Mid-Week Celebrations!

This blog is in the middle of it’s third week of life!  I think that is as good of an introduction as any to, you guessed it, this Wednesday’s round of little successes!

Without further ado, let the celebrations begin!

1. Tonight, one of my friends that I had not spent time with in at least a month was like, “Let’s get dinner together!” I agreed!

2. While that last celebration is exciting enough, the same friend later bought me SOUR PATCH KIDS, which I adore.  They were not simply Sour Patch Kids but the Watermelon flavor of Sour Patch Kids!

3. I have decided to begin working on the second Brahms violin sonata!

4. On a related note (yay pun!) my composition project for this month will be the first movement of a string quartet!

5. Even though I was drenched by it yesterday, it has been raining frequently around here and I love the sound of rain!

6. This blog now has 11 followers! Thank you all for deciding it is worth getting updates from on a daily basis!

Those are my middle-of-the-week celebrations.  Leave a comment with your own middle-of-the-week celebrations so that we can all revel in our accomplishments together!

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Freshly Failed Friday!

Today, I failed at winning a game of cards with my teammate.  We were playing a game called Hand and Foot, which I will not bother trying to explain here, but suffice it to say that we were slaughtered.  The opposing team had around 20,000 points, and we barely broke 10,000 points.

I also failed several times at my job yesterday, but those fails are not quite noteworthy.  Most of them were things like not realizing I was folding napkins with the seams facing outward and not understanding the jargon for the work, but those are okay.  I was shown how to do things, and whenever something confused me, I asked about it.  It helped, of course, that while there were several accidents where a glass or dish was dropped and shattered, I did not end up breaking anything. While I know that I could always accidentally drop something and break it, it was a relief to not have to face that failure on my first day of work.  Overall, I think my first day went about as well as any first day of work could go.  It was confusing, but I learned a lot about what was expected of me and how to do the job.  I am excited to be going back for another shift at the beginning of this coming week and learn even more things!

I have a bit of an update for everyone on the contour of this blog.  It’s the end of the second week which means the beginning of the third week happens tomorrow! (“Thank you Captain Obvious” Why, you’re welcome Lieutenant Sarcasm 😉 Either at the end of week 3 or the beginning of week 4, I will be posting the first of many awful MIDI recordings.  It will be of the piece I am working on.  No spoilers here (read: has not started the piece, yet), but within a week I will have something I’ve written for you to listen to, comment on, and go, “Yep, this would make more sense to the listener if……”

I do not know if I will have a monthly composition yet.  I think my goal is going to be to complete a rough draft of a 5-10 minute piece every two months.  Unfortunately, I do not have instantly accessible live players to perform/read these pieces, so I cannot guarantee how quickly, if at all, I will be able to post live recordings.  We’ll see how that works out, though.

(By the way, I published this post at 11:57 because otherwise I would have failed to publish something on this fine Friday.  Now, I’m updating it by finishing it.  I know, that’s cheating, but it was fun)

I am still deciding on what pieces to work on violin-wise, but I will either link to performances of the pieces I am considering or stumble upon when searching for music to play, or I will say, “Youtube this piece, it’s worth a listen.”  For whatever I am practicing, I will give an update at least once a week on either how much I am struggling with the piece and/or what accomplishments I have had with whatever I am playing. I am also going to feature old dead composers and maybe still living composers and their work on this website, by writing about their styles, giving short bios about their lives, and talking about my favorite pieces by them, once every two weeks.  On non-composer weeks, I will talk about an album or instrumental/vocal work I’ve listened to that I either liked or think others will enjoy.

I am going to try to make this as accessible as possible to new musicians (which includes people who think of themselves as the audience, because if you can carry a tune or remember how your favorite song sounds in your head without actually listening to it, you have the capacity to further develop those and acquire more musical skills-meaning, I consider you to be a musician) as well as more experienced ones, so I will define words that people might not know.  I will also attempt to not be too wordy (good luck to me on that, right?).

At some point, I will also incorporate some other projects into this blog, but there is another, more important, note.  I will continue to feature fine fails not only in the musical arena, but in all the other aspects of life as I have been doing for the past two weeks.  Meaning, if I kill the dryer in a week, you will hear about it and not just about how I wanted to break my violin because I became impatient with an etude (etude: a short musical piece for developing a particular technical skill). While that does occasionally happen, the feeling lasts for only a few seconds before I promptly apologize to my violin for even thinking such a thought.

This blog is starting to get some structure. I like it!  Until tomorrow, happy failing!

Mid-Week Celebrations!

After a week of failing, we once more return to Wednesday, and everyone knows what Wednesday is about.

Yep, it’s time to celebrate the little successes of the week!

