Sunday, December 1, 2013

I Want to Be Happy!

We're heading into our last three weeks of the fall semester here at Butler. In these last few stressful moments I  have developed code names for each week that all my close friends and family have come to learn mean: please don't bother me with anything else until Christmas Break!

Week 1 - Nutcracker (I am playing in the pit for this ballet every day this coming week)
Week 2 - Jury Week (This is the week when every performance major is required to play their semester's repertoire in front of a panel of professors in order to receive a grade)
Week 3 - FINALS (I'm guessing everyone knows what that means)

I have been up since 6 AM and have been working at my local coffee shop  since 8:30. 
In this stressful time in my life I am taking moments to breathe, meditate on the meaning of life and remember that completing this fifteen-page research paper will NOT be the end of me.

I took just a few minutes to watch the video below during one of my writing breaks and I am already feeling centered and refocused on what's more important - happiness.

Let's all try to hold on to some of that Thanksgiving joy as we head into the busiest time of the year!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Brooklyn Rider at Clowe's Hall

This past month or so I have been doing "educational gigs" with a string quartet and a banjo player in the area. We've gone to several different locations around Indy advertising Bela Fleck and Brooklyn Rider's upcoming concert at Clowe's Hall and introducing people to the sound of a string quartet and banjo performing together. Pretty cool . . .

Well a few weeks ago my trio was offered the awesome opportunity to actually perform in a masterclass for Brooklyn Rider [for those of you who don't know: a masterclass is actually very similar to a music lesson. One person - or an ensemble in this case - listens to performers play their piece in front of an audience. Then, in front of the audience, they proceed to critique you and instruct you on how to play the piece properly. It sounds humiliating, but it's simply part of the classical music scene and you get used to it ;)]. So today, we did! Yikes. We performed the first two movements of the Dohnanyi trio for them and it was a blast.

Let me just say that they are some of the coolest, most laid back professional musicians I have ever met. All four of them attended the Ivy Leagues of Music Schools (Curtis Institute or Juilliard) and still are so humble and kind. The three of us definitely learned a lot and really enjoyed ourselves. Now to work even more diligently on it! ;)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Nade Te Turbe

I was given the amazing opportunity to perform with Butler's University Choir as the "cello accompaniment" on a piece called Nada te Turbe written by Joan Szymko. The recording quality is not amazing but you can at least hear the cello line ;)


Videography credit goes to my lovely fianc√© who was kind enough to come watch me perform and hold a camera the entire time! 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Special Message

To my best friend since birth, 
The only other person to speak our secret lanugage,
My partner in all things mischeivous,
An Anne of Green Gables enthusiast,
An Autumnal picture-taking fiend,
My favorite fellow travel-lover 
. . .

. . .


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Getting Close!

I cannot wait to marry him in just six months and 24 days! 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Just For Laughs

My best friend Sonja (who blogs here) sent me this link over FaceBook this past weekend. Needless to say, it had me in stitches. Could. Not. Stop. Laughing.


Update as of 28 October 9:08 PM:
I messed up the links earlier! Click on them now and they should behave ;)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Science and Music - Music's Effect on the Brain

Hello all!

I'm here again and busy as ever! Tomorrow I get to perform again but this time in front of a large group of cellists at an event Butler has started called Cello Day! Every year my professor has hosted this event and invited both of his studios and many other cellists in the surrounding area to particpate in a cello-filled day. Usually there is a recital, a masterclass, a cello ensemble where we all get together and sight read cello choir repertoire, an informational documentary and a time to try out cellos from a local luthier. I am so excited! (If you are interested in participating next year just click here to register)!

And now to address my topic:

Recently in a class of mine we were discussing music's effect on the brain. My classmates (and the professor) began to name all of the different ways that music is impacting brain funciton - developmental growth, slowing down the impact of dementia and altering psychological moods to name just a few. I was amazed. Music is, yes, an artistic passion of mine, but I am realizing more and more each day that it is a necessity - science can prove it!

