Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Never another theory class!

So, I passed my entrance exams! All of them! That might not seem like a big deal to those of you who coasted through the MU exams, but here at IU they take this shit seriously. The early music history exam was so hard that I was seriously spending my brain power trying to figure out the logistics of leaving IU before classes started next week.  And then... I passed! I feel AWESOME! Did I mention to say that I NEVER have to take a theory class AGAIN??? Yes.

So today I met with my voice teacher and we discussed my schedule for this year. I'm taking lessons, a gazillion master classes, choir, accelerated Italian (shit) and the motet (middle ages to 18th century). I'm so excited I could scream. Yes. I'm totally excited about the motet class. Who wouldn't be?

After I got through the entrance exam hell I realized that this is the right place for me. And it's going to be shit hard. I don't know how ready I am for that, but it feels good that I'm giving it a try. 

And, I have friends here. I really like them.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Take a peek...

Except for the piles of boxes of books in my study, I'm pretty much done with the moving process! My painting is done (unless I want to take another weekend to paint brown borders around my living room). Would you like to see?

Last night my new/old friend Eric and I explored Bloomington and I found my new Flatbranch. I dare say Upland Brewery is even better?  Am I going to hell for saying that?

Entrance exams are on Monday morning in Theory, then History on Tuesday morning.  I'm getting too old for this...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Painting Part I

I'm moved in!  I now live in Bloomington, Indiana...and it's weird. But surprisingly comfortable.

Since my parents left and I was officially "moved in" (Sunday afternoon), I've been locking myself in my apartment and doing random things to occupy my lonely self. My main activity? PAINTING!

Now, I don't know why I'm painting. This place was freshly painted when I moved in, and I have to prime all the walls I paint when I move back out. I guess I was turned off by the dirty cream walls, and ultimately I was in dire need of something to preoccupy myself while I adjusted to Bloomington ALONE. 

So I called Mark and we compiled a detailed plan of how I would transform my walls from drab to fab. We decided on a granny smith apple green for the kitchen, a light gold for the living room, and a complex chair-rail-esque multi colored job in my bedroom. We picked out the colors on and then I was off to my neighborhood Sherwin Williams!

The employees at my neighborhood Sherwin Williams were not what I expected, having been reared on the television commercials... Their jingle is "ask Sherwin Williams!" (or is it "AT Sherwin Williams? Oh well, the first proves my point) so I expected helpful sales associates to great me with color options when I walked through the door.  I walked through the door of my neighborhood Sherwin Williams to find... nobody there.  I paced around, called out, made noise, but alas no one came to my aid.  I awkwardly made my way to the color station to pick out the swatches of my color choices, hoping that my awkward presence there would send a bat-signal to their breakroom to come and get me.  But no one came.  People came into the store (when the door opens, there's an electric "bing!"), people left the store ("bing!") but no one came out to help me.  Finally, a middle-aged woman with a shitty Mia Farrow Rosemary's Baby haircut came out, blatantly looked at awkward me, and IGNORED me!  I hrumphed around for a few more minutes, still ignored, and then walked up to the counter to Rosemary's Baby Bitch Whore.  RBBW greeted me with a nonchalant something  and asked what she could do to help.  I gave her my list of colors and asked if I could get a quart of each.  She looked surprised, as if she was unaware that this was her job.  And then she said "I don't know if I can do that."  Now, I don't work at Sherwin Williams, but I think their entire business is based upon giving people the paint colors they want.  And they have a nifty computer that does it all for them.  So I don't know why she didn't think she could give me my paint.  She grabbed my list from me and shuffled around the back shelves, lined with base paint cans.  She looks at all the cans, hundreds of those cans, all the same, and says "Well, I guess we can do it."  Well, of COURSE you can do it, I thought.  She puts some of the base paint cans at the computer and puts in the proper color ratios to make my paint, and then hands them to some guy (no uniform) to put in a mixer.  That didn't seem too hard.  I don't know what the crisis was.  So I caught her in a moment of pause and said "And, I want a color green, the shade of a granny smith apple."  Again, she looks at me, surprised I'm asking her for help (the "Ask Sherwin Williams" jingle pops into my head as a plea), and says "I don't know what you want me to do."  There it was.  That simple sentence explained it all.  I replied "Well, I have this apple in my purse.  Can you match the color with your computer?"  An immediate "NOPE.  The computer doesn't read apples."  Immediately my mind flashes back to other Sherwin Williams commercials where little girls bring in purple stuffed animals...THEIR colors were matched by the computer...  "Well, I have this washcloth that's close."  I hold it up, and she replies the same.  "Could you help me find a color?" I asked ("Ask Sherwin Williams!").  She just stares at me blankly.  This was a "no" stare.  I went back to the color table and picked out a green that might work, and I gave it to her to fill in a can.

