Friday, April 15, 2005

A Navel-Gaze on My Bad-Personhood

If I had one of those Typepad category things, this post would be filed under "navel-gazing." If you're looking for poetry or music posts, just scroll down a bit and you'll find 'em. But this particular post is an unabashed navel gaze.

I am feeling like a bad person today.

For one thing, I'm tired and cranky, and I was supposed to go with my sister to pick out bridesmaids dresses (she's getting married in July). I have a pounding headache (despite aspirin), and I just feel yucky. So I called and cancelled. I know she was really looking forward to this, so now I feel so overwhelmed with guilt about cancelling. I'm half-tempted to call back and say I can go. I'm thinking, "Self, how can you be so ... selfish?

But then, I think to myself, "Self, you shouldn't call her back. Self, you nearly fell asleep at a red light a little while ago. You need to get home and get some rest, Self. You definitely don't need to go to Talbots and try on straight dresses that would have fit you a year ago but won't fit now, thanks to the cubicle-dwelling, figure-widening lifestyle you've led for the past year and a half." So Mu and I are going bridesmaids-dress-shopping next week instead. By then I should be in a better state of mind.

I even took a "me day" yesterday. What's what this fatigue and crankitude today?

For another thing, music theory class did not go well. I guess there's a first time for everything. And today was it. We went over some of the Neapolitan exercises, and I was looking at what I'd done a couple of days ago and wondering what I'd been smoking when I'd done the exercises. I'd done stupid things. Like giving the soprano a range of three whole notes in a four-measure exercise. Or not resolving the seventh of the chord downward. Or having the tenor and the alto being half-a-keyboard apart. What's with that? I know better than to do these things.

And I felt like I was wasting Vance's time, having him look over them. Finally, I said, "Look. Let me take these home and re-do them. I guess I was just having an off-day when I did them. Heck, I think I'm still having an off-day."

He agreed that I seemed a little "off." (Hm, was it the fact that I kept confusing sharps with flats? See what I mean? My blonditude really came through today.) He didn't seem to mind (he really is wonderful), but still, I felt like the whole theory lesson was a waste of time for both of us. I'm unhappy about that--not just because I don't like to waste precious time, but because I love music theory and I really look forward to meeting with Vance each week. The less-than-wonderful lesson was kind of a letdown.

We didn't even get around to doing my Awful Tunes. It was probably better that way. Maybe when I work on them over the next few days, hopefully with a more focused mindset, I'll be able to catch any dumb mistakes I made the first time around.

Assignment for next week: A couple more Awful Tunes, plus studying more actual pieces and how different concepts are used in them. And he said I didn't need to, but I think Im going to rewrite those exercises that we went over today.

There is just so much to learn in music theory. I'm excited about it, but at the same time it is overwhelming. Kind of like having a giant chocolate cake in front of me for the eatin', but wondering how I'll ever be able to down the whole thing.

How 'bout another simile? I guess, like everything else, this theory situation is just like thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail: Step by step. Day by day. One step at a time, and I'll get there eventually. Wherever "there" is.

"Slow me down, Lord."

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