Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Going to Practice

I'm going to practice. Now.

I really hope I don't have to commandeer the sanctuary, Jack Bauer style, from the Organ Lady.

Seriously. Jack and I are both English majors who were born on February 18. Don't mess with the likes of us. And don't get between me and my piano.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Where My Pinky Hurts

Pretend this is a left hand.

See those red arrows? I put those there to show where my pinky is hurting. It's at the joint between the intermediate phalange and the proximal phalange. It has definitely helped to lay off piano for several weeks. Massive doses of ibuprofen have helped, too.

Today I practiced, just a bit, before the Organ Lady came in. The pinky didn’t hurt too much. At this one point, however, I had trouble even lifting my pinky (the circled numbers are the fingers).

Note that the pinky holds down the G, then picks up and presses it right back down. My pinky doesn’t want to pick up, much less press back down. It would rather just stay down.

This could, of course, be due to lack of practice. I’m hoping it is.

Many thanks to my favorite arpeggist for pointing out that the IMSLP site is alive and kicking.

Kicked Out by the Organ Lady

On weekdays, the Organ Lady haunts the halls of the stodgy Baptist church on the corner of First and Main. She's not the organist for this church, but she practices there. She wears shorts and a t-shirt, regardless of the weather. She's lonely. She's friendly, but only to certain people (or so I've heard). She's always very friendly to me. I think it helps, in this case at least, to be a Bach nerd and a half-decent pianist.

She was haunting the halls again today. I didn't know that this morning, when I got a wild hair and decided I would practice on Xan the Grand at lunch. For my faithful reader, you may remember that Xan the Grand is the old Steinway grand at the stodgy Baptist church on the corner of First and Main. I hadn't visited old Xan in ages. It was time.

So, shortly after 1:00, I braved the frigid winds and walked the block to the church. "Please, Organ Lady," I thought. "Don't be practicing today. I really want to spend some quality time with Xan the Grand."

I entered the sanctuary ... and oh, was it sanctuarious! Nary an organ tone to be heard! Nary an Organ Lady to be found!

"Waterfall, is it you?" cried Xan the Grand. "Is it really you?"

I blinked. I was hallucinating. I was so happy to have Xan the Grand to myself. I was so happy that the Organ Lady wasn't there. I proceeded to settle down with Xan and had played through two sets of scales and arps, plus a few minutes of Bach's G-minor sinfonia, when ...

She entered the room. It was the Organ Lady. My muscles tensed.

The sanctuary was no longer a sanctuary. It was a place of battle. And, as had been ordained from the moment I first learned that this church's organ is the only one within a 50-mile radius, I knew I was going to lose. I stopped playing. The white flag came out in the form of a smile and an apology. I began to pack up my stuff.

I chatted with Organ Lady for a few minutes. She'd only been taking a short break, she explained. And she was back to practice some more.

I don't resent Organ Lady. There's no rule that says I have to give up Xan every time the Organ Lady shows up, but, seeing as pianos are a dime a dozen around here and organs aren't, it wouldn't make sense to do otherwise.

Still, I wish I'd had more time with Xan. My back-up pianos were both taken, so I wasn't able to practice anymore.

I'm definitely disappointed. I'll plan to get there a little later tomorrow.