November 2005

November 30, 2005 15:51

I want to see what you guys think.

These pictures were taken two years apart. Are these two people related, and if they are, how (i.e. sisters, cousins, etc.)
The more people the better (Syd, not you. ;-)

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A Sophomore Essay and Random Things

November 30, 2005 15:04

Haven't practiced yet, because I had lots to do.
I got to eat lunch with my friend, Sam, today (yeah!), and then I came home and wrote a raving review on this nonfiction text on poetry we read.
For those who care about such things:

How to Write Poetry
From adolescents to senior citizens, people of all sorts love to read and write poetry. Perhaps the latter even more, for poetry allows one to express oneself in ways no other art can. But learning proper poetic authorship can be a challenge, and often one who has begun the study of poetry will abandon all hopes of ever becoming a bard after he gets bogged down with the plethora of rules and regulations for this seemingly simple craft. This is where Nancy Bogan comes in.
An English professor at the College of Staten Island, Bogan is the author of the poetry handbook, How to Write Poetry. This handy little text is bursting at the seams with information, enough, in fact, to springboard an amateur poet on the way to becoming a full-fledged writer. Bogan begins at the beginning: the usage of words. Building up from this base, How to Write Poetry goes on to introduce new terms (such as similes, oxymorons, spoonerisms, and other such knick-knacks) and stylistic word play often used in writing. Bogan then introduces the reader to traditional English verse, drawing examples from such renowned rhymesters as Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Gerard Manley Hopkins. With a chapter dipping into free verse and another sampling the Italian sonnet, the information in so small a tome is quite astounding. The work ends with a list of contact information for magazines which publish poems and a four-page bibliography. Chock-full of facts for the less-experienced versifier, this is a must-have for anyone interested in diving into the world of poetry.
This handy volume, guaranteed to captivate anyone with an appreciation of the language that is poetry, is an excellent starting point for the budding sonneteer and is well worth its scanty price. Bogan provides a textbook covering many of the most interesting aspects of the art. Her inventive exercises, designed to spark the readers imagination, her informal, conversational writing style, and her top-notch choices of well-known poems, dotted throughout the paperback as examples, keep the readers interest level high and leave him wishing for more when the pages come to an end. High-school English teachers, young adults, and even mature readers interested in dabbling with words will find this charming little manual a bargain.
As Bogan goes through the mechanics of the poem and the details that make poetry come alive, the reader will find himself having more fun than would be expected in a textbook. Bogan’s How to Write Poetry leaves readers with a greater appreciation of poems and a zealous desire to write one themselves.

So yeah, I wrote that, and then I got my thinning hair cut. My hairdresser said it was actually okay, just needed a good cut of four inches or so.
*phew* I was worried it would be, like, seven, eight, ten inches (I have two feet of hair, so I'm not exaggerating, You can't tell in my pic cause I wear it bundled up when I play.

So yeah.
Oh, and Mr. Gao said we're going to play Flight of the Bumblebee for string ensemble with a xylophone soloist. Sweet, huh?

I'm listening to the "Glaz". I'm adding that to my "Should play with orchestra" list. Not to be confused with the "MUST be played with orchestra" list.
Hey, y'all are musicians. You understand...

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November 29, 2005 16:51

Hmmmm....good lesson.
And Mr. Neal promised me tickets for the Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg concert this weekend. That is, if I don't get them from the Phil. She's playing the Bruch. Lovely piece, really.
I fell in love today.
With the Strauss violin concerto in D minor.
*drools and gets slobber all over keyboard*
What a bee-yoo-ti-ful piece.
I'm hankering for the Sibelius right now, though...
Hmmm....*runs and pops CD in*
Mmmm. Heifetz.
The Sibelius is on my "Absolutely MUST play with orchestra" list. I mean, there are some concertos that you could play with a piano...but I HAVE to play the Sibelius some day with an orchestra. That, and the complete Kabalevsky, and the Bruch Scottish Fantasy. I HAVE to.

