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Sep 7, 2009 - 10:58 PM
Everything to Everyone.
Angst.
No, not the song (although it's now stuck in my head...)

I'm so STUCK. My mom is having some sort of emotional breakdown, and seems to think that everybody hates her/talks to her like a dog/is treated like a second-class citizen except for me, and now that I'm leaving for grad school she's latched onto me and won't let me go, and is depressed as fuck about it. All she does is cry about things, especially the fact that my dad just kind of avoids her or is irritated by the things she does -- which, not gonna lie, so am I, but I'm a girl and her daughter so I can kind of deal with it better -- and she does the annoying things she does because she is stuck in the house all the time, due to her being sick. Of course, my mom is one of the worst people to get sick, because she's always the victim in any given situation anyway, and when she has an excuse it's almost intolerable. And then, when you do something for her and it's not done 'her' way, she either tells you you're doing it wrong and tries to redo it herself, or gets mad that you did it wrong. I know that's why my dad is frustrated and sort of isolating himself, because my mom has all day to get her little rituals just the way she wants them, and then he tries to do something (like watch TV) and takes control away from her, and she gets naggy and insistent.

::sigh::

Now, not gonna say my dad's perfect, but I've always been able to see his point of view, because things happen to me that happen to him so I can relate. My dad is taking care of his dad, because my grandpa had a few strokes but is back living by himself again, and can't really do much on his own; he can't drive, he can't write, and he can't talk that well. He wasn't much on personality before, so now he's really dull. My mom is terrified that my dad is going to act the way my grandpa acted with my grandma when she went crazy, and that's not good... the men on that side of the family basically seal themselves away and don't do much. They seem to stick by their family, but retreat into TV or hobbies completely and don't go out of it. Probably because in the end, they're pretty self-sufficient and find it easier to just deal with the 'problem' part of their lives as little as possible and otherwise try to occupy their time with escapist things like TV.

Sometimes I can be the same way, but it just bothers me seeing my parents like this. Not only that, I worry because I don't want to ever be in a situation like that. It's like, since I left for college there's nothing for them to do. And to make things worse, my mom has decided to be slightly obsessed with going to church and trying to impose religion on my dad -- who was raised Catholic and really has no affinity for it -- and he's very, very resistant to going. Which makes my mom more upset, because she thinks that she won't get better if he's not supportive of it. To be honest, I don't particularly like the breed of religion she's floating towards, as it's the fake-crying-on-TV kind of crap. As it is, she goes to church and cries for half of the service, and it's just beyond me why this is.


The main thing is, I don't like the guilt trip my mom (and to some extent, my grandma) lay on me every time I leave for college. They act like I have to be here all the time, and unfortunately, I have to grow up. More importantly, I want to grow up, and they're just going to have to let me.

(sorry to be angsty, it's just there and it has nowhere else to go other than sit in my head)

PS: Just realized that this is a lot like the previous entry. Sorry... but not much has changed, except it's largely gotten worse :-/


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[public entry #194]

Aug 18, 2009 - 08:42 PM
Any only children on here?
Just out of curiosity. I happen to know several, and I've always liked being one, but right about now it's becoming a problem.

My mom and my grandma appear right now to be a little too attached to me. I think that's one reason why it was good for me to go to Austin for school, so they wouldn't get used to me coming around every few weeks. And it's equally good that I'm going to Cincinnati for grad school, because I'll be coming home even less (due to the schedules and such).

However, recent conversations with my mom and grandma (and even some of my old high school friends) have led me to believe that they all are really a bit naive regarding my future. After all, I'm a musician. The nature of most musicians is to move around a lot. My mom and grandma start crying at the mere mention of me leaving for my upcoming school year, and my grandma told me she'll be "glad when the next two years are over." What do they think I'm going to do, get my Master's and just go back to the Valley in California? What good will it have done me to go halfway across the US and abroad and get two degrees if I'm just going to go back and do the same shit in the same town, when I probably could have done well enough with less effort (and money spent)?

Not to mention summer and jobs and such. My parents get onto me about having a job, that I need to have one, but when I tell them that means that I'll probably have to just stay put wherever I am in whatever city I'm in (Cincinnati this time) and won't be able to come home for THREE MONTHS in the summer to hang around the house, my mom gets upset. I've told them that the vast majority of my friends go back home at most for 2 weeks at any given time during their breaks, and then they go back to Austin or wherever they live while going to school. They have jobs, and lives. I have gigs, and a mom that wants me there all the time.

Now, I understand, the last two summers my grandma and now my mom have been sick. They really appreciate me being around and helping them, because they have difficulties doing stuff for themselves. But I won't always be there. I can't, not if I'm going to have a life of my own. What will happen when I want to get married? What if I get a job in the midwest? My mom told me she wants to move wherever I go when I get a serious job. What? What if I end up in Europe? I have a friend who would be willing to help me with that... or even Macau or somewhere more exotic? Fiji Island Symphony, who knows.

It's just frustrating and upsetting to me that my parents want me to be independent, but at the same time they want me to be around all the time; actually, my dad is definitely not like that, but my mom and grandma sure are.

Ah, well. Everything works out eventually, I guess. I suppose I could be a bit more proactive, and just get a damned job and then they wouldn't be able to do anything about it. Because as it is, I need to appease them somewhat because they help me out financially.

Currently Playing: >nothing<

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[public entry #193]

Aug 9, 2009 - 05:36 PM
Addict.
--_--
So this past week I spent excavating my old bed from my parents' 'junk room' (the middle/third bedroom) because my back was dying from sleeping on the shitty Thai futon they replaced the bed with in my old room.

The bonus to this is that I would free up some space in that middle bedroom so that I could move the boxes and boxes of books that were taking up space in my bedroom. I didn't realize exactly how many books I had until they were all stacked up:


Six boxes of novels, one box of comics, one box of manga and four boxes of reference type books.

And there's still two boxes under my desk, some books in the top of my closet and the top of my room locker. And 5 boxes I shipped from Texas that are still sweltering in the SUV outside. Ughhh. So now we're going to buy a big-ass bookcase to go against one wall in this room, for all the stuff. I hope it fits them all... I'm thinking IKEA, but it would have to be shipped here, as we don't have one near us.


In other news, my grandma ditched me today to go on a 'date' with this guy in Fresno, to see a Jazz/blues festival.

Currently Playing: Soundgarden - Slaves & Bulldozers

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[public entry #192]

Aug 3, 2009 - 09:20 PM
Oh California
~_~
The only thing that's nice about it being hot as fuck all summer, is the fact that I have a pool, therefore I am going swimming.

:-D

What are y'all up to?

Currently Playing: Lithium on XM radio (ahhh...high school memories)

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[public entry #191]

Jul 23, 2009 - 05:03 AM
It's been a while.
I haven't even been lurking on here in what, five months? Basically the duration of my senior year of college... which I've finally finished, after retaking my math class this summer (I failed it for various reasons during the Spring semester... bothered me a bit, I've never failed any class).

BUT -- I still don't get my degree, because the chamber music professor I had last semester didn't turn in my grade, which means it's incomplete on my record and therefore holds my degree back. I wouldn't be worried, except I need to send my final transcript to the University of Cincinnati by September 1st at the latest. And the professor in question is currently out of the country on tour with his quartet . Ugh.

I've moved away from Austin, TX now, and that's really saddening to me. Austin is an awesome, awesome town and I wish that I could make a living there to support myself. But I can't, so I guess I'll just go back to visit from time to time. I'll be living in Cincinnati, OH for the next two years, starting this September (any GFFers around those parts?).

My mother's also been going through some nasty neurological problems that three doctors have yet to figure out, so far. She's been dealing with this since last November, and the closest we have to a diagnosis is "Probably Multiple Sclerosis." Not good enough, because the drugs for that are way too scary to use unless there's more than a 50% chance of having it.

Anyway. I know I'm not terribly high-profile on here, but I missed it nonetheless . Hopefully I can be around a little more, before my grad school takes over my life.

Currently Playing: Mystery in Swing

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[public entry #190]

Mar 21, 2009 - 01:06 AM
GRAD SCHOOL!
Here I come .


I was accepted into my first choice, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music! And it was the first school I heard back from, to boot!

I'm so excited... I honestly wasn't sure if I was going to go to grad school (mostly because I assumed I wouldn't be able to afford it)... but I'm also getting a scholarship that covers 75% of the tuition! Honestly, I can't say how happy I am about this. There are a lot of things in place there that I think will be really beneficial to me, and the next International Viola Congress is going to be held there!! The teacher I want to study with (Cathy Carroll) is the chair of it :-).


SO EXCITED.
Now all I have to do is graduate from UT.


In other news, why is spring break so damned short? I've had fun and all, but really now. I'm going to have to disappear from everything except facebook until April .

Currently Playing: Katzenjammer and Rammstein

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[public entry #189]

Mar 18, 2009 - 12:08 PM
SXSW Spring Break!
Woo, it's been a while!

Just popped in... I've been super stressed/super busy (the same old story).
However, it's spring break!! Which really didn't start for me until today, and even so I'm having to use most of my extra time to practice for my recital; Hindemith's "Der Schwanendreher" is killing me slowly .

But, as it's my last year in Austin at UT, I'm making the most of it by sticking around for the last South By Southwest music festival . Last year it basically sucked, so I didn't feel so bad about leaving for Mexico. This year it's shaping up to be pretty good... the rundown of what I'm seeing from now until Saturday night:

- Hot Club of Cowtown (tonight!)
A local group that "blends the gypsy swing of Django Reinhardt and the Western Swing of Bob Wills." They get around... I think a few years ago they were on Jools Holland.

- Katzenjammer
An all-girls Norwegian band that opened for Kaizers Orchestra this past tour (at least, in Norway they did). I think they're pretty awesome, and I'm really stoked to see them live!!!

- Igudesman & Joo
Musical comedy duo made up of a violinist (Igudesman) and pianist (Joo) that do amusing bits of classical and pop-inspired sketches. I honestly never thought I'd see them live... so I'm really excited for this too :-)

- Hot Leg
Okay, I honestly don't think I'll get to see them, because they're more of an 'official/popular' act than the other things I want to see. This is really just me getting back to myself back in 2004/5, when I had a huge fancrush on Justin Hawkins' skinny ass in The Darkness the whole time I was in the UK. I also really like the song "Gay in the 80s." So... we'll see what happens.

- White Ghost Shivers
Another local band. You'd think as much as they play around here, I would have seen them since the last time I saw them in 2007, but I haven't. They're playing a couple of times, so hopefully I'll catch one show. Cabaret Hot Jazz, good stuff.

- Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip
I think most people have seen that "Thou Shalt Always Kill" music video? I like their stuff, but let's see if I get in... if not, there are always the dayparties.

Other people I might get around to seeing are Blue Giant, Echo and the Bunnymen (but they're going to be badges/wristbands only, I'm sure), Kamikaze Queens and (the Lord Weird) Slough Feg. But that's only if I have time. All the others are priority. Hopefully my time -- and money -- hold out!





Currently Playing: Espiritu al Aire - E Nomine

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[public entry #188]

Feb 8, 2009 - 11:21 AM
Travel Woes in Houston, TX.
It's audition season for musicians, and I'm not out of the loop. Over three weeks I'm doing 4 Master's auditions in 4 states, which means $$$$$$$$ (me spending it, that is).