That was my Sherwin Williams experience.  

I went home and tried to paint my kitchen green.  I've never really painted before.  I mean, I've painted rooms a few times, but I think I was drunk and made a mess each time, surrounded by friends who actually COULD paint.  Here I was, sober, and on my own, armed with a bunch of blue painter's tape.  Surely I could make this happen.  

I eventually completed my kitchen wall.  It looks really good.  But this was basically a product me of me spilling paint on my tiled floor about fifty times, and frantically wiping it off with a soapy paper towel (which actually just moved the color around and didn't get rid of it...).  The green was great.  I'll post a picture of it after I complete my entire apartment.

This morning I painted the living room gold.  Again, I was not good with the paint, but again it looks great.

Halfway through the painting, I went to Target to get curtain rods and an electric drill.  My first drill!  Now I feel like a REAL les!  After several frantic phone calls to Mark, I figured out how to attach a drill bit and drill REAL HOLES!

Later today I decided to start the complex paint job in my room.  Mark recommended painting a 4-in. strip of brown, followed by a 2-in. strip of light pink below, and then followed by a wash of dark pink.  He explained that I should paint the light pink in the middle FIRST.  I could approximate where I wanted the stripe, and then I could put painters tape on that for the other stripes, and that would help give the light pink a clean edge.  Sounds easy enough, but Lindsey can't paint.  So I ended up, an two hours later, with a jagged, poorly painted pink line with pink dripping down the entire wall.  As I was painting I had my window open for ventilation.  There are a bunch of families in this complex with little kids, and kids kept walking by my window and looking in.  Now, I KNOW the kids couldn't really comprehend my painting, or the quality of my painting, but I kept getting this eerie feeling that they were judging me.  It's kind of like how no one wants the cat to watch them have sex.  I mean, the cat doesn't KNOW you're having sex, but it's creepy to have it there, watching you.  These kids watching me paint was the same creepy feeling...

When all this painting is over, I'll have to show you pictures.  I will.  Because I am an obsessed blogger who is living alone in a new city.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Cupcakes Cupcakes Cupcakes!

I was craving cupcakes BIG TIME during my visit to Portland.  I don't know why.  But because Mark and I got a little too drunk during wine country day, I never got to venture out to get cupcakes while the shops were still open.  

So, tonight I finally quenched my craving by making Peanut Butter Cup-Cup Cakes, which were my own creation.  Basically I made devils food cake bater, and while the cupcakes were baking I took them out and inserted a mini peanut butter cup in the batter.  When the cakes were done, I frosted them w/ homemade peanut butter buttercream icing (make a regular buttercream and replace half of the butter with peanut butter).  OMG THEY ARE SO GOOD!

That's all I have to say.

You should really make them.  If you don't have peanut butter cups on hand, it might work just as well to add a small dollop of peanut butter in the middle of batter during baking.  Tell me if it works.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Knitting F(r)iends!

So, my new Seattlite friend Erika introduced me to Ravelry, an online knitting community. Right now I'm grateful to Erika, and also hate her a little bit--Ravelry is my heaven, packed full of knitters and wonderful pattern ideas...but it wastes my life much more than even Facebook.

Well, I'm on Ravelry now, and have been "introduced" to my new knitting muse, this very talented Finlandian.  Her works and photography are beautiful.  She's my new best knitting friend!  She's given me an amazing scarf idea that I won't divulge until I make it myself, but I'll give her the credit for it.

On a different front, I'm packing up the apartment right now.  I move in 5/6 days (loading Thursday, driving Friday, officially moving in on Saturday).  It's really weird.  But I'm excited to make this new apartment a Lindsey Apartment!  Who knows what I'll do...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Vacay, Camp, Vacay Away!

Had a great summer vacation, which consisted of a trip to Portland to see Markie, then a trip to Seattle for Tallis Scholars camp, then back to Portland for more vacation.  And now I'm back in Columbia to finish my life here (I move in about a week).

So, trip stories.  I'll give the highlights, the abridged yet no-less humorous version.

