Saturday, October 27, 2007

How the Cookie Crumbles

So tonight Daniel (my not-so baby bro) and I went to Cafe Mimosa, a restaurant I love so much that I noticed changes in the waiting staff since I've been gone, and it made me a little sad. But anyway, we were having a nice dinner, laughing and being our usual sophisticated selves (right), and at the end of the meal we got the check and, more importantly, the fortune cookies. Well I handed Daniel his cookie, and he handed me mine (that's what makes them true, you know), and I reminded him to add the appropriate ending to his fortune. Well he opens his and reads aloud: "You will be awarded a great honor (in bed)." Lovely. I am happy for him. I eagerly open my cookie, and sit up to read aloud--and it's empty. Empty! I break the cookie into little pieces to make sure; there's nothing in there. And nothing in the wrapper, nothing on the table... Apparently, I don't have a future. My advice to add the traditional ending takes on new significance.

Later that evening, Daniel's philosophizing over his pecan pie (w/ butter pecan ice cream. I had the dutch apple with caramel, tried and true, but I digress). He came to the happy conclusion, in regards to my lack of fortune, that "Well at least we know it won't be a fireball of death." His logic was, of course, that since he still had to be awarded a great honor, he wasn't going to die tonight, which meant it probably wasn't a traffic accident on the way home.

Great. This is very reassuring considering how very comfortable I am driving the van after walking everywhere for three months.


Anyway, right now my hair smells like woodsmoke, my face is sticky with marshmallow, and I still exist. All is right in my world.

Tomorrow, I return to Obieland, around 5ish (emphasis on the ish). Let's do something fun.
Peanut Butter Blossoms/Peanut Butter Nipple Cookies
  • preheat the oven to 375
  • cream 1 cup sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup butter and 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • beat in 2 eggs, 1/4 cup milk, and 2 tsp vanilla
  • gradually add 3 1/2 cups flour, 2tsp baking soda, and 1 tsp salt
  • roll the dough into balls, and roll these balls in granulated sugar so they're coated on all sides
  • place on ungreased cookie sheets
  • bake 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees.
  • while they're baking, unwrap a lot of hershey's kisses.
  • as soon as you take the cookies out of the oven, press a kiss into the center of each
  • if you want, a little later you can come back and press the kiss down a little more so there's a nice ring of chocolate around it.

(this will make about 7 dozen cookies)

Buns in the Oven

You may have visited this site recently and wondered why I'm too lazy to scribble a few words about my day on the internet, when obviously I'm home on fall break and probably have lots of free time on my hands. Well contrary to your (and my own) visions of lots of free time and lazy days, I've been having so many adventures that I haven't had time to document them! But I have time now. So I'm going to break my break into sections, and post them here all at once. Try not to freak out.

Excerpt #1 from Fall Break, Night on the Town (Thursday evening):

So Thursday night I went out on the town with my lovely cousin. After we'd hit all the strip joints, left the disco club, and paid Pablo...

Ok, no, actually we went to Panera Bread, where I met Emily's boyfriend from Boyce, we went Halloween shopping, and then went out for coffee before visiting with our grandma. So I guess I'll tell you about that, even though my other story might have been more exciting...

So I met Emily's boyfriend. I've already reported back to the family, but I'll say it here too: I thoroughly approve. He was very friendly, sweet and polite, and very attentive to Emily. I like him a lot (and this doesn't have anything to do with the fact that I think he can get me discounts at one of my favorite restaurants/he gave me free raspberry Jones), and I guess Emily does too, which is really all that matters anyway.

In other news, my cousin, Emily, has bought a car. It's a very pretty car, a bright red Jeep, with decent gas mileage, lots of room, very safe. I know the real reason she bought it though: it has Toosh Toasters! The driver and passenger-side seat have built in seat warmers! Now, with the push of a button, our buns can be gently roasted while our appendages shiver. I tried them myself, they're wonderful, and I can think of many less sensible reasons to buy a car. I'd like to get some toosh toasters myself, in fact.

