Monday, January 14, 2008

Awards, Gigs, Dreams, and Barre Chords

1) Get your 2008 ALA literary award announcements (Newbery, Caldecott, Prinz, King, Batchelder, and more) right here. I'm way behind on my books, but hey, I do read what the bloggers tell me to read.

2) I had fun at my two birthday party gigs yesterday. Unfortunately, Bede was too sick to take Lucia to her classmate's birthday party yesterday (on our 7th wedding anniversary), and she was a bit down about that. However, the host from my second gig sent me home with cake and balloons for Lucia, so that was a perk.

3) I had a dream last night that I was taking a high school/college course with Neil Gaiman as the professor. When I received my report card, I found that Gaiman had flunked me. Gaiman had written in the margins, "Sorry about this--I think I gave too much reading material for this course." Never mind that in the dream I had no recollection of taking Gaiman's course, and would certainly have done the reading had I known what the assignments actually were. My dreams of late have all been variations on the theme of finding out that all my degrees are going to be negated unless I take two high school/college/graduate school courses. These courses are often a combination of English, Science, and Gym. I have a hard time finding my classes and by the time I do, the semester is almost over. I think these dreams have something to do with my lifelong frustration over the implied expectation that I can read my professors' or supervisors' minds. (Memorandum to past professors and supervisors: I can't read your minds. I know you're older and wiser than I, but trust me on this one.)

4) I'm in the midst of participating in HipWriterMama's latest 30 day challenge. This month, I'm working on barre chords for 15 minutes every day. While I've got the F chord (barring 2 strings) down and am successfully strumming a B flat barre chord 75% of the time, I've yet to incorporate these chords into songs smoothly. However, I thought this might be a good time to introduce my F7 major chord for those of you perpetually frustrated by the F chord on the guitar. I use the F7 major chord for quick changes between C and G chords, and also for arpeggios on the upper tier a la House of the Rising Sun. Here it is:


HipWriterMama said...

That is a bit scary. I used to have similar dreams. I'd wake up in a sweat panicked I forgot to take a final for a college class.

Good luck with your barre chords!

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

HWM: These dreams seem to be pretty common. Is there a cure? I suppose they're not as disturbing as the ones where my teeth turn soft and start falling out. Ewwww.

Lone Star Ma said...

Very cool F chord - had I had that at 16, I might have kept playing.

I generally do not take the LSB to birthday parties - only once in a great while for a very special child. If I don't mention it, any talk of invitations at school falls out of her head pretty fast. I have decided she will get family parties until Kindergarten and, well, this policy makes that a lot easier. They just keep going once you start..year after year after anyway Lucia is lucky you care(:

goddess of clarity said...

Alkelda: I've been meaning to say, I greatly admire you for learning an instrument as an adult. I've played guitar since I was 11, but I reached that "high school plateau" where I have not made any improvement whatsoever over my 16-year-old self. In fact my 16-year-old self was much better than my 36-year-old self because she practiced.

I am also hampered by that scourge or wannabee guitarists everywhere: tiny fingers. Barre chords are pretty much a no-go area, and F is really the only one I could ever hit. If I ever ran across a song with B flats in it, I'd just get out the capo and transpose.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Goddess: Normally, I'd transpose, too, but those darn-tootin' Beatles are tricky, and some of my favorite songs have B and B flat chords that cannot be transposed except into trickier keys. If you want to take up guitar again, by the way, I will be supportive of you.:) Thanks for the note of encouragement, by the way. I do appreciate it.

LSM: I think you have a sensible policy. Thus far, we haven't gone to a great many birthday parties, and those parties are usually relatively low key. I've placed the kaibosh on pizza-video-amusement ride parties because of the overstimulation-- we are a family of three introverts, after all.

Oh, I am reminded of the one pizza-game parlour party I went to in 5th grade, I think. It was at a place called "Shakey's," and on the way out, there was a light-up fortunetelling slot machine. We each got a turn, and my "fortune" was that I was "passionate." I asked a grownup what "passionate" meant, and she said, "Um, uh, it means intelligent."

Crikey! She could have said, "It means you really love what you do." However, I suspect she was thrown off by the 11 year old birthday girl getting the "Sexy" fortune. Egad.