Today I come to sing the praises of boy #1. He did today the most courageous thing I've ever seen him do. It has to do with his music.

As my one or two readers may know, both our boys have been playing the piano since something like kindergarten. They're starting to get the hang of it! Eric in particular channels the memory/focus advantages that come with other disadvantages effectively into piano performance.

For the last, what, five years, his dream has been to play with an orchestra. The BSO in our own little town is fine, and offers a concerto opportunity to local youth artists, once every two years. These opportunities are of course scarce and highly competitive. He was disappointed at the previous two chances in 2016 and 2018 to have not been selected. But he hasn't given up. Rare amongst the senior students (who are in high school, and too busy to memorize a concerto movement or two), he keeps learning them. He's working on two at the moment.

It is 2019. Those of you who are good at math will notice that the next BSO opportunity, according to the established formula is in 2020. However, the competition part was opened at our local festival in this year's syllabus. Of course, Eric and a small number of other younger competitors entered. My eyebrows were raised at the broken year pattern, but surely things were as they seem...

Today was BSO concerto competition day.

Literally one minute before the competition, the adjudicator/conductor stood up and explained that there was a mistake. The BSO is not doing youth concerto program this fall, and that this class should never have been scheduled. There will be no winners. But he came, and offered to give adjudication / suggestions to the three kids who showed up.

We were stunned. Eric - I have tears just thinking what must have been in his mind. He's been working on this piece for over a year, auditioned it several times in several venues, polished and polished and polished. He sometimes says that the main reason he's still taking piano is for this very competition, for this particular orchestra opportunity. And then, the rug is pulled from beneath his feet, literally one minute to go. What a mindf--- (please excuse my french).

It was gone.

He just sat there.

I snuck over, told him some encouraging words.

He just sat there.

Then, when it was his turn, the brat walked up to the front with his accompanist (thanks, Maggie!), announced his piece, and performed. It was not perfect, but it was about the best he's ever played it. Then, later on, he had a conversation with the adjudicator about what could be made better.

Like a boss.

I have never been prouder.

Posted Sat May 4 17:18:18 2019 Tags:

Actual phone call just received from a local high school:

"Good evening, [...] Please remember that tomorrow [...] we would like you to wear your unique socks to show your support for mental health. All day, you can wear non-uniform socks with the regular uniform to support mental health awareness week. Have a great night, [...]"

I believe I have just become aware of a mental health issue.

Posted Wed May 8 18:17:53 2019 Tags:

Yo, Larry. Get on with your trip, everything's packed. Good luck, buddy!

There are some things you should remember. Don't say aloud all your thoughts, and for god's sake don't act all of them out either! With people, be friendly, but not gross. Keep your tested friends really close, and I mean really close, they are that valuable. New friends --- well, don't trust just anyone. Dude, what's wrong with you? Don't keep getting into fights. But if you find yourself in one, fight like hell! Make everyone afraid of ever fighting you again.

Listen to people - but keep your mouth shut. They'll give you advice for hours, but it's better to keep your opinions to yourself than to yap. When it comes to money, feel free to spend some, but dude, no ostentatious crap, okay?

Don a nice suit. People will think well of you, especially the French. Don't borrow money - and why lend it? A friend you lend to might not pay you back, and then you lose both the money and the friend! That sucks! And if you keep taking on credit, you will forget how to save, and then what?

Most importantly - be true to your character. If you're honest to yourself, you will be honest with everyone else. Isn't that just grand?

Good luck, safe travels! Remember my advice, Larry-O!

Posted Thu May 23 17:55:55 2019