Saturday, December 27, 2008

evidence of maturity in this growing increasingly complex world.

Monday, December 22, 2008

grandmother installation no2

a dialogue with my grandmother.

she says, "i look like an old geek."
i say, "it could be worse."
"could be invalid."
"that's true."

Friday, December 19, 2008

the last day of finals week

libraries are like churches; they're supposed to be there for people in times of need. but churches close their doors and libraries kick you out. one by one our sacred institutions fail.

i made two very conscious decisions tonight. the first was that it was more important for me to spend time connecting with somebody than it was for me to be studying. the second was to see how long i could balance a container of coffee grounds on the top of my head while standing in line at safeway a little after midnight. it lasted as long as it took for the man in front of me to turn around and laugh and then become embarrassed for laughing so openly at a stranger.

there are three thousand words to go in the next twenty four hours, and then three hundred miles. and then quiet.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

the weekend

it is not yet noon on this saturday in december and they are already talking about death in the taco shop at the north end of our exhausted little town. a fly retires to the counter top and washes its face. my heart is breaking.

a man has shaved the lower part of his head. the material coming out of the top of his scalp resembles palm fronds. "i want my ashes to be cut into coke and then my friends'd snort me," he says.

the girl behind the counter shoves a spoon into a pot of beans. "i'd totally blow you -- in that circumstance." she has the eternal serpent tattooed hungrily on her back. "we'd have to go to bolivia or something. do this shit right, you know."

the fly, all the facets of its eyeballs now sparkling, returns to work.

"that's a lot of coke," she says as an afterthought.

while there is a definite monetary limit to how many tofu-burritos-with-death-paste-no-cheese-black-beans-thanks that can fit in my life, i have yet to find evidence of a physical one. however, if habaneros and death metal are the je ne sais quoi for my sense of regulation fortitude, then that's all right with me.

and now, for a little more of the collegiate experience:

tune in next week for: emily farts garlic in a small practice room.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

i belong to the components of my body

there are 317.4 miles between this shambly apartment and the unoccupied southeast bedroom in which my mother harbors relics of my childhood. sailboats on an evaporated sea.

i feel an obligation to her, that creature that i was, to never forget anything. my whole life as a tunnel, a canal, a walkway, museums upon museums of installations between terminals in the chicago o'hare airport.

"what?" he asks. our faces are two stones next to each other in a wall and he still cant hear me.

the components of our lives and of our bodies are all stones all-next-one-another in the same wall along a single long road and he still cant hear me. we are 317.4 miles long. at first i think there is an earthquake, but then it's just my heart beating.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


i am one can of thick-and-hearty lentil soup away from going home for thanksgiving. there is still a box of wheat tabbouleh salad that was left behind by the girl who lived here before me, but i eat cold things out of cans these days. eating has become a purely mechanical experience. gas in the tank.

a teacher of mine once said that the purpose of poetry is "to tell the truth beautifully."

"and after that," i told somebody this week, "i had no real questions about why-poetry."
he smiled. "it presupposes that there is an inherent value in truth."

i loved that he opened that door and i loved more that we chose not to walk through it.

writing is hard these days. a bad dry cough in my brain.
god give this to be a good vacation.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

another pianist here said on the subject of bach's b-flat major prelude from book one:

"the only way to play it is pretty much as quickly as humanly possible. they should have competitions for that. where they fill a room with, like, a hundred pianists and it's like a race."

"starting gun and everything," i suggest.

"yeah. wow." he has a way of primarily addressing his shoelaces. "i'd like to see that."

his shoelaces shuffle around in response. i probably say something too, but it's not as important.

i complained to one of my teachers at the beginning of the semester that the tempo she insisted on for the associated fugue felt like a funeral dirge.

