Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thrift Store Day

I'm not really one to brag about the things I buy, but today the sheer mass and diversity of items I bought for such a small amount of money was pretty overwhelming. 6 stops, 16 items, about $55 spent and almost none of it was crap.

And now I will list it all because it's an impressive list.

Location 1: Rescue Mission, Arcata
One hat: $1. It is black and knit, and will keep my head warm.
One skirt: $2. Purple and flowery. I don't wear a lot of skirts, but if I have more I will. (I have the same logic with cardigans...I only had two cardigans until today. I don't want to wear the same cardigan every day...)

Location 2: Clothing Dock, Arcata
One blue dress: $24. This dress is for recitals. It is the super beautiful, fancy dress I've been looking for all my life (since August). It's dark blue, slinky, and shows off my boobies just enough to not distract people from the music, but if they need to be distracted they will be there. Dark blue is my color. I love it so. I think I should thicken the straps a little, though, just so it looks slightly less slutty up top. Oh yeah, and there's breathing room. It will match both the clarinet and the trumpet. Did I mention it's blue?

Location 3: Recycling Center thrift store, Arcata
Two records: $1. It was meant to be that I obtained those records. The first one is Pete Fountain and the Dukes of Dixie. It just fell into my lap begging for me to take it home. I have a new clarinet student who is really inspired by this guy. The second one is Chuck Mangione, "Feels So Good." I had to get it because Chuck looked so happy embracing his flugelhorn like that. Who could ignore such a musician's tender love for his instrument?

Location 4: St. Vincent de Paul's, Arcata
One black beret: FREE. From the free bin. I, too, can be an artsy beret wearer. Now I will feel like I fit in when I go to jazz shows! Seriously, I wore it all day and felt so cool. When I got home I realized that lice could be living in it. Oops.
One blue purse: $1. Now I have a purse! It matches my blue wallet in the way that they're both blue.

Location 5: Rescue Mission, Eureka
One blue skirt: $2. Again, if I have more skirts, I will wear them more often. This doesn't apply to pants because wearing the same pants three days in a row is much less conspicuous than if you wore the same skirt.
One striped shirt: $1. It's a button down shirt, and it has red in it, and it's striped. I don't usually wear red or striped things, but this was button down and it fit pretty well in the arms which never happens. I figure if I need to not look like a sloppy college kid I can wear that shirt.
One blue cardigan: $3. We thought it might be a man's cardigan because there are only buttons on the bottom. In the end, I decided I didn't care because if there's something cool on my shirt people can see it when the sweater's still buttoned up.
Two sets of records: $2. They are those Time-Life boxed sets of records in the "Story of Great Music" collection. My mom's husband gave me a few of them, and now I have more in my collection--"Prelude to Modern Music" and "The Spanish Style." I love it, I love it!

Location 6: Gross-me-Outlet
Okay, this isn't a thrift store. But my friend needed to buy some groceries. I found things in there I had never seen before.
Two shower curtains: $10. Our other one was ripping up, and these ones had metal reinforcements in the rings. Plus they look way better! They're blue.
Nutella: $3. Okay, I was out of control. I don't think I'd ever seen Nutella that was less than $4.
Some noodles: 50 cents. Noodles are good.

Total spent, about $55. Total items obtained, 16. Average cost of an item today, $3.43. Average cost of an item minus the pretty dress, $2.07.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dear Clarinet,

I miss you.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Don't get scabies. It's just a bad idea.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

These Things Happen

I was going to just put one sticker on one door, but I ended up putting stickers on most of the music department office doors. I didn't want to leave anyone out...and everyone loves stickers.

(I didn't actually stick them--I cut the stickers out of their paper so the recipient can choose where to stick it.)

Choose where to stick it...that's what she said.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Why, School?

I'm so frustrated with school. I feel like no matter what I do, I lose; which makes me not want to do anything which doesn't fix the problem. The problem is Moodle. Don't freaking sacrifice your classroom lecture skills just because people have Internet now. That is not conducive to learning! I don't even know what I'm supposed to know.

