Things that have happened while on this Cruise:

  1. For breakfast, maple syrup is distributed in small jars that are sealed. I usually put one of these jars on my tray. Once seated at a table (a waiter usually takes the tray out of my hands and carries it to a table for me) a waiter comes over and opens the syrup and places it back on the table (they tray is usually removed by this point).
  2. My room is made at least two times per day...in the morning after everybody leaves for the day (fresh towels etc...) and before bed while everyone is at dinner (the top blanket thing disappears and the pillows are all layed out perfectly...with a pillow menu where you can select which pillows suit your needs best.)
  3. I saw an erupting volcano a few minutes ago. The ship pulled right up next to Stromboli (not the fast food place in Rochester) and the passengers gaped in amazement as several shots of lava erupted from the top!

Today in news:

  1. Saw an ancient Greek Theatre.
  2. Took a freaky hanging thing down the side of a mountain.
  3. Ate a very nice lunch on a veranda overlooking the beautiful coast of Sicily.
  4. Saw the town of Taormina.
  5. Was tired all day.
  6. Rolled my eyes at the fact that the theme tonight was 50's and the old people loved it.


Trip: Day Five (at sea...)

  1. Couldn't wake up.
  2. Had a breakfast that was way too fancy in the dining room (we usually go up on the deck for the buffet.)
  3. Took a nap (by accident, but kind of on purpose) at the very top and rear of the boat. It is my secret place that nobody knows about: you can watch the ripples in the water behind the boat and sit peacefully in the sun (and run into the spa if you need a bottle of water!)
  4. Went to the gym and walked around with my dad on the promenade deck (3.7 laps=1 mile).
  5. Mediterranean buffet for lunch.
  6. Wine tasting: old school Europe vs. New School California...I like Cali better.
  7. Semi-formal dinner hosted by celebrity chef Sam Choy. I only had one of his dishes (shrimp cake with mushroom risotto). My main entree was short ribs...they were good, but my dads are better. Just ask Heather.
  8. Gay boys took the stage again tonight. The theme was "symphony of nations" and they changed costumes about 4 times per song. They are good performers, but the shows are LAME. Old people love them. They took their shirts off a few times.
  9. The day we go to Rome is a holiday and everything is closed. The ship is offering a private tour of the Vatican that will cost over $1200, which my parents will not pay for...poo...
  10. It sounds like CCE could be hired kind of easily for a cruise. Are we interested? Would still have to send a tape and everything. OOC.
  11. Tomorrow is Sicily.


Trip: Day 4...Dubrovnik

  1. My parents and I explored the walled city of Dubrovnik, Croatia by climbing to the top of the wall and walking around the entire city (which isn't that big). Many stairs were involved (up and down and up and down) and many spectacular views were to be had.
  2. I wrote and sent multiple postcards. Look in the mail; they will most likely arrive long after my trip is over! More will be sent! Let me know if you want one!
  3. I went swimming in a salt water pool onboard the ship today. It was nice since it was warm out, but it was strange since it was salt water in a pool.
  4. Harpist Shirley Dominguez gave another show tonight, this time featuring many Latin favorites and a medley from Phantom of the Opera and the infamous I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor.
  5. On top of the wall in Dubrovnik I heard such favorites as Madonna's Sorry, Kelly Clarkson's Since U Been Gone, and the Black Eyed Peas' Pump It. I never though I would hear those songs blasted from a little stereo on top of a wall built hundreds of years ago in Croatia.


Trip: Day Three (At Sea)

I just got back from tonight's show: Cole! (aka gay boys and hags onstage). I guess it was better than it should have been, but it was, along with all the shows here, a bit lame. They have the staff tripling up on all this stuff; one of the dancers in the show is also our lifeboat captain and I have seen him dressed in a tux working the crowds over at the various venues on ship. Today was very relaxing, we didn't see any land as we are off the coast of Italy 40 miles. Tomorrow we will visit Dbrovnik, Croatia. I have received mail addresses from many...postcards will begin to be mailed, don't hesitate to send your address!! Right now I am wearing a tux. Tonight was a formal night...tuxes were not required, but basically every guy was wearing them. My mom was talking overtime, so I kicked her under the table, but she didn't notice. Oh well. I wish I could be posting pictures, but alas, I cannot. You will have to wait until I return. While I am having fun here, I only wish I could be here with all of you. It would be so much more fun. I keep thinking about how all of you would react to everything thats going on, and it makes me happy! Missing all of you!


