Saturday, August 30, 2008

Rude Awakening

This morning was my last chance to relax and sleep in before plunging back into work. I was greatly looking forward to savoring every last moment of a long, deep sleep.

I sleep wearing earplugs. I have to listen carefully for a living, so my ears are sharp and always on duty, much as I wish they weren't. Earplugs fool them into thinking there is nothing to hear. They work quite well.


I was very deeply asleep, busy dodging a fighter jet that was landing on my head (it didn't hurt) and watching, slack jawed, as an audience member talked loudly while his wife was singing on stage (don't you wish you had dreams like this?) when I was violently wrenched from my slumber.





RING!!!!!!!!!!! RING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! RING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The gardener usually makes his appearance on TUESDAY mornings (way too early, I might add). What was he doing here at 8:20am on Labor Day weekend and why was he LABORING???

I was still completely dazed with sleep when THE PHONE STARTED RINGING AT 8:21 ON A SATURDAY MORNING OVER LABOR DAY WEEKEND.

Who could it be?

I could see by the caller ID that it was an APU student I haven't met yet. They called twice during my vacation time, listened to the phone message I left that clearly stated to call back on Saturday, August 30 to schedule an audition time for Monday morning's auditions, but IGNORED THE PART ABOUT CALLING BACK AFTER 11AM!!!!! They only had 4 MONTHS TO SCHEDULE THEIR AUDITION TIME. 8:21am on LABOR DAY WEEKEND was their calling time of choice? It's an interesting way to make an impression on the auditioner.

I pushed Ignore on the phone and tried to re-enter dreamland. Sadly, the gates were closed and firmly barred against me.

I got up, worked out, practiced my flute, and planned the audition sight reading pieces for Monday. They seem to be extra challenging this year.

Maybe it was the early morning phone call...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Hunter Lovin'

Bob and I bid farewell to the peaceful magnificence of Cambria yesterday to head inland.

We spent the day catching up with my sister Christy and her family in Atascadero.

First and foremost, it was most necessary to catch up with my highly adorable great nephew Hunter:

My niece Heather is a patient, loving, capable mom and my sister a wonderful grandma:

Matt is a tender father:

What a pleasure it was to kick back with the little guy:

Our visits north seem too few and far between. We're already making our reservations for Thanksgiving.

Meanwhile Bob is back at work in Hollywood this evening while I try to persuade my lips that they still recognize my flute.

Vacation is definitely over, but it was SUPERB while it lasted!

Friday, August 22, 2008

FlutePrayer's Cambria facebook Workshops

On Wednesday my sister Christy and my nephew Mason made the drive over from Atascadero to Cambria to see us.

First up? SNACKS!!!

Then while Bob and Mason discussed the ins and outs of the latest computer games...

...Christy and I got down to business. She was here for a facebook workshop (and, well, snacks).

This is Christy before the workshop, overwhelmed with application angst:

This is Christy after the workshop, delivered from facebook fear:

Word traveled swiftly through the sibling grapevine. This morning I got an email from my sister Janine asking if she could come to Cambria from Paso Robles to attend a facebook workshop of her own (and, well, for the snacks).

Here is Janine before the workshop:

Here I am, coming along side her to walk her through the delete application process:

Here is Janine after successfully nixing the questionable applications from her profile, happily surfing:

After the facebook fears were put to rest, we headed out to the ranch for a refreshing walk along the bluffs.

This is a view looking north back to where our house is located:

This is the southern aspect:

The final workshop product; facebook felicity:

My sisters graduated from their Cambria facebook workshop with honors (and lots of snacks)!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Trying to Stop

This is what I'm trying to do.


It is hard to go from fiercely focused flutist to relaxed, drooling vacationer.

Or maybe it's just the peanut M&M's that have me wired.

At any rate, I am working on unwinding.

Did I say working?

I am going to practice some serious nap taking.

Did I say practice?


I'm going to.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Escape Complete

Bob and I made our way safely to Cambria today.

Our rental home is enormous with spectacular views, wireless internet, and excellent cell phone reception (not always the case in Cambria).

We kicked back in our comfy chairs after dinner and watched whales spouting and breaching.

If I don't post much here, you can still view our felicity on my flickr photostream.

