Saturday, August 17, 2013

lab work, violins, and minor identity theft

my passions

I ended up working Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in the lab (the free lodging is great), which puts me ahead of schedule. By the time school starts again in late September, I'll probably have finished the internship. I'm not in that much of a hurry to finish it, as I find the actual lab work aspects fascinating (I'm still somewhat of a gopher, so my time staring into a microscope lens is limited) but  I do want the extra time to practice for my to recitals. I have a light academic load this quarter.  No matter what courses I take, though,  lengthy assignments seem to creep up out of nowhere. When that happens this quarter, I'll simply down part of a  Guinness and write the damned papers. I find that my best writing is done under the influence  of Guinness. Words seem to flow more easily after a bit of the stuff. I do proofread and edit once I'm stone cold sober. I'm not under the influence now, if you couldn't tell.

My violin pieces are starting to sound a little less forced and a little less as though I'm concentrating on technique as I'm playing them. As the techique comes without my even thinking about it, my richer tones will have an opportunity to come through. My technique as a violinist is far from the very best.  (I'm taking a gamble and hoping that it is good enough to earn an "A" in my recital.)  There are probably twenty violinists in the department who could kick my butt in terms of technique. What they can't do as well as I is pick up a violin and improvise an obligato off the top of their heads that sounds as if it came from a publisher and was practiced for months.  My technique in regard to the selections I'm playing for my recital will get to where it needs to be soon enough. Technique overall may always be my weakness as a violinist.  My mom, who has excellent technique, said she would seriously consider trading places with me in terms of our respective abilities, because I have a natural tone even using a mediocre instrument that she can't duplicate. Sometimes I think she's just trying to build my ego when she says things like that.  At least she doesn't try to say there's something about my piano playing that is superior to hers, because I know that would be pure bullshit.

I was going to use my mom's violin for my recital. Mine is nice, but hers is better. I practice enough with both that it doesn't matter. But then my godfather got me a "cheap violin" so I would feel better about traveling with it. It ends up that the "cheap violin" is  worth more than my mom's and mine put together.  My mom asked if she could borrow it for a faculty performance in October; that's how good it is.  (Of course I said yes. I'm not selfish nor am I totally stupid.)

I'm going to have to look up some more Pat Boone books. Perhaps Knotty and I should co-author an unauthorized biography of the man: Pat Boone: The Real Story. I wonder who we could get to dish up some dirt on him, although he's already spilled plenty himself that we wouldn't even have to bother digging up.

Someone stole my credit card number and used it for some bizarre very minor purchases all over the world. Do they make minor purchases and see if they can get away with it, then go for the big stuff? I don't understand the point of multiple one- and two-dollar purchases, a $15 or so  transaction at an athletic apparrel store in the UK, and something for roughly twenty bucks in Australia.   Why not just go for the one big purchase? Anyway, my account is temporarily on hold until my new card arrives in the mail in a week or so. That will effectively prevent me from picking up any vintage Pat Boone books off Amazon or elsewhere at least for a week.

Happy weekend, everyone, especially those of you who are already in school. I know that many students and teachers are. Whatever happened to summer vacation spanning the better part of summer, as in from mid-June until after Labor Day? My mom tells me it was that way in most of the nation when she was a kid.  Now most states have a slightly longer school year, and they take extra breaks.  In the grand scheme of things, if students are going to attend school for 180 days, perhaps it doesn't matter when those 180 days happen, but  I didn't like the short summer and extended Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter breaks very much when I was in regular school.  (My mom says that the consensus of the research she's read indicates that a kid forgets almost as much in two weeks as he does over the entire summer, so the more extended break that occur during an academic year, according to her readings, anyway, the more re-learning must take place.) My university finishes spring quarter in fairly late June and doesn't start again until mid-to-late September. That's a summer vacation.



  1. When I was I school, the Commonwealth of Virginia passed a law requiring school to star after Labor Day. College usually started in August and ran until early May.

    You think anyone else out there is as interested in Pat Boone as we are?

  2. Maybe a few REALLY old ladies, as in the ones who think "April Love" is a hip tune. Other than that, we may be alone in our obsession.

  3. P.S. The main part of our task would be to find and highlight the really interesting truths about Pat Boone. The BDSM community might have some interest in a book we came up with.