Journals and articles from around the world:

CNN: This is Your Brain on Music

Oxford Journals: The Power of Music

Live Science: Music's Effect on the Mind Remains Mysterious

New York Academy of Sciences: Effects of Music Training on the Child's Brain and Cognitive Development

Science Direct: Music and Emotion

Oxford Journals: Music listening enhances cognitive recovery and mood after middle cerebral artery stroke

These articles are simply the tip of the iceberg. It seems like each day scientists are discovering new ways that music is vital to a society's success. This gives me faith in the ability of classical music to thrive in this fast-paced world we live in. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Science and Music - The Physics Behind a String

Hello all! 

Things are busy here at school. Busy but wonderful. I just finished playing in a cello masterclass with Michael Haber - a former member of the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra who has served as a faculty member at Oberlin College, Indiana University, New England Conservatory, Eastman School of Music and University of Akron. It was such a pleasure to play for him and recieve helpful comments. 

Anyhow, recently I was sitting in my Digital Arts course listening to one of my fellow students present and was amazed to hear about how the Fibonacci Sequence (click here for an explanation) plays out in music and the arts.

In fact, it is amazing how much overlap there is between science and music. Music is not simply emotions and feeling, but also technique and mathematics. I am not much of a scientist (not at all, in fact) but I always find it interesting to view my career choice from someone else's perspective. 

Slow Motion String

Isn't it so intriguing how volatile the movement of the string actually is? From my perspective everything seems quite placid and smooth!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

On Blessings and Stuff

It's been another long day. Perhaps I should say another long week.

I know I am just one of many college students experiencing this back to school phenomenon but still (!) I am unsure of how it shocks me every year. How was I this busy? How did I do all these things? But somehow life keeps moving, and I keep moving and hopefully in the end I grow as a person.

But it's nights like these when I feel the need to stop. Sit myself down on my yoga mat, in boxers shorts, with a journal and a mug of "Stress Relief" tea (it really is a miracle worker) and just think. 

And though I've been stressed and overworked

all in all

it has been a good month.

Here are just a few of the things that tonight I am really thankful for:
1. I got engaged. To a pretty fantastic guy. And we're both really excited

2. In 8 months and 6 days I get to marry him!

3. I am living with some amazing people

4. I'm at a phenomenal school where I'm learning so much

5. I have awesome friends (I'm talking about you Kate, Emily and Ariel!) Thanks for the messages.

So blessed. So tonight instead of stressing out about homework, the presentation I have to give tomorrow, or the cost of gasoline, I am going to spend time gulping some tea and just taking it all in. Thanks to so many people for supporting me this year! You all are so loved.  

Monday, September 9, 2013

A Word from the Front

Hello all! Greetings from the presitigious Jordan College of the Arts!

I am now in my third week of studying at Butler University and am loving it! I have delved headfirst into being a student which means staying up extremely late, continuing to get up early, reading until my eyes water and refuse to stay open and eating an exorbitant amount of unhealthy food e.g. Chips Ahoy cookies. Other than my unhealthy work habits, everything is going quite well here! I am starting to get into a routine (for instance, I am now attending a regular yoga class at the HRC. Woot!) and I think after this week finishes up I will feel partially sane.

One thing that I am absolutely LOVING is my major change. What?! You're probably asking. No, I didn't change out of music. Instead, I changed my major from a B.A. in Cello Performance to a B.M. What's the difference? The difference is that a Bachelor of Arts is more general - you take more liberal arts electives rather than music courses. A Bachelor of Music translates to taking a lot more music courses. Which is what I came for, right?! So far I'm loving it.