One story about the toosh toasters that I simply must share (I have permission):
My cousin was out with her friend in the new car. They'd both just run through the cold rain (it's been raining here all week) and were soaked through. Emily says she was so cold couldn't feel anything when they climbed into the car and started driving. After a few minutes, she found out she could feel something; a wet warmth spreading across the lower half of her body. Emily looked at her friend, who was on the phone, in horror. She had her suspicions about that wet warmth, which, in her numb state, she had no way to confirm or deny. (keep in mind, as Emily tells me this story, she's reenacting with facial expressions and interrupting herself with fits of laughter) It was only when she saw the light on the seat warmers that she understood how she'd been fooled. Her friend give her a questioning look, to which my cousin replies "oh, nothing." For a long moment there, she thought for sure she'd peed her pants. Toosh toasters strike again!

I'm totally getting a car with toosh toasters, by the way. Forget brakes and bumper and all this nonsense. I just want to keep my buns in the oven.

Excerpt #2, Campbellsville (Thursday morning/afternoon):
We thought we were sneaking up on her, so she wouldn't have time to put together a complicated meal. We should have known better than to try and catch Nana off her guard though. Mom and I went down to Campbellsville to visit relatives this week. When me got to my Nana's house, hot on the heels of "come 'ere you, give me a hug," "I've missed you so much," and "So you like it, then?" came "want some potato soup?" followed closely by green beans, and dutch apple pie. It was all delicious, of course. Then came the family stories and the sizing up (Apparently I'm still pretty, though I need to eat more :-) ). We also visited my Papo, he's doing very well, all things considered. We gave him a Nascar book, and he made us laugh. He seemed in good spirits. It was a nice diversion. Also, driving through the country was absolutely gorgeous, the leaves are glorious this year.

Different kinds of brown/gold that I observed on the way to Campbellsville:
-pure Au gold, like those flecks in the souvenir water tubes that you hold up to catch the light
-roasted-marshmallow brown, (warm, golden, and perfect)
-mulled-cider brown, with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg
-creek-bank mud brown
-pumpkin pie orangish brown
-algae-pond muddy brown

It was one of those days where it couldn't decide whether to rip open and dump storms, or shine, so parts of the sky were this ominous moody blue, but everything was streaked with distinct bands of light that would touch down on the treetops and tops of hills to bring out the bright colors. Some patches of road were dripping with gold, while in others the shadows were so dark there were almost purple.

Pie baking tips from Nana (only to be attempted once you've mastered all variations of the "stick o' butter, cup o' sugar, can o' beer" technique):
- To get a crumble crust pie, like a dutch apple pie, to cook perfectly in the center without burning the edges of the crust, take an aluminum pie dish and cut a circle in the center, so that you have the sides of the dish and then a 1-2 in rim around, and place that over the pie while it's in the oven.
- For a moist, smooth cheesecake with no cracks in the top, prepare a water bath for the dish to sit in while it's baking. To do this, fill an outside dish with water, then place your pie dish in the water dish before putting it in the oven. This spreads the heat to cook gently and evenly. It's also a good way to cook custards, and other desserts with an egg base. It works best if your pie dish is ceramic, not metal.

It seems like everyone in my family has their special recipe. There's Martha's carrot cake, Bob's Thanksgiving stuffing, Cathy's Christmas cinnamon rolls, Emily's Derby pie, Grammy's peanut butter blossoms, Dad's almond/mushroom green beans...even Daniel's already becoming known for his delicious banana bread! I wonder, sometimes, what my recipe will be. When my cousins, who are already getting far too old far too fast, start popping out babies, and their little darlings say 'Aunt Erin (does that sound clumsy to you? It does to me. Auntie Erin, maybe? Or maybe just Erin, cause I'm a cool aunt), Aunt Erin, won't you make _____!' what will I make? I think I will go on a quest, not for fame, fortune, or favor, but for my own personal recipe. I'll find a recipe that makes the people who know me smile and say 'nobody makes ____ like Erin!' And they'll be right. Now I just need to find guinea pigs....

Mom: (upon seeing a cow) Moooo!
Me: Coooooow!
Mom: (upon seeing a donkey) Oh, look at the donkeys.
Me: Are you gonna make a donkey noise?
Mom: (grinnning) heeee-haaaaw!
Me: Donkey! (laughing)
Mom: I just hope I don't see a pig....

