What is the best way to ruin someone's wedding plans?
July 27, 2010 11:15 AM   Subscribe

Yes, sure I'll play piano at your wedding. But now it's a week before the wedding and changes have been made that I'm not musically capable of handling! What do I do?

My much-beloved aunt is getting remarried on Saturday. About four weeks ago she asked if I would play piano at her wedding. I was honored to have been asked, so I said that I would. (Data points: 1) I'm a pretty good pianist, but I'm not Vladimir Horowitz (hell, I'm not even Tori Amos). 2) I am a graduate student desperately trying to finish her Ph.D. research and thesis. 3) I live 600 miles away from the rest of my family.)

After I said yes, I discovered that she wanted me to play four pieces. I couldn't handle that many, especially because she never gave me the sheet music for two of the pieces, so we backed it down to the other two pieces (accompaniments for songs). I know the people who are singing, but because I live 600 miles away, we are not going to get a chance to rehearse until the day of the wedding.

One of the songs is really easy and I won't have any trouble with it. The other song is somewhat harder -- it's long, and has some fairly technically-challenging portions. I have subtly rewritten it (inverted chords so that my hands can play them, simplified some arpeggio passages so that there's no chance of my messing them up and throwing off the singers, etc.) and worked really hard for the past three weeks to try to learn it.

Yesterday, I got an email from the singers. They have decided to sing the song in D major. The sheet music that I was sent has the song written in F major. They considerately attached a transcription of the song into D major, and suggested that if my keyboard has a transpose function that I just use that.

The problem is that I CANNOT LEARN THIS PIECE OF MUSIC IN D MAJOR IN LESS THAN A WEEK. Theoretically it's not that hard to just move my hands a minor third down the keyboard, but in practice I have always found it quite hard to relearn piano music in a different key. Using the transpose function won't work either because of the weirdness of my mind: I don't have "perfect pitch," but I apparently have some minor sense of absolute pitch but did not realize it until now. I know in my head how this piece is "supposed" to sound, and using the transpose function on my keyboard really throws me off and makes me make a lot of mistakes, not only on this piece but later, on the easy piece, because my brain can't handle the fact that the same keys on the keyboard are making different noises than they were before. I know my limits, and being able to play this piece of music in D major by Saturday would only be attainable if I spent the entire week doing nothing but learning to play this piece in D major. Unfortunately, I need to work 10 hrs/day to finish my experiment before I go out of town for the weekend.

How do I possibly get myself out of this pickle without ruining the wedding of one of my favorite relatives? I can't find any backing tracks for this song in D major on the Interwebs (so they can't just sing along to prerecorded music) and I don't know what to do about this. It would have been OK if they had just gone with D major before, but now it is too late. They can't sing it in F major because the F major soprano part is out of the soprano's range, which is why they transposed it down to D major in the first place.

Also, how do I stop feeling guilty about this? I know intellectually that it is not my fault that this happened, but I feel like it is my fault for not being a better musician and for not being able to put more time into this project. And I know that at the wedding, there will be drama because of this (my family is just like that), and I would like to armor myself against the blame that is headed my way before something happens like a tipsy relative berating me to the point of tears. That is not the kind of thing I like to drive 600 miles to put up with, and so I'd like to have a nice time instead of a horrible one.
posted by kataclysm to Human Relations (43 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Tell the singers that you can't play it in D major. Say you're really sorry, but while you're good enough to play the song you've practiced for weeks already, you're not a professional, and not good enough to play the song in the new key.

As for how you stop feeling guilty about it: you're doing someone a favor! You're giving your aunt a gift! You are doing it to the best of your ability!

The singers will understand. And if they don't, that's where you bring in your aunt (or whoever is handling the planning of the wedding). It is not your responsibility to do something that is impossible for you to do.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:23 AM on July 27, 2010 [18 favorites]

Holy crap they are really asking a lot out of you! There is no guilt required on this one. If the musical arrangements are this involved, I cringe to think of what the entire service must be! Considering the distance and inability to rehearse together, just be honest. Tell them that you'll be happy to continue with the original plan of 2 songs and the initial key. But if they insist on changing it to D minor, tell them that you regretfully must relinquish your post. They will just have to find someone else who can do it.

