Sunday, August 30, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
7:00pm - 9:30pm
St Lawrence Center for the Arts
76 Congress St
Friday, August 21, 2009
It all started with our original mailman, Floyd. Floyd is an older fellow and extremely... well... verbally limited. My desk is right next to the door and Floyd would open the door just far enough to stick his head and arm through, throw the mail at me, and grab whatever needed to go out. I would always say "Good morning" in the sweetest voice I could muster, just to see if he'd ever actually respond. He didn't. In fact, the most I ever got out of him was a "Uggghhh." No joke.
Then this summer, we got a new mailman. A younger fellow who turns out to be delightfully more talkative. For a few weeks now we've chatted every time he came to pick up and drop off our mail and I've actually grown to enjoy his company. Then, a few days ago, I was busy and unable to hold a actual conversation when he showed up, so I just said "Thank you very much!" and he replied with "Anytime!" For some reason that caused me and another coworker to double over with laughter. It's nice to know that if I was ever in need of an emergency mailman, I have a go-to guy.
One day, I hope to call up Mail Services and just shout "I need a Mailman! Stat!!"
Over the course of our conversations I have learned that he is a baseball fan and enjoys Seadogs games. Being a baseball fan myself, part of me really wants to ask him if he'd want to go to a game sometime, but I just can't bring myself to do it. I mean, the mailman would loose all his mystery if I learned his name! And I couldn't go to a game and not know his name. I could always stop him right before he introduces himself and place a finger on his lips saying "Shhhh. Don't say anything. You're the mailman. Let's not spoil that." I could also bring some envelopes and just ask him to hold them for me, every once in awhile handing one to me and saying something sexy like "here's your mail."
Oh god. I would kill this kid's spirit. And this is why I'm a terrible person.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
At any rate, just a few days ago, I was cruising Facebook (like you d0) and I saw my dad was online. So I send him an IM saying hello and eventually he responds "meeting with Ledama, can't talk." About an hour or so later, my dad sends me a message saying
Greg: I hear you wish to relocate to Kenya(This was pretty much the exact conversation, but of course Facebook doesn't allow you to retrieve chat history...stupid Facebook chat) So....um....AWESOME. Just in case that didn't sink in, I had Ledama Olekina, who could very well be the next president of Kenya (again, president of Kenya) offer me a place to stay on a beautiful island town in Kenya. I win at life.
Greg: I have a nice piece of land in Lamu [which was my FAVORITE location we saw in Kenya] you could stay there if you want
Greg: don't go to London, move to Kenya- Ledama
I also had the fortune to have lunch with a fellow ethnomusicologist, Max Brandt, just the other day. I was given his contact information by a woman in my office who thought I'd like to talk to him because he lives in Maine, is an ethnomusicologist and has done work with retired professor from SOAS. Again, how random is that? I was able to meet him for lunch and he really is a fantastic person. I mean, really, it's a treat to talk to anyone who doesn't look at you funny when you say the word "ethnomusicology," but on top of that he had some great stories about his time in Nigeria and work in ethnomusicology.
Finally, it seems like the opportunities that I have worked so hard to find, are slowly working their way into my life by a matter of mere coincidence.
The moral of this story? Stop trying so hard...or...I'm awesome. Probably both.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Wouldn't you actually like to hear how I changed the course of history? Too bad. You're going to hear it anyway.
As you may or may not have known, I am currently in the process of applying for my UK Student Visa so that I may pursue my dreams of one day being the biggest nerd on the planet! My first attempt was denied because I'm not rich. A 24 year old, student from the US and she's poor. Yeah, that sounds about right. At any rate, of the $12,000 I need to show in order to obtain the visa, roughly $5000 was in the form of a letter from my parents stating that they would sponsor me (because in all actuality, I am not going to need that extra $5000 for living expenses).
Turns out, that $12,000 has to be in a bank account in the student's name. (Right, how's that working out for you, UK?) So, I got denied.
Last Monday, after scraping together all the money and loans I could to add up to $12,000, I sent in my second application. I'm still waiting to hear.
Now, you may still be wondering how I have changed the course of history. Shut up, yes you are. And I say, be patient! I'm getting there!
After getting denied the first time, and reading the "UK Tier 4 Student Visa" Guideline in at least 6 different places on their website, I stumbled across a "Complaints and Suggestions" form. Well, needless to say, I wrote a very nasty complaint. Something along the lines of:
"Your visa process sucks"
Yesterday, I find out that the UK has changed their visa process and allows your parents to help you come up with that $12,000. Therefore, actually making it plausible for students to go study in the UK. Imagine that.
And, that my friends, is how I've changed the course of history. My complaint led to the changing of the UK visa policy. Now, I'm sure that some brilliant student who would never have been allowed a UK visa before I changed things, will be allowed entrance and study international law in the UK, bringing peace and prosperity to the world.
