Wednesday, November 14, 2012
I went to visit friends who live in Florida and generally had a enormously satisfying time doing all the things I love: talking, eating, and laughing.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Oh! Two Andrews. Well, if they have the wrong one, they'll figure it out lickety-split. Another five minutes or so, and another call for "Andrew?" is made. I get up and follow this nurse, remarking that there were two Andrews. Hope you got the right one!
Walking down the hallway a pace in front of me, she called nonchalantly over her shoulder, "Andrew Jasic?"
I respond, nonplussed. "Nope."
She checks in mid-stride. "No?"
She looks at her chart again. "Well, just take a seat in this examining room anyway, and we'll sort this out."
Turns out that there was another Andrew at the same time. AND! The confusion from the first appointment is because they have another Andrew Schwartz. He's even an "Andrew J Schwartz"; what are the odds!
So now I have to be sure to identify myself as Andrew Schwartz and followed up by my birthday.
A small inconvenience to escape the glaucoma surgery that the other Andrew was having. Yikes!
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Sunday, September 09, 2012
It was her birthday, and I got her two or three things. One of which was a little Lego playset of the scene from "Return of the Jedi" in the Emperor's throne room. There was a little window, a throne for a Lego Emperor, and Lego Luke and Vader with lightsabers. There may have even been a little figure of one of those red-robed guards.
I thought this was cute and fun, so I wrapped it up and added it to the small pile. Not as a gift that signfied the depths of our relationship, but as a gift that said "Hey, we both like Star Wars". That part I was sure of, because we'd watched them and she'd told me how much she liked Star Wars. We saw one in the theater at her insistence, so I felt I was on safe ground.
But it did not go well.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
And rest assured, the discovery of a single cell on some interstellar planet is far more likely to be concomitant contamination than diligent discovery.
If one is going to be precise about pro-life at the cellular level, at least be reasoned enough to call for mass murder penalties befitting the casual death reflexes of men and women. How can the world stand by with hands in pockets at the shocking killing crimes of so many theoretical humans and cancerous cysts?
It's disgraceful! and all sensible and patriotic Pre-Life Americans will agree.
Saturday, August 11, 2012
|Original image credit to BeckermanPhoto|
Last night marked the end of the week spent with the brass band, recording our Christmas album. A tiring process, made more difficult to bear because of working a full-time job in addition. Five straight days of 9 to 6 to 6 to 10 have worn me thin, like silk scraped three times too many.
It meant that I went largely without seeing the company of friends or loved ones, except those present at either my place of business or located with me on the stage floor amongst the microphones. That, too, rubs a man ragged. I was fortunately consoled by the known tenure of my labors and the virtual certainty of a memorable and valuable artifact in the offing -- even if only to me.
We tend to labor without consideration of payment for the things we really love. Friends in the band announced their expected children with resigned and nonchalant ease, but the journey is one that costs them sleep, attention, pursuit of other goals, and the worries of ten thousand and one ways for things to go wrong before breakfast.
But they love each other, so the weight is less when divided.
Allow me to present two vignettes of love in the abstract. It is a shallow way of showing inclusion in a club to which I cannot truly claim membership.
Saturday, July 07, 2012
1) People who don't like how they look AND have children.
It annoys me that people will continually post pictures of their children and not themselves. I have Facebook friends whom I have not seen in years, but I continue to "not see them" because they have no pictures of themselves online. Just pictures of their children. And by the by, a significant portion of children look a lot alike when depicted in a 100x100 pixel photo as a profile shot, especially before the age of 6 months or so.
2) Posed professional pictures of newborns on flowers or bookshelves or draped on depictions of the word "LOVE".
In my opinion, creepy. When I see a sleeping newborn who has been carefully posed (or "folded") into a sitting position and given a jaunty hat, I think less of the parents. I don't know if there is a name for these type of pictures, but I loathe them all.
A friend assured me that I will "think different" when I have a child of my own. That may well be, but I find that old saw to be less than meaningful. It has as much weight as "you just haven't met the right person", which I've heard my entire adult life, with similar impact. Also it's an unarguable point. Yes, I may think different, but I won't know until then. Yes, I may not have met the right person, but I could go on not meeting her.
Plus, the babies in these photos look like they've died and are being made into taxidermy in honor of themselves. Doesn't help that the babies are usually asleep, eyes closed.
3) Thou shalt not give the bride a hard time at the wedding.
I've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. Nobody should be giving the bride grief about the wedding, but it becomes un-commentable when it's the parents. When they say that they're paying for the reception, so the bride only gets to make "suggestions", that deserves a big fat elopement. Send a postcard from Scotland and say, "Wish you were here, not making decisions."
