Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Other Man....

I keep nagging my wife if she's been reading my blog. She says 'yeah yeah yeah', but she's not referring to the amazing art-punk group Yeah Yeah Yeahs headed by the fabulous Karen O. Then she comes right out and says something to the effect of "The new blog is just not that interesting anymore." Apparently she liked the old format where I spewed about nothing in particular, but usually about family life. Then I ask if she's watching the video posts, she admits "No". She says that no one is watching them. (zoom in to the lone teardrop as it hits the floor)

This might sound harsh, but it isn't. I can count on my wife to be totally honest with me.....80% of the time. And I can count on my wife to have a terrific sense of humor.....100% of the time. I'm not doing her justice, but when she ranks on the new Bagpipe blog, she is hilarious and I do appreciate the feedback. So in her honor, this post is about the Other Man I found in our bed last week.

I caught this very hairy guy in MY bed reading a sultry book...the nerve. He was a rocker type with lots of hair and he was still wearing a leather jacket! This guy was so brazen that he merely sat there staring at me, as if I was the intruder. After confronting my wife, she said he was Emma's date. Emma's date?!?!?!? So I took a picture to document the blatant act of defiance from this little hairy rocker man....

Monday, September 10, 2007

It'll get Worse before it gets Better...

As I mentioned, my teacher stressed the importance of practicing my exercises over and over and over again. I'm practicing what are called "D Throws" and "Double C's". The exercises are to play these special notes on top of going up and down the scale. The first time I tried them was during the lesson last week and it was really tough, taking a lot of concentration for every note. I've only been at it a week and I can already sense some improvement. Don't get me wrong, as you'll see in the video I need LOTS more practice. But it's very exciting to feel myself improve, even if in the slightest baby steps.

The best part about being so crappy right now, is that I know with practice, one day I'll be much better. And that's the whole point of these video posts. One day, a couple-few years from now, I'll be a passable bagpiper. Then I'll string these videos together to show my daughters that if something is worth doing well then it is worth doing poorly. After all, if it was so easy then everyone would be doing it right? You're probably thinking while that may be true for things like golf or playing the piano, somehow I don't think that applies to the bagpipes. Who could blame you, it seems as though the bagpipes are like the Scion either love 'em or hate 'em. I happen to love both, but in the next post I'll tell you why I love the bagpipes. Until then, here's a hint...

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Jerry Lewis is a Douchebag

I never thought he was funny and always wondered how anyone else could. Now I think he's a real douchebag that shouldn't be allowed on television anymore.

The other night we saw a short interview with Jerry Lewis on TV. The interviewer asked for his opinion about Paris, Britney and Lindsay. Now I know it was a leading question, because while not role models Jerry referred to them as broads. Broads?!?! What cave did this douchebag crawl out of.

By now I've learned it's a setup because the interviewer then asks him if "America is ready for a female president". First of all, I can't stand that question. If you have to ask then it is YOU who are not ready. Well, I'm sure you know what Jerry said. Who the hell is he to say what a whole country is ready for or not. I'm sick and tired of people asking this stupid question. We're supposed to be the land where everyone's equal right? Or was Jefferson embedding sexism into our national psyche when he wrote that all MEN are created equal. (begin sarcasm)Like any person, let alone a woman, could do as good a job as W has done.(end sarcasm) Getting back to the first douchebag....

I'm assuming that Jerry doesn't have any daughters otherwise this type of sexism should be repulsive to him. It'll be ironic if when the time comes to meet his Maker and it turns out SHE has been waiting for him. Jerry Lewis is a douchebag.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Decisions Decisions...

So I met my new teacher for the first time today. I like her a lot because her philosophy is rooted in the fundamentals. My first homework consists of performing D Throws, Double C's and Double E's up and down the scale not from memory but from reading sheet music. The sheet music she supplied only consists of the first half of the scale (going up) so I'm also tasked with writing the music down on paper going in both directions of the scale. I'll post a picture of that when complete and a video of me playing these exercises. These drills are tough, so right now I sound like crap, but I know I'll get better with practice. The plan is to take another video just prior to my next lesson in one month. It'll be interesting to contrast my skills at each of these "video" points.

Having met my new teacher has gotten me even more enthusiastic about learning to play the pipes in hopes of one day becoming a full-blown professional. It's also got me contemplating whether or not it's worth it to join the band this early in the process. Although the guy who gave me my first two lessons is awesome and taught me so much in such a short amount of time, it seems their goal is to get me playing songs as fast as possible. But my goal is to become a good bagpiper, regardless of the song, which seems to conflict with their goal. On top of that, it's an hour drive one way to see the band and the lesson lasts only a half hour whereas my new teacher is 5 minutes away from my job. On the other hand, they are so cool! Argghhh, decisions decisions...

Making the decision to stick it out with the band is tough, because I would like to be a part of the group as well as a solo piper. I think I know what I'm gonna do, but I'm curious to see what you think.....Pipe the Vote!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

So, I've been practicing "Scots Wha Hae Wi' Wallace Bled", which translates to "Scots who have with Wallace Bled". Here are the lyrics in Scots

'Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled,
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led,
Welcome tae your gory bed,
Or tae Victorie!

'Now's the day, and now's the hour:
See the front o' battle lour,
See approach proud Edward's power -
Chains and Slaverie!

'Wha will be a traitor knave?
Wha will fill a coward's grave?
Wha sae base as be a slave?
Let him turn and flee!

'Wha, for Scotland's king and law,
Freedom's sword will strongly draw,
Freeman stand, or Freeman fa',
Let him on wi' me!

'By Oppression's woes and pains!
By your sons in servile chains!
We will drain our dearest veins,
But they shall be free!

'Lay the proud usurpers low!
Tyrants fall in every foe!
Liberty's in every blow! -
Let us do or dee!'

Take a look at the video I promised you of me playing this tune.....

Seriously though, I have been practicing this song a lot, but I suspect that may be put on hold starting Tuesday. On Tuesday, I meet my new bagpipe teacher for the first time. From our conversations, she seems to be a "stickler" for the basics and plans to give me lots of homework which I am excited about. I don't just want to learn how to play songs, I want to learn how to play the bagpipes the right way. Maybe by the time Reid and Soanya finish their 1000 day journey, I'll reach the goal I set out for this first real public performane on the bagpipes. Anyways, I'll post again after I my first lesson with my new teacher.

Here's the link to the mp3 I used in the video if you're interested.