may, 2000

May 2, 2000

Behold my new photo gallery, now up! It is yet sparse, but I will make it not-so once I don't have a jury in the morning. I pray to Calliope, my muse ...

Up until about two seconds ago, I was clad entirely in black. I tend to dress in a style you might call bipolar -- either bright orange or entirely [concert] black. Today I wore jeans and an old batiked MCC t-shirt with my hair in a ponytail, and Nadav did several doubletakes before he recognized me without my usual hues. Tonight was the second performance of Jamboree, the biannual concert of all the a cappella groups on campus.Claire Weiss IS the Matrix: 'I know kung fu!' Cantatrix performed, and it is traditional in this group of eight women who sing early music ranging from chant to motets to 20th-century stuff based on the above to wear as much vynil, velvet, and leather as possible. Dog collars have been seen. Emily Shu, this rockin' senior with a great photo show up at the List Gallery right now (go see it!) gave me these fabulous shiny black pants (not vynil, but still enough to kick some Gregorian ass), and I wore them with a small black shirt, my roommate's dark brown lipstick, and eyemakeup. I love eyemakeup. Maquillage. So much fun. (My feet were bare, though. My toenails are now free of their angsty Kandinskian blottings and are now the ritual spring neon green, which they will stay until summer, when they become gold. Autumn and winter are indeterminate.)

We had a great concert except for the fact that I was sick as a dog (I have been sick for all three Cantatrix concerts this year!). My voice is a sexy fifth lower, but that somehow doesn't carry over to singing -- I couldn't hit the low G's as usual, and I topped out around a C or D. So there was minor lip-synch-age, but it was a great concert. Nadav commented that it was really tight -- both the tuning and the rhythm -- and even though he swears he hates classical music, he knows what he's talking about. I was quite pleased. I played viola on a motet "Weep O Mine Eyes" and it sounded very authentic, even though we got a little shit about being "a cappella." Suck it up.

Had a photo-taking frenzy afterwards -- Emily brought her real camera, and the rest of us were playing around with our point-and-shoots, shooting each other in various postures draped over Hollis and Nadav (the two hapless (or hapful, i suppose) men who wandered by our room, with Massey standing on her head, us looking pulchritudinous (we named the CD we burned for our seniors "Pulchritude," hehe). I hope I can reconcile staying in that group. I love it.

Anyhow, in this getup I went to my first SCCS webmaster meeting (they're going to call us "webninjas!" Hehehe). I'm excited for that. Roban'll be a sysadmin, and I get to apply my minimal knowledge of html (and soon java I hope) and learn more and be all official. Rock on computers.

Juries in the morning ... it is now time to sleep, and dream of Bach and secondary dominants. While I'm asleep, you should go see my viola case auction on ebay and bid on it! (please!)

May 4, 2000

Title: Not a poem

clashes violently with the techno down the hall

I do not envy those who will move into First South next year.

nor do I really pity them, i suppose --
every so often I like it
when the hard beat of computer-generated noise
meshes with the beatles in Paul's room
and interlocks with Beethoven IX in mine

and I suppose I will miss
leaving my door open and watching half of swarthmore float by
and the pot smoke float in
perhaps I won't miss it.
Title: Another Not-Poem

personal pronouns, hate.
prepositions too.

Title: Having Far Too Much Fun with the Not-Poem format

Wish could actually write poetry
went to the reading from the workshop yesterday
alyssa was in it and sean brennan too
(whom she would call a 'badass')
-- inspired.

Maybe will write more.
Today sitting in the sun
trying to read Jane Austen
(too many interruptions--love those)
i forgot my notebook
but as it turned out, Jeanne showed up
and laurel
and we ate nutella
and chris laughed at me -- in general,
and at the orange iBook cutout on the top of my sobbing Fujitsu

(it just crashed six times in a row!
the poor thing! i think it hates me)

on which Laurel was trying to write a paper

but the sun
was far too bright and her paper disappeared into a black void of pixels
and Jeanne and I held up my sarong

(one should always carry
a sarong and jar of nutella with one,
laurel and I decided)

and made a purple canopy
and we further vowed to sew, on our new badass sewing machine,
for our beds.

And all day in the sun, the beach green and golden, the dingle starry
(what is a dingle?)
, I basked

Dinner ŕ la syllabic-ell Sharples
did not exist
rather we trekked into the Ville for la cuisine chinoise

after which milkshakes
and lemon-chocolate-soda
and fries
and small green aliens
    you can keep your WEED in it!
at Nifty Fifty's
and the people i love whose company i do not keep enough
bright neon signs behind our heads

i came back and the hall had pizza
i shall grow fat at this rate.
Title: Postscript -- Most Not-Poem of All

2/3rds scholarship from juries.
    = $1000!

