cooling out vol. 1

i don't understand where this rage of "keep calm and carry on" posters originated, but i like the sentiment.  as someone who struggles with high anxiety and panic attacks, keeping calm is easier said than done.  check out the assortment of mock-ups floating around in society, decked out with the identical font and format yet with a different suffix.

when my students roll into the building, they can tell if i'm already at school.  i spark up the smell-good sticks and try to get the ambience right in my office.  some of my colleagues, with a wry smile, ask me how i'm doing today.  one of my colleagues bursted into my office, fearful that the building was on fire.  nope - i'm just getting ready to hear some students painfully reach for those altissimo notes.

i know it's a cardinal sin, especially if i have any hope of eating clean and getting this forty-year-old rig back in fighting shape, but kraft blue box is my comfort food. we always keep some in the pantry, especially for those nights when i come in late from a rehearsal and have forgotten to eat (which actually happens all of the time).  i am a tuna guy, dumping in a whole can of the albacore.  my wife and oldest kid like to add cheese, but my youngest and i would rather eat it with the only soupy milk & powder concoction.  and i cook it in the same pot i used when i was a teenager.  my mom kept it all of these years, and gave it to me several months ago. the water line is scorched into the inside of the pot.

i've learned to unplug in the evenings.  i figured out how to unsubscribe.  i have unfriended people whom i either don't know or just get on my nerves.  using fb to network is fine, but i'm not into reading about everybody's gigs or looking at their meals or hearing about how they hate going to work.  is fb a necessary evil?  i don't know, but it's good for posting blogs and checking in on my kids' social life.

my youngest son is currently ranked 36th in the world on black ops II.  i don't know if i should be proud or pull the remaining hair out of my head.  praise the lord that he has found minecraft.  he plays it all day and builds some pretty cool stuff.  the music is certainly more soothing than the call of duty cacophony.  this young german guy wrote the soundtracks. he calls them ambient electronica.  

'tis the season.  all state music is out, and band directors are already whipping kids into shape so they can bring home the non-existant trophy to the band room.  competitive atmospheres in the performing arts always become a sticky topic.  you should play music so you learn how to express yourself in an abstract way.  you should enter this annual contest against many of your peers and learn these two etudes and all 12 scales with this fixed articulation.  no matter how you slice it, life as an artist is full of failures.  but the beauty we experience along the way keeps our fire lit.

my oldest son is a huge kobe fan, and owns about 22 black mamba nike t-shirts.  it's silly.  i'm ok with kobe bean serving as a role model for my kid (minus the whole colorado incident).  kobe works hard at his craft.  he's in the shed every day, putting up shots and training.  he watches film incessantly, either of his next opponent or himself or old-school ballers.  heck - maybe kobe should be a role model for me?  i want to get in the practice room more, get my face in shape.  i need to listen to more music (as i write this, trio m is working through my speakers) and study myself, my peers, and old-school players.  ok - kobe's my guy.  now if i can just get this reverse double clutch dunk to go...

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