Trip: Day Two (Venice)

The Piazza San Marco is filled with tons of freakish pigeons. These birds will not hesitate to fly very fast very close to your head or even land directly on an outstretched arm or an unsuspecting head. This mad me very uncomfortable...but luckily I wasn't a victim. Venice Day 2 was even more exciting than the first. Stops included the Peggy Guggenheim Museum (which features works such as Brancusi's Bird In Space). Tons of good modern art was to be found: all housed in an amazing house overlooking the grand canal. A walking tour commenced; my parents and I had what is supposedly the best gelato in Venice, saw the Rialto Bridge, and took a boat/bus down the grand canal. Venice is truly one of a kind and I hope I will be able to return someday! Tonight's entertainment is of note: a harpist!! She played a very small harp standing up and had very long fingernails with which she was able to play a tremolo with only one finger on one string!! I talked to her afterwards...she had never heard of Eastman and has never taken a lesson in classical harp. She seemed very talented and played mostly pop tunes and Latin flavor songs. Pictures were taken and will be displayed. Tomorrow will be spent lounging around the boat (at the pool...wine tasting...formal dinner w/ tux!!) Wish you were here!!! PS> Send me your addresses so I can send you postcards!!

Trip: Day One (Venice)

Today was very long. We flew from Chicago to Amsterdam to Venice, then proceeded walk around Venice for a few hours. My dad figured that we have been up for about 43 hours straight (since there has been VERY minimal sleeping...the plane was VERY cramped). Venice is very fun. I'm very excited to be in Europe for the first time. Tomorrow will be another day in Venice; today was basically just a quick walk around to get the feel (see the Plaza San Marco etc...) The ship is also amazing...the dining room is amazing: its like eating in a restaurant where you order everything, and then you don't have to pay! The staff is amazingly friendly (they are already memorizing our names!) Thank you to everyone who called and/or facebooked me to give warm birthday wishes! My parents forgot until I mentioned that you guys had called me, and then they were like, "Happy Birthday!"...so yeah...I'm tired now, and the internet is going to expire soon. So yeah. More tomorrow!



Today I saw my very first episode of American Idol. If I were to vote, I would go for Katherine McPhee...I'll admit that Taylor may be more charasmatic and talented...but lets be honest here: he seems really strange to me. Seriously, theres too many weird things going on over there; the clothing choice, the strange "dance moves," the white hair? He knows how to work an audience and everyone who was at the show seemed much more excited to see him than Katherine. Neither of them really got me excited, but I'm going for Katherine, so there. Here first and 3rd song were not terribly strong...Over The Rainbow was fun. Taylor's first song was great...the rest were boring...and he's weird. Win=Katherine. Wednesday is my birthday, so support my consumption habits and buy me things. {/end shameless self plug} I leave for Italy tomorrow...my mom is going crazy...I miss my friends (who called me several times today!)...I'm not quite done packing...and stuff and thing.



Yesterday was hard. And driving away from Rochester this morning was hard. I slept most of the day, and that helped. Somewhere past Buffalo Mary and Daniel zoomed past us and Mary gave me a call...I estimate they got to Chicago about 4 hours faster than we did. I'm sure we all have a strange void right now, but its hardest when I think about those who I won't be seeing anytime in the near future. I'm back now and I'm glad I have a zillion things to do tonight and tomorrow; otherwise I would only be thinking about the things and people I am missing. Ok...enough emotional graduation stuff...time to get back to blogging...the real way. I will not be bringing my computer to Italy, so updating may not be what I had hoped. Pictures won't be posted until I return, which is really sad. Ack!

End Scene.

I've spent all day trying to say goodbye to all of my friends here at Eastman. As most of you know, I'm not one to say very much, but I want you all to know that I really love you and I will really miss you. Guess its kind of basic, but its true. To those of you I will be seeing over the summer: thank god we still have some time together. To those of you I won't: {tears}



Less than 13 hours before I leave Rochester and all of my friends behind. It feels really strange.


Last Concert

CCE: The Final Concert 3:30pm Kilbourn Hall Schumann: Piano Quintet also, Matroyshka String Quartet & Destino Winds the end.


For Some Reason Its In Spanish

This may be my favorite clip from any active visual medium (TV and Film). For some reason the only clip on YouTube is in Spanish...so during all of the lines with subtitles, imagine that the characters are speaking English that is spoken backwards but playing in reverse, thus making it sound "normal" but not normal at all...whatever...Twin Peaks 4Eva!


Update and Future.

As I said in the entry directly below this I am at the very very end of my undergraduate schooling. I'm completely done with all my work...and nearly done with all of my performances (3:30pm Kilbourn Hall on Saturday=CCE+M4+Destino). I am however not done with all of my friends. There are a bunch of events planned this week in order to get us to see each other as much as possible. We learned how to make drinks...then we drank them the next night. Tonight we saw a very dirty hypnotist make people feel themselves on stage...not exactly sure how I feel about that. We still have a beach picnic and a bunch of receptions and a concert and the graduation itself...but I'm sure it will all fly by in a blink. I will miss everybody so much! I can't even imagine... As far as this blog...entries will be light for the next few days (if at all). As Nathaniel said in the comments below there is nothing more important than blogging, so I will try as I hard as I might to keep you informed! Starting May 24th (my birthday...ahem) this blog will become a cruise journal (a glorious trip from Venice to Monte Carlo) and shortly after that on June 15th this blog will become Tanglewood journal where you will get to read about the craziness of billions of orchestra and chamber music performances!! Have I mentioned my love for My Humps by the Black Eyed Peas? Obsessed. And I'm official at Rice...I sent in all of my forms!


