Monday, August 9, 2010


I got back on Saturday. Back to sunny (somewhat) Southern California, where I have spent almost all of my life. My husband greeted me with candles, rose petals, balloons, a red carpet, bouquets, steak, wine, ice cream, cake, crab and lots of hugs and kisses. I am so happy to be home, happy to be with him. We will NEVER do something like that again, as long as we have control of it!

He went off to work though. I'm on vacation.

Now, I am an independent person. I hear some of you out there saying, "He's not your whole life!" And he's not. The reason I feel restless is that I don't have anyone here at the house to distract me.

See, I haven't really had time to rest for about...maybe a year and a half, maybe 2 years. I haven't had a normal, long summer (teacher summer, yeah!) since 2007. I've had 3 weeks, 4 weeks to recover from school, and then back to the grind. Last summer, I came back engaged, and literally, two days after returning, I was running wedding errands with my mom. I think we found the location Monday, got my dress Wednesday, and just went from there. It was hectic.

Now, for the first time in a LONG time, I don't have anything in particular to do. And it's making me feel weird.

"I know! I can organize the bathroom cabinet and drawers!"

No, you should rest.

"I know! I can take up that cross-stitching hobby I did in college!"

Maybe, but mostly you should rest.

"I know! I'll go to the gym everyday for 10 hours!"

Or not.

"I know! I need to call EVERYONE and set up times to get together so that I see EVERYONE, ALL AT ONCE!"

Is that really the best?

God is telling me to slow down, but I am feeling uncomfortable and weird about it. I'm sure I'll get used to it in a few days. I won't feel so awkward. But right now, I really do need to rest.

If only my body and brain could believe what my heart knows deeply.

Friday, August 6, 2010



Haven't written in a while.

Big news is that I am finished with my masters. How crazy is that, right? I started on this journey two years ago, heavily involved with my amazing church group. Two years later, that group is no longer around (at least in the incarnation it was then), I am married, and who knows what other exciting life developments lay around the corner. I am not the person I was two years ago. Life changes so much, so quickly. It always amazes me when people say things like, "I've been doing this job for twenty years," as if twenty years just flew by. Maybe it did for them, but the events of every day in this world are so numerous - I can't imagine twenty years just flying by like that.


One of my problems with blogging is that I have all these thoughts, and I can't really express them. I constantly feel like I have big ideas in my head, but when I explain them, very few people understand me. Those people who do are very very very very important to me. (You know who you are, my kindred spirit.)


I finished my masters degree. This summer was difficult in a few different ways. Studying for my comprehensive exams was weird, because I didn't have a direct plan or guidance from others. It was just, "Study. Write an essay. Write an outline for the essay. Memorize the outline. Then practice writing the exam. Then go and regurgitate the essays in a three-hour time period. Then, a week later, defend it in front of a panel." Kind of intense, right? Yeah. It was. I passed it, so that's good. I did not particularly like being on the hot seat for an hour being questioned about why Chuck Berry is more important than Little Richard, but that's what I had to do. (I know, my classes are cooler than yours.)

My classes in general were different this year too. I took Score Analysis, which analyzed musical works with groups of people. Interesting, but also intimidating, as the professor is probably the smartest man I know. Took conducting, which was helpful, but also a little frustrating. I don't think about conducting a lot at my job. But that's okay. Voice lessons were kind of back and forth, as I found my musicianship challenged. Plus I took a jazz workshop that was very frustrating. ("You just have to listen to jazz. You know, listen to it.") Right...

Being away from Kevin is/was very difficult. My friend Ali pointed out to me that we had been married for about 9 weeks when I left for 6 weeks. Literally, I spent 2/3 of the time we had been married away from my husband - isn't that crazy? Yeah, it is. I get to see him tomorrow. I am really excited. This day could not go fast enough.

I know I am really rambly here. I'm feeling bored and I want the day to pass quickly so I can get home. Will I miss it here? Of course. I will miss being challenged and thinking about my teaching. I will miss the people - such amazing people, such sincere people. People who understand me and what I do, more than most people in California. I will miss Jimmy Johns. I have no idea where there isn't a franchise in CA. :) I will miss the beautiful green trees and the rain.

But I will be happy to return to my husband, and to my friends who have known me for so long. Considering that I joined Fuel in 2005, I have friends there who have known me and done life with me for five years...not to mention friends I have known longer. I will be happy to not be in a humid environment. I will be happy to rest.

My apologies if this was too rambly for you. My head is full, my heart is sad - yet happy. Makes for a rather confused blog.

Oh well.

I am a master of music.

That certainly counts for something, right? :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The mystery that is Tyler

So my friend Cat and I live in the dorms. East Owen, sixth floor. Literally, we are the only two occupants of this floor as far as we can tell. Except...Tyler.

We have never seen Tyler.

We only know his name because there is a summer school nametag on his door. It's pink and colorful - probably put up there by a bubbly girl. (not that there's anything wrong with bubbly girls...uh...)

The only reason we know Tyler is even there is that we hear the TV on. All the time. All the time. Every time we walk by. Since his room is on the way to our room, we walk by quite frequently. And the TV is always on.

