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Matt

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Summer moments [Aug. 19th, 2008|07:08 pm]
Matt
-Parade. A new high in musical theater for me. New high in quality, new high in responsibility, new high in awesome. While not quite toppling WSS from favorite personal production, it comes damn close. First time not doubling my part. First time conducting an orchestra rehearsal. First time conducting a full-on dress rehearsal! And I didn't crash and burn despite having zero (0) prep time.

-Token vacation with nuclear family: First time going to the beach in like 5 years, first time going to the beach with just parents and brothers in like 8 years. Got fairly sunburned due to just plain forgetting about sunscreen. Dad had it worse, though; he burned the tops of his feet so badly that he couldn't walk for a week.

-Token vacation to extended family: Detroit again. Bubbe's 80th birthday, so all of her kids and grandkids came for a dinner. First time we'd all been together in about 9 years.

-Mosh: Went up to visit Mosh for a friday night with Marsh. First time I had been back in 3 years and it really was like I was coming home, even though it made me feel really old. Step outside the car and BAM relaxed. Marsh and I did a special pish on Scientology but had to leave too soon because I had work Saturday afternoon. Really wish I could have stayed Saturday night as well.

-Music camps: Twice as many as last summer! I was able to do all of both weeks of the Landon camp AND got more podium time during the week (with feedback!) AND got to play a different instrument every day. Also worked the Maryland camp for the first time. Also did both weeks though the format was different. First week was chorus and orchestra, second week was band. I TAed two or three classes and helped out with the two ensembles. Dr Silvey had me sing with the chorus in the concert because the baritones just couldn't cut it, bless their little hearts. Let me tell you, memorizing five songs in 20 minutes sucks. Both weeks I taught at the Beginning Instrument Lab, which was a lot of fun.

-Work sucks.
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(no subject) [Jun. 25th, 2008|11:19 pm]
Matt
Things I dislike from work:

- $20 bills. Okay, in most cases, they're right to pay with. or maybe you just came from an ATM and that's all you have in cash. Happens to me a lot. But if whatever you're buying costs $3.16 and you pull out a wad of cash (I can see those $5 and $10 bills in there, you tightwad) and hand me a twenty and no freaking penny, I have a hard time thinking of your excuse. And your change will not be rapidly forthcoming because there's so much of it.

- People who think we are a library. We are not. We are a business who is losing some money as it is. There's a small but steady group of people who'll buy something, keep it for a week or two, then return it. "I missed the test." "We ended up going somewhere else for vacation." They know it's bullshit, I know it's bullshit, they know I know, but whatever, they're mostly regulars and their money is good and they only do it with a few items apiece. But if you're going to ask me about our return policy, contemplate in silence for a minute, and then announce that you intend to return this POS spirituality book in two weeks after reading it, what the hell do you expect? Me to go, "Okay"? I was so confused by this woman that my brain shut down and I rang her up on autopilot and in silence. Not even a "goodnight," I was so confused. There's a library a mile away. Use it.

- People who give me shit for store and company and industry policies. Look, I think the bathroom tokens are a stupid idea too. But hey, there's no secret employee entrance or, Heaven forbid, an employee bathroom (God, I wish there was). I can't control that. Look, I know it's a bitch that you can't return that on your terms, but our policies are clearly stated in like three places in the transaction and they're still one of the most lenient in the industry. I can't control that. Sorry, I can't sell you the book three days before the release date. Because it's a release date, that's why. No, sir, it means the book isn't allowed to be sold until it is available to the general public. Sorry, sir, I do not get paid enough to have the big men in dark suits from Random House come to my house and pay me a visit. (Wow, is he trying to bribe me?). Just come back on Tuesday, sir.
All of these things are orders of magnitude beyond me. If I had any pull in this store/company/industry, why the hell am I standing behind the register trying to will my feet into not hurting?

