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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.

sigmastolen: (omgcrab)
No, no, actually. I'm about ready to declare Operation: Clean ALL The Things! a resounding success! Yay me!

Final Final Items:
- move cat things to bedroom
- vacuum living room
- final clear-off/wipe down of food/drink surfaces
- empty ALL the trashes!
- make bed
- Do Something about the blind in the front window

And that is all. No, really. Everything else is Done now.

In other news, I called my teacher at midnight because I lost track of time whilst Cleaning ALL The Things!

Yeah, I hope she's not mad. At least she didn't pick up? Or is that worse?

Next On: research seminar. rehearsal/coaching. Happy Fun Contra Tiem with Comrade N! dress rehearsal. pittsburgh symphony (joan tower clarinet concerto; appalachian spring). cocktail party! drop dead of tired. wake up and play a concert.
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In preparation for a cocktail party I'm hosting on Friday (Comrade P insists on calling it a "get-together" -- parties are for undergrads, get-togethers are for cool, low-key, responsible grad students), I have initiated what I like to call, Operation: Clean ALL The Things! (helpful explanatory link) I didn't do as much as I intended to this weekend, but it's... going well, I think.

- laundry (ongoing)
--- clothing
--- linens
- dishes (ongoing)
- kitchen counters
- stove top
- threw out pile of unnecessary papers

- kitchen
--- sink
--- oven??
--- coffee maker
--- wipe down 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?
- 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
- 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. :(

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

addt'l prep:
- booze run (Wine & Spirits store)
- mixer/garnish/ice run (Giant Eagle, the local supermarket)
- snack run (Trader Joe's -- MUST FIGURE OUT HOW TO BUS THERE & BACK. Or draft someone to drive me I guess. Eh.)
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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 !!!)
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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:
Me: oh god why. what am i supposed to do with this?

The picture really doesn't do it justice. It is impressively crazy.
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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 )


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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So I definitely meant to make several different posts throughout the past week, none of which actually happened. So I'll abbreviate my week, I guess, in order to have sort of a clean slate before going back to the high school in the morning.

1. Monday night we had the first of three Double Reed Studios classes on practising. This week's was Practising and Imagination, and it was pretty cool. It culminated in the oboe teacher having us all come up, one by one, and write a signed statement that said, "I promise to practise at least five minutes every day," and then giving us a little notebook to use as a practise log. As cult-like as it seems (and that's totally what it was -- an initiation ritual into the double reed practise cult), it's worked, at least for this week. I have indeed practised at least five minutes every day. Maybe having witnesses to that resolution is what's keeping me honest? Or maybe it's the notebook?
Afterwards we went to Margarita Mondays at Acapulco for Double Reed Bonding. Yay!

2. The kitties had a bath this week, and I find ways to improve my cat bathing technique every time I do it! This week's revelation: don't let them get above knee level. If you lift them, they will climb you. If you kneel, they will climb you. And if they jump to what they think is a decent enough height, they will then jump from there onto you and they will climb you. And being climbed is painful.
They were so fluffy afterwards, though! You know, after they sat and licked the water off for a couple hours.

3. Bratty New Library Assistant is in my Music of Asia class and he is a twat. Sat behind me in lecture on Tuesday and talked the entire time. Some of my favourite parts were when the professor struck a pair of finger cymbals to signify the start of class and he said, "You did not just ring a bell at me," when my friend Sarah shushed him (this happened several times but the best one was when he protested that he wasn't talking and retorted "you're talking right now!"), and when my TA was giving a powerpoint presentation involving nagas -- serpent deities -- and he got squeamish about a photograph of a statue of a snake (Sarah wrote in the margin of my notes, "MAN UP!" and "CAHONES!!" [sic])

4. On Wednesday we played some chamber music (incl. the Dvořák Wind Serenade) at the Chancellor's Residence on campus, and today when my mum came (to make me sign my taxes) she brought a lovely thank-you note from the Chancellor's wife. Awwwwww.

