mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - (partay)
I really do want to be better about posting more often, and one way I can do that is by posting about my weekends. There's not a lot of 'Matt Stuff' during the week most weeks. It's paying the bills, doing what needs to be done, and keeping myself sane. So the stuff that's likely to be more interesting to all three of you my dear readers, and to my future self, are these weekend highlights.

Of course, that still would require me to post the information in the first place.

Here goes a speedy recap of the past two weekends:

Friday Feb 4th
Dinner w/ Jill at the Indian Grille. Love that place. We had a good night. A really good night. It still hurt to not be a couple, but that seemed like the first time post break up that things felt otherwise 'right'. I didn't feel like I was treading on egg shells. We talked a lot, and it was the kind (and quality) of talking that I miss terribly. 

That was pretty much it, if memory serves. I believe I headed to 1100 after that and just chilled (probably had an adult beverage or 17 and watching some Netflix or something equally productive).

Saturday Feb 5th
All morning / early afternoon, I spent working as an extra during the filming of Cheap Seats. It's the newest web based comedy series by the guys who brought you the League, the Clink, and others. The weather was a bit brutal, but that crew is a lot of fun, and it was good to do something new and completely different.

Sunday Feb 6th
I'm not a sports guy - not by a long shot. I do, however, enjoy the commercials during the Superb Owl. When some friends invited Jill and I to watch the commercials with them (and get up to get more food when the game was on) we both jumped at the chance. We also brought our friend BrianSansLJ along. Some of you may have already met B, or seen/heard some of the music/awesomeness which he is famous for (like All Night Long (I Wanna Do My Taxes with You)). B is so totally our people, and it was awesome having him there. It didn't hurt that he brought a deep fryer and fried up things like oreos, twinkies, and just about anything else he could get his hands on. Dude seriously brings the awesome.

Monday Feb 7th
Yeah - I know - I said I was going to highlight the weekend stuff, and for the most part, that's true. This event's pretty awesome Matt Stuff though. Basically, every first and third Monday night, the Delaware Art Museum hosts an Open Figure Drawing Studio. This is perfect for me. It's been too long since I got to do some drawing work based on live models, and having it so close, without obligation (no class to sign up for), and so cheap ($5 / 2hr. session) is perfect. As an additional note, I walked to the Museum this time from work on the Riverfront (with a brief stop at 1100). It took about an hour total, wasn't bad, and felt good. Jill dropped the car off at the Museum while I was inside, so I even had the convenience of a ride back to Mark's afterward.

Friday Feb 8th
Stopped to get my hair cut before picking Jill up. The place I normally go is cheap and usually very fast while doing a reasonable job. (It's kinda hard to mess up my haircut - I keep it as simple as I can.) On this particular occasion? 1.25 hours. To cut my hair. I don't have that much hair left. In addition to that? It made me late picking Jill up. Little known secret about [ profile] mrlich ? I hate being the limiting factor in anything. Hate it with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. Bad start to the night.

Then, we got to see a bunch of really great folks at Bobby B's Birthday Bonanza. Ok - so maybe it wasn't a Bonanza per se, and maybe I just like alliteration a bit too much. Point is: I hadn't seen a number of these folks since the big break, and it really did me some good to 'touch base'.

When we got back, and I dropped [ profile] xtingu  off, we had a slight disagreement which made it clear to me that we're both a little on edge because of the break. We're both nitpicking a bit at things that shouldn't be an issue. Things are generally awesome between us, but when they head south I get annoyed because it's stuff that doesn't feel like it would matter if we were 'under normal circumstances'. We'll get there.

Saturday Feb 9th
More shooting for Cheap Seats in the morning. I just can not wait to see these webisodes. It's sure to be funny as hell if it's got even a pinch of how much fun it was to film.

After Cheap Seats, I headed up to Philly to hang out with [ profile] jeremym , [ profile] boutell , and LauraSansLJ. We watched Pulp Fiction. We ate Capriotti's Bobbies. There was a Dog. Life was good. I lerv my peeps.

I passed on going to Dr. Sketchy's. This pained me just slightly to do, but I was really enjoying myself with the peeps, and I didn't want to get up half way through the movie and go. Besides - there will be more of them. Did any of you go?

Sunday Feb 10th
Had brunch with Jill this morning and then we hit Target. That second part was a mistake. We both left the chaos of that place ready to destroy all human life. Neither of us does super well in crowds. When those crowds are made up of the completely ignorant? Our respective patience levels drop rapidly.  Dropped Jill off and hung out briefly while she waited for a caffein freak out or blood sugar thing to abate. Now I'm back at 1100.

I'm trying to get a couple odds and ends wrapped up here this afternoon before I head up to the LV to look into an auto loan / the purchase of a 2000 Honda Civic so that I can hand off the car to Jill and get her some mobility, and myself a little sanity. I took off tomorrow to deal with car stuff.

All in all, I'd say that the last couple of weekends have been pretty good / productive.
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - (chillaxin)
This is my Year in Review post. I try to do this every year (even if I don't post them publicly) just so that I can kinda review things in my life at take a serious look at the State of the [ profile] mrlich . While it's not always a comfortable look, it helps to see things in perspective which I have a real problem with in my day-to-day life. I tend to look at the 'here and now' and believe that it's always been this way, and it always will be this way.

Also? This is going to be long. I will be writing a tl;dr version shortly. Stay tuned.

A word about links: some of the things that I link to in this post might not work for you. Please don't be offended. As some of these topics are very personal, I may have sub sections and linked posts locked down. It's not something that you should feel badly about - I'm kinda paranoid. Everything that you need to know is here in this post. The links are details.

Also - if I don't expound on something, and you're curious, feel free to ask any questions. I'll likely answer. ;)


11th : LJ Post : 2009 Year in Review ( )
13th - 14th : Worked on IronBridge Website
This was pretty big for me. The Iron Bridge Agency's website was (more or less) my first professional website build. It meant that I was 'for real'. It wasn't long after that Matt-Works was born. It felt good.
28th : Lichenapper cineplex - The Black Hole
This was the first Lichenapper Cineplex Night, and it rocked. Yes, the movie was cheezy in some ways. I still loved Maximillian and the double ended laser guns, and Vincent, and... oh hell - I still love that whole damn movie. I think that the fact that I even still like the movie says something about its staying power. Also? I want to do more Lichenapper Cinema Nights. It's fun watching movies on my wall with friends like that.


