Friday, December 18, 2009

Back to Georgia

Well, my first semester as a grad student at the University of Iowa has come to a close. It's kind of weird to think about because that means that I only have three semesters left in my Master's degree. I will "master" the trombone by 2011. Cool. I think I did really well as far as grades and progress goes. I am currently trying to figure out my own body as it relates to trombone playing and performance. It's a tough thing to figure out, analyze, and possibly form new habits while dropping old ones, but I'm slowly figuring out who I am as a trombonist.  I really enjoyed my academic classes this semester, though they were challenging and required shloads of work.  I guess I enjoy research, and my professors seem to like my writing style, which will come in handy when I tackle my thesis in the future.  So, one semester down. Spring semester should be interesting. On top of three musically academic courses, I will be a TA for a class entitle Arts in Performance, which I think I will really enjoy. Also, I will be playing in the Center for New Music, and hopefully we will be playing some good rep.  UISO has good rep planned, so that should be fun, too.  The only thing I am not looking forward to will result from the fact that I didn't have time to clean out my fridge in my apartment before I left for break.  I didn't have a ton of food in there (my diet the last few days in Iowa mainly consisted of coffee), but I did have a bowl of grapes as well as some homemade Indian food, which will undoubtedly be scary by January 15, 2010.

On a side note, if you ever want to talk to interesting people, carry a trombone in the International Quad Cities Airport in Moline, IL. I have met the nicest/weirdest people and have even been offered gigs by people at that airport. On an upside down note, I think security thought that my trombone was a weapon due to the fact that the F-attachment (trigger) looked suspiciously like a gun. So, be prepared for that possibility if you plan on doing some traveling this holiday with your trombone.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Failure is delicious

This is a recipe perfected by Chris that I tried tonight because I had nothing better to eat:

Butter in frying pan
Tortilla in pan
Black beans on tortilla
Cheese on beans
Top it off with another tortilla
Flip with spatula
Most of the insides fall out
Wait a few minutes until the mess is gooey
Hot sauce
There you have it, Failure!

I may make this again tomorrow- it was just that good.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Some Highlights

Ok, so it's been a while.  School has been going pretty well.  My work load is crazy at some points and then manageable at others.  That's fine, I seem to get through it.  Chris came to visit. It was great to have another human to converse with in my apartment. We had the best time.  Iowa City is so much more fun with him... Though I'm pretty sure he won't be going here next year, I hope that we will be able to see more of each other than we do now.  Here are some highlights from my life right now...

good trombone lessons
hung curtains
bought a messenger bag
wore rain boots
finally went grocery shopping
learned about Alexander Technique
top score on midterm
chocolate animal crackers
won a planner
made two hats
played with Bonnie's puppy
learning alto trombone
whipped cream in coffee
wrote two letters
fell back in love with Full House

Ok, so that's it for now.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Imani Winds

I went to the Imani Winds concert last night with some friends.  I wasn't particularly sure that I would enjoy a woodwind quintet concert, but I was definitely pleasantly surprised.  The way they connect and interact with one another on stage is really inspiring.  They make me want to be in a brass quintet again.  In the second half of the concert, vibraphonist Stefon Harris premiered his composition with the Imani Winds.

Click here to check out the Imani Winds

Friday, September 25, 2009


I didn't realize how lonely I was until my dad came to visit this week.  He had a business trip in Des Moines and stopped by Iowa City.  It was nice to have someone to walk with down the street and talk to.  I showed him around the city and we ate at my landlord's Indian restaurant. That was the first time either of us have had Indian food.  I'm thinking about asking Jeet if I can work at her store.  It would be nice to make a little money.

On a different note, how can anyone allow their dog to take a giant shit in the middle of the sidewalk and not clean it up?! I totally slipped in this steaming pile.  If Dad weren't with me at the time, I probably would have cried all the way home.  It was just so disgusting, and there was so much of it.  We laughed about it though.

