I've been weighing my options of late regarding my blog. I'd like more options than Blogger gives me right now...I'd like to post private blogs, or limit who can and can't read a post, and as of right now Blogger doesn't offer that. I don't have the time or patience to learn an entire program such as WordPress, so I've been sort of shopping around. I've been playing with LiveJournal for about a week, and if things continue the way they are going now, I'll probably move over there. I'm not going to post a link here - but I will email one to you if you email me first. :) Here's my email: jen at leaess dot com. As I said - I haven't made the final decision yet...when I do I'll certainly let y'all know. Just a heads up!
I had my bedroom window open yesterday enjoying the fall weather. My blinds were down to discourage my cats from tromping across my pillow to get into the windowsill. Cam was outside playing with Ray (little boy from across the street - he's a year older than Cam) and Lexi (she's from down the street and a year younger than Cam).
Lexi brought over two smallish turtles - one was about the size of my palm and the other was about the size of Cam's palm. Cam showed them to me through the screen. I went off to fold clothes and came back to my bed to read through some articles for Music History on my laptop. I was about halfway through a riveting article on Hildegard of Bingen when I heard the following through my window:
Cam: "Let's check on the turtles!" Ray: "OK!" (running up the driveway to the porch) (silence - I immediately became suspicious) Ray: "We left them right here..." Cam, hollering: "Lexi!! Your turtles are gone!"
Yes, ladies and gentlemen. These kids put the turtles down on the porch and wandered away, expecting them to be there when they got back. Sigh. They eventually found the smaller one, but the bigger one successfully managed to escape. Godspeed, bigger turtle. Please don't stay in my yard and get run over.
I stand corrected. My previous post I said something about "it's just rain". Well. turns out that it was just rain to BEGIN with. It turned into tornadoes all over town. Whee!! I was sitting in a practice room at the piano. The piano sits RIGHT next to the windows, which make up one wall of the practice room. I'd been there since about 8:30, and around 10:45 there's a knock at the door. Jonathan sticks his head in and goes, "Um, Peggy is running around yelling for everyone to get away from the windows - there's a tornado headed this way?" Yes, it was in the form of a question. So I gathered up all the crap I'd strewn around the room and came out to the hall with everyone. We sort of mingled there till the teachers got a call to head somewhere safer than the hall. We were escorted to the basement of the theater, where I've never been and probably would NOT have ever gone to had we not been attacked by this tornado. So at least it was a learning experience, right? Anyway, there were about 50 of us down there...music majors, art majors, drama majors, and poor civilians caught in the music department. We were down there for 15 minutes and were released in JUST enough time for my clarinet lesson. Bastards! So yeah. Check the news - all sorts of stuff is torn up. A day care, Target, downtown, etc. Work is ok - I called to check on my sister. :) Gonna go grab some lunch now that they've canceled classes. AFTER my lesson, of course.
Yes, I'm aware that we're in drought conditions and it hasn't really rained in a long time. That is NO excuse for the idiocy I encountered on the way to school this morning. Honestly, people!
For those of you not currently driving like complete assholes in Pensacola, I will provide a little background information...it rained most of the night and then it got really heavy this morning. There was a LOT of standing water everywhere. Roads, yards, drainage ditches that have forgotten their purpose in the past 24 months of drought... I would also like to apologize in advance for any of my dear readers with sensitive ears (I guess in this case it would be eyes?) as I will be using my "grown up words" often and creatively. Just be thankful you weren't in the car with me.
Now back to the incompetent freaks in my charming home town. Let's review some basic driver's ed, shall we?
Thou shalt turn on thy headlights when it pours cats and dogs. Honestly. It was nearly pitch black outside - how these morons saw their gauges and such inside the car is a mystery to me, much less how they could navigate anywhere in the dark. Ah...I just reread that and realized that PART of their driving problems may have been that they weren't paying attention to gauges and such. Speedometer? Who needs it!!!
Thou shalt NOT pull out in front of people going nearly full speed on a busy highway. Asshat. I was driving 40 MPH down Hwy 98. The speed limit is 45, but under normal condition traffic runs about 55. 40 was as fast as I could go and be able to see the car in front of me, which was about 3 car lengths away. Safety first, my friends. Then this little blue car comes SCREAMING out of Crystal Lake apartments, crossing the westbound lanes into the median. I saw her brake lights come on, so I assumed (my first mistake) that she was, you know, stopping. She contemplated the traffic situation on MY side of the road for about .00000764235789 of a second, then slammed on the gas and pulled out directly in front of me. Oh...the string of obscenities...the horn honking (and my horn honest-to-god sounds like the Road Runner: "Meeeeeeeeeep!")... I stood up on the brakes and skidded, but didn't hit her. Lucky for her, too, because once I pulled myself out of the smoking wreckage and into the rain I might not have been in a very good mood.
