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Showing posts from July, 2010

My 1st Dictionary Milestone

I've finished the A's! One letter down, 25 more to go :) I know I'm not even close to done, but at least I finished one letter, and it makes me feel like if I can do this much, surely I can do it 25 more times. No problem. Here are some last little A tidbits... it blurs into the B's too.

-There are lots of instruments. LOTS. And I've noticed that a good amount of the non-western-classical music instruments have some kind of drone aspect to their instrument/music. Interesting...

-There are lots of organ stops. LOTS AND LOTS. I have no idea how anyone can play the organ. Piano is challenging enough. But throw in multiple keyboards, tons of foot pedals, and a boatload of various stops, I can't even comprehend. Let alone, how on earth does someone get their doctorate in organ performance??? (in case Elaine ever reads this... I doubt it though)

-One big problem I'm having is that there are times when I want a more tangible grasp on what I'm reading. …

Why I'm Loving Yoga

Lately I've been getting more and more into yoga. I started taking a weekly yoga class at the rec center in February and it didn't take long before I was hooked. It wasn't my first attempt at yoga, I'd taken several beginner classes a few years ago. And I also took prenatal yoga while I was pregnant. Both of those classes were great and I'm definitely glad I took them because the class I"m in now is not really geared towards beginners and I'm sure I'd be completely lost if I hadn't had some background. There are several reasons I love going to my yoga class

1- It's an hour and fifteen minutes each week in which I get to just focus on myself. I don't have anyone else to share my attention with... no family, no friends, just me alone. It's somewhat selfish, but at least it's a healthy selfish activity. I don't really even talk to people in my class all that much because I really just want to appreciate my alone time. And I…

Arpeggione

This was an instrument similar to a cello at one point. Schubert wrote a sonata for it, but since the instrument is no longer around it's usually now played on the cello. I actually (successfully) accompanied a violist on this piece in college. Well I thought it was successful anyway. About 10 minutes before we played it in a recital one of the piano teachers listened to us go over it and told me I had completely interpreted it wrong. Then she showed me how I should have played it. Even though we played the same notes it sounded night and day different. She was probably right, but I still liked the way I was doing it, so I didn't change anything. Nothing quite like someone telling you how wrong you're doing something right before you're about to get up in front of all you peers. Oh well.

I could never remember the name of the piece though, (Sonata in A minor by Schubert, D. 821-- not too catchy. but I think I remember Arpeggione Sonata) so I'm really exci…

More from the A's

Appoggiatura

I learned a lot from this entry (not the least of which was the fact that an appoggiatura is not quite what I thought it was)

#1- I always thought that my college piano teacher called grace notes "verschlags," and every time I tried to look it up, I could never find the definition. Clearly I was doing something wrong, which isn't surprising since ornaments confuse me to no end. But now I know that she was saying "VORschlag." Which makes a whole lot more sense. I've also learned that there's more "-schlags" out there. I initially assumed "schlag" meant note but I cheated and looked ahead... it means "beat," which also makes more sense especially since I know enough about German prepositions to know the following translations:
-vorschlag: before the beat
-anschlag: on the beat
-zwischenschlag: with (another note on) the beat
-nachschlag: after the beat

#2- There's no clear right definition for an appoggiatura. …

Some reading down, LOTS more to go

Lately I've been reading a lot. I tend to go through spurts when it comes to books. I'll read about a dozen books one month and then I won't read another book for 3 or 4 months. I also tend to read obsessively (but I am NOT a fast reader). If I can't finish a book in 3 days then I figure it's just not good enough to keep reading. This is because during the three day time period I will read every moment I can. And since I don't have much available reading time during the day anymore this usually means I stay up late, sacrificing precious sleep just to see what the next page brings. And then once I find that out I just HAVE to know what's on the next page after that... it's a never ending process that only stops when I realize that I'm SO tired I've read a paragraph three times and still have no idea what the words are.

So my most recent reading spell is coming to a close. I don't really want to mention most of the books I read because …

Delicious Dinner

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Last night my sister Sarah and her boyfriend joined us for dinner and a night of Pinochle. We have this type of get together every so often, just infrequently enough to make Matt have to reexplain the rules of Pinochle every time. But we had a good time last night. We also had good food :)

I've made a recent attempt to refocus my creative energy from piano playing to cooking. Mostly this is due to the fact that it's hard for me to spend any amount of time at the piano. I'm hoping it's just a temporary hiatus and once Dylan is a little older I'll be able to get back into it. But in the meantime I decided that since I enjoy cooking, and it's something I have to do every night anyway, I may as well put a little more effort into it. I've been trying to challenge myself to use a brand new ingredient as well as a brand new recipe once a month. It's a pretty easy goal to accomplish, but it helps me push myself outside what I'm used t…