sigmastolen: (ter'angreal)
i've actually been wanting to post a crazytalk entry for a few days except i've been too busy devoting every waking moment to reading a memory of light to even type it

and now that that's done i already have a wicked bookover so

i guess not yet
sigmastolen: (Default)













You Scored as HOUSE TULLY

You hail from House Tully. Your house seat is Riverrun in the Riverlands. As your motto says, you are all about your family and honor. You confide in friends and family first, and keep strangers at a distance. You cant always stand up for yourself, but you would never betray your friends to get ahead. A true good guy in this world. Your house motto: Family, Duty, and Honor.

Picture is Copyright © RMB



HOUSE TULLY

85%

HOUSE STARK

80%

HOUSE TYRELL

75%

HOUSE LANNISTER

65%

HOUSE GREYJOY

50%

HOUSE MARTELL

50%

HOUSE ARRYN

50%

HOUSE TARGARYEN

35%

HOUSE BARATHEON

35%

HOUSE FREY

25%







I've taken this quiz twice now, once before reading the books, and both times it's called me a Tully. Lysa is cray and Edmure's a total failboat, but Cat and Brynden are pretty cool?
sigmastolen: (Default)
My bassoon quartet played a gig at a senior center recently. After the performance, while we were packing up, we did some Q&A with the audience. Someone asked how we all started playing bassoon, so we went around the arc to answer, and it mostly went, “it was the biggest one!” or “my band teacher conned me into it.” My story, however, went a little like this:
I used to play clarinet, and in elementary school, I was the best one. But in middle school, I stopped being the best. I didn’t like that very much, so I decided to find something new to be the best at. One day we were watching Fantasia in class, at at the beginning of the Rite of Spring sequence — you know, the one with the dinosaurs — the teacher asked us what instrument was playing the solo. I said, “Oboe!” and I was wrong: it was a bassoon. And I decided that that was the instrument for me. And nobody else at my middle school played it, so I was automatically the best again!

And power-hungry Slytherin loved those of great ambition
… I know how you guys like to tell me I'm a Ravenclaw, and it's sweet! But inaccurate.
sigmastolen: (Default)
One of my favorite things to do when I am bored (or procrastinating) is to look back at the titles of papers I have written, and laugh at how awesome/pretentious I am.  Some greatest hits:

How the World that Is Came to Be: Mythological Roots of Middle Earth
What do Revelling Fairies have to do with Anything?  An Analysis of the Metatheatrical Dimensions of A Midsummer Night's Dream
Bewitching Macbeth with Ambition: The Weïrd Sisters as Objective Correlative
Bushisms: Executive Neologistical Patterns
Rife with Rhetoric: Text Setting in Handel's Ode to St. Cecilia
A Sound Structure: Sonata Form in Haydn's String Quartet in G, Op. 64, No. 4
Schubert's "Gretchen am Spinnrade" vs. the Standards of Greatness, or, Nobody can ever be as good as Beethoven (this was extra sassy because I was really pissed about this class)
Bizet & Tchaikowsky, Nineteenth-Century Musical Isms, and the Panromanogermanic Bias
In Babylon, Gentle Voices Wail Their Sorrow: Schoenberg's Love Life and The Book of the Hanging Gardens
The Ceremony of Innocence is Drowned: Ambiguity, Homosexuality, and Exoticism in The Turn of the Screw (including section headings "Homosexuality in Britain" and "Homosexuality and Britten" because I like to think I'm clever)
Death and Disorder: The Sacrificial Victim in a Corrupt Community, and Why It Doesn't Work
Peter Grimes's Interludes: A Love Song
Renaissance Polyphony for the Modern Bassoonist: John Steinmetz's Sonata for Bassoon and Piano, II. Browning
sigmastolen: (octopus)
so potter 7.2 was pretty great. i was basically only annoyed by the things that annoyed me in the books -- no new annoyances, yay! and there were a lot of things that turned up in the film that i really appreciated. and i shed many tears (as usual). so. good film, all told. i guess i'll sleep on it and see if i have more to say tomorrow?

it really feels like the end of an era.
sigmastolen: (dalek-o-lantern)
(Does this count as meta? idk mostly it's me ranting pseudo-intellectually)