Thursday: Fly to Portland.  Am greeted by my BFF with a game of Marco Polo in the baggage claim and a snickers bar.  Enjoy a nice pinot at a wine bar--great weather.  Snuggle in bed--really missed that.

Friday: Eat sushi on a train (the sushi was on the train, not us) and "Hike" around town to Rose Gardens and Japanese Gardens.  "Hike" was quite literally a balls-to-the-walls 45 degree angle kind of hike, which I did in a skirt.  Watched "Crash" on a projector outside.  "Crash" is dumb, and I'm the only person in the world who thinks so.
Saturday: Drive to Seattle.  Start Tallis Scholars camp.  Meet a bunch of crazies, which includes the Tallis Scholars.  SO EXCITED!

Sunday: A little worried that camp will be a bust because most people are not as good as I had hoped.  But they are dang nice and I continue to be positive.  Discovered that Seattle is a huge early music hub.  Tudor choir, cool!

Monday: Start to become suspicious of the crazy lady with her Asian daughter (Les and Lili).  Suspicions confirmed upon conversation with Mark and a few colleagues about the awkwardness of their relationship.  Singing in a small group with Big Mark and company.  Meet some amazing singers, especially Erika.  I REALLY like to sing with her.

Tuesday: My lesson with Jan Coxwell.  Goes really well.  Great advice; I really respect her.  Sing in the mass service at St. James, and the choir turns around--they sound pretty good!  Catered BBQ afterwards, and Mark and I take full advantage of the open bar.  We go out with the scholars to get a drink and I learn to love Patrick Craig.  We decide that Mark and I are Will and Grace and he and Jan are Will and Karen.  Jan is excited that she's the drunk one.
Wednesday: Free day in Seattle.  Mark and I walk to Pike's Market, then to Nordstrom Rack and buy shoes.  We huff and puff our way to Pioneer Square, and then literally run up the steepest hike back to the University for a rehearsal.  I thought I was going to die.  Very reminiscent of our hostel in Nice... But Mark was a good friend about it and waited for me every five feet when I stretched out my calves.

Thursday: Small Group Sharing Concert.  Every single person there psyched themselves out.  Our amazing small group bombed, and I'm still very sad about it.  Mark and I learned we need more mental preparation before we sing Tallis.

Friday: We heal our egos in time for the Gala concert.  But my ego suffers another blow when Jan tells me I'm sharping my high notes on her piece.  I develop a huge complex, which almost ruins my outlook on life.  Later she senses I'm freaking out and calms me down, so I performed pretty well in the concert.  At Compline, Sam and I spy on Les and Lili (as imitated below), having another awkwardly inappropriate mother-daughter moment.  We all go to the after
 party with an open bar and karaoke and Mark and I steal the show with our drunkenness.  As we always do.  
Saturday: We have an informal photo shoot with the Tallis Scholars and our friends, check-out, then eat lunch on the roof of Andrew's condo.  Mark and I go shopping for hats in Seattle, and then we all drive back so Mark can practice for his church audition.  An evening full of crappy hymns.  SERIOUSLY CRAPPY hymns.

Sunday: Mark's audition at the Unity Church.  He does great.  I sing for him at communion and lick the bread before I dip, which upsets the hippies.  Afterwards a hot Asian lesbian hits on me and wont leave me alone--I somehow get her phone number.  What am I going to with it?  Mark and I vintage shop and get crepes and eat leftover Chinese food outside while we talk about all kinds of things (namely spirituality and the absurdity that the Life Sciences Building covers up the telescope in the Astronomy department at MU).

Monday: Trip to Wine Country.  Mark and I get thoroughly drunk and buy six bottles of wine.  We stop in a McDonalds on the way back for chicken sandwiches and Will and Grace.  We go out on the town back in Portland and get lost for about an hour, then eat Italian and drink at a gay bar.  We meet a crazy gay who helps usher Mark in to the gay club scene, but also lectures Mark about devotion (the most vague and undefined word in existence).
Tuesday: The tearful goodbye.  Really tearful.  A tear-filled MAX ride to the airport, a tear-filled check-in...  Really nice :)

Were there lessons learned?  Every trip has to have lessons learned.  So here they are:
1) The only thing the Tallis Scholars love more than singing Renaissance music is getting shit-faced and singing Karaoke at shady bars.
2) The best way to get "noticed" in the music world is to be humble and talented.  No one needs to talk themselves up as much as they do.
3) Good friends are hard to find, but easy to keep (I'm sure that's on a bookmark somewhere).