19th : NMP : Feytroll Art / Video Post ( )
I was getting the hang of creating video. I'm still getting better, but this was pretty much the first time that I felt comfortable showing the world my efforts. NMP has been very good for me in that sense. I feel like it's made me step up my illustrative game and given me a ready audience with some feedback. My only complaint is that (as has always been for me) I still feel like I'm not getting enough feedback after I put work out there. If any of you know of a great way to get constructive criticisms on your work, please let me know!
28th : Arkham Gaming at S & H's
I haven't played many new board games in recent history, so this was a treat. What's more, I really loved the game. How much did I love the game? I started having dreams about it. Add this to the 'need to do more in 2011' list.
28th : Bobby McFerrin @ Zoellner Arts
I haven't seen or heard many people in my life who have the level of natural skill and talent that I experienced that night. Bobby is clearly a person who feels music on another level. Some of us have a pulse. Bobby has a beat. The man was amazing in so many ways - not the least of which was his comfort with interacting with the crowd. Like most people would chat with an old friend, Bobby did a dance that brought us along with him, sometimes taking direction from us, and sometimes guiding us like a seasoned instructor. It was a Beautiful Event. The fact that [ profile] xtingu  was able to go up on stage and work with him? Icing on the cake - the delicious and perfectly moist cake.


18th : Build Trust in a Connected World Summit @ Theater N
This was the first time I attended something like this and I liked the experience. Not that it was anything life changing, but it was good information, and (as one would expect) I felt motivated to work on my social media networking skillz when I left the place. The fact that I was able to spend a day away from the office didn't really hurt either. :)
23rd : LJ Post : Arts Promotion ( locked down to a small group : )
25th : Promotion Brainstorming with Joe and Kevin
I would like to do more of this sort of thing. I want to meet more with groups and individuals who want to promote the arts. All different kinds of arts. I find it fascinating to hear about the different needs people have when it comes to promotion. I have a feeling that the entrepreneur in me might one day have an 'a ha!' moment in this regard.
27th : S's Wear What Makes You Happy party
I love hanging with my peeps, but they won't let me wear them.


3rd : JD & PhilaDel @ the dog park
It makes me immensely happy to see that dog happy and playing. Add other dogs and water? There's just a whole lot of win here.
3rd : Kevin's for fire and BBQ
Mmmm... fire.
17th - 22nd : Cruise / Florida Keys
My first cruise. My first trip to the Florida Keys. Both were awesome. I jumped off a cliff in the middle of nowhere Jamaica.
 (click to watch the video - thanks to Jack for manning the camera)
I laid back and enjoyed the open air by a pool enough to cause even my stress level to lower to manageable levels. (See user icon.) Jill played with chickens. We both 'swam' (read as: stood on a platform with my feet in the water) and played with dolphins.
 (click for larger size)
27th : Dragonbones Post : Character Portrait Commission ( )


11th : Dental Work
Yay for sedation dentistry. That is all I have to say on the matter.
13th : Ignite Wilmington 3 - @ BCUS
I love the whole Ignite series. The fact that the Archer Group has one off the ground and moving in Wilmington goes a long way (in my opinion) towards picking up this little 'city that could' and getting it on the road to becoming something more than 'that place with all the banks and DuPont'. I was really happy to be able to provide a location to IW#4, and hope to be able to do that again in the future.
25th - 31st : Flipside
We did Flipside this year. [ profile] xtingu  has been before, but this was another first for me. Of course, all of her people there made me feel instantly at home, and I had the advantage of meeting a number of them before at [ profile] drjohn  and [ profile] leporidae's wedding. It was a very different feel than the Playa to me. It was more intimate. More basic. The fact that it was nestled into the woods made me very comfortable and relaxed. My favorite part was on our last full day there - relaxingly floating down the river on various inflatables with really amazing people. I could take another 8 or 10 weeks of that every year.


7th : We got our Motorola Droids
Life = Life 5. Level up. "Droooiiiiiiiiid."
11th : Puck's Rooftop Party
I don't have a lot of folks that I hang out with outside of the office. Puck is a rock star of a person as well as... a rock star musician. When he said that he was having a rooftop party, there wasn't even the slightest bit of debate whether or not I would go. I was happy I did.
12th : Shady Grove Music Festival in Arden
I love me some Arden. Really, it's for many reasons, but the Shady Grove Music Festival is definitely one of them, and it's probably up near the top of the list.
15th : Picked up the Total Gym
Still haven't started using it very regularly. I use it - just not regularly. Going to change that this year.
23rd : Banking Fiasco (checking account issues)
Short version: someone managed to compromise my account. I'm sad to say that Wachovia didn't handle it very well. I chased information down. I confirmed what was and wasn't compromised. I called them back several times and dealt with different people every time, and each of them seemed to have a different idea of 'just what happened'. It was not a pleasant experience. Now, in their defense, the big W may have handled it just as well as any other financial institution may have. I hope to never have another experience to compare with it.
26th : Tubing Down the Brandywine River
Second time tubing this year, and just unbelievably enjoyable. Note to self: this is another "more in 2011" thing. Like... a lot. Additional note: find a way/place that you and your friends can do said tubing without paying crazy fees. It's worth it for 'once in a while', but if you want to make this a more regular thing...


5th : Visit with the Fausts
My G-dparents came to town and stayed with my folks for a few days. I got a chance to hang out with them briefly. Miss them terribly. They are the very definition of good people.
8th - 11th : Maine for Pop Pop's Birthday
Was very happy to be able to surprise my grandfather with a visit from all three of his grandsons on our side of the family. [ profile] xtingu  pretended that it was tough for her to go, but I secretly think she has a crush on my grandfather, so it's all good.
22nd : Belle and Angel in NYC
I have crazy talented friends, and the fact that I live within the kind of distance to NYC that I can pop up there mid week for an evening play is just awesome.
23rd - 25th : Work Weekend Visit with the Fausts in LV
More time with the G-dparents and working on the family land did my soul some real good.
31st : EHS Class of 1990 - 20 Year Reunion
Some things never change. In this case, I'm very happy for that fact. I was very proud to introduce [ profile] xtingu  to my peeps from high school. Just as I was proud to introduce them to her.