In my newfound summer-break free time, I'm basically turning to Netflix to fill my brain with mush -- which is obviously completely different from what I do during the school year. I watched Dollhouse, for three main reasons: (1) I love Eliza Dushku, (2) I love Tahmoh Penikett, and (3) I wanted to see it for myself instead of letting meta discussions about Joss Whedon and feminism tell me what to think about it (yes: Echo and Adelle are both complex, strong characters. yes: it is always rape o'clock at the Dollhouse, and this is very troubling.). And I want to talk about it (though not as much as I want to talk about Angel ALL THE TIME), but the first thing I have to say is: Joss Whedon, I have Problems with Amy Acker's characters.

Okay. I don't have problems with all her characters. But I do have big big problems with the characters we're presumably supposed to like and identify with, and miss when they're gone, and because Amy Acker seems to represent Whedon's Ideal Woman (or at least her characters do) (given that he has said her face is the most beautiful thing he has ever captured on camera or something), it stands to reason these problems extend straight into Whedon himself.

SO MANY WORDS BEHIND THE CUT. AND SO MANY SPOILERS. )

In other news, I love Adelle best, because I am predictable.
sigmastolen: (dalek-o-lantern)
that 90s x-men cartoon, part the first )

that 90s x-men cartoon, part the second )

full disclosure time: most of my "classic" x-men knowledge probably came from this cartoon. i didn't buy the comics until middle school, and i have not by any stretch read a great deal of the "x-men canon". trufax.
sigmastolen: (Default)
Bu which I mean, today is the first day of spring break, and to mark the occasion, I am apparently watching movies. At least, that is what I did today (you know, in addition to having rehearsal, practicing, and making reeds). (Netflix & Me: A Love Story)

In which I talk about movies: Black Hawk Down and Contact (and Shortbus) )
sigmastolen: (WDCH)
There are a lot of ideas that have been germinating in my head for a few weeks, and so I'd just like to get them down, I guess.

Maybe it started with a conversation I had with Steinmetz when I visited UCLA? It may have started before that, in various conversations I had with various people about CMU and how different it is from UCLA and how much I miss Los Angeles's peculiar focus on new music.

Cut for EPIC RAMBLING! )

So yeah. Contemporary classical music, relevance of. Guerilla chamber music. Jazz bassoon. Summer chamber music concerts. Thoughts? Because I honestly have no idea how feasible all this is, or if I would be fruitlessly fighting the tide of classical music's (already steep) descent into elitist obscurity.

Meme Time!

Jan. 21st, 2011 09:39 pm
sigmastolen: (Default)
... I really wanted to write "Tiem!" in the subject, as is my custom, but I couldn't resist the "--me --me!" pattern. :/

SO ANYWAY.

THE ALBUM COVER MEME.
Photobucket
• Go to Wikipedia and hit random. The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.
• Go to quotationspage.com and hit random. The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.
• Go to flickr and click on explore the last seven days. Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.
• Use photoshop or similar to put it all together. Post it with this text in the caption.


DOOOOOOO IIIIIIIIIIIT! I DARE YOU!

If you don't have a graphics editor, the one I use is Seashore. I'm not sure how intuitive the new version, 0.5.1, is, but I found version 0.1.9, the latest stable version, really easy to learn and use. The main thing, of course, is that I'm cheap and Seashore is free. [/software plug]
sigmastolen: (Default)
My winter break in movie reviews. YAYE :DDDD

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The King's Speech, Black Swan, The Fighter, and The History Boys )

A last note: Marvel has a few movies coming up that I'm pretty excited about -- Thor and Captain America for this year, and apparently The Avengers for 2010? I'm totally down with Thor (esp. since Chris Hemsworth (AKA GEORGE KIRK YES PLEASE) is totally gorgeous), and I'm super gleeful about Cap, but I'm a little weirded out that Captain America -- you know, super-wholesome 1940's All-American super-soldier beefcake -- is being played by Chris Evans, who is also Johnny Storm, the Fantastic Four's playboy Human Torch. I'm a little worried about this whole playing-two-characters-in-the-same-franchise thing (or closely-related franchises, at least), and I'm also concerned that I won't be able to stop seeing the Human Torch while he's supposed to be Cap.
.... Man, all this is making me want to watch Iron Man II again. You know, for the Thor & Captain America teasers. And also for Scarlett a little. Okay, a lot for Scarlett. I could almost watch The Spirit again, for Scarlett. Maybe if there was a good-parts version, with just Scarlett & Samuel L. Jackson's scenes. *sighs dreamily*

In other news: although Days Where I Don't Leave The House make me feel incredibly lame after they happen, they feel so good while they last. :D
sigmastolen: (Default)
Things Netflix Thinks, Bizarrely, I Will Like Because I Like Battlestar Galactica
- Iphigenia, about -- guess what? -- Euripides' tale of Agamemnon sacrificing his daughter, Iphigenia.
- Breaking Bad, a TV series about a chemistry teacher-cum-meth cooker.
- My Neighbor Totoro, about fantastic critters and country life.
- Howl's Moving Castle, which. Um. I'm not sure I understand what this is supposed to be about.
- John Adams, about the founding father John Adams.
- Band of Brothers, about Easy Company. This one kind of makes sense. I guess John Adams might, too.
- The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, based on a book series that my mum reads about a sassy lady detective in Botswana.

Other Bizarre Netflix Ideas:
- The Blind Side because of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
- Good Hair because of Milk
- United States of Tara because of Milk
- Twelfth Night because of The Princess Bride, Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, and Doctor Who?

Oh, Netflix. What.

Also, strangely specific genres:
- Suspenseful Space-travel TV Shows
- Gritty Suspenseful TV Dramas
- Mind-bending Supernatural Fantasy
- Critically-acclaimed Visually-striking Cerebral Movies

Good job, Netflix.
sigmastolen: (Default)
After my second viewing, I can safely say that I liked it (shut up you guys, you know it's hard for me to tell with the HP films! I'm still flip-flopping on the fourth one!).

(FYI: I am in Chicago, spending the Thanksgiving holiday with my dad's cousins who live here! They're super cool. One has a baby named Malia who is pretty much the best thing ever: 1.5 years old, adorable, loves music, and so, so smart. She blows me away. Pictures later, maybe. Also: Today the two babyless cousins took me to the Art Institute of Chicago, which. Amazing. Pictures later, definitely. But omg my feet. And all this after an extremely fruitful two-hour shopping trip this morning -- things I now have: a winter coat (OH THANK GOD); warm, fuzzy, tall boots that actually fit my calves omg)


okay now the movie )

Things for which I am hoping in HP 7.2:
-- lots of flashbacks to cover all the plot they've skipped in the films so far
-- lots of flashbacks of young Snape & other grownups <3
sigmastolen: (Default)
Iron Man 2: MEH.

Scarlett Johanssen with red hair and green eyes, kicking ass and taking names VIA MUCH ANGULAR MOMENTUM: YES PLEASE. PLEASE SIR MAY I HAVE SOME MORE.

Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts: <3 FOREVER

Mickey Rourke's character's cockatoo: D'AWWWWWW

Hints at Captain Ameriva movie: HELL YEAH CAP

Hints at Avengers movie: Yeah, okay, cool.

Post-credits teaser for Thor: FUCK YEAH THOR

Netflix: CONTINUING WIN
sigmastolen: (Default)
1. "Understated Dramas About Marriage" is an oddly specific category of movies. As are "Visually-Striking Violent Action & Adventure" and "Cerebral British Thrillers," although less so.

2. It suggest I will like Twelfth Night (yes, Shakespeare) "because I enjoyed" (wait for it): The Princess Bride, Battlestar Galactica: Season 2.0, and Doctor Who: Season 1. Yeah, I don't know either. That's not even the season of Doctor Who where they actually met Shakespeare.
sigmastolen: (Default)
1. AWKWARD STORY!!! So remember bull-like percussionist (BLP)? Okay. So, rehearsal goes from 3:30-6 with a break in the middle. The Tuesday before the concert, we had been rehearsing Mozart 39, on which I played first bassoon and he played timpani. When Maestro Z let us go to break, he released the trumpets and timpani because we would be working on the slow movement for the rest of rehearsal. So I was sitting in my chair, maybe noodling? probably just sitting, and BLP comes over and is all, "So, how about getting drinks after this concert? You're not going to space out again, right?" Which, BY THE WAY: THIS IS EXACTLY THE WRONG WAY TO APPROACH A WOMAN. Because I didn't see him coming, and he got all up in my personal space, and the wording and tone conveyed a sense of entitlement and resentment failing to pass itself off as a joke, as well as left me no way to tactfully decline.

