Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How I Experience Music or, McDonald's and Peanuts.

This is Georg Friedrich Handel's Chaconne (Theme and six variations).  I played it last semester for my piano class.  It's a lovely song, really, but I also believe is might be a hallucinogen that spreads through the eardrums.

The first thing I learned about this piece, before even the notes, was that it was supposed to be a classy song.  Downright royalty-worthy, you might say.  My teacher explained it like I was supposed to be playing Versailles, like the idea of that city was supposed to flow from my fingertips.  That is not quite what happened.

At the beginning, the Original Theme, everything was okay.  I could feel the kings and queens walking down the stairs to the ballroom.  I embodied class.  From there, it got kind of weird.

At 0:22, Variation One, it begins to diverge.  Instead of posh France I suddenly found myself in a physics lab.  I was the size of an atom, a nucleus, and for the entire first variation I was trying valiantly and against time to split the nucleus with a large, high-powered laser.

At 0:40, the Second Variation, I find myself at a rally.  The only people at this rally are...cats.  They are hosting a campaign against breast cancer.  I am obliged to offer money.  Some felines wave signs, others pass out pamphlets.  I wander between tables full of information.

The Third Variation begins at 0:53, and I also begin to taste peanuts.  The nutty flavor pervades my senses and the taste will not leave me.  It is a ridiculously awkward flavor to have unsuspectingly hoisted upon your tastebuds.

The Fourth begins at 1:10, and once again I am in a hall full of mirrors and princes.  The peanuts still grate against my senses, but the pure opulence kills it a little.

1:30 begins the Fifth Variation, and I walk straight from the classy palace into McDonald's. I work behind the counter, serving petulant customers to the hiss and pop of cooking oil. The taste of fries joins with the still-lingering taste of peanuts and it is not a very pleasant combination.  I find myself refilling ketchup dispensers and I have visions of pickles.

At 1:45 the Sixth and Final Variation begins.  The uncalled-for nastiness of McDonald's is replaced by a chilly mountain top, not unlike the commercials for almost every mint-and-chocolate based confection you can think of.  I am climbing up the side of the mountain, ankle-deep in snow. In the middle of the variation I find myself on the same mountain, but in a wooden cabin.  I rush out the door and into a snowstorm, and the last thing I see is myself, sliding slowly to the bottom of the snow bank.

Somehow, all of that happens in only two minutes.  Don't ask me how.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Because I'm Better Than You.

After nearly a week of disturbingly nice weather, it rained yesterday.  I woke at seven in the morning, expecting a nice, 60 degree day, but was instead forced to bring an umbrella with me everywhere.  An umbrella that, at some point, said it itself, "Oh, screw this," and never fully dried. I made the HORRIFYING mistake of wearing Chucks instead of rain boots, causing my feet to wrinkle more than your grandfather's face, and yes, that is an image I want you to remember.

Three of my classes are early-ish in the day, no big deal.  I dealt with the rain LIKE A BOSS and came back to my dorm only mildly soaking wet and shivering. But my last class, band, isn't until 7:00 on Monday nights.  I was, by this time, shaking my fists at the sky and screaming unintelligibly at the unfairness of it all.  It was cold; it was wet;I was warm and cozy in my room.  But I HAD to go.  I try not to skip class unless I really have to, and laziness and an unwillingness to leave comfortable surroundings are not viable reasons for not going to class. So, once again, LIKE A BOSS, I went outside.  By this time the sheer relentlessness of the rain had caused my umbrella to leak right in the center of my head, making it the world's worst rain deterrent.

I get to band, we play a little bit, (by a little I mean for an hour and a half), and I flute away on my...uh...flute...

But we ended the session with this little ditty:

Not the best version of the song, but not bad either. 

Ah, Gershwin, you speak right to my soul...

Friday, February 18, 2011

'Our Fun' and 'Their Fun'

Today, for what I believe is the first time, I realized the major difference between my roommate's idea of hanging out and my idea of hanging out.

It's Friday. A good day, Friday. The end of the week, the first time I can actually stay up past midnight.  The bad part about Friday is that my first class is at eight in the morning. I wake up at seven so I can make my leisurely way to class, my roommate is still asleep, and I tiptoe around as best I can.  Her first class is at eleven, so she can stay up till way past my bed time at one frat house or another.

One other good part about Friday: I'm meeting a friend for lunch.  And she has promised to show me something cool.  A TARDIS graffitied on the side of Ballantine Hall, one of the biggest buildings on campus.  We meet finally and she shows me this beautiful thing.

We go to Subway, where we talk about how time is nonlinear, how the whole concept is merely human invention, how you can remember things that haven't even happened to you yet.  High-class information, here.

When we leave, we continue to talk, and our conversation soon turns towards vampires. Not like Twilight, don't worry.  Instead we speak about the many creation theories of Dracula.  She believes it was the influence of an other-dimensiony particle, and I say it is a genetic mutation.  Eventually I have to go back to class, where two more of my friends and I talk for twenty minutes about the advantages of knowing a second language (one of them knows three and is working on her fourth)and the discrepancy of hand gestures around the world. 

Eventually class is over and my friend and I go back to my dorm- to do something cool, I know that's what you're thinking.  What did we do, you ask?  We played sheet music, her on violin and me on piano.  Her song is this lovely piece, Czardas:

And mine, the beautiful Raindrop Prelude:

(It gets really good in the middle) 

This is what my friends and I do.  For fun. BAM! Done before six P.M. 

My roommate does this:
On Thursday, goes out to party, coming back at one or two in the morning.
Turns disapprovingly towards the wall when I rise at seven.
Leaves as soon as I come in at 6:30 to START partying.  
Will not return till two, three maybe (it IS Friday night, after all).

