Thursday, October 11, 2012


I suppose it wouldn’t be overstating the situation if I were to mention that my life is a tad, er, unscheduled. By this, I mean, my life’s great arc, whatever that was, has since been forgotten in the fog of history; much like Churchill, not that I presume to compare my life to be anything like his. Other than the fact that we share the red hair and blue eyes, he hailed from south of the Scottish border and had an American mother, whereas my parents held no fealty to Britain or America. I also didn't get the brilliance with the English language, both written and oral adroitness, the Admiralty, or to be friends with FDR. On the plus side, I didn't get Gallipoli, the Exchequer mess, or Uncle Joe to try and keep out of Central Europe after WW II, either.

No, by this time, I had planned to be playing out my “golden years” in some middling symphony or scratching around in some orchestra or another, probably dueling it out for 12th chair viola, with some hack kid or another. Gah! Instead, I had a rather, um, glorious 2 careers, albeit, kind of ad-hoc, thrown together, symphonic at times; big roaring orchestras, interspersed with smaller chamber orchestras, lots of quartet work, and patched together a living. Because I didn’t graduate from Curtis or Julliard, and never won a top-drawer spot in an orchestra, as the musical cultural landscape in America and Europe changed, even a very, very good section player was finding it hard to make a living doing, while I was young. But, I was damned if I was going to teach music in public schools; I didn’t even get my certificate in college, I so didn’t want to teach. If I couldn’t play, I’d starve.

I hate the philosophy. It’s not inspiring. It’s about numbers. Teachers don’t teach; they ceased to do that back when I was in high school. The last really good high school music teacher I had was a Percussionist from the San Francisco Symphony named Michael Wells. He taught us Orchestra and Music Theory, with a healthy dose of passion. He used to tell me, “You don’t know how great you are as a musician. Just get off your duff. Practice!” He’d get so frustrated. He died at the age of 37, in 1980. The public music program had dwindled to the point where he was forced to teach history and he hated it. Enough. This post is not about that.

I’m jumping tracks right here, right now and I apologize; I know it’s jarring. This is my blog and anyone who has read me knows that I married another violist whom I met on a JOB who thought that The  Magic Viola Fairy would come along after we wed and turn me into the Magic Flautist and we would Live Happily Ever After, because he couldn’t stand the competition. Imagine his surprise and the conflict in the house when that routine operation didn’t take place? Yeah, me too.

Anyway, I went back to school and majored in the closest thing possible to Viola Performance, so I could get another degree and get the fuck away from this fucktard ASAP; Computer Science. Yeah, I’ve always been known for my A to B thinking. Imagine my surprise when I started taking those stupid Algebra and Calculus and Trigonometry classes and enjoyed them. I loved the logic and the structure of the computer systems. At last! Something I really could make sense out of. Cool, neat stuff. It’s either on, or it’s off. Frightening, that! None of this it’s kind of this, it’s sort of that.

One thing I’ve always been baffled by, is how people negotiate in relationships; it’s taken me a long, long time to get that right. I mean that sincerely. I’ve had over 50 years to try and figure that out. I was always the nerdy kid who just couldn’t get it right. I tried everything. I always thought I was geeky and I am, but people tell me I’m pretty and I could trade on that. It’s not nearly enough; it never gets to the heart of anything. It’s not me; it’s not you. It really is just a shell. I’m not a shell. You’re not just a simulacrum. We’re solid beings, even on the screen. That’s where the virtual becomes real for me. That’s the beautiful intersection between math, sound, music, flesh and blood for me.

This didn’t start out to be serious; what I was going to tell you about was the stupid, silly stuff I do. Even after I worked at IBM and Verizon and did all the playing and tearing around and lived and had glorious times, I’m still having fun and meeting wonderful people. I write and live by the seat of my pants. My idiocies seem to all involve computer-related gaffes now. The latest? I bought 2 of The World 4 Realz Gangnam posters and I don’t care. What happened was this: I have Amazon Prime. In an attempt to save money, I tried to cancel 1 purchase because it charged for shipping and ended up with a 2nd, so now I have 2 galloping blue guys. Yeah, I know. Ms. wanna-be Chloe O’Brian (complete with the lovely personality,) who adores Techno-Porn and EMP Hoo Ha. One of my own very favorite scenes in "24" is in Season 4, if I remember right, but involves the melt-down of every single system and screen in CTU. 

In actuality? Not so fun, when networks crash and pissed-off engineers and secretaries are hollering and the call queue is escalating. It was about that time, I decided my services were better used in Imaginary Think-Land and Development on the road, before playing gigs. I had bosses who believed my bullshit and gave me their blessings and sent me on my happy way. I'm pretty adroit with operating systems and networking but seem to suck with buttons and software that changes curtains and furniture every 5 minutes. Now, I have 2 of these blue posters sitting here… And?

I. Don’t. Care.

Neither. Does. JC. We have a 2nd galloping blue guy for a present for the "Silly Dad Names Blog Now With Added Moms." Cool.

According to a statistic, since "Gangnam Style" has been out, less than 1/2 a year, we've listened to more than 2,100 years of it. Jesus has been dead longer. Think about that for a moment. I think I’ll sit here and listen for a bit. Gangnam Style… 


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