Sunday, November 30, 2008


I had to take my car to the shop sometime two weeks ago, because I got to school that Friday and there was smoke coming out of the hood. Only evidently it wasn't smoke, it was steam that smelled like smoke. (?) Anyway, I was driving Grandmommy's truck while my car was in the shop. Sometime last week, I leave for school, and I realize as I'm going up the hill that the truck isn't accelerating.
"Hmm," thought I. "This isn't good."
I pulled out onto 801 anyway, thinking that it would start... but it didn't. I'm sitting there, going like 18 mph on 801, and continually slowing. I slightly freaked, pulled over, and realized that the incline I had pulled over onto was rather steep, and the truck was rather top heavy. I tried to go a little bit further down the road to a lighter incline, but the truck wouldn't go at all, and started sliding down the incline towards a fence. The sheriff shows up... gives me the brilliant idea of using 4-wheel drive (why didn't I think of that?) and I pull away successfully.
Fast-forward to almost to school, in front of the Food Lion in the line of cars that is always there.
It happened again (minus the incline), so I pull into the parking lot, try to get it to go, manage to get to school.
Dad told me that my car was ready that day (good timing), so I'm to drop the truck off at the station and pick up my car. That was also a bit problematic.
Anyway, we went to pick up the truck the other day to take it to G-mommy's, and it did it again before I'd gotten twenty feet, so we took it back to get it checked again.

What was wrong with it?

Very odd problem.

Doesn't usually happen to cars.

Mice had chewed the wires. And the aluminum in the air conditioning. And maybe the gas line.

Since when do mice chew on cars?

PS- I found someone else who reads my blog.

Friday, November 21, 2008

What to do?

What does one do with a musical ensemble that has high levels of animosity between the individual performers? Between the performers and the conductor? Between the performers, conductor, and the music?

There are reasons I turn down the bottle of water offered to me by my section when I ask to go get a drink. It's not because of germs... It's because I need to get out of a stressful environment, even if only for a minute or two.

You know it's bad when you prefer Calculus.

Mmm... banana splits and trig parties. I love Calculus.

Random unplaceable memory

One time, many years ago, I spent the night at a friends house. We stayed up late watching TV in his room, and he fell asleep long before I did. We saw many things: stuff on discovery channel about famous architectural structures (Sedlec Ossuary, which contains tens of thousands of human skeletons arranged in artistic patterns ), roller-coasters (The Bullet. Straight up, then straight down. Named after the shape of the track), infomercials, other stuff. One thing that I remember seeing (he had fallen asleep long since) was this anime film (this was when I was still into anime). I don't remember the plot at all, except it involved the world coming to an end, as so many of them do. It took place on earth, but it was some sort of alternate-universe earth. I don't remember why, but all of a sudden, there were all these places where earth had intersected with some other version of earth, and there were all these shots from news shows in the movie illustrating the jaw-dropping effects thereof. Most of these consisted of famous global landmarks (arc d'triomphe, statue of liberty, etc.) being in places they were not supposed to be: I believe the statue of liberty was projecting from the side of some random mountain at about a 60ยบ angle to the ground. But not the entire thing. It was as if someone had taken a giant statue-of-liberty-toothpick and stuck it in the side of the mountain. But the thing was, the Statue of Liberty was also in New York Harbor. So there were all of a sudden two Statues of Liberty on earth, and the Arc d'triomphe was in two places at once, and I don't remember any of the others.

What really irks me, though, is that I would like to see this image again. It was dramatic, compelling, and strange.

I have no idea the name of the movie, any of the characters, the plotline... anything.
I dont' even know what channel it came on, not that it matters. It aired about 7 years ago, and I don't know what time of day, or even what day.

I hate futile battles.

This is even harder than trying to track down that one version of the Star Spangled Banner I heard at the All-State Band concert those years ago. I at least know what year it was (2005), who was conducting (Jeff King), and some details of the arrangement (Opening trumpet duet. Included a quote from another patriotic song, most likely "America".).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Stupid assignment

So, in my mockery of an english class, we were told we had to write a poem, 10 lines, about what poetry is.
What's further, we had to post it in a public forum, and let our classmates finish the poem by writing 5 more lines in our style.
While the assignment is BEYOND stupid, I was fairly satisfied with the result. (Minus the 5 lines by someone else, I haven't gotten any of those yet.)


The tip of the pen brushes the vast field of paper, black water flowing from the spout
making puddles of letterswordssentencesparagraphsnovelsthoughtsideasloverevolution.
Each word a brushstroke on an imagined canvas, seen differently by all,
because each soul speaks a different language with the same words trying desperately to
get a message out to somebody who will listenreadhearcarethinkponderchangetheworld.
In the desperate search for meaning in this maelstrom we call life, using this arbitrary
system of communication that we've been taught since birth, wordspunctuationsyntax
giving form to the formless forces inside, that which we all know but cannot express
correctly in any form, no matter how hard we try, but try we must because that's what life
is: the the attempt to make something usefulbeautifulmeaningful with limited resources.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Net Neutrality 2

The more I learn about this issue, the more distressed I become.

Below are a bunch of clips from Bill Moyers' series Moyers on America, "The Net at Risk?"

I found it to be most informative. I think it's most of the show, I'm not entirely sure. I know there's a little bit missing, but I don't know how much.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Net Neutrality

Save the Internet | Rock the Vote

My friend Abby told me about Net Neutrality recently. I don't quite understand it all yet, but I'm learning more about it. The video above is where I started, it explained things rather well, I thought.


I went looking for the pronunciation of the french in Gounod's Repentir today, and I found this.

I love her voice. (That's Jessye Norman, by the way.)

