I got back on the evening of the 28th, and I've been pretty good since then at getting down to work. (Thank goodness.)
My Pisoni staples continue to be fairly miraculous. I only have two, though, and I really need to buy more. However, I have a silver staple and a brass one, one of which is far better than the other. I have them marked with numbers in pen on the cork, but do I ever remember to check which is which when a reed dies? That would be a no. This time I will, though! I will check, and then I will know which is the wonder staple, and then I will buy more of that one. Finally.
My reed luck has been wildly on and off recently, and very hard to predict. I think that the latest batch of cane I bought is kind of off and also more widely varying than usual in hardness of cane and in diameter, so I'm having trouble getting my reeds to come out. However, I'm also finding it very difficult to predict my success with the reeds I do tie on. It seems that every reed which seems as if it will turn out well become horrible and odd, and every reed that starts out strange or unusually bright/dark/hard/soft/etc turns out well. Some of this I attribute to my miracle staples (that was what happened with the magic reed that I had a while back and dyed blue with mouthwash), but some of it appears to just be the cane playing tricks on me. However, better playing tricks than flat out refusing to work. :-)
My auditions and trips to CCM (Jan 12th) and Northwestern (Jan 19th) are all planned out, and my father is being incredibly nice and going with me to both of them. I have to say it'll be nice to have a car for both of them rather than having to deal with a strange city's public transportation on top of audition stress.
I have a couple exciting links, though I found one at Oboe Insight, so many of you will probably have already seen. Still, I thought it was worth posting here.
Fourteen Wacky Events in Musical News This Past Year: Featuring a French hornist who "tramps around the South Island [of New Zealand] dressed in 19th-century attire," "a balcony brawl that stopped the show on opening night of the Boston Pops," "a Genoa 'Julius Caesar' production with an added role, a guy strolling around in a crocodile suit 'representing the timeless spirit of Egypt,'" and many more, including a commission by the Kazakhstan Orchestra from Borat's brother.
Also, take a look at the first record album cover here. A good look. Notice the instruments on the cover. Now look at the album's title.
This is either a little late or quite early: a hilarious recording of the ending of Handel's Hallelujah Chorus, found at a website of musical bloopers. Make sure you listen all the way to the end- the problem is not the out of tune strings, although when I listened to the recording the first time I thought that and it made the ending even better. I have to say that I think that this is one of the funniest things ever, and I wish I knew what the reason behind it was. Did the organist go insane? Was he or she drunk? Incredibly confused? Playing a prank?
Happy New Year's Eve everyone! Have fun and be safe. I will be spending the evening dressed as a medieval princess at my mother's costume party. :-)