Archive for the 'I’m a Nerd' Category

Janz Enters the Guitar Competition

Right now, my orchestra is presenting the 2008 JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition. It’s quite a production. Ten Semi-Finalists were chosen from around the world to come to Buffalo, and after a round of competition, the field was narrowed to three. The three finalists will perform their concertos tomorrow night with the BPO, after which a winner will be crowned. This is the third time I’ve participated in the event (we have it every two years), and I’ve really come to look forward to the drama of a live competition.

Janz and I have been joking about starting a International Guitar Hero Competition for quite some time. For some reason, Guitar Hero is never not funny to us. The joke took on a life of its own this afternoon, when Janz officially entered the field of competition.

Here is his story:

Warming up

Janz nervously warms up backstage

Janz and JoAnn

Janz discusses his tempos with JoAnn before the rehearsal

Janz GH

Janz fulfills his dream of being an International Guitar Hero with a Symphony Orchestra.

Special thanks to JoAnn Falletta who was a great sport about our goofy scheming this afternoon. She didn’t bat an eyelash when Janz and I knocked on her dressing room door holding a plastic guitar.

Scared of Ladies

Sid, while being highly successful and attractive, is deathly afraid of women.  He clams up every time he meets a pretty girl, and Crunchy is always there to witness his humiliation.

This video is super frustrating because the leading lady’s head got cut off in the frames when I downloaded the pictures into imovie.  I didn’t have the heart to retake all of the photos, so this clip is being released in spite of its obvious technical shortcomings.

Sid and Crunchy

Sid and Crunchy meet.

I Love the Interwebs

A Ridiculous Day
by Kate Holzemer

10:30: wake-up
10:30: make coffee.  shower.  put on reasonable outfit.  look at the interwebs and comment repeatedly on IPB.  Read hilarious things. 
12:45: spill coffee on laptop!  Laptops sputters and shuts down.  My baby is drowning!  Freak out and run to public library because without the use of a computer I don’t know how to get in contact with Apple Support.  (it never even occurs to me to use the telephone.)
1:00: wind up looking at the interwebs at the public library.  completely fail to solve coffee/laptop problem.  fail to reach anyone at Apple.  decide Apple customer support is maybe not as effing fabulous as they want me to believe.  have perfectly enjoyable time looking at interwebs at the public library.
2:30: leave library and purchase sandwich at Globe market.  this is the first bite of food I eat all day.
2:45: arrive back home and eat sandwich, sadly eye laptop. 
3:00: laptop is cured!  miraculous recovery!  vow never to eat or drink near laptop again.
3:01: enjoy a diet coke and a Fudgesicle while looking at the interwebs.
4:00: practice viola.
5:00: look at interwebs.
5:30: practice viola
5:37: give up on having anything resembling a respectable day.  Put on sweatpants and a t-shirt with a hole in the armpit.  look at interwebs
7:00: Begin cooking current favorite meal, Chick-Pea Delight.  Realize that I only have twenty grains of rice left.  Cook twenty last remaining grains of rice. 
7:30: Eat Chick-pea Delight served over a "bed" of twenty grains of rice.  It’s delightful as usual, even without a reasonable amount of rice.
8:00: look at interwebs
9:00: decide that after such a strenuous day I would like to get some early shut-eye. take two Tylenol PMs.
9:15: think to self, "I should feel guilty for having such a ridiculous day." 
9:16: think to self, "I don’t feel guilty.  I feel as though I kick ass." 
9:17: smile smugly.

The End

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.

Text Me

I am trying to improve my text messaging skills.  I read something online recently that convinced me that texting is important.  If I can’t text, I am old.  Texting is the gateway technology.  It is the point at which I either allow technology to surpass me, or I choose to adapt to the future.  It’s the crossroad between youth, and scratching my head as I watch my future child program his hover board.

So, if you have my phone number, please text me.  I want to practice.   I promise I’ll text back.

If they finally invent the hover board, I want to be able to program the damn thing.   I must never get too old to program my hover board.

Oh, Frak

So, the other day I watched an episode of Battlestar Galactica online.  I don’t know what made me do it.  I’m not normally drawn to sci-fi, but something came over me, and I felt…..compelled.

I love Battlestar Galactica.

Sigh.

I feel I’ve crossed some sort of invisible line in the sand.  There is no turning back now. 

I am an incurable nerd.