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This Time, with a Little Less Feeling [18 May 2006|07:34pm]


See Tema Sleep





See Tema Read





See Tema Eat



See Tema's Senior Recital

Sunday, May 21 at 7 PM
Seymour St. John Chapel
Choate Rosemary Hall



Wieniawski, Bach, Gershwin, Brahms
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This is just love. It's nothing like the storm. [07 May 2006|03:27am]

We used to call what ruined us the storm,
Though that suggests we could have seen it break
And barred the door. But it was multiform:
It got inside, it made a teacup shake,
It sought us out where we lay half awake.
Now it was here, what would it make us do?
When we were thrown together, then we knew.

-Clive James


And suddenly I remember why I was such an insomniac and suddenly I remember everything.
A fog has been lifted and a shadow cast?

Maybe it’s time for an unambiguous note. Some recent events and some not-so-recent background.

My life is straight out of a movie.

So two weeks ago, after a mediocre-to-intolerable day, I decided to go out and buy some cheese to cheer myself up. Because Wells’ parents had baked me a bread to congratulate me on getting into Yale and I needed cheese to complete the consumption experience. So I needed to get gas on the way.
Pump clicks. Remove pump. Gas everywhere. Won’t stop. Spewing on the ground, in the air, on my clothes and hands and feet. I’m standing in a puddle of gas unable to move. I drop the pump and go inside and ask India to shut it off. So he does. Asks me to move my car so he can hose down the station. Need I mention that an entire side of my car is also dripping? And I drive home, steeped in gas. Wishing I smoked.
Strip in the driveway. Shower.


One week later—one week ago— Hartford competition.
Actually decided to practice. Boyfriend came back from a visit to Oberlin shockingly sane for the first time in a week (a week is apparently an eternity filled with innumerable ups-and-downs)—spent a nice finals-eve reassured with him. Dress rehearsal—fine. Distractions—tucked away.
Get on stage. Freeze. First real memory slip I’ve ever had. Over. And over again. Happiness in repetition? Fuck you, Kundera. There’s a sick happiness in repeating a bad habit. Or so he should have pointed out. Recurring nightmare in every reappearance of the theme. The symbolism feels almost too perfect. Twelve minutes of agony. Mortified. Trauma. Call Jeremiah. Why? Who knows.

That night I promised I would go to Matt’s Brahms performance at Yale. Jeremiah promised to come. Jeremiah was suddenly incapacitated so I go it alone. Not the best timing. Can he help it? Does it matter? It matters but he can’t. Forgiveness is such a panacea, at this point. Unconditional love all around.
Brahms was fantastic. Maybe music isn’t so horrible if if if.

So my mother thought I was a mess at Hartford finals because I wasn’t miserable when I performed. Because I hadn’t screamed at her beforehand or done something self-destructive immediately before playing backstage. Have I mentioned that my mother is insane?
And if that’s the real reason I was so horrible, then I probably shouldn’t play, should I?
I don’t think I’m one of the artists who has to be destined to cut off his ear to make a statement. Let’s hope not.

I’m five years old. I’m practicing under Dad’s rigid supervision. I make a mistake. He hits himself. “You can quit when you’re 18.” I’m twelve playing Kabalevsky, slamming my hand into drawers and telling my violin teacher my cat tore up my arms. I’m thirteen learning the third movement of Barber. I cut myself every time I make a mistake. Bitterness, anyone? Fantastic concert. Zwillich in Boston. Massacre backstage. Concert goes well. Even Boston Globe liked me. We always forgot about it after I had given the performance. Such an act. Music is about emotion—not about pretending. It should involve escape but not recurring denial.
Am I 18 yet? Is the wait over? How old am I? Six? Ninety?

So last year I broke down (I wonder why?) and my parents back off. I break up with my incommunicative boyfriend. Freedom. Room to breathe. I break away from this past. Freedom.
I find Jeremiah and forget about myself. He doesn’t know any of this about me. I hardly remember any of this. Thank God my parents have given up and I’ve frightened them into backing away.

So I stop playing music for a few months and tiptoe around my house. To my surprise, no one says anything. I can handle this pregnant silence until college. I can handle this.
I am free to see Jeremiah. I am happy? I thought I was happy then? Maybe that is just the feeling of relief?

It’s June and I’m in Amherst playing beautiful music for hours upon hours a day and loving it. I’m dissecting movements and putting pieces together and writing Jeremiah love letters and sending him e-strings and I don’t care that he doesn’t respond because I am happy and I am filling myself with music and I don’t have anyone looming over me. Jeremiah is light and foreign and far away but I feel wrapped up and warm because I am a complete person. I can let myself be happy.

I’m in California, playing Brahms. I am breathing Beethoven and feeling unhindered closeness for the first time since I pushed Matt away out of necessity and Jeff kisses me and I play a beautiful concert. I am naked I am living and far away and it is wonderful because I am finally feeling reconnected with an entirely revived self. A new, comfortable self devoid of loathing and fear and unnecessary inhibition. I don’t hate Jeremiah for not responding. I could never hate him. He helped me out of my home. He gave me somewhere to go. He had been my escape.
Well? Is this possible? Is this music? Is this love? Is this happiness? Is this unbearably light and when will this implode? When will I be home?

So I’m home. And I don’t love music. And I don’t love much. And I resign myself to waiting. Because this time there’s only one year to go. And despite the fact that I may have to take myself everywhere I go, I cannot be myself in this house. I cannot be myself around these people who are not my parents.

Everyone in my life has either gone insane beyond a comprehensive degree or has been put on medication to ease whatever impending pain he might feel. Because growing up is hard. I’m sorry. I know. I feel as if I was forced into a few aspects of adulthood a little bit prematurely. But I’ve survived. And I am sane. And I really don’t know why everyone is depressed and why everyone craves rose-colored glasses—because the calm after the storm is so much more beautiful when you actually fight the battle—and I know that I’ve been foolish, thinking I could help anyone or support anything. Because if someone is really depressed, no one can fix it. And I know that. And I know that I deserve someone who will respond to my emails and call me if he thinks I’ve had a bad day and do the things he’s promised to do, but I know that it’s easy to break promises when you’re depressed, and I know that perception is completely skewed, and I know that it’s painful to have someone abandon you for no other reason other than that you haven’t been yourself even you don’t know where you’ve gone, and I know that I’m an impatient person and that maybe it’s foolish to be patient for the first time now, but I know that I don’t want to be bitter and that I don’t have any more room to be bitter and I spent a year being bitter at Abe for things he couldn’t help and it’s futile to be upset at people for things they really can’t change, and I know that I just want to comfort someone in the way I wish he would comfort me. In the way I wish I had been comforted last year.
In the way that I found comfort in Jeremiah last Spring. After the worst of my own storm had ended. And I don’t think he’ll ever know what a comfort that was.
And as much as I wish it weren’t true, I know he’s going to disappear because that’s the type of person he is, but I think it’s probably a healthy thing that I haven’t given up faith in him yet. Everyone deserves that much and everyone is allowed to struggle.

And at the same time I resent everyone for his plastic pills and slightly subdued and partially preset motions, apparently I’ve had some sort of dark glasses on all year. I’ve forgotten about my parents. I’ve been pretending I don’t live here anymore and I’ve been imagining myself somewhere else.
I’ve let everyone weigh on me because I’ve been spending this entire year pushing my own weight into a closet. I’ve been huddled in a hole all year, hibernating in my room or quietly escaping to Jeremiah. And when he’s been there, he’s been fantastic. Abe realized he had to give up with me because he couldn’t fix my problems and he couldn’t spend time with me without feeling as if he were obligated to put me together. And to some extent, I think everyone has to learn that lesson at some point. So I’ve learned that I can’t fix people. But I don’t think that means I have to walk away.


So after a year of soft, steady buildup, my parents have exploded. All the independence my parents gave me out of fear has been irrationally revoked. My parents are convincing me that I am depressed and failing. But that is not the truth. I am afraid and in temporary hiding. And I wish it could have been more temporary than it has. I wish.
And tonight my father is screaming at me telling me I am a fuck-up like his other children (who fucked them up at the start?) and that I am the reason he is not close with any of his family, my mother included, and the next thing I know I am hitting an old, sad, senile man because I have already hurt myself today and I cannot do anything to dull his tantrum and I am trying to jump off of a banister and my mother is grabbing my leg and I swear my life is straight out of the movies. At least it’s almost reached a comical point already. I really am grateful for that much. And suddenly I remember two years ago, and the year before that, and the year before that. And sobbing and hyperventilating and calling Matt, who was always available but couldn’t help—because other people can’t fix your problems—and and and. I remember 3 AM and I remember the terror I felt every time I came home from California. And for the first time in almost an entire year of living demurely among strangers, I’m home. So this is home.