(WTF: Since we were little, my family's played a car game where the first person to see a cow has to say "Moooo" before anyone else, and everyone else in the car has to say "Cooooow!" I think my dad started it. It was very entertaining when I was seven, and I gotta say, it hasn't lost its charm yet.

Since I posted this quote, Daniel has informed me that it's not really that funny. What do you think?)

-Riley keeps trying to give me toilet kisses.
-Dad's forgotten our (not-so-secret) finger wiggle handshake. He must be retrained.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Coronation of a Peppermint Princess

It's so strange to be home. My room has doubled in size since I've been gone. When I told mom I was gonna practice in there (I usually practice in the living room, or outside), she asked me, deadpan, if I'd have enough room. I just laughed. Yes, I think I can manage.

Also, Daniel went and grew up on me! He's taller, broader in the shoulders, and he's got this unmistakable dark shadow on his chin... he's nobody's little boy anymore, that's for sure (though I'm still going to call him Squirt. You know I'll always call you Squirt, Squirt). He's changed in other ways too, not just physically, I can't quite figure out what it is. He's calmer now, maybe, or more in control? I don't know. He says I haven't changed "at all", but that was right after I misplaced my keys (for the first time since I've been at Oberlin, ironically enough), tripped down the stairs, and ruffled his hair, so I really don't think that's fair.

There is one way I've changed, which mom noticed right away ("have you been eating right?" "Are you going to meals?"): I've lost weight. Put another way, I'm slightly less padded in key places than previously. :-) It's just a little difference, I didn't even believe mom until I got home and tried on an old skirt that I'd sadly put in storage before I left (for fear I'd squeeze into and break it for sheer stubbornness). I was very excited to have it settle comfortably around my hips, no popped buttons or stretched seams or anything! This is going to sound extremely girly and vain, but I'll admit, after I discovered this I pulled out a whole pile of old too-small clothes and tried them on. Rachel, I can now fit into that sparkly minidress you gave me! Look out world! (Don't worry, I wasn't trying to lose weight, and mom's doing her best to give it back anyways, what with her german chocolate, carrot cake, and potato casserole...)

Midterms and Other Assorted Factors (OAFs) have kept me from sharing my week with you in real time, so I'll describe some of the more interesting parts for you now:

-10:00 Wednesday: The Epic Pillow Fight of Doom on north quad. You probably heard the screams. And yes, it was as awesome as it sounds. Really, there aren't many better ways to relieve midterm stress than to attack your friends with pillows. This pillow fight was particularly entertaining because of the nerdy tendencies of the participants (author included). For instance, every few minutes, all warriors were ordered to freeze while some poor soul crawled around in the dark, feeling for their glasses (my own glasses had to be retrieved this way twice). Also, among the various battle cries were things like "For Science!" and "Prepare to meet your doom!" and light saber noises. It was glorious. Afterwards I lay in the grass panting, watching my breath rise through my steamed glasses, and thought about...nothing. And that is quite possibly the best part.

-The swing workshop was fantastic. I'm starting to understand the basics of lindy hop and the Charleston. East Coast swing, the easiest, is still my favorite by far. The leads were excellent, and very patient, as always. I had a lot of fun with this guy from Kalamazoo who knew just a little more than me about east-coast, but was a good dancer in general. Best of all, he had a sense of humor for all the times I stumbled. The regular Obie leads were, of course, charming. Also, Madison Crawl, the live band they brought in for the Saturday dances, is fantastic. I had as much fun watching them as dancing to them, I think. The bassist was a hoot, he spun his bass around, and held it over his head sometimes! The bassist was also the vocalist, and he had this raspy, jazzy voice that was fun to listen to. I can't describe the other instruments in great detail, but nobody cares about them anyway.

-Midterms. I had them, and now they're done. But I should say more, let's see...they weren't as hard as I thought they'd be. I only had three: developmental psychology, aural skills, and music theory. Developmental psych was the one giving me nightmares, but I actually think I did fairly well on it. I got extremely lucky, some of the questions on the test were things I'd reviewed that day. I know I screwed up one of the dictations for aural skills, and did ok on the practical. I'm fairly confident about how I did on Music Theory. I guess I'll find out soon enough. It feels pretty good to have them over with.

I'm sure there's more to say to you, but I've got a week to say it, so I'll take my time. Goodnight!

