I have secured a piano to practice on during my vacation. My mom's husband Ross' mother (follow me?) is in Chicago, so I get keys to the nice old lady's house and free reign to tinkle on the keys of her beautiful baby grand piano. Today I got really depressed when we were all sitting around (mom, Ross, and I) in Ross' parent's house and my mother said "So, Mike, why don't you play us those scales you're having trouble with." So I tried some of them out. This is an attempt to describe the result: do re me fa so la KLUNK. do re me wait! WAIT! do re me fa PLINK PLUNK! Dammit! do re PLONK! Aargh! Now I'm really worried. So every day until Saturday I'll spend a couple of hours undoing the damage my Playstation, the Ideal Home Music Library, and spotty dating have done to my piano skills. The good news: I read the crap out of step-grandma's Hit Songs of Broadway book. Why do birds suddenly appear, every time you are PLONK! Sigh.

Some of you might think I'm a workoholic. I'm no such thing. I've taken every opportunity to relax and I actually feel like a bit of a zombie. I've been getting cozy with movies, 100 Years of Solitude, and the California freeways. Today we went up to the gravesite of my little sister Gina, who passed away when she was 20 and I was 23. It was a beautiful afternoon in the cemetary. Leaves of yellow and red were absolutely melting off of the trees. It was raining a bit, so the sky was a great rolling wool blanket, all white and downy. A little man in a cowboy hat was driving a bright orange mower machine across the grave sites, making a nice choppy humming noise. It was peaceful and slightly chilly. We talked about our relatives and about who was buried where, and reminisced
bit about where various relatives' ashes were at the moment. I found out that my grandmother's ashes are in my mom's closet. EWW! Ross told me they used to be under thier bed! EWWW!! These little family outings are starting to freak me out!