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Viola viola viola :D omg

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 --;


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 20th, 2012 09:48 pm (UTC)
Yay for gender neutrality indeed!

I also think it's different when it's an employee, somehow. Like if you are wearing a uniform or a nametag, then that's an instant excuse to be a man in a ladies-only room, cause it's understood that you're making it better, cleaning it, fixing it, etc, which tends to be what people want.

THe only time I've seen women get pissy/weird about there being a male attendant in a female-only area was at the gym, where occasionally men would have to come in to clean or fix something and women would occasionally not see the warning signs and be like "omg male!". Though I think it's a little different between a bathroom with stalls and like, an open area where women are changing and getting naked. xD
Aug. 6th, 2012 07:50 am (UTC)
You really ARE a Renaissance lady with all your many,multifarious interests !!!
Aug. 20th, 2012 09:49 pm (UTC)
I wish!! I have interests in many different instruments but no particular talent in any one. :)
Aug. 6th, 2012 01:18 pm (UTC)
Glad you got the viola, you need happy things in your life!

How goes the doctor-hunt, btw?

I've been in marked-male restrooms before, but usually only if it's single occupancy. And I get really nervous about it. I don't like feeling nervous about it and hope that there are more unisex restrooms in the future where everyone can go in and use it like it's no big deal. I can totally imagine dudes getting all "I don't want women seeing my junk!" about urinals in a unisex restroom, but there are ways around that (small barriers between each one), and why does it matter, if other dudes could potentially see in a "normal" restroom anyway?
Aug. 20th, 2012 09:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you!! Sorry for taking so long to answer this comment. ><;

The doctor hunt is going okay. I saw a PCP a week or so ago and I didn't like him at all. He was all business and didn't let me bring up any concerns I had, just answering mostly yes/no/limited information questions from the get-go and then the appointment was over. The good part is that now I can get his office to renew my prescriptions and that he referred me to a gastroenterologist, which I desperately needed. The annoying part is that he said he was going to send me a packet with info about gastroenterologists that are covered by my insurance and let me pick one, but instead of doing that he flat-out referred me to a specific office that's really far away and inconvenient. I might contact that office and see if they have partners that are closer to where I live, or something...I've been so caught up in moving over the past week or two that I haven't really moved on that, but as of yesterday pretty much everything is unpacked so I have no real excuse. ;)

I totally agree with you on the unisex bathroom idea. It would literally benefit *everyone*.
Aug. 21st, 2012 12:17 pm (UTC)
Ah, yeah, they'll do that. It's convenient for the doctor because they have worked with that office before, but it's really not an issue for you to go to an insurance-covered gastroenterologist in any other office. You do need to do leg-work and call your insurance about who is covered, I'm surprised he said he'd do that for you (maybe he is partially awesome?). The only issue with that is making sure you get referrals, if needed.
Aug. 8th, 2012 12:34 pm (UTC)
OMG that sounds awesome. I can't believe you can get viola for only $200! It's really cool you can play violin too, have you played for long?

You know I have never had much of an issue using the men's bathroom. If the line for the women's is too long it won't necessarily take me long to duck in. I'm more likely to do it when drunk, but still, the last time I remember doing it I carried out a convo with a random guy there while he was peeing in the urinal. lol. I always wanted to be a boy when I was little (mostly because they got to do cooler stuff and were seen as tougher) I was a super tomboy! Not anymore, hehehe, but some of it must have stuck with me cuz I don't feel too much shame in that kind of thing. I haven't brought myself to pee in a urinal though! I was so close the last time I was at a festival and they had urinals outside for the guys, I was busting. But the publicness of it stopped me xD It all depends on the context though, I would be afraid to do it when totally alone especially at a truck stop or something! But anytime there were plenty of people like a mall or bar I've felt ok in the past. As you say tho - it would be *much* harder if I was outside the binary or trying to pass as a guy. I feel that being clearly a woman going into a guy's bathroom is more accepted than a guy using the girl's bathroom for example.

Also when my flatmate was dressed in drag for a party we went to not long ago I was impressed that he used the girls bathroom for the full experience xD it was cute to see him there with his mum chatting away!

Edited at 2012-08-08 12:36 pm (UTC)
Aug. 20th, 2012 10:01 pm (UTC)
I know!! It was a really great find. Apparently the brand I got isn't very good, so that's probably why it ended up being cheap but *shrugs* I don't really care...it sounds fine to me and it keeps its tuning, that's good enough for me. :) I started playing viola when I was around 8 or 9 years old and played in school orchestras until I was 14...at that point I completely quit, gave my viola back & everything. The conductor wasn't very encouraging, I was never particularly talented, and in high school I decided I'd rather take 2 languages than 1 language and orchestra practice. :P It literally took me until I was 19 or 20 before I started really missing the viola. When I met my boyfriend, he still had an old violin from when he was in orchestra ages ago, so I had kind of been teaching myself to play it. But I never stopped missing the viola, especially compared to the squeaky violin, so when I saw the deal, I couldn't not be obsessed! Do you play any instruments? :)

Also, that's interesting, that it doesn't bother you. It's also really cool! I Think you're right though, it's more likely that a woman going into a men's room won't be bothered, especially if they have an excuse, like the women's room being closed or whatever. Whereas for trans people and such, going into bathrooms must always be a potentially confrontational experience. :\ THat's cute about your flatmate in drag, though. :D If I ever dress up in drag I'll be sure to try that too, lmao!
Aug. 15th, 2012 08:25 pm (UTC)
You're making me want to pick up the oboe again... and the piano... and maybe break out the tape of vocal exercises... it's contagious! Stop the spread!
Aug. 20th, 2012 10:02 pm (UTC)
Do itttt! Music is so fun. :D In my room I currently have 4 instruments: viola, violin, guitar, and keyboard (that I don't even know how to play at all, I just fool around with it or use it for tuning, mostly...), and sometimes i just get them all out and experiment for awhile, it's really a fantastic way to waste time :3
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )