March 19, 2007

Don’t Puff Your Cheeks.

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but when I was a wee lad I was a tuba player. From fifth grade through my senior year, I proudly played the tuba with the concert and marching bands. In fact, I went to SUNY Fredonia for music education as a tuba player, probably because we tuba players are rare and the college was desperate.

When Earl and I were on vacation last week, we had occasion to watch several marching bands and I found myself eager to start playing the tuba again. I haven’t played the tuba since 1988 or so but I still remember all the fingerings and how to do it.

I wonder if I can find a tuba on ebay. Then I’ll just be a tuba player in search of a marching band. 

Because we all know what happens at band camp.

Here’s a picture of me (on the left) as a freshman in high school at band practice. Band was the last period of the day (the geek remembers: 8th period, 1:49 to 2:30), that’s why I had my coat on because I had an irrational fear of missing the bus.


Here, enjoy one of the songs we used to play (though this is the demo version). It’s called “Aztec Fire”.

Ringy Dingy.

I’ve often commented, well actually complained, about how I feel that cell phones are destroying our country. I’m really hoping that they discover that cell phones make people impotent or something  because the only way we’re going to get some peace and quiet is by threatening people that they won’t have sex anymore if they keep yakking.

Unfortunately even the House of the Mouse is not safe from this technological virus that has gripped our fine land from sea to shining sea. Cell phones have invaded Walt Disney World just as they have intruded in every other aspect of our lives.

I watched a mother scold her young son (maybe eight or nine) because he was talking on his cell phone during the boat ride through Norway (at Epcot). It’s a shame she scolded him for doing something that comes naturally when a mother gives a single-digit child a cell phone to begin with. “Here’s your cell phone, now don’t use it or I’ll smack you.” That’s just wrong. He shouldn’t have been on the phone, but he shouldn’t even have had a phone to begin with. My sister didn’t get a cordless phone until she was 15 and then it only reached about 10 feet away from the base and involved an antenna that should have received messages from Telstar. What on earth does an elementary school child need a cell phone for?

I guess because we live in a rather rural part of the country we don’t get to see the Blackberry fixations. There were Blackberries everywhere! Granted, Earl has a Blackberry for work, but he’s rather tame with his. If he starts getting a little intense with his Blackberry, I always ask him how he enjoyed Iowa last summer and then he stops. (He Blackberried through a good portion of Iowa and it begat an argument bested only by the Great Chip Encounter of 1999*). I saw many lily white (from lack of sunlight), unshaven, vacation clothed assumedly businessmen totally ignore their family, the Mouse and any safety precautions given prior to riding through Space Mountain as they tap, tap, tapped an “I Miss You darling” to their secretary back at the office.

I think I mentioned during our vacation that a couple of people near us tried talking on their cell phone during an attraction/ride/plummet through The Everest Experience until Earl gave them “the look”.

Oh this takes the cake though. Earl and I were walking through Disney’s Animal Kingdom, “Africa” to be exact. There’s a walking tour where you get to see all sorts of glorious nature and wildlife. There’s a energy in the air that just bathes you in all the Universe has to offer. You’re reminded that we are only one tiny part of this existence. The feeling is glorious.

And there’s Cell Phone Claudia sitting on a bench, with her Verizon Wireless BILL IN HAND, screaming at the customer service representative over her Motorola. She ignored nature, she ignored the Universe and my God she ignored “The Look” from Earl. So I stepped on her foot by accident.

She should have looked where she was yakking.

*I don’t think I’ve ever written about the Great Chip Encounter of 1999. I won’t go into details, but I’ll summarize by saying there was yelling, a few explosive bags of potato chips and a Great American grocery store that closed a couple weeks later.