So I did the only thing I could do: "Suuuuuuuuure," I replied. Cue awkward conversation that I don't want to be in, in which I also misunderstand about half of what he says because he mumbles. *eyeroll* Aaaaaand then he left and I spent the rest of the rehearsal having a small "OH GOD THE AWKWARD" freakout.

The rest of the week I was polite when he initiated conversation but honestly I avoided him a little and exaggerated my natural social awkardness because I really wanted him to take a hint.

(fun fact: at the next rehearsal, Maestro Z tried to correct something BLP was doing and instead of accepting it (or at least pretending to accept it, as musicians WHO WANT TO KEEP THEIR JOBS do all the time), he said, defensively, "I'm just trying to accommodate everyone else," or something to that effect. And honestly, if I had been interested before that, I definitely wouldn't have been afterwards. PROFESSIONALISM/REHEARSAL ETIQUETTE FAIL. NEGATIVE POINTS.)

So anyway, I contrived to bring Comrades K and R along and possibly some other people as well and make it clearly a JUST BUDDIES OKAY kind of outing. We played the concert (and BLP and I definitely didn't discuss this having of drinks during the intervening time) and I was chatting with the clarinets going offstage and while packing up. When we made our way out of the hall, I found my bassoon comrades, but BLP was nowhere to be found. The clarinets asked if we wanted to get frozen yogurt (I really like saying "fro-yo" but it looks so silly in writing), but Comrade K wanted booze, so we went to a nearby bar instead. Crossing the street on the way there, we saw BLP walking ahead of us with a cellist (who, hilariously, has a very similar build to mine, but she's blonde. well, I was entertained, anyway). I guess he got the hint? Which I guess also makes me a bitch, but I'm actually pretty okay with that. My Comrades and I had a beer with the grad conductors, who are all precious. BLP and I have had zero interactions since. Oops.

2. Grad Conductor J is Czech, and he is conducting the Stravinsky Septet, which I am playing in, for this Contemporary Music Ensemble concert cycle. His English is not great, and he mumbles a little, and makes hilarious faces when he conducts, and for some reason thinks it's okay to wear a white bow tie and red cummerbund with his black tux when he is conducting a concert... But it's kind of awkwardly charming, mostly because of his accent (and because he's pretty sweet, and definitely well-intentioned). Anyway, I'd really only spoken with him very briefly in class, plus one awkward mumbled conversation on a crowded bus, so hearing him talk as much as he does in rehearsal is a novel thing. It fascinates me. He keeps saying the word slowlier -- as in, "we take it a little slowlier" -- which is an adorable word-formation. I don't remember my Origins & Nature of English Vocabulary as well as I would like, and I left all my old notebooks in Long Beach (how's that for cutting the cord, yo? except I didn't get rid of anything, it's all in a box in my parents' house...), so I don't know exactly what neologistic processes are going on, but it's clearly a conflation of "slowly" and "slower," yeah? Cute. Also, he says "bassoon" with a fun accent. It's a little like "bassyoon" -- not pronounced enough to be umlaut-u, maybe a little like French u? As well as "wiolin" and always "celli" (never "cello"). It's fun.