I trust they would rather have it done without screw-ups at the wedding rather than forcing you to remain on.
posted by Eicats at 11:26 AM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yesterday, I got an email from the singers. They have decided to sing the song in D major. The sheet music that I was sent has the song written in F major. They considerately attached a transcription of the song into D major, and suggested that if my keyboard has a transpose function that I just use that.


You will send an E-mail back, cc'ing the singers, stating that you will not be able to transpose keys in the time allotted and that they will have to do it F major. You are certain that singers of their caliber will be able to handle keeping it in the original key. cc your aunt.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:27 AM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

On re-read: I guess they need to decide who is easier to replace, you or the soprano.
posted by Eicats at 11:28 AM on July 27, 2010

You're an amateur musician (and I don't mean that in a negative way!) doing a favor for your aunt. That's an awesome and great thing for you to be doing. Springing a change like this on you with less than a week is unreasonable. Since time is so short I would contact the singers ASAP and say that you aren't going to be able to re-learn the song in another key; you've tried the transposition function and it just doesn't click with your brain. And contact your aunt, but make it all about wanting her wedding to be awesome and that you honestly don't feel like you can remotely do her wedding justice by trying to re-learn the key change in less than a week. But stress how it's all about making her wedding go perfectly, not about the unreasonable-ness of the last minute change. Suggest that if the original key doesn't work for the singers then maybe she needs to hire a professional pianist who, as a professional, can pull off what you, as an amateur, cannot.

And then stop stressing about things. In a year no one will remember the music. They might remember the food, though, so be thankful you're not dealing with last minute menu changes!
posted by 6550 at 11:30 AM on July 27, 2010

Can you possibly find a few passages where the piano will be more exposed and practice the crud out of them? And then kind of fake your way through the rest of the piece where the choir will be providing you some cover? Is there any way you can train your ear to prefer this song in the key of D? Somehow record yourself playing and singing the melody in D, accompanied by a one-note baseline. Listen to it 100 times. Your brain might recognize the D version as the "right" one and make it easier for you to play a stripped-down version of the song that way. What a pain, good luck!
posted by Buffaload at 11:31 AM on July 27, 2010

We all have our limits, and you're not superhuman. What's going to happen if you explain that there's no time to relearn the piece, and you can't use the transpose function? (Either because of what you wrote, or because "it's been broken for a while and I'm not sure if it can be fixed it in time," etc.) They can't guilt you for not being a professional piano player, and if anyone attempts it, suggest that they hire a professional instead. This isn't your line of work, and you wanted to do this as a gift for a family member. You are not required to agree to sudden changes that go beyond your abilities.

So I agree with Eicats, give them all the facts and let them decide who they would rather change.
posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 11:32 AM on July 27, 2010

Seconding 6550...well said. You could also say, "Well I learned the song, maybe you need to hire a professional singer who can do it in F?" Maybe you don't want to do that...
posted by Buffaload at 11:33 AM on July 27, 2010

Since a recording would be ok, how about recording it in F major, slightly quickly, and then get the recording transposed down to D major?
posted by jangie at 11:41 AM on July 27, 2010

Would it be possible for you to record yourself playing the song in F, then use software to shift the recording to D, and have the shifted recording played at the wedding? Your aunt won't get you playing live for that song (per previous answers, gently explain why, and you have no cause for guilt), but at least your aunt would still have (recorded) piano and singers.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:42 AM on July 27, 2010

Best answer: Also, how do I stop feeling guilty about this? I know intellectually that it is not my fault that this happened, but I feel like it is my fault for not being a better musician and for not being able to put more time into this project.

It's not like you have some general obligation to the world to have a certain level of musical skill. You are whatever kind of musician you are now. Every musician has strengths and weaknesses. If one of your weaknesses is playing a familiar piece in a different key, the best you can do is be aware of this. Whether your particular type of ear is a good or bad thing doesn't really matter, since you can't change that in the next week. You're doing the best you can do: you're thoughtfully foreseeing the problem that would result if you were to try to play the piece in D major, and you're being as helpful as you can by averting the disaster you foresee.

