Happiness is Not a Fish that You Can Catch

Monday, June 26, 2006

Just what the doctor ordered.

After an emotionally draining few days (see 2 posts previous), the weekend arrived and things started to look up. With friday's abbreviated funk band rehearsal, I invited the players to come over to my place for foosball (which recently made its way back to my home) and drinks. Before leaving for rehearsal earlier in the evening, Marie came by and we made a large batch of red wine strawberry blueberry sangria. Since it was the first time either of us had attempted to make this particular drink, we weren't sure how well it would turn out and instead of actually measuring the ingredients, we just decided to pour and chop until we filled the bowl. Turns out our strategy worked just fine - by the time we got back to my place, the giant bowl of sangria had simmered quite nicely. Delicious!

Needless to say we didn't play much foosball...drinking became the sport of the evening. Although a couple of the guys left somewhat early, the rest of us partied until about 4am. Now, you may be wondering what sort of antics ensue when a bunch of musicians get together and drink. Although I can't fully recall all the events of the night, I can tell you that for a good 45 mintues we broke out in song and harmonized to such classics as "Lean on Me", and "When the Night Feels my Song". Good thing I had my camera on hand to make brief videos of the spontaneous concert...or not so good. Whomever thinks musicians can still sing drunk - you are wrong! (unless you're a seasoned professional like so many of the now-deceased greats...) I thought about posting one of the videos here, but we decided that only those of us actually present that night should get to view them. Sorry! But I will post one of the fun pics taken that night:

If you can believe it, Marie and I drank almost the entire bowl ourselves! Nicely done, Marie!

The downside of being a partying musician.....being extremely hungover for the 3 hour soundcheck that we had next day. Although we spent a good portion of saturday laughing at our behaviour from the previous evening, we were definitely hurtin' a bit - an 11 piece funk band blasting Tower of Power's "There's Only So Much Oil in the Ground" in a large barn is a tad hard to take after a night of heaving drinking. Don't get me wrong - it was well worth it, and by the time the gig itself came around (about 11:30 at night), we were almost fully recovered and ready to funk out! The gig was a good time, and it was pretty fun watching all the drunk audience member dance and do beer bongs.

Sunday I spent the day moving all my stuff from my student room into storage - I've decided to move back home for July and August a) because my lease is up at the end of the month and I don't have a place to go, and b) with the money I saw I can do lots of shopping!!! yay!

So all in all I'm feeling much better. Still not fully there, obviously, but on my way. And moving back home won't be too bad - I already have lots of plans to visit with friends I haven't seen in a while so I'm actually looking forward to it. :)
Oh ya, and Italy won their game today! Great way to cap off the weekend!
Time for bed now, buona notte

Friday, June 23, 2006

Word of the Day

ADSCITITIOUS • \ad-suh-TISH-us\:
• adjective : derived or acquired from something extrinsic

ex: Jenn's behaviour that evening was a tad wackier than normal, and clearly adscititious.
(see photo below for full context)

Love ya, babycakes!!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Out of Every Sorrow Another Day Will Dawn.

Pic courtesy of http://www.leninimports.com/roy_lichtenstein_gallery_18.html

Nothing much to report tonight. Only the news that my boyfriend ended things with me this evening. I guess it is what it is. Thanks Scott, for being a good friend, coming over to talk, and taking me for some TCBY. Much appreciated.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Funny and Gorgeous

For those of you looking for some potentially offensive comic relief: www.danecook.com

Picture courtesy of www.danecook.com. Thanks!

The Three Day Countdown....

