Bon Voyage, Until Probably Like Tomorrow

listening to: why? – whispers into the others

Man! Fuck you, U.S. Postal Stamp Machine! Nobody likes you OR your dollar coins.

Anyway. I’ve finally yelled at a U.S.P.S. stamp machine in public. I think that is a sign that I’ve officially lost it. I mean, not like I hadn’t before.

I’m going to Boston. In like 20 minutes. I mean, actually, I’m driving to Indianapolis and then flying to Boston, and airports kind of make me feel like I ought to have an anxiety attack at any given moment. My obsession with being on time and my paranoia that time can move and hates people is probably why.

And I’m a little nervous about traveling with cello, again. Traveling would create so much less anxiety for me if I didn’t have this $20,000 somewhat heavy thing to contend with. The fact that I will possibly be without a place to go for several hours this evening does not quell my nerves. It would be so easy to traipse around the commons or the cemeteries with my Nikon D40 or anywhere if it weren’t for that heavy cello-thing, in addition to that small carry-on. Dammit.

I’m starting to think owning a cello is part of the reason I never want to live in a huge city, too. More on that later.

But I’ll take it in stride. I’m determined to count exactly how many times somebody on the public transportation system tries to make a witty remark about the cello this time, and write down any new or good ones. Because I need ideas, apparently.

Anyway. I hope I make it there alive, and without traumatizing myself too much. And I hope everything goes okay. I won’t be able to practice at all today, but big surprise, I hardly care. I hope I make it back and can then savor some peace for a few days. The last six weeks have been fairly brutal, to be completely honest.

Please Kill Me

Dear self, do these things before you leave for Indy tomorrow:
1. Turn in Financial form thing
2. Get note from Office of the Dean of Students
3. Mail out those two summer app things
4. Finish FAFSA form
5. Email Ani
6. Email Stefan
7. Email Vince
8. Procure some junk like Clif bars, because you never know.
9. Do laundry
9. Make some kind of vague attempt at cleaning up apartment.
10. Do not spill soy sauce on new Threadless t-shirt (as I just did)

To clarify that last entry, I was not drunk. Do not be mislead. I’m still really boring. To clarify my drinking habits, they are only slightly more frequent than before. Before, I drank never. Now, I drink….sommeeetimes. And it’s usually only one drink, alone in my apartment, which helps me fall soundly asleep. It’s true, auditions made me do it. I’m freaking stressed out, you guys. Also, having obtained 12 cans of Whole Foods fructose corn-syrup-free Tonic Water helped.

But. I must note. That I am a freaking lightweight. Because it takes one shot of liquor and I’m seriously seriously falling asleep. Last night was the first night that somebody actually started talking to me on AIM after I had consumed that shot of Vodka, so I also discovered that in addition to wanting to immediately fall asleep for several hours, it also causes me to run at the mouth in ways that I just can’t control. Pretty hilarious. I encourage you all to IM me when I’m in this state, except none of you are on AIM and really? I’m not all that much, either.

But M.E.D., I will take your advice to heart. Because seriously? When these auditions are over? Man.

Speaking of auditions……….blarn.

Problem Is, You’re A Big Old Freak Yourself

listening to: travis morrison hellfighters – i do

Talia here, reporting in from the midst of audition hell.

It’s pretty hellish.

But unfortunately I just don’t care anymore. I think I’ve done as much practicing as I can stomach for the rest of the semester. This strikes me as a pretty ridiculous thing to say when this Friday I have an audition in which they could ask for any of a complete concerto, a complete Bach suite, a complete 20th century work (the one that I chose having 9 movements), and an etude. But after last week, and the fact that I still rock ass at Britten, I can’t bring myself to care.

So I’m stuck in this weird uncomfortable limbo of occasionally freaking out and worrying, waiting in anticipation for it all to be over with, trying to keep things light, and just being a grumpy ass-hole. It’s a rough life.

