sigmastolen: (dalek-o-lantern)
I just called the police on a group of people setting off fireworks the block over.

FIREWORKS ARE ILLEGAL IN LONG BEACH OKAY I DO NOT CARE IF YOUR EIGHT YEAR OLD DAUGHTER WANTED SPARKLERS.
sigmastolen: (bassoonists do it with their thumbs)
In which I critical media studies it up and end up panning Puccini. Oops. )

But yeah. Sumptuous set and stunning costumes, though with a preponderance of Generic!Asian details and the colour red (BECAUSE THE ONLY WAY WE'LL KNOW IT'S IN CHINA IS IF EVERYTHING IS RED); very well performed by orchestra, singers, and dancers alike (EXCEPT YOU, CHORUS. YOU WERE NOT SO HOT.); and enormous problems re: racism, sexism, consent. THANKS BUT NO THANKS, PUCCINI.

And now I have to be done because, damn, it's late, and my cat has dandruff.
sigmastolen: (omgcrab)
The semester is ending at last, and now it's crunch time for real. And yet, there's no sign of my usual sudden ability to get shit done at the last second. I don't know what it is, but my ability to focus on anything (except for playing bassoon, apparently) is nonexistent. I can't even concentrate on my distractions -- it's all, let's read something! let's draw! let's do the dishes! let's check schedules! let's watch music on youtube! let's look up song lyrics! let's wiki dead actors! let's read something else! let's have some tea! let's snack! let's draw! let's check facebook! let's fix some old drawings with hairspray so they don't smear any more! let's daydream about paper topics! let's sing! let's daydream about knitting! let's hug the cats! let's post to lj!

Just now I actually walked away from the computer in the middle of typing this and did something else for a minute. I'm on the verge of making myself a cocktail. Or drawing. Or something. I don't even know.

Maybe it's that the semester is so long? Maybe it's lulled me into complacency? Or am I just rationalizing my shortcomings, as usual?

let's talk about all the things that are about to screw me over! :D )

Also, today it has been pouring. It might snow later this week. WTF.

ALL I WANT TO DO IS PLAY BASSOON AND SLEEP
WTF HOW DID IT BECOME AFTER MIDNIGHT
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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)
STILL TO DO:
- kitchen
--- sink
--- oven??
NAW FUCK THAT
--- coffee maker
--- toaster
- bathroom
--- sink
--- tub
--- toilet
--- mirror

- living room
--- remove (black) cat hair from (white) loveseat (yeah, that was perhaps not a good call on my part)
--- Do Something about the blind in the front window -- it's one of those roll-up ones, and the bracket is fuxxed so it falls down a lot and is currently extended all the way so it covers part of the radiator in addition to the window
--- finally figure out how to hook up DVD player so that it actually works? FUCK THAT NOISE
- bedroom
--- tidy items on top of dresser
--- put away pile of shoes
--- put away pile of bras
--- make bed
--- relocate litterbox & cat dishes to bedroom for Friday night
--- LAUNDER COMFORTERS, SOILED DUE TO HAIRBALL. >:C
- dining room
--- clear library books & random papers off table
--- clear coats & scarves off computer stand
- entire flat
--- vacuum
--- mop (well, Swiffer Wet Jet)
--- put up posters? They've been sitting rolled up on the bookshelf since they arrived. :(
Also, the walls of my apartment are weirdly impenetrable. Grr.

..... okay, that actually looks like a fuck of a lot still to do. Uh.

