Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Andrew in Nixon in China

No, the title isn't a dirty joke.

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

Not Thick-Skinned Enough to be a Woman

Strip #642 from xkcd.com
Recently, I went to the solo recital of a fellow musician and friend.  Coming straight from work and halfway across the city, I was the first person to sit in a pew.  Over the next half-hour, thirty-or-so people filtered in and sat in vaguely definable groups.  Near me sat a quartet of college undergrads.  The last of the four to arrive reminded me of flashbacks to my undergrad: flannel shirt, mussed hair and unkempt beard, loping walk, and a Pearl Jam t-shirt.  Are you the 90's considered vintage now, like the 70s were in my day?  Cool.  Err, I mean "radical"!

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."

The Other Me Seeks to Woo

"Why doesn't she have any posters?"

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.