On Friday I auditioned for the Shepherd School of Music at Rice in Houston, TX. This is the closest I'll stay to Austin in terms of my MM. My roommate drove me down (up?) and we stayed overnight in an airport hotel (my mistake...). My audition went very well, especially considering I haven't auditioned for anything in 4 years. I flew out that afternoon to MN.

On Saturday morning (!) I auditioned for the School of Music in Minneapolis, MN. It was a very strange thing for me to see a huge city with close to nobody on the streets, because of the cold and snow :-o. I have to say, kudos on the public transportation to and from the airport there. I don't have a car, and my friend there didn't have one either, so without the Hiawatha rail line I would have found myself spending $35-40 on a cab.

Which brings me back to Houston. Because of the whole flying-to-MN thing, I couldn't do the diagnostic tests that Rice requires the day of my audition. I rescheduled them for the following Monday, not really thinking how fucking difficult it would be for me to get around Houston sans roommate and car. One of my friends offered to pick me up, but he has rehearsal :-(. And a cab to the Rice University area? $60. NO WAY.

Why does HTX not have a decent public transportation system? You'd think with how sprawling the city is, they would have a nice rail system in place by now, or at least, one that gets you to and from the International airport. But nooooo... only the bus. And I'm paranoid to take the bus with my laptop and an instrument worth more than most people's cars :-(... we'll see how this turns out.

Currently Playing: Peter Fox -- Fieber

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[public entry #187]

Jan 6, 2009 - 04:35 AM
I've become a sheep... again.
u_u
So I just bought myself a new Macbook Pro about 7 hours ago.

Granted, I went with a refurb model, but hey, I managed to get it with a free printer bundled in for $1,700 . I hope everything works out alright.

Tomorrow I take my mom around for a battery of neurological tests (3 MRIs and an EEG). Hopefully by Friday the results will show something that is operable and not life-threatening, as I'm really concerned about her. As long as it's not a brain tumor and/or cancer I'll be relieved, although the prospect of MS or some sort of autoimmune spinal disorder isn't too cheery either .

1.75 weeks until my last semester of undergrad!
1 month until my first audition for grad school. WTF?!?

Currently Playing: Heart - 'Alone'

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[public entry #186]

Dec 30, 2008 - 07:42 PM
Help me pick out a laptop. NOW.
Frustrated.
Before I go crazy trying to make a decision. Whenever I come close to deciding, somebody tells me something or I read something.
I'm basically trying to decide between two similarly-outfitted machines (click for specs):

- Dell XPS 1530
- Apple Macbook Pro 2.4GHz
What I'll say is this, as for my ideas:

- I'm not a lover of Vista, but I'm not dedicated to OSX either.
I like the aesthetics of OSX, but I don't relish the thought of learning new keyboard shortcuts. At the same time, I'm not used to Vista's layout. If I go with either, I'll probably go back and forth between either MS/OSX or MS/Linux. Just 'cause.

- Productivity software (or lack thereof) is a nonissue.
I don't pay for software, ever. Everything I use is either illegal (Adobe stuff mostly) or Open-source. I find that the average user's software generally doesn't work for me when I get down to it... usually I have to download something to convert some random file format and such.

- Media center software is also a nonissue.
The only reason I have iTunes at all is because of my iPod.
I play stuff with foobar and generally loathe Windows Media and iTunes equally.

I honestly think I'd do better with Linux, except for the aesthetic whore part of me that doesn't like the way it looks (on average). I don't like being beholden to any one company... I hate Windows with all of their constant updates (like SP3 that moderately fucked up my current laptop) and extreme need for virus protection software, but I don't like Apple's ridiculous exclusivity and cultist/elitist take on everything.

Things I value
Things I do most on it, in order of frequency of use

The biggest thing right now is price. It's all come down to the fact that the Macbook is almost $500 more than the XPS, and it doesn't have a cardreader. It also lacks the amount and variety of ports that the Dell has.

Please give me some feedback
I know it's something of a silly thing, but I'm getting really frustrated here.

Currently Playing: TV

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[public entry #185]

Dec 11, 2008 - 08:12 PM
A free Christmas mix for you.
Been trying to get this thrown together for a while. Finally had some free time and zipped it up... I think it's a decent slice of Christmas/Holiday music, by a variety of my favorite musicians (or at least, the ones who have done Christmas recordings). I hope you like it!

Download Here.

Tracklisting:

01. Blackmore's Night - We Three Kings
02. Sting - Gabriel's Message
03. The British Tuba Quartet -Trepak (Tchaikovsky arr. Smalley)
04. Faith Hill - Where Are You Christmas? (from the Grinch Who Stole Christmas)
05. Amy Winehouse - I Saw Mummy Kissing Santa Clause (live)
06. The Darkness - Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End)
07. Deana Carter - Once upon a December (from Anastasia)
08. Dweezil Zappa - You're a Mean One Mister Grinch
09. Joss Stone - All I Want For Christmas
10. Erran Baron Cohen - Dreidel (featuring Jules Brookes)
11. Kate Havnevik - Winter Wonderland
12. Apocalyptica - Little Drummer Boy
13. Squirrel Nut Zippers - Sleigh Ride
14. Gotthard - X-Mas
15. Loreena McKennitt - Coventry Carol
16. Pearl Jam - Someday At Christmas
17. Kutless - Mary Did You Know
18. Sixpence None the Richer - Carol Of The Bells
19. Mediaeval Baebes - The Holly & The Ivy
20. Weezer - Christmas Celebration
21. Noxagt - Kling No Klokka

Merry Christmas!


Currently Playing: Viola music

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[public entry #184]

Dec 8, 2008 - 02:31 PM
Replacement for a 'real' entry.
>_>
Response to: Joining in on the meme by Put Balls

I didn't get the meme when it actually happened, but I like this sort of shit.
Makes up for a 'real' entry.

Christmas mix forthcoming.
---
Here are the instructions:
1. Open up the music player on your computer (or mp3 player).
2. Set it to play your entire music collection.
3. Hit the “shuffle” button.
4. Tell us the title of the next ten songs that show up (with their musicians), no matter how embarrassing. No skipping that Carpenters tune that will totally destroy your hip credibility. It’s time for total musical honesty.

Format: Artist - [Album] Title

---

1. Cloroform - [Hey you Let's Kiss #13] "Fuck you ups"
2. Wagner - [The Royal Philharmonic Collection #02] "Rienzi: Overture"
3. [The Producers (2001 Original Broadway Cast) #04] "We Can Do It"
4. Doors - [The Doors #05] "Alabama Song"
5. Einherjer - [Odin Owns Ye All #07] "The Pathfinder And The..."
6. Ives, Charles - "They Are There!"
7. Mahler - [Mahler: lieder #13] Des Knaben Wunderhorn - Der Tambourg'sell
8. Reger, Max - Three Suites for solo viola, Op. 131d- Suite No. 3, IV Allegro vivace
9. Dmitri Hvorostovsky - [PORTRAIT(CD2) #07] V molchanii nochi taynoy
10.Manu Chao - [Clandestino #04] Je ne t'aime plus

Sometimes I wish I didn't have so much classical music on my computer .
Who can hum any of the Reger solo viola suites besides me? Yeah.



Currently Playing: Manu Chao - [Clandestino #04] Je ne t'aime plus

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[public entry #183]

Nov 27, 2008 - 02:20 AM
Applying for grad school sucks.
u___u
And is expensive.
I'm sure any of you who have done it, could have told me that.

I'm applying for four schools:

- Shepherd School of Music (at Rice University)
- Cincinnati College-Conservatory
- Peabody Conservatory (at Johns-Hopkins)
- Minnesota School of Music

All this is probably going to cost me upwards of $500-700 in terms of fees/mailing supplemental materials at the last minute (naturally) and making copies and such, since I don't have a printer . And I have 3 people (including my University) who owe me money, which is why I have nothing in my bank account to speak of.

Not to mention I have to fly all these places (with the exception of Rice, since it's a short drive down the road to Houston) next February to hopefully score some sort of scholarship. Because without a scholarship.... I'm kind of fucked . $45,000+ a year for grad school? For a MUSIC degree? Hell naw.

Ugh, happy Thanksgiving. I'm headed for the border come tomorrow, with my roommate for my last T-day with her family. But what with practicing, studying for the three tests I have when school resumes on Monday and filling out paperwork that tries desperately to tell people how good I am, I don't think it's much of a break.


Currently Playing: Bernstein - Divertimento for Orchestra

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[public entry #182]

Oct 25, 2008 - 11:20 PM
So I'm potentially getting a new laptop at no cost to myself...
It comes down to the eternal question:

MAC or PC?


I'm debating whether or not to get a Mac, for the simple fact that they're a lot faster, and occasionally lighter-weight than the type of PC laptop I normally get. I also loathe Vista (which is installed on all the PCs on campus now), but that's a moot point since I can get XP installed on the majority of custom-built machines. I used to not like the input devices for macbooks, as the keyboards felt gummy and I'm partial to my left-and-right mouse clicking. However, one of my friends got a Macbook about 6 months ago, and her keyboard is significantly better than any of the older ones I've tried.

This will be my third laptop, as I try to buy a new one every time I go to a different school (or in other words, every 3-4 years). However, this is an important one, as I will probably not go to another school after grad school, and therefore will keep this upcoming laptop for as long as it will run. If I get a PC, I'm honestly not sure what kind I want to go with, so I'm looking for brands as well; I've had good luck with my current Dell, and there are significant discounts here on campus for Dell and Mac computers, so that's kind of what I'm looking at. Initially, I wanted a tablet PC, but I've thrown that idea out the door because several engineering majors have told me the technology just isn't that stable for them yet.

So give me some pros and cons, folks.
I already know the direction some people are going to tell me to go in .

Currently Playing: Hindemith - Der Schwanendreher

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[public entry #181]

Oct 21, 2008 - 02:50 PM
I just became a sheep.
Campus computer store had iPod Touch on sale for $145.
Bought one.

So what if it's the 8GB? That's 2 more gigs than my other player, for just a little more cash, and I never even used 6GB completely.


I feel like I sold my soul to Satan. Stress + Fresh gig cash = IMPULSE SHOPPER.


So how are y'all?

Currently Playing: Nothing.... yet. Downloading the loathed iTunes.

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[public entry #180]

Sep 20, 2008 - 12:20 PM
Going back to California.
>_>
Only for two days, though. My paternal grandma died last Tuesday, and while I wasn't nearly as close to her as my maternal grandma, my mom thinks it would be kind of shitty if I didn't come out because A) they're having some giant 2-day Catholic ceremony (even though none of my Catholic family have been to church in decades) B) my dad's side doesn't have a lot of family left, or friends, So it'll be kind of empty in St. Mary's, and C) If it were my maternal grandma, I would be there instantly. Also, I have to play viola.

Last night I saw the first good movie I've seen in a theater in a year (yes, I appear to have actively avoided all good movies last school year): Ghost Town. It's not life-changing or anything... it works with very cliche material, almost like if you blended Ghost with Shallow Hal and added a slight British sense of humor. But it was quite amusing and worth the money I paid -- and I had a kickass milkshake and fried pickles to boot .

In other news, I have a gig today!!! $$$$$$

Currently Playing: The Beatles - All Together Now

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[public entry #179]

Sep 7, 2008 - 02:10 AM
Insurance Companies are a bitch to deal with.
-_-*
So Wednesday last week, some fucking woman drugged up on mental meds plowed through my parents' garage -- and basically destroyed my dad's 1954 corvette body. He's been working on it since before I was born, and for the last three years or so he's been gradually acquiring all the original parts he needed to restore it. Until Wednesday, he had the chassis and the motor finished, minus some parts. The body, while not in the best of condition, was intact and only in need of minor repairs and a paint job.

