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#2231495 - 02/14/14 12:34 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21583
Loc: Oakland
I am afraid that those two birds have passed on. She laid lots of eggs, but none of them hatched. In the 20+ years that we have had parakeets, we had only one successful breeding, just last year. Little Hidalgo is full grown now. He comes to the breakfast table to watch the big animals eat.
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#2231588 - 02/14/14 03:33 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4417
Loc: San Jose, CA
Speaking of successful breedings. There was a news report last week about a local woman who gave birth to a 15-pound baby. You could keep it in mind for those days when you think things just couldn't get any worse.
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#2231926 - 02/15/14 08:34 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
In the past I have played for several baptism lunches— a logical follow-up to playing for the wedding dinner.

15 pounds? Jeez. My son, by the way, was 11 and 1/2 pounds at birth. He was way too big for the baby clothes and diapers. My daughter would have been even bigger, but they yanked her out two weeks early, so she was just shy of 11 pounds. All of this is my husband's fault. He was also a very big baby, which is a good thing because it helps to be tall and strong when you're lugging a bass.

The VD dinner was a big success. We had the candles, the rose petals, the champagne, the chocolate. No parakeets, but that would have been a nice touch. The ninja swans on the lake did not hiss at anyone. Sadly, everyone (human and beast alike) behaved . No Buttercup sitings. We didn't even have ONE inappropriately dressed female guest. My red dress survived another year. Love rules.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#2231995 - 02/15/14 11:18 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21583
Loc: Oakland
After the news of the 15 pound baby was broadcast, there was the story of the 16 pounder.
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#2237763 - 02/26/14 01:46 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
All that talk about giant babies scared me—ah, the Miracle of Birth.

We're in the February lull at the castle. This time of year in Germany is always gray and dreary and somewhat bride-less. Karneval starts this week, so that should liven things up a bit. I'm not a fan of this tradition, which involves huge clusters of drunken Germans dressed as clowns, pirates, kangaroos (or worse) swarming through the streets, accompanied by music that makes me feel like my head is about to explode. I tend to hide inside for four days during this celebration. I'm hardly a teetotaler, but the drinking is extreme even for me. Plus, you know, my whole life involves dressing up, so I'm reluctant to do it unless someone pays me.

The city of Cologne becomes one big parade town over the next few days. A little bit of forced gaiety is okay, but this is over the top. As luck would have it, the castle advertises itself as the place to go to avoid Karneval madness, so I'll be safe there.

FYI, Karneval season officially "starts" at 11:11 AM on the 11th day of the 11th month (November). I don't know who makes up these rules. Anyway, there are many musicians in this part of Germany who make their entire yearly income between November and March, playing for pre-Karneval and Karneval events. I guess there are stranger ways for a musician to earn money than playing for weddings. Imagine the stories these guys (and gals) must have.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#2237883 - 02/26/14 10:30 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21583
Loc: Oakland
Originally Posted By: Piano Girl RMG
FYI, Karneval season officially "starts" at 11:11 AM on the 11th day of the 11th month (November).


That would have been the time of the armistice, so I suspect that custom came after WWI.
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#2237942 - 02/26/14 12:43 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
Nope, long before. It would be convenient to criticize the Germans for having a Big Party when everyone else is remembering their fallen soldiers, but the 11.11 thing has some sort of pagan roots, from everything I've read.

Maybe the bad music has pagan roots, too.

Cheers.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#2240065 - 03/02/14 11:54 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
Last night a very elegant woman wearing a dress that looked like a spider web stopped by the piano with an expectant look on her face. I was in the middle of a somewhat complicated piece of music (I hate when I write stuff that's tricky to play) and I truly thought she was going to compliment me on—what—my fancy finger-work, or my heartfelt emotion, or even my evening gown. I tilted my head toward her and said hello—not so easy because of the technical challenges of playing really fast in B major. But I smiled, she smiled back, and then she said, in one of those screeching owl voices: "WHERE IS THE TOILET?"

Now I don't know why the toilet inquiry should bother me. It happens more often that one might hope. But really, it strikes me as kind of rude. I mean it's not like I'm sitting at an information desk or hanging up coats.

So you might wonder (or perhaps not) how do I handle these awkward moments? I stop, right in the middle of whatever I'm playing, stand up and say, "The Toilet? Let me show you the way." Then I escort the person to the staircase and wish them a pleasant evening. No, Clef, I do NOT push them down the steps, tempted as I may be.

Then I return to the piano and pick up exactly where I left off, which generally amuses the other people sitting next to the piano. Or at least it amuses me, which is better than being mad.

It's March, the Month of Thawing—at least I hope so for those of you suffering from this year's deep freeze.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#2240426 - 03/02/14 09:31 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4417
Loc: San Jose, CA
"...No, Clef, I do NOT push them down the steps..."