14th : JT3 @ World Cafe Live in Philly
See my earlier comment about crazy talented friends.
18th - 23rd : CA for IJG / Visit with J&K /P & M
The ever changing spirit of IJG is part of their charm. The fact that even the 'mood' of the band seems to shift from year to year speaks to the core of who they are. They've taken on a more sober appearance to reflect their re-focussing on performing their music accurately and 'cleanly'. The shows on this tour told me that this is the right move for them for this time. They performed wonderfully, and the audiences responded appropriately. It was also awesome getting a chance to see my dear friend D (sans LJ) at the Hammer show - even if only briefly.
19th : IJG @ Hammer Museum @ UCLA
Was beautiful and what an amazing space! The group played in an open courtyard with second story open hallways all around which created a sort of 'balcony seating'.
20th : IJG @ Dizzy's in San Diego
I loooove Dizzy's. I've said it before and I'll doubtless say it again. Great place, people who love good jazz, and tasty wines!
21st : Movie Night at Patty and Mike's (Dawn of the Dead)
I had never seen Dawn of the Dead. This was the right way to do it - on a large screen in the back yard of good friends with beverages and food in hand. Snarky commentary from the audience was a delight. (You can just imagine all the "Oh. Yeah. Because going in THERE seems like a good idea..."
25th : Started using Google Chat to Make Phone Calls
Why is this in my Year in Review? What can I say? I'm a Google Evangelist. Also? Being able to talk to clients on the phone while working on their website because my hands are free and thus making live changes per their requests? Priceless. So the fact that it's free? Awesome.
31st : Dragonbones Post : Portable Digital Sketchbook
( ) I love my tablet. I tend to judge the 'should I buy it' toys in my life based on an hour/cost study. I'm sure that the tablet has already reached the point where I spent something like $0.0000002/hour on it.


4th : Arden Fair / Burning Kirby
I can't take crowds for very long, so I spent a short while browsing through the Arden Fair, but I didn't stay long. Burning Kirby, however, made me exceptionally happy. Since we couldn't make it out to the Playa this year, I'm thrilled that we have the kind of friends that are open to having our own uber-mini regional burn. We had a little bit of Home out here on the Right Coast. It was wonderful!
19th - 23rd : The Wall - Tech Week
For about a week I got to have real life rock'n'rollers performing live renditions of Pink Floyd's The Wall in my house. What did you have? Nuthin. That's what I thought!
 (click for larger size)
24th / 25th : The Wall @ Arden Guild Hall
Have I mentioned the skillz of my friends?
30th : Rehersal Dinner for Josh and Angie's Wedding


1st : Josh and Angie's Wedding
So by now you may be noticing a theme - yes, I feel that I'm extremely fortunate when it comes to my family and friends. My newest sister-in-law is no exception. Both of my sisters in law are people that I am very proud to call 'sis'. My brothers have both done at least one or two things right - just don't tell them I said that.
7th : Ignite Wilmington 4 @ Delaware Center for Horticulture
Another great Ignite event, and another great venue. As serious bonus points? [ profile] xtingu  gave a speech! You can see a partial video here. Unfortunately, as I didn't do the video work, I can't tell you why it cuts off half way through her speech.
11th : Work on Ceiling Fan / Ceiling
Ummm... yeah. That could have gone more easily than it did, but it also could have gone far worse. The ceiling fan is in (much thanks to my Dad) and the drywall that needed to get replaced (thanks to the mold created by year of poor ventilation) has been. I still need to do some 'clean up' work and re-paint the room, but that has taken the back seat to more urgent issues. For several months. Have I mentioned that Jill's a saint?
12th : First Guitar Lesson with Judith
Ok, so I stopped going after the first lesson. I should point out that the lesson itself was awesome and that I can't recommend Judith enough. I learned a lot that day, and when I can afford to purchase a guitar large enough for my size XXL mits, I will most assuredly do so.
21st : Jill's Paintings @ Coin Loft
22nd : JT @ Between Books

23rd : Met w/ Judith Kay re: Her Video Needs
29th : Pumpkin Decorating Contest at Work
30th : Rally to Restore Sanity
My first rally that wasn't motorcycle related. I was frustrated by the fact that I felt like I would have been able to see/hear infinitely better if I was at home watching a television, but I had a ball anyway. I was with good people, and that makes all the difference.

4th : CTC Wine Night @ Veritas
7th : Hiking / Family Dinner w/ Mark and Lauren - One Shot Coffee in NoLibs
[ profile] lotusanddragon  and LaurenWithNoLJ had been talking about taking me to One Shot for a while, and I finally got the opportunity. Great place with Robot paintings on the walls that I know [ profile] xtingu  will love when she gets to finally see the place.
12th : Boots on the Ground @ BCUS w/ Veritas
12th : Kate Miller Heidke / Joe Trainor Show @ Arden Guild Hall
Awesome show, and Kate and Keir were a lot of fun and down to earth. Getting them a little flavor or Wilmington via Stanley's after the show was just the thing.
20th : Itroduction to Partner Acrobatics
First time I tried something in the acrobatics spectrum. The old "martial arts Matt" made an appearance, and I felt immediately comfortable with concepts - whether I could physically do them or not. I knew what to do - I just had to get my body to do it.
22nd : Cartography Meeting with Charles Dickey
24th : Hang with Dan
I don't get to see my buddy Dan nearly enough these days. It was really good to get a chance to BS with him for a bit.
25th : T-Day @ Chez Lichtenwalner
[ profile] xtingu  almost didn't make it this year. Her life leading up to Turkey Day was quite hectic, and she said she wasn't going to go, but she relented at the last minute. And really? If you could see the food my family puts out at social gatherings? You would say she made the right effing call.