Mr. Neal showed me how to do the ricochet in R-K's Capriccio Espagnol. He was rather surprised because I picked it up very quickly. So now I can wow the conductor with the concertmaster solos during chair challenges.
I'm just kidding, I don't plan on de-throning our concertmaster anytime soon. He's much more advanced than I, and really, I wouldn't make a good concert mistress.
I just wanted to learn the solos is all. Teehee.

Mr. Neal told me the Kab. is sounding much better. Thank goodness. I was getting worried. I think he likes to watch me squirm with frustration. I need to work on my vibrato a lot though. Mr. Neal wants me to do wrist vibrato, but I've gotten so used to arm vib. that it's really hard for me to go back to a nice wrist vib.

So yeah. Oh, and I took this big ol' Latin test today. I think I did quite well. I'm having a bit of trouble with one of my English essays, but it's all coming...
You know how I say I hate school. Well, I don't actually hate school. I like learning new things. It's just that I hate the graders. I've never actually hated someone before, but these semi-existant beings that continually make my life miserable...well...I think I can safely say I really hate them. Which is unfortunate, because I've worked really hard on not judging people before I really get to know them...
*exasperated sigh*
I'm going to toddle off and finish my assignments for the evening then. Catch y'all later (big wink to S.E. peeps).
P.s. Syd, loved your card...THE EYE OF THE BARGOYLE

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A Day in the Life of a Weirdo

November 27, 2005 16:09

Mom says Kabalevsky is sounding much better. I hope she's right. Double-stops are evil. But they sound wicked cool, so I'll slave away on them. ;-)
I just finished completing my request for highschool credit for Music. "What do you hope to achieve through this course?" "What year were your books published?"
Will they believe me when I tell them the Kreutzer etudes were published in 1894? They should.
I have to go write out my lesson plans for the week. Grumble grumble grumble. Teehee, I finished my morality essay on Peter of Salonica though. And redid two math tests (which the graders were stunningly cruel on. Have you ever known someone to take off five points on a twenty question test for not reducing a fraction?). I have this neat persuasive essay on the medieval times too. But I just have to research that this quarter. I lost all my source cards, so I better find them...

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Post-Thanksgiving Madness

November 25, 2005 19:29

Here I go complaining again...

I'm fourteen and my hair is thinning. My beautiful long illustrious hair that I cannot BEAR to chop more than seven inches of is starting to thin. Does anyone know how to cure that? It's more than my hair, it's sorta my trademark (you have to know me to understand...). That sounds sick, but it's true. Maybe an avocado mask?

The day after Thanksgiving is almost as good as thanksgiving. Today I didn't even change out of my pajamas. At all. I ate a bowl of olives and pickles, and turkey, and stuffing, and mashed potatoes. And watched Babette's Feast. Good movie.
Now I'm eating cranberry walnut pie and ice cream.

Took a Biology test too.
On nutrition.
I'm wondering if I have a vitamin deficiency that's causing me to lose hair. Hm.

Oh yeah. This is a VIOLIN website. So I guess I should say something about violin today, no?

I compiled a list of yoga moves that are good for violinists. Now I need to mix and match to make some routines. Hm.....

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Ramble ramble ramble.....

November 24, 2005 19:59

Happy Thanksgiving, one and all.
I'm feeling better about my despicable grades.
Haven't broken it to Dad yet, but I think I'll wait until my tests are sent back (so I can see what the HECK went wrong...if they're even my tests).

No practicing today. It's my day off. After all, it's a holiday.
So I'm sitting here, eating green olives, even though I'm six pounds heavier with food.
The house smells grand.

I think I'll pop off to bed.
I'm super tired, because I had horrid, HORRID dreams last night.
Not weird like Sydney's JB Ham Sandwich Oprah Show scandal. Really freaky, scary, evil stuff. And I didn't even watch a movie or anything...

