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I am about to defend Christina Aguilera. Everyone's picking on her. That kid has the capability of making you experience some serious anguish. (Too much for some to understand/handle.) Listen for example to "I'm OK." Sure she's dressing skanky and has a tendency to over-emote - she is but 21. In ten years she'll lose that annoying habit and record a blues album or two. Well we can all hope. Also bought Bolet playing Prokofiev. Where am I getting the ha-peng you ask? Been making money off subbing at church. I know, I should be paying the phone bill instead.
I find myself being embarrassed for Americans often, specifically their knowledge of anything outside the local news. They mix up Thailand and Taiwan, Austria and Australia, and have no concept of the billions of lives outside their boundaries, heck, they're not even sure how many states there are in America (ever watch Jaywalking or Street Smarts?). I know I am stereotyping as well but just hate it when they assume I have another first name, and sometimes I wish I did, something Asian (Southeast), instead of a 20s-song-influenced name. I am however glad for Siagian. It defines me as Batak.
I am drowning. All this pressure. Slice of brain: Homesick. I want them to yell at me, tell me not to waste my life away. Why did I not say no? Monday 8 p.m. Demisemiquavers alias 32nd notes. "As even as possible," he said. Yassssssmeeeeeeeeennne! (Ar says I treat her like a little puppy.) Stubborn little diva. Just like all her relatives. Poor darling. Orange scissors. Miss Mr. P. Anyone watched Love By Design? Don't really like the designer; shrug; checking out people's cribs is intriguing. Big Fat and Tall. Hardyharhar. Swirling, my thoughts are swirly, like Jude being obscured.
This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass.
I have a very bad feeling about this recital. I don't want to write about it however, might jinx it further. I feel horrid about breaking down in front of Dr. G last week. He must have been more than a bit shocked at my outburst. I certainly was. I couldn't stop. It was horrible. Anyhow, Domi's being very supporting. Dr. P moved my 20th century concerto presentation date to a week after. I'm doing Gershwin's F Piano Concerto and Rhapsody so it shouldn't be a headache – main problem is just getting in front of people brings back childish insecurities.
When it's just you and a piano there's no hiding. You're exposed, naked and defenseless against the entire goddamned universe. You want to simultaneously cower, scream, faint and bloody run in front of a bus. What you do on that stage shows who you are, what your being is made of. I want to think I can conquer my thoughts while I'm playing. I want to think: this is easy. I want to be able to touch a nerve in somebody that they have never felt before. I want to do all this, and not have a single memory lapse.
We went to Pearl's to celebrate, but I was totally not in the mood. I feel like I should quit and do something else with my life - I was initially enrolled as a major in accompanying. Dr. O and E told me I could still do that if I went into performance. Well, I suppose you can if you are excellent, instead of just average like I am. Below average I feel right now. Way below. The Rochberg went better than the others, although I cut two measures from the Blues movement, my favorite, which I've never done before.
Accidentally came across a website recently about a band called Genuine Son, the shock was that three of them were once in a freshman piano class I TA-ed at Youngstown. Played a little Miss Saigon with Bryan, EJ's got the biggest heart of anyone, and Chris, well, Chris has his own status, that's all I'll say about that. Ohio boys are nice. Jennifer called the other evening, pleasant surprise hearing her voice again. And I emailed Jeanette telling her how disappointed I was I that I had to spend the Thanksgiving holidays with the Sharp Steinway instead of in Cleveland.
I am still in deep depression so I shall choose to write about something I would have liked to do e.g. for Ar's birthday I wished I could've got her
A trip to NYC
Proof that C is perhaps gay
A Nordstroms shopping spree (I actually want this)
Old 30s movie posters
An autographed copy of the first edition of Franny and Zooey
Hats in every shade
In five years hope to be able to strike at least a couple of these off the list. What I am going to do at this ungodly hour of 2:30 a.m. is call.
I almost peed in my panties reading Hammer Bass Johnson's entries. Too bad he only had one month to give. We need more laugh-out-loud entries. If I were witty or sarcastic I would! Does everyone have to write about unrequited love and bad relationships? I do get in the mood a lot to hear travel stories, so leave those in. I don't even pretend that this here is great prose – banal outpourings of a banal soul in fact. I'm just saying, we need more everyday funny in 100words. No need to try to be intellectual or novel all the time.
There was a new music concert I played for. Went alright, except for the crying toddler in the 2nd movement. And his comment. Not the composer. Him. Freak. Is he that insecure? I keep seeing little instances and keep telling myself nah. But heck yaah. Anyroad. I couldn't see out in the dark and didn't know where the composer was sitting so I didn't acknowledge him. Idiot. (Me.) Well least I didn't trip on myself or do anything outrageously embarrassing besides a missed note or two. At his lesson, Matt started mocking the 4th movement, the one in various E-flats.
List to destress:
*The cigarette falling off his lips as he said hi
*His damn brown eyes
*Simon clasping my hand and smiling
*Fat babies with curly hair
*Samuel and Andy in KL – "Is this yours? Is this yours?"
*El saying "Sya mau makan frrrrroot sudah" and Yvonne cracking up
*Flo kuntutting accidentally haha
*Ar kuntutting in the tent in Digot (purposely) and all of us crawling out
*Pa asking "who kuntut?" and me standing up in the backseat and shouting "not me, not me!" but it was me who had indeed poopooed in my santoot (try looking that up)
So Malay is not exactly one of the languages of antiquity. However, most people pick it up pretty easily. Here are some words you, dear reader, might know, some not:
Amok = crazy
Orangutan = orangutan (or man of the jungle) – and it's NOT pronounced orangutang – no extra G!
Batik = refers to cloth design, OK, so it's indonesian, same difference
Kuntut, kantut, kentot = slang for pass gas
Here's one everyone should know:
Terima kasih = thank you (but literally translated = receive love)
Isn't that the most generous phrase ever?
I wish it were true of us all.
I have seven first-cousins on my mother's side. I have countless first cousins on my father's side. If I had to guess I'd say about 25. A whole bunch of mutts we are, generally. There's Batak/Burmese, Batak/Australian, Batak/Filipino, Batak/Malay, Batak/Kadazandusun (us) and of course there's Batak plus Batak, the way it was supposed to be according to our supposedly royal and slightly nutty ancestors over in Sumatra ages ago. However, now that the cousins are intermarrying, there's for instance: Batak-Burmese-Chinese, Batak-Australian-Greek, Batak-Iban-English, Yaz is only listed in her birth-certificate as Kadazan – because they wouldn't allow more than one, silly really.
Slightly useless information from Stolba that I need to get in my head: Monody is solo or unison song with accompaniment. Gluck: remembered most for his opera reform, although he also wrote trio sonatas, 18 symphonies, five ballets and sacred and secular songs. Los Caprischos: paintings by Goya (1746-1828) that provide commentary on witchcraft, fantasy, social conditions, demons, Napoleon's invasion of Spain. Geman Romantic opera is characterized by plots based on legend, myth, fairy tael (Hmm, I like that spelling). The cast usually includes supernatural beings, as well as common folk; ultimately there is always triumph of good over evil.
Wacky weather is right. When Ar comes I'll turn on the heat. There's no way I'll be able to study in the cold. Of course it might turn 70F tomorrow... No sleep at all last night. Studying for Concerto final, not that I got much done. Hopefully my grades early in the semester will help pull the final grade up. And she did say my paper was well-written. Why do I care so much about grades, doing well? I should be way more concerned and engrossed in the learning process or the performing process. I'm messed up. I need out.
What was I born to do? [Certainly not sit around and stress myself out while not doing particularly anything. It's so energy-consuming. Sort of like what Dr. Gates said about psyching yourself out before performing. The day of performance I am in bed the entire day, I do a little - OK a lot - of mental memory and that zaps my energy completely.] But what was I born to do? Watch TV? I hope not. Read books? Watch movies? What was I born to do? Pet a puppy? Smell jasmine? Laugh with friends? Cry in solitude? Experience a 9th chord?
The aria from Saint-Saen's Samson et Delilah has been stuck in my head all day. The vocalist I'm playing for – gorgeous voice - is more music theatre then opera, but that song's got such a powerful hook that I've been humming it continuously, quite irritating really. I should however look more into SS's music… haven't really played anything of his. Anyhow, my vocalist's planning on entering the Miss Oklahoma pageant. I suggested her auditioning at Broadway but she says she's getting married and family is going to be first in her life. I hope that man is worth her life.
I am trying not to think about everything I've to do before, during, and after Ar leaves. I'll go into a deep depression. I'll miss her, yes, but I am bugged out about generals which I have a good chance of failing. Dr. L gave me the Harlem Renaissance as a question. I still know nothing about the development of percussion ensemble or electronic music. Today however, all my students playing juries did well, I was quite proud, especially when Mr. L said, "your chemistry major's got quite the chops" - hard to get a compliment out of Mr. Juilliard.
Before Ar comes in have to borrow as many books as possible from the FPA library, they're closed over the break. I am staring at a picture of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy. I can't believe we actually sang in that church. That whole Europe trip was amazing. My brain is not grasping many facts – it is lazy, I need to train it quickly and steer it away from suicidal tendencies. I don't believe I would be that stupid at this point in life, nevertheless the helpless feelings of depression are skulking beneath my skin.
I received a small scholarship this term that I am ecstatic about. I am unsure why I got it but I thanked Dr. M profusely for it. We all know she runs the show. So Christmas shopping won't put me deeper in debt (hope on). Of course Ar and I picked our own presents. I fear El won't read the book I got him by Al Franken, it's dedicated to Oprah so I know it'll be funny, but he might not have time. Yaz should like the Madeleine book – she got her appendix out as well so she can relate.
