bertha’s blueberry blatently & brutally batters and bruises oboerista

27 10 2006

blackberryIt was right out of a bad sitcom script. I sit down in my airline seat after a computer teaching gig in Houston. My seat is the center seat of 3. An elderly gentleman works his way down the aisle and takes his place next to me – in the window seat. A fewfat lady minutes later, the seat on my left is taken by an extremely heavy woman. It was simple physics – her body mass took up more space than her seat offered. While still-arriving passengers squeeze by her in the aisle, she leans more toward (or onto) me. Before the cabin door is closed and the announcement forbidding cellular phones is made, she plunges her hands into her purse and pulls out a blackberry. Her thumb is knocking the thumbwheel feversihly, and she is laughing out loud at her newly-read emails. She again plunges her hand into her bag and pulls out a cell phone. She blackberry-browses with her right hand and dials the cell phone with her left – and then she booms her private converation for the entire state of Texas to hear. Of course, all this activity is accompanied by exagerated hand and body gestures. Remember, I am next-to/under all of this! I am getting clobbered! She was traveling with another woman who was seated behind her, so she was constantly turning in her seat (actually, quite an impossible thing, really!) to loudly talk to her friend. Thank goodness she fell asleep before too long and stayed that way until we approached DC.

Hah! She missed the in-flight meal!


happiness is..

15 10 2006

pen…reaching into your pocket while working out of town and finding a hand-written note from your 7 year old daughter;

“Dear Dad,

I will miss you.

Emma “

It doesn’t get any better than that!

now where did i leave that pina colada?

10 10 2006

pina_coladaYou stand on a corner. You are minding your own business; your thoughts are miles away – somewhere very pleasant. You smell the ocean air – you taste the pina colada – you feel the cruise ship sway with the warm sea’s motion.

Suddenly, someone runs up to you & smacks you on the arm, and shouts, “Tag, You’re It!” You are instantly brought back to reality – confused – who was that, and why did I just get “tagged”? Human nature takes over instantly, and you do the illogical thing; You run around until you “tag” someone else so you are no longer “IT”. We learned this in grade school. Once you are relieved of your “IT” duties, life goes back to being OK again.

OK, that was the setup. Here’s the situation:

I began blogging on July 4, 2006. Two people directly influenced me into blogging. One is my sister-in-law Mary Gillen (visit her blog) and the other is a total stranger (well, someone I’ve never met) – Dina. Dina (her blog is Java’s Jabber) is out on the west coast. I seemed to “run into” Dina on several of my favorite coffee web sites & forums. She roasts coffee – I roast coffee. She has a young child – I have 2. She sang the praises of brewing coffee with an Aeropress – I bought one. I “found” this relataively unknown appliance that can be morphed into a great coffee roaster, wrote about it, and she picked one up too. Dina uses WordPress as her blogging software – I do too, because I really like the way her blog looks and works.
Hey this blogging is cool. There are people on this planet that do things that I like to do too. I can write about music, coffee, kids, life… hey – what was that? I’m sitting at my computer, minding my own business, smelling the salt air, reading Dina’s blog – and it happened. I was “cyber-tagged”! Human nature has taken over immediately. I MUST TAG SOMEONE ELSE, SO I WILL NOT BE ‘IT’!

As she ran off, no longer IT, Dina left the following TAGGING instructions:

–Grab the first book available.
–Turn to page 123.
–Go down to the 5th sentence on the page.
–Post the next 4 sentences.
–Don’t dig around for the “cool” book, just whatever is closest.
–Tag 5 more people

Here goes:

bernstein_bookThe book – “Bernstein” by Joan Peyser

“And he was calling me a liar, a cheat – I don’t know what. I squirmed free somehow, or somebody came into the room and he let go, because he was killing me…”

Bernstein ran into Judson’s office and was told to apologize to Rodzinski and to stay away from him for a while. He was ordered not to attend any rehearsals.

On February 17, 1944, The New York Times printed an announcement that Bernstein would no longer have to go on as assistant conductor, but he would conduct the Philharmonic for two weeks in the new season as a guest. Other guests that season would be Stravinsky, for his first time with the New York Orchestra, Pierre Monteaux, the French conductor of the San Francisco Symphony and George Szell, then with the Metropolitan Opera.”

Whew – my typing sucks!

I really have only 2 “blogging friends”, and since I was tagged by one, I will tag the other so I will nocruise_ship longer be IT. You following, Mary?? TAG!

It’s great to no longer be IT. Now – where did I set down that pina colada? – ah, right there – on the table next to my lounge chair – at the pool on the lido deck.

igor needs a sharpie (legendary possessions v2.0)

1 10 2006

igor stravinskyThe composer who’s body of work defined 20th century music was Igor Stravinsky. Stravinsky frequently guest-conducted his music with orchestras around the world. Engelbert Brenner, former oboist & English hornist of the New York Philharmonic was given an autographed photo during one of Stravinsky’s appearances with the orchestra. The inscription is very difficult to read. It was written with a pen who’s ink simply didn’t want to grip the photo’s surface.

“To Engelbert Brenner
All best ??? ??????
from Igor Stravinsky
NY 1950”

Even still, Maestro Stravinsky’s signature is clear.


Damn it – the Sharpie was invented in 1964