Friday, October 19, 2007

My group lesson was last night. It was a subdued group. Pete, Sande, Lee, Garth, Drew and myself attended. It had been 2 weeks since our last group lesson, and 3 weeks since I had been there. I know that I had trouble getting in practice time on a regular basis, and we did seem to have improved in playing - most of us - but we all struggled.

Somebody - not mentioning any names or anything - seemed to think it was a race to get to the end of the tune and played as fast as they could. This threw me off, too. I'm not sure I played in time or not, cuz all I could hear was the rushing notes. I tried to keep my fingers going in time with Jason's but I'm not sure I succeeded. Very frustrating. I feel for the people who had to play with me in the group when I did things like that -- when I do things like that!!

We were advised to work on the reel and jig (Brown Haired Maiden and Farewell to the Tay, in case you've forgotten. I can never remember which is the reel and which is the jig, I just know BHM comes first in the set) on pipes only. "Forget the PC this week", he said. "Pipes only."

On the plus side, Pete looked much less stressed out. Looked like he'd gotten about 10 years younger. I had heard that he was in a dead-end job under a lot of stress and that he had finally quit, but I don't know what he is doing now.

Also, Grant (another Grade IV member) has gotten himself engaged.

Getting to the lesson didn't help to relieve my stress and guilt at all. In stopping to fill up for gas at the station a few hours earlier, the car would not respond when we tried to restart it. My dear and amazing husband, Todd "McGyver" discovered that one battery cable connection had been completely eaten away. Using some tools he had in his backpack from bicycle trips, he loosened the clamp, pulled out the old (fossilized) bit of battery cable which looks now like a trilobite and does not conduct electricity, cleaned off the remaining end of good cable and clamped it back in. Sort of. All he had was a knife and an adjustable wrench, so the connection wasn't very good, but the car started and we got him to work. I was supposed to take a ratchet to the bolts when I got back home, and I forgot in the flurry of getting dinner ready and getting ready to go. So when I went to start the car again, I did get lights and dials and things, but as soon as I turned the key, . . . . everything went dark. Hurriedly remembering my task, I fetched the ratchet wrench set and electrical tape and a couple of other wrenches and tightened up all the bolts connecting cable to battery. I put the tools in the back seat, seeing how my luck was going that day. Then the car started right up. But all that fetching and tightening took up the extra time I had planned on for driving to my lesson on surface streets instead of the freeway.

See, I forgot to mention that Tall Daughters #1 and #2 (21 and 18) have taken my little trusty Hyundai (Salazar Verde: Salazar because he's a standard transmission and a royal pain to learn to drive if you're not used to standard transmissions, and Verde because he's green) to California for a road trip to visit Disneyland and friends and relatives in that area. They left Thursday morning, so we have the Speedy Grey car from 1997 to drive, and it has a terrible shimmy in the front end when you try to accelerate anywhere. We've poured $$ into this problem, replacing tires and motor mounts and tie-rods and getting the brakes fixed and wheels alligned. But it still shimmies. So surface streets are better. Safer

So I had to take the freeway anyway. I thought the car was going to come apart on I-215, bolts and springs and wheelie-things rolling away into oblivion. It did not, and for that I am grateful. But after that I stuck to surface roads as I wasn't in such a hurry. The stress of that launch did nothing for my nervousness in going to a lesson for which I had not practiced. Here's another thing I can add to The List of Reasons to Practice: Nerves are much less if you know what you are doing and have prepared. If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear. That's a scripture from somewhere. I'll have to look it up later when I'm not at work.

OK, Epilogue of yesterday: The girls arrived safely in LA (if you can do anything safely in LA) last night, the car started right up after my lesson, I got to read to Small Son before going to bed myself, but I did not get enough sleep and am groggy today as a result. Daughter #3 has to be taken to Park City this afternoon, so no naps, and Park City can only be reached by freeway going uphill steadily, which the Speedy Grey car does not do. We may op out for this week; that trip just doesn't feel good.

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