"last week, you said it was like a christmas carol." her voice is a small bird watching you curiously from ten meters away.

i'd been insisting on a harpsichord-style articulation of the subject for a long time simply because i liked it, because it just tickled me, though the whole piece was made significantly trickier as a result. everybody asked me about it and i told them, "it establishes the second beat."

which is true but also completely worthless bullshit.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

for the first time in my life, i think i might actually be swollen with the pride of being an american. barack obama was elected president of the usa last night, though -- and admittedly, in the same sentence -- proposition 8 passed in the state of california. i'd take obama over 8, though, because 8 will fall apart eventually, and a change such as obama will (and is!) bring(ing) about takes more than just wait-until-the-next-season. it takes an ocean.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

it seems increasingly to me that the route to any goal, the path to any end, is simply in the passage of time. clearly, one must sustain oneself in the moment, but recognizing the moment seems synonymous with recognizing the passage of time, and for me, it is concurrent with a running consciousness of my personal growth.

that said, halloween found me knocked up (false) and dancing my ass off (genuine).

i am young and fierce and unnecessary.
it is a good night.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


this dog is one of my best friends in the history of best friends. it's amazing what kind of allegiance i can get just by scratching somebody's butt every time i go for a run.

i like the way she sticks on film maybe even more than chris, maybe more than kipp.

seriously, though, i can't afford this hobby.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

outer space

chris and i are having a standoff with a vending machine. it is staring at us like an astronaut freshly touched down on the planet earth. we have one dollar and twenty five cents between the two of us. one dollar and twenty five cents can get you one orange package of recess pieces that contains three individual candies.

"we can split it," i say, "because we are diplomatic."
"i can have the bigger half," he replies, "because i am a man."
"i can have the bigger half," i say, "because i am menstruating."

it is like the most unnecessary beheading scene in a b-level movie. he leans against the astronaut for support. it purrs lovingly at him. i get the bigger half.

"this is for your vagina," he says.

all our heads fall off.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

i am going to go broke taking half-assed photos of everyday household objects.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

last night, i dreamed i had dinner with experimental embryos. a girl at the southeast corner of the table had a hard time articulating her thoughts; the scientist some seats to the north hypothesized that this difficulty could be attributed to how the girl's mother had been starved during the earlier embryonic stages.

"i have an i.q. of 174," i said. "my mother ate a lot."

it was supposed to be funny, and all i got were piteous daggers from the girl at the southeast corner.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

i think i'm in love with my car

the laundromat is next door to the video rental place. i rent all four disks of the second season of the l-word. this choice is not made on account of my self-respect, my need to fill spare time, or my riotously large daily budget. it's a mediocre show full of fantastic sex scenes. and that is cue enough for me. even though i can't necessarily afford it.

everything is money. loses money, gets money, is somebody else's money. (exhibit a: the christian kid's free food table on mondays at 11am.)

time is money. laundry is time, and money. i hold off doing laundry for much longer than an all-american daddy's girl should. i bide my time. i am an all-american daddy's stinky son. i do my laundry. i spend my money.

money is time. my time is underfunded, overpaid. i wish my students practiced more. i want to say, you are like buying stocks. you could be a waste of money. you could be one hell of a brilliant, mortgage-paying machine of an investment. you could make the news.

money is news, news is money. all the newspapers talk about money. money is written down everywhere but it's not moving.

i, for one, am having a hard time keeping my spare change in my pocket. in may, i will starve, oh, in may, i shall starve. like a dried up pen.

Friday, October 3, 2008

my downstairs neighbor
is slamming poetry onto the ceiling
like flapjacks

we are alone
in identical bedrooms

the rain sounds
like leaves whispering
like children in a theatre

Monday, September 29, 2008

last week, i got lost in the forest on my way to my piano teacher's house. the forest looked like this:

she scrubbed my brain and said, "the first round of the competition is in november." my initial panic gave gave way to a determined relief. i hadn't realized how much i'd missed that mindset. clear and purposeful, maybe to a point of myopia. i finally feel like i have something to do. like i've stuck my head out from underwater and the air is warm on my face. (that metaphor is depressingly functional.)

i'll be playing the first movement of ginastera opus 22, the first movement of beethoven's sonata opus 31 no 1, and debussy's etude no 1 -- pour les cinq doits, apres m czerny. it's not a ChineseFighterRobot! set, but it is a funky high energy. i dragged out the ginastera today for the first time since last spring and man it felt like switching on the front christmas lights in the rain.

i feel good, oh i feel so good! suddenly!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

decadence in northern california

somebody else
had got there before we did,
found the shark,
and kicked it onto it's other side.

in good judgment, i poured some of my beer on it.
it sounded like march rain on a lawn that is already soaked through.
i said, "good luck, homie."
you didn't say anything. it didn't have any eyes.
the dark sat on our shoes, hugged our ankles
like children who didnt want us to leave.

the phosphorus on the edge of California
crackled like a creme brûlée under our feet.

when you make me laugh i throw my head all the way back.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

taken from history cooperative.

