So…I’m um…in psychology right now, supposedly taking IQ tests. But I’m not really. Because I’m cool and defiant and whatnot…

I was happy to see that somebody scanned some of chapter 121 from HanaKimi, which, in my opinion, has it’s cute moments. However, seeing as they’re zip files, and I’m not home, I won’t be able to look at these until much much later *sigh*

On the other hand, I just recieved a note from the counseling center stating that I have not taken the Illinois or US Constitution Test, both of which I clearly recall taking last year (and passing) last year. Then again, I also recall that something was wrong with the online version of the test we took. So I’m kind of pissed, currently, but I can’t do anything until noon or so. Sometimes I really thoroughly hate the counseling center. This *pause for drama* is one of those times.

Little did she know that friend blog had been set to show 110 entries…

Oh god…I’m watching Marion color in this incredibly cute Satan. Wait. I’ll find the picture! Here. That’s about as cute as Satan could get. Anyway…between this and singing incredibly uninteresting things in choir, I think my brain is slushifying itself or…something.

Last night my mom looked up the gen ed program requirements for U of Iowa. Of course, since I chose a standard university, which will require me to complete gen ed courses regardless of which major I chose, she is concerned. She doesn’t want me to have to be overburdened by classes I generally would not want to take. Especially considering the fact that I only took two years of high school science, and thus have to make up three lab classes as an undergrad. But…Iowa Gen Ed program seems diverse and interesting. Like, as a freshman, some of the classes I could choose from that really interest me are things like Asian Humanities, Languages of the World, Civilizations of Asia, etc etc etc. These are just humanity, history and social science classes that I can take which incorporate something I really like: Japan (you can specify these courses so they focus on China, India, or Japan). As for science, interesting gen ed lab classes include botany, evolution and history of life, general astronomy. I’m certain with the Asian thing there are limitations. I already read something on how many classes you’re allowed to take from one department if it’s not in your major, but you know, still. I don’t know, but it really excites me to be able to really shape my college experience to the way I would like. I keep having images of being forced into taking writing, science and math classes that could possibly bore me or even kill me, but this gives me hope for my future happiness.

Gah! So through scouring information from a combination of HanaKimi sites, I found out that there indeed are things going on that are cute/maybe even progressive. It kind of pisses me off that nobody on the list I’m a member of will freaking talk about these things, though. It’s all about “where can I find these translations?” and “Does anyone want to buy my over-priced Hana/Yume furoku?”, and then a bunch of people asking what the hell has been going on for the last two chapters. Anyway, I shouldn’t get mad at the list. It’s totally my own responsibility to buy the manga for myself to find out. That’s what obsessions do to me. Aiya.

*sigh* I wish that this upcoming summer could be the summer of ’04. Or rather I wish Howl’s Moving Castle would be released a year earlier. Stupid obsessions.

Speaking of obsessions, what the hell is currently going on in HanaKimi?! It’s either not much, or people are being very “kecchi” about whatever it is. I probably shouldn’t be too dependant on the Japanese summaries, either. I think the summaries I’ve read have had personal comments written by the authors, which have managed to confuse me quite a bit. I should actually probably be going crazy over what the hell is going on in Koucha Ouji. It’s been months since I’ve looked at a new chapter of that. But then…considering it took 18 volumes for seemingly anything really really good to happen, I may not have a lot to be concerned about when it comes to progress…

NO MORE CIYS! YAAAAAY! I have no complaints about the concert. I am disappointed that I missed the conductor boat, but I really did like Steve, in the end. Even if he did try to make us play Shos. 5th *sob* Aria this summer is going to be cool! Beverly and I are already talking about playing the Shostakovich Piano trio, which made me clap and jump to the point where her mother made fun of me. We’re thinking of auditioning for From the Top, which to me, seems like some weird and distant dream. It’s completely worth it, though. I could never do something like that solo, but chamber music, maybe. It’s my forte, after all…muahah…ah, I kill myself. Something I realized about Aria is that it’s for piano, flute, clarinet, cello and violins only. And…generally, the majority of my music friends are violists…well…whatever. I’m sure the instrument has nothing to do with it.

A great big thanks go to the person who sent me info on Japanese-lit books I should get my hands on. It’s thoughtfulness like that which really makes me feel good!

I must be the biggest ninny alive…

For the record, I think the only way one can be actually kicked out of CYSO is a combination of poor playing and insulting people. My jury was fine. Alan was extremely nice about it. As is predictable, he didn’t ask for me to play any of the murderous parts of Strauss I’ve been beating myself up for in the past week. I walked out of the room (actually an indoor sports arena of sorts, located in Arlington Heights) with Alan saying “great job”, me feeling about 110% relieved.

