Saturday, May 31, 2008

Not So Good Gig Etiquette


(Courtesy ICanHasCheezburger.com)

I am extremely fortunate. I play with astonishingly talented musicians and I get paid for it.

Everyone does their job and no one gets hurt.

That's because we're practicing the very essential Good Gig Etiquette. It's pretty easy:

Be on time
Know your part
Leave your baggage at home
Get some therapy

Another important thing to remember is EVERYONE KNOWS EVERYBODY ELSE. I'm still working with people I met in All Southern California Junior High Honor Band.

DO NOT INDULGE IN TEMPER TANTRUMS. Avoid the temptation to tell that person who is making you really unhappy to put it where the sun doesn't shine. They could end up being the contractor for the world's best gig next year and you won't be on it because you couldn't suck it up and act all adult like.

DON'T BURN BRIDGES. You might want to walk back over them one day (see above)

Yep. That about covers it.

I mention this because someone I was working with today broke 6 out of 7 of these rules (they actually were on time to the gig). It was someone new in town who was hoping to break into the scene here. Apparently no one explained Good Gig Etiquette to them in advance.

They couldn't play their part. No, really. They couldn't begin to play their part. That is so not done that no one else in the room could actually believe it when it happened over and over again.

Today was our second rehearsal (the concert is tomorrow), and the conductor was understandably distraught. So much so, in fact, that at the beginning of the first break a replacement had hastily been procured and was hurrying to the venue to take over the part. The original player was fired by the end of the first break. I may have seen that happen before, but I think it was at a church gig in college.

So the original player (remember, this is someone who wants to work in this town) packed up their equipment, went to the front of the rehearsal hall, turned, faced the orchestra, extended her (yes I said her) middle digit toward the conductor and stomped out of the hall.

Clearly she also failed to observe "know your part", "leave your baggage at home", "get some therapy", "everyone knows everybody else","do not indulge in temper tantrums", and the very important "don't burn bridges".

Chalk it all up to some Not So Good Gig Etiquette.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Long Beach Municipal Band "Jump On The Band Wagon!" Summer 2008 Schedule



The 2008 Long Beach Municipal Band schedule has been posted on the City of Long Beach web site.

You can also see it on my blog side bar.

Check out my flickr photostream for a montage of the 2007 Muni Band Season.

Bottom line: Please join FlutePrayer and family for completely free concerts in the park (well, free for you. I get paid!). You've got 31 chances (we're not working on July 4), including a rare Sunday concert at the Aquarium of the Pacific on July 13.

All concerts begin at 6:30 p.m.

Bring your picnic and chairs, sit back, and let the Muni Band entertain you.

It's what we do best!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sonny



We got the shocking news this morning.

Bob's wonderful cousin Sonny died yesterday of a massive heart attack.

This is Sonny on the left with his Uncle Carl, also gone to glory, at the 2005 Pace Family Reunion hosted by, of course, Sonny:



We love you.

You will be deeply missed.

flickr photostream




I've finally got some semblance of order over on my flickr account.

Please surf on by and check out the photo goodness.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Darleeneism Birthday Bash

As I've mentioned before, Darleene Powells of Darleeneisms is my blogging tech hero. She's been blogging for a decade now and totally knows her stuff.

After today, Darleene has been elevated to all around hero in my book.

It started off with an invitation:

I'm turning 30 and my blog is now 10! To celebrate, I want to invite you to a party, but not just any party. This will be a potluck party at the Union Station Foundation Adult Center in Pasadena, a homeless shelter.

My church is pitching in to help cook and bring food. But we need to cook for and serve about 150 people. If you're willing, I would love for you to celebrate my birthday and blogiversary with me by bringing food -- anything from salad, to pasta, to fruit, to drinks, to dessert, and helping serve Union Station's clients.


I really can’t take credit for the idea, actually. I got the inspiration for it when I came across this Scripture, Luke 14:12-14:


Then he [Jesus] turned to his host. “When you put on a luncheon or a banquet,” He said, “don’t invite your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors. For they will invite you back, and that will be your only reward. Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. Then at the resurrection of the righteous, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you.”

