Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
There is something quiet and peaceful about snow. Sounds are muted but visibly, sights appear to be enhanced. My holiday spirit was enhanced today as I chewed a candy cane. I am a candy cane chewer, you see. I relish in nothing.
So now it is the season for me to drive all over the kingdom. I miss B. I want to cuddle and pull homemade espresso and make a gingerbread house.
First is a woodwind quintet recital. Then I commute to Iowa City for the weekend - super excited to rehearse with friends and do a recital Monday at U of Iowa. After the celebrations close, I am to travel to La Crosse, WI, for some Christmas symphony shenanigans. That will be my whole week - that and cramming in as many private lessons as possible. Finally, the coup de grace: my annual journey to Tennessee. I look forward to it and I don't.
I am currently resisting the urge to tally up hours in my car.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
So, F you, people.
F you all who are negative and try to bring me down because of your own insecurities. F my insecurities. F the fact that you get to me so much. F this town and all the Fing hipsters and yuppies and know-it-alls. F you. I can be a hipster if I want. I threw out all my effing skinny jeans and now I am going to wear all black. I am not alive today and I am not where I am because I am a "realist", so F you for trying to make me see the world for what it really is. I effing tried that and it was too damn depressing. F you for being so depressing.
F you, to all y'all who complain about your wonderful lives. Worse yet, you complain and you do nothing to change it. So F that. F you to the people who drive up on my ass and tailgate me and pass me and glare. F you facebook and F the status updates and the people who use it as a way to re-create themselves. F showing the world only what I want them to see and F the g-d "like" button. F the pictures where you pucker your lips and look all emo. I know how you look in real life.
F those of you who think success is being better than someone else. And F you for thinking you are better; here is news for you: you aren't. I hope that I can be the pile of dog poop that you fail to notice and step in. I hope that I fail in front of you, fall on my face and make mistakes and Fing laugh about it, because that is how people improve themselves. F!
F you for thinking that the south side of madison is a bad part of town. F you for turning your nose up at the g-d bus and better yet, F you for turning your nose up at me because I will drive my car .5 miles to get where I need to go. I am going to burn oil and I am not going to eat chicken unless I know where the F it comes from.
F you Anthem for charging me more because I fail to meet the optimum weight and F you weight for being higher than I want.
F you if I want to drink PBR. F you if I listen to stadium rock or F-ing folk music. F you if I care as much about one girl with a guitar as much as I care about dead white guys. F you, particularly, if you think classical musicians are dorks. I would learn the effing guitar if I wanted to, trust me. F Republicans and F democrats. F you irritating athiests, F you irritating Christians oh and F all the other religions.
F you, every major holiday. Including the bank holidays.
F you anxiety, insecurity, fear, hatred, anger, but even moreso...F you subconscious. F off trying to be all uppity about psychology when you have never even been to a g-d therapist. and while I am on the subject, F to you for telling me I need therapy. I have therapy in the fridge.
F anyone who tells me that I can't drink before 3pm. And F you if you think I can't eat dessert for breakfast or drink coffee after 3pm.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
not because I am worried about breaking my mother's back,
but because it is comforting to know exactly where my feet land.
These little obsessions and repetitions disguise themselves this way,
though they are born of an increasing anxiety whose origin I haven't yet pinpointed.
While I avoid the task of investigating,
I will eradicate every stray hair from my thoughts and my face.
And if I am melancholy it is because I am sorry that your mom died.
What is missing?
The aching radiating out through my fingertips.
There is something else, but what?
You don't fit in anywhere. Not at that hospital, alone.
Square pegs being forced into round holes.
Blood pulsing through the veins at a steady tempo of 72-85
makes me nauseous, makes me hot.
Feeling her pulse against mine must be a great thing,
but I like to think that I don't have one.
It is easier than having to admit that I am alive.
I need a stiff drink.
