a month of gracias vol. 4

19th - the acoustics of my shower foster an environment in which i want to use up all the hot water while i vocalize patterns and belt out emotionally-charged solos.  i generate all kinds of good ideas in there (or at least they all sound good at the time) and scramble around the house in my towel (mortifying my children) in search of some staff paper.  we only have one shower, and it is some kind of weird star trek-looking throwback cylindrical bathing station. it's a bitch to clean, but sure does sound great in there.

20th - where would i be without my friends that push me to do bigger & better things?  i am a high strung nervous nellie, perfectly content doing a half dozen chores around the house but scared to death of meeting people or being judged.  i'm forever grateful to nick for telling me to get my pedals out, jed for asking me to go with him to the session, scott for calling me for all of these piano gigs, joel for staying on me about rehearsing and hanging, and john for pestering me about the next time we are gonna play.  i'm afraid to see my ghost of christmas present without these people in my life.

21st - although i fight it on the surface, i find some solace in tradition.  my mom makes these croissants that are to die for on thanksgiving, and always brings out the chocolate covered cherries after the meal is finished (and is sure to make an extra container for my cousin jeremy).  i like playing certain tunes on gigs.  i try my darndest to fit "body and soul" into the set somewhere, simply because i want to quote the vocalise i learned eons ago set to the legendary coleman hawkins solo from a p.m. singers chart with a tip of the cap to eddie jefferson.  "when i first heard it on the record i just stopped ... right there"

22nd - i like the concept of recipes.  i keep the improvising exercises that i create in a rolodex, and recycle them randomly with various students in various situations.  when i flip to a card, i look at the parameters of that specific exercise and lay it on top of the tune like a stencil.  my mom spends a bunch of time in the kitchen and rifles through recipes like they're going out of style.  there's magic in the spontaneity of standing in front of your cupboard and debating what am i hungry for, figuring out how much time i have, and determining which ingredients are already here.  solving this musical and culinary puzzle fascinates me.  plus, you can pass along your own personal recipes to others!!!

23rd - i'm glad that my wife is who she is.  quick snapshot - sonja, simon & i had just polished off our breakfast sandwiches in subway at the dawn of black friday.  gigantor and i went rummaging through the holiday aisles of insanity, but the wife hung back.  she noticed an older lady, sobbing in the corner of the restaurant.  she approached her and offered a shoulder to cry on.  the lady accepted, recanting some wild stories of what she experienced working retail earlier that morning amongst the bloodthirsty and highly caffeinated shoppers.  the woman worked through her stuff and thanked sonja for caring about a stranger in need.  my wife's good samaratin move deepens my faith in humanity.  i married up.

24th - i guess i'm thankful for the internet?  it can work wonders, suck the time right out of your hands, provide a bunch of good answers and an equally amount of unsubstantiated claims, and help tuck our world in a little tighter. i'm not sure how it came about or how it works, and i'm certain that it is here to stay.  on the music tip - it's nice to be able to post your stuff so all in the world can check it out. artists sharing tricks of the trade is now facilitated light years beyond what anyone in history could have imagined.

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