Now it's in for at least $10,000 worth of repairs on the front end alone. My dad was actually crying.
This guy is going to be doing the repair work, and apparently he worked on 50 Cent's Lamborghini (my mom made sure to tell me this when she called to tell me they had a meeting with him for an estimate). It appears the bitch who did this has insurance, plus our homeowner's is covering it because the car wasn't running, so it falls under the category of "things in our garage" and therefore my parents won't have to spend their own money. But it sure is one hell of a headache, as it always is with insurances .

Speaking of which, the ER in Brownsville keeps billing my parents from that incident last semester, because they don't know how to bill insurance. My dentist bill is apparently going through something similar. Gahhhhh... hate.red.tape.

Currently Playing: Hindustani classical violin music.

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Aug 27, 2008 - 01:36 AM
School begins tomorrow...
-_-*
Response to: New semester by Midna

So I just got back to Austin and had a WONDERFUL dinner/evening welcome-home date on the capital with my gay boyfriend (since I can't get a straight one...more on that later). Unfortunately, that meant that I didn't get back to my apartment until 11pm -- and I have an audition tomorrow morning. After my new German class, which I wish were Norwegian, but things don't always work out the way I want them to .

It seems this semester is going to be lacking several people I will really miss (especially in orchestra and/or the lack of parties) and will be full of remaining friends who now have boyfriends that they somehow acquired over the summer through various channels. *sigh* I really can't play the "keep up with the Joneses" game, especially in this department. Oh well. It's a new semester, with new people -- and there's always grad school, right?

Except my mom has been -- not really putting pressure -- but hints a lot at the fact that I don't have a boyfriend, or even a serious interest. And you know, I'm almost out of college. She didn't care that I didn't have a boyfriend in high school, but now I guess shit is getting real, and I should at least have something in the cards. So now she's taken to trying to set me up with random people she meets at her job (or their sons). Lovely. She knows that I've dated a little, and that I've turned down guys during my time here, but in her own subtle way she brings up dating and boyfriends and *ahem*birth control and my other friends' boyfriends and all sorts of stuff in the same vein.

I just wish it didn't coincide with this apparent trend in my school/circle of friends of "everybody have boyfriends now!"

Currently Playing: Silence is golden.

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[public entry #177]

Aug 20, 2008 - 01:26 PM
I'm not an alcoholic.
My European souvenirs just make it look like I am.

Whenever I go, well, anywhere, actually, my primary souvenir is alcohol. Because I like to collect it. I don't ever open the bottles, I just put them on a shelf and take pride in owning something that's either uniquely from another country or has an interesting bottle.


From left to right:
Instead of fortune cookies, they give you a bottle of plum wine in Chinese restaurants in Slovenia; not the fat woman, but the Honey Schnapps man is what I bought in Slovenia, for my fat Mexican Damiana licor lady ; Aniz alcohol from Portugal, with sugar crystals that grow on the (hard to see) flowers in the alcohol; Blueberry Schnapps from Slovenia, with blueberries inside... my friend's mom gave this to me, along with the tall bottle of "Sauvignon Maribor" next to it; the little bottle is "Lagrima" Porto from Portugal, with the head of Jesus on it... TEARS OF JESUS; Tremocos isn't alcohol, but it is good and you can only get it in Portugal or at Festas twice a year here in California, and you eat them with beer.

Also, about the festival.

The GOOD:

- I have standing invitations to visit Japan and Russia, and go back to Portugal.
- Russians love how I play viola (always warms my heart).
- I can possibly get a letter of recommendation from the head of the festival.
- Japanese people really like me.
- Japanese girls think I'm cute and sexy -- wait...
- I can communicate in Spain and Portugal. Unfortunately, in Portugal this is a one-way street .

The BAD:


- There was no organization at the festival, which translated to me trying to organize things via the orchestra, and people asking me lots of questions I had no answers for.
- Only two of my original four groups performed, plus one performance in a group that was tacked on when I got there.
- Japanese people who can't speak English + Russians who can speak heavily accented English = BIG RACIST MESS.
- A japanese media card fucked up my card reader on my laptop while I was trying to give one of the guys some music.
- A viola sonata was composed for me. Unfortunately, I thought I was worthy of a better composition .
- The Dollar-to-Euro conversion fucked me square in the ass in Spain

The UGLY:

- Apparently old men also think I'm cute and sexy, which is why I was sexually harassed by one of the best cello teachers in the US.

Currently Playing: Kaizers Orchestra - Katastrofen

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[public entry #176]

Aug 18, 2008 - 07:52 PM
How do you summarize a month in Europe? (MASSIVE PIC ENTRY)
So I was in Europe for a month...with very limited access to Internet (hence my lack of updates). I know I've talked about part of it, but not the latter half of it. Without further ado, I will attempt to condense my 1,000+ pictures into maybe 5-10 for each location, making it easier to glance through.

Part I: Slovenia

I was visiting a friend there who just graduated from UT with her masters in violin performance. She took me all around the country in a week, from the center, to the capital, to the beach to the mountains. It was awesome.

Select pictures:
Spoiler:

Maribor from the top of the mountain above the city.

I ate a horse burger here

Dragon guarding the bridge in Ljubljana.

Hops growing along the roadside

Castle built into a cave.

Want to go for a swim in Piran? There's the ladder.

Fairytale castle/lake in Bled

More pictures HERE and HERE.
Cities visited: Maribor, Ljubljana, Piran, Bled, Ptuj, Postojna Cave & Castle... probably a few other random little towns as well.

Part II: Germany

My second cousins live in Wiesbaden, Germany on the US military base there, and this is their last summer. Their mom has been asking me to visit for a few years, so I finally made my way there. Since Kaizers Orchestra happened to have some tourdates in Germany at the same time, I made a detour with my musical cousin to go see them live <3!

Select Pictures:
Spoiler:

Konigstein, some cute buildings.

Konigstein on the way back to Wiesbaden.

KAIZERS ARE COMING ONSTAGE!

The Kaizers Concert...amazing

My personal favorite of all my KO pictures... Terje beating on a water-covered oil barrel

More pictures HERE.
Cities visited: Wiesbaden, Frankfurt, Karlsruhe, Konigstein

Part III: Paris, France

My cousins' favorite city on earth is Paris, and they definitely wanted me to see it with them. Unfortunately, I had to leave a day earlier than expected because the trains to Portugal were really busy. However, I made the most of it and managed to see most of the "main points" of Paris within a day and a half!

Select Pictures:
Spoiler:

The Eiffel Tower, sporting a EU theme.

Me with a falling statue at the Louvre.

The Paris Opera House .

The Arc de Triomphe with flags.

Frog legs...my cousin ordered them,


More Pictures HERE and HERE.

Landmarks/Museums visited: Musee d'Orsay, Louvre, Rodin's Garden, Notre Dame, Le Tour Eiffel, Arc de Triomphe, The Latin Quarter, The Paris Opera House, Boat rides on the Seine.

Part IV: Viana do Castelo, Portugal

My train trip there was AMAZING. The jankest train in the world took me overnight to Porto, Portugal, on which a crazy old Portuguese man kept talking to me (in a crazy mix of Portugese and Spanish) and bought me dinner (Protip: Being a young woman in Europe means guys pay for stuff for you all the time). I also met some people from Slovenia and a guy from St. Sebastian. I was arriving a day early, so I had a little time to wander around.

Of course, this was the entire reason I went to Europe in the first place: the Viana do Castelo Music Festival. It was a lot of fun, although I found myself desperate for a good schedule and some organization. It was a complete mess as far as planning goes, and I was in charge of the orchestra. I ended up only performing Shostakovich 8 (I've performed it more than any other quartet) and Borodin No. 2, first and third movements -- out of the 6 groups I was assigned to. I found it quite amusing that the Russians always said that they could hear the "Russian School" in my playing XD....

Select Pictures:
Spoiler:

One of my groups performing Borodin's second Quartet.

The fountain in the main plaza.

The Theatre we performed most concerts in.

Nice old buildings...

Santa Luzia, the church overlooking the town from a mountain.

The view from Santa Luzia. National Geographic says it has one of the best views in the world.


The Spoils:

I collect alcohol, and somehow I managed to pack 6 bottles of liquor AND all my clothes for a month, AND three bottles of Tremocos into one carry-on suitcase that made it back to the US with me through three separate flights.

I'll probably make another journal entry later detailing the music festival, instead of everything else...and pictures of my souvenirs....

Currently Playing: TV...

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[public entry #175]

Jul 25, 2008 - 09:02 PM
On riding trains in Germany (EUROTRIP: Part I)
It kind of sucks when you speak little to no German.


I was on the trains today for about 11 hours to get from Slovenia to my cousins' place in Wiesbaden, Germany. I was kicked out of seats once because I didn't make reservations. Thought I was going the wrong way on the train a few times. Had quite a few Germans try to talk to me, only to be greeted by my blank, ashamed look and, "Ich sprache keine deutsche ". German is next year for me -- a year too late. But now I'm here, I'm up way too late, and tomorrow I'm going to jam on viola with my cousin and his band. Probably go around the little German town, take MOAR PICTURES (I'm up to 568 so far, and I've only been to Boston and Slovenia).

Slovenia was amazing...only the best pictures will make it to the requisite pic entry. My friend, her mother, her brother, her boyfriend and her friends are all wonderful/super/fantastic/amazing people!!!! Also, I had Slovenian "mexican" food not once, but twice...and Slovenian Chinese food. Know what they give you instead of fortune cookies? PLUM WINE. One to drink there, one to take home. My friend's mom also gave me three bottles of alcohol as a souvenir, since they're known for their blueberry and honey schnapps .

And then...on Sunday...........

KAIZERS ORCHESTRA.



Currently Playing: Kaizers Orchestra - Evig Pint

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[public entry #174]

Jul 17, 2008 - 10:45 AM
ITE: Posting from Boston.
*_*
Response to: ITE: Posting from Vancouver by Basil

So I'm here.

Good call on the trains, Sass . Damn, I wish we had public transport like this in Austin (or California). I'm being a history tourist and following the "Freedom Trail" thing, taking lots of pictures. I'm pretty sure I couldn't look more touristy if I tried XD.

I can't get over the accents.
You have to understand, I've never met anyone from the Boston area in person, therefore, I've only heard Bostonian accents on TV or via some sort of sound-replicating device. I don't know how that's possible, but it is. Then again, I'm kind of nerdy about accents....


Anyway, good times. I leave for Barcelona at 6:20pm

Currently Playing: Street sounds

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[public entry #173]

Jul 15, 2008 - 02:25 PM
So I'm going to be in Boston by Thursday morning...
...any suggestions on what to do?

I'm going to be flying into the airport by 7am, but I don't leave for Spain until 6pm. That's a bit of time... one of my friends who used to live in Boston told me to take the Blue Line to the North End (little Italy?). I dunno. I've definitely never been in Boston, and I definitely have to use public transportation. What would be within easy traveling distance from the airport?

Currently Playing: The Offspring - Pretty Fly for a White Guy (no idea why)

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[public entry #172]

Jul 14, 2008 - 04:50 PM
I'M GOING TO SEE KAIZERS ORCHESTRA
Words can't describe how excited I am.

My cousin (who lives in Germany) is going with me. At first, I was just tossing around the idea. Then I discovered that my cousins live a ~3-hour train ride from Karlsruhe, where the Zeltival is happening. And they're playing.