5. We've started rehearsing the orchestra parts for Flight, this quarter's opera, and it is so. Fun.

6. The (pro bono btw) recording session for WITH GREAT POWER, the documentary about Stan "The Man" Lee, finally happened on Friday. It was by turns exciting (My First Recording Gig! Capitol Records Studio! New bassoon friend! STAN LEE!!!) and frustrating (Terrible strings! Worst Cellos Evar! Bad horns! Bitch pianist! DIAF saying stupid things! Everything took FOREVER!!!). BUT they're going to send me (well, all the musicians) a copy of the DVD and and invitation to the premiere party, which would hopefully have CELEBRITIES!!! like STAN LEE!!!! at it. I told my brother he could be my plus one. There are actually more stories about Friday but I have to teach at 8 a.m. tomorrow.

7. So this week I have been seriously contemplating quitting the credential program. I don't know if it's because I am too afraid of all the work I haven't done yet (and when I say "all the work" I do mean all the work), but I feel like the only reason I'm still at it is to finish what I started, and I don't actually want the credential -- and by extension, I don't actually want to teach -- anymore. And I sort of feel like that's not a good enough reason to go through with it. I dunno. So far everyone I've talked to about it has told me to just suck it up and finish it because I'll be much more employable with a credential than without.

8. I have been cooking up a storm this weekend: asparagus omelet (it was going to be frittata but then I lost my nerve) rosemary cornbread muffins, sweet potato fries. And I found a recipe for rosemary asiago cornbread madeleines and I've decided to do it once I research and purchase a replacement for buttermilk. But I'll probably do them in a mini-muffin tin instead of a madeleine mold. Recipes to follow!

9. ... So I'm moving to Pittsburgh! I decided this morning, when mum was over. Hopefully I'm still able to get all the aid they offered, I kind of didn't read the part where I was supposed to turn in my assistantship application by either 15 or 31 March. I'm going to call the admissions officer about it tomorrow, as well as put the application and all of my "Y/N??" forms in the mail tomorrow.

10. Typing sideways in the dark is hard. I have done so much "typo-->delete (repeat ad nauseam) -->retype" tonight. Gah!

damn cats

Mar. 31st, 2010 12:22 am
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So I'm sitting on my bed, just about to start casting on the reversible keyboard scarf after having gotten seven or so lines in and then realising the proportions are wrong and ripping the whole thing out, when I hear a noise like kitties (Baxter) scratching -- and tearing -- my dust ruffle (shut up, my sheet set has a dust ruffle, it came from my Nana's house, okay?). Without looking, I lean down and shoo at whoever is at the corner of the bed. The noise happens again. Again, I shoo blindly. It happens a third time.

This time, I look over the edge of the bed and there is Ducky, looking very interested, but not scratching, and Baxter is nowhere to be seen -- but the scratching continues. So I lift the dust ruffle and peer under the bed: no Baxter in evidence (although that's where my inhaler and my copy of 1984 got to!). The scratching happens again, and this time I look at the underside of the box spring, to see Baxter's face pressed against the fabric and his weight making it sag, and his claws making skritchy kitty noises.

Turns out there's a kitty-sized hole in the corner that's against the wall, and Baxter of course wriggled through it to investigate the innards of my box spring -- probably made the hole himself, and that must be why there's so many large, linty dust bunnies in my room.

So then I spent ten minutes covering the hole using packing tape and a Trader Joe's bag. Ten minutes lying on my dusty floor, partially underneath my dusty bed, after a really terrible allergy day. Jesus Christ.
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Went running this morning, because the HS is on break so this is the first weekday since January where I can run in the morning after the sun is up. Feel like crap (so out of shape! :c) but I haven't gone running since, what, December? Gotta start somewhere. Wish I could find my bloody inhaler though.

Roomie's charter school in Brooklyn is also on break, so she's visiting this weekend! It's lovely having her here. Yesterday morning, she, Flatmate, Flatmate's BF, and I went to the farmer's market in Mar Vista. I was decidedly unimpressed by the coffee Flatmate was raving about -- not nearly strong enough. I had to have another cup before I went to teach a lesson. The kitties loooooove Roomie, though. Not as much as Baxter looooooved Dan, but they seem to have accepted her pretty readily as a member of the family.