Friday, October 29, 2010
I wrote a poem about winter back when I was in high school, over 10 years ago. I wish I had kept better track of it, but I am terrible about saving such things for posterity. They were so private and too embarrassing so it would be better if those creations were to evaporate into the ether, leaving no trace.
My ability to hang on has improved since then.
Monday, October 4, 2010
To have fifteen years of car-driving experience under my belt, that seems like a lot. But why is it that having more lovers than cars is more desirable as age 30 looms? Aren't both situations somewhat of a "money suck?" I can't complain about my car-life, but I will. Everyone does.
The hunks of metal of my past have been memorable, even lovable and I think back fondly to those times that we had together. The car with which I learned the art of driving and struggled with as a teenager, was already in the twilight of its life with 250 thousand miles and a front end that threatened to fall out on the interstate. Isn't that the story for almost every Honda Accord of the late 80s? The cigarette burns in the backseat were endearing, as were the stories of forgotten cheese burgers from my elementary school years. My parents ordered it in 1986 and it traveled to the US on a boat, one of the last, truely Japanese Hondas. But a love like that won't last forever. So we parted ways, and I knew that it would always occupy a special place in my heart, despite our diverging paths. My life was taking off, but the Honda, the Ghettosled, would have to stay back in the hills of Tennessee.
My second car was lovingly referred to as the 'fart cart'. The odor, our odors, and its lemon-like ability to destroy the day combined to make this nickname increasingly more appropriate over the years. The pee-green (yes pee, the overly asparagus, vitamin-laden type), baby-poop yellow, officially champagne Altima was lacking in the mileage department but not lacking in freak-style mechanical errors. And luck. I was rear-ended 3 times in one week in various locations within the DC metropolis. When my parents took it off our hands for $1, I shed narry a tear. It was nice to see it go. It was not to be trusted. That may explain why they turned around and sold it for cash without telling me. I did Mom a favor and removed the HRC sticker, but the CoExist sticker remained and I think it stayed there, along with the power T and the black, stock mirror. How did that mirror thing happen again?
Now my Subaru... my current car, my third car, what I wanted to be my last car is making its mortality known and well-apparent. I never thought that I would have to have a contingency plan. I always thought that it would live forever. The run has been good, Subie. At 163k it has to have its first major, devastating repair (devasting primarily for my wallet). The clutch finally wore out. Now, that is impressive. What is depressive is that the gasket head must be replaced and this defect is common in all Subarus; Subaru owners brag about their wagons with 300k miles, how they would survive the nuclear holocaust ... but just like everything else, they wear out. They are not immune to this world, if anything they are more susceptible to its elements than we are. I have driven it into the ground, so to speak. Is that any way to treat someone so important?
Given the prognosis, I panicked. My first reaction was extreme hopelessness. When my car wouldn't move, I cried and dropped a few f-bombs and thought that beating the living hell out of it would help. I became angry and I refused to forgive the car and Googled all of its downfalls and decided that it was good for nothing, good for scrap and that my state of poverty would leave me carless, would complicate my life. This car isn't even mine. I didn't buy this car and yet, it means too much. I am stuck with it and when I cough up the money, albeit plastic money, tomorrow, I will probably cry and fall into a state of agitation, stare into space and grieve.
But I'm ready for the future now and know that if I truly love it, then I must be prepared to let it go.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Typing that just made me really uncomfortable. I feel as if I made a very risque confession just then and I am not the type of person that keeps a lot of those locked away; however, I came to a very important realization the other day about what and how I repress emotion and anxiety. More on that later. I pride myself as the type of person that politely refrains from discussing the black stick, knowing that it is what I do and that I should be more "party" and less "business"; the opposite of what one would(should) desire when selecting a new hairstyle. Unless, of course, you can pull it off.
I digress. And will continue to digress, but in another direction.
I have a new sense of wonder.
