Sunday, April 27, 2008

Simple Pleasures

It was a simple thing.

Bob is working (broiling) at Fiesta Broadway today, so I went to church alone this morning.

My friends John and Connie were also in attendance. John was going to do some handyman work in the men's restroom after church, so I invited Connie to coffee at a nearby coffee house.

We settled down, sipped our iced drinks, and chatted about this and that in the relaxed, comfortable cadence of old friends.

John was soon finished with the work on the john (couldn't resist that one!) and joined us.

We sat in comfy chairs, in no hurry, enjoying the air conditioning and each other's company, savoring the miracle of this simple pleasure.


Four days ago, just down the street from the coffee house, Connie underwent a heart procedure, not knowing if it would result in something relatively simple, extensive heart surgery, or death.

She ended up with five stents, no damage to the heart muscle, and a night in the hospital.

As we sipped our beverages and enjoyed the conversation, I took a moment, with a grateful heart, to give thanks to God for life's simple pleasures.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Dramatic End to the Semester

I was just trying to drive home.

I finished my final day of teaching at APU today at 5:30pm (but who's counting).

The 38 mile commute is no picnic at this time of day, but so far this semester I'd had no major problems.

I was making my way south down the 605 (I traverse the entire length of the freeway) trying to enter into celebration mode. Sure, I have to listen to juries for several hours on Saturday morning, but I've taught my last class until September. I should be all yipee, right?

So I'm working on finding my happy place when the traffic slows to a stop at the 60 freeway which is well north of even my parents' house in Whittier much less my final destination in the Long Beach area.

Traffic reports indicated that there was an incident a few miles ahead.

No problem.

I've been driving the freeways since I began commuting to Cal State Fullerton during the last energy crisis.

I unpacked my patience and prepared to gut it out.

By this time my dear husband was home, so I called and asked him to look at and let me know which lanes were blocked so I could get out of the way.

It turns out there were not one, not two, but three multicar accidents between me and the open road, one of which seemed to involve a pedestrian.

I didn't look as I drove by the 2 blocked lanes of the pedestrian incident.

Home free, I thought!!!

"Vacation time ahead!", I tried repeating, but I couldn't muster any real enthusiasm. I was just plain drained

I'd be happy later.

Stalwartly I made my way to the 405 north, past the Long Beach airport, and into view of the offramp.

I had commented to Bob that I had seen some really creative (read extremely dangerous) driving over the past few days. Even I as I recalled the conversation I cringed as several people raced and tailgated their way up the freeway. I hung back, desiring to make it home without any drama.

The Orange Avenue offramp is a very long, uphill affair. I breathed a sigh of relief as I finally exited the freeway.


What's that smoke coming in my direction?

Why are all those big SUV's tumbling toward me like something out of a Bruce Willis movie?

Why is that light pole crashing to the ground in front of me?

Apparently 3 cars got into some sort of distress on the 405, got tangled up in a heap, and all came bounding across the freeway onto the shoulder and up the hill toward the offramp I was on, with one landing on its roof as I drove by. Had that hill not been there separating me from the freeway, they would have kept on rolling right across my path.

As it was, I was unscathed.

I tried dialing 911, but the line was busy.


Within a few minutes the LBPD Air Fox was overhead, so I knew someone had gotten through.

Here's the log on the incident:

405 North Before Orange Av Traffic Collision - Ambulance Responding 6:56 PM
Thomas Guide Map Coordinates: Page 795, Grid 1F
Overturned Vehicle Near the Orange Off Ramp, Message/Item Delivered LA County Fire Department 6:56 PM
SUV Overturned 6:57 PM
Dupe Caller States on Its Top on Right Shoulder 6:58 PM
.k/2537d0424.d/per Dupe North 405 Just South of Cherry, 4 Vehicles, 1 Overturned, Non Injury 6:59 PM
Vehicle Took Light Pole Down, All Vehicles on Right Shoulder 7:00 PM
Lbpd Air Fox / 3 Vehicle Traffic Collision With 1 Vehicle on Its Roof / Vehicles on Right Shoulder 7:00 PM
Message/Item Delivered Kruger with Fltbd ETA 15-20 7:01 PM
CHP Unit on Scene 7:17 PM
Please Notify Edison Pole Down #5182 Pole is on Top of Vehicle If They Can Expedite 7:22 PM
Message/Item Delivered Kruger With 1 Truck ETA 15-20 7:22 PM
Message/Item Delivered Falcon Tow With 1 Truck ETA 15-20 7:23 PM
Message/Item Delivered to Edison Inci#46-67980 Will Recall with ETA 7:26 PM
CHP Unit on Scene 7:33 PM
Please Check with Edison If They Have an ETA Yet 7:44 PM
Per Edison ETA Approx 30 Mins

That's the latest info as I post.

I made my way the few short blocks home with the surreal image of that light pole coming down in front of me.

Now that's a dramatic close to a school year.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Masterful Recital

This long-delayed post was delayed even further when Blogger absolutely refused to be obedient to my blogging wishes this morning.

So without any further delay, welcome Amy's masterful Masters recital.

This was one of the drama bits that I was endlessly whining about last week.

Amy's recital wasn't actually the problem.

It was the recital before Amy's that provided the monkey wrenches.

It was kind of like having 2 weddings back to back in the same church. One bride books the church far in advance while the other waits until the last minute, books the time right ahead of far sighted bride, then swears, cross her heart, to vacate the church in PLENTY of time for far sighted bride's ceremony. didn't happen.

While Amy's recital was scheduled for 7:30pm, the previous recital didn't actually end until 7:43pm.


While Amy warms up before the recital you can see my dear husband rushing to set up the recording gear (the previous recording guy didn't vacate until 8pm. Nice.)

The concert finally got under way at about 8:20 (but the ensuing emails regarding the major scheduling snafu flew for days afterwards).

Amy has been a student of mine for a total of 7 years.

She has been a pleasure to work with.

With this recital, her course of study with me is complete.

She did a magnificent job.

I'm extremely grateful for the time we've had together.

We'll still spend time together.

It'll just be over tostada salads at Disneyland.

Oh, and we might find Nemo while we're at it!

Sunday, April 20, 2008


The argument is made that God does not indeed exist.

If this is true, why are people so upset by this movie:

Just put God in the same category as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy, view this movie as a comedy, and have a nice day.


Spend some time pondering why this "fiction" is so enraging.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Draining Drama

I know, I know. I haven't posted for awhile.

There has been much drama to be dealt with on many fronts, but the drama is not blog fodder.

What good is drama if it is not blog fodder???

Worse, the drama has left me drained, but at least it has moved up the food chain and out of my immediate vicinity.

A week from today I will be done with my teaching responsibilities until the fall.

I have a word for that.


Monday, April 14, 2008

Another Prince Caspian Trailer

Here's the latest "Prince Caspian" trailer:

I'm looking forward to seeing the movie!

Fabulous Fluting

Wednesday found me on stage with the APU Flute Choir for their spring concert.

Jenna and Amy pose with a piccolo forest on the floor:

Liz and Julia are ready for the concert:

Bianca and Janell pose with the big flutes (bass and alto):

An enthusiastic audience enjoyed a rollicking good time.

One of the evening's best audience comments: "I didn't want it to be over!"

Congratulations on a job well done!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Beautiful Spring Day at Disneyland

Bob and I have been Disneyland Annual Passholders since we began dating almost 4 years ago.

We chose not to fool around before marriage, so we needed something that we could do together during our engagement.

Disneyland fit the bill.

We both still enjoy our trips to the park.

Unfortunately, I got sick the day after Christmas with a lingering malady that plagued me until right before my February recital.

Then Bob got shingles.

On Monday Bob came home from an early meeting and said, "Let's go to Disneyland!"

He didn't have to ask twice.

I quickly abandoned the laundry I was doing, donned a hat to cover my non-hairdo, gave the make-up the day off, and headed to the car with my honey.

It was Spring Break for someone or other so the park was a bit full.

