From zero to… what?

So, here I am at midnight typing out a blog post for no other reason than to hear my own voice. (read my own voice? idk someone should stop me I am far too tired for creative writing)

Today was a long day, for a number of reasons. The first reason, chronologically as well as in terms of importance, was that I had a 9am lecture this morning. As I am a slow morning person, I had to get up at 7am. This was a problem only because I decided to stay up until 2am the night before… knitting. Yeah, I know. I’m strange indeed. The lecture was uneventful, and the day passed without much excitement, although I did manage to bake 8 bread rolls.

The second reason, chronologically, was that I had arranged to go to a meetup this evening. For those not in the know (i.e. probably basically everyone; I’m not assuming you know anything because I don’t know who you are!) a meetup in this case means an ace meetup, i.e. a meetup of ace people. We went and hung out in a German bakery/cafe and I ate 3/4 of a delicious sandwich – for the record, I would have eaten the whole sandwich if it hadn’t been really weird being the only one eating – and talked about a number of topics, ranging from how weird straight people are to the ruin and horror that Moffat has wreaked upon our beloved Doctor Who. Oh, and music recitals, briefly. Then there was an extremely trippy art exhibition exploring colour and light – it’s called pinkyellowblue or something? Anyway, that was fun too. And then we all went home.

I think it’s nice, every so often, to just confirm that there are in fact other people like me and that they actually exist in England. It’s also good to just confirm that I am in fact capable these days of just talking to random strangers, even if it can be a bit tricky sometimes and you have to prop up the conversation with cake and tea. A good motto for life really: all problems may be easily solved, if only you have a little cake and tea.

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Well.

So it’s literally been like, months. Or maybe even years. I don’t know, it’s been too long, frankly. Anyway, the fool that I am linked some people from uni to this blog, so hi guys! I hope you enjoy all the old shitty posts.

An Update!

Well, I think I mentioned about the whole “coming out via leaflet” thing? Here we go: an update! My housemate eventually found the leaflet (it helped that I, with the help of a friend from uni, moved the leaflet from under a pile of books on her desk to under her duvet) and she reacted really well. as well as you really can react to a leaflet under your duvet saying “so you think your housemate is asexual” with a glorious picture of my face underneath it.

Note: I’ve been trying to not describe my face as being hideous or ugly, which I do casually a lot like I’m trying to prove I’m not a narcissist. So if I describe myself as wondrous and perfect, that’s why.

This post is literally just an updating you (and by extension, me) on the goings on in my life. So… where to begin. Well, I went to a Buddhist meeting last week which was unexpectedly taxing on the old vocal chords (chanting for an hour. You really don’t appreciate how little you talk in day-to-day life until you talk constantly for an hour) but somehow calming. I very much lost track of time, which was interesting.

I’ve also started meditating again, which has had two effects: 1. I fall asleep so much quicker, it’s ridiculous. 2. I’ve realised how anxious and stressed and weirdly self-conscious I get on a daily basis. So that’s nice, and probably explains why sometimes I get so tired I just curl up on my bed and stare at my elbows.

my perfect, beautiful elbows.

er, what else. I’ve been eating so much soup recently that I’ve rediscovered my absolute loathing for broccoli. Broccoli does not deserve to exist on the same mortal plane as chocolate, I’ve decided. And no matter how much you dilute it with carrot you can still taste the fucking broccoli.

And then there have been a couple of exams. Guess what I’m procrastinating about right now? That’s right, medieval polyphony and German nationalism. How’d you guess?

oooh an update on the soup situation! so you know how ages ago I was like “ugh soup, I just eat it for the vitamins”? Well now I like it! I actually sometimes don’t even need bread to eat a bowl of soup, so that’s exciting. Not that bread is expensive or anything, I just don’t really want to be eating half a loaf of bread every lunch.

Well, I think that’s basically it. Have fun, kiddies. And as always, good night, friends. Good night.

Welcome Back

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? And so much has happened! Well, for starters I’ve done an exam. Yep, that’s right – a whole exam. Please, try and hold your fainting until the end of the page. I’ve got three to go, and a recital, and then a concert, so by the time this month is over I will be very very tired and very very stressed. Because I am the kind of person who won’t stop freaking out about their exam until they actually get the results back, and at the rate the music department works that won’t be until I’m about 95. 

No matter. 

In the meantime, I have to juggle a great many things. Rehearsals for the aforementioned concert, a rehearsal and a concert in a completely different place, revision for my three exams, and of course practicing for the recital. That’s on top of the vague fear that my laptop’s about to break, semi-crippling social anxiety, and the general weirdness that comes with outing yourself to a housemate via pamphlet
That’s if she ever finds it. 
omg I might sneak into her room and steal it back
Stay tuned for more news from me, at a more acceptable hour of the day. good night, friends. good night. 