Army sergeant Ron Haeberle photographed these women and children in My Lai, Vietnam, seconds before American soldiers shot and killed them. They were among more than 500 unarmed women, children, and old men massacred by American troops on March 16, 1968.

The photograph captures the climax of a narrative that began with attempted rape and ended with mass murder. Roberts and Haeberle came upon several G.I.'s attempting to rape the girl at the right. Haeberle recalled their comments as they pulled off her clothes: "Let's see what she's made out of," one said. Another called her "VC boom-boom," or a Viet Cong whore. As they assaulted the girl, the woman "tried to help her, scratching and clawing at the soldiers." When the soldiers noticed the journalists, they abandoned their sexual assault and herded the women and children together. "I yelled, 'Hold it,'" Haeberle recalled, "and shot my picture." As he did, the assaulted teenager, who had already pulled up her trousers, attempted to fasten her blouse. The denouement followed quickly. As they walked away, Roberts said later, "I heard an M-60 [machine gun] go off, and when we turned back around, all of them and the kids with them were dead."

The emotional power of the photograph derives from our knowledge that it was taken during the last seconds these people were alive, as they realize they are about to be killed. They were surrounded by bodies and burning houses, and they could not have missed the sounds of gunfire and screaming. They must have understood the G.I.'s meant to shoot them also. Few photographs show people contemplating their imminent, violent death as vividly as this one.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

i took this probably about a year ago, now.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

god i wish my fucking camera worked

from fabian unternährer's just passengers.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

getting an email from a 13 year old that starts:

Thank you so much for being my piano teacher for that short while. You are a great teacher and I want to thank you for that.

really fucking makes my day.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

best to fear the educated youths

following the images of a family in tajikistan, salt miners in mali, and a west african boy on the beach, the next slide he clicked on was of a dog sledding team. in front of a class of nearly two hundred, he gestured with his laser pointer to the team driver. "this is sarah palin," he said. "she's on her way to city hall. in the sled, here, are --"

"five kids!" somebody in the classroom shouts.

"five kids, yes," he says. "and the dogs have been fed on homosexuals."

we all laugh. two hundred of us in a giant lecture hall.

Monday, September 8, 2008

we have nothing to talk about except our work. i am exhausted during the day. i leaned over and whispered to him, when she called i explained to her, i want to wave my arms in the air and scream pathetically to the man who is the sane-conscience in my head, "i am surrounded by creatures that seem to be freshly beamed down from outer space! what do they eat? why are they here?" he looks at me and laughs and i realize the violence of the outburst was all i needed to find firm ground again.

the weather is just that sort of dreary where it has spent all day threatening to uncover the sun, but never managed to follow through. in the evening, my roommate sits on the balcony and plays some blues on his guitar, a cigarette dangling from his lips. i am drinking licorice tea and memorizing violin parts. our brains are heavy. i feel like i'm pushing through the thick, rubbery foliage of a primitivism painting. i'm all out of green vegetables.

keep trucking, keep trucking, all night long.

Friday, September 5, 2008

two portraits of a friend.

from three weeks ago or so.

Monday, September 1, 2008

tickle me pink, you naked swedes, er, danes

"The core of Løber Nøgen - Danish for 'running naked' - consists of six individual, working photographers hailing from France, Norway and Denmark. Personal styles and boundaries are annulled and vanity is left behind in a childlike attempt to lose ones self."

that is all for now.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

last night, i had a dream that i found the perfect day planner. maybe it means: get cracking.

"its kind of pathetic," i tell my roommate.

"yeah," he says. he bends a blues note on his guitar. "a little vanilla."

Friday, August 22, 2008

i hope they see me.

it is one of those days, you know, where you wake up and come down from mount olympus with the calm inspriation of exactly-that-shirt, today, and of course it smells like a hippie and half an hour of an uninspired archaeological seminar with yourself about the components of your wardrobe yields an increasingly poor morale and exactly what you wore yesterday. you know who'd feel chagrin for that but it sure as hell aint you.

and the day proceeds bit-by-slowly-bit one foot in front of the other.

and ever onward, 'cause, see, you randomly hooked up with this person and maybe it meant something and maybe it didn't but the point is that there they are at the gym and jesus, i hope they don't see me and if they do i hope i dont look like a fat idiot and fucking christ! observe this sweetly urbane musculature of my arms and regret! how uselessly subversive!

you can always tell when i've had insomnia because my bedroom smells like paint!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

by Chang W. Lee at The New York Times.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"ploitering." my mentor laughs. (i wrote that before. he laughs a lot; being in the shop is good for the soul.) "we do a lot of that here," he says.

i am in the front, cleaning and re-assembling casters from the shitty upright from the theatre department. "ploitering - i forgot that one?"

