5.13.02 :: Streaming Audio! Woo Hoo!
I have finally gotten around to getting streaming audio up on this site, which you can access in the Sounds section. You can also just click here to get directly to the section with the streams. I will post an update when I get the smaller files I need to support dial-up streams, since these are all fairly large files.
Oh, and by the way, Happy Birthday, Mom!
5.6.02 :: Hello Shopping Cart, Goodbye Frames
The folks at CDBaby.com have been nice enough to design a shopping cart that can be used very, very easily to purchase my album online. You can take a look at it in the Sell Out section, or by clicking here.
Also, after taking a number of web design classes, I’ve finally decided to get rid of the frameset organization for this site and go with tables. The basic effect is that the site now loads as single pages with the same menu off to the side (though it doesn’t follow you as you scroll down), and an added set of links at the bottom of each page. Basically it’s easier to navigate, has minimal effect on how long each page takes to load, and responds to search engines better. Yay for the wonderful world of Information Architecture…
4.2.02 :: Redesign and New Email
I’ve completely redesigned this website in the last couple of weeks, and what you see is the product of all my procrastination. Let me know what you think of the redesign. I’ve also changed my music email to [Ed. note, 2013: out of date email address], more on this in both the newsletter below and in FAQ. Check out some of the more recent old news for stuff I didn’t get to in the newsletter since the damn thing was long enough already. Thanks!
4.2.02 :: Spring 2002 Newsletter
PLEASE READ THIS FIRST
I am switching email addresses, so you will receive this email twice: once from PsychaGoat [at] aol.com, since that’s the email most of you recognize, then from my new email, [Ed. note, 2013: out of date email address]. I’m doing this so those of you with junk mail filters know to look out for my new address so I don’t get filtered into the trash. Thank you!
‘Tis I, Ellen Shapiro, purveyor of music and merriment (and some extremely long-winded and parenthetical stories). Contrary to popular belief, I have not fallen off the face of the earth, and this email (hopefully) will be proof of what I’ve been doing with my time for the last year. Since I haven’t sent a newsletter in so long, this one is chock full of long stories and big news! Read on:
I. SO WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO YOU?
Well, where shall I begin? Where I left off seems convenient: I was about to start what I thought was going to be a fantastic internship at an audio post-production company that shall remain nameless (but which I have named in other newsletters). Thought. Ha. I picked up lunch for clients at many fine Chicago restaurants that I cannot afford to eat at, but otherwise spent most of that internship in the basement with the 15-20 other interns they had in there at various points (for a company of 45 paid employees), trying to figure out how to get in and actually work on something. This company basically froze me out, and I really, really despise the entire front office staff there now. Not that the engineers aren’t some of the best in the business, but I and quite a number of other people learned absolutely nothing except that we’ll never work for jerks like them again.
II. SO DID ANYTHING GO RIGHT LAST SUMMER?
Well, sort of. I did manage to get credit for the internship. When you do an internship for credit at Northwestern, you have to pay the University so they can have someone who will back you up if the company you’re working with tries to screw you over (about 3⁄4 a normal quarter’s tuition for the amount of credit I needed), which is a good idea in theory. In practice, however, it didn’t quite work out so well. Basically, the guy at Northwestern who was supposed to be backing me up on this decided, “Hey, I’m retiring. I don’t care!” and a) wouldn’t back me up at all even though I asked him repeatedly for help and b) didn’t question my credits so I wouldn’t bitch to the University too loudly about what a horrible job he did. I wanted to bitch to high hell, but then I figured that I should at least be able to graduate early (more on this later) for having to deal with such an excruciating bunch of jackasses for the summer.Also, I did like my job at Blockbuster: mindless and corporate without being entirely insulting to my intelligence (cough cough Starbuck’s cough cough). Plus, they gave me free movies. So I’ve actually stayed on there until, well, now. Unfortunately, I didn’t really do much in the way of music last summer because between Blockbuster, The Internship That Shall Remain Nameless, and commuting, that blew 70 hours a week, and I really didn’t have the time or the energy to pick up a guitar.
III. MAN, THAT SUCKS. SO DID YOU AT LEAST GET A VACATION?
Yes, thankfully. I talked the jerk of an internship supervisor at Northwestern into letting me get the credit if I quit a week early, pointing out that he had been of absolutely no help whatsoever and this was the least he could do to repay me. Besides, he was retiring at the end of the week I talked to him anyway and didn’t give a shit either way. So I hopped in my car at the beginning of September (the Green Monster, my dad’s old Subaru Legacy Outback station wagon which he VERY generously let me overtake when he decided he needed more horsepower to go off-roading when he was in Idaho. No, I’m not kidding) and took a roadtrip.I went to DC and picked up my friend Mark Greer, who had been staying at my mom’s house because he had an internship in DC and she offered to let him stay her place at a very reasonable price (free). We went to my dad’s house in Atlanta (oddly enough, while my dad and stepmom were not there), meeting up with friends from Chatanooga and Orlando. We had good fun in Atlanta, acting like a bunch of tourists, which we were, and going to the World Of Coke and the CNN Center. We took the CNN tour on Sept. 10, 2001. The guide told us the fastest they had ever gotten a story on the air was nine minutes after Oklahoma City, and he was fairly sure that record would never be broken. He had less than 24 hours to wait before he was proven very, very wrong.