We didn't care.

We came to enjoy the beautiful spring afternoon.

You think my (Muni Band) shirt is loud?

Check out our Muni Band colleagues Mark, Tim, and Kurt:

Now that's loud.

Kurt even gets to sing with Mary Poppins!

Bob and I soon made our way over to Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante.

It is tucked right next to Big Thunder Railroad and is seldom overrun with mouse-eared hordes.

I like the tostada salad:

It makes me smile:

The ride wait times were longer than we cared for, so we strolled over to California Adventure.

I wanted to see the new Pixar Parade (Bob sucked it up and agreed to watch it because he loves me).

It was actually adorable:

I love the Incredibles:

Aren't these guys the coolest?

The floats squirted water and blew bubbles:

To infinity and beyond!

After the parade we made our way back to our car (and hiked all the way to the top of the parking structure on the unmoving escalator!), content to ride the rides on another day.

Bob is out of town most of this week.

I miss him.

That's why we are so grateful for our beautiful spring afternoon at the Disneyland Resort!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

She's Dead, Jim

We didn't need Dr. McCoy to diagnose this one.

Bob's car died a sudden, complete, and final death on Wednesday.

The head gasket blew and took out two cylinders in the process.

Now comes the drama.

Do we try to purchase another vehicle, or do we suck it up and hold off as long as possible.

We're opting for the latter.

It should work.

I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Recitals Are Fun!

Thursday evening found me back in Munson Recital Hall.

This time it wasn't me on stage performing.

It was Jenna's turn.

After long preparation, the night of her Junior Recital had arrived.

Citizen Sam was there to add his cheerful presence and wonderful piano skills.

Picking a dress appropriate to flute playing and all its demanding breathing is essential.

Isn't this one a stunner?

Jenna learned much about performing skills Thursday night. You can't beat experience!

Jenna shared the recital with hornist Jessica.

It was an unforgettable evening.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Casting Doubts on April 1

It was April 1 sometime in the 70's.

I was a flute performance major in college. That means that I played my flute for several hours a day when I wasn't practicing piano.

Picture this: I had just performed successfully in a Wind Ensemble concert. It was a week before Spring Break. I was engaged in some post concert high jinx with two trombone players (my future roommate's brothers).


Stay away from the trombone players.

One of them thought it would be a good idea to grab my feet out from underneath me.


Since I was a flutist instead of a martial artist, I'd never learned how to take a fall.

I reached my right hand out behind me to break my fall.


Hmmmmmm. What's this? When I try to make a fist with my right hand, the last two fingers just sort of flop around.

Oh, and what's that pain about?

Fast forward to X-rays in the emergency room.

A bone should never look like that.

My right ring finger metacarpal was snapped like a chicken bone.

That meant a cast that extended up my forearm.

Oh, did I mention I'm right handed?

I called my sister to give her the news that I would not be home that night, that my hand was in a cast, and to tell Mom and Dad.

"April Fools!", was her reply.

"No, I'm serious. Tell Mom and Dad that I'm spending the night at Carolynn's, and I'll be home tomorrow after school."

"April Fools!!!!"

"I'm NOT KIDDING!!!! Tell Mom and Dad..."

"April Fools!!!"

"Grrrrrrrrrr. See you tomorrow."

That night I tried brushing my teeth left handed, but ended up brushing my nose hairs instead.

I dragged myself to my 8am theory class the next morning. I think I walked in late, because my theory professor began with a snide remark, but ended with, "Oh, Miss FlutePrayer! What happened?"

He was much more sympathetic than my piano class teacher. Although I was wearing a cast on my right hand, she still insisted that I take the piano playing tests. All I could do was bang on the keyboard (it was kind of fun in, a sad way).

Did I mention that I had waist length hair that required daily washing. Try doing that one handed.

Was I able to play flute?


I could play piccolo, though, and miserably made my way through Prokofiev's First Piano Concerto a few nights after my mishap.

Fortunately my Capri had an automatic or I would not have been able to drive.

And my sister?

Seeing is believing.