Why do we all live so far away from each other? I'm talking about family. If we need support on a more daily basis, we should try to somehow geographically get it together. Wish Pa and Ma could be here as well – they have relatives and doggies but their kids are outta there, how sad. Our last Christmas with everyone together was I think 1999. No, Ar had already left to go back to Bangkok. So I can't even remember when. Damn. One of us needs to get rich quick. On the agenda: finish Christmas shopping - drive 1000 miles.
Got up late at the Terra Haute Motel 6 – what a horrid place to stay in, crappy shower, dirty looking bedcover – and no remote! I know I'm a little spoilt, but never again is all I can say. Went to Kmart for contact solution and wrapping paper, after which we wrapped presents till 1 a.m. This morning we drove on US 31N all the way. Got to El's at 4:30 – he'd already gone to work, but it was absolutely marvelous seeing Bone and Yaz again. Also Flo and Mark came, so nice. Chitchatted, played Cranium, and then tried to sleep.
One Christmas when we were kids Pa and Ma told us there was no money for Christmas gifts. Nevertheless Ar had faith and put her sock out for Santa. In the mornin' there was something in it! Unfortunately twas but an over-ripened apple El had put in. Tragic, now I think about it. She was pretty crushed but El and I laughed anyway (not that I had anything to do with it!). Ar and I have decided to do the stocking thing for Yaz's sake, and put out socks for El and Bone as well… floss, Twix, rotten orange, etc.
Gift (and sock) opening was nice. Then El tells us he slid off the iced road last. He works the night shift at the lab in South Bend and only gets home at around 2 a.m. Imagine, he had to work on Christmas Eve. Anyhow, so El started walking part of the way home last night before getting a ride from a kind stranger. How horrid. Today we had chicken satay at Belle's. And a mini reunion of "our generation" at the Kijais – everyone's all grown up and old. Still comical as heck though. And very aware of our roots.
Day after Christmas. We took Yaz sledding today and she cried all the way, after being so excited in the car. Aiya, El took us to the illegal slopes by the highway - that's why, much too steep for a 4-yr-old. I remember being eight and terrified at Pathfinder Hill and yet when we visited it, realized it was quite tame… At the mall Yaz wanted to be carried – heavy! Also she wanted to wander the pet store, but she was scared to pet the puppies: El's got to move out of the apartment and into someplace they allow pets.
Driving back is never as fun as driving to a destination. Especially when you're on the verge of a nasty cold, blowing your nose every six seconds, and realizing you haven't touched the 10 books you brought to read. We did try to find the Victorian street by the SL museum when we drove; it took two hours driving in circles through the ghetto – something I normally wouldn't mind since I profess to relate to the grit. Ar's jetlag soon caught up with her though, so I was left to listen to Palestrina and Machaut all by my sick self.
I was sick tonight so Ar massaged my feet and told me this story about a tailor she knew while she lived in India, a Mr. Lewis, who, when she came to visit him and his wife to say goodbye, welcomed her in, cried because he never ever had company, and then ran next door to borrow some biscuits from a neighbor. That was sad to me. Why are people like him so rare? Why am I not more grateful about life. On the other hand, my sister still has acquaintances of acquaintances from India writing to her for money.
I don't understand why Ar's work-clothes shopping in Oklahoma rather than Hong Kong. I like to think she values my opinion, haha. I miss shopping in high-tech malls. Not that Sabah is very (although who knows, I haven't been in almost seven years), twas my time in Singapore that I was thinking about, when I was living with the folks - thus living large - high tea with Ange Fridays atop the tallest hotel in the world at the Westin, or at that Fifties deli at the Raffles. Although you know something, I miss the noisy hawker centers the most.
Ar left today and broke my heart again. As in heartbreaking because even though we riveted back to childhood arguing for a lot of the time, it's so nice to be able to be completely absolutely myself. Even though I was stressed and yell-y and got sick halfway through, and she had to endure the constant noseblowing and disgusting pukefest. Did you know Shakespeare used the word puke? Miss her. Lucky, yup I'm lucky to have her. Uhoh, mushy time. Anyhow, she's going to be on the plane over the Pacific when it turns 2003 – fat chance Korean Air'll celebrate…
I know sometimes I'm on the very edge of sanity. Yet there was a time when nothing would faze me, I'd wonder if I was normal about not being as emotional as those around me. Right now I know I'm homesick. I know Pa and Ma are getting older. I know I miss Ar and Yasmine. I know I'm not deserving of this damn degree. I know I'm in huge debt. I know I will not be ready for my generals in a month. I know Ma's prone to depression. And I know this state of mind can be hereditary.
The Tip Jar