Aug. 6th, 2012

arrowwhiskers: (happy fai!)
Haha, so I wrote this entry last night, but apparently passed out in front of my computer before submitting it. I'm just going to post it the way it was, rather than going back and changing time references to make them more accurate to this morning.

I bought a viola yesterday. It was a pretty irresponsible thing to do, given the circumstances, but I couldn't help it. It had been on my mind on and off for months. Ever since I started playing the violin a few months ago, I've been missing the sound/feel/etc of the viola and appreciating the differences between the two instruments. I figured I would never really get to play a viola again, though, which was kind of saddening but at the same time something I had accepted and was okay with. I had the association in my mind that string instruments = necessarily hundreds and hundreds of dollars at the cheapest, aka, more than I'll ever be able to afford, even if I get healthy and get a job. That's why, when I saw a viola at Bookmans a couple months ago, and it was around $200 for the instrument, bow, and case, I was shocked. Of course, I didn't have the money, but the idea that something I imagined to be prohibitively expensive could actually be attainable infected my mind and made me ambitious. It changed my paradigm.

But, $200 was still money I didn't have, and nothing was really going to change that, so. I tried to forget about it, and succeeded to some extent, but not completely. Every once in awhile I found myself wondering if it was still there. Therefore, when my dad sent me some money in order to fix my bike and to help us move, and ended up sending more money than we're going to need for either of those things, it's immediately what I thought of. So, I went back to Bookman's and found that it was still there, and I couldn't help but scoop it up. (I think it's the same one I saw. I seem to remember the first viola I saw being $175, not $200, so either they raised the price for some reason, or they managed to coincidentally get another super-cheap viola into stock. Either way, works out for me!) I did some research, and I'm convinced I got a good deal. The brand is apparently kind of cheap and shitty and typical for student/beginner instruments, BUT, out of all the cheapest and shittiest brands, it is the only one to still maintain a reasonably good reputation. People's main complaint with it seems to be that it doesn't sound like a $10k professional instrument. But, it's *not* a $10k instrument, so I'd say all in all I'm quite okay with that.

Today Andres brought me to an actual music store and I bought a new set of strings, and refitted the viola with them. The instrument has a sort of tinny sound in the higher strings, but it is LOUD and it has great reverberation and I feel like that's more important than the overall tone, which could probably be improved if I felt like investing in better quality strings. I printed out a little bit of public domain music from the internet and I've been practicing. At first I forgot where all the notes were and was shifting notes down by 2 in my reading, and I wondered why everything sounded so bad, LOL. Once I remembered which notes were which on the alto clef things sounded a lot better. :P I really have missed the viola a lot; its tone is so deep and earthy and awesome. All in all I'm really excited about it, and really motivated to play and remember and learn more. I'm hoping it'll give me another thing to do rather than being sick and bored while I'm at home by myself, even on days when the violin feels too shrill to bother with.

I guess that's mostly all of what I wanted to say about it. As a side note, though, I have another little story that I think is worth sharing. I recently had the chance to answer one of those "can't know for sure what you'd do until it happens" mysteries..."would you ever be okay with using an opposite-sex/opposite to your gender presentation public bathroom?" Turns out the answer, for me, is a resounding yes. I was at the grocery store with my roommate a couple of days ago, and we were at the self-checkout. There was a basket in the way of where we needed to put our stuff, so I moved it out of the way--and as I was moving it, I felt something wet. When I looked at my hand to see what it was, there was unidentifiable purplish brown goo smeared on my hand. AUGH. So, in spite of the fact that our grocery trip had been ill-fated and suffered all sorts of delays and complications *already*, I apologized profusely to my roommate and ran immediately to the bathroom to wash the offensiveness away. Of course, just my luck, the women's bathroom was closed for cleaning, but the men's bathroom was there, beckoning. So yeah, I went right in. Didn't even really hesitate, lol. There was a man inside who gave me an extremely confused look and seemed about to say something, but I gave him an exasperated look and he stayed quiet, haha. It wasn't as hard as I would have imagined, but it was still one of the most awkward things I've done in awhile. It also makes me really admire (even moreso, really) people who are trans or outside the gender binary who potentially have to put up with that awkwardness (plus fear, etc) every time they have to use a bathroom in a public place. Wow.

Sigh. Anyways. One more day until we start moving! I really hope the world decides to grace me with some energy at that time...I imagine I'm really going to need it --;

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