I’ve also been thinking a lot, since this Michigan thing. And I’m going to be one major pessimist here, but this whole Michigan thing has taken my “I’m not going to worry until I get a bunch of rejection letters” motto and turned it on its worried little head. So who the hell is going to accept me for grad school? WHO?? I want to know??! Because there are all these other applicants out there!! And a lot of them sound really good!! And who has space for all these people?! And so what if I’m nice and eager to change things about my playing? SO WHAT?!? Because that’s like, a lot of other people in the world, too!!

And what’s with all this “I must get into Civic orchestra!” stuff, self?? When was that so important? I mean, last time anyone asked you, you didn’t even WANT to play in an orchestra anymore. And those musicians are over-worked and under-paid. AND SINCE WHEN DID YOU NOT HATE CHICAGO?

In case you’re wondering, my Civic audition actually happened. And then I ate Oyakodonbaka–I mean, Oyakodon with my sister. The audition itself was…I missed a bunch of notes in Haydn, because I was nervous. And then I played all my excerpts really well excerpt for three occasions in which I had minor brain-failures and actually had to STOP and restart. I have no idea how that will effect me in the long-run. I just know that it’s done and that’s what’s important.

I think the bottom line is that I don’t want to go to grad school anywhere and would rather just be some kind of a bum or State Farm Insurance employee.

Not really, but I do wish people would stop asking me if I get “good vibes” from teachers. What am I supposed to say? That they were all very nice and friendly in my auditions and clearly that means I’m in? I wish.

Music is stupid, anyway. I hate how people have to segregate the performance of Western Art Music between 1600 and the early 20th century from everything else as “classical music.” Dammit. They’re all just sounds, people! Organized sounds!

See, I’m actually swerving the fine line of “not caring” and “caring too much, in a cynical fashion.” I can’t wait until this is over with. One week.

It seems like Boston should in theory be fun. I have a Nikon D40 and three days of nothing to do. I think the weather might have different ideas, though. I promise the world I will not go to IHOP with Vince, though. That was the worst idea on the planet.

I’m going to make Thai gyoza, vacuum and practice. I have accomplished too little today to be as stressed as I am.

Kill Me Now

listening to: cibo matto – apple

Just in case you’re wondering, I lost it this week.

Stress-wise, anyway. Friends and family, as well as long-time blog-readers have witnessed me lose it in other ways, such as emotionally or…well, pretty much that way. But stress. Yi.

Just…ugh. I think part of it is PMS. Somewhere in the middle of the week, I had the most drastic of bi-polar turns. All of life’s stupid, badly-timed foibles no longer seemed funny. Instead, they annoyed me to death or hit home in a way I wish they hadn’t. Example: The Michigan thing. Oh, shit, I haven’t mentioned that. Basically, there are 8-million (okay, around 100, give or take a few) auditionees and room for two. Which at first was like “haha, that’s so fucking hilariously ridiculous and karmic!” but later became “that’s like I drove 700 miles and shook up my nerves and wasted a weekend for nothing, especially when I could have taken a DIFFERENT audition.” In general, it became way less funny when I realized that I still might not get into any other place I’ve auditioned at so far. Also sign of PMS: more pessimism. And less giving. I already don’t like giving. And now I like it even less. Especially when it’s my time. Don’t waste my time with your problems I don’t care about. I learned to deal with mine internally, now so should you.

Also proof of PMS: scathing, hypocritical bitchiness. Yep.

The other part of my week sucked because I put so much time and effort into this Civic audition thing that might not even fucking happen, all because the people in charge of the auditions screwed up. Seriously, though. On top of all the other rehearsals and playing, but practice four or more hours a day is not healthy. Everything in moderation, I say. Practicing especially. I usually do 2.5, 3 hours. Sometimes 2. And I do them in short breaks. But to sit down for a total time of 1.5 hours in the morning and 3 hours at night is hell. Hell on my brain. I fucking hate Don Juan. It’s so difficult. And no matter how much I practice it and how much I am able to work it up so it sounds good, it always goes back to square one: sloppy. Brandon pointed out that it’s a life-long endeavor. Nobody every got to be good at Don Juan by working on it two or three times total, for a week or so at a time. I will take that to heart.

