Category Archives: instrument
It’s February = time to check in on New Year’s resolution progress
- GOAL: Read 30 new books. As of today, I have read 1.5 books, loads of magazine articles and too many stories about protests in the Middle East. But, because not much of this counts toward my goal, the official tallY is 1. 29 to go.
- GOAL: Run 500 miles. I knew this was going to be hard since I started the year unable to jog and with no clear deadline of when I would be able to. I have not run a single mile since October 2010, but I have walked briskly a respectable 2 miles in the past month. I’m counting that towards my goal. Again, official tally stands at 2. 498 to go.
- GOAL: Eat more kosher meals. I’ve done fairly well but haven’t been able to string together a few days’ worth of kosher eating habits. AMENDMENT: Kosher Mondays. I’ll post my Monday meals here so you know what I’m up to.
- Started accordion lessons on Saturday afternoons. More to come…
- Arabic studies continue. Watched Al-Jazeera in recent class and could make out a few things. Progress!
- AHHHH! Even before I write it, while I’m thinking of writing it, I’m peeved. I had booked my trip to Egypt and Jordan almost two months ago and now, because of obvious circumstances, that trip is on hold. I sympathize with all those people protesting and find it exciting that such changes are unfolding across the Middle East. But, I’m also bummed that I might not be able to go. How awesome to be in that midst and witness history?! If I’m forced to change my travel plans, then I likely won’t see those World Wonders before my deadline.
- Total failure. Life remains as cluttered as before.
- Jordan’s appointment of a new prime minister will not be enough to silence the protests (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)
- Egypt’s economy hurt as travelers avoid the unrest (sfgate.com)
- Live Q&A: Middle East protests (guardian.co.uk)
This weekend I took a small step forward, but a giant leap for the musician in me.
I had checked and rechecked office hours. I emailed basic questions. I called to confirm. I drove to Los Feliz and walked right into Dave’s Accordion School.
Yep, I am officially a musician in training!
I had my very first lesson on the accordion Saturday on this beautiful red Castiglione. I’m not going to pretend it was pretty. I was slow. I stumbled on the bass. I sucked on the keys. I exaggerated my piano experience. But… I was told that I picked it up fairly easily and should be able to learn quickly.
Now, I’m not at all self-conscious about getting stuck with the children’s lesson book.
I’ve begun to practice at home. Ugh… How to describe the sound??? There’s a good chance I could be banished to the garage. I guess the beautiful sounds that come from my bellows are an acquired taste here at home. I’m not worried, though. I’ll convert them all when I’m able to play amazing French and Italian ballads, tangos, polkas or a little Cheap Trick… norteña style!
I made the deadline. My own internal, meaningless deadline.
To make sure I was serious about my New Year’s resolutions, I vowed to write them out by the end of the first week of January. First, it was Dec. 31. But laziness impeded that. Then, it was Jan. 1, then the end of the weekend and finally, the end of the first week.
Writing them out and posting them, holds me accountable. It also helps provide a reference because, unfortunately, my resolutions don’t read like deep life-changing goals. More like a To-Do list or some weekend errands.
I roundly failed at each and every one of my resolutions from last year. Which means? I’m trying them again. To recap: I resolve to read 30 new books, run 500 miles, eat kosher (for more than one day in a row), do a pull-up. It won’t be easy. I’ve already started off on a bad foot/ankle. Haven’t run more than a couple yards to beat the bathroom crowd at HP7Pt1 in mid-November. Even that was ill-advised. But things are looking up. I’ve started PT and hope to be back to the back-of-the-pack by February.
But for everything else, I’m looking good. I have a shiny, new Kindle for the reading. I’m cutting down on cheese, which will undoubtedly, help me in my attempts to have a few back-to-back-to-back kosher meals. I’m focusing more on upper-body strength (thanks to a weak ankle) so I’ll be able to conquer that elusive pull-up, my own personal Windmill.
My Before-30 List
The crux of this blog. I need to get cracking on the list of things I wanted to do. I, sadly, can’t run The LA Marathon this year, but maybe once I’m all healed I’ll be able to run a marathon in Los Angeles. Lame. This is what I absolutely will do this year: watch AFI’s 100 best movies, find my red lipstick, play the accordion, ride a horse, visit two world wonders, continue my Arabic studies, shoot a gun, go rock-climbing, run in Central Park and see a Broadway play on Broadway, win at chess, take a dance class, take a martial arts class, take a cooking lesson, relax at a spa… ahhh!
And there’s still more…
Year of the Great Purge
In terms of resolutions, this one will truly require my constant attention. I am up-chucking everything!! Clothes I haven’t worn in the last year. Jewelry that I haven’t sported since I was a freshman at UCLA, which is really not that long ago ;). Shoes that don’t fit or don’t get rocked! Shit in storage that’s been sitting in storage FOR-EV-ER. I’m also going to tame that impulse I have to buy meaningless knick-knacks and tchotchkies. Get stripped down to the basics.
Once upon a time, I lived “comfortably” with two other roommates in a cell dorm known as Rieber Hall. I only had some storage under my bed and a small-ass armoire to put my shit in, on and around. “Comfortable” may be too strong. The point is, I managed. How’s it possible that my larger bedroom with a closet, a nine-drawer dresser, a four-drawer dresser, a bookshelf and a jewelry stand is not enough?! My place always looks like a disaster zone and attempts to organize it are full-day affairs! That’s ridiculous! RI-DIC-U-LOUS!!
I have pretty vivid dreams and I love the fact that I can remember them most mornings. This last one was no exception. Now, I’m not trying to be deep about meaning. I also don’t want to analyze my recurring nightmare of teeth cracking like icebergs. Sometimes you have a dream and it’s meaning is pretty self-explanatory. Take, for example, last night’s.
I was part of a professional painting crew. My peeps were contracted to redo the studio/home of Mexican alt rock/electronica band Kinky. We were all excited to get such a big commission. Some more than others. Ok, there were groupies in my crew. Not me. I kept it cool. I kept it professional until I had to ditch them to pick up the crew leader’s son from his swimming class. ((Here’s where the dream veers to surreal because I had to drive the car into the pool for the kid to swim up to his seat.))
Back to painting, back to Kinky. On the drive back, I realized that I had an awesome opportunity to talk to one of the band members about the accordion. After some wrong turns and shady city diversions, I made my way back to studio/home (with kid in tow) to ask said dude about the accordion.
To my shock and dismay, my crew hadn’t painted a single wall. They were going Kinky crazy!!!
Obviously, this means:
A) My priorities are skewed bc I should be throwing myself at some musicians instead of prioritizing paint and jumpsuits.
B) It’s time to get my squeezebox on!
I’ve just created a new page on this blog that’s going to keep a tally of the stuff I plan to do. It’s conveniantly called: The List. So far, I’ve listed five items. Some of them have firm deadlines, like the Las Vegas 1/2 marathon or the LA marathon. Others will probably take me two years to accomplish (learning the accordion?).
I’ll be adding to The List frequently and when I’ll do, I’ll add a new post.
Check it out! I’m always looking for new ideas.