14 July, 2013

the red violin

i have been busy working, loving every day of it, but last week i took some time off to fly to vancouver for my very first urban planning conference* as a student volunteer. fun was had, people met, muffins et and wine sipped**. monday night was the closing gala and lo and behold, more wine. because we had some pre-wine on the patio of a nearby restaurant with a new friend who won a 100$ gift certificate there and wanted to share, it ended up being way a little bit too much wine, as evidenced by what happened next.

the gala was hosted by the hotel, and two d.j.'s provided the entertainment, a tall one and a tiny one who had an electric violin that he used to great effect. at one point, having reached that "if i have it, it must be a good idea" stage in wine consumption (come on, you know what i mean!) i walked up to the d.j. booth where both gentlemen were now packing up and asked the tiny violinist*** if he could be persuaded to let me hold the violin and attempt to get some sound out of it. surprisingly, he agreed and i picked up the violin and held it up to my shoulder... with the wrong end towards my neck. he looked at me and, clearly wondering if i was joking, told me i was holding it backwards. this was rather embarrassing and so i did the obvious thing and... switched it to my other shoulder, still holding it backwards. the next bit is a bit of a blur but i do remember dropping the violin on the table (not a far fall, but it did elicit a smallish thunk) at which point, despite my protests and sudden alarming realisation THAT I HAD BEEN HOLDING IT BACKWARDS the little man took his instrument and put it away, refusing to even look at me, not that i blame him.

my little poultries, lest you think i am a total ignoramus, let me tell you that i was raised on classical music, have seen countless violinists perform, along with an assortment of fiddle players and other string instrumentalists. i know how one holds a violin, but at that point in time, my brain was apparently SO pickled that it made perfect sense to put the scroll  up to my neck. oy.

i blame (as always) that fourth glass of wine, because it is precisely that glass that makes the following glasses look like a good idea.

hey! here's a picture of the tiny violinist, and the violin in question and me! not surprisingly, i have no recollection of this picture being taken!

*how lovely to go to a conference where one is surrounded by (for the most part) like-minded people passionate about interesting things, where speakers talk on topics that are not gingival or dental in nature!

**the introductory wine and nibbles were hosted at the vancouver aquarium, and if there is a better place to drink a nice glass of red than a glowing tank of undulating jellyfish i have yet to see it.

***not nearly as hilarious as a tiny pianist, but still...