We're on vacation!!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Bob and I bid our employment good-bye on Friday after the last Long Beach Municipal Band concert of the 99th Season (you can relive the entire season by going to my flickr photostream).

The band equipment (but NOT my flute!) is back in storage until March 14, 2009 when we will reconvene to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first Muni Band concert.

Meanwhile, we're taking our weary bodies to Cambria where we plan on doing a whole lot of NOTHING before returning to our freelancing ways. Our home away from home claims wireless internet access. If that is the case, you'll be hearing from me. If not, well, not.

After the pressure of performing for 12,000 or so people a week for 8 weeks we are ready to make our escape.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

When Good Technology Goes Bad, Part 2

Remember my Sunday experience at the Verizon store?

I took my faithful Voyager in for a software update and it got fried instead?

Here's something VERY weird.

My brother's Voyager fried after his software update. He took his phone back to the same Verizon store I did, was given a new one, and all was well.


He just texted me a voice message of ME wishing my husband a good night from an old text message that I had sent to Bob when he was out of town several months ago.


Somehow more than a little data that was completely lost to me has resurfaced on my brother's new phone.

I wonder what else of mine (besides the ring tones I lost during the melt down) my dear brother has on that new phone.

Fortunately he's not the blackmailing type...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tales from the Front Row

Here's something else you might want to consider if you're going to sit in the front row of a live concert.

You might not want to give your young child that squeaky toy to play with.

Throughout. The. Entire. Concert.

Just a thought...

4, 3, 2, 1...

It's hard to believe that the Long Beach Municipal band is in Week 8 of its 8 week season.

If you've been meaning to catch a Muni Band concert, now is the time.

We are down to our last 4 events of the 99th Season.

We've had large crowds and excellent weather for the entire run.

Go ahead. DVR the Olympics and come join us in the park.

We're playing Stars and Stripes...

Monday, August 11, 2008

When Good Technology Goes Bad

I have never been happier with a phone than I am with my LG Voyager.

It has been robust since the moment I first laid hands on it. I have never had a moment's concern with any aspect of the phone from calling (imagine that - using the phone for actual phone calls) to texting to email. It has all run smoothly and quickly.

I was very interested when my brother mentioned that a new software update was available that fancified the interface and enabled Visual Voicemail.

I had some free time Sunday afternoon since it was my designated flute-free day (I get one and only one of those a week). I hopped in the FluteMobile and headed to the nearest Verizon store located, conveniently enough, next to a Starbucks where a venti Cafe Misto decaf nonfat was just the beverage to enjoy during a 45 to 60 minute software download.

One misto and several chapters of the easy reading detective trash of the day, I returned to pick up my faithful phone with its new and improved interface.

What I discovered instead was a customer service rep shaking in his shoes. He reluctantly informed me that the software download had fried my Voyager. He brought out the still smoking shell of my former phone.

He was a little relieved to hear that I have Backup Assistant on my account (don't be wireless without it) and hastened to get me a new phone. He noticeably paled, however, when he was unable to locate a Voyager with the new software already uploaded. He visibly braced himself and said that it would take another 45 minutes to download the software. He was literally trembling with fear.

I spent many years in customer service at my family's bakery. I have faced more enraged, unreasonable, unpleasant, bitter people obviously in need of years of therapy than your average consumer. I completely understood and empathized with his terror.

Do you know what I did next?

I gave him a big smile and said cheerfully, "No problem. I'll be back in 45 minutes."

His mouth, and the mouth of the woman next to him there to give moral support, dropped open in utter amazement.

When he recovered himself he said, "You must be the nicest person in the world!!!"

Not really.

But the Nicest Person in the world lives in my heart. He's the one that has made it possible for me to be gentle, patient and kind when I am patient and gentle and kind.

There's no way I can do it on my own.

Oh, and before you go thinking that I'm a complete saint, I was salivating over what delights remained to be discovered at Starbucks during the next 45 minutes before I even left the counter.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Marriage Test

Former Whittier private flute student Cindy tagged me to take the Marriage Test:

Who noticed who first?

We worked together for 10 years without really "noticing" each other as available. When the time came, the noticing was pretty mutual.

