Sunday, March 30, 2008

What am I supposed to expect?!

All right -
This post, for you few who may actually read it, may come off as bitter or resentful or something else negative. It's not. It's just pent up frustration about my angst towards some aspects of society.

What i don't understand is why people think it's required to be mad at someone to have something interesting happen. I don't get why they think it's ok to "have" to fight so that they can be "closer" afterwards. Doesn't that just create doubt and hesitation from then on out?

What i don't understand is why people can get away with SO much because it's an "alternate" way of thinking - some sort of "alternate" lifestyle, when in fact it is twisted, or wrong, or disgusting, or harmful. BUT because we don't want to "push the poor sensitive people away" we baby them and baby them and "help them" and tell them it will be ok to the point where we're almost promoting the inappropriate behavior!! What's the DEAL!?

What i don't understand is why some people expect SO much of you and don't forgive you if you don't reach their level of expectance and don't let you off the hook if you haven't done what they want and yet they give you NOTHING in return. How can you possibly go on completely on your own. That's backwards, isn't it?

What i don't understand is why people act one way one day and then act another way another day. Is it so wrong to be consistent and be fine with yourself and everyone around you on a regular basis? Do we need to judge others to make ourselves feel better or something? Why can't we just feel good about ourselves and get on with it?!

And that's what i don't understand.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Expiration Dates and Reality

So it's been a while since i've "blogged"
Here i go:

Lately i've had a lot on my mind, and really, who doesn't? But something that i've found surprising is the element of death and how it's, in essence, haunting me.
Now, don't get me wrong - the suicide awareness videos, ads, and such always say that the signs of someone who "just might try it" is that they think about it, talk about it (as though they're calling out for someone to stop them) and such like that.
This is not me.
Heck! I was a 3-year member of the H.O.P.E (Hold On, Persuade, Empower) squad student suicide counseling club at my high school.
I'm legitimately glad to be alive.
1. It's life. Who doesn't love it with all its ups and downs. It's like a fun lil' roller coaster. The ups are a relief and the downs are just thrilling!
2. Got talent? So much God-given potential. Why waste yours when you can change the world!?
3. All you need is Love! It feels SO good! Friends, family, pets - what have you, they love you!! They may not LIKE you but that's a different story...
4. For the Beauty of the Earth. I love flowers, sun, canyons, mountains, rolling hills, wind, water, trees and green to not have what the earth has to give. I just planted a pot of flowers, for goodness sake! Cant leave that undone.
5. Color my world! Color is just too beautiful and fun, really. There's a rumor that everyone in heaven wears white. They say that a lot up there is white. Ew. I'm not ready for white.

SO! That being said, allow me to elaborate on the morbidity that i alluded to earlier:

My whole life i've never been afraid of dying. A lot of people have an instilled fear of death. The only thing i fear would be what i leave behind - sadness, extra responsibility and the creating various holes that i currently fill. Joseph Smith, I think it was, once said that if we here on earth knew what the other side was like we'd be trying every type of suicide to get ourselves there faster, but the Lord has given us a fear of death to keep us here until we accomplish our purposes and finish out our responsibilities. I know i haven't filled mine yet, and even if i have - i'm having fun so I'm here to stay.

However, i'm looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to the relief, to the joy, to the light and to the beauties.

It seems as though, with life as busy as it is, i've thought how i just don't want to live through today. I often wish that the veil was more thin that it even is now, where some days we could just cease to exist as mortal, and the next day hop right back in after our lovely vacation. (and they say Hawaii is a good destination! HA!) Some days get so hard, and situations happen were I just think to myself that death would be better. A release would be better. But then again, how would I ever aspire, learn and grow, or be rich and famous as a dead person? Perhaps if i took up painting and left a few hundred bizarre canvases behind I could pull that off....

Nevertheless, sometimes i'll stand on the corner of the street and think "if i took three steps out, it'd be done for!" Sometimes i think "if only i slipped on this ice, i could fall and hit my head and spend weeks in the hospital and not have to worry about anything."

Life is such a fragile thing.

Maybe this has to do with my fear of cancer. I'm not afraid of cancer, actually, i think if i had to go thru chemo i'd live it up as best i could with funky wigs - a different one every day - and cool hats and turbans and scarves and such. What i'm afraid of is not knowing i have it. I woke up with a splitting headache today. I never get headaches, let alone right when i wake up. My first thought is "What if i have a tumor? What if i'm having a cranial hemorrhage? What if this is a slow acting aneurism?" Oh the uncertainty and uniqueness of the human body!

For reasons like that, reasons of the unknown, reasons like you could be dying and not even know it - (i think healthy living is just the slowest way of dying...) - it's reasons like that that make me wonder if God gave us expiration dates. I think we all have one - we must. He sure as heck knows about it...but we just haven't found where he's written it down.
It's engraved in our hearts, perhaps?
Maybe on the inner liner of our femurs?
The inside edges of the scapula?
Nope! I've got it.
The rectum. No one would ever look there.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I flew into the Faddisphere!

This weekend has been absolutely one of the most stunning of my life.

