February 2006


February 25, 2006 22:17

No, I'm not talking about chocolate. I prefer dark if anyone cares to send me any.

This week has been bittersweet. It started off with a quick trip to Vancouver for a lesson. I love going to Vancouver for lessons and wish I could go every week or so but either way, when I go I just feel so motivated to practice and work hard when I get home and I have really needed that motivation lately. After my recent violin exam and school exams I've just felt kind of worn out and tired, wanting to play but not wanting to get too deep into any pieces before talking it over with my teachers and now that has been done and I once again have direction and goals and tools to make my Bach Fugue easier and my Debussy Sonata more French sounding or if not French sounding, better sounding and more coherent anyways. My new repertoire for the next while includes Brahms 2nd Sonata (my personal favorite of the three), the Debussy Sonata (got to love French impressionism!), Wieniawski's D minor concerto (yay, it's not Bruch!) and his Scherzo-Tarentelle, an Eckhardt-Gramatte Caprice (my 4th!) and still working on that Bach fugue until I can do it a little more justice. I'm overall really pleased and excited about this repertoire. Not hugely thrilled with the Wieniawski but not really dreading and loathing it and I know it will be good for me (the Tarentelle is rather fun to just whiz through, I do admit).

When I got home I had school to catch up on and am still catching up on school but that's alright. I managed to get myself into a History course which out of the 3 classes I've attended so far is looking like it's going to be a good course and well worth the work and time spent on it not to mention it means next year will be an easier year for me - essentially it will be a free-be year academicly speaking. My week has also been good in the respect that I've gotten to see both my siblings who were off on reading break and I've enjoyed seeing them again.

This week took a turn, not unexpected but still very hard, when my dog of 11 years was put down on Thursday morning. She had gotten a bit better for awhile and seemed to be enjoying life and being outside in the sunshine when she suddenly got much worse again and seemed to be having a very negative reaction to the medication that was originally helping her. It made her veins and skin itchy and she actually chew the toes off of her feet on one foot. It was the most horrifying thing to see and watch and try to make her stop and to have to see her in so much pain and frustration and not being able to help or comfort her. She wouldn't let people pet her anymore and it was just a really heartbreaking situation. I had anticipated that she was going to be put down and had full expected it to happen several weeks ago and since it didn't happen I guess I went out of my "unprepared" state but gosh when it happens and you are sitting there and you know you have to leave and say goodbye and not say "I'll see you when I get home" it's a really sad experience. I came home the first couple of nights from being at school and work and went to open the door and say hi to find her bed empty and it's like your heart breaks again. You almost go numb after awhile, just trying to not think about it. Whoever thought that silence could be so scary and lonely? I guess it's done now and I have to move on but it's going to take some getting used to. I didn't just lose a pet, I lost a family member that I grew up with and would spend time with everyday. She would listen and be there when I needed her and I'll miss her lots.

Goodbye Abbey

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two part entry

February 17, 2006 20:48

There's nothing like getting together with good people to play good music. I miss playing chamber music every other day and watching other people play chamber music. There's just something about the bond between musicians when they get along and are having fun that's infectious and exciting to watch. Tonight was fun (I'll post this tonight - Monday - if the internet here starts to work again....*grumbles* evil power outages during the day). I got to play violin in string quartets and a Mozart quintet. For someone who doesn't like a whole lot of Mozart I loved playing his 4th quintet as second violist. I've played it before but there are a couple of parts that just always make me want to stop and mark a repeat x 4 and play those spots over and over again. I got to try my hand at Smetena's first quartet...I've played it once before in sightreading only and that third page at the top - triplets with tons of accidents and double sharps. That's a bad combination for almost anyone but especially when the last time you had to actually read and make sense of an alto clef was several weeks ago and when it goes by seemingly rather fast. It was still fun though! It had it's nice moments! We sight-read through some other stuff as well which was fun. Last time we got together I played violin but we had an all Russian chamber music night which I adored - Prokofieff, Shostakovich, Glinka (he honestly has written some really nice quartets), Glazanouv.... it was great!

Today got off to a suprising start. The last few days...picture a normally incrediably cloudly, overcast, dreary, miserable sky and atmosphere (we get more cloud cover here in the winter than even in cities like Vancouver where it rains almost all year long)...now that you have pictured that, throw that image out of your mind and think of a beautiful valley, filled with little lakes and dominated by one very large on....a clear blue sky and sun. That's a pretty snazzy day. It's usually only like that in the summer, only then it's 35+ (in celsius) outside where as for the last few days it's been pleasently around 4-6 degrees. It's been great! It's been so spring like that plants are starting to come up and appear but today....those poor plants better hide. There was snow and dreary cloudiness again. Driving home from school at about 2 o'clock there was fog, ice and blinding snow. Now the yard is covered in the beautiful white stuff! But wow...what a drastic sudden change and now it's supposed to get down to -15 by the end of the week.

