10.30.2005

Oh no

This must have been a slow weather-news day.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A FROST ADVISORY...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 1 AM TO 8 AM EST MONDAY. AS HIGH PRESSURE BUILDS OVER THE REGION OVERNIGHT...CLEAR SKIES AND LIGHT WINDS WILL ALLOW TEMPEARTURES TO FALL INTO THE MID 30S DURING THE PRE-DAWN HOURS. A FROST ADVISORY MEANS THAT FROST IS POSSIBLE. SENSITIVE OUTDOOR PLANTS MAY BE KILLED IF LEFT UNCOVERED.

I hope FEMA is prepared to handle this one, there's no telling how many sensitive-outdoor-plants-left-uncovered casualties we'll have.

10.22.2005

Funny Stuff

Check this out: SmitHappens- Press Your Luck Video!

And then when you are done with that, check this out: Mitch Hedberg Videos

10.17.2005

Test time

So first thing tomorrow morning I am taking the GRE.

I began studying for this mid-June (off and on). At first I was incredibly intimidated by the math section (for starters I forgot that negetive numbers even exsisted), but after doing some review most of it came back to me. My biggest problem now is probably that I'm still a little on the slow side when it comes to solving problems, but other than that I think I've got the math section as good as I need it. The verbal section worries me for only 1 reason... VOCAB. If it was all reading comprehension, I'd be fine. I understand what I read. No problems there. But i do not use GRe level vocabulary and honestly I really didnt feel like learning it for this test. I did anyway, at least I made an effort to familiarize myself with some of the words. I got a study book from the library that had 2 lists of vocab words: 1- the 50 words most frequently used, and 2- the 3,000 words most frequently used. Anyone else see a problem with that?? 3,000 words!!! How in the hell am I supposed to learn all those? So just seeing that discouraged me, and I stuck with the 50 word list. Hopefully I made the right decision.

It's not that I'm stupid and cant understand big words... it's just that I prefer a language that is more accessible. I dont see any reason for using 13 letter words just to make myself sound more educated, I'm typically more concerned with getting my point across. This is something I feel strongly about, and that is why I know the GRE vocabulary is going to ruin my overall score. And the worst thing about is that next year they are reformatting the GRE so that there is heavier emphasis on reading and less on vocab. Just my luck.

As for the writing part... I'm not worried. I dont think those scores are really going to affect final decisions too much. I'm just hoping that I dont get a prompt I know nothing about. But that will probably happen. Oh well. I guess I just have to wait until tomorrow and see how it goes.

ps- overall i have enjoyed studying for the GREs (but that's just because I'm a nerd who likes school)

10.11.2005

My true feelings on accompanying

So accompanying went pretty well on Sunday. I played TONS of wrong notes, but still managed to get through it (mostly thanks to all the other instrumentalists who covered up all my wrongness). It wasnt as painful as I thought it'd be. It does get a little easier every time I do it, but that doesnt mean I'm in any kind of hurry to do it again. I would rather play 10 solo recitals than 1 accompaniment kind of thing. There's just way way way too much pressure. I mean, when I'm by myself and I make a mistake, I can recover how ever I want. I can try to disguise it and move on, I can retrace a little bit, or whatever. The worse thing that happens is I make myself look bad. And I'm okay with that. Accompanying however, is very different. I have to make sure I dont cause other people to look bad when I make mistakes, and that is far far far more difficult and stressful. And i had a horrible experience the first time I accompanied someone... I still dont think I'm completely over it, but at least I'm moving in the right direction.

When I was in college I had to take 2 accompanying classes (or as I like to call them "hell on earth classes"). In the first one we accompanied vocalists and I was paired up to do 1 song each with 3 different people. All of them were really nice and really understanding of the fact that I had no clue what I was doing. Well the first girl I worked with was really great. But I had to learn this Mozart aria from Don Giovanni (I think); anyway it was crazy fast with lots of crazy notes. And I'm not one to play crazy fast, in fact I pretty much avoid it as much as possible (personal taste). But I had no choice in this. So I worked my ass off learning this piece (in fact i think this was the catalyst to my shoulder problem).

The first rehearsal was awful on my part, I couldnt play through even one page, let alone 6. But my singer was very gracious and understanding (and patient!). After that I figured out everything I needed to work on (which was everything) and got most of it together in time for our second rehearsal which went much smoother. The one good thing about accompanying is that you dont have to play every single note if you can figure out a way to get by. So I cut a lot of excess notes which made a huge difference.

