End Of Part I, Intermission

So I just listened to this song by Why? about eight times in a row. Just thought you should know and have your ears bombarded if you so choose to click play.

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End of Intermission, Part II.

Observe As I Collapse Into Fits Of Obsessive Hysteria

Man. I thought I’d finished all this academic paper-writing crap FOUR WEEKS AGO. Apparently not. Let’s see if I can just cough up three more pages or so.

In other things that are allowing me to further procrastinate, I’ve decided that if I could switch brains with any person on the planet for one day, it would totally be Kate Beaton.

Oh, jeeze, I kind of have a serious girl-crush on her which is resulting in my obsessing over Hark, A Vagrant in OH so many ways. And I know she’s going to be in Toronto this weekend at some Con. And I’m honestly contemplating going up there and being a socially inept fan and asking her if we can, like, be friends and stuff. I’M NOT CREEPY.

Okay, bear with me, but please observe the following:

Canadian Stereotype Comics

Wait, I mean, look over here! 20,000 leagues

Yes, cephalopods totally freak me out to the point where I don’t even feel safe eating them. But this portrayal of the giant squid? Cracks me the eff up.

Anyway. I should write my eurhythmics paper.

This has been another severe procrastination blog entry. Please stay tuned.

Just Gonna Say It

I’m being curmudgeonly and ridiculous on a Saturday night. WHAT MORE DO YOU PEOPLE WANT FROM ME?

There is a hilariously fine line between simple, healthy alone-time and crotchety misanthropy. I live to flirt with that line. I know I just wrote some crap about the way I’m no longer a cranky introvert and alone-time and blah blah blah. But the truth is that I apparently need to be around people more than I think I do, because I’ll decide I need very specific time by myself and things will be okay, no, great! And then all of a sudden for reasons I can’t always understand, I become this ridiculous, very paranoid person. So in the name of honesty and openness, I just thought I’d share that.

The End.

In other extremely confusing news, yesterday morning I was getting dressed to go for a long-ass hike somewhere in some hills of the Finger Lakes region when I found a perfect, fresh, six-inch long scratch just above my left breast. I’m seriously a little freaked out, because how does somebody get a scratch like that in a PLACE like that while they’re sleeping?! The only truly logical (logical in my head, anyway) explanations I’ve come up with are a) sleep-walking b) paranormal weird shit or c) clever, possibly sentient bazillipedes. Brrr!

Also! Guitar know-how is slowly increasing. Stuart Davis must be thanked, particularly for this song:

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AND THIS JUST IN! Stuart Davis featured on NPR’s Songs About Aliens. CHECK IT. Okay, see? Paranormal weird shit. Now I have to go be paranoid that aliens are abducting me in the night and leaving me with weird scratches in bizarre places. ANYWAY.

Back to your regularly scheduled misanthropy.

Spring

It has sprung! And as always happens when it does, I go little crazy from the new-found energy I don’t know what to do with.

Here is a song that is so very Springy I won’t be at all surprised if it causes you to upchuck flowers. Please listen.

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download me

I just can’t resist Sean O’Hagan or his ridiculous Brian Wilson-y sounds.

Repeat After Me:

Aaaaaaaaaaaaah.

Jury played. Copious amounts of Indian food consumed. Plans made for a necessary hiking-related Rochester escape. ONLY GOOD THINGS.

This was my last true cello-playing obligation at school. I feel pretty much really good about that. Jury week is funny. I was so stressed out and busy last week, but during juries there are NO CLASSES. So I’ve pretty much just been sleeping like a normal human being, running 5 miles each day, hanging out mostly only with people whose company I highly enjoy and don’t cause my introvert-nerves to freak out. Recharging is perhaps the word. Spontaneous and very severe apathy regarding juries and cello-playing in general amazingly helps in this instance.

Also, please check out the huge-ass, meticulously typed and constructed and edited (and STILL NOT COMPLETELY TO MY LIKING) entry in which I talk about thiiiiiings. Go me. Now give me a freakin’ cookie!

Soon to come: new layout. It’s on its way. It was almost fully delivered a week ago except for the part where comments weren’t working and I couldn’t figure out why and I almost turned into the hulk and then I chose to completely ignore the layout instead of do anything.

Things I Will Accomplish This Week

1) Prepare for jury in a non-panicked manner, as things are mostly under control and how much can I actually change stuff in two days?

2) Actually play jury, at which point I will not freak out, because how is it even worth freaking out over?