Every night, Becky asks me to tell her a story. I am not a storyteller unless I have had a couple of glasses of wine, after which I speak with the eloquence of a country music singer. How does one take a single, little grain from her life and grow a story, an epic, an Iliad or a Ulysses? Some authors paint such vivid pictures, artistes in their own right, unlocking the mystery of the human life and putting into words what we (definitely I) wickedly feel and are unable to explain. Creations like this continue to amaze me daily.
What people paint, say, sculpt, sing,
the ways they move, down to the dancing in the eyes, the corners of the mouth,
the myriad sounds of laughter, regret, exhaustion, excitement, sadness that escape impress me.
I find nothing stoic, nothing dead, nothing stagnant in this world-the natural one, at least. I am beginning to reclaim my sense of wonder and I feel my own mortality. I drive down the roads of Iowa, past the Amish, past the alpaca, past the Jews, past the corn, past the mighty Mississippi and I cry. I cry because I have missed so much.
'When I look down I miss the good stuff. When I look up, I just trip over things.'
How much have I lost?
How can I remember everything? How do I archive a life? Only fragments will remain and only speckles will be on my brain. I am not ready to forget the hills of Tennessee, the dew on the grass when I go to the barn at 6am to find a newborn foal, the embrace of family I barely know after playing Mendelssohn for my dead Papaw, my first awkward/hurried/regrettable kiss and the subsequent breakup that leaves me wishing that I wasn't so scared, the yellow lines in the road at midnight and sleeping on the roof under the stars after prom (even if other memories from the night are unbearable). I don't want to forget the times I lied to make others like me more or how the trusty automobile broke down in rural Virginia (because we bragged on it, jinxed it). Let's not forget the hole in my bedroom wall, the first time I heard my mom slip a curseword, playing for hours with my sis.
Please don't let me forget my honeymoon or my cat or any of the good times. Please don't let me forget the moment I discovered that loving someone does not equate to keeping them safe, does not equate to sacrificing my own person, does not equate to being a half-person or a many-person. I can't forget the details of the woman who is here for me now and her muscle over her left eye that quizzically looks at the world and me, the sometimes-knitter, the composer of the soundtrack to a good yearplus of my life.
How can I hold on to all of these memories? This sense of loss is relentless as of late and even as I have new experiences, the void opens before me and envelopes me with grief for the little bits and pieces that evaporate. I don't know why, I don't know why this grief is boiling up, up through my body, throat, arms, radiating to my fingertips.
The final digression.
If I can help someone become proficient enough at an instrument of communication, to express what she never thought she could express, to feel something grow from a little pod in the depths of her stomachbeing- into something exploding from her heart-into something filling the void that we leave as humans-into the ether and into the ears of consciousness...
then I can die a happy person.
A little over a year ago, I scribbled in my ever present black book the following, which my friend Paul glanced at and wanted to read and I let him even though I didn't want him to:
Now I can command myself, no gently allow myself, (or is any sort of permission necessary?) to cry.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Yesterday morning I ate breakfast out on the porch because it feels, smells like fall and I could hear flute coming from the house down the street. The Count of Monte Cristo is the only book I can read right now; it keeps my mind off of things. My legs were sore from a thirty-mile bike ride and I ate bacon, eggs, and toast while I read about one man’s elaborate plan for the ultimate act of vengeance.
As I sat reading, crumbs of my scrambled eggs sat out in the sun and a yellow-jacket buzzed and hovered. He landed on a little chunk of egg, played with it, perhaps ate it (I don’t know what they are doing with all of those appendages), wrapped his legs around it and took off into the air. The weight rendered him less than graceful, but he ambled away to God only knows where. He came back, minute after minute, to break apart, envelope, and carry off pieces of egg, sometimes flying as far as a nearby leaf before setting off again.
I watched him do this for a long time with the intention of letting him fly away with every single piece, but I had to get up, go inside and worry about something else.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
I realize that I completely failed at 365 days of portraits/photos. I guess it is easy to forget when I have about ten billion other things going on. My interest in photography is greatly increased the past couple of weeks and I have had more time than usual (chronic unemployment) to ghetto-rig my camera and take photos.
