Friday, October 29, 2004

vote vote vote vote vote VOTE vote vote vote vote vote

My good friend and superior political activist Marisa sent me this in an email this morning, and I must share it. I know most of my readership is voting, or is unfortunately too young to vote, but perhaps if you were hesitant (and here I'm looking at the ladies in the audience), I'd just like to remind you of something.

Why Women Vote by Connie Schultz.

An excerpt:
Thus unfolded the "Night of Terror" on November 15, 1917 (a mere 87 years ago), when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote. For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food -- all of it colorless slop -- was infested with worms. When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.

So, refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year because--why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work? Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining?

And though it's been 86 years since the Sox won the pennant, it's only been 87 since women have had the right to vote. Are we not getting complacent too soon? In this election, of all elections, voter apathy is suicide. Ladies, don't take your right for granted- your greatgrandmothers fought tooth and nail for it.

Can't make a decision, MTV generation? Here's a quiz to help you.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


In the past couple of weeks I have become quite enamored of the Boston Red Sox, funny hair, weird shit on their batting helmets and all, so I just have to say this.

Fuck, yeah! Wish I were in Boston right now.

Did anyone else see that Cards fan with the trombone?

i am so procrastinating

Which is lame, considering that I have nothing else to do. Logic, time restraints, and good sense require that I should be researching, downloading applications, and actively seeking recommendation letters for Audition Tour '05. However. I am not. I have disinterestedly looked at the SOM pages for the following schools: Indiana, Maryland, North Texas, and Minnesota. I think I will apply at all of them, even though it means drastically reducing my funds in a feat of cross-country manuevering the likes of which you have never seen. I mean, at least Audition Tour '04 kept me in similar areas, where travel by bus, auto, and train provided for cheap, if not slightly amusing, traveling adventures.

Still, I'm just having a hard time with the motivation. Defintely, I want to be in school this time next year. With activities and practice rooms and scheduled lessons and rehearsals, and also, friends. Audition deadlines are coming up. Why am I procrastinating so? Part of the problem is that, not having my own computer, I am limited in what I can download and how much time I can spend mucking around on it. There is a lead on a cheap computer in the works, and as much as I want a nice one, a shiny iBook, I just can't manage to afford it. Ever. The cost of an iBook is more than is currently contained in my checking account. Fuck you, Texas, you promised me a profitable income.

The other problem is, I'm just so lackluster about everything. It's really hard for me to care when I'm alone, for the most part, in my daily musings. It's like I need a solid foundation of friend(s) off of which to bounce ideas, anxieties, crazy manial plots in order to give them merit in my own mind. Without that, I just don't know what to do with myself. Will to acheive: zero.

Two song quotes that have struck me lately:
"I've got a hunger and I can't seem to get full. I need some meaning I can memorize. The kind I have always seems to slip my mind." -Bright Eyes, Lover I Don't Have to Love (this gets Lorn's Best Song of 2004 award)

"I want my old friends, I want my old face, I want my old mind. Fuck this time and place" --Ani Difranco, Out of Habit

Sunday, October 24, 2004

chris mcgann, you're one in a million

This place just ain't the same. It sucked before, but now it's just torture.

Send help, please.

The following are rituals cruelly cut from my average day:

-spur-of-the-moment Chipotle runs
-lukewarm jacuzzi visits
-"what game can we invent with a drumstick and a ball of foil?"
-Papa Johns at midnight
-walking to Chili's for margaritas
-bitching about Lakeview Centennial
*jointly not getting paid
-shared stories of UW years
*being annoyed by drum corps talk (only mildly, honest)
*not having to explain a particular personality or event to tell story in question
-being ridiculously drunk in Deep Ellum
*clowns on stilts
*freak shows
*ratsdogs in bars
*Denny's visits ("chris, you look so fucking drunk"- leon)
-not being lonely and sad on a regular basis

I'm not sure, Jason, if you're entirely ready to bear the brunt of my loneliness, but there's nothing you can do to stop me. At least you'll only get it on the weekends.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

at the poll place

[Sing the above to the tune of "Car Wash," there, good job, you've got it going on now]

The Great State of Texas (or, as I like to call it, the "There's Nothing Really Special About It but We're Bored, Violent and Egomaniacal So Let's Shove It in Everyone's Faces" State of Texas) offers Early Voting, and so today I voted.

Done, and done.

I also stood outside the polling place with information regarding those residents of Collin County who have been disenfranchised or misregistered this year, next to a big "Vote Democratic" sign. I'm not registered Democratic, nor do I believe that either of the two parties we have now are going to get us anywhere, but this election, it's feeling mroe black and white to me in terms of choices than usual. Obviously.

