Sunday, August 30, 2009

this morning i woke up and began to practice in my head. sometimes i'll sit down with a piece of music and work on it away from a piano, but the early-morning, still-in-bed spontaneous musical laboring hasn't happened to me in a long time, and, let me tell you, it doesn't bode well for my social life.

one of the wonderful and creepy things about language is that one person can use it to put an image into another person's head, like food into a pantry, or books on a shelf.

picture a bulldog.
standing on it's hind legs.
in a long purple skirt.
with a bulgarian accent.
and a confident scowl.

you have just imagined my new piano teacher. her fingers are like hotdogs, the palms of her hands like small rotisserie chickens. she walks belly-out business-first and calls me "emily-sveetie." my first lesson, last wedesday, lasted two hours. i didnt cry, i'll have you know, but that doesnt mean i didnt want to.

which means it was perfect.

a restricted code will arise where the form of the social relation is based upon closely shared identifications, upon an extensive range of shared expectations, upon a range of common assumptions ... such codes will emerge as both controls and transmitters of the culture ... meaning does not have to be fully explicit, a slight shift of pitch or stress, a small gesture, can carry a complex meaning.

-basil berstien

Thursday, August 27, 2009

question of the week: how do you, in real life, pronounce the word sandwich?

personally, i say sanwidge.

i momentarily parted from a promenade down the hallway to pop my head into the office of a vocal faculty member.

"elizabeth," i inquired, "how do you say sandwich?"
"sand witch," she replied, all of the consonants and vowels clear and resonant enough to be painted into a still portrait with fruit. "and sometimes sammich."
"sammich. is that done intentionally to be cute?"
"yes. but if i'm actually saying it, i will say it sandwitch." she's a professor of singing (think about that one, to profess singing), which means that she gets paid to be a stickler about clippy pronunciation.
"i say sanwidge," i informed her.
"get out of my office."

what do you say?

and on an unrelated note: cheerios.

Monday, August 24, 2009

first day of classes. swimming. tried to crash a poli sci course that meets once a week for three hours in the evening, lead gallantly by your mail-order crazy-for-the-sake-of-crazy teacher who spent the whole three hours throwing a temper tantrum about america. okay, i thought, i've done this before. i can get through this course, and graduate. he wont be opening up seats until next week, though, and i'm not waiting around that long to figure out if i can get out of here this semester.

so i walked up to him after class was over and asked, "will seating priority be given to graduating seniors?"

he smiled wide in my face and laughed. "absolutely not! no way!"

fucking jackass. can we have at least a smidgeon of facilitation, here, faculty? a little grace? was the wild laugher totally necessary? this is a 100 level general ed class.

i'm going back to work in switzerland next summer and summer absolutely cannot come soon enough.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

i had to get up early yesterday morning and leave the apartment without time enough to make coffee. i looked sharp, though -- the professional piano-teacher lady, mixing and shooting instant java at the muffin table in between lessons. this morning, before i decided whether or not i was hung over, i found my milk in the freezer. i was hung over. 

"i thought you had some crazy plan for the frozen milk," my roommate says. 

i cant wait to be the absentminded professor.

school starts tomorrow. year five. this afternoon i sat on a brick wall in shorts and a tee shirt with a friend, both of us slurping ice cream cones, flapping our matching brown converse sneakers like the shadows of birds. converse are the only sneakers for california summer.

i run in the forest that always smells wet because the sun never gets all the way down to the ground. tripping on large roots is more like being airborne than falling. i love opening up my stride on the downhills and the slight give of mud, the feel and push and bend of my legs, the eruption back onto the football field dripping sweat, splattered with mud, and sometimes even little bits of greenery on my shirt, in my hair. i feel like a wild thing.

there is flour on the keyboard of my computer. 

Friday, August 21, 2009

our work here is done

our work here is done.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

serial killer county no1

lets get a room at the outpost motel

this weekend i found it is hard to drive long distances when i have to pull over to take pictures every 30 miles or so. i'm trying for quality over quantity, here, so maybe more to follow if i decide they're good enough :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

"this is why you're still single," my cousin would tell me.