But wait! My story gets better! We started to rehearse around 5pm, at which point we did have two extra cellos, but the entire second stand was missing, which I was told they would be gone for the actual concert. This moved me up to third chair. Third chair, people! Which is incredible, even if I didn’t deserve to be there. So like, in the Strauss, there are all these four-part cello solos. At first when we got to that, I was too like…meek and scared to do anything but sit and wonder if I should at least attempt to read those somewhat important parts. We paused, and the first stand turned around and asked someone else to come and sit next to me, so we actually could do the four-part stuff. I halfway apologized for not coming in the first time, and they were both incredibly nice about it. This felt good. Another thing about being up there, even just one stand further, you realize it doesn’t matter where you sit. The first stand isn’t listening for mistakes. Also, the conductor is right there, and really, you don’t wait for your section leader to cue you if he’s right there to give you a cue. I did a lot more leading, myself, than usual. My entrances were sound. I actually played with confidence. And it wasn’t as though I only felt like that when I was sitting third chair. When I went back later on for the concert, I felt the same way! Anyway, Jennifer did show up at the end of rehearsal, so as rotations did have it, I sat 5th for the Mahler, and 3rd for the Strauss.

For a sports arena, the acoustics were amazing. When we played in the arena at Western U, I couldn’t hear my stand-partner. It was quite the opposite in here. The concert itself went extremely well. I think we did particularly well on the Mahler. It’s such a great piece, and considering the fact that we had not touched it in at least a month, our performance was emaculate. Strauss, we fell apart a little. But, it was a pretty good performance considering the piece itself. But…grr! Sitting 2nd stand, I was reading Jennifer’s music, which was like…an original Chicago Symphony Orchestra part and…I couldn’t follow the bowings! Some of them were completely different from the ones in my photocopy part! Also not so great was the fact that I was sightreading I, II desk solo parts during the concert. But…oh well. I’m assuming I won’t have to play those again. One thing I’d like to point out again is that the first stand was extremely nice about this situation…

Anyway, we were all of like…three blocks from Mitsuwa. My dad went there, naturally, and ate a sukiyaki bowl *glowers with jealousy* And then we passed directly by the used bookstore *sob* MAAANGA!

But…to conclude, I’ve been relieved of the major stress that was probably the source of my craziness throughout the past week. I feel pretty relaxed. Heck, I was even antsy sitting through Midsummer on Friday night. Which was very good, by the way! Horaay, Midsummer cast/crew! There were some things I didn’t exactly agree with, naturally, but they were all of little consequence to the overall performance.

Dana and I both agreed on a horrible horrible way of dying: bleeding to death from papercuts. Papercuts, over every square inch of the body, including the eyeballs and the tongue. Huuh..*shudder*

*slinks back to computer* My mother scared me off. But she’s gone now. I’m still here, really. Yeah, earlier she told me how she worries about how much time I waste on the computer. And…I’m still trying to figure whether I’m weary or excited to be leaving next year, but this is one thing that makes me feel good about how I’ll be a tad more independant. I don’t think my mother understands that computer geekiness has become kind of a part of me. I feel frazzled and disconnected if I can’t read/write some good blog entries, or take my frustration through whacking RPG monsters to death. Also, getting permission to go out and do stuff has been hard. There’s always some reason or another that I can’t do something with friends on weekends, or even run two blocks away to visit Jamie and Megan, occasionally. I usually have to bargain practicing or chores to get out of the house. So when it happens that I am bored at home, I usually entertain myself with random stuff on (soon to be) my lovely iMac. And this year especially, I do so much stuff outside of home and school that when I do have free time, I’m just that much lazier.

Anyway, I’ve nearly completed the list of my own soundtrack! Yay! I’m proud of it. Here’s what the list has boiled down to:

Ani DiFranco – Egos Like Hairdos

Bjork – Human Behaviour

Bjork – I Miss You

Cibo Matto – Working for Vacation

Hisaishi Jou – Asian Dream Song

Jill Sobule – The Jig Is Up

Jill Sobule – Clever

Matt Caplan – Broken

Phish – Dirt

Pixies – Motorway to Roswell

REM – You Are The Everything

REM – Maps and Legends

REM – Get Up

REM – World Leader Pretend

Swim – Fall Into the Sea

Stuart Davis – I Need

Shiina Ringo – Yattsuke Shigoto

Tori Amos – Cornflake Girl

I’m probably going to burn it tomorrow night. Would anybody like a copy of my soundtrack?

listening to: bjork – new world

A pep talk for myself is in order: Okay. Today will be no big deal. There’s really very little chance that I’ll be kicked out of CYSO. They need me too much at this point, seeing as we’re down to 8 cellos from 12 last semester. And this is still going to be true, even if I can’t clearly play every note in a difficult Strauss passage. It’s not like I was chosen to play this jury because I couldn’t play. It was just chance, really. Alan is very understanding, and even if I don’t play like Abe, and even if I don’t play like myself, I think the worst that will happen is that he’ll make his “face”, and offer me some advice on how to improve what I’ve just done. At least…I hope.

