star_swan: (Oak Tree)
I mentioned somewhere that I would put up photos of my container garden so here it is with other random things, cut so that you can choose to look at it.

SPRING and things )

This is the best that my garden has ever looked! I am really hitting my stride this year.

So I live in an apartment complex that has had a barely functioning laundry. Each week a new sticky note would appear on one of the washers or dryers. It was like a bad joke. This has been dragging on for months. Finally yesterday I was beginning to wonder if I would need to go to this place in town, Laundry Lounge, as we were down to four washers and five dryers for the entire place, when a man materialized and fixed all of them in under an hour!

This made my week. I have never been so excited to do laundry.

Also, it is Sergei Prokofiev's birthday!! (Well, they changed from the Julian to the Gregorian Calendar so...it is mostly his birthday.)

I am listening to all of his piano sonatas. I am on No. 8 of 9. :O
For anyone interested, I will stick links below to various recordings!

I really like his 5th Sonata . Here is Gergiev conducting his Fifth Symphony with a toothpick because he is a little cray cray. He is brilliant though. The second movement of this one sounds mechanistic. I love it!

And here is one of my favorites: Sarcasms! It's solo piano stuff where he has a bit of fun, a little too much fun? I just love that he wrote something "sarcastic".

Finally (cause I would be on here all day), I really like Tales of An Old Grandmother. The first piece is so wistful. It makes me think of the fading light on tall buildings. I want to play this one!!

More "what I've been up to" stuff on a separate post though it isn't drastically exciting. Mainly practice, work, errands, procrastination, mad plans, and tv shows. :)

Random question of the day: do you all drink tea and if so, what kind(s) of tea do you like? I really like Earl Grey and Russian Caravan. And how do you take your tea? I am a little tea mad.
star_swan: (Addicted to coffee)
So I slept on it. Not very well, mind you. I kept tossing and turning and shifting and waking up at odd hours. Colin being out until three did not help. I can't help but keep an ear out for him. I always seem to get a brainwave right before he arrives home and I hear his key turning in the lock downstairs. After mulling it over and bending Angela's ear on the subect as well, and thinking about the various things that I have read (opinions all, but with merit), I am going to practice three days on, one day off. And I am going to scale back to three hours. Two hours in the morning and one hour in the afternoon/evening. This site says to only do four per week, but I think that my arrangement will work best for me. I will see where I am later and if I want to go back to four per day or not. With this system, I still manage to play six days a week, but the breaks allow a full day's rest sneakily placed in between so it looks like I am getting more rest than I am. In a sense, it is more beneficial rest because I am never allowed to play so many days consecutively that I can tire my hands (or my brain) with new movements, new passages, and whatnot. Three days in a row will allow my enthusiasm some breathing room, but taking a day off right in the middle will curb it enough to allow growth and repair and other things such as reading, chilling, watching a movie without feeling like I have to squeeze it in around practice time, chores, daily life. I also took the weekend off. Sort of. I did practice for a half hour last night, just light arpeggios and a Bach melody with right hand only. OH! This site/blogger/teacher also mentioned the need to continue to practice the hands independently. It allows you to pay attention to and to not miss subtlties. I have noticed that you lose something when you split your focus too soon before each hand has learned its part and force them to play together early on. I try to get the right hand down, then get the left hand down or vic versa depending before trying to add. And then I still will go back and forth if I feel like I've lost something along the way.

Newest obsession: Prokofiev's 3rd Piano Concerto (another Bronfman performance from the same year, 2008). I remember hearing it around fifteen years ago and urgently wanting to know what it was. But I never found out. Then a few weeks ago, I found it again! It forcefully reminds me of something, I know not what. I will probably listen to it a couple more times this evening. It makes me think of blue and dampness, perhaps the ocean. There are misty dales and sunlight. Green and blue.

I listened to it twice again while doing the the massive after dinner cleanup. I am now on my FIFTH listen. I was listening to Martha Argerich play it as well. She and Fima are the masters!! They play it with the verve and intensity that it deserves.

I have marked up my calendar with "P"s for practice days and "X"s for the breaks, just to make it abundantly clear. My goal for this evening is to get to bed early, and chill with a book that I have been wanting to read for awhile, and just relax.


I have decided to do Camp NaNoWriMo because it's a place that shows you your progress and in doing so makes you accountable to your goal. I am thinking of setting it at 33,300 (haha, I am a weirdo). Anything that I do beyond that is gravy! I renamed it again….."From Out of The Rain" just for the purposes of the event. So my daily word count goal is 1,110. I have this number fixation and this works for me! It takes place in a couple of days during the entire month of April.

There is this bonkers show, Broad City, about two women living in New York City. It is very odd. I think that I need to watch more. One of the main characters flashes her VaJaJay at a statue of Peter Stuyvesant whilst riding on a Citi bike in a dress. There are no words…

I am still in love with New York even if I do not babble endlessly about it as much anymore.
star_swan: (NYC thunderstorm)
I am seated downstairs on the large (and freakishly comfortable) sofa listening to more sonatas and reading music. I am getting much better at identifying notes without pauses and I can sit down and begin to play things fairly accurately, but I need to quiz myself, have like a note reading blitz. I have been spending my evenings practicing which I am going to switch up again. I've just been busy in the daytime lately. It is a task to sit down at seven or eight with the evening wearing on into later evening. You grow tired and do not feel like staring at the keyboard and at sheet music come eleven thirty. Practicing in the mornings and afternoons is a bit better, but this works. I still produce results and benefit from it. It is just "geh".