But the fact that I might not even have an audition is the icing on my shit-cake week. To think that I put so many god-forsaken hours of brain-melting work into this only to have someone never contact me about whether or not I am even officially scheduled or if I have a time to play kills me. And to think I could have been practicing for my N.E.C. audition next week, which I now firmly believe is going to suck. Thus reducing even more of my chances of going to grad school anywhere. At all. Ever. Hahahahahahahaha pessimism.

My plan is to go to Chicago tomorrow with my cello, prepared to play an audition, and if they don’t let me have one I will kind of maybe request my $40 back, in fewer and less pleasant words. And possibly cry, as I have been doing a lot of that in the last day and predict that there could be more of that.

Sleep would help.

Running 6 miles again every day would help.

Not eating wheat would help. Oh, but wait, I actually haven’t done that for a week and I physically feel better.

It’s just…I was doing great. And suddenly I’m not. As simple as that.

My Dad did tell me some encouraging stuff. Such as an audition story involving sight-reading in front of a renown Paris orchestra and making it to basically the top of said audition. Also telling me that I’ll play a good audition if I’m nice and pissed off. Check. Check check check.

Michigan And Other Things

This made me die. A couple times.

Married To The Sea
marriedtothesea.com

Anyway. As some of you may have been aware, I was in Ann Arbor, Michigan for an audition last Friday. Good times.

I can only conclude that Ann Arbor is pretty much the best college town I’ve ever been in. This is saying something because I’ve lived in three. And sure, I’m probably a little biased because they have a) A Trader Joe’s and b) A Whole Foods (GUESS WHO NOW HAS 12 CANS OF THE BEST TONIC WATER IN EXISTENCE?). But aside from that, who can beat all those freakin’ restaurants??? Restaurants to make Champaign-Urbana to look kind of like a chump in comparison. Aesthetically, the place reminds me of Iowa City. A lot, in fact. This is probably mostly due to the river and how the campus is placed around the river. I wish I’d had more time to hang out there. For that matter, I wish I knew somebody who lived there besides Eric’s friend I met once who probably thought I was crazy, anyway. Oh well.

The audition itself was…god. Well, it was at least a reminder that no matter how I think I’m ready and how I think I’m starting with the “right piece of music for my audition nerves to mellow out, auditions are scary and make me nervous. So I played the first movement of Haydn. Which I typically own. And I missed one note. And another. AND ANOTHER AND IT JUST KEPT HAPPENING. What the bloody freakin’ HELL. But then my Bach rocked. And my etude mostly rocked. And then I left my dampit in Mr. Aaron’s studio. Dammit.

The disconcerting thing about the experience was how many freaking cellists were also there auditioning for an MM in performance. Like…over 20. And keep in mind that this is one audition day of like…four. I think that compared to my Eastman audition, of 8 people total, undergrad and grad students, it seemed like a big giant sea of cellists. But I guess one thing I didn’t take into consideration is that UMichigan is just as popular a choice of music school as any conservatory and they never required a prescreening for an audition like Eastman or N.E.C. Realizing this made me feel less like some sort of failure.

Then I drove home. I really hate Indiana. But I really love driving through it somehow. And I really love dark-chocolate covered pistachios. I don’t know. There’s just something very isolating and expansive and nice about it. Reminds you who you are after trying to put on a show for people at a foreign big-ten school.

The moment I got back to school and climbed out of my car, I stepped onto this weird mound of ice, without realizing it in the dark, and fell HARD onto a big ridge of it. It hurt so much I actually cried. And then called home so I could reign in some pity. Yeah, pity. Anyway. It’s hard to sit and sometimes run and also lie down on my left side. At least I didn’t whack my head on my car in the process. That thing was really close.

Aside from that, things are okay. Surprisingly so. Eerily so. I’m sick of auditions and traveling, but aside from that? Tolerable. Even enjoyable. Not even for specific reasons. Who knew, right?

No More

listening to: r.e.m. – the flowers of guatemala

I vow: to never again use “haha” in IM conversation, ever.

