I Think I Know, Now

listening to: massive attack – teardrop

Wow. Wow. Wow. In the course of about four hours, some very amazing things happened. Particularly three.

One) Bang on a Can All-stars. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. They played a piece of four ’60’s tunes, in their own interesting style. The percussionist started out at the drum-set, one hand playing a standard simple beat matched with the bass-drum. With his left hand, he played the cow-bell, in a completely different time. Like, It wasn’t even 3/4 within 4/4. It was just…a completely different beat. But somehow it managed to fit with other things going on. Then they did two really awesome arrangements (remixes, in essence) of two Lou Reed songs. They were great. The second arrangement had the most wonderful cello part going on underneath (their cellist was so great. I want to be her). Then they did a Phillip Glass piece, “Piece in Fifths”. They basically played from the tonic to the dominant of a scale, but they did it in fifths, and changed something at the signal of the guy playing the keyboard. It was really amazing, because it would change from favoring the tonic or dominant, and that’s what made something sound like it was cadential or building tension. It was great. After the intermission came the highlight of the entire evening. “In C”. By Terry Riley. With Terry Riley. He sang/played keyboard. It is impossible for me to convey how I feel about it, because it made me insane. The rhythm and everything about burried itself into my head. Um, if you want to know specifically about the piece, you can download instructions and a pattern sheet here. It’s very interesting, even if you aren’t a musician. Take a look.

Two) I got to really talk to Mary. Mary and I share the same enthusiasm for music. And, I don’t mean performing. I mean discovering/listening. There’s an art to that I think a lot of people miss out on. Especially other musicians. In any case, I’m going to force Shiina Ringo on to her. It’s going to be excellent.

Three) I got back to the room and found that Erica had called me. Twice. So I called her back and we talked for some time, and it was so good. Really good. My sister and I have never been too close, but she really talked to me more like a friend than anything for one of the first times and it was awesome.

Overall, today = excellent. Tomorrow will be good. IC photography. Dinner at Bread Garden with Suzanne, Melissa, and Jackie. Practicing. Laundry. Sleep. Relaxing. Regaining my sanity. Possibly losing it by freaking out about minimalist music, again.

Long Black Dress Hawaiian Shirt

listening to: hooverphonic – electro shock faders

Today has been so extremely nice.

I went to Pioneer Co-op and bought some provisions, the most notible being spinach, organic yogurt, and black bean dip (mmmmm). That in itself made me excessively giddy, because I love all three of these things. Then I went running. And it was SOOO nice out, and I pushed myself fairly hard. I’m trying to work my way up in increments of five minutes. Right now, I can get over 25. I’m going for 30 starting next Saturday. It’s hard to know how much work I really do, because I like running up a lot of stairs towards the end of the run, and sometimes I don’t and…yeah.

I just got back from dinner at Hillcrest with Jackie, Suzanne, and Suzanne’s twin sister, Melissa. It was a very good dinner. We talked about embarassing stories and chemistry things I didn’t exactly understanding. Jackie and I discovered that not only are we partners in Beatle-obsessing crime, but also in Monty-Python/MST3k-hoarding crime. Exciting.

Soon I’m going to be off to see Bang on the Can All-stars and Terry Riley at Hancher with my friend Mary. I am excited about this because, it’s TERRY RILEY. I don’t know if there’s a feasible way I can convey how cool this is as a musician/wannabe composer. He is very important to music as a minimalist (although I am generally a large fan of Steve Reich, in ever way), and this is reason enough for me to jump around.

Nageru

listening to: cornelius – drop

Today ought to be good. I mean, especially pleasant for a change. First of all, I’m listening to Cornelius. Second of all, it’s Saturday.

I’m going to Pioneer Co-op to buy a couple essentials + SPINAAACH! I am DYING WITHOUT SPINACH! I look forward to a walk in the nearly 50 degree weather. Later I’m going to go running. I haven’t been able to run since last Saturday because of scheduling and other reasons. Then I’m going to see Bang on a Can All-stars w/special guest *gasp* Terry Riley!

I slept for ten hours. Oh my god. Over the week, I averaged less than five hours a night. Which I think may be part of the reason I have been so thoroughly crazy.

There’s Definitely Definitely Definitely No Logic…To Human Behaviour…

listening to: björk – human behaviour

You know, it’s ironic. Last semester, I just tried to let everything sink in. I tried to be passive and let everyone else have their way if it made them happy. That and it’s always easier to let other people make the decisions for you. In turn, it was bad for me, because suddenly I was just sort of letting people do things in whatever manner they desired without really letting them know how I felt if I didn’t necessarily agree. It was never too much of a bad thing for me. The most that ever happened is I would be extremely innerly irritated by things, but walk away and forget it when it was done and over with.

