BuzzFeed Made Me Cry

Generally I go to BuzzFeed to laugh at something or checkout something related to music. Then they hit me with  a video about kids of asian parents thanking them for the sacrifices they made for them. I couldn’t help but to think of my parents and grandparents.

The bit about students loans hit me the hardest. My mom and dad said the same thing to me.

Grillin’

Recently my wife and daughter gave me permission to buy a grill. So I did my research and fell into the rabbit hole between two school of thought. Propane or Charcoal! I wasn’t sure, but when I considered the cost and flavor factors. I ended up going with charcoal.

The thing that was most interesting about the process was getting to know some websites about grills and cooking. BBQ Guys and America’s Test Kitchen led me to the grill I have today. (The Weber Performer Deluxe)

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They were super informative and entertaining. The BBQ Guys videos are hosted byChef Tony Matassa. Although corny, I enjoyed the signature line that end all their videos. Check them our and you’ll see what I mean.

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Christopher Kimball is the host of America’s Test Kitchen and just seems delighted to let other chef cook, test equipment and explain process. The way he facilitates conversation is just plain-old fun to watch.imgres

Both host seem extremely knowledgeable. I happen to be a big fan of listening to folks that know of which they speak and are passionate when doing so.

The Mouthpiece Question

I know what your thinking, yet another trumpeter writing about the importance of mouthpiece selection and striking the perfect balance between back-bore and throat size. I happen to follow all those trends religiously but this isn’t another one of those rants. Coincidentally, I currently play a Laskey 75C with a standard throat and back-bore, not that it matters. The question about mouthpieces comes up for me at least twice a year. I’ve noticed this pattern over the past 5 or 6 years.DV016_Jpg_Large_471542.908_75MD

The question comes up because I want to improve my performance on the trumpet. Which usually leads me to examine my approach to the instrument and the art of creating music. In reality it’s a small question that leads to bigger thoughts. The progression of questions might start off like this:

 Should I play a 22 throat with a symphonic back-bore like I did for 12 years or stay with what I have currently?

  Am I producing the sound I want the audience to hear?

  Am I performing music as the composer’s intended and am I being true to the style of music I am performing?

  Am I growing as an artist and educator of music?

•  Can I continue to perform music and have a meaningful family life?

•  Do I make enough money as a musician and educator?

•  Am I doing everything I can to provide for my kid?

•  Should I finish this bottle of wine or just go to bed?

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4-up on 12-11-14 at 5.30 PM #9 (compiled)This is jus a small sampling of the rabbit hole I fall into late at night/early morning. It starts off with the idea of playing a different mouthpiece and whether it’s the “Right Move”. Then there are the other question… Can I afford it financially….Can I afford not to make a change?

Too many questions … Maybe I’ll open up the back-bore next month.

Old Things

Recently I took my computer to a repair shop where I was told that there wasn’t much that could be done to salvage the machine. Normally this wouldn’t bug me, except I realized it was the computer hard-drive that had all the family photos and videos. I have most of this stuff backed up on an external device, however that machine was a big part of how we shared our new family member with the rest of the world.

My kid and I watched out first cartoons on that computer. My wife and I ordered our kids birthday presents and planned parties with that machine. We skyped and facetimed with my parents and my kid met cousins for the first time. My wife created fantastic picture book with photos of our adventure with our kid. The list goes on…

Like most things you grow out of, you move on to the next thing and keep the parts that represent good memories.

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Day Job

It’s not a secret that most working artist have day jobs. However the reasons vary for person to person. I know artist who are mechanics, information technology personnel, are involved in sales of all kinds, painters of homes; interiors & exteriors, and of course many of us are in education.

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I often think about the balancing act artist have to contend with in order to stay a working artist. The need to keep up with your craft and stay hungry for knowledge about what you’re passionate about. The flip-side of that is when you get into your day job, you need to be good at your day job.

Call it the competitive nature of artist to challenge themselves, or just a plain need pay bill and support your family. Once you are passionate about your work (as an artist or your day job) it’s difficult to un-ring that bell. Your only option is to keep things interesting.

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Fitness…Good Luck!

Now that I am well into my late 30’s in age, I feel the need to become physically fit. Yes there was a need before I entering this stage, but a few days of greasy meals and one too many treats is proving more difficult to hide. That said, in the past I would just work out a little harder. Maybe put in a few more minutes into cardio, eat well, drink more water and stay away from temptations. Easier said than done, but with a little effort I could get back to just 25 pounds over the suggested weight for my height.

Add my kid to the mix with my job(s), it’s damn near impossible to find the time to get a reasonable workout and not lose hours of your day. If it seems like this is starting to sound like a commercial, don’t worry it’s not. However, I really do use my kettle bells a lot. Way more than I expected when I got them.

If you don’t know what a kettle bell is… allow me to describe one to you. Imagine putting a handle on a cannon ball, and using that to exercise instead of dumb-bells. I think it’s an efficient and effective tool that combines weigh training with cardio exercises. At least the ways I use kettle bells. Since I am usually  pressed for time, because I need to stay an active musician/educator or I have a family, the kettle bell is the quick and helpful solution to my time crunch.

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