Damn. 

It has been 452 days since I posted anything here. A year and a half, almost. 

I didn’t have anything to say.  I’m still not sure if I do. We’ll see. I should be asleep right now but I can’t settle down. 

Catching Up

It’s been busy since the piano arrived. Not necessarily with piano related business, although it’s been used consistently. And not all unpleasant either. In fact, since most of the “unpleasant” relates directly to another person who hasn’t given me permission to discuss, I won’t say much about it here.

The holidays were busy and not entirely easy, this being the first set of holidays since the death of our nephew. It resulted in my medication being increased and while part of me feels like a failure for not being “all better” another part of me has started to get used to being mostly calm instead of always afraid and is perfectly happy to increase the Zoloft in order to keep that going.

A new friend has come to live with me, courtesy of Bond.

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This is Fuzzy. Aside from the fact that he points up my serious deficiency in coming up with good names, he is a marimo, a ball of algae of the species Aegagropila linnaei. He doesn’t do much but I like him. He is remarkably easy to care for.  If I don’t kill him first he will likely outlive me and is the only plant I have in the house because he is the only plant that Kumba can’t get to and eat. Fuzzy’s turnons are low light, pretty rocks, clean water every week or so and the occasional night at the spa (read: refrigerator).  Turnoffs are goldfish, summer heat and cats who think you look like a fuzzy cat toy. It’s hard being the fuzzy lord of your domain alone though, so a pair of attendants has been hired. I haven’t been introduced yet but it seems they’re ramshorn snails who will work for the occasional algae wafer and wilted carrot and in return will keep Fuzzy clean of unhealthy bits and tell him stories of the outside world.

Aside from Fuzzy, I’ve been to an art market, am in the processes of making an application for a juried show, have sold several fairly large pieces already this year and am generally optimistic about my prospects. Don’t tell me any horror stories. I don’t want to know.

Okay, wow.

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Today I got an email from a man who specializes in restoring antique pianos and learned many interesting things about mine.

I learned that the company that made it produced some of the consistently finest pianos of the time.

I learned that it is not oak or maple or walnut with a reddish stain, it is mahogany. The keys are ivory and the sharps are ebony. For real.

I learned that the wood that makes up the soundboard in the back is very likely two or three *hundred* years old and very very dense compared to the wood used in modern piano soundboards. This causes it to have a lovely, resonating tone which, frankly, Paul and I have already noticed – Paul described it yesterday as ‘filling the house’.

The piano itself, according to the serial number, was made in 1920 exactly.

I learned that the lady who tuned it yesterday really knew her stuff – she told me that she was going to tune the piano just a little flat when compared to modern pianos because pianos a hundred years ago were made to be tuned a bit flatter and also because she has to assume the strings are 90-something years old and may start breaking if she tunes them too tightly. The email I got today told me almost exactly the same thing. It also told me that when it’s in tune, there are 17 TONS of pressure on those strings.

I also learned that if at some point I want to have it restored it will take around a year and cost lots of money dollars. But it’ll probably be worth it. Maybe I’ll win the lottery. ;)

Dear Body,

Can we please just pull the trigger on this menopause thing and get it over with? The hot flashes are starting to really crank me off. It’s 65 degrees in the house and I’m sweating.  The boys are going to get frostbite pretty soon.  If this is your sick idea of revenge for thwarting all your chemical imbalances, you can just deal with it. I don’t have heartburn, I’m not barfing and I’m not freaking out 24/7 anymore so the new medicine is sticking around.

I just want you to know that you’ve been fucking with me for 41 and a half years, and you are done. I’m in charge of this ship now, biology, and things are going to change around here.  The weight is going down, the depression is mine to control, and despite your every attempt to convince me otherwise, my life is worth living and I’m not dead yet.  So you might as well get with the program. I’m not leaving you much choice.

Some Advice for Makers of Ladie’s Products.

Sorry, this might be tmi for some folks but it has to be said.

No. Just, no.

See this? This is INCORRECT. Dear advertising people, when I have to go to the WalMart or the grocery store or the pharmacy and visit this particular aisle, there is a word that I don’t think of, and “radiant” is it. In fact, I can’t think of a state of being that is further from “radiant” than the state of existence that brings me into this aisle in the first place.

I understand that what you mean by “radiant” is in fact “pleasantly scented”.  Please consider changing the label to read “pleasantly scented” or even “lightly perfumed.  Shoot, I’d even settle for “doesn’t stink”, just please get rid of “radiant” before some poor woman all hopped up on hormones radiantly charges the advertising offices  with a bottle of cologne and a thesaurus to educate you on the difference.

I forgot how much I like it.

Everybody’s tired of hearing me talk about the piano. I shall rave here because honest to God, just LOOKING at that thing makes me want to squee and jump up and down.

I may or may not have done this a time or two in the last forty eight hours.

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I’ve been trying to find out what specific info I can. Going by my Uncle’s description, the piano is around 100 years old. Going by the serial number (and assuming I have the correct set of serial numbers) it appears to be more in the 90-94 year old range. The player piano works have been taken out entirely but I *think* that what’s still there is original to the instrument. Certainly the keys are. They are genuinely ebony wood and ivory veneers.

I want to know exactly how old it is. I want to know if it’s worth restoring it to its original state (of course it is!) and if I can begin to hope to be able to afford such a thing. (Of course I can’t!). Step 1 however is simple – the piano needs to be tuned and possibly have some minor repairs made. The tuner is coming in three weeks.

It’s the middle of the night, everyone is asleep and I want to make music. I have MISSED having the ability to make music. I didn’t realize how much. I hope this piano knows how much it is loved, and I hope my uncle knows how much his gift means to me.

If I am pouting, I promise you’ll know it.

I can’t go a day without stress.

Is that normal?

I’ve been working shorthanded for the last week and a half. I don’t want to let people down. I don’t want to let them down. I can’t do this much longer. I am angry and I feel guilty for being angry. She can’t help it, what happened to her foot. She can help it that she comes to the office anyway, grumps at me to take care of things that she knows how to take care of and has more available time to take care of, he can’t help it that he has to do the job, whatever it entails and so do I, it’s my JOB.

But when I tell them I need things, those needs are lovingly acknolwledged and then forgotten. The desk chair because the one I’ve been using for the past seven years is exquisitely painful to sit in? Yet to show up. The half-day off a week only happens when my brothers and sisters don’t need Mom to come help them about something and Mom isn’t sick or uncomfortable or needs to clean the house or pay the bills or run and pick up something that was forgotten over the weekend, and even if it does happen, chances are the rest of the week is a matter of working without Mom because of the above issues. Every time I get angry about them I feel guilty.

I can’t get people to figure out that I want their time, just not constant sound and motion. There is no silence, no serenity, ANYWHERE in my life. Nowhere. But that doesn’t mean I want anyone to go away. There’s also no space for compromise in any direction. In other words, I am surrounded by pitfalls and guaranteed to flounder into at least two of them during the course of any given day. Today was a particuarly good day, I think I’m up to four. Maybe five.

My day has contained a lot of tears. If you tell a person like me to cheer up, that’s probably the answer you’re going to get, because “cheer up” is beyond me, sometimes.  I’m working on “function, or don’t.”  “Cheer up” is for people who’ve already mastered that earlier question.

There’s some basic thing about interacting with people that I feel like I’m just not getting right now. I can’t do this much longer.