So why is it that when I’ve felt myself becoming overwhelmed by certain things this semester and have tried to share the way I feel with somebody who can help, not only are things not resolved/improved, but they become worse? I feel like every time I’ve tried to speak up about something that’s really frustrated me, I’ve made other people go out of their way and in essence waste their time over me for no reason, as well as frustrate other people. Then again, knowing that I’m extremely paranoid and partial to other people, it’s possible this is just the part of me talking that wants to stay out of everyone’s way. There’s no way for me to decipher.

Is there a balance between these two things? Or, better question yet, can I attain that balance, or find the will to speak out for myself?

I feel rather hypocritical at the moment. I want people to be honest with eachother and with me. But I with-hold a lot of truths from people, too. It’s not as though I lie, but I don’t always tell the whole truth. And I still expect people to be open with me. There’s a lot more to this. More on it, later.

Two good things: I ran into (conductor) John today in a Voxman hallway, and he proceeded to speak with me for a while in Japanese, only. The Japanese portion of the conversation must have been 3 or so minutes long (this is long for me. truly). Not only did it make me feel like somebody out there cares, but it made me realize that my speaking skills are far less vague and helpless than they were before the beginning of this semester. John said that I simply have to study abroad. Hearing that made me grin wider than I have in a week. This man is telling me the thing I’ve been dying to hear for the past three years. And he says it’s possible to incorporate music.

During our crazy minimalistic-composer conversation in aural skills on Thursday, a girl from my class and I discovered that we were both going to see the Terry Riley concert on Saturday night, but had not yet ordered tickets. So today we went to the box-office and ordered them together. She’s an excellent person. I think I’ve made a really nice friend.

I need to provide my twit-stomach with some food.

Les Jours Tristes

And to think a french accordionist and his friend could make me feel better with this…

It’s hard, hard not to sit on your hands

And bury your head in the sand

Hard not to make other plans

And claim that you’ve done all you can all along

And life must go on

It’s hard, hard to stand up for what’s right

And bring home the bacon each night

Hard not to break down and cry

When every idea that you’ve tried has been wrong

But you must go on

It’s hard but you know it’s worth the fight

‘Cause you know you’ve got the truth on your side

When the accusations fly, hold tight

Don’t be afraid of what they’ll say

Who cares what cowards think, anyway

They will understand one day, one day

It’s hard, hard when you’re here all alone

And every else has gone home

Harder to know right from wrong

When all objectivity’s gone

And it’s gone

But you still carry on

‘Cause you, you are the only one left

And you’ve got to clean up this mess

You know you’ll end up like the rest

Bitter and twisted, unless

You stay strong and you carry on

It’s hard but you know it’s worth the fight

‘Cause you know you’ve got the truth on your side

When the accusations fly, hold tight

And don’t by afraid of what they’ll say

Who cares what cowards think, anyway

They will understand one day, one day, One day

I love Yann Tiersen. Fabulous song.

Insanity = LOOK SO GOOD

listening to: rem – you are the everything

Insanity somewhat lessened. Why? Generally because I have the best friends a person could have. Also because I did some thinking and realized that though I am still wallowing in this unavoidable weird guilt complex, I think I can see reality somewhere through this haze, and it’s not looking too bad.

I have a theory assignment to do.

I’m pseudo tickled-pink that people are discovering my blog. I’m still very frustrated that people are not talking to me about things upfront.

I want to re-do my about page. I think it should consist only of: My name is KitsuneMin. I like Japan and green. And probably music. I dislike silverfish and dishonesty. Shall we eat eel pie together?

Yeah. The last week and a half has been such hell.

Tout Est Calme

listening to: yann tiersen – tout est calme

Does it ever happen that you think you’re an okay person, that you’ve worked hard and other people might think you’re okay, too, when suddenly something is thrown at you that makes you realize you’re not okay at all, but rather nasty, a cop-out, and in fact, a bad person? This description fits me, right now.

Maybe it’s the guilt complex talking again. Maybe it’s real. I don’t know.

I can safely say that this has been the most unstable seven days I have experienced. Ever.

Ceasing to be whiny…now.

Continuing to love Yann Tiersen a lot, though.

Uh, Yeah…

listening to: kronos quartet – synchrony no. 2

I have to go to Japanese like…now. But…um, yeah.