addt'l prep:
- booze run (Wine & Spirits store) DUDE I FINALLY FOUND AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS NICE TO ME THERE. We chatted about Our New Old Governor Jerry Brown. Did you know he used to be involved with Linda Ronstadt?
- mixer/garnish/ice run (Giant Eagle, the local supermarket) OMG LIQUIDS ARE HEAVY
- snack run (Trader Joe's -- MUST FIGURE OUT HOW TO BUS THERE & BACK. Or draft someone to drive me I guess. Eh.) (it turns out it's pretty easy to get there, if I don't mind a 3/4 mile stroll both ways. I mean, I could do a route with less walking and more switching of buses, but I'm an able-bodied young person and it's not that cold out yet, so....) (Being at TJ's made me really happy, actually. My brain associates it with California and delicious things. And it looks like the produce is better there than at Giant Eagle... I may have to go back to buy fruit and veg. And blood orange soda.)
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So, it has not been a good week for bassoon. I think this is about the third or fourth time that I've been trying to practice, but had a temper tantrum and had to pack it in? Which. No. No good. And the thing is, when I'm having a bad time practicing, I hate everyone else who is also practicing. For instance: the flute down the hall, doing Till Eulenspiegel excerpts? PUNCH IN THE FACE. The clarinet who just started? He's my upstairs neighbour and he came and walked into my room for a five minute chat and afterwards his cologne (BECAUSE IT BETTER NOT BE AXE OR IMMA HAVE TO CUT A BITCH) lingered and then my reed had dried out and started to suck and that was the first two time I kicked my stand over. The violist next door? Whatever 20th-century piece you're working on is REALLY UNPLEASANT and I WANT YOU TO STOP. The violin across the hall? YOU ARE MY LEAST FAVOURITE. STOP PRACTICING HAFFNER. IT'S NOT HARD FOR YOU. THE ONLY INSTRUMENT THAT MIGHT HAVE IT AS BAD AS BASSOON IS BASS. YOU DON'T GET TO PRACTICE HAFFNER. SHUT THE FUCK UP.

Tonight's stats:
Times I've done violence to the music stand: at least four
Times I've shouted "MOTHERFUCKER": at least seven
Number of etudes I'm supposed to have prepared for tomorrow: five
Number of etudes I've worked on: two
Times I've burst into frustrated tears: one

FUCK IT I'M GOING HOME OKAY
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. 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)
SO REMEMBER HOW IT WAS 75° OUT THE OTHER DAY?

TODAY THE HIGH -- THE HIGH -- WAS 48°.

YEAH.
sigmastolen: (Default)
I've done a lot of time-consuming things today...

- hand-washed a bunch of bras and stockings in the tub (still not dry bah)
- WAITED FOR THE BUS FOR HALF AN HOUR JESUS
- wind ensemble rehearsal (oh my god. just. oh my god. at least I got a break in the middle.)
- reeds: wired & turbaned three, profiled and folded three more, then went back to the first three and reamed, then reamed the 3 new contra reeds I got the other day
- picked apart a pomegranate (THIS TAKES FOREVER NO JOKE) (and there was a large bad spot inside, very disheartening and disgusting. boo.)
- finished bubbling in my absentee ballot, to be mailed tomorrow
- listened to Mahler 3

time-consuming things I still need to do:
- make significant progress on my Library Project so I don't have to do it all tomorrow before my meeting with my boss on Thurs.
- listen to La Mer

and, jesus, it's nearly midnight. And I have a 9 a.m. rehearsal tomorrow.

In other news, I still don't understand the weather here. Most of last week was bloody chilly -- in the 40s and 50s I should think. Sunday was 75° and sunny (and god damn was it ever hot onstage during the "ALL MOZART, ALL THE TIME" concert -- OH BTW I HAVE AN AWKWARD STORY FOR NEXT TIME ABOUT THIS CONCERT REMIND ME OKAY) -- which was major WTF. Yesterday was 75° and that gross muggy kind of humid, and then it RAINED WTF in the middle of the day (and my bus was super super late so then I was super super late to my lesson and I got all worked up about it so then I played super super badly yay), and then it stopped and was muggy again -- you know the kind, where your skin gets sticky and you just don't want to wear clothes because it is sticky and humid and gross. And then today was muggy again but warmer, and it didn't rain -- until about 5:20, as I was on my way to rehearsal from upstairs. Upstairs, it had suddenly become hella windy. In the 30 seconds it took for me to go downstairs into the lobby outside the rehearsal hall, it began SHEETING RAIN. I KID YOU NOT. And it's been pissing it down ever since.

WHATEVER, PITTSBURGH, REAL PLACES DON'T PULL THIS KIND OF SHIT. (they just have earthquakes.)
sigmastolen: (Default)

MY TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLZ: LET ME SHOW YOU THEM.

Or not, since i clearly have none.

Paper: officially late and counting...

edit: 14 Oct, 4:23
.... You guys, how am I this person? I am so distractible. I am definitely too distractible. I've been sitting here in the library for an hour, trying to git 'er done and listening to John Adams (first Grand Pianola Music and now Harmonielehre) and I still have 0 more words than I did yesterday morning when I finally decided to give up and go to class.