*continues blog 4 days later*

It's been a busy week! I've made a daring decision. Or I think it's daring. Sort of. I'm going to add an extra course to my courseload this semester....I will have a *does math* 23 credit course load which is fairly heavy overall but hopefully managable and it will begin for me, officially on Wednesday. I'm a week behind in my new course, history, but I think it will be good and worth it. I have a friend who's in that class and my favorite teacher is teaching the course so after extensive conversations with him I've decided to take the plunge! If worse comes to worse, I can drop out and I won't be penalized for it. It's been a crazy week for school though. I've been to bed late and awake early trying to get the sudden onset of assignments completed but now they are done, turned in and a weekend with no classes is upon me! A weekend that I will spend doing lots of homework and practicing.

I'll be gone to Vancouver for Monday and part of Tuesday this coming week. I'm going down for a lesson (yay!!!) and then will come back early enough on Tuesday for when I start teaching.

Nothing else incrediable happening here aside from it's gotten really cold the last couple of days! The poor plants!

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February 11, 2006 14:27

No more exams!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! At least not for awhile anyways. Victory! The only one that I'm really worried about was the one in English Literature. I thought I was well prepared going in but that exam was SCARY. A line or two of text and you had to name the author and tons of terminology questions and a few sonnet analysis questions. Anyways.....a present to self for getting through exams is an mp3 player. The most technologically advanced, portable music listening device I own is.....ready for it? A cassette player! :O *feels old* So I have found a nice mp3 player for under 100 dollars that I'm going to splurge on. I've been wanting something for quite awhile but now since ipods are all the rage mp3 players have dropped in price a lot and I have found one that seems to fit exactly what I want for a reasonable price.

I got my violin exam comments yesterday. They were all pretty accurate to my performance on that day. I didn't learn anything I didn't already know and I recieved some nice compliments on some of my technical strengths and musical abilities which was flattering!!

I re-watched "Amadeus" this past week. I hadn't seen it for quite a long time. I think the first time that I saw it I wasn't much older then 7 or 8. My parents fast-forwarded through some selected bits and would stop and explain things to me. It was fun to relive some musical memories from when I was little and enjoy a movie that though not entirely accurate to Mozart's life, is still an enjoyable film and well done.

There isn't anything else too new, just enjoying a few days with no homework which ends on Monday. *sob*

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February 6, 2006 20:25

Two down and still more to go. I have a question for all of you. If you are doing an exam that has two essays to be written followed by 80 multiple choice questions, do you find it somewhat disturbing that as you write the closing paragraph for your first essay almost everyone is onto their multiple choice questions? Is it more disturbing that at this point not even 20 minutes have passed in the exam? Here's another question. What do you do if you read a multiple choice question, instantly know the answer and then when you look at your options to be circled the correct answer isn't there? Hmm.... I know for 100% fact that the right answer wasn't there because I asked the "invigilator" at the exam who also knew that the correct answer was not on there and at least one other person taking the exam asked that question as well. Oh well at least I have my least two favorite exams done and out of the way now.

Today started off kind of weird with snow at 6am. I really wasn't expecting that with the weather that we have been having but it all melted and cleared up to be a bright sunny day and very warm! I didn't need my jacket really at all for the better part of the day. I was lucky to get out and walk around in it for a bit too in between my exams.

Yesterday my Dad and I decided we would try to make a rather "different" meal. At least for us. At a faculty potluck dinner just after Christmas one of my co-workers had brought this incrediably yummy Indian dish (she's Indian) called vegetable Biyrani. So my Mom picked up the stuff I needed for it and I gave it a try. I never have fully appreciated the power of garlic and cilantro prior to now. What a smell. Anyways, so here's a couple of pictures of my contribution to my families Indian dinner on the weekend.

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hip hip hooray....! Or wait.....naw, hip hip hooray!

February 1, 2006 22:45

The crunch begins. Exams start Monday. The only consolation prize is one I can't study for and at the end of it all I'm going out for Japanese food with friends to celebrate. A bonus to this exam session for me is I get to do my least favorite and the exam I'm most worried about first at 8:30am on Monday morning followed by a brief lunch break and another exam at 1pm. Wish me luck *goes back to her fortress of textbooks and binders*

Ok, I'm actually taking a real break from studying to update my blog. I'm eating M&M's in the process too. Chocolate, even cheap chocolate is a good motivator I find.
I've actually been pretty good about studying and practicing the last few days with everything coming up so I'm not feeling guilty about taking a break from studying.

So big news. I did my first piece of published journalistic work last week. I was asked to write a review for La Pieta and Monday morning saw a refrenced headline to it on the front page of the paper. I've had several compliments on it so that is exciting! A few people have even asked if that's going to be my side job with this whole music thing. I could probably handle that ...or not...I don't know.

Aside from the excitement of the above it is officially confirmed. I passed my grade 10 violin exam with flying colors (actually I don't recall there being any flying colors....bow hairs...) and in one years time I will be able and ready to attempt the ARCT Diploma in Performance! I have the repertoire and could try for it in June but I think I'll take the year to improve more and see what new repertoire that I can add to my repertoire. So far the Debussy Sonata is starting to sound a lot like music and the Scherzo-Tarentelle by Wieniawski is recognizable, just on the slow side yet as I work out all the various runs.

I guess I should get back to studying....or bed. No bed.

Oh, before I go though. My Mozart emcee gig. The recital was quite entertaining and fun. My students all did very well and I managed to get through my first experience as an emcee with only one little mess up.

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