I love my music theory TA. He’s so cool, I can hardly believe the cool-ness of it all. I walked in this morning and he had “Steve Reich” written on the board. And I ask if we’re listening to Steve Reich today, and it turns out we are. And then I exclaim that I love Steve Reich, and we talk about Different Trains and Music for 18 Musicians, etc. So then he plays a Terry Riley piece, the first piece every to be considered minimalism, published/performed first in 1964. And he asks us what we think, and I’m just sitting there thinking “You rock because you know everything and have us listen to really amazing music in class”, but Quentin says he it should be interesting to him, but isn’t because it has elements of…well… a lack of music, essentially (his argument was actually interesting. He somehow related it to improvisation). And then Luke says “but you know, the thing about recordings is that everything is just being reproduced. Did you ever think of that? And if you listen to the same recording over and over again, you’re missing out on a lot of other possibilities in music. It’s never live and in the moment”, and made Quentin at least go “hmm” (this is hard for me to explain). But then we started talking about how different things are for music now, in that there are so many recordings of the same piece, and that everything is just reproducing the same thing over and over again (which is my main reason for feeling like I want to compose, other than trying to beat the music in my head….uh, out of my head).

Then I also brought up the point that with all of the current digitalized recording technology, they’re shooting for a level of perfection that cannot actually be attained by the performers. IE, parts of classical music have become fake fixers to make things sound better. Where’s the creativity and musicality in that? Of course that’s only one opinion, and by listening to different recordings, you’re getting many brushes of the creativity within one piece. Also, listening to LPs is nice because you don’t have that digitalized aspect of perfection to consider so much.

Of course, I’m speaking mostly about classical music. I think a lot of today’s technology has become a really essential part to a lot of pop music in a lot of ways. But…still. Isn’t it nice to sit down and see somebody just perform without all of the little tricks and keys to perfectionism? One name: Tori Amos.

Energy + excessive amounts of enthusiasm + nerdiness = above.

Anyway, I totally want to marry Luke. Why can’t every musician be like him? Aaah! Stupid Grad/PhD Student (in his case) idolizing!! Stop it, brain! Admire people your own damn age!

Hand In Hand With The Electronic Renaissance Is The Way To Go

listening to: belle and sebastian – electronic renaissance

I’ve decided after a very long while of pondering, that I like Belle and Sebastian. A lot. I think this song was my conviction for that. It’s just so…oh my gosh. I’m in 1990 again. In a very good way. (… Even though I was only 5 in 1990, yes…).

I’ve calmed down sufficiently. A lot of people were very nice to me about everything, but it was my mother who reminded me that I’m just a human, and will be stressed out and tired and forgetful of important things. Thanks, mom.

But I was sort of thinking about my reaction to being stressed out and feeling irresponsible. This isn’t always evident to myself, but I have a really strange guilt complex. I’m usually perfectly fine and dandy with the way things happen. But then I get lazy, and something bad happens because of it. Such as missing a deadline or lack of preperation for a cello lesson or something. Mostly that last one. So, let’s say I’ll get out of a lesson that was rather “meh” because I didn’t feel prepared. And my teacher is always very very nice about everything, so it’s not as though he would purposefully make me feel bad about it. But then I get to thinking about how when I actually have time to be practicing and getting important things done, I go and throw it all away by sitting around doing absolutely nothing. And then I realize that I’m disorganized to top it all off, and become disgusted with myself. I get to thinking about how my parents have given me the opportunity to go to school and better myself, and throw in all kinds of meaningless toys like computers and cell-phones and electronic equipment, but that I’m not even working to fulfill any of these things. And there are people in the world who don’t have this opportunity. They don’t have the money, or they just don’t have what it takes. I do, and what am I doing? Absolutely nothing. This is usually as bad as it gets. Self-disgust.

And then, it takes a little advice from a someone close or reading or just a bit of pondering to myself to realize that I’m not all that horrible! I do work hard, and it’s especially gratifying to realize this when I compare myself with some of the other students I’ve encountered. You know, the ones who don’t go to class and really just live to have their weekend kicks of drinking/partying/etc (or as was the case with my second room-mate, week-night kicks). I mean, maybe they’re here for more than this but all I hear is “let’s go get smashed”, or all I see are the masses of hot-looking girls walking around in downtown Iowa City, exposing themselves and walking into bars. And then I stop and realize that I’ve just come out of PrarieLights with something new to read, or am looking forward to a relaxing bit of music-making when I get back my dorm, and I feel not only better about myself, but happy and productive with what I have without the deadlines or supposed work I need to prepare for the next lesson. And what’s more important in the long-run, feeling that you’ve been busy/productive/stressed or happy?