Completely unrelated to the video above, I just watched Get Smart, and I thought it was fantastic. The end of it was filmed at Disney Concert Hall.
I want to go there so bad...
Their organ looks amazing.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I just sent basically the exact same email to the piano, voice, and flute faculty at UNCG. You know... the standard Hi-I'm-me-tell-me-about-your-school-so-we-can-actually-have-a-conversation-and-maybe-you'll-remember-me-and-subconsciously-like-my-audition-more-because-you-know-who-I-am email.
I hope they don't compare notes.
I hope that they don't think me uncreative if they do compare notes.
Honestly, I don't know any of them. I've met four of them... and their emails were slightly more personalized.
Why am I worrying about this?
Gah. Whatever.


So, after stressing myself out about auditions for the past forever, I just found out that I actually don't have to have the Chopin Etude ready by this weekend. You have no idea just how much of a relief that is to me. Everything else is pretty much done... just some polishing to do between now and then. I can actually relax a little bit now.
In related news, I got an email from Indiana a couple of days ago... but I didn't see it until just now. I got in! I have officially been accepted as a student at Indiana University. Now I just have to get in the school of music.
Life is seriously starting to look good for the next little bit: Marching band is only practicing once a week anymore, I got into college, Thanksgiving, Birthday, and Christmas are on their way, I'll be done with auditions very soon, I don't have to go to either of the parades with marching band (Thank you, conveniently placed audition and recital...), and I'll be able to get a job sometime after new years (Starbucks, here I come)!
We're doing a poetry unit in my english class. I love poetry. I love how I've been able to use two of the poems I've been obsessed with lately in my assignments (John Donne's "Batter my heart, O Three person'd God" and William Butler Yeats "The Stolen Child"). I love that I got a recording of John Adam's setting of "Batter my Heart" from Doctor Atomic off Youtube.

I'm so incredibly happy right now.

The only downside is that I've misplaced my iPod. Which is inconvenient; we've got an exceptionally long drive tomorrow to play against Butler High School in Charlotte. What will I do on the way back?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Wrong Shade of Blue

I wrote this for english class last year.
I like it.
I had to illustrate a witch-hunt of some sort. I sort of missed the mark, but I had fun.

Once upon a time, there was an exclusive club of seven Carolina fans. They all lived together in a house that was painted Carolina Blue, and every second of their day was Carolina-themed. They took showers with Carolina-Blue colored water, ate specially ordered Carolina-Blue M&M’s, and every night they watched a Carolina game from their video archives. On nights of live Carolina games, they worked themselves into a Carolina frenzy, and then gathered on the Carolina-Blue couch to watch the game on their home theatre plasma television. After the game they would stay awake into the night, analyzing each second of the game, and would flail themselves as punishment in the event that Carolina lost.

Their leader’s name was Calvin. Calvin was the most fanatical of all seven fans. The only thing that matched Calvin’s love of Carolina was his hatred of Duke. All the other fans wanted to be just like Calvin, because Calvin represented the epitome of Carolina devotion.

On Calvin’s birthday, an enormous package came in the mail. All the fans clustered around Calvin as he ripped the box open eagerly. When it was opened, the fans were shocked, and some of them actually screamed in horror. Inside the box was a collection of Duke paraphernalia. T-shirts, plastic cups, hats, posters, even little figurines of the Duke Blue Devil. Calvin was appalled. He was so offended that he flung the box and its contents into the Carolina-Blue incinerator, and then plunged his hands in boiling water to sterilize them. Unfortunatly, horrible, blistery burns raised up on his hands, and he was rushed to the hospital.

While in the hospital, he turned away three doctors who had attended Duke, insisting that his doctors and nurses be from Carolina. As he recuperated, he tried to imagine how such a horrifying event could have happened. Who would have the nerve to not only look at such a perverse selection of Duke paraphernalia online, but to actually pay good money to have it shipped into his home? Which of his housemates were sick enough, twisted enough to commit such an atrocious act? Their faces took on a maniacal sneer in his mind as the realization hit him: they were ALL guilty! They had conspired against him, trying to overthrow him as their leader! Calvin felt hurt, betrayed, outraged.

When his housemates came to visit, laden with Carolina-blue flowers and balloons, and the latest shipment of M&M’s, he confronted them about their wicked plot. Each one denied a part in the coup, quickly pointing their fingers at each other in blame. Ignoring their distress, Calvin sent them away to pack their things and leave his Carolina sanctuary. Moaning with the agony of rejection, they slowly filed out of his hospital room.

The next day, his grandmother came to visit him. She brought a homemade chicken pie, and lovingly fed it to him, since he was incapable of feeding himself. On her way out the door, she told him that his birthday present was already in the mail, or else she would have brought it herself.

After an excruciating week of recovery, he was released from the hospital. He walked in to the now-empty house, and found it quiet, and stripped of the majority of its furnishings. He scoured the house from top to bottom, in an attempt to eliminate all traces of the Duke-tainted former residents. When he got to the basement, he found a piece of paper next to the incinerator. He freaked out, since he knew it had fallen from the box in his rush to destroy it, but as he cautiously approached the paper, he saw that it had writing on it.

“Happy birthday, Calvin! I wasn't sure of the name of the team you liked, but I after I went to the college team store, I remembered that it was the blue one. I bought their entire stock! I just know how much you love that blue team. Can’t wait to see you at Christmas! Love, Grandma.”

Calvin was horrified. His own grandmother! He resolved to never speak to her again. He tried to call all of his friends to welcome them back, but oddly, they had all changed their cell phone numbers. Calvin spent the next few years living alone, never able to find someone who quite loved Carolina as much as he did. Eventually, he was arrested for stalking the point guard of Carolina’s basketball team, and after being declared criminally insane, he was confined to a padded cell for the rest of his life. The guard was an avid Duke fan, and frequently watched the Duke games in the break room. For some reason, Calvin never showed any signs of recovery.