Is there a way they could unobtrusively tweak the vocals instead of the whole key? For instance, if there's a high F at the end, could the soprano sing the C below it instead? Or sing any problematic high parts a whole octave lower? Or have another singer cover some of her parts (if there happens to be another soprano, or an ambitious mezzo or alto)? Or maybe the soprano actually could do a decent falsetto and is just a bit too timid. In other words, you could politely turn the tables and suggest that they accommodate your need to not relearn everything a step and a half down, a week before the wedding.
posted by Jaltcoh at 11:47 AM on July 27, 2010

I can't find any backing tracks for this song in D major on the Interwebs (so they can't just sing along to prerecorded music)

If this would actually be an option, you should say what the song is and maybe someone here can find you the backing music.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 11:55 AM on July 27, 2010

Response by poster: (additional data point that might be helpful: the singers are my cousins)
posted by kataclysm at 11:58 AM on July 27, 2010

Yeah, transposition is something that crazy mad good pianists can do. Can they find another player for the piece? I have seen more than one pianist at weddings before.
posted by frecklefaerie at 12:02 PM on July 27, 2010

Best answer: I am exactly where you are right now -- defense is in exactly 4 weeks, and I'm in two weddings between now and then, and I'm freaking out about the fact that I haven't been able to reserve the bar I want to for the bachelor party of the first one, and I'm making the cake for the second (and wtf the groom wants me to use different flour than I'm accustomed to no I will not retest my recipes you fool go hire someone if you need to be controlling about this). My boyfriend had to talk me down off a ledge last night because of exactly the same anxiety you're feeling.

What I've found is that stating my limits has gone over just fine with everyone. The groom in the first wedding brought someone from outside the wedding party on board to help plan the bachelor party. The groom in the second wedding got over his dream of locally produced gluten-content-unknown flour in his wedding cake. They're just glad I'm taking part in spite of my own huge life-changing event.

So, learn from me, and my anxiety and fretting. Remember that the stress and the guilt that you're feeling are in large part due to your anxiety over your defense (if you're anything like me). It's fine to kindly but firmly state your limits. Your aunt will not be anywhere near as concerned about it as you are (if she's a halfway reasonable bride, anyway). Remember that you are giving a gift, that you are not an employee, and there is only so much one human can do. And breathe.
posted by amelioration at 12:02 PM on July 27, 2010 [4 favorites]

Often, amateur singers have a tough time understanding that amateur pianists can't be as flexible about keys as they can. It would be unreasonable for you to relearn the piece entirely in D, I agree. I would suggest that if you've tried the transpose-dealie on your keyboard and played it through a bunch over a day or two (like 10-15 times, giving it enough time to get the old key out of your head a bit) and it's still sucky/your ear can't adjust, just say you're really sorry but your skills aren't up to doing anything other than the original plan. Don't feel guilty, ignore any resulting drama.

I also like Jaltcoh's suggestion of adjusting bits of the song for the singer if possible. How much of the song is really out of her range? The last time I accompanied at a wedding, it was for a young cousin of the friend getting married, and when she was nervous she couldn't hit the high notes at the end. Since we only had the day of the wedding to rehearse and it was clear it was going to be a crapshoot, we fiddled with the last few measures to make them more reasonable. No one cared or noticed.
posted by charmedimsure at 12:03 PM on July 27, 2010

Classic Ask vs. Guess: They're Asks, and are asking and are ok if you say no. You're a Guess, and you're guessing what will happen if you say no.

Just email them and say "Sorry, I've learned the piece as we originally agreed. I don't have time between now and then to relearn the piece in the new key".
posted by anastasiav at 12:11 PM on July 27, 2010 [6 favorites]

Just say you can't play it in D major. Let them figure out a solution. No big deal.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:12 PM on July 27, 2010

I think this is a case of them asking for something with no real idea of the strain it will put on you to accommodate. You really should communicate how big a pain in the ass this is before feeling any sort of guilt. You're flying 600 miles and doing all this crap for free, right? Weddings are full of little things like this, and professional life is as well. Just be glad these are your cousins and not some overbearing client/donor/boss and communicate with them clearly and quickly.
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 12:49 PM on July 27, 2010

Best answer: You absolutely should not feel guilty. They are asking a huge amount of you. In their defense, they may not realize it. Your piano playing ability probably seems supernatural to them and that don't realize that there is stuff that is not just hard, but actually impossible for you. This is not your fault (but it also isn't their fault).

