Win some, lose some…

I have many things to grade, and one final to revise, so this is the perfect time to blog! A few days ago, I stopped by Trader Joe’s, and just as I could not resist the $.89 tiny gourds in October, the tiny, glitter poinsettias called my name. I bought two. Here’s where we are today:

Trust me when I say that I have treated these little plants with equal (moderate-to-low levels of) commitment. But clearly, the results are varied: one is thriving and has even grown new leaves; the other is dying a rather quick death. I’m only a little bummed because these cost a bit more than $.89, but I can’t be too sad, since at least one of them is doing so well.

See also: teaching college students…1 

I gave a final this morning, and as a student turned in her exam, she said, “I have thoroughly enjoyed being in your class this semester. Thanks for caring about music and caring about us.” It was one of those moments that make me so thankful to get the opportunity to teach college kids about music/culture/history.

Likely around the same time that this was happening, I received an email from another student in another class, stating, “hey, what’s this Mozart composer guy. there’s like at least two or something. ???” It was one of those moments that make me question my life choices, while simultaneously inspiring rage and maniacal laughter.

This sort of feedback is just beginning, so let’s all hope that stories like the former are more prominent than the latter. Happy finals week, folks!


1. Please note that I exert at least a moderate-to-high level of commitment to my students. Er, most of the time.

Stepping up

I haven’t updated the blog in a long time – not since way back on January 8. It is now the middle of March, and I think I can officially say I’m in my travel season. Last week, I was in Lexington, KY, Hopkinsville, KY, and Nashville, TN; and this week, I’m making what has become my annual trek to Austin for South by Southwest (or “South by” for those in the know).1 I have what seems like an endless amount of Stuff to Accomplish before heading to the airport tomorrow night, which fully explains why I’m choosing RIGHT NOW to blog.2 

In the I-really-did-finish-my-degree news, I received the actual degree in the mail. I’ve signed many an email as “Dr.” or the preferred “, PhD” after my name, not to mention I’ve judged a few pre-college piano events, and have had many opportunities to practice the official signature.

But for the past month of Sundays, I have really, really, really wanted to post a post-Sunday post. Why, you ask? Well, because the week when a bird was flying around inside the building during services seemed like a pretty good story. Or the week the lights went out in the middle of a service. And then there was the week that I had a stereotypically crazy morning, and stumbled up the stairs, kicked the wall, and made loud noises during the sermon. But really, it was the week that our drummer nearly fainted on stage, walked off the stage at the exact moment the timer read 0:00 in the second service, and the band did a whole set without drums… that was the one that I thought belonged on the blog.3 

But then there was the third service hour that day. Drummer was still unable to play by the beginning of this service. We have only one room for this service, so OBVIOUSLY Sanctuary Worship Leader asked Worship Pastor (um, right before the service began) if he could play the drums. And of course, Worship Pastor posed the question to the third-service attendees from the stage as the service was starting, and the attendees were enthusiastically all for it. Thus, Sanctuary Worship Leader sat down and played the drums for the set in that service. Though I’ll admit I was a lot a bit nervous for him (and the rest of the band, for that matter), he stepped up and did a fantastic job.

It all worked out and certainly made for a very memorable Sunday, but I’d prefer to keep everyone healthy on stage going forward.

 


1. I have written about my first trip here and here. Unfortunately, last year, I was a complete slacker too busy writing the dissertation to do a full-blown post-South by post. Maybe this year…


2. Not that I need any excuse to procrastinate, but I have written most of this post whilst waiting for items to upload, update, etc. My computer likes to be nice and slow in its relative old age (aka 2009). One day, when I have a bunch of free time, I plan to do something about that. One day.


3. Eh… after I stopped panicking, and yelling at no one in particular over the headset about what was going on. I *did* go check on Drummer. He wasn’t dying, but he definitely wasn’t great.

Sad and Sorry (Literally)

One year ago today, I spoke with my dad on the phone. I remember this distinctly for two reasons:

1. Last year, August 11 was a Sunday; I always call my parents after church on Sundays.

2. August 11 is special day: it’s my anniversary.

This anniversary marks the time I first met my parents. Although I don’t remember this day, it changed my life. Adoptions back then didn’t happen as they do now; my parents did not travel to Korea to meet me and bring me to Kentucky. Rather, I arrived in Chicago from Korea on the lap of a stranger. I have always jokingly referred to myself as a mail-order baby, and in some ways, this is not untrue. And my closest friends and I refer to this anniversary as “Fasian Day,” as it marks the day I became a “fake Asian.”

Aside from my August anniversary, we’re approaching the awful, one-year anniversary of my dad’s untimely death. And it still sucks. Like really, really sucks. Death is awful. Grief is awful. Despite my belief that Jesus has conquered death, hell, and the grave; these things are still not the best.

This past year has been the worst year of my life — not in a “I can’t make it work” or a “I can’t do what I’m supposed to” kind of way, nor in a “I can’t carry on with my life” way; but in a “This particular night/moment suck,” or in a “This doesn’t feel right” kind of way,” or in a “I really hate that my dad is gone” kind of way. And there are still many days when I feel as though I’m watching my life happen in front of me.

I remember talking to my parents on August 11 specifically, but I KNOW I talked to my dad at *some* point between August 11 and August 23 when he died – I just don’t remember the actual date – but I remember because we had this in depth discussion about my mortgage and also about my student loans; he was concerned about my interest rates and I was slightly annoyed that he was asking so many questions.