I mean…am I ever actually laughing out loud when I use it? No. And is it often used to give people the benefit that I think they are funny when in all honesty I do not find them funny? Yes. Does it make me seem idiotic? In my eyes, yes. Will not using it make me seem more apathetic and possibly bitchy? Yes. But…why pretend I’m not? I’m tired of pretending not to be bitchy and apathetic, because I’m actually kind of a lot of those two things.

No more.

You’re Fine The Way You Are

A confounding equation:

Alan Rickman! + Cello!!! + upsetting facial hair = ????

Seriously! He plays the cello! But he has an extremely wide caterpillar glued to his upper lip.

It’s really sad that my death class has actually caused me to think any of this at all. Sigh. I want a life.

Not really, though.

We started watching Truly Madly Deeply. Cellos, man. I’m going to have to rent it to catch up with the rest we’ll watch on Friday…for tomorrow I head to Ann Arbor. Yeah.

I can deal, though. I got some extremely good help with Britten and an etude today. And UMichigan asks for about a thousand fewer things than Eastman or N.E.C.. Or even Longy. And also, I’ve found my miracle pre-audition drink. Heeeeell yes. 19grams of protein per serving (the small size bottle, anyway). Protein is pretty much the best thing ever, especially when you can consume it in such a wonderfully nice way.

So hopefully this audition thing will go well. And hopefully I will get there, if the weather is nice to me.

And I’m starting to realize that I’ve spent way more time on Rural Indiana roads than any normal person should.

The End.

You Know

God, people are morons.

HI EVERYBODY WHAT IS UP? I’m randomly being pretty obsessive about R.E.M., not that this is a new development.

That’s pretty much it.

Oh but also? I watched all of Pushing Daisies in like…two days, all because of this Death Class. And it’s really really so good. Like, I was into it from the beginning, but that part in the fourth episode where Kristin Chenoweth’s character not only referenced by actually sang Birdhouse In Your Soul by They Might Be Giants sealed the deal. Good god. A musical reference that I not only get but love is just…yeah. You know what it is. You know.

I swear, if this class introduces me to anything else I start obsessing over, it might be the end of me.

Furry Sobbing Monsters Feeling Sad?

I……

I….I have….I have no idea how to feel about this.

I mean, aside from the obvious “PETER BUCK PLAYING THE BANJO!!!” feeling.

With a follow-up serving of “WITNESSING MIKE MILLS SINGING BACKUP!!”

*edit*

I have had some time to figure out how I feel. And I feel that this is pretty much one of the awesome-est things ever. Part of this is certainly due to the Kate Pierson muppet. For real, man.

Glbnarn One Hour Sleep

listening to: roommate – status hounds

The WGA Strike is over(?)!

I mean…what’s up? I was in Rochester, and now I’m not. Unfathomable.

Auditions are crazy and stressful. For the record, it is much more difficult playing for a room of three people than it is for one. Especially when each one wears such a different reaction expression. I played alright. I guess. I actually can’t remember. I remember some of the stupid shit I did, such as a) having an insane memory lapse in Bach and b) having a shit-ass hard time of playing the Fuga from Britten.

Rachel actually just made a very good point on the phone, which is that those teachers probably make their initial decision about a person’s playing in about the first 15 seconds of hearing them. I suspect that’s totally true. This is why my new motto in life is “start with Haydn.” I did. That part at least went excessively well. Oh yeah.

As for the school itself…..dang. At the orientation, one of the admissions people made the point that the schools aren’t just auditioning the student, the student is auditioning the schools. How did Eastman end up after auditioning for me? On top (that’s what she said). Facilities, faculty, people, classes, being right next door to the awesomest coffee-shop, ever (I had this sandwich called “The Thing.” It was delicious). I will even over-look the 2.5 inch long cockroach that a bunch of prospective MM students started pointing at before some orientation. That thing was huge. But also excused.

And Rochester…is kind of…something. I don’t know.

And…sigh. My new policy for life is…auditions: parents not allowed. Auditions are stressful, and I have my own way of dealing with them and keeping my cool. Other people getting involved does nothing good for any of the parties involved. And that is that.

But let’s talk Ghost Hunters for a minute. Yeah. Don’t watch Season 1. Unless you want to see a bunch of people yelling at each other and some orbs. Seasons 2 and 3? Awesome. Do it. Seriously, though! Why the drama, cool New Englanders?!?