3rd : Happy Hour with Insight at Iron Hill Brewery
4th : LitGraphic: The World of the Graphic Novel @ Michener Art Museum

I enjoyed this immensely. Went with [ profile] swingchickie  and JackWithNoLJ, and really? You couldn't ask for better partners in crime. Went to a great little BBQ place in town afterward and checked out a local shop that sells [ profile] swingchickie 's hoops.
10th : HB & JT @ Between Books
11th : Sandler's Open House / Party
The man knows how to throw a shindig. Just sayin.
16th : Tron @ Theater N
In prep for seeing Tron: Legacy, we decided to go see the original at Theater N since they had a showing. Of course, we haven't been to see Legacy yet.
17th : Reckless @ CTC
Great show - a lot of fun, and we were front row. I remind myself every time I go to CTC that I need to go more often.
18th : Mummenschantz @ Zellerbach
A childhood memory brought to life. While it may sound backwards, the greatest delight for me was the 'reveal' at the end of the show where we were allowed to see the performers without any bulky costumes which obscure their faces/forms. The fact that these weren't 20-something performers doing this intensely physical performance art made me very happy. They manage to evoke a wide spectrum of emotion with nonsensical forms and motion. This seems like high art wrapped in a show for children. Memorable.
24th : Christmas Eve with the Lichtenwalners
[ profile] xtingu  and I headed north to hang out with my parents, my youngest brother, and his beautiful wife for X-Mas eve. We set up a webcam chat and projected it on the wall of my parents' family room so that we could 'share' the evening with my middle brother and his family in Michigan. Yeah. We're tech nerds like that.
25th : Christmas with the Knapp's
Good people. Good family. I was happy to be a part.
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - (Default)
Ok - so here it is in fast and furious mode:

Friday: I took it pretty easy. I was burned out from a rough week and stayed home. Jill had a rehearsal for my brother's wedding in October. She headed up to the Lehigh Valley for that, and I just hung out at home, watched some tv online, and unwound. I needed that night - a lot.

Saturday: Early afternoon, we had a bunch of rocktastic folks who used our place as a hub for the Arden Fair. What a delight that was! It was like a revolving door of awesome. I headed over to the Fair myself for a bit, but did my usual 'move through, absorb quickly, and then get out of the crowd fast' thing. I'm not one for crowded spaces. Probably has something to do with my petite physique.

After the Fair, I headed up to Philly to join my brothers and some friends for some tailgating outside the ballpark for part of my youngest brother's bachelor party. Had a great time and played my first game or two of ladder toss with my middle brother Ben. I enjoyed the game and even won a couple of rounds. Sense my inner tribal hunter.


After the tailgating, I headed to [ profile] burningkirby's place for Burning Kirby 2010. A bunch of us were really bummed out that we couldn't be out on the Playa this year, so we decided to create a mini-regional burn in honor of the weekend. It really was wonderful. I was surprised (and thrilled) to see how many folks made it out, and things went smoothly, which is a big ol' win in my eyes. I really hope we do it again in future years if we're unable to go Home, or as a compression / decompression event.

Sunday: We dragged ourselves out of bed, cleaned up, and a few of us went to brunch at Nudy's. Found the food to be tasty and the company exquisite.

[ profile] burningkirby  and I headed north again to my folks place. My youngest brother turned 26 on Sunday, and we wanted to get some hang time in and eventually we ordered some dinner in so we could socialize and not worry about making dinner or cleaning up after. We even got some hang time in with Grandma which was the icing on the cake.

We found out that my parents had never experienced The Hangover, so we rented that, and watched until my future sister in law's parents came over for some more chill time.

[ profile] xtingu  and I got back home late, and we were both draggin pretty good by the time we got here. Hit the sack and pretty much played the part of a coma victim immediately.

Monday: Slept in a bit, though not nearly enough to catch up. We had plans to meet up with a new friend for brunch. Judith Kay found [ profile] xtingu online, and gave her a call the other day. The two of them got to chatting, discovered that they had some mutual hobbies / niche joys, and are fast becoming good friends. I was dying to meet her, based on Jill's commentary on her, and we all headed to Lucky's for some brunch.

We had a blast, I really enjoyed meeting Judith, and we got to talking about some fun and creative ideas, including a seekrit plan that has been brewing in my back brain for some time. I'm not quite ready to reveal it publicly yet, but soon my Pretties... soon.

After brunch, Jill and I headed back to the house for some desperately needed down time. We talked briefly about getting together with Jerm and Lauratron for dinner, but both couples were just too exhausted to add anything to our plates for the remainder of the day. Instead, we watched Moon and Runaway. Pretty significantly different movies, but Moon was excellent, and Runaway was thoroughly enjoyable for it's 80s feathered hair, shoulder padded jackets for women, the caterpillar on Tom Selleck's upper lip, and Gene Simmons of Kiss. That's not even mentioning the evil robots. Yes - all that PLUS evil robots. Dude - how can it be bad?

Now? It's time to sleep the sleep of the righteous.

ETA: This is the third time I've edited this entry as large chunks of it seem to be disappearing. If something seems jarringly out of place, please let me know. I seem to have come down with a case of the DUM.
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - (eyeball)
Durkin has posted another great review of LEEF. This time from Doug Ramsey for the jazz blog Rifftides. Check it out!
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - (cocky)
Caption This!So [ profile] xtingu  and I got to talking about the fact that an old friend of mine and I are back in touch. He's working on a children's book that has something to do with lobsters, so he had asked if I can draw lobsters. The discussion of this, between [ profile] xtingu  and myself turned... well... see for yourself.

So I finished the drawing with her adding input as I went, and we found ourselves wondering what he should be saying. I leave that to you dear readers.
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - (Default)

Old DnD ad - thanks to Grant Gould
Old DnD ad - thanks to Grant Gould

Bwaaaahhahahahaha... thanks to [profile] gdg for posting this.

Hey look honey - look how cooool your boyfriend is on V-Day! `
Happy Valentines Day Everybuddy!
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - (Default)
So tonight kicked all kinds of ass.

Today we did a lot of little stuff for the house, none of which really added up to much, but mostly (for my part) I got a little homework done on people I need to make phone calls to.

Then, we got a dinner visit from the always [profile] jafosmite  and the always lovely C came by to record the music from [personal profile] ms_violet  's wedding so that they could have a copy. I can say with absolute certainty that it will never get old hearing [personal profile] xtingu  and company perform here in the house in which we live. Good times with good friends.

Then? The pièce de résistance.

Yours truly learned a thing or two about music. Yes me. The guy whose voice could kill large herd animals came one step closer to not being a complete musical moron. I owe this entirely to the unwavering teaching skills of the lovely and talented [personal profile] xtingu . I assure you all that I had nothing to do with it.

