Wednesday, August 2, 2006

I'm Baaaaa-ck! Respond.

Okey dokey. Back at the console, returned from vacation. Went to a supposed highly rated RV park with Mom. I knew that if I felt claustrophobic aka 'wanted to get away from Mom and her pug puppy (she is adorable)' I could just go outside have a smoke and be fine. The only problem with this was the 'Parade of Golf Carts', not only going by in front, sometimes behind, and even Next to us as they cut through the non-used site next to us. I kid you not, it was a constant stream of people, especially in the evening when it was a little cooler. Of course, we went and rented our own little golf cart and had some fun tootling around looking at sites, especially the residential types that were really cutely decorated. But I don't like staring at others, and we did this during the day once when everyone was inside trying to stay cool.

Tart hates to be looked at. Especially when I'm smoking. I don't drink at all and I like to smoke alone. Could be a George Thurugood song, I know, but its true. I'm not a social smoker, mostly because I don't like people in general and I have no desire to 'look cool', I hate being judged for any reason (and that's all people do), and I usually try very hard to do it when kids aren't looking because it really is a bad thing.

So I guess I must share one the things that happened shortly after we got to our site. It was late and I can't believe that there were kids all over the place, but there were. I had a little bag of trash and the puppy on her leash, smoking a cigarette, and just walking a very short distance to go across the road and put the trash in the bin and go right back to the RV.

So as I turn around from completing this, two kids are getting ready to roll by, I'd say about age 9 or 10, one on a bicycle, the other on a skateboard. The boy on the skateboard is saying mean things about dogs, he apparently sizing us up, but I don't say anything because I didn't really hear exactly what he said and he wasn't saying it to me directly. But then he rolls up near me and says, "Don't you know that smoking is un-heeeeeal-thy" in a very smart ass tone. Well, I'm standing there thinking, Oh no, I am not going to let some kid just speak to me like that and not say anything. I am an adult, and I don't care what he thinks of me, he needs to be respectful, period. So, I thought for a moment and said, "So is being a little jerk! And he rolled on.

Now, Tart, you may say, that does not sound very mature of you but in fact I openly claim my pride at this incident. You see, there was a time in my life that I really would have felt like I just couldn't say anything back, a time when I would let a kid mess/bother whatever you want to call it - and actually take it. I also felt proud of myself that I used the word 'jerk' which considering other choices, is pretty innocuous. I was and am proud, because in the smallest of ways, I stood up for myself. I didn't deny that smoking is unhealthy and frankly being a little jerk (smart ass) can be quite unhealthy, 'cause if he doesn't stop it someone someday might just pummel him for it. Definitely not a healthy circumstance to be in. So I was in fact educating him, as well.

On a totally different note, I have rediscovered one of my favorite things to do. Now, hold onto yourself here - I started playing my clarinet again. Yup, its one of those eccentric little talents of mine and it really gets me fired up. I have much capacity for improvement, that's for sure, but that is one of the things that makes it great because that means lots of practice and I love to play.

I started playing clarinet in 6th grade and was even First Chair in 8th grade. That means out of 7 or so other clarinetests I was numero uno, which means I definitely played 1st chair music and assumably I could have solos, although I don't recall ever having one. I stuck with it through 12th grade (yes, Tart was sooo a band geek. I loved it.) I did try out for the band in my college, but I was rejected (its true) so I went on to other things.

I am in love with my clarinet itself. From way back in 6th grade to 11 grade I had a plastic rental Selmer clarinet that by the time I got through with it, the cork was gone on the bottom set of keys so I was using dental floss wrapped around a million times to keep the bell on the poor thing. My parents bought me the crem de la crem of clarinets - a Parisian Cinnamon (that's the model) Buffet clarinet, all wood and a thing of beauty. This thing could have partially financed a semester of college and I will never part with it. I would never sell it because of sentimental value and because I can still play it and with it I always have a fine and perfect instrument.

What renewed my joy is shopping in a little music store in NC and buying a bunch of music. They now have fantastic technology that a CD comes with your sheet music (I'm a very good sight reader, but not very much a person who plays just from hearing music) and you can play along with a complete band. I had no idea how much fun that was going to be until I popped the CD into my computer and started playing with it. How FUN!!! They definitely did not have this when I was a kid! My favorite right now is "You've Got A Friend In Me" yep from Toy Story by Randy Newman. I was so taken aback by how jazzy it sounds, and I ALWAYS WANTED to be in a jazz band, that it is just the funnest thing. So now, I quietly tell myself maybe if I got good enough, I could be in a jazz band with my original instrument, the clarinet. (I tried even to learn bass guitar, just to get in the jazz band when I was in high school. I must tell about that sometime, if anyone cares.)

I am doing well and things are even-keeled around here, which is just the way I like them. I think I'm getting a big break mood wise because its summer time, sunny and all that. I was thinking huh, I've been in a decent, normal feeling mood for a while now. I think I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop and I figure for sure that will happen about Septemberish when my SAD hits full force. I'll keep you posted. :)


Enigma said...

Hey Tart, welcome back!
What an adventure it sounds like you had. Wild boys, feline gangs, musical awakenings... Wow!

(And, yes, I'd be interested in hearing about your bass/jazz band experience)

Raine said...

Welcome home and have fun with the clarinet!! Once upon a time I was a first chair clarinet player too!! how funny is that? I dont know what happened to mine tho. My son has bought me a piano and someday when I get a bigger house where I can actually sit in front of it Im gonna relearn that.

Enigma said...

Just a quick hello...


Raine said...

did you crash after your vacation? is your puter down? I'm kinda wondering where you are? Hope you are ok........