I sat down to chat with a good friend who's getting married soon. She was unpacking how her wedding of 40 people has turned into 120. People she doesn't know and has never heard of are coming, because they're clients of someone or other. Wasn't it in Medieval times when weddings were used primarily as business and mergers? Good thing we're liberated now.
4) Hyper-patriotism and jingoism
Both my grandfathers fought in Europe in World War II, and I can't recall either one of them making a big deal out of what America was, other than "home". Today's braggadocio sticks in my craw.
5) Old people who are bigoted and mean are unpleasant people
Standing in line at the post office, a grandmotherly woman entered and took up a place behind me. After five minutes had elapsed, she started to comment under her breath about what the clerks were doing, questioning the capability of the clerk with a hearing aid. She also disliked all the "Mexicans" in Olathe, by which I assume she was referring to the Sikh man buying stamps ahead of us.
6) I wonder why all the McDonald's's's in the area always have their TVs tuned to FoxNews. I wonder why nobody is ever watching.
Tuesday, July 03, 2012
|The ears appeared at about 5pm.|
Before this one sees life, I have 26 partially started entries between my last and this one. Some of them consist of only a title or intro sentence, trying to spark myself to wit. Others lie in a completed state, monuments to a pile of time and purpose. Sometimes I pull them because too much time has elapsed, but as often as not I hold off on publishing them because I've had a chance to think about whatever I say. With that pondering, I often change opinions, or realize that I've been harsh to someone who didn't deserve it. I held off on one of the most recent because in my rush to defend someone and speak down to their accuser, I had become patronizing and head-patting. Deplorable.
So there's this entry.
It's about some hugs.
Monday, June 11, 2012
Wednesday, May 09, 2012
Today, I ate lunch at about 3:30. As usual, I pulled out my phone and started scrolling through news. Going in reverse chronology, a friend at the top of the list said "I <heart> Obama!" I pursed my lips and metaphorically clucked my tongue. You just don't see that kind of unvarnished opinion -- not without someone taking them to task or at least commenting ironically.
But a sudden hunch made me skip the gradual progression backwards and just fiercely scroll back. Story after story appeared about President Obama's announcement regarding support for gay marriage.
"Well," I thought, "that's something."
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
For one thing, it allows me to set up more complicated and rewarding bits of humor. Since so much of humor is about timing, relying on someone else to unintentionally say a trigger phrase can be hit or miss (other people are notoriously bad at grasping my intent telepathically and enabling it). Though riffing off what another person has said has a potentially greater reward in the synchronicity, sometimes doing things oneself is the proper route.
When making fun of myself, I tend towards ironic statements which are voicing opinions comically opposed to mine. I've always enjoyed phrases like "...and that's what comes from men and women dancing!" and making comments about how the "experiment" with women's suffrage is clearly getting out of hand.
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Tonight I noticed they started a sushi club. I think it's 14th package free. I'm on number 7! Number seven was purchased by me tonight, on what the store calls "Sushi Wednesday". It discounts sushi two or three dollars on Wednesday. Most likely, this is because fresh ingredients arrive on Thursday.
My point for all this sushi talk is that it would have been unthinkable for me to say anything like the first two paragraphs at any time in my life before. Even as late as a year ago, I had only had sushi once or twice in my life. But I made promises to myself to branch out eating, and the sushi is a delicious part of that. Hurray for culinary exploration!
Sunday, March 18, 2012
This is a critical method for keeping people from getting confused, especially in a season where there can be rehearsals and performances for two or three things simultaneously. It is vital to not be confused.
Monday, March 12, 2012
Here's the two reviews I could find:
Kansas City Star, "Epic meets intimate: Lyric Opera's "Nixon" is a stunner"
KCMetropolis.org, "Opera in the age of the sound bite"
The KCMetropolis review was written by a friend of mine. He's not the sort of person to take it easy on one of the highest-profile performing ensembles because I'm playing in the back row, but the connection does exist.
Monday, March 05, 2012
I'm sitting in a restaurant that didn't exist when I first started my tenure at UMKC. Well, the name and brand existed, but the old building that it inhabited was torn down years ago. Now it's in a deserted firehouse which DID exist then, but had a fire department in it.
Are you following me so far?
I'm also bogging, which I didn't do when I first came here. And even weirder, I'm doing that on my phone. Mostly as an experiment -- it isn't a satisfactory typing experience and it makes me long for a keyboard.
I would be at the university, where I have access to chairs and computers, but they're notoriously stingy with the parking. That is a perennial that has only gotten worse with the destruction of one of the main garages.