Despite Roomie being here, I've been really down for the past few days. I think I'll be happier once school has resumed properly and I see my friends again... human interaction, you know. It definitely feels more like spring break this week, though, since I don't have to get up at ass o'clock and spend all day at the HS. I don't think I even have any classes to go to today. *shrug*
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Ducky, I think we can all agree, is a black cat. He has some scattered white hairs, but they're not even concentrated enough to create any white spots -- just random white hairs. He even shed his single white whisker (which is totally unlike shedding a single emo tear btw) sometime during the week the kittens stayed at my parents' house. But his skin is almost all pale -- his nipples, his lips, the insides of his ears, and those thin-furred areas on his temples, as well as anywhere I part his fur down to the skin, all pale. Only his nose and the pads of his feet are black.


Even more interestingly, Baxter's nose and paw-pads are also black, although the rest of his skin is white, as is the fur on his face and all four feet. What causes this coloration? All cats don't have this -- white cats and marmalade cats all have pink noses and paw-pads, and so does Roscoe, a bog-standard brown mackerel tabby. (The internet tells me that populations of feral cats tend toward the brown mackerel colouring after several generations -- apparently it is the dominant trait.) Furthermore, when Baxter was a baby kitten, his nose was not black as it is today -- it was pink, with two black dots on it, which apparently grew until they took over his whole nose, plus a little more besides.


And all this because I don't want to do my ed class homework...
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still not unpacking the lists, sorry. (something else that I have not yet unpacked: my massive-ass suitcase, filled with clean clothes and travel-related ephemera and my terrifying travel blow-dryer.)

First, I've heard/seen the word "jarble(d)" three times in the last month or so. Why? Where did it come from? It is not a real word. "Garble(d)" is a real word that means what the "jarble"-ers appear to intend. Or, since it seems to be coming into general usage (it has an Urban Dictionary entry, at least), is it a New Thing? Or perhaps a regional variant?
I still like "garble(d)" best.

Second, omg so sleepy. Too sleepy for homework, which I have frighteningly a lot of. I've been prioritsing sleep over homework lately, which is new, and it feels so wrong... and yet, so right. Sorry Dr. Music Ed Advisor. Can't do PACT tasks. Must sleep.

Third, so a while ago I heard Baxter start to cry -- so of course I went to see what was wrong. I found him sitting outside Flatmate's bathroom looking concerned, and Ducky nowhere to be found. He cries sometimes if he doesn't know where Ducky is, so I suggested, "Let's go find Ducky!" Then I thought of some stories my parents told me, about how one of them started to cry outside the closet door if the other was stuck inside. So I opened the door to Flatmate's bathroom and Ducky zoomed out. My reaction was to exclaim, "Oh, poor Ducky!" Her reaction? "No way. I checked before I shut that door. He must have snuck in, they're trying to frame me!" -- angrily. GTFO, Flatmate. It's no secret you're unobservant and careless. God I want to live alone.
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Okay, last weekend's list. I shall make a valiant effort to unpack you.

1) INT: Sunnydale Airport is NOT Long Beach. Plus, OMGBIRD!
The exterior of Sunnydale Airport is Long Beach Airport. The interior is not. Well, probably not. Because as much as I'm sure the airport has been remodeled/redecorated since season 6 of Buffy was filmed, the ceilings are just too low to accommodate a film crew. The Giles-at-the-airport scene looked a little like LAX, though -- or at least, a specific gate of LAX that I remember from my youth.
The thing about having terminals that connect directly to Outside, though (because Long Beach airport doesn't have those tunnel things that attach the gate to the plane, you actually physically walk across the tarmac to the plane and climb stairs up to the door), is that birds sometimes get in. This was just one of those random little fat brown songbirds, and it was fluttering and hopping around the waiting area eating crumbs from the floor. It was cute.

