Monthly Archives: May 2010

The Perfect Gift

My friend Emily is a crack garage-saler. She’s a genius, and loves it. She’s the kind of person who has one of everything in her garage or barn. This weekend is a big garage sale time, and of course, there were several sales up and down the main roads. She brought me a gift, nd it was something I have always wanted! A real-life chicken waterer!! The old-fashioned kind. It’s awesome.

The girls were not quite so sure about it, and certainly not as enthusiastic as I was. “What is that big silver thing he brought in here?!” Here’s a shot of the girls checking out the alien invader.

Hey – I met a blog reader at The Sound of Music last night! Neat, huh? We chatted for a minute down at the pit after we finished up the playout music. Thanks for saying hi! Awesome. Speaking of – I’m off to play the show tonight, and my first day of church (the new job) tomorrow. You have a great day too!

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Pomp and Circumstance

Guess where I spent my morning practicing? Nothing like nice, loud Bach prelude to start the blood pumping!

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It’s Official

It’s Summer, I mean. Officially. I got my first fly bite today.

Hey, thanks for hanging in, Friends! I know it’s been a week. As I had mentioned, a super-busy one. Sitting in the piano/conductor chair for The Sound of Music has been a great joy! Super fun to be playing with such fine musicians, and for a lovely cast. One more weekend, over there in Lake Placid. If you come see the show, don’t be afraid to come down to the pit afterwards – I love visitors!

And, in big news, I am the new organist/pianist at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Saranac Lake! Awesome! Very, very historic church, lovely grounds, super nice people, awesome pipe organ. I’m thrilled. This trial go ’round is for six weeks, and then we talk about whether I seem to be a good fit. Suffice it to say, I’m going to be doing a lot of practicing!

Around here? You guessed it. Gardening. Exhausting, sweaty, buggy, wonderful gardening. I considered writing a four-thousand word blog post about it, but seeing as a picture paints a thousand words and all that bunk, here’s a few snaps from just a few minutes ago.

One of this year’s new beds – the annual & herb garden. I decided it would be neat to just mix everything up together. A little weird that I planted all the herbs willy nilly with pansies in-between them? I think it’s awesome!

This big spot alongside the road is going to be the sunflower garden – giants in the back and shorter ones in the front. I’ve always wanted a sort of sunflower forest, so I thought this would be fun. That was a lot of tilling! The soil out there was rock hard!

Last year’s perennials coming up nicely!

And, the standard photo. I figured that since I’ve used this angle out the window facing the cabin a few times, it would be nice to see what I see out the window as the seasons pass.

You have a great day too!

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Before Somebody Drops a House on You, Too

Well, goodness.

A certain Adirondack blogger was seriously pissed off by my last post. In fact, said blogger had something rather aggressive to say about my personal thoughts, daydreaming, and potential decisions. And said blogger decided to say it anonymously, even though this person is a regular reader, is a previous commenter (multiple times), and we’ve met in person. This being the 21st Century – Duh. I know who you are. I use WordPress.

Anyhow, Friends, I had a nice big, long post written about how this blogger doesn’t seem to understand that a personal blog is not a newspaper accepting anonymous jackass editorials. But I’m really more of a no-fuss-no-muss kind of guy, so I decided not to post it. My only message for the annon blogger is this – Your link is gone, your comments are gone, and your IP address has been sent to the spam folder. And trust me, I’ll be telling this story (including the details) to my extremely wide and varied circle of friends. (Preferably, at large social and cultural events.)

Should this all not be perfectly clear, annon blogger, let me speak plainly – You’re not welcome here. In the immortal words of my favorite philosopher, Glinda the Good Witch, “You have no power here. Be gone.”

As for me and you Friends, let’s have a great week! I start rehearsals tonight for a new musical I’m playing in the orchestra for. I’ll tell you all about it as the week progresses. Suffice it to say, the hills are alive with … well, you get the idea. Meanwhile, the chickadees are chirping, the chickens are out, and the coffee is on.

You have a great day too!

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Fortunes of Time

We went over to Lake Placid tonight, and had dinner out, thank you very much.

As things on the financial front have leveled out a bit, we felt that the least we could do for ourselves was go out to eat. Multiple choices of course, but we’d never been to the Lake Placid Pub & Brewery, so we thought we would give it a shot. Decent food, good beer, and although the decor isn’t much to write home about, the brick floor entrance of the old church it’s housed in is to-die-for. I want to go to that Alpine looking steakhouse place next.

