Thursday, May 28, 2015

I really need to get my shit together as far as practicing goes.

Tonight while practicing, I not only imagined the general criticism of The Thin Critical Man With Folded Arms, but imagined in detail an imaginary conversation about the Schubert, specifically about the tempo, specifically about how it's not fast enough, specifically about Janie or Johnny TigerStudentKid who achieved performance tempo after Just Two Weeks of Practice!, specifically a conversation in which it is pointed out that because I, an adult, cannot achieve performance tempo after Just Two Weeks of Practice!, it is a done deal that I will never be able to play this piece, and I will lose the audience two bars in. Damn! There goes my Carnegie Hall debut.

Monday, May 18, 2015

let these chips fall where they may.

I am looking at a few things that, should they work out, will help bring me back to a calmer and less complicated existence.

Meanwhile, there is this:


Sunday, May 17, 2015

oh, suck it up, positive.

Yesterday I
  • did not play well, for the 3rd day in a row
  • forgot how to lock my car (disclaimer: I never lock my car), only succeeded in setting off the alarm
  • missed a turn driving home
  • did not remember to "shut" the iPad properly when I stopped reading and went to sleep
ugh, what is wrong with me? and can anyone tell?

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Last week's optimism about playing is gone and I fear I will never be more than an enthusiastic but incompetent player. I hear every off note, every wobble in tone (there are many), every variation in vibrato. In my practice it's like the teacher is sitting there, arms crossed, looking at the clock, bullet point thoughts forming in his head: out of tune, out of time, doesn't sound nice, wrong note entirely, no vibrato, ugly vibrato, too slow, do I have to teach this to you line by line, sigh. 

For the umpteenth time, I want to go back to the beginning.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

the past year has not been kind to my face.

I accidentally put on a good pair of glasses today and saw my face in the bathroom mirror. It's old.

I ran 44.7 miles this week. I'm not getting any faster, or any thinner.

At my viola lesson today my teacher found fault in everything - bowing, intonation, vibrato, even my viola being out of tune. He assigned a new etude and a new piece, both of which are notey and fast, and I wanted to ask why didn't he go back to twinkle or Mississippi Hot Dog, but I held my tongue.

Monday, May 4, 2015

the universe is OK with it

Today I had my 3-month followup with the medical oncologist. I expected her to be annoyed that I stopped taking tamoxifen after only a couple of weeks. But she just said it's a shame I can't tolerate tamoxifen, because I didn't have radiation, so there's no extra thing protecting me from recurrence (other than the surgery itself, which was completely successful). But she - as cold a fish as I - was generally as unconcerned as I. I'll see her in six months.

Meanwhile, in joe-positive land: running is holding steady at around 43 slow miles a week. After a long battle waged almost entirely in my head, I played my erstwhile teacher's studio recital yesterday; I did not suck and I did not shine, and I took my lumps without incident. I still take lessons from two people (for the moment) so today it's back to the salt mines. So often I wonder if I sound as awful to other people as I sound to myself.