Monday, February 25, 2013


I just returned from my boyfriend's parents' house in New Jersey, where we set up a home recording studio for the weekend. I'm working on recording a new solo album, and they have a baby grand that is in great condition for being a family antique. Evan has done plenty of recording before, but never piano, so we wanted to give it a try.

Unfortunately, I got a cold right before the weekend, and a lingering stuffy nose meant I can't use the vocal takes. At least we got down piano tracks that we can hopefully make something of.

To save money (that is the point of home recording!), we took public transportation rather than rent a car to get from Brooklyn to New Jersey. Evan somehow found a way to pack all this gear into a manageable load of backpacks and bags. Of course, we didn't end up needing all of it because we didn't record voice, but no harm done. (Thank you to friends for lending equipment and Evan's parents for lending their home.)

Next step is to record the vocals at home and see if it all sounds good enough after mixing to be released to the world. I've been wanting to record these songs for a while (it was on my list of 27 things to do before turning 28, but I never got to it with all the moving), so I'm anxious to get it out there.

Playing on a piano also made us debate whether we should get a piano for our apartment... Practicing on a keyboard is just not as nice as a piano, but pianos are typically associated with a level of permanence that is hard to feel in the transience of Brooklyn apartment life.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Reducing Plastic

I was recently reminded by an article in the New York Times about the dangers lurking in plastic. It highlighted a study which "found that endocrine disruptors that are sometimes added to PVC plastic cause mice to grow obese and suffer liver problems"...suggesting that endocrine disrupting chemicals such as BPA and phhalates may be related to American obesity epidemics, among other health issues.

What you may not know is that these endocrine disruptors are found in everyday products all around us, from BPA in plastic water bottles, aluminum can linings, and grocery store receipts to phthalates in plastic wrap, PVC building materials, shower curtains and even children's backpacks (ahem, Disney).

Meanwhile, it was promising to see another study showing how quickly people were able to reduce their levels of BPA and phthalates by avoiding them for just three days. While I try to limit my own exposure to canned foods, I have been using plastic quite liberally for food storage. I've decided that one of my 2013 resolutions is to reduce plastic in my life. Read on for  in post at the Green Phone Booth to learn more about how I'm planning to kick plastic to the curb.