I don’t know exactly how much music I’d like to pursue at this point—hopefully I can somehow remove the tainted aspects in a more opportune situation and start fresh and learn to love it. I think I’m getting better about removing the bitter? Because while I cannot escape myself—I’d really rather not, since I think I have the potential to be a fine individual—I can escape this home.

I wanted to go to Rice because I need the positive musical push.
I may not need the distance, but I need the parents I’ve never had. I need something positive, not passive-aggressive and not manipulative and not miserable and lonely and unfulfilled. And I know I need to work and I know that I need to be pushed to work. My parents don’t know how to push in the right ways.
And I am not afraid to work. But I know that this year was a wait. And I know that I could have done more on my own, but this year I was afraid. At least I know why now.

I loved Jeff Taylor’s parents. I loved Jeremiah’s parents.
Of course, because they are not my own. And it’s almost a shame that they won’t stay with me half as long as I had hoped they would. But I am not their child and their sons are not ready for anything permanent—not even for a friend—not even for themselves.
But I know these parents, as crazy and irrational as they are, are not this volatile and malicious towards their own children. And I am a good daughter. And I am not lazy. But I am afraid in this house, and after 18 years of a cycle, with only so much time to go, I am not going to try to battle it anymore, but rather, wait it out. I have resigned and I have put on my blindfold and tonight it was ripped off but I am going to try my best to put it back on for the time being. At least while I’m in this house.


Much to my parents’ disbelief and seeming dismay, I am not averse to happiness. I don’t consider it the stuff of poison and I am not more comfortable behind this wall. I know I am crouching behind it and I wish I didn’t need the defense.

And now it’s half past three in the morning and I’m sitting here in Abe’s boxers and I just ate a ham and cheese sandwich—ham for the first time in forever, for what that’s worth—and I don’t know what to do, but at least I’m not saying “only two more years.”

Only one more month.
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Prose Before Hos? [17 Apr 2006|01:41am]
So Happy Easter and my mother accidentally killed a bunny today while gardening. Irony? No—seriously. And she considers it a bad omen of sorts. But really, isn’t everything just some portent of my inevitable misery?

I’m totally keeping it together while everything around me seems to be going to bits, but honestly, [forced] optimism is just exhausting. At least I’m trying. Or something.

Honestly. The weather has been a f[l]antastic mood-elevator (yes, my mood is riding up and down—and has perhaps pressed the emergency stop button so that it can kiss a strange boy while someone in surveillance smiles). Or whatever. I haven’t kissed anyone on an elevator in a while. Or someone on a mood-elevator? And if I were to jump off of a cliff while having sex with Courtney Love would I be falling in love? And I just adore driving around with the windows down and wearing open-toed shoes. And I’ve been reading a lot and smiling and I haven’t cried in a while (since a little melt-down last Wednesday?)—And and and.

And Anna is amazing for creating the group entitled "I'm Saving What's Left of Me For Paul Adler." And aren't we all, really?

And parents have no right to be passive-aggressive.
So—Mother’s Shtick:
Yes you will be happy at Yale. Of course. But you won’t if you aren’t positive you will so why don’t you fucking go to NYU or just crawl into a gutter somewhere and you cannot blame me if you’re not happy so how about you don’t go but you are going to go to Yale I mean I don’t know but I need something to throw in my friends’ faces but I don’t know if you’ll be happy but you probably won’t but I won’t bother you.

She thinks my discontent is a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. And I’ll give her that. In that you can certainly be as much of a mess as you’d like to be so long as you tell yourself you just can’t clean anything up. But I don’t think I’m going to be unhappy. Mainly, I think that I’ve had a difficult couple of weeks. And it’s at a point where pretty much everything is comical. And I’m reading The Death of Artemio Cruz and I love how Fuentes makes the line between cruelty and tenderness so thin. Such a timeless trend.

And I just watched the last half hour of Easter Parade. My favorite comfort movie (right up there with The Graduate, I <3 Huckabees, and Boogie Nights) and I’m mulling over a little escape to the Berkshires but will try to hold off on that one until the weekend.

Let’s hope that April is the cruelest month and that something decides to bloom come May.
Come what May?
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Dayenu[?]! [12 Apr 2006|04:02am]
Remember that time it was 4 AM and you had to write a modulating sequence? But instead you go downstairs and play a little Brahms and watch an episode of Elimidate and then finger through an issue of the New Yorker and read half a volume of Emily Dickinson and make yourself decaffeinated tea and think that 4 AM probably calls for something more drastic than a teaspoon of sugar and lactose-free milk?
Non-dairy creamer and microwaved marshmallows to the rescue!

The two emails I’ve received in the past half hour while working on my Fugue:
“Find the right school now! Faster!”
&
Round-fare trips to Chicago compliments of…that time I befriended Travelocity or some such service (for the purpose of visiting which boyfriend I honestly cannot remember—[California? Texas? Prague?])— for under $100! I take it I’ll have no reason to visit le Windy City. In fact, I think from now on I’m sticking to Connecticut and California and Europe. Oh my.
Irony NOW!


So Annie brought me Chanel and Xanax. Which must compliment each other surprisingly well? And I wish that I believed in the power of happy-pills? I feel as if there is some reason that chemistry was not my forte? And counterpoint must be my mezzo-forte? And happiness must be my pianissimo? Maybe all my problems would be solved if I started taking vitamins? Only organic happiness for me, please.
Would anxiety be more relieving than apathy at this point? Resignation? License and registration?

Too many question marks and exclamation points.
Because today has been a ridiculous, ridiculous day.
Yesterday was ridiculous, that is. And today is already tired.
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It's Like, Yeah, Motherfucker, I'm Fine [07 Apr 2006|03:16am]
So—some highlights and lowlights. Lux et Veritas. Truth and light. Truth in light. And of course, I’m left in the dark.

So Jeremiah and Annie and I saw Emerson perform Shostakovich 10 and then Jeremiah and I watched a little bit of West Side Story and I thought that things were going to work themselves out.

But things fall apart; the center cannot hold. Oh, Yeats. Oh, You. Comme tout le temps, bien sûr.

So if ever I led a boy on (hah), I would just like to thank Rice University for letting me know exactly how that sort of rejection feels. So I didn’t get into Rice, but I did get into Yale.

So that was a big, 210 lb. disaster. And I don’t know if the karmic balance is tipping for things I did years ago (months ago? minutes ago?) for which I've tried to redeem myself, but so much of me feels as if this shouldn’t have happened. But what happens happens.

So you get rejected from Rice at 3 AM after you’ve come home from your boyfriend’s house. And you’ve just lost an hour because you Sprung forward and then you fall back and have no idea what is going on. And you call your boyfriend but you cannot cry and then your parents yell at you and you get in the shower and sit on the floor and have a nice sob and wonder how you’ve failed and why you deserve this and then you go to bed. So you wake up and you decide you’re going to be pretty today. And you pretend it’s Spring and that you didn’t cry in the shower and try to forget about the fact that you are overwhelmed with an urge to throw up and hurl yourself out of your window. And it’s knowing words like “defenestrate” that got you into Yale. And you drive to school and you lie on the grass with Shane and put on your sunglasses and read Lolita and doze and you think that things may be alright, so long as you ignore everything. Then you go see your boyfriend and he says that he feels guilty because he knows he’ll be happy next year. And that’s all he has to offer and then you realize you love someone who is not all there but can anyone really help that and is it really worth trying to reel him in just so that you can let him out to sea? And don’t you just think that water metaphors feel appropriate today? And you wonder where he is. Where he’s gone. You wish you could achieve that sort of escape. You wish you could achieve that cool.
And then you feel hot and bothered and overwhelmed and you cry on your way home.

And it just seems as if you’re prone to misery. So everyone has convinced you. Misery sans company. Sans his company, at least.

And you don’t understand how you’ve come to love him for who he is despite the fact that he’s completely wrong for you. And nonetheless it will hurt when he goes and you know he will and you wonder why you’ve stuck around, and mainly, why you’re going to stick around in this place, this godforsakenIvylovingpretentiousfrigid place, and where he’ll go and when and who he’ll be and be with and who he is.

Stuck stuck stuck.

And then he brings you a flower and you put it in a vase with the flower he gave you when he got back from Spain that he’s probably forgotten about and the other flowers from other boyfriends. All dead. All past. But it’s a gesture and that’s all you need.

And you sit here chewing on ice and maybe you’re frustrated but at least you’re sane and safe and at least you can love. If you must. And maybe you called all of your ex-boyfriends tonight while he was asleep and you worried about him and maybe you realize that they may care about you in a different way than he ever will. But you never know. And you know he’s beautiful. And you cannot quantify how much anyone cares. You can only predict growth to a degree. And sometimes it does snow in April. But Spring is on its way. He has to come around eventually, doesn’t he?


