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Karen Allendoerfer

It's cold out there

December 14, 2007 at 10:29 AM

We had a big snowstorm in Boston and Cambridge yesterday. It took me an hour and a half to get home, double my normal commute by T and bus. And at the end I just got off the bus and walked because it was faster. I beat the bus home. I even almost caught up to the one I had missed leaving Harvard Square because it was too crowded to get on. Where's that improbability drive when you need one?

An observation: iPod nano batteries get freaky and lose power when they get cold. But you warm them up again, and the icon goes back from red to green. What's up with that?

I'm feeling a little like I've hit a plateau in my string playing. My winter concert at church went well, but I have a serious case of the "what now's". And, I had to postpone this week's lesson because of work deadlines.

Another observation: They don't appear to be closing my daughter's school today. Bummer! ("Bummer" is not used very much anymore, is it? I'm dating myself. Now everything is "sweet!" The undergrad I'm supervising says, when I tell her to back up these files and burn a CD: "sweet!" My daughter would think a snow day is "sweet!" When, after waiting 25 minutes, not one but two busses finally showed up, people said, "sweet!")

I have, as usual, a lot of questions for my teacher. In particular, I want to start learning a new piece other than the Bach suites. My teacher recommended a Schumann (something. Sonata, maybe. I'm not sure). I liked it when I heard it. It was melodic and rich, round and not square.

But I had also told her about the Clarke Passacaglia and she'd been enthusiastic about that too. I probably don't have time for both at once. And I don't know which would make a better audition piece for the LSO. Maybe neither of those, maybe I should stick with Bach for the audition: I have it memorized (if I could just remember the dynamics). If anyone asks me to play something on the spot, I'm ready.

Some of these v.com threads can be like Godiva chocolates. The box is just sitting there on your desk, wrapped in a gold elastic band. You really should *not* eat another one. You've had 6 already. But it's a big box. And, well, your boss gave them to you for a job well done. And, it's the holidays. One more is not going to make a difference in the grand scheme of things--after all, you've already had 6 (diet? Um . . . everyone knows diets don't work). So, you lift the lid, click the link, and . . . let's just say that the idea of having threads hit 100 and get archived is brilliant. How else would we be able to find the time to go back and practice our never-ending Kreutzer? Sweet!

Another observation: the wireless mouse on this computer has a loose connection. The little green light keeps going off. I jiggle it and it comes back on.

I've added several more lines of Fiorillo #9 and am slowly working my way through it. I think, however, that although he's not saying anything (yet), I'm driving my husband a little crazy with Fiorillo #9. Or maybe somewhere cats are howling and the Dalai Lama is shedding a tear (that was a hilarious blog). I'm trying to be a lot more of a perfectionist with this etude than I usually am (or was) with etudes.

And, I'm concluding that . . . I'm not a perfectionist! Nothing new there. It's just not in my nature. (The mouse went out again. Rats!)

This now seems to have happened to me often enough to be a trend: work towards a goal, achieve that goal reasonably well, let down. Flounder around, wonder what's next, try to decide what to do. I usually, eventually, make a decision and lurch onwards, but I wish I could decrease the turnaround time.

And boy, is it cold out there.

From Jim W. Miller
Posted on December 14, 2007 at 11:18 AM
The batteries, you should know heats speeds up chemical reactions. I was the hero at my family reunion by popping my cousin's camera battery in the toaster oven for a couple seconds. Far out.
From Anne Horvath
Posted on December 14, 2007 at 2:17 PM
Schumann "Fairy Tales"?
From Tom Holzman
Posted on December 14, 2007 at 3:29 PM
Your post reminds me of why I loved Boston in winter as a child and why I am glad I live in a warmer clime as as adult. I suppose, however, that there is something to be said for practicing while looking out on snow-covered landscape.
From Terez Mertes
Posted on December 16, 2007 at 5:00 PM
Oooh, snow! (My California is showing, isn't it?)

Loved this:

>Another observation: They don't appear to be closing my daughter's school today. Bummer! ("Bummer" is not used very much anymore, is it? I'm dating myself. Now everything is "sweet!" The undergrad I'm supervising says, when I tell her to back up these files and burn a CD: "sweet!" My daughter would think a snow day is "sweet!" When, after waiting 25 minutes, not one but two busses finally showed up, people said, "sweet!")

What about "sick!"? I, too, am of the "Bummer" generation and still say it a lot, but I'm all ears to my son's exclamations. And for "sick!" to mean "great/cool/wicked" is just too weird for me. Ah well. It's fun to listen to and track these silly slang words. What would we do without our kids? (Well, for starters, we'd get more violin practice time...)

From Emily Grossman
Posted on December 17, 2007 at 9:20 AM
Ah, I suspected as much. My camera sometimes has a fit during my hikes, claiming to be dead to the world, but I see now that I need to keep it warmer.

I'll just pack a toaster next time.

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