- Stackers. Hey you, the one who takes out eight really large magazines, flips through them while drinking your coffee, and then leaves them strewn about a table, come here so I can scald you. You, the one who left that stack of twenty three CDs in the pop section either to steal them or just make life difficult for us [true story], you get in line.

- People who can't deal with being solicited. Look, in this economy we have to fight for every dollar. That means luring over customers from our competitors. How do we do it? </strike>Volume!</strike> With a membership savings plan different from the ones our competitors have. I have to ask for the card. It's a requirement from Way Up High, and in fact the quota for the store has been raised. I'm supposed to ask everyone, but I don't. If someone doesn't speak English it's not worth the effort, and if someone is double parked it's not worth the ticket (though I do want to smack them one). You might not be a fan of me asking you maybe up to two very quick questions, but please, please, PLEASE do not interrupt me with a curt "No," for I refuse to be cut off and will still ask the whole goddamn question. You just make yourself look like more of a jackass by interrupting me with Nos seven times. Corporate bullshit aside, it's actually a pretty good program for being FREE.

- People who toss their method of payment at me. It makes me want to use it to end you.

- People who are on the phone while buying something, or even worse, starting a phone call while walking up to the freaking register. If a customer says something like "hold on, I'll call back in a minute, I'm ringing something up," they endear themselves to me forever. Wow, this person has a grasp of basic common courtesy! I like them! If you continue gabbing away (more often than not about stupid shit), my rage grows by the second. This is also applicable to people with portable media players. Pause it, or at least take one goddamn earbud out.


Whew.


In unrelated news, Parade is fan-fucking-tastic. This is by far the best-sounding WST orchestra I've been in. The cast sounds excellent this early in the season. I am so excited.
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(no subject) [Apr. 2nd, 2008|09:38 pm]
Matt
Conducting class has been going really well. I know that once if I get a job at even high school level, there won't be much nuance I can do with my ensemble kids unless I get a youth orchestra gig (and even then, maybe not). I might be able to find it at the university level, but I don't really want a doctorate. So now I'm considering a Master's in Conducting, among other things.

Thought: I would give up sight in my left eye for the chance to conduct Beethoven's Seventh Symphony with a world-class orchestra. Seriously, this piece justifies my existence.

--

My dad's taking me to see the Nats in a week.

--

I want to be Gustavo Dudamel in my next life.
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(no subject) [Mar. 2nd, 2008|10:44 pm]
Matt
Busy week.

Monday - UMRO concert. I kept seeing The Rabbit of Seville in my head while the orchestra played the Overture to the real thing.

Tuesday - Free NSO concert. The choral director was able to get free tickets to anyone who signed up, so I went. Tchaikovsky violin concerto and Brahms Symphony no. 1. The soloist was capable, the conductor hard to follow. The main problem was the audience. They clapped after every damn movement. Every movement! By the end Christoph Eschenbach was all "screw it" and went straight into the finale of the Brahms and people were still clapping when the strings were playing! I just don't get it.

Thursday - the Ash Girl. I liked it a lot, especially the dialog for some of the secondary characters and the costumes were a-freaking-mazing. I didn't understand the ending, must find a cast member to ask about it.

Friday - I turn in the Teacher Education Program application. It then goes to a committee. If I pass, I can start taking Junior-level Music Ed classes as well as normal Ed classes through that school. If not, then, well, I wait a year and try again.

Saturday - MMEA convention in Baltimore. Saw people, went to sessions, fell asleep in most of them. It was too warm inside the building.

Today - Work and then seeing the Tallis Scholars back at school. Gary, the DMA student who leads my conducting class, told me when I saw him at the concert that I was really coming along in class and looked very natural. Hey, that means I'm doing well in at least one class!
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(no subject) [Feb. 18th, 2008|09:45 pm]
Matt
Came back from the Southeast horn workshop this morning. Took the train down to Atlanta and stayed at Richard's brothers' apartment. I made the second round of the mock audition but wasn't able to get my comment sheets. I'll email Dr Hansen and see if she can send them to me.
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(no subject) [Feb. 12th, 2008|12:44 am]
Matt
My dumbass mistakes today:

Spending 12 hours in CSPAC. Never again.
Putting off the theory stuff I don't understand until, well, now, the night morning it's due.
Putting off buying the Chick Corea tickets until there is only one left and now I can't see it with my dad.
Putting off buying train tickets until they are "sold out" of coach and I have to spend another 300 bucks to get to Southeast.