Go back and try again.

You could write a song that has the directions to the toilet, sung to music--- and why not? and in German, too--- with which you could interrupt the B major masterpiece. A little modulation magic, with a light-hearted little intro about, "Because so many people ask." Who can say but that part of the audience might move there en masse, believing that they were going to witness some piece of avant-garde performance art. There have been unlikelier things. Who knows, maybe some of them were wondering but didn't like to ask.

At least everyone would know where it is.

You may refrain from sound effects, though I'm tempted to suggest--- maybe through some plants in the audience who would egg their fellows on--- that the piece end with a rousing "Ka-WHOOSH." Imagine that, echoing down the marble stairs and through the halls, following the hapless soul who interrupted your performance.

I wonder what the bride's mother would say--- tell me it wasn't she who asked?
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Clef


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#2241297 - 03/04/14 02:04 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
"The Toilet Song!" I would be an absolute hit with lounge pianists around the world—we all suffer from this problem. Just the other day my Piano Girl pal Emilee Floor (at the Waldorf in NYC) said that it seemed like every other person walking through the lobby needed instructions on how to get to the potty.

I'll be working on this, Clef. Thanks for the idea. Toilet is a bad rhyme word, but there are so many possibilities for potty.

Naughty
Haughty
Dotty
(beam me up) Scotty
squatty
karate (!)

I'm thinking a nice bossa nova might work.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#2241447 - 03/04/14 07:42 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3206
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Piano Girl RMG

I'm thinking a nice bossa nova might work.



Excellent! Then if you give the wrong directions and they get mixed up, you can..........

...............

Blame it on the Bossa No-vah!

(hit single for Eydie Gorme in 1963)

The da-ance of love.
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gotta go practice

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#2241468 - 03/04/14 08:18 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21583
Loc: Oakland
What about "It's My Potty, and I'll Cry if I Want To!" (It's My Potty, and I'll Cry If I Can't [Don't] Go!)?


Edited by BDB (03/04/14 08:36 PM)
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#2241640 - 03/05/14 12:39 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3206
Loc: Virginia, USA
How dry I am

How wet I'll be

If I can't find

The bathroom key
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gotta go practice

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#2246392 - 03/14/14 08:17 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
The Bossa Nova is coming along nicely, thank you very much. And now, since we're on the public restroom theme, and since I've got nothing to report on the wedding front, here's a little excerpt from Piano Girl for your entertainment pleasure. Long live Maria, that's what I say. Please use your imaginations for the "censored" parts. i was going to re-write it, but I don't want the piece to lose its grit. Have fun!

There's a Small Hotel
An Excerpt from Piano Girl: A Memoir
©2007 Robin Meloy Goldsby
Reprinted with the permission of Backbeat Books

The Marriott Marquis hovers over Times Square like a giant spaceship, but when I enter the ground-floor level there isn’t much to see. Oh, there is the standard marble floor (where do the hotels in New York City get all that marble, anyway?), and there are little men in fancy uniforms with fringe on the shoulders. They hold open the doors and say welcome to the Marriott Marquis have a nice day with thick outer-borough accents. But the lobby? Nowhere to be seen. The clever designers have placed the lobby on the eighth floor, a practical scheme for keeping the street people out of the lounge area—a feature that does not go unappreciated by me. After my episode with Reginald, I’m relieved to have the piano far away from the street.

In order to access the lobby, you must pass the scrutiny of the Highly Trained Security Team situated on the ground floor. Well, that’s good. The Highly Trained Security Team looks very official with their bordeaux jackets, secret-service-type earpieces, and multiple television monitors. Once you’re past the Highly Trained Security Team, you have to wait forever for an elevator. Or you can ride the escalator, winding and climbing up through the bowels of the hotel, past the Broadway theater and floors of ballrooms, convention halls, and administrative areas, until you arrive—plop—in lobby-land. And what a lobby it is—a spectacular expanse of metal and leather and empty space that soars so high it makes you dizzy to look up.

The Marquis boasts five restaurants and two lounges. Two of these outlets are revolving. If you live in New York, what you want, at the end of the day, is to sit still—I enjoy a good sunset as much as the next guy, just not when I’m spinning around. But I’ve underestimated the appeal of the ever-changing panoramic view, especially to tourists. Harlan has promised me that I will not be playing in the revolving Broadway Lounge on the eighth floor, or in The View restaurant on the top floor. He knows I have a problem with motion sickness and has assured me that I will be sitting perfectly still at the piano in the Atrium Lounge, on the eighth floor.

