Archive for May, 2007

Where My Mind Wandered in Rehearsal This Morning:

1.  Hot dogs.  Today was our annual work barbecue.  I believe I have stated before that there is nothing more pathetic than classical musicians and the promise of free food.  The Starving Hobo Phenomena was in full effect this morning.  Normal orchestral production was way down because all we could think about were the hot dogs we were about to eat.  I foolishly ate two hot dogs and now I feel like I’m about to barf.  To make matters worse, I have to judge a bunch of high school classical musicians today (I’m sure that will really help minimize the "about to barf" sensation).

2.  Hockey players.  This morning when I wasn’t thinking about hot dogs, I was thinking about Ryan Miller and how I hope that he isn’t too bummed that his little brother is about to win the Stanley Cup about thirty seconds after joining the NHL.  Poor fella.  (Ryan, if you want to come over to my house and crochet with me, you totally can.  We can pretend to watch the Stanley Cup finals, eat popcorn, and comb each other’s hair- it’ll be super fun!)

3.  Butter.  This morning when I wasn’t thinking about hot dogs or hockey players, I was thinking about butter.  I have always been confused about the expression "a pat/pad of butter".  I don’t understand if it’s a pad or a pat of butter.  I feel like it should be a pad of butter because, well, it is a little pad, but my instincts tell me the correct term is pat.  Please email me if you know the answer to this question. 

Interchangeable Parts

Bear with me, people.

My obsession with hockey is showing no signs of waning, in fact it has only been growing since the Sabres were eliminated. I am reading hockey blogs. Yes, that’s right, HOCKEY BLOGS! I have been watching the Stanley Cup finals even though my team is done. I spend an absurd amount of time thinking about hockey, and hockey players, and how am I going to get tickets next year?, and omg, I love hockey. It’s all very embarrassing.

A few days ago I had to admit to myself that I’ve totally lost my mind on this one.

…and then I found Interchangeable Parts.

Interchangeable Parts is a blog written by two New Jersey Devil loving sisters, Pookie and Schnookie. It is seriously funny, and although I am probably not the best judge of such things, they seem to be fairly knowledgeable about hockey. This is where it gets embarrassing for me, because it’s now that I must admit a huge portion of my new found interest in hockey involves the intriguing hotness of its players. I’m sorry, but it’s true. So, to find a blog that fully celebrates the hotness, while being hi-lar-ious, brilliantly penned, and not completely idiotic?-well, it’s a relief. There is a place for me in hockey, and it is called Interchangeable Parts.

little Crunchy.jpgSchnookie had me hooked when I read this post about her inexplicable crush on Sabre’s goalie, Ryan Miller. Sweet, sweet Ryan Miller.

Welcome to the new hockey category of Oh For Fun. Just bear with me. Either this will pass, or I will convince all seven of my readers to love hockey too.

I mean, look at that face. What’s not to love?

Gravy

There are many beautiful graves in Forest Lawn, but because the cemetery is so large, I forget where all of my favorites are located. Here is one grave that I always seem to find even though I can never remember where to look.

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Forest Lawn Cemetery

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One of the best places in Buffalo is the Forest Lawn Cemetery. It’s old, it’s beautiful, and it is one of the quietest places in the city. If you’ve never wandered around an old cemetery, you should give it a try. It’s not creepy, I swear. One time I even went on a date to the cemetery. I probably should have married that guy because not only did he share my affinity for the cemetery, but at one point we were standing in the huge indoor mausoleum laughing pretty hard at some of the crazy objects people had left as permanent displays. I like to get my inappropriate self out of the way as soon as possible when wooing men.

Forest Lawn was one of the hardest hit areas during the October snow storm, as it is home to many of Buffalo’s biggest, most majestic trees. In the days following the storm I could barely look at the cemetery as I drove past. The damage was extensive and I found the broken trees extremely heart breaking. (And yes, I recognize the irony of wandering around a cemetery and mourning the trees. That’s just how I roll.)

Well, thank God for spring. The trees, while still visibly injured are at least covered in leaves. Today, for the first time since the storm, I had the stomach for a bike ride through Forest Lawn. I’m not going to lie, a lot of the cemetery does not feel as magical without the canopy of leaves, but there are still many big trees, and it is nice to see signs of life on those poor amputees.

FL 5.jpgHere is a good example of how many of our trees are looking this spring. These trees lost almost all of their branches at the trunk, but it looks as though they will survive in spite of being reduced to mere torsos. Many times during the winter I attempted to photograph the damaged
trees, and ever time I wound up feeling extremely depressed. As sad as these guys look now, I can’t explain how psychically soothed I feel to see them covered in greenery. I am certain that looking at battered and broken trees for six months has severely worn me down. I always love spring, but this year I feel a palpable sense of relief.

I’m not sure what you call these house-like buildings. I like to call them hobbit holes.

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I took many more beautiful pictures (if I do say so myself), but typepad is being an asshole today, and I don’t have the patience to spend my entire evening uploading pictures. Maybe tomorrow.

I do want to take the time to say one more thing: When I die, for the love of sweet baby Jesus, don’t bury me in the ground under a rock that says “wife”.

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When I die, you should burn me up and toss me over Minnehaha Falls. After that I don’t really care what you do, but I recommend that you enjoy a blue sno-cone in my honor. If you want, you can have a barbecue and play capture the flag, but please clean up your after yourselves, the park is for everyone to enjoy.