Orchestra 2001 just asked me to play a gig:

Shit yeah.
go me.

May 7, 2000

I am in my vintage, reversible red/pink-striped bathing suit, but that's only because the clasp to my bikini top broke. Yes, it is two AM, and I just returned from swimming in the Crum. "Swimming," however, is a relative term. Laurel, Mike Smith, Jenny, this girl Marion, and Laurel's friend's friend Will (L & J found him in New York last night) and I donned flipflops and quickly decided they were not the best for hiking through the crum, but made our way down to the water anyhow. Eve splashed us and we played I Have Never and listened to REM's Night Swimming before and after. Much CS was accomplished (ha ha).

me cutting Jon's hairReverse-chronologically, Jon let me shave him and cut his hair. Tell him he looks beautiful when next you see him -- it's all my handiwork. And no, I didn't cut him (though he did insist on shaving around his jugular himself).

Our quintet went over to David's house to read the Schubert C Major quintet for the afternoon, which was lovely. He ordered pizza for us afterwards. The weather was hot, ninetyish, and the unairconditioned house full of string players reminded me of last summer, when my quartet would get together and play Dvorák or Bartók for an hour at someone's house until we decided we were hot/tired/hungry, whereupon we would break for peaches, attacking the kitchen for a while and then going back to our music.

Yesterday, aside from my usual Saturday ridiculousness, I had a sectional (6:55 AM train, gotta love it), and came back and worked a gig for 2001 (a reception) for about four hours. Bartending mostly. Orchestra snobs are the funniest characters ever (I saw Peter Schickele!).

It is odd, my state of mind recently, and I blame it on the transition period. Usually I view my life from some vantage point quite close to the plane in which it exists (or shall I not be confining and say "n-1-dimensional object in the n-space in which it exists"?), but recently I've felt much farther removed from the whole thing, like I could see more, like the triangle who escaped from the flat world he'd known in Abbott's Flatland. Melanie said she usually gets like that during periods of change. I haven't been home since spring break, so this is definitely a period of change, but I thought I was cool with that. Perhaps my subconscious isn't.

May 9, 2000

The fan is on, buzzing plastic in the windowframe
Lang's air conditioner is off
The Sun Lab's is on, humming like it's got a sore throat
or just like it's mocking my project
air slowly circulating in and out of doors,
being buzzed like the huge bees hovering over Sharples

everyone is suddenly tearing apart their year
moving boxes and computers into storage
ripping posters off their walls, returning
furniture to the upright and locked position,
and i begin to wonder if the year was real

academic work is done
all of it
and last week I was joking that I wouldn't know what to do with myself
when I was done
but now I really don't, and seeing all this furniture
in mass disarray
is really, really strange ...

swarthmore is surreal like that.

May 11, 2000

The non-indolent part of today was spent in the city. The indolent was spent in bed.

I went driving in with Kate Conover, Claire P-T, and Jeanne. We were on a mission, and it was accomplished. No action theme music accompained us (and it's a damn good thing, or some pedant would have arranged it for orchestra and made me play it). I like South Street. Jeanne pointing out the Botanicas, us visiting tiny colorful stores and making odd purchaes (I just looked), assuring a 40-year-old storekeeper that she looked at most 30, and listening to her waxing stories, and accomplishing our mission.

They dropped me off at 13th and Pine with my viola, where I got a chummus wrap and baqlawa (Sababba is the only place I've find with baqlawa to even begin to rival my mother's) before heading over to St. Luke's 30 feet away for a 2001 rehearsal. I love playing with the professionals.

People are still around campus. It's not quite so weird as it had been feeling ... seniors will stay for a while (bouteille-vert, as Perry called it). Anni and Claire had a final shindig in Parrish 236 last night, which was fun all around. Such fun people. I love that I've met them all. I was sending out my summer contact info today to all my friends (come visit me in Madison!), poking through the directory, and realizing how many people I've gotten to know from the beginning of this year, when it seemed like I'd never really meet anyone. I knew I would, of course -- there's enough of the extrovert in me to fuel several egos -- but it was such a gradual process. I'm very excited to go home and see all my friends who are away at different schools, but at the same time I'm so loath to leave all these fabulous people. I love it here.