Coronation of a Peppermint Princess:

Hot liquid hisses and groans through a copper maze before plunging. It pounds, echoing off the tiles. Slap-slap, as a thin layer rises to meet the new liquid, then gurgling and glugging with cheerful splash-chatter. Viscous red syrup makes it's lazy way to drip in the center of this churning mass, and is transformed. A thick cloud rises from the union and brushes my face. It's warm, but it smells like cold, like candy canes and colored lights, and it zings through my sinuses, penetrates my senses.

I sink into my 3x5x3 palace . The royal robe, swathes of minty frosting, sloshes and swirls around me in peaks of pure white. Tiny crackles, pops, and sizzles melt onto my skin. On my head rests a crown of soft white roses, on my chest a necklace of fluffy mint pearls, and
on my chin, the royal peppermint goatee, complete with mint sideburns and a fine mint mustache. I am wrapped up safe in my cloud cradle, and with each breath unleashed I let the bones melt out of my body. The steam enters my skull and crowds out thoughts, reducing me to sensations. Warm. Soft. Candy Canes. Colored Lights. Heartbeat. Sinking.

On my head, a crown a of soft white roses- I rise from the foam, drips and clumps of white bubbles run down my skin. I breathe deeply, the scent fills me up again, and it is fresh and New.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


The giant sunflowers at the sunflower house are gone. If you're bold enough to step up to the yard though, you'll discover that the roses, which are still going strong (how do they bring out all those blooms on one bush? One of these days I'll have to ask. Watch it be one of my professors....), are bobbing on their stems because they're so heavy with perfume. The white english teas, especially, will make you dizzy with so much sweetness. I wish I could describe the smell to you, it's absolutely heavenly. Especially as an accent to the exciting patchwork quilt of smells I've been experiencing this week. Since Tuesday (when the local weather did that switchover from "why's it so hot, it's October?!" to "f*^$%, it's cold!"), I've started noticing the damp earthy smell of decaying leaves, overlayed by the crisp, biting tang of cold. For a couple nights now, I've smelled smoke from bonfires, too. And then of course, there's the perpetual funk of sci-fi lounge...

As a side note, the smell of rosin is similar enough to molasses to make you think you can eat it. Well you can't. It really does not taste like molasses at all, actually.

Steven's squash soup also smells like heaven (and nutmeg, hot-sauce, and carrots). If you get a chance to eat in kosher co-op, do it. You'll be so glad you did.

The changeover from summer to fall is all the more exciting this year, because I get to see it through the eyes of a friend whose California hometown doesn't have seasons. This poor deprived child, for all that he grew up with the roar of the ocean in his ears, has never rolled in a pile of damp, freshly raked leaves (or squealed because of the imaginary spider that must be crawling through it), never collected bright fallen foliage for a tracing book, has never run through the park like a fool trying to catch the pieces of color as they fall, and has probably never played acorn jacks! Obviously, this must be corrected! Yesterday, though it was very cold (yes I know, "get used to it"), I found consolation watching this friend experiment with breathing out different ways to see his breath. I didn't even notice I could see my breath, until he started huffing and puffing away! (I do believe there was even a giggle in there somewhere.) Also, he hasn't seen snow since he was 8... Snowball fights this year are going to be epic (;;cackles evilly;;).

There's probably a theme in there somewhere, something about appreciating old things in a new way... Maybe you'll appreciate it, I'm not going to think about it too hard just now (I'm saving all my thinking for midterms!).

In less than an hour, I'm going to take a basic Lindy swing class, and a basic Charleston class, so that I'll be ready (or at least won't make a complete fool of myself) at the costume swing dance tonight. After that...the study marathon!

By now you've probably heard that Spenser and I have broken up. No more Sperin. I really don't feel like going into detail about it. I'm ok. As far as I can tell, he's ok. We're still ourselves, just as individuals now.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


It is a good thing I have such a twisted sense of humor, because today has been one of those days that, if I couldn't laugh, I would have had to cry. And everybody knows big girls don't cry!

So this morning I slept through my 9:00 AM class. In fact, I slept until approx. 9:40, and barely made it to 10:00 Music Theory. I don't know what happened, I set my alarm just like usual! The only thing I can figure is I must have woken up to turn it off, then gone straight back to sleep. Which is ridiculous, and I don't remember this, but it makes sense.