OMGOMGOMGOMG!


Currently Playing: !!!!!!!

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[public entry #171]

Jun 30, 2008 - 05:40 AM
Dear GOD that was expensive and time-consuming.
I should go to bed, but I'm just excited that I finally solidified my travel plans (that happen in 2.5 weeks! ).

So I'm going to all these places in Europe (see previous entry).
I have a railpass for most of the major countries, but getting from California --> Boston --> Barcelona --> Slovenia was one giant headache.

Why Boston? Because the best fare I could find to Europe was $1,075 RT, and it was out of Boston. Getting there from CA is not an issue, since I'm using my Frequent Flyer Miles. But getting from Barcelona to Slovenia? Arghhh...discount airlines won't let me take my viola on-board, so I have to go through regular carriers. $200 to Slovenia, but my friend is taking care of everything (ie: food, transportation, room, etc) for a week once I get there, so I suppose it's about even.

But once I make my way across Europe to Portugal, I have to get from Porto back to Barcelona. Silly me, thinking a train could get me there overnight ...riiiiight. So I had to get another plane ticket, this time at the nicer amount of $175, to get back to Barcelona. I'm going to have to spend the night, but unfortunately I won't have much time to actually do anything there, since my flight gets in at 8pm and my flight leaves at 10am .

My grandma gave me $1000 at the beginning of summer. She's basically paying for my travel within Europe, but that leaves me with about $250 spending money, since I lost one of the gigs I planned to have before I left. Maybe I can dig around my bank account and find some extra money...but that sounds unlikely.


...


Photo souvenirs!!!!!!



Currently Playing: infomercials -- that depresses me even more.

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[public entry #170]

Jun 24, 2008 - 03:53 PM
Why does it cost so damn much to visit Europe?
Wait -- I know the answer to that.

Anyway, in about three weeks I'm gonna take off on a little mini-tour of Europe! It's going to cost a helluva lot, but the good news is, it could have been more. Here's the schedule:

1 - Slovenia
One of my best friends from UT is from there, and all I have to do is get myself over there. She's going to basically drive me around the entire country. She lives 3 hours from Vienna, so the next stop is...

2 - Vienna, Austria
Road trip with my friend, her fiancee and some of her friends. From Vienna I'm taking a train to Germany.

>> Potential detour to see Kaizers Orchestra...if I can orchestrate it...<<

3 - Wiesbaden, Germany
My cousins are currently living there, and their mom told me to get myself there and they would take me to...

4 - Paris, France
Apparently it's a 3 hour train ride from Wiesbaden to Paris. My cousins go there all the time, and I already will have a train ticket. One of my friends might also be there (home, for him), so if our itineraries coincide, then I'll meet up with him.

5 - Viana do Castelo, Portugal
This is the actual reason I'm going to be in Europe (lol)...a 2-week chamber music festival in this old sailing village. Apparently I'll be playing a couple of new compositions by a composer friend of the man who got me a scholarship to the festival, who is the teacher of my Slovenian friend. Hm. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be hideously overworked there, considering I'm one of three violas and there's about 30 violinists . And I'm also the music librarian. Oy.

So.

Anybody have any helpful hints about traveling in Europe? The whole train thing sounds really easy to do, but since I've never done any travel by myself in Europe (I've always been with music tour groups), suggestions are more than welcome.

Sooooo excited!!!!!!!!!


Currently Playing: XM radio - BPM

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[public entry #169]

Jun 15, 2008 - 09:30 PM
Computer problems.... (advice welcome)
I guess I should also put this in the Hardware and Networking Zone...

My parents' computer has decided to not boot up, and I was kind of at a loss for the cause. From what I could tell (and via phone, my uncle as well, who is a computer God) it seemed like it was from a corrupted Windows file. However, when I finally got CHKDSK to run, it instantly started listing off lots of corrupted sectors on the harddrive.

I'm not exactly a computer wizard. I do pretty well for myself and fixing 'everyday' computer fuckery with my own computers and my friends' computers, but this has me rather stumped. I pulled out the harddrive in question and slapped it in an enclosure to see if I could get anything off of it through my laptop, but alas -- nothing. It appears that my laptop tries to mount the drive (ie: it makes the sound when a USB device is connected), but then makes the disconnect sound without ever registering that a disk was ever there. The drive goes on, it spins... but that's about all it does.

I don't know if that's enough information to go on, but I'd like to know if their hard drive is completely toast -- and if it is, I still need to either take it to my uncle or a data recovery place, because there's an awful lot of stuff on it that I would kind of like to have .

In other news, I bought a HD backup for my laptop and am promptly backing up *everything* I have on here .

Currently Playing: Vox XM

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[public entry #168]

May 26, 2008 - 07:28 PM
Yay for Summer vacation (-_-).
-______-
So I came back to California, and ever since I've been here I've had to take care of my grandma; she had a surgery on a tumor (that she let get to the size of a fucking volleyball) because she was having really bad pain. They took it out, and she's still almost unable to walk. Now that I'm here, I'm basically being her live-in nurse. Which would be fine, if I could come and go if need be instead of stuck in the house all day, and if my grandma didn't hassle me daily about the fact that I:

- Shouldn't be driving, despite having a driver's license (and I'm 22. She got her license at 15.5)
- Need to lose weight/Obviously gained weight since last semester (buying the same size clothes/wearing the same clothes for the last 5 years )
- Have to get my hair cut ("because it just looks terrible! why can't I brush it?")
- Don't know how to pay bills
- Shouldn't be cooking. ("It makes me gain weight, and I'll make a mess")


It does give me time to practice the loads of music in anticipation of next semester, though.

However, my roommate is coming to visit in less than a week, and we're going on a tour of Central California! It should be exciting. Later in the summer I'm going on a mini European tour of sorts... starting in Slovenia, making my way to Portugal via Austria/Germany/France/Spain. More on that when I have details down.

Also -- I HAVE SKYPE. One of my closest friends is going back to Slovenia, and not coming back, so she convinced me. I found my old microphone and dusted it off, hooked it up. Call me if you would like... I might be on that more often than any form of chat .

Currently Playing: Mama Cass - 'Dream a Little Dream'

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[public entry #167]

May 16, 2008 - 01:01 AM
Advice on buying a used car.
-_-
Okay, so I'm utterly clueless as to how one goes about buying a used car.
Here's the situation: my parents were supposed to get me a one-way ticket back to California, because I was supposed to drive my isuzu back to school at the end of August. For whatever reason (my mom cites plane ticket costs, but I know better), she got me a round-trip ticket, so guess who won't have a car next semester?
I've already stressed to them multiple times how important it is for me to have a car here in Texas. Yes, even with the cost of gas going through the roof; in order to do the maximum amount of gigs, you need transportation to get to said gigs. I only have one more year here, and in that year I'll need more money than ever (the government has seen fit to give me nothing for my last year of college).

So I'm thinking of just getting myself a car here in Texas. But how to do that?

- What should I be wary of (I would rather not get a lemon...)?
- What questions should I ask to make sure that I don't get taken, or what should I be on the lookout for?
- Any particular cars that hold up better over time? I'm thinking to be pretty cheap here...anywhere from $1300-2000 max, so I doubt I'll be getting anything remotely new.
- Is there any place online that is reliable? (I thought about eBay motors, but everything gets out of my "price range" pretty quick)
- Does anybody have experience with Auto Auctions and the kind of cars they deal in?

This thing just has to be able to get me around for about a year, and if it's not too shabby, then I'll think about driving it to wherever I'm headed for grad school -- which probably will be midwest/east coastish.

Currently Playing: DDR Konamix

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[public entry #166]

May 13, 2008 - 05:55 PM
Back to my [nerd] roots...briefly.
I went to one of the best comic book shops in Austin today with the one friend I have here that is willing to go with me . It's been about 7 months since I've been in contact with any comics whatsoever, and so I didn't know about this:



and



!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I understand that this may be old news for some (or most) of you, but it's new to me and I'm fucking excited! I don't usually find reasons to spend what little extra money I have on normal forms of entertainment, but this qualifies.
Of course, I have a birthday coming up (in like, 5 months)...I could probably wait that long.

Other things whose existence I wasn't aware of:

, ,

I want them too.

Currently Playing: The Servant - Orchestra

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[public entry #165]

May 6, 2008 - 08:03 PM
Male behavior.
I'm not sure if it's just because Spring's in the air, but the guys around here have been kind of...attentive, I suppose would be the word, to the ladies recently.
For my portion of it (I'll skip the guy who grabbed my ass the other night), I offer up my neighbor.

Now, my neighbor was actually the interest of my roommate when we first moved into this apartment complex. He's kind of the beefcake type (ie: not my type)...runs around without a shirt on 75% of the time. Both me and my roommate have a clear view of him whenever he leaves/works out/etc. He's a law student, lives by himself. My roommate is the one who introduced us, because she really had the hots for him last semester. For my part, I say "hi" to him when I see him on the balcony, and I've talked to him on the bus and such. We actually have quite a few things in common, mostly musically speaking. He's one of the few people I could conceivably go to a concert with around here.

So...last month he messaged me on Facebook, asking me to come over to his place for a drink and to listen to Gogol Bordello (I had made a comment on his wall about the band). I politely declined, since I had class early the next day.

So...last week I came back from a concert around 1am, and he was on his balcony. I said hi to him, as I usually do, and he started talking to me. Then he asked if I had ever had a "Rob Roy" (no) and would I like to try one? I said I had class early the next day, but nevertheless said "ok" and went up to his apartment. He made me a very strong drink, and then we talked for awhile. After about an hour he was being more...suggestive (like taking off his shirt XD)...and I could obviously see where this was going, so I said I had to go back to my place. He shot down most of my excuses ("They would be stronger if you lived more than a minute away from me...") but said he wasn't going to force me. Actually, the most amusing thing he said was, "Just give me an hour...if you don't like it, you can go." Nevertheless, I turned him down, and he acted somewhat confused ("I thought I had this figured out...") but what could he do? I was pretty tipsy from the drinks, by that point. But I left.

I told my roommate the next morning, and some other female/gay friends. My roommate and one of my other friends in particular think that he actually likes me, whereas I said that I think he just wanted to fuck me. He is a nice guy from what I can tell, but I don't know him more than casually. I mean, couldn't we have the pretense of a date, at least? My roommate's argument is that he doesn't have a car, so it's kind of hard for him to ask me 'out' when neither one of us can really get anywhere. Yesterday he apparently came down (shirtless...) to talk to me when I was going somewhere, and since I was kind of far away I just waved and walked off. I didn't realize that I was the only reason he came out of his apartment...

Anyway. Interesting week, for what it's worth.
What would one of you guys think? Did he just go about it the wrong way, or was I a booty call (a piss-poor choice for a booty call, as I don't come across as that type at all)?

Also, I'm giving my recital -- AGAIN -- as soon as I get back to California, at the request of my old viola teacher . So much for vacation.

Currently Playing: Rasputina - The Mayor

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Apr 22, 2008 - 03:02 PM
Busy, busy, busy...
:eagletear
Yeah, I lament the fact that I don't get on here very often, and when I do, it's usually for like, 20 minutes .

However, I've been hella busy (what else is new?) -- and not just in music (!!).
My recital is this Saturday, but there's probably 5 other people's recitals between now and then, and somehow it got out that I do "graphic design"*
So now I've been hired out by 4 or 5 friends to do their recital posters, and potentially have a gig next semester doing the concert posters for the New Music Ensemble.

