Paging Thelonious Monk

I wasn't always so diligent about practicing during my childhood...

I wasn’t always so diligent (or obsessive) about practicing during my childhood…

Obsessions aren’t necessarily passive. They aren’t just about listening to a song over and over (though you know I’ve done that, um, a lot), or re-reading a favorite book, or re-making a favorite recipe. Sometimes, obsessions spur us to action–serious, all-consuming action that may seem a little off-the-beam to anyone who happens to witness it.

Some people get trips abroad, or a car, or fine jewelry when they graduate. My parents gave me a piano. Since I was moving to Boston, to a small apartment in a four-story walk-up, a real piano wasn’t practical. So we settled on a digital piano with excellent key action (for non-musicians, this just means that the keys are weighted, so they feel and act like real piano keys) and a sound that gets as close to the real deal as you can in the world of simulated piano sounds. Lucky for me, novice organ player that I am, it offered an organ setting as well.

Like all digital and electronic keyboards, this piano also possessed a demo function, featuring 30 seconds of music for each of its instrumental settings. These aren’t bona fide pieces of music–nothing recognizable from Beethoven or Bach or Brahms. But one of the ditties caught my attention. It had a certain free-spirited, I’m-making-this-up-as-I-go-along jazz piano feel to it. I had to learn it. And so the obsession began.

I won’t bore you with the details of how I went about figuring out and mastering this unknown, probably un-scored piece of music. Suffice it to say that what commenced was an unseemly number of hours spent listening to, then playing back (as best I could) portions of this “song.” By the end of the weekend, though, I had it. Right down to that last, triumphant note. Success, sweet success, was mine. (Though I do wonder if the screaming I heard from the neighbor’s apartment had anything to do with my unrelenting practice session.)

None of this week’s obsessions rise to the level of my whirlwind weekend of digital piano music compulsiveness, but that’s probably a good thing (both for you, and for our collective neighbors). What I hope they will do, however, is bring you a smile or two to the middle of your week. So, without further ado, here are my 5 Things I’m Obsessing About Right Now (and maybe you should, too).

MAY 8, 2013

1. I kind of think this send-up of us ladies and our nighttime routines is genius, especially the denouement. (p.s. I may have watched it so many times that I now have it memorized. May have.) Caution: profanity.

2. Last week, we had tiny books, this week: tiny libraries! Awwww, aren’t they cute?!

3. Love Macbeth, love Alan Cumming, WISH I could see this play in its entirety live!

4. It’s almost strawberry season! (But I kind of want this now.)


Happy Wednesday!

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