Thursday, January 25, 2007


I love Johannes dearly, but I'm feeling a bit overloaded this week. I'm playing Brahms Symphony 4 in two different orchestras, plus a Brahms quartet (A minor) and sextet (G major). Yesterday I spent over 6 hours playing Brahms, and by playing I mean struggling with awkward and infuriating, yet wonderful and important viola parts. Did you know he played the piano in bars when he was young to help make money for his family? He hated that a lot. He also never married--he's number one on my list of potential afterlife husbands if things don't work out in this life.

In other news, I dropped my phone this morning for the 168th time and lost the battery cover. The battery is currently being held in place by a very nice scotch tape job, but the phone is having trouble staying on. If any of you are having a hard time getting a hold of me you can attribute it to that.


Saturday, January 13, 2007

Halfway on a prayer

After a relaxing and much-needed Christmas break in Utah, I've returned to Michigan and the winter of my discontent. I'm not discontented because it's winter (it's actually so mild here that it feels like a prolonged chilly spring), I'm just trying to get through this program without going crazy or completely losing my self-respect. I'm going to do my best to make sure that my recital isn't a bust, but it makes me feel a bit like an imposter because I know my heart won't really be in it. I think I just need to suck it up and deal with it. Millions and billions of people do things they don't want to--I think I can do it too.

The drive back was beautiful. The west has some kind of brilliant, incandescant quality to it that I sorely miss when I'm away. Wyoming was especially stunning--the sun was glaring and would have been annoying if I hadn't been telling myself to soak it up and appreciate it while I could. Here's a postcard I found at a random gas station somewhere in the middle of the state (Rawlins?).

It was also really great to see Kristen along the way in Omaha. She's my long-lost cousin/former roommate who just returned from her mission in Berlin. I enjoyed using my German-gibberish in conversation with her and hanging out with her family for a few hours, which is more time than usual for a stopover in Omaha! The weather was fantastic the whole way back--a huge blessing for which I'm very grateful. Hats off, also, to Eileen's faithful Ford Explorer (christened "Cracker") for its magnificent, trouble-free performance throughout the entire trip.

My next road trip is as yet undecided, but I'm pretty sure it will involve some children and Washington D.C. over spring break. Keep checking back for my next travelogue.