Monthly Archives: November 2007

I never feel more given to than when you take from me

A Music-for-People friend sent an email yestraday including the following poem and quote. The Bebermeyer poem sums up so well why we musicians need audiences, why we teachers need our students, and why we all need friends. The Nin quote ties it all together.

I never feel more given to
than when you take from me-
when you understand the joy I feel
giving to you.
And you know my giving isn’t done
to put you in my debt,
but because I want to live the love
I feel for you.
To receive with grace
may be the greatest giving.
There’s no way I can separate
the two.
When you give to me,
I give you my receiving.
When you take from me. I feel so
given to.

by Ruth Bebermeyer

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until
they arrive. ~Anäis Nin

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Best Thanksgiving Joke Ever

We (my kids, my ex-wile/best friend, her dad, my parents, and a former student visiting town) at a great Thanksgiving, held at our next-door neighbor’s house, where there were 5 more adults plus two small children. And at some point after dinner, two more families dropped in. Lots of great food, wonderful company, when the 6-and-under population was highest, plenty of noise. No Thanksgiving is complete, I told my former student (who studied with me in middle school, later in college, and now is just a couple of months shy of 30 and prematurely bald, which reminds me of how middle-aged I really am), with old people, screaming children, and an eccentric gay uncle or two. (My former student had taken temporary refuge with us from his sister’s house with the screaming baby.)

I purposely went carb-crazy and allowed myself to overeat. It was wonderful. And I gained 2 pounds, although (I’m quite thankful for this) my blood sugar is the same as it was yesterday morning.

There aren’t many Thanksgiving jokes, but this one my friend Claude sent to many of his friends is the best one I’ve ever heard:

A man in Phoenix calls his son in New York the day before Thanksgiving and says, “I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing; forty-five years of misery is enough.”

“Pop, what are you talking about?” the son screams.

“We can’t stand the sight of each other any longer,” the father says.

“We’re sick of each other, and I’m sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Chicago and tell her.”

Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone.

“Like heck they’re getting divorced,” she shouts, “I’ll take care of this,”

She calls Phoenix immediately, and screams at her father,

“You are NOT getting divorced. Don’t do a single thing until I get there. I’m calling my brother back, and we’ll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don’t do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?” and hangs up.

The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife.

“Okay sweety,” he says, “they’re coming for Thanksgiving and paying their own way.”

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Marcio Mattos

This guy is cool, too. Obviously I’ve gone off the deep end. (And the water is fine, thank you!)


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Zeno Gabaglio

Found this guy on YouTube as I’ve been exploring the other cello improv videos there. I love the spaciousness of this soundscape piece. And the camerawork is cool as well.

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Demanding wounded vets return their signing bonuses?

I’ve never understood those who say you can’t be opposed to the war in Iraq and simultaneously “support the troops.” Thanksgiving Day is less than an hour away as I write. I feel profoundly grateful to the men and women who put themselves on the line. Even if this war was a colossal, tragic mistake, those who serve when called by their country do something few of us have the courage to do.

So it is a genuine outrage to see that those who serve, get wounded in action and discharged, are being asked to return their signing bonuses.

I have a 19-year-old son. I am grateful he is not at risk. And at the same time, I’m actually in favor of resuming a draft for military service. It is far too easy for those of us who don’t have family members in the service to sit by and shake our heads. Everyone in the country should take responsibility for the mess that has been created and for creating a climate to bring it to a responsible, sane end.

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Iowa Concert Parts 2 and 3

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U of Iowa Improv Performance, Part I

After a good bit of trial and error, I have finally managed to get video from my camcorder all the way to YouTube. Here’s the first part (2 more to come) of the solo improvisation set I did at the University of Iowa School of Music Contemporary Improvisation Weekend two weeks ago (November 3).

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