Thursday, August 17, 2006

What I learned at Starbucks.

The other day I was standing in a Starbucks, and let me just say now, I don’t really like Starbucks coffee all that much but their overwhelming pervasiveness usually wins, they are the closest coffee to the office other than the coffee in the kitchen which is not really coffee but rather Drain-o with the essence of coffee in it. So, anyway, Starbucks, me, waiting for my grandé café con soy leché and there was a little jazz flute music playing the background while the truly obnoxious barista made my drink. This is totally a story of tangents because here is where I want to say that there are at least two other baristas that I really like at this place. They are pleasant, they kind of recognize me and they always get my drinks right. But this one dude just annoys me. He has this little Tom Cruise in Cocktail fantasy thing going where he whips the caramel bottle around like he is making boat drinks and then he gives you a wink and the finger guns when he hands you your drink. No. I just say no to that. Ok so back to the thing with the waiting and the café con soy leché and the jazz flute…right.

I played flute for a long time. I think I started the summer before 3rd or 4th grade and I played all through high school and a little bit into college. I played in the school band, the marching band, in church, in competition (flute competition? Dude, totally less airy-fairy than it sounds. Flute players are HARDCORE!) and in various state bands and things. But the flute, it is largely a baroque type instrument. The most music written for flute was written during the baroque period and I really never liked that stuff. It was all fluttery and trilling and a whole bunch of it had harpsichord accompaniment and it just…sucked.

I hated my flute lessons. They made me cry on a regular basis. I hated marching band. It was far more work than it ever needed to be. Hell, we did more drills than the football team! We started practicing in August and had rehearsal like 4 times a week for 2 or 3 hours at a time (and we still weren’t very good). I didn’t like concert band all that much and I absolutely hated competition. In fact, I didn’t really like the flute. But I had this idea that I could somehow play jazz flute and it would be really cool. And then I could play with the jazz band and get to tour with them. That never happened.

I wasn’t that good a flute player and I never really cared about it all that much. I’m glad, in retrospect that I learned how to play. I think it taught me a lot about music, about competition, about…well it taught me something about something. I don’t know. It was good for me, ok? But now, looking back on that whole jazz flute idea, all I can say is, dude, I would have had to kick my own ass if I was a jazz flautist. Talk about suck. Yeesh.

And all that from standing in the line at Starbucks. Go figure.


Jodi said...

I think you need to switch to decaf.

Jen said...

I love stories that take turns like that. At first I as all, "oh no annoying Starbucks employee," because I've totally been there, but then you took a turn for the "this one time, at band camp," but ended back at Starbucks, kind of. Nicely done.

donovan said...

i clicked on the comment to say "one time, at band camp" and then i saw i was too late. i was going to say other stuff too, but, um, that was my big clever punch line so i am going to hang my head and sulk away. might even kick the dirt once or twice.

not really donovan

dave said...

i seriously need to send you some eric dolphy

PurrrL said...

Enjoyed your story, still hate the SB.

shimniok said...

That's a riot. I actually was in Starbucks and heard a jazz flute piece too... and I used to play... and I wasn't very good (never entered no fancy pants competition...)

Not sure what *you* heard. I don't think I want to know. If it was that new jazz fusion Kenny G type of tripe then I would have to wonder how you avoided killing yourself with any available blunt object. Or drowning yourself in milk froth.

Yah this stuff I heard was more along the lines of traditional jazz and I was actually surprised that I didn't detest it to the bottom of my soul. I actually thought it was good... so I went searching to see if I could find the artist... I forgot the name so searching for jazz flute led me here. Peace.