Time to catch up, shall we? I have been assembling my favorites and I hope to have more subjects come by way.
Also, I am going to start archiving those favorites at My Flickr Account.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
My computer has to be put to sleep periodically because the typing becomes ridiculously slow and the poor thing overheats and makes like it is going to explode. I go out on my bike and ride for hours as the sun sets because it beats sitting in my sweat lodge.
But tonight, I bike to The Old Fashioned where I plan to have a local, cold-one with a friend who is moving away.
I am going to try not to cry tonight...but crying is just how I roll.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Then I was caught off-guard. A strange, coffee shop philosopher, could he be homeless?, Type appeared, seated, at the table across from me, on the other side of the room. He was staring right at me. I guess he didn't have anything to do either. I stared back. He was scraggly-bearded and had crystal-eyes. He had in front of him a laptop computer from 1999. (Did they make those back then?) It had a sticker on it that said "My Vote counts more than y'all's". I stared at all of it. Every single bit of it. He was doing the same. I didn't expect it, but I guess we really did have a lot in common.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Photo of the Bratfest mural or something or another. Someone decided to be a real smart@## and paint that brat bun purple.
What a travesty! Seeing the timestamp from my last entry makes me feel like an abusive mother. A lot has happened since then and I truly don't feel like making a big update about my goings on. Recently, my sis (Val) and her husband (Brett) came for a little visit. I am relieved that they had a great time! I know I did. Becky and I shuttled them around the greater Madison area, showing them the sites and the wonders of Dairyland. It really is about the food here. And the beer. But all of that is counterbalanced with the walking! Yes. I have a reputation for walking my visitors to death. Walking around the farmer's market and up to the capitol's observation deck, followed by a meandering walk down State St. to the terrace. Things get to be a little cardiovascular on occasion...but we have to do something to burn of that damn spicy cheese bread!
Bratfest was a real treat. It is a cross between a skank carnival and a blues fest. Add $1.50 Johnsonville brats (yes...this is basically a double-entendre-fest) and one has a very affordable lunch. Not to mention the people watching! The wiener mobile was a hit and Becky got a wiener Whistle for her vocal skills at the Oscar Meyer Wiener Song.
More photos and updates to come! I promise. I don't have a job. I am basically playing the clarinet, doing random gigs, teaching a few students, being a paid research participant, teaching a few other things, learning French and biking around. What else am I going to do?
Saturday, April 17, 2010
I have lost my since of wonder in the world, so I am looking for what is good.
I am really into any wine sold at Trader Joe's. Right now I am sipping two-buck chuck pinot Grigio.
Today I made a decision that I will start exercising every day in some form or fashion. I should like myself better, so I have also decided to put good things in my body (and not the bad things).
I am going to read tonight FOR FUN. FICTION. Not about anything clarinet-related.
I enjoy the Flaming Lips Pandora section.
I performed in a recital tonight and I really had fun. A bonus was that I ate lunch, dinner, and dessert at recital receptions. I also got a Great Dane gift card.
I made $15 dollars for working with a student on a Broadway tune.
I laughed a lot and made other people laugh. I hugged someone who needed a hug badly.
I bought new, organic conditioner.
My clarinet teacher bragged about me to another clarinet teacher.
I cried when I watched a youtube video of puff the magic dragon.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Leather, sweat, fear;
these smells will promote a certain nostalgia in days to come,
sitting by the fireplace, on the porch, in the dandelions,
She is determined not to cross and is determined to pull his arms from the sockets.
There is no other way but this way
no matter how cold the fresh, rushing water,
how thick and threatening the mountain laurel
(hiding demonsmonsterstrolls, whether they are there or not, they could be),
Here is where they have to cross.
Hooves flailing and stirrups flying, she rolls her eyes wildly, meeting his.
He must go first.
She can't be led to water
she won't put a foot, a thought into it
until he submerges himself.
