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Lone Oboe

avoiding the abyss

Updated: 2017-12-10T22:32:10.269-08:00


I 💚 Jerry Brown and I 💚 California.


Also, this:



Well, clearly I have not followed through very strongly on my goals to blog more this year. I tried at first to stay positive, to find common ground. But as things have gotten worse and worse, I gave up on that. Instead, I am trying to just stay up, and not let the world's events get me down. Sometimes that just means staying in a little bubble for a bit. Other times, it means figuring out how to fight back.

Because in 2018, it's time to fight back. On environmental lines, on feminist lines, on economic lines. I'm not sure how music figures in, to be honest. For me, it might mean more chamber music, and being proactive in creating opportunities for myself to make music with friends I enjoy playing with and playing repertoire that I love, instead of just taking what is dished out to me. I think it also means expanding my involvement in the community beyond music, and in civic life. This past week, in which SoCal has been plagued by fire, has been strange. Much of my work has been canceled or postponed. So I finally have enough energy and creative juice to write, but I find myself with too much on my mind to focus on any one thing. So, here are some goals I'd like to set for myself in 2018:

1) Be more environmentally aware: recycle more carefully, use less water, take the car less, and try to find a way to compost.
2) Get involved in the community more: I'd like to go to some neighborhood council meetings, and participate in local events more.
3) Be more active in foiling the current administrations efforts to destroy this democracy: protest more, contact members of congress more, volunteer for organizations like the Giffords Law Center, the Union of Concerned Scientists,  and the Tree People
4) Keep my country moving forward by speaking up and voting:  about injustices like rampant sexism, unfair tax laws, uneven education, insane housing costs, and environmental injustice.

I'm writing this here to help me stay on track.  I hope now that 2017 is mostly done with, I will be able to follow through in 2018!!!

In the mean time, to help deal with 2017, here is a silly video to keep spirits up.  allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="315" src="" width="560">

What Does the Fox Say?


This came up on facebook, and it made me laugh just as much as the first time I saw it. 
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Reflections on rejection


"Why is it so important that we all be humiliated, with such ingenuity and at such great expense?  We never thought we were such hot stuff in the first place."
–Kurt Vonnegut

Donald Grump has more trash than you


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Genie: It Ain't Necessarily So....


I meant to post this over the summer, but I forgot. I had been preparing to play Porgy & Bess for the Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre when I was suddenly reminded of the Genie's song from Disney's Aladdin (featuring Robin Williams)--in the middle of It Ain't Necessarily So.  Now I am playing an orchestral suite from P&B and I am again reminded of the similarities.  See for yourself if you hear what I hear (mostly in the "ba-da--doo, waaa, waaa!).

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I am convincing myself that buying those awesome Ray Ban sunglasses at Nordstrom Rack is also supporting a store after criticism from the commander in chief.

practice visitor


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Not so bad, after all...


I have to say, if you have to report for jury duty, the Santa Monica Courthouse is not a bad place to do it.  Assuming you can dodge serving on a 2-month trial, of course (whew!).  Not a bad lunch break:

Women's Marches


While I was unable to participate in a march on Saturday, I was uplifted to see women and supporters of women coming together across the world:

NYTimes Global Women's Marches

I've felt frustrated for a long time that the women's movement has fallen behind, and that we haven't actually moved forward since I was a child.  Maybe we just needed to wake up. In fact, here is some evidence of that, from a fashion blog (remember, women can care about both fashion AND politics, they are not mutually exclusive!):

(On that note, I was kind of tickled to see that Garance has moved to LA from NYC.)

And also, of course, the Teen Vogue article that everyone's been talking about.

So yeah, let's go ladies!