And she couldn't have done it without me.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Throughout history, the significant changes in musical style coincide with significant changes in politics, economy, and art. Romanticism signaled the abandonment of scientific reasoning and the embrace of emotional experience. The movement encompassed the arts-- music, art and literature-- while at the same time the Industrial Revolution emboldened the middle class businessmen and industrialists. The economy changed, technology changed, politics changed, the arts changed. History turned a corner and headed down a new path.
History now has it's blinker on, preparing for the next turn. Think about it, you are witnessing history in the making! We stand on the brink of a cultural shift. Music is changing form and moving beyond just being accessible to the general public, but is now attainable by the general public (American Idol anyone?). Literature is following the same trend. Blogs and projects like WeBook are making anyone into a writer.
Even the mode of delivery for the arts is changing. Music can be downloaded, making record companies more and more obsolete. I even heard a piece on NPR about the creation of a super-library that will make the downloading of books the norm.
I would be lying if I said I was embracing the changes I see. Just think about the disgust cultures have expressed toward the beginnings of change throughout history. Melodramatic Romanticism was not well received at first by audiences used to the conservative and rational music of the Classical period and yet by the time Romaticism was in full swing, audiences couldn't get enough pure emotionalism.
Regardless of whether you embrace or despise the changes, it is exciting to know that you are witnessing a historical shift that will appear in future timelines on the inside covers of history books. Let's just hope that what awaits us around the corner is rolling fields of peace and prosperity.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Get this, I forced my sorry self out of bed at 5:45 am and went...wait for it...running! Yeah, I know, unbelievable. Well, it's not that unbelievable when I tell you that I only ran a total of maybe 6 blocks. Actually, now that I think of it, I probably shouldn't have admitted that last bit.
The motivation behind running in the morning was not only to get into better shape, but to get some more energy flowing. Everyone swears running gives them a boost of energy and they feel great after a run.
Well...Bullshit. I feel like crap. I'm tired because I got up at the ass crack of dawn. I'm sore because my body does not care for this "workout" thing. (I can at least convince my body that dance is not a "workout," though that doesn't always work either.) So, in the end I say fuck it. I will accept my fate as a fatty (mostly thanks to the ice cream). But being fat can't be all that bad, right? I mean, take the poster fat-kid, Buddha. He always looks as happy as a pig in mud.
Another interesting tid-bit to report: I am sending in all my visa documents today. Eeeek! I finally got the last of the papers from the loan company and from SOAS. Of course, all these documents are supposed to be on official letterhead and even after an hour and a half argument on the phone with my loan company, the best I could get out of them was a Word document. They couldn't even be bothered to print it out in color. ::sigh::
So here goes nothing!
Monday, August 10, 2009
This is the post that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friends. Some people started reading it.....
I've noticed that my entries tend to be rather short, and I think that "whoa, maybe I suck because I can't find a billion things to write about!" And then I stop and realize that nobody reads this thing anyway, so what do I care. No, do not turn this around to be all about you and give me the I-read-this-p.o.s.-blog-so-what-am-I-chopped-liver crap. It's your own fault for reading this blog. Now, where was I? Oh yes. Ok, so I'm all feeling bad about myself because I have nothing to write about, and I head on over to some of the blogs I follow, you know, to steal some ideas. To my surprise there are like 10 new entries! That's alot of blog reading...especially since I'm at work. So, I start cruising through some of the blogs and low and behold if the blog is much longer than a couple paragraphs, I stop reading and just scroll down for any pictures. It's like I've reverted to the 7 year-old habit of skimming through books just for the pictures.
So then I start thinking to myself, "jeez, I guess it's a good thing my blog entries are short or else I'd lose the zero readers I have!" With that mind set, I sit down and start thinking about what I could write for today and then have trouble coming up with an entry that would be short! First, I figure I would just recount my Sunday, but then that involves telling you about walking around the Old Port, feeding my people watching habit, the Belgian stock broker who hit me with his car filled with his vacationing family who then tried to keep me quiet with some ice cream (which, it goes without saying, worked), the seagull that tried to then steal said quiet-ice cream or rather didn't try but succeeded, the miserable ice-creamless limping walk back to my car only to find that I forgot I had actually parked my car on the other side of town, and-- well, you get the point.
