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Lately, I these three questions have been constantly asked of me. Always in the particular order that I’ll give you, the questions point at and underscore what has come to exist in the past four years as a collective mind-set called: priscillaneous, or wendixi, or bebedidi, or what have you.

Question #1. Wendy’s leaving? WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?!

I don’t know. Cry, pull my hair out, not be able to find my passport, or glasses, or car keys

Question #2. Are you going to find another roommate?

Um… that would imply that Wendy is replaceable, which I will hasten to inform you, she is not. Just as no Chicago clarinetist would be able to replace me.

Question #3. Are you going to get a dog then?

Since Simon really thinks he is a dog, poops outside and comes running when you call him, why would I want real dog who I’ll have to walk and scoop poop from?

Yes, so with the impending abandonment that I will be suffering (Saturday), please send cheese or flowers and not edible fruit in empathy. Please call me, as I will be home alone with the sound of Law and Order in the background and possibly downing a bowl of fried rice. However I must happily remind our faithful friends and readers (and stalkers) that priscillaneous has not met it’s end. As a state of mind, it really cannot die. You will continue to see and read about us, bigger and better, in the larger two state radius of Ohio and Illinois.

For those following the OPfWD, this is officially PHASE 2. Whee!!!!

1. you can’t beat a perfect spring day 2. hug me froggies can be HOURS of entertainment

i beg you … to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. and the point is, to live everything. live the questions now. perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer …

rainer maria rilke


Composer Krzysztof Penderecki once said to a colleague in reference to his piece Threnody, ‘ah, the sins of my youth.’ While I’m not sure I can accurately describe the exact meaning of this, I felt the the unmentionable sins of my youth came crashing back into my ears today as I listened to 90 violists prepare for the audition in the orchestra. I heard some very impressive playing, and I heard some less so. I haven’t heard some excerpts and concerti in years, and it was strange to hear them again, whatever form they were in.

Practice Practice Practice. Don’t ever walk into any kind of audition, interview, judging of yourself as a professional anything with your pants down.

We all wear signs about our fragility in different ways, whether it is by sarcastic comments in order to keep suitors at bay, or the more tangible vulnerability. For me, it seems my physical representation is all too present.
Perhaps it is due to my lack of iron or the brightness of my ‘alabaster’ skin – but bruises are an ever lasting remnant. From bumping into a table, Zoe playfully and excitedly jumping on me – I bruise. And not just the small kind, the big colorful ones. It’s attractive, I know, and because it happens so frequently I don’t even notice when I do something that will cause a mark.
As I’ve been hobbling around today, I can see that my little toe (the one that cried all the way) is seriously crying right now. Somewhere in the course of Friday night to Saturday, I severely hurt it. It appears more bruised and swollen every time I look at it, and I’m starting to heed Ixi’s claim that it will turn black and fall off. The sad thing is that I must have dropped something on it, or forcefully smacked it into something, but I cannot think of any instance which would have caused this.
The lesson here is that I am not as invincible as I may appear, and something I should consider more often – if you grab my arm you will undoubtedly leave a mark, a lesson that BK learned when after a few beers at altitude we collided and I developed a black eye. Careful with me please, I’m fragile.


Happy new year! In my research for the c:n green concert (which, by the way, is happening simply as a concert rather than an event; the event has been postponed til next season) I came across an artist named Chris Jordan whose quantification of our American daily life had me staggering:

Running The Numbers.

John Moore captures arresting images of Bhutto’s last moments

When I was babysitting my niece Rachel, I learned that all the world’s problems could be solved with either cheerios or the leftover birthday decorations of a pink shiny balloon. And after last night’s experience, I’m looking for mine. For the first time in my young life I was told because I believe something different, it made me too different from someone. While rationally I understand we all have our differences, emotionally, I never thought something I decided for myself ten years ago would be such a defining characteristic in that moment. I wish we could all be as tolerant as we think we are, and I hope I find my pink shiny balloon again. Or cheerios.

Today I visited a bridal store with a newly engaged friend – a completely new experience, but who doesn’t like champagne while shopping before 1PM? The store happened to be named Fabulous Bridal, how fortuitous I thought and slightly contradicting since it was in Covington. ‘Fabulous’ (and also ‘fierce’ if you worked backstage during the opera season) is a word that is thrown around a lot these days. I have imbued it into one of my personal mottoes, as in ‘life is too short to be anything but fabulous’ not to be confused with the wise adage of my father ‘never refuse cash.’ Obviously it’s not just a dress that will make one fabelhaft but the feeling and attitude – but it sure doesn’t hurt either.


This sits on the shelf in my dad’s house, a photo of me with my grandfather when I was three. My “ah-gong” as we called him, is gone now, but this image captures his essence better than any other. Coming home to see family, I always feel as if I’m paying a visit to him, and others who’ve also already left us.

February 2020
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Please ask before using my photos or content from this blog or my website. I most often say yes and I'd like to know who to thank. The photos and content of this blog are under copyright. All rights reserved. © Ixi Chen

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