So I don’t know. In any case, I do feel bad about not living up to my own more-than-likely high expectations for myself. Especially when other people get involved. I hate inconveniencing people. I know it’s bad that I try to humble myself so negatively, but I just don’t want other people to have to involve themselves in my dealings unless they absolutely have to be.

–but, hey! Self! Self?! Will you stop being stupid?! Your cello-teachers?! That’s too far! After all, in being a teacher, you should want to care for your students! You should WANT to help them out and go out of your way for them, time and again! That’s how I feel when I imagine what being a teacher would be like. So…it’s really not like I should feel so guilty about asking for a letter of recommendation, or some extra help, or even just expressing a frustration over something insignificant!

So…yeah. I can imagine that humbling myself doesn’t do wonders for my problem of seeming cold, as if I never feel I should ask for help, it probably makes me look haughty and pretensous. Which might explain recent circumstances within the cello section, in which I thought I was minding my own business, but was apparently causing chaos for a few sensitive others.

The lesson for today is that it’s okay to be human. I should try to accept my own humanity and be happy with myself as I am instead of getting all frustrated and analytical when things go wrong. Because…things just go wrong sometimes.

Mweh.

Stopping now. But…yes. I was just…overwhelmed by my own…weirdness.

Losing It

listening to: modest mouse – neverending math equation

I feel like such a bum, today. I can’t think. I can’t get anything in order. I can’t practice. I can’t pay attention.

I’m forgetting about everything important (from words to housing-application fee deadlines). I think this lack of sleep + being absurdly busy + wanting to be lazy is beginning to take its toll on me. I am losing it. I mean, my mind. My brains. My sanity. I want it back!

I shouldn’t spend so much time sitting on my ass reading and translating when I could be organizing things and doing work and practicing. Grrr, self.

I think I need a mother, again. Because this is ridiculous. My room is a mess. My schedule is a mess. I am a mess.

My parents are going to yell at me when I call them tonight. That’s okay, though. Aaaaaaaaah.

*stabs self in eye with cello-bow*

And What About The Deal On That Flying Trapeze

listening to: tori amos – muhammad my friend (live)

There’s this conductor…and…he’s a student. And that’s fine but…the primary things I require from any conductor are: (1) a downbeat. That’s it. And it’s not happening. Our concert is in a month, but I’m actually worried.

Augh. Nothing says “use your date-book” more than running across campus for a seminar that doesn’t exist. Apparently when the chamber music people said “seminar every other week”, they really meant “generally every other week, except for when we just don’t feel like having it”. Honestly, though, I wish I were more organized. But I’m so lazy. Er, less lazy than I used to be. I mean, I’m better with doing schoolwork more promptly and thoroughly but…not so much with the organization of my own possessions stuff.

In other things, I started working on the second mvnt of Shostokovich and…wow. I’m impressed with the piece. But I’m also impressed with myself. Because I’m not having problems like I used to. Just wow. Go me. It’s sounding really good. Maybe I’ll have another recital this summer. And maybe this time I’ll actually have a program. I mean, like, a good program with repertoire.

Drat!!! I’ve been caught!! Stupid registrar’s office! I was never signed up for chamber music, the class. And I didn’t care. I asked Hannah for one of the add/drop slips signed, and she just handed me a blank add/drop slip. Which was fine except for the lazy-factor. Uuuh. That combined with a serious lack of time to track down my advisor and my frustration with so much fuss over playing I and V quarter notes that I just ceased to care. But then I got this email. And it said I wasn’t registered and I needed to be and…woe. So now I’m going to have to figure out when to get an advisor signature and blah blah blah. But on the other hand, I’ll have a full 17 hours in my schedule o_O

Oh but…my total lack of sleep is starting to get me. I should like…give myself a break from all this crap and go to bed. Right after I finish studying for my kanji quiz, wOot.

This Is An Indication Of No Life

This actually just happened in the chat:

Jamie: hey talia, I just noticed that KitsuneOnna is KO too >D (KO as in Koucha Ouji)

Talia: *FLAIL*

Talia: You’re right!!!!!!!@

Jamie: *lmao*

Jamie: *genius*

Talia: it must be…a…sign?

Jamie: but for what?

Jamie: unfortunately it’s not an A and a T u.u;; (A and T as in Assam and Taiko, main love prospects)

Talia: *GASP*

Talia: JAMIE

Talia: T and A are the first two letters of my name!!!!!

