Lists Of Many Sorts

Yes! Alright! Good!

My Northwestern application is submitted. I ran just under 6 (yes, SIX) miles this morning. I practiced for a moderate amount of time. M.E.D. is in town. Spareribs and sauerkraut are on the stove. This is an entirely good way to end an entirely bi-polar year.

Seriously. This year was so bi-polar. Parts of it were suckier than I can recall, while other parts were pretty damn amazing.

While we’re talking about last year, here is a rambly collective list of things that I did throughout 2007. Starting….NOW!

In 2007 I…

Performed cello in a rock and/or roll setting; Ran a lot; Gave two recitals in just over one month because I am ambitious and stupid; Had a summer music experience that I not only didn’t hate but loved; Performed a freakin’ sonata for memory in front of a ridiculously large and frightening audience at said summer institute; Said words “drunken clown” in front of that same audience and some of them actually chuckled; Was chased by deerflies, a lot; Learned how to drive manual transmission all over again thanks to the Green Mountains of Vermont; Climbed two of the White Mountains in N.H. — Chocorua and Washington; Celebrated National Ice-Cream Month by actually eating ice cream every day of July; Cut off all my hair; Maintained shortness of hair and intend to continue with that; Won a really stupid bet; Was bitten by a black fly or so I am assuming because there was profuse bleeding involved; Drove a lot; Was really bummed out for an entire month but got over it; Visited Boston independently with my cello; Was a fearless cello student, really I was; Discovered a deep deep love for Joss Whedon and Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Discovered the ridiculous and expensive world of cameras; Applied to various grad schools; Was occasionally not a social failure or a misanthrope (I mean, not as much as I have been in the past, anyway); Cooked a lot; Obsessed over the internet food community even more; Had poor luck with electronic things breaking; Did not fix that weird problem in my blog layout; Other stuff I can’t think of.

All in all, not a bad year. Let us hope 2008 brings more…stuff. Good stuff. And maybe also things.

Last but not least, my favorite music discovery and song of 2007, if not of all time:
The High Llamas – Up In The Hills

Happy freakin’ New Year.

Can’t Look!


Adrian is a Very. Very. Bad person.

And if you don’t believe me (and are on Facebook), find the group Brandon Vamos Changed My Life.

Very very very bad person.

This Is A Linkspam Entry

Practicing is difficult. All I want to do all day is read and sit and possibly run. But not practice.

And also not finishing up grad school applications. Heavens, no.

This entry exists mostly for the purpose of linkspam.

Are you on Goodreads? Because I am, and if you are also, you should befriend me so we may each receive recommendations for awesome (or ridiculous sci-fi) things to read.

And have you heard of FreeRice? Donate rice to the United Nations while expanding your vocabulary and wasting ridiculous amounts of time. Win-win-win!!

(sidenote, not related to linkspam: it’s true. i’m annoyingly abide-by-the-rules. don’t whine at me if you’re not)


This is awesome. And dangerous. Don’t try it at home, kids.

I’m done.


listening to: they might be giants – dr. worm

I did it!!! I DID IT!!!! Despite the weird money-related double-guilt, no-doubt helped out by the Catho-jewish Holiday Tidings… despite the parents also helping out the guilt… I finally ordered a Nikon D40 (with the one kit-lense).

Seriously. I just have never wanted anything quite like I have wanted this. Ever. Not even that time when I became really enamored on Kingdom Hearts and just about offered my parents an arm and a leg for a PS2 (I did not get a PS2 until much much later, when it was fortunately way not expensive). This is the kind of possession of mine that will have its very own name.

So thank you, commenters of my blog! Thank you, various people I whined at or emailed asking for advice.

Next up, fixing my banking situation. Because…oh boy, pain-in-the-rear.

Of Cameras And Comments And Things

Oooooooooh soooooo…


Let’s see. The camera/lens situation.

Dear Anonymous: I would love to take Option 3, but it doesn’t exist since the D40 is not sold body-only in the USA. Also, I really don’t have a lot of money to put forth on various other lenses right now, considering how many of the ones I’ve investigated that I would like to own cost over $300. But if life were different, Option 3 would be my wonderful, fabulous choice.

That being said, I have made a decision, and that decision is to take Option 1. Go me, for making a decision!

Yeah. I know. Not as much to work with in terms of lenses. But 1) I should probably avoid jumping the gun when new to a DSLR camera. On step at a time. First get a good camera with one reasonable lens (which the 18-55mm lens is), and expand later so as to avoid being overwhelmed by options and…things, and B) I want to hold out for a really good lens, after I know more about Nikon and their lenses and have figured out a bit about what I want to get from photos further down the line.

I think I’ll do alright with what I’m getting.

