Car Accident

I was walking from work to the bus stop tonight, crossing the street after the left turn signal turned off and the walk light turned on for me. I was hesitant to cross right away because, as the turn signal went orange two cars raced to beat the light. I thought (stupidly, I guess) that the next car was going to stop because there were cars ready to go through the light from the other direction. As I walked into the intersection, I looked to my right and saw in slow motion a car turning left right into me. He wasn't going to fast, but he still clocked me pretty hard in the leg. I yelled something about how he didn't have a left turn signal and forced him to pull over. A couple of people on the sidewalk yelled to me that they saw the whole thing and that they would stay around. I called the police, they took the report, etc. I'm fine-- I probably could have just walked away-- but I wanted to file a police report. I want this guy to remember that he hit a pedestrian. I want his insurance premiums to go up. I am tired of the lazy, distracted driving in this town, and if reporting this accident to the police will teach this one driver to be more careful and attentive, I'll be happy. Well, not happy. Less pissed off.

The one ray of sunshine is that I got one of the police officers to give me a ride home. Did you know the back seats of police cars are not upholstered? It's a hard plastic shell. I guess if people are going to be puking, bleeding, or urinating in the paddy wagon it should be easy to clean. The police car drove past the Bluebird, where there was a line outside for some act. People gawked at me in the back of the car, so I smiled as wide as I could and waved at them. Some awkwardly waved back. The cop was listening to the best music-- the RENT soundtrack, Christina Aguilera, tracks from Destiny's Child's first album. It was a tiny consolation prize.


I'm rehearsing for some kind of massive performance of a piece by Benjamin Britten (at least, in my dream it's by him, but he would never write something like this. It was more like Tan Dun). There were dancers with props, several choirs, vocal soloists, a massive orchestra, and we were all in the Northwestern College RSC gym where they hold graduation ceremonies. There was a tiny space in the very back for an audience.

I was a vocal soloist, along with a girl at IU I'll call M (because they forgot to hire them and me and M were closest to the conductor). I had the soprano part. It was mostly high Es in half and whole notes. I think it was 3/2 time. When I tried to sing (an E is normally no problem for me) my voice was small and airy, like I had some phlegm in my throat. I couldn't clear it.

Then later I was a dancer. I lost my props at one point, but then my friend and I discovered that some jackass tenor had stolen them for no good reason. So we had to find them and run through backstage (yes, the gym apparently had a backstage) to get away from the angry tenor. One of my props was a broom and dustpan. I think there was also a baton. Several of my high school classmates were also dancers. The rehearsal went fine, but during the performance I was late to my position because the damn tenor stole my props again. I ended up on the other side of the dance floor (which, by the way, was as far away from the audience as possible) where the choreography was different.

After the performance we (several of my friends from the performance) ended up in a tiny theater listening to some dude talk. At some point the dude talking was interrupted by a bum saying he was trying to sleep. Anyway, somehow I ended up at my friend K's house (K is a friend from IU). Our mutual friend N was living there with his boyfriend, whom I thought was named Gil (the name of Oscar's boyfriend from "The Office"). Apparently N didn't think I knew he was gay, so he was trying to seduce me for some reason. When he was trying to kiss me, I stopped him and told him I saw the purple bathtub stenciled on his wall and I had met Gil, so he could stop leading me on. Then I went into K's room, which was AWESOME. It was filled with plants. She had one part of the room partitioned off by shelves full of plants so she could feel like she was in the jungle.

Ok, starting to forget the dream now. But I know there was more weirdness. Something about a giant pickle.

The End of the Addiction (I hope)

Though Facebook has been a great way for me to network with other musicians, keep in touch with distant (geographically, not emotionally) family members and friends, and keep up on what's happening in my clique, one of the evils of Facebook that I fell to was online gaming. I can admit it now: I am addicted to an MMORPG.

Sorority Life started as a joke. It was hilarious to be able to "terminally depress" other players by whittling down their "confidence." I loved that I could buy Dolce and Gabanna dresses with my fake currency for my virtual avatar named Amberlene (the ditziest sorority girl name I could come up with). I'm not sure how it turned into something I had to play every day, for several hours each day. I don't remember when I started having dreams about Sorority Life. I know I started to play a few months after Ryan and I started dating, and by that summer it was the first thing I did whenever I got on a computer.