To summarize, this is the range of things that she managed to squeeze into my brain. While I can't promise that I will retain all of it, I have the advantage of living with my teacher. (I plan to pick her brain a lot.)

  1. How to play a G chord on a guitar, using two different fingerings.
  2. How to tune a guitar both to a piano and to itself.
  3. How to read guitar tablature.
  4. How to tell the difference between when a pitch is too high or too low, using the oscillations between the pitches.
  5. How to read treble clef.
  6. What a key signature is, and also what accidentals do.
  7. What a time signature is, and what it represents.
  8. How to sight read rhythms in both 3/4 and 4/4 time (including eighth rests and sixteenth notes).
  9. How to play a major scale on a piano by understanding the whole step/ half step sequence, and how to apply the pattern so I can play a major scale in any key.
  10. How to make a major triad.
  11. How to play a minor triad (flat the third).
  12. What relative minor is (A minor is the relative minor of C major).
  13. Sight read a little bit of a melody on the piano.
Not bad for two hours.

I got it pretty damn good.
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - (cloak_and_dagger)
No - really - it's a meme about my relationship with [personal profile] xtingu. I highly recommend you turn back now. 
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - (mirror)
Warning: EXTREME mushiness ahead. If you are 'put off' by men gushing over their women - I recommend moving on to someone else's post.

Jill and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary as some of you may have noticed. I got to thinking about that fact and it caused the following post:

I love and miss my girlfriend.

Why do I miss her? Well let's see:

[]She's smart - Hind sight is always 20/20 right? Well in the past I think that it's safe to say that I've never dated a dumb girl. Hell, I'm sure that most of the women I've dated have been far above the mean. Ah - but there's just something about a woman who's ridiculously bright. It's sexy. It's fun to talk to them. They keep you on your toes. They help make you a better person through the simple and fun act of conversation. 

[]She's beautiful - Have you seen her eyes? You could swim in them for days and not care about finding your way out. 

[]She's fun - I get to be a kid around her. I don't have to feel all stuffy and 'politically correct' all the time. She lets me let loose. What's more? She joins in. She makes me feel like one of the cool kids. 

[]She's interesting - robots, birds, big dogs, computers, good food, greasy spoons, and so many other interests - each more intriguing than the last. She makes me feel like we're exploring life - together. That's one hell of a great feeling. 

[]She's funny - I laugh when I'm with her. This really couldn't be more important in a life mate. I don't think that I understood that before - at least not on this level. Laughing makes you feel good. It makes the crap in life seem distant and just not as important. It makes you feel like you can do anything. 

[]She builds me up - she's amazingly good at lifting my spirits. She shows me the things that I'm good at which I would all-too quickly dismiss on my own. She makes me feel adept. 

[]She makes me feel needed - when I'm with her I see the ways in which I am useful to the world. This is a new feeling for me. I feel the appreciation of not only her, but of others around us when I do something. She helps me to see and feel these things in a way I'm quite certain I wouldn't on my own. 

[]She's Good - She's better to others than she is to herself. She doesn't always see it that way, but she is. She worries about other people's feelings and how she affects them. She is a kind person. 

I could go on, but I'm supposed to be working here, so I think I'll call that list 'the short version' and move on.

I guess I could summarize by saying:
She's amazing, she makes me feel amazing, and when I'm with her I know that I am part of something absolutely and irrefutably amazing.

I couldn't be more thankful than I am to have someone like her in my life.
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - (Default)
Wow. What an awesome weekend.

For any of you who managed to not catch [personal profile] xtingu 's weekend summary post...

Friday September 7th, 2007:
I worked a little late. Ok - maybe not worked so much. A co-worker sold me a motherboard and cpu to update my sorely antiquated home PC. It took a little work, some prayers in long dead languages and a couple of virgin sacrifices, but we got it working. The power supply, in fact, wasn't the right pin out, but my handy pocket knife explained the situation to the cabling, and now it sees the error of its ways. Now I'm able to do things like play music AND browse the web at the same time. What a concept.

After that, I swung by my place, dropped the pc off, got packed up for the weekend and headed over to see [personal profile] xtingu for a nice relaxing evening of 'chill with my girlfriend' - which is not a euphemism - it's just really good.

Saturday September 8th, 2007:
We headed up to my folks' place to celebrate my brother and my birthdays. Our middle brother and his lovely wife came down to join in the festivities. Brunch at Pickles (more on that later) and then we lost Josh, Ben, and Trina to other plans. My folks, [personal profile] xtingu , and myself headed back to the house to drop off crap and consolidate vehicles, then it was off to the Allentown Art Museum to see the Looney Tunes Exhibit.

After a delightful time at the museum (which included sitting and watching cartoons with my Mom and Pop in the 'kids section' and getting bemused looks from security guards) we headed to lunch and to do a little shopping. I needed to update a couple things in my wardrobe pretty badly and I annoyed Llij and my Mom with my efficiency in that department. To illustrate:

Step 1: Walk into the shoe store.
Step 2: Grab the first pair of shoes that I like after a quick glance.
Step 3: Try on one other size in the same 'model' shoe.
Step 4: Pay for shoes.
Step 5: There is no Step 5. Nor is there any spoon.

I did much the same thing with some other clothes, a new tie, and so forth. Since I was going to a wedding reception with [personal profile] xtingu and I both seem to really just enjoy the hell out of  'farting around' with my folks, and this was some good time with them that we don't get nearly often enough. My brothers and their significant others were sorely missed, but Ben and Trina were at a good friend's wedding and Josh doesn't get to see enough of Angie these days, so he was visiting her, so I guess we can forgive them.

Later, [personal profile] xtingu and I caught up with [profile] kar0na at The Starlite Diner (which - as a side note - is INcorrectly located on Google Maps) for some munchies. We called it a fairly early night because my Rock Star Girlfriend had a date with a recording studio on Sunday. I won't point out that I'm getting to be an old man and really like to get to sleep at a decent hour myself or anything.

Sunday September 9th, 2007:
We got up and spent a little time just nibbling muffins, drinking freshly brewed coffee, and chillin with the fam. Again - good times. The folks even brought out the photo album of my < one year old baby butt. [Insert 'Awwws' here.]