And then came the day when we had to perform in class. It was great! I was so thrilled with myself. Even when we had to go through the critiques I was really amazed at how well I did. The professional accompanist said I used the pedal perfectly for the time period (she ALWAYS told everyone they were pedalling wrong) and the only problem was that I seemed too concerned with the notes to be enjoying myself (duh!). So I felt really confident after that.

At the end of the semester all the singers picked one song for the final performance and of course I got stuck with the Mozart aria (as opposed to my other songs which were much more manageable). So again I practiced so hard that I was dreaming about the song, I think by that point I nearly had it memorized... and then came the day of the big performance. Backstage I was a wreck but I went through my usual pre-performance routine to keep myself looking calm (good night's sleep, good breakfast, no sugar or caffiene, one motrin an hour ahead of time, and pace around until you go on). When it was our turn I walked out with my singer and my page turner (a first for me... for solo stuff you have to memorize everything, but for accompanying, you get to use the music). I sat down at the bench after bowing and went through my pre-playing routine (breathe very deeply while thinking through the song until I feel ready... and keep an eye on the singer to make sure she's ready), and then we began.

Well by this point I had played the song so many times that I didnt even need to look at the first page of the music, but the second page was a little trickier, so when I got to that point I looked up... and... the music was open to the WRONG PAGE. I totally freaked (and I think that I very very softly cursed--fortunately for me, I dont think anyone heard)... the only thing I could do was stop and turn the music to the correct page, which I did. And the singer did the right thing, she kept on singing and hoping for me to find her again, which after about 8 LONG LONG LONG measures I did. Of course by this time I was so freaked out that I couldnt stop my fingers from shaking which meant that I was playing all kinds of wrong notes. And no matter how much I tried to regain my composure, I just couldnt do it fast enough, which caused me to freak out even more. Somehow I stumbled around long enough for the song to end, and made my way back stage where I apologized profusely to the singer... who was again more gracious that I deserved.

Afterward the show was over I knew I had to face the teachers and I knew that was going to probably be even more painful that my few minutes on stage had been. But to my surprise I couldnt have been more wrong. The vocal teacher said something that has stayed with me and hopefully always will... it was something along the lines of this... "Hold your head high, stuff happens, you did the best you could, there's nothing to feel bad about." She was much easier on me than I was on myself....

Yay for Forms

Don't ask why, but I absolutely love filling out forms, so these are a treat for me!

1. Sleep with or without clothes on? with
2. Prefer black or blue pens? black
3. Dress up on Halloween? no i dont really like halloween
4. Like to travel? of course
5. do you like some one? yep
6. Does he/she know? i sure hope so
7. Who sleeps with you every night? matt
8. Think you're attractive? i guess i'm ok
9. Want to get married? i am
10. Who? matt
11. Are you a good student? I was, i love school
12. Are you currently happy? yes because I am filling out a form!
13. Have you ever cheated at a game? solitaire, all the time
14. Birthplace? crailsheim germany
15. Christmas or Halloween? christmas
16. Colored or black-and-white photo? black and white
17. Do long distance relationships work? they can
18. Do you believe in Astrology? no
19. Could you date a good friend? yes
20. Do you believe in love at first sight? not really
21. Do you consider yourself the life of the party? not even close
22. Do you drink? occasionally
23. Do you kiss well?yes
24. What is your dream car? whatever the most reliable car is that has a hook up for my iPod
25. Do you make fun of people? i try not to
26. Do you think dreams eventually come true? if you put some work into them
27. Fave thing to do? spend time with my husband
28. Fave breakfast food? belgian waffles, sausage, hash browns, yum
29. Fave Candy? jelly bellys
30. Fave Vacation spot? colorado- for xc skiing, and most anywhere in europe
31. Favorite body part of the opposite? eyes
32. Favorite cartoon? south park
33. Go to the movies or rent? rent
34. Have you ever moved? so many times I ran out of fingers to count (like 11, not including college moves)
35. Have you ever stolen anything (from a store)? no
36. How's the weather right now? it's too dark to tell
37. Hug or kiss? kiss
38. Last person you talked to on the phone? harmony
39. Last time you showered? this afternoon
40. Loud or Soft Music: loud
41. McDonalds or Burger King? burger king
42. Night or day? day
43. Number of Pillows? start with 2, end up with none
44. Piano or guitar? piano!
45. Rap or R&B? rap
46. Nike or Adidas? puma