Thou shalt not drive through standing water. Moron. "Gee, there's a lot of standing water here in the right lane of Navy Blvd (near the intersection of Old Corry). I don't want to drive through it, so I'll just pull over!" Great thinking...except this person pulled over INTO A DITCH. Know why she didn't know it was there? Because it was FULL OF WATER! The same goddamn water she was driving through on the road.
Thou shalt not pile up a mountain of red clay dirt (for interstate construction purposes) right next to the interstate.This one goes out the local government AND the brilliant contractors doing work on I-110. Good job, guys. Near the Fairfield Dr. exit on the northbound side, there is a gargantuan pile of red clay that they're using to build the new off-ramp. It's convenient to the work site, yes. I was wondering the other day what would happen if they dug it out incorrectly and it collapsed onto the interstate...I'm a regular little ray of sunshine, I know. Anyway-it is literally butting up to the interstate. As I was trucking up I-110 on my way to school I saw a bottleneck in traffic at the Fairfield exit. As I got there, I realized there was a river of red clay running down the road...it looked like blood rapids, in all honesty. It wasn't running so much as churning down the road. As I got closer to what was left of the giant red mountain, I actually burst out laughing. There was clay EVERYWHERE over the interstate. You could see where it had run through the seams in the concrete dividers that work masterfully when it's not raining...but suck balls once things get really wet.
So there you have it...my drive to school today. My music history class is canceled today and I ought to be either practicing or working on my research paper...but instead I thought I'd do something really productive and blog. Two posts in two days, though...y'all might get spoiled. Heh. Gonna go practice...for real this time. :)
I'm not sitting down to blog with any real subject in mind - let that be both a warning to you, dear readers, and an explanation for my subject line at the top. :)
So...I've been busy. I won't bore you with the details, but I will bore you with a few random facts. I've made an A on every test and/or quiz I've taken thus far. I'm pretty sure that I have already met my concert attendance requirement for the term (and it's only half over). I'm enjoying pretty much all of my classes, too. I practiced with the staff accompanist for the first time today. I'm playing the first movement of the Saint-Saens Clarinet Sonata for recital at some point...I'm kind of hoping it will be a jury piece as well as it's really not hard and is very pretty.
The UWF band finished our first concert of all Russian music...let us never speak of it again. We got new music Tuesday, consisting of umpteen Christmas tunes and a transcription of Capriccio Espagnol by Rimsky-Korsakov. Yes, more Russian music, I know. It's an ass-kicker, too. I already don't want to talk or think about it, and I haven't had it for a week yet.
That's all I have for now. I'd like to promise that I'll post more, but I don't really think I'm going to get any less busy in the upcoming months. Know what I mean? See y'all later!
What? What's that I hear you say? "Gee, Jen, it's 5:53 on a Friday night in September...what are you doing at your computer?" Well, there's a funny story behind that.
You see, there's a big ol' low pressure out in the Gulf. The last time there was one like this, it formed up overnight into a depression that soaked Texas pretty good. Not a big, enormous storm, but still enough to cause trouble. The school board isn't taking any chances - they canceled all weekend activities, including football games. Yay!! Right? Well. The game is not CANCELED...it's been postponed till Monday. Monday. MONDAY!!!
Meh. I will have a very busy day Monday. I have 2 classes in the morning- the second one will be cut short so I can go to a funeral. Then an afternoon class, and then a game. I will apparently NOT be going to work that night. ...sigh...
I know my schedule is convoluted...I didn't realize exactly how bad until it got all stirred up. Ugh!
Funny, I seem to have used that subject before. I've been awake since 3 AM, thanks to my lovely cats. Brutus and Calli, specifically. They're either trying to sneak past me to climb into my bedroom window (which is over my head - like I won't notice them using my head as a springboard?), trying to lay on my nightstand and shove my laptop off, or climbing on the kitchen counters knocking shit off after I remove them bodily from my room. I have already decided they will spend tonight in little feline straight jackets if they even consider pulling the same stunts. ...sigh...it's going to be a long day.
The human body is an amazing thing. Your body does things to help itself. You get hot, your sweat glands kick in, and a cool breeze blows across the sweat and you cool down. Theoretically. I mean, I live in Florida and teach marching band - there ARE no cool breezes. Anyway, I digress. Oh, wait...a TMI warning for you:
**This post will contain references to the female reproductive system; mine specifically. Anyone grossed out or offended by such things, buggar off. You shouldn't be reading my blog anyway. My crude sense of humor is beneath you.**
Anyway, as I was saying. The human body is an amazing self-regulating machine. Except mine.