3) Not slip on fallen Magnolia pedals and die whilst out running. Sure, laugh now, but when it turns out I’ve fallen and split my head open because those slippery bastards got the better of me and then my headstone reads “she loved flowers” it will no longer be funny.

I’m Not A Curmudgeon. You’re Crazy.

Sometimes I get this weird urge to try and be topical in my blog or have cohesion and consistency between entries and really blog about SOMETHING as opposed to whatever-the-hell. That’s usually when I start being hypercritical with myself and write less in general and let things sit in my brain and fester as opposed to freely let them out someplace. So…let’s power through this moment of weirdness!

Other times I wish I could be free of the pull of people on the internet and the internet in general and the resulting clutter, and just go live in a hole in the ground someplace. There’s a little bit of that going on, too! This hole-living plan isn’t as unlikely as it sounds. It’s so damn nice outside. In moments like these, when I have to weigh “practice for jury” against “wander outside,” the clear winner is that option that involves sunshine. And if I did go move to some kind of large human-sized hole, I wouldn’t really have to practice the cello anymore, anyway….so…

But that’s not really what I want to talk about. I want to talk about something almost entirely different: INTROVERSION. Please read this afore-linked article by Jonathan Rauch, because he hits the nail on the head. Introversion is not shyness. Nor is it total social ineptitude (because as much as I joke that I am this last one, I actually do okay). What it is is not needing to be around other people constantly, and needing alone-time to recharge from those times when it happens that one is constantly around other people. This is the most sensical and least offensive way to describe an introvert, and I’m right on board with this description. The truth of the matter, though, is that I’m more often than not a cranky introvert, not one of the neutral-sounding “just needs alone-time” people just described. Finally, though, it’s that I’m starting to figure out WHY I’m a cranky introvert. Just like with everything else in life, it’s a balancing act.

I’m actually pretty proud of my efforts to not be a cranky, motivation-lacking introvert, as that is apt description of me for a very long time. It was impossible to get me to go out into social situations involving people I didn’t know, large groups, or even places I’m not familiar with (mild agoraphobia WOO?) during high school particularly, and well into college. In the last four-five years but particularly the last couple, I’ve become much more crafty at staying chill in these situations. It takes practice, as it would turn out. I’ve done my best to leave expectations low, go with the flow, and just try to keep some perspective when hanging out in large groups of people who I might not know. It’s led me to actually having something that vaguely resembles a normal social life, especially in the last semester, which is really a warm pay-off for the occasional discomfort. This still comes with the price that I need alone-time or I might start kicking people in the shins, but this is still an improvement for me.

However, this is where the balancing act comes in, because HOW MUCH PEOPLE TIME IS TOO MUCH PEOPLE TIME?!? The answer is…who knows! I certainly don’t! What I do know, though, is that there are limits to how much time I can spend in the company of others, and that these limits change a great deal depending on stress level, sleep-getting, and general health and well-being. When I first started going to acupuncture, for example, I rediscovered some crazy energy reserves that really gave me the power to remain carefree and fairly complacent around others for longer periods of time than was typical for me. In general, my quality of life seemed to up itself with acupuncture, and discovering this new-found energy that helped me deal with social anxiety and fatigue a nice side-benefit to some of the major health benefits.

On the other hand? The current happenings of life and school are maybe starting to get to me, physically and emotionally. I know the limits of my body and my being in terms of interacting with others and socializing, and there are red flags and sirens and alarms and all that variety of warning signs going off, telling me that now is a BAD TIME to get stuck in a social arena I am not comfortable in. Not only am I feeling like maybe I’ve overdone my socializing in the past couple months and need some extra recuperation time, but all of these stupid things are also causing my annoyingly over-intuitive brain to work overtime (i.e., I get really effing paranoid that everyone hates me, because isn’t that a really logical thing for my brain to assume when it’s trying to figure out what’s going on in other people’s heads and lives like it normal does, anyway?! — P.S. I’m not creepy). So I’m just taking a moderate time-out on the sidelines, waiting to feel a little better, perhaps, before going back out into the big giant field of social ridiculousness. In the meantime, I just feel incredibly curmudgeonly for suddenly needing all this time to myself and declining every social invitation coming my way. There are worse problems, I suppose.

As an interesting side-note, there are certain people I am comfortable enough with that I can talk to or be around for ridiculous amounts of time and not need to go in for recovery time. These are people I refer to as “Saints” and one day plan to round all of them up at one time so we can go on some crazy universe-wide adventure. Okay. Now is where I stop typing and go outside for the remainder of the day.

