Saturday, March 28, 2009

I'm fine.

I just had an infection under my thumbnail. It's already much clearer. I did have to wear that ridiculous bandage for a day, though. Which wouldn't have been too bad, but I went to a concert today, and ended up having to explain the story at least two dozen seperate times.

In other news, I just saw an amazing opera- "Die tote Stadt." Everything about this I liked: Marietta (who was Salome when I went on VDay), Paul, the beautiful music, the trippy staging and sets, my theksy opera companion (since we've ended up going to the last two operas together), the group of American music students next to us. Check it out.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Adventure

I experienced Austrian healthcare system.

I really just went in for a prescription, a mild sulfite (sulferite? sulbite?) to help with a nasty little infection.

Walked out over two hours later with:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Things I want to write about,

in no particular order:

-Why I would encourage pianists to not do this program
-Why I would encourage singers to do this program
-Why I would REALLY encourage pianists to not make the same mistake I did in going abroad to a program where there are very few decent practice facilities open for a very limited time.
-How frustrating it is that the music isn't anywhere near divided up evenly amongst pianists. Not that I'm suggestion some sort of "share the wealth" thing. Everyone works hard, there's competition in our field, there's always someone better, etc, etc. Please. Brahms 4 hand music, Schubert Fantasy, Brahms Horn Trio, Schumann Piano Quintet, Beethoven Ghost Trio..... compared to a Beethoven 4 hand sonata that I would have played in high school,and accompanying we can sight read. Yea, there are other pianists better than me. But I'm not as incompetant as they seem to think, and I would definately not LOATHE the program as much as I do if I had music that challenged me.

Actually, I think I covered it enough for now.


Since I know you all love food, I'm going to share my latest obsession. It's easy, cheap (at least here, probably less so in the states), and makes a large amount that you can eat for every meal for a few days.

One Bowl Chicken Bulgar Salad
(from CNN's iReport's special on cheap brown bag lunches)

Whatchoo need:
Some chicken breasts. Vegetarian substitution: feta cheese, tofu, whatever the hell you eat.-2
Ruckola/Rocket, chopped-I don't know, I use 2 small packages. I think it turned out to be 8 oz
Bulgar, cooked and cooled-maybe a cup and a half dry.
Cherry/grape/small tomatoes, chopped-a lot because I love tomatoes.
Oil, Vinegar, garlic powder, whatever....

Day before: marinate the chicken breasts. If they have skin, they only need to be marinated for a few hours; if skinless, overnight is good. I make a mixture that's about one part olive oil, one part balsamic vinegar, with some garlic powder and pepper added in. I make enough of this to cover the chicken in whatever container they're in, so we've been going through a lot of vinegar and oil. Roast until cooked, set aside to cool. Chop/shred the chicken into small pieces.

In a large bowl, toss everything together with homemade dressing: oil, vinegar, garlic powder, pepper. Eat. The end.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Surprisingly, I love this song.

I'm not too big on the pop version (although I do like guilty pleasure pop music), but this is really cool. Kind of Amy Winehouse meets Regina Spektor, to me.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

60 days until I come home.

Which is good and bad. I miss/will miss both places a lot.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

March 18th

Today is my dad's birthday. Alles Gutes Zum Geburtstag, Dad!

It also was my bestest's birthday two days ago, so Happy Birthday Kenzele!

Today I got in a dispute with my piano teacher about a certain rhythm in the second movement of the Tempest sonata. But according to Alfred Brendel, I'm right.

Eli got accepted to UPS, with a really decent scholarship offer. I hope he considers it. Nevertheless, he's been accepted with various scholarships to all of his choices, so I am a very proud sister.

Got a haircut. Is shorter now. Which I guess is how it normally goes.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Oh John....

I want to propose over major seven chords.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Февраль. Достать чернил и плакать!

It’s past February, but can I still get ink, weep on the pages, wait for Black Spring? Apres moi, le deluge. I write on whatever I find, running pens dry. When words don’t leak from my Pilot G2, drawings, comical in contrast. When those don’t fit, I fill in the boxes on my graph paper.

