Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mayor Bob Conducts The Municipal Band

City of Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster joined conductor Larry Curtis at this afternoon's Long Beach Municipal Band rehearsal at Long Beach City College.

It was an honor to have the Mayor drop by, but we were in for a special treat.

The former trumpet player stood in front of the band and conducted Stars and Stripes Forever.

He rocked it.

His favorite part?

"The Little Music Things".

Translation: the piccolo part played by us:

Come join us in the parks of Long Beach.

The Little Music Things are featured every night this week.

Complete Schedule Here

Monday, June 29, 2009

Muni Uni - The Reveal

The Long Beach Municipal Band met for the first rehearsal of it's 100th season this afternoon at Long Beach City College.

We were there to look over the more complicated music we would be facing in the next 7 weeks.

We were also issued our uniforms for the season:

A men's small seems mighty big to me.

I've got my cotton band shirts in the washing machine right now using hot water, and will follow with the dryer set on high heat in hopes of reducing the acreage.

I do this every year.

It never works.

No matter. It's HIGHLY comfortable, and I am far from fashion conscious.

If you want to see a whole bandstand in identical attire, please join us for the first concert of our 100th season tomorrow at 6:30pm in Whaley Park on the NORTH side of Atherton.

It's going to be a great summer!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Muni Band Mock Set Up 2009

Before the first concert of the Long Beach Municipal Band Centennial Season takes place on Tuesday, a lot of back-breaking labor will already have been invested.

The truck load in took place on Wednesday at El Dorado Park.

The mock set up took place at Marine Stadium on Thursday.

For years I didn't really realize that this stage for 38 musicians complete with individual mics does not appear on its own.

For years I would appear at the gig for the sound check at 6pm and leave after my set by 7:30.

Then, at the suggestion of the 2nd oboe player, I began to stay for the Jazz Band set nightly. It is magnificent music. Why did I leave early all those years?

At the suggestion of another wise colleague, I began to get to know the crew. I had never really paid attention to them, but came to realize and appreciate the long hours of toil they invested, both before and after the concerts, under the watchful eye of stage manager Greg Flores:

Years ago I began bringing them snacks to help ease the long day. They were so appreciative, and I discovered that they were also hilarious company and fine musicians in their own right.

As the years progressed I was bestowed with the title "Honorary Crew", one of my favorite to this day.

It is amazing to see how a vacant park is transformed into a performance venue. The set-up starts at around noon.

For a real treat, stay for the tear down after the concert. The choreography is dazzling and the feats of strength amazing (I'm not kidding!).

There was one member of the crew who was virtually invisible during the long years of snack sharing and conversation. Although he was always there, he sat quietly without uttering a word. That is until 5 years ago when the veil was lifted, we looked at each other, and he actually spoke.

We were married 9 months later:

So when you attend the Muni Band concerts in the parks this summer, be kind to the crew.

You never know what kind of return you'll get on your investment!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mickey Fashions

As we talked about last week, there are a lot of Mickeys at Disneyland.

Check out these roses growing up the Monorail supports in the Entrance Plaza:

After so much subliminal messaging, it is very hard to resist the urge to depart the Park without something Mickey.

Add two adorable great nephews to the mix and The Mouse is going to get some of my coin.

Introducing niece Bethany and husband Tim's son Sam in his stylin' Mickey onesy:

Sam finds it just the thing to wear while playing with the rings:

Meanwhile, Sam's older cousin Hunter bursts on the scene in his cool Mickey jersey:

The son of Coach Matt, Hunter and Mickey love to help mommy Heather with "oobs" (herbs) in the garden:

Those handsome boys are growing fast.

Pretty soon they'll need bigger Mickey fashions.

Fortunately, Great Aunt Doda will be back at Disneyland tomorrow...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Release The Air

No, this is NOT a post about breathing techniques for the flute.

It is, however, about another kind of technique.

"Release the air!".

As I lay in the hospital bed waiting for my routine colonoscopy, I heard this phrase being repeated like a mantra to patients all around me.

"Release the air! Don't be shy!"


"Release the air!"

I finally got an explanation from the kind woman prepping me for my procedure.

"The colon is filled with air to make it easier for the doctor to see. When you wake up, it is important to release the air."

Ever the delicate conversationalist I asked, "Do you mean fart?"

"Yes," was the immediate reply. "It is considered proper etiquette around here."


I was wheeled into the procedure room with a smile on my face.

When I awoke, I knew just what to do.


Finally, something I'm good at!

A Serious Post Script:

Why endure a colonoscopy? Because you could be harboring this:

My Polyp

Most people have a few polyps hanging around their colons. They are easily removed:

Now It's Gone!

Why remove them? Because they progress into cancer of the colon.

This simple procedure prevents disaster.

Don't put off your chance to RELEASE THE AIR...

UPDATE: The biopsy results show the pre-cancerous polyp was CANCER FREE.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

An Up Day

I headed out solo early this morning to meet former flute student Amy for a 3 hour visit to Disneyland.

We were on a quest for Hidden Mickeys.

Our first assignment: locate the Hidden Mickey in the Alice in Wonderland ride.

We had been through this ride several times on a fruitless search for the pesky thing. I finally googled it and came up with this.

Once you know where to look, it is not hard to spot.

Can you find Mickey in this painting near the Mark Twain dock?

There he is on the lower deck, hanging out with the ladies:

This mouse-shaped lock is located in the exit of Pirates of the Caribbean.

We spotted several more "Mickeys" throughout the park, and had a thoroughly grand time in the process.

On our way out we spotted this:

The "Up" house was on the Esplanade.

Speaking of Up, after Amy and I said our good-byes, I went home to practice, then Bob and I headed to the theater to see the latest Pixar offering.

It was marvelous.

Bring your tissues...

Monday, June 8, 2009

What If...

...I went on vacation and forgot to start blogging again.

I'll be back again soon.