Jamie: O____O It’s true!

Talia: <--needs life
Jamie: oh my god

Jamie: I think we officially qualify for the idiot award, talia

Jamie: We’re certifiable at this point

It’s so true. And kind of sad. But oh well.

Immediately following this in the chat…:

Talia: no kiddin

Talia: g

Jamie: wtf is wrong with your keyboard?

Talia: my HANDS are what’s wrong with my keyboard

Look No Further

listening to: björk – it’s in our hands (royal opera house, live)

Wow, Björk is amazing live. This is just…I mean, I love the albums terribly, but this is simply amazing. Why does it get better? A good cheese ages? I think Björk is more of a composer than a pop singer. I saw an interview with her on Charlie Rose, and she does all the music, first. She hardly thinks about the lyrics/vocals. It’s all just the sounds the perfection of the electronic music. I love love love her music for that. I’d say she used Debut as a way to propel her popularity and test herself on her own, and then grew from that point. She was popular enough with enough money and support that she could do anything, and yet still draws the fans. I theorize that Royal Opera House was her taking the songs as far as they would go, and giving them the most. Love. Love. Love.

I’m feeling better. For numerous reasons. I’ve ignored everything important, but I’m burried in Koucha Ouji again, so it’s okay. Blogback is offering service to new people, and I like blogback better than yaccs. I’m thinking of switching over. Discovered that my recent running bouts have not only been relaxing for me, but good for my body. I’ve decided I’m going to Co-op tomorrow, and I’m going to buy a large bag of spinach and eat that to my heart’s content. All of this crap dorm-food has left me hungry for everything. I need something real and green and good. I love spinach so much. I could eat it for days at a time.

Bah. Stupid random cranky bouts.

*~*~*~*~ (addition)

Renata: you are TEH r0x0rs. Thanks for that link. It fixed up the page (although I haven’t uploaded it yet). Yeah. I’ve used that page before but like…I think I have that saved on IE at home…and…not here. So…wOOt. Yes.

Ichi Ni San Shi Ichi Ni San Shi Ichi Ni San Shi Ichi Ni Ichi Ni

listening to: shiina ringo – koufukuran (rock-some version)

Doing laundry. Wasting time at computer. Avoiding important things. I mean, important things other than laundry. Laundry is pretty important. Feeling restless and useless and generally…well, how do I say this…unloved. Koucha Ouji was making me feel lovely (or loved) for a while, but then suddenly I didn’t have time to translate, and I realized that a lot of the good stuff that’s coming really still has a while to come, and also that I’ve done three chapters in the last two days (I finished 8), and that I can probably take a little break.

*pause for laundering*

I’m far happier living here. Sure, it’s a little warm and there’s far less action, but I really value having space and air to myself. I like the view. I can sort of stare out my window for a while thinking about absolutely nothing or stupid things and not think of weirding out the next person to walk in.

I didn’t sleep much last night. Maybe I slept too much on the weekend, because my body just wouldn’t let me fall asleep last night. I feel fine today, though. Maybe a little moody. A little lonely. A little bit lacking concentration.

Sometimes I get so tired of being me. I mean, I like the music-y part of me, and I have a lot of confidence in it, but sometimes I get so tired of doing this every day and just having to deal with the things that I have to in particular. Right now I think it would help me if I could just find a grassy spot and lay looking at the nothingness that is the sky for a while without any music to mess with my brain, maybe I could clear my head and feel more me-like. Or…less me-like, depending on how you view this “I’m sick of me” thing. Although, honestly, reading is an easy way to take care of this. Probably not one I will partake of much tonight, though. Stupid things I need to get done. Stupid computer to distract me from the stupid things I need to get done, and thus, never get to read.

I feel kind of marooned.

Message in a bottle? Anyone?

Not Much, How ‘Bout You?

listening to: blonde redhead – melody of certain three (live)

random amusing quotes: “The sun is out, the weather is warm, Ralph Nader has entered the presidential election! What could make today better?!”

I am a translating fiend. Since yesterday, I have finished tsp 6 and tsp 7. Aah. Life is good. Or something. Anyway, I’m on a roll, and it’s a lot of fun. I never thought I would ever get to the point where I could do two chapters in a day! Woo!

Although, I was trying to design a bare-bones html page, with some tables for the chapters. But I was having problems with my tables because volume 1 only has five chapters, and the rest have six. I became severely frustrated.

This was the result.

If you have any idea of how to fix it, please tell me. Although, I’ve been told I should leave it that way, because it’s amusing (to which I concur, it is amusing).

