12.26.2005

2005 Year in Review Survey

This is a Christmas present a friend of mine sent me because he knows how much I love filling out forms (thanks Mike!). And I have to say that this is one of the better survey things i've filled out. Anyone else interested in filling it out is welcome to, I love reading them just as much as I love filling them in.

2005 Year in Review Survey

1. What did you do in 2005 that you'd never done before?
I saw the Rolling Stones in concert, and I played bass (in front of people)

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I dont think I made any new years resolutions, and the only one I really have for this year is to try to be more productive.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
no.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
no.
5. What countries did you visit?
Does the USA count?

6. What would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2005?
An acceptance letter from UMD, and a new hobby

7. What date from 2005 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
hmm... just one specific day... i'm really not too sure, i'll have to come back to this one.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
two things: 1- Matt and I fixed up our backyard... i realize this is nothing special for most, but it was the first time I did something like that. 2- Also, filling up my piano studio was a pretty good accomplishment.

9. What was your biggest failure?
hmm... not managing my time efficiently

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
yes, apparently working with little kids makes you sick all the time (I use to never be sick). and I found out that my shoulder is all messed up... but I actually got that injury in 2004 so I'm not sure it counts.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
my new coat!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
my sister Elizabeth for graduating from the Culinary Institue of America, and my brother for graduating from Mason.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
i cant think of anyone

14. Where did most of your money go?
into the house and into the IRS

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
going cross country skiing in colorado!!!!!!!!!!!!!

16. What song will always remind you of 2005?
Girl by Beck, I listened to it all summer

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. Happier or Sadder?: happier
ii. Thinner or Fatter than last year?: thinner
iii. Richer or Poorer?: richer

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
new things, i had to think for a while to answer the first question... probably too long

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
laundry, but thats unaviodable

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
i spent it with my husband, inlaws and family
22. Did you fall in love in 2005?
i stayed in love

23. How many one-night stands?
0
24. What was your favorite TV program?
hmm... i'd have to say 24 or the Office.
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
nope

26. What was the best book you read?
the hitchhiker trilogy

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
that i'm an awesome piano teacher :) and Black Eyed Peas (dont laugh), Beck's new album, Fiona Apple's new album
28. What did you want and get?
a new (not broken) piano
29. What did you want and not get?
a new dining room table
30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, even though Entertainment Weekly said it was the worst film of the year. I believe they also gave my favorite movie, A Life Less Ordinary an F when it came out, so in my opinion, they just dont know good movies.
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
i turned 24, went to atlantic city and ate as much tiramisu as I could handle.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
All in all it was a pretty satisfying year, but i guess i wish that i could have started my future plans a little sooner, I'm not very patient about them.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2005?
simple, normally jeans and some kind of t-shirt or sweater
34. What kept you sane?
having the dog home with me during the day so i talk to her instead of myself all the time, and listening to jars of clay

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
what does this mean by "fancy"? does this mean someone I had a crush on? because my answer is probably Scarlet Johansson... but i certainly dont have a crush on her. I've jsut liked her as an actress ever since I saw her in Ghost World (which has nothing to do with 2005, but it's how I choose to answer the question anyway), which is probably because i feel like I was her character (when I was in high school) and I just relate to that whenever i see her for some reason.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
i guess the war in iraq

37. Who did you miss?
all my friends who are no longer in this area

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Hannah

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2005?
Things take time so I need to be patient.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
525,600 minutes
525,000 moments so dear
(hahaha... i doubt anyone who reads my blog with even get that...oh well, I'm still laughing
)

12.05.2005

Non-Pop Music

I absolutely love classical music. (I use the word classical here to refer to non-pop music... just like I use the term pop music to refer to non-classical music. Classical music really refers to a specific period of time --which Mozart is part of but Tchaikovsky is not-- but most people dont use the word in that sense). However, I am pretty picky when it comes to what classical music I love.