The response was mixed, to my sign. One woman chided me for not knowing "it's the Democratic party that is most responsible for voter fraud, Mary Poppins registered! Ha!" To which I could only respond, "well, if Mary Poppins did exist, she'd be a Democrat" (come on, Mary Poppins is totally against the man). Several older men confronted me with "Are you legally allowed to be here?" Yes. Lots of other people smiled and took flyers, one man asked where he could get a new Kerry yardsign, and I got props from a couple in matching orange U of Oklahoma t-shirts.

Across from me was a man asking for signatures on the petition to eliminate the Unicard. Hallelujah. I had to laugh at how many people were running to sign his petition. I've already done it. Axe that sucker, it's stupid.

Please Kerry, please. Please win this election. Please.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Posted by Hello

to carve or not to carve?

I bought this beautiful pumpkin today from Central Market after seeing a sign advertising it not only as merely $2.99, but also as "homeless." This was a homeless pumpkin. You can do nothing more to break my heart than to tell me an inanimate object is out on the street.

So, new Buddha Stew contest (these things never get any more than 3 comments, but here I am, plugging ahead, hope against hope, desperately, begging for your love):

How shall I carve my pretty pumpkin? As you can see from the pictures he is narrow, with an impressive stem. His lopsidedness is suggesting to me something along the lines of John Kerry. Or, would you rather not see such a specimen submit to the cruelty of my occasionally artistic hand?

UPDATE: Or I could do this.
[From Feministe, again]

gonzo Posted by Hello

Monday, October 18, 2004

you'll have to drag me kicking and screaming

Okay, this weekend was far, far too short for me. I do not want to leave home just yet, and yes, I phrased that correctly. Not only do I not want to go back to Texas, I also miss this comfort zone of my parent's house. I guess I still haven't made the apartment in Plano feel like home, so there's an emptiness surrounding my feelings for it. It's a blank space, an enclosure that I spend some time watching TV and sleeping in. But here, it's a house and a home, and I have a history here.

Also, my mom's let me drive her car around while I've been back and I absolutely love it. It's a new Accord. It goes fast and you don't even notice (the poor Contour, while still running beautifully, is starting to put up a small stink every time I push 75). It has a CD player and a sunroof.

Things I have done:
Dinner with my parents Friday for their anniversary; my dad was crabby and selfish, but my mom and I had a nice talk.
Mary's wedding Saturday, very beautiful. She's the first of my close high school friends to get married, and I can't help but feel it's wrong- we're too young. We don't know enough yet. Let's not start marrying off so soon, instead let's get a beach house in Mexico and live off tequila and tortilla chips for a year or two and then grow up.
Megan, Sarah and I went out Saturday night- had a blast. God, I love those girls. I wore my crazy plaid trenchcoat from the Rainbow Brite gang halloween disaster, and got hit on a couple of times for it. Interesting, I can use this information...
Today, I went to breakfast with Sean and we chatted about grad school and trombone and politics.
Cell phone drama in the afternoon, long story. Grr, T-Mobile.
Dinner with Tara- marvelous. So good to see her again.
Stopped by Heidi's house to chat with her.
Denny's with Mikey C. He's decided to be a vocal major, the cunning little bastard! This makes me so happy, I think he's going to rock the house. Or USC, whichever.
Now, packing, and then bedtime. I'm exhausted, and my flight's at 7am.

But I don't want to leave! Let's start counting the days until my next CA vacation...50ish. Arrgh.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

jon stewart, do you have a similarly opinionated, also hot younger brother?

[Stolen from Ms Lauren]

Watch Jon Stewart take the talking heads to task on their own show, Crossfire. Have you ever seen anything more beautiful? I haven't.

One of my favorite parts:
Carlson: I do think you're more fun on your show. Just my opinion.

Stewart: You know what's interesting, though? You're as big a dick on your show as you are on any show.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

inbetween heaves, i promise you'll laugh

I took this quiz after Erica had posted her answer, and got "Fluffy Mackerel Pudding," three words I'm not sure have any place in close correspondence and might very well be the key to Doomsday. One of her commenters pointed us all to this:

Weight Watchers Cards from 1974, with commentary which is absolutely hilarious. I know this is kind of old, for the internet, so if you've seen it before, just enjoy the trip down memory lane. On your way to the shine of the porcelain god.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

getting my shit together?

Jerry and I had a conversation about moving back to Madison last night. I've been pondering this question: Are you happy someplace because you make yourself happy, or does the place conspire with the greater aspects of fate to give you happiness? In other words, do I feel that Madison is my home because I spent years there building my ensemble cast and particular haunts that made it worthwhile, or does it really have "something special?" Moving back comes with a small fear that it won't be the same- because most of the people I love are gone. But I'm convinced that the place is special enough to grant me new times and new friends, as I know where to go, what to see, etc.

