Thursday, February 23, 2006


Powder (maybe)

She is completely gray with six toes on each foot. They make her feet look funny. A very striking color of gray, completely uniform over her whole body. Maggie is very curious, and hasn't taken her eyes off the cat since we brought her home. Now she's acting aggrieved. Even though she got a new pillow to sleep on today. The cat already hissed once at her. It'll take a while for things to sort out between them (my money's on the cat), then I suspect they'll be good friends.

Unfortunately, my new cello won't be shipped till Monday - it's finally ready, but they were worried about it being left in a cold UPS warehouse somewhere over the weekend, so they wanted to wait till Monday to send it out. Reluctantly, I had to agree. I asked them to put some parchment on the bridges under the D and A strings. They also put some on the spare bridge, and they'll put a few extra in the case. They'll also put a basic care kit (micro fibre cleaning cloth for daily cleanup and some polish for biweekly cleaning - with a tee shirt). Also several dampits, which they'll wet just before shipping. I added a Boss chromatic tuner for $30. It turns out I get a 10% discount on the cello itself since I'm buying an "outfit" - bow and case. That's almost $500. Im considering calling them back tomorrow and using that $500 to upgrade the case from a Bobelock to a Bam Hightech (I'd have to chip in a few extra bucks). It's made with ABS and weighs five pounds less, and is more durable. IF they have one and IF the Ruggiere design fits... Although it's only been a week, it seems like forever since I first talked to them. Now another long week...

The plastic sleeves I put on the A and D strings at the bridge on the rented plywood scratchbox worked great! The strings sounded so much more open and clear! I used an exacto knife to trim the little plastic sleeves down to the width of the bridge, then I retuned it. I never did find the site where I'd first run across that idea. Consequently, my playing sounded so much better today. I don't know how this would fly with the pros, but hey, it worked for me as a temporary fix. I'll cut them off before I return it to the violin store.

I played a completely different "program" today. All the same stuff, but in a different order. It was interesting to vary the routine. I put more time into different pieces and sections of pieces. At the end, I spent almost an hour just working on the last four pieces - playing the difficult parts over and over, slowly, until I felt like they were beginning to flow smoother.

It is a challenge to do the half dozen sections where I have to stop the bow in mid-stroke, change the note (and string) and then restart the bow in the same direction. Also, on the Bach piece I have to bow the same note twice on one bow stroke, stopping just for an instance between them. These really aren't technically difficult in themselves, but it's a new action for me and I just need to work on them. I sure would like to be able to show my teacher that I've at least gotten some control of these particular strokes. I also found myself bowing crisper dotted notes - especially with Suzuki's "eighth-eighth-quarter" and "quarter-eighth-eighth" rhythms.

Tomorrow we sign the papers forour land.

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