This Political Message Brought To You By…My Liberal Hippie Upbringing?*

My God, now this is what I call Presidential Mojo.

Seriously. All those people saying that Obama is just making empty promises and generally poo-pooing the president? Eat your wooooords!

In other news, it’s 11 degrees F and I do NOT want to go into school….but alas.

Will blog more later. Promise!

*I don’t think they meant for it to be liberal or hippie…but look how I turned out, anyway?!

Saab Lives!

This made my crappy day worth it.

Saabs have played a fairly integral part in my family’s history for the past 40 years as far as cars go (though I guess somewhat unhinged Volkswagens have also played a faily integral part…). I don’t think there’s a period in time in which my parents have not owned a Saab. Those cars have driven my mother and father through most of Europe…have followed them back over to the U.S. (if I recall right, when my parents moved back from Germany they actually brought their Saab with them)…have stranded us in hilarious places due to lack of constant and nation-wide foreign car servicing…

Those Saabs. We love them.

Happy, happy news.

A Leading Hitter?

Dear Shiina Ringo.

I love you, so much. I am very much enjoying your most recent album.

But if this song doesn’t get out of my head, I might club somebody. Possibly me. Nobody wants that.

Audio file: Shiina Ringo – Tsugou no Ii Karada

This album isn’t a complete departure from stuff Shiina Ringo has done before. But this is definitely the most Sinatra-y I’ve ever heard her. That said, I enjoy the hell out of this song (BUT WOULD REALLY LIKE IT OUT OF MY HEAD, PLZ).

Forget The Heavy Bag And Forget The Name Of Those

Remember that one time I said I’d have a layout and all WordPress transfers completed in a week’s time? Yeah, those were a bunch of LIES. As it turns out, I’m mastering WordPress code alright but just need a solid few more years experience with layouts and CSS and such. God. Let’s not talk about it anymore.

Just a few things of note regarding not being on Facebook: First of all, I guess I could just mention why I left. And that would be…I don’t know! Isn’t there enough excess clutter in my life and in my BRAIN as it is?! It’s fun to keep up with friends, but it’s not fun to be bombarded constantly with updates from a lot of people, many of whom I a) haven’t actively kept up with in years or b) was never really friends with in the first place. I needed a break from the excessiveness. Maybe one day I’ll find the balance of wasting time but…now is not the best of times to be tempted by time-wasting.

And in a similar vein: My. God. That’s where most of my productivity went. I never realized how easily I would jump to Facebook when I was avoiding doing something like work or practicing. And it’s not that I’d sit around all day on Facebook watching people update their statuses. I would just check it often enough throughout the day that those wasted minutes really started to add up. Amazing.

If anything, I feel free. It’s rather nice.

Whatever. I’ll rejoin eventually. …….maybe.

My Life Is So Interesting.

Bad Talia. Bad. Talia.

I don’t know. Nothing new. It’s kind of the same three ponderings again and again and again.

1) How am I actually busy?

2) Elgar. Elllllgaaaaar I loooooff you.

3) Shiba Inu puppiiiies!

I would like to state once again, for the record, that I’m really not much of a dog person. Honestly? Dogs are awesome. They are! But I still think I prefer the less extroverted and slightly more limber cat to a dog, if we’re talking about the ownage of furry four-legged pets that are bigger than a Guinea Pig. However. I love watching dogs and having occasional fun run-ins with them (and by “fun” I mean “NOT BEING ATTACKED BY STANDARD POODLES IN THE WOODS”). It’s one of the reasons that I go on random meandering walks when the weather permits. To be a DOG VOYEUR.

And? The Shiba Inu puppy cam presents the perfect, laziest opportunity for dog voyeurism. Win-Win!

One Down. Many To Go.

Ah, yes. I made it through the first week of the last semester.

I don’t know. I’m just now realizing how devoid of activity (minus the recital) the previous two semester have been, and how weird it is to have…STUFF to do.

Stuff is weird.

I’m taking some most excellent classes, though. Eurhythmics. Win an Orchestral Audition. Orchestral Rep. ….Some history course. All courses I’m taking (except for Some history course) seem to be great practical music application courses.