Heh

Part One: The Obsession with Chris Drury Leads to Thoughts on Music

*I’m super sorry guys, but you are going to have to listen to me drone on about Buffalo, hockey, and sports as it relates to music for a little while longer.

Yesterday, while scouring the internet for my favorite Chris Drury photo, I stumbled upon this very interesting, very long Sports Illustrated article. I now know pretty much everything about Chris Drury. Here is a short summary of what I’ve learned:

1. He has been a champion literally his whole life.

2. He’s incredibly intense (hot) about his work ethic (meh).

3. He manages to be totally committed to his sport while simultaneously maintaining a zen-like understanding of the unimportance of hockey and sports stardom. (The article suggests that this characteristic is the key to Chris Drury- incidentally, it is also the key to my heart.)

4. The article doesn’t come directly out and say it, but based on his above mentioned work ethic, and his apparent lack of humor about lolly-gagging and frivolity, I can now assume that Mr. Drury would find my four day long Eating-Microwave-Popcorn-While-Watching-Arrested-Development-And-
Crocheting-A-Thon decidedly unattractive, which is fine because he is….

5. ….married with two kids.

Here is the part of the article that really caught my attention:

The seconds are dwindling: 8.9 seconds … 8.6…. When Drury sees Briere jabbing at the puck behind the net, he glides, almost lackadaisically, across the Pittsburgh crease: 8.5 … 8.4 … 8.3…. Briere knows without seeing that Drury will be there. “He’s always in the right spot,” he says. “It’s amazing. You can always count on Chris when the game’s on the line.” Drury, meanwhile, is barely thinking: no hope, no fear, no worry about whether he’ll score or not.

“In some ways it’s already been decided,” Drury says. “Mentally and physically, if you’re prepared and you make your move, you make what you think is a good shot. If it doesn’t go in, it wasn’t meant to be. There’s not much sense in fearing that.”

I believe my biggest musical issue is that I play with a lot of fear. I’m scared that I’m not good enough, I’m scared that my hard work won’t pay off, I’m scared that I will sound like everybody else, I’m scared that I’ll sound like the messy spaz that I am. I don’t think I am at all unusual in this, in fact, I believe I might be a little ahead of the curve because I can acknowledge this fear and write about it openly on the internet.

I am fascinated and inspired by people, like Drury, who somehow intuitively understand that there is nothing to fear. It’s an amazing paradox. In risking failure, he actually risks nothing, and he has incredible success. I have been stuck time and time again in this trap: as I work harder, the burden of failure increases in my mind. The harder I work, the greater my investment, the bigger the failure looms. For Chris Drury, it seems that the harder he works, the lighter the emotional load becomes. The greater his investment, the less he fears failure. Which begs the question, what is Chris Drury really invested in? Winning? Championships? Reading the article, Drury seems to be pursuing a goal outside of the actual game. He is driven to work hard and his goal is just that: to do the very best that he can every minute of every day. The fact that doing his very best has made him a smoking hot sports star seems almost beside the point for Chris Drury.

Every once in awhile I tap into a little glimmer of musical peace, and these are the times when I have the most memorable and successful performances. I can honestly say that my biggest dream in life is to play and live without fear, and yet, I can’t seem to find a way to actually pursue this dream. In working hard, I always end up pursuing some other dream, a less important dream- a job, a guy, musical approval. I don’t think that fearlessness is something you can pursue. Fearlessness is something that only exists in the moment. It can’t be pursued because it doesn’t exist in the future, it only exists right this very second, and this second, and this second, and this second, and this second…….

I would be curious to hang out with Chris Drury today, the day after the season ended, to observe disappointment in such a seemingly steady person. I hope he is able to relax and enjoy his family. I hope that along with his awe inspiring commitment to playing hockey, he can also hang out and have fun. If not, Mr. Drury, you are welcome to come over to my apartment. Relaxing and having fun are activities at which I naturally excel. I’ll toss some popcorn in the microwave, and we can sit together on the couch, listening to music and crocheting our fears away.

We Are (not) The Champions

Rats. The Sabres lost, and the hockey season is over for Buffalo. After a few attempts last night to acquire tickets on ebay, Robin and I gave up, and we headed out to a bar this afternoon to watch the game. It was incredibly fun, right up until the moment when the stinky Ottawa Senators won in overtime. I really have no right to comment on hockey because I am such a new fan, but HOCKEY ROCKS. I grew up watching baseball, and Lord knows I love my Twins, but hockey is the best sport ever. Robin and I have all sorts of pie-in-the-sky ideas about getting season tickets for next year, that’s how much we love hockey.

The very best thing about cheering for the Sabres is that it has brought all of Buffalo together. I assure you, no matter how sports crazed you think your city is, Buffalo during the hockey playoffs, is more crazed. We are the best hockey fans. Period. (Even if we are a bunch of perennial losers.)

Incidentally, when I first started watching hockey (like three weeks ago), I found the players unattractive as a whole. This has changed. Quite a bit. Now, I understand that hockey players are EFFING HOT. Chris Drury in particular is…..compelling to watch.

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Dang. That’s some seriously compelling hockey, right there. I love his playoff beard.