As you can see, I’m nervous about this. That’s only natural. CYSO auditions do this to me. Even college auditions haven’t been as bad as CYSO.

Oops. I have to leave.

listening to: rem – fruity organ

What happened yesterday wasn’t so much an emotional breakdown so much as it was a “sit and over-analyze until making self cry” sort of thing. I’m under a bit of stress. And it’s weird stress. It’s going between things that bore me to tears, requiring maybe 10% of my concentration, to things that I can’t even seem to do, they’re so difficult. I really hope I don’t get kicked out of CYSO. I’ve worked so so very hard, driven myself so many kinds of crazy trying to play their music and be one of them and find the happy medium of doing what I suspect other people want, and what I want. Translated: CYSO makes me feel like some sort of confused and rejected mutant, CIYS makes me feel like a joke, generally. I can’t wait until this is over with. I really would like to have talked to somebody yesterday, though. But maybe that’s just one aspect of my life I’m still in the process of accepting: nobody else really has to care. I really like having direct peer-support when I’m crazy, but it’s selfish of me to expect other people who are just as busy and stressed as I am to care about stuff that doesn’t really have to do with them, anyway.

I was going to detail our CIYS concert last night, but that would only make me embarrassed. All one needs to know is that it sucked. Shostakovich is probably rolling in his grave still, as we speak. It’s comforting to think that things will be better for the group next year. Comforting enough that it doesn’t bother me that I missed the good-conductor boat, this time. The highlights of last night were the percussion ensemble (SOO RHYTHMIC!!!), the cookies after the performance, and driving home in the middle of a thunderstorm!

I really want to play Tales of Phantasia. But then, I don’t really want to play it, for some reason. It makes me sad that seemingly the only reason I can be friends with some people is that I’m playing the same video game as they are.

Wow, me. Read archives for non whining entries…

I just had the most amazing blogger adventure in the sky. First of all, my entries weren’t appearing after editing my template yesterday, I had noticed. Why this was happening, I cannot say. Repeatedly, I pasted it back into the template box and tested to see my entries all appearing once again. Then I would go the template editing window again, make some miniscule and minor change, and upon publishing anything, no entries. So finally, I did all the stupid little editing things in simpletext, copied and pasted the edited template into the editing window, and bam, things worked again. Considering how…seemingly simple this was, it’s amazing that it took me a good half-hour to fully comprehend. Anyway, here’s my blog again. All working and happy and stuff.

In other news, I had a most incredible emotional breakdown when I got home from school. I could really use somebody to talk to about now…

listening to: phish – the squirming coil

a Simpsons quote: “Did I say corpse hatch? I meant innocence tube…”

So, upon actually thinking about it, and based on the message I’ve been continuously recieving about my blogger template no longer being in existence, I copied and pasted some stuff and managed to replace my template, thus restoring publishing abilities for my blog. I also made a few minor changes (as you’ll notice if you’ll glance to where “posted by” used to be…).

To fill in some blank spots, Monday was awful awful awful. Tuesday was spent recovering from Monday, and today resembled something more of normal day. But let’s go back to Monday. School sucked, yeah, but things didn’t really begin to bother me until a CYSO rehearsal at Orchestra Hall. I’ll just say it was bad, and that people have to play a private jury for Allen this Saturday before our run-out concert. Anyway, that’s all the whining.

We analyzed dreams today in psychology. It was most satisfying and entertaining. For one thing, the only dreams I really remember are those that make no sense, related to nothing evident or obvious. We were asked to write down a dream we’d had, and then anonymously exchange papers and given our take on that dream. Well, anyway, for those of you who haven’t heard about my “spidery dinner” dream, I once dreamed that I was eating dinner with the parents of a friend. I couldn’t identify who these people were, or who the friend was, but I knew that the friend was definitely male. It was a very formal affair. Anyway, they took the lid off of this silver platter, on which there were hundreds of baby spiders. I took one look at the spiders, stood up from my seat, and yelled “I can’t eat them! They’re my friends!!“. Anyway, when I got my paper back, somebody had written “Maybe you have a fear of eating spiders. Or eating your friends”. Yeah. I also told Ms. Smith my “your mother wears army boots” dream, at which she had no explanation. Oh, man, did I scare the kids in my class. Buahahaha!

