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Doo be doo be doo

This is good advice for anyone who is planning on sending in reservations to an SCA event. Other good advice would be actually sending in the reservations - too many people leave it to the last minute even if they are definitely planning on coming (people with variable schedules are exempted from this admonition). Certainly one of the most minimal displays of courtesy one can show one's hosts is to make one's interaction with the event staff as stress-free and considerate as possible, non?


We bought a baby grand piano this weekend.
Holy crap, the thing cost almost three times more than my first car. Now, my first car was a sad little used Hyundai that ran on three cylinders (it ate the other one) and a hamster wheel (more than once, driving through the mountains caused one or more hamsters to explode from the effort), and was only $3000 or so (or 1K per cylinder), but it's still a bit of a shock to buy something for a large wad of cash that doesn't have a turn signal.

(If required, the top of the piano can be lowered so that hand signals are visible from the driver's bench. Always check both ways before pulling your piano out into traffic.)

The one similarity between my first car and my new piano is that they were both paid for on an Amex card. The piano people were a bit at a loss for a minute when Bob pulled the card out - I think they're used to people financing the things, or something. Fortunately, they took it (neither Bob nor I had brought our checkbooks). I am now the proud owner of a very expensive piece of paper, and in a week, I will have my very own baby grand digitally-impelled entertainment system delivered to the farm.

I've been wanting a piano for a very long time - the sitting room was designed to accomodate a piano - and this piano is a beaut, with Steinway building methods (it's a custom store brand - when you buy a piano with "Steinway" on the lid, you're paying another 10K for that pretty gold-leafed stencil, and this piano is niiiiiiiiiiiiice to play, which is all that matters) and a key action like butter. It's got a very full sound for a baby g, as well.

A synthesizer keyboard is just not the same.

I've played piano all my life - not brilliantly, mind you - and it was my first instrument (other than my voice). It's still my favourite, and I've missed playing on a real one terribly. I was lucky enough to be able to practice on a Bechstein grand when I was in college, and though I learned on a very old (19th century) upright that was never quite in tune, I used to pretend I was a concert pianist playing to admiring audiences. I even entertained the idea (for a short while) that I could be a professional pianist. Alas, short fingers and a fear of a new piano teacher (after my old one emigrated to New Zealand) cut short my ambitions, and I, like every single girl in my class who had seen Cats, suddenly wanted to be a dancer instead.

In my case, a short, pudgy, dancer. You can see how I ended up an artist. No height requirement, no finger-length requirement, and starving in a garret because you refuse to sell out and make your work commercially viable is excellent for that pudge problem.

(I had to go with a commercial weight-loss program because I am a complete whore and will sell out in a second.)

However, I never lost my love for the piano, and I finally have one again after twenty years of electronic keyboards and playing on other people's pianos. Satin ebony finish, matching bench, and a top big enough to lie on while singing torch songs.

Oh, yeah. 


( 18 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )
Jan. 28th, 2008 02:36 pm (UTC)
I have a full sized grand that was my Yule gift to myself the year I divorced my ex. Somehow we could afford everything he wanted, but any type of piano so I could keep playing was somehow too much. Anyway, I bought the piano, and then had to find a house with a room big enough to house it. I now have a lovely piano instead of a dining table in what was supposed to be the formal dining room. Priorities, don't you know.
Jan. 29th, 2008 12:03 am (UTC)
Good for you, I say! Such priorities are very important.

And 'grats to attack_laurel on having a new friend to play with!!
Jan. 28th, 2008 02:43 pm (UTC)
And at least with beating back the pudge, you can actually GET up onto a piano, hahahahah You'll look fab up there with your fuzzy slippers and PJs...sing it sista!
Jan. 28th, 2008 02:44 pm (UTC)
Congradulations on your new piano! That's awesome!
Jan. 28th, 2008 03:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, baby grand... That's absolutely lovely!

The only time I don't send reservations is when I'm planning to day-trip and don't mind not getting on-board. Otherwise, my check is IN THE MAIL!!!!
Jan. 28th, 2008 03:18 pm (UTC)
I *wish* I could play a piano, or any keyboard for that matter. My left hand is terminally STUPID, so even though I took lessons and tried, it never worked.

And it would be so helpful, since I cannot sight read. Any songs I learn are from repeated hearings..
Jan. 28th, 2008 03:34 pm (UTC)
But pianos aren't period! What are you thinking?!?

