Monthly Archives: October 2009

In The Waiting Line


What a distinct familiar feeling.
Getting in at 2, waking up in the afternoon, leaving a house I don’t recognize because I’ve only seen it briefly at night.  My body is weak, my clothes hang loose, my hair smells a bit of cigarettes. It’s just cold enough outside and everything is red and orange.

Last night was the first time I did some real playing since I arrived.
Musicians are musicians wherever you are. Real Books are Real Books. Softly as in a Morning Sunrise is Softly as in a Morning Sunrise.
That’s the beauty.

How I’m going to get back there again on a Wednesday night? I don’t know.
Am I going to be moved to Mons? I don’t know.
Am I going to have to go to Miami for a week? I don’t know

It’s all about “if”. It’s all about waiting.

Waiting for things to change. Waiting for things to resolve. Waiting to be with you. Waiting to wake up in New York City. Waiting for inspiration. Waiting for my Belgian ID card. Waiting for that shipment of ukuleles to come in.

It’s Autumn.


Life Being What it Is

Saturday I sat down on my train headed from Liege to Namurand the car I was almost empty. A man entered after me and took the seat across the isle.

“Do you need God?”


“No?…everybody needs God”

I immediately regretted my answer, turned on Kind of Blue, and waited for a religious tract and/or my untimely death.
He proceeded to fall asleep while I said my goodbyes and wondered if my parents would actually commission a heart-wrenching piece by Maria Schneider like I had asked, and soon after the trainticketwoman stepped into the car. She checked my ticket and turned to the man next…who did not have a ticket, nor the correct documentation, nor was he a smooth talker. Some shit went down, some cards were scanned, and she left.

“Do you need God sir?”

…okay, no. I refrained.
but I live for these moments. 

Thanks to four years of LVPA music history I won two tickets to see the Orchestre National de Belgique. They played some rich chocolaty Brahms and the Walton Cello Concerto, which I had never heard. I was feelin’ an orchestra concert, I was really feelin’ the Walton (so was he) and Tina Fey/Sarah Palin was feelin’ fourth chair violin.

I finally returned to school this week after a week off to finish my Young Arts submission. I’m not really sure what I’m going to do if I actually win something…seeing as it is in Miami…I should probably tell someone that…
Yesterday I spent the last three periods of the school day exploring Chimay. I spent an hour in Le Grand Café avec coffee and completed the first sentence of a scholarship essay.  In addition to hip, hanging, glowing orbs and black leather, Le Grand was up in Radiohead, The Cinematic Orchestra, and Lily Allen. alrighty then.
After that I descended the secret magical stairs of Chimay and stumbled upon the Royal (yes, Royal) Garden, a path I had never seen before and intend to take someday, and a tiny angry dog. I have yet to catch a glimpse of this swine-flu-fearing-80 year old Princess of Chimay that I have heard so little about.

I have recently joined a concert band thingy called “Motivation” (I think), and this man is behind the wheel.

My life is. out. of. control.

but wait. Let me back up here. Let me clarify.
I am at the hands of some of the most generous people I have ever met. Mr. Trumpet Man, my fellow school students, The employees at La Maison des Desserts who made me the best strawberry milkshake ever, and my host parents…oh my host parents.
My host mother already understands that in the morning I don’t speak before I drink a glass of orange juice and three sips of tea. Bless her. That’s love.

and that’s also why this is so confusing.

and so was this

Alles Neu

Everyone get into this

I am.


How I spend my time at school in Belgium:

1. Reading The Rest Is Noise

Alex Ross has essentially become my music history teacher for this year. Here is a bon (possibly illegal) excerpt for your pleasure.

“When Charlie Parker came to Paris in 1949, he marked the occasion by incorporating the first notes of the Rite into his solo on “Salt Peanuts”. Two years later, playing Birdland in New York, the bebop master spotted Stravinsky at one of the tables and immediately incorporated a motif from Firebird into “Koko”, causing the composer to spill he scotch in ecstasy.”

…and there I sit, the American girl with her 20th Century music history book, listening to Steve Reich, in the general vicinity of the birthplace of classical music, trying desperately to drown out the blasting techno of the senior class.
Well, there you have it.
Anyway, I highly recommend the book. You know…if you like the 20th century…and music.

2. Having deep discussions with myself in English.

What am I meant to do here? Why is Miley Cyrus earning more than Steve Reich? How do humans accept the inevitability of death? Is death our main motivation to live? What exactly was that meat I just ate? What does it mean to be alive? Is it a flaw or a gift that I know I exist and wonder why? Do I want mayonnaise or andalouse with my fries next time?

It’s trying.

3. Listen to music

Everybody get on

Panda Bear

Steve Reich


My boy Shosty



and anything else Alex Ross tells you to listen to


Tonight I learned that francophones enjoy Chuck Norris jokes too.
Going to Mons in the morning. Beatles festival and sleepover.