So, minor freak out. I have three days to completely organize my life for the remainder of the summer/upcoming school year. Here is where I stand: I have no job. I'm supposed to be moving out this weekend, but as of right now I have no place to go for the last two months of summer. I have no accommodations for the fall. I can't yet register for my classes because I have a hold on my account from some overdue music (which I still have to return). I haven't actually practiced my saxophone in 2 solid months. I have absolutely NO IDEA what I want to do with the rest of my life. I think that just about covers it.
Late last night, as I lay awake mentally scrolling through this list, I inadvertently set myself into a mini panic attack. I suddenly felt like very little of my life was in control. How, and why, had I let it get so bad? Was there any hope for a full recovery? I then realized how silly this sounded. I mean, really, I'm one of the luckiest kids in the world. I have everything I could ever want or need.
For starters, I have an amazing family. Granted, we're by no means without your typical dysfunction, but for the most part we are a tight-knit group. My family has always been there to support me in all my endeavors and are genuinely nice, caring, and considerate people. I am surrounded by wonderful friends, too, and besides having a great group of people with whom I associate, I am extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to attend university. I sometimes take this for granted and get carried away living the "university experience" instead of actually GOING to university (although I'm fairly certain I've now figured out a good balance between the two). There are, of course, a number of other things that make me feel very fortunate to be in the place I'm in today but to make my point (and I think there's one making it's way through), I really shouldn't sweat the small stuff. And after reevaluating the aforementioned list, I realized that it's all small stuff. Nothing that a little careful planning can't mend, right? So in order to get everything back on track I've started taking some action.
On the job front: I've applied to several places around town, keeping my eye out for places displaying "for hire" signs. I've got two potential sublets for the remainder of the summer. I've been searching the web a good portion of today hunting for places and have come up with some numbers to call. I will DEFINITELY go tomorrow, return my music, pay my fine, and register for classes. And after that, I will practice. I'll leave the future career decisions until later. I've got time. See, not so bad, eh? And to think, I've accomplished all this in one day!
And after all that, I'm fairly confident that I can say that everyone has had a similar experience to today's topic. So before you go and get all frazzled next time something seemingly unbearable presents itself, take a step back and ask yourself, "Is it really worth worrying about?" Most of the time you'll probably realize that things aren't as problamatic as they first appear. Worrying youself to the point of exhaustion is silly and unnecessary.
I suppose most people who end up reading this are going to think this was a completely useless post; for you it may have been, but for me it has been quite therapeutic. I sometimes feel the need to ramble endlessly (although I have managed to keep this fairly short) to ease some of the traffic that goes on in my brain. That is, afterall, the main purpose of this blog for me. Oh yeah, and when I figure out what I'm going to do with the rest of my life, I will post it here first.
Anyway, that's all for now. Buonna Notte!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Renewed interests, that's what friends are for!

Everytime I attend a concert I find myself saying, "It's been a while since I've been to a live performance." And it's not from lack of opportunity - I am a music student studying at the university level. There are a plethora of concerts happening at any one given time, but I seem to be too damn lazy to get myself out of the house to go. Actually, in my defense, some of the time I am too damn busy to make it out, but I'd say it's about 50/50. After this realization, I then resolve to dedicate more time and effort to attending live shows. It works for a little while...but I inevitably fall right back into the ol' "I'll make it to the next one" routine. It pains me to say, but perhaps after all these years of intense study I'm becoming lax in my passion for music (another discussion, another time). Tonight, however, I attended a concert that has restored my excitment for live performace. The stage: Maureen Forrester Recital Hall. The players: Lauren on violin, Genevieve on cello, and Julie on piano. The program: Piano Trio no,. 2 in e. Op. 67, by Shostakovich, and Piano Trio in g. Op. 15, by Smetana. Two huge, amazingly wonderful works. Quite an undertaking. And the girls did not disappoint! The recital was in partial fulfillment of the requirements for Lauren's Diploma in Chamber Music. These girls have been rehearsaing and having coachings since September 2005. And it all paid off beautifully.
First up: Shostakovich. The opening passage of the andante - played by the unaccompanied cello entirely in artificial harmonics - was soft and haunting, immediately drawing the listener in. The classic scherzo of the allegro con brio made prevelent the group's ability to play as a tight-knit unit and flowed smoothly into the emotionally demanding and mournful largo. The final movement, allegretto, was well executed and gave the listener a sense of closure, recaping and quoting from earlier movements. The group's well-rounded sense of musicality and interpretation of the work truly brought forth the emotions of Shostakovich, who composed the work shortly after the death of his closest friend.
After a short break, they were back on stage for the Smetana. Although, admittedly, I haven't spent much time listening to Smetana, I quite enjoy his Bohemia nationalistic style. And besides, I'm a sucker for all those wonderfully lavish gestures typical of the Romantic era. This piece ranks near the top of my chamber music favorites; it is full of energy, excitment, passion, and technically demanding passages. All movements were well executed - the girls did a wonderful job complementing each other as melodies were passed from one player to another, and transitioned extremely well from one emotion to the next. My favorite movement of the work was the Finale: Presto, which went at quite an impressive speed. It was evident that their cues were very well rehearsed, as there were virtually no moments of questionable ensemble playing.
As for the overall performance, I thought their sound was very well suited and balanced almost perfectly for the pieces in question. Although their performance was not flawless, it had the fearlessness, fun, and youthful exuberance needed to successfully relay the intentions of both the works. In fact, it was so exciting to listen to and watch, my inner thoughts could be compared to that of a sporting event with encouraging phrases like, "c'mon girls!", "That's it!" and "Keep it going!" constantly crossing through my brain.
After spending four years in the same faculty with these girls watching and hearing them grow as musicians and friends, it is fantastically satisfying to watch them give it their all on stage and triumphantly succeed in doing so. Bravo, ladies!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Here fishy fishy fishy!