* I use the term loosely, because it's been a long time since I seriously practiced doing this, and I don't think what I do is so much graphic design, but more like "I can use Illustrator and Photoshop better than the average person and I can draw, so I have some eye for putting things together."

Then my friend that's a film/production major asked me to draw backgrounds for her green-screen short film, which is an adaptation of a Calvin & Hobbes comic strip (where Calvin imagines himself as a Private Eye). It's like, kiddy film-noir. They actually turned out quite good, despite the fact that I had to complete them between the hours of 1:30-3:30am and was high on Sharpie markers for the duration of the time (they were high-contrast black and white, and all I had were permanent markers). I'm getting a copy of it when they finish editing, so maybe it'll be on YT or something so that I can post it.

Anyway, my recital is being recorded, so I'll post the results of that foray next week. Here's my poster; I had originally decided to do a "serious" poster, but after seeing what kinds of crazy stuff people were doing to catch attention, I went with something more fun. I'm printing them today, posting them later .


The Jessica Rabbit/violist is something I drew for a fellow violist while I was at a music festival a few years back...




Currently Playing: Kaizers Orchestra - 'Maskineri'

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[public entry #163]

Apr 4, 2008 - 11:45 AM
Publicity.
I went to Dallas last Wednesday with the UT symphony...it was kind of a messy trip, as we just went up, played, then came directly back. We were fed only cold sandwiches, didn't get to see anything of the city (aside from the vagina building ) and I didn't get to bed until about 3:30am.

Anyway, we received some sort of review that I'm not entirely sure is positive...it's kind of giving us backhanded compliments the whole way through. And the comment about our soloist's double-stop chords "not fitting in"... those cadenzas that she played were standard cadenzas from Joachim. I'm not sure where the reviewer gets off saying that.

My recital is confirmed now, so .
However, my pianist ditched me after I played one piece on my jury .
I'm afraid she may be fired because of it -- but I only have 3 weeks until my recital! I'm not sure who could learn my music on such short notice...



Currently Playing: Gogol Bordello - Hats off to Kolpakoff

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Mar 19, 2008 - 01:01 AM
Awkward phone conversations.
I was talking to my mom on the phone today, and at some point in the conversation, she says this:

Quote:
"Oh, I wanted to tell you something the other night, but your father was in the room so I didn't say anything."

> "What?"

"When I was looking for your checks that you said were in the purse...you didn't say which purse, so...I was looking in all the ones on your doorknob, and I found a condom in the pocket of the brown knit one."

> ... really?

"Yeah...I was going to say something, but I figured if I told your dad he might...I don't know...freak out or something."

I explained that one of my friends had an overflowing car console full of condoms and lube, and he gave it to me when we were on a car trip. She laughed and said, "Oh, it's okay. I just thought you were...you know, being careful."

>Apparently not too careful -- I left it in California when I went back to Texas!

Pause...she laughs XD
She's fine with it, she knows that I'm a 'good girl'... but I can imagine what she probably thought when she first found it. It's just the fact that my mom and I have never had "the talk" -- or indeed, anything even approaching a "talk" -- about such subjects. I barely started telling her that I was dating guys, and that wasn't until the second semester of college. Before that, I was basically "asexual" as far as my parents could tell. I wasn't, of course, but it's just that I never talked about guys with my mom in any kind of context outside of friendship. However, considering the kind of guys I go for...she should know that I'm not doing anything with them. .

In other news, I'm still dealing with this weird allergic reaction rash. I went to the University doctor today, and she basically told me that it is almost impossible to determine what caused the reaction by this point, but she's going to assume it's an allergy to the oak pollen in the air, and told me to take Zyrtec. Somehow, I doubt it, but whatever. I just hope this fucking rash gets off my chest before my recital, because I'll be damned if my recital dress won't have my décolletage showing.

Currently Playing: Wyclef Jean - Hollywood Meet Bollywood

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Mar 10, 2008 - 10:18 PM
I leave for Mexico in an hour.
asi asi
By bus.

Fun times...Spring Break!

However, I've had a bit of an ordeal...last night/this morning I was at the emergency here in Brownsville, TX because something happened, and I had a massive rash spreading all over my body. I'm still not entirely sure I agree with the ER doc's diagnosis (allergic reaction to supposed bug bites), but I was given two IV antihistamines to bring down the rash, and it worked. I'm still having some problems with the rash on my chest, and I feel like I'm trying to come down with a cold or something, but the Doc gave me the OK to go to Tampico. So...I'm leaving. Unfortunately, the meds I'm on mean that I can't take pain pills (and damn it all, if I'm not on my period at the most inconvenient times...) and the worst part: NO ALCOHOL.

My roommate is going with me, and her dad is from Tampico, so we gots the hookup as far as free lodging and food goes . And besides, there are doctors there... I'm sure if something happens, I'll be able to see somebody. I'm probably going to go to a dermatologist down there anyways, just for a second opinion.

Pictures next week .

Currently Playing: Kaizers Orchestra - Maskineri

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Mar 6, 2008 - 02:12 AM
Spring Break plans...
So this Friday is the beginning of my spring break...I guess a lot of other schools do it at a different time (?), but then again, apparently most schools also get 2 weeks instead of the 1 week UT gives us .

I'm going to Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico with my roommate . Her dad is from there, and apparently her uncles own a 5-star hotel, so they're setting us up for free. I guess I had better brush up on my Spanish . I'll only be there for about 4 days, then it's back to Texas. We might take a day trip to South Padre -- but for me that's a little too "cliche spring break," to be honest. It's not like I'm going to do anything crazy.

After I get back to school, though...yeesh. It's going to be kind of hellish. Here's what I have left in this semester:

- Concert 1: Symphony Orchestra / Glass Bead Game [Baker] and Musica Celestis [Kernis] and The Planets [Holst]
- Concert 2: Texas Chamber Group/ Appalachian Spring (Chamber version for 13 instruments) [Copland] and Bassoon Concerto [Frost].
- Concert 3: Harp Ensemble/ *undecided* chamber piece
- Concert 4: University Orchestra / Symphonic Metamorphosis [Hindemith], Concerto for Two Pianos [Poulenc], Enchanted Lake [Liadov] and Merry Mount Suite [Hanson]
- Concert 5: Symphony (again) / The Wound-Dresser [Adams], Rhapsodie Espagnol [Ravel] and Piano Concerto no. 1 in D Minor [Brahms]
- Concert 6: Chamber Concert / String Quartet No. 1, movmts I + II? [Debussy]
- Concert 7: MY JUNIOR RECITAL / Sonata for Viola and Piano in G Major [Flackton], Zwei Gesange for Mezzo-Soprano, Viola and Piano [Brahms] and Movement I from Rebecca Clarke's Viola Sonata.

And this is after I've turned down about 7-10 requests for me to play on various other things, including two composer's recitals, and have been excused from the New Music Ensemble, which originally had me playing in both of their upcoming concerts. I hope I haven't forgotten anything .

Oh yeah, I have 2 midterms tomorrow. WTF am I doing on here??

Currently Playing: Brahms - Geistliches Wiegenlied (in my head)

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Feb 28, 2008 - 01:25 AM
Grand.
bitterswee
Video from our non-major orchestra (which I don't normally play in, but sometimes I do for the fun of it), performing Malcolm Arnold's A Grand, Grand Overture that was composed for the premiere Hoffnung concert back in 1956.

YouTube Video

It's basically making fun of the overture form, especially with additions like solo vacuums and floor polisher.

The great thing about this particular performance is that four of our music school professors are the guest "soloists" -- with their own vacuums .
My viola professor, Roger Myers, is the vacuumer on the far right, in the tanktop.

The conductor is a grad student friend of mine, one of the assistant conductors for our symphony orchestra. I wish that watching this concert didn't make me think of how much I'm going to miss him once he graduates at the end of this semester .


Currently Playing: A Grand, Grand Overture.

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Feb 23, 2008 - 11:09 AM
Musics for you.
eh.
Just some stuff that I've participated in thus far into the semester... when I do my recital, I'll post solo stuff.

New Music Ensemble
A chamber ensemble in which there's rarely more than one person on each part, conducted by one of our resident composers, Dan Welcher.


* Tsontakis - The Past, the Passion
Listen for "O Sacred Head Now Wounded" in 'the Passion', which is broken up between the viola, cello and bass.

* Womack - Out of the Blues
Featuring Percussionist Thomas Burritt on marimba. I think our goal in this piece was to play it better than the recording, which the conductor wouldn't even let us listen to for reference. It's four movements, which for whatever reason weren't broken up.

Eric's Recital
My baritone friend Eric asked me to play in his recital, which featured the Bach cantata "Ich Habe Genug" (I have enough). I also included one of the Grieg songs that he sang, because I missed them in the actual recital, and I just realized that he was singing in Norwegian (!). He's half Norwegian, actually. I don't know how his pronunciation is, because I know he doesn't speak it. Anyway, I posted the song that was my favorite.

* Schlummert ein, ihr matten Augen (Fall asleep, weary eyes)
* Ich freue mich auf meinen Tod (I look forward to my death)
* Grieg - III - Den Saerde [the wounded one] from 12 melodies after poems by A.O. Vinje, Op. 33.


Currently Playing: Grieg songs.

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Feb 18, 2008 - 12:17 AM
It's been too long.
-____-
I'm glad to see the boards back up, first off!


Usually I don't post much on SB, and I've been ultra-busy so I haven't really had time to do much anyway. I wish that I could be on here more often, but these days I don't have a lot of extra time to spend on the internet outside of popping on to check email and messages.

I did end up playing in the Symphony, the New Music Ensemble and the Opera. Currently the Opera is starting "hell week" (which means rehearsals every evening from 7-10:30pm for a week, with the performances on Friday and Sunday). However, my viola professor and the orchestra conductor collaborated to make sure that I wasn't put into any other New Music concerts, so I can focus on my recital material.

I've also started going to the gym (again, although with all the walking I do to get to my classes on T/Th, it's practically going to the gym ). This time around, I purchased a cycling pass; this means that I can go to classes where there is a group stationary cycling course for 40 minutes, and then 20 minutes of various other 'body sculpting' exercises. It's quite good, if I can keep it up. I hope to drop a dress/pant size by the time of my recital, but to be honest I'm more worried about having decent health and toning my body rather than out-and-out weight loss.

So...how's everyone else been?



Currently Playing: Indiana Jones theme music.

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Jan 15, 2008 - 02:15 AM
Oh how I missed thee, stress.
Indeed.

So, I'm literally the only person out of all our string students that actually wants to play in the opera pit. The only one. Ironically enough, the powers that be consistently do not place me in that particular ensemble, even though my professor, most of the students and (I thought) the conductor know that I always ask to be in the pit.

When I found out that my friends were conducting the two operas for the first part of the semester, I was really hoping to be placed in the pit -- but no. I was put co-principal (I say this because I'm sitting principal viola for 1/3 of the concert, then assistant for another 1/3) for the symphony. Then I discovered they assigned a person to play principal viola in the opera that wasn't involved in any ensembles, and used this to get myself wedged in for taking this position.

The only flaw is...I think the conductor is assuming I want to do the opera AND the symphony, which would basically kill me. Rehearsals morning and night? For 3+ hours? Combined with my New Music Ensemble rehearsals (LORD help me) and preparing my recital music, AND my chamber group (that's playing the Debussy string quartet)??? Let's not forget that I have three "regular" classes -- US history, US gov't and oceanography -- that have to be dealt with as well. And the Brandenburg 6 solo II part, and a Bach Cantata thrown in there by next month as well. Not to mention I'm playing in a couple of recitals, and potentially going to be in a second chamber group.