What you need to do is tell your aunt and the singers this now. Tell them that you don't have the time or the skill to learn the transposed piece and that you can either stick with the original plan or they'll have to get another pianist because it is beyond your abilities. Tell them now and your aunt will have time to work out what she wants to do. Agonizing over it doesn't get you any closer to a solution.

Also, stick to your guns when you say you can't do it. Folks love to assume that skilled people are just being modest when they say they can't do something ("Oh, but you are so talented. I'm sure it wouldn't be that hard for you. It would mean the world to me"). You know your skills better than anyone and don't let someone else convince you otherwise.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 1:02 PM on July 27, 2010

Best answer: I'm a professional classical singer. I've worked with accompanists at a WIDE range of abilities, from people who could transpose sheet music on the fly to people who. . . couldn't, let's just say that.

Working within your accompanist's abilities is part of the gig. Absolutely email back and say "I'm sorry, but it's just not possible." There's no reason to apologize or explain; it's perfectly reasonable that this isn't possible for you.
posted by KathrynT at 1:02 PM on July 27, 2010

Also: what's the piece?
posted by KathrynT at 1:11 PM on July 27, 2010

Best answer: I think "tell them you can't do it" is the right answer, but for what it's worth, there's easy and free software to bring a *recording* down from F to D, at the same tempo. Just drag the recording into Audacity; select all; go to Effect -> Change Pitch; select "from F down to D"; and export. So if you or someone you know is a little computery and has a decent mic, you could record the piece as you know how to play it and pitch it down for your cousins.
posted by jhc at 1:16 PM on July 27, 2010 [2 favorites]

Two solutions, both of which will work:

1. Rent a keyboard that transposes for you (you will be playing the song in F major but it will sound in D major)

2. Big time simplify the music. Just write THE main chord for each bar and just arpeggiate (rolling chords) for the bar without shifting hand positions.

No one will notice that you're not playing the exact transcription of the song. Everyone will love how the singers sound. That's what I would do. Best of luck.
posted by fantasticninety at 1:21 PM on July 27, 2010

Two solutions, both of which will work:

1. Rent a keyboard that transposes for you (you will be playing the song in F major but it will sound in D major)

Actually, the OP gave a lengthy explanation of why this won't work.
posted by Jaltcoh at 1:23 PM on July 27, 2010

Fantasticninety, the OP said that transposing keyboards don't actually work, because of the cognitive dissonance between the expected pitch and the sounding pitch.
posted by KathrynT at 1:24 PM on July 27, 2010

I feel your pain. (I will NEVER play another wedding if I can possibly help it.)

First, tell them what they ask is impossible BUT find out if it is technically feasible for you to record the piece on a keyboard in your key then playing it back and recording it at the different key.

If not, then you simply tell them they need to find an instrumental recording of the piece, and hey, good luck on this short notice!

There are keyboardists who play by chords (I am one) who can transpose songs easily and it's no big deal. But if this is more of a classical type piece they are being incredibly unreasonable.

Your cousins are not being intentionally evil. But you just need to tell them no now, as soon as possible, so they can rehearse or do whatever they need to do NOW.

And because, again, I know how you feel....*hugs*.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:34 PM on July 27, 2010

Seconding the "what song is it?" question. I have some friends at a music store I used to work at that may or may not could get a backing track. Otherwise, I'd spend the time working on getting over the cognitive dissonance from the keyboard. You can already play it, so rather than the whole week, it might just take a day or two before you can switch back and forth if it's just the two songs. This is in no way your fault, but depending upon the area, your aunt might have a hard time finding a professional accompanist at short notice. (In major cities or college towns it shouldn't be a big deal, but in small towns it could be a pain. Or rather, it could be a pain to find someone who can actually do what they say they can do.)

