Wednesday, October 27, 2010


The week has fled. It's actually Friday. Had some good climbing sessions with a dear friend, one including her daughter, our wonderful rope gunning girl; no way I'd claw my way up some of those routes without her leading them first.
Still picking away at "The Sorcerer's Apprentice", since we have another concert which includes it. Last rehearsal, we were referring to it as the elephant in the room, sotto voce. Strangely, I seem to be improving on it with every pass. Another couple of months and I'll be ready....
Beloved offspring accompanied me to visit our nonegenarian up in her new place, and she was pretty cheery and alert. We are going to go up and play for them one of these days.
He's also been helping me around our joint, sprucing little bits up here and there. He seems to be recovering from the rabies treatment nicely, which warms a mother's heart.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Managed to shake off this fricking cold enough to visit my mom yesterday, who was in good spirits all things considered. Went out for a short visit to a fellow band person and her partner's new home not too far from us; they moved up from Noe Valley in San Francisco, and seem to be settling in nicely.
Joined other band mates with whom I've spent some time, attending a concert over on the east side. My section leader plays in the wind orchestra, and they put on a really fine performance. My favorite was a Hindemith symphony which a couple other people and I were very affected by, and others were not so much; Hindemithers and non-Hindemithers. It was an amazing, chills-inducing work for me.
We stepped out afterwards, me and the guys, for a beverage and a bite at a nearby pub. For some reason the topic of drinks featuring Bailey's Irish Cream came up, and I mentioned Irish Car Bombs. One guy looked up other possibilities on his phone, and up popped a doozy: the Cocksucking Cowboy. They asked the waitress if she had ever heard of it, showing her the drink listed on the phone, not reading it aloud. Oh, yes, said she, it's made thus and so, with a float of Bailey's, which evoked some stifled chuckles and comments. None of us wanted to try the concoction, but even such an experienced group as ourselves was a bit amazed.
Just looked up that drink: It uses butterscotch schnapps and Bailey's. Urp.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Beloved offspring had a close encounter with a bat while climbing, and has been enduring the rabies vaccination process for days. This has left his mom with a sustained case of the what-the- fuck stressouts; after a conversation with him today, feeling better. Ironically we both like bats for their insect consumption and general elegance; too bad about this disease-carrying problem.
Beloved nonegenarian was a bit sleepy this morning when I visited, but as she observed, it was just that kind of day, foggy and slow to brighten. One of the residents passed away the other day, a Japanese/American woman I'd only seen once, dozing in her wheelchair in the sun. My mother's friend knew her, and remarked that it was a shock, someone here one day and then gone. This is reminding me of Ishiguro's "Never Let Me Go"...
Great new music for the band's holiday show; I am heartened by my improved sight-reading capacity, as well as our section leader's entrusting me with a couple of 2nd clarinet parts. Planning to hear him play in an orchestra on Sunday, along with some new buds from the trumpet section. I feel like we've hit a motherlode of wonderful people in this band.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Catch all

Sunday morning - never mind the post date - and we had a good concert last night. Somehow I made it through the hellish swirls of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice", and didn't get lost once. I realized that was my goal afterwards. We'll play the show again in a few weeks, so maybe some progress can be made on the speedy parts. Many compliments on my tux and much encouragement from the fine folks in the group; they are a sweet bunch.
Had our own sort of after party at a young friend's tradtional birthday party at a place reknowned for karaoke; got one tune in, then the hour was far too late and we rolled home in our pumpkin.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Volunteer state

The PT at my mother's new abode asked me if I'd be interested in helping her with an art project for the residents able to give it a shot. I said I would, so we'll see what happens. Many of the folks were out enjoying the sunshine today, whether just basking or doing some walking, like my mom.
Busy week, meeting up with old friends from truly days of yore back in Ohio, and we had a great time. They cooked a salmon dinner and I took them for a walk in Discovery Park the next day. One sister is an attorney for the IRS, and her oldest sister is a retired high school math teacher who has reunited out here with a high school friend; they seem to be enjoying one another a good deal.
Band rehearsal early in the week, and another big one before the concert; be still my pounding heart.

Friday, October 08, 2010


Skipping along through the days, tra-la. Pleasant evening on Friday, sandwiches and brew with our beloved offspring, his buddy and her mother, visiting from the Eastern U.S.; football-o-rama for the beloved spouse the next day, and Sunday I got out for an unusual evening session with a great friend and her college-aged daughter. We had a good time, watching the ropegun girl whisk up stuff we'll never lead.
Most delicious getting home to find the guys had saved me some pizza, which is wonderful after exertion.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


Some people don't have them at the other end of their lives; I get this impression whenever I go to see my mother in her new living situation. Time gets fragmented, smudged, spotty for the elderly people in her house. It is often said that the very old "live in the present", but that's not quite right. Even from moment to moment time is not reliable for them. The taste of a chocolate truffle may not even last through its consumption; one lady forgot she had it in her mouth and started to choke. I think there's a need for life's end coaches as well as ones for regular life, to get all the way through the various processes. Takes a village to help a person live to the end, whenever it might be.
Only a week in our timeline until we must face brass tacks and take the sorcerer squarely by the horns...

Monday, October 04, 2010

Trilling and running

Applies to musical techniques, which I am still slowly re-mastering; there seems to have been a wee bit of improvement, so I'm past the point where I look upon my music folder in despair, knowing the evil which lurks within. Fear shall not o'erwhelm me any more. At least not as much as previously...
Onward to another week of practice and hope, with the emphasis on the former.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

On our lips

Good gravy; four hours of band rehearsal today. I am swirling around in the maelstrom of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice", a mere bit of flotsam, about the size of a B-flat clarinet reed...
We savored what we could of the remains of the afternoon, then went off to the theater with a fellow band member to see what proved to be an absofuckinglutely brilliant version of Moliere's "A Doctor in Spite of Himself." It is difficult to describe the hilarity and bizarreness; it was in the Commedia Delle Arte tradition, but no aggravating rhymed couplets, rather a stream, blast, explosion of silliness and wit. With two wonderful musicians, two men playing trombone, tuba, clarinet, drums, accordian, assorted sound effect thingamawhatsits, on a set which started out looking like a Surrealist landscape of nothingness and became all things to all players.
I'd see it again.