Monday, March 28, 2011


There's a set of pieces I'm learning right now called the Danzas Argentinas, by Alberto Ginastera. They're absolutely thrilling. I've got the first and second piece learned, but the last one is a beast. It's got three glissandi in it, one toward the beginning, and two at the very end, one up and one down. Well, I was practicing the piece, and in doing so, I accidentally scraped the skin off of my middle finger during the glissando. I didn't notice until the next time I tried to do so.

One of my piano teachers once said that you haven't truly played a concert unless you've bled a little bit and lost weight in the process. I have now officially bled on the keys of a piano. I feel like a true artist? Maybe? I don't know. It's not terribly pleasant. I don't put much stock in this saying.

I need to figure out a better way to do glissandi, for sure.

I applied for a job at T.E.A. Cafe. I hope they get back to me fairly soon.

I present my platform for FEO tomorrow. I hope it goes well.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Fire! Fire! Fire!

I wasn't feeling very good this morning, so I decided to take a nap on the couch outside of the office in Catlett. While sitting there, I heard this loud, piercing sound ring through the building... for a split second I thought I was hallucinating, but it turns out it was just the fire alarm.

A motor somewhere in the building started smoking, and the smoke got sucked into the ventilation system, to be ejected into the library. The smoke alarms went off and everyone got out of class for like an hour. Everything's fine, though.

It got me thinking, though... if the music building burned, what would happen? It's a brick building, so it probably wouldn't take too much structural damage, but there's a lot of valuable stuff in Catlett- All the resources in the Fine Arts Library could be gone, we could lose the two organs, a ton of pianos, and a bunch of other instruments. I wonder what the contingency plan is for the school burning.


Something I've been thinking a lot about lately- why are politicians and politics so geared towards public opinion? I know that the whole concept of democracy is government of the people, by the people, for the people... but why are we so focused on that? I don't think the people really know what we're doing half the time. I mean, think about when a complex system or mechanism isn't working right- whether that's your leg, your computer, or your marriage- more often than not, people go to an expert to fix the problem or to get the knowledge to do it themselves.

Why don't we treat international diplomacy, the economy, or public policy the same? As soon as a political issue comes up, everybody becomes an expert and thinks that they simply cannot be wrong because their opinion is what's right. I respect the fact that everyone has a right to their opinion, but that doesn't make them an expert on the issue. I love my roommate very dearly, but every time the economy comes on the news, he starts bitching about how "Obama is handling everything all wrong, and that the best way to stimulate the economy is..." (and that's the point at which I stop paying attention. Something about jobs.)

He absolutely has the right to his opinion. But he's a sophomore in college. I'm not saying he's dumb, or has no idea what he's talking about... but he's a sophomore in college. He's certainly not an economic expert.

I wish people would be more willing to admit that they don't necessarily know everything.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Best TV Couple Ever

I'm a big fan of the TV show Glee. When I first saw the previews for the pilot, I got really excited that there was going to be a TV show about a show choir, because I was so involved in chorus in my high school.

I was going to post this right after the episode in question, but I decided to wait a little bit to diminish the chance of spoiling it for people who might not have seen it when it aired.

I am not terribly politically active, so I don't talk about gay discrimination very often. I'm aware it exists, and I'm aware it's a problem. I simply feel that the best way for me personally to combat it is to be the best person I can be, and answer whatever questions people may have about what it's like to be gay. I figure that a lot of the opposition that people have against the so-called "homosexual lifestyle" stems from a lack of knowledge. The fact that I'm sexually and romantically attracted to other men doesn't really make me very different from my peers, and I figure that I can demonstrate that better than I can explain it to people- so I try to go about my life normally and not spend too much time as an activist.

That said, it does get lonely every so often. I see my friends go through boyfriends and girlfriends, and I see them enjoy their relationships without thought. I see them walk through a heteronormative world without a thought, and sometimes I envy them. I am very comfortable with my sexuality, and I wouldn't change it even if I had the opportunity, but every now and then it becomes obvious that they don't have to think about some of the things that I do- whether or not PDA will offend someone (and I'm not talking about making out in public, I'm talking about simply holding hands), whether or not they can invite people to their wedding without causing a fight... there are others, but those are two pretty big ones.

One of the things that had kind of bothered me before was the fact that there were so few gay characters on TV. There was Will & Grace, but that show's not on the air anymore. There are Mitch and Cam on Modern Family and although I love them, they aren't exactly characters I can immediately relate to- they've already started a family. There might be others, but I don't watch that much TV, so if there are I had never been exposed to them.