In other things, I ran today for the first time in over a week after a series of very ridiculous meals. It felt like lead weights were attached to my legs. But I am determined to make it through the winter this year with extreme running. So…hah!

I’m mostly just proud of myself for getting out there when it’s cold out. True, there’s been snow on and off, and that can be difficult. But just the cold is not so bad. In fact, it’s way better than running during the summer where everything is hot and sticky and unpleasant. I just need to remember to wear sunscreen, despite cold.

On one final, blog-related note, I am disabling anonymous comments. I realize this is going to seriously deplete the already-meager number of comments I receive and that good, helpful people that I know (and sometimes don’t know) leave important and wonderful comments as anonymous. But really…I don’t like the fact that I still get spam in comments on various blogs, or the random bizarre comments from people who stumble on my blog and want to comment on unrelated things I have no interest in like Inuyasha slash (it happens). And plus…I just want to know what your freaking names are!! Make one up, even! That cool, too!!

However, apparently Blogger supports OpenID, meaning you can leave a comment under basically any registered username you have, anywhere, ever. This means you don’t need to have a Google account to comment, which is cool if for some reason you do not have one.


I Need To Get Out Of The House

Dear Lord of Please Shoot Me In The Face,

So, my deal is that I’m going to buy this fairly pricey camera. But…a manual camera! But not too pricey a manual camera. In fact, the least expensive digital SLR possibly ever in history, thank you very much Nikon! And like I didn’t have enough guilt to deal with in deciding to buy this not-cheap camera, I am now wallowing in guilty indecision about the lenses.

Because, here’s the thing about the lenses. They are many. They cost much. And it seems I have about two options when buying this camera kit with lenses included.

Option 1: states that I would get the camera with one 18-55mm lens. A decent one, from what everyone on the face of the planet who owns one says.

Option 2: states that I would get the 18-55mm lens that comes in the option 1 kit, AND a 55-200mm zoom lens, for about $150 less than I would get it if purchased separately from the camera.

Option 3: would be to just get the camera body and figure lenses out separately, but this would probably end up being very very pricey if I want a really great lens (the 18-200mm lens that everybody and their freaking mother has raved about on forums and blogs), and also is not possible because they don’t sell the camera body only. Lame.

So…Option 2, right?!? But wait. The 55-200mm zoom lens included in Option 2 doesn’t have Vibration Reduction — which is kind of a really great thing for a zoom lens — when you can purchase that same lens with VR by buying it separately? Also lame. This seems to be other people’s dilemmas, as well. Is it really worth an extra $150? It might be. But sadly, I want quality over quantity, in lenses and in life. For that matter, would I even need an additional lens? I think transferring over to manual will be a big enough challenge, so that extra lenses? Maybe they are not so necessary.

But then again, lenses are lenses, especially when they are Nikkor well-made, seriously inexpensive due to buying of large kit lenses.

So…anyway, Lord of Cameras or Whatever…what should I do? Should I scrap this second lens? Hell, should I just forget about this camera thing? The more I think about it, the more guilty I feel.

Advice much appreciated.

Love, Talia

P.S. People are also kind of ass-hats, and if you want to like…jab them in the face, even as an afterthought, that’d be cool. I know, not related to cameras, but…worth a shot. Thanx.


listening to: the high llamas – up in the hills

Ooookay. So the weird and extremely new misalignment in the footer of my entries (you know, the thing that shows comments and when the entry was posted…) is that one stupid crazy thing signifying that my blog does in fact need a new design.

But do you have any idea how long the last one took me?! Do you have any idea how much I enjoy the aesthetics of this one? DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVE KATAMARI DAMACY?!

I also suspect that building an actual and complete CSS layout is a little bit like math with me, in that the moment I don’t have to do it I will forget it all. I also really have no idea what sort of a theme I should use for a new one. Let’s review: what do I love? Katamari Damacy. Dammit.

I mean, I love other things. But nothing as visually appealing as KD. And, no, I will not design a Buffy layout. Because I have my fangirling limits.

I guess I could always just fix whatever weird problem is going on with my current layout and tweak stuff.

But I’m open to ideas. Ideas, anyone?

Woo! Distracted!

listening to: the high llamas – green coaster


Here is the annual hijinks meme on el-jay!

Speaking of hijinks…I saw the Simpsons Movie tonight. I don’t know. I watched the Simpsons a lot, between the ages of very young and 17. While it’s never necessarily been laugh-out-loud, I feel like it’s all dependent on the silly crazy hijinks and dependable characteristic quirks. There used to be more real and human stories to it. I miss those. To be honest, I saw the best part of the Simpsons movie months ago, in August, the Spider Pig song. FYI, it’s even better in German.