Anyway, that ended up being ok, because I just went to a later section of the 9:00 (which, as a side note, is far more energetic, and far easier to comprehend at @ 2:30 than it is at 9), but I was frazzled all morning. And I already wasn't doing so hot. So then, my 11:00 class, I find out five minutes before class that our major papers are due today (the syllabus was changed and I really don't think I got that email, but whatever). Luckily I'm awesome, and I finished it last night (ahead of the game, in my book), so all I had to do was email it to the professor, but still.

And then! Well, no, it doesn't get much worse than that, actually. When I write it out, it doesn't seem so bad, but understand, it was perfectly tragic at the time.

I'm sitting outside right now, and a bee just landed on my toe. My bare toe. Yeah.

In other news, I've still got it. And by that I mean my black bean chili is still a taste-bud teaser, crowd-pleaser, weekend-easer. And fudge brownies are still magic.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Mr. Sperl's Donut Machine

This morning I was awake at Too:Early AM (about the time I would wake up to go to class if it wasn't SATURDAY). This is because, once again, an irritating beeping had nudged in on my dreams. It wasn't until I rolled over to glare at my alarm that I realized the beeping was my dream, and that it was, in fact, a Saturday. By then my brain (and bladder) were thoroughly awake, unfortunately. And so you find me here.

It's just as well, I suppose, because I've got a lot to tell you.

Did you know there's a Salsa Club, on campus? As in salsa dancing. Salsa dancing! And they meet every Thursday in South lounge! I only found this out last week, and I'm really excited about it. The movements of salsa dancing feel great, it's a very liberating kind of dance. You can't be shy in salsa. There are leads and follows, just like swing dancing, but in salsa, it's like the lead is paying homage to the follow, guiding her with his fingers, letting her twirl and show off and feel like a powerful woman, (there's actually a spin for which the Spanish to English translation is literally "show the girl off").

Tests are so much more stressful when they're timed! Case in point, I had five minutes to complete that dominant 7th chord resolution test I had on Friday, and it really did not go well. At all. I just completely didn't have time to do the last problem. And there were only four! I think we're going to take it again next week, since I was not alone in my distress. I need to study more for the next one, for sure.

So far, today has been pretty groovy (except for the negligible amount of sleep I got last night. Just for future reference, drinking a big cup of coffee right before you go to bed is just not a good call, no matter how good the company or how fancy and organic it is). Today, between the hours of 11 and 2, I removed myself from Oberlin, both mentally and geographically. I went to Mr. Sperl's house in Cleveland with Nishana, Gerald, and Janie for the annual donut bash. That will take some explaining...ok, so don't ask me why, but Mr. Sperl has a donut machine that makes approximately 400 donuts an hour, and every year he invites Cleveland orchestra folks, church/neighborhood folks, and his Oberlin bass students to have free donuts, cider, and coffee at his house. We got to meet his family, and there were all these adorable little kids bumbling around with chocolate and powdered sugar on their faces. Best of all, us bass students got to be silly and irreverent away from our responsibilities. I dunno what it's like back home right now, but it's been a beautiful day here. The sun was out, and the temperature's perfect, with a nice breeze. All the leaves are just starting to turn. It's just a great day to sit outside and get fat. Mmmmm fried sugar!

Hmmm, well tonight is the contra dance, and I've still got things to tell you from last week, so I'll come back to this. I hope everything is going well back home. Congrats, Daniel, on your fabulous report card (definitely finagle some good eats outta that one!), and all your recent soccer success (two shutouts, folks, give the man a hand!)! I miss you like crazy, hope you're finding time for fun.