(I used to be a professional accompanist and last minute weddings when friends of the family/family members got overwhelmed, usually due to some sort of last minute change, is a large category unto itself, so don't think this is rare or you're being difficult. I also hate transpositions with a passion.)
posted by wending my way at 1:38 PM on July 27, 2010

Also, stick to your guns when you say you can't do it. Folks love to assume that skilled people are just being modest when they say they can't do something ("Oh, but you are so talented. I'm sure it wouldn't be that hard for you. It would mean the world to me"). You know your skills better than anyone and don't let someone else convince you otherwise.

This, a million times over. Ignore to your peril. Don't ask how I know this. ;-)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:40 PM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

While it is not snap-your-fingers easy, a singer with practice can sing a song one whole step up. It means that the singers will have to practice scales and do breathing exercises, but you've practiced a lot as well and now it's their turn! I have two anecdotes that should make you feel better (from a singer's perspective):

1.) I was in a similar situation to you, my ex boyfriend's cousin asked me to sing at her wedding and I said "sure!" I picked a song I could play on the guitar that was right in my vocal range, and I practiced it and things were good. I thought it would be a nice gift to pick a pretty song that she might not have heard but was appropriate. Not long before the wedding, the bride to be called me and said that secular music was not allowed in the church, but the church pianist would play piano for me while I sang Schubert's "Ave Maria". Um. Kinda different. It was very high for me. I practiced and I practiced and I only had rehearsal with the pianist on the day of wedding. I was nervous as hell, but it went off like a hitch and everybody was very happy.

2.) I now have a song I've been hired to sing, and it's been written just outside of the tippy top of my range. I was so nervous (and kind of scared and basically convinced I wouldn't be able to do it), but I hired a vocal coach and we have been practicing and now I am singing above the high note I thought I could not hit.

My point is - you have practiced a lot. I believe it's entirely likely that your cousins who will be singing simply thought "hey, this sounds better a step down" and they've rolled with it. Now it's time for them to step up, it's too much of a burden for you to relearn, and your reasons are perfectly solid. Just tell them what you told us, but make no apology, either for your ability or for the fact that you won't be able to learn it in time. It will be fine, and over before anybody knows it. Trust me.

Do you have the ability to record the song as you've learned it and send them an MP3 to practice to? That would probably help a lot.
posted by pazazygeek at 1:41 PM on July 27, 2010

While I absolutely sympathize with you, the singers (diva-esque as they are) are in the same boat. You'd expect singers to be ready for anything; they expect the accompanist to be ready for anything. Your aunt expects everything will go great, because, hey, you play the piano and stuff and they sing and stuff and that's all there is to it! You all have the best of intentions but reality intervenes once again.

Like KathrynT, I am also a professional singer. Yes, you can stretch. No, it's not a good idea. Just as you should be a comfortable bride, so too should you be a comfortable singer. That way, you will be at your best. F is kind of a tough key for some people; even a half step can make a big difference. Hell, I'd rather sing some things up in G than in F; it just sits funny.

You should all work together to come to a compromise. Pick a new piece. If you need some suggestions, name a "mood" and I'll help you out. KathrynT will, too! Some ideas: Franck's "Panis Angelicus," Warlock's "Fair and True," Schubert's "Du bist die Ruh." Sheetmusicplus/musicnotes.com is your friend. This thread sounds like it'll have some perfect suggestions for your needs -- short notice, not too hard for anyone.

As for your aunt, tell her that you're doing this because you love her and want it to sound the best you can possibly do and you promise it'll be wonderful, even if it's a surprise. Worked for my aunt :)
posted by Madamina at 2:04 PM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Clearly you are not going to be able to relearn the song to your satisfaction in the time you have. I would suggest that if it's just a few notes that the soprano can't hit, she could simply change her vocal line to replace those select notes. If the majority of the song is out of her range, perhaps they can perform it in D major but a capella? You still get to perform on the other song and they still get to perform this song in range that's comfortable. Win win?
posted by platinum at 2:08 PM on July 27, 2010

It's nice to have family members provide music at weddings, but it really helps if there is at least one professional to tie the whole thing together. Do you feel comfortable telling your aunt that this is beyond your skill level and suggesting that it will go much more smoothly if she hires a pianist? She could even get all four songs that she originally wanted!
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 2:26 PM on July 27, 2010

Did you see jhc's advice about audicity, which will input a recording of the piece in F major and spit out a new recording, same tempo, for you in D major? This sounds like a great solution to me! In any case, good luck!
posted by onlyconnect at 2:46 PM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you are getting paid to do this, you have to do it. That would be part of the contract you signed when you made the business arrangement.