And now I just find myself sad and sorry. You know, literally sad – sad that I can’t talk to dad anymore (amongst other sadnesses) – and sorry – sorry that I obviously didn’t really appreciate all those conversations with dad, especially on August 11ths of days past. Again, death & grief suck.

Because blogging is easier than revising a chapter of my dissertation…

I was going to post about procrastinating, and how being a Good Procrastinator is knowing how long one can put something off and STILL manage to accomplish the task at hand – generally with only a few hours of sleep sacrificed… And how I pretty much failed at it last week (despite my claim of being a professional) with the most recent chapter revision – I greatly underestimated how long it would take to finish, and therefore sent the thing to Advisor a solid 36 hours later than I planned.1 

But I met with Advisor this morning (about said chapter), and I’ve got all kinds of things flying around my brain right now; and I lack the wherewithal to assemble that original post with detail. So instead, I’ll say last week was hard, what with the writing and…. Father’s Day, which was not my most favorite day/weekend ever.2 

Also, I got swept up in the tide of throwback photos on the magical interwebs this week.  I went through my high school and college photo albums (you know, one of those things that contains and displays actual printed photos!), and found some amazing pics. I will be sure to post them in the coming days (consider yourselves warned informed, friends I’ve known for a long, long time). But for now, here are two pics from my junior prom (back in the Stone Age) – including one of me and my Dad.

 


1. Better late than never, I suppose. Also, this might be the place to make some not-very-clever comment about putting this off until a later time.

2. It wasn’t as bad as I was expecting, but it certainly wasn’t fun. I’ve found the “big days” aren’t quite as difficult as the “I’m-totally-fine-OH-WAIT-I’m-not” days. For the former, there’s some emotional preparation, or at least expectation – which is just slightly easier to deal with than the “out-of-the-blue-sucker-punch” days. Grief sucks like that, I suppose.

Guitar Slide Wednesday and Other Stuff…

According to that calendar over on the right of the home page, I updated this blog twice in March and once in April. To keep the bar low, here’s at least one post in the this lovely month of May. And in the interest of efficiency, here are some things I would be writing about here on the blog, were I not at least moderately concerned with writing a dissertation.

1. Writing a dissertation and the exciting adventures of revising chapters1 

2. My second trip to SXSW that happened way back in March

3. Alumni weekend at my undergrad alma mater. I went because a.) it was my 15th year reunion (!!! #oldlady) and b.) our choir director/music history prof of 41 years retired & we had an alumni choir.

Finally, since it’s Wednesday, here’s a guitar slide for you. This song is called “Kerosene” by a band called Big Black, and the big guitar slides occurs at 1:05 and 3:45 or so.2  You might not be probably are not familiar with Big Black, but this band was a hardcore punk or industrial or post-punk band out of Chicago in the 1980s, and one of Steve Albini’s early bands. Albini is a Chicago-based musician and recording engineer, likely most famous for recording Nirvana and the Pixies, but has done, you know, lots of other things. This song appears in my dissertation, and I say a lot more about it there, but I know you only care about that guitar slide.3  http://youtu.be/HuO3wwLuF0w  


1. Just kidding. The process is pretty miserable, and I’m certain you don’t really want to hear/read about it at all.

2. As I write this post, I’m imagining the sort of feedback Advisor might provide and how she probably would disagree and/or not like it. This might be a sign I need to graduate soon. If you would like me to update the blog more frequently, perhaps you could let Advisor know that she should let me graduate in August.

3. I have listened to much of this song at least 200 times in order to transcribe it, well, because apparently, that’s what musicologists do. I really should have been a journalism major.

The most wonderful time of the year…

I moved to Georgia for warmer weather.1  Most of the time, it’s worked out OK for me, and it’s generally warmer here than in Kentucky. In fact, it snowed in Lexington, Kentucky last week (and has snowed A LOT there this year), so I’m glad that I missed that. However, for at least the past four weeks, I’ve sort of believed that it was Spring here in Georgia. Since this wasn’t actually the case, it has been sorely disappointing for me pretty much every time I’ve walked outside.

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Until yesterday! Yesterday, the temperatures ventured into the 80’s, and today was the same. And so, I’m wearing skirts, and have pretty much instituted my all-skirts/dresses-all-the-time policy. It’s not that I really dislike long pants (or shorts for that matter), it’s just I prefer to wear skirts and dresses. In hot weather, skirts and dresses are cooler, and really, this is what populates my closet.

In addition to freeing my legs from the tyranny of pants this week, I’m wearing blue every day BECAUSE THE FINAL FOUR. Believe it or not, I have enough (Kentucky) blue clothing and t-shirts to make this happen until the game Saturday. And I’m totally prepared to do laundry to re-up for the championship game, should the need arise. Go Cats.

 


1. Relatively warmer weather. It’s not like Lexington, Kentucky is the frozen tundra or anything, but when I began looking for grad schools, I knew I wanted at least “warmer” weather. I much prefer oppressive heat to being cold. To each her own, eh?

My very own California “closet”

Once upon a time, there was a space in my room filled with a dresser, CDs, and a bunch of stuff.1 

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Yup, a dresser, a bunch of CDs, and Stuff…

And then one day, I wanted new shoes from Off Broadway Shoes, but instead, I won a closet from California Closets. I opted for a wardrobe with hanging space, shelves, and large drawers over a closet makeover.

I also decided to have them re-do the shelves in my linen closet!

I still haven’t quite gotten used to the Very Large Wardrobe, and I’m still working on figuring out what things go where, but I’m quite excited to have more usable storage space in my room. Whaddaya think?


1. Why yes, that IS a boom box on top of that dresser!