Wednesday, May 27, 2009

New Tires... and a Different Outlook

I took my car in for an oil change / tire rotation and the mechanic was nice enough to call up and say "You need new tahrs." So I bought four new tahrs, which is money I didn't expect to be spending. Considering I put 75,000 miles on my last set, I take comfort in the fact that I really got my money's worth out of them.

Hopefully, this (plus the free alignment) will take care of the shudder I've been experiencing while driving around at highway speed. The shakes had gotten bad enough that they triggered my break pedal during cruise control, making maintaining a speed impossible except by manual control. I would say it couldn't get worse, but I'm always afraid what fresh hell that will bring.

In other news, a casual conversation with a friend put some uncertainty about a particular job I'd been applying for. Being told that someone else has been selected for a tangentially-related "bonus" of that job has given me pause, even though it's too soon to have heard one way or the other about the actual job. Not that my securing the position was ever a fait acompli: far from it! But something is always different when you're suddenly competing with a friend for something.

I suppose that's why "friends with your coworkers" is always a little strained in the musical world. People on other instruments, sure; I'm not going to win ANY positions that a violin player would be interested in, and vice versa. But once the field narrows to brass, we start competing for teaching jobs, even if the other performer is a trumpet player. It certainly doesn't cross my mind when I'm making friends, but I can't HELP it crossing my mind when the possibility (and I stress "possibility") of it walks through the scene.

It's something that no class of mine has ever discussed and no friend has ever mentioned, so I suppose the possibility exists that it only exists in my head and my head alone. However, since I am loathe to describe myself in any way as "exceptional" (in the conspicuous sense), I feel certain that others have felt these feelings.

Music may be a collaborative enterprise, but when the jobs start to dry up people like me tend to get cranky.

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