Thursday, August 9, 2012

Death by Ceramics

Little Girl, like so many of her generation, loves to play video games.  If you've ever been around kids who like video games, you have either heard of the Zelda games, or you've been hiding under a rock (presumably to get away from said games, which i could understand).

In these games, the character of Link plays a musical instrument called an ocarina.  It is a small, fired clay/ceramic flute-like instrument, with anywhere from 6 to 12 holes, depending on whether you want soprano, bass, or somewhere in between.

Little Girl decided she wanted an ocarina, so she saved her money and for $25, including shipping, became the proud owner of a small, blue musical instrument she can wear on a string around her neck.  She chose the 6 hole soprano model.

Then she got on the website that sells them and started learning to play the songs from the Zelda games.

Inherently, there is nothing wrong with this, nothing at all.  Inherently.  After all, i'm the one who insisted each of my kids be musically trained.

Unfortunately,  though, the songs Link plays in these games are all simply small hints of melodies, usually only 4-12 notes, repeated two or three times, each with a purpose (to call the horse Epona, for example, is one specific tune, to move into another dimension is another of these tunes).

Unfortunately, also, it is summer, and she is home because school has not started yet for her, and she is able to carry this little blue high pitched flute-let with her everywhere, and practice all day, the same songs, over and over.  And over.

It is making me stir crazy.

All day, i hear these ditties, and while i admit she is getting better at all of them, with fewer missed, dropped, or incorrect notes the more she plays (yea! music lessons), i am unable to ignore them and they follow me.

Listening to my own radio doesn't help.  Ear plugs do not help, and then i can't hear the radio or the kittens crying so i can't use them anyway.  The same notes, played ad infinitum, for hours on end, is setting every one of my nerves on edge.

No, i don't want to tell her to stop, i'm just glad she is using her musical talent, and since she could keep perfect pitch and sing scales at 18 months, she has that.

Still, i am tempted to smash said little blue ceramic flute-like instrument and use the sharp pieces to slit my wrists.  No, not really.  But smash it.  Maybe into pieces too small to slit anything.

If you find me, though, pacing in little circles, dithering like an idiot, or sitting in a corner banging my head against the wall, know that it was, if not death, at least insanity by ceramic.

Why do i have so many gray hairs?  Because i earned every one of them, from my children.

Today is:

Book Lover's Day -- internet generated, but if you love books, go sit under a shady tree with a cool drink and indulge!

Clean Out the Kitchen Cupboards Day -- because someone, somewhere, thought it would be a good day to remind us to get rid of the junk in there we haven't seen since last year

Edinburgh International Festival -- Edinburgh, Scotland (through Sept. 2; one of the world's most exciting venues for opera, dance, theater, classical music and the visual arts)

Edmonton Folk Music Festival -- Gallagher Park, Edmonton, AB, Canada (folk music of all kinds and fun for the whole family; through the 12th)

Festival for Sol -- Ancient Roman Calendar

Fox Hill Day -- Nassau, Bahamas

Goblin Ugly Contest -- Fairy Calendar

Great River Tug Fest -- Port Byron, IL, and LeClaire, IA, US (the only tug-of-war across the Mighty Mississippi; festival through Saturday)

Hope Watermelon Festival -- Hope, AK, US (if you've never had Hope watermelons, you've missed the best!  Through Saturday)

Independence Day / National Day -- Singapore(1965)

International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples -- UN

Jesse Owens Day -- the day he became the first American to win 4 gold medals

Jersey Battle of Flowers -- Jersey, Channel Islands, UK (two days of floats and family fun)

Nagasaki Day / Moment of Silence -- Japan

National Hand Holding Day -- sponsored by Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith of Chicago

National Rice Pudding Day

National Women's Day -- South Africa

National Hobo Convention -- Britt, IA (through the 12th; held each year since 1900, gathering for migrant workers who are proud to call themselves "hobos" and make a living through working where they choose and traveling where they want)

Perseid Meteor Showers -- in 2012, most visible from now until the 13th; the Celts believed these meteors were due to games being played by Lugh, their sun god

Remembrance for Radbod, King of the Frisians -- Asatru/Norse Pagan

Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross' Day (born Edith Stein, killed at Auschwitz; Co-Patron of Europe; Patron of converts, martyrs, those who have lost their parents, World Youth Day)

Sri Krishna Jayanti -- Buddhist (grand fire ritual for Krishna's Birthday)

Turku Music Festival -- Turku, Finland (one of Finland's oldest music festivals in its oldest city with music from medieval to modern by world-famous artists and in historic buildings all over the city; through the 24th)

Veep Day -- US (commemoration of the day in 1974 Richard Nixon's resignation let Gerald Ford succeed to the presidency)

Yosakoi Matsuri -- Kochi City, Japan (over 100 groups come up with their own Bon dance and costume and have dance competions in the streets, through the 12th)

Anniversaries Today:

Coronation of Albert II of Belgium, 1993

Birthdays Today:

Gillian Anderson, 1968
Delon Sanders, 1967
Hoda Kotb, 1964
Whitney Houston, 1963
Sam Elliot, 1944
P.L. Travers, 1899
Joseph Locke, 1805
Amedeo Avogadro, 1776
John Dryden, 1631

Today in History:

Battle of Pharsalus, in which Julius Caesar defeated Pompey, who fled to Egypt, BC 40
Bulgaria is founded as a Khanate on the south bank of the Danube after defeating the Byzantine armies of Emperor Constantine IV south of the Danube delta, 681
Start of construction of the Tower of Pisa, 1173*
Sistine Chapel opens, 1483
First horses arrive in Hawai'i, 1803
The Webster-Ashburton Treaty is signed, establishing the United States-Canada border east of the Rocky Mountains, 1842
Thoreau's Walden is published, 1854
Thomas Edison receives a patent for a two-way telegraph, 1892
Betty Boop makes her debut in the cartoon, Dizzy Dishes, 1930
Mahatma Gandhi is arrested in Bombay by British forces, launching the Quit India Movement, 1942
The United States Forest Service and the Wartime Advertising Council release posters featuring Smokey Bear for the first time, 1944
Singapore is expelled from Malaysia and becomes the first and only country to date to gain independence unwillingly, 1965
Richard Nixon becomes the first President of the United States to resign from office, 1974
Wayne Gretzky is traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings in one of the most controversial player transactions in ice hockey history, 1988
The Liberal Democratic Party of Japan loses a 38-year hold on national leadership, 1993
Tensions escalate between North and South Korea, when South Korea claims North Korea fired over 100 rounds of artillery into the Sea of Japan, 2010

*completed two hundred years later


  1. It was a very dark day up here when The Great One (Gretzky) was traded. It still rankles.

  2. It makes me angry for you guys, too, that it happened. It was just plain wrong.