I don’t know. I realize that my plans in life do not (actively) include attempting to Win an Orchestral Audition anytime soon. But I think a lot of the core to this class is how to get through the anxiety and the details before performances/big events and the crazy brain-noise which are ALL THINGS I EXPERIENCE ALL THE TIME. During our first class session we went around the room explaining why we’re taking the class and what problems we have with auditions. What I said was this: “I feel that as my abilities to play the cello continue to improve substantially, my self-awareness and the general clutter in my brain has increased to the point where I hardly function, not only in audition/performance situations but in LIFE.” And one of the teachers pointed at me and said “our required reading material is going to CHANGE YOUR LIFE.” So, Eckhart Tolle is going to fix me, apparently. HALLELUJAH. Plus, the course is being taught by one of my favorite people, the same person teaching the Orchestral Rep class.

Also, I am playing Elgar. Hot damn, am I ever playing Elgar.

Service Anouncement

You, the lovely readers of my blog, have brought it to my attention that my blog layout pisses you off. And that’s completely okay, since my layout pisses me off, too.

It’s true, the text of the main body is too small. And the content box is so narrow that embedded photos or videos are typically cut off unless they are made impossibly small. And if you ever visit any other page aside from the main index, there is no real link back to the home page, unless you fish for it. And the commenting system is…weird? I don’t know. I typically don’t comment on my own blog entries.

Well, now’s the time to come forth with any other issues, because I’m REDESIGNING THE WHOLE THING.

Okay, not the whole damn thing. Many things will stay the same, at least for now. But I am readjusting bunches of shit AND moving the whole damn locale, eight years of archives and all, over to WordPress (that’s right, my knowledge of weird-ass WordPress code is steadily increasing). This is going to happen within the WEEK, folks. WEEEEK. And if it doesn’t, it means that the massive hoarde of crows that hangs around certain areas of Rochester has done away with me, or something. I’VE SEEN THE LOOKS IN THEIR BEADY LITTLE EYES.

So email me, if you have complaints or suggestions or whatever.

Also, you can open up your bookmarks and RSS readers. While the layout I’ve designed is still waiting for that infusion of weird-ass WordPress code, there is a music blog, and it is slowly awakening (note: I redact the link for said blog. It is not even close to ready. Hooray for learning the many-leveled intricacies of WordPress code).

And with that, I have blogged three times in one day.

Ka-Thunk

Made it back to Rochester safe and sound by about 3pm yesterday afternoon.

By Jove. I had completely forgotten how expansive my apartment is. Such an oddly disparate feeling to come back to an apartment in which the high ceilings make me feel 3 feet tall after being in a car that makes me feel like a 7-foot person enclosed in a small box on wheels (though to be fair my car is far superior to any actual box on wheels).

This trip is also record-breaking for the sheer lack of music I listened to. I don’t know what it is, but lately I’m finding that podcasts make the tedious moments of long drives so much more bearable than music — especially music I’m not that familiar with. That said, roadtrips are not the optimal time for music-discovery. Rather, music reiteration.

The one album I did listen to over and over again was Vampire Weekend’s latest stuff, Contra. I don’t know why, but this album has gotten inside my brain — ESPECIALLY THIS SONG. GAAAH.


Vampire Weekend – Diplomat’s Son

If ever there was a perfect Ohrwurm — that one that won’t get out of your heard for 4+ days, until your brain starts to actually use the bass-line for this song and create weird musical developments that were not originally there (what? does that sound weird? welcome to my BRAAIN) — this is it.

Some Items Before Getting To An Actual Entry

1) I now have a hot water kettle and a cast-iron skillet. I need nothing else.

2) I don’t know when or how it happened (randomness of the universe! or maybe years of slaving), but my sound on the cello is somehow unbelievably good. Now to fix all those other problems. Like my BRAIN.

3) I now have the Momofuku book. I still haven’t been to any of the Momofuku restaurants, but DWAAAAAAH.

That is all.

Ronery In Mansfield, OH

Things most hotels now have: free Wi-Fi.

Things my hotel should have but doesn’t: The Food Network.

While I do appreciate an internet connection (srsly!), I’d almost prefer the later to the former, but oh well.

I guess it really was a wise choice to stop midway between Normal and Rochester. Instead of being too exhausted to move a finger and snowed upon in the dark, I only feel reasonably tired and experienced no snow save for a few flurries that occurred while the sun was still shining brightly. It also keeps my anger towards other idiot drivers from devouring my soul quite so much as a full 13 hour drive might.

