Saturday, October 24, 2009

Busy Signal

Wow - I looked, and can't believe it's been a solid month since I last posted.

As one might surmise, life has been busy this last little bit. Rob has been alternating his time between out of state and out of country, with only little bits of time - never more than a week, usually about three days - at home in between trips. It looks to continue this way until mid-December. Whereupon, he's planning to take off the entire latter half of the month. We will note that when he's on the road, he works seven days a week, no weekends or days off - and on his last stop home, he worked two of the three days he was home. They'd better give him that two weeks off, or he's going to fall over soon.

I'm playing organ Sunday, my third time doing so. This time it's just prelude (Finlandia by Sebelius) and postlude (Toccata in E-minor by Pachelbel). I have started working on hymns, though, so I will probably start doing some of those sometime soon. I was going to do the entrance hymn this Sunday, but it simply isn't ready. At best the pace could be described as funereal. I was shocked by how difficult is was to play a hymn "properly" on the organ, as opposed to simply playing it as if I were at a piano. The sound is very different - and like anything when you dissect it to improve it, it falls apart in the middle. Suddenly I can't even play the hymn pianistically anymore, even though I could sight-read it pretty well a week ago. Roger has told me to pick out five hymns I want to learn to start with, and start playing around with them to get the hang of organ distribution (S in right hand, AT in left, B in foot). Give me a month or two, and I might get somewhere.

Somewhere, Karen (my piano teacher of ten years as a kid) would be laughing herself sick at me right now. She was continuously frustrated because my practicing was so sporadic. I would practice when I had a piece I really wanted to learn, and just do enough to get by the rest of the time. Now I'm putting in 90 minutes to three hours every day and it's not enough! I'm not getting this down fast enough. If I could revert to the schedule I had as a kid, I'd probably be putting in 4 or more hours a day.

On the karate front, the Lennox Legacy tournament is getting close. I'm brushing up Chinto and Tokumine no kun for my kata, and we're doing a lot more sparring practice. This year, all of our teenaged boys have suddenly shot up, so that while I still outmass them all, suddenly there are two more people in the dojo who have height and reach on me, and another who's close to my height. Fortunately for me, if not for them, they haven't quite figured out what to do with the extra leg and arm length yet.

I'm a little nervous that I may end up as a ring judge at Lennox. Based on past years, it's fairly likely that if I'm at all willing, I'll be used. I can handle judging sparring as a corner judge, but the idea of judging katas makes me uneasy. I know what I tend to look for in a good kata, but converting that into a number score? Not a clue.

Dad Wood heads off back to TN next week, and Rob is out until Halloween, so it's a week of just me and the boys coming up. No guarantees on posting.

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