Monday, September 15, 2008

Rainiest Day Eveh

Don't know if you heard about this, but we've had some rain the Chicago area lately. In fact, Saturday, it turns out, was the rainiest day in Chicago (recorded) history, as around 7 inches fell at O'Hare. 9 inches closer to us. Thankfully, the new house kept dry while raging torrents evacuated water from the neighborhood. To my untrained eye, whoever designed this neighborhood did very well, from a hydrological perspective.

Papa's house* (you know, the one visited by the funny looking dog with deer ears, a wallaby's rump, and Eeyore's tail) was less fortunate. It, like every other house in the neighborhood, had water in the basement. One day after the downstairs carpet was cleaned. (Insert head banging on wall icon here, as Papa surely would if he had a blog.)

* - Papa = Sue's dad, just in case you hadn't heard that. Of course, Grandma lives there too, but for some reason, it's always been Papa's house.

We spent most of Saturday there, ostensibly to help with the cleanup / dryout. As it turned out, there was little we could do, except watch Papa cleverly engineer a shop vac / hose contraption. This was briefly fascinating, but it wore quickly on both the audience and the performer, who preferred to be left alone. And since all the toys have already moved to the new house, this left few options on the rainiest day eveh... except... (Wait for it...)

Play the piano! (Piano-free posts didn't last long, did they? Did you expect them to?)

Yes, Ole Bessie hasn't made (and won't make ) the move to the new house, but remains firmly, stubbornly, where she's always been, at Papa's house. Jillian and Jason went pretty much straight to her, and picked up right where they left off. They didn't miss beat (sorry about inflicting that one on you, but it was screaming at me). Since, as you'll recall, Jillian promoted Jason from the Schaum Green Book, they began work on the Red Book, which Jillian herself hasn't yet completed. I'd guess, in all, they spent about 90 minutes between the two of them, catching up on lost ground. I was impressed with their progress, but equally impressed, if not moreso, with their interest.

Later in the afternoon, with cupfuls of water continuing to trickle out of the basement, I took my turn. You wouldn't believe it. I didn't. I had actually improved on things I hadn't been practicing, if that makes any sense. I can now do a slow, halting, hands-together version of Stella del Mattino. Go figure. I couldn't even do the RH part of it by itself before. And I did quite a bit of work on the two other Einaudi pieces I'd been working on, Limbo and Ombre. I was so happy with Limbo, I was sorry I didn't post a new clip of it for you. Next chance I get. And with Ombre, I can do those tricky triplet measures correctly about 3 times out of 4. For some reason, the triplets themselves don't bother me; it's the getting back to common time in the next measure that trips me up.

On the way home, I mentioned to Jillian that I had played so much, the backs of my hands were sore. "Wow, daddy, that happened to me, too. Our hands must miss playing piano."

And finally, on that note, an anonymous benefactor (let's call her "Grandma MA") has come forward to play the role of September Santa. More updates on this exciting turn of events as events warrant.


Michelle Himes said...

Is September Santa bringing you a new piano?

Always Wanted to Play Piano said...

Hi, mom3gram. Yup, that's the hope. However, there are higher priorities in the Houston area these days, so stay tuned.