People Won’t Be People When They Hear This Sound

Happy/Merry Xmas Eve, folks.

After many weather adventures I am HOME in Illinois, and I HATE driving (in the winter). It is quite nice to be home for the first time in kind of a while. On the most positive note possible, I am sleeping really really well, and often. Basically every night for 8 or more hours, plus any time I sit down to read leads to me passing out for a good hour or more, sometimes with drool. The only downside to sleeping so well would be dreams in which I am back in Stroud Auditorium and they’re making me sing in a musical and I forget the words right before I have to go out. I get a similar dream premise more often than I think is healthy, and I suspect it’s directly related to the anxiety making me question my memorization of Bach. Or that one time in madrigals when I never learned the words to Flaming Pudding. I hate dreams. Why can’t I still have dreams about sitting down to dinner to eat spiders?! I can tolerate that kind of dream. You hear that, subconscious mind?!

I am so glad the semester is over. And I would lament and whine about the fact that another one is just around the corner, but I only realized yesterday that I am one quarter of the way through my masters. Might as well start sooner and get it over with fast, right? Or whatever.

More reflection, and stuff, later.

There is this band, this weird and amazing math rock band, called Battles. And their guitarist/vocalist is the song of experimental jazz musician Anthony Braxton, the dude my sister has been touring around parts of the U.S. and Europe with in the last couple years. And, oh my shit.

It’s even better live.

One thing I love more than almost anything is for a traditional setting four-piece band to be able to sit down and play with computers and pedals and samplers in real-time. Yeah!!

Um…yes.

In Case You Were Wondering, I Am Officially Stressed Out. Again.

Why is Eastman trying to crush my soul, academically speaking? Really. I want to know. Why are you trying to crush my soul, Eastman? Why? What did I do to you? Other than prove that I know nothing about music theory, at the very forefront of the academic year. Oh. Maybe that.

Damn you, review theory! I tolerate you as best I can, but then you throw me extra crap that takes excessive amounts of time to prepare for, like KEYBOARD AUDITS. WHAT is with the KEYBOARD AUDITS?!

If it weren’t for all the extra crap, maybe I’d be able to sufficiently prepare for my history exam. Oh, boy. It is going to be one long, whiny week.

Things I Now Know:

1) That I’m obsessive in regards to Japanese food and ridiculous dog voice-overs in which the native-Japanese-speaking narrator uses pseudo-French accent, and may have watched all 25 videos of Cooking With Dog.

2) How lenses of plastic half-frame glasses are actually held in place, and how to fix them when you happen to sit on them. I mean, not like I sat on mine, or anything.

I mean, except for the part where I definitely did.

Well, for the record, it was more like “roll over on top of.”

A Useless Narrative Of Gym Facilities (Hooray)

I am now only on mild curmudgeon-watch. This is a vast improvement from certain days last week.

What’s going on? I don’t know. I don’t really even remember what all happened today. Except for that thing I did where I organized things in my room! As in, went through every single sheet of paper on my desk and under my bed, threw things out, put other things in FILE FOLDERS. This is an accomplishment far beyond actually cleaning my room, because when I “clean” I just grab all the random papers, put them in a stack, and go “fuck papers. and oranges.” Which really means I just forget about them because I’m basking in tidiness and who cares if there’s one measly stack of papers on my desk?! But to sort through papers? I deserve a cookie–no, no. A PONY.

So yes. And what else?

Yesterday I had my first encounter with Rochester’s sports facility. See, I have this thing where I try my hardest to run through the winter, but am finding that this constant snow prevents me from running outside. But I hate treadmills. So the clear answer: an indoor track! Which U of Rochester has. Admittedly, my standards are high for indoor tracks. U of I’s facilities were amaaazing, well-ventilated, well-lit, on the second-level, with all sorts of equipment and activity going on next to and below. Always busy. Always activity, from the earliest mornings to the latest nights I had visited the facility. But I’m pretty sure, even by my high standards, that U of R’s track was the epitome of ghetto. Sketch. Creepy. All of the above. Picture this: a bustling building with hallways and passages to courts, a pool, all sorts of various sports-related rooms, all clean and well-lit. And then you walk through a doorway and see a bridge heading across a room with a track a level below. And nobody is on the track. Nobody. It is abandoned. I wonder if I am even supposed to BE on the indoor as I make my way down the steps from the entry-way to the actual track. I wonder if someone is going to jump out and grab me and kidnap me. I finally make my way onto the track. In the middle of the track, on top of the gross, green old fake turf are tables and chairs set up in rows, looking abandoned and as though there had been some kind of meeting there possibly 10 years ago. And in the middle of that are large tables that look as though they are meant for Foosball but is clearly something much different (glasses-less, I was). There is junk everywhere, track equipment, miscellaneous unrelated equipment. Next to some of this miscellaneous equipment is a table filled with students and some older-looking people. They are putting together a Lego castle. Next to them is an ominous-looking door to a room I can’t identify or can’t see a sign for . Later, upon inspection, I find that the room is filled with more of these Foosball looking tables and is called the Palestra room. The track itself is dirty, has leaves and debris all over. The corners of the track are raised, and intercepted with large mats.