2) Midair: Animal Planet, sedimentary rock, SNOW EVERYWHERE
This was my first time flying JetBlue, and it does have its perks -- extra legroom, seatback TV screens with free DirecTV... I watched Animal Planet nearly the entire time, because it was having shows about kitties. Kitties! <3
I think we flew over the Southwest for a bit, I kept seeing these sedimentary rock structures that would start out a vibrant rusty red at ground level, then change to kind of a peachy-beige higher up (sometimes with snow on top. Eeeee!)
Also: There was snow EVERYWHERE. srsly.

3) Chicago: The Family And Their Zoo
My flight was directly to O'Hare Airport in Chicago, and Cousin Bea picked me up in her car. We met everyone for dinner at an Indian restaurant -- a bit of a celebration, because it was her mum's birthday. "Everyone" was: Me, Bea, her husband, their 6-month-old baby Malia, Bea's older sister, Bea's younger sister, her boyfriend, and their mum, Teri. Excellent food, and somehow I didn't feel awkward or overwhelmed, despite only seeing this part of the family once every few years. Afterward, Bea's hubby and I went to a bakery near their house to pick up a cake for Lola Teri while everyone else caravanned to Bea's house. He told me a bit about their pets -- two cats and two dogs. CUE MUCH RAMBLING ABOUT THE PETS )
Anyway, back at their house (they own a brownstone -- they rent out the top floor and live in the bottom two), we all congregated in the living room downstairs and had cake and talked for ages. It was super fun. And then I slept in the guest bedroom, which is on the bottom floor; the kitchen, office, and bedrooms are all on the middle floor, so I pretty much had the downstairs all to myself. I had meant to practise, but -- family time is important, too.
!!! Pics will go here!!! You know, later. Sometime.

4) Northwestern: The Audition
Okay, so as I said, the professor asked for scales, which was embarrassing. That was first thing, too... ugh. But everything after that I felt good about: my solos (even the Saint-Saëns), my excerpts (even The Marriage of Figaro), the weird ear-training thing he did... We talked a little afterwards; he explained the structure of the studios, the other professor's schedule, I asked about a couple things, he asked about contrabassoon. Anyway, I wasn't holding out too much hope, since when I checked in I saw that there were a lot of bassoon applicants auditioning that day (and there were plenty of other audition days, as well). But apparently I did something right, because the professor who wasn't there wants to talk to me on the phone.... :D

5) Evanston Is Pretty
After the audition, Bea and I went to get lunch at an awesome sandwich place and then drove around campus and the town a bit, so I could see more of the area. And it is so pretty. Evanston looks the way I imagine New England should look -- brick buildings, deciduous trees, big posh colonial-style houses... And the snow *swoon* I like snow. It also has a bunch of shops, a mix of chains and boutiquey places, like Westwood and probably similarly overpriced... but it looks so much cleaner than Westwood.
Then we went back to Bea's house for a while, and Lola Teri had cooked a couple kinds of crab (to compare and figure out which one they like better). I tried to eat it, I really did, but -- between having to pick off the shell and recalling the lobster we dissected in 8th grade? 10th? and all the parts that I was actually seeing... Ugh. I couldn't. But then it was time to go back to the airport...

6) ORD: All Airports Have Dinosaurs? How did CA miss this memo?
O'Hare has a Brachiosaurus. It's in the United terminal and it is HUUUUUUUUUUUGE. That makes DIA, PIT, and ORD with dinosaurs, but no dinosaurs at any of the California airports so far.... I'm disappointed in you, CA. Dinosaurs!!! I also stopped at the Field Museum booth and got a shot glass for my collection and a hematite necklace for mum.


7) Midair: Chatty Portland Man, Cities At Night, The Invention of Lying, So Many Stars
8) The City: Historical Hotels Are Posh-Looking (but not actually that posh); LA is Glamorous
9) SFCM: The Audition
10) The City: Flipper's, BART
11) SFO: hella early, Ich grolle nicht, security, Ghirardelli, sourdough, gambling antiques, outlet bar
12) Midair: Parents who don't look after their children on airplanes, holy crap SFO is right on the bay, man I wish I'd had a drink during my airport hang, lights sketch the coastline (o hai hwy 1)

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Back in CA and the kittehs are happy to see me. Desperately tired, though, so in lieu of an epic post you get the list I've been keeping in Stickies to remind myself of what to write.

