Motherhood, insanity and everyday life.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Students Make Music (and More) in Record Time

There’s nothing like a deadline to get a college student going. And when the deadline is self-imposed, the most amazing things can happen. This is the idea behind Record Time IV, a project created four years ago by Ball State University Music Technology Seniors Dan Waldkirch and Mike Weber.

Record Time IV challenges all participants to write and record an album in one week – from Monday February 23rd at 12:00 am to Sunday March 1st at 11:55 pm. The “traditional” goal for Record Time is to write record 30 minutes of new and completely original music, in one week.

Prior Record Time challenges have yielded albums covering a wide variety of genres and themes, as well as several other interesting contributions, such as poetry, video and photography. Last year’s event resulted in 3.5 hours of unique music.

“This goal is not for the faint of heart,” explains Waldkirch. “However, there are NO rules whatsoever. If it’s your first time participating, maybe shoot for 20 minutes, or 10 minutes, or just one song. And it doesn’t even HAVE to be original!”

Waldkirch and Weber invite anyone and everyone to participate, primarily through a Facebook group. And participation is not limited to college students or musicians.

“If you’re not a musician, you can still participate. Write a story, or some poetry, or make a video, or bake a cake,” says Weber. “Do whatever you want. Then we will gather it all up and drop an avalanche of artwork all over the unsuspecting internets.”

One of the more interesting aspects about Record Time is that although it is a challenge, it is not a competition. There are no winners except for the participants who feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment upon completion.“Like I always say, it’s not about quantity OR quality, it’s about remembering what it feels like to get something done,” says Waldkirch. But don’t put it past a resourceful college student to use this extra-curricular activity to his advantage. “I’m working on a thesis about speed composition,” says Waldkirch, “and if you decide to participate in Record Time, I’ll want to interview you!”

For those interested in recording a CD, Waldkirch and Weber ask for a few things:All tracks in MP3 format, lyrics in some kind of text file and album artwork. But they insist that recording quality is not important whatsoever. They encourage participants to work with whatever resources they have.

Waldkirch and Weber have one final suggestion: “Invite your friends, and don’t chicken out, or you’ll regret it! People always do…”

For further information about Record Time IV or to participate, you can contact Dan Waldkirch via e-mail at

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

When Folding Laundry Becomes a Guilty Pleasure

I have a secret…shhhh….I sometimes watch crappy TV…and I love it. No, I’m not talking about “American Idol” or “House” or “Lost” or “Survivor” or “Desperate Housewives.” I’ll readily admit to viewing those.

I’m talking about the shows that I’d be a teeny bit reluctant to share. I call these my Laundry Folding Guilty Pleasures. They are: “The Real Housewives of New York City,” “Rachel Zoe Project,” “Project Runway” and “Ugly Betty.” I feel about these the way my mom probably felt about “Days of Our Lives.”

God bless the DVR. It allows me to record these shows in our bedroom where I fold clothes. Suddenly, laundry isn’t as tedious or boring as it used to be. In fact, I kinda look forward to it. Is that weird?

I have no interest in becoming “A Real Housewife” and Rachel Zoe and I have nothing in common. But I can’t get enough of their lives…or at least the parts of their lives that producers want us to see. It’s escapism at its very best. And Ugly Betty? I think she’s beautiful, inside and out.

What about you. What are your guilty pleasures?