I'm taking this class called Technology Skills for the Educator, which was going to take place over three long weekends but was cancelled because the state of California makes higher education its number one priority. So now it's an online class and it fucking sucks. I wanted it to be over after three weeks and now I have to deal with it all semester long. Also, I didn't realize it was a three-unit course. I thought it was one unit, with a quick assignment each week that teaches us about software and computers or something like that. That would be logical. But instead every assignment is hours worth of busywork I don't even want to start. I get stuck on the instructions. I read them and cry for awhile because they are so vague. It's like all of the music education classes, with assignments like, "Make a lesson plan that covers a standard." No other details. Which standard? What grade? How long?

And guess what. I want to be a music teacher, I've mentioned that. My students will learn things, but not from the Internet. So why would I put them through a "Web Quest" assignment where they have to pretend they're some occupation and gather what could be false information from the Internet? And why do I have to find the specific websites they look at for them? That's not what I intend to do, ever. That is, again, not conducive to learning. Why don't you freaking open a book and learn stuff, kids? Or pay attention to my probably very short and stimulating lectures?

So, I'm really frustrated and upset about this. School is not supposed to be hard. Yes, I like to think and have ideas, but I like to have some kind of prompt or way of looking at information and then being able to discuss it. Not just, pull an assignment out of your ass. That is fucking stupid.

If a school required me to give students assignments that made them pretend they were a professional whatever and had to look up whatever from the Internet, I probably wouldn't work at that school. Or I would, but I shouldn't have to think about that crap now. Right now, I'm the student and I want to learn things and not pretend I'm a teacher and have to write a lesson plan. That's what the fucking credential year is for, assholes.

I practiced trumpet for two full hours today. I felt like a champion. And then I realized all my non-trumpet classes don't care how much I practice and now I feel like crap. Thank you, school. I'm glad I pay so much money to feel like crap.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Awesome as Apple Pie

Found on my windshield:

It reads: "Stephanie is amazing, beautiful and all-around awesome as a fresh-baked apple pie on a cold winter evening! Hooray Stephanie!"

Placing random nice notes about people on their cars? Sounds like something I would do! But I didn't do this...I'm so happy someone else does this.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

It's good.

Okay, not trying to sound conceited or vain, and I know other people might not be as happy if they were me...but I love my body. I do. I know we've had our ups and downs. But I'm freaking beautiful.

If I were another person, and attracted to women, I would make out with me. I only say this because I'm young and I can appreciate that it's only going to be harder and harder. Life is going to suck because I won't be pretty forever. If I'm lucky I'll be old for awhile. And yes, I'm drinking a beer in the picture (Lost Coast Downtown Brown), but I really take pretty good care of myself. I deserve to look this good.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm sooo freaking tired. My new schedule works in theory but I have to remember to bring food and eat lunch before. I have a solid five-hour block of class (two of which I'm standing most of the time, playing trumpet in jazz orchestra) on Mondays that starts at 11. I stumbled home around 4:30...maybe it's the entire summer's worth of drinking and late nights finally catching up with me. I had this weird funny headache all day that made it hard to move my eyes around much...

Maybe I'm coming down with something? I would laugh. If I got sick on Wednesday it would be the third, first Wednesday of school in a row that I would have missed from suddenly getting sick, and then being okay the next day (except the first time, two years ago, I was sick on the third day of school from strep that technically stayed with me for two weeks, but I was totally functioning the next day).