1. This is an encore one, but I now have a job!  My first paid working experience will happen tomorrow! I will also point out that last Wednesday, I was celebrating the world not ending as I went through the application process.  How about that for progress?

2. My parents, being the generous sort of people they are, bought me my first work outfit!  As a bonus, I look pretty spiffy in said outfit!

3. Today, our “grumbly old man” dog, Bandit, jumped up onto my lap and demanded ear scratches and belly rubs! (Normally, I have to do the pet owner thing of, “Come here, Bandit, come here boy! There’s a good doggy…no don’t leave! Don’t walk away!” or the, “I love you very much.” *clings to squirming dog that is trying to escape*)

4. To prevent matters of jealousy, I must also announce that our “wildflower” dog, Daisy, has cuddled with me today, although somewhat more begrudgingly.

5. I am having dinner with my mentor tomorrow! I am sure one day I will blog about him more extensively, but let’s leave it at out of all the people I know and have ever known HE IS MY FAVORITE PERSON after my sister, WHO IS MY REAL FAVORITE PERSON (although we have a sibling agreement that I can refer to my mentor as my favorite person without having to explain the situation).  Anyway, I haven’t seen him in a while SO THIS IS EXCITING! (all caps makes my enthusiasm more convincing, right? Thought so)

6. Today, I had my first cranberry vanilla rootbeer, from Sonic, of the summer.  I also drink this fine specimen of a beverage in the autumn, winter, and spring, but I thought it was worth sharing anyway. If you like rootbeer and were born with a dash of derring-do, go ahead and try it the next time you go there.  If you don’t have a Sonic near you, cry.

7. This blog now has SIX FOLLOWERS.  Some of you have been following for days, and others have been following for…more days.  I find this exciting, as it means there are at least six people out there interested in what I have to ramble on about.  This is nice, as everyone knows there is a fine line between pretending to talk about yourself to others and actually talking about yourself to others. That line is insanity. Thanks for keeping me sane and not leaving me to blab into the void!

Those are my middle-of-the-week celebrations.  Leave a comment with your own middle-of-the-week celebrations so that we can all revel in our accomplishments together!

Freshly Failed Friday!

Oh dear.  I have already started punning in this blog, and now my fondness for alliteration is beginning to make itself known. It was going to happen sometime, though, so why not now?

I have a few fine fails for today!

The first is that, contrary to the best of my intentions, my room is still not clean.  It is mostly clean, but I have to do the detail work on individual areas (organizing the desk, dresser, bookshelves, etc.).  You could say that everything is on/in its respective piece of furniture, but not necessarily in the most functional way.  The main improvement here is that I discovered I do have a floor! I can also walk on it without tripping!

Also, I am behind schedule for where I wanted to be with this blog.  My plan was to spend week one cleaning and doing the prep work on the various projects I am going to be talking about in the coming months, but I am a few days behind.  I have spent week one cleaning, and have not done enough prep work for any project to be launchable.  This is an important goal, as I want to be transparent about the process of completing these projects.  While posts about moldy bananas are great and all, I am trying to avoid turning this into a place for Publicly Complaining About Life.  Everyone knows that’s for Facebook!

I’m kidding.

Anyway, to make up for that, I am going to vaguely tell you a few of my projects.  The priority project is going to be me trying to develop an internship with the arts council where I live.  The goal here will be to create a master list of music organizations so that the leaders of these organizations can have an effective way of communicating with each other and the music community.  This might also lead to opportunities to get music into organizations that might not have music programs, such as nursing homes (when I start working on/blogging about this project in more detail, I will explain why nursing homes are on the list), adult daycare centers, and organizations that help homeless youth and/or those youth living in poverty. There are a few other ideas I have for this project, but I am sure I will talk about them later.  For now, that is enough.

Hey hey hey, have I mentioned that I am a recently graduated music major? Of course I have! It should surprise no-one, then, that I have a music project or five lined up for me personally.  I will divide them into two categories: violining and composition.

I am an intermediate level violinist.  I want to be much better than that one day.  To be clearer, I want to play in some sort of professional symphonic group or small ensemble, some day.  I do not mind taking my time to learn my instrument at my pace, because I have had 7 violin lesson teachers in the past 13 years, and it is time for me to start developing my musical voice on my own for a while.  Also, the most important goal to me regarding the violin in conjunction with learning to play it well is to be able to successfully pick up any piece I want to play and teach it to myself.  This means I will be posting things I find interesting about violin technique or talking about a horrible sound I made that caused the dogs to start barking but I cannot replicate it in regards to this project.  I am also going to audition for as many things as possible this year and maybe get into some of these musical opportunities, but if not, then at least to become more familiar and comfortable with the process of auditioning.