After Llij took off for her studio time, I got ready for the reception with [profile] kar0na and then headed out. We got some good hang time with good peeps at the party (which was at the Sheraton Jetport). First a couple drinks at the bar with munchies - then to the banquet hall where people with much more nimble feet than my own danced after we ate a delightful meal. And had a couple more drinks. (Don't worry kids - Yours Truly was exceedingly well behaved since I knew that I had a lot of driving ahead of me.) [profile] kar0na looked lovely, I got to meet some new folks as well as see old familiar faces, and I even got to snap a couple pics/vids. All in all? I had a pretty damn fine time.

Headed down to Delaware and more or less collapsed - only to get up entirely too soon for work since I'm 'the early guy' this week.

Ugh. Can't we go back to the weekend?
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - (Default)
The weekend thus far (rather than the weekend in review- for a change):

Immediately following work, I rode to drop off a movie and pick up (rent) the DVD collection of Brisco County Jr.. I remember it being a fun series and Bruce Campbell s kinda a personal hero. What's more, it makes better sense than full blown movies for 'workout entertainment' as they're only one hour shows each episode, so I'm not working out for a half hour or an hour and then sitting for another hour to an hour and a half.

After picking up Bruce's misadventures, I headed back to the house where I met up with [profile] lotusanddragon  . We headed over to [personal profile] shellefly  's place to pick her up and than to Philly to assist in the celebrating of [personal profile] jeremym  's birthday at North Bowl. The place rocks - there's just no two ways about it. Great music, the drinks flow, and the lanes are clean and well maintained. That's one hell of a combination.

After bowling, the rest of the gang which included [personal profile] ms_violet  , [personal profile] boutell  , and many more (whose lj names I can't recall because I suck) headed somewhere for a drink, but [profile] lotusanddragon   and I headed back to the house since he still had to pack for his trip to Japan. We did that (I kept him company while he did it really) and got a chance for the first time in a long time to just shoot the shit. It was a grand time. We even had a mini-adventure taking a quick trip to his office for some forgotten info while K-T (who doesn't have LJ) read some of the end of the last Harry Potter book to us via my cell phone's speakerphone function. Then a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee, a moment where I broke his world a little by introducing him to the 'omg shoes' video, some chill time up on the deck, and the limo service was there to take him to the airport. It really kinda felt like the perfect way to send my bro off to another country. I sacked out afterward to some long overdue sleep.

Saturday morning I woke late (figured I earned it) and headed to [profile] jafosmite  's concert with X-Fusion at the 100th Annual Arden Fair. I took the Yamaha, and it was a damn good thing - the place was mobbed. I managed to find a completely illegal convenient parking space, locked up the scoot, and headed straight for where I hear the boys getting ready. The show rocked hard, though there's little surprise there. It was fun watching an all new batch of folks rockin out to X-Fusion's music. I was a little disappointed by the fact that the fair closed supah early, so I only had time to do a quick 'fly through' after the show, but I'm betting that's a good thing in the long run as I need to keep all the cash I can these days.

After the fair, I headed to good ol' Barnes and Noble for some time to do some writing, screw around, and browse the newest batch of 'how to draw' books and magazines. This is something that I haven't done in a while, and I missed it. It's something that I enjoy both with friends or alone. When I'm by myself, it's almost like meditation. I can people watch, get my thoughts in order, and often be inspired. I was impressed by my ability to not buy any of the new art books/magazines. Almost, but I managed to put them back. Really, it's not like I would use them - not in any real way. Most art books are great, but they wind up being more or less inspiration sources and that's about it. While I was sitting and parusing my latest batch of books and magazines, I got a phone call from [personal profile] xtingu  . Being a spaz, I went instantly into high alert mode - she was supposed to be out on the playa, and that would mean without cell phone reception of any kind at all. She assured me that nothing was wrong but that she 'just wasn't feeling it' this year and that she was homeward bound and would keep me posted on her travel plans. She said she missed me. I'm a lucky bastard like that. I stayed at B&N pretty late and went home. Once back at the house, I started working on one of the images that I got stuck in my head while at the bookstore and when I realized that it was almost 2am I hit the sack - I had a big day coming up.

Woke up fairly early, but not early enough. I had planned to ride with [profile] burningkirby  , Lee (sans lj), and Ballz (also sans lj). However, as I am the planning master, I didn't have any of their phone numbers and I was having net connectivity issues (I had Ballz's street address in my email account). I did finally get connected, but the whole process delayed me enough that I got to Ballz's place about 15 minutes later than planned and I hate being the limiting factor. We made our way via back roads to [profile] burningkirby  's compound where we gathered up [profile] burningkirby   and Lee and after some very minor repairs to [profile] burningkirby  's bike, we headed out. It was the perfect morning for a ride. Cool but not cold. Bright and sunny and just... frickin... gorgeous. miles melted past under our wheels as we rolled west into PA. If I can convince Ballz to send me a copy of our route, maybe I'll post it later. What a great run. I broke the 600 mile mark since buying the Yamaha with ease.

After our ride we stopped back at [profile] burningkirby  's place and had some snackages. Then off to Lee's and then I headed back to B&N. Yes, back to B&N. I've decided that I'm a creature of habit. Once I find something I like, I tend to stick with it until I find the next thing that I like. While there I got some more stuff done both in the writing and the creativity departments.

While I was at B&N, [personal profile] xtingu   called to let me know that she had landed and asked if I could meet her at her apartment. I said sure, packed up my gear, and headed over. We arrived at almost identical times, and commenced a good old fashioned 're-connect' kind of night. We were visited albeit briefly by [profile] theseitz   who showed us his supah sexy new iPhone. We sacked out shortly thereafter.

We woke up a bit late and had some more really amazing reconnect time. It had been a while since [personal profile] xtingu   and I had the chance to talk more than "Hi - how's the weather?" Okay - I'm exagerating, but you get the point. We'd let our 'life stuff' kinda keep us so focussed that we hadn't spent much time just talking. We'd both missed it terribly and this time (Sunday night and Monday morning) really scratched that itch.