-1) Library Brat Hates Me
0) Off The Deep End
1) Sunnydale Airport is Long Beach
2) Travel misadventures: delays, changes, ginger ale
3) Happy belated birthday, Mozart
4) DIA: dinosaurs in the tile, "free wifi" fail
6) Dan's House: Dudes, Dude Loofahs, Towel Improv, omg cardinal!
7) The Audition
8) And Then I Slept For A Year
9) PIT at ass o'clock, chatty dudes on the plane, The Informant!
10) DIA v. 2.0: recycling, smog, OMGBIRDS!
11) This Is Why I'm Fat: Airport Edition (related: why no napkins, McD's?)
12) chatty Taiwanese businessman

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Dear LJ,

Happy New Year!

Winter break came and went, and tomorrow my student teaching indentured servitude to SaMoHi Orchestra Teacher begins! Also, classes, although the only one I have tomorrow is vocal pedagogy with Super Cool Grad Mezzo, which I'm way excited about (and btw, way to go, music ed, the professor for our 1.5 classes this quarter hasn't e-mailed to set up a meeting time/place, but the meeting time on the schedule is during wind emsemble -- in which most of the class is enrolled). Also also, I'm tipsy-posting at 00:30 despite having to get up in about 5 hours, because I lurrrrrrve youuuuuuuuuuu....

I had a really lovely, really lazy break. No, seriously. Three weeks from the beginning of intersession to today, and I think I only practised 4 times (gigs at korean churches and quartets at john's don't count). I also didn't figure out traffic school, didn't finish my application for Roosevelt, and didn't make travel plans for my upcoming PLETHORA OF AUDITIONS. (mmmm, plethora.... words taste good...) Nor did I actually complete any reeds, much less any halfway decent reeds. And I haven't figured out when I can have a lesson, either. Dammit.

What, then, did I actually do?

I re-watched Firefly and Serenity with my mum and my brother (my brother was also re-watching, but I think he was happy to have it on the big TV instead of watching it on the little computer through Hulu). Mum really liked it, which made me happy. (I also showed them a couple episodes of Torchwood, which they found less engaging -- as I expected. I was actually really reluctant to watch it with them, for whatever reason. I guess I'm protective of it or something, I didn't want them to react badly because I love it so much, even though I'm perfectly aware of its corny, campy, low-budget, inconsistently-written flaws.) It's definitely gotten me pretty amped up about SDCC this summer with Kat and Malia.

I hung out with people I don't get to see for 10 months of the year, which was gorgeous. I love you all!

I completed a scarf that I started over three years ago (happy late late late birthday malia, i hope it keeps you warm in wisconsin)!

I read about a year's worth of threads in a Torchwood RPG (in which pretty much all the characters are played by writers I really like). Shut up, it's really engaging and well-planned.

I played with the cats. A lot. (no, seriously, like 10 times more than I usually do. they're gonna be so sad when school has started and i don't have time to play that much anymore.)

Speaking of the cats, they had an eventful break. They completely took over my parents house, and learned the joy of sitting in windows. They had their first Christmas (my mum spoiled them rotten, they have so many toys now!). They got neutered (oh god i felt so bad. Baxter actually hissed at the veterinary assistant so I had to put him on the scale to be weighed, and then carry him to their kennel; Ducky was much calmer, but apparently both of them were hissing and struggling when we came to pick them up. and then they said to keep them separate so we shut baxter in the downstairs bathroom and ducky in the upstairs bathroom and they were both anxious and bawling and when i let baxter out he ran upstairs and sat outside ducky's door and it was so sad that finally i let ducky out too and they just curled up together and washed each other's faces and went to sleep.... they were sooooo groggy the whole evening, and i sat with them nearly the entire time). Dad carried Baxter outside again and he got scared and cried (Dad keeps insisting that they want to be outside. No, Dad, I tell him, they really don't. He usually counters by suggesting we get them leashes and harnesses and take them on walks, or by spouting a lot of pretend veterinary research he made up on the spot). Ducky adamantly refused to sit on my brother's lap. And both of them suddenly became huuuuuuuuge -- both of them weigh just over 9 pounds now! Crazy.