But you know, that would suck to be sick. Let's just not.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

If I was a bird, and you was a fish

Last night I made a playlist that contains only songs about or mentioning birds:

1. They Might Be Giants: "Birdhouse in Your Soul"
2. Madness: "Wings of a Dove"
3. Beatles: "Blackbird"
4. Agent Ribbons: "Birds and Bees"
5. Roger Miller: "Reincarnation" ("If I was a bird, and you was a fish, what would we do? I guess we'd wish for reincarnation...")
6. Cake: "Comfort Eagle"
7. The Byrds: "Eight Miles High" (Really just because the band's name is The Byrds.)
8. Yoko Kanno: "Green Bird"
9. The Beatles: "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)"
10. Eisley: "Tree Tops" ("I will grow wings and fly everywhere")
11. Kimya Dawson: "Angels and Seagulls"
12. Eels: "I Like Birds"
13. The Nightcrawlers: "The Little Black Egg"
14. Of Montreal: "Peacock Parasols"
15. The Flaming Lips: "It's Summertime" (for the bird sounds in the beginning...)
16. Roger Miller: "What Are Those Things (With Big Black Wings?)"
17. They Might Be Giants: "Bee of the Bird of the Moth"
18. Iron and Wine: "Bird Stealing Bread"
19. TV on the Radio: "Stork & Owl"
20. The Beatles: "Across the Universe" ("Birds are flying out like endless rain into a paper cup"...I know it's actually words flying out, but birds makes more sense to me, that's how I thought it was for a long time.)
21. The Shins: "Girl on the Wing"
22. Of Montreal: "City Bird"
23. Gregory and the Hawk: "Boats and Birds"
24. Grateful Dead: "Little Red Rooster"
25. Bright Eyes: "True Blue"
26. Cake: "Mr. Mastadon Farm" ("Birds fall from the window ledge above mine, and they flap their wings at the last second...")

Aren't you glad you read all that?

I still have no idea where I stand with this guy. I even asked him and he didn't give me a direct answer. He said he wasn't looking for a relationship, that doesn't answer the question of where I stand with him. He came to Pint Night and stood right next to me the entire time. At the party last night, I saw him come in and the first thing he did was stare at me as he walked across the room. I don't know! Why doesn't he go up to me?

There is obviously something there. Every time I'm in the same room with him I can feel his eyes following me, the faces I make and the things I say (which are considerably less because I'm super conscious of it). It's really really hard in a group. Everyone can tell. I had fun as the sober driver, but I kind of wish I'd been wasted. There is no halfway point here. There is no "three beers and I'm happy." Because really, that makes me all the more aware. I can't hide behind alcohol.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Well, I took a risk for once and it blew up in my face--not in a cool way like Mount Vesuvius, but in a slow-flowing lava way, painful truths and chunks of thought gushing out of me and to me. It sucks. I'm so jealous of my classmates who are together. I'm jealous of my roommates who are together, and my younger sisters who have both been with someone, and both my parents who are with other people. I actually found a person whom I thought related really well to me, and reached out to him, went out of my way to see him which I almost NEVER do even with my closest friends...he doesn't want something I don't even know enough about to know if I want or don't want it.

I just want to fucking know what it's like for once! Labels are cheap. I don't want a "relationship." I want a nice friend who cares for me and thinks about me, won't judge me or say "You're SO [insert quirky adjective]" (which I can't stand) whom I can feel physically close to. I want an unconditional friend who can make me laugh and give me something to think about. I want to mean a lot to someone who means a lot to me.

Ugh, this sucks. Welcome to being 22, entering a fifth year of college. I guess I'll just be a really good musician instead.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

If at first you don't succeed, invite yourself to dinner

I wanted to tell him to stop torturing me. If he likes me, that's great! But if he doesn't, he should tell me so I can stop bugging him. But instead, I told him he should make me dinner.

Why would I do that? Besides the fact that I've already made him dinner two or three times?

Anyway, he invited me to his place on Thursday to make falafel.

I didn't really like the glasses I got in February...I thought their shape was kind of funny. Today might be one of the first times I actually wore them all day and went out in public. Dare I say it? I looked pretty cute.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lovely Lovely Lovely

I like someone and I told him, and he did not react negatively. I am so happy.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Old black man on a bike next to the driveway of Safeway and Longs: "A most beautiful woman, wearing a purple shirt!"

Me passing by after buying some shuttlecocks: "'s yellow?"

Man: "Oh pardon me! I'm color blind! That is yellow, like a flower. I wish I was a bumblebee!"

