Saturday, November 26, 2005

I've never liked Ben Stiller, anyway.

A semi-relaxing weekend at home. It's always good for me to get out of the city, and I always look forward to coming to an impeccably clean house in the country with an apple pie baking in the oven. This midwestern fantasy is usually made reality by my anal-retentive mother (who always manages to time things just right so the pie is done ten minutes after I arrive, and even has little apple-shaped dough cutouts decorating the crust), but it's never quite as relaxing as I expect it to be. There is something deeply unsettling about having fifty channels to watch on tv, not having to walk anywhere, and not being allowed to actually touch any of the furniture.

I got a little practicing done, but not as much as I wanted, as I was constantly interrupted by "Aren't you done practicing yet? Have you taken a shower yet today? I need help setting the table. Don't you want to go shopping or help me with the food?"

I can't make any major complaints as I received a substantial sum of "pre christmas" money from my grandparents, and subsequently went out to buy a creAtive Zen MicroPhoto (super cool mp3 player with a color screen that stores pictures as well as songs), and a puma sweatshirt. I also got to stuff my face with great food, and drink lots of really good wine that I don't have the refined palate to truly enjoy.

My usual foreign film marathon that I hold every time I come home was negated by my mother's trip to the video store (damn it, she beat me!) I was strapped into a chair, mom taped my eyes open and put drops in them through the Will Smith film "Hitch" so I would have to watch. I refused to be subjected to "Meet the Fockers", it brings back too many flashbacks from a dating disaster last spring, and I hate Ben Stiller, anyway.

My mom and my aunt like to stand at the kitchen counter, drink wine, and talk about what a dangerous place the world is today. As well as bitch about the rest of the family. Dad and I bury our noses in our books, or retreat to our respective computers.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Thank God it's almost thanksgiving break.

I am so ready to get out of this city for a few days.

Holiday fun this year will be just my parents, my aunt and me. Which means no holiday family drama. Yay!

I'm reading "Me Talk Pretty One Day" by David Sedaris. It leaves me rolling on the floor lauging. Actually a really nice lift after reading One Hundred Years of Solitude, and Atlas Shrugged before that.

Once you strip away the glam and dancing of the musical "Crazy for You", it's about a thirty something who still receives an allowance from his mother falling in love with an alcoholic, white trash girl from Nevada. I can't help but be baffled at how this can be mutated into a happy, idealistic love story with some sequins, dance numbers, and phrases like, "but I just want to dance! I don't care about money!" The hell you don't care about money.

I think someday I'll write a musical. It'll be awesome.

Maybe I'll set "One Hundred Years of Solitude" as a musical.

HA. I'm sure Gabriel Garcia Marquez would be thrilled.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I have to go play trombone with a bunch of people who don't like me now.

Whatever happened to "Just be yourself?"

My quirky personality has brought me a few very close, very wonderful friends during my past couple years here in the Nati. And I am grateful. But it has also caused me to feel completely alienated in my program.

For you readers who don't know, I'm a member of a tight-knit jazz program of fifty or so good friends. I am part of it, but not so much in some ways.

People whom I would love to get to know come in every day and casually and happily say hi to each other and are chatty and fun, and as soon as I'm present, it's a simple, cold, "Hey."

I go to Roh's street, or the occasional Chipotle with them, and no one really says anything to me. It's as if I'm invisible.

I open my mouth to join the conversation, and get weird looks more often than anything else.

I'm sure they talk about me behind my back, as well.

Well, the jazz department always seems to be so full of gossip.

"Just be yourself" is great if you have a personality palatable to others.

There are probably a dozen or so entries similar to this one in my former blog, but it feels like such a recurring theme in my life.

It sounds immature until you have lived it.

Not to be ostracized from a seemingly essential group of people for your gender, language, creed or color of you skin, but to simply be ostracized because you are annoying/weird/have an odd personality. Something we can allegedly change and control. Something that shouldn't be an issue at this age. Sounds like high school all over again, huh?

It wouldn't matter except that I have ALL my classes with these same fifty people, as well as all my ensembles, see them every day in the practice rooms, and hope to have gigs with them in the future.

And that I like these fifty or so people.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


So as my schedule has become slightly more sane, I've become addicted to blogging and aol instant messenger once again. Yay :D

If there are two things that I have learned about relationships, and keeping my sanity when I'm in one (which always tends to be a really difficult thing for me), it's that when I get a bad feeling, there is usually a good reason, and I shouldn't dismiss it. My insecurities are rarely unfounded.