Anyway. Now it's been nearly half an hour and I'm properly sleepy, finally. Wish me luck today!

sigmastolen: (Default)
so, remember how i have two projects that i hope to have finished by tomorrow evening?

did not even start.

I was soooo tired today, though, so I napped a lot (not completely intentionally -- baxter lay down on my chest and fell asleep and then i had no choice but to follow suit). I only realised a little while ago that i was tired because I was up for about 23 hours straight yesterday. no wonder, eh?

I guess I'll just have to work my ass off tomorrow, yeah?

In other news, today I broke out an extra blanket because it's winter, yay! and my wrist braces, which I've actually been meaning to wear all week but kept forgetting. Not sure why, but I've been having more problems lately, particularly with my left hand. :c
sigmastolen: (Default)
I am at my parents' house with the kitties and the fish and we're all quite happy, even though Ducky is nervous & doing quite a lot of hiding under tables. OH SO yesterday morning Baxter knocked over the fishbowl... but I was at home, thank god, and was able to scoop Huw up into a cup of water and he seems quite fine now, so that's okay. But now I have to get a new fishbowl. Possibly a covered one? Do they make covered fishbowls, or would that just be a fish tank?

We'll be going to my auntie's house for Binge-Eating, and prior to that I have to get to make pumpkin pies! I love making pumpkin pie.

Also, I got sweet potatoes at the grocery store this week and I'll probably try one of the spiced sweet potatoes recipies I found last Thanksgiving and didn't make yet.

Next week, I will be baking two (2!) vegan chocolate cakes for Friday (and maybe Thursday) -- one for my music ed class because I promised, and one for the reception for the Contempo Flux concert. Also I have a bunch of projects to do, which are due beginning next Thurs. and staggered through the next week or so.

Oh, resolution of massive orchestra angst: I'm off the hook for Messiah, New Master's Student will be playing. It took an awkward ran-into-Maestro-in-the-hallway conversation to get the decision, but at least now I don't have Big-Ass Conflicts? Oooh, I need to get a book about the Constitution and figure out when I'm going to take that test. Perhaps Monday the 7th, I think I have time then.

And, of course, what I'm really supposed to be doing right now, instead of lying in bed with Ducky (Baxter is exploring and being social) and livejournalling, is working on apps -- I've finished the easy bits, now all that's left are resumes and personal statements and work experience and applications for graduate assistantships. These are also the parts I have the least desire to do, naturally. The deadline is 11:59 pm Tuesday for everything, I think, but I want to try to finish before then. *shrug* Honestly, I'm far more concerned with the kitties. ENDLESS ENTERTAINMENT!
sigmastolen: (Default)
1. Grad school: I have Very Kind Professors who have agreed to write letters of rec for me! Now I just need to figure out where to send them. *FREAKING OUT OMG* Also, am I aiming too high? Too low? (probably not the second one.) I still don't even know which programs are good. But anyway, I am making my list (last night, one of my HS teachers suggested another school to me which means I have to find information on another school and then make a decision about it oh god), and I'm gonna try to get forms and addressed & stamped envelopes to my Very Kind Professors... by tomorrow? oh god.