Reasons I haven't blogged:

  1. Its the end of my undergraduate career and there are more important things to do. I'll be back soon.



+ 3:00pm Kilbourn Hall Haydn: Op. 74 No. 2 (CCE) Ravel: String Quartet (Ying) Mendelssohn: Octet Mvt. 1(CCE+Ying)



In a sudden turn of events I decided to attend RICE UNIVERSITY for my masters. After carefully considering every tiny little detail for the two days I had to decide, I called Rice today to tell them I would be coming to school next year. They gave me more money...and more than anything it will be change from what I've been doing for the past four years. I will miss playing in Musica Nova and being able to work with Brad Lubman {sigh}...that was the main thing holding me back, but aside from that, there wasn't much left for me at Eastman. Right now I am pretty confident in my decision, so I hope it works out!!! Wow...I really didn't think I would end up in Houston!!


Happy and Confused

Happy: I am officially done with all of my degree requirements. No more papers or tests or anything else. I am now completely done with all the work of my undergraduate career!! There are a few concerts left, but those are mostly for enjoying the company of my amazing friends. Confused:This morning I got an official offer from Rice and the money they offered is a lot higher than the scholarship that Eastman offered (as expected). I need to do some serious thinking about where I will be going since I have to decide by Friday at 5:00pm. This morning after hearing the offer I was pretty set on Eastman, but now I am leaning towards Rice. I want to hear what you think. Really, I do. Tell me everything you think...maybe you thought of something I didn't (actually, I'm almost sure you did).



After 5:00pm tomorrow I will be completely done with my degree requirements. Before then I need to learn all there is to know about the history of Black Music in this country as well as write a paper about movies that I don't like (aka...Westerns). Right now I am trying to learn all of the listening examples for the test tomorrow at 12...but they all seem to be jazzy ragtime piano things. Hmmm...


Angels Done.

CCE's performance went smoothly enough: there were no major disasters, but I can't say that it was the most amazing performance ever. That may or may not have something to do with the fact that we did most of the work today. That made for kind of a long day...but it is always a joy to perform anything with CCE: no matter how under or over-rehearsed it may be. We have two more recitals before the end of the year: this Sunday we perform Haydn Op. 72 No. 2 as well as the first movement of the Mendelssohn Octet with our favorite teachers The Ying Quartet...the following weekend we play the Schumann Quintet on the Best of the Class of 2006 Chamber Concert. Its a lot of work to put all of this on, but its worth it...at least we can say we spent our final weeks having fun!! My Lovers:


I finally received my Tanglewood assignments. I won't be playing with Heather in anything (except orchestra) but it looks like things will be fun!! Here is the list--> Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 14 Mozart: Adagio and Fugue in C minor Shostakovich: Two Pieces for String Octet Ron Ford: Brandelli Turnage: Blood on the Floor and all of the orchestra concerts... Kind of sad about not being assigned to the concert of contemporary operas conducted by James Levine...oh well!

CCE + Black Angels

Tonight CCE will attempt something it has never done before: perform Black Angels in Kilbourn Hall with very minimal rehearsal. This is the closest we have ever cut it before...the fun starts in 20 mins when we rehearse from 1:30-5:30 and learn the piece once and for all. Crystal glasses will be played. Thimbles will be attached to fingers. Strings will be plucked with paper clips. Gongs will be hit. Phrases in other languages will be shouted and whispered (loudly). And we will be amplified. OMG OMG OMG. This is so scary. I can't believe that this is happening! CCE Performs Black Angels...8PM Kilbourn Hall


iPod Knows All (or nothing)

