Archive for School

“Quality Time”

J.D. and I have been spending some serious quality time with each other lately.  Since I’m basically all done with school and schoolwork for the semester (and he’s just a procrastinator), I’ve started playing Zelda Ocarina of Time on the Wii we “borrowed” from my family.  After I had reached the Temple of Time (a good few days of playing for me, because I’m… not very good), J.D. decided that he NEEDED to play as well.  Lucky for him, we also have an N64 and Ocarina of Time for that system.  So, today, we spent most of our free time playing our separate games.  At the same time. On the same TV.

How?  We managed to fangle a giant TV from his friend’s parents, who were just going to throw the thing away.  And I mean, this thing is huge.  Pre-flat-screen-huge.  82-inch screen, two feet from front to back.  It was interesting to fit it into our tiny apartment.  Anyway, we discovered that we can split the screen into two and play on two separate systems.  Of course, the sound only works for one of the games, but… We could both sit and enjoy our games together, and J.D. was always there to help me get through the difficult parts.

Yeah.  We’re boring.  But we’ve had a busy semester, and I’ve earned it.  (He’ll officially earn it by the end of the week)

Speaking of J.D.’s game, he named his character on Ocarina of Time something… Rather derogatory and mean.  So, everyone in the game sounds like a pretentious, sarcastic jerk every time they say something to him.  Like this, “Great job getting up here, stupid.”  Or, “Hey, stupid, get up!” It’s juvenile, but so far, we’re still laughing every time it happens.

P.S. On another note, I keep having dreams of being on a cruise again… My family and I, minus J.D., as it was a few weeks before we got married, went on a cruise.  And I keep dreaming about going on another one.  And drinking lots and lots of hot chocolate.



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Morning Musings

I wouldn’t necessarily say that it is morning as I’m typing away.  Technically, it is, as it is 1:15 in the morning, but morning doesn’t officially start until I wake up, even if I don’t wake up until noon, it is still morning until I have breakfast and take a shower (which might be a while as I have to do laundry tomorrow before I can take a shower).  And I wouldn’t necessarily call what I’m about to write musings, but rather random snapshots of thought, that may or may not be coherent, and may or may not take me forever to type due to the fact that I seem to be having recent problems making my fingers do what I tell them to do.

Perhaps the most pressing matter to address at this moment is the fact that the end of April is drawing nigh and with it brings the end of spring semester and — no joke — finals week.  The thing I’m still trying to get my head around is that it is, in fact, April, and soon will be May, when I still feel like I’m stuck in March, and I’m left wondering if March even happened.  I then have to look at my calendar and assure myself that yes, March does follow February and is followed by April, and it did in fact happen because I did in fact cross out the days in March.  March and April aside, today (being Sunday, and not Monday, as my Sunday has not yet ended in sleep) marks the end of Hell week and the beginning of the end of Spring semester.

I call it Hell week because that’s perhaps the best way to describe it.  Tuesday choir concert (which sadly failed to get recorded), Thursday Orchestra of Southern Utah concert, Friday band concert (don’t EVEN get me started…), and Saturday… Well.  I’d rather not say much about Saturday other than it was a long, useless day spent in a building with no outlets and therefore nothing to do but sit around and shuffle cards all day or sleep.  Of course, it could have been spent socializing, but really… What a useless activity.

Of course, there were some good things that came of Hell week, perhaps aided by the law of averages.  I was able to pass my aural skills final, which means no more sight singing in Locrian, dorian, or any other -ian, and no more trying to figure out if that last chord was a Neopolitan, German, Italian, or French, only to find out that it was merely a secondary dominant of the dominant (which I don’t expect many to understand, don’t worry — you’re not ignorant).

I was also able to accomplish quite a bit in the little time I had between classes, practicing, and sleep, spending more time in the library in one week than I had nearly all year just printing stuff out.  So many trees…  Ironic that my tree-killing escapades fell on Earth week.  But hey, I’m going to drop off some plastic bottles to be recycled, so it all evens out, right?

But of course, bad and frustrating things happened, too, but at the end of the week, at least I got to spend some time with a rather nice (however slightly smelly) cat purring on my stomach while I watched countless episodes of Nova on my laptop.  Which brings me to one in the morning and procrastinating going to sleep, because the sooner I go to bed, the sooner I have to get up and buckle down on the projects that I should have been able to do on Saturday if I hadn’t had to go to that blasted “competition.”



I also happened upon a coupon book of a plethora of $15, $5, and $1 coupons to the movie theathers around my school that my father gave to me sometime last year.  i think I’ve used a total of one coupon from it in the entire time that I’ve had it — I leave next week, and they expire at the end of June.  Perhaps I will go see some movies by myself this week, as I don’t really have anybody to go with.  But frankly, it makes me wonder if I’m a total weirdo — wouldn’t a normal college student have been able use that up the month she recieved such a bounteous gift?  Is doing social things supposed to be a priority, other than the fact that it’s the only way to find someone who is willing to room with you?  Perhaps I take too functional a view of my social life… Eah.  Another story for another day.  This post is way too long, and if you’ve gotten this far, I commend you for your patience.  Really, you deserve a round of applause.

joker-clapThis is the only picture I could find that involved clapping.  Sorry if you’re sick of seeing batman stuff.