The piano, a Yamaha conservatory grand, stands off to the side of the atrium, surrounded by ficus trees and huge beds of white flowers that are already starting to turn brown around the edges. I introduce myself to the waitresses, most of whom are miserable because of the unfortunate uniforms they’ve been forced to wear—full-length black skirts slit up to the hoo-ha, white polyester sleeveless tops cut down to you know where, black belts and gloves trimmed with rhinestones, and, as if that isn’t enough, a little black hat that looks like something you’d see on an organ grinder’s monkey. I’ve read somewhere that the Marriotts are practicing Mormons, but after I see these outfits, I begin to wonder. Marie Osmond wouldn’t be caught dead dressed like this.

The ceiling of the atrium stretches up to the sky, fifty floors above the lounge. The glass elevators zoom up and down, and the passengers’ faces press up against the windows as they streak, Jetson-like, through the atrium. The Marriott surprises visitors not with its design—which isn’t unique—but with the audacity of its location, right in the middle of Times Square. Looking at the absurd amount of open space, it’s easy to forget this is a Manhattan hotel. In spite of the Marquis Broadway theater downstairs, the catchy New York names on the menus, and the droves of unemployed actors working as waiters and waitresses, I feel like I’m somewhere else, in another city’s fantasy of New York. The gentrification of Times Square is in the early planning stages, and the Marriotts are foot soldiers in the battle to turn the area into a family entertainment mecca. Sitting there at the Yamaha, I’m on the front line.


Dozens of giant ficus trees—rumored to have cost tens of thousands of dollars apiece—form a green umbrella over the Atrium Lounge. New York isn’t a ficus tree kind of place. The trees agree: two weeks after we open, they begin shedding leaves. Autumn in New York. The falling leaves drift by my piano and they aren’t red and gold. They’re brown and dusty and they land in the piano and crunch when they bounce on the strings. It’s quite a predicament—a spanking-new hotel lobby that looks like it needs a good raking. Management appoints housekeeping workers to stay on top of the crisis, twenty-four hours a day.

“Shitty leaves,” mutters Carolyne as she coasts by the piano. Carolyne wears the standard Marriott housekeeping uniform—a variation on the French maid theme—and big white fluffy slippers. I don’t know if the slippers are a fashion accessory or a medical necessity, but either way, she has a nice gliding motion on the marble floor. She looks like she’s skating. She carries a giant broom and dustpan. What she needs is a leaf blower.

“This is the thirteenth time I’ve been around this lobby in the last hour,” says Carolyn as she coasts by the piano with a nifty little crossover step. “[censored]. Whose idea was it to buy these shitty trees?” She stuffs the last of the leaves into her trash bag. Then she looks over her shoulder as more dead leaves begin to fall. “Shitty leaves. They oughta just chop down the shitty trees.” And off she skates, broom in hand. This goes on for weeks until the trees are completely bald. The hotel hires a new firm to replace the old branches with artificial ones. Another ficus crisis averted.

The sound of the music in the Marriott is marvelous. With all that empty space above me, I can play and play, full-out, no holding back, no managers giving me the international sign for keep it down. What a joy! In the lounge itself, listeners sit close to the piano. People who want to talk with friends or review quarterly sales reports sit far away. It’s an immense area with deep leather chairs and sofas.

Hotel guests report that they can hear the piano, clear as a bell, all the way up on the top floors. The balconies around each floor open onto the atrium; reasonably high railings planted with philodendron prevent people from falling over. Occasionally guests lean out stories above me, and I can see their little heads silhouetted against the midday light that pours through the windows. They wave or sing from high above. Some of them, teenagers probably, throw ice cubes or paper airplanes.

One weekday afternoon when I arrive for work, one side of the lobby has been cordoned off and covered with black drapes. Several of the waitresses, monkey hats akimbo, cluster in the corner and sob. The manager on duty hustles me to the piano, where I’m instructed to play so that the guests don’t notice the dead body behind the black curtains. A traumatized waitress tells me that some poor soul has thrown himself from one of the sky-high balconies into the pit of shedding ficus. Thank God I wasn’t playing at the time of the jump. Playing after the incident is bad enough. I look around at the people reading newspapers, chatting with each other, and sipping cappuccinos. Do they know what has happened? Do they care?

What do I play in a situation like this? Nothing is appropriate. Choking priests, heart attacks, fistfights, suicides—all lounge musicians, sooner or later, will be expected to play the soundtrack for some kind of disaster. Look at those poor guys playing in the Titanic band. Better to have tunes ready that no one knows. At least then the customers won’t sing along.

The piano is close to the entrance to the restrooms, so I find myself inadvertently conducting a study of post-restroom etiquette. Here’s a fact: One out of two men exiting the men’s room checks his fly after he is out in public. You can do your own research on this. It’s astounding. You’d think these guys would check before leaving the toilet area, but no. From my piano perch I observe several fly-checking methods, my favorite being the discreet Little Finger Under the Belt Buckle maneuver. But some gentlemen just spread their legs, look down at themselves, and tug away.

