Music Man

Sunday, March 29, 2009 | 0 Comments

JD has always been very musically inclined. He would drum on things when he was really little (not just bang on things, you could definitely tell he was following a rhythm). We were given a drum set when he 2 and he occasionally played. When he was 5 we purchased a piano and started him on lessons. He was writing his own music for the piano by 6. His teacher was impressed with the speed at which he could learn music. He has an ear for music, as they say.

When we sent him back to school after homeschooling for several years, he wanted to get into band. They didn't have piano, and percussion had been filled the previous year. His choices were trumpet, flute or saxophone, and they normally didn't let starters on the sax. He initially chose the trumpet, but immediately gave it up once he started practicing. Far too loud and sharp for his sensitive ears (and ours!). He was going to chose the flute next, but I told him that he would be much happier with the sax. "Besides," I joked, "if your Plan A fails, you can always play your sax on the streets for money." His teacher was fine with him starting on it since he had so much music previously. He wasn't so sure -- after all, look at all those keys!!
After one week, he was hooked.

We took him saxophone shopping a couple of months later. We went to several shops but they were all too brassy sounding and overpriced. Then we opened the case of a well worn used sax at Music Go Round well within our price range. It was scratched up and even a little dented, but JD's eyes lit up, "I want to try this one." The clerk cleaned the mouth piece and gave him a reed. The horn had a wonderful deep, earthy tone. I asked JD what he thought. He smiled at me and hugged the sax.

I convinced him last year to do Solo and Ensemble, a statewide competition for band and choir. He liked it so much last year, he decided to do it again this year. And he did so well last year (even though he miraculously learned his piece the week he was to compete because he just didn't practice before then) that his director urged him to choose an "A" piece; you can only go to state championship if you do well with an "A" piece.

Now, I have always told JD that he'd better get used to things not going quite right, because there'd be no getting away from that; he inherited it. And this time was no exception. His director told him Tuesday that he just found out that he was missing a whole movement in the sheet music that JD must now learn before the competition on Saturday (3 days away!) and his sax quit working on Thursday due to some repairs JD was supposed to have gotten done over Spring Break, but forgot. We had to send the sax in for repairs, causing him to miss his final lesson before the competition.

And I have always told JD that no matter how crazy things might seem to get, they always tend to work out in the end; he inherited that, too. The shop got the sax back to him that same night and the director felt so bad about the music that he cleared some time Friday afternoon for him. And he's going to state!

Great job, JD!


Michael Manning said...

Sylvana: I am so appreciative of your comments over at my site. JD sounds gifted. Sight reading was always very, very difficult for me. But for a child who has a suportive parent as you are is rare! This is something he will be forever grateful for his entire life!!! lol to you! :)

Sylvana said...

Micheal Manning - he has always been fairly advanced in a lot of ways. He certainly keeps things interesting!

Lyvvie said...

Sweet, Sweet Validation with a side of pwnage! Awesome. You must have felt brilliant and well you should.

Sylvana said...

Lyvvie - last year part of the reason that he learned that piece in less than a week is because I played drill sergeant. This year, it was all him. In fact, I haven't even heard the piece except through the walls and floor of our house. He wants to perfect it before we get to listen to it.


Sunday, March 22, 2009 | 0 Comments

I just finished watching Australia, I mean the credits were still rolling, when SSB asks if I got his email yet. I start to log into my email, and as always I check out the headlines on the main page before heading into my inbox. I see "Biker Brawl in Airport Leaves 1 Dead". Weird. So of course I must clicky. And then I am reading this:

Bikers brawl through Australian airport; 1 dead

SYDNEY — Warring bikers brawled through Australia's largest airport Sunday, beating one suspected gang member to death and brandishing metal poles "like swords" as they rampaged through the main domestic terminal in front of terrified travelers.

Police said a group of suspected gang members was ambushed as they disembarked from an airplane.

"A fight ensued, the fight moved through various parts of the terminal," said Police Detective Inspector Peter Williams. He said 15 men were involved in the violence, which rampaged from the ground floor up one level to the departures hall before most of the men fled.

Williams said one man died in a hospital from head injuries after the brawl, which appeared to bear out warnings of an impending biker war in Sydney.

"They came running through picking up the big metal barrier poles and swinging them like swords at each other," witness Naomi Constantine told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

"I saw one of the men lying on the ground and another man came up with a pole and just started smashing it into his head," she said.

Four men were arrested, Williams said. The others escaped, some of them by hailing taxis, local media reported. No charges were immediately laid.

Police did not identify the gangs suspected in the violence.

Authorities fear a gang war is brewing in Sydney following string of drive-by shootings and an explosion last month outside a fortified Hell's Angel's clubhouse.

Well, it seems that not much has changed in Australia.

