Archived entries for UCSD

please don’t stop the music

Soon, I will post a rundown of my first week on the job, pictures from my first intimate moments with the Pacific Ocean, and a bunch of interesting facts from the reading I’ve been doing, but for now, I need to vent a little bit.

At Wednesday’s NSI lunch, I had the pleasure of meeting Carol Krumhansl, a psychology professor at Cornell who does work in music cognition and knows Marilyn Boltz! Towards the end of lunch, we exchanged information because she had been talking about a performance at UCSD.  It was going to include a simultaneous performance of John Cage’s 45′ for a speaker and his 27’10.4554″ for a percussionist, called 51’15.657″ for a speaking percussionist. I decided to leave NSI and go home for a quick dinner before returning to UCSD for 7:00. I figured that leaving NSI at 5:00 would give me enough time to do this.

Unfortunately, San Diego rush hour traffic lengthened what would have been a 20 minute drive to 90 minutes. I called Professor Krumhansl with my regretful apology because I was certainly not going to make it to this performance. It would have been my first exposure to John Cage in the live setting! And I am sure it was going to spark an interesting conversation with Krumhansl about rehearsing this piece which employs both music and language because she brought that up at lunch. During our short phone exchange, we decided to keep in touch about future performances of interest, so I hope that I learn to navigate the traffic and my schedule well enough by then to follow through with my attendance.

I took a picture of the traffic from my car but the angle is kind of weird so here is this one from the New York Times website. It is pretty lovely to burn an unwieldy amount of gas while chillin’ in a highway standstill. But funnily enough, traffic jams never bothered me before because I was never in the driver’s seat. Often, I’d be too busy reading a book or acting as car DJ to notice. In fact, I often preferred these longer car rides so I could get that many more pages read or that much farther down the playlist. Not so when you’re the driver. And as for music, all I had was the radio today, so I was listening to all of the San Diego versions of New York stations, shouting “oh oh ohoh oh-oh, oh my god.”

And all of this came the day after another failed attempt at attending a concert due to my age. “San Diego’s Best Live Venue,” The Belly Up,  is 21+, and they were host to (what I’m sure was) a great show Wednesday evening. On my first day at NSI, Ani informed me of a music therapy benefit concert that several of his co-workers were attending. After reading the artist descriptions on the invitation, I grew even more interested. Alas, if the event were one week later, I would have been able to attend.

At least I just downloaded this new mash-up album from Major Lazer and La Roux called “Lazerproof.” It adds something new to my musical arsenal after this week’s upsets.

day one

So much about which to blog. So little energy left. So I’ll give a quick rundown.

Today marked my official first day of work at the Neurosciences Institute. Finally, NSI has become a place where living, breathing people do incredible science instead of a series buildings that had been entering my dreams on an increasingly regular basis.

Although I included a nearly identical photograph in an earlier entry about the Institute, this picture was taken with my camera.

Upon arrival, I had some lunch (catered by NSI, tasty, intended to encourage interdepartmental dialogue) with Dr. John Iversen, one of Ani’s colleagues and the second researcher involved with this summer’s NICU project. Towards the end of lunch, Ani met up with me and we ventured to Rady Children’s Hospital to meet with Dr. Gail Knight. The three of us went over some of the more logistical things regarding the study, and then Ani and I returned to NSI. I got acclimated to my office, and that was pretty much it for day one. Today, it became clearer than ever the degree of intelligence that will surround me this summer. I’m already honored.

After work, I took an extremely congested route to join UCSD’s gym and it took me approximately thirty-five minutes in rush hour traffic. Upon arrival, the receptionist told me a much easier way to get there: drive two blocks. Thanks, GPS. Your system may have succeeded at positioning me globally, but it lacked efficiency, to say the least. Stressed, frustrated, and a little stir crazy from the car (I need to get used to the amount of time I’m going to spend in a vehicle), I went to the Torrey Pines Glider Port.

Before I left the house this morning, Penny suggested that I go there, and this suggestion was seconded and thirded by  gentlemen at lunch. I sat down, read, and slowly ate my dinner (avocado, tomato, mozzarella, caramelized onion sandwich on baguette bread). There is nothing like an hour and a half of listening to the ocean while watching the sun pierce the clouds to relax you. It was a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Pacific Ocean. Hopefully next time we can get a little more intimate.

I would say that my destress period was perfect, save for one detail. I didn’t have headphones and could not listen to the music that I craved: Sigur Ros.

When I finally returned home, I was catching Jay and Penny up on my adventures when the phone rang. One of their lovely family friends called to let me know that PBS was airing a NOVA program called “Musical Minds.” We watched it together; blog entry on the topic to come soon.

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