Last weekend, there was NO SOUND coming from his room. We were worried. Had he left for the summer? Had he moved? Did he just go home? Was he...dead????

But no. Yesterday Cat announced, "Tyler is alive and well." TV back on, life is normal.

Maybe one day we'll see what Tyler looks like.

If we do, I'll try to take a picture. It'll be on the level of Loch Ness Monster or Abominable Snowman sightings. Internet craze. Insanity.

Stay tuned.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Life without a car

An overarching theme of my experience here at Michigan is walking. I did not have a car my first year, and I do not have a car this year either. (Last year my roommates had cars, so I could steal theirs for a few hours - awesome!) Coming from lovely SoCal, where cars rule the universe, it is an adjustment to the non-car life.

Don't get me wrong - I love walking. It is gorgeous here with all the green trees, the river running through campus, the old buildings. And when I get my bike from Abby, it is even more awesome to bike through the town, too! (My bud Abby has been kind enough to let me borrow a bike from her the last two summers. So amazing.)

Walking does have its drawbacks when you are running errands. For example, two years ago I bought a printer and carried it back to my dorm. As I lugged a huge box, a car drove by me and honked, the occupants laughing. "Don't laugh at me!" I thought. "Give me a ride!"

Or today. It's really hot right now, and it's hard for me to work when it's so hot. So I decided to buy a fan. Of course, Rite Aid didn't have cute little fans - they only had the 20 inch box fan. So, I bought it, and lugged it back to the dorm. Some random guy on a bike said, "So, you had to buy a fan, huh? It's hot today!" Right, buddy. Thanks.

I am all for green environment stuff and not polluting the earth. But man, I miss my car.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

It's hot and I'm unmotivated.

That's it really. Happy 4th. At some point, I may get to see some fireworks. Not really sure how it's all going to turn out.

It's hot. 90, and 50% humidity.


Pretty exciting, huh?

Guess I should go back to working now.

By the way, the movie "No Reservations" with Catherine Zeta-Jones was originally a German movie called "Mostly Martha." So far, it seems to be EXACTLY the same, but in German. Interesting...

Okay. Work.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Yes, I know I said that...

...okay, I'm sorry, I haven't written since Monday even though I promised I would. I do have an excuse, I promise!

This week I started taking classes at MSU. I am taking Analysis of Musical Scores, which meets Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 1-3. This week I also took (am taking?) a Jazz Pedagogy Class. It meets (met?) from 9am to 6pm, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. (interestingly, at UCLA they abbreviated Thursday on class schedules with an R - so Tuesday/Thursday classes were TR on the schedule. I like this. But I digress...)

Thinking that I would have to miss my analysis class, I told the professor Tuesday. But I went to jazz on Wednesday, and discovered that they had scheduled a lunch break for jazz from 12:30-3:30, so myself and another student could go to our analysis class! Oh...

So Wednesday and Thursday I had to RUN to the student union, inhale a piece of pizza, run back (on Wednesday I had to make copies of the pieces we were analyzing), run up 4 flights of stairs, and have analysis class for 2 hours. Then I get out of class, sit for half an hour, and take jazz for another 2.5 hours.

I am exhausted.

Thankfully, it's just this week that it's like this. During week 4, I have a conducting class that meets MTWR (see what I did there?), but it's only from 3:40-6:20. So that shouldn't be too bad.

In other news, studying for my comprehensive exam (henceforth referred to as "comps") is hard.


I will try to write more this weekend.

Forgive my school-induced flakiness.

Monday, June 28, 2010

And...I'm back

In Michigan.

Two summers ago, I began this blog with the full intention of "writing something every day now that I am living in a new state and it's just so exciting!"

Then, when I got back to SoCal, I kind of kept it up.

Then all sorts of life happened.

I went back last summer, fully planning on blogging, and instead killed myself reading and writing papers.

Then, I got married. Planning a wedding is time consuming.

Now, I'm back. Last summer. In 6 weeks, I will have a masters degree. It's really quite awesome. Not to toot my own horn, but I have been working very hard, and I am exhausted.

Three new things this summer (2 neg, 1 pos):

I have a husband - who (whom?) I left home. He is not here. Although this is only my second day back, it is very difficult to be apart from each other. We are struggling. Being newlyweds, I get this. Many of my friends say, "Wow, I can't even imagine doing that." Others say, "It's only 6 weeks! No big deal!" Yeah. We'll see.

I am really burnt out. Very difficult year - possible loss of job, planning above wedding (which is joyful but stressful), various ailments (food poisoning at school - fantastic), etc, combined with a hellish grad program last summer makes for tired Liz. I love it here, but man, working? Not so excited.

One good thing - I have a suitemate! Her name is Cat, and we went to UCLA together for our undergrad. She is awesome. :) It's nice, because when I lived in this same dorm 2 years ago, I didn't know anybody. I spent a lot of time on Netflix, Hulu, and Facebook. Now, I have someone to eat meals with. Yay! :)

Okay, peeps. I know, it's a lot of complaining. I need to work on my bitterness. That's one of my summer goals. Check up on me - see how I'm doing.

I'll try to write a little every day. Bear with me.

Love to you all.