Me: (Laughs, keeps walking)

I'm not gonna lie, I loved it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bolero of Life

Bolero is pretty much Maurice Ravel's most famous and infamous piece. It's in 3, starts with a simple "1...5, 1...5" in the pizzicato bass, triplet patterns in the snare soon to follow. An innocent, long-phrased melody emerges, obviously one of the first lessons you learn about life. Clarinet repeats it, it's true. The harp embellishes the pizzicato backgrounds. We're here for you.

The bassoon provides an alternative viewpoint. It's true what they said before. But there's another reason it's true. Confused, we hear the clarinet in its upper octave. Yes, the bassoon was right. You just weren't ready to hear it before. Horns join the snare.

The oboe states the beginning theme. Remember this truth. Flute and trumpet take the second paragraph. It is the one truth. Trumpet, once the vessel of truth, joins the snare again.

Next is the alto sax, siding with the bassoon. Don't you forget the truth.

Yes, yes, we've heard this all before. Here comes the alto sax again with that same stupid melody...what? A piccolo above, harmonizing in perfect fourths? Flute in the middle...I see that we are now ready to embellish even more that one simple lesson from the beginning. Trombone enters with that second idea like a king, the king of your consciousness. Woodwinds agree as a chorus. They are loyal to their king. Don't you ever forget the words of your king.

Strings finally have something to say. It's what we've been thinking the entire time. They've tired of only serving as background to the ideas. It's time for their statement. And it only takes one phrase to deliver it embellished with harmony. In the distance, the trumpet agrees with that same contrasting view. The king sits in his throne and lets the court take over. A melody to live by.

The first true forte emerges. Percussion and brass abound. The king steps up and speaks to his loyal subjects. The world has never felt so right, but then my consciousness changes key and all is chaos.

I think when I die, Bolero will be in the background of my life's montage. I'm not sure what my single truth is, but it seems to keep coming back in different forms, fancier and louder each time.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Terrible and Wonderful

I saw his van three times today. The first time it passed me by--he was driving it in the opposite direction as I headed off to the Crabs game. I parked my own van on the 11th street bridge.

The second time was after the Crabs game ended. I needed to trade my trumpet and music bag for my purse to get a drink or two (I wish I'd only bought one) at the Alibi with some friends. His van was parked on the other side of the bridge. I took my time switching gears and constantly looked around in case he happened to be heading back.

The third time was after the Alibi--still parked on the bridge across from my van. I'd purchased a veggie burrito from a taco truck a few blocks down. Shamefully and shamelessly I consumed the burrito in my driver's seat and watched for him to return to his own vehicle. He didn't.

I ripped out a page from the spiral-bound notebook I carry and hastily scribbled out a poem I remembered reading in seventh grade. Folding it into quarters I wrote "For You" on the outside and stuck it into the handle of his door.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I got up at 4:45am and all I got was this stupid blog entry

Something in my bed is eating me alive!

I first noticed a tiny itchy bite on my arm a few days ago. The next day, there were three on my stomach. Now there are a few on my leg and they itch like crazy. Sucks.

Today (night?) was the full moon. I saw it up high in the sky around midnight, and read that the moon would be full at 5:33am. I wanted to see it set over the foggy horizon--I've found a really great place to watch things set. So I left the house at 5am to get there, and I didn't see the damn moon anywhere. I didn't know the moment of fullness happens after it's fallen out of sight, I must have missed that part.

But you know, I'd forgotten how much I love being awake the early morning. The world is still asleep except for the birds. They're like the youngest campers in the cabins the first morning of camp...chit-chatting like nobody else around is trying to sleep. Except people here have windows and it shuts out the sounds so the birds can talk as loud as they want.

The world breathes extra loud in the dawnish hours--it's a noise that, if it's not always happening, is somehow extra evident that early. Like being the first person awake at a slumber party. Everyone is breathing the whole time, but you're never made aware until it's the only noise available. So even if I didn't see the moon, I got to listen to the world sleep and watch the city of Eureka sparkle wearily across the bay.