As for composition, I plan on writing music.  I might have “Monthly Minis” which will be small compositions I have written over the course of a month, but I’m still working on the details of that. One relatively strong goal for me is to produce one or two large works within a year. Like, maybe a symphony, or a few sections of a mass. [For those of you who are interested, no, I am not Catholic, but I adore Renaissance Era music] I will be posting awful MIDI excerpts of works-in-progress, but will try to get actual recordings of the smaller projects posted upon completion.

That’s all I have to say for these upcoming projects, but I hope that gives everyone a better idea of where this blog is going.

One final thing: I PASSED THE FIRST CHAPTER OF LEVEL ONE ON THE EAR TRAINING APP TODAY! I then proceeded to instantly fail on distinguishing between major and minor 3rds.

Until tomorrow, happy failing!

Mid-Week Celebrations!

The start of weeks can be rough.  These beginnings do, after all, contain the infamous event of Mondays as well as two other days of the week.  So, after spending three days working hard to fail with inspiration, Wednesday will be the time for pausing in this endeavor.  Instead, we shall celebrate the little successes.

These are my little successes for this week:

1. I began volunteering at an Equine Therapy Center last week.  I do what is known as sidewalking, meaning I walk beside a horse and, in conjunction with another sidewalker, we make sure the client does not fall off of the horse. Today was the first day I felt comfortable with my duties as a sidewalker and I did not spend the entire time thinking, “DON’T LET THE CLIENT FALL DON’T LET THE CLIENT FALL.”

2. I play the app game “King of Thieves,” which has surprising depth for an app game.  While there are 80 single-player levels, most of the fun comes from its multiplayer mode. The multiplayer mode places you in dungeons of other King of Thieves players, and you steal gems from them in order to increase your loot.  A couple of days ago, I stole a gem valued at 13,810 points, and it is now the most valuable gem I possess!

3. I finished reading a book in three days!

4. I am currently in the process of looking for a job, and I have had to do many things that I am not used to doing.  For example, I do not enjoy talking to people on the phone, but I called back the place I most recently applied to in order to check up on my application. The world didn’t end when I did this!

5. My dogs, in an effort to procure treats from me, have been letting me know that they love me a lot.  To communicate this, they have been sitting on my face when I am lying down on the couch.  I have not suffocated yet! (I had to put a funny one in there….and yes, they have been getting treats)

Those are my middle-of-the-week celebrations.  Leave a comment with your own middle-of-the-week celebrations so that we can all revel in our accomplishments together!

Introduction

Hello,

You have stumbled onto this blog not quite knowing what to expect.  This is excellent, as I do not quite know what to expect, either.   However, time is of the essence, so I will leave a few sentences describing what this blog is about, like any good introduction post should do.

First, this blog, as could be deduced by the title, is going to last for a year.  Okay, it is probably going to be a little over a year, but saying “A Little Over A Year of Inspired Failure” or “About a Year of Inspired Failure” or even “Approximately a Year of Inspired Failure” is a mouthful, and adds a little bit of wobble to my declaration of failure.  If there is one thing I know about failure, you need to flaunt it like the flames you are going down in, so no wobbles for this site!

To give some perspective and coherence to this post, let me tell you a little bit about myself.  I have recently graduated with two degrees, one in music composition and one in sociology.  I have obtained these to further my goal of developing programs that help build, create, or improve music communities one day.  Currently, I am taking a year off to work on personal projects, acquire a job, volunteer in my community, and commit random acts of fun before going to graduate school.  However, to do all of these things, I will need to act with great intention and not simply sleep until noon, play videogames, and neglect laundry every day.

Enter this blog!

By starting this blog and publishing this first post, I am committing to you that I will be here and present for a year. I am going to publish a post every single day related to one of my failures or a failure-in-progress.  The idea is that I am going to be doing many things this year to broaden my experience and further my personal growth, but since the projects I am working on are only in their beginnings, I will experience a lot of failure before success.  A Year of Inspired Failure is going to be about me setting goals, missing them, learning what worked and what did not, and showing all of this to you.

Meaning, this blog is not really about failure at all, but the process of achieving goals.  Since the process of achieving anything requires more unsuccessful results than successful ones, failure is going to be embraced as an old friend and mentor here instead of something to shove under a bed or hide in a box in embarrassment.  The things I post on here will, at times, be full of raw disappointment, while at other times, you will get excited simply because I am so exuberant.  This blog is going to be so full of life that neither me nor those of you who have joined me on this journey will even believe how far we have traveled together in a year.

I’m excited, and I hope you are too.  Until tomorrow, happy failing!