Flipping Coursework

One of the downsides of being a student is that they do expect you to do coursework, occasionally. They probably also expect me to do revision, but I’m way too cool for that stuff. And also I’m extremely lazy, so shhhhh.

Anyway, something I can’t really get out of doing is my composition assignment. And there are a lot of questions I have about that. Like, why did I choose to compose as one of my modules when I’m an absolute shite composer? And, why did I choose to compose a piece in a style that I hate? And, why did I even choose composition given that it was completely optional this year? Questions indeed.

So, I’ve done approximately 1:30 of the damn thing and I’m pretty sure it’s a bucket of rubbish. But hey, at least I’ve got a semi-decent essay to reassure me that I’m not terrible at coursework, so that’s something.

Classic Student Things, or The One With a ‘Dinner Party’

I’m calling this a music student activity because I’m a music student and I’m doing it. shhhh that’s totally logic ok?

Tomorrow (today?) I’m hosting a ‘dinner party’. I don’t really know if it counts because we’ll be eating non-dinner party food and we’ll all be drinking schloer and water from a jug. We may well end up using cups instead of just drinking from the jug, but that’s not the point. The POINT is that even though it feels kind of not-fancy due to just being six of my friends (and my dad and my sister. Can I get an “aaaaaaaaaaah”?) who will probably be on someone’s phone the whole time I’m in the kitchen, and I feel like that damn balloon video is going to get a lot of screentime. Most of the views on that thing must be from us, I’m sure of it.

Well, despite all that, I still don’t want to give anyone food poisoning. As a completely random and non-specific example. And I don’t want them to hate the food I’m doing, even though I’ve only ever actually made one of the courses – fuck???? why did I choose things I didn’t know if I could make? oh well how hard can rice pudding be – so I don’t really know how they’re going to go. Hopefully well.

Anyway, if you’re interested, here’s the menu: Stuffed red peppers, chicken curry, rice pudding. It’s a bit more dressed up than that, but that’s essentially it.

Never mind the fact that 9 (or 8. it’s complicated) people will be eating this so I’d better not mess it up. Never mind the fact that I should probably be putting the rice pudding on at the exact moment I’ll be serving up the starter. NEVER MIND ALL THAT IT’S GOING TO BE GREAT

probs

The Philosophy of Philosophy

I’ve been having a load of fun over the last few days recovering from a fluey bug I caught last week (thanks dad) and doing my references for a philosophy essay. I’m determined that this time I’ll actually know what the references are about rather than just skimming the first page like I usually do, so I’ve been reading all the way through and making notes to refer to for the essay. It’s 100% coursework, OK, there isn’t an exam for this module (!!!) so I really need to do well.

I think my least favourite part of it was the part where two of the books only exist as hard copies in the library at RHUL, 40 minutes away from home. Thank god I realised before I went up to Yorkshire, because there’s just something about a 4 hour drive to the library that doesn’t appeal, you know? As it was I had to spend half an hour checking the same damn shelf because I’d mixed the two books up and I was looking for the wrong three letter code.

Anyway, the question I’ve chosen is about knowledge in art. Can art give us knowledge? My instinctive answer is, of course it can! But I’m starting to think that maybe that knee-jerk reaction might not be entirely correct. In fact – and this is a good one, I’m thinking I might throw something like this in – the mere assumption that artistic quality has to be associated with cognitive brilliance is indicative of the privileging of intellectuality inherent in European society. This elitism regarding standards of media possibly limits our appreciation of art to that which is ‘traditionally’ cognitively brilliant. tl;dr: we think stuff has to be clever to be high quality, but maybe it doesn’t.

Wow that paragraph was a mouthful. almost as much of a mouthful as some of these readings. Well, I’d better get back to it. Lamarque isn’t going to read himself…

Deadline Day, the last lecture, and potentially too much sushi

Yesterday was deadline day! Some departments have lots of days where they have to hand essays in, but the music department just simplifies things. “everything in on the last Wednesday of term, kids” they say. “Two hard copies and submit in online and WRITE YOUR CODE ON THE COVER SHEET WITH YOUR CANDIDATE NO. THAT CHANGES EVERY YEAR. what are you talking about this is easy stop crying”

I mean, there’s also my composition techniques exercise which is due on the first day after the Easter holidays. And the philosophy essay that’s due in on the day of my first exam. Apart from that, we’re done.