I’ve been in the process of working on a new blog template for a good five months now. First I had planned on presenting it on New Years Day. Then melody’s birthday. But I just haven’t been feeling in a very “screw with html” mood lately. But that changes um…soon! Recently, my mood has been in a more “screw with RPGs” mood. So I’ve played over 8 hours of Tales of Phantasia, which has got to be the most graphically awesome game ever produced for Super Nintendo. Sound is also a plus. I love how the characters yell “yatta” after winning a battle, or the main innocent female’s “yamete” at getting red slug poison all over her. Plus the battle system rocks. Hmm. This is familiar. Have I blogged about this before? Whatever. Nobody read that entry, anyway. Mfuwah!

listening to: shiina ringo – yattsuke shigoto

Upon thoroughly examining all extras on the Rapyuta DVD, I discovered a few more interesting things about the dubbed version. Right, so it was already mentioned that Pazu’s voice was done (poorly) by James Van DerBeek. Shiita was done by Anna Paquinn, who I personally didn’t feel did too badly. I would never every in my life have figured that Muska (the main evil character) was done by, who else, but Mark Hamill. I had a thorough fit of laughter upon discovering this. Just…whoa. It’s not that he’s all too terrible at it, but his voice just isn’t…well, it’s not right. It amused the hell out of me to hear Mark Hamill talking about voice-acting in one of the extras, saying “Well…Muska is proper, so he seems to speak with almost a British accent, but not quite”. Just…wow. Then, there’s some minor pirate character without too many lines who’s done by Mandy Patinkin. I have a high amount of respect for Mandy Patinkin for more than just the Princess Bride, but I never actually heard his character speak.

I hadn’t been aware that Sen to Chihiro was being released on DVD the 15th, along with Rapyuta and Kiki’s Delivery Service. And…well, posessive me would really like to buy at least two of those. To be sure, this is much more direct and inexpensive than other ways of purchasing these movies. I only feel slightly doubtful about giving my money directly to Corporate Disney, instead of Studio Ghibli. But that’s a fairly dumb reason to hold out from something that I love. I would normally feel bad about not being able to have authentic Japanese thing, too. I like keeping my obsessions to myself, really, and when things I enjoy suddenly become part of a hype, it upsets me. But honestly, Ghibli movies have become favorites of mine, this is one instance where I’m happy if I can share this obsession with others (although, watch out for dubs, considering Rapyuta’s dub version seemed to be missing an important point or two, as Jamie mentioned), especially those who may not be so much fans of anime or manga.

So, general Miyazaki quality has led me to become very very excited about Howl’s Moving Castle, which is scheduled to come out in Summer 2004. I was reading up at Nausicaa.net, about how Miyazaki wasn’t originally the one who was to be directing, but things changed around a bit, and bam! *dances antsily* The same page also made a note of how this may be Miyazaki’s last film. And…this doesn’t surprise or bother me too much, considering the fact that Miyazaki had supposedly retired twice before, but come back to make more movies. So really, we owe him for what he’s given.

Geeze I’m glad I’m blogging about this and not like…talking to people about it *is afraid she scares people with her obsessions*

listening to: joshua kobak – sailing over the ocean (live)

Oh, my gosh. It’s been a while since I’ve listened to this song. My reasons for not listening to Swim as much as I used to are pretty stupid. Swim is such a musically/vocally engaging group, but I was listening to Above and Beneath so much during a kind of…weird time. And after that weird time, every time I would listen to it again, it would make me a tad depressed. So, yeah. Natsukashii, I guess…And as for other musical…stuff, I swiped a live Phish CD from Josh and…now that I’ve heard some non-studio tracks, I have a ton of respect. Just, wow. I have this weak spot for creative and unpredictable chord changes and…just…wow. I’m not sure whether they’re yet on my list of “musical obsessions”, but crap they come close…

It’s been a very Ghibli sort of weekend. I watched Mononoke Hime on Thursday, while notably being at home and not CIYS. For kicks, I listened to parts of the English dub and…oh, why Billy Crudup?! I mean, not terrible dubbing, but certainly not something I enjoy. Then again, compared to the dubbed version of “Castle in the Sky” which came out not too long ago, Mononoke Hime is a gem. Really, James VanDerbeek as Pazu?! It’s just…you can’t put a full-grown and inexperienced voice into a twelve-year-old character, imo…And then I watched (from a tape that’s not mine *waves*) Il Porco Rosso, which was cute, though vaguely ended. I’m certain I missed an important point =) I know it took me a while to come to like Omohide Poro Poro, which I much love, currently!