I made it to level 171. I had over a billion dollars in my bank account. I had several limited edition items in my wardrobe. I had over 180 sorority sisters. I had the power to fight and win against players with twice as many sisters in their house. I regularly checked a website that had tips and cheats for the game. I became Facebook friends with over 100 people who also played Sorority Life-- people I have never met and will never meet, people who are addicts like me.

Despite my power inside the game, Sorority Life was taking away my willpower to control my real life. When entertaining people at my house I would sneak into our office to play Sorority Life. Instead of reading a book for class or doing homework I would sit in front of the TV with the computer in my lap, wasting hours listening to a show while trying to level up. Even when Ryan was home and he wanted to hang out, my version of "hanging out" was sitting in front of the TV with my computer in my lap playing Sorority Life while he sat next to me, sometimes looking over my shoulder, sometimes making fun of me.

I tried to quit a couple of times. The first time I just removed the application and all the Sorority Life "friends" I had made. This time, I decided to remove the power I had in the game as well. About an hour ago I sold all my rare, hard-to-find, no-longer-available items. I removed all my sisters from my house. I quit my "job" so my avatar would no longer earn money. I tried to make it hard for me to want to play again, to have the same level of power in the game. Hopefully this time I can stay away for good.

Grieving for Gaga

I'm worried about Lady Gaga.

I love her album and almost all of her music videos, as well as her quirky fashion sense and her willingness to stand up for the GLBT community. But I fear that people are getting tired of her. She hasn't put out any new music for awhile, and her fashion antics seem to be getting tired. Yeah, she's a huge star and has had at least five no. 1 singles from her first album, but if she doesn't do something soon, she'll be in trouble. Here's some things I think she can do to up the ante.

1. Put out a second album. The Ga's been in the spotlight for a year and a half and hasn't released a new album (her re-release of The Fame into The Fame Monster doesn't count, in my opinion). She needs some new music out there quick. I would love to see her new album include something very different. Sure, I want some more awesome electronic dance grooves as much as the next girl or gay man, but I have a feeling Gaga could produce some really powerful ballads. She writes acoustic, soulful versions of all her dance pieces, after all.

2. Quit riding Madonna's coattails. I was SO disappointed by the video for "Alejandro." It was shot-by-shot a Madonna ripoff. The men in heels, the machine gun bra, the eating a crucifix-- YAWN. I loved the Warholesque, narrative-driven, eclectic videos for "Paparazzi" and "Bad Romance."

3. Stop wearing meat. When Lady Gaga first came on the scene, she was lauded for her eclectic sense of style-- body suits with hoods, lightning bolts on the face, red lips, dark shades, big heels, bright colors, her signature hair bow. And now she's wearing a meat dress! I understand that she's into fashion, but she's got major connections in the fashion world. She can afford actual fabric. She also doesn't need to make a political or social statement with her clothes. She's in the entertainment industry! She's got microphones galore in front of her! I hope that Gaga continues to make bold fashion statements by teaming up with famous/up-and-coming designers, but I hope that the fashion isn't sacrificed for a statement or for media attention.


I've been reading a book on music and emotion for a class I'm in this semester of the same name. A lot of the book is a survey on the philosophical and cognitive work done on emotion and expression up to today. The author often explains others' theories by creating examples from everyday situations. Often, however, her examples make me think that she is secretly a very dry and hilarious BBC sitcom writer (she's British, as you might be able to tell by the syntax of the sentences below) famous for her deadpan non sequiturs. Thus, I give you my favorite sentences from Jenefer Robinson's Deeper than Reason: Emotion and its Role in Literature, Music, and Art:

p. 18 Adult sexual love is directed at a desirable person (or perhaps we should say a person-like creature, since, according to novelist Marian Engel, it is possible to fall in love with a bear)....Indeed I do not think I have ever been in love with a proposition (or a bear, for that matter).

p. 86: When I am distraught about my husband's abandoning me, I do not know exactly what emotions I am experiencing.

p. 98: [The judgement theorists] may make accurate generalizations about when it is correct to say that I am 'afraid that it will rain' or 'regretful about your lost garlic press.'

p. 253: We talk about sad news, a sad business ('It was a sad business about Nora's abortion'), a sad day ('It was a sad day for America when Kennedy was assassinated'), a sad letter, a sad face, a sad song, a sad time, sad weather, a sad attempt at a joke, and so on and so forth.