And then you realize—This is Yale. This is not a table and this is not the holocaust. You are not biting into an apple and finding half a worm. You are eating a rice cake and you are going to a school that you fantasized about all through your childhood and what would you really have in Texas other than warmth and newness? How long does newness stay new, anyway? How long will you stay you? How long does anyone stay? And isn’t constancy a positive thing and doesn’t the most important change take root on the inside and pull you out? And I just want someone to pull for me a little bit. Pull me down and tie me up. Because I’ve been pushing so hard for everyone and maybe we could all just sit down for a while and have a picnic before the leaves start to change again.

And everyone says I cannot cannot go to Yale. Strangers and friends and foes alike. And I know I need escape.
And then I went to New York and realized that escape is not so simple and that I can sit on a train and I can find my way but I will not find comfort in indecipherable faces and maybe I shouldn’t run before I know exactly where I want to go. And I listened to Jono croon a little Schubert in my direction and it was lovely.
My car crossed the 100,000 mile mark and I didn’t notice and I wonder when I’ll be able to cry in front of my boyfriend and when I’ll stop feeling as if I’m playing dress-up, shuffling around in mommy’s heels and driving around in a Tonka truck. Because sometimes I think I’m just playing. But this is not a table. This is not a game. This is not a mid-life crisis. This is no crisis, at all. This has been tricky and sticky and messy, but so long as there’s ice to chew, I’ll have some sort of outlet. Now—to find a toaster and a bathtub.

Maybe I need to move to Morocco. But maybe I just need a little distance from everyone else and a little more personal proximity. Because this is year I made room for everyone. This is the year I drove everyone around and forgot about myself and my needs and let everything slide. But I’m done sliding and it’s time to enjoy myself and my own company— and if my boyfriend or anyone else decides to join me, I’ll greet him with open arms. And he can stay as long as he likes. Because I think I’ve done a good deal of expansion and I’ve got plenty of room and I’m glad that I’ll be somewhere I can see the leaves change and the snow fall and I will not let the winter embitter me.

But somehow the feeling that accompanies all of these people approaching me telling me that they cannot believe that I am sticking around and that doom is surely impending continues to beat on me from the inside out and I worry that these signs are flood warnings and I refuse to build a raft and I’m going to wash away. I suppose that would be one method of escape. And I’m allowed to worry.

And maybe I would be happier if someone felt happy for me. But maybe it’s just time for me to be happy for myself.
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Take a Little Journey [24 Mar 2006|01:42am]
And we, who always think of happiness
rising, would feel the emotion
that almost baffles us
when a happy thing falls.

-Rilke




(But I just can't get you
Since the day I left you)

Einsam seigt er dahin--
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Now here’s the sun, it’s alright! (Lies!) [21 Mar 2006|01:15am]
Sleeping is giving in,
no matter what the time is.
Sleeping is giving in,
so lift those heavy eyelids.



So after not sleeping at all for three days, I realized that I have been asleep for several months.
Time to come out of this hole and stop hibernating. I only wish that I could take you with me.

So after all is said and done—I’m not sure which was more fun—college auditions or spring break?

New England Conservatory. Cold. Austere. Boston. Bitter. Thanks again, Harvard. The audition went fine and Mr. Weilerstein was quirky and curmudgeonly as always. I saw Gary, went to China Town and out for Pho and left rather abruptly. Gary has graduated from Jewish girls to Korean girls and I think he’s just a good guy. He’s growing up and completely legal now and I wish I felt a little younger. And that I were a little bit older. We always talk about how we shouldn’t drift so much, but despite the fact that we always do, things manage to feel the same. Maybe his paternal qualities (Gary is obviously my father) have rubbed off on me, explaining my disgusting maternal urges as of late.
Then I came home and drove to Jeremiah’s house at something ridiculous like 11 PM.
Since then, he has gotten his license. Mazel Tov and thank God.

I’ve been learning to drive.
My whole life,
I’ve been learning.
I like the peace
in the backseat,
I don’t have to drive,
I don’t have to speak.


Then off to Rice. Jeff was surprisingly pleasant before my audition. We had a moment. Hugged on the steps and despite the fact that he was a step below me, he felt tall. Why does he always feel tall after I haven’t seen him for a while? The next day, his friend asked who was in the crazy picture in my violin case and Jeff explained that it was “the asshole I had dumped him for.” Then things quickly deteriorated. Obviously because he used a preposition at the end of a sentence.
We went out for a moderately awkward lunch and then a very uncomfortable dinner. Then he talked about how pathetic and manipulative I am etc. etc. And how he doesn’t have to pander to me anymore. And I was impressed by his use of “pander.” Then we came back from dinner and I cried a little and blabla he is sorry and still loves me. Of course. They’re always just tired and making excuses and need a wakeup call because who really enjoys healthy introspection anymore? Then we listened to Beethoven and he tried to get a little bit cozy and I left. Then I came back to bitterness. Slept in Meta’s room. The next day—a final and overwhelmingly uncomfortable dinner, more cruelty (when cruelty was playful), then Jeff thought about kissing me but I didn’t give him that opportunity and then I left.

And I broke two e-strings in my audition. Two in one audition. Impressive, I know. And Kathleen Winkler was kind enough to meet with me and tell me just how exceptionally horrible my vibrato is and I feel as if I need to be reset completely and just hope that my psyche and left hand can manage to bear it. And I need to be relocated and re-everything-ed and I just hope I can make it and not be miserable. I just hope.

And the girl whom Jeff was ambiguously dating saw me and fled. She broke up with him and gave him forty dollars with a note telling him to “buy some liquor” with it. Then he dated her again. Because apparently all boys are just enormous pussies. Then she broke up with him again. Immediately thereafter, Jeff decided he needed a break—from me. So we’re not speaking and I feel fine about that. Everyone is entitled to a little space. And then I realized that I hadn’t talked to my boyfriend for a couple of months despite the fact that he has resigned himself to seeing me almost every day. But he’s also entitled to… something. Confusion? We’re all entitled to phrases now and then and always and forever.

Jeff can blame me for whatever he wants. He’s a good guy (kid? person?) and everyone is entitled to a little bitterness now and then. Maybe I’m just feeling generous. Dare I say apathetic?

And thus concluded the tour of ex-boyfriends.

Then Oberlin. Oh Oberlin. So I braved Ohio (Oh Ohio) on my own and that was lonely and odd. So after about sixty hours of Sufjan Stevens and some minimal sleep on the floor—severely impaired by drum circles and loud lesbians outside the door—I had a fine audition. And Mr. Vitek says hello (to you, of course) and feels that my vibrato could still use a lot of work and that I ought to be more less. And I saw a million people I knew and felt completely disoriented and trapped. And dat was dat?
And everyone was wearing burlap and eating turnips and other such indecipherable foods and showering together and I baked Vegan bread and I had a White Russian or two and decided to call it a day.
Then Tom Bandar, violist extraordinaire, was amazing and rescued me Sunday morning and gave me a tour of Cleveland and CIM. Which was nearly as depressing as Oberlin. He couldn’t seem to understand how or why Jeff and I aren’t dating anymore, but then again, he’s a violist. Tom, not Jeff.
Two crazy cab drivers (one of whom gave me an hour-long tour and asked for my number and practically abducted me, the other of whom couldn’t seem to comprehend how I don’t worship Jesus and made me recite Hebrew prayers for forty minutes) and one audition and several days of wondering why neither Jeremiah, nor, more importantly, my parents had managed to call me, I was home. Actually, my father called me around 2 AM the night before my audition. Along with a drunk Matt Mouradian.

Then I came home and it was spring break.
And now I’m just waiting. In the waiting line? Waiting room? Now I’d just like to lose a little weight?

So what did I do over break?

Well, I got a Brahms sonata from Matt (a little ironically?) and we bumped into his mother while walking through New Haven with pearl milk teas. And random:

notoriousTEM0: everyone has bad taste in girls
MATT8895: i don't
MATT8895: but, then again, someone who never eats can't really have a taste one way or another

notoriousTEM0:matt you are turning into a walking metaphor
MATT8895: no i'm not
notoriousTEM0: well you were talking about figurative eating?
MATT8895: i'm not really moving, i'm static
MATT8895: so i'm not a walking metaphor
MATT8895: i don't have a life
MATT8895: and i won't find one soon

MATT8895: if everyone spoke the way you wrote in your journal
MATT8895: it would be something like
MATT8895: [hello] [hey] i [mean] hi (tonal resolution[?]{!}]?) (haiku)

And I saw too much of Jeremiah (static time) and nothing of Jeremiah and chauffeured too many people around and made too many breakfasts. Annie and I went to White Plains and I had my fingerboard replaned and learned a little Brahms. Then Shane stayed with me for a few days and we went roller-blading. And that was nice.