I didn't ask for an extension, I mean -- I definitely don't deserve one and I'll take whatever late penalty my prof dishes out as merely reaping what I sow, of course. I just -- I'm pretty sure I used to be a good student. Or at least, I'm pretty sure I used to turn in assignments on time. When did I start to play so fast and loose with deadlines? What does that say about me? I'm pretty sure it says I'm a lazy, dilatory shit. Also, I fail at the assistantship that is paying my tuition: I've logged a total of, like 5 hours on my bassoon research guide project in the last month, while I'm intended to clock 10 hours a week to earn my keep.

How am I this person, and why do other people not realize how worthless I am?


edit, 6:27
jesus. It has been another two hours, and still no words are coming. I have instead been reading feminist blogs. Because I am just that distractible. I am tempted to just pack it in for the night -- after all, I still need to practice, since I have a lesson early early tomorrow and I haven't played bassoon at all today. Tomorrow is the "semester break," which means we get a day off at the end of midterms... and I hope to god that I get this shit finished on Friday because I also need to clean my apartment, and put up the posters that my mum mailed to me weeks ago, and practice the shit out of Mozart 39 so the last movement can go as fast as Maestro Z wants it to go, and start a new batch of reeds with my new cane. And then I can reward myself with watching Whip It and more Battlestar Galactica.

Yes, okay. That sounds like a good plan. Going to practice now. (*sigh* ... I just started listening to Flight though and god, I just want to listen to this opera forever. Or possibly play this opera forever. I wish I'd been able to watch the third act of UCLA's production, because the first two were hilarious and lovely and I love this opera forever.)


edit 8:54
And then, after what was probably not much more than a scant hour of trying to play bassoon, i had a tantrum and couldn't stand to be there anymore. So now i'm sending myself the fuck home. YAY :D

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I have less than four hours to write a handful of journal entries for Eurhythmics (not a problem except for remembering what we did in each class), and a 5-page analytical paper on whether animal noises are music for Music an Nature (problematic, especially considering that I haven't read the relevant articles because I'm a lazy shit).

I have only myself to blame, for doing absolutely nothing the last five days except for playing bassoon and epically fucking around (oh, just one more chapter of this novel-length Inception fanfic) (oh, just one more episode of Battlestar Galactica). I still can't figure out why I do this to myself, except that I am, at the heart of things, a lazy shit.

Well at least the coffee's on now. Here goes nothing.

----

update - 9:40 a.m.

fuck how did the eurhythmics journals take forever? less that 1.5 hours now to hammer out 4-5 pages about animal noises, citing at least 4 articles which I have not read, using Chicago style which I have never really learned, only pretended to know.

Q: WHY THE FUCK DO WE SPEND SO MANY YEARS LEARNING GODDAMN MLA IF EVERYONE AFTER HIGH SCHOOL WANTS US TO USE CHICAGO STYLE?

also, i appear to be allergic to my own goddamn apartment again. FUCK EVERYTHING
sigmastolen: (Default)
Music that is love:
- Sting singing John Dowland (the album is called Songs from the Labyrinth. Check it out, there's a YouTube playlist.)
- The Kronos Quartet playing John Adams: John's Book of Alleged Dances. (1) I love Kronos. (2) I love John Adams. I want John Adams to write something this wicked (and omg wicked hard, it sounds like) for woodwinds. I could maybe expand my "Woodwind Quintets That People Might Actually Want To Listen To" list to use two hands!

p.s. Have more YouTube: Kronos Quartet on Sesame Street OMG HILARIOUS UNISON SPEAKING! HILARIOUS 80s HAIR AND CLOTHES! PURPLE HAZE! ILU SESAME STREET! (duuuude this was the year I was born how cosmic is that?)

.... okay, have some more Sesame Street on YouTube:
- Geometry of Circles (and also the ending bit with higher-quality video), with music composed by Philip Glass* specifically for this segment.
- Law & Order: Special Letter Unit OH GOD THIS IS GOLDEN. ALSO: RICHARD BELZER AS DET. JOHN MUNCH, IN EVERYTHING EVARRRRR
- Big Bad Perpetrator Wolf FEATURING STEREOTYPICAL IRISH-AMERICAN COPS! YAAAAAAAAY
- RSI: Rhyme Scene Investigation Not that I even watch CSI but, oh, Sesame Street <3 <3 I kept expecting to hear The Who during the "opening credits" bit. Also, how was I not aware that Sesame Street had carved out a niche for itself in the parody business until recently? The list goes on: Desperate Houseplants, A's Anatomy, 30 Rocks, Outrageous Makeover Home Addition, Dirtiest Jobs, Mad Men, True Mud.... Oh, so much love. A large part of me wants to go all CRITICAL MEDIA LITERACY!!!! on it.
ALSO ALSO ALSO Neil Patrick Harris is the Shoe Fairy! SESAME STREET + NPH + SHOES = EPIC EPIC WIN. Oh, NPH! Oh, Sesame Street! ILU FOREVER. (Oh, shoes...... *swoon*)

.... Dudes, I forgot what this post was originally going to be about. Happy YouTubing!