German is the most ridiculous language ever, I’ve decided. It just sounds so……


I need to write a detailed entry of the food I’ve eaten in the last few days.

I am so distracted right now. I quit.

What Is This Shit?!

listening to: brian eno – mother whale eyeless

Dear Movies Based On My Favorite Books: Please. For the love of all that is good. Do not randomly forget to kill off major characters, especially after their death is cryptically foreshadowed, but instead cut straight to the happy shiny ending credits with crap-ass music in a female-sung folk style. PLEASE.

Having said that, I am never watching movies ever again.

Derka Derka

listening to: the pixies – ana

Guess what I used to love years ago that I kind of forgot about loving when said love became a huge hype but now love again?


Oh my goooooddddd. FYI, all I’ve been doing is eating and watching and reading and eating some more. And something else. Shoveling snow. I’ve been doing a tad of that.

But I’ve also been baking using odd vegetables. Tonight Anne and I once again went for a recipe in the Moosewood Cookbook, called Red Devil Foodcake. Like a play on Red Velvet Cake (which I’ve never understood. Is it chocolate? Is it just colored red? WHAT IS IT?), except for a major secret ingredient which to me smells funny. Do you know? Do you know what that ingredient is? BEETS! HA! I’ve never like beets. So I’m doing what my mom has been known to do and put said unliked vegetable in a cake (worked for zucchini).

Anyway. The cake turned out ridiculously well. The only setback was that the beets needed to be pureed and guess who didn’t have a blender and whose mom needed to borrow their Cuisinart and the girl who forgot to get it back from her? Ha! So we seriously McGuyvered some pureeing, which involved a flat-bottomed casserole dish and the bottom of a glass. So who needs blenders. They should just sell me in stores. I would bring such joyful and excessive whining to the kitchen, additionally.

But I am now sold on the Moosewood Cookbooks. Do it, everyone. Don’t even question it. Just bake something. I dare you. You can find something here to cook/bake/whatever.

I’m thinking of taking some of this cake to Brandon when I have my lesson tomorrow. Because I have much too much left over, and what teacher doesn’t deserve beet-infused cake? Seriously. It’s so good. Don’t let the healthful goodness interfere with your brain.

What the shit else was I going to blog about?

Right. Vince is in town. Last night a few of us watched Cinderella Man. It was good. Russell Crowe sort of resembles Dan Beahm, which is alarming.

Aside from that, it snowed and I love the Pixies.

The End.

I’ll Never Work Again In North Ontario

Because having my bones picked by Black Flies is certainly a valid metaphor for my life’s relationship to mathematics, particularly of the gen-ed requirement variety. In North Ontario-io.


I forgot about this gruesome story — I was actually bitten by a Black Fly this summer. I didn’t even know it bit me. I only knew that Erica and I were driving West on I-90 through Pennsylvania and suddenly I was gushing blood from a spot on my neck below my jaw. See? The same thing happens with Math courses all the time.


I am currently into my 8th or 9th or something like that hour of studying and I am walking a thin line between freaking the hell out and not caring anymore. Seriously. Never, ever, have I taken a class this big a pain in the ass before. I’m not sure if it’s because I genuinely am just really bad at math or it’s not being taught in a logical manner of it the material is just kind of hard, but to be frank, I would rather have had to take another class with Hill…no…WARD…than deal with this crap.

Part of it is definitely the learning curve. Math and equation junk has to be right there from the very beginning or you’re fucked, whereas practicing the cello, or even history or some other musical concepts…a little more leeway. It’s easier to fill in the knowledge gaps with those because missing knowledge may not be so detrimental to related materials in a subject.

Kind of. I mean, maybe not.

Basically, I hate equations and having each thing taught to me TWO DIFFERENT WAYS by a book and a TA.

I’m going to go back and die now.

Not Dying From Consumption Of Artichokes Yet!

Hahahahaha, what the hell.

I was walking back from the Engineering Library (you know, the one that’s open 24 hours?) just now. At like…1:30. And who do I see wandering through the streets but Chia. And we’re both like “…what??” at each other and keep walking.

This is a much much funnier, more relevant and heart-warming tale if you know Chia. Cah-RAAZY.

Oh, finals week.

Muy Delicioso

listening to: brian eno – golden hours

Oooooooh boy. Tuesday night pizza for half-off at Jupiter’s strikes again. I am sooo full of pizza and prosciutto and happy because of it, and let us all pray it helps with the hardcore studying I am about to do.

This would be a good time to note that the weather is ASSSSS.

Huh. I guess this last pizza I’ve eaten will give me the chance to find out of artichokes make me sick the way eggplant does. Hooray for food intolerance paranoia.

