Friday, September 15, 2006


Minor Accomplishments

I just watched several episodes of a show that I had TIVO'd (sorry, Dish Network I meant DVR'd) from IFC called "The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman " created by, written by and starring Laura Kightlinger, as Jackie Woodman, a way off-center and over-the-top film rag writer and screenwriter wannabe on the edges of the Hollywood scene. Her sidekick, Tara Wentzel, superbly played by Nicholle Tombridge, is a low level functionary at a film production company. They come across a bit like the "Absolutely Fabulous" duo of Patsy and Eddy merged with Lucy and Ethel with a touch of Wilma and Betty. They screw up everthing they get involved with, are usually in the process of getting drunk or stoned; or in one wild episode, getting blasted at a peyote ceremony that Jackie is supposed to be filming. They end up tripping in the open desert in a gorgeous psychedelic sunset and finally drift off to sleep beneath a stunning starry sky. In the morning, however, they wake up spread out in the middle of a cactus patch, full of thorns, bloody and bruised. They are loud, brassy, pushy, selfish, prejudiced, very opinionated (and usually wrong), accident-prone, slutty, witty, and funny as hell... How unusual to see this kind of show on TV! They only made eight episodes - I wouldn't hold my breath for a second season, but this one will become a cult classic.

Usually TV can't tolerate anything so radically different; look what happened to "Arrested Development" . I was surprised to see a second season of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia ", another edgy show on FX, even funnier this year with Danny Devito, in a perfect fit into the program as Frank Reynolds - purportedly, Dennis and Dee's father. Another over-the-top hilarious show that apparently was yanked by BBC America in its prime, was is the Canadian import, "Trailer Park Boys ". I have never seen a stupider (more stupid?) and more clueless character than Rickie on TV.

Now for my minor accomplishments:

I played through most of my repertoire this morning using the metronome. I rushed through my warmup, spending more time trying out bowing variations, letting my left hand do what it wanted with scales and shifting exercises. As I played I worked to focus on what my right hand was doing, while benignly neglecting my left hand. The result was interesting.

It took a while on each piece to really incorporate the metronome into my playing. I finally had to place it rather close to me so it would intrude on my hearing; then I had to count the rhythms out loud at first, before adding in the bow. It really went well. I even had a decent runthrough with Bach's Minuet #2 in Suzuki 1. I'm really motivated to do it again tomorrow.

Using the metronome, I then played through the three orchestra pieces several times and found a few "issues" that I could work on before Monday's rehearsal.

Good boy, working with that metronome! Mine has been neglected lately...

Your description of the peyote trip made me laugh :D
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