I just made a playlist of all the clarinet music I have. This is what I've got:

Aaron Copland: Concerto for Clarinet, Strings, Harp and Piano
Johannes Brahms: Clarinet Trio in a minor, Opus 114 [Clarinet, piano, cello]
Giacomo Setaccioli: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano in E-flat Major, Opus 31
Darius Milhaud: Duo Concertant [I really REALLY want to play this! Why has nobody done this at my school? Just because it has fast arpeggios and high notes? Boo-hoo, welcome to Woodwind Land.]
Copland: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano
Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano Opus 128 [This was my big piece I worked on last semester--so crazy hard, but I felt like a champion when I practiced stumbling through the fast movements]
Brahms: Sonata in f minor, Opus 120/1 [A definite yes for my upcoming recital in the fall...I am in love with this piece.]
Leonard Bernstein: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano
W.A. Mozart: Concerto for Clarinet K. 622
Nino Rota: Sonata in D for Clarinet and Piano
George Gershwin: Three Preludes for Piano (arranged for piano and clarinet by James Cohn)
Brahms: Sonata in E-flat Major, Opus 120/2
Carl Neilsen: Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra, Opus 57 (FS 129)
Morton Gould: Benny's Gig for Clarinet and Double Bass [I was thinking of doing this with my friend who plays tuba.]
Mario Pilati: Inquetude (Etude Melodique)
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Six Studies in English Folksong
Nicolas del Grazia: Tarantella

Total: 4.3 hours of clarinetty goodness.

Some recordings I don't have: Sonata for clarinet and piano by Saint-Saens, both Spohr concertos, Premiere Rhapsodie by Debussy, Three Pieces for Solo Clarinet by Stravinsky, Ebony Concerto by Stravinsky, and all the foofy stuff by Weber. Honestly Weber can keep his concertos, concertino and duo concertant. Merh. I've got more expressive fish to fry!

I've also got a bit of jazzy clarinet, but that gets its own playlist later in life.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Why words? "Y" words!

Fun-to-say words that start with "Y":

Jazz (when pronounced "yahzzz")

And I like lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of ocelots.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Everything is connected to everything.

I bought this shirt online and got it today. I wasn't sure it would fit, and it feels kind of tight but my roommate said it looks good. It's freaking amazing. I can't wait to wear it at school.

I can't believe how amazing I feel right now. I really, really can't believe it. It hasn't been just today, but ever since school started. Everything I'm doing is so important for everything I will be doing. I just haven't felt that in so long.

I've started taking yoga and Latin dance classes, and this is why--the vast majority of things I have studied, elementary through high school, has been a piece of delicious knowledge cake for me. I know structured schoolish learning isn't for everyone--even if someone wants to learn all about something, it might still be difficult for him/her. People learn in different ways. I want to experience not being good at something the first time I try it, which includes (for me) all things physical. I'm analytic and aesthetically creative, and have never been a kinesthetic learner. Hence, the yoga and dance.

(By the way, I don't think I've ever felt so good after such intense physical exertion, ever. I feel unstoppable.)

But wait, there's more. Yoga is largely focused on breathing, which is a neat coincidence--I just started the class because my friend was doing it. Right now, in my voice class (as a novice singer) we're learning the basics of proper breathing. One of the main giant points of my conducting class is having awareness of my own body as I conduct. That idea scares the crap out of me...that people will be looking at me, that I will have to watch a video of myself and analyze what my body is doing and if that is conveying what I feel should happen in the music.

Hopefully after becoming more aware of my body in other places and other areas, I won't be so scared of what I'm physically doing in front of people. Suddenly the notion that I can be a musician who can show with her body how she wants her group to perform doesn't feel as alien as I thought it would.

And then there's vocal and instrumental scoring. I can't believe only music ed and composition majors are allowed to take that class. What we're learning is what I think every musician should know regardless of how they might or might not use it. (It's about part writing, arranging music, and being faithful to the original music even if your ensemble lacks crucial roles.) It's been two weeks and I'm already a different person.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Triangle Man hates Particle Man. They have a fight--Triangle wins.