Mainly I wish I had been brave enough to address certain issues earlier.
As Matt would quote Aldous Huxley, “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”

And that I had practiced more and read more and gone out and done exciting things and seen ballet in New York and eaten French food and played chamber music. And yelled at Jeremiah about six weeks ago and that I were a year older. But I am just a baby taking care of other small creatures for no particularly rewarding reason and I cannot be mad at Jeremiah because why bother?

* * *


So has anyone else read anything by Carol Gilligan? Well, she revised Kohlberg’s scale of ethical self-actualization (I used that term in an English paper and the teacher wrote “jargon—disgusting” in the margin) just for women. And I hate women. And I hate feminists even more. But I think she is onto me.
So basically, stage one—women are overly devoted to caring for themselves, stage two—women are overly devoted to caring for others, and stage three—women manage to achieve a balance of caring.
And I am stuck stuck stuck in stage two.
I am overcome with the urge to do considerate things for not-necessarily-so-considerate (Mainly sweetly aloof? If there is such a thing? Where have you hidden the euphemism?) people and am constantly going out of my way. And it mainly seems as if no one believes in reciprocation anymore, but mainly mainly my problem is with myself. So it’s time to let someone else drive (someone who has had a license for longer than two months) and get out of this rut.
Apparently—according to Gilligan—women are the ones who are responsible for sustaining relationships maintaining and the virtues that society greatly needs. But I basically think that she’s just giving men an excuse to be lazy. And they are using it and someone needs to yell at them and bash their faces in and someone really needs to bring me breakfast even though I don’t eat breakfast. Or at least I need to stop doing the things I’m doing, because that seems like the most logical and rewarding place to start.
And apparently people aren’t like eggs and you can’t just hope to crack someone open because some people are hard-boiled.
Sunny. Side. Up. And I’m definitely soft-scrambled for the time being. And maybe I should stop dating people who aren't eggs at all. Sausage simply isn't Kosher.



And I’m just thrilled about impending college rejections and breakups and disappointments and such.
But at the same time I am excited excited excited about spring and actually being allowed a little academic apathy. And warmth and Brahms and maybe certain people will come back around and we can all come out of hiding together and take a little nap in the sun and practice some violin.
And after a big blow of disappointment last weekend, I’m trying not to set expectations too high.

But someone told me not to cry?
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It's Me or Iggy Pop [12 Mar 2006|03:14am]
*67 & Happy Post!
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Yellow Jews and Blue Jews and Bruised Jews [12 Feb 2006|03:16am]
So this was a horrible week. I was sick and sad and angry and I am still sick and I’m not sure about the other two. Maybe just resigned and morose. But that’s only in regard to my violin playing. Maybe.
And tonight Punch-Drunk Love was on Fox and there was no orange juice, so I squeezed myself some—oranges in lieu of other things I would have preferred squeezing.

And then I changed my strings. All four. And it felt wonderful. Since there was blood all over my old strings compliments of Paganini. And I know you’re not supposed to do this, but I tuned all the strings (sans E, which is just so kind as to stay where you put it) up a half step. Because I know they’ll have slipped, or rather, stretched, before morning. And sometimes it just seems as if it’s in my best interest to overshoot. A, D, and G, sometimes I wish you weren’t so flexible. Hopefully you’ll work with me through auditions.

And I also played Mendelssohn with orchestra tonight (sort of).

I feel as if I’ve had an extensive history with the Mendelssohn Concerto. I don’t care if Mendelssohn was a Jew, I really just don’t care for him. So here’s a little reminiscing. Or something.

So there was the time (exactly one year ago) Abe Chiang just happened to be in town from Stanford for a squash meet at Yale when I played the 1st movement with orchestra for the first time. Despite a good amount of arguing on Abe’s part, I never let him come to my concerts when he actually lived near me because Matt always came and I don’t know to be honest. But I had really wanted him to come this time, and he managed to get there three minutes after I had finished playing.

Then there was the time I played the 2nd movement for the first time at studio class last spring, the afternoon after Jeremiah had randomly slept over my house one night and I had not slept at all and I fell asleep in studio class and it was probably the worst public playing I had ever done but I didn’t care because I had been too depressed to play violin for several months and felt overwhelmed with happiness and Annie remembers how ridiculous that was. Jeff loves that second movement. I really, really don’t know why.

Then, I played the third movement for the first time at Mr. Vitek’s studio class in California. Jeff’s friend Mike and his girlfriend Sheila were visiting and I was oddly nervous about making a good impression on them and I begged Jeff not to show up at studio class with them. So I get on stage, and before I play, Mr. Vitek makes me “practice” bowing, because apparently I’m just not confident enough with my yoga on stage. And so he made me bow for everyone seven times and I pretty much started crying and then I see Jeff sitting in the back of the hall with Mike and Sheila and was absolutely enraged. And then I played and it was unprepared and Jeff had a good laugh at me and Mike and Sheila didn’t notice. Why is it that I am always most concerned about the opinions of people who are just totally incapable of forming any? And then we went out and I was still angry with Jeff but we listened to Cream and ate Korean food and he held my hand on a beautiful beach, and Mike said “Oh my god, is Jeff holding a girl’s hand?” And he was and I wonder if I will ever visit that beach again and hold his hand again. Let’s be honest: It’s impossible to go back to holding hands.

Then, a week later, I had to play the third movement in concert. So that morning I had to go play Brahms b Major trio in church (playing Brahms in church just feels— inappropriate). So I got up, exhausted (since I think Jeff and I had stayed up late being sappy watching Annie Hall). And I tried to be quiet as I toppled over him and slipping my clothes on just felt good in the strangest way. Jeff told me how pretty I looked, like he did every morning, and I don’t know, he was just sweet, and I went and ate oatmeal and went to the church that he and I had passed two years ago on some 2 am stroll. And then my trio played Brahms b Major, which is probably one of the most beautiful pieces ever written.
And I think it’s just perfect, because Brahms first wrote the theme when he was younger than me, then revised it right before he died.
And who can really manage to capture the innocence of youth and then combine it with pathos and knowledge and life and have it maintain beauty?
And Jeff says, or rather said, that piece is my mantra, and I think Jeff is just too beautifully kind and that I will never be pretty enough to encompass that piece.
And then I see Jeff, who was supposed to be sleeping, sitting in the balcony. So I got an atheist who normally requires nine hours of sleep to wake up with only six and come to church. And really, that’s just how Jeff is. Jeff, who gets his new girlfriend flowers twice in a week (once because she sang and once just because--- and he never got me flowers because somehow he maintained an exceptionally high level of originality and knows I prefer a card) and still calls to wish me good luck before a concert and is still honest with me. And to Annie's dismay, I do not think it would make any sense to phase him out of my life. And am I jealous because I miss that period just after your first kiss with someone when your mind is just buzzing with potential? Probably more jealous of that than jealous because this is Jeff. Things are just a lot more convenient when they involve people you don’t know yet. Then disappointment gets involved and friction prevents anything from achieving its true potential energy. And it’s funny, because I think I knew Jeff too well the first time we kissed. And maybe that’s why I was never scared with him. And maybe you need that fear to kindle a spark? Maybe I’m just too cynical. Maybe it’s time to stop rationalizing. I’m too rational with Jeff Taylor. Never embarrassed or worried or shy. I have to wonder why I was secretive. I still don’t think that my omission constitutes betrayal. But who knows.

So now I’m over fear, but totally lost.

And then after church we went back to bed for a few hours (I know—but for sleep, okay?) which was just excessive and just listened to more Brahms which was even more excessive. And then he put on Dvorak Serenade because he knows how much I hate that piece and was sure it was the only thing that could get me out of bed. And it did. And it’s like he and I speak two languages with each other. And then he went out to lunch with the two other members of my trio and came back stage before I played and gave me this ridiculous Japanese Pez dispenser that he had hoped I would hate. But I love it and it’s still in my violin case.

And I hate surprises, but sometimes I try to make an exception or two or ten, and after many a trial and tribulation, Jeremiah showed up to surprise me when I played with Mendelssohn with Manchester Symphony tonight. And my playing was sub-par and my mood was sub-anything-and-everything, but you can’t blame a boy for trying. And who cares about standards anymore. So that was sweet and thank god this week is over.
And Shane and Annie were wonderful, at least.

I need to squeeze myself a little bit more orange jews, maybe, and call it a night.

I forgot my mantra, and I need "to be more less"---
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Using Schadenfreude as a Contextual Clue [08 Feb 2006|02:17am]
Can you take a guess at what egregious might mean?