Miraculously, Bob and I both had the day off today, the day of Darleene's party. We hopped on the Metro and rode on up to Pasadena.

Once again, I applaud my husband. He is so shy in crowds, even of people he knows. Today we were plunging into crowds of people he didn't know.

What a pleasure it was to enter the kitchen filled with food that needed preparing and volunteers ready to invest sweat equity into the project.

I soon found myself next to one of Darleene's close friends up to my elbows in salad and having the time of my life.

(photo by beFrank)

Bob was washing something over at the sink when I saw a familiar figure greeting him warmly. It was the famous beFrank, my blogging inspiration and hero. We had never met face to face until today, and it was well worth the wait! Check out his Flicker stream for the most amazing pictures of this event.


(photo by beFrank - he has a long arm!)

Be sure to read Darleene's post about this event. She tells it better than I ever could.

After all the clients had dined, we workers sat down for a feast of our own. I was so blessed to be sitting with my dear husband, my two blogging heros and the new friends I had made over salad and spaghetti in the Union Station kitchen.

Thanks for everything, Darleene!

I can't wait for next year!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Mason!


I'm coming out of my overloaded disk drive pout long enough to wish my youngest nephew Mason a very Happy 16th Birthday!

I'm sad that I can't be with him today, but we have great plans to go to Disneyland next month.


One of my favorite memories of Mason was when he was a crying baby. One of the only ways to quiet his shrieks was if I held him in my lap and sang the Can Can from Orpheus in the Underworld while I made his legs do the can can kick.



(You can thank me later for revealing that to the blog world at large, Mason!)

He's a foot taller than me now.

Hmmmmmmmm.

Maybe I'd better watch what I'm blogging...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Back Soon!

My hard drive is full.

That's my excuse.

I've got some serious computer housekeeping issues to deal with.

Then I'll be back.

Really...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Crowning Afternoon

I promise I will get some cruise pictures up soon, just not tonight. Bob and I plunged back into work yesterday and I continued the streak today. Tomorrow I've got a date with the dentist's chair for a crown.

Yipee.

After the pain subsides I will regale you with more cruise pictures than you might want to see. Meanwhile, let me tell you about our Crowning Afternoon.

Fellow Muni Band flutist Eileen threw a surprise 50th birthday party for her husband Chris at the Crown City Brewing Company in Pasadena this afternoon.

It is important to understand one thing: Bob and I don't drink very often, and when we do drink it's not going to be beer (sorry beFrank!). We're also not much into parties.

It is a testimony to how dearly we regard Eileen and Chris when I tell you that we spent the afternoon at said establishment.

We got adventurous and rode the Metro from the Blue Line Wardlow Station to the Gold Line Del Mar Station which was half a block from Crown City. We strolled on over in plenty of time for the official "SURPRISE!" event.

My dear husband Bob is very shy in crowds (so am I, but my love of interesting conversation often helps me overcome my dread of parties. Bob lacks the love of conversation in any form which is too bad because he's really good at it). He was quick to agree to submit himself to a torturous experience just because he loves me.

True love. You can't beat it!

We ended up having a really nice time.

I'm grateful we had the courage to step outside our comfort zones for a Crowning Afternoon.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Ship Ahoy!


We had a lovely Mother's Day today.

It is worthy of its own blog post, but it's not going to happen tonight.

Why?

Bob and I are packing for tomorrow's embarkation.

Our 3rd anniversary is Wednesday and we're going on a cruise to mark the occasion.

(BTW, the 4 night cruise cheaper than the discounted 2 night Grand California Hotel stay we had to cancel when Bob had shingles earlier this year. Go figure).



I'm leaving the laptop at home, but I can still twitter and facebook every once in awhile; that is until Thursday when we'll be out of the country. Oh ya!

I'll have more blog fodder than you'll probably every want to view when we return.

Meanwhile, the packing continues!

Adios, amigos.

Friday, May 9, 2008

I Need A Nap

I have some lovely pictures from our brief trip to Disneyland last week.

I've been trying to post them.

Really.

I'm

just

so

tired.

One of the problems with my line of work is it tends to crescendo to a ridiculous amount of physical and mental stress, then abruptly cease, leaving one all wound up with no where to go.