Blogger is still not letting my entries publish on frowl.org. However, in the blogger editing page, I discovered that when trying to access my template, I get a message that says it cannot be found on the server, and also an email addy to contact if the problem persists. I’m going to guess that whatever this is may be related to the not-appearing of entries. In any case, livejournal treats me well…

BLAH! I posted this really long entry yesterday, or so I thought, until blogger ate it! Oh, it doesn’t matter. It’s been nearly two weeks since I’ve gotten an entry in, anyway. My last entry was about fieldtrip to Navy Pier, and the random fiddling Asian. That’s quite enough to summarize.

Aaaaaaaah, guilt. I hate feeling guilty, but there are so many stupid things I do that result in my feeling like people (teachers and parents, especially) lose respect and trust for me. That’s what spurns my guilt onward, at least in this instance. And if only I had the mind to do work when it needs to be done, instead of putting it off until the last moment, I think I could save myself from feeling so bad. All I do now is play the cello and sit around. I suppose it’s good that playing the cello is included in this. It shows that I’m trying to work hard at what I like, and yeah, but I’m thoroughly forgetting about other things that are important to me. If I’m asking for people to teach me about the things I like, such as the Japanese language and Shakespeare, I need to understand that it is required I do something to support my liking those things. And I just get so…lazy. That is something I should really resolve for next year. Conditioning myself to do the work to get it out of the way. That’s what it is, conditioning. I don’t really motivate myself to do things very well, but if I get myself to do something (such as work) multiple times in a row, it’s succeeding in a process of conditioning myself to do things. I think this is why I can stand to practice, and even feel the need to practice, when I don’t want to play the cello.

Someone recently mentioned that it sucked being your own psychiatrist, but it actually helps me, immensely. I’ve managed to really analyze parts of myself this year, that have put me in totally different perspectives of my quirks and very very bad habits. I find that taking time to go a little deeper actually makes things simpler, and makes me a lot less speculative generally. Honest, too. I’ve always valued honest, terribly, but obviously, things are a little difficult when you’re being dishonest with yourself and other people in certain ways. There ya go. That’s my take on it.

And..I’m not really expecting this to post…

listening to: joshua kobak – drought (live)

A had a rather disheartening day. Abe called my house (!!) the other day while I was at a CIYS rehearsal, and left a message with my dad that there was going to be a cello sectional at 1 on Sunday (-_-;;). I wasn’t at rehearsal last week, but I know from the last time we all played the Strauss together that it wasn’t so hot. The first four players were great. The rest of us weren’t even wrong together. I never called Abe back, because I’m just like that and hate talking to people I don’t know on the telephone, but I’m definitely going tomorrow. So I’ve been trying to work my ass off on that piece for most of the day, generally failing. I’m actually nervous about this sectional. For all I know, it could be just me that shows up. So my goal is to at least have fingerings, and be able to play through passages well enough.

And…the reason I’ve been having all these dreams about my cello teacher stalking me and trying to hurt me…it’s probably a warning that having a lesson will result in something bad. And so this was true, I guess. Greg called this morning, and asked if I’d like to have a lesson later. I was eager, thinking something along the lines of “yay! Strauss help!”. But…oh, it was awful. I’ve had bad lessons before, and this will be one of the bad lessons I remember. I don’t know, I just wanted some fingering help, really, but it turned into this thing about my bow being wrong, and my not reading well, and not feeling the music rythmically, and blah blah blah. These weren’t even like, general concepts that came up. I just had them snapped out at me randomly, and not really remarked upon. It made me feel like such a bad musician. I went straight from that to playing Mozart with my Dad’s student. That lifted my spirits considerably, but through it all I really just wanted to go home and cry for a while. And then my dad’s like “let’s go out for dinner!” to which I was like “um…home, oh but food”. I felt terrible all through dinner. Like I’d just…I don’t know, failed some really important test of some sort.

