When it sizzles
I woke up yesterday morning in knots, as if I’d clenched every muscle I have in my sleep. I had to spend much of the morning unwinding myself. Fortunately, it was yoga day. I pulled on my blue suede boots, bundled up against the 0-degree weather, and headed over the hill on foot. By the time I walked the two blocks to the yoga studio into a fierce headwind, I had the kind of headache you get when you eat a bowl of ice cream too quickly. I turned out to be the only student today. Of the five of us who come regularly, the two who are yoga teachers had to sub elsewhere, one of the others is recovering from surgery and the fourth, a massage therapist, had to work.
A class to yourself is a nice thing once in a while, especially when the teacher is a friend. And it was just what the doctor ordered.
Afterwards, I came back and took care of some paperwork and practiced. Then a minute later it was time to pick up AJ. Shortly after he got home, he got a phone call from his friend O, who wanted him to play, but Mr. Spy and I were both working. O’s mom, my friend L (the one who organized the rock band camp), offered to take him for the evening, since both Mr. Spy and I had to work. I had been planning on bringing AJ to work with me and parking him in the corner with some books and my iPod. This was definitely more fun for him. I promised to pick him up at 7:30 when I finished teaching. Studio 2 is usually very reliable, but all kinds of strange things happened last night. I had my first ever no-show at that studio. Someone called in sick at the last minute. And after I’d been chatting with what I thought was my last student of the night about preparing for auditions for 15 minutes after her lesson, I walked out with all of my gear, bundled up against the cold, and discovered I had another student that no one had told me about who’d been waiting for me for those 15 minutes. Oops. Not my fault — the studio didn’t tell me that the person I gave a trial lesson to, who was trying out a bunch of teachers in the area, decided to sign up with me. I called my friend who said it was no problem to keep watching AJ and I unpacked again and taught another lesson, in which I tried to map my way through the first violin part of Wagner’s Meistersinger overture to a student who only knows 1st and 3rd position. Next week, when I’ve had time to prep materials, we’ll have a crash course in positions 1-5, or she’ll never make it to page 2. (for the non-string players among you, which I’d venture to say is most of you, positions are the places you move your left hand along the instrument’s fingerboard to play higher notes. They are challenging on a non-fretted instrument like a violin, because the hand placement has to be very precise or it will be out of tune. For the first several years of playing, you play only in first position, so your hands learn a kinesthetic sense of where to be. As you advance, you learn other positions so you can play more complex music, play higher notes, play notes on more than one string at a time, etc. You need to learn that same kinesthetic sense for higher positions in order to move the hand unerringly without the aid of anchoring yourself to one spot.)
The curveball in my teaching schedule meant I was a little wired when I got home; the yoga class of the morning meant I was tired. All of the above meant that sometime between 10:30 and 11, I dozed off at my desk on top of my laptop while attempting to write a blog post.
This morning I awoke from a dream where I was wandering the streets of Paris with an old friend to discover that my nose, the only part of my body emerging from the pile of quilts and pillows I’d burrowed under, was ice cold. I checked the thermometer. -15. What? Ugh. (Point of clarification: that is the outside temperature. Inside the bedroom, which has vaulted ceilings and drafty 1970s era windows, it was more like 60). Today’s plan was to park myself and my computer at the coffee shop for a few hours then run by the grocery store before heading home to pick up AJ from school. But given the temperature, it’s sounding like a better idea to stay in my pajamas (it is currently far too cold in my bathroom to even think about getting into a shower) and my oh-so-sexy polar fleece hooded bathrobe and wool slippers, huddled with a warm cat in front of the space heater in my office, which is where I am right now. Or maybe I should just go back to bed. It wasn’t this cold in Paris.