My apparenlty good enough for you to be reading about.

Friday, March 28, 2008

My Portfolio

No, not like the painting kind. The financial kind (oooo). Since I struggled and barely pulled a B in Finance 101, I decided books and internet research wouldn't be good enough to educate myself on investments. So i went to somebody!
Since I'm pretty scared of losing the money I've saved in case of some freak accident (ahem, no health insurance), making a rash decision of buying some real great car or house, or not getting another job, he showed me some options that would make more money than it would lose money. He said most people don't start investing until they're in their 30s so it's good i start now. But he suggested just getting my feet wet in things that won't have the biggest return, so therefore won't be as big a risk.
Another option is dealing with the investments i've apparenlty had since i was a child from my mom and grandma. Since I don't have much emotional attachment to these and they're not worth too much, I think I'm going to put that into an index. It's not as specialized as an individual fund which can lose my money quickly; it's spread out amongt 25 different companies.
Since I'm so obsessive about money, it'll be hard to just let this money go and ride the market until I'm quite a bit older. But you can't make money without taking some risk. It's better than just leaving it in the bank. So, for my next career endeavor: plan to make a whole bunch of money again next year. To reinvest of course!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

It's official

I'm not going to school. I'm not upset I spent the money, or the time, or even more money. I'm really proud of myself that I tried. I knew before I went to IUP and when I graduated IUP that I didn't want to attempt to be a professional musician in my near future. But, 3 years has passed, and my teacher said 'i knew you'd stop being a vagabond soon enough!' Well, I'm going to remain a vagabond, at least for the next year. At this point, I'm just looking forward to planning my trip back home and figuring out what it is that my life will hold next. I'm trying not to stress about moving to some new city, discovering new people, trying out a new job-those things can all be very exciting!
I have a great boyfriend and a great job here, and so many friends! But I feel too comfortable. It's not that I feel like it's time to move from here, but i know that I need to. If I don't do it now, what am i waiting around for? I'll be okay somewhere else.
Besides, i'm already planning a tour around the napa valley, a stay in Yellowstone National Park, looking at old western hotels in South Dakota, touring the Mall of America, drinking at Wisconsin breweries, so on AND so on. So, there'll be another good long update of a cross country trip just like last time!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The crazies

I was prompted to write this blog by a certain run in with a friend. He wasn't allowed to call, email, see, etc. me because of his girlfriend. She wouldn't let him. I can't mention any names here-I don't want him to get in trouble! But it really just made me realize how rediculous it is to watch people put up with stupid relationships.
I have no sympathy for girls in abusive or controlling relationships. OK, i'm sure if it were a life or death situation, i'd feel a bit bad. But really-you're dating someone. So you don't like them-stop. Why put up with all the drama, annoyingness, whatever?
Even worse are guys that put up with this. They have these girlfriends that constantly check their phone or email to see what's going on. Or they won't let them hang out with their ex. Or they control which friends they can see. Sometimes they're just so dramatic that they break their boyfriend's things, throw stuff at them, yell at them like the boyfriends a little kid. But the thing that gets me is-guys stay with these girls!!
I would consider myself a pretty stable, likeable girlfriend, and yet I have gotten shit on in pretty much every relationship I've been in. Please, go hang out with your ex. Go spend time with your friends. I don't even wanna see your phone!

So what is it about guys staying with these girls? Do they ignore their craziness because when they're normal they're just so great? I'm great all the time :). It continues to be annoying to hear about my guy friends and they're dramatic troubles or why they can't come out with me tonight, but hey-to each his own. His own crazy girl!

Monday, March 17, 2008


I hope i don't feel like i have to write this blog to offer an explanation. To my family, friends, teachers, etc. I made a promise to myself years ago that I would only make my own goals, and if i didn't reach them i wouldnt feel like i was a dissapointment to everyone around me. but i can't help but be completely embarrassed that i received my 3rd rejection letter. from the school that was supposed to be my last resort.
i'm so dissapointed in myself. i know i could have done better and i know i should have spent my evenings practicing, preparing, and making reeds instead of going out with my boyfriend, working on fashion show clothing, or watching tv.
i suppose i'm most dissapointed in knowing that i didn't work hard enough because i didn't want it bad enough. i realized how much i love playing in an emsemble when my dad was driving me to the train to go my msm audition. and at that point it was too late.
i spent the whole year when i was 22 depressed that i didn't know what i wanted to do with my life. but at that time it's because i thought i'd grow up and regret not trying things. now that i'm almost 25, i realize my age isn't what matters. if i want to go to grad school, there is nothing holding me back from going next year, going when i'm 35...if i want it i'll do it. i'm kind of depressed now because i realize how i spent the last year making auditions a priority because i wanted a change in my life. i made going to school for music an option because it's what i'm best at, not really because it's what i most in life.
I was talking to bethany, and she said ashley, you didn't get in because there were people that were better than you. they spend every night practicing, every night improving, and i can't go around counting on my high school and college knowledge of playing to be up to their calibur. i've been out of classial culture, away from a teacher, and playing only every few months for the past 3 years. the only way i would reach the calibur of a grad student was really to practice my ass off-and i didn't.

i make a point to try to turn every situation into something positive. so instead of sulking for weeks after i completely bombed my msm audition, i sat around thinking where i should move to next and what's in store for me. If i really want to play, i need to work my ass off-and actually do it. i need to get a regular teacher. i need to make it important. but first i have to figure out if i really do wanna play.
Getting rejected certainly doesn't do anything for my confidence level as a player, but i know i'm good. And i don't want to turn 50, go to grad school, and regret that i hadn't spent the last 30 years playing and loving it. But for now, i still have one letter to receive

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hearing Back

Well, I'm done with all the auditions at this point.
Since i rarely write any updates, this is what happened.

USC was great. The campus was beautiful and it seemed like there were great facilities. And a million bicycles. I played pretty well, I got through excerpts, an etude, and 2 movements of a solo. The one teacher mentioned how impressed he was at my musicality, but gave me some things to work on. I have to count very well when I'm nervous, and perhaps my tonguing problems are do to embouchure. Did i really misspell that? Anyway, I was absolutely happy with my playing and the reaction I had receieved. And I knew what to expect from the other schools. Well, I received my rejection letter yesterday. It's pretty discourgaging-as I'm sure losing any audition is for a musician. But it made me realize I didn't get it because I didn't prepare enough. I didn't want it badly enough to do my best and try my hardest.

I had 2 other auditions last week. I flew to Philadelphia and was quite umimpressed with my whole experience. I ended up playing pretty well, some of my solo, etude, and excerpts. I did enjoy having two real Philly Cheesesteaks. Gino's was definitely not my favorite-I liked one in the South Side better. I climbed the Rocky steps, hung out with Adam, and liked the city much more than I thought I would. It turns out I wouldn't need a car there, but the surrounding area of Temple was definitely not desirable.

I took the train up to NYC and had my audition at Manhattan School of Music. It was great to be around a conservatory experience - I ended up meeting other oboe players. They were all very nice and we compared teachers and experiences. I think it made me nervous hearing other good players, and I was also counting on this school being my best option. I psyched myself out way too much, and although the teachers were extremely relaxed and friendly, I was very dissapointed in my playing. I got through a few excerpts and just part of my solo.

Oh, and I didn't make it into Yale. I thought my cd didn't show off my ability well at all. I'm making excuses...

So I'm staying positive for the other two schools. Through this whole experience, I've realized how I really do want to be an orchestral player. It's what I feel most naturally doing. I think of sitting in an office, working at a store, doing anything else and I don't want to do it. I want to play! So we'll see how it goes.

But for now, that's my update