Weird. Now I'm rambling. But I don't care. I could ramble here all day and no one would care. It's like having a diary that semi-imaginary people comment on. Except for Syd and Kerah, I've never met anyone from here face to face.
Ramble ramble ramble.

I better get some sleep....

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I complain too much

November 24, 2005 06:32

I got a C in Math.
I was really ticked because I've always gotten straight A's in math, and even got a 97 average on the three tests I sent in.
But the graders decided to flunk two of my tests and give me a D on the last one.
I haven't gotten them back yet, but there's something really suspicious about the whole thing.
I'm wondering (actually hoping) that they did something despicable that I can complain about, or screwed my papers with someone else's.

I haven't broken the news to Dad yet.
Since he's a math professor and my mom has a bachelor's in math, so I have no excuse.
Except that Algebra II is technically supposed to be done by people two years my senior.
That excuse doesn't cut it with pater meus though.

So I practiced for four hours last night.
Mostly on orchestra music, because it's new, and I 'm good at it.
I worked on the Kabalevsky arps for a long time too.
They're so hard.

Man, everything's hard.
I wish I was REALLY good at something that came easily to me.
I have to work quite hard at everything I do just to be mediocre.
And every time I think I do really well at something in school, my graders mark me down.
I think I'm an excellent writer. But for school, they don't like my style of writing, so I have to write all frilly and soppy, and write about things that I don't think are true.
Even my dad agrees that my writing style is more mature, and I read between the lines well; something they don't like me to do.

Anyone ever read Cyrano de Bergerac? Well the main conflict is Cyrano vs. the end, he dies with this internal conflict inside of him. So I said that the conflict remains unresolved. Oh no no no, said the grader to the student "That's an interesting way of looking at it, but it's not what we were looking for."

Sorry I complain so much.

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Future Violinist

November 22, 2005 17:08

My sister, about a week old, next to my full-size Guarneri del Gesu (replica, of course).

I had babysitting today. Very draining. No practicing got done. Instead, I left at eleven this morning, returned at six, and ate a ham sandwich, chocolate chips and ginger ale.

Give me a break. I'm a teenager. I need "nutrients"...

Today for school, we had to write an essay explaining how to do something. I wrote on how to irritate a conductor. Not that I have knowledge from experience or anything, but the people behind me can do a good job: "I don't have my pencil/music/music stand", "Uhhhhh....we have a concert next week?", etcetera.

I was practicing R-K's Capriccio Espagnol yesterday. Hard, but it's starting to smoke. Beethoven's Fifth is tricky too, but less chords to tune up. Just some nasty bowing techniques, like the Borodine. It's so nice when things go well.

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Singled Out for Applause

November 21, 2005 05:17

Suppose you practiced Borodine's Second Symphony, Beethoven's Seventh & First, and Strauss' Trisch Trasch Polka (such an unfortunate name) like heck, cause, want to be a professional, so you try to start acting like a professional.
Then at orchestra rehearsal, no one else practiced. You're irritated, cause the conductor is peeved with everyone, the music doesn't sound good, and heck, why DID you want to be in orchestra anyways?
Then your conductor says "There is one person in this orchestra who rpacticed the music and that is Natasha. Every time I look at her she is right with me. She is setting new levels of expectations in this orchestra."
And you turn bright red and try to hide behind your music stand, but she keeps making similar comments throughout the entire rehearsal, pausing to make you play an excerpt from the piece to show the first stand how it's done.
I'm no longer worried about getting into honors orchestra. She even said "It's people like this that will make it into the honors orchestra." and I was like "Aw shucks".
I'm glad she noticed though. I get easily convinced from my own player that I'm not a good violinist, so when someone that picky says something like that, I remember that violin is hard, and I'm actually doing okay.
It's a very refreshing experience.
Albeit embaressing (I turn red VERY easily)