A List Following Up That Other List

listening to: the high llamas – lobby bears

Because this is apparently how I keep track of my life these days, through my up-and-down, not always regularly updated blog.

1. Email Ani: Done
2. Email Vince: Done
3. Mail out Kent/Blossom Application: Shit-bags, I left the DVD at school.
4. Fill out Civic Orchestra application: Done. Please give me an audition
5. Absences cleared: Done
6. Locate that sheet of paper from Eastman: I looked everywhere for that thing. Oh well. I can call them tomorrow. And at least I remembered to print out that other vital sheet I’m supposed to hand to the teachers when I go in for my audition. Hehehe.
7. Avoid Flat Earth chips: not really, because when I was rummaging through a cabinet when I arrived back in Normal, I found a bag of Peach Mango chips, already opened, clearly saying “eat me.” I did. There was also one remaining lebkuchen. I couldn’t do it. It took amazing amounts of self-control.

–Intermission–

Alright! A Viagra commercial that utilizes the song Brazil!! Sigh.

–End of Intermission, Part 2–

8. Freaking out about audition all of a sudden: Done. I didn’t mean for it to happen, but I randomly realized that, my neutral ways and feelings about grad school aside, I would ideally like to go to Eastman. Really. I would. It is the school to which I would like to go. But I feel like I’m just not playing well and am underprepared. Maybe I’ll get over this after a day of driving. Hah. Right.
9. Email Erica: Done
10. Email….someone else. Who was it? I don’t know: Done.
11. Reaffirmation of that thing about needing protein and proper amounts of water and food under stressful situations (like driving in this shit-tastic weather) unless panic attack symptoms come around: Done.

And one additional note….people suck. A lot. This comes from an observational stand-point, not so much a personal experience. I just…wish the stupid things that have happened to me would stop and not happen to my friends, too. And I wish I could do something more than say that I’ve “been there.” But oh well. Live and let live. And also yell at people when the need arises.

I am in clear need of sleep. We are getting up ass-early tomorrow, and I make no sense.

No blogging or internet transmission for a few days. Call the phone if you must reach me.

Deep, Deep Breaths

I’m okay. I’m okay! Seriously. I just had like an hour of being really wet and hating everyone. Two hours in a practice-room and forty minutes of running fixed stuff.

Still. Don’t piss me off about climate change. I’m really sensitive to…insensitivity about that subject. And stuff. Ass-holes.

I will continue to resist hating people until tomorrow after orchestra, where I will be people-free for a few days, and probably not even desire to hate people.

But for the record? Sometimes I hate it when I talk, and I cringe inwardly when I do so. And I wish I could just not care what comes out my mouth. But oh well.

Maybe We Can Dream The News Away

listening to: roommate – new steam

I think I just flooded my car. On just a random street corner.

And I swear to god, the next person who says that “thunderstorms are so cool!” completely barring the fact that it’s fucking FEBRUARY and this should NOT BE HAPPENING in February and good god, you idiots, don’t you even see what the fuck is going on with the weather systems these days, I am going to stab in the arm. Or hit in the face. I’m serious. I agree that thunderstorms are cool but FUCK YOU GUYS. There are bigger pictures to be seen.

I wish people could look beyond the “warming” part of global warming. Because it’s not really just about everything becoming warmer in terms of “degrees during this month and averages growing higher and less snow.” It’s more like “every warm air mass is bigger, but the cold air masses are still there, and thus everything is going to be bigger and crazier AND warmer, and in some places much drier, in addition to underwater in other places and a fuck-ton of flooding.”

We are so fucking screwed. Who sees this? Besides Al Gore?

And it once more occurs to me –having absolutely nothing to do with the changing climates– that, GOD, I need to get the fuck out of Champaign-Urbana. I’ve been here too long.