 I haven't really been blogging here for a few years now. I found that I was hesitant to post my thoughts about music, as I've worked longer as a freelance musician, for fear those thoughts might have an adverse affect on my work.  Especially since the longer I've worked, the more frustrations I've had.  However, recently I've decided that now it's more important than ever to be open, honest, and stand up for my beliefs. So I've decided to make a concerted effort to blog more frequently, and say what I really think, and communicate thoughts and ideas I'd like to share. Those thoughts might concern music, or travel, or California, or the environment, as they have in the past. I might talk about politics, though, too. I might talk about more mundane things that nonetheless I've gained an interest in lately, like gardening, cooking, home decor, shopping tricks, or even makeup (third wave feminism, ladies--I don't have to reject traditionally feminine areas of interest if I do it for myself, rather than for other people).  Or books, movies, backpacking, cars, or technology.  I also haven't been writing nearly enough and really I ought to change that (plus it's therapeutic). Right now, I'd like to process this inauguration. I will start by following the example of a man I think I will always hold in my heart as MY president by trying to take the high ground, find common beliefs, and hope for the best. I just read the text of the inauguration speech, and found some things I can agree with. America has for too long been responsible for policing the world, criticized for getting involved but also for not, so we are damned if we do, damned if we don't. I could see it being a good thing if we let the rest of the world do its own thing for a while while we take care of ourselves. We do need it. In practice I'm not sure how this will work out, but I'm willing to stand back and see what happens. I am curious also to see what happens when we cut some of the freedoms of trade. I don't think we need all the cheap crap from China we've become accustomed to buying, and we could all do with fewer, better crafted things made by ourselves in our own country. I recently assembled a tool kit for my significant other, and was appalled when I could no longer buy a steel tool box made in America from Sears, of all the most American of brands. I ended up buying a vintage 1980s Craftsman one (just like my dad's) on Craigslist. They literally just don't make them like they used to. I don't know if it's realistic to bring manufacturing jobs back to the US, if those jobs will just be done by robots soon anyway, or if the pollution they cause will do more harm than good. But I like the idea of quality items being manufactured here, and I'm willing to pay a little more for that. I also like the idea of a regular person without a college degree being able to get and keep a good manufacturing job that enables them to support a family, or at least support a family with the help of a spouse who can also work. More on that later. It's not realistic for everyone to attend college, but these days it seems that's the only way to make a decent life. We need alternatives. And I think if we can be on the cutting edge of technology and environmentally friendly manufacturing, we might be able to support such an alternative. So that's where I agree: let's stop financing the import of cheap crap from China, let's make and buy better goods here. Let's stop getting involved in other countries' businesses for a while and mind our own, see how it goes. Let's invest in our own infrastructure. And here is where I think I might diverge from the current administration. Let's include high-speed internet in our public infrastructure so we can keep up with[...]

LA panorama


Found this beautiful film of LA on linked on the NYTimes  California section.



Just realized Blue Jasmine is Woody Allen's take on A Streetcar Named Desire.

SoCal Thanksgiving


Happy Thanksgiving from Southern California. 

David Weiss, a man of many talents


I've been putting this off for a little bit, but I feel it's important to do, so I am doing it.

Requiescat in Pace, David Weiss.

Last month, we lost another oboe great, and another man with whom I am fortunate enough to have studied music.  Since I am late in posting this, many others have already memorialized him.  So I will keep this short.  David was a great oboe teacher and orchestra coach, we know that.  But he was also kind and generous and always told it like it was, no sugar coating.  That's what we appreciated about him.  I had been meaning for weeks to write him an email, and then one day in late May, my friend Jenny texted me to let me know he had passed away.  I will never be able to send him that email.  I had been waiting til that next big performance, that next audition, was done, and now he's just gone.  I wish I had just written already, and let him know that I appreciated him.  At any rate, I will post this version of Astor Piazzolla's Oblivion, with David playing musical saw, and his family playing with him.

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RIP Ray Still


Incredible oboist and teacher. 

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In December, after over 7 years of living in California, I was finally able to visit Yosemite National Park.  It was just for a day, but it was snowy and beautiful, and I loved it.  Here are a few pictures.Wawona Lodge Rooms Available at the Wawona!(except it was closed...) Yosemite ValleyFrozen StreamFrozen Bridal Veil FallsBoulder, Tree, SnowHalf DomeEl Capitan Fireplace at the Ahwahnee Hotel Pretty TreeHalf Dome, different view Snowy Stream Half Dome at Sunset Lakebed in the MistHalfdome at Twilight[...]

The Snowman And The Snowdog


I love the original, but the new sequel to The Snowman is actually pretty good.  Though the flying song just doesn't compare.  But check out The Snowman And the Snowdog!  It's very sweet.

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This Onion article is both really funny and really sad at the same time:,34732/

Northeast Thanksgiving


Happy Thanksgiving from (I ♥) Bill Cunningham:

Makes me miss my homeland!

Tony Musante


RIP Tony Musante, previously featured on this blog for his role in the 1970 Italian movie about an oboist, Anonimo Veneziano.  We share Italian ancestry, a home-state, and some time at Northwestern University, according to his obituary

Pious Orgies


I must admit, my curiosity was piqued by the aria entitled "Pious Orgies."  I wonder, Handel, what you were thinking when you wrote it.