It started like this:

Middle of February i tried contacting the Ed Keane agency - the one that manages Jon Faddis - to see if I could set up a way for Bryce and I to meet him when he came to SLC on March 10 for a concert, which also happens to be Bryce's birthday.
Well, i didn't hear back from them and gave them a call a week or two later - and got a call back from Jon Faddis HIMSELF! He left a message on my phone (I was in class) and this is what it said:

Yes, Hi Elizabeth! This is Jon Faddis and i was just given, uh, your number by my booking agent's office about meeting you and Bryce when I come out with my band to Salt Lake City. Um, and i'd be happy to meet with you - I'm actually coming in the day before Sunday, so if you wanna give me a call uh, and you know maybe we can do something then i don't even know, but it's possible. If Bryce wants to get together and hang or something, you know, we'll do that. My phone number, you probably have it on your phone is 201-960-2620. Looking forward! Thanks! Bye.

Anyway i flipped out, called him back, and he said he couldn't really set up any details because he wasn't exactly sure when he'd be coming in, etc. etc. so we set up that i would call him a day or two before hand to get some things set in stone. He continued to chat for a minute or two and gave me a hard time about Bryce and it was pretty funny.

Well, on Friday March 7th, i called Jon again and he said "well what is it that Bryce would like to do?" and i said "Anything! I'm sure he'd just love to hang, chat, play with you - whatever!" Jon said "well, i'll tell you what - i'll give him a lesson - here's what I need." He told me he'd like Bryce to write an autobiography about himself focusing on anger, fear, guilt and pain - how he deals with those feelings, what causes those feelings in him and how the feelings effect his music.

So Sunday we go up and have a lesson with him. He kept us for TWO AND A HALF HOURS! i was stunned. I expected 30 minutes to an hour tops! He was so wise! He talked a lot about how hidden, subconscious emotions effect our playing and progression as a musician and how we need to deal with these emotions in an appropriate way. He gave more of a life lesson than a trumpet lesson. One thing i find and love about true jazzers is that they just want to share the love and the knowledge. The good majority of them - the ones who are TRULY gifted - Wycliffe Gordon, Carl Allen and the Jazz faculty, Jon Faddis - They're all classy people. They know how to live. They know why to live. They know how to play and why to play becuase they know how to live and why to live. It's fantastic and i truly feed off their wisdom.

Anyway - lesson done, we go to the concert the next day (today) Monday, March 10th and he plays his concert. It's fantastic! I had suggested to Bryce that he bring his trumpet just in case, and Ben from synthesis said the same thing. Anyway - there was a standing ovation, and for the "final number" Jon starts talking into the mic. about how he was so fortunate and how artists just love to educate and teach - how the good ones just love to get the knowldege out there and how the previous day - two people had come for a lesson. He imitated me all funny-like and said "I got a call from Elizabeth when i was in New York, she said 'HI! Can i get a lesson for my boyfriend??!?!" Anyway - he asked if we were still there, and we were, and he said "You bring your horn?" Bryce said yes and he said "well get ready!"

It was so fun, i was so thrilled!! Bryce went up on stage and he looked nice - but was in jeans - and of course Jon gave him a hard time about that ("That's what you wore to my concert!!") he made Bryce tuck in his shirt. Ha.
Anywho - he announces that they're gonna play Louis Armstrong's West End Blues. Jon ripped up the intro and Bryce came in on the head - Jon harmonized with him and they sounded great!! He gave Bryce a solo, and when he was done - Jon piked up the mic and started to sing a blues "You can't trust a man, no matter what you do - now i say you can't ever trust a man no matter what it is you do - because any man, oh he'll take advantage of you" Then he handed it to Bryce who said "It's possible. But it's not my style - now i say it really is possible, but it's just not my style! Cuz Baby you drive me WILD!" It was hilarious and Jon was feeding him lines and it was just too funny. Then they soloed together and i couldn't have been more grateful. They sounded fantastic!!

...and i just had to forget my camera tonight.
After the concert, people attacked Bryce - giving cards, exchanging numbers and I thanked Jon. The guy who runs the Sheraton Jazz in SLC KISSED me even saying "Oh! Are YOU elizabeth!?" People were telling me how great Bryce sounded. We walked out of the room with the crowd, Jon Faddis included, and he sat down to do autographs. He said "Bryce, could you come do me a favor?" He asked bryce to get his bag and his juice back stage. Then the guy who runs the Sheraton Jazz Series said we could go get some food in the green room and wait for them to come back - which they did. It was so fun! He was so much more loose and funny than he was yesterday. He was hard to read, and intimidating yesterday but he was funny tonight. I got a free signed CD and luckily there was a professional photographer there who said we could get some pictures if we e-mailed him.

In the green room, Jon kept giving Bryce good advice - told him he had good chops. It was fantastic!! Oh what a joy. The photographer got pictures with us and Bryce stood to Jon's right - i stood to his left and he's so TALL! He tickled us and it was funny. He made fun of us a lot and I asked if we could keep in touch! He said "oh i'll expect you to!"

I love God for doing this. I love love love love LOVE HIM!!!