grad school application, either, though I lost plenty of sleep to those, too.

I’ve been reading, for one thing. So far, I’ve read a novel and its prequel, Blue and Until Again, by Lou Aronica; Dance for Two, essays by Alan Lightman which I reviewed here; The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, by Edward Tufte, which I cannot recommend highly enough; The Once and Future King; The Hunger Games; Terry Pratchett’s Colour of Magic; H. G. Wells’s Time Machine; The Omnivore’s Dilemma; Quiet, by Susan Cain (please read this!); a novella by Bradley Beaulieu, called Strata; Aristotle’s Poetics; and Strunk & White’s classic grammar guide, The Elements of Style. I am currently in the middle of the Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry; Charles Darwin’s Descent of Man; Beaulieu’s second novel of Anuskaya, The Straits of Galahesh; and a math text, Calculus: A Liberal Art.

I follow several television shows online: Psych, Castle, Bones, White Collar, House (fare thee well), Glee (shut it), Ringer (and I wanted to see what comes next!), Grimm, Once Upon a Time, The Voice, and now Touch. And I’ll probably follow a couple others during the summer, like Burn Notice. In spite of all these shows, which I quite like, the one — the only one — I truly care about is the Sing-Off, which, sadly, has been cancelled. (The petition to save it has over 24,000 signatures, though; check it out.)

I’ve also…

  • taken some pictures here and there (but have yet to edit or post many of them);
  • discovered that the Highline Canal trail south of Denver is gorgeous for biking;
  • replaced my laptop’s old, dying hard drive;
  • spent some time with each of my parents when they visited;
  • given my adorable niece a stuffed owl for her first birthday – a sentimental connection to my grandpa – and am told she rather took to it (which I suppose means something like “she tried to eat Owl’s beak”);
  • had a little adventure in new-glasses-buying that ended with my old optometrist refusing to take responsibility for giving me a bad prescription;
  • nerded out a bit on notebooks & paper (O Clairefontaine!) after buying a set of colorful fineliners and discovering that ordinary paper is no match for a felt-tip pen;
  • battled a non-functional clothes dryer for about two months (it ran but didn’t heat the air);
  • bid good riddance to an alcoholic roommate who believed that grinding coffee beans falls under the category of Things It Is Appropriate to Do While Trying to Be Quiet at Five O’Clock in the Morning; and
  • finally got new windows at my house! (okay, I didn’t do that myself, but it needed done and I’m well pleased now it is.)

I also picked up some music that I found on sale or otherwise needed to have: the Amélie soundtrack, Robyn, A Fine Frenzy, Carla Bruni, Jo Dee Messina, Sara Evans, Keith Urban, Sara Bareilles, Norah Jones, KT Tunstall, First Aid Kit, Keane, Lauryn Hill, Andy McKee, Scott Joplin/Joshua Rifkin, JS Bach/Jian Wang (cello suites), Beethoven/András Schiff (piano sonatas). I love all the albums I’ve gotten, but especially Tunstall’s “Tiger Suit,” Bareilles’s “Kaleidoscope Heart,” and AFF’s “One Cell in the Sea.” The new Norah Jones is really interesting, too, and on one track (“She’s 22”), Jones & the tune sound exactly like Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley, if you don’t know her as a solo act). I would never have seen that coming; Norah’s always been so smiley, and Jenny is, well, not that.

So, um, I’m a bit tired. I can haz more 4-day weekend?

Biking Colorado and Quincy (photo post)

Wesley and Madison in University Park (Denver). I ride by this sign quite often, and have been meaning to take a picture of it for a long time, but I always forget my camera.

smiley sign south of Hampden & Colorado

He ran away before I could get close enough for a better angle. Turns out undomesticated rabbits are not terribly cooperative with would-be portrait-takers.


It was in the low 60s on Tuesday, clear and perfect for a 12-mile ride south and east to the pseudo-boonies of Denver.

New blog theme

It’s almost spring, and I’ve been itching for a change of theme on the blog, so here it is. I’m not sure I like it well enough to keep; I like a two-column format, so I can keep some good navigation easily accessible. With this theme (“Reddle”), I have to bury the nav down at the bottom or else lose a lot of main-column space, as the secondary column is as wide (or nearly as wide) as the content column, so videos get cut off. And that’s no good. Another theme, Oulipo, might work better and has some fun small caps, but I’m wary of its frozen left pane–reminds me of old-school frames. But we’ll see. 😛

Edit: Okay, I added a header image from a photo I took near the Redwood forest in northern California a few years back, and I like Reddle quite a bit more now. Images really must be worth a few dozen words, or whatever it was. 😉