May 12, 2000

i should not
attempt to write

oo (+t) bad

errands all day
blah blah
edit claire's paper
alyssa wrote a haiku:

"Tertullian is
sick of persecution. Quit
yer bellyachin'."

i like it

i bought a skirt for pyo
at the mall with
but not the orange bikini
oh well

bid jamie adeiu
(why california?
except joni mitchell?)
and others, congregated
chez wharton AB 3rd
telling old laughable stories
of our

leave-taking is odd
and i'm not sure I can deal with
the three-point-five months
that we'll be away
but i must.

and tomorrow i must finish
the walls which are currently
ŕ la moving-in weekend

i will miss it all a lot.
i hope they write.

May 17, 2000

I am home.

Twenty hours in a van with my dad and Delia. We camped the first night on the road, which was the day after PYO played its Academy concert. Went very well. I was quite pleased; am much looking forward to going on tour with them this summer! Minivan so full we had to ship three boxes. Somehow we didn't communicate clearly, and neither party had understood how much sheer stuff the other one had. Hurrah for UPS!

My sister had invaded my room, and even though I'd given her a warning phone call when we were about twenty miles out of Madison, I returned to a room that smelled of and was full of Alexis. Kicked the wench out, but upon so doing, realized that half the crap that was preventing me moving my stuff in was actaully mine and I couldn't blame all my space problems on her ...

So now, I'm undertaking a major room renovation. I haven't seriously touched the place except for a surface cleaning since seventh grade, which is a good six years. And to prove it, there are six years of photos scattered throughout the room, ranging from the ones I brought home with me of my first year at Swat to those from my 1995 session at CTD. Well, perhaps only five years. Still! Almost a quarter of my life (yes, laugh, ye adults, and say someday that will feel like the blink of an eye; i know it will but let's not force the whole time-rushing-on inevitability now, shall we? it feels like it's going fast enough as is).

The room will be white with orange trim, and all the crap that currently calls it 'home' will go to goodwill or some other place out of my house.

Found a place today that will sell me orange car paint by the gallon. Now all I have to do is jump my car, which has been sitting dormant (not dead!) in my driveway since December. Will call AAA tomorrow and stop waiting for my parents to remember how to connect the cables. (Would do it tonight except it's raining, and that would be mean, as I have nowhere in particular to go tonight--all I'd do would be toodle around to Target or some place, buying much-needed photo albums and CD cases.)

In the meantime, before I start my round of errands and before my friends return (they're going to trickle back slowly, I think), and before I really get a job, I'm going to sit on my ass, unpack gradually, and read. I finished Pride & Prejudice for the billionth time on the way back, and then devoured Posessing the Secret of Joy. The leisure! Oh wow, I now have my cake and I'm eating it--books and the time to read them!

It's good to be home. I've missed Madison, and once I get my car and friends back, I'll love it. I'm not sure if I'll love it 3.5 months worth, but the PYO tour to Italy and Prague oughta mitigate the bordeom factor significantly, if not entirely. Yes, this will be good. Hurrah for a much-needed break from work. I'm going to read a book! Haha.

May 18, 2000

I woke up this morning to hail pummeling my roof. Not the flaky kind that's just hardened snow, but marbles of ice pounding down so that it woke even me, who has slept through huge thunderstorms, up. Trust the Capital Times to run a dumb headline later this afternoon: All Hail Breaks Loose. Har har.

My two other boxes that we had to ship came today. Now I have a clock
*. I'm not sure whether that's a good or bad thing. I can set alarms and see the red LCD time in the dark, but I rather liked waking up at eight AM for the hail today, then falling back into the arms of Morpheus and not regaining consciousness until one PM. Just enough time to shower, eat a bagel, read some of Mists, and call AAA to try and jump my car before my sister came home [early--prom aud] from school. I still can't get over the fact that she's still doing 8:25 to 3:25 until June 4th!

The Mists of AvalonMists of Avalon, a.k.a. simply, "Mists." One of my favorites. An 876-page tome. Suppose you could classify it as 'fantasy', though I prefer not to--really more like historical fiction with a very very liberal and narrative hand. In this trend of devouring anything "ink on flattened tree pulp," to paraphrase Vonnegut, I picked up the aforementioned's Timequake and started going through that. However, while V's earlier stuff (Cat's Cradle, Sirens of Titan) can hold me well with its removed, tongue-in-cheek ridiculousness, this later stuff is just so far removed from anything fictional and linear that it's as if V has been completely subsumed into his own notion of the Tralfamadorian novel--everything smacked at you all at once, assembley required. If there is sense you must pick it out yourself, but most likely the point (as was the case with Slaughterhouse Five, but in that case in a much more gruesome way) if there is one is that there really is no point to it all. It's all just sound and fury. He even quotes As You Like It: "All the world's a stage, / And all the men and women merely players" [II.vii], saying that after this, no other words need have been written, it was so definitive.