I'm trying my best to "grow up" and build my life in other places, but it just doesn't seem to be working. Sure, it hasn't been that long, and these things don't just fall into your lap. There are other places I'd love to be that aren't Texas or California- they all involve the Midwest. The Citites, Chicago, Madison, I could maybe even do Milwaukee. My options for grad school in Chicago are, of course, boundless, but it'd be hard work to win a spot in any of the colleges or conservatories there (see: DePaul experience). I don't know if I necessarily want to go back to college in Madison- as a developing musician I should really experience different school environments. I guess, though, I'd kind of like to spend a little more time there and pull my head together before I make any more major decisions.

So if I go back to grad school, get a degree, then what? When I left my undergrad I had done little to no thinking about what I was actually going to do in the "real world." Sure, take auditions. Go back to school. Teach. Win amazing spot in respectable orchestra, start presitigious brass quintet.

I will go back to school, but I need to go back prepared to leave again. This is not to say that I'm going to spend my time there with my foot out the door, or ignore the fun and edumacation I get there, but that I'm going to be actively thinking and pursuing what's going to happen afterward. I need more experience and more instruction, so it's imperative that this college experience be geared mainly at hard work. Making connections is a must. Creating new musical endeavors with others will be top on the list, and perhaps I'll find something that can be marketed. Unless I score a gig elsewhere, it would be smarter to stay in the area I choose for grad school assuming that I've made contacts, been teaching lessons, am on the list for local music opportunties, etc. As difficult as it is to gig in Madison, it would have been wiser to stay there as I was already a part of the music culture. Sure, dynamics in the music school were changing, but that can only be for the best.

I like teaching, but I've always known it's not the only thing I want to be doing. Lately I've found myself counting the lessons I have left in my days and cheering when it gets down to the last two. It's not fair of me to take that attitude in to my students (although of course I don't project this to them). I like doing it on the side, where I can less stressfully build a relationship with my students and truly make an effect.

I've probably damaged some of the experience I could have had been by being so nomadic these past two years. In a music scene, gigs only come with time. In San Diego I was beginning to have some effect, and get more offers for coaching (which I like better than private lessons, by the way- go figure). But I packed up and came to Dallas, which has a lot of opportunities but also a lot of musicians, and had to start over as far as getting my name known. So if I plan on moving again, I have to be prepared to crack yet another music scene. I'm kind of afraid to get too locked into the scene here (not that that can happen, really, unless you're one of the DSO players or something) because I do want to leave. This is not the kind of place I want to be for very long. It's alright, really- it's not unbearable- but it's just another stop on my path.

I'm trying to figure out some direction for myself, but lately I've begun to think that maybe I don't care as much as I should. It might be in my best interest to chill for a while and see what happens- instead of trying so hard to control things. As Adam has said, "people will all their shit together just have one big stinking pile of crap."

Monday, October 11, 2004

another death in the family

Hey, San Diegans- remember when the Padres had that season that blew us all away? And we were fans again, we went to games and cheered and Q106 handed out cardboard goatees on sticks in honor of one man who was helping to make it happen in a major way?

I'm sorry to say that that man died today, at the tender age of 41, of a heart attack.

And despite the disapointment we all had to learn of his steriod use, and his troubles with cocaine, can we deny that for one season he was our Superman, and we loved it?

Thanks, Ken.

[news via Goddess Musings]

Saturday, October 09, 2004

i'm, like, bored. also broke.

Sick of watching all the rich kid tv shows on MTV, sick of the internet, oh, and also, sick of Texas. 5 days til I go home for one action-packed weekend. Hiking, a trombone recital, desserts at Denny's, the first time EVER I'll be drinking with Megan, and a wedding.

But it's going to be so sad. Chipper won't be there. For the first time in almost 14 years. It's so hard to believe, yet not unexpected...just...this is my puppy that I could carry in one hand, that I named, that I grew up with. I taught him to ride a skateboard. Once I saw him do a backflip for a toy he was shaking. I wrote an essay about him in freshman year English. He had terrible breath and he'd jump on all my friends- but he was mine, and I loved him.

We have some variety of gecko residing in our living room- I saw up close last night. It's translucent, and has these crazy black eyes. A little frightening, but I'd rather it were a 2 inch long lizard than a 2 inch long insect.

And since I'm bored, and lonely, it's stock of me to say, but what the hell am I doing in Texas?

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Heidi and I at the High Country West pool.  Posted by Hello

Monday, October 04, 2004

My puppy's gone.

R.I.P Chipper, 1990-2004.