4 replies | Archive link

Mozart Meets Mahler

November 19, 2005 06:10

Oh, the concert last night was just wonderful!
They first performed one of the Mozart piano concertos; Dad hates Mozart (I can't be related to him) so when it was over (he slept through the second mov.) he said "Oh good, the antipasto's finished." The pianist was fabulous though; we were sitting so we could see his hands fly over the keyboard, and he played the cadenza just beautifully.
But then they played the Mahler's Sixth....the change in style was aking to Bambi meets Godzilla (the short where Bambi, frollicking through the fields is stepped on by Godzilla), or a butterfly being smacked by a flyswatter.
Mahler 6 is a l o n g piece! And those hammer strokes creeped the heck out of me. In my mind, it was a little too long (1 1/2 hrs), but the second movement was beautiful, absolutely beautiful.
There's just something about a concert...

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Fear Me

November 17, 2005 19:22

My pix came back from Halloween. Here am I, looking very...dead. I had this one kid ask me if I was wearing a real tattoo, and another one ask if I was 20 or 21. Sucker wouldn't believe me when I said 14...

So anyways, enjoy. Not as good as Syd's pro pic, but mine's up on my profile (if anyone want to see what I really look like).

I practiced two and a bit hours today. These stretches really help with the pains.
Because tomorrow's Friday, I won't be practicing much. Friday's sort of an all-school day, capped with an evening of chatting with friends, or in tomorrow's case, going to a Mahler and Mozart concert with my brother/father/and possibly friends.
My teacher warned me that my ten-year-old brother probably wouldn't like the concert, but he doesn't know Marcello; the kid's written a 110 page concerto for three xylophones and timpani.
It sounds aweful, but it shows you that he likes music, especially intense music.

I'm going off to bed now.
Nighty-night all.

5 replies | Archive link

November 16, 2005 16:37

Well, my teacher showed me why I was getting cramps;
I'm developing previously-unused muscles in my left hand.
So he gave me some stretches to do, and those have been helping a lot.
Now my veins aren't swelling whenever I play.
I've also decided to do a twenty minute yoga session focusing on my arms and back before I practice.
That should help release tension.

I'm worried sick about this "honors orchestra" our conductor introduced last Sunday.
The best of our orchestra will be taken into the honors orchestra, and the rest left behind.
I'm afraid they'll leave me as concert-mistress rather than advancing me to the honors thing.
I'd HATE that.
They're auditioning us on Borodine's Second (SO HARD! Modern music sounds great but is so very challenging), Beethoven's First and Seventh, and Strauss' Trisch Trasch Polka.
Such an unfortunate name, Trisch Trasch.

I've officially decided to do the Kabalevsky for the concerto competition.
I have to ask the conductor if that would be okay, since she prefers Classical and Baroque concerti.
It's going well, although those arps still give me trouble.

Last lesson, my teacher and I went metronome shopping.
I'll ask for one for Christmas; my parents can't afford to just give me a $50 metronome at random.
After drooling over the Dr. Beat, I decided on a cheaper model with tone generation and tap-in mode that looked good.

I should go practice. Borodin took a whole hour today...

1 reply | Archive link

Post-Orchestra Concert Syndrome

November 13, 2005 19:57

Well, the concert went really well.
After a l o n g rehearsal, we hung (or is it hanged) out in the "pavilion" (it's the green room for amateurs) and ate pizza and punch and stuff.

Then I went upstairs to get dressed, which is always a nightmare (girls you know what I mean). Turns out my lipstick point had been smashed so I had to use a different color.
My friend was teasing me about how I spent a whole half hour in the bathroom primping. I pointed out to him that a. he didn't have to worry about hose and b. he didn't have to fix two foot long hair or apply makeup. Again, girls, you know what I mean.
One of the soloists for this concert got sick. I felt so sorry for her! I think maybe she was so mervous she made herself sick. Poor kid. To work since last March on a concerto and then get sick the night of...*shudders*

Also, I suspect my friend and I have officially been dubbed the nerdiest of the "orch dorks"; we were sitting around, discussing what sheet music we had read over the weekend (we found cdroms of sheet music at the library and have taken to reading the scores and/or following along with the music) and then commenced to sit with the conductor and her husband at dinner. Some of the violinists were then giving me odd looks. it odd to read scores and eat pizza whilest chatting with your conductor?:-) Not that I care.

