Journal of a Cynic

bitch, be cool


Hindemith's Symphony in Bb for band is probably my favorite piece for the ensemble. The euphonium part is not difficult like the rest of the parts, but the piece is so incredibly written, so intricately composed, that it doesn't matter. I've performed the symphony half a dozen times, rehearsed it hundreds of hours, and I have never once been bored.

It's composed in three movements. The first movement kicks ass. The second movement kicks ass. The third movement is chilling. Orgasmic. Fucking rocks. At the end of the third movement, the themes from the first two movements enter. This is always a cool technique, but Hindemith, god, he just fucking rocks. There's all this twittering woodwind shit going on and all of a sudden the full brass section freaking blows the place away, and you realize this is the theme you heard before and—I swear—chilling. No, really. It's a trombonist's wet dream.

Went out to dinner with Becky, Rob, and the latest addition to the band apartment complex, Rebecca. We sat around an outdoor table (80 degrees in Warner Robins today) and made foul jokes for an hour or so. Especially effective was my comparison of John's steaming hot wings to early-morning steaming dog turds in the yard at work. We had to go to the new ice cream place afterward; one of the owners is this really hot guy who, last time, gave Becky and me lots of samples and talked to us the entire time we were there. So we dragged John and Rob in there, and it turned out this hot German chick was working. Now we're all happy when we go to the ice cream store.

So many dirty dog cages today. Those two dogs made messes yesterday that I saved for today, and the same two dogs made messes overnight, so I had lots of cages to clean. I ended up taking a lunch break. On my break, I was sitting in a busy restaurant on Watson Blvd. when I noticed a group of teenagers wearing identical shirts. The shirts were tropical colors, with a huge fish pattern. I tried to figure out why they'd be wearing those shirts, and what they were doing out of school. Seriously, if you saw more than one kid wearing that shirt, you'd wonder why, too. There was one guy with them who was wearing a simple reddish polo shirt. That guy looked familiar.

Was it a school group? The kids chattered loudly, drawing attention to themselves as only drama queens do. Debate team? Show choir? The Houston County school bus in the parking lot revealed nothing. Suddenly I focused on the polo shirt guy and I understood everything. They're band fags, surely out on some elementary school recruitment project. I recognized the polo shirt guy as the band director at the school my students attend.

We made eye contact. Shit, shit, shit. I'm wearing my pepto-bismol-colored scrub pants, a floral printed scrub jacket, and combat boots, with my hair pulled back in a straggly ponytail. I slid down behind my Kiplinger's magazine and prayed he wouldn't recognize me in my day job attire. I think it worked.

Speaking of ice cream stores, well, smoothie stores, actually, since I hardly go to plain old ice cream stores anymore, just frozen custard and smoothie stores—the Warner Robins Smoothie King is open. Woo hoo, run-on sentence. I've been to Smoothie King twice in two days, once yesterday with John, and once today on my lunch. I love Smoothie King. I'm only eating Smoothie King from now on. Hooray for Smoothie King.

Did I mention the "miniature Italian greyhound" who came to us from the shelter? This guy brought in a chihuahua several weeks ago, and absolutely gushed about how adorable this "Miniature Italian Greyhound" was and how lucky he was to find her at the shelter. "I got a Miniature Italian Greyhound for only $55!" We all laughed at him whenever his back was turned. Aida: "Betsy, will you bring us the chihua—I mean—Italian greyhound?" Snicker.

He took the dog home, and a few days later her ears turned up and spread out like a CHIHUAHUA. Maybe he looked it up in a book and saw that there's no such thing as a "miniature" Italian greyhound. Maybe he realized that nobody in the whole freaking world would spend so much money on an Italian greyhound and then take it to the shelter. That fucker took her back. He took her back to the shelter because she's a chihuahua mix and not a goddamn Italian greyhound.

Today she came back in with a new owner. We gushed over her again, because she's a darling dog. We gave her the last distemper shot and removed her surgery stiches. Surgery stiches! They come out after two weeks, and her new owner got her a week ago, so that other freaking loser didn't even keep her for a whole week before he dumped her back at the pound. I wanted to pound that guy. I wanted to look up his number in our files and call him and tell him what a fucker he is.

We watched a couple hours' worth of Pulp Fiction over at Rob's house. Rob worked on his bassoon reeds, Becky fell asleep on the couch. We left with about half an hour of the movie left to go, and watched the end of it at home. You know that moment in the last scene where John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson are sitting there talking about pork products and it jump cuts to the couple in the window, the couple from the very first scene, the guy saying "Garçon, coffee!" and you realize you've seen that before? Right then, John started singing the first movement theme from the Hindemith Symphony in Bb. Fucking rocks, man.

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