Monday, October 31, 2005

Today I sighted a very rare Holstein cat. Posted by Picasa
The young people of West Sacramento had no private place to take drugs and have sex. Then some generous person decided to drive his bus into the parking lot of the Seventh Day Adventist Church and abandon it there. Now the kids can play to their hearts' content until the police come by to remind them to go home. Posted by Picasa

We picked up our new Honda today (Halloween). Here we see Jennifer with Angela from Financial.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

At the Halloween party last night I found out that Dan (left) is not going to be able to go to Australia with the Sacramento City College choir because Donna (right) will be giving birth to their second child. Their good friend Kathleen, another piano teacher at Sac City, would be next in line for the Australia tour, but it conflicts with her true passion— professional football. She plays for the Sacramento Sirens. They won the national championship last year, and she scored the only touchdown in the title game.
I volunteered to do the tour, and Kathleen said she would mention my name to the choir director. So it's far from a sure thing, but Jennifer and I may be going to Australia next July. Then we could also realize Jennifer's dream of going to New Zealand.

Friday, October 28, 2005

I'm going to the Pool's pirate-themed Halloween party tomorrow night and decided to go as a corporate pirate. When I put on my patch for this photo, I naturally had to take my glasses off, and after I had run to the bedroom to show Jennifer, I forgot where my glasses were. I had to leave for a tuning in a few minutes and was frantically looking around for them. Finally I found them in a tangle of other black things behind the laptop.
This suit is the hand-tailored one my mother bought me for my college graduation. It's still the finest piece of clothing I have. I need to have the pants let out a bit, but the jacket still fits great.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Time Travel

Today I went back 50 years in the past... playing a music job at the Carmichael Elks Lodge. At the beginning of the meeting they sang "God Bless America" and said the Pledge of Allegiance. There was also a little American flag behind glass in a frame. There was a hidden fan causing the flag to ripple majestically. ("These Colors Don't Run.")
(Conservatives have great nostalgia for a more patriotic past... when there were actual liberals in positions of power.)
Musically it was fun. It was a real jazz job, I had a great bass player and drummer with me and the people liked it. Jazz is now the music of old fogies. Shelley, the bass player, commented that when he was young and jazz was popular, the schools wouldn't touch it. Now that jazz is almost dead, there are great programs in the colleges (including Sac State). I said, "Soon, it'll be like early music."
Today I got a newsletter from the Musicians Union Pension Fund and a Time magazine where the cover story is how American corporations are defaulting on their pension obligations. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

When I tuned this piano today I noticed that John Fuller, symphonic harpist and my former tuning mentor, had tuned this piano in 2003 and recorded the fact on the first key. I loved this old-fashioned touch and signed and dated my name on the second key. Later I was talking to the customer and commented that this was the second tuning. "Oh no, this is the first." "Oh," I said, "then you bought it used?" "Used? The store told us it was new!"
Awkward. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 24, 2005

How many graphic designers does it take...

At Espresso Metro, the cash register display on the customer side does not work. There have been many different notes on the register declaring that fact. I promised long ago that I would give them a professional-looking version and today I finally delivered. Posted by Picasa

The first rule of Pet Club is... don't talk about Pet Club. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 23, 2005

I decided to carve a pumpkin this year. Jennifer had just picked up a great biography of Keith Haring, and I used one of his famous images as a model.
Hal and I were driving up Del Rio Road after tennis and we saw this chipboard construction on a lot that couldn't have been more than ten yards wide. "What the hell is that?" I said. And then, we saw on the wall that someone had spray-painted the answer to the question. Posted by Picasa

Museum of Victoriana

I tuned the piano at the home of my old friend Elaine Berman. She is a fine singer and voice teacher. Her house is also amazing. Posted by Picasa

Practice CDs

I got the Key 4 book for Mamma Mia! As often happens these days, the producers provide a CD of the show to practice with. This is almost exactly like actually playing the show, as you wear headphones the whole time and often are playing along with a click. Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 21, 2005

Yesterday I came home and the first message on my answering machine was from Jim Een, the violist and contractor for the Video Games Live job, telling me that the entire tour had been cancelled. He sounded heartbroken. Imagine having to tell forty-odd people that a very lucrative and fun job was off, only two weeks away.
The odd thing, though, is that I couldn't find any news items announcing the cancellation, and all the venues are still selling tickets to the show on the web. (Are we being hosed?)
I also learned yesterday that the whole Dr. Doolittle tour is also cancelled, so California Musical Theatre is going to have to find another show to fill those two weeks. (Maybe one that I can play!)
I'm really sorry because that job would have made really good posts for this blog.
Jennifer is scurrying around doing the paperwork to transfer title of the Honda to Rachel. She wants to have a car for a costume job at a theatre in Anaheim. But she's going to have to fly up here to get the car.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


When I was shopping at Taylor's Market, I saw some tiny seedless watermelons. I was going to get Jennifer at the airport later. Jennifer loves watermelons, and she loves me, so I decided to buy the watermelon and draw a picture of myself on it. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 17, 2005

Although I am a firm supporter of the arts, I had another appointment to get to so I was forced to miss the recitle. Posted by Picasa
Skylark Piano Service, for whom I subcontract, is supposed to send me about a hundred postcards a month, preaddressed to customers reminding them to get their pianos tuned. I put stamps on them and mail them. But this year Skylark has been moving their office and everything has been a shambles. They hadn't sent me reminder cards for eight months, despite my almost daily calls and faxes. Finally I hit on the idea of sending them postcards to remind them to send me postcards. I addressed and stamped several with the idea of sending them every day until they sent the cards. In fact, the first workday after I started sending cards (before they had even received one), I got a call from the office saying that they had 400 reminder cards ready to send me! I went out and bought 400 stamps today. Imagine 400 postcards exploding in all directions. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 15, 2005

We were sitting outside at the edge of the artificial lake during the long break when a woman came up holding an unlit cigarette. "Do you have a light?" she asked Dave (upper picture). He wasn't smoking at that moment, but as she said, "he just looked like a smoker."
I played with the John Skinner band at the Radisson tonight. It was a retirement party for a city attorney named Samuel L. Jackson, just like the actor. There was a dj set up right behind the band. We played for an hour and then there was a long break for speeches. The guest of honor gave a very long speech and thanked everyone in the room. I said to the drummer, "Did he thank you? I don't think he did." "No, but I could feel the love." The last set was only half an hour; we probably spent more time setting up and breaking down than playing.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Evan Gage

I went to Evan Gage's house last night so he could hear me play his pieces. Afterwards we sat in his living room and talked. He has been working on his bachelor's degree in composition for almost 15 years, if you include taking courses at Sacramento City College in 1990. Somewhere in there, he studied for a year in Germany. He had taken a couple of years of German at Sac State, but when he arrived in country, he realized that they spoke a different dialect, and his German was almost useless. Still he soldiered on and realized his dream of visiting Mozart's grave. "I achieved my goal, and now consider myself in retirement." Posted by Picasa

No one wants their coworkers to see that they ate an entire Krispy Kreme doughnut

 Posted by Picasa

A strong candidate for messy office of the year

 Posted by Picasa