Colin: Hmmmmmm. I don’t know if there’s a proper name for that. I guess just the word “ricochet” with a description of hitting the horsehair hard on the string would do…? Yeah. Wish I could be of more help.

Daniel: WE HAVE A WINNER. I couldn’t remember who told me that. The fact that Steely Dan has your name in it made me suspicious of the idea that you told me to listen to them. But I think the important thing here is that I like Steely Dan, and you were right.


listening to: the high llamas – up in the hills

Next five days: practice, run, study, play various recitals and things, repeat.

Oh, school. I hate/love you.

Knowledge, Kids

Today I am full of holiday guilt. Actually, maybe just guilt. I have no idea what differentiates holiday guilt from normal guilt, anyhow. This isn’t because of anything specific, or anything that has happened during the day. Because sometimes that’s just what happens. I realize I impact things and people in the world and then I just start to feel bad about it. Let this just be a reminder to the entire world: Jews and Catholics should not have children together.

Today I am also prone to falling on my ass a lot. DAMN it is icy out. I had the most hilarious time trying to walk down the steps of Smith with a few others after a recital tonight. I was actually clutching a railing (also icy), finding my footing on each individual step. I don’t know what has caused me to be so paranoid of falling down. Maybe I have a complex about that one judo class I went to.

I am also full of guilt.

God. Enough with guilt.

I have lots of chamber music and cello-y things to comment on. I am full of all kinds of bow-stroke knowledge, kids.

Two Things…

listening to: pizzicato five – collision and improvisation (the shooter remix)

One. I do not. Understand. Why people keep criticizing me for not using the backpack straps that came with my cello case. Like I need to be committed to an institution because I don’t like having this 18-lb thing the size of a large child on my back. As though I need any more help being clumsy! It really just makes me feel awkward and vulnerable and like something weird is going to come out of nowhere and hit my cello right off my back.

Two. I mentioned to GrĂ³a that if we can’t find anyone else to play in a chamber group with the two of us, we should just play the Ravel duo. And now I think we’re just going to do that. And so: YAAAAAAAAAAAY I LOVE THAT PIECE.

Two-point-Five. Blogger is really hella-slow today.


listening to: steely dan – babylon sisters

God! I hate the 70’s and its classic rock! And yet I really like Steely Dan. Thus, I am currently working through some bizarre inner conflict. What the hell.

This is all Shiina Ringo’s fault. All this stupid cover song. How can anybody resist that slide guitar duet thing??

Too Late

Aw man. The minute I left my apartment to go to a chamber coaching, I came up with a much cooler haiku. And since then I’ve forgotten it.

So I have my computer back. Which is nice. Except I definitely need to purchase the Apple Care plan if I want to not have to shell out however-many dollars for the next however-many times this happens to my MacBook. Seriously. I now have a reputation for machine-karma. Not so much cars as computers and copiers. Occasionally cameras. All things that start with the letter C. Except for cars, of course. That and Macbook batteries are problems in general, according to the world.

In our chamber coaching tonight, I got to hear the story of how Sibbi once quit coffee for a month. That’s not really important to note or anything. I just enjoyed it.

Seriously, though? Not having a computer was nice. I read. A lot. And got some things done. I think this is kind of a signal to me that if I only associated my computer with work-related things instead of time-wasting, self-involved things, I would be a much more productive human-being. I think this is the big difference between my generation and generations before me who yell at my generation for wasting too much time on the internet. I mean, aside from stupid kids who do nothing but waste time on Myspace and other lame internet endeavors. Then again, who am I to call those things lame? My obsession with webcomics is probably pretty lame to most people, as is my obsession with blogs and RSS feeds. Anyway. My POINT is that the reason my parents yelled at me during past moments in which I seemed to be sitting around doing nothing in front of a computer-screen is because they associate the computer with important communication, spread-sheets, bassoon-selling invoices, class organization, teaching records, etc while I associate computers and the internet with lolcats, Penny Arcade and cephalopods. Both are valid ways of consuming time, in my opinion. The internet has just taken a more frivolous turn in recent years, I guess. I actually worry for the time when that older generation is no longer in the parenting-age, and there will be nobody there to yell at the stupid lazy kids of the world who could be getting work done.

Speaking of which, somebody do my math homework for me. I will seriously pay you $5. Seriously.

In other things, here is a list of things I should statistically like, based on other people my age who like these things, but do not give a hoot about no matter how many chances I give:
1. The Flaming Lips
2. Radiohead (I mean, they’re GOOD. I’m just that ambivalent, apparently)
3. Deathcab for Cutie
4. Family Guy (it’s funny but it’s just…neverending)
5. I could say Sufjan Stevens, but I am not into him for other reasons besides ambivalence.
6. Other things I noted earlier but have forgotten about.

OH my GOD, shut up and do your homework.