3. The Stravinsky Septet is a lot more fun (and a lot easier to read) with more than four parts accounted for. No joke, for the first rehearsal last week (at 9 a.m.), I was the first person to show up, at maybe 20 of? Grad Conductor D, the CME manager, arrived soon after, and we set up the chairs (as we were doing so, someone from the rehearsal crew, which I guess is a work-study deal? they do set-up and tear-down for all the "large ensembles" -- orchestra, wind ensemble, and CME -- poked his head in but we were all, "we got this" so he left), and then Grad Conductor J came as well, and I warmed up. The violinist and violist were also essentially on time, so Grad Conductor D covered the piano part, and we started reading (we'd only gotten the parts scores (the parts are on back-order, bah) the night before, okay? I only remembered to pick mine up that morning). The pianist arrived 45 minutes late. The clarinetist and cellist never showed up at all, and Grad Conductor D had forgotten to put a horn player on the roster. This morning's 9 a.m. rehearsal had everyone but the horn, which, eh, not cool, but it was still much easier to put things together and get shit done. Yesterday's 8:30 a.m. rehearsal of the Stravinsky Concertino for 12 players was also pretty pathetic -- four people (violin, clarinet, oboe, trumpet 1) never showed up, trumpet 2 arrived halfway through the rehearsal, trombone 1 even later, and we started about 10 or 15 minutes behind schedule because we were waiting for people to trickle in.

I understand that this is college and it's hard to get up for things that early, but we are musicians and this is rehearsal. This shit? Is how grownups get FIRED. Dammit.

4. So I'm working with Tall Composer on a project for Research Seminar (which is something that happens to All Masters Students Everywhere, I'm told), because his joined-at-the-hip roomie is working with his new bestie, the oboist from my quintet. And it turns out he's kind of a douche (so props to you for calling it, Jeff). Best of all, it's in a way that reminds me unpleasantly of DIAF. Now I'm extra glad I decided I don't actually want to date anyone.

5. I am crocheting! I am crocheting "convertible" gloves -- the fingers are full-length, but they have a slit about halfway up, so you can stick your fingers out and be dextrous while the top of the finger flops around behind, and then when you're done you can be warm again! But you guys, I have remembered why I switched over entirely to knitting: crocheting sucks. Completely aside from the fact that I had to RE-LEARN EVERYTHING (except for how to chain, I guess), it is very slow going, and I have to look at what I'm doing all the time because I can't find where I'm supposed to stick the hook through by feel, and while the left-hand glove feels warm when I try it on indoors (it's the finished one; I've only begun the cuff on the right-hand glove so far), it is rather bulky and I'm sure the wind will cut right through all the GAPING HOLES that crocheting creates. Ah, well. I'm enjoying it well enough, I guess. And I LOVE the yarn I'm using! It's Elsebeth Lavold BAMBOOL (so named because it is 80% bamboo viscose and 20% merino wool) in midnight blue, to match my corduroy blazer (that it's probably already too cold to wear YAY). AND AND AND it's only $6.99 per 50-gram ball at the AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME yarn store near my flat, Knit One. It's deliciously soft (one of the owners confided to me, while I was checking out, that she had passed it off as cashmere in a hat for a friend, because they had no cashmere yarn in the colour he wanted), and pretty, and warm (I hope). MY NEXT PROJECT: convertible mittens (this is where it's "fingerless" (properly half-fingers, here) gloves underneath and a big mitten flap over the top) in a grey tweed wool, to go with my peacoat. And my trench. And, you know, everything. (Freedom Spirit by Twilleys of Stamford, $5.95 per 50-gram ball, score! srsly some of the yarn there, like the silks or the actual cashmere, was upwards of $30)

6. So it turns out I might be good at what I do? I always feel awkward when people compliment me. Which happened after pretty much every rehearsal for Mozart 39, be it from the clarinets, the grad conductors, or Lipstick Lesbian Horn Player (I like her, she's from NorCal and is pretty cool, even though Comrade P and Metal Oboist say she's a bitch. I suspect this is almost entirely because she does not like the cock). And now it's happened after a couple wind ensemble rehearsals as well (OH GOD WIND ENSEMBLE HERE KILLS MY SOUL. AS ANNOYING AS IT WAS AT UCLA, AT LEAST DR. DIRECTOR OF BANDS STILL LOVES HIS JOB), and Wind Ensemble Directator tossed off an awkward, "I love your playing," in rehearsal once (SO AWKWARD). And, while I am reasonably happy with the quintet I was assigned to this semester, I have been propositioned for next semester by three other groups so far: a trio wanting to become a quartet, the quintet that Comrade P is leaving, and a quintet that is trying to form (this one probably has the least chance of being graced by my presence, because the clarinetist is douchey and the oboist, though excellent and hot like burning, was one of the people who didn't show up to the Stravinsky Concertino -- although to be completely honest I really don't like the way the oboist in Comrade P's quintet plays. at all). So, uh. I seem to be in demand. Which is actually a little uncomfortable. But I really shouldn't be complaining, because, hey, the more I get to play, right?