There was another sentence about shivering because the mayor dropped an ice cube down my shirt, but I can't find it. I swear I read it in this book.


I once posted some of my favorite quotes from Carmen Tellez, and in honor of the end of my compuslory ensemble participation, I present to you: Dr. William Gray-isms.

"The middle of the note is where the music is." (6/29)

"I think the misereres would be yellow; what color would the 'no' be?... Olive? Purple?" (7/22)

"It's as if heaven were a MENSA meeting and you have the most intellectual conversation...I hope I'm not there with my family." (7/26)

"You scratch off in your car real fast and the wheel goes 'bzzzz' and the gravel spins out-- we don't want to hear that in music." (7/13)

"It's like that baseball movie-- build it and it will come." (7/13)

"As a color we need it every now and then, like when we're dying." (7/13)

He said this when talking about what he was calling an organ arpeggio, but what is actually just a rolled chord: "It's like when you drink champagne and the foam goes up your nose." (7/8)

And then, maybe the most infuriating comment: "Haydn wouldn't have written it if he didn't believe it." (7/13) Wasn't Haydn hired to write sacred music? He didn't do it necessarily because he believed it, but because he was getting a paycheck.

It's Peanut Butter Jelly Time: The Tragic Rise and Fall of the Buckwheat Boyz

Do you remember the at-first-hilarious-then quickly-annoying internet phenomenon known as the Dancing Banana? Well, I do. This turn-of-the-millennium meme is just what it sounds like: a Banana dancing to a song called "Peanut Butter and Jelly Time." The song was written by a group called Buckwheat Boyz, who also had a hit called "Ice Cream and Cake" which is about, you guessed it: the right-wing media's attempt to revolutionize cross-media content. Just kidding. It's about ice cream and cake.

Here, in its original, typo-riddled, bright pink glory is the biography of Buckwheat Boyz from their MySpace page. I've corrected spelling/grammar errors and added little annotations where appropriate in black .

The Buckwheat Boyz, (no comma needed) are a musical experiment founded by two friends,(no comma needed) in 1997 from Tampa FL., (comma should be a colon) Marcus Bowens, (no comma needed) and Jermain Fuller. The Buckwheat Boyz (yes, the band's name is even misspelled) added two more members to the tandom. On Keyboards-J.J. O'Neal, and Drums-Dougy Williams. (fragment) The Buckwheat Boyz were signed by Koch Records, (no comma needed) and began recording their first (removed 'full length record,') and only full length record. The self titled record brought us the smash hit's (no apostrophe needed) "Peanut Butter and Jelly Time",(no comma needed) (although the song always presents the line "Peanut butter jelly time," the title includes a mystery "and") and "Ice Cream and Cake" (which played in a Baskin Robbins commercial according to Wikipedia). In 1999 the Buckwheat Boyz went on they're (their) first world tour. Opening for Lil' Romeo, (no comma needed) and Nas. (fragment) The band was signed by Koch for 3 records, though the unfortunate death of founding member and vocalist Jermain Fuller left the group in shambles. The Buckwheat Boyz eventually split up, (no comma needed) late in 2001. Never entering the studio for their second record. (fragment) After the split up of the band, Marcus the co-founder or Buckwheat Boyz found God, turning into one of Gumbo, Alabama's most respected gosspil (gospel) artists. Dougy Williams turned his pain inward, (no comma needed) and took it out upon himself. His lust for women and drugs grew threating (threatening) to his health, and on Nov. 14, 2003 was admitted to a shelter for drug offenders. J.J. O'Neal persued (pursued) his dream for music stardom, (no comma needed) and found his way on stage. J.J. is now headlining his local theater's rendition of "CATS".

My favorite part is the last sentence.