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The Big Five-oh-oh!

It’s official.  I have at last reached 500 views.  I am fully aware that in the grand scheme of things, it’s really not a lot.  BUT… It means that someone OTHER THAN MY FAMILY has read portions of my blog, which makes me very happy.  SO… In honor of that, I will share with you the rough draft of my scholarship essay.  Although, I have since rewritten the entire thing, but I wanted to share with you this metaphor for life.  Or something.

I have had many dreams in my life.  Albeit, many of them have been during my unconscious hours and as irrelevant as Jack Skellington from “Nightmare Before Christmas” sucking out my life-force or searching frantically through an endless cricket stadium filled with Jack Dempsey look-alikes.  So, because my personal “dream” category is filled to the brim with things of the bizarre and fantastic, I will refrain from putting my desire to become a professional musician in this category.  But, as constant as the moments between dusk and dawn have been unfailingly bizarre, so has the presence of music in my life been as constant and unfailing.  Of course, this dawning of realization wasn’t as sudden as, say, death by guillotine, but rather more like finding the perfect pair of jeans – Although, I got lucky and seem to have found a pair that actually fits before the store closed.  But, I, like every single pair of jeans on the planet, need a little more altering to reach true excellence and freedom of movement (translation of the metaphor: musical freedom, meaning overcoming the things that are currently hindering me and causing me frustration – much like a too-tight pair of jeans.)  Of course, if I had already found a perfect pair, I wouldn’t need a tailor and wouldn’t be spending countless amounts of money getting help smoothing out the seams becoming fabulous.  (Metaphor ends here)  Frankly, I never felt happier in high school than when I was singing, and I’m sure there will be plenty who feel the same way when I reach the magical time that I can share what I’ve learned with others at the same point I am now.  In essence, I want to make the future hapless, apathetic, depressed, lonesome, and rejected young people feel… Well, in layman’s terms, happy, by being a part of something almost magical.  Of course, finding the  is in a category of magic of all its own.

 It veers WAY away from the actual topic at hand — the jeans thing kind of takes over.  But there it is.  And Mom, Dad, don’t worry.  I’ve re-written it. 

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Kind of Like a Dying Moose

With a wood reed, plastic clarinet, leather ligature, metal keys, and my face, many things can go wrong when all of these strange a various elements are put together next to a piano on a hot stage.  It began when I walked onto the stage, frantically trying to remember how and when to bow.  After an awkward salutory bow, my accompanist hit a B flat, which I tried to eik out of my clarinet to tune.  You see, since my clarinet IS plastic, it is inherently very sharp, and therefore nearly impossible to tune without attaching extra parts to make the thing longer and therefore not as sharp (for those of you who don’t know, if the instrument is sharp, make it longer, if it’s flat, make it shorter).  I did a little reed adjusting, “tuned” again, got close (I’m not very good at hearing whether I’m sharp or flat, especially when I’m under such pressure as having fifty people staring at you.  It’s a good thing I’m not a hideous beast).  So, I turn and look at my music and begin.

It began at a pleasant mezzo-piano (I don’t believe I got any louder than that the entire song), with a pleasant little dynamic-less theme.  Up until the trill and grace notes.  Which really sounded like I was caught completely by surpise. The rest of the theme wasn’t so bad, but the first variation was where all the fun began.  So much for all I’d practiced everything.  It all went out the window, and my Clarence ended up squeaking in utter despair a few times during this first variation.  A few notes even blatantly refused to come out because they were so ashamed of having to be on that stage with me at the helm.

The second variation was a little more somber and in a relatively minor key.  I doubt I came anywhere near the Fortissimos or Fortes written in the music, but remained a comfortable mezzo-piano to piannissimo (Forte = loud; piano = quiet).  I breathed in all the places my clarinet teacher told me not to, and the “turnabout” sextuplets ended up sounding more like I couldn’t find my note in a simple triplet or eighth note scheme.  But hey, I didn’t squeak when I jumped from the C to the high E flat!  That probably means nothing to you, but that was rather an accomplishment.  Anyway, the “sad” part of the song was really rather sad, because I couldn’t eik any real “sad” emotions out of Clarence because the only emotion he seemed to be feeling was confusion at my pitiful dynamics.

Oh, goodness, and then the final variation.  This variation was supposed to sound fun and carefree — kind of like frollicking through a circus full of happy animals in the fall.  In reality, it came out more like trudging through a low-budget emo circus in the middle of a swamp during the muggiest day of summer in Nebraska.  No amount of practicing could have saved me from that.  I thanked God when I reached the final high C (it was definitely out of tune, but I didn’t care — if I was a Sim, my charisma and artistic skill levels had already declined by as many points as possible.  No promotion for me!  Hootnburwatti!)  And then, finally, a repetition of the same, sad theme from the beginning of the song.  Reduced to a depressed and dejected mess, Clarence squeaked out the last few notes, accepting of his new renown as a pitiful excuse for an instrument of a poor musician.  In one last strive for defiance, he refused to hold out the last note, which was supposed to be a bit of a grand affair for more than a moment before finally commiting suicide whilst I gave a sigh of relief that it was finally over.

I should have been a percussionist.

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