"to work to little purpose."

i laugh.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

chris and i are tooling our psyche of the bourgeois with the most expensive coffee in town and i am trying to explain to him how important a building can be. when one spends kindergarten through eighth grade in the same place, particularly the kind of intimate place that demands greeting the grandparents and neighbors of your classmates when you run into them at the grocery store, it means something. it adds up. he's used to my talking stupid wordy shit at him so he's getting very good at listening noncommittally .

"it represents the duality of man," he suggests.
"fuck you." we laugh. he finishes off his fancypants latte. i am caffeinated out of my brain.

the state of california is broke and that particular school district is even broker, so three years ago they shut the place down after assessing that the funding needed to keep the plumbing operable was out of the question. killing time back in the hometown last week, i noticed a gate was unlocked and so let myself in.

one could write: "everything was so much smaller" or "i suddenly was very aware of how much larger i had become" and of course that was the case but this was my School and my Childhood all rolled into one and completely abandoned. i kept meaning to go back with a camera and photograph the splashes of broken glass across the dusty classroom carpets, or the way the grass broke through the still-familiar expanse of blacktop. (the empty case of natty ice in the shared space between the back entrance to the stage and the front entrance to the kinder classroom. the abandoned spinet where i was in 6th grade.)

so of course i didn't.

however, last night was the first night since then that i haven't dreamed about going back and taking pictures. sometimes i'm by myself, or there is a drunkard roaming the hallways, or i bring a friend, or an italian model for a high-fashion shoot.

"huh," says chris.
useless fucktard.

i stop indulging myself and we shift the conversation to this year's concerto competition.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

hypergelast: a person who won't stop laughing

a man takes a year to read the OED and lives to write about it. and so i am inspired. my mother is folding laundry when i decide to pop the question.

"would you support me if i decided to take off a year and read the oxford english dictionary?"

"no," she says. she starts a second pile for pants. "you would make it through about ten words and then give up."

"but what if i kept reading? we could do it on a day-by-day basis."
"why not?"
"because its stupid."

end scene. cut to:

int. car. (yester)day.
clocked in 409.5 miles, with the windows rolled down for the first 287. driving by yourself through california is the spiritual equivalent of one of those long nights you spend Talking with Somebody New and Lovely. at first it is the semi-drunk fierce arm-waving excitement, and then as morning grows closer, it becomes a slow, almost exhausting, desperate necessity. we cant stop now. we're falling in love.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

farts are always funny

one cellist each from turkey and germany, one violinist each from latvia and bosnia, one violist from canada, and two pianists from california are all sitting in a dorm room in california and it is another midnight in california, and how are we make for the passing of time? the somber cross-cultural bonding ritual manifests itself in the form of a fart-sound contest, interrupted by the occasional spanish violist who parades in for the brief demand of "party! some party we have here!"

the latvian violinist declines to participate, so the canadian violist offers to help by making a fart sound on her arm. he elucidates, "it is how my people keep each other warm in the winter."

she laughs, throwing her yellow hair forward in front of her face. "no, no! i am the judge of this contest!"

the hungarian teacher totally gutted my keyboard technique today. it will be for the better, i know, but simple five-finger patterns haven't been this hard in a very long time.

i haven't been this happy in a very long time.
this is what it means to be blessed.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

champaign-urbana tastes like a hot dog wrapped in tin foil.

my father started the song by lyle lovett over again. "god, that's such a great line. honey, put down that fly swatter, get me a glass of ice water. i have no idea what the rest of the song is about, but it just puts you somewhere. it is hot and there are bugs." every word in the last sentence is pronounced, like seven tiny ball bearings.

we were just south of rockford, and the rain was coming down like nobody's business. i put my bare feet up on the dash of the rental car and its just me and my dad and mr. lovett and sometimes mick jagger or dvorak's dumky again, which is kicking my ass. dad is reading the new translation of don quixote and i'm reading the fountainhead. we're looking at grad schools. per usual, a portion of me wants to pop out like the seed from an avocado and move to iceland where i'll set trails for the rest of my life, or something equally non-scholastic.