I ran into a friend from high school youth symphony the other day and couldn't stop gushing to her about my classes. Just this semester I am taking Fundamentals of Chamber Music, Introduction to Digital Arts, World Music and Pedagogy! And that's excluding my symphony, chamber ensemble and private instruction credits! It's fantastic! It feels completely unreal to me to be attending classes where I'm learning things like how to mark scores, transpose parts for different instruments, analyze performances and make my own professional website - which I will be sharing on the blog once I complete it.

Yet while it has been so much fun to be so connected and involved, it can also completely overtake my schedule. This week and next I am going to do my best to really focus my energy on my work so that I can relax away from the computer and textbooks.

Have a fantastic week!

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Proposal

Wait what?! Yes, that's correct! I'm engaged! I've unfortunately been so busy every since that day preparing for school and moving in to my house that I haven't had a chance to give the details to everyone. So, here's the story. 

A few days ago, maybe a week, my best friend Sonja (you can find her blog here) sent a FaceBook message to me, Jordan and her fianc√©, Stephen, asking if we wanted to go on a picnic in the gardens of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Everyone responded positively and so we all began discussing what time worked for each of us and who would bring what food. Unbeknownst to me, the three of them had a separate FaceBook conversation from which I was excluded discussing how to pull off a suprise proposal.

So on Tuesday the 20th of August, Jordan and I set out for the IMA. We had met at about 4:30 that afternoon with the plan of meeting up with Stephen and Sonja at 6:30. Unfortunately (for Jordan) we sped through our grocery shopping and other errands and at 5:30 I suggested that we go the gardens early and walk around. I, ignorant of what the night held, didn't realize that I had messed up the plans by arriving early. Jordan, however, was obviously distracted and dishevelled. He kept checking his phone and furtively glancing around. Completely out of character, he became instantly decisive and authorative. 

"Let's go down these steps and around that group of trees and then up the road by the back of the museum. There's a really cool bridge there. You'll like it."

"But then we'll miss all the flowers."

"We'll walk through those later after Stephen and Sonja get here."

I conceded. And the bridge was sort of cool ;)

As Jordan and I meandered our way around the outside of the gardens back to the parking lot, I received a text from Sonja saying that "traffic was really bad" and that they would be late. "Typical". I muttered. Needless to say, that was part of the plan. Sonja and Stephen would send me a late text while actually setting themselves up in some bushes for secret photographing. 

Though they were "late", Jordan and I decided to set up anyway and wait for them so we grabbed the blanket and food out of the car and began to walk back toward the gardens. It was only after the whole affair that Stephen and Sonja told me that we all nearly ran in to each other. This picture was snapped right after they ducked behind a tree. Paparrazzi at it's best.

We got to the picnic area, just south of the Lily house, and J began spreading the blanket on the ground. I was still upset that Stephen and Sonja were late and was looking around fervently for them saying, "I bet traffic wasn't actually that bad!" 

In order to get me to stop looking around Jordan nonchalantly handed me a leather journal that had been wrapped in the picnic blanket. "This is something I put together this summer when I was bored." I opened the journal to the first page which read "Ellie and Jordan's Adventure Book" (I almost teared up when I saw the UP reference). I flipped through to find pictures of all of our "adventures" and cut outs of maps of the places we want to go. A letter was tucked into the last page of pictures.

I read the letter, savoring all the references to this past year apart and of our mutual hope for a future together. As I moved to the second page of the letter I went to give Jordan a hug and my hand felt his heart beating the fastest I had ever felt it. Before that moment I hadn't an inkling of a clue, but then I knew. I skimmed over the last paragraph of the letter and saw the final sentence "So Miss Elizabeth Glorioso, I have a question for you . . ." When I looked back, he was kneeling in front of me with a ring. "So I do have a question for you" he continued. "Will you marry me?" I burst into a puddle of tears and forgot to answer. Finally, after being prompted . . .

 I said "yes".

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The End

In just about three hours I will be leaving Freelander Theater for the last time of the summer and Ohio Light Opera's last show of the season will be closed. Mind blown.