Next, we hopped on the bike and headed up to [personal profile] swingchickie  's place for the afternoon and got some more hang time with the good peeps. [personal profile] swingchickie   and Jack, [personal profile] jeremym   (and the always awesome JD), [personal profile] boutell   and Jenny, [profile] opadit   and Steve, [personal profile] ms_violet   and Vince, and of course [personal profile] xtingu   and myself. Jack manned the grill and [personal profile] xtingu   brought some corn salsa that was muy muy yummy.

Then, of course, there were donuts.

Now, [personal profile] xtingu   and I have come back to her place, she's on the phone with her folks and I'm wrapping up what was started as a "weekend up to this post" but has become a "weekend in review".

Hope you had a weekend as awesome as mine!
Jun. 4th, 2007 10:06 am


mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - (Default)
Wow. Rough morning. I was up way too late with [ profile] xtingu to be up this damn early. At least it was for the right reasons - we created artwork last night. As much as I illustrate, I'm no pro when it comes to traditional media painting, and I decided yesterday morning that I needed to fix that. [ profile] xtingu agreed when I said that she should try her hand at it too.

We had some fun tromping around Michaels and gathering supplies. We noted that there's a very clear reason why we're known as 'starving artists' (just check out the prices on paint - let alone all the tools you need to paint with - brushes, knives, pallets, canvasses, etc. etc. etc.). There's an excitement to it though. Maybe I'm just an art geek, but when you're there at that store - with all those supplies - all you can think about is the potential held in that place. What's possible with the stuff in that store? It's a great feeling.

We brought the car load of supplies back to her place (along with a ton of crap that I already had at my place) and got to work. I don't want to spill the beans on her painting - I'll let her do that in her own time, but I will say this - I love it. She's very good at what she does, and I would love to have one of her images in my house. You should all consider commissioning her.

As to my own image? Well, I had one hell of a time getting used to the idea that I couldn't just hit cntrl+z to 'undo' something once I had done it. That's a very frustrating thing if I may say so. I wasted a lot of paint. I learned tons in a very short span of time (relatively speaking). My original intent had been to paint a photo-realism male torso, with the right hand touching the sternum with it's extended fingers. Spiraling out from the touch would be tribal tattoo designs - seemingly 'growing' into the skin.

Okay, so I was a bit ambitious for my first time out - sue me.

Getting the technical bits figured out proved to be a little too much for me to do the image I had in mind, so I simplified. I did away with the hand and tattoos and dropped it back to a simple male torso. I think that the image turned out ok, even if it's not what I was really looking to do.

I'll post pictures of both what I originally intended and a snapshot of the finished painting later.
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - (Default)
Ok - I decided not to go to my place for lunch today, but rather to sit here and jot a few notes on my lunch break.

Here they are in no particular order:

MTM's stock (MTMC) seems to be on the rise for the first time in a while. I don't generally follow such things, but I've started paying attention to that particular stock lately. I'm not saying that I'm going to jump right in and buy now that it's on the rise, but it just seems interesting to note.

I've started work on learning how to use CSSs in earnest. Many thanks to for directing me to which is where I've been doing my homework. They have a rather impressive setup there with well written information and even a quiz at the end (which I scored an 80% on my first time through). In order to put my new found knowledge to good use, I've begun a mock-up page for the new and improved over at what will become my new homepage - The idea is pretty simple: will become my professional portfolio site, while will become 'everything else' - my more personal page. Please understand that there's basically nothing there right now (lightinthewoods) because I'm learning the basics of CSS and I'm playing around with the nuances of the existing page. As with most CSS docs, the idea is to come up with a really good set of style sheets and base more or less everything off of those so that website wide modifications require less effort. I have to say that it feels really good to be learning something since...

...the bank has been slow. I mean dog slow. I mean pine sap in January slow. Yeah. Like that. It's alright now that I have net access when I want it, so I find that at least I can entertain myself, and since I'm not right with the group of folks that I actually work with there's little risk of someone looking over my shoulder and getting upset that I'm not doing something 'important', but I just can't shake that part of me that worries like hell whenever the work seems to dry up. Some old habits die hard. I guess the positive way to look at it would be that this is a perfect time for me to brush the cobwebs off my resume.

We all seemed to have an awesome time this weekend at [personal profile] xtingu 's party for her birthday pie. Six years old. Where does the time go?! Anywho - I wanted to thank those of you who were able to make it and waggle my fingers with my thumb pressed firmly to my nose at all those who couldn't make it. What? You're going to let a little thing like a well planned wedding get in the way of our (more or less) last minute BIRTHDAY PIE PARTY? Silly mortals. (ed. note: in case you missed it, I'm being sarcastic here - were you missed? yes. do I really blame you for not making it? if you don't know the answer to that, smack yourself in the head and ask the question again - something's worked itself loose.)

I wanted to let the folks who took part in my little challenge that I haven't forgotten them. Life got in the way (as I have a bad habit of letting it do) and that challenge went a little bit 'back burner' for a while. I'm getting back to it shortly. Re-formatting my pc and the subsequent re-installation of all my software took a while, but everything seems to be back up and running properly. What's more, I'm sorta re-dedicating myself artistically these days and I'm working pretty fiercely on the concept of 'likenesses'. I'm working more from reference, and within that umbrella, I'm focusing more specifically on portraiture. The idea is to be able to do classic portraits and caricatures within as short a span of time as I can reasonably do. Both of those abilities seem to be regularly in demand, and while they don't appeal to me in a "my soul yearns for this amazing thing" kind of way, they also don't repulse me like  a lot of professional art work does. What does this mean? Well, I don't think that I have the kind of dedication to art to make any kind of decent living through art, so better to do something 'part time' as a side job for extra income. The thing is, if I'm going to take anything on (even part time) I want it to be worth while to me, so it had better either A. pay a butt-pile (it's a metric measurement - look it up!) or something that I enjoy. Portraiture, and more-so caricature both seem to have fairly high levels of both of those elements. You professional art types who read this should feel free to correct me if you think that's not the case, or if you think I would be better focused on something else.

And while we're on the subject of art, there's a poll I wanted to set up. Think that I will do that in a separate post.

Hope you're all well beyond what you could reasonably ask for.
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - (Default)
Jill made thai peanut butter chicken for dinner. She rules the universe. :)
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - (Default)
Yesterday was a good day.

