Saturday, October 31, 2009

another hungover saturday morning, instant coffee, students. i'm getting good at this. i do not have a problem. i do not have a problem.

last night was: recital. red stockings black pumps my legs are dynamite and thank-god-it's-over, now-i-can-stop-shaking. this was followed by competitive four-hand sight-reading as a drinking game. if you and your partner didnt make it to the end, she'd be ready, vodka in two tall glasses, one for each pair of hands:

"it zounds like zhots!" and then throw her head back with manic laughter.

the pieces included, notably, mozart symphonies, "a liszt christmas," and the batman theme ("batmun teem." "bach motif?" "no! batmun teem.").

classical piano is a long and hellish party where they make you play until you can't walk in a straight line, where you argue loudly about the dead, give and receive roses, chocolates, grievances, gossips, and stories about a childhood under the communist regime.

i dont know how many of my students are going to stick to the game of it, but man, they're in for a ride if they do. i have one student in particular who i think might survive -- girlie, you just wait.

Monday, October 26, 2009

every time i turn pages for somebody in a concert, i have an odd sort of revelation. it probably doesn’t help that it is a uniquely stressful situation – though never too bad, for one is always “the page turner”, never “emily” – the lights from the catwalk from my perspective back-light the performers, and make the black keys tilt like staggering drunks, so it seems like i’m turning pages on the set of some horrible film-noir. (what will happen when the piano stops, when i grab two pages instead of one, or forget the repeat?) when the clarinet player arduously drips the chain and cloth down the clarinet and wipes it clean every time, drips the chain and cloth, fusses with his mouthpiece every time, it takes too long between pieces and even though there is nothing going on this room full of community, full of strangers, we all are observing that odd tradition of breathless silence, the chain and cloth hissing through the clarinet, he smiles back-lit sheepishly. it is the sort of tensely bored forty-five seconds onstage between pieces where the only thing to think about is the precise angle of curl of one’s fingers, hidden in one’s own lap, and the potential offensives therein.

last night i saw the pianist depress the keys and the hammers rise, which is in itself not such a novel observation, but it was is a slight jiggle to the hammers after striking the strings, and i realized suddenly that the mechanism of the piano is in fact separate from the mechanism of the hands. this should be obvious. maybe just for me, having spent the last five years meditating on the supposed direct line between fingertip and sound, that rebellious post-strike hammer undulation appeared as the most seductive, mesmerizing mechanical give in the world, like the swinging ponytail of a runner passing you in the early morning, or the way somebody’s arm twitches against you as they fall asleep.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

this is how i tell it is time to drop the class.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

i got the music and the go-ahead for this today. god is good.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

while it may be technically impossible, it is theoretically entirely possible to have an infinitely long sentence that is completely grammatical.


i'm seeing someone who is very high energy and kind, i'm hooking up with all kinds of exciting tesol/tefl people and resources, i'm daydreaming about veitnam and nepal and chile and india and peru, i'm glad and excited to be living my life.