The women have their own set of problems. Often, right in the middle of my set, some poor gal will saunter out of the ladies’ room with her skirt tucked into her pantyhose. Or worse yet, dragging a piece of toilet paper on her shoe. These things concern me. Once I watch, helpless, as a woman in her seventies gets into the glass elevator and exposes half of her rear end to 200 Volkswagen salesmen drinking beer in the lobby. I play “Cheek to Cheek” and try not to stare.

One of the Marriott’s most unusual features (for stylish people “in the know”) is a fashion boutique operating inside a restroom on one of the lower floors. Maria, a housekeeper in charge of cleaning the public toilets, has set up shop in the toilet stall for disabled people. Shopping at Stall for the Handicapped is one of my favorite break-time activities. Maria, whose clothing comes from unknown uptown sources, hangs her high-ticket items from the metal rails inside the cubicle. I hustle into the restroom on my twenty-minute breaks, try on a bunch of clothes, and end up with designer dresses at rock-bottom prices. Maria never gets into trouble—there’s a rumor that many of the female managers are also shopping at Stall for the Handicapped. I’m Maria’s in-house model. She sends me out to the piano in an outfit, and a third of the waitresses order the same thing.

“Where’d you get that, Robin? It’s fab-u-lous! Bergdorf?”

“No. Stall for the Handicapped.”

“Should have known. Maria has the very best things. Think she has it in a medium?”

“Maybe. I saw one just like it in butter-colored silk hanging on the back of the toilet door. Maybe it’s a medium.”

When a disabled person shows up, Maria clears her racks of silk skirts, cashmere coats, and leather pants from the toilet stall. She works hard to make it look like a routine cleaning job. Sweating, she emerges from the cubicle with enormous trash bags stuffed with designer outfits, smiles at the person in the wheelchair, and says, “There you go, honey, nice and clean, just for you.”

Everyone loves Maria. She’s my favorite person at the Marriott. During a five-hour shift I have four twenty-minute opportunities to visit her in the ladies’ room. It adds up. Often on my breaks I’m obligated to remain in the cocktail lounge and chat with a customer, but whenever I can—swoosh!—I disappear to Maria’s restroom. I kick off my shoes, sit in a big pink upholstered chair, and do needlepoint while she chatters at me in her delightful New Jersey–Puerto Rican accent. Maria knows exactly what to say; she’s a counselor, a giver of strength, and a comedienne, making me laugh with stories about her grown daughters and her bus-driver boyfriend. She’s my pocket therapist, my fashion coordinator, and my friend. And she manages all of this while scrubbing toilets and sinks for the nose-in-the-air ladies who barely acknowledge her presence as they throw a quarter into her tip jar.

I see Maria get mad exactly one time. It’s a Wednesday afternoon, matinee day, and a group of boisterous Midwestern women sitting next to the piano begin to tell dirty jokes. All four of them are quite heavy, which doesn’t stop them from ordering platters of deep-fried mystery tidbits. They’ve skipped the matinee, having determined that sitting in the lobby and getting sloshed on strawberry margaritas is a lot more fun than seeing Peter O’Toole in Pygmalion. They’re plastered, roaring with glee, and practically falling out of their chairs. One of them tells a joke about a parrot in a whorehouse. I wonder if their raucous laughter travels up to the thirty-seventh floor the way the piano music does.

“[censored]!” screams one of the ladies. “Oh no!!!!”

“What?!” the others cry.

“I just peed my pants.”

The ladies howl. To them this is the funniest thing that has ever happened in the history of civilization.

I keep playing. Joy, the waitress, bolts to the piano. “What’s going on?” she says.

“Lady at table two just peed her pants,” I say. “That’s a first.”

“What the [censored] is wrong with these people?” says Joy. She huffs and stomps away to report the catastrophe to her manager and the three other waitresses who are lurking around the bar waiting for the five o’clock rush. They huddle in the corner, working on a plan to deal with the incident.

In the meantime the ladies, who have already paid their check, get up to leave. There is a puddle the size of Lake Michigan on the chair, and it goes drip drip drip onto the marble floor. The guilty party has a huge wet circle on the back of her lavender pantsuit, but she doesn’t seem to mind.

I’m playing “All the Things You Are.” As the ladies exit one side of the lounge, a handsome older man enters from the other side. He stares at me and smiles, bobbing his head in approval and looking around the deserted lobby to make sure that he is noticed. Well. With all these empty chairs in the lounge—there must be fifty or sixty unoccupied seats—he makes a beeline to the one covered in urine. He’s so busy smiling and nodding that he doesn’t see, or smell, what he’s about to get himself into.

