Monday, April 30, 2007

i could justify being an asshole, but i think i'll just ride my bike instead

Now that my orals are done, the remainder of my school obligations for the semester are the kinds of things one normally does at the end of a semester: perform juries and write papers. No sweat, right? (Sheesh, I do need to get started on that paper though)

I'm really looking forward to this summer. I've got a job, so I won't be completely bored and broke, and I've got some excited trips lined up. I'll be in Colorado for two weeks at the end of July- one week for Summit and the other for Crested Butte, which I'm attending as a member of the Jazz Repetory Ensemble. May 14th I'm headed out to ABQ for the first meeting of my quintet- I've been looking forward to this for months. Tim and Al and Megan and brass quintet and beer! What could go wrong?

I learned a lot about people this weekend, which I could muse about at length. However, the encroaching summer and the lessening of responsibilities has changed my attitude to one more about having fun and not worrying about these people. I won't be around them in the fall. The people I want to keep close will stay close because they feel the same way.

And I am now opening applications for a summer fling. Interested parties please apply in person by May 31st.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

four winds

It's that time again- the time of year when people start scattering and I find myself facing yet another group of friends that is migrating across both country and ocean to find new homes. This time I am one of the travellers, which makes it both exciting and terrifying.

Here is a short list of everyone I know who is leaving our currently flooded and very, very deluged city of Denton (I need an ark just to get to my car! I have two cats to donate to the flood survivors but they are both boys; at any rate their dangly bits have been removed and there's no future progeny eminent):

Ben is on his way to Cincinnati to attend CCM on a full assistantship in jazz.
Leah is winding her way north to Seattle with a full ride to UW.
Ross and Kristopher will find themselves in Pittsburg in the fall, where Kristopher will get his doctorate (also on a nice assistantship! I have such talented friends) and Ross will teach.
Chuck is going to Athens, OH to start his Master's trombone performance degree.
Jeremy is going to Holland to study with Ben Van Dyk at the Rotterdam Conservatory.

And of course there's me, but you already know where I am going, probably because I won't shut up about it. My plane ticket for my visit in May is booked, which means I will be absolutely incapable of getting any work done because I'll be too excited to do it.

"I have friends all over this country, friends in other countries too. I've got friends I haven't met yet, I've got friends I never knew. I've got lovers whose eyes I've only seen at a glance. I've got strangers for greatgrandchildren. I've got strangers for ancestors. I was a long time coming, I'll be a long time gone. You've got your whole life to do something, and that's not very long." -Ani Difranco, "Willing to Fight"

Thursday, April 19, 2007

all that remains

The countdown to summer begins as I start to cross off major projects from my list and make plans for both summer employment and hopping states in the fall.

Here is what the remainder of this semester looks like:
Tonight, April 19th- Final Wind Symphony concert
Sunday, April 22nd- Center for Chamber Music Studies Showcase concert
(Edit 4/23: That went really bloody well. Phew!)
Friday, April 27th- Oral examination
Passed! Le Check!
Wednesday, May 2nd- Jury Done and done!
Thursday, May 3rd- Tune Jury Sheesh. I folded all over the minor harmonic scales. Oh well, it's over.
Wed, May 9th- Secondary project/recital for Music in Latin America class Done...
Friday, May 11th- 20 page research paper on the influence of radio and nationalism on Brazilian samba due...and done.

And then I can go to Albuquerque for a week, which can't come soon enough.

My summer job is again lifeguarding, this time with the City of Denton pools. They've also asked me to teach swim lessons, and are renewing my certification in that for free, which is more than excellent. I'll be making a large chunk of extra change that way.

I'm taking one class (Survey of Major Composers) in the summer, along with one session of summer lessons. I'm planning a few big trips if I can both fit them in and afford them: Wisconsin over July 4th for the family reunion extravanganza, The Summit Brass festival in Denver July 23-28th, and hopefully a trip to NYC in August(?) with Ben to visit Davis, Eugene, and anyone else I happen to find there. At some point in August too the great moving adventure will begin. The plan is tenatively to fly Allison out, fill up a truck with both my stuff and whatever I need from IKEA, and drive that and my car out to Albuquerque. Luckily it's only a day's drive but it sure does suck to go through the panhandle of Texas.

And from there on out it's anyone's guess, except for the part where we all become rockstars.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

just because

Kurt Vonnegut died last night.

Of all the shit that's been happening lately, this is the one thing that finally made me cry.

"Just because some of us can read and write and do a little math, doesn't mean we deserve to conquer the Universe." -KV Hocus Pocus

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

i was going to hell long before you came around

I think it's pretty funny when uber religious people can't take a joke. Especially when it's not a joke even really about their religion, but really more of a mocking of some other social entity.

Before Easter a pair of Jehovah's Witnesses rang my doorbell to give me a flyer about their upcoming services. The picture on the flyer was a representation of Jesus, bound and bleeding, with crosses and soldiers in the background. The text read "Who is the greatest man who ever lived? Why is it important to remember him?" followed by information regarding the church and dates, etc.

Chuck got a hold of the flyer, which I of course left for house perusal on the hallway table, and wrote underneath "Who is the..." "LEON BROWN". It was then stuck to the fridge and left for our enjoyment.

Leon Brown in this case is not a baseball player, but instead the first trombone professor at UNT. Every year in the spring we hold an annual Leon Brown Trombone Day in his honor, which basically serves as a recruitment day for new trombone blood in the studios here.

The joke is of course on trombone players. We're a little zealous, we have our idols and our gods, and we like to lionize. It's not really a joke on Christianity if you look at it closely.

At our totally awesome and rocking party on Friday night, someone left us a note. The irony that the note was written on my cheesy cute notepaper with the chubby, red-cheeked cats dancing around the edges is not lost on me. The note reads "UM, because of this poster I can assure 'you' are going to burn in hell".

The handwriting's terrible, though, so until Chuck translated it for me yesterday I thought it said "Um, because of this note I can assure 'you' are going to Bain IM Hall" which doesn't make much sense except that Bain Hall is where all the music TAs and TFs have their offices. So, I was trying to put the IM in context, maybe 'instrumental music'? And wondering at the same time if Leon Brown was holed up in Bain somewhere waiting for his loyal followers to come to him and unleash the glorious new future.

At any rate, the Skelton House has been condemned to hell. Because of a joke on trombone players. We weren't going to Christian hell before because of the drinking, smoking, extramarital sex, same-sex relationships, vandalism, theft, eating of shellfish, coveting, taking various lords' names in vain, and other various and sundry terrible sins we commit on a daily basis, but this joke really is the proverbial straw that breaks the camel's back.

I find that amusing.

Monday, April 02, 2007

astoundingly accurate