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Sunday, November 25, 2007

snip snip

My composition teacher employs a teaching method that I can only describe as "snipping." Like this. It amuses me to no end.

I've only just discovered that I didn't know what C-Score meant. And that I can't reliably transpose transposing instruments from written to sounding and vice versa; the problem is that I hadn't really been exposed to orchestral—or even band—instruments until I started this Orchestration class in September. Not having had any sort of music program whatsoever in all my years of schooling is coming back to haunt me. Unfortunately, I have less than three weeks to sort this and other problems out.

I'm not, by any stretch of the imagination, a sports fan. In fact, every time I walk home and the Basement Dweller happens to be in his suite, I have to stifle a wave of rage at his blaring TV which always has some sort of sports game playing. But, I'm happy (and proud) the Roughriders won the Grey Cup today. I even secretly checked the status of the game online (and by "secretly," I of course mean that I'm blogging about it for the world to know). There's a vast chasm between wanting to know how the score ends up, and being willing to watch a game, though.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Sweet Life

For some reason, everything always comes back to Starbucks. Or caramel frappucinos, if you want to get really fundamental. Sitting in Starbucks, morosely sipping a caramel frappucino and seeing that Hiring Baristas, February 13 sign across the street. Incorrectly answering "I'm partial to frappucinos" when asked what my favourite coffee shop drink was during my interview (frappucino is a failproof identifier of a Starbucks customer). Ducking into Starbucks on lunchbreak, feeling mortified when the head barista there outright asked me where I worked and triumphantly cried "I knew it!!" upon my answer.

The coffee shop has been in my mind a lot lately. Perhaps because I pass by there once in a while these days, and try to peer inside from the opposite side of the street without having them see me. Mostly, I see the owner grinding espresso beans, making the shot, doing the milk, pouring the drink, grinding espresso beans, making the shot, doing the milk, pouring the drink... and I think how awful it must be to do that job for the rest of your life. All he's really doing is taking pride in making the most beautiful drink in the world so that some Joe Cool can take one glance at it before gulping it down. Over and over and over every day. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of sweet Mrs. K and wonder how she's doing, and if she'll ever retire. Lots of times I wonder where my coffee-brother coworker went; I'd like to see him again. It was good times, even if the rest of it wasn't.

I stopped going to that Starbucks after I quit at the coffee shop, and I haven't really gone back there until today. But today I did go back there, and even though it was freezing outside I ordered my usual caramel frappucino and muffin. And the same old barista was there. I tried to remember his name while I stood in line, but since it had been 6 months since I'd been there, and I wasn't wearing my old uniform, I didn't expect him to recognize me anyway.

So I sat at my little round table, eating my muffin and sipping morosely at my caramel frappucino, wondering where all the time goes. Where all the people go, who slip in and out of your life. If they remember you, like you remember them. "Hey, do you work over at Dolce?"

Thursday, November 15, 2007

All About Exams

I've been on Reading Break for the past three days, which has been hypothetically excellent. I didn't really think about school, except for today when I had to meet with a professor. I've been trying to learn as much Orchestration as I can, in preparation for the exams in December, which, as it turns out, I seem to maybe be registered for.

In the first place, I couldn't register for the exams online, which really confused me. They had all sorts of exams listed that you could register for, but not the ones I wanted. So I had to phone them up in Toronto and actually ask them how to register. Turns out you have to do it on paper for those ones. At my last lesson, my teacher explained that this is because these exams are so uncommon that I'll probably be the only person in the country taking them this year. RCM will probably have to make the exams just for me. For some reason, that doesn't comfort me.

So today I checked online to see if my old-fashioned paper application went through all right by fax, and that I was registered. Apparently, I am registered to write one exam in Subject description not found on December 7, and another exam in Subject description not found on December 8. I hope a) they know what they're doing and send out the right exams; b) they let me know which exam I'm writing on which day ahead of time; and c) I don't find out at the last minute that one of those Subject descriptions involves something alarming like history or something.

The guy who owns my aquarium told me they're relaxing and cut down on stress. This one does nothing but give me grief. I usually feel like hurling my laptop at it.

Saturday, November 10, 2007