Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday can't play the piano

Hello, girls, it's Monday!

Alexandra: Your friend is such a brilliant reminder of how we are all intelligent in different ways! Also, I want you to know, I have completed your challenge! I won't be talking about it here, obviously, but I have cooked things, and my boyfriend and I ate them, and neither of us got sick! So, success! :)

Carlyn: Procrastinate? You? Never. I refuse to believe it. Also, thank you for the ice. I got it to my . . . friend . . . and you'll be pleased to know that the penguins have been taken care of. Now to figure out what to do about the carpet . . .

Christina: Fingers crossed for your internet. We miss you!

Nano update, for anyone interested. It is Day 7. Target word count for the end of Day 7 is 11,666 words. My current word count is 14, 092. I am not currently beating my brother (not that everything's a competition between us . . .) For about six shining hours this morning, I was. Then he got up and wrote another 500 words. And I've spent the morning doing errands. Sigh . . .

But speaking of the fact that my brother and I aren't competitive at all, this week's topic!

So, I don't know if I've mentioned it, but I took piano lessons for about 11 years of my life, from first grade through high school, with a couple hiatus years in there when I was between teachers. Overall, I had two phenomenal teachers and one pretty mediocre one, but I got a good grounding in how to read music and chords, piano technique, and music theory. And I can play, strictly speaking. After eleven years, I can sit down with a piece of music and get through it, more or less. But I cannot really just play the piano, and I certainly can't accompany anyone. I stop and start and second guess myself and am far too much of a perfectionist. It takes about five months of constant, daily practice and pretty intensive work for me to get a piece to the point where I will play it in front of someone, and that was back when I was taking weekly lessons.

So, I'm not piano player. I realized this pretty early on. And I realized it because both of my brothers are. This is the point where Matthew will sputter and deny it and say that he actually can't play very well at all, he just knows how to fake it. This is also the point where I punch him. Because faking it or not, he's still miles better than I am, and he always has been.

I was okay with that, growing up. I mean, he was older and music was always more his thing than mine, so I could live with him occupying that niche, as long as he didn't come over and start sightreading the piece I'd been working on for five months and play it better than I could.

But then I started to notice that my little brother was also a better piano player than I was. And that wasn't okay, because he was three years younger, and had three years fewer experience, and was still better than I was (You should all be impressed with my maturity at this point, because I very rarely admit that my little brother is better than me at anything). The point when I realized that was the point when I came to the conclusion that I was never going to be a piano player. I envy people who have the ability, though, and I'd love to be able to just sit down and play and have beautiful, flowing music come out. But, sadly, that is not among my talents.

I would also love to be able to sign. From a young age, ASL has been fascinating to me. I love to watch interpreters -- I think there's something very beautiful and poetic about sign language. I'd love to actually learn calligraphy forms, instead of the self-taught stuff I can do, and I'd like to be able to juggle.

And that's my ability envy. Now, if you'll excuse me, Matthew's 1000 words ahead of me, and I must close the gap.

Monday out.

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