ananzi: (dancing statue)
Old pond,
frog jumps
Plop.


The sound of water in Bashō's poem about the frog has been translated in a variety of ways - splash, shhh, plop. Good sounds can't easily be put into ordinary words.

One day I'd like to open my own musical instrument store in which I would sell fountains of running water tuned in fourths and fifths, and trees with leaves voiced for sleep that could be placed near a bedroom window, and long metal tubes of such low resonance they could be felt but not heard, and beehives in which the pedal point of the bees could be amplified with a sounding box, and treble frogs and bass frogs, and stones that could be dropped on each other for percussion, and drinking glasses that could be either struck lightly or rubbed, and a bird feeder that would attract a variety of singers, and fish that would make sonorous bubbles in a pond.

My store would be called Bashō's pond.


- Thomas Moore, in Meditations: On the Monk Who Dwells in Daily Life
ananzi: (dancing statue)
Sooo...Neil Gaiman and Amanda Fucking Palmer are doing a free event within biking distance of my school today.

Awesome!

I'm not busy at all; it's not like a have a thesis draft due or a test tomorrow or an essay due on Wednesday.

Frisson

Feb. 21st, 2013 04:16 pm
ananzi: (orange octopus)
Just discovered that musical frisson ("chills" resulting from dopamine production in response to hearing emotionally-charged music) is actually a thing - not everyone experiences it, at least not frequently. I always took it for granted. Reading this article on the difference between ASMR and frisson was fascinating, partially because the sections on frisson described pretty well something that I've felt a lot. It's also gotten me listening to Eric Whitacre's music, which is lovely. Choral music used to not be my thing, but recently - maybe in part due to the Gregorian chant I've been encountering in my Medieval Music class - I'm really appreciating it.

I'm hard-pressed to come up with very many examples of frisson-inducing songs off the top of my head, but I know for certain that "Defying Gravity" has been one of them since sometime before I even saw Wicked.
ananzi: (dancing statue)
Cool song that one of my roommates showed me. I especially like that the first rap has melodic qualities - I hadn't thought much about rap in those terms, but it's a neat effect.


link: http://youtu.be/UIsDhcu7HIo

Three of us want to learn the different parts of the rap. I think I've taken on the difficult-to-understand second part? I've got the hook covered, though; I'm probably the best-suited to sing it.

Recently

Oct. 12th, 2012 01:20 pm
ananzi: (man and goat statue)
My laptop keyboard has been messing up and I'll probably have to get it fixed or replaced. Since it's very new, it's at least under warranty.

K. and I went fishing with L. (fencing coach) on Sunday, out on his boat. It was fun!

I saw Andrew Bird in concert on Tuesday and it was a singularly joyous experience. His music sounded wonderful, and I was incredibly impressed with his ability to use his instruments to their full potential - he bowed, chopped, strummed, plucked, whistled into his violin. His delivery felt pretty self-aware and humorous, even when he was just talking.

I went there on not enough sleep, but once he started playing (and the backing group really added an element of dynamism to some of the non-solo songs), I was full attention for the entire concert. Soooo good.

Afterwards was good too; I went with L. (who is the person who originally turned me onto Andrew Bird) to a Middle-Eastern restaurant where the owner seemed to think I was his teenaged daughter and I tried Turkish coffee for the first time ever.

This song has been in my head for the past few days:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjJknXGR7QE
ananzi: (oz: flowerchild)
Several good things have happened, but I'm only going to mention a few that really strike me:

- Banjo lessons have continued to happen, and are still fun and pretty relaxed. Apparently, all banjo songs have silly names, like "Old Joe Clark".
- On another musical note, I went over once to play viola with fencing coach L. and his daughter M., on the banjo and ukelele, respectively. I hope that we try again sometime when I'm more familiar with the songs and everyone is back in town - he'll be gone for the next month, and his daughter doesn't actually live there except to visit. He agreed to give me a bunch of Andrew Bird and Beirut and other stuff to listen to, which I finally got from him on Friday. I'm really excited about it, actually.
- Cabin in the Woods! I wasn't sure what to expect, but I liked it.
- Brave! Better than Cabin in the Woods, in my opinion. It was pretty and well-done and cute and centered around some awesome female characters.
- Mango cupcakes! I made some today, and they're tasty. A house near school had a box out in their yard full of mangoes for the taking - I guess that the tropical storm earlier in the week knocked off far more mangoes than they could eat.