It is crazy to see how quickly the time has passed and how far removed I feel from my first post about my time here. This summer has been an amazing experience and I am eternally grateful for all of the lessons I've learned, friendships I've made and experiences I've gained.

Good Bye Wooster Ohio!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

What I've Learned: A Summary of My Time at Ohio Light Opera

With just 7 days left at Ohio Light Opera I am spending more and more of my time focusing on what I've learned from this experience. As I prepare for my auditions I can't help but wonder if my teacher will notice a difference in my playing. And will the difference be for the better or the worse? 

For the past two and a half months I have been living in a tiny town in the heart of Ohio. Every day during my time here I've picked up my cello and practiced or performed an opera. I now have the music and lines of seven different operas/operettas constantly rolling around in my head. There might be a diagnosis for that. I have played an average of 5 hours a day - and that's counting only rehearsal and performance times, not the time that I spend warming up and rehearsing my solo repertoire.

As a natural pessimist I strive to mentally take note of encouraging moments, rewarding experiences, etc. Here's my mental list from this past week.

Ohio Light Opera has helped me

- To better follow different conductors
- To learn music quickly and accurately
- To listen to the rest of the orchestra 
- To appreciate a long-standing art form
- To exude confidence in playing
- Realize the importance of starting from the string

- To look for friends in unlikely places
- To push myself to try new things
- To be willing to admit my quirks 
- To practice diligence

And because pictures often speak more than words can. Here's a summary of my time at Ohio Light Opera in photos. :)

The first friend outing!
We found an Ohio Light Opera poster from 1992
My first dress rehearsal

I'm going to miss this amazing store.

Tulipan's will be sorely missed

OLOween party with the crowd!

I've made so many good memories this summer and learned so much but, let's be honest, I'm ready to get back home, see my siblings, move into my new house and go on a date with my boy.

Let the school year commence!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Audition Preparation

With audition season coming up I feel like every time I look on my FaceBook newsfeed I see something about orchestral excerpt preparation. In lue of that, I was looking for a bit of wisdom myself as I prepare the Suk Fantasticke Scherzo and the 3rd and 4th movements of Dvorak's 8th symphony for my own orchestral audition. This video that I stumbled upon is top-notch and gives some helpful hints for performance practice and excerpt preparation from one of the best orchestral cellists in the world.

Here are a few other tips:

  1. Slow It Down - Take out the rhythm and play each not for two beats at 60bpm. This practice method will rock your world! Your shifts will be absolutely solid!
  2. Use Your Metronome - It's amazing to see how the rhythms come into place as soon as you identify where the down beat is.
  3.  Play for Peers - Practicing/performing in front of people always helps me identify which passages I don't feel comfortable with and which passages unravel when nerves are present
  4. Listen - Find the music on Spotify or buy it off of iTunes and listen to the passages over and over again. This will aid you immensely when it comes to comfortability and ear recall. 
Good luck, all!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Yoga and the Cello

Until recently I was a skeptic. I've had many friends, cello teachers and acquantainces fervently tell me that yoga was the solution! I would nod and smile all the while thinking "the crazies!"Perhaps I've joined the ranks of the crazies or perhaps I've simply come to realize the truth in what they were saying. Needless to say, I am now a yoga fanatic.

My recent discovery regarding yoga came about when I was faced with a difficult dilemma.

In May I was diagnosed with Scoliosis and Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. This is bad news for a cellist and for someone whose former choice of exercise was running. I had been in a lot of pain, had to stop running, and eventually had to take a break from the cello. 

Which leads me to the present: Yoga Addict

My first step toward "recovery" was establishing regular chiropractic appointments which would ensure that my back stayed aligned and healthy. But in between those appointments it is still my job to make sure that I'm being a good steward of my body and using it in a way that will help my career be a long one. Yoga does this.

