06 September 2007

All work and all play makes Friday a good girl

The longer I work here, the more I struggle to find reasons to stay. Even when I’m feeling my best, in terms of both productivity and sociability, I still don’t feel all that great.

In about a week I’ll be given a new, permanent contract. Except that this contract will not include a pay raise (not in the budget for this year) even though the role most certainly involves greater accountability.

Am I being bamboozled or what? (Don’t answer that, it’s rhetorical)

Evidently, I’ll be learning things that will give me greater experience and who knows where that will lead! The expression is something like “another bow on your ribbon” or “another tie on your bow” – either way it makes me feel like I’m a prize-winning canine on a podium. But the carrot is before me now and I have to decide if I want to give chase or not.

In better news, Bruce has survived the restructuring of his organisation and is in an even better place than he was beforehand. We’re going out to celebrate after work, though I’m not sure where. My two choices are a cultured evening of independent film and fine French food or a lowbrow horror movie and pizza. I can’t decide! Bruce says I’m not allowed to scream too loudly at the scary film if it’s the latter though.

I learned a new technique for the banjo last night called “pulling-off,” which sounds dirty and I guess the enjoyment I get from doing it would approximate that assessment. A mixture of “hammering-down” and “pulling-off” really gets a girl hot under the collar (but only in the safety of my own bedroom).

My teacher thinks I’ve done considerably well and can tell that I’ve been practicing, so the gold-star grubber in me wants to spin in circles until I vomit. But then he told me that I should also spend time improvising, and why don’t I try that right now?

And my fingers froze on the strings as a look of utter dismay surely crossed my face.

The thing about lessons is you learn just as much about yourself as the instrument you’re trying to play. For instance, I’ve learned that I’m actually quite repressed. I cling to tablature like a drowning man clings to a bit of driftwood amidst a sea of four-quarter notes. Ed calls it “playing by the dots” and gives me more tablature to ease my fear of possibly doing something spontaneous.

He suggested that whilst learning I should use specific fingers to hold down the strings. He said it wasn’t a strict rule or anything, more like a rule of thumb, and I said THAT’S OKAY, I LIKE RULES.

Ed furrowed his brow a bit and said, “Fair enough” and told me to hold down the string with my first finger. And I said OKAY as I put my second finger down on the string. Because rules are made to be adhered to but only if you’re capable of it!

I didn’t have time to practice my new technique because it takes about an hour to get home, by which point it’s tea and then a bit of television and then bed.

My next lesson won’t be for three weeks now because otherwise it would have fallen on our trip to Croatia. I’m contemplating taking my instrument with me on holiday though surely I’m not THAT much of a keener.

Am I? (Rhetorical!)

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