Surely he will realize that he can’t sit there.

Surely a waitress or the manager will guide him to another seat.

But the entire staff is involved in their meeting about how to clean the chair. They are unaware of our new guest.

He pauses. Then he begins to sit down.

“NOOOOOOOO!” I scream as I jump up from the piano bench. The poor guy, who is hovering between standing and sitting, nearly has a convulsion as he jerks himself around and does a little Gumby dance to stop himself mid-sit. Joy gets him to another seat. God knows what she tells him.

The next thing I know, poor Maria is being dragged out of the restroom to survey the chair in question.

“It’s only number one,” says the manager, whose name is Jeff. “She didn’t do number two. At least I don’t think so. Joy, did she do number two, or just number one?”

“How the heck should I know?” yells Joy.

“One,” I shout to Jeff from the piano. “She just did number one.” I play “Here’s That Rainy Day.”

Silence. Maria is warming up for a fight.

Go Maria, go!

“And?” says Maria.

“Well, could you, you know, clean it up?” says Jeff.

“I’m not in charge of cleaning the lounge. I clean the restrooms.”

“Yeah, well, I know, but it’s, it’s, it’s . . .”

“Go ahead and say it, mister. It’s [censored]. And you think that I am in charge of all [censored]-related cleaning activity. You got that wrong. When someone leaves a glass in the bathroom I don’t call no waitress to clean it up. I do it myself. Same thing applies here. The customer peed in your outlet, you deal with it. What do I look like, the [censored]’ pee-pee lady? I don’t clean up no one’s pee-pee unless they do it in my restroom. Got it, mister?” She pokes him in the chest with her yellow-rubber-gloved finger.

I am very proud of Maria.

Jeff, using a broom handle, jostles the chair to the side of the lounge, back behind the service area where no one sits. The next day when I arrive for work, the chair squats in the corridor, still wet, with orange warning tape crisscrossed over the top. Management will probably have it incinerated.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#2246436 - 03/14/14 09:57 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4417
Loc: San Jose, CA
Yes, a Class One Bio-Hazard in the lobby lounge--- no doubt of it. It's time to re-read your book, Piano Girl, again; I just love that story... or to say it more properly, I love your touch with a story. The best books--- the only kind I give shelf space to in my little pocket library at home--- are like that. Reading them again is like a visit from a treasured old friend.

I do feel somewhat remorseful at having introduced the topic of directions to the loo, sung to music, in a thread of such refinement and high purpose. I hope, that when I am gathered to my reward, a merciful and humorous God will see fit to overlook it; that, and the excursion into such a low form as the limerick. Maybe especially the limericks, for He Alone knows what I held back, in an unusual exercise of conscience. If I were "The Man from Nantucket," I should be turning over in my grave as fast as the drive shaft in a sports car, though I trust that there never was such a person. And no doubt, the good people from Limerick, Ireland, feel that someone has a lot to answer for.

And, by the way, how is that song coming along?

I am sure that none of us will ever sit in a chair again without looking first, especially in a lounge with bad light. I could not help but think that, of course, out of sixty chairs, the unwary gentleman headed for that very one. There is some variation of the Heisenburg Uncertainty Principle, or some other law of mischance, which governs this. There's a PhD thesis in it for some bright young student from Princeton or Harvard, or even Brown, which some mean people call "The Doormat of the Ivy League." Maybe it is and maybe it isn't, but I'll tell you, that kind of thesis would get more attention than most of them.

Your story about the sound of the piano, which soared up for fifty tall stories with no interfering managers, illustrates the reciprocal aspect of the principle. For, out of 88 keys, with 87-to-1 odds for things to go wrong with every keypress, the performer manages to tack against a very stiff breeze to produce great music and great stories. Like the song, Lo, the Loo is Down the Stairs.
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Clef


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#2246924 - 03/15/14 10:43 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
Yes, Clef. I agree. No more limericks or toilet stories. To what depths must we sink as we wait for the Return of the Brides? Restore a little class to this thread, that's what I say. Let's take the high road and pave the way to our 2 millionth hit with sophistication and intelligence. Dignity. Elegance. Strippers.

Thanks for the "Piano Girl" shout out. I re-read it myself about a month ago. I was particularly taken by the Rikers Island wedding story. Seems like eight lifetimes ago.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#2247405 - 03/16/14 11:22 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4417
Loc: San Jose, CA
"...To what depths must we sink as we wait for the Return of the Brides?..."

Figure and field, Robin. A hundred Tempest Storms could slither down the aisle a hundred times with a hundred Best Men, and have more class than the gentleman in Greg's story--- father of the groom--- who was shown, in videos of the reception, to have his hand in the father of the bride's pocket, removing his wallet; inconveniently, with the money for the hall and caterers.

