Children, Men At Work

Gormanzee (or, My Son the Actor, Working Again)

It’s possible this is a little weird for most of you — maybe for me, too — but I am proud of #1 Son and his creative work as an actor. He’s on stage again in NYC, July 7-25 at The Flea Theater. Still trying to figure out a way to get there myself, but it seems unlikely.

Children, Generation Hug, Men At Work, Photos

Mutton Chops

#1 Son's status update on Facebook last week read:

The Chekhovian muttonchops only continue to grow more potent. 

And here they are: 

Three Sisters trip 001

And here we are after the show with his girlfriend, Poesy. 

Three Sisters trip 002

(Thank you to kathrynzj, who took the pictures. If you're friends with both of us on Facebook, you can find more there.) 

At dinner, kathrynzj said to Poesy, "I understand you're a poet."
"Oh," she answered. "That's just how I pay the bills. My true passion is being a paralegal." 


The trip was great, the play was wonderful, #1 Son marvelous as a PTSD-stricken Russian inclined to making, as he put it, "deranged bird sounds."
I would encourage you to go see it, but all the performances next week are SOLD OUT!!!

Children, Men At Work

It’s Come to My Attention

It's come to my attention that there is another Conservatory in Beantown, known as "Beantown Conservatory," which is not the one my son is attending, and I had better devise a less confusing nickname for it.

Henceforth, we'll call it —

well, I wasn't coming up with anything.

Jazz40crop150px And then I read the page about the Conservatory's core values, and I saw this little image, and that was it:

Hot and Cool.

Children, Men At Work, Photos

And Away He Goes

Today we took Snowman to Beantown Conservatory. It's different to take the second child to college, and it's especially different when that child has been away for two years at a much greater distance, but it's a big day just the same, especially for him.

Naturally, we took pictures.

NEC 011 

We traveled across state lines with Light Princess and the The Father of My Children, unloaded things into the dorm room and marveled at the size compared with his room at Land o'Lakes.

I made the bed. That's my job when I take them away to a new school. It may never be made again, but it's made when I leave the room behind.

Snowman's friend since birth, J-Bass, arrived the night before and gave advice about where to find things. We made a quick run to the drug store for some needed toiletries, getting a sense of the neighborhood.

Then we went to a concert by returning students in beautiful Jordan Hall.

NEC 012

We had dinner at a Thai restaurant with J-Bass, and then it was time to leave them behind, to begin their work, to take their first steps on the grown-up journey.

They look happy, don't they?

NEC 018

Men At Work, Music, Sons

The World is Waiting for the Sunrise

While #1 Son was home last week and sleeping in his old room, which is now the den/guest room and favored practice room for clarinet, Snowman went over to TFoMC's house to practice. Now that the room is again available, we get the pleasure of hearing him play.

Tonight I came in from walking the dog and could have sworn Benny Goodman was in my house! I heard his characteristic runs.

And here's what Snowman has been doing. He's preparing the Copland Clarinet Concerto for the placement auditions at Beantown Conservatory, and since Benny Goodman commissioned the concerto, he thought he could prepare better by learning more about how Benny Goodman played. He listened to a recording of "The World is Waiting for the Sunrise," and using the chords in his Jazz Real Book, he transcribed Goodman's interpretation from the recording.

Now that the transcription is complete, he is playing it, Goodman-style.

I wonder, do I ever break down a task the way he did? Considering the influences and working through the possibilities with such diligence? I tend to float through life relying on intuition and inspiration. I might have considered his technical approach to be overly intellectual, if I hadn't heard him explain it. I understood completely, and I heard what he took from it, both in the jazz piece and in his playing of the Copland.

It was hard to let him go away two years ago. But when I hear what I heard tonight, the music and his underscoring thoughts, I know we did the right thing.

Here's Benny:

Men At Work

Notes from the Trail

You may be wondering the whereabouts of Pure Luck, as was I since he was incommunicado yesterday. He is still in the Great Northwest, working for a few more weeks, but here is a report on his day off adventure:

It was my day off today and so I decided to go for a hike in the
(kinda, sorta) nearby blue mountains. I was attempting to make a little
more progress on the trail that I had lost the last time I tried it,
and make progress I did. I went a few miles further over the ridge
until…I hit more snow and lost the trail again. Doh! Typically, I
kept going forward. Eventually I stumbled onto some logging roads which
seemed to be going in the right direction and followed them. Just as
one I was depending on to take me down to the road ended abruptly there
it was: the trail! I followed it down into the shade where there was
still a fair amount of snow, broke through a couple times and finally
made it out to the road the map said my car was on (the map was right
about that).

On the way down the road I encountered a sleek,
brown snake soaking up the last of the day's warmth from the tar and as
I neared my car there was a hawk flying overhead piercing the air with
its cries. Quite serene and beautiful. And one of the things that
helped it be serene and beautiful was that in five+ hours of hiking in
shorts and t-shirt there was not one mosquito, not one black fly. In
short it was a hiker heaven.

Although there were none of those
there were a fair number of elk which fled from me with some dispatch.
I cannot figure out how the hell they can run through all those blown
down trees. Elkin magic I guess.

Yes, he is still the punster we know and love.

Well, I do, anyway.