*There was a composer named Glass
Philip Glass Philip Glass Philip Glass
Philip Glass Philip Glass
Philip Glass Philip Glass
Philip Glass Philip Glass Philip Glass

edit;; While I'm showing you the internets, I just read this:
What Batman taught me about being a good dad
You guys, I'm crying. I could blame it on the martini I just finished, but I'm pretty sure it's because I'm an enormous girl. I... don't want to have children. Or at least, I don't want to raise children. Or at least, at this point in my life, I'm pretty sure I won't -- I can't even imagine having a spouse, having a sprog, having a house... It doesn't compute, for me. But I hope this guy's kid grows up to be a superhero. I really do.
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Tuesday was another concert (it seriously feels like concert after concert here, and I'm not even in them all) -- Beethoven 7, in which I played second bassoon and I swear to god, I've never felt so insecure about my intonation in my life. Not even when Maestro has called me out, not even on uncontrollable contrabassoons. I don't even know. But they're so exposed, the wind parts in that symphony, and playing second bassoon is a big responsibility in terms of intonation. (And I wish more bassoonists I've played with would understand this. Playing second isn't a consequence of "not being good enough to play first" and it doesn't mean you don't matter, jesus. You are the bass voice. You control the pitch.) But anyway, my sources in the audience tell me that the woodwind intonation was excellent (certainly better than the brass or the strings), so I guess I count that one as a win despite my anxiety. (but seriously there were a few chords where I just didn't even play because I had no idea where the pitch center was or where I was supposed to be. it was so upsetting.)

Anyway. Afterwards, the bull-like percussionist I mentioned the other day came up to me while I was packing up, and asked me if I was doing anything after the concert. "I don't know," I answered honestly, and at point I needed to dump my reed water, so I excused myself for a minute. He didn't really continue the conversation when I came back, and I was frazzled enough from the performance and the pressing need to go find my teacher and see what she thought of it, that I wasn't totally aware of anything except for making sure I had all my stuff (and you know me, I always have an epic amount of stuff). Anyway, after I had managed to put my coat back on, he kind of mumbled a farewell at me, and I must have looked back at him wild-eyed, because he said something about how I had a lot going on or something. I didn't realize until later that, oh, oops, he was trying to ask me out, and I was so flustered and distracted that he just kind of gave up.

I mentioned it later to Comrade P and the principal oboist and flautist, because we ended up going for a drink (there's a bar near my apartment with AMAZING winter drinks -- apple cider with rum, which was what I had, and some pretty excellent-sounding coffee drinks and chocolate and/or caramel flavoured things. Must remember to return), and while the girls were advising me to just accept dates if I'm undecided because, hey, free meal (I love musicians. So pragmatic about food), I realised that, completely aside from not being remotely into him, I kind of don't want a relationship. I'm quite accustomed to being totally starved for touch by now, and while it's now awesome, I'm not that desperate -- I can handle it for a while longer. Honestly, I don't want to try to make space in my life for someone else right now; I have enough going on with my bassoon and my cats and just trying to make friends, and not lose the ones that are scattered around the country. (but a hookup or two wouldn't be the worst thing ever, i mean, a girl has needs, amirite?)

So yeah. Whatever. I do feel like I should apologize to the poor dude for being such a spaz, but in one of those weird twists of kismet or something, I haven't run into him even once since Tuesday. *shrug*

(Subjects this entry has had: "Hmm," "Single McSingleton," "Perennially Single")
(Also: I am once again contemplating my singleness while baking cookies. WTF is this? I blame texting with Will, he always makes me get all romantically introspective. It's a knee-jerk reaction from high school when we were both pretentious and I wanted to impress him with how deep I am. Talking is much easier now that we both understand that he takes things at face value and means exactly what he says, and that I almost never say what I mean. Hah.)