The lab is okay...tedious sometimes, but I have gotten to take data on the calorimeter a few times. Soon, we'll have the cooling component installed so that it can also measure things at sub-ambient temperatures.

I think that I want to attempt a bike ride to the beach (and back) sometime in the next two weeks.

A recent discussion about queerness has made me want to write about asexuality and the queer community and how I personally relate to the queer label. I'm not sure if it'll actually happen, though - I've been mulling it over in my mind for a lot of today and I suspect that my thoughts boil down to a few basic concepts. For some reason, it feels like an interesting topic to discuss, though.
ananzi: (dapper dan)
Today, I had my first banjo lesson! From a friend who's in town for the month of June. I learned how to tune it, hold it, pluck it, and play a few chords and scales. I also learned the basic idea of tabs, since I've never played the guitar or any other instrument that uses them. The friend who agreed to teach me is a pretty cool guy, so I look forward to the rest of our lessons - he's fun and easy to interact with.

I guess that I never mentioned that I'm back at my college for the rest of the summer - I'm doing research in my professor's Optical Spectroscopy and Nano-Materials Lab. It has the potential to be kind of boring, I guess, but for right now I like my project (studying the ferroelectric phase transitions of barium titanate with the direct scanning calorimeter). I also get a stipend, so it's not a bad deal overall. This is the first time I've worked a 9-5 job (Duke TIP was full-time, but the hours were a little different), and it's an interesting experience. Eight hours at a time feels like a sort of long day to me, but once I'm done, I'm done. I don't feel very obligated to work on my research in the evenings, although that might change after I start actually doing things as opposed to just reading.

I've also spent a bit of time with some of my friends from fencing: R. and her boyfriend C., and the coach, who is an adult with a family, but who still manages to be fun and slightly odd (his house is full of disco equipment and really nice speakers - because he got them from his friends who rented a space to a gay club that didn't pay the rent) and incredibly good at making friends. Tomorrow is his birthday, and he's having some of us over for dinner at his house to celebrate. People keep on feeding me, which is great! I should learn how to cook at some point, but if my friends are going to make me dinner (this will be the second one this week from people who I fence with, and the guy giving me banjo lessons offered me a milkshake), then it won't even be necessary.

The house that I'm staying in is reasonable, and both of my female housemates seem fine enough. There are three dogs, though! Between two people. When I came home on Monday, one dog was chilling on my bed and another had ripped up a few unused tissues in my room. Silly dogs! I've started closing my door when I leave.

I like dogs, though, so I don't really mind.
ananzi: (man and goat statue)
Recently I've had REU stuff on my mind a lot...even though my chances for getting one are supposedly at least reasonable, I'm not convinced that any of them will take me. I reapplied to work at Duke TIP today, although I mentioned that I would prefer being a TA over an RC this year. I'd definitely be happy to work for them again, and the main reason I can think of for them potentially not taking me back is if most of the positions are already filled. It's best to put in an application by January or February, but I was afraid of getting an offer and being put in the position of not knowing whether or not I should accept it - as much as I like TIP, I'd take almost any research internship over it.

Sorry, anyone who reads this. I don't want to be a huge complainer; I just feel a little bit anxious and a little bit inadequate right now. Also, I'd rather prepare myself for the worst so that I'll be okay if I end up working at home over the summer or excited if some program does accept me.

Edit: Also, I just received an email from one of the programs to which I applied telling me that I wasn't considered for their program because my application package was incomplete. I have the sinking suspicion that one of my recommenders didn't send in a letter and hope that it's a one-time fluke rather than a common trend. :(

In other news, I'm behind in several of my classes (not so great), although I think I'm doing okay in Statistical Mechanics (good). Also, I have a big musical performance thing tonight at 8 that incorporates the ensemble I'm in along with a few other groups, so that should be exciting. Still need to figure out what I'm wearing, because clothing is hard and I'm not very good at it.

Also! I've totally been enjoying myself in Goju recently, fencing is good (although our coach might be leaving us?), and I finally went to frisbee last Sunday - it was fun! So I'm at least not sitting in my room all the time.

And did I ever post about how C's aunt and sister came down to visit him a few weeks ago? That was cool. They took me to a play (Once in a Lifetime - it was pretty funny) and then back to their hotel room afterwards to talk and eat brownies. We also cooked pasta and vegetables (that his aunt got from the farmer's market) together for dinner the next night, which was fun and tasty. I felt very honored to be included in some of their family activities and was relieved to find that talking to them felt fairly natural.,

And there was karaoke last night with two of my roommates and our fencing coach, his treat. In such a small group, I sang a lot more than I have at karaoke in the past. I like singing, but am a little bit more shy and definitely less pushy than a lot of my friends. That was fun too.

