Laptop &c

Got my first ever laptop today. I seem to only buy computers in those odd moments where there is no good version of Windows available on the market. I got my desktop when Vista was brand new and Microsoft tried to push it by discontinuing XP. And this laptop runs Windows 8, which has an offensively perverse interface and tries to hard-sell you on touch screens, tablet computing, and cloud integration. All of which I hate.

With a small number of tweaks and the installation of one program (Start8), you can get it to some semblance of functionality. And, happily, this is the most powerful computer I’ve ever owned.

I’ve been using Richard Corbeil’s set of CDs Vocal Integration with the Feldenkrais Method. As a clarinetist I have a serious amateur’s interest in Feldenkrais; it’s helped me clarify the way the body organizes itself to play an instrument. And as a habitually nervous person with a tendency toward awkward dispositions of the body, I will probably have to keep it up for the rest of my life.

Anyway, the CDs are excellent, exactly like getting a real in-person lesson except you can pause, replay, and do it in your underwear. The lessons themselves are hard-hitting. Since they deal with aspects of vocal production there’s a lot of emphasis on the organization of the tongue, neck, and throat, which are very private areas. When you finish one, you feel almost like crying. It’s as if you’ve been smacked in the head with a 2×4 and resolved an anxiety dating back to childhood all at once.

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