Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Lucky Me

I was working on my laptop computer on Sunday night, doing three things at once, as usual (working on a project, watching a DVD, and checking things on the web), when I decided to check my blog. As I clicked on it, the computer sputtered and died. And I couldn't turn it back on.

I have used computers for 25 years now, and never have I had a hard drive crash. I was terrified (there is a lot of non-backed up work on my computer), thinking, "this couldn't possibly be happening to me," yet knowing that most of my friends have experienced such crashes.

I went to bed, but couldn't sleep, hoping that the machine would somehow spring back to life in the morning. No such luck. But, when I called the store where I bought it, I was happy to learn that I had a two-year warranty, and that, yes, they were open on Memorial Day. I took it in, and, in a variant of the "turn your computer off and turn it back on again" fix, the woman at the store took the battery out and put it back in again. The computer came back to life. Whew! All my files still intact, too.

I thought it might have overheated, so they ran two days of diagnostic tests, finding nothing except that the fan wasn't working properly and it probably overheated. They will send it off for repairs, which will take a week or two, but, in the meantime, I brought it back home to back up those files. It was tough not having the computer for two will I manage for a week? Best to get it done soon though, just in case my good luck doesn't hold for the next time!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Other things

Another week of minimal practicing. But, I have been doing some long-neglected things I need to do, like get back to going to the exercise center (I hadn't gone much over the winter), cleaning up (just a little), gardening (OK, I am just contemplating this; I haven't really started), and, for fun, reading, watching movies, and, lately, reconnecting with old friends. Some I have called, some have called me, and some I have run into at the grocery store or library, on the Internet. There are many good things, and people, on the periphery of the rich, resonant cello center of my life.

A good weekend to all!

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Practicing did not go well this week. I only managed one day out of seven, today. It is so difficult to find those "ten-minute" practice times with so much to do at the moment, and various family issues.

My cello has been patient, though, and stayed perfectly in tune all week, waiting for me to devote some time to it today.

I hate going to my lesson unprepared, yet it may be worse to skip a lesson. I am contemplating taking a break from lessons (not playing) for the summer, as I am just a wee bit frazzled. :-)

Sunday, May 11, 2008


I am happy to say I have been practicing. Of course I have been falling behind in other things. It's hard to keep up.

In the course of my work, I read Democracy in American by Alexis de Tocqueville recently. De Tocqueville spent six months studying the U.S. in 1831-32. He wrote that Americans were seized with a restlessness that compelled them to be busy at all times.

So being busy seems to be entrenched in the national character, not something that will ever resolve itself. I was talking about this at a recent rehearsal with a friend of mine who is retired, but busier than ever ("We can't say no," she said), but we both agreed that playing music was a remedy for, rather than a cause of, the general stresses of life. So, practicing is the answer, even in times of busy-ness, since it is, in itself, restorative.

and Happy Mother's Day, especially to all those busy moms trying to squeeze in some practicing on this day or any other. (The roses are from my daughter.)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Not practicing

I am finding it very hard to practice lately. There is simply no time.

I did have an opportunity to talk to a winner a major piano competition recently, and he said that the year he won, he had periods where he didn't practice for 2 months at a time because of other work commitments.

I am not about to win any competitions, but it is always inspiring to hear of people who succeed despite all the opposing factors.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Nature and the String Bass

Melissa Weidman wrote this article about attending string bass camp in the wilds of Tennessee:

The Nature of Music: A Week in the Wilds of Listening

I think cellists would enjoy this story too, so encourage you to read it.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Just Past the Middle of Nowhere

Long ago, I worked for the state office of energy resources and was part of an official visit to see an ecological research center on the Cape. They worked on renewable energy, agriculture aquaculture, housing and landscapes from 1971 to 1991, after which the site became an ecologically based community.

At the time of our excursion, it seemed to take forever to travel to the center, however wonderful it was, and I remember thinking, when we finally arrived, that it was "in the middle of nowhere."

A few years later (about 12 years ago), we bought a house just down the road from ecology center, which I like to think of as "just past the middle of nowhere." The Cape is not as rural as it used to be, of course, so that description is meaningful only to me.

Here's the point of this reminiscing: our fledgling chamber orchestra will be rehearsing in the auditorium at the former research center. I could walk there, it's so close. Interesting how the site has somehow become so centrally located.