It was at this point I put the book down in disgust and reached for Mists. Something else yesterday had been trying to convince me that life was just so hard to live, that there was too much effort and not enough reward, that it was all stuff and nonsense. Which I think is stuff and nonsense, and I don't want any of that nihilistic propaganda being flooded into my brain on a lovely summer afternoon, thank you. I love Mists. I read it before, in ninth grade or thereabouts, and while it's a little different from before, not much has changed. Avalon still holds its spell over me. I can sit all day and read it--

that is, when I'm not shopping with Allison and Ginnie. Having called AAA, a guy came and hooked up cables to my car. It started promisingly a few times, but when he removed them, the croaking machine promptly died. New battery is now at hand. Towing places want to charge me $100 to bring this clunker seven blocks down to the garage! My dad tells me triple-A will probably do it for me, but I kind of don't want them to--I'd much rather put it in neutral and roll it down the hill. It would only be thirty or so feet of flat pushing, and I'll recruit my Mawrtrys (Ginnie's staying at Allison's for the week) to steer/push. New battery, then we paint it orange. My mom thinks it's a death trap. I think it's just old and wheezy. Pobrecito.

A and G and I hit Tar-zhay, the French discount store, and Woodman's today. I love Madison, even if it's only entering a national chain of stores and a huge, twenty-four-hour grocery. I got photo albums in which to store my five years of pictures! three pair new pretty underwear (you can never have too much underwear, no matter what Allison says)! cute hair clips ŕ la Amira & Kate Conover! a purple silk bra! peanut butter m&m's! a purple tank top (Allison got an identical one, so I'm going to stitch our initials in orange thread on the backs, hehe)! a phone jack coupler so i can hook up my modem and phone to the same jack! woo-hoo! Yay capitalism! Plus I transferred my money back into my UW Credit Union account so I won't have to be writing out-of-state checks forever.

I believe it is bedtime. I hate modems. Want my ethernet back! Moan moan.
*I typed initially, "Now I have a cock." That would definitely be a bad thing, no vacillation involved. ; )

May 22, 2000

My car now runs. Usually. A new battery, alternator, and $325 later, my little clunker has now gotten me to Appleton and back. I'm going to call Car Care Clinic in the morning, though--it stalled three times trying to start today. Stupid piece of shit. I should be nicer to it, I suppose, if I want it to last me until I get enough money to buy a new one. Ha ha, if ever.

Running or not, it is now as pretty as it ever was--silver, and clean. No longer does it have a thick topcoat of leaves, little brown wrinkled things, and general foliage; sunlight now sparkles off the facets of the bashed-in door (couretsy of Megan Dreschel last summer) and my car purrs--if it's over 70 degrees, and if it's been running a while. Allison and Ginnie and I are going to make a trip down to Body Shop Supply tomorrow to buy orange paint. : )

Yesterday Allison and I drove up to Appleton to see Brahms' Requiem Ein Deutsches Requiemat Lawrence. Emilie sang in it, I knew a couple people in the orchestra, and the Randy-meister had prepared the choir. Great performance. Really damn good. I'd heard it live once before, with the UW Choral Union in '98 I think, but since then I've gotten to know the piece a lot better, and it always bears iteration. Selig sind ... I followed along with the text for the first time (my German recognintion is getting pretty good! hehe), and that makes a huge difference. Text-painter, orchestrator, violist--what wasn't Brahms? Love it.

Afterwards A. and I talked to Randy for a while, then met up with Emilie and her boy John and another of their friends, and we went off to the four-star Perkins in Appleton, then hung out in John's room where a small party was forming. Trent, his roommate, showed me a drink he'd created "for music majors": the (get this) Picardy Third -- a third Bacardi (hence the pun), a third amaretto, and a third strawberry schnapps, just one shot total. As he put it: "like its namesake, it is unexpected yet sweet." Wow, trust some college music student! Backrubs were exchanged, tension was released. A little weird to feel like I'm back at school so soon (they're on the Trimester system and don't get out till mid-June), but very fun.

Got four hours of sleep, then drove back at seven-fucking-thirty this morning to get back for brunch with Allison's family at Ovens [of Brittany]. Yum. Promptly slept from noon until five. I made Allison drive the second half of the way back. My car doesn't like to go above 65 or 70, so we were passed by every single motorist on the highway, but then again I don't like to go much faster either, so my car and I get along. It's gonna last. Yeah, baby.