Lessons like these make me wonder why I do it. I spend all my time involved in music trying to make people happy. Lots of people. Like my music-crazed friends, Mrs. Corpus, Ms. Johnson, Ms. Ehrlich, my parents. That’s a lot of work, in more ways than just playing the cello. I feel like I should stop putting so much effort into all of this, and just concentrate on the cello and making my teacher happy. But then, I love doing all the random crap put together more than I love playing the cello for my teacher, though I do feel bad about saying this. Sometimes I’m bitter about the fact that I’m not the best. I’d like to be up there, accepted to my conservatories and able to make it professionally in life. And then I start to wonder, if I’d just have practiced this much harder through the years, or if I’d just concentrated on one particular aspect of my playing, how much better would I be now, when it really counts? But…I don’t know, I get more satisfaction out of making my friends and teachers happy through being musically involved in all aspects, than I would being I top, I think. So it’s just…hard to come back to the cello and realize the truths about my playing, even if they’re brought out be my teacher being in a bad mood. When it comes down to it, I just want to have fun playing and making music. I don’t want to beat myself over it. Why is that so hard to for this to be so?

In other whining, I’m having control issues with my mother. This is only natural for a close-to-graduating 17 year old, I think. But…ooh, it’s so hard sometimes. It feels as though my mother accepts me well when I’m at home, with intentions of doing homework or practicing or making use of myself. But when I want to leave the house, perhaps see a face from school outside of school, or even just do something for myself, everything is suddenly forbidden. But, the thing that bothers me is that she doesn’t even tell me “yes” or “no”. When I was asking if I could go play monopoly last night, my mother completely changed the topic without even pointing me in the direction of an answer. CHRIST SAKES, MONOPOLY! I mean, I could totally be sneaking into Frat parties, or shopping my money away, or buying drugs or something, and I ask to go and play monopoly on a Friday night. Well, as it turned out, she wanted me to vaccuum the upstairs hallway and finish cleaning my closet first. I understood this, as I had postponed doing it, but it took me a good three or four minutes to actually get this message translated to “When you’ve done this work, you may go”. I suppose I just should have felt lucky that I got to see Spirited Away, yesterday, though she really didn’t have much choice, seeing as I went directly after school. But yeah, Frida showing at the Normal Theatre. I wanted to go. Here’s the conversation that took place over this request:

Me: Would it be alright if I went to see Frida at 9:30? I was going to practice right now (it was like, 8:30 then), so I’d get another hour or so in today. Is it all right if I go?

Mom: Didn’t you want to practice a lot today?

Me: Well, I did this morning, and then I had a lesson…so

Mom: Hmm…

Me: It’s not a good idea then?

Mom: *sigh*

Me: Well, if you don’t want me to go, you can just say so!

Mom: It’s getting late, Talia

Me: *impatient* So then I can’t go?

Mom: Well, you’ll have problems getting up tomorrow.

Me: *yelling* Then you can just give me a simple “no”, right?! Geeze!!

I know this may sound fairly bitchy, but is there a problem with wanting a direct answer to a not-so-very eloquently put question? It’s all I’ve ever wanted, really, and I don’t feel like I ask for very much. I wouldn’t get so mad over not getting to do stuff I’d like if I get just hear a “no”! It’s not like thing are even being doctored up in the nice way, either. The answer is avoided even moreso when my mother is pissed off. I feel…i don’t know. Stuck. Or something. I guess the two things that will make me happy right now are my yellow glasses, and Phish *slinks off to five minutes of quiet before Strauss*

listening to: hooverphonic – blue wonder power milk

Buahaha! Yesterday, I taught five or so violinists how to play the cello. It was rather amusing to me to get up in front of a good number of people and explain “Okay, now. This is the A string. Maybe we can play “mississippi hot-dog” on the A string”. And while I’m still mentioning cello-related things, I feel the need to say that I would really like to quite CIYS, currently. Our rehearsal Thursday was so awful, and it’s our last one before the concert! Honestly, we can’t play the music! I was so intensely nervous sitting 1st, because Steve was on the edge of sort of a breakdown (which, personally, I think is his own fault. I mean, this is too much music, too much of it being very very difficult. After all, it’s only Shost. 5th, the crazy overature and a freaking viola concerto. Jebus!!), and I seemingly couldn’t count once again. I think it’s funny and ironic that I said at the beginning of the year that were there CYSO/CIYS conflicts, I would favor CIYS. I feel the exact opposite, now. I’d rather go to rehearsal in Chicago on the 27th than play what will be an awful awful CIYS concert. I don’t know. It’s not that I’m fully comfortable in CYSO still. But the combination of people and music have grown on me a lot. Sigh. Anyway, my main point was that CIYS sucks.

Well, contrary to prior belief, Spirited Away was still at University Cinemas yesterday. So Renata and I went to a 4:25 showing, and both enjoyed it very much, I think. This was the dubbed version, but frankly, I didn’t mind it! To me, the Japanese version will prevail in the end, simply because it’s what the film originally was, but I don’t have any real complaints about what I saw yesterday.