::runs and hides now::
Jan. 28th, 2008 03:38 pm (UTC)
Nor is my concertina. Pthbbbt.
Jan. 28th, 2008 03:41 pm (UTC)
We'll always have Metairie. :-)

A new baby grand.. and not even used. Very cool, and congrats.

I hope you get to wear that thing out.
Jan. 28th, 2008 04:14 pm (UTC)
We know how you feel, Paul's eventual goal is to have a baby grand, he trained to be a concert pianist when he was a teenager, until he rebelled against his teacher and always having to play the classics in favor of David Lanz and other slightly more new age stuff, so he quit lessons. He has the most beautiful long thin fingers that can stretch an octave and 3 keys without hitting any of the keys in-between. (unlike my stubby little boy hands) When at home with his parents, he would play on their badly out of tune upright, when at college he would go into hotel lobbies and play their grand pianos, in Peru for two years he didn't play because of lack of access to a piano, and when we got married and joined the military he went for another 3 years without a piano in the home, until father's day 5 years ago in which the kids and I bought him a Yamaha Clavinova upright. He plays every day, and now Emmie does too, having a piano in the home creates a centerpiece for holiday singing, evening unwinding, and general "Von trapp family singers" style hijinks. Congratulations on making your house a home by your purchase of its heart!
Jan. 28th, 2008 04:53 pm (UTC)
I was going to reply to attack_laurel's post, but you expressed what I was thinking far more eloquently than I ever could have.

Congrats Laura & Bob on the piano (should have plenty of space for all the photos and maybe even the Christmas Creche at the holidays?
Jan. 28th, 2008 04:15 pm (UTC)
EEEE!! New Piano!


I'm hoping to get my Yamaha baby grand moved down sometime in the next year or two. I miss my piano. :>
Jan. 28th, 2008 04:21 pm (UTC)
Reservations? You mean those things that help the event staff figure out how much stuff to have on hand when people arrive at an event? Those trivial little things, that without them, feast often gets reduced because an event's staff thinks fewer people are going to show up and so they don't lose a bunch of money? Heaven forbid that anyone be able to plan ahead on either side of the equation....

Jan. 28th, 2008 04:43 pm (UTC)
But it's more exciting when suddenly a bunch of people show up and get pissed off because there's no parking and no feast space because the autocrat moved to a smaller site and the feast cutoff got reduced to 60 seats!

...isn't it? 8)
Jan. 28th, 2008 05:03 pm (UTC)
I miss my piano. Stopped playing years ago, because of first the carpal tunnel surgeries, then the nerve-reconnect that has actively shortened my right hand span. I can't do a full octave anymore. *pout* But I still love it, and Sal wants to learn. My folks keep saying, "But you have a keyboard". ARGH! Not. The. SAME!!!! If you can't feel the music throbbing up through your hands, can't feel it surround you and move through you... people who don't play just can't understand. Technically, keyboards have come a long way, but since it's almost as expensive to buy one that feels and sounds like a piano, why the heck not just get a darn piano?? :P

Anyway, congrats on your new baby! Sounds wonderful!!! :)
Jan. 28th, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC)
Exactly was she said! I trained as a concert pianist until the CT hit when I was 17. By the time I had the surgery, there was some minor nerve damage, so it was never the same after that.

Congrats, and I wish you many years of beautiful music!
Jan. 29th, 2008 05:37 am (UTC)
Envy . .Envy . .

Would *love* to sit and listen some time . . .

Feb. 8th, 2008 01:44 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on your purchase!

And, being a librarian in RL, I have a book recommendation. Go find and read The Piano Shop on the Left Bank: Discovering a Forgotten Passion in a Paris Atelier by Thad Carhart (2000, my edition is from Random House, 2001). Not only is it a very nice book on pianos, their history and construction, but there is also plenty of philosophy about Life, following one's passions, and continuing to learn even as an adult. I bumped into this book at the local Borders, while looking for something else, and finally bought it when I realized the back description was gnawing at my brain. I just finished it a couple weeks ago, and while I will probably never take up the piano, myself, I certainly appreciate the wisdom it conveys so simply.


(And thank you for your recent posts on Peerage and apprenticeship. I am going through a decidedly frustrating period of *knowing* my work and commitment are as good as the Laurels around me, but I'm being ignored because I've been around for so long. *Sigh* I will continue to soldier on.)
( 18 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )

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