Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Slices of Life

One week into school and things are right back the way they've been since I started grad school--busy. Thus begins the downward spiral that I look forward to at the beginning of each semester ;)

As summer came to a close I snuggled a few puppies, ate a lot of Asian food, made a video with Wen, drank mimosas and such. On Saturday night Brittany very generously gave us Diamondbacks tickets where we watched the most fantastic loss of all time (Dbacks lost 13-0). Mostly it was an excuse for me to see her after far too long.

Living with Dan is so much fun, even though we're on opposite work schedules--I come home from school, we eat dinner, he leaves for a gig! We're still getting used to it but it is objectively the best.

Being a doctoral student is a little daunting but also feels a little like nothing has changed. I think the next two years might really do me in and I'm kind of both looking forward to and dreading the challenge. It'll be interesting, if nothing else. Glad that I at least get to spend my days surrounded by my favorite weirdos.

Happy Monday, and RIP Gene Wilder. We used to watch Young Frankenstein every New Years Eve and it was funny every time.

P.S. Collage made with, of course, my favorite, BeFunky.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

A Self Re-Brand

I designed some new business cards for myself (and gave my photography logo/website a facelift!) in an effort to not confuse people and actually start handing them out. I'm actually quite proud of how they turned out.
The photos are mine but I created the business cards with BeFunky, my favorite graphic designer tool (alongside Photoshop, of course). I'm not a fan of their app, but I highly recommend the site.

I only want to print 50 of each, is that possible? Have any of you done that? Is there a site that you recommend? Help a girl out!

Friday, August 19, 2016

"You Took Advantage of Me"

Hello from the End of Summer Vacation, strangers! A lot of you probably already saw this on Facebook, but I need it here for safekeeping. Wen and I thought it would be fun to play together where I sing jazz tunes and she improvises. I'm not very good but she's amazing and we had so much fun!

I think we need more wigs. Hope you enjoy the video!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

A Woodwind Player's Guide to Lip Balm

As a woodwind player, specifically a reed player, my lips are chapped approximately 95% of the time. It's uncomfortable, unattractive, and makes wearing lipstick (in the rare moments I'm not playing) pretty gnarly. ESPECIALLY in the desert. I've tried so many lip balms since I was a kid that I am here now to once again offer you my unsolicited advice. Mostly I'm going to tell you what I like (or don't) about these lip balms I've tried. Here we go.

1 // Vaseline Lip Therapy "Rosy Lips"
Obviously this one is more feminine, but they have other "flavors" that aren't pigmented (I'm intrigued but have yet to try the Aloe one). I love the light pink color, I love the scent of rose, and it actually does help keep my lips looking healthy. I also think the tin is really cute, but I'm not a fan of having to dip my finger into the pot and then sometimes having nowhere to wipe my hands for whatever reason. Sometimes I honestly don't use this one for that reason alone. That being said, I do tend to carry it in my purse at all times.

I bought this because my lips felt like they were beyond repair and it did NOT help. It tastes terrible if it accidentally gets in your mouth a little and the rounded applicator isn't really conducive to, ya know, applying the lip balm. Most importantly, it didn't really help my lips heal. I only use it if nothing else is around.

3 // Nivea
This goes on really smoothly and feels really nice! Almost watery. But it doesn't really do much, and has no SPF. Nivea has other types that do have SPF, but even so, I'm not convinced. Also the top comes off of this in my bag enough that I don't want to carry it regularly. It would probably be okay for daily upkeep, but you could do better.

4 // Classic Chap Stick (and the comparable Target brand)
You really can't go wrong. The Target brand smells kind of like vanilla, which I do not like, but will still use. This is really the only way to go if you're out in the sun a lot, because it has SPF! My only qualm is that it goes on very thick, and I'm not a fan of feeling like I have peanut butter smeared on my lips.

Hands down best lip repair. The applicator is shaped perfectly and it will genuinely help your lips heal, relatively quickly too. It's super lightweight and doesn't taste like poison. I try to always have this with me, or at least in my school bag to use after a full day of playing. Sometimes I'll even put a dab on a dry spot on my face or something, if moisturizer isn't enough. It's good shit.

I used this regularly for quite a while. I actually like the funny shape, and I like that the mint flavor makes my lips tingly and smells very nice. Like Chap Stick, it goes on a bit thick, but it doesn't do much in lieu of actually healing. I phased it out of my regular products because it wasn't quite getting the job done.


Best overall // Aquaphor, no questions asked. Worth every penny.

Favorite for everday // Aquaphor and Vaseline Rosy Lips.

