Monday, March 28, 2011


spring is here at last, at least on the calendar, it arrived on march 20th.  someone must have forgot to tell old man winter his work was done for 2011. as i sit here the furnace is blasting away in it's efforts to keep the chill in the house at bay.

it's high noon and the temp outside is a damp, not quite balmy, 34 degrees. figure in the wind chill and it feels like 23. enough already! 
                                                                                                                                        this front will pass but there may be others on it's tail. it never fails, the weather finally warms toward summer temps as winter slips into a distant memory. still, you can bet there is at least one more cool snap in our future.  after all the snow balls have yet to bloom.  until that day, you can never be sure that cold is done for, until fall that is. 

at least, that's what the little woman would tell you and i've not seen the weather prove her wrong yet.

so, snow balls, get to bloomin'. let's get this cold weather thing over and done with already. i'm ready for summer. aio                                                                

Sunday, March 27, 2011

important hair events...

our middle son is still on the downside of his thirties.  he lives, works and plays in austin, the self proclaimed "live music capitol of the world". over the years, in his quest for rock stardom, he has carefully cultivated, consciously or not, an image congruent with that scene. put in plain english, he has grown his hair without cutting it, save maybe an occasional trimming of the dead ends, since he quit shaving his head, many years ago now. 

in his defence, as his hair grew longer, he defended the decision by voicing his intention to make a donation to "Locks of Love".  i believe in order to donate one's hair must be at least 10 inches long. 

recently, he announced that at last he was ready to back up his words.  i truly admire his unselfish giving to a cancer victim in need.

the picture above, was taken of him and his honey, at the local 2010 Renaissance Festival. as you can see his hair is quite long. it goes well with the lascivious look for the maid he would have as his own.

blame it on his mom, but i e-mailed him requesting he be sure to get before and after pictures for us. that prompted a query from him.  ""what, are you afraid you might not recognize me?' to which i replied, "maybe!"

in what was meant as a gentle jibe, i reminded him of what i think are the three most significant hair events in his lifetime.  the first would have to be his first big boy haircut at around age one.  cutting off his soft blond curls was a moment which brought tears all around.

ranking second, or third, i'll let you decide, is a toss-up between the time when after a trip to the family stylist, not liking the results of that cut, he emerged from the bathroom with a completely shaved head.  i've always wondered why he couldn't have taken that leap BEFORE i'd paid good money for the cut.  as i remember he didn't ask permission beforehand, nor give any hint that he was thinking of shaving his head, he just did it.  a subscriber to the theory "it's easier to beg forgiveness after the fact that to gain approval before" it would seem.  at least he has a nicely shaped head.

also in the toss up round is the unselfish act of donating 11 inches of hair to a good cause. this gets my vote for number two, i think.  at least this time losing his hair will do some good and not end up in the bathroom waste basket.

hair, or no hair, no matter--he will remain our baby boy, and near and dear to our hearts, always. aio





Monday, March 14, 2011

Them young'uns can hang...


a highlight for me each symphony season is the concert featuring the amarillo youth symphony and the winner of the young performers competition.  this past saturday marked the 2010-11 edition of the youth symphony concert.  presented this year was Faust's: Ballet Music.  beginning with Les Nubiennes, progressing through Adagio, Danse antique, Variations de Cleopatre, Le Troyens and Variations du miroir, i sat thinking "this is all pleasant enough but Maestro Kimbo must have picked pieces any good high school orchestra could handle" and "boy the professionals must be bored to tears playing this stuff." 

au contraire, mon cher.  at last the coda, Danse de Phyrne. I'm here to tell you, them kids can hang-- the pace built toward frenetic throughout, the young players matched the pros stroke for stroke, note for note.  it was enough to leave an old fool breathless and in tears.  in a word "wow." credit goes to the youth symphony conductors in preparing these young players for this most excellent performance.

up next was the winner of the young performers competition; J.T. Hassell, 14, a student at St. Andrew's (and a student of Jim Rausher ??) on piano, playing the 1st movement of Camille St. Saeen's Piano Concerto #2.

Take heart good people. A rare gem has been mined from the dust of the panhandle plains.  In a word "amazing"  and even more so in light of this age of video games and limited ambition. That J.T. has the grit, determination and dedication to hone his skill speaks to his character and hints at what might be in his future should he stay the course.

the extended "standing os" and shouted "bravos" were much deserved.

in all, it was an exciting evening capped by an always satisfying ASO performance, Brahms' Symphony # 4 in E minor, Opus 98.

again, these young musicians can hang.  the future of  classical music 'round these parts is in good hands.  already, i'm awaiting the 2012 concert with bated breath.  i hope to see you all there next year. aio