IV. HOLY SHIT.
V. SO THE OBVIOUS QUESTION ARISES: WHERE WERE YOU ON SEPT. 11?
This answer gets so long I’ve decided to just post an entire page with this recollection on my website. You can read it by following this link.
VI. SO YOU CLEARLY MADE IT HOME. WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU IN THE FALL?
After getting over my initial shell-shock and the wonderful paranoia that accompanied the Anthrax Scare, I got sucked into school big time. I’m at that phase in college where you get to the interesting courses, but the courses have this minor tendency to take over your existence. I was also still working 20 hours a week at Blockbuster, which didn’t help my stress level much.
VII. OKAY, SO WHAT ABOUT WINTER?
Well, I did cut back to one night a week at Blockbuster, which helped, but then I took three insanely hard courses and one ridiculously easy course (as opposed to the two and two or something similarly balanced I normally take), which did not help at all. I had the joyous opportunity in the 2nd week of March to spend essentially six straight days editing a project when the whole thing my group had been working on all quarter disappeared a week before it was due. Note to people who use computers extensively: NEVER buy a Maxtor external firewire drive. We had 2 of those little bastards quit on us during this process, which necessitated the marathon editing session.
VIII. WOW, THAT MUST HAVE SUCKED. SO NOW WHAT?
After all of the joy and rapture that has been the school year thus far, I’ve tried to take some moderately easy courses and try and take more time to work on music, since that time has been almost nonexistent until now. I am very pleased to announce that I will be recording a new album over the summer, and the songs will have drums and bass and all that fun stuff. I might even drag in a violinist…
IX. NEW ALBUM? KICKASS! TELL ME MORE! AND WHEN WILL IT BE OUT?
Indeed. I’m going to be recording over the summer, apparently mostly in Kalamazoo, Michigan. One of the other few good things to come out of last summer was meeting a very talented engineer who was then assisting at the company I was working with, and who quit shortly thereafter to open his own studio in Kalamazoo, and he has offered to engineer my album at a ridiculously reasonable rate. So it looks like I’ll be spending some chunks of time in Kazoo, as some have nicknamed it. I will be recording the album with some musicians I know, then trying to form a full-time band to perform with in the fall. I hope to have the album ready to sell by the time I graduate in December.
X. WAIT, YOU’RE GRADUATING IN DECEMBER? DON’T MOST PEOPLE GRADUATE IN, LIKE, JUNE?
Yes, but I have enough credit to finish early. Thank god, because I think I’d kill someone if I had to stay in academia one second longer than I’m going to. So here’s how this works: I am finished with classes in December 2002. I will be officially graduated as soon as all my grades are in. However, they’re not giving me my diploma until June when I go walk across the stage in a dopey robe and hat with the rest of the herd. This is when the whole 8,000-members-of-my-family-descending-upon-my-apartment thing will be taking place, as per tradition.
XI. SO WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WHEN YOU GRADUATE?
I’m gonna get one of those job thingies. I will hopefully be staying in Chicago on a permanent basis, because I really, really love it here, despite all the snow. However, I also need to eat, so there is the possibility that I may move elsewhere, though it’d take a pretty damn good offer to get me to move. As much as I would like to concentrate full-time on music, I think I’ll be able to focus a lot more than I currently can when I just have A job, not eight thousand projects for school plus a job plus trying to find time to practice and maybe, possibly sleep. So I’ll fill you all in more on that front once that works out.
XII. WOW, THAT’S A LOT OF NEWS.
Well, I haven’t sent anything out in a year. News tends to pile up when that happens.
XIII. ANYTHING ELSE?
Just a few technical notes: I switched servers on my website, so if you have it bookmarked please make sure the bookmark is for http://www.ellenshapiro.com, otherwise you’ll get pointed to my Northwestern web page. The new server has a lot more space, so I’m going to try to get some streaming audio up there soon. Stop by if you’re bored, I just did a complete cosmetic redesign of the site, mostly to get rid of the awful color scheme that I had a lot of people complain gave them eye strain. That’s effective as of whenever I email this out.
Once again, as I stated in the Preface, I’m changing my music email to [Ed. note, 2013: out of date email address], so please change your address books accordingly. Anyone with a junk filter, and those of you on Hotmail in particular, please make sure to put the new address as an exception to your junkmail filter. I changed the address for a number of reasons, the most pressing of which was that AOL automatically blocks your account if you BCC more than 125 people, and the list is getting up there. Thanks for your patience.
Thanks again for slogging through this, and please email me if you want to be removed, know someone who wants to be added, if you have a random question for me, or if you just want to say hi. Hope you’re all doing well, and I’ll talk to you at the beginning of summer (and this time I promise I’ll actually send out a summer newsletter).
Much Love To All,