Really. No. I don't think even I'm that crazy.
And I don't think my arm could take it, after a while...





Currently Playing: Tsontakis - 'The Past, The Passion'

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Jan 11, 2008 - 06:09 PM
At the age of 22...
...I finally have my driver's license, as of 12:26pm today.
I'm a late bloomer.




EDIT::
AND I just got my new cellphone 30 seconds ago.


Currently Playing: Biffy Clyro - 'Living is a Problem Because Everything Dies'

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Jan 8, 2008 - 04:23 AM
Time for a bit of time-wasting.
-_-
Response to: 2007 Sum up survey - you want to take it! by Sian

1) Was 2007 a good year for you?
Eh, it was quite unremarkable, except for the last bit. Musically it was good.

2) What was your favorite moment of the year?
There were a few things...going on a date with a guy I actually wanted to go out with (even if it didn't go the way I wanted it to... )...playing with my teacher in the Christmas Concert at the Blanton museum... the spontaneous Portuguese-soup-induced chamber music jam session before last semester ended <3... m

3) What was your least favorite moment of the year?
Probably a party I went to...where I admitted some things I should have just kept to myself >_>...and my silly crying session at the end of Spring 07 semester.

4) What are your plans for 2008?
Plans? Playing my junior recital, for one.
I'm also going to try and make it over to Germany to visit my cousins before they move from there. Hopefully in addition to participating in a summer festival there.

5) What countries did you visit?
...Mexico? Briefly? That's it.

6) What date in 2007 will remain etched in your memory?
February/Valentine's Day.
It was the first time I've been given flowers for that wretched holiday .

7) What was your biggest achievement of the year?
PASSING CLASS PIANO.
UGHHHHH.

8) What was your biggest failure?
Getting a lousy grade in World Lit. WTF? I'm a literature nut...but unfortunately I didn't have a lot of time to devote to the classwork .

9) Did you suffer any illness or injury?
Nothing major.

10) What was the best thing you bought?
My new MP3 player, I suppose.

11) Who's behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Well, my roommate's behavior didn't appall me, but it made me sad for her...

12) Where did most of your money go?
Food and general living expenses.

13) What did you get really really really excited about?
ACLfest, the Miro' Quartet's Light & Darkness concerts, playing chamber music.

14) What songs will always remind you of 2007?
Hmm. I honestly don't know... nothing really strikes me for this year.

15) Compared to this time last year are you:
a) Fatter or thinner? About the same, maybe slightly thinner.
b) Happier or sadder? Happier, definitely.
c) Richer or poorer? About the same...

16) What do you wish you'd done more of?
Drawing and reading, my two greatest loves outside of music

17) What do you wish you'd done less of?
Maybe I should cut back on the partying/eating out with friends.
Not because of the friends, but because it keeps me out until 1am or later(earlier) and that is detrimental to my practice schedule.

18) How did you spend Christmas?
With my family in California.

19) Which GFFer did you meet for the first time?
I think I had already met Dullenplain before 2007... I haven't met any others in person (yet).

20) Did you fall in love in 2007?
Hahaha... hardly.

21) How many one night stands?
none.

22) What was your favourite TV show?
I don't get around to watching TV much these days... but I watched a bit of House and enjoyed it.

23) Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No... I don't hate a lot.

24) What was/were the best books you read?
I guess...out of the like, 2 books I finished, The Golden Ass was pretty good.

25) What was your greatest musical discovery?
The way my mind works when I perform music live. I do some sort of 'image block' reading instead of actually reading the notes... a form of de-focusing...which reduces my playing quality and makes me more nervous. So I'm working to fix that.

26) What did you want and get?
Gigs
New MP3 player that was .ogg compatible.
More orchestral playing experience.

27) What did you want and not get?
A car.

28) What was your favourite film this year?
I didn't really like most of the films I saw.
Hairspray was good, I suppose.

29) What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
I went to the oldest Indian restaurant in Austin with my parents and a few of my really close friends on my 22nd birthday.

30) What one thing would have made your year more satisfying?
Having something come out of the reason for me getting roses on Valentine's Day.

31) How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
It wasn't personal -- several friends forcefully dragged me out of my old standard of jeans-and-a-bandshirt everyday attire and into "girl's clothing."
I started wearing girl jeans (!)
I showed quite a lot of cleavage...

32) What kept you sane?
Moving to a new apartment.

33) Which celebrity did you fancy the most?
Matt Bellamy (always comes back when I see him live!)
Jonathan Rhys-Myers!

34) Which political issue stirred you the most?
Nothing really stirs me up. Just the standard, "can we stop this war shit already?" complaint that is normal these days for most Americans (with a brain).

35) Who did you miss?
My friends from California, and the friends that graduated after Spring '07.

36) Did you treat somebody badly in 2007?
I try not to do that, but I feel like I did when my friend's boyfriend committed suicide and I wasn't around for support.

37) Did somebody treat you badly in 2007?
Nobody really does.

38) Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned this year?
It really helps to pay your bills on time .

39) Quote a song lyric that sums up your year...
"Oh my God I can't believe it, I've never been this far away from home..."
But that's my quote for every year, to be honest .

Currently Playing: Craig Ferguson

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Jan 1, 2008 - 03:51 AM
Happy New Year!
:alcoholic
Just thought I'd say something about it.

Unfortunately, I celebrated not with Indian food at a Bhangra blowout at the local Indian place (as I had planned), but by taking my cat to the emergency vet for 4 hours and staying home with my mom, who has some Gerogerigegege
crud that she was coming down with at work earlier today.

I did end up eating Indian food, though.
But at home, sans Indians and Bhangra music .

Also -- first journal post of 2008 (for me)!
(after a moderate hiatus)

Currently Playing: David Bowie - All the Young Dudes

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Nov 18, 2007 - 02:30 AM
Dear Lord that was terrible.
Beowulf, that is.

OMG, I can't believe I spent $20 on a cab to go see it. Good thing other people bought me my food, because otherwise I would feel completely ripped off. My friends didn't like it, I didn't like it, the people around us didn't like it. One of my friends said it was the most homoeroticism he's seen in a movie since 300 -- I just said there was way too much testosterone injected into it. I understand this is a very,erm, masculine story, but goddamn it, it's possible to go overboard.

The dialogue was horrible, the acting was bad (and how does that happen in a CG movie these days?), the original story was just screwed up...yeah.

The only redeeming thing about it was that it made me laugh a bit (mostly because of how my friends were reacting to it, and the 'nudity') and Grendel's character design was done well. It was basically 'pretty good' until the fight between Beowulf and Grendel. Also, this is probably a lot better than whatever I was told Disney was making back in 2003; they were working on a PG adaptation of Beowulf, which would have been truly terrible.

And to think, this is the first time I've been out on a weekend in probably 2.5 months.



Currently Playing: Nothing.

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Oct 16, 2007 - 12:36 AM
MP3 Player frustration.
Yes, MORE frustration -- except no maggots, this time.

So I ordered an iRiver like, 2 weeks ago. It was supposed to be in my hands last Tuesday, but then UPS decided to only try to deliver it two times instead of three, then hold it hostage at their office that's like, 2340923809 miles away from my apartment (and me with no car).

I finally picked it up today -- right under the wire, too, with my roommate driving me like a madman -- only to discover that the fucking thing DOESN'T WORK. So now, after over 2 weeks of waiting, I have to send the fucking thing back. At this point, I may just give in to peer pressure and get an iPod.
EXCEPT... I want something that plays .ogg files.
But what I want more is something that WORKS.

Suggestions are welcome, but if all you're going to tell me is to BUY AN iPOD ALREADY then I want you to direct me to where I can get one (ie: not a shuffle, probably not a nano either) for $100. Because that's my budget.

Probably going to follow this up with a private entry, because I feel like being a bitchy emocow tonight.


Currently Playing: Nothing on my mp3 player, that's for damn sure.

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Oct 14, 2007 - 11:47 PM
One of the most disgusting things...
Today was so annoying.

I woke up, knew that I had seven hours of straight rehearsal ahead of me (which ended up not panning out, for the most part), and decided that I should take the trash out. After all, my roommate asked me if I would do that for her this morning, while she was at church. OK.

So I go over to the kitchen, only to find MAGGOTS ON THE FLOOR and little fruit flies everywhere. I freaked the fuck out. Now, I like bugs, but I can't abide by worms, maggots and cockroaches. Much less any of them on my kitchen floor. And nothing was there the night before....

I grudgingly picked up the bags of trash (turns out my roommate put some old chorizo and porkchops in the trash ) and threw them in the dumpster out back. But then I still had to deal with the 20 or so maggots crawling on the floor . Nothing kills those fuckers! NOTHING. I was spraying Glade air freshner, hair gel, Off!, hair spray, orange oil and Windex on the damned things and they still kept wriggling around. I finally got pissed off enough to overcome my disgust and started stomping on the damn things with some paper towels.

UGH.

I'm hoping that they were from the trash and not coming from some unknown location. Because that's just disgusting. I want to be able to invite people to my apartment without thinking maggots will turn up on the floor .

Currently Playing: Beethoven - Symphony No. 5, Movement I

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Oct 2, 2007 - 10:39 AM
Why I'm still tired from yesterday...and things aren't going to improve today.
x_x
In case you missed the stream.
My parents actually did get quite a bit of video of the concert.
If you want to catch the Zappa/etc. concert stream tonight, click here. It starts around 8pm Central, so that's like, 9pm for you easterners and 6pm for you westerners in the US.

Corigliano Promenade Overture:
YouTube Video
I'm the principal violist walking out the right-hand side......such a mess.

Shostakovich String Sinfonia No. 110 ~ aka: String Quartet No. 8 MULTIPLIED BY 8::
This is all played without breaks, but because of YT I had to chop it up. Listen to the second movement if nothing else.

First Movement
YouTube Video

Second and Third Movements
YouTube Video

If you want to see the rest of it, I'll probably upload it tomorrow along with a movement or two of the Pictures at an Exhibition, the Zappa and the Daugherty Barbie music. I did this freaking concert after 5 hours of rehearsal. I hope today I'll have time to pick up my new digital camera...

Currently Playing: New Music concert, later tonight.

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Oct 1, 2007 - 06:00 PM
If you're interested...
TIRED.
Click Here to stream the concert I'm playing in tonight...which starts in approximately two hours (8pm Central Time).

The program:

- Corigliano: Promenade Overture
- Shostakovich: String Sinfonia on Quartet No. 8
- Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition

I've been playing for the last 5 hours, and now I have to play for 1.5 more .
My parents are going to try and record video of the concert, but I don't know how successful that will be.



Currently Playing: MTV Tr3s...thanks to my dad.

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Sep 26, 2007 - 11:02 PM
What I've been up to [music + pics]...
Response to: An email to Frank Zappa's wife by Wall Feces

Yeah...so I know I've been kind of dead here lately (aka: completely dead).
Being in three ensembles kind of does that to you .
I guess I should bring things up to speed.

1) I'm sitting principal in the UT Symphony. So I have to appear to know what I'm doing. We're playing:
- Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition
Really entertaining. Pretty standard. I live for The Hut of Baba Yaga.
- Corigliano: Promenade Overture
SUCH a mess. It's the opposite of the Haydn "Farewell" symphony, because instead of the instrumentalists leaving one-by-one, they come on the stage one-by-one. Imagine...marching cellists. No, seriously.
- Shostakovich: String Sinfonia on Quartet No. 8.
WHY are we playing this? Yes, this is the same quartet I played for a freaking year... except all the parts are like...8-pled. It's kind of a disaster.