Dad filled me in on all of the C.J. news.  I don't really feel like rehashing it.  It mainly just makes me really sad.  So much has happened, and part of me feels like I will never be able to shake away the sadness that always seems to linger.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

And so it begins...

I just moved from Cumming, GA to Iowa City, IA. It was a lovely fourteen-hour drive.  I am now a Master’s student at the University of Iowa studying the trombone.  People always look surprised when I tell them that I play the trombone.  They always say things like, “Wow, how did you end up playing that?” I usually just shrug my shoulders and say that I have no idea, but truthfully, I simply think it is a beautiful instrument. Just because I’m a girl doesn’t mean that I should play the flute.  Oh well, sometimes I wish that I did play a smaller instrument because my back is about to give out from hauling my trombone on my back all over Iowa City.  Since the flood in 2008, the whole school of music here has been kind of spread out and all over campus, which mean a lot of walking for me.  It’s okay, though because the facilities that we do have are pretty nice—much better than I expected. My new trombone professor Dr. Gier is really great. He’s always asking me how I’m doing and if I’m liking everything.  I can tell that he is just a really good person and ultimately the type of teacher that I hope to be one day.  He was Dr. Palmer’s trombone professor.  That’s mainly why I came here.  Now I can see why Dr. Palmer is such a good trombone professor. 

My apartment here is really cool despite the creepy cellar that is connected to my bedroom.  I will definitely not be unlocking that door anytime soon.  Seriously, if I hear any creepy noises down there, I’m running for my life.  Iowa City is pretty cool, too.  It’s a lot busier than Columbus ever was, and there are just so many people.  It’s definitely a college town, especially on game days.  I’m a pretty horrible football fan because I have no idea how many games we’ve won or who we’re playing tomorrow. 

So I guess the whole transitioning into grad school far from home is going pretty smoothly.  When I look back to last year around this time, I’ve definitely come a long way.  I was ready to give up music and everything I had worked for because I was so depressed and upset about my family.  I’m still not sure why I reacted like that, but I am thankful that I got back on track.  Maybe that’s why I want to be a professor again.  Dr. Palmer really helped me get through all of that.  I hope he knows what an impact he has made on my life.  I’ve told him before—I just hope he knows.  I want to be that person for someone one day.  I want to be an inspiration to my students.  I think I’m in the right position now to do that.  This past summer was so much better than the previous one.  One reason is obvious because I’m not all freaked out and depressed about being here.  C.J. moved out/left us.  Not having him home was such a relief but also sad at the same time.  I just never know how to act around him.  The last time I saw him was at Father’s Day at Lauren and John’s.  He did not look like the little brother I once had.  Honestly, I haven’t been able to really look him in the eyes since this whole mess began a year and a half ago.  I want to forgive him so much and have everything just go back to normal, but I don’t think he will ever ask for forgiveness.  I just pretend that everything is okay. That is so messed up.  I wonder what Thanksgiving and Christmas will be like this year.  Why should every important holiday or event be muddied up by the fact that we have to put on some happy face?  I don’t even know if he will show up.  Part of me wonders if he even loves us at all.  The only reason he sees my mom and dad is when he needs something.  Mom says that he asks how everyone is, but couldn’t he just find out on his own by asking us?  It’s so sad to love someone so much when you know that they don’t feel the same way.  I want for him to be okay so badly.  I want my parents to stop hurting inside.  I want to truly believe that things will be different one day.  I need to know that people can really change.  Deep down, I believe that he will get a clue one day.  Sometimes it just makes me sick to think how much I worry about him when I know for a fact that he could care less about us. 

I really didn’t intend for this post to turn into this.  I just found some stuff out today that made me impossible to keep it all in.  That, and I’m just feeling kind of sad.  I like it here, but I just miss my family, Chris, my old friends, etc.  I’ve met a lot of really nice people, but I spend a lot of time by myself, which invokes a lot of thinking about things. 

Part of me just wants to fast forward to the part of my life where I am truly happy and with the people I love.  When will that be?  Soon, I hope.