this entry comes to you from madison, wisconsin. to a girl who has lived most of her life in california, the taste of the word is a strange one. "wisconsin? you're in wisconsin?" said my best friend today, when i called her, sitting on a long grassy rise in the middle of campus. "what's in wisconsin?" as if, "what is that child eating?" the word itself is a statement of disbelief. a long, dubious chewing of cud.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

this, our daily bread


the fourth of july found my catholic grandmother making faces most of the family had never seen before. "wouldn't it be wonderful to be an actress?" she said to me through the lens of my father's camera. "i've always wanted to be on stage. i think i'd be very good at it. don't you think i'd be good at it?"

"you should definitely do something with that," i said.

off stage right, one of my aunts shook her head. "just when you thought you knew somebody."

and since we're on the subject of strong familial ties -- female suicide bombers whose vests are detonated by remote. hooray the nytimes.

Friday, June 27, 2008

"and dave erwin," he says, with a voice like a gong struck in an empty subway tunnel, "is really into pre-crowned ribs. laminated pre-crowned ribs."

"whoa," murmurs my mentor. his hand rises to meet his chin; this means he has become suddenly very intrigued.

there is a lovely pause.

we're talking about the pieces of wood that are glued to the underside of a piano's soundboard. the job of the rib is to maintain the curve of the soundboard so that the tone can be projected properly, even though the wood itself will probably dry and flatten out over time. the old method (ms paint diagram 1) is to glue straight ribs onto a straight soundboard and force both into a caule to fit the desired curve; the new method (ms paint diagram 2) involves gluing pre-curved ribs onto a straight soundboard.


its actually supremely cool because the extra dynamic tension in #2 between the rib and the soundboard-that-doesn't-want-to-be-curved actually provides a much bigger, dynamic sound. in a certain sense, it is like a strung bow.

this is the meeting of the redwood chapter of the piano technicians guild, and its reliably a riot because all of the present characters are undeniable dweebs. including me. the president, god bless 'im, is wearing a shirt to which no crude paint diagram by a mortal could ever do justice. (nevertheless, we try.)

he runs the meeting with pomp and puns, like some strange and increasingly hilarious herbivore dinosaur. on the docket: the presentation of classes that some of the members took at the National Convention, break for coffee and donuts (and yoga stretches, for one member), technical roundtable, aspiring apprentice report, and what the hell do we do for bill swackhammer who just upped and retired. this last point has been a key issue for at least the last two months.

"anything? any ideas? i'm desperate, here," the president says. "emily, you're creative; tell me to crochet a pillowcase and i'll do it."

"give him a small porcelain frog," i suggest facetiously.

"a small porcelain frog." my mentor laughs. "you could ask his wife."

"ask his wife!" exclaims the president, lively as his shirt. "ask his wife! that's perfect!"

i am the youngest in the room by at least thirty years, and the only female. after a year and a half of informal study under the university's staff tech, i'm finally comfortable arguing with these men. i love this stuff, and for a while, i wanted to make a career out of it. these days, however, it has taken a back seat while i'm distracted by trying to be a pianist. i suspect it'll be something i'll come back to a little later in life, when many people usually start working with it. this doesn't mean, however, that i'm not seriously considering buying that piece-o-shit hamilton upright to fix up and resell. oho, temptations.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

the midwest is under water, including this year's corn harvest.
china is happy!
buddhists are fighting.
and california is on fire.

(on the other hand, doing sit-ups really does help with the feeling of being menstrually-bloated.)


it is absolutely unbelievable to me that people can do this:


this photograph was taken from an article on the front page of the new york times.