So, yeah. Nothing else new. Pretty much KO and music theory for the last 24 or so hours. And Japanese, I suppose.

Mashiingo Zenzen Wakannai

listening to: bjork – modir (lutamix)

I finally finished translating the first volume of Koucha Ouji. I can’t promise 100% accuracy/quality, but considering my limited Japanese, I think they’re pretty good. I’m definitely going to go through and fix a lot of stuff, but I want to post something to feel like I’ve been productive. For viewing pleasure: tsp 1 tsp 2 tsp 3 tsp 4 tsp 5

Maybe I was just tired and listless or something, but chapter 5 was a relentless bitch to translate. I think because it was so boring, and there’s a lot of computer jargon I couldn’t understand. I mean, I get a lot of English computer jargon, that’s fine. But it’s really hard to thoroughly translate a lot of those things in a foreign language like Japanese. That one is least accurate, I can promise you. Having finished it, I have a better idea of what happened specifically, so I’ll probably go back and edit, soon.

It’s Alright ‘Cause There’s Beauty In The Breakdown

listening to: frou frou – let go

Nnn. Koucha Ouji, why do you hurt my brain so much? I’m within about five pages of finishing my translation of volume one. But…ah! It’s so boring! And suddenly there’s so much reading-less kanji I have to look up. At this point, it has little to nothing to do with the tea princes, or even Taiko. It’s just people arguing with the student council about posting club recruitment materiel on boards around the school. Just…aaah!

So I’ll admit that things start off a little…err…slowly. But man, is KO cooking by book 4! And…MAN is it cooking right now!!! AAAH! KOKUHAKUUUUUUUU SARETAAAAAA! *flails and falls over*

Interesting things left to discuss: 0

I think I want to try and get out to take pictures of things tomorrow. Since the weather is being so polite, it would be nice. But then, Sundays are my days of great ambition, where I want to try and get everything done. And usually fail. So we’ll see.

Other than that, I think the eagles are gone, but there are definitely a pair of hawks that are crying out and flying past my window a lot. I appreciate all of this bird of prey interaction I’m receiving. All I’m used to is parrot who believes himself to be bird-of-prey/human. Ooh, but I miss him.

Iron Chef. Or sleep. I don’t know. Cable is nice. But sleep is better.

Pointlessness

Hmm. Rebecca did these. And I’m bored, so I’m swiping them. Yay, I guess!

Write a random phrase from each of the following:

Nearest book to you: “Koucha Ouji no shigotonano desu (In English: It’s the work of a tea prince)” — Koucha Ouji, volume 1.

Nearest cd insert: “I’ve got nothing to say but it’s O.K, Good Morning Good Morning Good Morning…” — The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Nearest piece of paper that you wrote on: “Compare checking stuff–ASAP” — I’m that responsible

Nearest piece of paper that was written to you: “Here is some unmysterious cash!” — My muzzah

Something on your desk: an ArtsIowa add

And then this one:

Step 1: Open your MP3 player.

Step 2: Put all of your music on random.

Step 3: Write down the first ten songs it plays, no matter how embarrassing.

1. R.E.M. – Try Not To Breathe (live)

2. Enon – Raisin Heart

3. Shiina Ringo – Mayonaka wa Junketsu

4. Shiina Ringo – Honnou (live)

5. Shadowy Men From A Shadowy Planet – Kids in the Hall theme

6. Shiina Ringo – Love + Peace

7. Tori Amos – Liquid Diamonds (live)

8. Hooverphonic – The World Is Mine

9. Enon – Elected

10. Bjork – Hunter (Live Union Chapel)

Hmm. My playlist wasn’t being as various as I would have liked. And I can say there isn’t even too much Shiina Ringo on there, either. I’ll have another go, perhaps.

1. Asteroid No. 4 – Honeyspot

2. R.E.M. – Radiosong (acoustic with intro)

3. Hooverphonic – Battersea

4. Björk – Undo (Live Royal Opera House)

5. Modest Mouse – Sleepwalking

6. R.E.M. – Everybody Hurts (acoustic) (P.S.–I hate this song)

7. Modest Mouse – Dramamine (live)

8. R.E.M. – Winged Mammal

9. Sugarcubes – Blue Eyed Pop (remix)

10. Theyr – Tedrukkinn

Aaah. Definitely better. Good job, playlist!

