Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I'm in an orchestra . . . sort of

So I'm sort of in an orchestra. I say "sort of" because thus far I've only made 2 of the rehearsals and the first concert is 3 weeks away. I had been invited to this orchestra last year but the problem has been that their rehearsals are on Tuesday from 5:30-7:30 at BMCC which is on the southernmost tip of Manhattan. I work at the NY/CT state line and usually don't get out of work on Tuesdays until 6. Last year I didn't even attempt it, but when the lone oboist reached out to me again this year I couldn't resist. If I can sneak out of work and catch the 4:59 train I can make it there at 6:30. Not great but at least it's something. Due to a lot of staffing uneasiness going on at work I am hesitant to ask for a schedule change at this time. As it is, I am the one with the most flexible schedule already since I am technically "part time". I am sure others won't take well to me leaving early on our busiest day of the week. But anyway, for now it looks like I will be allowed to play at the concert. The oboist and I might start getting together on Mondays to go over stuff since that is my day off.

This upcoming concert will feature Cesar Frank's Symphony in D minor. I had never heard the piece previously and knew nothing about the composer. I was saddened to read in my Essential Canon of Classical Music that he did not enjoy much success during his lifetime. In fact, one of the things I love about this symphony (the EH part, of course) was the source of ridicule. Anyway, since I tend to like Romantic music I was ok with the piece from the beginning. Some parts have tense harmonies that sound weird at first but are interesting to play and to feel/hear resolve.

The oboe parts are not too horribly difficult. The ultra slow beginning is difficult to deal with when you're trying to practice at home without a conductor. There are not too many technically difficult or fast sections, but there are some excursions into E-flat minor that get a bit hairy. When the conductor asked what we should be doing right before that key change one of the bassists said "panic". Hahah, my sentiments exactly.

Because there are only two of us oboists and because I don't yet own or play the EH, the other oboist will play that part. The EH has some major play time in the 2nd movement and I had assumed she would try to switch back and forth but instead she wants me to play the 1st oboe part all by myself. That means that I will have some solos, including my own shot at playing the lovely EH theme (the oboe echoes the EH near the end of the movement). It's such a simple yet beautiful melody. And it has my favorite interval! An ascending minor sixth. Ahhh.

Ok, is it just that composers write wonderfully beautiful lines for the EH or is it that everything sounds beautiful when played on an English Horn? Hmmmmmm.

Monday, October 15, 2007

*drum roll*

Hi everyone!!! Without further ado I would like to introduce you to someone:

Yes, it is a baby . . . a baby that's living inside of me for now.

Now for a little interview:

When did you find out you were pregnant?
On August 12th. I had no clue when we left for CA but by the end of the trip I was starting to feel "weird". I was frequently feeling queasy while in cars and I never suffer from motion sickness. Then on the plane ride home I became aware of a hyper sensitive sense of smell. It was as though I was in a cabin of dirty people LOL! The first thing I did when we got back home was take a test. Blood tests the next day confirmed that I was less than 4 weeks which meant that I'd have to wait 8 weeks to share the news!

When are you due?
My due date is April 22, 2008. I will be 13 weeks tomorrow.

Was it planned?
Since the beginning of the year I had been more open to the idea than usual. However, MCAT preparation proved to be very stressful so I deferred any thoughts on the matter until after the test. Then my mother-in-law came to town for 2 months which further delayed things. She left on July 15th, the day after my 33rd birthday. I spent much of that day feeling that yes, I was finally ready. I knew that the timing was tight because of everything else going on. The funny thing is that while I was at the San Diego zoo I was so touched by the way the animals took care of their young and I was overwhelmed by a feeling that having children is one of the main reasons we're here on this Earth. So after that I really felt like OK I'm ready. Little did I know that by then my little bean was already there.

How does your husband feel?
He's ecstatic beyond words! It's quite endearing. In fact if I had known he wanted a baby this badly maybe I wouldn't have waited 6 years!

Will you still go to medical school?
Yes, the plan has not changed. In fact, I am happy to report that I have 3 interview offers so far, including one at my top choice school! My first interview will be this Wednesday. The timing worked out as well as it could have considering that I waited until July to start trying. With the baby being born in April I will have 4 months of staying home with him/her before school starts. I am very excited about everything that is going on right now. I finally feel like my life is no longer on pause and that it is going in the right direction.

Who will take care of your baby while you're in school?
Though for a while I was afraid she wouldn't agree and would go back to DR, my mom is on board with taking care of her first grandchild. We just told Dad this weekend (we had to wait because we were afraid he'd tell everyone too soon) and he's even more excited. My mom lives in Manhattan which works because I will likely be going to school in the City. In fact, I may even be walking distance from her depending where I end up getting in.

Will you find out the sex?
Oh yeah, baby. We love technology!! Some folks say that there are few good surprises in life, but trust me, that second faint line on that pregnancy test was enough of a surprise to last us a few years.

How about the oboe?
I've been on a little hiatus due to a scare about 10 days ago (ended up in the ER but we're all ok). However, I just got the ok from the doctor today to resume playing as long as I feel ok while doing it. I'll take it slowly and probably not go for more than an hour at a time (which isn't really an issue lately since I'm so busy). I'm still trying to work out my schedule at work so that I can get out early on Tuesdays for those orchestra rehearsals. I should be able to play 3 of the 4 concerts this school year.

How have you been feeling?
Mostly ok. I have been VERY VERY drowsy most of the time but that is starting to get better now. I have also been mildly nauseous but do not actually throw up. I've gone from being someone who enjoys most foods to the world's pickiest eater. One day I like something, the next day it makes me want to hurl. The one thing that I can no longer stand to even smell is coffee! Can you believe it? I have tried it 3 times since I found out (including my favorite Starbucks recipe) and each time it has tasted vile. I'm looking forward to entering the second trimester in a week. Apparently I will get my energy back for three months. YAY!

Well, I guess that's it for now. Now that I am not sleepy all day I will once again try to be better about updating.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Guess what??

I might be attending my very first orchestra rehearsal tonight!!!!!!!!!! The first oboist from the Downtown Symphony (the one at BMCC) emailed me to tell me that they're in need of an oboist again. I was hesitant to join them last year because the rehearsal I attended was a bit disorganized. But by now I am very desperate to play with others and I think I can deal with funky strings for a while. Besides, I heard that they get fill-in strings for the concerts anyway.

The only downside is that I am supposed to stay at work late on Tuesdays. Now I have to find a way to sneak out at 4:45 even though we are never done with patients until around 5:30. I then have to take the Metro North train to Grand Central, the 7 cross town, then the 2 or 3 to Chambers. It will be quite a journey. But well worth it if I get to play with others finally!!

I am excited but nervous and still don't believe it's true yet.

Oh, would anyone mind if I start posting about other stuff in my life here? Sometimes I want to post, but not necessarily about music but I feel obligated to make the posts here music related. It would be cool if I could go on about med school stuff, family, and music all in the same place. Maybe that's what the labels are for? I need to figure out how to work with blogger more.

One more thing: I received my first medical school interview invite today. SUNY Downstate on the 17th!! Woohoo!!