Super Tuesday

listening to: steely dan – babylon sisters

A list of things I need to do, for my own sanity since I misplace everything and forget stuff frequently these days:

1. Email Ani
2. Email Vince
3. Mail out a Kent/Blossom application
4. Fill out a Civic Orchestra application form (Dude. I’m auditioning for Civic. Even though Don Juan is the one excerpt I swear I will try to avoid at all costs, and they ask for the LAST PAGE OH MY GOD).
5. Get absences cleared with Office of the Dean (or whatever those guys are called)
6. Get absences cleared for orchestra
7. Locate that sheet of paper Eastman sent me with important information about things regarding my audition on Friday
8. Stop buying those goddamn Flat Earth chips (pictured here on top of Mount Chocorua, of the Peach Mango variety…), as they’re too good and I eat them far too fast
9. Watch Ghost Hunters. Wait. I mean, watch less of Ghost Hunters. I realize I may be ridiculous, but I eat this shit up. It’s all the fault of this Death Class.
10. Vote. Because it’s super-Tuesday. Wait! I already did! HAH! Yeah. Vote, you bastards.

I will refer to this entry as many times as I need in order to accomplish things. Yes. I will.

Kill Me Now

listening to: roommate – fairgrounds

random amusing quotes: “So, they finally found the connection between hiccups and tadpoles.”
“Sorry, but did I just take acid?”

“Good morning!”
“You already said that.”
“Did I, before?”
“Uh huh.”
“Oh. Well then…fuck off!”

That was some fun weather, that was. The Tribune had an awesome slideshow of some photos from that storm online, but I can’t seem to locate them anymore.

My audition was good. These sorts of auditions are so much less stressful than orchestral auditions or recitals. Hell, especially recitals. It’s like…you prepare basically 40 or more minutes of music and then they make you play less than five minutes of each piece. The only dumb thing I really did was, when asked what I wanted to start with, I said my etude. Which is really hard to start cold when I haven’t played for like 15 minutes and am a little jittery and am prone to incorporating stupid old habits due to nerves. I should have started with Haydn! Which while weird and awkward for some is easy and relaxing for me. Dammit. And it didn’t occur to me until possibly 5 hours later that I did that. Oh well. Next time.

The audition was followed by going to the Hopleaf and ordering mussels and venison meatloaf. Oh, mfg. I had never properly tried mussels before then. According to my sister (and maybe also Alton Brown) 1lb of mussels have more zinc and iron than 1lb of steak. And on the plus-side, they are delicious.

And I also had that giant-ass goblet of Tripel Karmeliet. Yeah. Remember that funny entry where I was about to pass out from tiredness? Me too. And remember that one time when I was in Brussels for YOA and we had this large party at some club and the first thing they did when we walked in was hand us a glass of wine, and how it was a big wait before the food arrived so I drank the whole thing and then pretty much fell asleep in the club, and then left like, right after I ate, before anybody else even left? Me too. Because that’s what happens when I drink stuff. I don’t get as far as being drunk. And instead of becoming tipsy, I just get really really really tired. That happened last night. I almost had to have everyone carry me back to Erica’s apartment. It was sad. But maybe that’s how it should be. Maybe one 8 oz bottle should be my limit, the amount I am able to take before I start wanting to fall asleep.

And you know something else? Screw beer. Don’t get me wrong, fancy foreign beers are great. But to me? Everything tastes bitter. Not just beer. Coffee. Even a lot of tea. I just don’t enjoy it. I wold rather have a mixed drink. Or a lambic brew, even if some people have said they taste like cough syrup. Fucking sensitive taste-buds.

In other things, I visited the Threadless Store on Broadway Ave. Not quite what I had envisioned. They pretty much have only the most popular new shirts, maybe twelve different designs. I mean, they’re COOL shirts, but it’s not the variety of the online store. But I did get this shirt (in orange).

Anyway. I’m in Normal now. Champaign tomorrow. Rochester, NY Thurs-Sat. Some other place the following weeks. Kill me. Kill me now.

Cognitive Power Draining

Up yours, winter weather in Chicago (and weather everywhere else, I guess).

I got some awesome pictures of frozen Lake Michigan. And am really happy that my sister also hates the movie Napoleon Dynamite (there are three of us now!). Arrrrgh, I hate that movie.