It’s unpopular around here to say it, but say it I will – I like Lake Placid. It’s pretty. They have nice things there. We have nice things in Saranac Lake too, and I choose to make Saranac Lake my “town,” because it’s more me, and I find it a little more real-life. But I don’t think that’s any reason to dislike Lake Placid on principle. I think it’s nice. So there.

We stopped by Ben & Jerry’s and had some dessert, took a little walk. I like the Christmas store (whatever it’s called), but tonight I stopped in my very favorite store  – Fortunes of Time. Whoever owns/stocks/designed this place sure had my number. I walk in the place and I feel like I am in some sort of bliss dream that might be titled, Ultimate Night of the Senses. The pinecone hanging bells, the scent of honeysuckle (or something) in the air, quiet music, hundreds of scented candles, woolen mittens, throws, trinkets, piles and piles of cozy and quaint. I came out the place tonight and said, “We need more money. I want some nice stuff.”

Speaking of the fortunes of time, we had a nice drive around Saranac Lake on the way back home. We looked at some houses for sale, learned a few new shortcuts, and discussed the fact that I have a meeting about a nice little-job possibility next week. (I ain’t sayin’.)

Now, we’re not exactly actively looking to buy a house in town. But you see, we’re possibilitists. We like to remind ourselves that with the proper amount of time and effort, most things are possible. Will we take out a loan to build a new house right here? Will we go with a small cabin instead? Will we finish the improvements and sell this property as a building lot? Will we buy a completely different house in town? Will we build small and keep the place here, while buying something similar in the South for Winters?

Anything’s possible.

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In Search of the Perfect Pit

I don’t know if it’s the same for “civilians,” but for theatre folk, the orchestra pit is a mythical place.

Okay, heck. I don’t even know if the actors even think of it that way. I just know that the musicians do. It’s a little clubhouse. The temple of a secret society. Dark. Usually cramped. A little room all its own for the musicians. No one else ever goes there. You can imagine.

Of course, that mythology grows more shallow or deepens with the depth of the pit. A pit that’s just a flat space in front of the first row? Not so much. There’s still some magic there, but it’s minor. One of those pits that is dropped six inches or so, maybe with rails and curtains around it? Considerably better. A pit that’s sunk a foot or two? Not bad. Not bad at all.

Pits have gotten deeper over the years, as audiences have become more fond of TV and film, and no longer want to see the musicians. I think the perfect pit would be about four feet deep. Deep enough to hide, and to consolidate the sound, but shallow enough to still be in the room. Oddly enough, in a 20-year career, I’ve never played in a pit like that. Used to be, most of the Broadway pits were like that, about four feet deep. You just caught the tops of the musicians’ heads as you watched. You can see it in pics of older shows. Nowadays, they’re nearly buried in the basement.

I was recently asked to sit in the piano chair for The Sound of Music in Lake Placid. I thought it might be fun, and I also remembered that they have at least some kind pit at the Arts Center. It’s usually has the cover over it, bringing it up to floor level, but I knew there was some kind of hole underneath there.

With my score in my hot little hand and The Lonely Goatherd in my head, I visited the Arts Center website to check the tech list and see if I could find out how deep the pit is. (Yeah, I’m obsessed.) One foot, six inches. Ah, well. At least we’re in the moderate mythology range. Meanwhile, I continue my search for the perfect pit.

Yodel-ay-hee-hoo!

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She’s Sensitive

Car? Is it a car? An SUV? Nah. It’s a Jeep.

I really do like the thing, but it’s trying at times. I might have mentioned that it had developed a starting issue. Sometimes. Last week – every so often, it wouldn’t turn over. Still cranked and all, no run down battery. Just wouldn’t start. And then oddly, if we jumped it – even though it was already cranking – it started right up. Weird. So, we took it in to our awesome mechanic Tim. (Who was recommended to us by many, including Adirondack Musing.)

Tim couldn’t get the car to break. That is, it started every time, without fail. Revved right up. Almost as if the car was too embarrassed to show its laziness away from home. Like it was on its best behavior for Tim. So, he kept the Jeep for three days. Started it several times each day. With great success. (I can’t decide whether that is terrific, or aggravating.) So, he gave it back. How does one handle a 21 year old tank that may decide not to start at some point.

We went over to Advance Auto and bought one of those little jump-starter boxes. Problem solved.

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