The river is rushing high, higher than he has ever seen it,
over the slick river rocks, limbs and logs, jagged, poking out
through the mirror-surface,
water will make its way around these obstacles,
it never ceases, never stops.
It won't stop for him or her or anyone.
She will never cross
His calloused, weathered hands toss his jacket over her head.
The world is shut out.
There are only sounds of unknown origin
magnified by a sharp cold jab, a stumbling uncertainty,
his knowledge, hers, blesserhart, that one misstep could be the end.
Nostrils flare to catch a scent and there is only him.
There is only trust.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Now I guess I am going to go for a walk and look at the lake or other people. I think I will go to a coffee shop and read or study for the history exam I have to take in a month. I will probably practice and teach a lesson. I was never really good at being alone.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
So the Title doesn't really refer to anything. I just needed one, so I randomly pulled that out of the air; WTF can't I have a weekend? WTF do there have to be so many rehearsals, keeping me from going to performances, not allowing me the time to buy important items like toilet paper?
There are no answers. This is a good weekend, though. I get to play some Berg, Bruch and Bartok Contrasts on Sunday night! I will miss this rep, but it is time for it to be released into the ether. Music is always rotating in and out like relay racers in my life and this is one of those rare instances where I have had a chance to really get to live with it.
I haven't taken any pictures! I haven't had the time! However, I have decided to post an old one because those are worth revisiting as well. I want a whole day. I want to drag myself through the snow to a coffee shop (not frequented by too many hipsters), read a book, and sip a full fat latte beverage. Then I want to shuffle back and watch a new arrival from netflix, surf the internet, cook dinner, and paint or something. ANYTHING but play the clarinet.
Even the black stick needs a break. :)
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Things are warming up a tad here in Wisconsin. Sometimes I have to look at pictures from warmer days to feel better, looking forward to the spring and the summer. I love fall and fall fashions and boots and hats. But what it comes down to is that I don't want to be cold anymore! Last winter I felt as if I was running on adrenaline; I could handle anything, including walking 1-2 miles home from the bar after midnight. This winter I am not doing that so much. I just don't have it in me.
So, I have been looking at the Stones River. It smells pretty horrid in the summer. I used to run for miles and miles on it with my friend Joe. A 5 mile run in the summer, being chased by a thunderstorm is a pretty awesome event. I could do 5 mile runs here, but the cold is stifling my activity.
On this day, my friend Meg-han and I jumped stones across the river. Good times.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
The blog posts trickle in. Oh look, the semester started! The one and only explanation.
My woodwind quintet competed in the Regional MTNA competition last weekend and we played well considering how little we saw of each other over break. We gave an energetic performance in the wonderful fine arts facility of UW-Stevens Point. I think the best part was 5 crazies being crammed into a Hyundai economy sized rental. Just sayin'. We played the Beethoven Sextet (for quintet), the Hindemith Quintet and Wapango by Paquito.
At the end of the day, we got an Honorable Mention, had a fancy dinner at IHOP, and got to know each other a little better. Than we did. Onto the next project!
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Most of my photographic endeavors failed miserably when I was in the big city for a short visit because a setting just wasn't right and my infantile knowledge of photography was no help when it came to correcting it. I am just learning! Anyway, Chitown was so much fun. I am glad and very lucky that I have so many connections there now. It feels a lot more inviting that way. We ate deep dish pizza at Giardano's, almost exploded and went to the Museum of Contemporary Art. We also went out to a tavern and played some shuffleboard (that was a new one for me). It was quite the abbreviated trip, but Meghan managed to get me to Andersonville...my favorite little ward or whatever. I usually like going to Hamburger Mary's - a drag show by night and wonderful brunch locale by day. This area also has a SWEET Swedish bakery. Instead, we went to Copi's Traveler's Cafe (a nice place to look at the hipsters, knitting and writing in books, sipping their soy lattes). I had a huge slice of carrot cake and an Alpuccino that was tasty and effective for the drive back to Madison.
