May 2005

May 31, 2005 11:05

Well, life is treating me well today and the last few days. I just spent an hour on some chords and passages in the Bruch third mvt. and all of a sudden the time had passed. I love it when that happens. A sure sign I'm focusing hard. I did have a little neck pain, at least stiffness for sure, when I lowered my violin from my shoulder after that. I really go at those chords like they will save the world or something. Need to work on serenity. Even in nonserene passages, I must be serene in order for them to be in controll. Anyhow. I had to turn the fan off while practicing because it distorted the sound and now the apartment is dripping with heat. So I'm off for a cold shower.
Sals,
JW

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May 29, 2005 13:08

I think that perhaps today I will not practice, and give my day to doing nothing but reading, sleeping, laying in bed, petting the cat, playing on the internet, and hopefully getting around to watching "Phantom of the Opera", which needs to be sent back soon. The reason for this decision is because yesterday I spent no less than two hours trying to practice. To get started. But I was so physically wound up and mentally "something?" that I could not control my playing. It was so wild and uncontrolled that my bow was slipping, I could not hit any chords, the Dvorak was really wild, I could feel my left hand in supervibrato mode and careening all over the fingerboard. I could not even HEAR pitches, and forget about anything being in tune. I took twenty minutes in the middle trying to tune my violin with a tuner and couldn't even hear the intervals then. My hands were shaking, my body was like wire chords, and my mind was whirling and fast. I kept trying harder and harder to relax. I tried doing the Ciaconne, thinking I needed something sombre and relaxed instead of concerti to put my body down...but everything just seemed so loud. Sometimes when I play, my right ear buzzes. This has been going on for about six years. I can ignore it well, but it was quite distracting yesterday. I have TMJ and attribute it to that and possibly just the time of day and certain frequencies and overtones. I ended up really frustrated and out of sorts. All I wanted to do was work on my music, but I couldn't work on anything. I was spending every minute trying to tune notes and get the bow straight and not squeek and be loud...I don't know. It might have sounded fine, but my perception was all off. So I think I need a day of rest. My life has been stressful lately. Well, no it hasn't, it has been quite void of stress, but I've been stressing about where it is going and what I'm doing with it and the "big" questions of life. Struggling with health insurance fears and wondering if I can sustain myself through a job. I get depressed and then I am estatic when something works out and then I worry that I've made some mistake and it will come back to haunt me. Mostly I'm just wound up. I snapped at my husband. I'd appologized earlier in the day for not being able to sit still and being on edge, and he said "no you're not" but when I got mad at him, he said that then he accepted my apology. I need to chill out. I don't know why I'm so hyper and upset and worried. If it is life or just brain chemicals. Whatever it is, I am going to use music to fix it. And for today that means not practicing and studying the raw enjoyment of listening to it and noticing music in the things we do each moment instead of trying so hard to create its presence. Anyhow. I really enjoy reading everyone else's blog entries. It keeps me connected. I like to get little photosnaps of people's lives. To realize that the best violinists and the ametures all have the same plights and that invariably we are human with the same things to work through and deal with on a daily basis. Some are more emotional and some are more cerebrial. But all is on a foundation made of the same stuffs. I wonder what I'd be writing sometimes if I hadn't been taken down a certain personal/mental path. I don't know why or how that is. Sometimes I feel as if I do it to myself. But nevertheless, a section of my life involves having certain symptoms that I cannot share, but kind of like to relate with in these pages. There are others of you out there, I know. The main stress behind all this, I guess, is what I am capable of. The government labels me as disabled and permanantly and seriously (or somethign like that) mantally handicapped...ill...hm.. I don't mind that. I need their help. But it is confusing. On paper I seem so competant and successful. But no occupation seems able to go with me. Make allowances and understand. Except for the academic world and the subculture of mental health which I try to not be so much a part of but where I feel at home when I'm really sick. The suit that fits me best is that of a violinist. My own inside, my own outside. I love to teach. I just have to figure out how that will work practically speaking. Private teaching has been a saviour for me. There is nothign in the world that can replace the mentor/student relationship. Learning at both ends. It revitalizes me and pulses life through my veins. I am always and forever a student, but at times I feel things making sense when I'm teaching someone else. It just feels so right. So. I'm learning and studying on my own right now. Getting back up with my French. Gobbling up things on instruments and how to fix them. Reading philosophy and getting into governments of other countries and how they work. Learning about anatomy. I can't wait to take classes again.
Sals,
JW

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May 26, 2005 16:00

I am so excited! I just filled out a fafsa and it looks like I am eligible for a Pell Grant!!! Even though I have a graduate degree, my EFC was really low, so...and sometimes for post-bacceaulaureat teaching licensure full time, they award...
Maybe things will turn out alright after all. And I think maybe I'll not be moody and stay in a good mood for longer than 12 hours about this! I can also take some summer classes for a reduced rate because of health issues. And my husband might take the same classes as re-enrollment. I think I will drink a lot of coffee and practice long and hard and feel good about life!!
Sals,
JW