7. Uh....... was there a 7? idek. WHATEVER, YO, IT'S 0040 AND I WANTED TO WATCH SOME BSG TONIGHT :\

8. OH BTW I WATCHED WHIP IT AND I LOVE LOVE LOVE ELLEN PAGE AND ALSO I WANT TO PLAY ROLLER DERBY AND BEAT THE CRAP OUT OF OTHER GIRLS IN FISHNETS AND QUAD SKATES.

9. DEAR APPLE: Photobucket WTF DOES THIS MEAN??? D: YRS, SIGMA
UPDATE: Photobucket WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?
sigmastolen: (Default)
Because apparently right now I can write prodigiously on any topic... except that of the measly four-page midterm paper that is now a week late. For serious, guys, I couldn't even get that shit done sitting in the quiet study section of the library.

1. The accent. I can't get a handle on it, you guys, and you know how I am about accents. The thing is, the people I hear on the street either sound like The South, or they sound like they could be from Anytown, USA. It's freaky. And the people I see day-to-day are from, like, all over the world, so that doesn't help me get a handle on the Pittsburgh accent. I'm actually pretty disappointed by this, it's supposed to be quite distinctive. (The girl in the unit next door is from West Virginia, but when mum and I met her I would have placed her as Texan. Then again, Comrade P actually is from Texas, and he doesn't sound it at all. So I dunno, maybe it's just me. But still!)

2. The Booze Store. Pennsylvania has ridiculously strict liquor laws, apparently because it was settled by a bunch of Jesus freaks and, you know, Amish and Quakers and shit. Which means that booze cannot be found in the grocery store (well i guess there's some thing about each franchise being able to get liquor licenses for three stores in the entire state but whatevs). There's a Wine & Spirits store (which sells only wine and spirits -- liqueurs and hard liquor -- and no beer) a couple blocks from my apartment, so that's dandy. So far the only places I am personally certain sell beer are the zillion tiny hole-in-the-wall pizza places -- this seems to be the easiest way to get a six-pack, it seems. Supposedly there is a store in the borough north of mine that has a Beer Store where 24-packs can be had for a ridiculous price, but I haven't seen it with my own eyes yet. BUT ANYWAY the Wine & Spirits store. I'm fond of it. The selection is good, even if wines are at least a dollar more here than they would be in California (and I don't know if this is PA's fault, or the shipping distance, because Barefoot Wine should be $4.99 but it is $5.99 here and apparently this is a place where people utter the phrase "three-buck Chuck" (oh Charles Shaw what have you done to yourself :c)); it's organized and the aisles are clearly labeled and there's all sorts of fancy shit that I'd probably have to go to an actual liquor store to find in California, like white creme de menthe and shit. But the employees seem angry or unhappy or something; they're always really brusque. And I don't know why. I don't think it's me.... I'm polite, I'm clean, I'm neatly dressed, I'm of legal drinking age (and I don't look suspiciously young or anything), I say "hello" and "thank you" and "have a good $TIMEOFDAY." So... I don't get it. Maybe they are annoyed that I usually have to fish in my bookbag to find my wallet to show them my ID.

OK GOING TO DO SRS WORK NOW I SWEARZ

edit;; OK MAYBE NOT DOING SRS WORK AT ALL OOPS
a further note on booze: Grasshoppers, which are delicious and minty and green. Equal parts cream, creme de menthe (green hell yes), and creme de cacao (wiki says white but I just used brown and the drink still ends up quite green so I have decided it makes no damn difference). Shake with ice & serve in a chilled cocktail glass. Reminiscent of mint-chocolate-chip ice cream: sweet and full of calories. TASTY!

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