UT streams the concerts live, so if you are interested in hearing it, I'm going to post a link on the concert day (Monday) and everybody can listen to it from the comfort of their home .

2) I'm also the only violist in the New Music Ensemble, which is playing one of the most entertaining programs I've been on. Highlights:

- FUCKING FRANK ZAPPA. G-SPOT TORNADO.
End of discussion. It has a mandolin, harp, celeste, guitar and xylophone. And is totally amazing.
- Daugherty: What's That Spell?
It's a song about Barbies. Yes, the plastic dolls. Including a "Lament for Ken"...staged with two soprano Barbies and the cellist as "Ken."

This is also streamed, but on Tuesday night. I'll post a link to that as well.

3) I went to ACL Fest and it was FUCKING AMAZING. I was up front for Muse, again (just like last year) -- except this time their show was on the main stage, and since the White Stripes cancelled, they became the main act and thus played for an hour and a half. I was hoarse for two days from screaming in some bitch's ear. I also got autographs from Dax Riggs and Andrew Bird, which was really nice. Pictures:
Spoiler:


Matt is playing a clear-lidded Kawai piano with lights that correspond to the keys. Hot.

Crazy big screen with lyrics in the background.

Dancing robots in the background on Supermassive black hole.

Andrew Bird. I couldn't get very close to the stage, but I shook his hand, so it's all good.

4) My digital camera bit the dust. I'm buying a new one this weekend, but it sucked because I couldn't take pictures at ACL Fest . I had to spend $12 on a stupid disposable camera which took shitty pictures. See above.

5) My parents are coming!

Also, I pinched a nerve (the ulnar nerve, to be exact) in my arm from practicing that Frank Zappa piece. I couldn't really play for a week, because my ring and pinky fingers were basically numb and therefore couldn't do anything on the viola. However, it's a lot better now, thanks to rest and some B vitamins.

There. That's what I've been doing.
And tomorrow (today?) is my birthday So I'm 22. Yay.
Boy talk and salsa dancing -- later.

Currently Playing: Frank Zappa, bitch.

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Aug 21, 2007 - 11:55 AM
So I'm going to retreat into hiding again...
School hasn't started yet (got about a week of freedom left), but I've been non-stop busy since I flew into Austin three days ago. Moving into the new apartment was hellish -- thank GOD for our male friends -- but at least all of our stuff is out of the storage unit, and my roommate and I have some of our Financial Aid so we're not surviving solely on shrimp ramen and 2-4-1 coupons from my mother .

I'll post pics of our new apartment, once we get all the boxes cleared up, things hung on the walls and I get batteries for my camera T_T. It's really, really nice and the space is amazing.

Since school is starting soon -- and I don't have my own internet access at this new apartment -- I'm probably not going to be on here (or much of anywhere), very often. I'm jacking some person's unsecured wireless account right now, but as always with doing that, it's kind of an unreliable way of accessing the internet.

And now -- to shop and go out to lunch with an old friend .



Currently Playing: Subway to Sally - Kleine Schwester

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Aug 14, 2007 - 01:59 PM
This is San Francisco (and the end of my summer).
Headache
I've been back from SF for a few days now, but didn't really get around to putting the pictures up (or indeed, even looking at them) until now. So here they are. I spoiler'd them in groups, for convenience's sake.
--
Arriving at the Hotel Tomo, which is a remodeled Best Western. I was kind of surprised it's a BW, because it looks a lot better than most.
Spoiler:


The ceiling of the lobby. Everything was going out of its way to be "quirky."


The lobby proper. Yeah, I think that thing is to sit on. And they had Godzilla, Rave Master and some japanese movie playing on those three screens in the background.


Every floor had a giant number at the end of the hall. In case you didn't know where you were.


Nightstand with japanese latern-lamp <3.


The bean bag chair in the corner. Interesting...


Me, wearing the TOMO! robe they provided after a shower.


There were some funny things while driving on the rollercoaster that is SF streets...
Spoiler:


Driving. Yeah.


Gay show. Or for women, I guess...>___>...


Naughty Hotties.


I'm kind of sick that this is their city hall. It looks like our capitol.


The hotel room included two free tickets to the Manga exhibit at the Asian American museum, which was interesting. I mean, to see Osamu Tezuka's manga pages displayed like Picasso o_O.
Spoiler:


The outside, with manga trappings XD.


The Asian-American Museum moved to this building, the former house of the main SF library branch, in 2003.


Astro Boy standup! In retrospect, I should have taken a picture with it.


Pictures weren't allowed in special exhibits .
But they were allowed in the museum's regular exhibits, so this is from the Southeast Asian gallery. I love the way Thai/Indonesian portrayals of females always look like they have massive implants .


After the museum, we went to CHINATOWN. Because no trip to SF is complete without it.
Spoiler:


Gate 'o Chinatown.


The oldest cathedral in California is, oddly enough, right outside of Chinatown.


I've always liked the signs in Chinatown. I mean, WaMu is even in Chinese .


A shot where you can see down to the bay, and even the GG Bridge. Kind of.


LOL engrish.


This statue is a kid playing guitar with a bow.
Of course, a priceless antique being hocked by the fine merchandisers of Chinatown.


More fine examples of artistic merit, this time a number of figures demonstrating sexual techniques and positions. (my dad is pointing at them)
They were in the display window.


Before we left, we ate at the ridiculously overpriced -- but good -- chinese restaurant, The Empress of China. This is the view at night from our table.

--
Then we had a yard sale when we came home, which basically sapped the life out of me. Yeah.
I head back to Austin on Saturday, so...that's all for California, until Christmas.




Currently Playing: Subway to Sally - Kruzifix

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Aug 10, 2007 - 12:26 AM
Weeaboo day.
I'm staying with my parents at this hotel. Had some salmon teriyaki, looked at overpriced japanese antiques and books, and now I just ate a crapload of japanese candy from the market downstairs. I think I should pay a visit to the hotel's workout center to make up for it. Tomorrow we're going to the Tezuka manga gallery showing for free, since this was a package deal.

I'm also sad that every artbook I want is at least $40. Oh well, I don't need anymore crap. I've been out of the anime/manga thing for quite a while, anyway.

Currently Playing: My mom reading stuff out of a magazine.

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Aug 5, 2007 - 03:36 AM
Nerd.
Response to: Ohshit -- bibliophilia. by Arkhangelsk

This site has just made me extremely excited, which is prime evidence of my nerdiness: LibraryThing.com.

It's so awesome! It is almost exactly Last.FM -- for BOOKS.
You tag/categorize all your books, with access to ISBN numbers and covers, and it ranks your top authors and matches your taste with others. It also allows you to search 78 different libraries around the world and most variants of Amazon.com (my only complaint is a distinct lack of Asian library resources).

Anyway. If you have a substantial book collection, you should join.
If you for some bizarre reason want to check out my book collection, my profile is here; so far I've only uploaded novels I've purchased in the last 2 years, and about 1/4 of my other novels. None of my reference books or children's books are in there yet -- and yes, I know that there is a fee to upload over 200 books. For me, it's worth it...I also have software on my computer that is set up to import all the information from LibraryThing to a personal database on my computer.



Oh, and the final count of my book boxes is 12, with 8 of those being full of novels. I'm selling about 25 books.

Currently Playing: My mom reading stuff from AARP's magazine.

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Aug 3, 2007 - 03:20 PM
This just made my day.
No, seriously.
I've been looking for these for a long time (I even made a thread about it) to no avail.
Until now:

The Chuck Heston Mini-Disaster Movies.
I have about 24 of them, but I have no idea how many there are in total. They all are called "Dante's ____" and involve Charlton Heston being a total whackjob in an overdramatacised 25-second role. Click that to download all of them, zipped up with bonuses! Previews, at about 45sec. each:

Dante's Big Banana
Dante's Layover
Dante's Stash

They're all ridiculously short and ridiculously funny. My mom and I used to laugh our asses off listening to them while she was driving me to school, whenever they would pop up on the local morning show.

Currently Playing: Something in my head. And Chuck Heston.

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Aug 1, 2007 - 06:06 AM
Ohshit -- bibliophilia.
In my quest to have everything boxed up in my room before I leave, and decide what I want to get rid of, I have been boxing up the bulk of my room: books. And holy shit, I knew I had a lot of books, but this is kind of ridiculous.
Current totals:

- 5 Boxes of novels: 2 big rubbermaid boxes, 2 Office Depot paper ream boxes, 1 trunk.
- 3 Boxes of Reference books: banana boxes, that is. Mostly art, myth and Biblical reference stuff.
- 1 Box of Children's Illustration books: fortune cookie box from a chinese restaurant.
- 1 Box Manga: big rubbermaid box...not all of my stuff, since half of it is in Austin.
- 1 Box US comics: big rubbermaid box, primarily ancient Sonic comics and random graphic novels.

And I'm still not finished .
I'm only selling about 10 of the books I've found, also.

Currently Playing: The news.


Response entries:
Nerd. by Arkhangelsk

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Jul 30, 2007 - 02:55 PM
Public Embarassment.
I'm a glutton for punishment, what can I say.

Canon Powershot audio quality FTW u_u

YouTube Video

At the last minute I was asked to play for my great-great-aunt's 80th birthday party (which consisted of a lot of other 75-80 year-olds -_-) by my equally-great uncle, and he asked my mom if I could "play something peppy? None of that highbrow stuff -- we don't want to put people to sleep." Then he also requested that I play his wife's favorite songs: "Ave Maria" and "The Wind Beneath My Wings" (way to keep people awake, with those choices ). Anyway, yeah. Things went fine, these are Bourrees I and II from the third Bach Cello suite. I truncated Bourree II by not taking the repeats, because it's the "boring" part of the piece . It's not perfect, but it came out alright considering I brought this up from a year ago, and practiced it for all of an hour. My mom insisted on having my dad record me on the camera, and also on posting it on Youtube, now that she's discovered it.

In other news, I'm so freaking excited to have found Vaughan-Williams' Phantasy Quintet for TEN DOLLARS. This is a piece that, on average, costs at least $65. I threw in the score for an extra $3.50. Here, listen to it.

There's so much viola oh my GOD. DOUBLE THE VIOLA.


Currently Playing: Phantasy Quintet <3

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Jul 27, 2007 - 07:36 PM
This is why I don't trust research studies...
...because I'm slightly throwing off the results of this one.

I've been selected to participate in UT's "Survey of Hispanic Students at UT." Considering I'm not, y'know, Hispanic. My roommate is Hispanic, and she insists I'm a Latina technically... since Portuguese is a Latin-based language . And I can understand and blunder through a conversation in Spanish. But really, who knows how many other Portuguese students that happen to have a "Hispanic" surname will be contacted?

Quote:
The purpose of this study is to identify reasons affecting a student's choice to enroll, persist and graduate from the University. The study also examines the degree of parental involvement and insight into their child's college decision-making process. The findings will be used to design a multi-year research project. The goals of the project are to increase the recruitment, retention and graduation of Latino students. This study will survey approximately 5,000 students and 200-400 parents.
However, there is a raffle worth a $100 giftcard for Target for those participating. It's not much, but a chance is a chance.


Currently Playing: DDR Konamix -- PSONE! OMG.