I miss the sound. I miss five numbered zip codes, where the inner numbers mean nothing in terms of location, only bridges and oceans and canals and bays and inlets and rivers and estuaries. They are always blue, and they are always framed with green. No matter how much I can tell people I love it here, it’s still true. And it’s still true that that doesn’t cancel out the fact that I miss home a lot. I’ve discovered I grow to hate anyone with whom I cohabit, or force them to hate me. This is promising for a successful, happy future.

I want to drive up the thumb of Washington, listening to carefully planned mix CDs. Despite Vivaldi’s intentions, “Winter” is suitable for Summerfahren. And “Summer” for when it lightnings like nothing you’ve ever seen, and you drive and drive until you have an uninterrupted view. Ben Lee is summer music, Tegan and Sara for the bus, Beatles to sandwich the inner contents of a mix CD. Unmarked music. Recycled from other mixes, they bear only titles like “Track 15, random mix CD from sophomore year,” “That one song that sounds like David Bowie, Going to New York Mix,” “Track 1, Job Interview,” “Track 9, Winter Driving,” “Irreplaceable, July Fuck It Mix.” I have my roads mapped out for a hundred miles. The less people, the fuller my gas tank, the more loops and turns and open windows and days spent alone and content as opposed to-

The initial loneliness hasn’t so much worn off as I think it has sunk in.

I guess “frustrated” is how I’ve been feeling for the last six months. I’ve so far resisted the urge to slam my forehead against a brick wall repeatedly, repeatedly. But there are a lot of brick walls here. Cobblestone streets. Marble staircases. And my brain is itchy.

Things I am not liking here:

The very probable fact that I will run out of money very soon.

Things I am liking here:

Karlzplatz sushi
Getting mail
Writing letters
Buying presents for people
Being able to explore Eastern Europe (non-EU=way cheaper)
Lazy Sundays
Interesting things to photograph
Suddenly being able to understand what's being said on the Ubahns/Trains/daily conversations with Austrians.
The abundance of dogs
Margarita Nights
The fact that I bought a bottle of absinthe as a birthday gift, then realized it's not legal to ship back to the country. Oh no whatever will I do with this guess I have no choice....
The friends I've finally made
The day when both me and my roommate came home with daffidols
The Donau Canal
More dogs

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Found myself frustrated to the point of near tears during rehearsal. As happy as I am that I have the opportunity to do a lot of singing I wouldn't necessarily be doing at home, I'm upset that that has come with not being able to have fun with my primary (and best) instrument.

So I'm not the best pianist here. But I'm certainly a competant pianist. I'm a great accompanist. I can do my shit. None of the pieces other pianists are doing are so hard that I would fall to pieces and not be able to do them. The Ghost Trio. Schumann Piano Quintet. Brahm's Hungarian Dances, Schubert F minor Fantasy. Challenging, yes, but accessible. Not fucking boring. Something I would be interested in and would like to practice, as opposed to my music now.

I'm bored. It doesn't motivate me to become a better pianist. I'm accompanying one piece, a Mendelsohnn duet anyone could sightread. And while my quintet is... interesting, I find myself frustrated with that group for different reasons, boredom not being one of them. But that's probably going to be the last concert. Meaning I have all this time without any chamber music to work on.

It makes me sad. I didn't come here to sing. I came here to play piano, and to play chamber music, and to accompany, which are what I'm passionate about.

And that's fucking lame.

I would not recommend this program for pianists. I wouldn't. It's fucking amazing being here. And if you were an instrumentalist (I mean one whose instrument you can carry)/singer who wanted to be with great faculty, learn German, and just be in a wicked city, yea, it's great. But the lack of pianos? The ridiculous hours (open only from 8-8, when you've been practicing at night for the last three years). There are days, like today, when I am in class/running around from 9:30-8 with an hour and a half break to MAYBE squeeze in practicingg if I can get a room. And having to fight for the only two decent pianos in the building, and usually being stuck with a piano that's barely good to work out fingerings on.

Then again, getting away from last semester needed to happen. Maybe more so than I needed piano love.