How long before your first date?

About 4 weeks before our first official date.

Was it love at first sight?

Obviously not.

Who kissed who first?

What kind of hussy do you think I am? Bob did the kissing first.

When did you know that you loved him/her?

After observing how patient and kind Bob is, especially with people I'd really like to slap.

When did you know that he/she was “the one”?

See above.

Who proposed?

Bob, of course.

Where were you married?

Atascadero, California

Where did you go on your honeymoon?

Cambria, California

How long have you been married?

3 years.

Newlyweds or old married couple?


What do you love most about your spouse?

His patient, loving spirit.

What annoys you the most?

He doesn't annoy me at all.

What has meant the most to you?

Bob's deep Christian faith.

Do you love your spouse more now than when you first married him/her?

Unbelievably, yes.

Anyone who wants to play along please feel free.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Weep With Those Who Weep

My dearly loved blogging friend Darleene lost her mother to pancreatic cancer last week.

Today was the funeral.

I am so grateful for Darleene and her husband Trinity. They have brought such joy into my life.

Today I had a chance to stand with them in their grief.

It wasn't much in the face of such heartbreak, but it was all I had to offer.

Just as I have rejoiced with them in their rejoicing, I have had the privilege of weeping with them as they wept.

My deep love and sympathy goes out to Darleene, Trinity, and to the rest of Darleene's family.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Premature Debut

I just received the good, though very unexpected, news from former APU flute student Joanna:

"Geoffrey Gordon Beekman decided he wanted to meet the world early and was born on Sunday, August 3, at 4:44 a.m. He is 6 weeks early, and was 3 lbs 12 oz. and 15 3/4 inches long at birth. His lungs are developed and he needed a tiny bit of oxygen the first few days but is now breathing on his own. He is sucking from a bottle well (which is better than Gregory did - and he was 2 lbs bigger! :) which is a good sign, because when he is able to eat on his own and maintain his own body temperature then he can come home. He has an IV in, and as he eats more from the bottle they are lessening his IV. Hopefully in the next few days he will be off the IV. He has a bit of jaundice right now but that is extremely common for preemies, and he gets to wear cool
sunshades to protect his eyes. :) If we are lucky he will only have to stay 2 weeks in the hospital."


If you are of the praying persuasion, please do.

And congratulations to Joanna, Jarod, and Gregory on the arrival of Geoffrey!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Those Swinging Years

Week Seven of the Long Beach Municipal Band's 99th Season is all about swing.

I know.

What's a flute player doing on a swing gig.

We're playing medleys of the greatest big bands ever to burn up a stage including:

"Caldonia" Woody Herman Band

"Four Brothers" Woody Herman Band

"Don't Be That Way" Harry James Band

"Sing Sing Sing" Benny Goodman Band featuring Gene Krupa and Harry James on trumpet:

This band is my all time, hands down favorite:

"In The Mood" Glenn Miller Band with Tex Beneke (check out the sweet choreography!)

We're in the parks of Long Beach all week.

Tomorrow: Los Cerritos Park

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Hello?!? Hello?!?

It was the talk of the after concert band party tonight.

Everyone that had been on the band stand at Marine Stadium last night was talking about a woman in the front row (FRONT ROW) of the audience sitting mere feet away from our professionally listening ears. The conductor had raised his hands to begin the first piece of the concert. The audience had fallen into an expectant hush.

Suddenly, in loud insistent tones the woman in the FRONT ROW put her cell phone to her ear and shouted (SHOUTED) "HELLO?!?! HELLO?!?"

Was she serious?

There before her was a (mostly) live 40 piece professional band poised like brain surgeons before the first incision of a dangerous surgery and she's yelling "HELLO?!?" into her CELL PHONE?

Hey, it's a concert in the park. We expect that to most people we're just the wallpaper to their social gathering. That's ok. HOWEVER, if you're sitting IN THE FRONT ROW we people who LISTEN FOR A LIVING will hear every syllable of your WHISPERED conversation. No need to YELL.

We'll keep on playing as if you weren't YELLING INTO YOUR CELL PHONE DURING A LIVE CONCERT WHILE SITTING IN THE FRONT ROW, but secretly we'll be wishing we could do this: