Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Gig Madness!

It's come and almost gone, the weekend I was dreading. Three gigs, all of them challenging in their own way, and all of them were fantastic. Not, always, technically the best playing or the purest singing. But at every one of them I found things to delight in, whether it was the joy of trying something new (playing accordion in a leather mask, anyone?), reviving an old band with a bunch of friends  (Flying Folk Army!) or winning over a crowd of jazz fans on a sunny deck (Pender Harbour Jazz Fest)... it was busy, and exciting, and exhausting too (I got about 2 hours' sleep last Friday night).
So once again I feared something because it seemed too challenging, too scary, too much work... and it became pure fun, from beginning to end. You'd think I'd learn by now, right? Nope.
I have another hectic bunch of weeks coming up: a project that I should have done more work on over the summer is finally here, and I need to buckle down hard to get it done. Plus, there's school, which is a whole 'nother thing. I want to keep my head above water. I really want to not fail any of my courses. And then there's my social life- I'd like to still have a few friends in four years when this academic craziness is all over.
Do you know what I do? Some people cook to relieve stress, some people make things or take long baths... I eat, certainly (and damn you, Capilano U, why do you have to have a Tim Horton's lurking so that I want to buy donuts all day long?), but mostly I come home and grab the electronic bug zapper. You know, it looks like a tennis racket, but when you press a red button it becomes electrified and kills bugs on contact.
What can I say? The summer heat is still upon us, fruit flies are breeding like mad in our kitchen, and the zap! spark! crack! of the Bug Racket fills me with inner peace after a long day.

*I may not be around too much in the next few months as school is really kicking my ass. However, I will try and check in once a month at least, and as a personal challenge, I am going to try and add a photo every time, to make this blog more interesting on the eyes. Wish me luck...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Being Schooled.

They are like deer, these girls, like long-legged does.
I see them on the bus in the mornings, loping around campus in the afternoons. They are giggling with their friends, they are wearing short shorts, so that their perfect brown legs go on forever. They all have long, shiny hair, looped casually back from their perfect pure faces, or hanging straight down past their shoulders. They are impossibly young. Today in Jazz History we were talking about the best places in town to see live jazz gigs and one of them asked Is that a 19-plus bar? and I realized that I am taking classes with people who cannot legally drink yet.
If ever there was an incentive for me to want a drink, that was it.
The boys-and they mostly are boys, not yet men- aren't so bad, somehow. They're so far from perfect, with their skinny jeans and their fashionably awful goatees and their pimples. They're brash, some of them, and the rest are awkward and silent. Most of them, boys and girls alike, avoid looking at me. In my more paranoid moments, I believe it is because they believe they will catch my oldness like a disease. I know that really, they are mostly shy, or socially inept. Some of them are barely out of high school, after all.  But some of them have so much more confidence than I had at that age. Than I still have.
On top of that, most of them know more about jazz than I do.
Okay, so there are many, many good things: the campus nestles in the north shore trees and is small and warm in the sun. I think that most of my classes will be interesting, and also my teachers, although I mistrust the one who memorizes all of our names right off and (mostly) correctly guesses what instrument we play. He is a little too pleased with himself.  I see the boys and girls giggle at his barb-tongued remarks and think Either you're going to grow on me, or you're an arrogant prick. We'll see. I get to challenge two of my classes; Class Piano and Sight Singing/Ear Training which basically means I can do the homework and not have to show up, because I already know a lot of the material. That's cool. I like learning again, although my fingers stray too often to email and Facebook as I do my reading and writing. I must learn to be more disciplined.
I will go to sleep early tonight, so that more wrinkles won't form, so the Beauty and Fashion Police who surely roam the campus won't eject me for being too old, too plain, too out-of-place.
I will bide my time, and remember the old bumper sticker that reads Old Age & Treachery Will Beat Youth & Skill Every Time.