Boys Becoming Men, Men Becoming Wolves

Some of you may be wondering — WHERE IS TALIA?! What is she doing? Why isn’t she blahging?!?

Well, to answer those questions, I am RIGHT FREAKIN’ HERE!

And, oh my god, I have basically doubled the number of cello students I had as of two weeks ago AAAAH I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON. I’m teaching both privately and through a music store here in town and it’s…yeah. It’s great? I have no idea what it is. No matter how I try to approach the subject of teaching in my blog, I find teaching to be simultaneously way too awesome and difficult for me to effectively express in words how I feel or what I think about it. Especially youngsters, oh dear god, the youngsters. I’m a bit overwhelmed, as I was really getting into the groove of being able to teach the five students I’d had since last August and was not prepared for a sudden onslaught of…lots more. But don’t get me wrong! It’s great! Great. And stuff. That’s what I’m doing.

I have no idea why I don’t blog as much anymore, but now that I’m following my New Years resolution and blogging only when I want to without guilt, it sort of…doesn’t matter? I need to write someplace and I may write here or I may not depending on how agitated the internet makes me at any given time. Wait. I think I just summed up exactly why I don’t blog all that much anymore: THE INTERNET LEAVES ME FEELING AGITATED. At least, it does when I’m not watching this 20 times in a row:

30 Rock is amazing. Carry on.

La La La Publish Without Proofreading

I just finished A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers and BRAIN ON FIRE.

Not because the book was good — which it most certainly was — but because holy SHIT I am reading books. This has not happened consistently and obsessively in god knows how long.

Do not misunderstand — I did read books during grad school and the year or two before grad school, but only in an occasional, slow and tedious way on top of the required academic reading (which I honestly didn’t do all of anyway — I think there was a certain Baroque Music text written by a certain Very Famed Music Historian Professor during my undergrad which was a painful read and might have contributed to a slight distaste for reading of all kinds for the next few years). I read, I think, I don’t know. Two books a year? And mainly because I felt as though I should be reading books and felt guilty for not — kind of like me with blogging and how I’d begun to do so only when I felt really guilty for not blogging (aside: my other not-new-years-resolution because I didn’t make any is to stop blogging out of guilt and only blog when I am sincerely want to blog. Thus, the recent and very shameless lack of posting. NOT BLOGGING IS FUN). And they tended to be non-fiction books that were FUNNY or at least interesting and succinct. Except for Infinite Jest, but I clearly did not finish that book anyway. And I was crazy. No, I am reading again. I finish one book, I pick up another. Obsessive, enjoyable reading.

The person who is largely to thank for this return to reading is none other than J.K. FUCKING ROWLING. That’s right. I did it. I read the entire Harry Potter series from start to finish in less than two months.

It was a good plan, really: read a page-turning series, especially a page-turning series whose last three books I have absolutely no recollection of reading and BAM, you turn a person who has suffered some kind of internal literary damage into someone who thinks books are that bee’s knees. The cat’s meow, if you will.

I am so excited by books and there are just so many of them that I have simply not read, not to mention a lot of really great books that have come into existence in the recent however-many years I’ve had close to no interest in reading.

If you are curious, you can view my Goodreads profile here. Or you can join Goodreads yourself and find yet another delightful way to maintain your internet-related OCD habits. And then friend me so that we can share books. BOOKS. WHICH I READ.

Regarding A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, it was great. And sad. I ought to have read it a lot earlier, maybe six or seven years earlier, but especially 1.5-2 years earlier whilst undergoing major hormonal contraceptives-related depression. I’m not sure if it would have helped or made it that much worse, but I imagine it would have done something.

Status Of Ridiculously Large Mouse: Caught

After today I am simply not okay with killing mice by way of glue trap. Even if they’re huge-ass. Even if they’re pestilent vermin. Even if they kept me up late at night with their squeaking and scurrying. Next time there is a home invasion by mice, I will use a different method of mouse eradication, one that does not involve killing or immobilizing or poison-usage. There do in fact exist safe, non-poisonous mouse repellents.

That said, this mouse was HUGE ASS. I’m really glad I never actually saw it while it was scurrying around my room, or I probably would have lost my shit.

So, goodbye, giant ass mouse. I know that I’m an overly-sympathetic schmo, but I’m sorry for the way you had to go.

Chronic Mice Killing — I Mean Sleep Deprivation — I Mean Both

I think the mice broke me.

See, they weren’t actually living in my closet. No, indeed. And they weren’t living in that puzzle-box beneath my night-stand. Oh, no. They’re living under the floor, in a spot just below the head of my bed, so that if I make noises in that spot at the head of my bed, I’ll hear very faint squeaking.

How the mice make their way into my room at night is still a mystery: originally it was thought that they crawled in through a very tiny hole in my closet where the door-frame meets the greatly sloping 45 degree ceiling, but that’s been ruled as highly unlikely. Then it was thought that they might come in through the cover-less electrical outlet that’s in that same area, until we replaced the cover of the outlet and nothing about the nocturnal appearances of the mice changed. So yes. Baffled. That’s what I am.