When I was running regularly I would often wake up with neck and back tension. I also would frequently experience pain in my knees and shins (I've had people tell me that the pain I was experiencing was probably shin splints). Now I know that running doesn't affect every person this way, but it did me and I had to make a choice - keep running and hurt my body or switch exercise methods and continue on my career path.

I chose yoga.

For the past two months I've been doing yoga first thing when I wake up in the morning, in between rehearsals and also before I go to sleep. This has immensely helped my performance level and my ability to keep up with the demanding life of a classical musician.

I roll out of bed in the morning (sometimes I start the first few poses while I'm still in bed!) and begin my routine. Most of my morning poses are simply focusing on breathing life into my body, waking up my mind and waking up my sleepy joints and muscles. It used to be that I was stiff and inflexible in the morning. But now after a good twenty minutes of stretching and breathing I feel awake, limber and am able to start my cello practicing. 

This summer while I've been at Ohio Light Opera I've been taking advantage of our ten minute intermission during shows and using it for a time to open my shoulders up and stretch my neck and lower back. This aids in my durability (since the shows range from an hour and a half to three hours and 15 minutes!).

Lastly, before bed I like to do some light stretching and deep breathing that focuses on calming down my body and mind and preparing myself for bed. Shows can often go late and when you get back to your room at 11 PM and are wired after being physically and mentally active for the last three hours it can be quite difficult to calm down and fall sleep. This is where gentle movement, breathing and meditation can really help get you sleep-ready.

I'm still a newby at this but am completely loving my experience so far! Feel free to ask questions or share suggestions below!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Life in the Pit

As of 4 hours ago, six out of the seven shows we're putting on at The Ohio Light Opera this summer are up and running. It's exciting and exhausting to think that while we only have one show left to open we still have four weeks of summer left. Wow. 

After finishing the season I will have played a total of 47 performances over the course of eight weeks. I would call that an intense schedule. Wouldn't you? Yet despite the insanity of performing so often I am really enjoying myself. 

Every day I wake up, dress in black, lug my cello across the campus, unpack and proceed to crawl into the tiny space in the orchestra pit that's provided for me and my cello. And every day, just as regularly, my heart starts to beat a little faster as the pit is raised, the lights on the stands turn on, and my bow grabs the string for the first time. Performing is one the most exhilirating experiences and it never ceases to remind me why I chose this career path. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Trying to Make a Home

This summer has been interesting, to say the least. It's been so busy with rehearsals and performance out the wazoo. AND, I never realized that performing made one feel so tired!!! When I get out of a show all I feel like doing is going back and staring blankly at my computer screen while I watch something on Hulu. Some days I don't even remember what I watch. I've been a bit brain dead . . .

From the moment that I arrived and moved my belongings back into a dorm room (something I never expected to do) I wanted the space to feel more like an apartment than anything: a place where I could relax and unwind. There's not much to do though when you have limited resources, limited decor and the room is lit by fluorescent lights. But I did my best. 

My three musts for making a place feel like a home are the following: 


I honestly don't know if I could live in a place without those items. I think part of my soul has been frankensteined with that of a 1970's era hippy and the other half is 1920's flapper. The best combination, in my opinion. Because of this I always need to be surrounded by flora, my body craves tea like nobody's business and my mind longs for a good novel. It's pretty much all-encompassing. 


What makes your house into a home?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Life and Poetry

Lately I've been doing my best to stay productive. Orchestral pit work, just like any other job, can get extremely exhausting. So after a three hour rehearsal and a three hour show my arms are not the only thing that need a break. But one thing that I've realized is that while a break is all well and good, you also need to push past the exhaustion in order to live a healthy and productive life. So that brings you up to date on my week. 

I made the decision to be productive. Shocking, I know.

