February 24, 2012

Unnecessary fees

Okay, so maybe I do have an interesting story to share from time to time. 
About two weeks ago, I went to grab lunch at a nearby Indian restaurant after my Tuesday morning curling league game.  I've eaten there before; it's a pretty decent lunch buffet.  When I went to pay I noticed it cost more than usual.  No, the regular price did not go up.  It was the special Valentines Day price.  Really?  I didn't see anything special that was worth the markup.  If it were dinner, I could understand, but lunch? And either way...perhaps you could at least waive the romantic surcharge for those dining alone!

January 02, 2012

Silent Night

I posted this on Facebook, just around the time Christmas Eve became Christmas Day; a little more than a week ago.  I think it is worth repeating here.  Got to keep this site alive somehow.  Who knows...Maybe I should hang out here again more often...

When I was a third-year music major, I joined Duquesne’s Electronic Ensemble. Lead and featured parts were, naturally, given to seniors, while I mainly played comp chords and synth pads; background stuff. We played this arrangement of Silent Night at our Christmas concert. During rehearsal, someone noted that no one was given the “Toy Piano” part that comes in at the very end, which sucks because it is a really cool part. And then we realized that I was not playing anything else at that time in the piece. "Have Terry play it." I wasn’t familiar with this arrangement, and I was like, yeah, I’ll play whatever. I didn’t realize until we first played it, just how crucial the part was. But it’s only eight single notes, followed by three two-note chords. (Just one hand!) I remember the the performance, my heart racing and pounding, like never before, as the part approached. (Way…WAY more nervous than my audition for school two years prior, with pieces by Beethoven, Mozart, Bartok.) So, when I hear this every year in December, I not only hear a hauntingly-beautiful modern arrangement of a classic Christmas carol; but I also remember a time when I nailed my part on stage. Merry Christmas. 

July 17, 2009


"...And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?..."

December 22, 2008

Love on Letterman

There is one Starbucks that I work at, and then there is my local Starbucks where I play the role of a regular customer.  One recent evening I dropped by, got a beverage, and sat down among the nightly informal gathering of regulars.  Someone started talking about the annual onslaught of Christmas TV specials and everyone chimed in about which ones we make a point to watch on an annual basis.  Answers were typical, "It's a wonderful life," "Frosty," and "Rudolph," etc....

"A Charlie Brown Christmas" was on the other night.   I always enjoyed it as a kid - it meant staying up an extra half hour, which was exciting itself.  Even though it goes deep into the meaning of Christmas, along with the distractions of commercialization, it remains accessible to children.  And as young as I was, I remember feeling really happy when the other kids decorated Charlie Brown's frail little tree.  Just as happy as when Snoopy danced around.  But I think the most magical moment of those broadcasts, for me, happened before the show even started.  It was going to be a special show. And CBS would let you know that it was special when they ran a five-second striking animation at the beginning with the word "SPECIAL" spinning about the letter C in rainbow colors, with exciting 70s percussion and a blasting brass section.  It would put a big smile on my face, and set the stage for what followed.

At first I didn't really think I had a Christmas TV tradition, but then I remembered - Letterman.  Not anyone's typical choice; and no one I was chatting with that night knew what I was talking about.  On his last show before Christmas- usually the 23rd - Dave's musical guest is always Darlene Love singing "Christmas: Baby Please Come Home."   Letterman considers this the Best Rock'n'Roll Christmas Song, and I tend to agree.  Darlene can still belt it out, Paul and the band accompanies, with an extra string section and a choir.  And how they all enjoy performing and having fun.  And they do it every year, and it's the same song, and it's beautiful.  Not some forgettable new band playing some forgettable new song, passing thru town promoting a CD, as is the case on many nights.  A tradition.  Albeit, a four minute song, saved until the end of the broadcast, but so worth the anticipation.  My God, do I berate myself the years I miss it!  Dave's been doing this every year since 1986, but last year had to be a repeat of 1996 due to the writers strike, so this year, I'm even more eager to catch it.  Then, about two-thirds through the song, the fake snow will start to fall, and I'll get that same happy feeling like I did with "CBS Special" intro.  Kinda marks the end of the stress of the Christmas season, and the beginning of the enjoyment part.  

Until then, I think I'll head to Starbucks, and buy myself a drink.

October 11, 2008

Baked pride

I'm too careful with words.  That's why I hesitate to post here.  How many "comebacks" to this blog should I attempt until I  either remain consistent, or give up all together.  
I got a rare nine (9) hours of sleep last night, but still feeling low motivation today.  I've got work at the Wedding Mill tonight, but a uniquely free Sunday morning.  The curling club has ice, and leagues begin shortly. 

I've got laundry going now...things never change.

I've been working on Grandma's recipie for Chruscik /kHRUS-chick-key/, those flat twisted cookies she always made.  Now I appreciate all the work that goes into them.  The kneading, rolling (verrry thin), shaping, twisting, flash-frying;  considering the time, the labor, and the mess involved, that she kept doing this until she was 91.  Nevertheless, I feel motivated to keep making more.  Tested them out in public for the first time yesterday (Starbucks picnic) and got a request for the recipe; that's an endorsement if any.

Laundry is calling.  Time to iron.

July 31, 2008

Awakening the Muse

What do insomniacs do at 2AM?  
We write blog entries.  

Although this would have been entered an hour ago had the modem been working.  A bit of troubleshooting (unplug, plug-in, unplug, plug-in, etc.) then not even a minute after I decide to give up, data starts flowing again.  Good, because I'm still awake.  

I have a gig this Saturday in Princeton at a place called the Halo Pub, it's actually my friend's gig, he asked me play along with him.  I just learned that this is an ice cream shop, while I assumed "Pub" meant Bar.  Should be interesting.  I'm kinda more relaxed about it now.  Bar gigs present a tougher crowd; but cafes, coffeehouses, are a little more relaxed and low-key.  I'm just looking to have a good time.  I'm sure I will.  

I went to open mic night at Cafe Arabica on Tuesday, just to get myself back on stage.  (That place is falling apart.)  I had nothing new to play, but the whole crowd was new to me, so it was new to them, and they seemed to like it, which was cool.  Glad I decided to go.  I should go more often.   It's the parking in Morristown that sucks.  Can't figure out why on a Tuesday of all days.  After driving around for 20 minutes, I settled on a spot on a residential street.  Thing is...it was very steep hill, but I parked, started taking out my gear and then realize, I'm swigging out far from the curb; I need to straighten myself out. (hmmm...)  Attempting to move, I couldn't not for the life of me engage the car in reverse, and it didn't feel right, so I figured i'd find another space.  I hope it's not the car, maybe it's just that I was so frustrated I hadn't found a space yet and I was impatient.  But, still, I had left my keyboard stand leaning up against a phone pole, and had to double back for that.  (I just stopped in the middle of the road with my flashers and threw it in through the front seat!)  And in the end, I found a spot right in front.  All is good.

See you Saturday?  6:30pm?

July 27, 2008

Alive, and sleepy

Slider says I should blog more. He's right!

I'm sleepy. I was at the wedding mill last night until 12:30am and then Starbucks this morning at 6:30.  And forget trying to sleep through the whole night when you hear firecrackers or gunfire(!) or something like that at 1am (right outside my window) and then loud thunderstorms and pouring rain at 4am.   Thunderstorms which returned this afternoon when I'm trying to take a nap.
Where do I begin (uhm...resume)?  

When do I resume? Not now...I'm going to (try to) sleep...

Stay tuned, Slider...Stay tuned...