Monday, May 03, 2004

From "Aaarrrgh" to "Aaaah" in 15 Short Minutes

It looked like this evening was going to be a comedy of errors, and not in my favor, either.

I had tickets to a high school jazz band concert at the Eisemann Center tonight. I don't actually teach at this school, but I'm friends and Sinfonia bro's with the jazz director, and I do teach two of their tenor players outside of school. I was scheduled to stop teaching at the store thirty minutes early as it was, which grew into forty-five when the penultimate person on the schedule didn't make it. I had a quick dinner at Chick-Fil-A (noticing, on my way out, the oddity that this one actually accepted credit cards) and got on the highway for the quick five-minute drive to the concert.

As I approached the venue, I saw cars parked all along the streets. Then it hit me: they must charge for parking here! And I, of course, had just dropped my last Lincoln at dinner. Sure enough, I drove up to the garage and it was four bucks. Crap! I drove around to try to find any more free spaces, but all the neighboring garages were elaborately barricaded off; I have to hand it to someone--it was a real work of art.

OK then, Plan B: Find an ATM, any ATM, never mind the bank charges, I'm almost late. I pulled into the local credit union's drive-up ATM, only to find out that they only take their own cards! Gaah...OK, screw it, I'm going to my own bank even though it's about a mile away. That just means I'll probably miss the "re-creation" of "So What" that was to precede the top band's performance. If only I'd known about the parking fee...and used my credit card at Chick-Fil-A...this was a classic case of 20/20 hindsight.

So I get my money, drive back to the garage, cough up my four bucks and park. I glance at the temperature gauge on the car, which has risen sharply since I've been waiting for the guy to give me change. Great...I must have driven the car out of coolant or something. I make a memo to myself to buy some on the way home; sure, Jiffy Lube is supposed to top that stuff off for free, but my car could blow up five times over before I'd get there during business hours.

Anyway, despite this mounting fiasco, everything that's gone on thus far ended up being trumped by a fact of life I'd neglected to consider: Jazz concerts are notorious for being behind schedule. I get inside, find the parents who'd bought me the ticket, and discover that the combo portion hasn't even started yet...I'm right where I need to be, schedule-wise.

The concert went fine; I promised to go out and clinic the band next year since I missed them the past two, and I laid the groundwork for recruiting some new improv students. Oh, and one of the tunes was directed by a student's dad (he won the privilege at an auction); since it was a Latin tune, he came out in Carmen Miranda getup (yes, with the fruit-filled hat), waving a maraca in one hand and a banana (which he proceeded to eat--and drop--part of) in the other. His son was appropriately mortified, of course.

So yeah, this was another night that served as a test of the patience I don't often have, and the faith that I should have at all times...just another reinforcement of the idea that things usually do work out--the pathway there just might be really, really weird sometimes.

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