So, apparently record sales of sleeping pills are causing worry over at Monsieur New York Times. [No worries?]
I slept through school today. And I'm starting to think that everyone just wants to sleep his way to the top. And I'd love to sink my way out of this year by sleeping through the next several months. Too bad I'm not apathetic enough to sacrifice my consciousness.

* * *


I don’t understand how I gave up someone who is still so good to me. At the same time, it seems like sacrifice is just a necessary part of all good relationships.



How much does anyone really want to know about my personal life? I love how when I share with Shane he always laughs. There's something good about the light[ness] that he adds to my life. I hid a bottle of vodka in my indoor grill and told Jeremiah that Shane did it. (It had been his idea, initially). Last weekend Shane escaped Choate for an evening and stayed over at my house and said that he hoped I would emasculate him as much as I possibly could. And I thought that was weird. We baked cupcakes and I laughed harder than I have in a long time. I feel as if it's been a while since I've associated with someone with whom I haven't slept. I'm sure we'll get around to that, eventually.


So—Jeff Taylor got a girlfriend. Or is getting a girlfriend. There is a girl in Jeff Taylor’s life and she is not me. I am not she.

I don’t want to be his girlfriend. But Jeff Taylor has been my Jeff Taylor for the past forever, and I have been his best friend and his lover and his girlfriend and his sister and we have lived together and laughed and cried and been angry. He has forced me to be candid. He has cracked me open and watched me spill out and he has mopped me up and squeezed me back into my jar. We have achieved an intimacy that I will assuredly not find for a long, long time.

And I don’t know when I’ll be able to say I am as close with anyone as I am with Jeff Taylor. Was? Could have should have would have? And the only thing I regret is that maybe I sacrificed a part of him for something temporary. Someone temporary. But at the same time, it wouldn’t have been right to hold onto that part of him. I am only sorry for the way I hurt him. But sometimes it’s impossible not to hurt those whom we love the most. (Déja-cliché)

And it broke my heart a little bit that he and I are no longer close enough to tell each other about our personal lives. And I have to wonder how close you can be with anyone if he or she doesn’t know about your personal life. But maybe this is just transition. I know he’s still here in all the fundamental ways. All the ways in which everyone else refuses to make himself available.

So last night Jeff called me because he knew I was bothered. Because even if he can’t see me and I don’t admit anything, this boy just knows. And he said “I love you” for the first time in months and it felt as if someone had wrapped an electric blanket around me. And then I cried and it felt good to cry to him. It felt good to cry to someone without feeling embarrassed. It felt good to be vulnerable and safe. Lost and safe all over again? Double-déja?

And it feels good that he makes me say what I’m feeling even if he knows I’d rather curl up around my heartache.

And I have to wonder how much heartache is healthy.
Then I saw Jeremiah briefly this afternoon and it was anticlimactic and I listened to Brahms viola quintet and cried again. Then drove in circles. Then drove home.

So Jeremiah, Annie and I saw the Tokyo String Quartet last week. Jeff told me a long, long time ago that it would be foolish and frustrating to try to force Jeremiah to appreciate the music the way I do. And that is certainly true. And I think more than anything I just wish I could do a better job of sharing all this. But maybe that’s too selfless. Maybe music is something I should crumple up and swallow and savor for myself.
So I was inappropriately but predictably disheartened by that concert (aside—the Brahms was a true disappointment), but realize that I was discouraged not because my boyfriend doesn’t get Bartok. Am I allowed to refer to him as that? Do I really want to call him that? Do I really want to be doing all this extra work? Have I not told Jeff because I’m embarrassed? Should I be embarrassed by a boyfriend who doesn’t offer to come to my concerts or be with me on my birthday?


And mainly I miss lying in bed and listening to music with Jeff and falling asleep and waking up to silence. But I can do that by myself. And do.

And for no reason, I went to bed one night last weekend overwhelmed with delusion and feeling in love for the first time in a long time. But I’m not in love. I’ve probably never been in love. I may have tasted love and spit it out now and again. But love takes time to digest. And there’s no time. And despite my own anxiety, despite the fact that I may be unprepared, I am not the impatient one. Not now.
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You Haven't Been My Kumquat for Years [07 Feb 2006|03:07am]
When you’re tuning your a string, and then as you’re playing that single note, your d string completely unravels, and then you hear the pop of the g string slipping, it almost seems as if tuning is an utterly futile act.
There is nothing perfect about a fifth.
At the same time, the e string almost never budges. E strings would be so much more comforting if they weren’t breaking all the time.
I love how violists get so offended by an e string’s shrillness.
Sometimes I wish I had a c string.

And I think that I may need to tuck Bartok and Schoenberg and Shostakovich away for a while and go back to Bach. The stuff of complex optimism.

* * *


Even still—
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And lonely as it is, that loneliness [02 Feb 2006|02:55am]
Will be more lonely ere it will be less-

Desert places versus Winter places versus Frost.
Antifreeze! Anticlimax!

Loneliness is a lame theme, but I love this cartoon.


There's nothing very ultimate about frisbee.


Am I falling fast for Bartok quartets? Pretty edgy stuff for Romantic music.
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Read, Eat, [Practice,] Sleep [30 Jan 2006|01:11am]
Apparently bad television is my panacea and my very best friend.

So—Northwestern audition tomorrow. And I’m pretty sure that should scare me into practicing my 210 lb. ass off for the next month. I’m sitting here in underwear and heels, wondering why I fit into a skirt I hadn’t managed to squish into since October. Wondering how I’ll keep my hair out of my face and how I’ll get through this entire Bach fugue.

I called Jeff for moral support and that didn’t go as well as I had hoped/anticipated it would. I’m surprised he didn’t wish me luck, although I did forget the date of his senior recital last year. He got my package (apparently I wrote the zip-code incorrectly, and I’m sure it didn’t help that I addressed it to “Jeffawry”) and was nice enough and is playing in a concert conducted by Itzak Perlman this week and I am infinitely jealous and miss him and am sure it will be terribly, but routinely awkward (flashback) when I see him in a few weeks. But also—good. He is so fantastically busy and practices too much.

In case anyone wants to know what I’ll be wearing on my escapade to Boston (for which I embark in a few hours)—well, it’s a shirt, and it’s made of black. I don’t think that I’ve spent more than an hour with my father in nearly a year. I think I’ll be in need of a cigarette. Or a drag[-queen]. (If only for [comic] relief)

And last week was made of peanut-butter cups, and tomorrow will be made of bananas. And I don’t need any beta-blockers yet, but I’m sure that by the time my NEC audition rolls around, I’ll be craving a Xanax muffin.

Goodnight, cupcakes.
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Why Is Everybody Going to Cambodia? [24 Jan 2006|03:14am]
Everything smells and tastes like polyurethane.

There are certain people who prefer a work in progress. My mother is one of those people. In fact, she has been a work in progress for the past fifty years.
Personally, I prefer product. Product to productivity, at least. Procrastination to either of those, of course.

So she’s ‘finishing’ a bookcase. And I find it ironic that anyone would refer to a three month process as ‘finishing.’ Where is the beginning? And I certainly see no end.

So I’m suffocating, and it’s nothing new. I fear death by land no less than I fear death by water.
And people are probably more toxic than polyurethane. And optimism is the new arsenic, obviously!

* * *


So I turn on the television tonight and watch five minutes of Picnic (which I’ve already seen, at the request of my father, who has never finished a movie but adores Fellini)—with Kim Novak and William Holden, Hal and Madge, respectively. So Hal comes into town for a day and goes mad for Madge. He’s about to leave and trying to convince Madge to go with him. And there’s no time left and the train is going to depart.
And he’s pushing her up against this barn and he says—

You make me so—
Patient.

Do you have to be patient when it comes to love? Because I feel impossibly far from patient. And I realize that I procrastinate with nothing more than I do with relationships. And unfortunately, I feel like procrastination probably doesn’t constitute patience. Without weighing impending possibilities, can you really can’t tell how you’ll feel or how you’ll want to handle things?
Get a handle. Get a grip.

Josh says that because he’s hypercritical, he finds mixed signals in even the simplest things. We get along, though we argue most of the time because he’s ridiculous and I’m ridiculous. I asked him why it seems that I always wear boys out in a short period of time. He replied that perhaps after they get to know me a bit, boys realize I’m boring. Then, after an uncomfortable silence, he revised his previous statement (maybe he had been joshing) and said that maybe it’s because I grow bored with boys and project. I think that there is room for both dissatisfaction and improvement to be allowed.

Would crazy people be better off involved with the sane? Would people who tend to overcomplicate flourish in a relationship with others who can’t do anything but simplify? A Romantic with a Pragmatic?

All I know is that I love rationalizing.
And that a woman’s faith is like the Phoenix—everyone talks about it, but it doesn’t exist.


