listening to: stravinsky – petrouchka
Entries dealing with the weekend will come in 3 or more parts. Please excuse my brain for not dealing with words very well at this time.
So…weekend tour to Chicago: AWESOME. Holy crap on mom’s shoes, did I have a good time. I got to know more orchestra members, run around with others, and then of course hide from some others (it is official. orchestra tours should be no longer than three days, if you’re an introvert). But as always, there was some extreme insanity thrown in there at the last minute. I think it’s just a rule of orchestra tours, in general. I can now officially support that statement.
We left very early on Friday morning, at 7. I mean, that doesn’t sound early, but it required us to be there by 6:30 and for slightly uptight people like myself to be up by before 5:30 to finish readying things that didn’t come together the night before, while I was dawdling and wasting time.
We played our first concert at York High School, which was fun but with a small audience. We only played the Shostakovich, and actually had to make a small cut in the middle of the piece, that Schleicher very nearly forgot to tell us about. “Alright, take five minutes before we play — oh, and we have this cut!” This was followed by the lot of us being shipped to Nequa Valley in Naperville. You know those “i’m in ur ______, ______ing your u____” icons and related junk? After getting onto Nequa Valley’s pretty freaking nice stage and making a hole in the floor with my carbon cello endpin, I almost sent Kerry a text message that was “i’m in ur school, making holz in ur floor.” But I did not, because I’m fortunately not that ridiculous of a person. Or AM I?
Anyway, the Nequa Valley concert went pretty well. Oh, except the piano soloist didn’t show up for our rehearsal beforehand. In fact, it seems that he didn’t actually make it to the school until about five minutes before the performance. Awesome. No. We’ll get back to more on Mr. Soloist, later.
Our first night we spent with host families in Naperville. And….yeah. Home-stay = awkward. But I was with Ann so it was alright. Man. Those Naperville people. They just want to spoil you. And make you happy. And stuff you full of food. And put you in a queen-size bed all to yourself. It was pretty awesome, especially after getting very little sleep on Thursday night.
Saturday we played at the Merit school, which is a Saturday session music school for kids in the city. Again, we only played the Shostakovich, and because the stage was shallow, the outer row of cellos and violins sat below the stage while Schleicher was still on a podium up on stage. It was a neck-aching affair, but in a lot of ways good because I had to trust myself to come in without cues, and when you just trust yourself about entrances and counting instead of obsess, it becomes much easier to count. Stupid impossible-to-read parts.
Then we proceeded to our hotel. And then Ann and Adrian and I proceeded to the Symphony Center shop where my sister works. And…it was weird. What Adrian said about Erica: “She’s like your evil twin sister!” Here, here!
We took the Redline to Andersonville, where we met up with Andrew (Erica’s boyfriend). And Andrew’s sister. And also mother. Yeah. I spent at least five minutes hoping that Ann and Adrian did not hate me for taking them out of the main city area to eat with…strangers. But we eventually sat down at a fabulous Mediterranean place and good lord. The food was amazing. And the company freaking hilarious. Seriously. I love Andrew because he’s ridiculous and occasionally channels Eddie Izzard. But I hate him because he makes me hurt from laughing too hard.
After dinner the three of us went to Erica and Andrew’s place and sat around talking about all sorts of ridiculousness, including really gruesome injuries, scientology and mormons. You know, it was really cool, being able to interact with my sister along with my FRIENDS. Truly a monumentous occasion. Also? My sister shrieks when she laughs sometimes, and it’s hilarious in a psychotic sort of way.
Sunday, Erica caught the train and we ran around a little further north of downtown and ate food and drank tea (*foreshadowing*). And talked about orchestras and school and music. And I realized something that worries me a bit: I am the optimistic one in my family. That worries me because I really don’t feel very optimistic. Hmm.
The Orchestra Hall concert was at 8 that night, but damn, that’s going to be another next entry, because that’s where the fun really began.
In the meanwhile, some hilarity:
We were sitting in Nequa Valley’s auditorium, waiting for our host families to retrieve us. I was sitting in front of Ann, Catherine and Adrian, and somebody offered to give me a shoulder-massage. I declined, and clearly stated that I am a little bit jumpy about being touched in the neck and shoulder area. Catherine then immediately put her hands on my shoulders, and I yelped and jumped forward about three feet. People clearly have fairly poor listening skills.
As Erica, Ann, Adrian and I were waiting for our Redline train to come, the train in the other direction made a stop, and surprise surprise, the whole train was covered in Christmas lights, an entire car was removed and a platform replaced it, with a Santa and four elves sitting there ringing bells, with fake snow and a picket fence around the entire thing. Men dressed as elves were scattered throughout the cars. It was spectacular. I got one photo, which does no justice.
We had just exited the awesome restaurant with the “adults” walking ahead of us, and Adrian started telling Ann about his plans for the next morning with his his friend from Roosevelt. Ann was not invited to join. This would naturally be frustrating for Ann, as she is Adrian’s girlfriend. I told Ann that we should find something to do on our own. Ann then said “something to make Adrian jealous.” I then said “you know we could… nevermind.” And for some reason this set us off for about five minutes of laughter. It wasn’t even funny. IT DIDN’T EVEN MAKE IT AS FAR AS BEING SUGGESTIVE. I think it’s just because it came from me. But we were laughing so hard and nobody else in the party knew what the hell was going on, and we really couldn’t explain because there was nothing to explain. And then Andrew yelled back at us “are you guys having a Colonoscopy back there?!” and I almost fell over. It would probably have helped if you’d been there for all of dinner.
Andrew made fun of just about everything, and it was awesome. The end.