What I’ve been up to

Moving the Manitoban‘s website from one server to another. We recently discovered that we were paying $10 a month for the second-shittiest shared plan our Z-list web host offers. Since it’s the job of no one in particular to keep track of this stuff, nobody knew that we were paying a kid’s allowance for a service barely better than Geocities. And since our web traffic increased by an order of magnitude from 2012-2015, we were starting to bring our host’s feeble server to its knees. So it’s off to a dedicated server from a legitimate provider.

I might write some thoughts about the move here later. There just isn’t a body of knowledge on how to manage websites for student publications, which have problems that other organizations don’t have to contend with.

Speaking of things nobody knows how to do, I will also be helping the Eckhardt-Gramatté Music Library move from its current location to Tache Hall, the new-to-us music building that was supposed to be operational partway through my degree. It’s opening for real in the fall, of course, and many of the amenities are not yet complete (some aren’t even contracted). Apparently there is a body of literature on moving libraries—which, like everything, is a more complicated job than you’d think—but not on moving music libraries. As far as my supervisor is aware, it’s never been done before.

A side effect of the move is that the library is shedding material it doesn’t need anymore and the free bin is doing brisk business. I picked up a pile of scores—full scores to Haydn symphonies and two-piano scores to Mozart concertos—and books on the Kodaly method, opera, and Virgil Thomson. My arms are still sore, but it’s worth it.

I restarted Frye’s Anatomy of Criticism after finishing The Slap. The latter was all right but uneven and at times cringe-inducing. Frye is great as ever but I wish he’d summarize more; he has an Aristotelian hierarchical structure to his ideas but he goes on and on and is unscrupulous with his section headings. It makes it hard to keep track of where you are in the hierarchy, particularly if you take a break in the middle.

This week is the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, and the streets are crawling with theatre people. I decided back in June to sign up as a volunteer to keep myself busy and off train tracks, so I’ve been taking tickets for shows at Alloway Hall in the Manitoba Museum. In fact, I should be there right now, except I’ve come down with something and am sick enough not to feel up to dealing with the public without getting paid. The Fringe machine is ruthlessly efficient, and I’m told someone will be out to replace me.

Most importantly, after 22 years of sponging off my parents, I’ll be moving out to a house on Dalhousie near the university and living on the princely salary of a student newspaper copy editor. The thought that if I don’t make any money I’ll die is an imposing one, but I’m sure it will encourage me to get serious about something or other.