But the creepiest part of this entire track is not the excess junk and debris, or even the abandoned feeling (hey, the Lego people were there, after all). It’s the fact that half of it is a covered tunnel with pipes, furnaces, painted-over windows with grates in front of them, with scattered fluorescent lights. And with the raised corners of the track, it is more than anything claustrophobic. Sprinting through that tunnel-track-thing proved to be a bad idea. And then, at some point while running, I heard a disembodied voice calling out “No….no….no!” only to realize eventually that it was one of the Lego people whose voice was carrying through the “Palestra Room” and into the track tunnel. Oddly enough, this running experience creeped me out more than anything I’ve encountered yet in Rochester, which is saying something, as this town is old and weird. Then again, maybe I don’t get out enough during the creepy hours of the day. I am, however, convinced I need to get a pass to the YMCA, where they apparently have a normal track that is not an entryway into hell. It is also conveniently located next to school. Win-win.

What’s new with you?

Fighting Curmudgeonly-ness: A Howto

So…I have this problem: I am a curmudgeon. Not all the time, but more often in the past couple months than is healthy for myself or others around me. Typical symptoms of curmudgeonly-ness: crankiness, gloominess, ill temper, stubbornness, irritability, paranoia (belief that everyone — I mean EVERYONE — hates me).

I searched my favorite occasionally-visited-for-howtos site, Lifehack, for any information on how to avoid curmudgeonly behavior or tendencies in oneself. Nothing. Even searching for only the word “curmudgeon” resulted in “no posts found.”

So…well…someone’s got to do it in a list form that I can refer to whenever I want to take a shovel out to some hills and dig a hole for myself. Thus…

How To Ward Off Curmudgeonly-ness

1. GET SLEEP

A likely contributing factor to curmudgeonly-ness. It’s easy to not even realize you’re getting less sleep, and become one super-cranky human being and maybe occasionally ask oneself, “why?”

2. DRINK WATER

Ditto for water. Drink tons of that shit, yo.

3. GET SOME SUNSHINE

No, seriously. Or if you live in a crappy northerly area nearby one or more of those stupid Great Lakes or some kind of body of water that produces cloud cover, take Cod Liver Oil. Daily. In large dosages. It really does work.

4. EAT STUFF WITH VARIETY

Like lots of veggies, different colors. Some fruits. Some good ‘ol protein. Occasional cheese and chocolate, for endorphins. Grains, as long as they haven’t had the crap processed out of them.

5. ALONE-TIME

If you’re acting like a curmudgeon, chances are you’re one of those introverted types, and should really lay off the people. Make time for yourself. Go on a walk. Exercise. Frolic (that’s what I do, and take it from me, it makes you look crazy!). Do something that is far away from and does not involve other people. And make time for people you really want to be with outside of work or school. The weird thing about introversion is that you simultaneously need a break from people but also need to be around the ones who stimulate and un-stress you. DO IT NOW.

6. LISTEN TO MUSIC YOU LIKE

I read somewhere once upon a time on the internet that listening to music that makes you happy lowers blood-pressure and reduces risk of heart-attack. Extra anti-heart-attack bonus points for Klezmer Music with a lead rapping in Dutch, occasionally with falsetto.

Yes, this all sounds good. But I’m realizing that like…man. I need some help with this crap. A Mom, or something. Let’s take a look. 1) Yeah. I’m not getting sleep. It’s not like I don’t have time to sleep, it’s just that I can’t fucking sleep. 2) DEFINITELY not drinking enough water. Heat of summer is one thing. Dryness of winter is an equally dehydrating thing. 3) No sun here. Must buy fish oil NOW. 5) True alone-time is not easy these days. And I don’t exactly have anyone to make time for outside of school. I mean, hell. I wouldn’t want to spend time with me in this state, either. I suspect it’d help, though. But I guess that’s another big whiny entry saved for another time. At least I have 4 and 6 mostly covered. Mostly. Go me.

Still, though. I’m just not feeling…good. About much at all. Except Winter Break. And weird Balkan music.

Look, Ma! Two Hands! On The Keyboard! And Publishing Stuff!

listening to: habib koite and bamada – baro

1) An odd problem: the wire wrapping on my bow is turning my finger greenish? And making it itch a lot? I sense a new use for plumping tape!

2) I think there are different sorts of busy. I think I am experiencing a new and weird kind of busy that involves a combination academia, cello, playing that stupid Beethoven mass, and seriously, honestly, without-a-doubt doing this. No. Seriously. I am going to do this thing. Or at least try. Because if Youtube Symphony isn’t part of the future for classical musicians, I don’t know what is.

3) Things I’ve been listening to: a bunch of really weird and groovy balkan music. And some guy from Mali. Behold!

Thank you, and goodnight.