And a hundred chimpanzees could chatter on a hundred typewriters for a hundred years and still not come up with a wedding story that juicy. Not even the time Rose got the wedding guest list mixed up with the entertainers list, and invited no guests, but a hundred Elvis impersonators showed up for Dorothy's wedding, singing Hawaiian Wedding Song in a hundred whiskey baritones. Not even the time Gilligan and Ginger censored by the moderator, with a stern warning

To what depths--- oh, Robin, never ask someone like me such a question. And truly, God help us if Greg hears about it--- because he will tell you.

Let's do a little educational problem for the ring-bearers and flower girls. "If a hundred swans chase a hundred brides for a hundred laps around the pond, which will run out first, the hot hors-d'oeuvres, or the liquor? If a hundred fathers-in-law lay a hundred bets, how many will bet on the swan? The bride? How many will be sleeping it off on the couch that night? How many mothers-in-law will have to cancel the punishment when the husbands find out about their own pool?
_________________________
Clef


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#2249439 - 03/20/14 11:46 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4417
Loc: San Jose, CA
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Happy Birthday to the great Marian McPartland. Born on this day in 1918, and gathered to her reward just last year, greatly missed but far from forgotten.

Let us raise a glass together in honor of the example set by her life, and in her memory.
_________________________
Clef


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#2249518 - 03/20/14 03:05 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
Cheers, Marian!

There's a big shindig this weekend at the 92nd Street Y to celebrate her life. I'm sure it will be a who's who of pianists. She would love that.

It is also Fred Roger's birthday.

Obviously March 20th is magical date. Marian taped a Jazz Piano show with Johnny Costa, Fred's musical director (and my father's colleague). I don't think she ever met Fred, but if there's such a thing as Music Heaven, I'll bet they are all hanging out.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#2250812 - 03/23/14 04:58 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
Just when I thought the lack of amusing personalities at the castle had reached a mind-numbing low, who should walk into the lobby on Friday night but our gal Buttercup Blondeau (possibly NOT her real name). She has gained a little weight since I last met her, mostly in her lips, which are puffier than ever. But the swagger is still there. Hubba-hubba.

Buttercup's date was a sophisticated older man. She had him on one arm. In her other arm she carried a tiny white poodle whose name was "Sweetie." I was properly introduced to Sweetie, who seemed to be on Valium—she slept through my entire set.

Then, on the next night, the opera-singing Italian (who happens to be a "little person") showed up. He brought me a rose, sent me a glass of champagne, and sang a rather loud version of "Moon River." He is very handsome, my Italian little person. I am quite fond of him, but I wish he would keep it down. It confuses people—they can hear him, but because of his height, they can't see him behind the piano, and it sort of looks like I'm the one doing the braying, even though I am not now, nor have I ever been, a tenor.

Today if the Sunday Champagne Lunch. Who knows who will turn up?
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#2255114 - 04/01/14 12:25 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
I'm headed to Berlin tomorrow to play a concert at Steinway Haus. The trip will be a little more stressful than normal—my flights were cancelled due to a strike by pilots, so I'll be training it from Cologne to Berlin.

I had a bad day at the castle on Sunday at the Champagne Lunch, where most of the 65 guests were seated outside on the terrace, due to the beautiful weather. I was tucked into my usual piano corner, playing my elegant Sunday repertoire and hoping to avoid being hit by a piece of quiche sliding off the plate of one of our enthusiastic diners.

Comment 1:
(from an elegantly dressed older woman accompanied by her two angelic looking grandchildren, named Rosa and Tommy)
"I certainly hope you won't be too loud."
She said this to me with one of those fake horizontal smiles plastered on her bo-toxed face. Thinking I didn't hear her properly, I asked her to repeat herself, which of course, she did. I smiled, played louder, and said, very loudly, "HOPEFULLY."
She went to her table on the terrace, leaving Rosa and Tommy to play next to the piano.

Comment 2:
(from an Einstein look-alike balancing a plate of oysters in one hand and a platter of steak tartar in the other, dodging little Rosa and Tommy, who were running in circles around him, screaming like banshees)
"You sound pretty good—what are you doing playing in a place like this?"
I would have answered him, but this would have necessitated using a bullhorn, as Rosa and Tommy were shrieking and throwing themselves against the banquet next to the piano. (Their grandmother, from a distance, gazed at them with great admiration)

Comment 3:
(from an aging playboy wearing a Hugh Hefner kind of silken pajama outfit)
"This isn't a funeral, Madame. SWING MUSIC!!! Play some SWING MUSIC!"
Of course, in German this comes out sounding like SVING MUSEEK. I do not now, nor have I ever been much of a svinger.