Oh, and of course options selection day on Friday. For those not in the know, the options selection form must be submitted by email at 8.30. Attempts to submit the form before 8.30 will be met with your form being sent to the back of the queue. ??? Its a baffling system to me, particularly as the form itself is approximately 50 miles away from a sensible format. And of course all the lectures are on a ‘first come first serve’ basis, which doesn’t really work if everyone’s frantically submitting the damn things at 8.30 in the morning. I digress.

Oh, not to forget handing in the accompaniment for my recital! Yet another thing to have to photocopy and sellotape together, because paper & ink & sellotape are cheap.

Fortunately, today was my absolute last lecture of the year, so we celebrated afterwards with some sushi rolls and a cup of chai latte.

A very busy Wednesday

9:00 – Alarm goes off. Theoretically, get up now and have breakfast in order to start work on essays and programme notes at 10:00

10:00 – Get out of bed. Theoretically, now have the postponed breakfast and get on with your day.

10:30 – Having finally left your bedroom, rejoice in the knowledge that you’ve definitely checked tumblr half a dozen times. That’s an achievement and a half, eh?

11:00 – Bloody hell, does breakfast always take this long? Never mind, you’ve got essays to do and not a lot of time to do them in.

11:05 – I can’t possibly do my essays with the washing up making eye contact with me.

11:07 – But then again, who really wants to do washing up? not me. Maybe I should put a load of clothes in the washing machine. As well all know, a full hamper means a terrible session of essay-writing.True story.

11:08 – I know a lot less than I thought I knew about Parisian polyphony.

11:09 – My music degree is, for some reason, allowing me to study Gothic architecture. Well. At least I know all about arches now.

11:30 – The first 100 words were easy enough. If I could just find another damn reference…

12:00 – Wow, I’m amazing. 200 words in an hour. Bloody hell, that rate of typing is flipping inspiring.

12:01 – Now, onto my next task. Writing the programme notes for one of my pieces

12:05 – According to the internet, this piece doesn’t actually exist.

12:07 – And the composer only has a paragraph bibliography on wikipedia

12:09 – Shit

12:15 – Shit

12:30 – well done, you managed to waffle some absolute bullshit about how the guy was born to a shoe-maker. Good job. Now, you’ve got 10 minutes to get everything out of the washing machine and hang it up on clothes horses before you go to midweek music.

12:45 – Good joke

12:50 – No, seriously, leave now.

12:55 – Why – so – many – stairs? This – is – what – I – get – for – living – on – a – fucking – hill  – stop – judging – me – other – pedestrians – this – is – steep

12:56 – Oooh, a flat bit

12:59 – More stairs? 😦

13:15 – The glorious music is so gloriously musical. It’s just a shame I have to write a review about this. Let’s see… “the music sweeps in gloriously high sweeping melodies. the melodies are melodic. the choir turned up, so that’s good”

13:46 – Yeah, we’re all enjoying it sunshine, but you’ve run over now. Let’s just stop so we can go home.

13:48 – The organist is singing to his friends to show them which bits he did wrong. I feel you, friend. I also thought you made a mistake.

14:15 – Write up the review. Do it.

14:20 – Stop using the words ‘glorious’, ‘rich’, and ‘melodious’

14:40 – It’ll do. Now, another 200 words and you can stop doing sodding Parisian polyphony for one afternoon.

15:20 – The essay is such an absolute load of shite I’m glad it won’t have my name attached to it. Now, I’d better get ready for orchestra later. If I make my lunch now it’ll have time to chill before I leave

15:21 – where the actual fuck is my bassoon

15:22 – fuck fuck fuck fuck

15:25 – OK it’s at the practice rooms. So I guess I’ll just have to take a detour via the practice rooms to get it and then continue on my merry way to the station.In the opposite direction. Fan-fucking-tastic

15:30 – In the meantime, speed cooking! And then speed washing up

15:50 – There is so much water in this rice it’s a wonder it’s not still swimming around like tiny white fish. FOCUS

16:10 – I am almost 100% sure this hill only exists to taunt me. YES RANDOM STRANGERS I AM CARRYING A MUSIC STAND THANK YOU FOR NOTICING

16:30 – No, I’m not following you, we’re just going the same way. It’s a university. THERE WILL BE OTHERS TAKING THE SAME PATH AS YOU

16:31 – If you don’t move quicker I will hit you with my stand. I can’t overtake, this isn’t a road.

16:40 – Well, I’ve just missed the bus to the station. Now to wait at the stop like a cool bro and not look completely self-conscious.

16:41 – Ah, the age old question. To put the bassoon down or not to put it down? Putting it down will take ages and may end up with someone getting hit over the head (me), but not putting it down will mean getting on the bus takes longer

16:42 – Ow

17:00 – The bus should be here in 7 minutes. Better check my watch pointedly to make sure everyone knows I’m on it

17:02 – Still on it

17:05 – Still on it!

