it runs in the family.

1978, southern illinois, by robert m. lightfoot iii. 
{l-r: buffalo, pops, mr. graef, mr. henoch}

pops is in town.

tomorrow night i will see him play my toddlerhood favorite, carmina burana. he flew into the city a few days before the rest of the orchestra so that he could see dog days and romp around the city with me a bit. we've been eating falafel and spending all of his per diem on dark chocolate and designer salt. he's also been yapping my ear off about the state of orchestras in america, to the point where i almost wanted to pull a van gogh last night. but before that could happen we became happily distracted with a few wonderful events:

on our way to see nick's unbelievable/breathtaking/shut-up-i'm-gushing show, we found ourselves on the street in the village that pops occupied when he first moved to new york, when he was just younger than me. he showed me the exact building, on west 4th and bank, and i had been there. three years ago. to the restaurant on the first floor. on a really extremely terrible date.

then, post-nick-show, as we sipped neat drinks and shared a fantastic brussels sprout small plate, a jingle on his phone signaled the receipt of a photo {above} of a face i've so often made, only it was on my dad. there he was, about my age, with his craycray friend buffalo, and mr. flute and mr. oboe.

can we first acknowledge that buffalo in this picture would get along swimmingly in williamsburg circa the present?

and now what am i supposed to say about my dad? would i be friends with him of yore? is he goofier now or was he goofier then? what would happen in the sci-fi version of my past if 17-year-old him rolled out of his west village apartment on that non-descript october night as i headed into the first floor restaurant? would i tell him to be careful with the swab during his first mahler two? would i advise him not to bite into that fuddrucker's hot dog that cost him so many years of dental surgery? maybe i would just compliment him on his glasses and tell him to get a new bow tie. 



this weekend we became amplified versions of our twelve-year-old selves as we ate grilled cheese and tomato soup and bopped along to ben folds. in between the non existent reveille and an infinite curfew we learned krav maga and did flips on the trapeze. we even performed a flashmob. soccer games, volleyball games, drinking games... and let's not forget those killer sweet dance moves and the s'mores competitions that you won every time. if this is what grown ups do, who needs a childhood? 


all sealed up in my most favorite jar of memories are my tanglewood summers. summers that i spent admiring everyone around me, performing concerts that brought me to tears, running round barefoot in the berkshires, and spending all of my money eating at every single restaurant in little lenox. everything was new, caution wasn't totally in my vocabulary yet. time and again, wherever i go, i find myself trying to recreate the excitement and magic of those summers. 

slowly i'm learning that i'm not going to. not in that way. and that's exactly why those memories are so special.

{when i need it, i put on the adagietto and let the breath become sucked out of me as i watch teenage versions of craig, nathan, chris, and me dance in slow motion through the field by ozawa hall. that's about as close as i get.}


my past few days were spent in the berkshires, grabbing little bits out of my jar, and being so pathetically and wonderfully nostalgic. 

i ate a loebwich, my 2007 usual, the "leslie b no sprouts." i finished it with a raspberry jam cookie, the barely baked kind that i've only ever found at loeb's.

i drank a red bull because it was my beverage of choice in 2006, when whiskey was what the higher-ups would have called a grey box violation.

talked a lot of shop. shot the shit. received goosebumps in a percussion ensemble concert.

had a slice of betty's, a berkshire bagel, a bite of soco, and a dip in the stockbridge bowl.

fell prey to hundreds of mosquitos and embraced the inability for t-mobile to work properly anywhere in the vicinity.

i didn't want to leave, no way, i wanted to stay and continue the plunge into that mountain high that makes me so happy. 

alas, i've got a berlin-bound plane to catch.


a good apple

{the midwest young artists annual gala}
daddy, teresa, stoop, me, johnswik
photo credit: my six-year-old sister. look at that. annie leibovitz, watch out.
stoop does her hairs.
a heavily processed potential for a holiday photo/why daddy should take raw pictures
stoop and johnswik get pouty! 
i creep in stoop's room.
daddy get's an award!
dr. niles crane, ladies and germs!
midwest young artists is one big big reason why i play music. i grew up in the mya orchestra and percussion ensemble, and i can't imagine a better way to have spent my saturdays throughout junior high and high school than rehearsing with these ensembles. performing beethoven 9 in orchestra hall, competing in fischoff nearly every year, forming some of my closest friendships, and developing a deep affection for domino's pizza are just a few of the awesome things that became of my time in mya. 
on saturday morning, i tagged along with my dad to rehearsal and filled in for the three missing percussionists. and it was by far one of the highlights of my week. more of a highlight than meeting niles crane from frasier {no offense, david}. playing in that beautiful sunny room in the old jail building with dr. d as the conductor, daddy as soloist... 
i couldn't shake that feeling of oh, yes, this is why i love playing so much. 
that night, we got all fancy schmancy and sipped cocktails and ate devils on horseback and bid in a live auction and enjoyed shostakovich. pops got an award and it was ever so sweet!
it was the loveliest of times, it was one of my favorite of times.