Have u ever............................
() played Spin the Bottle?
() Toilet Paper someone's house
(x ) Played Poker with money
() Gone swimming in a white T-shirt
(x) Been tickled so hard you couldn't talk
(x) Liked someone but never told them
(x) Went camping...
() Worn somthing your mom didn't appove of
(x) Burnt yourself with a curling iron/straightener.. ((like this afternoon...))
( ) Wanted to be a police officer
() Dumped someone
() Been hit on by someone too old
( ) Wanted to be a model
(x) bought lottery tickets
(x) Made out in a car
(x) cried during a movie
(x) Wanted something you couldn't have
( ) Had sex on the beach
(x) Seen someone shoplift
(x) Hung up on someone
(x) Yelled at your pet
() Tried to strip when drunk
(x) Gotten seasick
() Had a stalker
() Played a prank on somone that had them really scared
(x) Been embarassed by one of your family members
() Felt bad about eating meat
(x) Been to an island
(x ) Been in love
(x) Ate just because you were bored
(x) looked at something everybody thought was ugly and said "aww"
( ) Saw your ex and wanted to kick his/her ass
(x) Cursed in front of your parents
( x) Been in a commerical on tv... as a passerby on an army commercial when we lived in germany, totally accidental (i forgot all about that)
(x) Been out of the country.
() Been honked at by some guy/girl when you were walking down the sidewalk
( x) won at pool... rarely
() Been lost out to sea
( ) Cheated on your bf/gf
( ) been cheated on
( ) Tanned topless

Can you...
(x) unwrap a starburst with your tongue
() Open your eyes underwater
(x) Ice skate
(x) sing in front of a crowd
() Whistle
(x) Be a meanie at times
( ) Do thirty pull ups
() Walk in really high heels
(x) Eat super spicy foods
( ) Skateboard
(x) Sleep with the lights on
(x) Multi task
( ) Touch your nose with your tounge

10.05.2005

Catch Up

Man I havent posted in a while. I didnt realize how long it had been. Probably because there are usually like 1 or 2 times a day when something happens and I think "hey, that'd make a good blog entry," so I write one up in my mind with the intention of transfering it to the computer later, but I never make it that far. So it actually feels like I've been maintaining my blog, but I guess it's about time for me to put in an actual post.

So a lot has been going on here. I keep myself pretty busy these days. I had my 1 year anniversary of teaching piano at home a week ago (I took the day off... it also happened to be my birthday and my husband took me to atlantic city). My little business has come a long way in a year. It took me about 2 months just to get 1 student. Now I get about 10 calls a week for potential students, not too bad. Unfortunately thats all going to end soon... but for a good reason. Anyway.

This weekend I am sub-accompanying at church. Sub-accompanying is worse than regular accompanying because you usually have to do it on short notice. But this wasnt so bad because I got to pick the music (and i did get adequate notice), so I picked stuff I've played before so I wouldnt have to practice as hard; which is nearly impossible for me right now since my shoulder is all messed up-- who knew that by playing the piano I could injur myself the same way baseball pitchers, weight lifters, and swimmers do? I'm such an athlete. So tomorrow night is rehearsal, i just hope I can get through it without pain. I'm not worried about sunday because I'll at least be able to take breaks between songs, so it shouldnt be a problem. And I bought a nice new heating pad today which makes me feel gooooooooood.

The weather is getting cooler, which is good for my dog. Now she just sits outside in the backyard all day long. I'm sure she loves it. But the birds and squirrels must hate it. My next door neighbor has a bird feeder in his backyard and during the summer it was always filled with birds and squirrels, and whenever I'd let Eve out she try to chase them all away (actually she was probably trying to eat them). But now that she's always in the backyard the other animals wont go anywhere near the feeder. I guess they'll have to hunt and gather the old fashioned way again.

One more random thing...

About 2 and a half weeks ago my husband was playing softball and took a line drive to his shin. It got him pretty bad, but neither of us realized how badly when it first happen. He's a little injury prone (luckily never anything too serious), so we are used to things like this happening (not to say that makes them hurt less). But when he first came home and told me what happened, I didnt feel very sorry for him. I thought he should have learned his lesson by now about playing too hard and hurting himself all the time. But then a couple days later his leg started to bruise. Actually it was his foot that bruised first, but soon his lower leg was all black and blue. It has to be the biggest bruise I've ever seen. I want to take a picture of it and post it... we'll see.