The first thing that I started with was shutting down my Hulu tab (there's practically nothing on in the summer anyway!) and picking up a book. A few different books. The first one I picked up, Betsy and the Great World, was sent to me by my younger sister. I had emailed her a list of things that I needed sent to me from home and on that list I included "a novel of your choosing. I trust you". I am very happy to say that she proved me right and this book was exactly the right read for this week. I hadn't read it in quite a few years and it had such a different feeling than the last time I read it. Now I'm the same age as the protagonist and have had my own adventures in Europe which makes this book twice as exciting.

The second thing I picked up was my beautiful antique book of Keats' poetry. I made it my goal to get through the entire thing before the end of the summer. "A beautiful goal" as my dearest friend called it. I think people see me as a poetry person but I'm not sure why. I struggle grasping the meaning behind a poem just as much as any other person. But I think the thing that keeps me loving this art form is the need to wallow in it. It's not straightforward or shallow - it's something that gains more meaning after years. All in all I think reading poetry is a wonderful process. 

So, in honor of my most recent endeavor - here is a poem. Wallow in it. 


ON DEATH - John Keats

Can death be sleep, when life is but a dream,
And scenes of bliss pass as a phantom by?
The transient pleasures as a vision seem,
And yet we think the greatest pain's to die,


How strange it is that man on earth should roam,
And lead a life of woe, but not forsake
His rugged path; nor dare to view alone
His future doom which is but to awake.


One last thought and link before I leave you. I stumbled upon this interesting article today regarding reading and understand poetry. The author writes:

"It comes to you slowly. . . .
You read it, 
work out some details, 
get lost, 
come back again later."

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Dear Summer - Last Forever

I have never considered myself a "summer" person. Autumn has always been my season. I love the crispness of the air, pulling sweaters out of storage and being able to actually wear "an outfit" without feeling like you're being smothered. This summer, however, has won me over. It hasn't been extremely hot, there've been nice breezes and summer thunder storms (which are absolutely wonderful. Am I right?). And one of my favorite things about this summer is that I've been eating fresh fruit out the wazoo!

Last time I went to buy strawberries they were 2 lbs for $3! How can you pass that up?! Well, I obviously didn't because I've been eating strawberries every day for the last two weeks. 

I love the fact that when I go to the market everything is fresh and delicious and colorful! It has taken a lot of self-control not to eat every minute of the day. But even if I did - it'd just be veggies, so what's the harm?

"Thanks, summer, for all of the delicious food you bring. Please make strawberry season last into July.

Yours Truly,

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Friendship, Food and Summer Solstice-ing!

This past weekend my dear friend Elizabeth came to visit me. Elizabeth and I met our freshman year in a production where we were cast in opposite roles in the spring musical. We also ended up taking the same advanced writing course that semester. 

After our sophomore year we both individually decided to transfer out of that university and have now gone our separate ways. But our friendship has lasted the transition. We try to talk via social networking or phone when we can but the distance makes it pretty difficult to communicate face to face. So when she was able to make some time in her busy schedule and come visit me at Ohio Light Opera, I was thrilled. We hadn't seen each other since this past Thanksgiving and I had really been missing her company. 

Most of the weekend was spent catching up on each other's lives, laughing and, of course, eating delicious food. We went back to that darling coffee shop which I mentioned here and ate more wonderful Hungarian pastries. Later that evening, after realizing that it was the longest day of the year (!), we celebrated summer solstice by eating delicious summery foods which are featured in the cluttered photo below. 

During Elizabeth's stay:

I was encouraged to take my art seriously and revel in this amazing summer experience 

I was encouraged to regularly exercise in a way that fits my personality and schedule (which means NO RUNNING. I have therefore added yoga to my daily routine)

I was encouraged to eat well and often.

I remembered how much I love to dance! 

I developed a slight addiction to Kombucha tea

I realized that frienships last forever. Now matter how much time goes between your visits

Thanks for the great time, dear friend! Hope to see you soon!


Monday, June 17, 2013

An Honest Moment - From A Young Musician

am cellist.

But, you all knew that. What you don't know is that though I consider myself a cellist, am currently studying hard and hope to make a career out of it, sometimes I get tired.

