Daily Archives: February 12, 2007


People, where are you all? Post! I’m writing a letter and I need a) distraction, and b) inspiration.

Later: Thank you, world! It was a long newsy letter, and I needed my memory jogged. I noodled around e-lists and journals and music sites, too. And now I have stayed up much too late, but at least this letter will hit the mail tomorrow morning.

I think I forgot to eat dinner.


Listening to the recording made of this past band rehearsal, I am frustrated by what sounds like my lack of capability to produce anything remotely close to correct intonation Saturday morning. Sometimes I wish that my instrument was fretted or keyed so that the sound I produce would be more or less exactly the same every time, assuming the overall tuning is correct, as there are fewer things that can go wrong. One of the things I like about the cello is the ability to push a note up or down to lean on accidentals, but the price for this bonus is having no set reference where your fingers have to go to produce a precise sound, which in turn is affected by so many tiny factors that it’s a wonder I ever end up within an eighth of my desired note. Vagaries such as tiny muscle motion, balance, fractional differences in how the instrument is set up each time, length of the endpin, temperature affecting fingers, strings, and instrument structure are often the culprits, but one can’t blame everything on the co-operation of multitude of tiny factors like this. The human element renders machine-like precision impossible, however, and I don’t think machine-like precision makes for very good music anyway. I’d just like my human element to be a bit more on, and a bit less like human error.

I have to find some way to get a feed out from my amp or pickup into a set of headphones for my ear. When everyone is playing I can’t clearly hear what I’m doing, and so I can’t adjust the intonation accordingly.

On the other hand, I deliberately didn’t set up my music stand for reference except for one song, and then to be used for only one part of that song, so I’m pleased about that. I haven’t been reading music for a while, but if the stand is up I glance at it automatically which distracts me from what I’m doing. The stand is a crutch, and I’m glad I’m past that.

And quite apart from the finicky details about my dissatisfaction with my performance, the recordings sound wonderful. If I step past listening to my mistakes, the overall effect is really, really good. The problem is that these recordings are a learning tool so that we can hear those mistakes and make a note to fix them, and I have to hear the mistakes before I can relax enough to hear the song as a whole, as the audience would.

Come On, Mama, Keep Up

I am about to engage in the most mommy-blogging of mommyblogging, so feel free to skip this. If it had happened six hours earlier it would have been part of the twenty-month post.

The local toy emporium is having a sale this week on potties, and so we picked one up on Saturday to put aside for toilet training when it eventually comes around. We unpacked it and put it in the bathroom so the boy could get used to having it around. He crawled all over it and was very excited about it.

Last night after his bath I asked him if he wanted to sit on it, thinking it would be a good habit to get into with no pressure. “No point,” said HRH as the boy obligingly settled himself down. “He went before the bath.”

And then we looked at one another as we heard the distinct sound of Liam doing precisely what one does on a potty. The boy looked very pleased with himself, and we cheered.

This morning when he got up I asked him if he wanted to change his diaper or use the potty. “Potty!” he said immediately with an excited nod. It may have actually worked, too, if he hadn’t bounced right back up again after sitting down, saying “cold!”. Looks like we’ll have to keep the heat on in the bathroom at night now.

So there you have it: it appears that toilet training has begun, although it wasn’t planned. Once again, this child moves faster than we expected him to move. Next thing we know he’ll be telling us that the crib is passe, and can he have the car keys, please?