(In other news, I think I have discovered How Not To Eat All The Cookie Dough Before It Becomes Cookies (or How Not To Eat All The Cookies You Just Baked): improvise a disturbingly sweet but still boozy cocktail from whatever is on hand (in my case, gin, dry vermouth, and creme de menthe syrup (not proper creme de menthe mind you -- just sweet minty syrup), stirred) and drink it while you're baking. It effectively removes any desire to consume anything else that is sweet. (OH MY GOD THE NESTED PARENTHESES, LET ME SHOW YOU THEM. HAVE I CLOSED THEM ALL PROPERLY? I HOPE SO, JFC.))

(In other other news, today the rice cooker arrived in the mail (yeah, mum mailed me the one I had at the apartment last year. Mum mails me a lot of things lately. I'm so glad she loves me.), so tonight was TOFU CURRY OVER RICE EXTRAVAGANZA!!!!!! Because I tried tofu curry over pasta before i found the rice at the grocery store, and it was DISGUSTING LIKE A DISGUSTING THING. I made the curry sauce myself. It was weirdly bland, though... I am not sure what it needs. The recipe is here, and I added some ground ginger because ginger is the shit, okay? Anyway, I'd appreciate thoughts on this recipe. MOAR FLAVR: WANT. HOW I CAN HAS??)

(@ 3:43 -- Cookies: finished. My sleep schedule: officially fuxx0red! :D !!!)
sigmastolen: (omgcrab)
This story actually starts yesterday. Saturday I went to see the Pittsburgh Symphony play Beethoven 5 and some other stuff, and I was really keyed up still when I got home (OMG MOTIF! OMG SCHERZO!! OMG MY TEACHER IS SO FABUOUS!!!), so I stayed up late late. (btw, Saturday was v. busy, between practicing, having a lesson, getting an iPhone, and going to the Symphony. I pretty much spent the entire afternoon on buses, or waiting for buses. Which apparently tend not to run on time on Saturdays.) So then on Sunday I woke up about 8:30 or 9, later than I intended, and allergies were terrible so I fed the cats, had some tea and a couple spoonfuls of peanut butter (shut up, peanut butter rocks), and then napped from about 10:00 until 2:30. At that point, either the allergy meds had kicked in or the allergens had subsided, so I got up, had a shower, and made food (tea and grilled cheese and fried eggs. I ran out of Cheerios on Saturday, okay? I'm having to be creative about breakfast). I had wanted to go to DSW to find myself some closed-toed flats (because I don't have any right now and open-toed shoes are really not gonna cut it, very soon), but then the Port Authority website said there would be bus outages along the route I needed to take, so I decided that Fate was against me getting shoes, so instead I practiced for a few hours, then cooked some more (curry with tofu & egg over pasta because I can't find the goddamn rice in the grocery store, and cheesy bread allegedly for today's breakfast). And then I fucked around on the internet because, what do you know, it was midnight and I wasn't sleepy. And I wasn't sleepy. And I wasn't sleepy.

Around 2 I was like, I better go be in bed, because if I stay out here in the dining room I'll never sleep. And then I was lying in bed in the dark, still awake. And still awake. And still awake. Until 5 am.

At 5 I was finally, finally, kinda tired, so I thought, "one hour of sleep is better than no sleep; I'll nap until my alarm goes off at six! Because my 9 am rep class is doing Mendelssohn 3 and Brahms 4 today!"

And then at 9:12 I woke up to Baxter clawing my arm and crying for breakfast.

So I dashed off a quick text to Bassoonist P, my stand partner, took a fast shower, discovered it was raining, dug up my rainboots and a jacket and scarf, repacked my bag (because it got very unpacked this weekend while I was running errands), and dashed out to the bus. I arrived at class around 10:12 and followed along with Brahms 4 for about 5 minutes until they packed up, and then the professor teased me a little about needing a new alarm clock. And then he teased me some more about being late when I ran into him in the cafe (OMG BTW MY SCHOOL HAS A CAFE IN THE FINE ARTS BUILDING. THIS IS HOW IT'S DONE, PEOPLE. Because musicians and artists are probably the most caffeinated people on any given college campus ever).

