Recent Personal News
This is great. I just discovered the amazing sense of freedom from responsibility and the resulting serenity that only the act of blindly agreeing with whatever your spouse says can bring. All this time, I’ve been arguing my point of view, but to what end? It’s not like I’m going to win anything.
Please note, however, that this only works if you’re not really paying attention. If you actually understand what you’re agreeing with, you bear at least part of the responsibility if things go awry.
It’s like voting. If you know the stakes, but choose not to vote, you can’t complain when the elected official turns out to be an jerk. If, however, you didn’t even know there was an election, then things can’t possibly be your fault, right?
It’s not like I care any less, I’m just choosing to care more about the now instead of the future. This works for me, because by the time the future comes to pass, if I don’t like the situation I’ve gotten myself into, I will have forgotten the entire process that led up to that moment, and if that’s due to the fact that I was never really aware of it in the first place, then so be it.
So, +1 to plausible deniability and “Yes, dear.”
Recently, Robyn and I have had the good fortune to see some truly awesome music performances.
Most recently, we saw Toots Thielemans with Kenny Werner and Oscar Castro-Neves at Scullers. This show was amazing, the trio played flawlessly.. and it was just fantastic to see not only eighty-seven year old Toots (who actually called himself a “black motherf***er from Belgium” on stage), but also Kenny and Oscar, who maintained an amazing rhythmic and harmonic counterpoint throughout the show (punctuated by amazing solos).
Before that, we got to see Buster Williams with Patrice Rushen, E.J. Strickland and Mark Gross at Scullers. Not only was it an awesome show, but I actually got to meet Patrice Rushen (!!!) which was a total thrill, since I’ve been a huge fan of hers for quite some time. Ever since I heard
Men in Black her first two albums, Prelusion and Before the Dawn (and of course, the amazing Straight from the Heart), I’ve been totally hooked.
And last month, we had a damn good time seeing Los Amigos Invisibles again, back at the Paradise. We never miss them when they come around, and it was yet another great show, lots of groovy, sexy Venezuelan dance-funk, which is awesome if you like music that kicks serious ass.
I know we have tickets to see Bobby McFerrin and Roy Haynes within the next month, so hopefully I’ll be able to take (and then actually post) photos to at least one of those shows!
Back in October, Robyn and I got an adorable kitten, Loki, and he’s been the perfect little bundle of playful kitten awesomeness since then. He’s definitely a lot bigger now than when we first got him, but he still continues to be a lot of fun! Especially at like, 3am, when we really need our sleep…
Well, a little over a week ago, the breeder at CC Bay Rags let us know that two of Loki’s littermates had been returned to her due to owner allergies, which apparently has never happened to her before, and did we know anyone who wanted a kitten or two, and by the way here are some photos of two super-cute kittens?
I don’t have too much to say right now, other than this…
This morning, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, Robyn asked me what I’m thankful for. It wasn’t a really hard question to answer, honestly, because I have a pretty good idea of what I’m thankful for.. but it made me want to put it into words.
The day has finally arrived! Robyn and I finally picked up our adorable ragdoll kitten today from CC Bay Rags, and as I write this, he’s exploring the living room, playing with his toys, and being a generally super-duper-adorable kitten.
He seems curious and healthy, purrs almost constantly, and is just the cutest little ball of fuzz you’ve ever seen. And he’s already used his litterbox and scratching post, taken a few naps, eaten some food, played with the aforementioned toys.. so I think we’re in good shape here. Take a look at some of the photos and also the videos if you want to see more!
Update: He cried a lot last night, because we left him alone in the living room, but it’s now “the morning after” and he’s still alive, as is our living room.. so we’re calling it a success. As I write this, Robyn is in the living room with him, in the process of being late for work, I think.
So, this morning I woke up to an email saying “Barry Alman added you as a friend on Facebook.”
Robyn and I were both amazed, because my dad (Barry Alman) has absolutely no interest in signing up for, using, looking at, or even thinking about Facebook. How do we know this? He’s told us this many, many times (in that way that only Barry can tell you. ie. many, many times).
I think Robyn’s jaw actually hit the floor when I showed her the email on my iPhone.
You may have noticed that I've been posting a lot of boring (if you're family) or exciting (if you're a web developer) jQuery plugins lately. If you're family, I apologize, I know it's boring. If you're a web developer, thanks for the suggestions and donations!
As you're no doubt aware, I have a lot of interests. I'm an artist, musician, photographer, web developer, husband, and all-around good guy™, among other things. But I'm not always able to focus on all of my interests at the same time. For example, I've been taking a break from music lately and focusing on the web stuff, with a little bit of photography thrown in for good measure. It goes in waves, just be patient with me!
And in case you haven't heard the good news, Robyn and I are buying a house, which has us both very excited. Once we've closed, I'll start posting photos of the place and our ongoing work there. We've already figured out pretty much all the furniture we need, so there's not too much left to be done, other than buying a grill and a few hundred pounds of red meat (yummy).
Either way, I just uploaded some photos from a recent Alman family barbecue, and in case you missed them, check out my photos from the 2009 Boston Beer Marathon. More photos (and other stuff) coming soon!
For the second year in a row, Jeremy and I took photos for the Great Boston Beer Marathon, an all-day, 26-bar Boston pub crawl starting near Fenway and ending in Allston.
It was pretty much the same as last year: beautiful weather, more beer than you could possibly drink, thousands of people wearing viking helmets.. except this year, the shirts were green. Don't believe me? Take a look at some of my photos!
This evening, Robyn and I met our good friends Dan and Kym for dinner. After the meal, while Kym had excused herself for a moment, Dan and I were discussing marriage, and while talking, I motioned to Robyn and said something like, “I didn’t settle. I don’t feel like I settled. Well, I did settle, technically. You see, at some point, you realize that while there might be someone even more compatible with you than who you’re with, the time investment involved in finding said person would far outweigh the benefit of actually being with them. It’s just not worth it, so yeah, you could say that technically, I settled.”
To which Dan replied, “It’s not settling, it’s settling down.”
If you only take a quick glance at the newly renovated benalman.com and compare it with the old version, you might not notice much of a change, but a lot has happened in the last few months, since I started redesigning the site.
For starters, I rewrote all the Movable Type templates from scratch, giving me a much more generalized HTML structure to build on, and allowing cool new features like posting on-site comments using your Facebook or AIM accounts. After that, I updated the previous design with more vibrant colors, increased the font size and content width to make for easier reading, and added lots of little bits of polish here and there.
While visiting friends and family in and around Washington DC, Robyn and I visited the Air & Space Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Botanic Gardens, a whole bunch of memorials, and just enjoyed the beautiful weather. Check out my photos as well as Robyn's photos, if you haven't seen them already!
I know I said that I'd write about my Christmas presents, but never did. I got some great presents, really.. but, see, I decided to make myself a few pretty serious New Years' Resolutions too. The first was to revamp my website, with an updated photo gallery plus music and code sections. The second was to finally put together an album.
Well, I've been working on the web redesign pretty much non-stop (in my spare time, of course) since January 1. I completely re-architected my Movable Type templates, rewriting them all from scratch and adding a whole bunch of custom macros and nav code. Since then I've been working on a handful of jQuery plugins, including a really cool flickr photo gallery. These aren't done yet, but they will be soon.
I've also been working on a few new songs. I'm not sure that the album will come out this year, but I'm definitely going to be making a lot of progress. I already have. Once the redesign is done, I'll get some music posted here.
I have no excuse for not updating the site in the last few months, but with the whole template re-architecthing thing, I was a little bit afraid that publishing new blog posts would cause me some headaches. Well, they will, but I'll deal with that later. In the meantime, take a look at some old art and graphic design stuff I just uploaded to flickr. I'll have photos from our recent Washington, DC trip up soon!
It's not that I didn't want to update my News, it's just that I wanted to wait until I had all my photos from our recent trips to Cancun and Puerto Rico sorted, tagged and uploaded. It just took a lot longer than I thought it would, because there were so many good photos (and because I took my damn time).
Robyn and I don't have any more vacations planned until next July, so I should have no excuse in the future to keep things updated. That being said, I've been busy lately..
Let's see.. I've been collaborating on some music with musician and friend Dan Abreu, I created a small corporate website for Viewpoint Lifestyle, and I've even found some time to play Little Big Planet on PS3, which by the way, totally rocks. And of course, with the holidays coming up, there are lots of presents under the tree, so Robyn and I are both pretty excited.
If I get any good loot from Santa, I'll write about it here. I promise!
Recently, Robyn planned a little weekend trip for us to New York City. We walked around Times Square, Central Park, saw Young Frankenstein on Broadway, and Larry Carlton at the Blue Note. Robyn took some photos too, so check them out (I especially love her Trump Tower shot).
Even more recently, we saw the Red Sox of Boston take on the Indians of Cleveland. And in the end, the Red Sox triumphed by hitting a spherical ball made of leather through a big field. It was a most ripping victory. Ok, it wasn't even close to a most ripping victory, but the first inning (and maybe a few other things) were entertaining.
Last, but not least, I finally upgraded my home music studio to a brand new machine running SONAR 7. The photo I uploaded to Flickr was, ironically enough, featured in an article on optimizing SONAR 8 for Vista. I don't even run Vista.. but shh–don't tell anyone, okay? Either way, I'm working on writing and recording music again, so expect more tracks from me, soon!