I'm on birth control pills. I have my period every 3rd week. Except for this month. I'm overachieving this month, ladies and gentlemen. I'm on my second period in 3 weeks. Surprise!!!
I talked to Barb about it and she says it's probably just stress. Well. Gee. Thanks, body! I mean, yeah I'm stressed. Having 2 periods in 3 weeks is NO way to relax me, I assure you. Thus far it's generated quite the OPPOSITE effect, thanks very much.
First there's the "Why am I having TWO periods this month?! I can NOT be pregnant - I paid too damn much for college to be pregnant!!" Then there's the whole, "I already had my period this month and don't need to carry anything period-related for WEEKS!/JEN IS COMPLETELY UNPREPARED" thing. Then it's really a lather-rinse-repeat sort of situation; I get over the "stuck at school with no change of clothes, maybe my husband can bring me some" side and revert back to the "dear lord PLEASE don't let me be pregnant" thing. I mean, I know the telltale sign of pregnancy is a missed period, not double periods. I just don't like change in such a touchy arena of my biology.
Things seem to be getting better. I've gone a whole week at school without having to change my schedule, for starters. That's nice. :) I found out today that I made 2nd chair in the wind ensemble. I'm ok being behind Margaret - she's working on her Master's and is out of my league - but I was afraid that I would end up sitting behind a bunch of 19 year olds...shudder. I had my first lesson today and it went relatively well. We'll see how it goes next week. As if all this wasn't enough, the shorts I wore today were a size 14. SIZE 14!! I haven't worn a 14 since I got married, y'all. I'm pretty sure they are large 14s, but that doesn't bother me. So...all in all, it was a pretty good day.
Yes, a real post...but I will preface it with one more horoscope:
No matter how big a bite you take of reality, you will still likely get through it without too much of a headache. You may feel as if you were tricked into assuming too much responsibility, but somehow you were given a secret formula that enables you to perform like a superhero. Keep in mind that as long as you're not just doing it for the attention, this can work out to your advantage.
Enough with the horoscopes, right? Now for the post I’ve been promising. Sit back and get comfy – it’s gonna be a doozey.
Monday, August 27th, I started back to school. Again. LOL! I have my AA in Music Education and plan to wrangle out a BA if it kills me. At this rate, it just might do that. I’m still working at the store part-time and teaching part-time, so add on a full-time student’s schedule on TOP of all that, and you have (what's left of) me!
I’ve added a little blurb to the right with my daily agenda to give you an idea of what I’m talking about. It’s too complicated to try to explain. For example, I teach 1st period at PFHS…but only on even days. On odd days I usually go straight up to UWF to practice before my classes start. I have classes during the morning and early afternoon at UWF, then leave to go to PFHS for after-school rehearsals…but only Tuesday through Thursday. After rehearsal I go home to eat dinner with Cam and get him ready for bed. After he reads and goes to bed, I go to work. I usually work from 8PM-11PM most weekday nights. This is all out the window on Fridays (regardless of even or odd days) because of football games. See? Toldja it was complicated.
So now that I’ve griped about my schedule, let’s move on to school. Bah. It’s been twelve years since I took Theory and Ear Training. I did a placement test in both subjects the first week of classes and it was decided (understandably) that I should sit in on the sophomore theory and ear training classes just to refresh myself so I’m not so lost once I get to Counterpoint and such. I’m fine with that. I’m signed up for 13 hours of classes, but am doing all the work and attending all the classes for 17 hours.
Mentally, I have to switch from teacher mindset to student mindset and I really think that is the hardest part so far. Well, that and the placement tests. Shoo. I’m not the only one auditing classes, though. There are 3 other people that have been out of the loop for a few years (though none as long as me…yay, do I win something?) and they're just as lost as I am…which makes me feel MUCH better about myself.
I got most of my theory homework done correctly, and remembered what a secondary dominant was with minimal pain and suffering. I have Brass Methods tonight, where I’m learning to play trombone. We have a few vocal majors in the class and I refuse to laugh at them because they’ll probably be in my Vocal Methods class, too. I just hope they remember...
Band is going to be interesting. Our first concert will be all Russian music, to include a band arrangement of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto #2. Three of our piano majors will each play one movement on the stage with the band. That’s already 30 minutes of music…add a couple Prokofiev marches, another Rachmaninoff piece, and some Shostakovitch and we’ll be done. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow how badly we sucked at our chair auditions. …sigh… I also have my first lesson. It’s going to be an interesting day.
I'm off for now...gotta figure out what I'll be writing my research paper on for music history. Whee!