2. Current school: So I thought that after finally doing the last part of my Busywork Choral Methods Class midterm, which I have been sitting on for three weeks, I would be caught up. Except then when I was e-mailing it to Busywork Teacher, I saw an e-mail from Sociopoliticultural Teacher, reminding the class that we have a project due. Tomorrow. He couldn't have reminded us in class last week? Or maybe sent the e-mail before the weekend? And then I didn't even have my folder for that class with me so I couldn't check and see what the requirements are but I know we're supposed to have interviewed a child at the school we're observing at (which is structured very differently for the actual School of Ed students than it is for us -- the way we've been doing things is not conducive to doing these assignments at all, which, ARGH)... And then there are at least two more Big Projects looming in my future, one more for Sociopoliticultural Class and one for Music Ed Seminar, plus a smaller one due Thursday at 11:59 pm for Instrumental Methods Class, and while I've been "boycotting" the actual busywork (primarily summaries of all of the chapters in the book and all of the 90 BAZILLION ARTICLES she gives us weekly and expects us to read) for Busywork Class, I should probably do it at some point because I'm pretty sure it's supposed to go in the Binder Of Everything She Has Assigned Us, Ever, as part of our Totally Bogus Final Grade. AND ALSO!! I'm supposed to have passed the CBEST and a US Constitution test by 15 December, for the credential program. I guess I should maybe register for those things.

3. Bassoon: I just... feel like I am not learning the music I am working on fast enough. And since all the other parts of my life started exploding all over everything, I have not been practising as much as I was, or as much as I would like to. And when I do practise, I keep having weird brain problems -- spontaneously switching clefs, notes translating to the next line or space over, accidentals becoming switched... and it's all in my head, and I can hear how it goes and I can sing it, but whenever I try to play it Something Goes Wrong. And it's incredibly frustrating.

4. Cats: I'm kind of a bad mom. They're about a month overdue for their final vaccination... I don't know if they'll have to start the series over? They can be fixed at the beginning of December, so I need to make an appointment for that, too. And I'm not sure what's going to happen with them over winter break -- if I should get someone to cat-sit for me at my apartment, or if I should just stay at the apartment (no, i want to go home), or if I can/should bring them home with me? I fret.

5. Care and Keeping of Self: I need to make an appointment with the optometrist. I need to make an appointment with the dentist. And I need to start running again, but I am always Too Tired -- in the mornings, too sleepy to haul my ass out of bed, and in the evenings, too worn out from the day (also, it's dark when I get home, which... well, I'm not in the greatest neighbourhood, yeah?) -- and I don't know how to break this cycle of doing things last-minute and not getting enough sleep and being a lazy bum and freaking out. I also don't know how to be less angry, but it would be nice. No, I don't have an hour to go see someone at Student Psychological Services. I really don't.

I've wanted to cry since 7:45 last night but it keeps not happening, and I can't decide if that's good or bad.
sigmastolen: (Default)
He tries not to lose things underneath the furniture, although it doesn't always work; he is very quiet and gentle with things that are new, and taps at them like they might wake up and run away. He also doesn't tear around like a madman, heedless of things that won't move out of his way.

Baxter, on the other hand, jumps on top of things right away, and grabs them with his paws and his mouth and tosses them a little. He makes a ton of noise, and if he's feeling really into running around, he won't bother to slow down or stop, he'll just thud headlong into the mirrored closet doors and ricochet off in another direction. Which is, by the way, an incredibly noisy event. Baxter also talks and cries a lot more (Baxter cries for no reason a lot).

In other news, I am still mid-project, but the kitties are playing, which is always fun, and I am starting to feel really really sleepy, which is No Good.
sigmastolen: (dalek-o-lantern)
Slightly old news, but still awesome:

also, The Coughing has begun. (o hai chest congestion.) Baxter hides under the bed whenever I have coughing fits.

The agenda for the rest of today:
-probably sucking in wind ensemble
-hopefully sucking less than yesterday in Mozart wind sectional
-maybe a tiny bit of contra practise to re-learn Mahler before concert tomorrow
-to Rite-Aid for prescription-filling and re-stocking on various kinds of Sudafed? (the sinus kind, primarily, although cold & cough might not be amiss either)

-that project that was due for my ed class yesterday (hey, I have at least started it!)
-reading for music ed class tomorrow? eh, maybe

shit still need to get fingerprinted for student teaching, still need to register for CBEST, still need to call vet re: kitties' final immunizations, still need to make contacts appointment with optometrist, still need to schedule dentist appointment (which will be even harder because the optometrist is at least open some Saturdays), still need to decide where I'm applying to grad school so I can get down to business.
shit shit shit


sigmastolen: (Default)

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