A Good Sky To Die Under

Aaaaaaaah! Oh, WHY? You are certainly one of my favorite musical groups.

And this video is awesome! Except for the fact that I have nightmares about this “defending-house, being attacked by mechanical people or just people with chips in their brains” scenario frequently enough that I don’t like the ideas this is giving my brain.

Can’t Get There From Here!

Idiocy is recording bits of a practice session for the first time in months, the week before juries and hours before playing in studio class. It’s way too easy for me to convince myself that I suck. I knew this perfectly well, and yet I went and did it anyway.

Like any other human being in the world except for those who have been lobotomized, I go through very random and abrupt phases of  self-doubt and loathing in ridiculous ways that I can’t shake no matter how much I try to pat myself on the back and give myself a break. It’s my own bullshit, and I know it, and fortunately I’m becoming much more aware of precisely when I’m being an irrational tool-bag. Alas, even when I’m aware of it, there’s little I can do to change it while it’s happening. It’s as if I’m watching a recording of myself being crushed as a piano (or…something heavy) falls on me  in slow motion and I can’t fast forward or pause the damn thing or ANYTHING. I just have to watch as it happens.

I know it has something to do with the pressure situation in this absurd academic atmosphere. There is an undeniable energy force present here that I theorize has the ability to crush all souls, at least to some degree. Feeling like I’m under ridiculous pressure to perform well and have the technical know-how — even if it’s all in my head — exacerbates all sorts of really fun social anxiety issues, as well. I become people-evasive and really paranoid (SOOOO paranoid) and just…ridiculous. And it can be especially hard because once in a blue moon I experience one of those clear moments in which I don’t feel this pressure and everything about performing and playing and living is done with such ease and fulfillment. I had a moment like that, even just today, having played the “final round” of a mock audition and the other finalists and I having moments of sheer ridiculous mockery and raucous laughter in the hallway as the “audition panel” was trying to decide which of us won. The panel could see us through the glass in the door, gesturing and laughing and generally being idiots, and they looked….really confused. So I know it exists, this place of ease. And I’m slowly figuring out where it comes from and how to get there. The problem is just…how do you get there from here (I will not  post lyrics to an appropriate R.E.M. song right here. Nope. Not gonna do it)?

Maybe you can’t, all the way. It’s yet another reason I can’t wait to get out of here. I’ve never felt this “pressure on” crap quite to this degree before coming here, and it’s stifling everything musical and creative inside of me. I know, deep down, that I can be really happy and truly enjoy life and really coexist beautifully with others around me, but I need to have some ease and breathing space and as little random social anxiety as I can get, or I’ll further collapse in on myself.

Also, Grumble Mutter WordPress!!!!!

I Feel Whiny, Oh So Whiny…

Fear not, this has nothing to do with whining. I’m just…conveying…that I’m whiny. And it soon shall pass, of that I am sure.

I have nothing of importance or use or even of interest to say (unless unintelligible and random letters/symbols count. I don’t think they do). So here are things other people have in some way contributed to my day that are AWESOME. Maybe your day will be made by them as well.

One: My sister called to tell me that she saw Slash at JFK International Airport. Awesome.

Two: My journalist friend, Cory, interviewed John Goodman at least partially in regards to Treme. I will refrain from making fangirlish noises, for the sake of the internet.

Three: This recently rediscovered ditty Stuart Davis wrote in his blog something like six years ago. I worship this man in so many ways. And this cracks me up every time I read it. Also, this is in fact the piece of writing that has caused me to promote term “flailing” to “flailing like a palsied little girl.” I remember going to see Stu play live in Iowa City during the short period in which I lived in that town, and I actually worked up the nerve to go up to him while he was signing stuff and say “I LIKE THAT BLOG ENTRY YOU WROTE ABOUT BEES. HEEE HEEE HEEE,” and then I don’t remember anything else that happened because I’m guessing I went into awkward-shock or something. Hmm.

Yes, that is all.

Rough Times, Man.

I deal with stress and rough times in ridiculous ways. Weird, rambling walks are had. Important things are ignored for slightly less important things (i.e., I compulsively clean my bathroom in order to not practice or read things or THINK). Songs end up on repeat.