Maybe Not From The Direction You Are Staring At

listening to: bjork – all is full of love (guy sigsworth mix)

AaaaAaaAH! What is this?! High school?! Forgive me, I thought for a moment I’d try and concentrate on something more important to me than being popular and nice…such as music. So pardon me, really.

Yeah. Enough of that.

The music theory lecture room has really strange acoustics. I always have problems hearing our teacher until she talks at the chalk-board. And then I can hear her loud and clear. I can barely understand her when she turns to the sides of the room. And yet somehow, every sound coming from the area where the students sit is magnified. People will just be turning pages of the textbook and professor Nez yells “will you people just be quiet?!”. It’s fairly strange.

Hmm. That would be an interesting thing to add to a room in a haunted house or something: completely freaky acoustics. Like when you make noise in one end, the sound seems to be coming from the opposite side of the room. Or you’re standing away from your companion, they speak, and where their voice should reverberate across the area, it’s like they’re speaking directly next to you. Yeah, I know this is not within the laws of physics, but that’s why the word “haunted” came to mind. It would creep me out, in any case…

Sono Toki Subete Kowareochita…

listening to: shiina ringo – suberidai (live)

random amusing quotes: “There certainly is a lot of groping going on in Ancient China”

Mmm. Best possible electric organ solo, ever.

Mmm. Japanese. I love the Japanese department here, so so much. I’ve never had grammar and kanji stroke-order and vocab so thoroughly drilled into my head before. I’ve always loved Japanese, but I feel that the way we’re being taught is so thorough, I’m at a complete loss of words. Something I find particularly interesting in learning kanji is that we’ve been analyzing kanji compenents based on Archaic Chinese, which is pretty interesting within itself, being that they’re basically pictographs.

I wish I didn’t have this desperate need to be almost 100% musical all the time or I’d just commit myself to Japanese things. Mmm.

Speaking of things Japanese, good luck to Megan and Jamie with JET interviews!! You guys will be investiga-awesome no matter what!

I now have my Shostokovich together. I have to say that it’s just sort of fallen into place within my fingers. I’ve never been so sure of what I’m doing before. It feels great. I finally practiced with Hikari, my accompanist, today, and that made all the difference. I was so excited about how certain parts came together that I started grinning madly. I guess it was appropriate. I know the first movement is something of rage, but I can also see maniacal/insane laughter in there somewhere, too. Oh man. Shostokovich was so repressed. But man is his music phenominal.

What else?

Nothing else. I’m really tired today. And I still have to do my music theory.

My Hands Are Tied My Feet Are Bound

listening to: rem – burning down

I think about blogging so much, but it’s very difficult to follow through on these thoughts when I’m not in front of a computer to blog. So, yay vaguely free Wednesday!

The weather seems to have decided to try and be more Spring-like, which I’m welcoming to the utmost. I’ve had quite enough of scurrying to Phillips Hall and Voxman in sub-zero temperatures for a good while. Spring, do your worst–er, best! Please?

In other things, I’ve been having the weirdest dreams possible. Last night I dreamt that the very cute 2-year-old daughter of some good friends of my parents had suffered serious brain-damage for the second time (she’d miraculously recovered after the first time. Yeah right, brain). It was somehow made into a huge state-wide ordeal, one in which I needed to go home right away. Somehow the girl ended up dying, there were really weird memorial services in this random Church in downtown Normal that united both the Christian and Jewish faiths for worship. It’s impossible for me to describe what was going on in this Church, because words don’t seem to do it justice. The only way I can help is by saying that it reminded me of the way I’d imagined a part of Fantastica when I read the Neverending Story while I was nine. It was strange and beautiful (although completely meaningless to me in real life). The thing I remember most prominently was the choir that was singing 20th Century Russian-compositions, in a closed-off room with glass walls.

Somehow this girl’s death had turned out to be political (I don’t know. Ask the dream), and people rioted. I went back to my car (the Audi) and found that it was completely vandilized to bits, and cried. Other things going on in the dream: I slept overnight in the creepy apartment of a cult I was terrified of, got a new cell-phone I couldn’t figure out how to use, caught my mother smoking (my parents do not smoke. It would not work for their professions), and listened to what I thought was Vaughan Williams, but really turned out to be something I wrote myself. I actually remember this as a specific part of the dream! I would really like to be able to write things like that when I’m conscious. Grrr.

In other, non-dream things, I’m playing in a masterclass for Wendy Warner on Friday. I’m rather excited. I think I’m getting over some big parts of my performance anxiety, so I’m looking forward to hopefully playing to my utmost in front of a renowned cellist.

