Monday, 30 March 2009

Desperate-ish Housewives

I amused myself for ten minutes this afternoon with the ‘Test for Husbands and Wives’, a psychometric test designed as a ‘blueprint for happiness’ in the 1930s by Dr. George W. Crane.

The test is simple; you gain points for positive behaviour such as ‘laugh’s at husband’s jokes and his clowning’ and lose points for obvious failings such as ‘flirting with other men’ and ‘smokes, drinks, gambles, or uses dope’ (incidentally, these are questions to the wives, there is a separate set of questions for husbands). Some questions are hilarious - and what’s wrong with red nail varnish anyway?!?

You can find a copy of the test online here. For those who are interested, I come in at an ‘average’ 48. Judging by the questions, I’m not sure if that’s a good thing…or a bad thing…?

Anyhoo, must go and find my feather-duster…are my stocking seams straight?

Friday, 27 March 2009

Hasta la vista, Beethoven

I just got told off by J. S. Bach for not spending enough time practising the piano. Boy oh boy these dead composers can be slave drivers sometimes…

(Thanks to my highly-talented photographer friend Paul for sending this xx)

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Things that I have learned from my friends' mistakes #43

Today's lesson: Never drink cider before having a tattoo.

Alcohol is a blood thinner and it can all get very, VERY messy (as my friend discovered this afternoon...oops!)

String Finger Blues

I’ve been suffering badly from ‘string finger’ for a few days now. Earlier this week I plugged my electric violin into the massive amp in my bedroom (yes, I have various amps in my bedroom, doesn’t every girl?) and spent a few hours fiddling with levels and recording some improvised pieces for students. Since then, the fingers of my left hand look like I’ve gripped a hot griddle pan and the deep grooves sting like buggery in the shower. Even simple tasks like typing feels pretty damned weird.

Even though my fingertips have hardened over time, I still get ‘string finger’ after playing a long session on the violin or guitar and I’ve tried various methods to avoid it. Gloves, hand cream…I’ve even experimented with false skin that you paint on the end of your fingertips like clear nail polish (it’s fantastic for freaking the neighbourhood kids out by appearing to peel the skin off your fingers. Gross out stuff, but pretty cool!).

But it seems that some musicians suffer far worse than my little problem. A forum that I came across entitled ‘When Instruments Attack!’ made me laugh out loud. Prize for best post goes to: ‘Please do explain how playing the banjo leads to flatulence’.

Monday, 23 March 2009

The perils of podcasting

Last week I was interviewed for my friend Richard’s podcast. It was my first experience of podcasting and I was very excited, although a bit nervous that I might turn into a gibbering goon when confronted with a microphone. History had warned me that this might be the case. I’ve always found recording music to be a tricky business and my brain invariably turns to mush the second that the record button is pressed…

So I had done my research, I was dressed smartly (yes, I know it’s not a visual medium, but it does influence my state of mind!) and I had spent the morning fine tuning my ‘academic self’ (she’s like me only a bit anal when it comes to dates and statistics).

What could go wrong?

Unfortunately, what I hadn’t quite counted on was ‘the giggles’. I thought that ‘the giggles’ was an affliction limited to quiet school assemblies and when being told off by your parents for attempting to drown your brother, but apparently it’s a latent sleeper in adults, just waiting to burst out at the most inappropriate time. Luckily it was Richard, the podcast host, who kicked it off, dissolving into hysterical laughter whenever he pressed the record button. This inevitably sparked off my fit of the giggles and we sat sniggering like two naughty schoolchildren for ten minutes or so before our first good take.

Then after ‘the giggles’ came ‘the erms’ (I didn’t realise that I say ‘erm’ so much in one sentence!) and eventually a general cacophony of noise descended upon us. Squeaky chairs, coughing, rumbling stomachs; everything and anything that could possibly either embarrass me or trigger off the giggles once again.

An hour or so later and we were finished. Apparently I sound quite posh which is a shocker, so I’m hoping that Richard can edit in an accent. Glaswegian maybe, or Welsh. South African would be amusing. God forbid that anyone might be listening to the content…

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Day of the Triffids

One last thing before I finish my weekend...

As I've been writing at my computer this evening I've had a distinctly creepy feeling that something or someone is watching me. And now I've discovered the source. My pot plant. My pot plant is staring at me. See for yourself...

Freaky huh? ;)