Thursday, July 24, 2008

vacation hell - no music

Well, hell is a bit strong...most of the vacation was great! But the last day there was this Ridiculous Misunderstanding. When we arrived (a week ago) there were a couple trees blocking the path to the dock. We called the local manager about this and offered to bring our chainsaw and fix it if we could take the wood from the tree. She was thrilled, and we were able to get the path cleared as soon as we came back from getting the saw. Jim cut up the tree for 2 days I think, this was fir and very sappy so my dad, brother and myself all wrecked clothes we had on while hauling wood down the steep trail and steps to the truck. In all, we probably got about 3/4 cord, not much, but it gave the guys a project.

THEN, the neighbors called the owner (in California) and he apparently had a COW. I guess he wanted the wood and he was going to cut it up himself. At that point we had already taken the wood we cut home, and we had gotten permission from the manager (his legal representative). He would have had to pay to have the path cleared anyway, so I said if he paid us $150 (the low end cost for having a tree service come clear the path) he could come to our house and take the wood back. Apparently he told the manager if we paid $75 for the wood (that she had told us to take) we could keep the wood. The managing agency decided to pay him the $75 (since it was really their fault) - so other than someone in California hating my guts, I guess it all worked out. We'll see how much of my deposit I get back.

I just hate conflict like this - I felt terrible that we took the guy's wood but on the other hand, we had probably spent 15 or more man hours cutting and hauling wood on our vacation. Since he had the fireplace capped (unusable) in the rental, and since three were several rotting trees that had obviously been down for years that he hadn't ever cut up, I doubt he really would have used the wood, but still, it was his. What a drag.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Symphony on the Sand

Saturday was our concert on the beach - it was just dumb luck that it was in the same town as my family reunion so they all came with the babies and everything. The sun shines directly into our "balloon shell" which is incredibly hot, but after about an hour it was very nice. Overall we played very well, especially since we have a reduced orchestra and a lot of ringers for the summer gigs. The second oboe (ringer) did a good job although she didn't play all the time, I think she was just hot and decided to take a break every once in a while. Oh well, she sounded great on EH in Harry Potter.

My biggest moment was probably the Adagio from Sparticus by Khachaturian (sp??!) which is really romantic, long solo. Fun stuff. Reeds were amazingly good considering the heat, and all my As were right on. Yay.

family vaca

Greetings from the lake! Things have been pretty busy here with my parents and my brothers with their respective families; lots of little boys (and one small girl). The weather was great - we went to a big water/amusement park - probably the biggest hit for us was the wave pool. No lines and even Jim had a great time.

On a sad note, our boat was doing great until Friday evening, it just suddenly stopped working (the motor). Jim spent most of Saturday working on it while the rest of us played at the lake, but to no avail. Hopefully he can get it going now that it is out of the water and home with all our tools. Everyone has left the house except us, we will stay one more night (the free one) and that will be that!

Mostly this has been a good stay, but when we got here the steep path down to the lake was blocked by two downed trees. We called the manager and offered to chainsaw our way through if we could just load up the wood, and she thought that was great. Then yesterday the neighbor came by and apparently the owner (California absentee of course!) was really mad and blah blah blah. I think he should have given us a huge deal because it was a big pain moving this wood (just fir, nothing special around here) and it was on a steep hillside with lots of other growth so it was hard to get to...he would have paid a LOT to have it dealt with.Dad said we should offer to give him his wood back minus our labor. It is just too bad, I really hope this all comes to nothing.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

La Cage - the end

And I must mention closing of La Cage - what a great show! I highly recommend this one to anyone, just to go see it or play in it, wind parts are very fun. I really loved the music, not as "deep" as Les Mis I suppose, but such a feel good show and while a lot of it is silly and slapstick, it does have a poinient message and therefore the ballads have lovely oboe parts. Yay.