Tl;dr - I'm a little bit stressed, but there's a lot of good stuff in my life too. Sometimes it's important to maintain perspective.

Eluveitie

Feb. 26th, 2011 03:48 am
ananzi: (persepolis: punk is not ded)
Maybe more on this later, maybe not, but I got back from an Eluveitie concert about half an hour ago and it was wonderful.

They're a folk metal band from Switzerland. I am not a metalhead. I've only been to two real concerts, including this one. (The first was the Decemberists on their Hazards of Love tour, which was also pretty fantastic.) It was still amazing.


video link

The video above is of one of their more popular songs, the one of theirs that I know the best. If you like it, that's cool; if you don't like it, that's cool too.

I got to dance and shout and headbang (normally not my thing, but it's surprisingly easy when you're into the music enough). I got to go in the moshpit (!) I don't know if I could handle a scary moshpit, but this one was surprisingly polite - if anyone ever started to stumble, people would catch them and pat them on the back; if anyone fell over, at least two or three people would help them up. One of my friends described it as loving violence, which seems pretty fitting.

I'm pretty freaking exhausted right now, but I'm so glad that I went. It was, without a doubt, worth it.
ananzi: (Batman and Robin)
...because Jill Sobule's "I Kissed A Girl" (which came out long before yours) is closer to how the song should sound. In my opinion, anyhow; people are welcome to disagree.



I know that a lot of people like Katy Perry and I'm okay with that, really - she's not my cup of tea but I can recognize that a lot of people find her very catchy. Jill Sobule's song, however seems to me like it contains more genuine emotion and less internalized homophobia.
ananzi: (smiling)
Well, ISP (Independent Study Month) has finished and we're into the second week of the new semester. I still haven't finished all of my ISP work, but I'll get it done sometime; the teacher doesn't really require it until the middle of next August. Hopefully I'll have it done by the end of the semester, though.

My classes...I don't know. On one hand, I'm excited for most of them; on the other, I'm taking six classes when the "default" (or recommended amount, whatever) at my school is four. Such is life. If I get overwhelmed, I guess that I can always drop one, although I can sometimes be a little bit too stubborn when it comes to these things.

What I'm taking:

Physics II - This is pretty self-explanatory. I'm actually quite excited for the class, though, for two reasons: the teacher, who I like, is my advisor (meaning that I actually get to have a class with him!) and the material (electricity and magnetism) is actually new to me. I didn't actually take Physics at all in high school, but last semester's topic, mechanics, had a lot of material that I could have figured out just from having learned Calculus.

Physics II Lab - Also self-explanatory. My lab section is also taught by my advisor, and I get to pair up with my lab partner from last semester! Our first lab involved charging random things and then measuring the charge.

Introduction to Medieval Manuscripts - Okay, so initially I was torn between this class and Entomology, which is offered at the exact same time. The teachers (who are engaged) are fantastic, the topic is interesting, and the course itself is my first history one at college, so I'm actually happy now that I decided on this one. As a potential Religious Studies major (that, Physics, and Psychology are looking like my best options right now), I get a lot of enjoyment out of the religious aspect of some of the history. Plus, one of my roommates (a likely History major) is in the course with me! Overall, very enjoyable so far. Although there's a lot of weekly reading.

Beginning Russian II - Just a continuation of Beginning Russian I, although a lot of people didn't continue. There are only seven people in my class, now!

Biological Psychology - I was having trouble deciding between this class and Abnormal Psychology, but I want to learn about neurons. As long as I do the readings or pay good attention in class, this doesn't seem like it'll be too work-intensive.

Black Mountain and the New York School - This is a poetry class, and actually the one that I'm most iffy about (despite the fact that I was initially thrilled to even get into the course). It's aimed more at literature majors (which I am not, although I had a strong English backing in high school) and non-first-years (which I am not). Some of the poetry is quite good, but Charles Olson hurts my brain. Some of the class has felt a little overwhelming so far (there's a lot of reading and the poetry can be difficult to understand), but I'll give it another week or two.

So, yes. Not sure if anyone read that, but that's what's going on with my semester right now. I've also been still attending the "wallternative" parties (board/video/card games, things like hide-and-seek/sardines, and mafia) on the weekends, which actually involves me staying up late - sometimes past 2 AM, even! (Weird. Apparently I'm not as much of an introvert as I thought, although I'd still consider myself introverted.) And maybe I'll pick up Iaido (some sort of non-combative sword sport), which is an hour on Sundays.

Audition requirements for next year's Youth Philharmonic have been posted online. I would normally be somewhat indifferent, but the last excerpt is from Fingal's Cave. Most of you probably don't remember, but my high school orchestra played this piece in my junior year and it remains one of the most amazing things I've ever played, to date. If the audition excerpt is indicative of something that the Youth Philharmonic will actually be performing next year, then I am suddenly really motivated to have the most amazing audition ever.

Anyhow, this has been quite long, at least for me. Maybe I'll go and work on my Physics lab writeup now, since I'm vowing to not leave it to the last minute like I did for the majority of last semester.

If you read this whole post you get a virtual cookie, or something.
ananzi: (gargoyle)
Sometimes when I go without writing for a while I feel guilty, until I realize that this whole journal thing should be for me, anyhow, and that it shan't do me any good if I write in it without really wanting to.

So. I've seen the new Harry Potter movie - went to the midnight showing on opening night with some friends, in fact - and for the most part quite enjoyed it. A few notes, which may or may not be spoilers:

Err, don't read this if you're not interested or you haven't seen the movie yet, I guess? )

After the movie we went back to my friend's house where the three of us at cookie dough and filmed, of all things, a very silly Harry Potter fashion show (I was Trelawney!) and a new rendition of "The Mysterious Ticking Noise", which you should see (the original, I mean) if you haven't already.  All was great fun, although I was very tired the next day.

I've been reading a lot recently, which is fantastic, and my most recent conquest has been The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco.  It's got mystery and theology and history and even a Holmesian-style character in it, so it proves so far to be a rich and interesting read.  I've also been going through quite a few of the works of Diana Wynne Jones over the past few weeks, having acquired (and finished) House of Many Ways just a few days ago and having re-read the first four Chrestomanci books (which are also quite excellent) within the last week or two as well.  (Did you know, by the way, that there are now six of them instead of four?  I didn't, and so I've still yet to start on the two that didn't exist when I was reading this series years ago.)  This July in general seems to be my "Reclaim My Lost Bookworm" month, which is good, definitely.  In elementary school I used to read avidly; we had one of those systems where you could read a book and take a quiz about it on the computer for "points" of some sort (they didn't do much, but we got recognition) and I was always at or near the top of the school.  (Geekiness apparently starts early.)  As I've gotten older, busier, and more attached to the computer, however, my reading's gone down a bit, and so I'm glad to get it back.

Various other things worth mention include the fact that I am currently leaning towards taking Hebrew next year at New College (as opposed to French or Russian, although I could still probably sway back towards Russian with enough convincing), the fact that my family's dog is getting old and fat-ish and out-of-shape and that because of this I have resolved to walk her more often, and the fact that my viola practice has been getting slightly better than it has been in the past.  I also have a new plotbunny formulating in my brain that potentially involves gnosticism and speculative fiction.  Fun, fun.

Partially out of curiosity, and partially because I wouldn't mind more book recommendations, what have any of you guys been reading (or wanting to read) recently?  Anything good?  (Also feel free to comment on anything else in this entry, obviously.)

ananzi: (dancing statue)
I am currently in a love affair with Antonin Dvorak's New World Symphony, Movement 4.

This happened last year with Fingal's Cave (you can click if you want to listen on youtube) and I think that it's beginning to happen again.



Here it is, in case anyone's curious?
ananzi: (man and goat statue)
Comment to this post and I will give you 5 subjects/things I associate you with. Then post this in your LJ and elaborate on the subjects given.

[livejournal.com profile] mmailliw gave me: senioritis, thinking, reading, orchestra, astronomy
__________________________________________________

Senioritis

Well, I am a senior in high school.  A second-semester senior.  And I am already into several schools that I am seriously considering attending next year.  This, along with my procrastinatory nature, lends itself automatically to senioritis (although I'm still quite good at getting all of my assignments in).  Moving on!