Woke up, showered, and my mom cooked me a real dinner! curry! mango! mm. Went to WYSO Youth's concert at 7:30. (So, yes, if you're counting, this is the fourth concert I've been to in three days--POPS at West, WYSO Phil for my sister (had to leave halfway through to drive to Lawrence), Brahms' Requiem, and WYSO Youth. It's really good to have seen them all though. Finally I'm on the other side of the stage, and for a prolonged period of time. It does me a lot of good, puts it all in perspective, to see these four groups perform four concerts widely-variant in caliber and program. The only group I've seen perform this year is the Philadelphia Orchestra, I realize! I need to go to more concerts! not just be in them! Keeps it real, as it were.) Youth's concert was outstanding. 4 concerto soloists, of whom the best was unquestionably my old pal Jordan Price on 'cello doing Elgar, and then a Suite from Copland's Billy the Kid. Tight and in tune. They do a great job. I really enjoyed seeing all my old people, too. Met up with Laura Detert and Bryan Boyce, and the latter and I went out for coffee with a few of his Beaver Dam kids afterwards. It's really good to be back home. I think the transition is easier than it might have been. I've still got a groove at both places, and will never be bored.

-- Que la vie est belle!

May 24, 2000

Indolence. Laziness. Sitting on the counter, eating apples and honey. Allison is reminded of Rosh Hashanah (the literal head of the year, and when I played with Hebrew I knew that. Now it is Czech and I have learned svatba for 'wedding' and old choir songs echo in my ears). We sip mint tea from manatee mugs -- "once we went swimming with the manatees and there weren't any!" says A. like her four-year-old brother -- and page through the dictionary looking up etymologies of bastion, apocryphal, bucolic, arrant (we never got past B). It is like in fifth grade when Brook and I would run to the biggest dictionary in the library and pull out if it dinosaurs like 'onomatopoeia', much to the horror of our classmates (there is a chant to remember its spelling, like m-i-s-s-i-s-s-i-p-p-i, but they never figured it out) and Mr. Jeff would smile on us and put the words on the spelling list, while we grinned evilly. Haven't grown out of that. Was ready for college in fourth grade, he notes today when I see him at the picnic for the first time in eight years. Eight years! Still living with Fay Maas (often jokes his name ought to have been Rich, ha ha) in the little apt on Harvey Street; now going to teach second grade at Falk. He looks a little bigger, but so do I to him I guess. He rubs his eyes and does a double- or triple-take before he recognizes me with my long hair, purple pants, sunglasses, and "I'M NOT AT HARVARD" shirt (a grandmother in Barnes & Noble's today complimented me on it as Allison bought Youth in Revolt for Jessica, the book that Ben swears was the reason he didn't get an A in calculus in 10th grade (Rina and Tarah didn't, A. remembers, because they were digging a hole in the wall)). I'm the oldest person there save Kristen Kehl who was one year ahead, and I know no one else, so I don't stay past when my mom and Alexis leave. Reminiscing when you don't know anyone else there is no fun. But it was good to see Jeff (drop by sometime, he says; I think I will) and eat a little potluck. Indolence. Laziness. A little viola; now bed. Sleep (contray to what Mike Smith says I do sleep. Lots).

May 26, 2000

American Beauty

I saw American Beauty tonight. (It's at the $1.75 theaters, to which Lizzie and I used to go with a dollar thirty in pennies--when it was still $1.50--cheating the weary teenagers working at the counter who didn't feel like counting our change and were willing to trust two thirteen-year-olds that we had the correct amount. $2.00 tonight because it's a Friday or Saturday night and the greedy capitalist pigs can get away with it.) Lovely movie. That isn't the right word for it. Very well-done, and I don't say that often. Especially about popular movies. I see now why Alyssa says "I rule!" in her Kevin Spacey way, and why she had a picture of him up on her wall this year. Nicely put-together, good symbolism but not overly abstruse, just psychotic enough not to be black humor, but not to gloss over anything either. I'm pretty impressed. And the premise is beautiful. Driving home from it in the rain I was struck by a sudden urge to go find Ben, and show him the patters the rain made in the potholes like I had the streetlight filtering through ice-coated branches a few years back. Nothing prompted by the movie, just so nicely applicable. Yeah. Gets my approval.

all this ©nori heikkinen, May 2000

<- April || today || June ->

back to main page