If you are doing this as a favor/present, then tell your aunt things have to change or you won't be able to perform. You are already having to deal with enough with school and travelling 600 miles, but she should work with you for these changes. IMHO
posted by TheBones at 2:55 PM on July 27, 2010

I feel your pain with the cognitive dissonance of transposing keyboards...I have perfect pitch and while I *can* transpose, it often causes headaches, not to mention way more stress than I can handle.

Identify the specific notes that are causing the singers problems, then either octave-displace them, or pick another note in the chord. You put a lot of time into learning a new piece, and it's a lot easier for them to sing 2 or 3 changed notes than it is for you to learn the whole piece in an entirely different key. You can do this with them via email ahead of time, so that on the day of the wedding when you rehearse, you can get right to it and not have to waste any time.

Good luck!
posted by altopower at 5:08 PM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

TheBones, I emphatically disagree that this would fall under any kind of standard "for-pay" contract unless the contract specifically includes it. Last-minute transposition is not a standard part of being an accompanist; neither is re-arrangement or sight-reading. The accompanists I've worked with who would be even capable of this are few and far between (like, I might ask this of Kim Russ, whom I work with on occasion, but she's the principal keyboard for the Seattle Symphony) and even then I would feel like a heel for asking. Even with auto-transposition available, it's kind of a big deal.
posted by KathrynT at 5:10 PM on July 27, 2010 [5 favorites]

No, transposing something at the last minute is never part of the deal, even if you're paid and have a contract, unless the contract specifically states that you will make any alterations up to and including transcription to a specified date and time. That's not to say you can't talk your accompanist into it, especially for an increase in pay, (and I personally don't find it that difficult as long as I have the transposed music to look at and the key change isn't ghastly), but there is absolutely NO expectation of it, and there certainly shouldn't be in this case.
posted by wending my way at 5:48 PM on July 27, 2010

If you are getting paid to do this, you have to do it. That would be part of the contract you signed when you made the business arrangement.

How do you know what the contract says (if there is a contract)?
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:07 PM on July 27, 2010

Why is your cousin just now (days before the wedding) figuring out that she can't sing the song in the original key?
posted by whitelily at 9:43 PM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Nope, no contract or anything like that -- this is just a straight-up favor. I can sympathize with the singers -- I'm not as good as they are, but I sing a little bit, too, and I wouldn't expect them to risk either a) missing the note during the performance or b) straining their vocal cords. I just wish I'd had more than a few days' notice (esp. since Thursday and Friday will be largely taken up with travelling).

Thanks for everyone's advice -- I sent an email to the singers explaining to them that I had tried playing it in the new key and that I just don't have the ability to do that on less than a week's notice. We'll see what happens. (Plus I'm glad that the general AskMe consensus is that this was a slightly unreasonable request and that I'm not insane.) I can probably find a recorded version of the backing track in F and bring it down to D major; I can't really record myself playing it because my digital piano has a really shitty MIDI output that really sounds terrible when you try to record directly to the computer, and I have no microphone other than the crappy little built-in mic on my laptop.

(By the way, the song is "The Prayer" by Carol Bayer Sager and David Foster. It seems to be a pop song in a faux-operatic costume, and apparently it was, at some point, some kind of Celine Dion/Andrea Boccelli spectacle. Not a terribly complicated piece of music, but it's frilly: whoever wrote the accompaniment chose to fill it up with a lot of left-hand arpeggio bits that span two or three octaves -- the sort of thing that would pose no great difficulties given more than a couple weeks to learn the entire bloody thing, but that I'm just not a quick enough study to learn twice given minimal free time and another piece to learn besides. All I can say is that I will be so happy when the wedding is over and I don't have to ever hear it again.)
posted by kataclysm at 9:22 AM on July 28, 2010

Response by poster: Final update: We went with the original key, I faked it a little bit during the more difficult passages, and everyone ended up happy.
posted by kataclysm at 12:32 PM on August 26, 2010

posted by ocherdraco at 1:30 PM on August 26, 2010

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