Especially songs end up on repeat. I recently got one of those cool audio-systems with an iPod hookup installed in my car, since the factory disc changer that came with my car had its little electronic-y brains fried by the front heat of the engine (as eventually happens to most audio units in cars). And that’s great for road-trips and longer in-town drives, but when I’m largely driving  that 7 minutes between home and school it seems like a waste to whip out the old iPod. So CDs are still a thing. But this bad thing happens, with CDs, in which I listen to the same song over and over and over and OVER AND OVER. In a row. Usually because there’s no compelling “what will play next if I put this playlist on random” moment that occurs with the end of every song with an iPod. But this song-on-repeat thing happened a lot last fall when I was stressing out for my recital. And it’s happening again.

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But I don’t care. As far as I’m concerned, this is the best song. Ever. I’m quite probably prancing around my apartment this very instant, as I listen to it obsessively not in my car. So suck it, variety! I don’t need you right now.

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things…

I knew exactly what was going on when I stepped past the livingroom headed towards the bathroom this morning at 7:30am and saw what appeared to me without my glasses as a big brown blurry blob on the ceiling of the livingroom. I didn’t even need to see it clearly — I just felt something, a presence and possessor of far, far too many legs.

Yes, It’s bazillipede season, which means that I’m officially going to be flailing a lot more frequently from now until autumn or until I move to a place where there are no bazillipedes. What are bazillipedes, you ask? I guess they’re more accurately referred to as House Centipedes. And I hate the little bitches.

I know. This is ridiculous. It’s not like any other insect/crawly thing freaks me out to this degree (except for slugs). One day I’ll be an awesome room-mate for someone with an irrational fear of spiders, because spiders don’t bother me, not even killing them, but the same roommate will have to kill centipedes for me. It’s only a fair exchange! So why on earth does one harmless variety of insect cause me to run around shrieking and flailing like a palsied little girl (not that I…do that)? Part of the answer to this question is LEGS. Because bazillipedes have a BAZILLION of them (actually, they have 15 pairs, but any creature with more than 8 legs might as well just have a bazillion), and this disconcerts me more deeply than I can express in words. And now that I think about it, the reverse is true for slugs. The extreme LACK of appendages on the slug is at least part of why slugs cause me to lose my mind.

The bazillipedes come out in warmer weather. From what I gather, they mostly live in dark, damp places like basements. But by jove, last spring they began turning up in our livingroom, and once I even found one stuck in the kitchen sink unable to crawl out (I sprayed it with the detachable hose until it went down garbage disposal — which took at least FIVE MINUTES because of all the legs, oh, god, the legs!). I suspect they come up through pipes, or vents, or something. Who knows. Who wants to know?! It wasn’t completely surprising to find that they lived in this apartment once I moved here last June, being as it’s an old building and I live on ground floor and, you know. I would see one occasionally, usually only in the livingroom, and usually someplace on or along the wall. And I might throw a book at it and then it would run away and everything would be alright again.

However, this centipede on my ceiling this morning simply sat there. And sat there. And sat there. After leaving for a few hours and coming back again, it was in the exact same spot. And then I realized that this bazillipede had died attached to the ceiling. Well, great. Now the other centipedes are going to get ideas and all decide to die on my ceiling, and I’ll never be able to function normally ever again. This is the point at which I realize I’m thinking REALLY irrational obsessive thoughts about the way in which my livingroom was so obviously becoming  a centepede exoskelleton-yard, and left the room to cool of for a few minutes. Only to return to find that it had fallen to the floor. I grabbed my vacuum, averted my eyes and sucked it up (GET IT?! SUCKED IT UP?!). The End.

Except I know there are more of them and I know they’re all going to die on my ceiling from here on out.

Oh well. I guess it could be worse. There could be cephalopods invading my apartment, as completely ridiculous and impossible as that sounds. But hey. They are crafty little bitches. And when you’re bowing to our new Squid Overlords, you’ll wonder why you didn’t worry, too.

It’s Almost Summer Now, But Winter For A Few

I wish there was a way to convey unintelligible groaning in written text form, because that’s probably the most recurrent and accurate theme in life right now. Here, let me give it a try: HLURRRR, HNNNNNG.

Yeah. Not very effective.

I’ve had my fill of school. Possibly forever. I can’t wait to have the time and the energy and the mojo to take on other creative endeavors. Just need to survive another couple weeks, I suppose. Until then, much dreaming of faraway places. And crazy music. Or not-so crazy music.

This Had Better Be My Last Academic Paper, Ever.

As is always the case, my creative writing mojo does get  flowing the night before a paper is due, but in all the wrong places. And then I blog something.