While we were at Meghan and Caitlin's, we got it in our heads (well, mainly Becky's) that we needed some Spanish lattes, aka, Cuban coffees. This is just espresso with some condensed milk. We forked out a little extra for the sweetened variety. I wanted a photo with water coloresque qualities, and I managed to get this one. For some reason the milk earned the nickname, "Population Paste". *shudder*
There was some interesting art the MCA, as can be expected. My favorite were the ceramic body bags positioned on the floor, easy to trip over. Becky got in trouble for "interacting with the art". So I took some pictures of her interacting with the art. Someday I will figure out how to get white to look white on a digital photograph. It is not as if I want to edit everything to death.
All in all, it was a great trip, short and sweet. A little snow fell and a little snow melted and I got a free Ghiradelli sample of chocolate. I didn't shop at H&M this time because I am poor but I was made rich with the companionship of my friends and the life that Chicago has to offer. Even if it was just for one night. It is a short, 2 hour drive away from hippy-haven. If I ever need to get away from the desert-island of Madison, I know that I can jet to Chicago for some laughs and a few extra pounds.
Was this entry mushy enough for you people?
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Basking in the glow of sloth that is January for a college student, I realized that I forgot to take pictures. Sitting in my room, I decided to focus on my stuff. Then, I remembered that there is a view from my room. Of the Octopus Carwash [here I must add that I will never get my car washed at this particular Octopus. The manager yelled at me when I was moving into the house because I was parking my Uhaul in the driveway of the carwash. He wasn't nice at all. And he had a mullet.] My desk thing is covered with junk; postcards, post-it notes, pictures, jewelry, hair products, dust. I was just staring at it and took this shot. That is my grandpa. He also made the snoopy portrait.
Sometimes I look at all of the stuff that I have accumulated. Every piece of junk tells a story and I have a lot of them. I don't mind that I keep adding to the pile. I guess in a lot of ways I am like my Grandma. I will always be a pack rat. Every now and then I go through things and throw out what I think is clutter and unnecessary. I find it highly difficult because when I throw it away, I feel as if I am throwing out my only connection to a memory. My memory is so faulty and spotty as it is. These memories become more important to me, especially during what I consider to be the most tumultuous, ground-breaking, mind-bending, whip-lashing time of my life. It is like I am reaching out, constantly trying to grasp for some stability.
Well now. I am getting ahead of myself. All of this belongs to a blog for another day
Sunday, January 3, 2010
It is good to know that the New Year has not affected my ability to procrastinate or to forget resolutions approximately 10 minutes after I make them. To make up for my slacking, here are two photos that I have actually taken the past couple of days. The bitter cold has prevented me from venturing out of doors much, so I have been sequestered here, photographing food and art (I found a really cheap travel art set that includes pastels, acrylics, oils and watercolors. Like I know @#$% about that). For three days in a row I cooked the same exact breakfast: eggs [with or without serrano peppers], turkey bacon, and pancakes. I don't stray much from this formula because it seems like the perfect meal to me. I am proud that I kept it up for so long, until a night of celebrating forced me to sleep in and order a pizza. They really should open these pizza joints at 9am.
Today, Becky and I walked out along the shore of Monona Bay toward the Washington Hotel Coffee Room. This place serves great foods and beverages made from local ingredients. I don't think our drinks today were as kick arse as they were the last time they were there, but it is a nifty place. We like to sit by the winders and look out over Bernie's Beach and the ice fishers toward the capitol building. On top of all that, it is connected to a knitting shop where yarn is bursting out of every hippy seam.
As Becky suggested, it is the kind of place where everyone looks familiar... but not really.
Friday, January 1, 2010
This project is pretty popular, but seeing as how I would like to take more pictures, I have decided to embark on the photo a day adventure! I actually didn't take this photo today, but I took it not too long ago and I really like it. This is Becky in the mirror at a local breakfast/dining joint called the Curve. It looks pretty sketchy on the outside (ok, on the inside, too!) but the pancakes are HUGE.