Later, after getting my new glasses (seeing as I thoroughly jumped onto my old pair in New York), I headed over to Miriam’s house, where there was a serious Monopoly party of sorts going on. I didn’t actually play, but I enjoyed watching and continuously commenting on how evil Walmart–er…Nathaniel was. From the previous sentance, one may be able to guess that Nathaniel was winning, terribly so. In the end, it turned out to be everybody else vs. Nathaniel which, though I left before the game finished, I can guess who won. I mean, everybody else had like, $500 combined. Anyway, it was fun to watch. Especially considering everything was being solved with rock-paper-scissors. Anyway…fun stuff.

Megan D. needs to know what a terrible thing she’s done be introducing me to Phish. -_- It’s hopeless, now. I like them too much to not buy more!

listening to: dar williams – starman

One important thing I learned in school today is that I can’t play the violin. Yeah, so for our last orchestra concert, we’re doing a number in which everyone plays an instrument different from their usual one. So Molly and I are swapping instruments. I don’t understand exactly how the bow should be placed on the string, which might be the cause of this awful awful sound I get. And I’m completely confused as to how one can create even one ocelation of vibrato. So, yeah, Phil switched to violin, too, and he sat behind me, playing the Mendelsohn violin concerto. It’s rather unnerving to have this happen to you when everybody is supposed to be confused and inexperienced. So I turn around and am like “stoop iiiit! You’re not supposed to be that good”, to which Phil replied “but I’m playing so many wrong notes”. The tool. But I love that piece >_<

I found this snes ROM sharing website, cherryroms.com, where you can download pretty much any existing snes game in ROM form. I found this “highly recommended” list, and from it, downloaded this RPG called “Tales of Phantasia”. It’s only been released in Japan, but has been translated directly, to make playing easy. It’s not exactly as intriguing a story as SD3, SOM or Chrono Trigger, but the graphics and battle stuff is really good. Plus, the characters actually use Japanese at random points in time, which can be fun. There’s actually a song after one of the big battle scenes where there is a female voice singing in Japanese. I was surprised, since I’d never experienced that done with SNES games before. It’s a very engaging game, though.

GRRRR. I’m in such a bad mood right now. I don’t even know why. It’s not even as though today has been very bad. I think it may be the general deprivation of sleep that I suffered through the weekend, but I really want to kick the crap out of everybody, currently. I’m really going to attribute this to the sleep thing, with a little crappy weather on the side. I’ve randomly fallen asleep a couple times in the past few days, while just sitting, pretty much. I’ve been having the same dream that my cello teacher is out to kill me, since I hadn’t had a lesson in like two months. Lots of other random stuff. Really bad mood.

On the other hand, I heart Koucha Ouji. Volume 18 has numerous cute things happening. I think the only two chapters I actually missed out of the entire book are the ones where Assam and Taiko have kind of an angsty scene…thing. I just know that Assam really likes humans, but his dad doesn’t, and since it’s in his work that he switches masters so often, it’s difficult when he gets attached (mwehehehe, and he’d freaking better be attached) to certain people. ANd…I don’t know, stuff like that. The last maybe three books have had so much stuff I don’t really follow going on.

And AAAAAH! I sent an email application to Aria last night, like, two hours before the absolute deadline. And, mind you, I still need to send a tape and check, so I was almost positive that I would be put on the wait-list for people turning applications in late. But, lo, I just checked my email, to find that I recieved a very friendly greeting from the director, saying he’s happy I’m applying, and is looking forward to hearing me. That is not what I expected, but it has partially pulled me out of my violent anger. Seriously, I would love to go to this festival. THe faculty are amazing. The guy from San Francisco Con, CIM, and Indiana U are there. I put down Indiana U’s teacher as a first choice, and the guy from San Francisco, second, but I wouldn’t mind studying with any of them. According to Beverly, chamber music there is amazing, too. Aaaah.

A Big One. Mostly on Shiina Ringo

First thing on agenda, yell at Blogger. Second thing, babble on about Shiina Ringo for some time. Her new album is, as I mentioned before, amazing. I purchased it at Kinokuniya in NYC, which I had actually been hoping to do from the very start. In any case, I’ve been listening to it almost completely for the past five or so days, which explains why I’m acquanted with every track on the album so soon after buying it. I like every single song on the album. I can listen to the entire thing straight through pretty much, and be thoroughly engaged, as opposed to most CDs I own, even if they’re really great CDs. I could say that the quality of this is equal and/or greater to Swim’s Above and Beneath. And, crap, people, I was listening to that CD for about three months straight.

