Well, we pulled the trigger on the electric piano a little while ago. Here it is:
It was on sale at the mega music store here, Music Hug, which brought it down to a similar price we could buy it in the states, so we were pretty happy about that. Then just a bit of a cab fare to get the beast home and Bob’s your uncle. It has a lot of different sounds and all that stuff and something called a Session Partner that lets you play along with a bunch of canned tracks, but we’ve pretty much ignored that stuff and went straight to banging away with the default piano setting. Even got a little pedal down there. It sounds pretty decent to our untrained ears and the key action seems realistic. You get a heavier feel on the bass notes than on the higher ones.
Chizzy plans on learning to play it correctly with sheet music and all that cleft and time stuff. I plan on just trying to teach myself without ever understanding a thing about reading sheet music. I figure it worked for guitar so it should work for piano too. For two days I just stared at it wondering how the hell your right hand can play something while your left hand is playing something else. After I gave up thinking about it, I sat down and gave it a try. I am big into Keane at the moment so I had a tune of theirs (Bedshaped) going through my head that I thought would be cool to play. So, I found the riff and put my right hand to work. Then I added the chords with my left hand after I got that down and… it seems to have worked.
I never had recording equipment when I was learning to play guitar, but I wish I did so I could have immortalized Brian Wilson from Barenaked Ladies as the first song I ever learned to play. This isn’t really the whole song, just an intro, but it is the first bit of piano I ever learned that involved two hands so that is what you get.
Ben Folds, I'm coming after you next. Coldplay, you aren't safe either.
Hopefully you can one day hear Chizzy hammer out a few tunes. Still looking for a singer.
I’m very much into the Christmas spirit right now. Here are some things I’m enjoying right now to indulge in the holiday cheer.
We got this wreath. The bow is my half-assed addition. I can’t tie pretty bows, but we really got the wreath for the pine scent, not necessarily to look at. Believe it or not I can't find a pine-scented candle anywhere. Bryan decided that the cons outweigh the pros on the “should we get a xmas tree?” discussion. This is our compromise.
I’ve been listening to this CD, which we got from a very lovely couple last year. I’m digging the jazzy tunes, especially “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” Bryan puts his headphones on and plays his warcraft game so that he doesn’t accidentally get happy feet like it's a jolly good time or something.
I made cookies today without a cookie cutter, that's why some of them look pretty odd. I couldn’t find food coloring either so I used a confectionary-type jam mixed with your standard homemade icing recipe and they taste pretty good. It’s one thing that is guaranteed to be liked by Mr. K about the holiday season.
Well, he also likes opening the advent calendar everyday. That is a fun morning ritual for both of us. We got the one with chocolates inside. Sadly, none of the Swiss chocalatiers makes such a calendar. You would think that would be big business. Everyone seems to have an AC around here.
And I really would like it to snow. I’ll listen to “Winter Wonderland,” one of my all-time fave xmas carols and sit back with some cookies and hot chocolate and contemplate the year gone by.
We got a bit of snow a couple of weeks ago, but it didn’t stick around. Here's me enjoying what I call snow and what Bryan calls a layer of frost.
And in case you think I’m being unfair calling Bryan out about his lack of holiday spirit, just see for yourself…the ultimate Scrooge.
Last but not least, Tolsty wishes you a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year!
Chizzy was able to take a Friday and a Monday off so that we could get away for a long weekend to celebrate out first year of marriage. Hooray for us. What tropical and romantic environment did we choose to visit you ask…?
Welcome to Tallinn, Estonia.
Even though that photo was intended to be funny, we really did go to Tallinn for the weekend and despite the freezing temperatures it was truly a great place and a great weekend. As some of you may know, Chizzy is a bit drawn to Eastern Europe having spent time in Russia back in the day and Estonia was a perfect place for us to combine a bit of the old Soviet in a city that is very accessible to tourists like ourselves. The photo above shows a concrete monstrosity called Linnahall that was built for the regatta events for the 1980 Moscow Olympics. I couldn’t find anything that explained why Moscow games choose Tallinn as the location for this (besides the fact that it is on the water and Moscow isn’t), but everybody does agree it is complete eyesore. It is still in use, though, because a steady stream of old people was heading in while we were there checking it out.
This is actually more representative of what Tallinn is bringing.
Continue reading "Anniversary Trip"...