100 Days of Practice, Day 24: When Beer and Buddha Collide

The Porters' Keurig saved my @##@$#$.

See, some days it's REAL freaking hard to get around to practice. Like, oh, today. Inlaws arrive from Ireland this evening, and the house is a bomb shelter.

Earlier today, I was going to write Practice Tips, Part II. Foremost: Pick a time. Make it immutable. Make a backup plan.

Plan A is always to wake up before everyone else and practice first thing. Sometimes that works. Sometimes it doesn't. Like today.

Didn't get to practice early because Annie woke up early, and it's been all Annie, all day. Plan B on the practice is Annie's afternoon nap. Guess what? No nap today.

Plan C: After Annie goes to sleep. Well, today Annie was scheduled to go with Steve to the airport to pick up parents, and my plan was to stay home, clean the house, practice when that's done. Guess what? Steve left four hours later than expected.

So, 8 pm is when I begin to clean. It's Friday. When everyone else in the world is chilling with a beer (I tell myself), I consume chocolate cake, chocolate buns, down an enormous coffee ("Jet Fuel" from the Coffee People coffee company out of Seattle) at the Porters and head home to clean. That is, run around my house at rocket speed, spinning like a buffer, cleaning for the arrival of the inlaws. When I say running, I mean running. I got two hours folks, and it ain't pretty.

Remember yesterday, I wrote about keeping your practice zone clean? How important it is to keep the environment organized and free of clutter? Well, that's not because I do it. It's because I wish it. See, when we're talking about this house, I'm not saying things are a bit messy. I'm talking war zone. Think: Falls Road, Belfast, August 1969. Oh no, it ain't pretty.

It's my guess that most moms clean their houses when their kids nap. But I've been using that time to practice, and God bless the house, it has suffered.

So, I've spent two hours now running around this house, thinking "Where is all this clutter from?" You want clutter? I got clutter. No, seriously, DO YOU WANT CLUTTER? Because I'm having a yard sale. Next week. You can have ALL of mine.

I knew I was in for it tonight. Because all week, once 5:00 hit, there was no energy left. Nada. As a result, Monday's dishes still in the dishwasher... and because it's full, last night's dishes still in the sink. Goodness, what would Buddha say?

Probably not what I said. I said, "More chocolate. More caffeine." In preparation, like. All day, I'm gearing up for the big clean. With big coffees. Lots of chocolate. Satoko's chocolate buns. (No, not those buns. Those are probably more beige, but I'm okay with not knowing.)

The Buddhist might say: "No, you have not played flute today. But this is all practice. Make it a mindful clean and you can say you have practiced. These practices are one. Do the cleaning as if it were practice, and let loose your goals, your grasping. Be there with the cleaning."

Not me. Tonight, I'm living for the beer. And the sax. My goal: As soon as the house is clean and the living room vacked, I get to have a beer. Pull out my saxophone. Read the Charlie Parker Omnibook at 420 BPM. That is reward.

And guess what? Just finished. Got a text message that the posse is en route, and fast approaching. So, it's Harpoon time. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a sax to play.

The next two weeks are Test Time. I've made it 23 consecutive days, but it's been easy. Now watch me with guests. This one's gonna be tough!


Peig said…
day 24

I got your back sister> God bless the suffering houses. My practice began with Holy missing music!!!!

spent half of aloted time running through the house searching for MIA music. Then thought Mr Big Band is on his way home with friday night beer.. So got crackin with whay I knew. Called Music Budda and her advise was to play til next lesson by ear?????

Well guess what???? When the crutches are removed, the patient walks. Did just fine....
Peig said…
day 25

ok so musicless is not so bad. Mr Big Band was out all am teaching @ the Conservatory in Falmouth so poor house again. I spent almost an hour playing one set being mindfull of timeing and phrasing. Sounded pretty good. Then Mr Big Band went out again on a gig in Westport. So I went upstairs and put headset on. Tough going at first, but then played one tune through 6 times with recording and GOT it!!!!

Then spent the remainder of the day reading and listening to Joannie Madden and Brid O'Donoghue.
Great day altogether!!

Mr Big Band is on his way home with pizza and beer, then a nice swim in pool before fireworks.

Today it all worked........
Soul Mama said…
Woohoo Peig!!!! I will definitely get your music back to you soon but maybe this is a REAL good thing... I am so glad for you that this happened, as annoying as I know that it was.
Peig said…
day 26

Blind whistler:

got up late after WAY too much beer. Put the kettel on, did the breakfast thing with Mr Big Band on the deck. Made plans for the day. Then ran upstairs and plugged in.

Better than yesterday. I know I am hearing more than before. Focus is on listening and matching tempo and tone. I am not getting music back before 13 Aug.by my choice.

Soooo as long as I don't go deaf for some unknown reason I am in the zone and staying there!!!!!