I also got to kick myself for even attempting to get off the Thruway to stop at the Trader Joe’s off of Alisonville Road in Indianapolis. That is one heinous area on a Saturday afternoon. I made it there, anyway, and have some important Trader Joe’s goods.

I don’t know. I enjoy driving. A lot. I’ve said this before. And I like the Midwest. The desolate parts, especially.

Anyway.

Brought To You By The Letter DON’T WANNA

Famous last words: I DON’T WANNA.

Go back to school, that is.

Oh, it’ll be fine. It’s always nice to go back to the world of productivity (er…maybe just “activity”). And it’ll be nice to be back in Rochester. And to be able to cook for myself again (something I enjoy a lot more than I realize). And get some productive future-goal planning moving.

It’s just the process of getting there — you know, packing, DRIVING 13+ HOURS, looking at weather forecasts for every moderate-sized town between here and Rochester for seven days before the drive that kind of gets me down.

On the bright side, I really do enjoy long drives. It’s some good alone-time. And a chance to catch up on my podcasts. And yell at Ohio drivers (which I honestly do enjoy in a weird way). Plus, this time around I’m being a sane person and splitting the drive into two days because I don’t really fancy driving in the lake effect snow in the dark between Cleveland and Rochester and probably not getting in until 12am or later. This means I get to stay in a hotel and watch The Food Network (aaah, life’s perks).

Also on the bright side. I just reserved a copy of the Momofuku Cookbook, which I haven’t been able to stop thinking about since that day I found it sitting at a Borders. So that will be waiting for me when I get back.

So all in all, not bad. Right?

Still, though. I DON’T WANNA.

Aaaah, The New Year…

Ummmmmmm, Happy 2010?

In case you’re not in Illinois right now, ho ly shit.

This is what the roads are like across the entire state, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation’s page. Red highlighted roads or county backgrouds indicate snow or ice covered. Yellow indicates patchy and green is clear.

So yeah.

Also, according to the site, this is a Code 6, or the worst interstate condition reported.

Yay?

I’m in the Champaign-Urbana area right now, and am supposedly leaving for Rochester from Bloomington-Normal on Saturday so…wish me luck!

WordPress Huzzah!

Well, happy New Year, for real this time.

I know I still have a few days of break left, but I’m already experiencing weird anxiety about school starting again, namely in the form of dreams.

I hate anxiety dreams. They ruin everything. Or at least the few moments after I wake up. And I guess these dreams are no big deal, as they’re not nightmares from which I wake up truly upset or feeling threatened or at risk. BUT THEY’RE REALLY DAMN ANNOYING. Because when you play a recital, and then have dreams about playing a recital for AT LEAST a month following said recital, it’s hard to feel like you’re really done. Same goes with school. Where is my ACTUAL winter break?? Weird class and social situations follow me into my dreams, as well as recitals. And, while I really don’t want to give the impression that I’m not happy in school or that I’m not enjoying my time there (because those two things are untrue — school mainly just stresses me out), Eastman actually reminds me a lot of junior high school. And I thought I was done with that. So when my dreams not only take me into school during a time in which I shouldn’t be there, but take me even further back into junior high school territory, I get cranky. CRANKY.

So anyway. Dreams.

In the meantime, though, I’ve been able to see a lot of my favorite people and get some sleep here and there and freeze my arse off in the cold. So all in all, a successful break.

And not to set myself up for failure or anything, but I have some technical resolutions to share. I am also going to resolve to…

Master WordPress code (including php, I suppose)

Switch this blog over to WordPress and my official domain

Design more layouts, for “fun”

Come up with a good photo-editing workflow

Yep.

I don’t think I’d need to switch this layout over to WordPress, except as it would happen, WordPress is pretty damn awesome, or so I’m discovering. In terms of plug-ins and automated-ness and whatnot.

WordPress huzzah.

In 2010 I Resolve To…

Spend some time outside every day, even if the weather isn’t perfect and I just walk around the block.

Write something every day that is in no way related to academia.

Read something every day that is in no way related to academia.

Worry less about what others are thinking and more about what I’m thinking.

Not worry that others are being critical of me, as long as I am also not being critical of others.

Replace the negative self-talk with some more positive stuff.

Not beat the dead horse.

Knit up a storm.

Become more photographically involved.

Sightread something on the cello every day.

Play other instruments that are not the cello.

Stop thinking that I am quite so much of a social failure.