I keep trying to think of things to say in this. I've been listening to They Might Be Giants a lot. I'm so glad I have a CD player because my computer doesn't have sound. I wish it did, because I want to record some more songs. I should really just get a new computer, but I'm afraid because I've had this one since I was 16. And I hate laptops. They seem so insubstantial. I need something heavy-duty for the many random projects I use it for.

Last night I dressed up like a man and went to a gay bar. I didn't know a place like that existed--a public place to get drunk and dance to music that I could sometimes recognize (though I wasn't sure if I was supposed to dance like a man, and if so, how is a man supposed to dance?). I drew a sweet 'stache on my face. I would be a man just to have a mustache. Maybe people would respect me more with a mustache.

And now, pictures of my sleeping kitten. His face looks like a fetus face, and it's adorable.

I realized, after I had drawn the mustache, that I was wearing sparkly nail polish. "It's okay," my roommate said, "You can be a French man! They have good hygiene." She had drawn eyebrows and facial hair on herself that made her look creepily like our friend who used to be in love with me.

Friday, January 16, 2009

On Second Thought

It might be nice to have a child, family and/or house someday. I would have someone to sing to.

"Oh the wayward wind is a restless wind...a restless wind that yearns to wander..."--Patsy Cline, my vocalist hero. Women can have low voices and sing beautifully. Stupid world dominated by sopranos.

PS--Maybe Patsy Cline's songs give me unrealistic expectations. "A Poor Man's Roses"? What the hell, Patsy? You whore. Why are there two guys around interested in you, when I can't even find one?

Thursday, January 15, 2009


A little while ago I came up with a theory on dreams in general--that they are actually a manifestation of what could have been. I, in my dreams, am visiting an alternate universe through the eyes of an alternate me. Pretty cool, huh? Of course there's no way you could ever prove this, but I think dreams are real, somewhere, in a place where circumstances were different.

I've never had the same dream twice, but since middle school I've gone through phases where dreams would feature similar ideas or objects. I had a pool phase, where I constantly dreamed about swimming in a pool, or seeing a pool. Last year, when I was taking care of PiƱa, I had a huge streak of axolotl dreams. (There were about 7-10 of these, and most were really sister turning into an axolotl, seeing someone barbecue axolotls, etc...)

I usually don't have outright nightmares. Sometimes conditions in my dreams are brutal or stressful, and I wake up relieved that that wasn't the reality I live in. What hurts is when dreams are excessively happy, and I wake up disappointed. (Me coming home to the house I grew up in and seeing both of my parents and both of my sisters all together, everyone laughing together...I think in that dream, I'd never gone to college.) I get really immersed in the dreams I have, and am usually surprised when I wake up.

Recently, I've been having dreams where I'm pregnant. I am very confused in these dreams, asking "How did this happen? How is this possible?" Because there is really no way I could be pregnant, at least not in this world. Really, not at all.

It is the scariest dream ever. I do not want a child. I love kids; I've worked with them all summer for the past three summers. I could not fathom having one of my own. I can't even fathom the idea of having my own family. I think I'm a little bitter that my family failed when they were so close to making things right. I don't want to invest so much time and money, not to mention emotional factors, into something that will just fail.

Anyway. If my theory is true, somewhere in one or several alternate realities I've recently had a sexual partner. I never saw him around in those dreams, though. Maybe he broke up with me, or went on a long trip abroad. Maybe he was just a fling. I wonder if he's where I am in this reality. Maybe I don't even know him here.

If my theory is false, there are a million other reasons I could be dreaming of being pregnant. Maybe my brain is begging me to reconsider the idea. Maybe I'm watching too many shows on TV where people are pregnant. I also know quite a few people in real life who are, or just had babies. My mom thought my sister was pregnant because she gained a lot of weight. That would be weird. It would be almost too much to bear. She deserves better than what she has.

Hopefully, either I find out who my mystery lover is, or these silly dreams stop. I kind of want to see who the lover is.