Comment 4:
(from me to the grandmother, as I attempted to play louder than les enfants terribles)
"I HOPE THE MUSIC ISN'T TOO LOUD FOR YOU."


Comment 5:
(in response to Comment 4, shouted at me by the grandmother with that same phony smile on her face)
"Oh no, dear, our table is outside; we can't even hear you while we're eating. It's perfect."

And so it goes . . . the glamorous life of a hotel pianist. I'm kind of looking forward to this Steinway conert.


_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#2255265 - 04/01/14 10:36 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4417
Loc: San Jose, CA
It reminds me of the rumor (unfortunately, untrue--- or at least, denied by CHP) that cars identified as Gross Polluters would be seized by the Highway Patrol, and towed off to be crushed. I refer to the adorable grand-liebchen--- or would we say gros-liebchen.

What a good idea that would have been!

At least, Robin, you might have told the grandmother--- confidentially, but loud enough to have been heard all over the terrace--- that her botox provider had missed a spot, and that she should get it seen to. You know just the tone: oh-so-friendly, but also oh-so-audible. Then, suggest a spot in the shade, so the wrinkles won't cast a shadow, with an earnest and helpful, just-between-you-and-me smile.

You-and-me, and a few hundred thousand readers.

As for the gentleman. Send Monsieur over, to say quietly to him, "But sir, it is a funeral--- didn't you know? I'm sorry, but the terrace is reserved... I'll have to ask you to move inside... well I would make an exception--- of course--- but the bereaved is complaining; she's understandably overwrought... no, sir, I couldn't; she doesn't want to meet you at this time, but I'll be sure to convey your condolences. Oh--- don't worry about your brunch and beverage... and tab... I'll have the busboy bring everything to your new seat. If you would just follow me, please."

Now that I think again, the gros-liebchen, their grandmother, and the gentleman could all be escorted to (or near--- very near) the kiddies table, with Monsieur explaining that no, madame, the waitstaff cannot look after your grandchildren. The insurance; the publicity; The Castle management forbids... but the kiddies' room is lovely, with no harsh sunlight.


Edited by Jeff Clef (04/01/14 10:38 AM)
_________________________
Clef


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#2259091 - 04/09/14 11:40 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4417
Loc: San Jose, CA
And, "Today in Wedding History"

April 9, 2005 – Charles, Prince of Wales, married his long-time mistress Camilla Parker Bowles.

Not a Page One story, perhaps; there's a school stabbing, a tornado outbreak, a lost (and now, maybe, found) 777 airliner, and a frightful mudslide to the north... and--- oh, yes--- a frightful drought to the south, all jostling the story to the back pages and squeezing it into an ever-smaller typeface.

The story that made me feel all squishy inside, was that Diana, on her wedding day, in all that mob in Westminster Abbey, found her eyes lighting on the face of one person only: that of Camilla Parker Bowles.

Talk about Double Jeopardy--- think of Prince Chuck, with two wives on his wedding day. What a narrow escape he had, should it have come to pass, with a jillion cameras broadcasting worldwide, and live, that Camilla might have shoved her way up to the very altar of God and had it out with Diana, snatching her bald, on the spot. Would the government have tottered? Would the Queen have broken out in a rash? Would the future royal progeny have decided to sit the marriage out, poised unmanifest in prakriti and biding their time until a less unsuitable occasion came forth?

Oh, the Wedding History that might have been. Well, somebody had to mention the occasion... and they did give Let's Talk Weddings something to talk about. And it's not a limerick.
_________________________
Clef


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#2259140 - 04/09/14 01:31 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1197
Loc: London UK
This is:

A troubled young heir, name of Chuck
Married Di, but continued to ****
With Camilla. Now fate
Has condemned him to wait
He may never never be monarch. Hard luck!



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#2260159 - 04/11/14 09:30 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
Oh dear. I'm not touching that limerick with a ten foot you-know-what. Wombat, you seem to have a special talent for this form. Well done!

I worry, I do, that sometimes my hair resembles Camilla's hair. I am still mad at the royal family for not hiring me to play for William and Kate's wedding. What a disappointment.

I have a wedding to play tomorrow! 28 people—I am playing for the nuptial dinner. The season is officially open.

The concert in Berlin was so much fun. I read the story about my grandmother (The Man on the Ceiling from Piano Girl), the stripper story, the sauna story, the horse story, and a new piece I've written about the concept of "home" (a hot topic when performing for an expatriate audience). In between the stories I played some of my compositions. The event was at Steinway Haus, so I had an amazing instrument—a Steinway B with no wrong notes. Love that!

I returned home last Friday, worked Friday and Saturday nights, then, Sunday morning (here at home), threw myself down a flight of steps on my way to get a cup of tea. No, Clef, an Event Planner did not push me.