Then comes the resounding crash after several days of all revved up with no where to go.

I'm in the resounding crash portion of my experience.

What ever happened to a nice, long rallentando?

I've allegedly been done with school since last Monday, but it keeps rearing its ugly head. I've had a few unlovely issues arise that take time and emotional energy to deal with.

Then there is the issue of the REQUIRED "Respect and Esteem Training". I completely understand why I have to take this 2 hour on-line training session, I support it, and am grateful that the University provides this resource. I just wish the requirement had been brought to my attention while I was still being paid.

Poor me!

Now if kvegas911 would be kind enough to call a waaaaaaaambulance, I'll stop whining long enough to post a Disney appetizer:

A pair of passing tourists asked if I would please take their picture in front of the Matterhorn.

After I gladly obliged, they offered to take ours.

The gentleman struggled with my point and shoot.

He was saying that nothing was happening when he pushed the button.

Clearly something was happening; as you can see he caught Bob in mid-explanation of the workings of my camera:



Do I look like I'm gritting my teeth?

We decided that finding Nemo was on our agenda. We waited patiently in line under the Monorail tracks:


Little did we know, when it sailed by us as we stood in line, that the Neptune would be the sub we would embark in:


We're preparing for a longer time at sea; we're leaving on Monday for a short anniversary cruise.

That should remedy the whining.

Meanwhile, this blogging is wearing me out.

I need a nap!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

"Anne Frank" Revisited

I got the official work call yesterday.

I will be revisiting "Anne Frank" with Long Beach Opera next month.

Holocaust survivor Laura Hillman will join Ani Maldjian and conductor Andreas Mitisek in the parking garages of Sinai Temple and Long Beach for performances you will not forget.

Performances are Wednesday, June 4 and Thursday, June 5 at Sinai Temple at 8 p.m. and Sunday, June 8 in the Lincoln Park Parking Garage at 4 p.m.



Please park yourself with us.

You will never be the same.

Monday, May 5, 2008

I Can See Clearly Now

My eyesight took a drastic turn for the worse recently.

I wear contacts that don't correct a rather pronounced astigmatism, so I wear reading glasses over my contacts to read music and other stuff like books. Lately, my arms haven't been long enough, even WITH the reading glasses. In fact, I have been wearing my reading glasses around the house almost all the time. And reading music? Pfffft.

The last straw was on our Thursday trip to Disneyland. I just couldn't focus on anything. It was frustrating and wearying. I did not want to go on next week's cruise with a chronic case of I Can't See A Blooming Thingitus.

I went to my optometrist today, expecting that I had a bad case of geezer eyes.

Her assistant did the initial check to see what my vision correction should be (I was looking at some red barn and somehow the machine diagnosed my eye sight. Weird). He looked at me strangely and asked if I'd lost a lot of weight lately (no, OINK!) or had diabetes (absolutely not), then passed me on to Dr. Howard.

She asked me the same questions, then double checked my vision with her fancier eye things. They confirmed what the barn picture machine said: my vision had improved from 2.75 to 2.00! The reason I was having so much trouble seeing was because my contacts were way too strong. She said that it was extremely rare for vision to correct itself to that extent and had no explanation for it.

I say I've been healed!

I can see (a lot more) clearly now!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Disturbing Images


I have been jolted by some extremely disturbing images in the last couple of days.

This is not one of them:



It is no surprise to see fellow Whittier Cardinal Danny Romero forecasting the weather on ABC 7 Eyewitness News. He hasn't changed a bit since high school.

I was perusing the web page of my high school alma mater in search of the name of the current band director, however, when I stumbled upon a picture of this former classmate...



...and the announcement that Lori Eshilian was the new PRINCIPAL at Whittier High School.

PRINCIPAL???

She was a cheer leader and homecoming princess (and a wonderful, friendly young woman).

Now she's the PRINCIPAL????

Weird.

But not nearly as weird as this:

Fellow Whittier Cardinal Band member and trombonist Joe Vinatieri is the MAYOR of Whittier:



The MAYOR???????

Wake me up when it's over...