star_swan: (Current mood: drunk)
...if by "drunk", you mean "Oh snap, I had too much caffeine."

I rerealized today why I do not ever ingest that many cups of tea. I quit coffee for reasons. Or it could be the sugar or the sugar AND the caffeine. At any rate, it's like sticking my brain on a roller coaster where the big climb takes hours, the view gets increasingly dizzying by the minute, and the drop is sudden and devastating. In less than an hour from now, I am probably going to crash like nobody's business and fall asleep beside my unmade bed or on top of the clean sheets. I knew I should have made the bed as soon as I pulled the sheets from the dryer, well right after I got into the house where my bed actually is located, of course.

I have just passed the, "Oh my gosh, everything is FUNNY!" stage and am entering the "Wow. I could get so much done in this hyper alert state".

One of my old co-workers, Derrick, said that he could always tell when I had had sugar or caffeine because my personality would just shift and my eyes would get dinner-plate-big.

I probably should have hid the keyboard from myself. Oh well.


So. Life!


Familial stuff is *crosses various appendages but not too many*, good and getting better each day. I would eye this warily and with suspicion but the caffeine high is blotting out the fear center of my brain. I don't think that we actually have a fear center. I know it's supposed to be the Amygdala, sort of, but I think it's a vastly misunderstood creature. I like my amygdala because it gives me such handy information like, "Oh my god....that dress is a truly hideous color. Must destroy it with FIRE." and "I love pudding! Yummy!" or "Aagghh!!"

But, yes. People are actually getting along and being, dare I say it, nice to one another. Hmm.

How do people get anything done drinking coffee and the like? How do they even focus? My thoughts are like demented ping pong balls.

I can't believe it's Wednesday already. x_x I mean, it's a good thing, but I feel like there are some things that I had hoped to have accomplished in my spare time before the end of the week which is fast approaching.

Speaking of, can somebody please tell me how in the blue, bloody hell we've arrived at May already??? Wasn't it just New Year's?? Jesus trucking crispy rice

Coming to a post near you (does that make sense?): photos of the quirky things that make this town where I live unique-ish. They include things like cats on leashes (and they're happy about it!), London Buses that are cruising around thousands of miles from their original point of origin on another continent (why??), Fro Yo places that demand that you eat their trendy, frozen treat and like it or else go get eaten by bears for all that they care, and Evil Traffic Lights of Doom that can smell your driving record and are judging you accordingly (and I do not mean those silly little cameras on top of the light pole either).

You think I'm kidding, or that it's the caffeine talking.
But seriously, I took some photos that seemed fairly typical of this place. :)

As a side fannish note or a fannish side note (?), I finally finished watching Season 8 of Doctor Who. Wow. It is nice to know that Moffatt is digging into the same Big Fat Bag of Crack as RTD. That finale though. I liked it! Woah. Yeah. It was epic and bonkers. Still processing.

Going to wander off to shower and bed now...before I really type something crazy.
star_swan: (Snape about to bitchslap (Gof))
So I have been furiously (though not actually) adhering to my practice sessions with a will. The past couple of days I had had to retool a couple of things because my hands were getting tired. I was ignoring some of the Hanon Insanity and rolling my wrists when going up to the black keys on scales, otherwise the tendon between my right ring finger and pinky were going to start muttering unhappily.

Long story short, four hours per day every day is a little crazy at least with current techniques. While lifting my fingers and hammering through Hanon has created a boost in strength, it is simply too intense to sustain. It was starting to make my thumb pads a little sore. And while the soreness was always gone the next day, nevertheless, it wasn't good. I thought back and realized that practicing with lightness and fluidity took longer, but got me to the same place technique wise. I was still building finger strength. As one person put it, "You can't cram the piano". More is not necessarily better. This one British concert pianist was encouraging people to use six hours of their free time in order to learn it, but I would advise using those hours for a variety of things: theory, note learning, slooooow practice, ear training. I was getting a little frustrated also because I want to compose things and learn about structure and build on some of my improvisations, and have the time to do so. I was afraid to ease up even though as an athlete, I always knew intuitively to rest after a session and allow my muscles and brain to recuperate.

Hanon has proved useful, but I am going to ignore the earlier advice and use my wrists more keeping my fingers lower. As one person said, raising your fingers simply slows you down and gives you more distance to cover and makes for awkward hand positions that are less efficient and cause more potential strain. Or else I could just tread more lightly (mf or mp). I get that slowly you build strength and that when you up the tempo, you play more lightly. "No pain, no gain" is a BAD mantra to apply to piano practice. :S

This one professional musician even went so far as to recommend only practicing four days a week for those with busy schedules. I am seriously considering five days with rest days interspersed. So, something like Mon, Tues, Rest, Thurs, Fri, Rest, Sun, Mon, Rest…et cetera. On the rest days, I can just study theory. Hmm. I am still not sure. Or else I could scale it back to two hours daily and take off one day in the middle of the week, possibly Wednesday. The thing is, when I get in front of the keyboard, I tend to get sucked in and just keep on going. I'll break up the time into segments where I work on one thing and then another and time whizzes by. I do realize that quality is preferable and some folks argue that beyond two-three hours, you're facing diminishing returns both mentally and physically. Then I think back to people who say that you should practice for 30-60 mins daily. :S I was supposed to take today off in order to rest, but I did wind up doing 30 mins of light arpeggios and simple Bach. Keeping me away is a challenge! This one guy also recommended working on passages/new tunes first when you are fresh mentally and working on scales etc later and switching it up.

I am simply going to have to sleep on it and think to myself about what is the best schedule, intuitively, for me. Is my goal to become a piano demon or to write and learn music and become more proficient?

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I was promised tea

April 2017

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about me

I'm a mad translator with a degree in Comp Lit and assorted languages. Writing a novel and studying violin. (The story has been flailing along for the past couple of years. I think that the Scrivener research file is larger than the actual text.)

I live with a rather naughty ginger cat. Is there any other kind?

I love tea, loose leaf teas, teas in sachets, all sorts of teas and COFFEE. The more legally, addictive stimulants, the merrier!

Music and books are my life. I basically live in a closet-sized library with a container garden. I occasionally sleep. <3

ivybellis ------> star_swan

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