Right toe: broken (again)
Right arm: scraped
Left thumb; sprained
Left shoulder: wrenched
Tailbone: sore & swollen
Ego: bruised

I am okay and going back to work this evening (limping—which is always good for sympathy votes). Be careful out there, folks! One false move and you have Camilla hair and you fall down the steps.

Happy weekend!

_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#2260188 - 04/11/14 11:01 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21583
Loc: Oakland
I hope you are feeling better soon! Take good care of yourself!

(Don't sit on hornets tails
Or on nails
Or third rails
You'll get a pain that'll ruin your tum tum!)
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2262041 - 04/15/14 09:36 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
Feeling much better, thank you, BDB—although I surely won't be scheduling any nude photos shoots this week. I am the color of an eggplant. I'm quite lucky I didn't end up in a full body cast.

2014 Wedding #1:

Well, the first wedding of the season turned out to be a lovely affair. The bride, who was about 10 months pregnant, wore a tight white lace knee-length dress and looked stunning. As a two-time mom, I marvel at any woman who can be that close to giving birth and still manage to look chic. She wore very high heels and had her hair piled on top of her head. The groom was dashing. The guests were beyond elegant, except for one rogue brother or uncle or something who really truly looked like the Unibomber. Very long hair, messy beard, untucked shirt, shifty eyes. As you might guess, I had my eye on him all night. While everyone else was sipping rosé champagne, the Unibomber got the waiter to bring him whiskey (in a champagne glass). He knocked back about four glasses during the cocktail hour. He was pretty well-behaved, but when I left the night was still young, so who knows.

I expected the bride to give birth during the soup course, but that didn't happen. All in all it was an uneventful event—but I'm happy to be off to a good start!
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#2262057 - 04/15/14 09:59 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4417
Loc: San Jose, CA
Let's be careful how we mention soup courses...

I'm so sorry you were injured, Robin. My best wishes, and I hope you feel better very soon. There are some ladies who seem to believe the color eggplant flatters them... but they mean the kind of outfit you can take off (or wash off).

What a coincidence, that this has occurred so very close to the date of Backcountry Weekend (you will remember the story of the unfortunate lady who suffered a fall, a few years ago--- and tongues haven't stopped wagging since). I am waiting for a full description of how many firetrucks pulled up to your house, and how many firedaddies carried you back up the offending staircase and ministered to your toe.

I fell on my inside staircase, a number of years back. The knee replacement surgery proved to be a serious inconvenience; we got rid of the Stainmaster carpet, whose yarn is coated with teflon before being made into floor coverings, for it made the nose of the stairtreads far more slippery than anyone would suspect. Now, all I have to worry about is the persistent efforts of the dogs, who try to trip me on the stairs, so I will fall, break my neck, and release the treats I'm holding in my hand.

Nah... they're smart, but they're not thinking ahead that far; the world is strewn with banana peels enough, though, and we all have to watch our step.
_________________________
Clef


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#2263874 - 04/18/14 11:46 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Jeff Clef]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3206
Loc: Virginia, USA
Tonight I attended a performance of Faust at my daughter's college.

It was auf Deutsch, of course, and my daughter was one of the actors.

Fortunately there was a very good program, or I would have had trouble following. I did live in Germany 5 years, and I have a little German, but I'm very rusty.

But I had more trouble following for a very different reason.

My daughter volunteered me to sing a short verse from the audience, auch auf Deutsch, on the cue "Ich trinke, ich sterbe." Okay, I can be a good sport about it. I'm saving a life, after all (my intervention prevents Dr. Faust from drinking poison.)

Just watch for your cue in scene two, don't be late. Oh, and ring this bell just before you sing.

And.........they handed me a small cowbell!!!!!!!!

You know where my mind went.

MORE COWBELL!

In fact, that's about all I could think about. Thanks very much, Christopher Walken and SNL.

Somehow I got through the gig. With a smile on my face, and my brain going MORE COWBELL while my mouth sang Christ is erstanden.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2264841 - 04/21/14 05:46 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
Great story, Tim. I always say my life in Germany resembles one very long Mel Brooks film. Sounds like you're in the same Boot.

Ich trinke; ich sterbe—indeed.

More cowbell! More soup! More Firedaddies!

Survived the Easter Sunday champagne lunch. A large group of small children, determined that eggs had been hidden under the grand piano, crawled around down there for most of my first set, but they were well-behaved crawlers (as opposed to the braying devil-children from previous weeks), so that was fine. Luckily I was wearing a pantsuit.

Hope all of you had a peaceful weekend. I did not eat a chocolate bunny, but Frau Siegling-Weberhorst, who is 97 years old (and the owner of a rather large chocolate company), did present me with a huge box of chocolate truffles. After eating a few of them last night, I've decided this must be the secret to her longevity.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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