I have also learned to express my feelings and be honest, because if I don't, they build up until one day I freak out and go crazy, lol.

But I have been known to jump the gun. ~shrugs~

In other news: I got a sweet new ringtone on my phone! Call me so I can dance to it!

Monday, November 14, 2005

this and that

Eww it started to rain here.

And I'm getting sick.

The musical is upon me, which means I am stuck in "Tempo di MGM" land for the entire week. I will rarely see the light of day, the light clipped to my music stand will be my sunshine.

Not that it matters because it's ugly out, anyway.

The rehearsal chairs really hurt my back. I wish I could get a really good massage.

I'm very offended when I step outside of my CCM gender utopia, and professional men suddenly become very unprofessional and treat me like a piece of meat after I come to them for help advancing my career.

I also feel off kilter as various people in my life are giving me weird vibes.

Not the good, pretty vibes Milt Jackson would play (har har, I had to inject some humor).

At the same time, I could use the peace and quiet, but there is none to be found in my apartment.

Ok, I'm done whining.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The public library rocks! (and the story leading to this conclusion)

Long day.... anyway, I had a lesson with Marc this morning, and we were talking about boards. Now, I am a very self-motivated practicer, especially when I can practice what I want. Which has essentially been the situation this year so far. But that nasty five-letter word is creeping up: BOARDS. Which always means lots of patterns, scales classical solos and tunes played to Jamey Abersolds.
Now there has always been something deeply unsettling about those Jameys to me. They always seemed to take the fun of learning jazz and turn it into an exercise. I've always loved transcribing and learning by ear, which is why i got so into jazz in the first place (besides the fact that its totally awesome), and exercises, believe it or not, always made me want to throw up all over the place.
So Marc is always asking for my input and feedback on what we're doing, and I usually don't have much to say. But when he asked, "Now, do you have the play alongs for the tunes on this board?" I said, "Ok, I have some input to make now." I've always wanted to just learn tunes from the original jazz recordings, and yes the Clayton brothers told us to do that when they were here at CCM, but every really high level jazz musician has been telling me to do this my whole life. Even (heaven forbid) David-Baker-bebop tells people to learn tunes from the recordings. So I told Marc I wanted to try going recording-only for these board tunes, he was a little taken aback and skeptical, but he knows I get my shit done one way or another and was like, "I'd be a bad teacher to tell you no, although I don't know how we'll do assignments...." I hope I didn't step on any toes with this suggestion, but I feel like I make so many concessions when preparing for boards, and this is one I just couldn't go through with.
As a sidenote, Marc definitely received all his jazz exposure before the jamey abersold era, and I'm a little surprised that he's SO INTO THEM. They must be a real novelty to him.

Now, of course I had to find recordings of the tunes for the upcoming board. But I am too broke to buy the cd's, and feel very uncomfortable about file sharing. So I went to the downtown public library for the first time. It's a HUGE building, they have a very nice jazz collection, and when using the online catalog, all you have to do is type the artist or name of tune you are looking for, select "jazz recordings" to narrow the search, and hit enter. So convenient! I picked up some John Coltran, Milt Jackson, Jimmy Smith and Ella Fitzgerald. Delicious.

Monday, November 07, 2005

stop the madness!

Due to a few complaints, I will grugdingly write a new blog entry (althgough I'm really not feeling it).

Lets see, my demo came off well considering the circumstances: I had a huge pain-in-the-ass time trying to ensure everything would be unlocked that day, Steve Seifreid's computer broke, and Aaron Jacobs had to leave early. My near panic attack caused me not to play as well as I would have liked, but no complaints on the finished product.

I sent it in for the sisters in jazz competition last monday. I'll also send it in for Downbeat soon. And hopefully fine some time away from school to hustle it around the city for gigs (jazz trombone gigs.... ha!).

Anyway, that plus writing a big band chart, plus trying to keep up in music history and german has left me really really exhausted. Do you know what it feels like to be working on a big project for a couple months, and then be done with it? Yeah it's like that.

But there's no time to pause and breathe. The deadline for my big band chart is looming over my head, and I'm playing the CCM production of "Crazy for you". Tempo di Broadway, jazz hands and mass corniness. Anyway, I'll have to rehearse that vomit-inducing music from here to infinity. Or at least November 20. It feels like infinity.

I would love to work in pit orchestras for the pay and the challenging music, but while the music is challenging, it also usually SUCKS. I really can't stand musical theatre.

Thank goodness for my personal chef/masseuse/therapist/chess buddy (har har).