I had some dreams ... they were klowns in my koffee.

(With apologies to Carly Simon)

This is my journey through job transition from a toxic environment to a better life. Join me for a few thoughts and a few laughs along the way.
What are "klowns in my koffee"? They are the factors large and small that make you less than you are. A "klown" can be a grossly incompetent boss,
a short-sighted policy or a moronic coworker. They won't kill you, at least not immediately, but they abrade the soul
as you scrape past them to get through the day. Sometimes it's best to dump them out of the cup.


Day 17 - Koncert

Another good day. We went to the Arboretum (http://www.arboretum.umn.edu/) for a concert and some play time. It was another gorgeous Spring day. Vast swaths of daffodils were everywhere.

The concert featured jazz violinist Randy Sabien with one of the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies. GTCYS (http://www.gtcys.org/index.asp) is a program for talented elementary school through high school musicians. It is a rigorous extracurricular activity that places kids in one of six orchestras. There are coached by professional musicians and perform challenging classical material. This particular orchestra seemed to be composed largely of high school students.

Randy (http://www.randysabien.com/enternew.html) conducted a lively first half of the concert. He has a ready wit and obvious ease both with the young performers and the audience. His earlier workshop with the students was focused on understanding the elements of jazz and integrating them with the kids' extensive classical training. The influence was evident during the pieces that called for improvised solos. Many were a bit stiff --- how much can you rock in a tuxedo? -- but some showed the beginnings of the ability to swing. Randy's star turn on "Sweet Georgia Brown" was a moment to be savored in his ability to deliver both pitch accuracy and bending emphasis. That dude knows how to phrase.

The second half of the concert under the direction of conductor Andrew Bast reverted to the symphonic orchestral pieces more typical of GTCYS standard fare. Bast has a nimble baton and obvious connection to his young group. The concluding three pieces were a dynamic Offenbach overture, a Bach fugue from The Well Tempered Clavier that took me back to piano lesson practice days, and a lively and well-executed Bizet Farandole.

My son made an airplane out of the program and through most of the concert I did an apt imitation of one of those many-armed Hindu goddesses to prevent him from throwing it.

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