Monday, April 21, 2008

I'm learning, albeit erratically, Rhapsody in Blue for piano. I've got sheet music and a CD sans piano (though I haven't progressed that far yet). It's a tough piece, encompassing a lot of jazzy chords at a very fast pace. And at about fifty pages or so, the length can be daunting. It's good for my sight-reading skills. I rather wish I had more time to devote to the piano. One of my friends in high school was quite regimental about her practicing and the results were excellent.

Today being the first real warm sunny day this spring, I spent a few hours in the garden, both planting, weeding, and working on a painting; in other words, I spent the day getting dirty. I ordered several plants via a catalogue this year, and nearly all of them have arrived and been planted. Two I'm excited about: asparagus and rhubarb. Both are just beginning to sprout, having been in the ground for a few weeks now. The only problem is I have to wait till next year before I can harvest them. Still, I'm very confident it'll be worth the wait.

Partner is downstairs with his guitar students. The little girl is about nine I think, and she's a beginner, but I think the lesson is getting frustrating for her. They are just working on one thing over and over again. I think if they were my students, I'd take a break from the hard stuff to work on the fun stuff, then back to the hard stuff. Otherwise she might get too bored and annoyed with herself for not seeming to advance, and just give up altogether. I think learning a skill has more to do with the abilities of the teacher than the student. But I do think Partner is very good at guitar and he is enthusiastic about it.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

At last I got the snow I've been dreaming of, even though it came on Easter day, which spoiled my plans for an egg hunt. Then again, it's virtually impossible to dye eggs here, as they only seem to sell the brown ones at the stores. The only white eggs I've seen here were duck eggs at a market. Once. I made my snowman, threw my snowball, and had a good munch on a bit of clean snow off a shrub (never off the ground--the dog uses our back yard as a toilet). So all my snow cravings have been filled--except one: I didn't have enough snow to build a snow fort and initiate a snowball battle.

The snow lasted most of the afternoon, but by evening it had begun to melt and my snowman was the only bit of snow left over the next day. And even he was just a snowtot by then.

We went to see Swan Lake last week, Partner and I. Though the music was pretty schmaltzy, the swan, Odette, was excellent. However, I thought the story was a bit confusing. And here I thought it was about swans on a lake, but it was really about this prince and he doesn't even meet Odette or any swans until the fourth act. And the whole time I thought the black swan was Odette's mean husband which is why she kept running away from the prince (well, that and the fact he kept pointing a crossbow at her). Then at the end she throws herself into the lake--silly way for a swan to die, because everyone knows they are inherently buoyant. And I'm not even sure why she kills herself, because the prince was there to save her and she just kept running away from him. So my marks are as follows: Dancing: A, Sets and Scenery: A, Storyline: C-, Music: C. And, I might add, I enjoyed seeing those skin-tight trousers on the male dancers. It's a bit of role reversal when the women are all angular and the men are the one with the excellent curves on the back, on the legs, on the bottom...

All my Easter photos are here: