Daily Archives: October 27, 2008

Seeking Silver Linings

Okay. Have somewhat recovered from the Great Cello Disappointment of ’08, and am ready to move on.

It was the size of the number that was throwing me. Divided by two it was easier to wrap my mind around, but still beyond what we’d originally thought and definitely beyond my budget. And I can’t ask my cousin to pay that much either; he’s got a spouse and a child just a few months younger than Liam, plus a mortgage.

So I think we’ll just put it back in a closet until such time as we can afford it. It was in a closet for three years; another few won’t make a difference. When I am Wealthy from Selling Many Books and Reaping Wild Royalties I’ll think about it again. Or if we win the lottery. They’re equally possible at this point.

In the meantime there are other things to save up for, like a down payment for a house. And again, it’s not like I have no instrument at all; I’m not in a situation where I absolutely have to find one as soon as possible. And if size becomes an increasingly sensitive issue for my technique, the Eastman 7/8 is muchly affordable. I suspect my luthier will keep ordering them in until I find one that I am quite comfortable with, and we can then finesse it until it’s perfect. My teacher has already recommended that I use a smaller instrument for improved handling and intonation — before she was my teacher, of course, but last lesson she did say that my regular hand position was necessarily exaggerated because the cello was so large and was probably one of the reasons my intonation is wibbly. This means I get to go back to idly trying 7/8s while I sock money away. Not a bad deal at all. (One thing this experience has given me is a better perspective on the idea of buying something equivalent in quality to what I have. A lateral move that helps improve my handling of the instrument is fine, especially if it saves money like buying the Eastman would. One of the things that I was stumbling over with the Eastman celli was their affordablility; I had a bigger budget, and it’s not like I had to spend the extra money, but if it was there maybe I could have found something better. Now that we’re looking at saving money, things are different. Funny how a single experience can change your point of view just by giving it context.)

In other cello-related news, last night I did indeed buy that soft case I found listed on Kijiji. It was a case of (no pun intended) buying this one for $45, or taking my current case into a tailor shop to have them set a protective flap of something soft to lie under the zipper to protect what’s beneath it (there’s an actual term for that but I can’t remember it), in this instance the cello (because remember, zipper scratching cello = bad, bad, bad) which would probably cost around forty dollars anyhow. It isn’t exactly the model I used this summer with the trial 7/8 it’s the next model down: more basic, less luxurious. This soft case still has three times the padding of my original gig bag and has a carrying handle parallel to the length of the case so I can carry it beside me, as opposed to the perpendicular handles the had me carrying the original gig bag upright with the neck of the cello leaning against my shoulder instead. It has backpack straps too, although I think I’ll put my original straps on the new case because they’re wider and have the rubber grip pads on them so they won’t slip. I’m very happy with it. My cello fits very snugly in it, so the case doesn’t slide around it like the original gig bag does, which means I have better control over the cello as I carry it. The one drawback I’ve found is that the pocket for sheet music is sized for 8 x 10 inch folders, whereas my music folder is 11 x 14. It also lacks a second small pocket on the back of the neck which is where I put my leather endpin strap in my original case, which isn’t a huge deal. It’s a fully acceptable sacrifice for the padding and protection! It keeps its shape when it’s empty. That’s how much padding it has.

I am also trying to coordinate with the seller of the hard case to take a look at it. It’s the same hard case our substitute principal at the Canada Day concert had, one that I don’t see listed for sale often. The hard case was going to be a necessity for the Mystery Cello, but it’s obviously not as crucial any more. Still, it’s a steal of a deal, and worth checking out, as I’ll need a new hard case at some point. Fortunately she’s open to the idea of meeting me on her lunch hour on Thursday; I’ll be needing the car as she’s off in Ahuntsic. I have to bring my cello, you see, to make sure it fits, and the idea of going home via public transport with two cases is frightful. Also, it would take most of my day and I have work to do.

Speaking of work, off I go to download another manuscript evaluation. And in other news, tonight is our first parent-teacher interview with the boy’s educators. I’m going to forget that if I don’t set an alarm to tell me when to stop working and leave in time to meet HRH at work via public transport.