So I practised for perhaps an hour because hey, we have lessons again today! And then I was hurriedly packing up to go to my noon class when Bassoonist P asked if I was leaving, and so I surrendered my practice room to him. Dashing out the building, I passed a couple other people who are also in my noon class, none of them in the same hurry I was. And yet I thought nothing of it. Until I walked halfway across campus to the building the class is in, and the lecture hall was dark and empty. And finally I was like, "crap. Did I miss a memo or something?" So then I checked my e-mail, and indeed, the professor had cancelled class. At 9:00 last night. And as much as it was definitely a case of me being as big a fuck-up as ever lived, it would have been nice of someone to say, "hey, you know class is cancelled, right?" while I was boogieing out of the CFA (college of fine arts)

So then I trudged back to the CFA and got chips and a bagel in the cafe and we're finally up to now.

Also, you guys:
My Hair: ASASLKDJHFSAHD;K RAIN SWEAT WIND HUMID PRACTICE ROOM A;SDKLFJLK
Me: oh god why. what am i supposed to do with this?
Photobucket

The picture really doesn't do it justice. It is impressively crazy.
sigmastolen: (dalek-o-lantern)
. . . so I'm watching "Mystery of the Batwoman" on Netflix (a Batman: The Animated Series feature-length thing, I think -- or at least, it looks like the Batman I remember from my 90s childhood TV habits) and it appears that Bruce Wayne has a Kandinsky in his bedroom. Oh, 90s animators, you cared so much! <3

Exhibit A: Photobucket

Exhibit B: Kandinsky on Google Images. See for yourself!

(Shut up, guys, my dad's really into Kandinsky. We have prints in the living room.) (He's also really into Mondrian.) (. . . sometimes i like to pretend i know stuff about art, okay?)

Man, I miss the days when kids shows were quality. Kandinsky. Shit, son.

Here follows my running commentary. )
sigmastolen: (omgcrab)
Yesterday, it was hot and sunny and dry. No, for real, my hair was all flat any everything! I didn't have to be on campus at all, so I took the opportunity to do some errands:

- to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (main branch, so the one near school, not the one near my house). I got a library card, as well as parts for the Nielsen wind quintet for my new woodwind quintet. We're going to have our first rehearsal on Friday; on Monday, we had a meeting to, well, meet each other, and talk about what music to get (the verdict: Ibert, Beethoven, D'Rivera (Aires Tropicales), Nielsen, Francaix. NO DANZI, NO REICHA, NO LIGETI. I am only sad about one of those things). GOSSIP TIEM! We're all first-year M.M. students... except the horn player. We had a second-year M.M. horn player, but she had too many other chamber groups and dropped us. (GOSSIP, SECOND LAYER: all the other double reeds call her The Bitch.) So our new horn player is.... a freshman. The clarinet player is really dissatisfied with this. ADDITIONALLY: everyone seems REALLY WHOLESOME except for me and it is AWKWARD. They also don't seem very adventurous. I mean, my quintet wish list has things like Harbison and Carter and Zappa on it, and they're all, Ibert! Beethoven! These sound excellent! Oh, UCLA, how I miss your new music scene. Or at least, I miss how all my friends were into new music. ON THE OTHER HAND I might already be the darling of the composition students, so that's cool.

- to the AT&T store for a new phone (my current phone is slowly reaching the inevitable doom of all flip phones: the hinge is breaking). This was actually kind of a bust. FIRST it's in the Strip District (no, I haven't figured out why it's called that yet), which is like an hour-long bus ride. Then, when I got there, my AT&T Representative, Ron, said I needed to be an authorized user on the family's account in order to upgrade my phone without my mum coming in and providing identification. This was an easy enough fix -- I called my mum and gave her the customer service number and she took care of that in about 10 minutes while Ron took care of someone else on the phone and I browsed the phones on display. BUT THEN when he checked to see if I would be able to get the discounted upgrade price, it blocked him because our payment was past due. So I called mum AGAIN and as it turned out she'd written all the checks on Friday before she went to the Bay Area for the weekend (apparently my uncle in Saratoga had a brain tumor? Don't worry, they cut it out and he's fine and actually friendly for perhaps the first time ever) but then my DAD neglected to put them in the mail on Saturday without her to remind him. So the check actually got mailed on Monday and wasn't processed by Tuesday when I was actually physically standing in the store. The price difference could have been a few hundred dollars, so Ron gave me his card and I'm planning to go back on Saturday to get a new phone for real. Which is okay, because it gives me time to try to make a BIG BIG DECISION: Do I go with my usual MO these past several years and get a phone that only does what I have so far needed it to do (calls, text messages, photos, the occasional photo message)? Or do I swing to the opposite end of the spectrum and shell out for a high-functioning smart phone (an iPhone refurb or something)? TBH I'm leaning toward the iPhone, depending on how much it will cost and what monthly fees they will charge... but any input/advice is welcome.