I feel like a WINNER.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Rhapsody in Blue

Yesterday, I took a detour around campus just to finish listening to Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. It's one of my favorite songs, and I love to take a stroll with it in the background. It makes your day a little more epic.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Living in a houseboat off the coast of Ireland, owning a castle/restaurant.

I like to travel.  Or, rather, I would like to travel.

I have been on three major trips in my time, along with some smaller explore-the-area deals.  I've been to Tennessee, Chicago, Louisville of course, and some other places, but the Top Three Major Trips are so far out of their league it's not even funny.  They're bad-metaphor big, these things.  We don't have all the money in the world, but my parents somehow pulled it off.  They're made of magic and awesome, mostly.

The first was to Washington, D.C. in either seventh or eighth grade, I can't remember.  We took a bus, maybe thirty junior high kids and a smattering of adults.  We slowly wound our way up to D.C., through some other historical sites.  I only really remember Monticello and a massive statue of George Washington in the American History Museum.

This sexy (awkward?) piece of president.
 What I do remember well is coming home.  Sleeping on a bus is hard to do, so I understandably wanted to get a good nap in the car on the way home.  Instead, I was greeted by my mother and brother and the news that we had acquired a new dog.  His name was Ted. Oh! And they hadn't told the Padre first.  Classic.

He's sly like a fox.  A fox that has Voldemort on speed dial.
So, understandably, I wanted my own dog.  I named him Goren, and he's now afraid of balloons and squeak toys, the knowledge of which Ted uses mercilessly against him.

Closet hypochondriac.
Which led us to a grand total of four dogs. NO END TO THE HILARITY, I TELL YOU. Or the mess. Or the fluffiness.

Totally worth the dog hair.
 But then nothing interesting happened for a while.  No more dogs, no more Sexy Presidents.  Until the summer after Tenth grade.  I received a letter in the mail saying I could go to Japan for two weeks.  I convinced my parents it was legit and TOTALLY WORTH IT. 'Cause I'm a nerd like that, mostly, but what can you do?

And then. For two weeks.  JAPAN.

And do you know what Japan is? Awesome, that's what.

The next summer I got another offer, this time for three weeks in Europe.  I was perhaps more excited this time.  Mostly because people would actually be able to understand me most of the time.  We went to England, Holland, Ireland, France, Wales, and Belgium.  Now, when I watch Harry Potter, I totally KNOW WHAT'S UP.

I am trapped in a phone booth. Second only to a Police Box.

And then, the summer after that, I got a job.  I was slowly going insane restocking CDs and DVDs.  I still haven't really gotten over the fact that I'm stuck in the states.  Small things can remind me of that, a scent from Tokyo or a meal from Paris.  Mostly it's the food.  We were asked why we were excited to go to Japan, or England, and my answer was always to taste the food.  Escargot in Paris, waffles in Belgium, Dutch cheese, actual Japanese sushi.

And basically the title of this rambling entry sums up what I want to retire to.  I'll never travel enough, and I'll never cook enough.  Whether it's thirty, or sixty, or eighty, this is the dream I have for myself.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Today is the first day in many weeks that it has been above freezing.  I went out to get lunch in my coat, because I normally get my weather forecast from the janitor and she had said it was going to be in the fifties.

"Hmm..." I said to myself. "Fifties.  Seventies is warm. Eighties is warm.  But what is fifties?" I had actually forgotten what it feels like to be warm.  "Fifties must still be cold then," I say, and so I put on my winter coat and venture outside.

It turns out that 'in the fifties' is actually quite balmy.  I was about a degree away from actually sweating in my coat.

And then I think to myself, "Today would be a great day to go to the creek behind my house! Too cold for snakes to be up and bitey, but warm enough so that my feet won't freeze off in the water! Perhaps my brother will accompany me..."

And then I remember that I am at school, two hours away from home or any creek lonely enough that I could get completely disgusting and no one would see or care.  Sure, there are little stream things on campus, but all right next to pathways, the 'scenic route' if you will.

And then I was sad.

Those black smudges are my dogs, Fuzz and Rosie

Also, my brother is Sasquatch.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Anachronistic Presidents that kind of look like the Powerpuff Girls.

Franklin, Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln
Hamilton, Adams, John Jay, Madison
Franklin and Washington, presumably after a rave.
The taller you are, the more you can drink. Lincoln passed that threshold a long time ago.

Lincoln with a historically inaccurate goatee.  But he's also hanging out with the Founding Fathers, so whatevs.

"You wig-wearing BASTARDS!"

Jefferson's so derpy
 Compare to the painting and you will see that mine is better.  So there.

The beginnings of a little Jefferson/Hamilton bromance perhaps? Or something more?

Jefferson works ALL THE DAMN TIME.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

How much can it snow? I mean REALLY?

The weather in Bloomington has been particularly bipolar as of late.  It has literally gone from fifty degrees to three inches of snow to forty to snow BACK to fifty to ice, which melted just enough for it to SNOW AGAIN.  If you look outside, it's not really five inches of slippery death, it's like a blood-and-misery parfait of death-ice and freezing snow.  Pretty as it may be, it's like Hoth out there and I may have to slit a fat kid up and live in his stomach if something doesn't change.

These things sing.  WHY MUST YOU MOCK ME?

These people all died from horrible ice exposure.  They were so young...


Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Robot Saga: Boredom at it's finest

It all started with a simple misunderstanding.  She said, "I think Robert came to school."  I heard, "I think the robot came to school."  It kind of all went downhill from there. 

                                                                         He met a girl.

                                                                     They fell in love.

                                                         They gazed at the stars together.

                                          Also, I drew Doctor Who coming out of the TARDIS.