I discussed my ravings with Mrs. NFB last night. The stuff about me playing violin again. After a brief moment where she gave me that look, you know the one, that look that says, "what the fuck are you on about this time?" she said OK and discussed it rationally with me.
It's amazing how supportive she can be of my little stupidities.
So, after our discussion I felt the pull even harder and decided to dig out my one playable violin from the storage shed. I've got four back there. Two are completely unplayable. One was my main instrument as I was learning how to play, handed down from dad, given to him by his grandfather. That one had been cracked after a performance when some upper-classman threw me into a water fountain. To be fair, he thought he was just checking me into the wall. So, in late 1986/early 1987 I bought my last violin. It was considered an "advanced student" instrument at the time. I always found it annoyingly scratchy after having the well-aged family violin as a player for so long. But, it was easy to play.
I went out to the shed and dug it out of hiding. Leaving it in the case for a few hours to acclimate as we had our usual evening, I became twitchy with anticipation. I only played that violin for about a year, maybe less, back when I bought it. By then, my teacher/tutor's overt sexual advances toward me became too much to take in and I dropped it and took up piano instead.
Little did I know that bitch was nuts too. When I finally gave up lessons altogether due to the craziness, she gave me a special tape about how I was going down the wrong path with playing the guitar and that satan was taking me and that by giving up piano I was giving up my soul and blah, blah, de fucking blah.
Hmm. It occurs to me there may be a reason I decided to never take guitar lessons from anyone.
But I digress.
After a few hours when I figured temperatures were as balanced as they were going to get inside the case, I opened up the old beast and took her out. Tuned her up with a tone generator on the computer, rosined up the bow, and attempted to play.
Now, I've infrequently gotten it out over the years and played a few notes just to see what I could see, but haven't had any serious intentions with a violin since 1987 or so. Twenty years is a long time.
I was shocked with what happened. Favorite passages of favorite songs came flooding back quickly. I wasn't quite as fast as I used to be, and the motions weren't as fluid, but it was there. My vibrato was non-existent. I remember the switch to guitar being a struggle because of the vibrato issue. Fretted vibrato is a very different animal to non-fretted vibrato. But outside of that, the basics were sound. Very little side-bow action, which is a horrible sound when it happens. That was my biggest fear, the line-up of the bow.
It all just seemed to fall back into place.
Granted, I couldn't tell you the name of any of those songs. I could tell you the reason my violin only has a high-E fine tuner. The teachers always had single fine tuners. My new violin had come with all four strings having fine tuners. Somehow I convinced myself that the fine tuners were to blame for my horrible scratchy tone. I was wrong, but too lazy to put them back after taking them off.
I could tell you about my stand partner through about 80% of my orchestral career and how, when we first started together, we used to sit towards the back (before they seated by skill) and do the Thundercats thing with our bows. Or how we would sway back and forth during a tuning session until the director would scream at us for sending waves at him. Or how much fun we had every time we had to shuffle sheet music.
Or about the kid who was always in the cello section screwing around more than playing, yet could still play circles around any other cello player.
Or about the switch from Mr. Simon to Miss Mollie, and how much we missed the old kooky bastard.
I could tell you a lot, but I couldn't tell you the name of those songs to save my life.
But I could play them.
Would that I had a microphone around last night so I could record how good, and how bad, I really am right in these moments, picking it back up after so long. The instrument needs replaced. That scratchy tone that annoyed me as a kid makes me want to shove ice-picks in my ears now. I swear the instrument sounds worse now than it did twenty years ago. Even the teachers thought it was a pretty big step down from the instrument I had previously.
But me? I'm due some practice time to get my speed back into shape, but I can play. Way better than I have any right to.
May the scary sky dude have mercy on all your souls when I get the ability to record it.
Economy blah, blah, blah. Fuckers still don't get it. And I'm sorry, but the chimp saying that the economy is fine is not reassuring anybody. Even the folks with complete blind faith in him are raising their eyebrows at that pronouncement.
Obama blah, blah, blah blah blaaah blah blah. If AFKS spouted off some stupid shit, which happens about every day, I wouldn't expect to be held responsible for his words. Why the fuck does everybody assume a political candidate has complete control over every thought, word, and deed of every person he's ever met? I mean, seriously, he's a politician, there must be some REAL dirt on him somewhere. This is the controversy you're gonna push?
Governors blah blah sexcapades blah. So somebody and his wife used to invite somebody in for threesomes. OK, they were both involved, nobody seems to have been hurt, who the fuck cares? NEXT!
THIS SECTION SPECIFICALLY FOR BOB ABOOEY:
Brit-watch showed a picture of her upcoming appearance on How I Met Your Mother. It's amazing how good she can still look when she's all done up with glasses and makeup. The glasses were a very nice touch. Though I hear tell Alicia Silverstone dropped out on her part because she heard Brit was gonna be playing her seXX0rz-tarry. Instead we get the gal who played Elliot on Scrubs in that part. Oh well, bummer.
I stayed up way too late and saw things no man should ever see on TV.
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