The weather has turned a little chillier, but I find that this makes for the perfect Sunday. It is just active enough to inspire movement and creativity, but relaxed enough to allow for repose. The sun peaks out, clouds obscure it again for several minutes, and the breeze undulates through all of the new foliage like an underwater current. I can see large petals scattering into view from somewhere left seeming to follow the downward movement of notes on a staff. A dried twig from a nearby redwood alights on the patio and sits stilly heavy with meaning. It might be that Sundays are always like this and I just now noticed.

I love how Scriabin doesn't even really bother with key signatures as such in a bunch of these. He just says it's in C and tosses in truckloads of accidentals. It's all relative anyway. (Not to be punny). And it obviously does float around a tonal center or it sounds like it does because we expect it to…I think technically it really doesn't??

Haha…I also love his notations. They're very whimsically specific!
"avec une langueur naissante" , "sombre et mysterieux", "avec une douceur de plus en plus caressante et empoisonnée" , "tres pur avec douceur" , "imperieux", "comme des éclairs", "orageux", "avec une céléste volupté".

In all important fic news, she updated again, the third in less than 48 hours or it might be the fourth, losing track, and she has made up for things somewhat. It was a short chapter, but I do not mind having short chapters twice or thrice a week. :P It's great! Her Natasha is quite cool and she finally convinced Bucky to be roommates and leave his shithole apartment; and he quit his sleazy bartending job. Why in the hell do I read these things?? Going to reread more slowly, savoringly, and then back to sight reading practice.

Sight reading this stuff is not very fascinating. It's the same five or six notes over and over again. Perhaps I should skip ahead? Perhaps I should not type a running commentary on my day in here.
star_swan: (Seven BAMF)
What an amazing Saturday after such a lackluster Friday evening. The afternoon was lovely yesterday, but I began to feel more and more tired and sore (in the throat). I felt the front of my throat and it was a little swollen. Cue freaking out. Spent the rest of the evening on the couch watching Shiro Neko videos and feeling a little down. I awoke late cause Saturday. Colin wanted me to leave and give him a couple of hours to himself in the house. I was a little hesitant but I threw on a blazer and jeans after switching out of one of my new dresses and cycled down the path with my bag full of Russian books, counterpoint, and a hardcover journal that I write in once a week to sort of check in on myself, life listening to The Strokes on my iPod. I had no clue where I was going, but I wound up on this one path just past the library on campus. It is the perfect combinations of sunshine and shade. I was grateful that I changed because the ground was hard and it was still a little chilly. I sat there listening to music, reading last week's entry and then writing a new one occasionally sketching tree branches. It was lovely. When the music stopped, I just sat there and listened to the surrounding art buildings humming and the birds for about an hour.
Cycled past people sunning themselves by the lake and proceeded with haste to WF to relieve my bladder. Got a snack and a coconut water and wandered for a little bit. Hung out in the arboretum listening to Brahms' Violin Concerto in D. Watched the birds and this ridiculous ginger cat that I once tried to collect and take back to his oblivious caretakers on a rainy afternoon last year. My throat felt a bit better and was noticeably less swollen! Hooray! It was so nice lazily taking in the sights and listening to tunes. Felt so good to be alive watching the sun glint off the trees, the water, the people walking past. It was like the town was my backyard, I felt so at home. Colin texted to apologize for pseudo kicking me out but I was well pleased. Sitting there listening to music rekindled my resolve to not waste any time with writing and with music, but also to get a grip. I set a rough date as a goal for having everything together, how I get there is up to me complete with marathon work periods and days here and there of rest and slacking. I need that freedom at least to maneuver in time and space. So by May 2016, I want to have a first draft of the novel ready (or perhaps what I mean is a revised version that could be ready to show to someone) along with considerable improvement on the keyboard and with musical studies. I want to have written something or be really exploring composing.

I ran into my folks on the way back, sprinted to the house to use the bathroom again and then went back out to meet them back at WF. Listened to Petrushka. It is a little weird and sort of sad, but I love it. On the way back I lost sight of them behind me and so lingered by Hart Hall and these poplars that I like. Sat on a bench for someone named "Jennifer" who passed away several years ago by the looks of the bench, probably within the last ten. She couldn't have been more than thirty-something. I patted the bench and told her that I was sorry that her life ended so soon.

By the time I made it back for the second time (and saw Colin and Callie on the path this time), I was pretty tired. It is a little before eight and I am exhausted. My throat is a bit better, but still a little rough and I was out all day. So nice though. I want to look at Russian, but I need to lie down a little first.

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I was promised tea

April 2017

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about me

I'm a mad translator with a degree in Comp Lit and assorted languages. Writing a novel and studying violin. (The story has been flailing along for the past couple of years. I think that the Scrivener research file is larger than the actual text.)

I live with a rather naughty ginger cat. Is there any other kind?

I love tea, loose leaf teas, teas in sachets, all sorts of teas and COFFEE. The more legally, addictive stimulants, the merrier!

Music and books are my life. I basically live in a closet-sized library with a container garden. I occasionally sleep. <3

ivybellis ------> star_swan

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