1. Beethoven- I am definitely in the majority here. I have yet to meet someone who is like "eh, I dont care for Beethoven," and if anyone does say that, they dont know what they are talking about (and most likely they listen to country music... haha). The unfortunate thing about Beethoven is that since his music is so great it tends to be overplayed. I mean, everyone knows the 5th symphony (da da da DAAAH), but my favorite part of the 5th symphony is actually the 2nd movement, which very very few people know. I had never even heard it until a few years ago, but I instantly fell in love with it. If you are a typical Beethoven fan and you havent heard it, DEFINITELY check it out as soon as possible. As far as his piano music goes, it's wonderful. Lots of emotion, melody, rich harmony.... etc etc. But personally I dont really enjoying playing Beethoven too much. My theory is that his music has so much emotion built into the notes, that it doesnt leave much room for me to put some of my own emotion into it. That and the fact that Beethoven is overplayed, and I like to explore other music. Such as...

2. Debussy- Debussy is my all time favorite piano composer. Now I know that most people would except a pianist to say that about someone like Chopin. But in all honesty I am sick to death beyond words of Chopin. His music is great... but spend a few years playing piano in college and I bet you wont ever be able to listen to it either. It's unfortunate, but true. Hopefully one day I'll be able to listen to it again without tired ears. But anyway, Debussy's music is awesome. This is what I played throughout college instead of Chopin, and I'm so glad I did. Debussy created very simple sounding songs (which, by the way, are very not-simple to play), but the harmonies are what draw me to it... that and the fact that I can hold down the pedal through an entire page without changing it (12 different chords on 1 pedal... not a problem-- the problem is that I've started playing Bach the same way... but please dont tell anyone that). Anyway, my favorite Debussy piece is the Sunken Cathedral (which I wrote a whole post on a while ago), another favorite is Reverie (which I am currently learning).

Some other favorites:
  • Shostakovich-- Trio op. 67: I listened to it for like 3 months straight, and there is a very basic beginner piano Waltz in A minor that I teach a lot, that is just hauntingly beautiful
  • Stravinsky-- What would life be like without Rite of Spring and Firebird?
  • Faure-- his Requiem is awesome. I sang this in a concert in college, and my friend and I both got a recording afterwards (not of our choir). We used to blast it in the car with the windows down, the bass cranked up, and belt it out. We're awesome. I also LOVE the Pavanne. I wanted to walk down the aisle to this, but I think it's a little too melancholy for what most people expect of a wedding, oh well.
  • Samuel Barber-- Adagio for Strings. Listen to it.
  • Satie-- Any piano piece, especially the Gymnopedies (listen to all 3 everytime). I love Satie, he's starting to replace my Debussy obsession.
  • Mozart-- I gotta be honest, i',m not big on Mozart. What i do like is playing slow movements of his piano sonatas. They have really taught me how you are supposed to shape a melody. But I also really like his 40th Symphony (i think that's the right number.. i"m awful with numbers).
  • Puccini-- La Boheme. I havent ever seen Rent, but it's pretty much based on La Boheme. and judging from that "525,600 Minutes" song, I'd have to say La Boheme has much better music. Any Puccini opera is absolutely beautiful though (not that I've heard them all, but I feel confident saying it anyway).

So that should give some good insight into my style. I'm not really into fast and showy music. In fact I really prefer the opposite. I love it when a song moves slow enough taht you can really absorb every single note that is played. And I definitely prefer music that has substance over flash (if you want a good combination of both, listen to Listz). I also like anything with a lot of dissonance (consonance is BORING). If you feel the same, I'd suggest some of the songs I've mentioned above, they are just a very few of some of my favorites. And if you know of anything I didnt mention, feel free to suggest it to me!

note: notice i didnt include any Baroque music. That is largely due to the fact that I dont really like it. In fact the only time I can really listen to Baroque music is Christmas time (dont ask). But one of my favorites is: Wachet Auf by Bach (it jsut happens to be a Christmas-y song too).