WHY these mice scamper all through my room at stupid hours of the morning is due to the fact that I am stupid. Yes. I know. No news there. Somebody — I don’t remember who, one friend or the other — bought some wrapped caramels from a shop in downtown Normal, and gave me one, which I proceeded to NEVER EAT (because caramels make my throat itch) and then mindlessly threw into the open storage-space under my night-stand along with a bunch of other crap that didn’t receive a second thought. After a few nights or so of dealing with mouse-scurrying sounds, I cleaned the BEJESUS out of my room in an effort to locate any clues as to mouse whereabouts and discovered the caramel half-eaten, with little bits of wrapper pieces all over the place. Score.

Long story short, the more things I did to eliminate rustling noises in my room or places for the beasts to hide, the louder the noises became and the more absurd mouse activity became. My room is pretty ridiculously clean at this point, with nothing on the floor except for my waste-paper basket and the giant-ass cardboard box in which my Nikon D7000 was sent to me, and still I hear things bump and scrape and shift in the night. One morning I woke to find some of the contents of my waste-paper basket littering the floor around the basket. WHY?

I’ve given up former warm-and-fuzzy feelings of pity for the mice. I want them dead. SO dead. Traps have been steadily increasing in number over the past week. It went from two regular traps to those plus two sticky traps (which I swore I would never use when this all started, because I figured that the mice at least deserved a quick and decent end. CRAZY TALK, THAT WAS). And then I want to reclaim actual nights of sleep.

And what a reminder about sleep this is. It’s become plain as freaking DAY how my mental well-being is tied to the amount of sleep I achieve over a period of time. I cannot function without consistent, healthy sleeping hours. CANNOT. Sure, a couple nights at a time of little-to-no-sleep, doable! Exciting, in fact. But when a week, two weeks go by and I am consistently sleeping less than 6 hours a night, things turn ugly. I become crotchety, super-emotional and hyper-sensitive to just about everything. I’ve noticed, especially this time around, that my slight OCD tendencies have become unhealthily exacerbated. When things are out of order, instead of fixing them and not thinking much of it I get REALLY frustrated about the fact that things are out of order and it contributes to the cantankerous mood and behavior. And of course, in a true Talia fashion, I become super-aware of my crotchety-horrible-human-being-ness to the degree that I then become paranoid that everyone hates me from this crappy human being I’ve become. What a lovely icing on this cake of pain!

I hypothesize that all college room-mate experiences that I deemed “not awesome” ultimately had to do with me being chronically sleep-deprived. It makes sense, as I remember very specific long periods of crappy sleep in each of these situations. It’s really too bad — I feel bad for anybody who has to put up with my crazy sleep-deprived bullshit.

So truly. I have to kill these mice DEAD. For the sake of my poor family, and my friends who I might not ever see again unless I resume sleeping and cease to act like a hermity basketcase. Also so that I stop hearing phantom squeaking and rustling everywhere I go (I’m jumpy enough as it is). Next step, if traps don’t work, is to point my huge-ass Peavy amp at the floor at a ridiculous volume and LET LOOSE.

Brought to you by extreme lack-of-sleeps.

Eat Me, 2011

Welcome to a Brand Spankin’ New Year.

My original New Year’s Resolution was not to make any resolutions. I’m just not good at working towards very specific, highly idealized shiny goals that involve numbers. I forget about them, or I just ignore them because they’re annoying.

But I vaguely changed my mind when I realized that New Years Resolutions are a chance for me to take stock of what I’d like to change about myself as a person, by which I mean the way I THINK about things. Happiness is all in the eye of the beholder, after all, and if I can find small ways to change how I think and in turn find a little more happiness somewhere down there, why the heck not. If anything, a resolution involving ways I want to think differently is just that — something to PONDER over. I like that kind of resolution better than specific number of something I need to hit.

So…let’s discuss. What would I like to change?

Well…I am an annoyingly sensitive human being, specifically when it comes to other people’s feelings. I’m not implying that I CARE about other people’s feelings (though to an extent, I do care about other people’s feelings unconditionally). I mean to say that I am super-aware of other people when it comes to my interactions with them and what they might be thinking about me, and I will go to (what I see as) any and all lengths to please the people around me so they are happy with what I am doing. And I need to stop that! I should be accountable for only my feelings and my own actions, not other people’s. I end up sacrificing my happiness and my sanity just because I do what I deem will make everyone happy — because it is in my anxiety-filled interest to do so. And I’m talking about stuff that shouldn’t be sacrificed, such as my personal philosophy or integrity when it comes to things like ART and MUSIC. And so I cannot emphasize the way in which I need to NOT DO THIS ANY MORE.

These might sound like the words of a troubled person who complicates all things to a detrimental degree, but seriously, I am so much less crazy and ridiculous than I was just a few years back. Honest and trust-worthy friends have informed me of this very fact! I should get a gold star, or something!

And…I also resolve to listen to more ridiculously delightful electronic music.

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You’re listening to a track from one of my very favorite albums from 2010, Matthew Dear’s Black City. Sooo good.

Heck. I also resolve to contribute more money to my mutual fund. Once I’ve replenished my bank account after splurging on a very Fancy Camera, that is…

I mean WHAT you’re crazy THERE ARE NO FANCY CAMERAS HERE.