Sunday, December 11, 2005


Today I listened to Yo-Yo Ma playing the Cello -

all afternoon at maximum tolerable volume (Z patiently played at the computer - right beside the speaker - I even noticed him nodding his head along with the music). I especially love "Appalachia Waltz" (with Edgar Meyer on Bass and Mark O'Connor on Violin). Wow! Yo-Yo somehow puts his soul inside his cello. One piece, "Druid Fluid", makes tears come to my eyes. So exquisite! Also Appalachian Journey by the same group. It is so inspiring! How do they do it? I got worn out from listening - no, soaring - with them.

After several hours, I had to pick up Ellwood and try to make him sing. For a few moments - just a few - my fingering, my bowing, and my rhythm all came together and I felt really good about what I heard! My fingers seemed to know where I wanted them to go at the same time my bow knew where to move. That was fun!

I feel like I've come a long way in just two weeks - I've played more than an hour and a half a day - sometimes twice a day. I'm hopeful... Leaving it out sitting on the stand makes me pick it up and use it more. The fingering work is getting harder, but my forefinger seems to be taking the abuse OK. This weekend I began working on the C and G strings, and today I started F-natural on the D string. I've got a long way to go, but so far, I am sure enjoying it. There're times that I even feel like I've got it tuned perfectly. Although I don't really know about perfect fifths, yet.

We're going to Anchorage the week before xmas to spend our $500 BestBuy gift certificate - I'm going to get a new monitor. I'll bring the cello back to Petr's Violin Shop and see if there is any adjustment they can make that can cure the nasal tones on the A string. It sounds as if it has a stuffy nose. I read somewhere that adjusting the soundpost might improve the sound quality. I also want to look at their more expensive celli to see what they sound like. Maybe they've got a decent electronic tuner and can show me how to use it. I expect that they'll be happy to help, since at this point, I'm likely to come back in the summer and buy a new, more expensive cello from them.

Y has been playing with her new sewing machine. This evening she came to me all freaked out, that she had already broken it. It wouldn't start up. Finally, I figured out that apparently there's some sort of hardwired combination of buttons that installs the latest operating system upgrade. Even though she'd already upgraded it this morning, I pressed these two buttons (of course she started to freak out) but the machine "woke up" and started to reinstall the upgrade again. Afterwards it restarted as it was supposed to. Problem solved. She's already going to bring it back into the store and get something adjusted, tomorrow.

Today we put up the xmas tree. It's a cheap artificial tree we bought at K-Mart five or six years ago. What a pain! The electrical cords are all laid out rather strangely and the wrong things seem to plug into the wrong places. It took an hour to figure it all out.

Today it rained this morning; it stayed above freezing all day. We're almost melted down to the gravel on the driveway. The hard part, though, is the cloudy weather all day. It's dark enough.

My bet is that Vinnick will lose the election to the upstart, Santos, in a close one at the last minute. The commies who write West Wing just couldn't admit that the country might elect a republican!

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