"Harry," she said, "what if we can't find out who is doing it in time?"

"We'll find them," I said.

"But what if we don't?"

"Then we fight monsters.

Murphy took a deep breath and nodded as we stepped out into the summer night. "Damn right we do."

from one the novels out of jim butcher's the dresden files. actually, the, er, ninth book in the series. i haven't exactly read all nine, but --

i'm sorry, but i cant get enough of these things. it's like harry potter has gone to bed with the chronicles of narnia, and their child is embarrassed about a crush it has on twilight. not that i've read twilight, either, but you know what i mean:

over the top fantasy action sequences that inevitably dissolve into a sort of flippant deux ex machina, rife with sarcastic internal monologue and cheerily repressed sexuality --

summer needs to last forever.

i'm running twenty miles a week and baking bread and devouring fantasy novels like a fifteen foot troll who has escaped from the nevernever devours parking meters.

too bad there is only one week left, and i have yet to ensnare an opportunity for gainful employment.

Friday, August 14, 2009

mr. pack-a-day

pack a day

backdate foto! when i was living with mr. pack-a-day. worth putting up. click for b i g g e r.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

strawberry yum

strawberry, obviously.

Friday, August 7, 2009

alright, more photos.
but i'm gonna grow a pair and only post one at a time and be like a real photoblogger.

fern canyon wall grayscale

did a daytrip to fern canyon with hailey and we didnt walk very quickly at all.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


long exposures on the street! being passed by large groups of drunked men! this is fun! (you can see this guy turn on his blinker below.)

blinker goes off.

and day one of strawberry cordials.

i wish i could a) post these larger and b) figure out why sometimes the resolution gets chunky-weird.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

this is a surprisingly personal post. about work. i mean, school. but, work, really, personal work. i mean, point being, half the time, i cant tell the difference between my personal life and my piano life anyway, whether i am in school or clocking in hours, or clocking in hours at school, if it is even me doing it, so what's to say here or there, hither or thither/yon, this or that. christ.

my teacher and i had a scheme to get a particular professor out from the no1 dream graduate program! my teacher had studied with this lady a bit as a doctoral student, and the plan was for this woman to come out to california, give a master class, and for me to totally dazzle her with my quick fingers and clever brain and by doing so win my way into dream graduate program acceptance!

however, i found out today that since my teacher died, nobody has been in contact with this lady. she was supposed to be here this fall -- and it was her absence from the events calender that seemed odd. as of now, she is not coming out.

which is really a kick in the balls when it comes to my chances for acceptance to this university, but i'm not about to give up on it. i took this last extra year to be sure that i could put my best effort out there. which i am going to do.

step one: write the new head of department here, who just moved into town and whom i still havent met.
step two: write the instructor at the dream graduate program! schmooze. chat about ... rep. and stuff.
step three: apply like the universe is coming down, motherfucker.

so i've been hunched over this computer keyboard for far too long this evening, sending emails, drawing up spreadsheets of audition requirements, recording requirements, checking my email, and googling ridiculous phrases like "graduate programs piano performance new york city."

this new instructor/head of the piano department is fresh out of (wait for it) eastman, so fuck, why not just send some paper and a dvd to them, too.

it is not until i realize that this is going to be a total showdown that i understand that, motherfucker, this is what i want to do. it is wonderful to think about teaching hiv prevention in africa, or english in korea, (or living at my parents house) or any number of things, but this game plan, for right now, is me.

and i dont care who died. screwed up, yes, throws one hell of a wrench into the project, yes, but if brick walls are there to show you how much you want something then this is a big fucking brick wall.

i'm going into this claws out, knives drawn, screaming spitting and sweet-talking as fuck.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

i call these my "half-decent getting to know my camera" shots. talk about a relationship-changing-over-time. recently bought a distinctly budget 35mm fixed lens and i'm liking it quite a bit. makes me have to move.

ps. if you're not up for my nekkid back, dont scroll down past the 2nd shot.

my roommate has a green thumb

self portrait