"“The youth,” as foot soldiers of Zimbabwe’s ruling party are often called, broke the legs of a baby when they were looking for his father, an opposition organizer. Zimbabwe’s neighbors have urged it to postpone this week’s runoff.''

i grew up in a white, upper-middle class suburban home -- simultaneously overeducated and oblivious. awful shit like this happens all the time. that doesnt make it any more sensible, or acceptable. are we responsible for reacting viscerally to every garish incident (that floats to us down the Media), or do we establish a happy medium between visceral experience and total ambivalence? the former would be completely exhausting; the latter would be an insult.

there are places to take emotional refuge, like "karmic retribution," or "i'll donate money to doctors without borders." meditating on peace. even if karma is bull, in which case i'd love to go beat the holy bejeebus out of some people, violence still only promotes more violence. when you punch a wall you damage your hand. and, of course, like the upper-middle class white suburban girl that i am, i want to throw my fists to the floor in a tantrum and resort to screaming, "stop it, stop it, stop it!"

something as mundane as doing the dishes in an emotionally charged setting can be construed as aggressive, violent. what does it mean to be active? moreover, what does it mean to be patient?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

and you look at these people, these kids, and they cant live without their music. my roommate waved his wineglass in the air and asserted, i never had a choice in the matter. i have always been and would always be a musician. this glorious bondage.

but i can live without it. i have and i can and i would do so happily. neurons synapses firing in the brain, anybody who doesnt like music clearly has basic issues with wiring. reading sotto voce turns to we are not alone and webster is at secondo and he and i are a certain tandem of gleeful through this gesture, that breath, these stupid little sequences. jesus, they're charming. but he didnt read childrens books so much as a child -- he listened to classical music. his girlfriend breaks up with him so he begins transcribing a mahler small orchestra piece for two pianos. i lie on my bed and watch as the sky turns, contorts itself purple with thunderheads. i put my hand on the wall of this second story apartment to feel it shake. it shakes. i dont need this kind of music; i dont need to give myself up into it.

the bathtub faucet is flanked by two knobs both bearing the letter "h", the hot water in the sink cant be completely shut off, these things always make me smile, my mother writes to see if so-and-so is accepting any more students, i want to shake her by the balls of her shoulders. i dont need it, this stupid thing i'm doing. these hours on a black upholstered bench. i was mispronounced on the radio, next to the luminary student who is playing at carnegie hall soon. people talk to me like i could do something, actually, something, and webster foists all the hard parts of liebeslieder in my direction. i take them. i play so i can play more but, you know what? this summer i've spent more hours on the seat of my bicycle than at the piano. there is this little white house that i ride by a couple times a week on the way to the beach and in my mind it is so full of red and yellow flowers that they are tipping out the window like the hem of a cotton summer dress.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


tire swing --
my hanging boots with the earth still on them.
yellow rope buzzing dryly

in the kitchen,
our stupid love clattering about,
the green-apple soap suds!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

the first post

i am making the life-shift from livejournal to blogspot, for a variety of reasons that are really boring to write about. however, if you're interested in archival works, feel free to navigate your fine self over to some stanker on blogspot had already taken "filmcanister", but that's how thiz-biz-nez goes.

so lets start at the end, that is, the most recent livejournal entry a-cut-a-paste, and from that point, proceed backwards into the light.

the professor hailed it as a "total fucking cattle call, emily" -- and it was. it was a delightful surprise to be called back for the final round on sunday, and i am perhaps more proud of myself for sticking to my guns when i thought it's too late for them to call me, which means i didnt make it, but i played well and i'm pretty happy with that. and was completely satisfied with that thought.

i played a little bit psyched-out and sloppy at the end, perhaps the worst performance of that piece i've ever given, and placed pretty low on the totem pole for finalists -- who were all playing extensive romantic pieces. that's okay. i won a hundred bucks. i made it into the finals, which nobody was expecting, where i felt like i totally humiliated myself in front of all these Real Pianists. that's okay. i won a hundred bucks. i am the bigfoot representative, with the price of gas back in her pocket.

the whole scene of competitive piano is ridiculous. lots of flash. one girl wore a floor-length red gown. tension. unspeaking pianists whose smiles never leave their mouths trailing anxious parents and coaches and somebody is carrying the gloves, the score, the sweater. there are people, quilters-union kind, to kindly shepherd your idiot pianisting machine with tight small-bird shoulders around to this piano, or that one, the concert hall. i congratulated one girl who had done really well after the awards were handed out, and she didnt look at me disdainfully, but rather as if i had just landed from outer space. there was a pause. she didnt smile. "oh. you too."

its distressing how quickly one can learn to hate people one hasn't even met. [especially after one has been driving in the city. (for the record, chinatown is a lie. it doesnt exist.)] i dont like the person i am when i'm there.

and still i'm completely caught by this itch that says, go back next year. beat their slimy little asses. do better. big fat vegan white girl with hairy legs is going back to triumph over your stupid liszt machine ass.