* * *


[Rehash—not corned beef, sadly]
I feel an overwhelming urge to run away. I want to cram all my unfinished product into my worn-out baggage and sling my violin case over my shoulder and head on out. Out into the open. Where nothing tastes of polyurethane and my accompanist doesn’t complain about her ex-boyfriend for half of my rehearsal time. It’s time for her to find a new boyfriend, if only because current boyfriends typically merit the most kvetching.

But I’m compelled, situationally and personally and ambiguously and polytonally, to impatiently wait things out. Biting my nails and pacing down my hallways. Practically pulling my hair out? No, but by all means ready to hibernate.
Or at least gnaw off my hand if I wake up and find that I’m still ensnared. Thanks, Eddy Albee.

Albee writes about one’s “preoccupation with history.” And I must admit that I tend to look in my relationship rear-view mirror just a bit too much. Fortunately, Albee, too, enjoys illusory history far more than fact.

And, having tried to keep my eye on the road recently, it took me nearly a year to realize that I’m practically a nihilist. I’m a pragmatic nihilist, that is.
Nihilism-Lite, but Cynicism and Carbohydrate-Rich.


My hard drive is full and I weigh 210 lbs. and I need to start deleting things. So why am I saving all this nonsense without which life would be infinitely easier?


* * *



I feel as if I’m hardening.
Sometimes I admire the way Jeff beats me to a pulp if only for the sole purpose of softening me a little bit. And I appreciate it, in a soft, sick way.
But these days—I don’t know. I feel like a bruised apple. I feel like a beetle. Kafka-esque? Freudian? Brahmsian?
If I could claw my way up the walls I’d spend my days on my ceiling, but for now I’m waiting things out under my bed. A bug, no matter. A Pest, at best?

Is it a coincidence that Jeff and I sent each other the same Christmas card? That we bought it in the same store? That the package I sent him has been lost by the Wallingford post office? That I forgot the send him a shirt that he left at my house over Thanksgiving? That he hasn’t asked for it back? He’ll get it back in a few weeks—don’t worry.

Is this synchronicity? Can insignificant coincidences ever sum up to synchronicity? Can you ever detach all the strings that you so carefully fasten to something and hope that holes will heal themselves?

So Jeff says that I need intensify my degree of self-loathing.
I put up with far less than I deserve and [try to] pretend I’m happy—and while that should probably suffice as a substantial enough form of self-inflicted punishment, perhaps what Jeff was insinuating was rather that I strive for self-improvement. Thanks, Jeff. I’ll just take your words as a sign of caring.

I never said I wasn’t passive-aggressive.


* * *


And I think a considerable amount of this urge to curl up and shut up and mainly just sleep is related to the extreme lack of musical stimulation. I can spend as many hours practicing as I’d like (far too few, obviously), but I’ve never been as convenient a fan of [musical] masturbation as I ought [to]. Though I do love excessively awkward syntax!

Do we want someone to listen or do we want someone to understand? And I hate how frustrating it is when intentions, no matter how good, fall short.

I feel as if I’m running races in circles, and I have no idea whether I’m ahead or behind. I’m fairly confident that I’m behind in every musical race, at this point. At least I’m confident in something.


* * *



I’m having performance anxiety because I’m lacking performance opportunity.
Potential versus performance. And I’m tired of the project and I want to start putting together some products.

At this point, however, it’s growing increasingly apparently that I need to sell myself coconuts and send myself letters. Since no one seems to respond anymore—that passé concept of reciprocation having totally degenerated. You’re dismissed.

Is it true that all of the arts strive to be like music?
Isn’t the purpose of a performing art to perform for an audience? But what defines a performance, anyway? The fact that someone is listening? The fact that someone is present?
It seems as if everyone is an exhibitionist. Everyone needs an audience—everyone needs everyone else to know everything—and more than know everything, everyone needs to say everything. Everyone has the right to whine, and everyone seems to be developing that need. We are infants. We need attention.
We are obviously not satisfying ourselves.

But then—just any audience isn’t enough. We can’t simply complain—we need specialists. We need therapists. We need audiences who will fully appreciate our trials and tribulation and sympathize. We need a docent to walk the rest of the world through our fascinating lives. At this point, privacy has lost its meaning, and any sort of isolation—even an isolation of personal thoughts—makes too many people feel incomplete.

In terms of music—however the audience denies its seeming apathy, ignorance is overwhelming.

And at this point, I would probably pay to have someone listen to me play. Though psychoanalysis might be a better investment.

Everywhere I go there are audiences. Ignorant audiences. Apathetic audiences. Silent audiences. And I think more than anything, I would like learn what it takes to solicit a meaningful response.


Ultimately, I think that it may just be far easier to swallow someone else who is down on you than to be down on yourself. It’s more impersonal. It’s more escapable.
And when I wrote that sentence, I had absolutely no sexual intention. I promise.
Good morning, Doctor Freud.

* * *


I practice in the mirror, but would much rather practice in the dark.

Whether or not my eyes are open, and whether or not I want to, I really need to start listening to myself.

But can you truly be your own audience member? If you write a letter and don’t send it to the intended recipient, has that letter lived up to its potential? Have you officially written yourself a letter? I just can’t prepare a piece for myself—
I miss the dialogue. I miss my musical immersion—swimming in that sea. (In that C?) Do I always prefer excess? Be it good or bad? I’m starting to worry.

Auditioning will be an adventure.
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Everything Wants to Float [20 Jan 2006|02:31am]
I am in thrall to gravity.

Déja, Indeed.

I sometimes fear that I shall never view
A French film lacking Gérard Depardieu.
-Updike



Instead of saying “déja vu all over again,” which is apparently a far more popular phrase than I had realized, why don’t people just say “déja vu ce que j’ai déja vu”—
Or something cute and catchy like “double déja”—

* * *


I’m fairly certain I will never find something so loyal as a bad habit.


Sonnets to Orpheus: 24

Shall we renounce our age-old friendship,
the great undemanding gods, because the hard
steel we raised so fiercely doesn't know them?
Or shall we suddenly search for them on a map?

These potent friends who take the dead from us
nowhere brush against our wheels. We've
moved our baths and our banquet places far away,
and their messengers, long too slow for us

we forever outstrip. More alone now, wholly
dependent on each other, strangers to each other,
we no longer plot beautiful meandering roads

but remorseless thoroughfares. Only in steam boilers
do the old fires burn, driving pistons, even more gigantic.
While we feel our strength ebb, like swimmers.
|rilke|
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Beef Rachmaninoff [19 Jan 2006|03:19am]
I'm feeling ad hoc--
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[14 Jan 2006|12:55pm]
[ mood | flantastic ]

Mr. McGuire: "I want to say one word to you. Just one word."
Ben Braddock: "Yes, sir."
Mr. McGuire: "Are you listening?"
Ben Braddock: "Yes, I am."
Mr. McGuire: "Plastics."

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A Little Longing Goes Away [31 Dec 2005|10:21am]
I am feeling uncomfortable. I feel uncomfortable in the water. I feel uncomfortable on land.
I feel restless. I feel restless on top of my sheets and restless beneath. I never sleep beneath sheets. Only boys.

Isa ‘asked’ me to list ten things that make me happy- Let’s see-
1. Mittens/Scarves/Sweaters
2. Orchids (and Orchid Thieves)
3. Kissing- and Purell hand sanitizer
4. Falling asleep while reading
5. Rilke/Updike
6. Playful cruelty
7. Puns
8. Causality (maybe I should be less obnoxious and just put ‘abstraction’)--- Cause = Time?
9. Brahms
10. Microwaves


Paradise Now. Anti-Abstraction Now. [Maybe in a little bit…]

So over Thanksgiving, Jeff Taylor came and stayed with me. We stood in my kitchen; I shattered against his chest. He was my wall. And I held onto that wall. And then my thunder thighs and I toppled over.

Maybe Jeff is just more like that mountain I can’t climb.
Stravinsky contemptuously declared at one point, “I despise mountains; they don’t tell me anything.”

MOUNTAIN IMPASSE

Stravinsky looks upon the mountain,
The mountain looks on him;
They look the mountain and Stravinsky)
And both their views are dim.

“You bore me, mountain,” says Stravinsky,
“I find you dull, and I
Despise you!” Says the mountain:
“Stravinsky, tell me why.”

Stravinsky bellows at the mountain
And nearby valleys ring:
“You don’t confide in me—Stravinsky!
You never tell me anything!”

The hill is still before Stravinsky.
The skies in silence glisten.
At last, a rumble, then the mountain:
“Igor, you never listen.”
-Updike


I am impatient. I don’t want to listen to anyone. I don’t want to listen to myself. I don’t want to climb any mountains.
Nothing is captivating me. Nothing is holding me. And yet I want to be held?