May tomorrow bring better things.
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Sooper Tuesday thoughts [Feb. 5th, 2008|10:35 pm]
Matt
There's quite a contrast between the DNC and RNC establishment. Howard Dean is all about positivity and unity for the party. Yay! look at the unprecedented turnout! We ran out of ballots in some places! Woo! Turnout turnout! Meanwhile, all the GOP pundits MSNBC is bringing on are all so vitriolic, nasty, and prone to snipe and fight among themselves. Except nobody is really talking about Ron Paul, which makes me laugh very hard.

/Gobama
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(no subject) [Jan. 31st, 2008|12:10 am]
Matt
[Current Music |Art Blakey]

I made principal in concert band. Woo.

it also appears we have the same quintet as last semester, and an actual faculty coach this time.
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Classes! [Jan. 29th, 2008|05:36 pm]
Matt
[Current Music |Was Stan Kenton, now is Stravinsky]

Studio: Had first meeting this morning. My lesson this time is at a much more reasonable hour. I plan on broaching the "uh um I'm thinking I guess about maybe a uh junior half recital whatdoyouthink" subject tomorrow.

Band: Had seating audition yesterday, won't get results till rehearsal tomorrow. Sightreading was a bear.

Chamber: No class till next week, haven't gotten ensemble assignment either.

Theory: Nice mix of people in the class. I've been getting "she's hard but AWESOME" vibes from the juniors. Wasn't given the best opening impression of her lecture skills today; all she did was read quotes by modern composers (without telling us who said what) and playing short excerpts of modern works (without telling us what they are) to "get us thinking".

No eartraining till tomorrow.

History: Evening class, urgh. Mixed feelings about prof's style. Annoying middle-aged woman in class who keeps nodding and making affirmative noises at prof's words.

Conducting: Two grad students instead of prof, bad. One of them is Gary, good. One of them is Takuya, bad. I just bought my baton today and am way too excited about it, good.

187: same people as last time. haven't gone out to school yet, not till next week.

Foundations of secondary ed: 3 students in class, including me. Basically last year's class minus the homeschool recorder fiasco times two. Much more writing and conducting.

String pedagody: 4 students in class, including me. Well, at least we have the personnel for a string quartet.

It's both very lucky and pretty weird that my music ed methods classes have a handful of students in them. We get a lot of face time with professors (not even doctoral classes are this small, for the most part) and get a lot more time in front of the class/ensemble than we would in a, say, 17-person class (the current freshmen). But there's nowhere to hide the suck, as Amber put it.
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(no subject) [Jan. 24th, 2008|12:06 am]
Matt
I got a ticket today.

For jaywalking.

I had spent the first half of my lunch hour relaxing and reading the City Paper. "Hmm," says I, "I should probably get something to eat while I still have time." So I leave the store and cross Jennifer street, waiting for the Wisconsin light to change. Hey, here comes a break in traffic. Look left, look right, nobody coming. Zoom! Jog across the street.

"Hey! Get over here," says the cop who, I swear to God, materialized right out of thin air on the streetcorner. Long story short, he lectured me and the guy who had followed two feet behind me, wrote me a warning ticket of $5, and wished me a happy birthday. I didn't have time to eat my chili before going back to work.

What the hell, DCPD. I know you guys have quotas, but don't you have fatal child neglect to also look out for? This won't stop me from saving precious seconds crossing the street when the opportunity arrives, this just teaches me to look out for you.

I wonder if I get points on my license.
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