Monday, November 20, 2006

Yet Another Indulgence

I received a warm response the last time I wrote a behind-the-scenes-with-Andrew post, so when Lori sent me a meme, I thought it was a good excuse to do so again. She tagged me with Five things you don't know about me. Here they are:

1. The color thing: I am chromatically challenged, but people, please, I am not color blind. My world is full of vibrant colors, it's just that sometimes they act silly and pretend to be one another. (This is the point where my daughter would raise an eyebrow resignedly in your direction and say, "He's color blind.")

2. A long way from home: My wife and I spent the first two years of our marriage living thousands of miles away from our families. I'm not sure if this helped to bring us together but it certainly made for some interesting long distance phone bills.

3. A personal milestone (er... kilometerstone?): This year I completed the ten-kilometer version of the Terry Fox Run for cancer research. I have never been a long distance runner, so this was a personal best for me and it felt good to complete it.

4. Tinkling the ivories: I recently inherited the piano that was in my family home when I was growing up and decided I should learn to play. The beginner "how to" books bored me silly so I started in on Beethoven. I can now play the Moonlight Sonata, Fur Elise, the Adagio Cantabile from Sonata Pathetique, and I'm branching out into Chopin with the Prelude in C Minor.

5. Relationship and life skills coaching: I am planning to expand my services to include one-on-one coaching by telephone. I will still offer free advice via To Love, Honor and Dismay, and this new service will allow me to provide more in-depth and personalized interventions. My current model for providing advice consists of an email from a reader followed by a published letter from me in response. This can point the reader in the right direction, but is restricted in several ways. My knowledge of the situation is limited to what the person elects to mention in a single email, so I virtually never get the full picture. That means my responses focus on common issues and are liberally sprinkled with phrases like "many people tend to" and "this often leads to." I frequently wish I could work with a person over a period of time and help them resolve their issues, which is what coaching will allow me to do.
    I have already received a few inquiries about receiving one-on-one assistance, so I am currently developing a results-oriented coaching curriculum that focuses on identifying your challenges, discarding their negative effects and developing positive relationship and life skills. I will provide more information when I am ready to launch this service.

Now I will tag Catch, Regina Clare Jane and Vivian.


  1. Interesting about the ivories. My ex husband inherited the family piano when our oldest son was eleven. He had taken a few lessons when he was young, and could still remember a few songs by memory ~ Fur Elise, Pink Panther, The Peanuts Theme ~ stuff like that. He also decided to resume learning with the piano at hand. BUT said oldest son showed an interest in learning, as well. I had taught him the usual duets, Heart and Soul and.. um.. I don't know the name of the other one everyone plays, in earlier years when we would visit Grandma's house (where the piano previously lived). He was never content just to know the easy "side" of the duet. He always wanted to know my part. He would play it over and over and over and over and over and over until Grandpa would come and close the piano, practically on his fingers! Grandpa would walk away and Jake would start right back up again. So, when he heard his father play Fur Elise, he said, "I want to know THAT song!" He taught him and he picked it up unusually fast. He played it with such emotion and skill that we were stunned. We discovered in our son a little prodigy! Of course we put him in lessons, and although is father did some borderline evil things in his manner of forcing him to practice and improve, he still loves to compose and play and I still love watching him. His Canon in D can stir my soul even when it is in the deepest throes of despair. And I don't even like classical music! He also does this crazy and fun rendition of Heart and Soul, doing both parts of the duet. :)

    I'll be seeing my son this week when I visit for Thanksgiving. My ears are aching to hear him play.

  2. Anonymous11:30 AM

    Oh, boy. A meme... haven't done one of those in a while... thanks (I think) Andrew! Oh, and congrats on No.3!
    Okay, off to think now...

  3. Thanks for tagging me. Last time someone tagged me I dropped the ball, but this is a lot more fun, and really gets me thinking. Check back soon to see what I come up with.

  4. That's awesome that you're not starting simple with the piano!!!! Way to go, heading right for the masters!

  5. okey dokey Sweety. I will get on this meme and have it up tomorrow or Wed . I promise. I love these things because I think you learn so much about someone. Kudos on the Terry Fox run!! And Im not suprised that you taught yourself how to play the piano! I also spent some time away from home and know exactly what you mean about phone bills!!! And please let me know when you get the telephone thingie set up...I may be your first customer...Thank you for tagging me...have a wonderful Thanksgiving! God bless you and yours.

  6. Piano...I would add some Bach to your repertoire. It looks simple on paper, but in actuality it’s very complex and if you master it well, you will learn a lot about technique! And once you have mastered that add some Debussy. Have fun!

  7. I wish we lived that far from my in-laws and my side of the family too.

  8. Anonymous2:38 AM

    About starting out thousands of miles from family, I believe this really does help bring a couple together. My husband and I had a lot of issues in our first year which slowly evaporated after we moved to Japan.

    I think part of the problem is that each family has its own personal "culture" which carries certain expectations and obligations. When you marry, it's often the case that your family culture doesn't match that of your spouses. For instance, my in-laws expected a certain level of deference from me which I didn't give because the relatives in my life were more like equals. Additionally, I expected a much higher level of courtesy and hospitality than they offered because my family went out of its way to make people feel welcome and wanted when they were in their home. Between his family's self-absorption and my attitude problem (in their eyes, I'm sure) coupled with my husbands forcing us together several times a week because he'd just returned from living alone for a year abroad and wanted to spend time with his family, there was considerable tension and emotional difficulty.

    When you're alone with your spouse, you get to bond and build your own "culture" without interference. By the time you're exposed to family, your situation is sufficiently settled that you're ready to deal with it with less difficulty.

  9. Anonymous8:57 AM

    i liked your blog and the tag too....

  10. YOU are amazing! I think your coaching idea is a wonderful one -- because the people here have already developed a "relationship" with you and trust your judgement -- and may not actually go GET the help that you've directed them toward from another source! BRAVO Andrew!

    Now about that piano... Don't you think you should stick to "tickling" the ivories ... I don't think they appreciate being "tinkled" on! :-P

  11. Anonymous2:14 PM

    thanks for not tagging me..maybe i should email you about not wanting to play silly internet

  12. It's not color blind - it's selective vibrance, eh? ;))

  13. Whew.. left us off that tag!

    Great coaching idea. We thought of doing that. We even implemented it over IM. I'm still waiting for a question...

    Is it only because we're useless?

    Keep up the great work Andrew!

  14. Hey meme is up!!! Come see.

  15. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and some of your accomplishments. It is an amazing talent to play an instrument and the piano is certainly my favourite.

  16. Anonymous11:00 AM

    It was nice reading your 5 meme posts.