My drinking buddies. :) Posted by Hello

lord, i love the onion

Documents reveal gaps in Bush's service as President.

shiny happy feminist body image

Haven't done a collab topic for WHB in a while, but I have actually been thinking about these series of questions for a few weeks now. Here they are:

How is your body image?
What do you do to maintain your body image?
How do you cope with medias fixation on what your body image should be?
What do you think of diet plans where exercise (and in fact healthy eating!!) are a side factor of losing weight?
How about the current round of makeover and plastic surgery shows?
And, if you have a negative body image, how does that impact your feminism?

I'm lucky. I've never had an issue with my body image. During the time that most girls are struggling between the feedback from the media and the true development of their bodies, I was a hardcore swimmer, and had been long before puberty. I was strong and fit, and I didn't have time to consider the "faults" my body might have according to society. I remember once being concerned for a second that when I sat down there were little rolls of fat on my stomach, but forgetting that completely the next minute. I was more concerned, honestly, with the grease gymnastics my face was pulling- which made my natural shyness all the more painful. I was afraid to talk to people when I had a breakout, thinking either that I didn't have the right or that they would be disgusted. In college one of the reasons I cut my hair so short was that I was tired of hiding behind it, and I forced myself to deal with that issue on a psychological level long before I could fix it physically (which I still can't, obviously). Today, remnants of my swimming past keep me sailing through the aisles of beauty magazines and fitness crazes. Although I have gained weight and fallen out of shape, I don't feel that there is anything wrong with my body.

Exercise, since I left the rigid schedule of an athletic team, has been a hodge-podge, never consistent system for me. I do just enough to feel good about my cardiovascular health. Lately I've been more strict about it because I feel I'm going to seed in my apartment, which little schedule to speak of, and no lap-size pool to keep me company. The only times I truly feel bad about my body are when I am not using it to its potential. This is one of the oldest aspects of my personal feminism: I like to be strong, and flexible- fit- because I don't like to find myself in situations where I can't take care of myself, physically.

As far as what happens in the media, for the most part I ignore it. I don't watch the makeover and plastic surgery shows because I don't care to help them with their ratings. I don't want to see any more of them on the air, so I don't encourage them. Diet programs where the goal is weight loss instead of health seem to me to have so many holes in them I can only accredit their financial success on our culture's "quick-fix" attitude for everything. I eat as healthy as my pocketbook allows- organically if possible, vegetarian for the most part. Since I've begun staying away from preservatives and hormones in my food, I've found that exercise has more effect on me. I feel better.

Perhaps a darker secret of mine is that I tend to avoid mirrors, or to flinch if I see myself in one. This is usually not centered on what my body looks like, but what my face does. Media has succeeded in making me insecure about beauty in that regard, and therefore I avoid my image in order to keep up my self-confidence. If I can forget "what I look like compared to everyone else" I can interact and go about life exuding confidence and hope that it makes a difference on the people that meet me. It's unfeminist perhaps to value beauty in this light, but instead of worrying about it, and spending time, money, and emotion on "fixing" it, I choose to ignore it and be myself anyway.

Of course it would be nice to have a society where we didn't have to discuss these issues, nor worry that others are worrying about them too much, or in destructive ways, but I hope that by making it a non-issue for myself I can communicate the same to the people I influence.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

liquorless in plano

Explain to me this logic: Collin County, the particular zoning district of my residence, is "dry," which means there are no bars except in restaurants and you can only purchase beer and wine in stores. In a restaurant, you are required to sign up for a Unicard which you then show on later occasions instead of your driver's license. However, if you go out with friends, only one person has to show a Unicard, and no licenses or proof of legality are required for anyone else.

So, you can't buy liquor, but you can drink beer and wine (think third most overweight city in the US, but hey, heart-healthy), and no sweat you can walk into a restaurant with your underage girl/boyfriend and buy them a drink on the Unicard system.

Chris and I went on a mission today to find liquor. Plano is not far from the Dallas County line, so we figured we could head down the highway to nearby Richardson and find a liquor store. After driving down a few major roads and stopping in a grocery store, we asked. No, you can't buy liquor in Richardson, either. Go to Addison. [Chris says that in MA, you can't buy alcohol at grocery stores or gas stations- is this true anywhere else? In California I only ever buy alcohol at grocery stores, so this is a bit of a shock.]

All I want is one stupid bottle of vodka in my pantry. I'm this short of just having my parents ship me one. Why is this so hard? I don't want to have to drive to fucking Oklahoma, people.

[Coincidentally, while searcing for apparently non-existent information on the Unicard system, I came across this article. So far the most useful thing I've read about Dallas since I've been here, and finally, fina-fucking-ly, someone gave me a straight answer on what winter's like out here.]