Never too old to learn: 11 lessons Gramma wants to take

I've been a huge fan of this season's The Voice, which ends tonight (go, Juliet!). Since the very first episode, the coaches—Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera, CeeLo Green and Adam Levine—have regularly commented about singers being "pitchy."

Well, I don't really know for certain what pitchy means, but I'm pretty sure I'm exactly that (and probably worse) when I sing. Years of chronic laryngitis and resorting to whistling have left my singing ability with much to be desired.

As I sang at church Sunday—from my pew, not in the choir!—I thought about my probable pitchiness. And how much I'd like to take voice lessons to overcome that. Not because I want to audition for The Voice, but because I like to sing and want to be better at it than I am.

Which then made me think about all the other things I like to do but would like to be better at. Which led to the following list.

11 lessons I want to take

1. The above-referenced voice lessons. Not for opera or classical or anything grand in any way. Just regular ol' singing lessons that teach me how to use my voice effectively and appropriately. And how to not be pitchy.

2. Photography lessons. Using my DSLR camera. To make the most of my DSLR camera.

3. Photoshop lessons. To make the most of my photos after I've done the most I can while taking them. And to remove wrinkles and pounds and crooked teeth and gray hair from all the photos that someone else might take of me. (Just kidding. Sort of.)

4. Tap dancing lessons. Like these.

5. Other dancing lessons. Ones where Jim and I could swoosh across the floor with the greatest of ease. (Okay, okay. We tried this before, and I couldn't help but lead. Which screwed us all up. Maybe I need to take a few control-issue lessons beforehand.)

6. Swimming lessons. Again. Because I've not gone swimming in a while and am now scared again to go in the deep end, because the previous three times I took lessons apparently didn't stick.

7. Knitting lessons. Grandmas are supposed to knit, aren't they? I don't. And would like to.

8. Bird identification lessons. How cool would it be to see or hear a bird, instantly know which bird it is, and be able to rattle off cool facts about the little guys? Pretty cool, in my opinion.

9. Spice-specific culinary lessons. I'm a pretty good cook but I'm not pretty good at knowing which spices to use and which ones to combine for the most awesome of dishes...unless a recipe tells me. I want to know off the top of my head and be able to concoct menus that are magically delicious.

10. Piano lessons. Again. A financial crunch led to me needing to quit taking lessons. A time crunch led to me not practicing regularly. Now I need to start all over, for the most part. <klunk, klunk> (That's me banging my head—not the piano keys—for not keeping up with practicing on my own.)

11. Personal essay writing lessons. I'd like one-on-one classes with a pro on writing personal essays. Someone like Anne Lamott. Or David Sedaris. Or Connie Schultz. Sure, I dabble in a little of that by blogging, but I want to be awesome. And (maybe?) critiqued by those who make a living doing it so I can improve and eventually make a living doing it, too.

photo: MS Office clipart

Today's fill-in-the-blank?

I'd like to take lessons in ________________.

The Saturday Post

A little treat for your weekend enjoyment:

Want the full-length version? Read it in David Sedaris' hilarious (as always) Christmas-themed "Holidays on Ice," or hear him read the tale and others in the audio version of the book.

Today's question from "The Christmas Conversation Piece":

If you were a department store Santa, which aspects of the job would you enjoy the most?

My answer: Wearing a hat and/or shoes that jingle. (Although with only ONE SINGLE bell on each, for all my former associates who remember "Jingles." AACK!)