I felt so immensely validated when Kurt came out on Glee. Watching him go through his challenges was a great experience, because having such a prominent character on such a popular show sort of said that gay is a normal thing to be- which is a fairly new sentiment in the public arena.

When Blaine and Kurt kissed in the most recent episode, it was kind of a culmination of all those feelings.
For these reasons, I proclaim Blaine and Kurt to be the Best TV Couple Ever.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I was washing dishes by hand in my apartment the other day, when I got a phonecall from my roommate. He told me that he needed my help to move an organ.

As in the musical instrument.

Evidently he bought one off craigslist. Now we have an organ in our apartment.

Why was I washing the dishes by hand? Because our dishwasher doesn't work. Dishes sometimes come out dirtier than when they are put in.

We should probably get that looked at sometime soon.

Also, the apocalypse has descended upon Japan. Which royally sucks.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


One of the most frustrating feelings in the world is the feeling you get RIGHT after you've missed an airplane. This has happened to me twice now.

The most recent one was yesterday. I was supposed to board a plane first thing in the morning to go home for the week, but I got to the airport to promptly find that I'd left my wallet at my apartment, meaning that I had no form of ID on me, in turn meaning that I couldn't get past the security checkpoint.

So yeah. I'm staying in Norman 'til Tuesday morning, because that was the earliest flight they could book me on.

I have effectively halved the amount of time that I get to spend with my family over spring break, just because I forgot to grab my wallet as I walked out the door.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Gas Strike

I keep getting invited to this "gas strike" thing on facebook.

It's a stupid idea. People don't fill up their cars every day. The people who were going to fill up their cars the day of the gas strike are just going to fill up their cars the day before or the day after, creating the same total amount of gas sold in the end. It will have absolutely no impact on anything ever.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Growing Up

I've got my third consecutive Monday night concert tomorrow. Second one of the semester scheduled at the same time as a rehearsal I'm supposed to be at.

We had rehearsal this evening for our concert tomorrow. The concert consists entirely of works by the composer David Gillingham, and he's in town for the concert. It's going to be a really cool concert! We're doing the third movements of his Euphonium Concerto and his second Marimba Concerto, and we're also doing his Concertino for Four Percussionists and Wind Ensemble. Rehearsal went well, and the soloists are playing at top notch.

However, it occurred to me during rehearsal today how far I've come as a musician, just in the past few years.

In high school, I would attend honors clinics for band. These clinics would often include a concert given by the Wind Ensemble at whatever college was hosting the clinic, and I would often sit, astounded by the music being played; deeply impressed by the artistry of the musicians in front of me.

Today, it occurred to me that I'm in that role now. I'm the college musician sitting in front of an audience that (hopefully) is astounded by the music that we play or sing. And as cool as that is, it makes me a little sad that I'm a sort of a grown-up now.

But it has its perks: I'm learning a Mozart concerto, with which I hope to win the concerto competition next year. I couldn't have done that in high school.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


I found myself in need of two things yesterday afternoon: shampoo and a flashdrive. Since the traffic near my apartment was somewhat ridiculous as I was leaving, I decided to go a different route to Wal-Mart, which took me by a CVS. I figured I'd go in and see if they had the flashdrive, since I knew they'd have shampoo.

A 4GB flashdrive costs $30 at CVS. 2GB was $20.
For those of you who are not tech-price-savvy, the same two objects (literally the exact same products by the same manufacturer) cost $12 and $8 at Wal-Mart. These are not expensive products. I don't know what possessed CVS to charge such exorbitant prices, but needless to say, I did not purchase my flash drive at CVS.

Also, last night my little brother in ΦMA got me hooked on Minecraft. It's this game where you build things out of cubes. Sounds dumb, you say? I dare you to try it for yourself and not get hooked.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


As I've been driving around Norman recently, I've noticed a strange phenomenon: spray-painted grass.

I've seen several houses, businesses, and schools with grass that has a strange, unnatural green tint to their otherwise obviously dead grass. The coloring is uneven, and sometimes gets on nearby material, making it more obvious that the coloring is not natural.

Why would you do this? It's not aesthetically pleasing at all. I mean, it looks like someone took a dying Crayola marker and colored in their yard. It's not like you're fooling anybody into thinking your grass is actually alive. And what does it matter whether or not people think your grass is alive anyway? This is Oklahoma. Everyone's grass is dead. That was actually my first impression of the state when I did a college visit here in February of 2009- everything was brown. I was so used to seeing evergreen trees everywhere that I'd taken green for granted, and seeing so much brown everywhere was a bit of a shock. I've gotten used to it now, and I've also seen that there are green seasons here in Oklahoma.

But seriously. There's no reason for you to paint your grass. It's just silly.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


This is absolutely enchanting.