17:07 – In the moment I dropped it, the bus arrived. IS IT THE RIGHT BUS? Nobody knows.

17:08 – The driver knows. It’s the right bus.

17:23 – The train is here. If I get this train, I’ll be something like half an hour early. Better catch the slow train and be there on time!

17:45 – I hate the slow train good god

18:20 – I hate the train I hate everything I hate the universe and I especially hate YOU, man who tried to push past me but then fell onto one of the seats. Karma.

18:30 – It’s a good thing I’m patient or being crammed onto a tube like a sardine would be torture

18:40 – why is there a queue for the escalator

18:41 – Oh good god

18:45 – If I have to queue to get on this carriage I will scream. Internally. And on the outside look calm and polite as ever, because it’s important not to randomly scream on the underground

18:55 – stairs??????????????????/

19:00 – I’m hungry but I also hate the food I brought. this was a mistake

19:30 – “we’re starting on time tonight”

19:40 – start

19:42 – MAYBE I SHOULD HAVE LOOKED AT THE MUSIC???? OR LISTENED TO IT?

20:00 – oh good we’re playing something else now

20:01 – AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

20:00 – my face hurts and my eyes hurt and my head hurts and I am thirsty

20:30 – “ten minute break guys” yep, sure. I’ll just be over here with my hot chocolate and my iced gems and feel sorry for myself

20:45 – “ten minutes”

20:50 – OH GOD ANOTHER THING I SHOULD HAVE SIGHTREAD

21:00 – ??? what is this why am I playing the cello part??? and on my own with the strngs??? Liszt, were you high?

21:30 – um, are we done? we have like 30 minutes left

21:31 – THIRTY MINUTES TO PLAY THE WHOLE THING OVER AGAIN HEY HO LET’S GO

21:45 – be free from this place 15 minutes early, ducklings. be free

22:00 – Arrive at the station. The possibility of catching the 22:20 train is approximately 1 in 1000000

22:20 – as we’ve only just arrived at Waterloo, the 22:20 train may be tricky

22:30 – What platform is the next train?

22:35 – ?

22:40 – ???????

22:41 – sprint sprint sprint gotta get a seat

22:45 – oh god it’s the ‘is he drunk or does he just ramble on like that all the time’ game?

22:46 – Maybe if I read I’ll stop being a potential target

??:?? – Book finished, where the flippity-flop am I

23:15 – ugh, 15 minutes left. time for some hardcore sudoku

23:29 – oooh, almost there. better disembark or something

23:40 –  OH GOD NO OTHER PEDESTRIANS DO NOT USE THE DRIVEWAY OF SOMEONE’S HOUSE AS A TOILET I IMPLORE YOU

23:45 – it’s always nice coming home and having NO-ONE ELSE BE HERE. YEP, JUST ME AND THE LAUNDRY

00:00 – bed? nah, jokes.

Mock Recitals, with weirdly blurred vision on the side

Last Friday I performed in front of a very small group of people. It might even be accurate to say that the small group of people was in fact approximately 10 people, possibly even less. In fact, a reasonable estimate would be half a dozen. Still, it was a recital, of sorts. Everyone taking the solo performance module is required to perform in one lunchtime recital over the course of the year, and mine was last week. So, naturally, having had two terms to prepare myself and many weeks to get in touch with the accompanist, I chose to give the accompanist my music on Tuesday and practice for the recital for twenty minutes on Thursday. My middle name might as well be ‘Well Prepared’.

Yeah, OK, maybe that’s not actually very well prepared but you can’t tell me what to do, lecturer! 

As it happens, the recital thing went reasonably well. Apart from one tiny panic in the middle where I thought we were going to have the world’s shortest concert at 15 minutes (yeah…), the whole thing went swimmingly. Until the moment when I tried to stand up (to bow), realised I couldn’t get my right eye to focus at all, that I had a sharp pain on the right side of my head, and that things were a bit blurry on the right side of the room. So I sat down again. Anyway, long story short, the pianist was eventually able to persuade everyone that there was no more music to be had (at all), and they all left. All 6 (7?) of them.

I wouldn’t have thought any more of it, except that the same thing happened today when I played in the solo performance lecture, and apparently I looked a lot like I was going to faint???? And of course, the same thing happened at the beginning of term.

SO, Science Side of the Internet: ????????????

Update: Having talked to various medically up-to-date relatives (i.e. my mother), we’ve come to the conclusion that this was probably an example of a Lightning Migraine (which is less cool than it sounds). Fucking migraines. And I’m allowed to swear in this case because they are pretty flipping inconvenient.