Since one of our violinists (the soloists afore mentioned) was sick, I got bumped up a seat and got to sit with my teacher during the side-by-side part of the concert. I also had to turn pages, which I am notorious for (the last few concerts I spilled the music all over my stand partner) but even that went well. Maybe it's because I stopped a full line before the page turn.

They also informed us that some of us will be placed in an honors orchestra if we work really really hard. Practice time!

So now, I'm experiencing post-concert-syndrome; that feeling of relief and tiredness and "I wish tomorrow was another Sunday instead of Monday", and a sort of hyper-tension. I think I'll go loosen up and get ready for school tomorrow. Unh.

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November 12, 2005 07:15

Man, this past week has not been fun.
I got my grades back from my school...
One point away from an A (92) in Latin and English.
I've NEVER done poorly in English!
And this time I got a C on one of my assignments.
They gave me a C on my thesis statement too.
Which would've boosted my overall grade to an A.
I'm going to call a counselor about THAT today.
B's are intolerable.
I've always been a straight A student except in Latin.
That's because I don't have a Latin teacher; I do it myself.
Well, really, I do everything myself, I guess.
And I am a year ahead.
But that's no excuse.
I should be getting A's.
I must work harder.
Why am I even talking about this?
I guess I'm just really ticked is all.
Now, I have to go to my brother's soccer game.

2 replies | Archive link

November 8, 2005 13:45

Who knew Liebesleid could be so irritating!
I had it so beautifully prepared before I went to kessons, and ocne I started there, I forgot all sorts of improtant stuff (i.e. good "core" sounding tone, parallel bows, etc.) and ended up slaugtering it.
*exasperated sigh*

Mr. Neal and I started vibrato work. You just can never get it perfect, can you? I'll have to work on that a whole lot.
But then, I couldn't practice a whole lot this week; I had a Theology test today, and a history test either today or tomorrow, and four tests on Friday (*gulp*) and an orchestra concert on Sunday...

I found out I can get highschool credit for "supervised playing" however; one credit for a hundred hours.
I average four hours a week of lessons/orchestra/etc, so I should be able to get that.
I have to pay $35 for that though.

8 replies | Archive link

Like the format?

November 6, 2005 17:29

I just came back from orchestra rehearsal.
It went okay, but we could've done better.
Nothing terribly exciting happened though.
During the orchestra break, my friend and
I just sat around, talking about stuff. I
took apart and cleaned my bow too. Exciti
ng. My poor back is killing me.It feels l
ike a steamroller ran over it. How do y'al
l like my rectangular writing format? It's
rather weird. I'm tired. Must go and sleep

2 replies | Archive link

I lose

November 5, 2005 12:43

Oooooh, I am so MAD!
I submitted an essay on Why I love Math for a scholarship, and when I saw the results, I was positively dumbfounded; the winner didn't even write on the assigned topic (why you love math)! She included fragments, had no thesis statement that was supported, and just talked about a math competition.
No offense to whoever wrote it, but formal writing should never be done that way.
So now I'm ticked that I lost to something like that.

I'm going to try a poetry scholarship now.
I figure I can just write something totally soppy and weird and un-like me, and I'll win something.
I already have some ideas.

Non of this has anything to do with violin.
I don't know why I'm even writing about it.
I'm just mad and scared that I won't be able to get money for college.
That's a really scary thought.

2 replies | Archive link

November 4, 2005 18:18

Not much here right now.
Not that I want to write about anyways.
Some things are better left in the dark.
I only practiced a scanty hour today.
I decided to stay in at the university with my friend all day. I'm very glad I did, but it's so hard to practice on campus; the practice rooms are high in demand.
My friend plays the clarinet, so he has an even harder time finding somehwere where he isn't bugging anybody. Some of the students are overly sensitive to practicing too.