Hmm. How would you people react if I cut my hair? Like, really cut my hair? Shorter than it’s ever been? Would that freak you out, or would I be the person most freaked out by the cutting of my hair? Because I’m thinking of it. My hair is driving me crazy, and is so damaged that there’s really no reason to try growing it any further. Any thoughts?

Wind out!!

Oouh?!

listening to: bjork – human behaviour (royal opera house)

This being about the 5th time I’ve opened a blog window today…

Today um…things…happened.

In Japanese, we’re starting a new chapter. Gift-giving. Tyler-san was sharing what he would get his friend who just had graduated. He said a word of English origin, that would have been romanized like this:

bu-re-n-da

The entire class was extremely confused. You would give your just-graduated friend someone named Brenda? BRENDA?!

As it turned out, what he had really meant was “BLENDER”. I laughed maniacally for what must have been two minutes. In fact, I laughed so hard I very nearly cried.

Apparently the word for blender in Japanese is “mixer” or “mikkusa”. I can see why. “Congratulations on graduating, Tim! Here’s your very own Brenda!!“.

Then I walked back to my room and yelled at my New Balance shoes for coming untied every five minutes. I refuse to double-knot them. I think the shoes and I are capable of working something out without going there. New Balance! Come ooon!

I called dearest Rachel yesterday. We talked about some great stuff. Britten, composing. Most notably, Midwestern speech (Rachel lives on the East Coast). I guess I have a Midwestern speech impediment. And now that somebody’s brought this to my attention, I realize it’s true. When I get excited or frustrated or talk without enunciation, my “ooh”s turn into psuedo-Minnesotan “ouh”s. So I approached Laura (who is from Minnesota but speaks beautifully) and whined to her about my speech problem. And she tells me that my speaking is fine, until I got excited and said something along the lines of “I’m going to go to Burge, toouh!”, at which point I was laughed at most excessively. At least it’s only “oo”. And it least it’s only sometimes. Not all the time.

Nonetheless, I thought it was hilariously good timing that I found this (a la Renata) only a couple hours after talking with Rachel, and sent it to her without delay. Sigh. St(oouh)pid Midwest.

In other things, I bought a jar of peanutbutter at Pioneer Co-op, yesterday. And that should have been great, since I ran out of peanut-butter last week, and need the stuff to coexist peacefully in the world. But…minor setback in the quest for peanutbutter: I CAN’T GET THE FREAKIN’ THING OPEN. The jar is a glass one, with a metal lid, and for the life of me, I can’t open it. I tried hot water, denting the lid, etc. So finally, today at dinner, I informed Laura of my dillema, and she agreed that the two of us combined ought to be able to open it. Buahaha, boy were we wrong. After trying a regular can-opener, Laura became sooo frustrated at this jar. She was yelling at it and whacking it, bent over trying to twist the lid off. Laura is a peaceful person, but I have never seen her so exasperated over anything, before. Her exact words to me were “Talia, have you thought of just smashing the glass open?!”. After nearly five minutes of her being frustrated and my laughing harder than I’ve laughed all semester, she told me to get out of her room and take my stupid jar of peanut-butter with me. The lid is so dented, I’m considering taking pictures of it.

Then after practicing, I found myself back in my room around 9. I checked my email. Hmm. And found that I’d gotten a message from my teacher. Asking if I wanted to play Shostokovich in a masterclass for some visiting solo person, since one of the seniors who had planned to play is going to be gone. At which point I shook my fist at the world and laughed maniacally. Aaah! I just played last Friday! But I can’t turn down an opportunity like this! I just hadn’t expected it to sneak up upon me like that.

I was so weirded out and taken off guard that I decided I needed to go running. I did. It was great. Then I watched Futurama. Now you find me here. Blogging.

That’s all for now. Ach ai!

You Can Shove Your Apology Up Your One-Way Digestive System

listening to: unun – first aid

I did particularly well on my Japanese interview test. Which proves one thing: If you practice speaking a language, you will get better. I sucked before. Badly. And now I can tell people how to get to the U Iowa Fieldhouse. Go me.

Then I played Shostokovich in seminar today. That went alright. I got through it without a problem. I think I’m really learning how to relax in front of an audience. Before, I used to freak out. And now while I’m playing, I know people are there, but they don’t matter so much. What matters is what I’ve worked on and what I’m aiming for musically. This is a nice thing to finally approach. Playing in front of people has always really freaked me out.

Another note: I think this bass quartet was written just to get in the way of my life. I love Becky (the bassist) to death, but I would like for the violist to quit being a jerk. GRRRRRRR.