Worth mentioning // For heavy duty dried lips or nose (especially if you're sick and, like me, blow your nose a lot) Carmex jars are my all time favorite. Some people detest the smell, but to me it's comforting. It can burn a little but it works so, so well that it's worth it. Not practical for daily use, in my opinion (unless you need it!), but worth having on hand.

I hope this is helpful! If you have some lip balm to recommend, send it my way. I obviously have more than I need but it's almost an obsession so I'm always interested in trying new ones.


P.S. Nobody sponsored me to write this, I just really like lip balm. Light filter edits done with BeFunky.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

ClarinetFest 2016 // Lawrence, KS

Last week, our 30-something person studio all traveled to Kansas for ClarinetFest. At the end of week we were playing a concert, but until then we were just chillin, trying about a million mouthpieces and ligatures, and buying all sorts of clarinet stuff.

The first night we were there, we all went to a reception sponsored by Buffet, who gave us a very generous donation to help us all get there.
My personal favorite part of the entire thing was that Leah was there!! The last time I saw her was when she auditioned at Florida State and spent the weekend with me. We were overdue for a visit.
We rehearsed our clarinet choir concert everyday in this hot black box. Super fun. (pcreds to Stefanie Gardner, official Snapchatter of ICA)
I snuck out one day with Leah and Tom! Downtown Lawrence is super cute, and since Leah did her undergraduate degree at the University of Kansas, she knows all the cool places to go. Seriously, very cool. It was really, really fun hanging out with the two of them. Easily two of my favorite clarinet people.
I went to say "hi" to the woman who sold me both of my clarinets and got bullied into doing a photo booth, somehow without Wen. I don't know. And I feel like I should clarify that I didn't choose this get-up.

Then it was concert day, the Profs matched per usual, and apparently everyone loved our concert. Which makes it all worth it! We spent that night as a studio, hanging out drinking and eating pizza. It was really fun. (and Catherine came back from Canada to play with us!)

Supremely successful first ClarinetFest, I'd say. We are so lucky to have been able to go, fully funded. Here's to next year in Orlando ;)

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Family Photos

Last Saturday, July 23rd, was my Mom's birthday! I've had the pleasure of being with her on her past two birthdays, and this year we were ALL together and it was loud and crazy and wonderful.
I love them so much
Look at this guy. I can not tell you how thankful I am that he came to my Papa's unveiling ceremony. I have never felt so loved. Even though I cried a lot because I miss my Papa.
AND MY BECCA BOO! I miss her already UUGGGHHHHH too short of a time with her and our cousins and grandma. I'm glad to be home but I miss my crazy family.

Now are you ready to hear about my trip from hell (#2 this summer)? Okay, so.

I was supposed to travel back to Phoenix on Monday. The first leg of my trip was delayed, and then cancelled, but I was rebooked on a direct flight so I was like, dope. We good, JetBlue. It was early though, so I sat in the airport for over 4 hours. And then the flight was delayed. And delayed. And again. And then we changed gates, three more delays, changed gates again, now it's 1:30AM and the flight is CANCELLED. AT 1:30 IN THE MORNING.

I call JetBlue, and the next earliest flight out to Phoenix is Thursday. They tell me to call back in the morning to see if they have anything sooner (mind you, it technically IS the morning). My saint of a mother, whose alarm was set for 3AM btw, so SHE could get to the airport for her own flight home, wakes up and come picks me up. I am so tired and angry that I spent almost 12 hours in JFK that I am crying almost hysterically on the drive home. My poor Momma. Obviously, I crash when we get home.

My Mom, meanwhile, goes to the airport at 5:30AM for HER flight, and harasses the JetBlue people into getting me on a Wednesday afternoon flight. She calls me to tell me this and I am so tired and drowsy that she said it was like talking to a dead person.

I wake up at 8:30AM to call JetBlue, just in case, but no, there are no flights available until the flight that my Mom got me onto. I go back to sleep. I spend the day with my Grandma. We eat Kosher Chinese food.

Both legs of my Wednesday trip were ALSO DELAYED by at least an hour each. So I had another 12 hour travel day. It was freaking horrible.

And then I woke up to work 8AM-5PM. The end. Unpleasant end to an otherwise wonderful trip.
A photo of us with cousins to take it home, THANKS FOR READING!

Tomorrow morning bright n early the entire ASU Clarinet Studio is flying to Lawrence, Kansas for ClarinetFest 2016! I don't know what to expect but I'm sure it will be a time.

See you on the other side. Professor of Ranting, over and out.
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