Thinking

Uh, thinking is good?  I don't know.  I always have been into, or at least interested in, philosophy.  Ideas fascinate me even sometimes when I disagree with them, just as well-thought-out arguments can earn my respect even if my own opinions are different.  I suppose that one thing I could feasibly connect to this topic would be my constant interest in the nature of belief; I love to learn about the ideas and histories behind all different religions, and have been considering a major in religious studies, among other things.

In a slightly different vein, I've always been more of a thinker than a doer.  It's not so much that I won't do things - because I will - but simply that it seems like it's more in my nature to sit and carefully ponder, consider, or deliberate before jumping head-first into something.

Reading

I like books.  Om nom nom nom.  Seriously, though, I was actually kind of slow to start reading.  Apparently I had the ability, but was either too stubborn or too perfectionistic and afraid of failure to actually start reading at my ability level until sometime in the middle of first grade.  After that, I was unstoppable.  I devoured tons and tons of books and read way above my level, although the only concrete example I can think to give of this is the fact that I probably read the Lord of the Rings trilogy around what I estimate to be the fifth grade.  I do believe I've slowed down since then, what with all of the demands of schoolwork and extracurriculars, but I still would consider myself to be a pretty good reader and enjoy reading a lot.

Hmm, genres.  I'm willing to read in a bunch of different genres, although I tend to go more for fiction than nonfiction as a whole.  I like things that I would consider to be well-written.  Because I am lazy, I am simply going to
Orchestra

I joined orchestra in middle school, where I learned to play the violin because I couldn't decide between that and the cello, and my teacher made the decision for me.  She said that the school didn't have any half-size cellos.  I was small then, okay?

In eighth grade (or the summer before eighth grade, to be precise), I switched over to the viola on my own volition and have never regretted it.  I prefer the lower, richer sound of the viola to the higher one of the violin.  Also, there's a lot less snootiness and competition among the viola sections.  (Not that violinists as a whole are an issue, but in the upper orchestras particularly, some of them get to be rather ...eh.)

In my high school orchestra, we get to do lots of cool things!  I've visited Boston, NYC, and Orlando (did not vote for that location) thus far with my school's orchestra, and am already anticipating the trip to Chicago that we have planned for this year.  Also, by the time I leave my high school, I'll have seen Blue Man Group three times!  (Yes, this is an accomplishment, I think.)  Also, I like getting to play cool music.  My favorite that I've done so far would have to be Mendelssohn's Fingal's Cave, last year.  I plan to continue with the viola in college, but I don't want to study music.

Astronomy

Let's see:

- Pictures!  This year in my honors Astronomy course we get to operate remote telescopes and take pictures of various constellations/galaxies/nebulae/star clusters/other sky objects.  Very cool!  As of recently, I've started posting some of my color images up at [livejournal.com profile] hourglass_sea .  (You can also find one or two, I think, over on this journal.  They've been tagged with "astro-awesomeness", I do believe.)

- Astrophysics!  Okay, so I used to think that I would find physics terribly dull.  And then I saw the light, with the help of books such as Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe.  And Astrophysics deals somewhat with the workings of the universe and of particles and oh my gosh, you guys, with gravity!  Do you realize how interesting gravity is?  ZOMG.  That doesn't even include all of the really cool things, like the dual wave-particle nature of light, or the awesomeness that is black holes, or relativity, or dimensions.  So, yes.  I like this subject more than I ever would have guessed because in middle school physics consisted of things like measuring velocity and that was that.  I am considering some sort of study in Astrophysics in college, although I'll obviously have to experiment a bit more with straight physics classes to see if I'll really like those.

DBR

Oct. 6th, 2008 09:04 pm
ananzi: (quill girl)
Daniel Bernard Roumain came to my orchestra class today.  Very inspiring, interesting.  His kind of playing, the way the music was so engaging and fluid and expressive, is beyond words.  He talked to us about how music is a language, and how speech isn't the only way to communicate.  He picked random people to go to the front of the room and play together, improvisationally, to tell a story; the results were actually quite good.  He played for us, some sort of strange and wonderful violin piece that at times sounded like a violin and at times sounded like something entirely different.  He made our group play, but somehow it was better.



I'm totally going to his concert tomorrow night, assuming that nothing falls through.

Life is still happening.  School and college applications are still happening.  Sorting_elite is not happening, although it will by the end of the sorting period.  Also, best wishes to everyone on my flist, particularly those who are going through some spot of good or bad.

P.S.  Also, I am currently reading Everything is Illuminated .  So far it has proved to be a very premium book. :)

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Emily

December 2016

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