Sunday, January 11, 2015

Out of gas in Louisiana

Between Christmas and New Year, I drove a total of over 2000miles (round trip) to visit my good friends who recently made the move from Albuquerque to New Orleans. So...this is what happened along my road trip. So many things fell into place exactly right for me to pull myself out of the mess I had gotten myself into that I can only boast that I am prepared for any situation, or claim divine intervention. Maybe a little of both. I became stranded around 3am 3.5 miles away from the nearest gas station. I ran out of gas! Of course to sweeten the deal, it was pouring. There is not a single gas station on I-49 south for 60 miles between Shreveport and near Natchitoches, where this tiny little rest area is located. At first, I panicked...but then I handled it. I called my roadside assistance twice, got a robotic lady on the other end, and then was hung up upon. I clearly could not count on all-state to help me out of this one. I was not in good hands, and especially not in theirs. Then I started looking up how long it would take to walk 3.5 miles. For those of you who are curious, about 52-53 minutes. And then, I suddenly realized I had my mountain bike in the back! Disassembled of course. My little CRX, Lucille is cavernous, but even she has her limits. I grabbed my CamelBak (a super side note, but I love this backpack. I bought it a few years ago, and have never been happier with any purchase in my life.), looked for my headlight and backlight, put my helmet on, and set off into the pouring night. Luckily winter in Louisiana is a lot milder than New Mexico. That being said, it was an extremely cold, wet, and uncomfortable ride. Since I had called the gas station before I left my car, I knew they had a 2gal jug waiting for me. I arrived at the gas station, figured out how to use the gas jug, and filled it up with gas. How did you attach it to your bike you ask? Let me tell you! I brought the lanyard from my ipod before I left my car. Then, I left the gas station and biked back to my car. It was so dark and desolate on I-49 that I began wondering if I had passed my car already. I didn't remember the ride there being so long. And my headlight is in fact very bright. It's the Blackdiamond Storm, emitting some 100 lumens, so I told myself that it was impossible to have missed a white car. It is difficult to put these thoughts of doubt to rest when your mind really has nothing to go upon. It's raining, it's dark, there is an occasional semi passing in either direction. Luckily I decided that there was no way I could have missed my car, and kept on pedaling. A short while later, I came to my car. I figured out how to pour the gas into my tank, disassembled my bike, put everything back into the car, hopped in, started Lucille up, and in a few minutes was at the gas station ready to fill up my tank. 
I'm really surprised that everything worked out as well as it did. As I have been telling some friends, my car has never left me stranded. And the thing about this stranding in Louisiana is that it was completely my fault. I should have stopped in Shreveport for gas, but instead I thought I could get to the next one. I was very wrong.
Probably the saddest and scariest part of the story is that the whole time I was away getting gas, my violin was sitting inside my car, covered only by a towel. Luckily everything was in exactly the same place when I came back. No broken windows, no missing violins, and the only 'damage' done was a really good workout for me and a life lesson: always carry 2 extra gallons of gas in your car. Or maybe that isn't the lesson at all, and I am misinterpreting my experience. Also a possibility. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

What a day to start a blog on.

Today has been a special day for me. I woke up rather late, 10am -ish, and didn't get to do much of anything, other than waking up for the first hour or so. I've had plans to change the oil in my 1989 Honda CRX for the last few days, but havent been able to get around to it. I grab my violin out of its case and practice for less than half an hour before I head down to Albuquerque, NM, to meet with my good friend Carrie. As far as practicing days go, not a great start. Carrie also plays the violin, and we have planned a practice session together for an upcoming concert with Musicos. Musicos is a chamber group put together by an outstanding man and cellist, Roman Chavez. Carrie and I practice for a good number of hours, and actually get really, really good practice in. Today our Futurama jokes were even to a minimum! This makes for a productive day. After our practice session I have a little practice time to myself where I go over a few passages of quartet music. We are playing a Haydn quartet, a Brahms quartet, and a Beethoven quartet. There is a short bit of me playing an excerpt from that very Haydn quartet in the previous post. After a little bit of looking at various tricky parts, I head off to quartet rehearsal. We rehearse just the Brahms, and only the first 3 movements (didn't even make it to the 4th!), and wow, three hours later the four of us are out of steam. But what a feeling at the end of the day! I felt great. I still feel great! I wish I had this feeling of accomplishment more often. Today I am happy with all the violining I was able to accomplish. I truly love the violin, and want to play as best as I can, and as often as I can, and get better and learn more, and get over my fear of performing, and feel this great all the time. Too optimistic? I suppose so. But that's the point!

Yakima Fernandez plays excerpt- Haydn quartet, no. 35, op. 64 no. 5, vio...

This is Yakima Fernandez playing a short excerpt from a Haydn quartet he is working on.

There are many things wrong with this video. Tempo to slow, picture too blurry, articulation not what I want it to be...that being said, it is my first youtube video, and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, despite the inherent problems. I'm excited to keep making violin videos and getting better at my instrument!

A short on music.

So. Yakima Fernandez now has a blog. I want to cover music here, violin practice sessions, daily activities, rehearsals, and more. This is interesting because I never saw myself as someone who spends a lot of time getting his name out onto the innernets. That being said, it's about time that I write more. I want to really be able to focus on music, on violin, and I think having a blog to post regularly to is a great way to stay on track. With music, it has always been like this: I'll be very focused, motivated, and making great progress...and then all of the sudden, I'll lose track of violin, start practicing less, and eventually be hardly practicing at all. It's a cycle that repeats itself endlessly. But wouldn't it be great if I could always practice a good amount, every day? Of course, there are some days that violining just won't happen. That being said, those days should be few and far in between. I'm very excited about having a blog, and true, most entries will be only a few sentences, but I want to be able to come here regularly and share my frustrations, as well as my triumphs with music and life.
Until next time,

Yakima Fernandez