On monday night my friend Marie and I decided to go for a few drinks at Boston Pizza. On the way home we stopped at Petcetera to pickup some dog food for her puppy, Dallas. Well, 45 minutes later (which much to the chagrin of the checkout girl put us slightly past the closing time of 9pm), I walked out with a new pet! My very own Betta fish! Now, most of you are probably thinking, "So what? A fish. Big whoop". But to me, it is. I shall explain: A) For those of you who know me, I have an extreme fear of all things aquatic. Everything from whales (merely typing this word makes me shutter), to sharks, to lobsters, to sea urchins. I dislike it. All of it. Don't ask me why. I have pondered this question many times over with no inch of success. There seems to be no instance in my lifetime that I can recall that would supply a satisfactory explination of such a fear. I am aware how silly this fear may sound to many of you, but I can assure you I'm not the only one out there with this aversion (back me up on this one, Jo?), but I can't help it. It is what it is. With that in mind, I suppose I am wishfully hoping that this may be the first step to overcoming my fear. Hey, everyone's got to start somewhere, right? and B) The other reason this a somewhat monumental purchase, goes back to a rather sad and disturbing childhood memory (in my mind, anyway). I can't remember my exact age, but I'm going to ballpark it somewhere around 5 or 6. My dad had won me a goldfish at a local carnival playing one of those seemingly impossible ring around the coke bottle top games. After blissfully carrying around my new friend in the standard packaging of polyethylene with a twist tie, a more suitable home was found for him in a nice, round fishbowl. I was proud to be responsible for a living creature, and thoroughly enjoyed watching him swim around. I named him Chippewa Fish, after the town my grandparents lived in. One weekend my parents took me to visit said grandparents for a one night stay. Before we left, I asked what would happen to Chippewa Fish while we were gone. My mum said he would be fine on his own, but I insisted that he would be lonely and that the solitude was inhumane. My parents caved in and reluctantly scooped my fish into a margarine container. When I saw the temporary abode I immediately protested, contending that he could easily jump out of such a flimsy, low rise container. With my parent's assurance that he would be fine, the four of us loaded into the car and departed. We spent the day visiting with grandma and grandpa, and my fish spent the day swimming around the green and white container marked "Lactancia". All was well. Until the morning. When I wandered into the kitchen, there were my parents: one sitting at the kitchen table, the other leaning against the counter. They looked at me, and I knew something was up. My gaze shifted to the margarine container. It was emptly. No water. No fish. I looked back to my parents. My dad then broke the news to me that in the middle of the night, it appeared that Chippewa Fish had tried to break free and fled from his bowl. He then unfolded a piece of paper towel to reveal my lifeless friend. I actually can't recall if I cried or not, but I do remember making the whole "I told you so" spiel to my mother about trying to cage my precious goldfish in some silly margarine container. In an attempt to make it up to me, we had a short, but meaningful, burial service for him in the backyard. He was buried next to the shed and my grandfather even hammered together two small pieces of wood to make a cross that marked the grave. We gathered 'round and I declared what a good friend he was. Looking back, it does seem a bit ridiculous, but I didn't care - it was the first loss I had know. It's wierd how some things like that seem to forever vividly superglue themselves in your brain, and since the happenings of that day I have been reluctant to attempt to care for another fish. But, 17 or so years later, I'm going to give it another go.
The name of my new fishy is Maceo, after Maceo Parker. There he is pictured above, happily swimming around his teal Betta Condo complete with fake plant and his very own treasure chest! I quickly found out he makes some very spastic movements when things are placed too close to his tank (like a camera, or a finger). I feed him Asticots rouges, or blood worms. They are dry and crusty. Kind of gross, really. I refuse to touch them so I have reserved a pair of tweezers with which to transport them. He better like them. He's got gorgeous colourings, too; bright blue on top, with a redish/purple on the bottom. We get along well. Hopefully things go better with this one than the last.
Well, that's all the ramblings I have in me for tonight. This blogging business is highly addictive, though. I'm sure for the first while I will be posting quite often. Don't expect that to last long. I'm lazy like that.
Peace out, dudes and dudettes,


Diving In....

O.K, so here it is - my very first post/blogging attempt! In recent months I've been somewhat surprised at this whole "world of blogging" thing; I feel like nearly everyone has their own blogging space, yet no one advertises where it can be found. It seems that everyone with a blog knows where to find all other blogs be it of friends, family, or complete strangers, yet an outsider is totally oblivious to the fact that his or her friends are submitting to/reading online journals. It almost resembles a cult unspoken of. Like the early days of Trekkies. Or those who still worship David Hasselhoff (although, I hear he's been making quite a spash in Germany in recent months). In any case, I've decide to give it shot. Let myself freely type whatever comes to mind, and subsequently open up to the infinite universe that is the world wide web. Diving in, in 3...2...1...