I’m so close to the end of this degree-getting ridiculousness. I don’t think I have another 8-page paper left in me. So who knows how I’m going to cough up this history paper by tomorrow morning at 10:35. Magic? Or as an awesome friend told me to think of it, mental masturbation.

I mainly just wish that if I were going to not care about some academic stupid thing, I could at least do so without feeling guilty and in turn stressing out over feeling guilty about academic work. My brain is SO simple.

Then again, it could be worse. It helps to remember that one time in 2005 in which I got back from a Thanksgiving break spent in Germany with my family, getting back to school late Sunday night with crazed jetlag, and the Monday night around 11:30pm flipping out because a friend “reminds” me that we have a paper due for our American Judaism class the next morning, over some readings from a book I never even looked at until that night (since I’d bee in Germany!). That was a hilarious night. Amazingly enough, I got a B+ on that paper!

Further apologies for the crap layout. It really makes me sad every time I visit my own blog. It can’t be much better for people that aren’t me. Just gotta harness some brain vomit for a paper, and then I’m…vaguely free!

All’s Well And Functional

I feel like I woke up this morning to find myself in the sterile white room of WordPress templates. On the up-side, isn’t it easier to read and navigate than the previous design? In any case, expect at least a hint of color and things to look at, soon.

One of the things that pushed me over the edge to finally just get the hell over to WordPress is the ability to share and use media with much more ease both for author and reader. Plugins for WordPress are endless, to be sure. I’d love to more easily share music and photos and other such wonders. Expect some form or other of that.

So let’s do it.

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Song: Brian Eno, Mother Whale Eyeless. To add some auditory color to your visually dead experience. Close your eyes. Tilt your head back. Exist with Brian Eno for a few minutes.

First Post From The Dark Side

WordPress is so SHIIINY.

But part of me is all “what have I DONE?!” But then the other part just reminds me of how WordPress is shiny and there will be plug-ins.

Still not done with a layout. But it’s coming along. Sort of. In the meantime, this will be a nice temporary layout of sorts that will function. And somewhere in there I’ll write a paper and play a jury and it’ll be great.

*edit* Oh god. Comments were imported. Comments and CATEGORIES even though I haven’t really used them much. I don’t know whether to cower in fear of WordPress and build a shrine and slaughter a goat in its name, or….not.

Shit Just Got Real

Yeah. Nobody’s getting much warning for this. Not even me. But something just snapped and I can’t put it off any longer. I’m movin’ to WordPress! Tonight (in theory, anyway, as long as the WordPress Powers that Be also accept this). I have no idea what the Blogger moving-stuff entails, since I first have to move this entire blog to a Blogger hosted space, so…I’m pretty sure there will actually be nothing here for a few moments or two. But. You’ll all find me again somehow. I’ll definitely put a redirecting link here to the new URL that anyone can get to, as soon as this shit goes down. RSS people…you’ll all figure it out.

Bye, lovely loving Blogger my love. I’ll miss you.

A List Of Things I Plan Never To Do Again

1) Run 8 miles out of nowhere, with little preparation for that kind of distance after a winter of relative sloth-itude.

This completes my list.

I’m serious. Let this be a lesson to myself and runners and aspiring runners everywhere: DO NOT increase the distances of your runs in big, gaping increments. Your body will not thank you, in fact it will probably do the opposite of thank you. I knew after this run that I was going to feel some kind of discomfort, whether it be sore joints or aching muscles or whatever. What I did not expect was for my feet and ankles to give up on life in the way that they did. Oh, fine. It’s not as bad as I’m making it sound. But it still sucks. It’s taken a week for me to be able to comfortably wear shoes again with some kind of tight, dull pain going on somewhere internally within my both my feet. It’s made going for long-ish walks out of the question, let alone moderate or even short runs.

I have to say that this brings up a small issue of my running with other people (as opposed to all by my lonesome, which is all I typically do) and that is the fact that I listen to the person I run with before I listen to my body. Failing to listen to one’s body is probably the best way to end up injured, and this goes for a lot of things in life besides just running. So I sure hope that’s learned me a lesson. I guess this issue could be taken to another level and it could be said that when I co-exist with other people, I listen to the other people more than I listen to my own needs or wants. But let’s save that topic for some other day.

So yeah. I’m alive. I don’t why I’m failing to write or blog or anything at all lately. This school’s weird, crazy excretion of stress and freaking out is I guess causing me to….stress and freak out. About all sorts of things. I do get frustrated when I don’t allow myself to write more, especially when I probably need it. Maybe I should pretend like it’s November and hereby declare April NaBloPoMo.