I went into work begrudgingly only to be told to go home at 10am due to the bad weather. Fortunately, it's not too big a deal since I drive just about the biggest red-neckiest pickup truck you'd ever want to see. Got home to find my most excellent neighbor Justin outside doing battle with the ice that encrusts his driveway, our sidewalk, and our driveway. I pulled open my shirt to reveal the giant S benieth and got straight to work helping him out so that he would have the option to go to work if his boss required it. (Silly boy with a little 2 wheel drive vehicle.) The ice started to get the better of us, so we made a run to Home Depot in order to pick up more salt and a... I don't know what they're called - an 'ice blade'?

When we got back from the depot, J was clearly worn out. We managed to get our respective drives/walks done, and I went to help out the guy a couple doors down from J with my trusty new ice blade (which made all the difference in the world). The neighbor's neighbor was a big guy who was clearly winded by the effort involved in getting his walk cleared of the thick ice. I couldn't stand by and see him struggling with it. At first he seemed a little startled by my presence, but he was thankful for the help.

Then came the girl who lives down the street in the other direction. She had an armload of books, a backpack, and some miscellaneous other gear. Clearly a student. You could see the trepedation on her face as she started to clear the ice that had gathered on her car. She was in a hurry. A few minutes later, she was cleared off and thanking me for the helping hand.

Damn I love that feeling - helping unexpectedly. If you are expecting it, there's nothing I want to do less, but if I know that you have no idea it's coming, then I am the forunate one when all is said and done.

I returned to my own drive to finish up the last little bits and Justin just looked at me incredulously.

Quote of the day:

"You're an animal. I just don't understand how you're still shovelling!"

And my day got a little bit brighter.

Then I got to spend some time snuggling with [ profile] xtingu watching movies and eating the amazin Tom Gai soup she had cooked for dinner. Side note: if any of you get the chance, I HIGHLY recommend getting her to make it for you. Tasty doesn't cover it. If you're 'lightly' veggie - pick the chicken out- it'll be more than worth your effort.

Today was also a good day. Got up and begrudgingly came to work.

I should point out here that I love my job. I really do. However, I'm working on side projects (which is really just a pretty way of saying process documentation) and that can be done from anywhere. Thus, given the option, I would muuuch rather be working from the comfort of my home office complete with better computer, dual monitors, etc etc.

Anyway, I get to the office, fiddle around a bit with the formatting of the documents, get redirected by my boss as to how he wants the documents done, and fiddle some more.

Lunch was spent getting smooched and hanging out with the every lovely [ profile] xtingu, who then made me a bag lunch to eat at my desk. I didn't want to go back to the office, but she convinced me (rightfully I think) that it was the Right Thing to Do™.

And the boss turned around and said we should all go home a half hour later. Damn good thing I'm salaried.

Which means I'll be able to go where I'm comfortable to get work done. And no... I would never go home and surf the web or check (and/or post) to LJ. Why do you ask?
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - (Default)
Did a 5 minute sketch of Ghost Rider in honor of the new movie starring Nick Cage. Let's all keep our fingers crossed that it's not going to blow chunks.

Also had the good fortune of hanging with the ever lovely [ profile] shellefly tonight, and get a little hot Barne's and Noble action. Armed with our trusty laptops, we went to town. She knocked out some words and I... well... I'm working on something a little different. More soon.

[ profile] xtingu had her first full day at the new gig. I won't steal her thunder, but sounds like it went pretty well. Everyone keep your fingers crossed that everything just keeps getting better - I think you'll all agree with me that she deserves it.

Alrighty. It's way past my bed time and here I am talking to you lunatics! I'm out of here like... something witty goes here!
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - (Default)
Ok, kids! I'm off to Chris's Jazz Cafe to see the show. If you're interested in details for any of the other tour dates - just check [personal profile] xtingu's journal for the dates/times/locations. I assure you they will be well worth your time!
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - (mirror)

Friday Night - Company Party
Got to the party kinda late since I got back to town late from work. There's irony in there somewhere, I think. Got to see [personal profile] xtingu looking absolutely stunning. I get to see this more often than you poor mooks, but this was exceptional - even for her. Best part? I got to walk into the place with her on my arm and thumb my nose at all the other doods in the place. I soooo win at girlfriend.

Saturday - Got up at an ung-dly hour (6:45am) and led my coworker Larry to the Lehigh Valley to meet up with my brothers and some friends of theirs. Once the gang was all together, we made our way to Skirmish for a fun filled day of paintballing adventures. I had a complete blast and now I'm paying for it. My adventures at the base of the castle towers left me with a slightly wounded pride and welts on the very top of my skull, but it was totally worth the adrenaline rush.

After returning from paintball and bidding adieu to my coworker, I had a great sit-down meal that's about as manly as my day had been - meatloaf and potatoes with green beans. I know that [personal profile] jeremym would have gone ga-ga. After dinner, Mom (as always) spoiled us with an award worthy apple crumb bake a la mode.

Post chill-time with the family, I headed to [profile] metikulos and [profile] kar0na's for some festivities making. Got to see a lot of dear old friends that I don't get to see nearly enough. Stayed late and headed home surprisingly sober (what can I say? they bring out the hellion in me). They always do such a great job of making me feel at home (and the food's never shabby - which just does not hurt one little bit).

Sunday - Today I woke up (relatively) late (9:30) and headed to a great brunch at Perkins with my family. Still seems funny sometimes going with my family to the Perkins that I used to wait tables at so many moons ago. After breakfast, I headed back to the house, loaded up my stuff, talked with Josh about some X-Massy stuff, and headed home here to good ol' Smellaware.

As I arrived in town, [personal profile] xtingu found herself craving sustinance, so I joined her in a lunch at our beloved Golden Monkey. What can I say? I'm an eating machine. After lunch, I hit B&N for some more X-Mas presents and stuff, came home and got productive, and then headed to xtingu's place to lend a hand with some minor crapola, then back here to finish this post/my todo list.

Oh, and I got some laundry done.

Damn it feels good to get shit done.

Edit (again): Almost forgot - when xtingu and I were leaving the Monkey, we ran into a waitress there who wants a tattoo designed by Yours Truly. She and I made arrangements/discussed the design, and work has begun. Before long, I should have another tattoo cred. to show you all!

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