Saturday, May 30, 2009

My Take on Pianos

I have officially decided that I never want to own a piano. Here's my reasoning: I plan on moving around a bit in my life and moving a piano is a huge, frickin pain. A good friend of mine texted me last Friday night and asked if I would help her and her family move that Saturday morning. I, being the good friend that I am, volunteered my services. I went the next morning and was told that we were going to be moving a piano. There were five girls and one guy. Hmm. I've heard of it taking a lot more people and most were of the male gender. Needless to say, I was not looking forward to the task ahead of us.

The layout of the house was such that the back door led to the parking lot where the trailer was. Now the back door was a sliding door that led onto a rickety, old, wooden porch with 6 steps leading down to a fenced in area which then led to the parking lot. My friend's mother apparently thought I was tough or something because she had me lift the back side of the piano with my friend. The mom had one end, her son had the other, and the two apparently not so tough girls had the keyboard side. We moved it down a frickishly narrow hallway where the two keyboard girls had to let go. We got it through the kitchen and to the sliding door. Now this sliding door is one of the narrowest ones I have ever seen. There was only enough room for the piano to slide through. The mom went through first to balance it out while the rest of us lifted and slid it though. My friend and I then had to go out and around the house to help out on the porch. The porch was rather narrow as well and we needed to angle the piano in order to get it out the door. The first attempt led to failure. The second led to success, but with great effort. We then needed to turn and parallel the piano with the steps. After accomplishing that the mom, son, and daughter went to the bottom of the steps to support the piano as we took it down. That left my friend and I to lift it down the steps. There wasn't enough room for the other girl to help out. With much strain and effort we lifted the piano down each step, all the while I was thinking that the rickety, old porch would collapse beneath us which would lead to the destruction of the piano and myself. We finally got it down and turned (again) to head out the fence and into the trailer. Things were going well until the trailer. The mom wanted me and my friend to get into the trailer first to lift it up into it, which was no fun considering I had to do some serious squatting and lifting. We got the edge of the piano over the lip of the trailer, and then they set the piano down on the other side. As soon as they did that the other end of the trailer lifted completely off the ground by at least a foot or two (since it wasn't attached to a truck or anything yet). The two keyboard girls ran to sit on the other end and we lifted the piano again. We lifted and skooched and slid that piano across the trailer with the trailer shaking all the while (again, it wasn't attached to anything) and banging my toe in the process. We got it into the corner thinking we were all done, but no, the piano had other ideas. As we were all getting off the trailer was shaking about (not to sound redundant, but again, it wasn't attached to anything) and the piano decided to start falling forward. Luckily, my friend caught it and others ran in to hold it up. The mom and son grabbed boxes from the house to set beside it to stabilize it. Finally, the task was finished. And what do you know, as soon as we finished another guy showed up.

I came away from that experience with very few injuries. 1) the toe that got banged, no break but very sore, 2) extremely tired forearms that couldn't even lift a jug of milk, 3) very sore muscles the next day, and 4) a pinched nerve or something in my pinkie finger. How the junk do you hurt a pinkie finger while moving a piano? The other "injuries" are understandable, but a sore pinkie finger...I don't get it.

So, anyways, to make a long story even longer, I will never get a piano. I am perfectly content with electronic keyboards. They may not sound as good as a piano and may not look as formal, but at least they are light and portable.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Jersey Vacation

I have documented below part of my journey to New Jersey. It was so wonderful being back there. I spent all day every day with my brother, sister-in-law, and their two kids. The little ones kept me busy, but very entertained. We did many exciting things: go to Philly, celebrate Spencer's birthday, go to the Wild Safari, go to Princeton, etc. In the end, I didn't want to come back home. So much so that I had to fight back the tears at the airport when they dropped me off. But work is work and when it calls you back you have to go.

Now, one thing I have to tell you is that either my memory card or this computer is being very stupid. It will only let me download some of my pictures, not all. There were some more I wanted to put on, but you will just have to be satisfied with these. If my camera will let me, I will post some of the more artistic photos later.

Waimea playing with flowers.

Spencer being a curious, little boy.

Spencer striking a pose for the camera.

Spencer doing who knows what, but keeping himself entertained.

Waimea carrying her security blanket.

Mother and daughter playing piano. Waimea sings along too.

Part of the obstacle course at Spencer's birthday party.

Ooh. The pinata, which I got to blow to pieces when the kids couldn't break it open.

Waimea loving that cupcake.

A lovely view of the ostriches at the Wild Safari. One of them even tried to eat the windshield of the car. Not very tasty, I'm sure.

A lovely sunset from one of our walks at night. We saw some big, fresh animal prints soon after I took this picture, so we booked it out of there. None of us wanted to encounter a big, furry animal.

Evan and Spencer playing soccer.

Waimea joining in on the fun.

Katri and Waimea chillin' in the Princeton fountain. Waimea was not a fan of getting completely wet. We tried.

But Spencer was a big fan.

Friday, May 15, 2009

For My Students

This blog is dedicated entirely to my LS4 class Winter 2009. They created these awesome commercials as a part of a class assignment. I hope everyone enjoys them. We also had a little fun at our class party doing Zumba.

The Diet Commercial

The Speed Walking Commercial

The Zumba Commercial

Trying Zumba in class party