It is nice to sit here and enjoy a day: I get so little opportunity to do that nowadays. It's brought to me by the symphony having a strange split rehearsal across the afternoon and into the evening.
So I'm betting on a 10:00 supper tonight. 10:30 if there is overtime.
Sunday, March 04, 2012
|Pit view for "Nixon in China"|
And that's so amazing I can barely speak.
She was making a whole host of aggrieved noises, so I looked up. Unlike what I assumed, she was not being mugged or otherwise molested. She was simply walking -- achingly slow -- down the hallway, using her cane. Every step brought some sort of vocalization, none of them pleasant or muted. She was using the sort of voice one uses to make a lover guilty while sitting six seats down the bar from them ("oh, you're a DOCTOR. WELL, isn't that AWESOME!")
The site helped correct the spelling for surreptitious and it also listed a definition I didn't understand.
3. obtained by subreption; subreptitious.
I still remember going to Powell Hall in St. Louis when I was young and seeing the symphony. I don't remember anything about the concert or what we saw, but I remember going at some point. Hopefully these kids do, too.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
It's a reference me being called yesterday to play with the Kansas City Symphony / Lyric Opera of Kansas City's production of "Nixon in China", on assorted dates in March.
A quick sequence that makes up the life of a music student. When I was an undergrad, I saw a clip from a "Nixon in China" production. Later, I studied the opera briefly in my modern music class. A few years ago, I had the chance to see a production in St. Louis as part of the Opera Theater there.
And now I'm going to be playing it. This is what happens if you're very lucky as a musician -- you move from wondering what something is, to studying it, to appreciating it, to playing it.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
|Strip #642 from xkcd.com|
Anyway, my friend was shuffling music and straightening stands on stage. The latecomer to the quartet noticed her, stared for ten seconds and then said to the others, "She looks HOT!" The other three turned simultaneously to look at him. He reiterated, "What? She totally does."
That's the strange peculating thought I have when I look in her office. She sits at the computer, intently typing and shuffling papers. About her, the office is bland: the walls bare, the desk spartan, the photos nonexistent. I follow the curve of her arm, but the keyboard and mouse are the only accessories. Not even a chosen mouse pad bespeaks the tastes or opinions behind her dark eyes.
"She's kind of tall!"
My next thought. Dressed as she is in her work uniform, it's difficult to tell her height. Her head-height speaks to being above-average for a woman. Her posture while sitting almost suggests she's stretching upwards. Her chin probes outwards, not down towards her torso reflexively.
I make up my mind that I'm going to ask her out.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
|Jacketed me (in my mind)|
By which I mean that asiago-and-port-wine bedroom slippers aren't really in my price range.
And then, after having all of this piled upon me, I went somewhere and did something that took the pain away.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Various friends would have me whipped and placed in the stockade for saying so, but I think it's starting to wear on me. The weather projection for this week is highs about 50, lows about thirty. Every. Day.
We had rain tonight, which -- for a very short while and likely due to a computer error -- was listed as snow. I'm not going to say that I sat by the windows watching, but I did pull the blinds up and read at the nearest armchair.
I think I need the cold and the snow to balance me out. The official total for Kansas City this winter is 0.4" -- not even enough to declare a winner in the "when does KC get its first snow?" contest on the local weather.
My friend who grew up in Florida loves it. My friend who grew up in Alabama sings the praises. I think that it isn't the end of the world to be stuck in Eternal Autumn, but it sure is grating on my nerves.
I need the snow. I need it to freeze the world. A certain kind of beauty is only unmasked when the bright eyes wink in the wind, and while the hair framing those eyes is caught up in drafts bearing frozen crystals. The muted crunch of footsteps soothes the heated anguish in my mind. The silence that fresh-fallen snow enforces: it calls out to the frantic parts of my brain in softly tufted storms.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
The true answer is that none of them are me. No matter how familiar their choices, how sympathetic their circumstances, eventually there is a divergence. A moment that makes me say, "That's not how I would have done that!"
I think about this not because I'm measuring my friends to my own stick -- everyone knows I'm not so crashingly enamored of my life to thing it a good candidate for inflicting on others. Not to say I don't like my life, on balance: just that I'm not the sort of person to go shoving my gum into other people's faces and saying "Of course you like strawberry!"
With that established, let me tell you the tale of Jenna.
Monday, January 02, 2012
During the recent orchestra rehearsals I was involved in, I landed my eyes on the back of someone's head. When you are a brass person, you tend to sit in the rearward of the ensemble -- as such, I see lots of head backs. This particular woman took a moment during the space after tuning to spin her hair into a ... do they call them "buns" if it's just scrunched up like a gift-wrapped pony tail?