Mr. Sperl's Donut Machine:
-First, the Donut Man flips the long red switch on the movable batter funnel up. It -clicks-.
-The batter funnel begins to gyrate slowly, side to side. A little tan puff of sweet batter squeezes out the bottom and -plops- into the oil. It immediately starts to bubble and -sizzle-, sinks to the bottom, and then bounces back to the top. As the bubbles clear, you can see a thick circle of dough. The funnel moves to the other side of the oil pan and lays down another little circle.
-The donut bobs up and down, floating in the oil, but half of it stays under and begins to brown. Metal rods move through the oil away from the batter funnel, carrying the donuts down the line. Then, about halfway through the oil pan, a metal sheet with holes in it turns through the oil. It lifts the donut out of the oil, and flips it so the uncooked side is submerged. The donut bobs along, and the newly presented side is a perfect golden brown.
-The donut is propelled through the oil until it reaches a ramp with moving chains stripped vertically along it. The donut is picked up by these moving chains and carried out of the oil to the top of the ramp. The donut teeters on the edge of the ramp, then slides down the other side, into a pan of hot, perfect donuts. It is soft and sweet.
-The donut is picked up by a little kid (or a big kid/a bass player), licking his lips, who is already covered in powdered sugar. He juggles it and blows on his fingers while running to the icing table.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Brain Soup and Ghosts

This morning I had the strangest dream. I dreamed that I was walking through a bizarre outdoor market-place, lined with many-leveled patched tents that had ladders in them. It was bright outside, and light shone through the tents to make everything different colors. And unusual looking people of all shapes and colors (and I mean all colors, including bright blue) were walking through the market in bright colored clothes, buying fresh foods and shiny trinkets. I was there with my dad, and I was wearing a wrist watch that kept beeping. I tried to turn off the beeping, because it was really irritating, but it wouldn't stop. I kept trying to walk through the market place and look at the human (and questionably human) parade going by, and my dad was waiting, tugging on my hand, he wanted to get lunch and I was hungry too, but I had to keep fiddling with the wrist watch to turn off the beeping, which no one else seemed to hear. After awhile, I guess I pressed the right button, cause the beeping stopped, and I was relieved, but worried too, and then just a little ways down the road the beeping started again, but louder! This strange beeping just got louder and made it hard to concentrate on all the new sights, and I really wanted it to stop, so I tried to take off the wrist watch, but I couldn't and I panicked, and then dad was gone and the street was melting away, and that's when I woke up.

And then I rolled over and turned off my alarm clock.

I looooooove my new bike! Did I tell you my mom brought me a new bike when she came to visit? It is so foxy. It's all black, with wide shiny fenders and big handlebars. I put my horn on it, and it just looks wicked. And the wheel isn't falling off, and the breaks work, too! And I feel like a ghost gliding along the paths. I can't even hear myself coming, it's so smooth. Yesterday I kept guiding my bike to ride through puddles just to hear the zip-zip and silence it made. It feels like flying. I've just got to remember that the break is a backpedal and not a hand break, because the first time I got on it, I was on the ground in under 40 seconds because I pushed back on the breaks. Also, shortly after that, I ran face first into a hanging basket trying to figure out how to stop...

I'll probably add to this later today, I've got to study right now. I'm missing you, but I'm working hard and making time for fun too. Give yourself a big hug from me!

Resolving V7 chords and their inversions, as summarized by Ms. Erin E:

-To build a dominant 7th chord, you must first build a major triad (meaning a "snowperson," a.k.a. line-line-line or space-space-space, with a M3 (major third-4 half steps/semitones) on the bottom and a m3 (minor third-3 half steps/semitones) on the top. Then, on top of this major triad, add a m7 (one whole step below tonic, the sub-tonic in the minor key of the root of your major triad), so that you have a "snowperson with a double chin." You now have a V7, or a dominant seventh, chord. It's called a V7, because it is always built on the V (dominant/5th) scale degree of the key it resolves to. This V7 that you just built is in root position (the root note of the chord is on the bottom). It would still be in root position if the root note was on the bottom, but the other notes were rearranged out of order.

-When you build your V7, the root of the chord is also the 5th (dominant) of the scale. The 3rd of the chord is also the 7th (leading tone) of the scale, and the 5th of the chord is also the 2nd (supertonic) of the scale, and the 7th of the chord is also the 4th (subdominant) of the scale.

-When resolving a V7 chord in root position to the key it's in, first mentally put the notes (which may be in any order as long as the bottom note is root) in "snowperson position," that is, stacked on top of each other, so you can figure out which is the root of the chord, which is the leading tone of the key, which is the 5th of the chord, and which is the 7th of the chord. First, your leading tone moves up a semitone to tonic. This is the key you are in. (It would be helpful here to know how many sharps or flats are in this key, so that you may check your I chord resolution)

-Next, the 7th of the chord moves down to become the 3rd of your I chord. If you are resolving to a major key, this 7th moves down a half step/semitone. If you are resolving to a minor key, move the 7th down a whole step. (you can tell if you are resolving to major or minor by whether or not the V7 chord has accidentals in addition to the key signature. If it has an accidental, this means that the minor key signature would call for that note to be a half step lower, but because your V7 is built on a Major triad, it must be raised. You can also tell by analyzing the intervals within your V7 chord. If you find an augmented 4th or a diminished 5th, you will resolve to a major key. If, however, you find either an augmented 2nd or a diminished 7th, you're going to minor) (If you're resolving to a major key, the chord you resolve to is called I, if it's minor, it should be lower case: i.)

-Now, move the root of your V7 chord (the 5th of the key) to tonic, either by moving up a perfect fourth, or down a perfect 5th. This is the root of your I chord.

-Finally, the remaining note in your V7, the 5th of V7 and 2nd of your key, moves either up or down a whole step, according to your preference. You've just resolved a root V7 to a I chord.

-Your V7 may not be complete. What I mean is, you may not see all four voices present in the original V7. If so, the absent voice is the 5th of the chord, and the chord is called incomplete. Incomplete chords are unique, because the repetition of the root of V7 in place of the 5th allows you to tie a common note over into the I chord. This way, you have a note belonging to both chords holding through. Whenever you can do this, you should. It will only happen on incomplete root V7 or inverted V7s, which I'm about to talk about.

-Your chord may not appear in root position. There are three possible inversions of this chord that you need to know about. The first inversion is built on scale degree 7, the leading tone (and 3rd of the chord), then stacked with the 2nd of the key (5th of the chord), 4th of the key (7th of chord), and finally the 5th of the key (root of the chord). The figured bass for this inversion is 6/5/3, abbreviated to 6/5, because the top three notes are, in order, a 3rd, 5th, and 6th, above the bass note. First inversion will appear: line-line-line-adjacent space, or space-space-space-adjacent line. First inversion usually resolves to tonic.

-The second inversion is shown by the figured bass 6/4/3, abbreviated to 4/3, because the notes appear in the 3rd, 4th, and 6th position above the bass note of the chord. The bass note of this chord is scale degree 2, and the 5th of the chord. Above this note are the 4th of the key (7th of chord), 5th of the key (root of the chord), and 7th/leading tone of the key (3rd of chord), respectively. Second inversion appears as two stacked notes in two lines next to each other, line-line space-space or space-space line-line. Second inversion can resolve to either tonic, or the first inversion of tonic I6 (or I6/3).

-The third inversion of a dominant 7th chord is unique, and relatively easy to build. In the words of my theory professor, it's "hot." The figured bass for third inversion of a dominant 7th chord is abbreviated to V4/2, because the positions above the bass note are 6, 4, and 2. (You can build a V4/2 on any note by building a major triad on the note a whole step above your original note.) This inversion is built on scale-degree 4, the 7th of the chord. Because you always resolve the 7th of the chord down a semitone, the bass note of the chord you resolve to will be the 3rd scale degree, making your I chord first inversion, or I6. The V4/2 chord is: 4th scale-degree/7th of chord, 5th scale-degree/root of chord, 7th scale degree/3rd of chord, and 2nd scale degree/5th of chord. It resolves to a tonic chord in first inversion, 3-5-1. The third inversion appears line-space-space-space or space-line-line-line.

-On a root position V7 chord, a complete V7 resolves to an incomplete I, and vice versa. However, when the V7 is inverted, it will be complete, and will resolve to a complete.

-If your V7 is inverted, the resulting I chord should have a common tone with the V7. You should never double the leading tone or chordal 7th of the V7 or its inversion, but you may double the root of the chord (the 5th scale degree), when it appears in both the V7 and the I, as it will in inversions.

My Point: I've written this out for myself, because I needed to organize my thoughts about V7 chords for a test on Friday. I've also written this out for you, though, so that you can see how my brain is rotting from disuse because I'm a music major and don't have to think. Since it's such a soft major and all.

p.s. Please note the SARCASM.