Stolen from Damion's and Nathaniel's Blogs... You turn on your iPod. Shuffle. Play. The songs that come up answer the following questions in order (You can't change the questions and you can't skip songs. Be honest). So here goes... 1. How does the world see you? String Quartet No. 4 Mvt. 3 by Arnold Schoenberg...does this mean that people see me as dark, brooding, abstract and complicated? 2. Will I have a happy life? Do Ya (Feel the Love) from the Queer as Folk Soundtrack....I'll take that as a good sign? 3. What do my friends think of me? String Quartet No. 3 Mvt 1+2 by George Rochberg...It starts with something resembling the shower scene from Psycho. Over and over and over again. And then it turns into a super romantic classical piece. So are people confused about who I am? or do their opinions just change all the time? I guess I'm just more complicated than I thought. 4. Do people secretly lust after me? Happy Was The Day We Met by Cher...well that answers that. 5. How can I make myself happy? String Quintet in G Major Mvt. 4 by Brahms...i\it starts off kind of minor and scary, but it eventually turns into a dance party...sort of. Maybe playing this would make me happy? Or maybe having a dance party would make me happy? 6. What should I do with my life? Partido Feminista ffrom the Evita Soundtrack... so I should become a big political figure by sleeping around with important people? 7. Will I ever have children? String Quartet "From My Life" Mvt. 3 by Smetana...it starts with a very lonely cello solo and the rest of the movement is very consoling...so I'm guessing the answer is no. 8. What is some good advice for me? Piano Quintet Mvt. 1 by Schnittke... this is not good advice at all...its about the composers mother who died in the street because nobody would help her. Or maybe the advice is that I should help woman who are laying motionless in the streets? 9. How will I be remembered? "Rambaldo!... Ah! M'aiutate!" from La Rondine by Puccini...Does this mean somebody will write an opera about me that will be all but forgotten because his other works are so much better? 10. What's my signature dance song? String Quartet No. 1 by Ligeti...ok, I guess this means I like crazy hyperactive schizo dance tracks. That aren't actually dance tracks. 11. What's my current theme song? Skating from Charlie Brown Christmas by Vince Guaraldi Trio...its certainly cold enough outside to fulfill this one. 12. What do others think my current theme song is? Strotha Tynhe by Aphex Twin...its basically random notes on the piano...I didn't realize I was that scattered. 13. What shall they play at my funeral? Because of You by Kelly Clarkson...Ok...this is just too scary. But it does make taking this survey worth it. 14. What type of men do I like? The Rite of Spring Part II by Stravinsky... I can't make any sense out of this at all. 15. How's my love life? Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings Mvt. 2 "Pastoral" by Britten...nuff' said. So there we have it...things get a little more complicated when you have lots of classical music on your iPod. I won't be performing a "holy water ritual" on it or anything...basically my iPod seems to think I am dark and complicated and mysterious. Am I?


CCE: The Final Recital

CCE performs our last full recital...see it! Tonight...7:00pm at Rochester Contemporary (next the Christ Church) David Plylar: String Quartet Jairo Duarte Lopez: Movimiento para Solo Cello (performed by me) Penderecki: String Quartet No. 2 Berio: Selected Violin Duets (performed by the lovely Kitty Cheung and the Magnificent Kimberly Fitch) Augusta Read Thomas: Incantation for Solo Violin (performed by the one and only Heather Braun) Its our last recital and we want you to be there! (no worries if you miss it...you can still catch us on three more recitals before the year is over!)


Is it a bad sign that my boss just thought I was some girl named Valerie?


Its Just Out of Control

Got a call from Dave saying that its very likely that Eastman will release me from the contract I signed because they have a lot of people who want to come to Eastman. He said its also likely that Rice will make me an offer if Eastman releases me from the contract. So basically I have to choose if I want to go to Rice or Eastman...by tomorrow. I like how everytime I get settled into something, it all changes and I suddenly have stuff to deal with. I would be nice to just decide. I guess right this second I'm leaning towards Rice since I like the teacher and they have more money and it would be a change from what I've been doing for the past four years. But at the same time I would be missing out on some things here at Eastman...like being able to play tons of new music all the time. OOC.

Hate George.

So fulfilling its not even funny.


Good Things:

  1. Both Sara and I have been invited to join the Ossia Board for next year. This makes me VERY happy since I have been playing in the ensemble for about 3 years now (almost every single concert). We have both already decided its going to be OOC.
  2. CCE won the chamber music award (that will be presented at graduation). We share it along with Matroyshka4 and BeanLiccardoZerweck3. We get $50 each, but they announce it at graduation, so I know my parents will be ecstatic...which makes it more than worth it for me.
  3. I'm kind of looking forward to coming back next year. Weird I know.
  4. CCE concert posters featuring Cher...look around tomorrow, you'll see.
  5. Public Enemy=Night of the Living Baseheads. Look for it on iTunes and buy it. You'll be just as obsessed as me.


My Computer is Dead (almost)

It has become known to me in the past few days that the time has come for a new computer. I know this because mine has been restarting itself approximately 7-8 times a day for the past three days. This happened once two years ago...and it was sent to Gateway and came back fixed. However, it doesn't seem worth it to get fixed again, when I could get a new computer that won't need to be fixed for some time (hopefully). This presents a dilemma. What kind of computer should I get. The MacBook Pro, while I love it, I really do, doesn't seem to be the best choice right now...many have discouraged me since it is so new ("wait for the second run...the first is always sketch"). Do I go with an older mac...which one? Do I stick with a PC (aka ghetto comp)?? ADVICE PLEASE...anyone and everyone!