- to the grocery store for EPIC GROCERY SHOPPING (no, seriously, I had three bags full. That's a big deal when you walk to the store)

SO ANYWAY, that was yesterday. Hot, dry, sunny, errands. TODAY started out bright and hot and muggy. By mid-afternoon it was getting a little cloudy. And then I started to practice and the clouds rolled in, it got breezy, and suddenly there was THUNDER AND LIGHTNING. So I called mum to tell her about it, because I had mentioned how hot and dry it was yesterday. And right after I hung up the phone, there was suddenly a TORRENTIAL DOWNPOUR. Like, literally sheets of rain. So much rain that I couldn't see across the courtyard because of all the rain in the way. But by the time I finished practising, perhaps 40 minutes later, and went to catch a bus home, it had stopped, and as I was walking from the bus to my apartment, the sky had cleared enough for the sun to be in my eyes. My poor reeds, they just don't understand! And neither does my hair. (I'm so fluffy right now.)

BUT YEAH. WEATHERRRR!!!!!!1!!!!11!!eleven

TONIGHT: baking cookies and watching Hard Candy. Netflix: it is my new favourite thing.

ETA;; wtf lj changed the buttons on that little bar at the top of the entry. WHAT IS THIS, LIVEJOURNAL. I THOUGHT WE TALKED ABOUT HOW I HATE CHANGE.

ETA.2;; also today: my Music & Nature prof made me read an assignment out loud today (an abstract for an article we read on music as an element of sexual selection, which is pretty interesting stuff, btw) as an example of good academic writing. And then later a girl from class told me -- so sincerely! -- about how excellent it was. I might have died of embarrassment... except I'm too arrogant and self-satisfied for that. *buffs nails on shirt* Yep, still got it. HAY GUISE MAYBE I'M NOT BURNT OUT AFTER ALL

so today

Sep. 18th, 2010 09:16 pm
sigmastolen: (Default)
1) I saw a CHIPMUNK! At first I thought it was a rat, because, well, UCLA.... But then it was a CHIPMUNK and it was scurrying around getting ACORNS because my school has OAK TREES and it came REALLY CLOSE TO ME and it was ADORABLE! !!!!! :D :D !! :D !!!111!!!!ELEVEN
and then I texted like five people about it. YAAAAAAAYYYYYYY

2) I was putting my bassoon away and I noticed that it is hella tarnished. Well, I mean, it's been tarnished for a long time, and I wasn't shocked or anything, but in rehearsal this week (or maybe last week) I glanced to my right (as I was playing contrabassoon at the time) and noticed that nobody else's bassoon is as tarnished as mine. So I spent half an hour going at it with a gold-and-silver polishing cloth (mum put it in my christmas stocking once. she thought i'd use it for actual jewelery, haha) and now instead of intensely black tarnish, the tarnished parts are a kind of gleaming brown. but I asked my teacher about it anyway, and she.... didn't really have any answers. Because my instrument is only about 6 years old, which is not old enough to have tarnish like it has, and my bocal definitely shouldn't be this tarnished because Heckel uses some kind of fancy finish, right? the bocal is a little pitted, as well, which seemed to worry my teacher, and which has niggled at me for a few years, I must admit. and the weirdest part of all this? the parts that should be the first to tarnish -- where my fingers go, duh -- are spotless. FUCKIN WEIRD EH? must ask John.

3) As I was standing in the hall playing Bejeweled on my phone, a percussionist -- one of my fellow first-year MMs who I've had a few conversations with, we have a class together -- nodded hello and ducked into his practice room. And then a few minutes later, came back out and asked, "Why is it that sometimes, you look different?" Apparently there have been occasions when I just... look really different. Like today, he almost thought I was someone Not Me. Um, what? The only answer I could provide was that, today, I had my hair in a ponytail, but I usually have it down (especially since our classroom is pretty damn chilly). And my eye makeup changes from day to day, but I didn't mention that part. I think it might be my duty to wear contacts this week and see if he still recognizes me, though. ALSO FUCKIN WEIRD EH? surreal.