I had several fans this weekend (love having fans) - K and L came up about 90 miles Friday, and K brought me these great oboe earrings! They can be my gig earrings now, very cute. And Sat auntie A and L (friend from theater) came, we went out to the Wine Cellar (lovely restaurant) before; I never have trouble eating ahead as long as I don't pig out. And after we went to the resort for snazzy dessert. Ugh! so yummy but we all nearly died of overeating! Oh well. The show was probably more energetic on Sat, closing usually is - but I thought it was really great every night. Seemed like the audience was really into it - we could hear the cheering (so cool); but A and L said they were between 2 complete dead stick in pants people who never cracked a smile. What a waste, if you're not going to give it a chance why bother going? L said his guy inadvertantly laughed during the monologue and it nearly killed him as he stifled himself. But at least L and A were having a grand time, and I guess the majority of others there too!

stress and relief

I've been meaning to post pics of the parade, but that will have to wait as I have a tramatic event to relay~! At least to me. This was closing week for La Cage, so things were pretty busy, and if you check the other blog you know we had lots of company this week and stuff. Sat I had a wedding (to play at) and then meeting friends for dinner and the show. So I hustle off to the wedding, a bit early so I can get all organized and warmed up. There is a rehearsal at 1 and the ceremony starts at 2, one assumes there will be prelude type music for a while before that. It is 12:45 when I pull into the parking lot, and no one was there.

This is a bad sign. I checked the doors and they were locked, and then I called MS, the music director of the church who had hired me. No answer on his cell. Panic rising. Leave message on cell. Call him at home. No answer. Remember cellist from La Cage is playing this wedding too, but I don't have her #. Call contractor for La Cage. No answer. Call Jim in case they call me at home. They haven't called but he is near the phone so that is good.

At this point I was kinda freaking out, since I had no idea what to do. I decided to try this church across town where I had played a wedding with MS several years ago (although every other time I've played for him was at the church I drove to first). I call my best friend who is kayaking in the Tetons. She offers sympathy. I call my buddy who plays clarinet in La Cage and ask her to look up the cellist's #, hoping her cell # is on her message machine. I call the cellist (who of course isn't home) and there is no cell # on the message.

Intermittantly calling MS, and after about 30 minutes I get through. Apparently he had tried to call and couldn't get through - I *thought* my cell beeped or something when there was an incoming call, maybe I inadvertantly turned that feature off somehow? Anyway, they were at the big church at the college, which wasn't too far. I zoom off and arrive at St. Als by 1:25. Of course they are doing Gabriels Oboe for the bridesmaids, but is a weird version that has been "straightened out", no triplets or 5tuplets so they can walk down the aisle better I guess. And then there was some insane version of Pachelbel's Canon (my fav version here: ) and I had the lead for most of it - I did get to run those two before the prelude music started. Crazy.

Anyway, it went fine and I had a decent reed, and no one seemed too put out that I was so late...hopefully they will still call me. Lovely wedding, and even though there was no A/C, it was cooler and St. Als is one of those big cathedral type churches so it was very pleasant inside. So all that freaking out for nothing. Yay.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

New guard

Well, HB has officially retired. She is my boss at church, and I am very sad. I am very concerned about the next person, because I don't forsee a like-minded boss. But who knows! Maybe it will be some oboe loving old school organist.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Last night Jim and I went to our first (and only) rehearsal for the PerfectionNots - a motley crew of musicians (?) who get together and sightread one piece just to march in the 4th of July parade. The costumes are ANYTHING GOES. Last time we did it there were some very elaborate people - including darth vader and Janet Reno (both men, I think). The biggest thing for me is that I play the sousaphone in marching band...actually remembered fingerings pretty well (must have been my Easter baritone experience)
But this year I find that I can't see the music, I need longer arms!!! argh. Stupid oldness.

I actually practiced the oboe yesterday too, so I was reletively guilt free about the whole blowing my chops playing the tuba. La Cage is so fast and high I doubt I will ever get the whole thing. But we got a good review, no mention of the fabulous band. I am excited that several people I know are coming, love to have fans! Did look at Les Mis and I think it will be a breeze, I have a LOT of changes but nothing technically difficult (although sometimes you don't know until that first rehearsal!). I do have some pretty solo type stuff, which *if* I have good reeds will be great.