Monday, November 20, 2006

Miscellanea Now

Items that are important to me but don’t necessarily blog well unless I cheat and put them all in one list of miscellaneous bits:

1) This evening, I practiced chord changes from G to D minor, specifically for “All the Pretty Little Horses” with arpeggios. D minor is a challenge for me. Nonetheless, the time flies by.

2) I'm working out strum patterns for “I Will” by the Beatles. I was thrilled to find out that the B flat minor chord I was trying to play based on someone else’s tablature was actually a D major chord. Also, I added a bass run from D to G and am often so thrilled with how good it sounds that I falter before slipping into the final verse. I used to sing this song as a lullaby to Lucia when she was a baby.

3) Lucia’s enthusiastic, loud, solo rendition of “Eight Days a Week” by the Beatles is her best vocal work yet. I wish I had a better sound system than a hand-held micro tape recorder.

4) I figured out how to make Lucia’s homemade tutu less bulky-looking. I’m still in no hurry to attempt tutu #2. I now appreciate tutu-making enough that if Lucia needs another one badly enough, I’ll purchase one made for her by someone who knows what s/he’s doing.

5) Yesterday, I hand-sewed black lace onto the cuffs of my purple butterfly-print trousers and completed the construction of my black and pink harlequin diamond trousers. Philip the Pun asked me if I planned to get a pointy hat to complete the costume. He also remarked that I would probably end up sewing Lucia’s first Goth clothes. We imagined that by the time Lucia was a teenager, Goth would have transmuted into something with lots of grey-tones. We decided to call it “Moth.”

6) My father is flying out to Seattle for Thanksgiving. As we did last year, we are cooking the non-traditional Thanksgiving Lamb. This practice makes me wonder if we should have turkey for Easter. My father and I are both big fans of Maurice Sendak’s artwork, and that is why I am glad he will finally get to see the Pacific Northwest Ballet version of “Nutcracker.” If you think “Nutcracker” is all spun-sugar and fluff (as many productions are), check out the original text by E.T.A. Hoffman, illustrated by Sendak. It’s a right proper journey to the place where the Wild Things are.

7) Edward Gorey published 1100 copies of The Lavender Leotard, and hand-painted each leotard on the covers of the books. Copies are rare and pricey. The Performing Arts Library of The New York Public Library owns a copy, and I wish I had thought to look for it before my summer trip to NYC.

8) Whenever I talk about my “Midlife Crisis Guitar,” I get comments along the lines of “Hey, you’re upgrading fast, aren’t you?” and “How many guitars do you need?” Answers: (a) I’m not going through my midlife crisis yet.* What are you implying, friend? (b) One for the beach, one for hiking, one for plane-travel, one for recording, one for performance, and one just for show.**

9) I’m dreading the inevitable onslaught of secular Christmas carols. They don’t offend me on a religious level, but I think that many of the melodies are ugly and obnoxious. Right now, “Silver Bells” is the only exception that comes to mind. I may publish my list of the songs I used for an Advent and Christmas mix-cd I made two years ago. Click here for a link to Kathy Mattea’s “Christ Child’s Lullaby” and here for Madeleine MacNeils’ “Lullaby From Poland." I want to learn to play both songs.

10) I have no plans to get a tattoo, but I enjoy thinking about possible artwork were I to go that route. Here is my latest hypothetical tattoo:

The illustration is of Jenny Linsky and her brothers from Jenny's Bedside Book, by Esther Averill. The umbrellas are presents from their feline seafaring friend, Jack Tar.I have no idea where I'd put the tattoo....Probably where I put all my previous hypothetical tattoos.

*I'm 34 1/2.

**Just kidding. Ultimately, I do want a full-sized guitar that’s not so deep, has lower action, sounds celestial when I play “On Top of Spaghetti” and looks good on me. This one would be quite satisfactory. It’s much, much cheaper than a red sportscar, but not as inexpensive as being satisfied with what I have.


Anonymous said...

another "thin" acoustic guitar to look at is a Godin A4. The Rock Star borrowed one from a friend and fell in love with it. It's not much thicker than an electric and has a beautiful, rich sound!

I also dread secular Christmas songs. I've found the ones here in the UK to be particularly irritating due to the fact that they're all pop music. Blech! When I was a kid, I used to like the old crooners like Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra because that's what was on the radio Christmas Eve when we drove up to PA to visit my relatives. :)

Anonymous said...

Dm is a notoriously knotty beast for up-and-coming chord wranglers, but it sounds as though you're doing great!

As well as the Godin mentioned by Galetea (the A4 is the bass, for six strings you'd need the A6) the Line6 Acoustic Variax is simply stunning. However, neither of these are cheap and you may want a more 'traditional' acoustic instrument. Taylors are nice. :)

limpy99 said...

I love Edward Gorey's work. Last Christmas my mother gave me a toy theater set based on Gorey's work in the play "Dracula". I set it up in my office.

Yes, I am an adult.

Saints and Spinners said...

Nick and Galetea: Thanks for all the guitar tips! This information is good to know, because I really want to try a lot of different kinds of guitars before I allow myself to fall in love with just one.

Limpy99: That miniature stage set sounds so cool. I'm going to hunt around for a photo on the internet so I can see for myself. And, ahem, I am the last person who would wonder if you are an "adult" because you have a toy theatre. :)

Ruth said...

Maurice Sendak is AMAZING. I think I might need that Nutcracker book.

Saints and Spinners said...

Ruth: Thanks for stopping by! I think you will be satisfied with the Nutcracker book.

Liz said...

That is a lot to absorb buddy. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the Thanksgiving lamb. I do think that picture would make a really cute tattoo though :)

Saints and Spinners said...

Nonny: The lamb was just delicious.