Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Mixed Up Days and Nights

what my parents' new piano may look like

I have strange sleep habits in general, but my sleep vs. wakefulness times usually get even more scrambled after I've had surgery. This particular affliction started with  my being awake all night when it first manifested itself. Then I had surgery in the morning and slept all day, and nothing  has really come close to settling back into anything resembling normal yet. Time heals most sleep schedules, but for the moment, I'm stuck with being awake at odd hours or with taking sleep-inducing drugs that I'd rather not have. For me, the verdict is easy: I'll find ways to amuse myself in the middle of the night.

My laptop has been confiscated, but this room came with a desktop PC that I rarely use and that my parents probably don't even remember is in here, because it's normally hidden behind the closed door of a shelf. I'm out of bed, but the room also came with an incredibly comfortable pink faux leather desk chair that reclines to whatever angle I desire. I can't stay in it indefinitely, but for the moment, I'm quite comfortable. My body gets very achy from being in bed for too many consecutive hours, so I was ready for a change of venue, anyway. In a few minutes when I finish this post, I'll roll the chair back to my bed because I'm too lazy to walk, and I'll get back in. If I can't sleep, I'll turn on the TV and take advantage of the fact that it's not hospital cable, and I can probably find something besides  informercials or The Weather Channel to watch. If I wake up my dad, he'll probably bring his guitar into my room and try to lull me to sleep with the greatest hits of the 70's and 80's.  He works a short schedule tomorrow, so it won't kill him if he's awake for an hour in the middle of the night.

Tomorrow is the joint fourth birthday party for Bryson, Jared's little brother, and Christian, the grandson of my honorary Aunt Ilianna and Uncle Jerry (my parents' closest friends; my dad knew them from his days in Florida, and our families have remained close).  The two little boys' birthdays are two days apart; Christian turned four yesterday, and Bryson turns four tomorrow. They're not technically related, but Bryson's uncle is married to Christian's aunt, so they consider themselves cousins. Last year they had a joint party that turned out well, so they're doing the same thing this year, although on a slightly smaller scale. Last year I think they invited every  kid under twelve in the metropolitan area in addition to everyone over twelve who had any link  either  by DNA or marriage to either kid. This year it's just preschool classmates, neighbors (they live in the same neighborhood) and legitimate family, including us because we're adopted into their conjoined family, which is a little weird when considering that I dated Jared. Whatever. We did nothing that would result in the creation of offspring, and even had we done so, there is no blood relationship. 

I'd love to make n appearance at the party, but I don't think it will be allowed.  My surgeon is Christian's father, so I can't go if he says I can't, as he'll certainly be there to see that I disobeyed his orders, and I assume he'll say I can't go.  I've had worse disappointments in my life than being denied permission to attend a birthday party for a couple of four-year-olds, so I think I can roll with the punches on this one.  Fortunately I purchased gifts for both boys before I got sick, so I don't have to send someone out to do that for me.

My Uncle Michael has volunteered to babysit me during the party, as my parents think I'm too incompetent to pick up a phone and dial either one of their cell numbers or 9-1-1 if I have a crisis. I don't mind. I like my Uncle Michael.  We'll watch something off On Demand and make snarky comments about everything we see.  He really likes my piano that I have in my room as well, so he'll have to play it since he'll be in here.  He doesn't play as well as my mom or I, but he's a little better than Matthew or --this probably goes without saying -- my dad. My dad is a virtuoso guitarist. He took piano lessons as a kid but never thoroughly mastered the instrument.  He says what he learned in the lessons as a kid gave him a leg up in theory classes in college and made passing the university piano proficiency exam that all music majors who aren't piano majors must pass very easy.  Now he mostly just plays by ear, other than the few classics he knows and the few classic rock pieces -- a few things by Styx, Queen, Don McLean, and a few others. If you opened a hymnal to an unfamiliar hymn and told him to play it, his only chance would be to read the music in his head and then try to play the hymn by ear.  Uncle Michael can actually read the notes and play them, and plays by ear to some degree as well.  He's very smart, and smart people learn piano more easily than slow people do, plus he inherited the musical gene from his mom's side of the family. I'm not saying my dad is not smart. Piano was just never his thing.

I think my parents have more money than they know what to do with, and I think they need my help in deciding how to spend it. My mom has a something like 10-foot (or a little longer) ebony Steinway in our living room. I have an ebony Kawai baby grand in my room. In our previous home in the Sacramento area, my piano was kept in the upstairs loft area. My room is larger in this house, so since it's my piano, I chose to put it in my room.  That left the upstairs loft/sitting area without  a piano.  A normal person would see that as no particularly big #%$^& deal.  A person who wanted to play the piano could go down into the living room, or could even come into my room. I'm not selfish and usually let anyone who wants play my piano as long as his or her hands are clean.  Additionally, we have two digital pianos. One my mom bought just so she would never have to depend on anyone else's equipment in a situation where she had to play at an event where a piano was not provided. The other came with my room in the other house, and I moved it here. It comes in handy for occasional rehearsals at university functions. So anyway, we technically had four pianos in our house.

My parents decided that the upstairs loft / sitting area  wasn't complete without a piano. They went someplace in Los Angeles and picked out a Kawai grand that's something like nine feet long in some shade of natural wood. The wood supposedly will look better with the wood that's near the sitting area and the banisters than would ebony. I suppose I should commend them on reigning themselves in by not getting another Steinway or, even worse, a  Bosendorfer.  If I'd known they had so much money to throw around, I wouldn't have worked quite so hard on all my scholarship applications. The piano is supposed to arrive on Thursday. Getting it up the stairway is going to be a really neat trick. It's a wide stairway, but I don't know if it's that wide.  They may end up having to have it hydraulically lifted.  Regardless of my state of health, I plan to be out of the house when all this goes down. Even those commercials where pianos are being lifted and then go smashing onto a sidewalk six floors below give me the sensation of fingernails scratching on a chalkboard.  Seeing or even hearing a piano fall to its destruction in real life might cause me to have a heart attack.  I don't really care where it is that I go -- I'll check back into the hospital if it's my only option -- but I'm not hanging around here while they lug that thing up the stairs.

I think I've reached my maximum sitting capacity. It's bedtime again even if I can't sleep. 

Have a nice Wednesday!


  1. We have one piano. It's an upright spinet that belonged to my mom from the time she was ten years old. It weighs a ton. Bill and I had a really hard time moving it from my mom's house to Georgia a couple of years ago. I can't imagine dealing with grand pianos and baby grands.

  2. Grands are nice, but moving them is the stuff of nightmares.