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Jul 20, 2007 - 04:13 AM
What SAUS means to me <3.
Obligatory music nerd SAUS entry.

Spoiler:
People keep bitching about 'knee-jerk' voting and massive arguments over other people's opinions, and some are frustrated with the lack of supportive attitudes like, "Keep it nice" and "Why can't people just chill and appreciate listening to new music?"

But...it's a contest. With "VS." in every thread/seed title.

You don't pit two football teams against each other and expect the fans to appreciate the efforts of the other team. Because people are passionate about what they support, be it a team, a country, a band or even a song. Especially people who actually are musicians: their opinions on music and what makes one thing better than another are formed partially from personal experience, which means an attack against their taste is taken much more personally.

I have heard a few new bands that I had either heard of and never listened to or made snap judgments about and rethought said judgments. But I'm not going to forget that this is about judging, which implies one thing beating another. I also like to hear people's honest defenses for their choices -- as stupid, shallow or unbelievable as the sometimes are.


If there is one thing I want to do, it is compile my own list of classical stuff that I think is wonderful/great/amazing (also known as "things I don't know how any person can listen to and not find something to like about it"). Y'know, since I was off practicing or something when this SAUS thing was conceived, and I couldn't nominate anything -- not saying I would have just put a bunch of classical stuff. Of course, I know whenever I post this, I'll be called out for liking a lot of bombastic, possibly cheesy, loud classical works . But...that's me. Most of the time I don't care much for the theory behind the composition, but stories and/or unique instrumentation does affect me. I don't like to bore myself or others, and if I can hardly get through playing a particular piece, I can hardly expect the audience to enjoy it. I'm doing the more active job, after all.

Then again, I like viola music. How can anybody trust my opinion on good classical music .

Currently Playing: Probably something you would all hate and judge me for listening to.

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Jul 18, 2007 - 03:52 AM
My optometrist is apparently a Japanese Superhero.
*_*

I'm actually sort of serious.*

So I changed optometrists on this current visit home, because my "regular" glasses man couldn't get me in before I went back to TX, and I was extremely disappointed with my current pair anyway. One of my friends recommended this Japanese doctor that, according to him, was a pretty...interesting...guy. My mom hasn't had a new pair of glasses in about 4 years, so she decided to go to this doc too.

Heh... I'll just say, he's pretty out there.
While waiting for my eyes to dilate he showed me a card trick, then examined my eyes and told me:

* I have jaw and back tension (hrrr...as a violist, go figure...)
* I'm slightly bloated (:sigh:...yeah...I know...it's about that time of the month...)
* I probably should "cleanse my system" and get more minerals.
* I'm a carrier for some gene that affects heart valves .

That was nothing compared to how spot-on he diagnosed my mom's issues (ie: cramps&bloating (she certainly didn't tell him she was on her period), leg pain, lower back pain, digestive problems, needing more fiber in her diet to help the lining of her stomach, and heart pains -- which are something she has never told me about, but afterwards admitted to).
It was a bit freaky, because all he did was look in our eyes, and he's just the glasses man.

*Also, he stopped the second hand on his watch.
Maybe I just don't get out much, but nobody's ever pulled that trick on me. He told my mom and I to look at the second hand (yeah, it's moving), then he pointed his finger at it, and it stopped cold. Then he pointed his finger at it again and it moved again.

He said something in reference to Hiro up there, and how he personally still can't stop people from moving. But he can stop the second hand on his watch.


Currently Playing: Dream Theater - 'Fatal Tragedy' (yeah...it's stuck in my head...)

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Jul 14, 2007 - 02:32 PM
For artists...I guess...
+_+
I dunno. I've done better art-favored surveys.
But it's mercifully short.
--
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WORD?
I like archaic words, or words which sound the opposite of what they mean. Like "Formication," which just means 'ant nest' in Latin, but sounds much worse. However, my favorite word ever is upåklagelig, 'incomparable' in Norwegian. Heh, fitting.

WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE WORD?
I like all words, because I'm a word nerd.
I guess the one that annoys me most, though, is hanged. I hate that in English you say "He was hanged" instead of "He was hung." I guess all those backwards hicks stringing people up back in the day weaseled their bad grammar into everyday usage .

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE NOISE?
I'm not sure that I have a favorite noise persay...I mean, I like a lot of noises. Put together. But I don't particularly enjoy noise music (lolol). I guess I like cat purring. Yeah.


WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE NOISE?
I hate that little sizzle noise that the TV makes when you turn it on. Not meaning that the TV is on a snowy channel, just the hum of the TV being on annoys me. Maybe this is why I don't like it being on, and why I don't watch TV.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU, CREATIVELY?
I draw a vast amount of my inspiration from written works. For me, I find that some of the greatest things in art, theater and music have been derived or inspired by a piece of literature and with me it is no different. Illustration has always held a certain fascination for me, be it in children's picture book or Dore's Biblical illustrations. Since I've been reading about as long as I've been drawing, I have a strong association with interpreting through art the images that I see in my mind. After all, many people don't like to read, but everybody likes to look at an awesome picture.

Another thing that inspires me to a lesser extent are song lyrics/music. It can go with the literary thing; certain songs sound like a certain character, or a facet of that character's personality, and those two will combine to inspire an image. Sometimes just the lyrics will inspire me (like "Jaevel av en Tango" by Kaizers Orchestra). Ironically, it's usually not classical music that 'does it' for me.

WHAT MAKES YOU NEVER WANT TO WORK?
To be quite honest, nothing.
I only feel like I'm doing something with my life when I'm drawing or playing viola, which is my work, therefore nothing makes me want to not do it. I suppose the only thing would be when one interferes with the other, for example: if I'm forced to only draw or only play viola, then I don't have time for the other, and hence will want to not work.

This usually happens with music, because I'm normally so swamped with viola stuff that I don't have time to draw. And that makes me wish that I had more free time to draw.

WHAT PROFESSION, OTHER THAN YOUR OWN, WOULD YOU LIKE TO ATTEMPT?
I still harbor secret desires to be an animator (2D, to make myself clear...I HATE CG animation). Just an independent one.
Too bad that it'll take about 5 years for me to get even a simple, banal animation complete .

Or perhaps a creature designer/development artist for Hollywood. Everybody wants monsters in their movies, and that's what I'm best at drawing.

WHAT PROFESSION WOULD YOU NEVER WANT TO DO?
Anything in the medical field. I really can't stand blood, and I don't like dealing with people -- especially sick people that have a lot of needs. My bedside manner would more than likely be atrocious.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SWEAR WORD?
Scheiße, the German word for Shit.
I used to not cuss much in English or any other language, and then I took to cussing in German so that I could still use an expletive and nobody around me would really take offense. It preserved my curse-less reputation and allowed me to be pissed off .

OKAY, LAST QUESTION. IF HEAVEN EXISTS, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE GOD TO SAY WHEN YOU DIE?
I hope we're not using a base thing like language in Heaven.
It'll probably be some sort of direct emotional link.
--
I felt that last question to be out of sync with the rest of this survey.


Currently Playing: Qntal - [Qntal III #03] Maiden in the Mor

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Jul 13, 2007 - 03:40 PM
Old habits die hard.
Whenever I come back home from Texas, I start to feel less like a musician and more like an artist; each time it's gets harder to go back to my 'old ways.' Right now I feel pretty disconnected from the intense musical environment I'm used to being around. It's vaguely rekindled when I play with the people here that I used to play with when I was 'in' on that scene; now when I'm with anybody save my old viola teacher, I feel like an outsider. Even with my old orchestra teacher, I feel so out of place. Meh.

Anyways, the arrival back in California always coincides with a rekindling of old fandoms, since I don't have time when I'm in school to nurse them. I'm very picky about what anime/manga I choose to devote time to, so if I recommend it, I guarantee it's worth looking into. And if it's THIRTY SEVEN fucking VOLUMES and I *still* like it, then I assure you that it's good -- because as a rule I avoid manga that go on for over 10 volumes (15 at the very most).

That's why I'm suggesting anybody who reads this and likes manga, and doesn't mind scanlations, check out Violinist of Hameln. It's a long story, but the premise of 'super-hero [classical] musicians fighting demons' is too good to pass up (or not be Japanese). I had been off of this series for about two years (and by off I mean, I didn't think about it much or re-read it, because all I had were text translations) -- but then I discovered some scanlating group who I thought had totally abandoned their site, have actually reached Volume 25 with their scanlations of VoH. *_*

vs.
Anime-version Hamel&co. vs. Manga-version. Manga-version are certainly more chipper, definitely less emo .

At 37 volumes, I really didn't expect any scanlating group to actually get this far. After all, many groups have picked it up, made it until about volume 10, and then dropped it/folded/etc. Even the text translations -- which I read while looking at my original japanese tankoubon -- only go up until about volume 24. I posted a link to the VoH movie torrent in a previous entry. The movie would be best viewed after reading about 12 volumes of the manga, and the anime...well...the anime is totally different from the manga. TOTALLY. It's so emo and angsty (and lacking in animation...), which is present in the manga, but so chopped up with random humor that it doesn't opress you.

So. Scythe GP is the amazing group scanlating it, and they have torrents and direct links to download volumes 1-21. Also, I find Tidwah to be somewhat nicer about direct downloads of the manga volumes, through volume 17. And I have everything up to the latest release of volume 25, so you can always PM me.


Currently Playing: Bernstein - Chichester Psalms II

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Jul 11, 2007 - 03:15 PM
I can now legally (learn how to) Drive.
^_^
*sigh*

Yes, I am 21 (almost 22) and I don't have my fucking driver's license. So sue me. I know people who turned 23, got married and had a kid before they got their license.

Anyway, I went down to the DMV yesterday, took the damned test (again) and got a driving permit (again) so that I can finally get the actual license before I go back to Texas (yes, I did this same thing a few years back...but my old permit expired last summer).This way, when my roommate takes off with her sister somewhere, I can take advantage of her mother's offer to let me drive her car -- or, if my grandpa gets his license taken away, I can drive his car -- or, I might buy a percussionist friend of mine's car.

In any scenario, I need a license. And I think it's high time I got one.
Also, why is today "FireFox crash day?" Because FF has crashed three times on me...wtf...

Currently Playing: Alice in Chains - 'Heaven Beside You'

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Jul 9, 2007 - 10:39 PM
I still love my Dreamcast <3
Mostly because of the loyal fans, who have been working ever since the system's demise to expand the system beyond it's intended potential. Why do I love it? Okay:

1. I already own it.
I'm a cheap bastard. I don't like spending more than $10 for shirts, and that's something that is required for daily life. Think of how I feel about spending money for shit that is extraneous -- especially video games, which I don't really have time for in my everyday existence 9 months out of the year.

2. Games are either cheap or free.
Because you can play burned DC games without modding the console. And thanks to the amazing fans who have gone to the immense trouble of ripping a GD-ROM and creating downloadable, burnable files. Or, if I really wanted to, I could buy the games for like, $5-15 on half.com or eBay.
Only if I really like the game, though.

3. Homebrew stuff.
The fans have made me drag out my DC because of the emulators for Genesis, [S]NES and more (as well as DivX support) that allow me to play the games that I either rented and never purchased, or always meant to buy but never got around to it. And it's allowed me to wallow in the nostalgia of playing Primal Rage, Earthworm Jim 1&2 (which I have for PC, but would rather play on my TV) and Clay Fighter. I mean, I have a Genesis and a Nomad, but I would have to hunt down cartridges of the games I want in order to play them. No... the only reason I'm interested in