Monday, November 27, 2006

Is that a cello on your back or are you just happy to see me?

I have been taking cello lessons for exactly one month. My teacher is a charming young professional cellist and composer and we have a good time as I squack (skwak?) my way through each hour while she tries to be supportive and helpful. Here is the main thing that I have learned during my month as a student of the cello: it is HARD. I mean really friggin' difficult. For anyone thinking that they may want to start a new instrument --particularly a string instrument-- be prepared to sound like a dying swan for (get this) the entire first year. Good times, eh?

Try to also imagine navigating the subway turnstiles with a cello-sized backpack. This was a pure comedy when I first tried it, but now I have it down to an art. I slip through the flipper-spinner things like a hot knife through butter. People marvel at my ninja-like grace. (Okay, maybe not. But I imagine they might.) And each and everytime I take my cello for a subway ride, some dumbass asks "Is that a violin?" And then a little bit of me dies inside for the lack of arts and music education funding in schools.

My fingers and hands and wrists hurt like hell, but I have been fairly diligent about practicing. I rock Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. The only bad part about practicing is that yes, 99% of it sounds really horrible and I feel bad for our landlords below. I imagine they look at each other when I start "playing" (I used the term loosely) and then simultaneously reach for fuzzy earmuffs to drown out the sound of goose-murder above. I try to play when they are not home.

In other news, I got my little art room and adjoining art closet organized. Nicole has started referring to it as Carrie's Dirty Pillows room. You know, the closet where Carrie's mom sends her when she's been bad... never mind. You had to be there.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thanks and Happies

Hello family and friends, and a belated Happy Thanksgiving to you. Here are some pictures that I've taken in and around my neighborhood the past few days. I promise a wordier blog later.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Can my dog come with me into the fitting room?

Today I walked to Williamsburg, which is the next neighborhood over from my own. It has a repuatation for being So Cool That it Hurts. I had Jack with me and together we went into the Hipster Vintage Clothing Store (not it's real name.) "Can she come in?" I asked the Cool Girl behind the counter, and gestured toward Jack. "Sure!" the Cool Girl replied. And gave Jack some pets.

Doggy and I looked around for a while until we found a nifty sweater and a dress. I just sort of draped her leash on her back and let her follow me as I wandered. I headed toward the fitting room, where again it seemed like no big deal that I had a small German Shepherd following me, and they ushered me into a curtained room where I proceeded to try on my Hip Vintage Garments. As I pondered the (sadly) too-big dress that was barely hanging on my body, I realized that Jack had decided to leave the confines of our little curtained dressing room. "Jacky!" I said, peeking out of my curtain. And then I spied her wagging tail... she had helped herself to another (occupied) curtained dressing room.

"On my god! I'm so sorry" I yelped as I grabbed her leash from the floor and pulled her out of the foreign changing room and back into my own. "That's okay," came a non-chalant voice. As though it's no strange thing to have a random, one-eyed dog just wander into your dressing room.

I love New York.

PS: I bought the sweater.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Run, Marathoners, Run!

Today was the world famous New York Marathon, and it happened to wind itself right through Greenpoint. Our Little Poland was mile marker 12, and before I hopped onto the subway to head to work, I stopped to watch some of the participants run by. Only I didn't actually see any "runners", but I did see lots and lots of guys on those big trike-bike things. I got to see the Marathoners who didn't have legs, or for whatever other reason couldn't use their legs. It was pretty amazing.

It was also a lot more emotional that I anticipated. I mean, I have absolutely zero connection to this event and I was very moved. As I approached the roped off area that was the race course, the competitor's pathway was lined with neighborhood people. The old guys who usually spend Sundays hungover on the park benches were all in a line, cheering their gruff hearts out at the guys whizzing by on their three-wheeley-machines. Moms and kids in church clothes were there, a band was playing, and our neighborhood firemen were there with the lights on their rig flashing. And every time someone flew by, the crowed yelled like it was their own family member out there. It was very, very cool. You could feel (and literally almost see) the energy coming off of the Marathoners. I can't imagine the feeling at the finish line.

When I got on the subway to actually go to work, it was full of people visiting New York (from all over the world and lots of locals, too) who had balloons and big signs that said things like "Run, Jenny, Run!!" or "5th Marathon's a charm!". They were all getting off at various stops to make sure they caught their runner at just the right junction to cheer them on. It was a very neat vibe.

So, I still have no desire to run 20-some-odd miles myself, but I am excited to take NYC Marathon Day off of work next year so I can go cheer on people I don't know. And my family and friends who have accomplished this feat, way to go. Amazing.

In other news...

The musical that My Talented Other Half directed last month got the "Best Of" award for the festival that they produced the show for.

And tomorrow I am going to Ikea. And that is very exciting.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

not dead, just busy.

I am a neglectful (is that a word?) blogger. I am also, during this business, a neglectful corresponder. We are knee deep in the moving-into-a-new-and-wonderful-apartment process, and real life takes a backseat when everything you own is hidden away in cardboard boxes. Not to mention the fact that I can't find any pots or pans and I have the sneaking suspiscion that I threw them all away before we put everything in storage. Which seemed like a good idea at the time...

Let's just say that between myself and my better half, we have 17 boxes of books. And that's not counting the boxes that already made their way to work with my husband. Bibliophiles for life!