Well, there is one thing I should mention.
The provost of the university plays banjo, and I have this awesome arrangement of Orange Blossom Special. So I invited him to play it with me, and he sounds like he might actually try it with me.
That would rock!

Okay, I'm off. I've had a really REALLY REALLY good day, and I'm just going to go daydream in my room for a while. Maybe put some music on, maybe not. *sigh* I love life!

1 reply | Archive link

Growing Up...Musically

November 2, 2005 15:24

I went through the strangest experience today.
Flipping through my stockpile of music, I found Kreisler's Praeludium and Allegro. I had never played it, and at camp I had been told it was "above me". I had commenced to play it (I'm one of those people who seem to think that a "yes" is a "no" and finds a "you can't do it" is more motivation than "you can do it!") and found that my camp instructor was (miserably) right. But for some reason, today, I decided to attempt it.
To my surprise and delight, I found it wasn't half as hard as it had been just months ago. After going through the chords at the end several times (which had tied me in knots over the summer) to convince myself I actually was playing it in tune and accurately, I played through the entire piece.
That left only one piece in my stash that i had not yet attempted; the dangerous Tchaikovsky. Now, I knew (and know) that the Tchaik was way above me, but wasn't it possible that maybe I could stumble my way through a few pages? Just to get a feel for it. I toyed precariously with the idea; only a few months ago I had looked and attempted it, commencing to mark the concerto as one of the many pieces "I will never ever ever be able to play". Heck, only last year I had looked on the Accolay as a hard piece. Finally, I decided to try the Tchaik at a snail's pace, just for the heck of being defiant...
And I could play it.
It was an amazing feeling! Yes, it was slow, the technique (I'm sure) wasn't of the highest caliber, and there were many spots that needed serious work, but the fact was, what had been impossible just months ago was now within my grasp!
It was one of those impossible "firsts"; the first time you put makeup on your face and it looks good, the first time you go out with a guy, your first time playing with an orchestra, your first kiss...all those things that seem impossible and than one day, SNAP, you've just done it.
Maybe I'm just weird, but I think I can assure myself that I've advanced a lot with the help of my teacher and my friends and family. And THAT, my friends, is a wonderful feeling.
Signing off,

4 replies | Archive link

A Great Lesson

November 1, 2005 13:48

Ahhh! Talk about a good lesson!
Besides the fact I showed up 10 minutes late (which wasn;t my fault), had pink nail glue left on my fingers, and the remnants of very dark eye pencil drooping around my eyes from last night's escapades, it was fabulous!
Mr. Neal was very impressed with my Sevcik exercises, and gave me another set of them, along with a page of Kreutzer, a fifth position exercise to increase dexterity, and his traditional shifting exercise which I can do without "checking" the notes in first position now...BIG improvement.
I went on to stun him with a really good sautille; at our last lesson, he told me to begin thinking about it and practicing it on an open string. He started me on it so late because he said most people don't learn it correctly, and he wants me to be perfect at it. He said he's overprotective because HE didn't learn it right the first time. Anyways, I was clocking an AWESOME sautille at 160 bpm, after only learning the technique ten days ago. Oh yeah!
Now I just have to learn how to do it at 100 bpm.

I graduated from Kreisler's Sicillienne and Rigaudon and moved on to Liebeslied, which was AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME.
And then, I confessed that I was double jointed, after perfectly performing some really nasty shifts that he changed the fignering on (which he said was freaky). He said that if I was double jointed, I could learn to vibrato with my double joint, creating a "3d" vibrato. Which is, like, ROCK ON!

I love good days. I wish I had more of them, but we can't have everything, now, can we? Only bad thing is that I didn't finish my English and Literature. I can tell you what I'll be doing tonight....

3 replies | Archive link

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