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Laurie Niles

March 20, 2004 at 8:10 PM

Well, the audition is at 2:30 today, and I thought I'd give everyone a little picture of how completely insane life gets before one of these things. So here are some random impressions:

Two days ago, I awakened at 7 a.m. and bolted upright in my bed. "I HAVE TO CHANGE MY STRINGS!" Okay….I had been trying the Evah Pirazzis after being a long-time user of Dominants. I didn't think they were terrible, but they didn't seem to be helping all that much either. As they broke in, they seemed to be getting more fuzzy and even buzzy. But I didn't know I was that upset about it until this sudden jolt.

So I went to the music store when it opened and got a set of Dominants. I came home and put all of them (no, you aren't supposed to change all your strings at once, but what can one do?) on my fiddle. Ah. Way better. As long as I could break them in. But… that D string. Hmmm. It wasn't breaking in. That evening at 5:30 came another emergency epiphany:

"This D string is WRONG! It's messed up!"

I'm lucky enough to live a block away from Barry Hu's Marquis Violins, good thing they are open until 6 p.m. So I walked over with my fiddle. I discovered that I had a non-silver D, so I got a silver one.

I came back and my kids were watching Pocahontas on the T.V., which is right next to my in-the-middle-of-everything studio. No matter, I can change a string to Pocahontas. I loosened the D, and the E went BOING! It broke in dramatic fashion, right at the loop! Must have been the pressure, ooops. I quickly got on the phone and asked if they'd let me in at Marquis again, because it was about 5:58 p.m.

So I went back and bought two E's this time, just in case. I usually get a wound E, but they had none.

Finally I got my fiddle strung, and it sounds totally, wonderfully fantastic. The D is great, and the non-wound E is actually much better. I practiced late into the evening, while kids pounded at the door, "MOMMY! Stop practicing!" But I finished in time to tuck them in.

Yesterday, when I awakened, I turned to say good morning to my husband but heard myself say, "Croak, croak, croak…" It was then that I noticed my eyes, which were leaking like fountains, and my nose, dripping like a bad faucet. I had a recollection from several days back: Two-year-old Joshua, from down the street, with whom my children were playing. As we left his house, he reached up his little arms to me and said, "A hug and a kiss?" Sniffle. Didn't his mom say he'd just recovered from a cold?

I decided to go to yoga anyway. Naader, my wonderful yoga teacher, diagnosed the problem as allergies. "Here," he said, quickly producing eight pills of…of what? Herbs or something? And a bottle of water. "Take these, they are just food. You will feel better for four hours." Hmmm. So I just took them. I don't think they did anything, though I did feel kind of pampered.

I tried yoga, getting increasingly dizzy. Fortunately, I realized that I could concentrate even when I'm sick.

So I got some chicken tortilla soup at a Wahoo's Baja Mexican Grill. Yum!

The rest of the day was pretty blurry, but let's just say I was sick, my husband had to work the night shift, and my daughter had her big school play. I slogged my way through it all.

I resolved to go to bed early. Got the kids in bed and settle down with some hot lemon ginger juice and "Song of the Lark" by Willa Cather. Read a little bit, when 3-year-old Brian came into the room. "Mom, can I have some Girl Scout cookies tomorrow? And I have something to tell you. …" Then came Natalie. "Hi Mom…." This went on well into the night.

Finally, at 1:30 a.m., Robert came home with drugs. I finally got to sleep.

I'm about to eat my soup for lunch, then practice scales. Then I'm off to Disney Hall!

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