4) So one of the first things that happened in my lesson was my teacher profusely complimenting my contrabassoon playing. We played Mahler 6 on Wednesday and she came to the concert, and afterwards she had hugged me about my contrabassooning, so I was really awkwardly flattered that she brought it up again. She asked if a contrabassoon job was something I would consider. And... I guess I would. I really, really do enjoy playing contra, especially for things like Mahler 5 or Mahler 6 or Petrushka where the part is just SO MUCH FUN. And I like the power and playing Lower Than Thou and I even like the breathing-muscles workout, despite the inevitable consequences of a sore back, knotty shoulders, and clicky wrists. So then we talked about options for buying a contrabassoon: apparently the school sometimes gives loans for these things? But I'd still better start saving if I want to be the proud owner of a contrabassoon.
4a) And then I called my mum and she was like, "well obvs we'd help you, you don't have to save all the money yourself" and I really can't figure out why it makes me so uncomfortable for my parents to offer me contrabassoon-sized sums of money. I mean, they're my parents, it's their job to take care of me. And yet, I'm legally an adult and I should be able to be responsible for my own finances. And also, I'm a student and should therefore be living frugally? Especially as I am a student without a source of income, at the moment. And also, maybe, it's a holdover from when we lived in Davis and really didn't have much money to spend, because daddy was in med school and therefore draining money instead of earning money. But now daddy has a job, and my parents are clearly comfortable spending money... But I'm still feeling weird about it. anyway.
4b) SPEAKING OF CONTRABASSOON: Maybe this is just me, but it seems like trumpet players are super fascinated by contra. As at UCLA, I sit directly in front of them when I play it, and as at UCLA, they were all, "dude that's so cool." After our concert on Thursday (also Mahler 6: same piece, different venue), I turned around and said, "I kind of love you guys," because they have been consistently AMAZING playing all loud and high and they have a really fantastic section sound, and being awash in it is just so. good. and the principal replied, "we love you more" and I giggled. Is this an all-contrabassoonists-and-trumpet-players-everywhere kind of thing, or is it just me/the trumpets I play with, or what? I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE MORE INSIGHT ON THIS MATTER.

okay dinnertiem nao, i has a hungr
sigmastolen: (Default)
JESUS WHY AM I STILL AWAKE

no seriously. i changed into jammies and got in bed THREE HOURS AGO because i was sleepy then except NOW I'M STILL AWAKE.

also, I kind of think I maybe shouldn't be in school right now. Seriously. Since January, I have had no more than a single week of any kind of Break at a time, and either I'm too burned out from that to do my homework and the work for my grad assistantship, or I'm just a lazy worthless piece of shit who doesn't deserve to be in grad school at a fancy university that isn't even making me pay tuition. tbh all I am motivated to do lately is play bassoon, watch telly/movies on the internet, and indulge my out-of-control cravings for fanfiction (i am completely serious when i say it is my biggest vice). THIS IS A PROBLEM (well i mean the bassoon thing is good but the other things not so much). because i'm still interested in everything like the SuperStudent I used to be, but I just cannot be arsed to do anything. fml
sigmastolen: (Default)
Last week -- two weeks ago? Er, maybe, oops -- I bought a "locally-grown" eggplant from Giant Eagle, which appears to be Pittsburgh's answer to Ralphs. Last night, I decided it was about damn time to cook it. I considered making eggplant parmesan, but then I thought, no, how cliché, and also, omg prolly way too complicated, as well as, bread crumbs? fuck that shit! So instead I went to BBC Food and searched for "eggplant."

And it returned zero hits.

And then, feeling rather idiotic, I seared for "aubergine," and lo, there were recipes! And then I narrowed it to "vegetarian" (not because I'm actually vegetarian, guys, but because I get squeamish when handling raw meat cannot be arsed to cook meat) and "main course" and "quick & easy" and decided my best option was...

Aubergine Pizza )

You may have noticed that this only used half an eggplant. I used the other half tonight (and, note to self: if you really want to get to bed before midnight ever, you should stop cooking elaborate dinners after 9 pm) in a much more self-directed creation.

Eggplant Pasta )

GO FORTH AND FEAST!!!!

p.s. Earning my membership to the Latent Alcoholics Club here... I paired both these dishes with Barefoot Shiraz, a dry red. It's pretty good wine, on a student's budget -- usually $4.99 in CA, and a dollar or two more here in Pittsburgh (probably on account of having to send it far away, their HQ is in Modesto). You know. Because I'm a lush.

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