Anyway, songs that I like: Doppleganger is really cool. It starts quietly, notably, using two-measure clips from previous singles, which actually fit very well. Then the main chorus is upbeat, with a strong and very active electronic drum-beat. All three songs on the Stem single were there, and remixed. Ishiki and Meisai were only slightly modified, but I really liked the little adjustments. Stem was completely remixed, and I like the album version terribly. It’s a little more upbeat, but somehow more eerie because of the added long-tones throughout the thing. The album version of Yattsuke Shigoto is completely different from the live version, though I liked it equally. It’s basically like a Pizzicato Five song, but with random instruments that don’t belong, like I think a koto, a traditional harp, some other things. Dorikoshi gurou starts out with a male-vocal singing fifths for a base-line, and then it turns into another something like Pizzicato Five song. At the bridge of the song, a piano comes in, with what I swear are the most brilliant chord changes I’ve ever come accross. One last incredibly notable song, is the last one, Souretsu. It uses the same vocals/song structure two times, first time using a mono-chord pattern with sitar and electronic effects, then harp with broken chords. A pipe-organ fades in after a while for a most amazing final effect. Souretsu means “funeral procession”, so it is a rather morbid song. It’s weird that this was the song in my head when we stopped at Ground Zero. The entire album has a vaguely sorrowful and morbid feel to it. Then, this is the first time I’ve been looking into lyrics a little bit more, so perhaps this is just my impression of the music plus lyrics. In any case, it was an excellent CD to have continuously playing while driving through NYC.

Anyway, the reason I was so anxious to buy this CD is because it’s a copy-protected CD, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to find any of it’s tracks on the internet. Funny thing, because upon inserting it into my computer, it was difficult to play, but the tracks still ripped immaculately. Meaning that my wondering Mac with it’s iSwipe don’t apply to this or something? I don’t know, but it’s a pleasure to know I can force random songs I like onto people, MUAHAHAHAHA.

listening to: bjork – who do you think you are? (live@union chapel)

Tadaima *snerks at remembrance of LLL* New York was, in one word, incredible. I could retell every single detail, but that would take some time, and interfere with some incredible time-wasting I’m in the currently in the middle of. So anyway, saw the Lion King, which was amazing in several ways, but mostly visually for costumes and set. Friday night, saw NY Philharmonic playing all Prokofiev, Rostropovich (Slava) conducting. There was the Russian Overature, and then Sinfonia Concertante, which is the revised and seriously whoop-ass version of cello Concerto No. 2. The way Xavier Philips played it made me want to go out and put down my $50 some-odd for one of those insanely expensive parts at that very instant, whether or not I would ever be able to feasibly play it. It was great to hear Romeo and Juliet played live. I was surprised at some of the tempos throughout particular movements, but I couldn’t argue with Slava, seeing as he knew Prokofiev, and is um…Russian. After the performance, most everybody went to the green room to meet the artists. I did not, for some stupid reason. I don’t know. At the time I felt I was in too much of a stupor over how amazing it had been to go off and meet people who I don’t actually believe can exist. But my dear friend Jenny got Slava’s autograph for me *sob* He wrote “to Talia” *sob*

We did so much other crap. I can’t easily think of half of it. Yesterday we ran around Time Square and 5th Avenue (at which time I had an interesting adventure of which you should ask me in person ^^), which I didn’t entirely enjoy for it’s…I don’t know. It was generally very overwhelming and expensive. Not my place. I much preferred the shabiness and darkness of Chinatown, Little Italy. Places like Lincoln Square, too. To be sure, I loved the trip. New York is an amazing city, but in the end, I think I prefer Boston.

Ironic I should choose those words. I opened a letter from New England Conservatory today, to recieve the word I had suspected from the very beginning, that I was not admitted. It’s okay, I don’t mind this time. Any sort of bitterness or disappointment in me was completely depleated from my system after recieving word from Oberlin. Also present is the understanding that I was competing against a good fifty other cellos, most of which I’m guessing from what I heard and saw, were superior musicians. I also feel better since I had a decent audition there, and didn’t manage to embarass the snot out of myself in one way or another, as I did at Oberlin. Once again, though, I would just like to mention that I do not exactly appreciate the way my dad greets me, as I come out of the audition saying “Oh, you’ll get a full tuition scholarship with the way you play”. I find it actually unsettling. But, hey. It’s over. And next time I have auditions, I’ll be able to take myself to places, wheehee!

Something for next time: Shiina Ringo’s new album, which I bought, along with three manga at Kinokuniya. It is…amazing. A review of some sort is in order.