Jeff is that mountain. Mountains crumble. Ships drift and friendships dwindle.
I found a window and I want a door.

So let’s have a few words from Henri, who wished me a happy birthday and wishes you a happy new year.

KAYAKS

Beyond the soggy garden, two kayaks
float across mild clear water. A red sun
stains the lake like colored glass. Day is stopping.
Everything I am feels distant or blank
as the opulent rays pass through me,
distant as action is from thought,
or language is from all things desirable
in the world, when it does not deliver
what it promises and pathos comes instead—
the same pathos I feel when I tell myself,
within or without the valid structures of love:
I have been deceived, he is not what he seemed—
though the failure is not in the other,
but in me because I am tired, hurt or bitter.
-Henri Cole


I don’t feel particularly hurt or bitter. Not at all. But maybe I’m tired.


I don’t feel elated. I don’t feel elastic. I don’t feel spiritual, anymore. I feel a little bit like I’ve swallowed a good portion of my soul and bottled up whatever religion I had. I feel chalky.

I've felt pretty. I feel plastic. (I’m just a little bit worried about my future, Mrs. Robinson?)
I haven’t been able to cry since mountains crumbled and mirrors shattered.

I got deferred from Harvard. I did not feel defeated—I felt minimally discouraged. But mainly, I felt strong.

Strong but very lost.

I turned eighteen. Jeremiah sent me flowers and I placated my parents with dinner. I came home and got drunk and felt fine and seventeen. L’chaim. I meant eighteen.
I am all grown up and I don’t feel half as down as I normally do. (Normative downs? Downs syndrome? A series of steady declines?)


[Paradox Now?] Glass, but not Fragile. Pursuit, but not Futile.
So part of me feels as if I’m melting into a comfort zone that has appeared out of nowhere. Like a flower rooted in rock? Totally inexplicable. Pretty but probably transitory. Tragically transitory? Let’s not be melodramatic.

And a good (the best?) part of me feels held back.

Maybe part of me misses deception. Hiding the beautiful things I used to so enjoy creating. Taking them out in private and playing with them in the dark. The futile pursuit of my wonderful, imaginary loves. I would never pursue something perfect—don’t worry. What?
Any focus I once devoted to the discovery of love has dissipated. Where has my motivation gone? I feel like a recovering drug addict. Though I don’t think I am recovering from love.

Methadone v. Apathy—and I fear I’m growing addicted to apathy.
Nevermind. I’m too pessimistic for apathy. Too tired for apathy.
I’m just sitting, cross-legged and complacent, waiting for Spring.
BLACK CAMELLIA
(after Petrarch)

Little room, with four and a half tatami mats
and sliding paper doors, that used to be
a white, translucent place to live in refined poverty,
what are you now but scalding water in a bath?
Little mattress, that used to fold around me
at sunrise as unfinished dreams were fading,
what are you now but a blood-red palanquin
of plucked feathers and silk airing in the sun?
Weeding the garden, paring a turnip, drinking tea
for want of wine, I flee from my secret love
and from my mind’s worm—This is a poem.
Is this a table? No, this is a poem. Am I a girl?—
Seeking out the meat-hook crowd I once loathed,
I’m so afraid to find myself alone.
-Henri Cole


And I think, I really do think, that I’ve conquered that fear. That fear of “alone.”
And maybe that’s partially because I’m not exactly alone at the moment. In the conventional sense, I’m hardly alone.
I can hear the other me breathing in the closet, actually. There's another me under the bed. Two of me are in California, one is in Prague, and one might be picking up paper-towels at Costco with Kafka.

Symmetry.
I don’t hate myself. I don’t love myself. I bore myself.
Maybe I’m just bored. Maybe I’m just boring.
I have fled my secret love and misplaced part of myself. Anti-identity crises galore?

I am so afraid to find myself without a future. Without happiness. Without hands to hold.
Just give me my mittens and I’m good to go.

I think that mainly I need to leave this place.
This non-niche with which I am beyond frustrated.
If anyone would like to come, he’s welcome. But it’s time to get out of bed and out of the house and leave.
Wanderlust, are you making another appearance? Are you invisible? Can you fit in my pocket?

As opposed to “Original Face.”

MASK

I tied a paper mask onto my face,
my lips almost inside its small red mouth.
Turning my head to the left, to the right,
I looked like someone I once knew, or was,
with straight white teeth and boyish bangs.
My ordinary life had come as far as it would,
like a silver arrow hitting cypress.
Know your place or you’ll rue it, I sighed
to the mirror. To succeed, I’d done things
I hated; to be loved, I’d competed promiscuously:
My essence seemed to boil down to only this.
Then I saw my own hazel irises float up,
like eggs clinging to a water plant,
seamless and clear, in an empty, pondlike face.
-Henri Cole


I am a little bit scared of promiscuity. I am a little bit more afraid of being a bore.
I’m getting too old for this. I’m getting too old for myself.

L'Shanah Tovah
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Oh Well, We'll Catch Up Some Other Time [14 Nov 2005|02:52am]
I love you the way that trees love sunshine, but I love him the way that trees love rain.

Updike has a point:

TREES EAT SUNSHINE
It's the fact:
their broad laves lap it up like milk
and turn it into twigs.

Fish eat fish.
Lamps eat light
and when their feast has startved their filament
go out.

So do we,
and all sweet creatures—
cats eating horses, horses grass, grass earth, earth water—
except for the distant Man

who inhales the savor of souls—
let us all strive to resemble this giant!
-John Updike


* * *


or should I say:

V I V I V


I think that I started a trend.


MATT8895: saying goodnight should be the V chord, hanging up would be going to the I chord
MATT8895: and if you say i love you, the soprano descends or ascends by step to scale degree 1
MATT8895: is this like that time you talked with charlie and thought that you figured life out?

If only life could really be fragmented into a series of upward climbs that managed to represent a ceiling function…

Oh matt, you have no idea how to use the six-four chord-
MATT8895: haha well i haven't learned that yet
MATT8895: so i think it should be my way

Yes, that’s idiotic pragmatism. Charming.

Why some people have yet to cross the fence…
Bananie983: now if only i could probably identify chord progressions

I think Isa may have this pegged (oh my gosh, another musical pun)-
Subito2223: the first i love you is like a V/V and then when you say i love you too it's like a V
Subito2223: and then good night is like a I

At least we can all agree that goodnight is like a I chord.

Although… trouble always ensues.
Subito2223: when i say good night and good bye to people, i keep on thinking of cadences and chord progressions
Subito2223: this is insane
Subito2223: why did you create this monster

I IV V I



So on Saturday night I had the divine, deluxe, simply splendid pleasure of attending the Stamford Symphony in concert. I know. Live. And Obligatory.

So, first, my parents decided that it would be intelligent to give me a fair quantity of alcohol. Then, the three of us, a truly sprightly bunch, sloshed our way over to the Palace Theatre. Feeling refined, I changed my outfit in the car and decided not to brush my hair.

So:
A little preamble-atory email sent by the simply stunning concertmaster, Ms. Zoubek:

Ladies!!
… I want to remind you all to just RELAX and enjoy the moment. It is your time to shine and accept the well deserved recognition for a job very well done! It was a pleasure to meet all of you. You must keep me appraised of your accomplishments. I know we will be speaking again as the SSO Board meeting will be coming up, as will other community events and I very much look forward to that!
[With love and squalor]
AZ


Appraised? Are we talking about my old violin? Are we talking about going antiquing? Adolescent accomplishments? All of those areas are worthless, anyway.

In terms of the concert: there is a certain reason that certain pieces are obscure. And there is a certain reason why some musicians never quite make it to the city.

Leah’s boyfriend[?] was wearing a D.A.R.E t-shirt. Which was truly adorable.
Some odd gentleman had to take not one, nor two, but three head-shots of me, because apparently my face “simply doesn’t like the light.” Which begins to clarify my apparent lust for rain.
Sunshine, moonshine, what’s the difference anymore?

And I really felt as if I really ought to have a date, or at least a complete stranger willing to molest me in a bathroom or some other inappropriate public place. But such is life.

Annie and I both had to admit that Eckart Preu, SSO’s new conductor/musical director, is quite a looker, though unfortunately, I found the utter space that his ego occupied a bit overwhelming.
And we all know that I just love a confident man. Overkill, [ladies,] let me tell you. Overkill.

So the usher didn’t want to let the three competition winners (the winner and the two losers?) back-stage, but I unsubtley pointed out that our pictures were in the program. So he congratulated us and let us in.

