Tuesday, June 10, 2008

This American Life

It was the season finale!!!! Ugh!!! Oh well, last night's was magnificent. It was about 7 people named John Smith. Started off with John Smith, 2 months old ... so stinking cute! The parents thought he was going to be a girl. I love infant's eyes ... so full of wonder and innocence. No fear, no, I don't want another baby. Then an 8 year old John Smith who is a freaking genius, although that is never mentioned. A few other John's all the way up to 79 years old. The 70 year old John Smith lost his son to AIDS in 1988 and that was just sad sad sad. He just referred to his son getting into a lifestyle that he couldn't understand, but loved him right to the end. It was touching and I cried like a baby for the first time during the show. Then the 36 year old John Smith who was raised by a single mother who was dying of cancer ... ok, waterworks again. What a great show. The only issue I had was how Ira Glass introduces the show. He films himself with a handheld video camera. Last season, he was sitting at a desk and talked about the show ... the classic emphasis on the word, THEME, like THEEEEEEEEEMMMMMMM ... love it. Can't believe that was the entire season, bummer.

Tried to watch this show on IU's violin program, but had to delete the thing because I found myself feeling 2 ways while watching it, inadequate as a parent and stressed out watching these kids and their parents. Am I depriving my kids by not getting them into music now? I played clarinet, really well, I may add. Won 1st in state as a freshman in high school with an ensemble, got a perfect score when I was in 8th grade for my clarient solo (played The Carnival of Venice) ... but gave it up for sports after my freshman year, which I don't necessarily regret ... won lots of stuff in sports too and it got me into college, lord knows my academic record sure wouldn't :) I liked playing my clarinet .. to this day, I can't read music for crap, but I can still play that 8th grade solo from memory. Played by ear mostly .. could never figure out the difference between 3/4, 4/4, or 6/8. So there must have been some natural ability there somewhere. But what frustrates me is that every musician I've ever met has been great at math, which I am not .. not by any stroke of the word. Math hates me ... it's math that hates me. I tried to like it, but it shunned me like I'm one of those rotten tomatoes we are hearing about in the news. Now science ... hate science, never tried to like science .. science is like those rotten tomatoes. Nope, I'll stick with my history and social sciences.

Ok, so back to this IU thing. Josh Bell is from Bloomington. He's my age and he's the best violin player, well, maybe not the best, but he's the best known violinist. He's like the equivalent of a major rock star in violin circles ... he's my age .. he's my age ... he's MY AGE!!! Anyway ... these parents seemed like the pushy parents I see at these sports events I take my kids to. One family just wouldn't even consider putting all their kids in anything else. Like they have no choice in the matter. I don't know, it just made me feel like I'm a lousy parent for not being that pushy and insistent. I want my kids to have fun and try new things, be kids. I didn't start playing music until the 5th grade. My parents didn't push. I took this aptitude test and tested high, so the music teacher talked to my parents and they went with it. I think the little kids with little violins are cute as heck, but I look at the carvings on the body of the violin and they just look like dollar signs to me ... so anyway, I had to delete the thing before one of the parents turned to me and chastised me for not getting my kids into music RIGHT NOW!!! But IU does have a terrific program. We are fortunate to have the school of music so close to us. I remember riding a bike past the school when I was a graduate student and hearing all these wonderful noises. IU is great.

I also got word that they are cancelling Dirt ... not too upset by it. This season was disappointing. I blame the writers for making Don normal. Schizo Don made for better viewing and I'm ashamed to have written that.

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