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May 25, 2005 12:19

Today is hard. I'm not quite sure why, but it is kind of a gut thing. Like, being so stressed and worried about things, including getting sick, that you make yourself sick. So I'm telling myself that I will have a bright future and things will work out when the time comes. It works for about three seconds. Anyway. Getting out of the house woke me up a little bit. Or calmed me down. Hard to tell sometimes if the feeling is being really wound up and high strung, or being down. Feels about the same. Anyhow. My husband and I were really excited about an idea that looked quite promising. I could play in the symphonies and at the same time start tuning pianos. My father does that, except he rebuilds them as well. Anyhow. I've also applied to school again to get my teaching licensure. But I don't have any money, so if I loose my SS benefits, I can't go to school. Unless I want to take out massive student loans. As for the piano tuning, I've emailed some technicians in the area to see if they will take me on as an apprentice because that seems like the only way to get started. The tools don't seem to expensive, and I think it is something I'd be really good at. And be happy doing. And be able to keep serious and hardcore with the violin at the same time. And not go crazy. That is an important one...he he. I also am having trouble getting a passport. If I could get a passport then maybe there would be the possibility of having my father teach me. He lives in Canada. But it is proving a real pain to get the proper identification. I'd have no issues getting a Canadian passport, but the US is harder because certain documents have been...hm...they are just not available to me easily. I am a dual citizen, or US born abroad to a US parent. Maybe we should just move to Canada. THey have socialized health care, right. Man, I'm rambling and this isn't really violin related. I'm working well on the music I've chosen, though. Which is extensive. Having a hard time focusing on just a few pieces, but actually am progressing well on all of them except for maybe the Dvorak. I get it sounding alright, but then when I do it the next time it isn't so hot. The beginning really does me in. Sort of like the Beethoven, which ended up being alright. I got my recording of the Grad. recital yesterday. I can't decide what I think of it so far. Anyway. Signing out.
P.S. if anyone just happens to know anyone around the Nashville area who might be able to help out in the piano tuning area, let me know!!
Sals,
JW

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May 24, 2005 10:39

My husband and I are quite excited about a brainstorm he had about starting a piano tuning business. It is what my father does (but he rebuilds pianos as well....), so I would have some reference. My husband has an amazing ear and steady hands. I have the degrees to make it look credible :). Anyway. Digging in to research about it today. We stayed up all night. I practiced and listened to music and wrote and went to the fitness room and recorded some music and played on the computer and read...then this morning at 6 we got up and went walking around this mountain in the middle of Nashville called Radnor Lake. It is a spot of heaven and nature in a city. For real, you can't tell there is a city around you. We got a year pass. I can't describe how refreshing that was. A perfect way to start the day. Near the end of the hour and a half it took to go around the path we chose, I was about to pass out, but other than that. Then I came home and fell asleep until, what is is now, noon? Now I'm pumped and ready to practice. K. Later guys. Oh, I was going to post on the discussion board, but I don't know if it is a stupid question. I'm relearning the Bruch because I need a solid first movement audition piece. I am having a debate with myself about the sections with the triplestops. Is it acceptable to play them as they come or do you HAVE to play them all down? Anyway.
Sals,
JW

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May 23, 2005 20:52

My day and night schedule has been whacked out lately and I've been practicing strange hours and sleeping I dont' know when. ANyhow. I got about three hours in today of hardcore focused work, so I feel really good about that right now. I'm having problems with passports and other lots of things, but overall I'm in good spirits at the moment. Man, some of the time, though! Well. I'm off to work on some projects.
Sals,
JW

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May 15, 2005 20:01

Hello all. I'm in Virginia at my mother's house for four days. I'm having a blissful time. Today I slept in. Then we went to the Trail Days fair and I sat in her booth with her while she wove rugs and met people. I walked around and looked at stuff. A celtic/appalacian band was on stage. They had a violinist, so I had something to watch. The guy in the tent next to hers was playing handmade wooden flute-type instruments. Ones with lots of different lenghths of boo and some single. He also played other instruments. He had them all around his neck and was performing traditional "?" music. It was so fun watching him and he really was amazing. I bought his CD. Which I kick myself for. I got caught up in wanting to support him. But I'll never listen to it. That kind of music doesn't do anything for me on CD at home with a band backing him up. But I suppose it is for the memory of this trip I'll stick it in every now or then. To remember him playing on a rainy day in the mountains with the stream in the background and strangers eagerly listening all around me. I wanted to buy one of the flutes, but I couldn't get the ambeture correct to even make a sound. I"ve tried several times in my life to no avail. I can play a recorder and a trumpet, but no flute. I can't even play a beer bottle. Anyway. I couldn't bring my violin because I rode a greyhound here. So I'm missing my baby. But also trying to convince myself that I'll go back to it refreshed. Though I wasn't feeling ...uh...unrefreshed before. Sigh. Oh well. I went jogging tonight in the mountains on a trail. That was my hour of music.
Sals,
JW

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May 12, 2005 06:15

NIGHTSIDE:
JW

The walk was Nightside on my face
skyside black-
no violence in an early a.m. air.
No beating sun,
no breaking sweat.
The streets hollow like a womb
before the assualt of life.

The inspiration was light whispers through fabrics-
no hurry between what has been or
what is to be.
My voice was wet in my throat,
a careless speech suddenly important,
clear, alive.

The nightlines blended thick, slow.
Always-anxious eyes turned into each
steadied still:
running iris between thumb and finger of
a detailed beauty
just too distant for discern or tremble.

I reach for you-
threading a reflection of Nirvana
through your palm.

The nightwalk-
my new and fearless view of night
on this side of dark.

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May 12, 2005 06:14

I really miss being able to go to a practice room at school. My practice times of the day have changed every year or so...but lately I have felt the desire to go back to one that I had my senior year of undergraduate. Five a.m. I'd walk to school and say hello to the janitors and slowly begin my day. Coffee and breaks and walking around and practicing. People would start to trickle in and I'd stop at around 9 or ten. Probably only a few hours of practicing total, but very relaxed and I had no distractions. Plus, I really love the early morning and dawn. Until the world wakes up. It makes me feel special somehow. Well, the last few days I've been up at that time and sit outside or go on a walk. This morning my husband and I had breakfast. But what I'd really like to do is go to a practice room. I live in apartments. Anyhow.
I keep very detailed records of my practice times and I looked back on the last year today. I realized that my practice hours have gone from about 30 hours a week to about 15. That is a substantial drop. But I feel like I am accomplishing about double. Somewhere over the last three years I learned how to practice. Plus, I'm missing rehearsals right now. I wish I had a chamber group to play in. Well. I'm going to carry the cat around the house and pet her...bounce her on my hip. Let her bathe my arms and face and hands in cat slobber. Right now she is on the cusp of making a mess. She loves liquids. I like my carpet.
Sals,
JW

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May 10, 2005 05:45

I had a hard time waking up this morning and eating breakfast. Pushing the crud from my eyes and brain to get into motion. The cold chill after getting out of lukewarm bathwater helped. Granola sugar cereal put me back down. Coffee isn't appealing for the first time in my life. I have a doctor appointment and then I have an interview for a job like I've never had before, one that comes with a lot of confustions and decisions. I'm hoping they will work with me and let me do part time so I don't have to discontinue all medical care. Then there is loss of benefits. I got a job at Burger king yesterday. Today I apply for a government job. In between I practice my violin and work for auditions and try to figure out what it is I'm going for and when it should happen. After the interviw, I'm going to walk around downtown until I get unlost and find the public library. There is a free Brahms Trio playing there at noon. That is my reward for having guts. And I'm trying to quit smoking, mostly unsucessfully. I"ve done a great job of cutting in half and going from reds to lights and have faithfully used my plastic tar catching thing. Anyhow. I"ll get back on later. Last night I was slashing through the part of hte Shosty 2 first mvt. that has the unaccompanied duality going on. That is what I was meant to do. I have to keep that in mind so that if things don't work out in other arenas, it isn't detrimental. K.
Sals,
JW

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May 7, 2005 21:57

Well, my birthday started a few seconds ago. Turning 25! Wow, I feel...well, exactly the same, but it means something anyway. A few indentions around the eyes. Laugh lines. I'm working up some corn on the cobb...lots of salt and butter to put on it, and watching "the Motorcycle Diaries" with my husband. Petting the kitty. Have some Alice Cooper, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Dvorak cued up in my player. A great way to kick off a new year. THis one is going to define some things. Decisions which feel fleeting and transparent....hm...Temporary, but in reality are quite important. The exact opposite of how things usually feel. Anyhow. Water is boiling. Hope all is well. Good luck, JEssica. I'll read the other blogs later.
Sals,
JW

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May 3, 2005 08:23

Waking up for the second time today. The first was spent in crazy traffic and government office lines. This is much more pleasant. Rolling over and squishing the kitty, pulling the cover around me, my husband's music filtering into the room, a cup of cold coffee...
I spent the weekend surrounded by pets, kids, family, and nature. It was very complete. I took my violin. Yesterday I recorded myself practicing, which was fun because my husband figured out why my mic has been receiving a lot of static and background hiss since we moved. Had to do with the massive clump of chords from stuff wrapped around the mic chord....it was colourful, but anyway.
Today I hope to get even more done.
My grandfather let me go through all of the photographs and take what I wanted. It was a nostalgic experience that took hours of sitting on the floor surrounded by pictures. I found some great ones of violin playing. I went through a stage where I liked to dress in um, "theme". Like, for school and all the time. So...playing the violin in cowboy hats and the like. Plus, I watch my violin technique change through time. And how much I remain the same. And then there were the pictures of other things. Like one time he gave us all harmonicas. So we are all sitting there playing our harmonica. There are six of us and I'm the oldest...I was about 13. It's the cutest thing.
Well. I'm going to go wash the sleepy gum out of my eyes and start my day. I can't wait!
Sals,
JW

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