Then Preu waved us gloriously on stage, where he discussed what a competition actually constitutes. As he explained, “We let girls (right) play, all were quite wonderful, then we go into a room and talk and have cookies and say which ones we liked and why. Then we must deliberate, so we conclude our results as a consequence of playing, but also on account of personality and that little special something.”
His English is almost as impressive as his ego.
My mother was left wondering if perhaps it had been in the bathing suit competition that I wasn’t quite up to par.
My dad thought that the little “special something” was probably along the lines of a blow-job.
Oh Preu, the things I would have done for 20 grand…
A passive-aggressive bitch like me? The possibilities are endless.

And after he had given a five minute Leno-appropriate introduction to each piece, I was left to wonder what exactly he could have said in the pre-concert chat. I’ve concluded that self-glorification must have limits.

They played a delightful encore in honor of Skitch Henderson (their previous director who compared me to Heifitz when I played Shostakovich 8 at a retirement home at the age of 13 (I also broke a string)). And, as Preu put it, “As Skitch’s anonymous 80-year-old-lady-friend puts it, ‘Skitchy would’a liked it.”
At which point my mother and I burst out in a most obnoxious laughter. Comparable to my little embarrassing mishap with Annie during the Kopelman Quartet concert. Totally worth of a sitting-ovation.

Then I came home and called Jeff who had attended the opera with his new Indian boyfriend Emile, getting all Cozy [Fantutte] (a pun that I think I accidentally sent Jeremiah in a text message) over Figaro (Fag-aro?)- I’m just kidding. I love Emile.
Emile is a fantastic graduate student from Cambridge studying abroad at Rice. Why he has taken a liking for my Jeffy and why I'm writing about him right now is beyond me. I guess that Jeff is likeable enough.
Then I talked to Emile on the phone, because Jeff was too busy being passive-aggressive (he obviously learned from the best). Emile told me that Jeff brings out his ‘brown’ side. And then I cleaned out my closet for two hours while watching Punch-Drunk love and went to bed happy.


And as Annie, who is still obsessing about Danbury competition (which was several months ago), says-

It’s only a competition!

Which pretty much only means that I’m a loser. But Beck is with me.
And as long as Scientology is on my side…
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Relationship Retrospective: Moral Relativism v. Quantum Cheating [12 Nov 2005|03:47am]
The 3:30 Kantian Revolution—Incoherence Theory v. Coherence and/or Correspondence

Things are spinning a little bit. Like spinning tea-pots, not spinning plates.


Let’s narrow down. Zoom in. Whittle a little?


Focus. Honest-Tea. Listening?



So I was thinking about the fact that Jeff and I frequently have two separate conversations while we’re on the phone with one another. For instance, Jeff will be talking about how important it is to practice with a metronome, and I’ll be talking about how I find it amusing that Kozyshack tapioca pudding is spelled with a K. Really, isn’t that hilarious?

But we’re listening. Most of the time, I think.
There are [always] two colors in my head.

[And I had the strangest urge to pour tapioca pudding all over my head when I opened the refrigerator an hour ago.]

…Speaking of polytonality. At least it’s a little bit more harmonious (contrapuntal) than Ives?

Either way, no matter what we’re talking about, we typically cadence. (Yes, yes, everyone knows I have a preoccupation with tonal resolutions)—

So occasionally there is this brief, awkward moment. We’re not sure if the conversation is ending or if we’re just at a junction. Intrigue!
Most of the time we’re just wondering if we’ve reached the point at which someone is expected to say “I love you.”
So I was teasing Jeff because it was fairly obvious that our discussion was wrapping up and yet he inserted a highly suspenseful pause before he said “I love you.”
At which point he gave a brilliant retort:
“I love you” is like a One Six-Four Chord.
And I think the whole ..have a goodnight, yes you too, goodbye.. can neatly be expressed as Twos or Fives. Hanging up is the Tonic, of course.

And to make the theory even more complete—for all those times you feel urges to tell a person that you love him in the middle of a conversation (just because he’s wonderful and spontaneous and etc.): The Passing Six-Four!

Reasons to say “I love you” (I’m being facetious since in reality, I’m horrible at using the one six-four chord): The plagal cadence is pretty much a copout. And of course the half cadence just leaves things feeling sort of unsettled—unless, of course, you’re comfortable with some last minute modulation.

And then there is the ever-cunning deceptive cadence.
Can I mention that I’m struggling like no other with counterpoint?
Mr. Valentine says that I ought to sleep with some Bach scores by my bed. Not that I’m knocking Bach—
Maybe it’d help if I actually slept.

* * *
This has been a week of spectral introspection. Color spectra, key spectra, truth spectra- Etcetera-spectra…


So Jeff called me in a tizzy of excitement last Monday because he discovered the Key-Spectrum in his lesson. Now, he concluded that C Major is Green (his favorite color). I might have to go with more of an orange-red (there are two colors in my head?)—
So the concept branches out through all the keys and all the colors. Pastels get into funky modal music and oddities like transparence and grays are reserved for atonal pieces. (Jeff, you can correct me—you know I completely zoned out for about fifteen minutes of your explanation…not that it wasn’t riveting.)
I think the theory (punny) is nonsense—but cute nonsense. And I think that tonality is a little bit more flexible.
I went to dinner with Jono and told him that his pants were very B-flat minor. He told me that they were “Merlot.”

I think I’m having a sort of flat f minor night. (Not to be confused with f-flat minor).
I’d say that I’m feeling sort of mauve. Mauvaise? Hardly.

All this leads me to think about the interval-relationship spectrum. (I’m pretty much on a role after constructing a truth-spectrum for Philosophy class. Spacio-temporal spectrum, anyone?)

Jeff and I are like a third. The closest possible consonant interval (since ironically, a unison counts as an octave and is effectually quite dangerous)-
Other relationships [some] in my life are a little bit like tritones. Interesting and necessary but demanding a resolution that gets frustrating if held off extensively. You give me a headache.

Can it suffice to say that I have issues with cross-relations?
I really don’t understand what’s so wrong with having a G# in the bass while there’s an A natural passing tone in the tenor.

Like Glass. Philip, not Fragile.
Things really get fun when we get into modal music. À la mode. Pi and e, what a disarmingly irrational couple.

I think I’d like to date a tonal person. No passive-aggressive existentialists for me, please. Not to say that postmodern sexuality doesn’t have its charm. Whatever that really is, Mr. Henri Cole.

* * *


Cheech and Chong, Chang and Tchaik.

Although you'd think that I must Felafel (I went to Mamouns) with the amount of sleep I didn't get last week, I felt good enough to go downtown and see Sarah Chang perform Tchaikovsky concerto with the Yale Philharmonic.
Annie thought that she looked like a Mermaid; I thought she looked like a large, very busty stick of Asian bubble-gum.
Tagging along with Annie, Isa, and Kathryn, I felt sort of odd to find myself in the company of so much estrogen. I think I feel more comfortable if I know that I have a good strong handle (man-handle) to hold onto.
I need to get a grip. Where have Keats and his throbbing star run off to?
What is this, pre-postmodern sexuality? Post-post-primordial sexuality?

Either way, there are certain things that girls understand:
My ideal relationship, for instance—

Bananie983: because from now on you can only be friends with me

Whereas boys…
notoriousTEM0: yea, i'm pretty amazing
kapkap88: or anonymous

Oh Annie… officially the new boyfriend in the vicinity who actually goes places and does things with me. Go figure.

notoriousTEM0: you are like... bordering on corruption
notoriousTEM0: cross the fence, annie!
Bananie983: i need to straddle it

Which somehow brings me to the exciting fact that I am starting my first Paganini. Which feels a little bit like riding a two-wheeler. Or according to Annie, like losing my virginity. (Straddle that fence, first, Annie.)

* * *

Why Jeff’s parents are amazing:
So first, his dad made up this joke about briefs (I am making Jeff’s conversion to boxers my winter project)—
They’re like a cheap hotel. No ballroom.

To which I would like to share a joke of my own:
What do you do with 365 used condoms?
Melt them down, make a tire, and call it a Goodyear.

And on a less crude note:
Jeff’s mom sent a package containing “Jeff’s thermal underwear and a surprise [me and Jeff] to share.”
I think that the thermal underwear is a good enough surprise.
And she signed- Love, Mom Tayblum (Taylor + Kornblum)
Jeff points out that our combined last name could be Watlor. Which is pretty fantastic.
* * *



Jeff told someone today that his girlfriend (am I his girlfriend?) is like “him-cubed.” In terms of her/my elitism. Thanks, sweetie. All I can say is that I’m glad I have a perfect cube root.

Oh relationships. Oh quantum mechanics. But can you quantize people?
It’s all pretty much asymptotic.
Like two atoms bonding together…everything and everybody can only get so close to each other and to the ideal. Before everything gets utterly repulsive, that is.


I know a little bit about relationships and next to nothing about math.
To |sum| it up—Absolute values absolument—



I think I’d like to eat a prepared piano for lunch. Obviously, I’m out to lunch already.
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