I get tired of music.

Most people have witnessed my excitment. They've seen me talk overjoyed at the prospect of a performance opportunity or the chance to teach another student. But there are few people who witness my frustration as I work through pain, through difficult passages and through my doubts that I'll ever "make it".

Good days are actually more of an oddity than the days when I doubt myself.

I say this not as a way to make myself seem like less of a musician, but instead to make other's aware of the fact that doubts do not lessen your devotion to your craft. Sometimes it's hard to keep focused when you're in a career that's competitive and grueling. It's hard to focus on the good that you're doing rather than all that time you spent in the practice preparing for that one moment of satisfaction.

Most days for me are "practice-room days". These are the days when I spend my time working through intonation issues, penciling in fingerings only to erase them once again, and slowly gaining confidence in the nose bleed section of my fingerboard. I work through all of these difficulties and at times, I easily lose sight of what I'm doing. This is being an artist? These hours spent under florecent lights, staring at notes until my head aches. No. This can't be it.

But then.

Somehow, those notes turn to music. And then a glorious thing happens on performance night - I've felt this every time I've stepped into the orchestra pit this past week. The audience listens, hums along, taps their foot. It is then that you realize that the happiness they're experiencing is something that you helped to bring. That your performance encouraged certain discussion topics at the dinner table, reminded a family of their love for one another, encouraged a child to begin studying an instrument. It's not often that I get to see the product of my long hours spent in the practice room. But from half a floor down in the auditorium I feel the energy and excitement of hundreds of people clinging to my every note.

That's why I'm here. That's why I keep going. That is why I'm a musician.


If you're a struggling artist then be encouraged.

You are making a difference whether or not you see it.

You are changing perspectives.

You are enlightening minds.

You are impacting those around you.

Monday, June 10, 2013

I Just Had a Perfect Weekend

I'm here. Back in my musty smelling room with the empty spare bed that makes me lonely. But I'm not lonely now (Not yet at least). I'm coming down off of the high of being around my family.


Family at times can be exhausting and, if you're Italian like me, deafening. So there have been many times when I'm not as thrilled at the prospect of spending a weekend with them. But it's times like these when you've spent night after night coming back from rehearsals to an empty room with only the internet and a Madeleine L'Engle novel to keep you company that you realize how much you actually belong with that loud obnoxious family.

I like to think of myself as introvert - someone who would rather spend time by herself. But now I've realized, I'm an introvert with the innate desire to be with people who understand her, understand life as I know it, and will feed me (both figuratively and, of course, literally).

Earlier this week, while rehearsing with the Ohio Light Opera, I found out that I would be playing all of The King and I performances by myself as it calls for only one cello. The other cellist, instead of playing half of the performances would be playing Lady, Be Good, a Gershwin musical, by herself. Which meant (lucky me) that I got two and half days to do absolutely nothing.

So I went to visit my sister ;)

While there I hung out with this guy. He's pretty cute, I know.

He also makes some amusing facial expressions. 

He learned from the best. What can I say? 

We do also smile normally. 

The family reminisced about "the good ol' days" when everyone sat around and ate pasta - oh wait, that's always!

And when they wore awesome clothes like this. 
I'm actually really wishing I could pull that look off.  

So then we danced the polka. 

And tried it with three people. 

I'm not quite sure that worked. . . .

 Sunday dinner was good. Not only was it good to eat real food that was cooked rather than the cereal and veggies I've been living off of, but it was also great to see my grandparents and one of my older sisters. 

They unsurprisingly sent me back with enough food to last a week (or more) and these.

My grandpa is too sweet. Such a softy. 

Back at my older sister's house that evening, E and I played restaurant for a good while with our homemade chef hats mine kept falling off :( . 

Being with my siblings is therapeutic. I miss you guys. A lot. 

Okay, I'm being sentimental. I'll stop. :P