Next, I thought maybe I'd talk alittle bit more about my visa mayhem. However, I again found myself having to explain things and ramble on and on about the British consulate being asses and the Sallie Mae loan company being even larger asses and then no body would actually read my blog because I spent far too much time rambling. I know what you're saying "but Alex, you're rambling about rambling!" and I have come to peace with the fact that this blog is going to be much longer than a post I would actually read myself. In fact, I doubt anyone just read that last bit in order to have such a thought. Now that I think about it, I've reached the point that I could probably say anything and nobody would read it. I bet there's a science to it too. I mean, I can probably say anything right now because I'm in the middle of a long paragraph in the middle of a long blog. I'll most likely need to pull myself together towards the end, as I assume most of you will do as I do, and once you realize there are no pictures in this post you will read the last paragraph and call it good. And if you don't understand what the last paragraph was actually talking about, all the better--just leave a equally nonsensical comment trying to sound funny and move on to the next epic post. Epic. That's a good word. This blog post is turning alittle bit epic, dontcha think? Dictionary.com defines epic as " noting or pertaining to a long poetic composition, usually centered upon a hero, in which a series of great achievements or events is narrated in elevated style." I think this fits, don't you. I mean, I am a hero who has a series of great achievements (read: failures) and I if I do say so myself, my prose is "elevated," some may even say divine. (Just in case I lose my religious readers, who would be the kind to read the entirety of a painfully long blog post just as punishment to themselves for some other wicked deed they did, I am not saying I am God...because, dude. God's a guy! Goddess (read: Goddess of Death) is a more appropriate title.) Have you ever actually thought about being a Goddess of Death? Seriously, that would be the SHIT! "You don't like my attitude? Eat lighting bolt!" "You don't want to give me a student visa? How about I add your head to my awesome necklace-o-skulls?!" I would totally be the coolest Goddess of Death, EVAH! Ok...where was I? Oh yeah! Ice Cream.
Have I expressed yet, how much I love ice cream? Yeah, you're probably right, but really, you can't understand my life without understanding that I would kill for ice cream (read: anything). I'm apparently having a blast with that whole saying-one-thing-and-meaning-another thing today as well as that let's-use-some-hyphens-to-make-everything-sound-way-more-official thing. God, I'm so unoriginal.
Actually, now that I look at it, this post is not NEARLY as long as I originally thought. So, I not only suck at interestingly long posts, but also ironically long posts about long posts. You'd figure I could probably get another good paragraph or two out of this, but you know what? I think I'm going to go get some ice cream.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
For those of you who don't know me (as if I'm actually popular enough for people who don't know me to be reading my blog), then you may be wondering to yourself, "but I read your stuff and you're not even close to being funny." To you I say, touche.
But seriously, outside of the blogosphere, I'm funny! Just ask anyone I know. Actually, ask anyone I've already threatened with the promise of my fist in their face for denial of my funniness. Truthfully, now that I think about it, they may still risk my fist due to my utter lack of humor.
I don't blame them. I've never been funny. My whole family is funny. My dad is hysterical, my mom is witty, and both my younger brothers are sarcastic. Then there was me, not a funny bone in my body. Now, that's not entirely true. I knew what funny was. I'd laugh at jokes, I just couldn't make people laugh myself. No, that's not true either. I made plenty of people laugh, but that was always when I wasn't laughing.
Then something happened. This week, I got funny. I made lots of people laugh this week and not in the you-just-embarrassed-the-crap-outta-yourself-and-that-makes-me-giggle type of way, but a shit-that's-funny way! I even made someone spit out ice cream!! WIN!
I'm funny and you may now enjoy my entertainment. You're welcome.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
About two years ago (god, has it really been that long?), the quintet I played in, the Mimosa Woodwind Quintet, traveled to the great white north to perform. A friend was the music teacher in Ashland, ME and had invited us to play at a school assembly and then to stay for an evening performance.
The five of us piled into my car and we drove the five hours north from Portland to Ashland (which should really just save itself the heartache and call itself Canada). In fact, we apparently took a wrong turn somewhere, or rather missed a turn, and ended up at the Canadian Customs. We were also warned by three or so separate people to be careful of the moose when driving. They had me believing the moose seem to take some sick pleasure in consistently jumping out in front of cars, just to see how many they can wreck. So, not only was the drive long, but it was longer because I drove pathetically slow, just in case a moose came out of nowhere.
For those of you who don't live in Maine, you really don't understand that once you're much further than an hour north of Portland, there is noooootttthhhing. Seriously. Look it up on the map. Roads thin out and the towns don't really have names. It's like going back in time. We even saw a horse and buggy on the way there! (No joke.)
When we finally arrived in Ashland, the only store in town, the grocery/convenient store/movie store/gas station, had a sign up with our names on it! This town had nothing better going on than a woodwind quintet from Portland coming to do a school assembly! I'm surprised we didn't have a welcome committee, complete with balloons and brass band. Actually, I lied, there aren't enough people in Ashland to play in a brass band.
As you can see from the picture, the whole town came out to see us! Alright, alright. I'll back off. Really, it did feel good to be loved and we had a great time. Our friend invited us to stay at his place and we played in his backyard, saw a moose, and discovered some scary abandonned cabin.
All in all, a fantastic day to be famous.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Wow! Still looks good in the morning. Yeah. I haven't even brushed it, so you can imagine that it really does look better than this.
If only my stylist could do something about my face...