(Here is the email that SSB sent me, speaking of interesting news stories.)


Lyvvie said...

I'm sending this to Malcolm....

Sylvana said...

Lyvvie, I was thinking about you guys when I was reading it. It just seems like something you might see in a Guy Ritchie film. Weird, a little scary and definitely funny.

Hope Malcolm is up on his sword fighting :)

lindsaylobe said...

Sylvana – the biker wars which have surfaced anew will finally be met with a policy of zero tolerance _ new state laws to more effectively deal with this ongoing national problem.
Best wishes

Sylvana said...

Lindsay, I hadn't heard of this war until this article, but it sounds similar to our gang wars.

Michael Manning said...

Sylvana: Just today here in Scottsdale, Arizona where I live we had Biker Celebration Day. Quite a different event. But we have this problem in select cities as well! Very sad, indeed.

All New Look

Monday, March 16, 2009 | 0 Comments

I was really getting sick of my old template, so I have been working on new one. This is a tweaked freebie from a template site - it had an integrated title header that I had to change in a photo editor to the title of my own blog. That only took a few hours! First I had to figure out the photo editor since it was new to me - another web freebie: GIMP 2. Thanks SSB, it is AWESOME! Well, once you get it figured out that is.

I will be working over the next week to get the other bugs worked out of it and add back in some more personalized things. Until then, bear with me and let me know if there are any problems that you notice so that I can add them to my list.

In any event, I think it will be great!


Mrs. Loquacious said...

I love the new souped-up template! :) It's feminine and clean, making it very easy to read. Great pick!!

Sylvana said...

Mrs.L, thanks! It was hard finding one that fit me and this blog, and didn't have a bunch of problems.

sideshow bob said...

Bring out the Gimp!

Shannon said...

Love it!!

Sylvana said...

SSB, thank you! I have so many projects to work on!

Shannon, every time I see it I like it more and more.

Michael Manning said...

Sylvana! It was nice to see you over at my site! Hey, this is a nice template; I looked around. Time to get caught up with your recent posts here too. Have a great weekend! :D)

Sylvana said...

Michael Manning, thanks, I will. I'm grilling!

Heather said...

The new look is completely fab! I love it!!

Sylvana said...

Heather, thanks. I've always been a fan of your blog design.

Movie Marathon

Sunday, March 01, 2009 | 0 Comments

I've gotten a little bit of time to do some fun stuff - like watch some movies.

Wall-e -- ADORABLE!! It is a farily tight plot with a little social warning thrown in.

Ratatouille -- LOVED IT! A movie about being a foodie. And Janeane Garofalo? Never would have guessed it was her, even though I thought I recognized the voice.

The Butterfly and the Diving Bell -- extremely interesting. I love true stories and ones that are done from unusual perspectives. This is now my favorite movie about strokes. (My favorite movie about cancer is Wit)

X-files: I Want to Believe -- I am a big X-Files fan. I once drove through an ice storm to get home in time to watch the X-Files. This was like a long episode, so if you like X-Files, you'll like this.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop -- it was as it would seem, a goofy comedy with not much substance. Paul James is funny, I always like watching him in action.

Slumdog Millionaire -- there is a reason it won awards. It is a very good movie. I would recommend it to my friends. I love the fearlessness and smart-assedness of the main character; and how it prevails throughout everything that happens.

How To Lose Friends and Alienate People -- very good movie, smart and funny. I LOVE Simon Pegg, and this one even had Kirsten Dunst. Simon usually plays a loser in love with a great girl and the lengths he'll go through to win her back after blowing it.

Hamlet 2 -- a very strange, fun movie. And how could you not want to see how they come to a song called "Rock Me Sexy Jesus"?

Coraline 3D-- I now can't hear or say this title without starting to sing "Sweet Caroline" as "Sweet Coraline" thanks to Shannon. Loved this movie. Loved the story. And I just found out today that Neil Gaiman lives nearby here in Western Wisconsin. I was wondering why there would be rumors of Tori Amos looking for property in this area. Why the hell would she want to live in Western Wisconsin? I mean I love Wisconsin -- but not necessarily the most inspiring place to live. But then, Neil made Coraline and it was fabulous. Must see in 3D.

W -- Josh Brolin IS GW Bush, unfortunately for him. Although to hear him describe his character, you'd swear he thought he was making a comedy. It was very hard to watch. It was like re-living the last 8 years, feeling like the makers of the movie could have changed things, made things better, stopped it all from happening. It's a good movie though, if you can stomach it.


sideshow bob said...

Max Payne!!!

Michael Manning said...

The last movie I saw was Gran Torino with Clint Eastwood. It's rumored to be his last as an actor. It was quite good, very heart-rendering! I think he'll just direct now.