Memorable Monday II: Monday Steakhouse Blues

Almost exactly a year ago today, I wrote a brief post from my cellphone at a Western Sizzlin’ in Florence, South Carolina.  At the time, I was incredibly stressed out, due to a combination of factors:  the end-of-quarter dash to grade papers, the looming Music Festival, and a home without Internet.

Here it is a year later and the seventy posts of a year ago seem minuscule.  I also find myself in a similar state of frantic scrambling.  This year, my Internet is working—thank goodness!—but we’re in the midst of our once-every-five-years reaccreditation visit.  It’s the culmination of eighteen-months of work, and the administration is hyper-vigilant (and extremely on edge) about us presenting the best, most Potemkin Village-esque version of the school.

I’m also preparing kids for the aforementioned Music Festival—which should now be done—and working on buying curtains for our stage.  Yikes!  And, in an object lesson of how we never learn our lessons, I’m struggling under a mountain of papers for third quarter report cards.  Ay caramba!

As such, today’s post is a reblog, a look back at one year ago.  I probably won’t eat steak tonight, but I did eat a fourteen-ounce, $35 blackened ribeye on the school’s dime last night, so that’s something.

Here is 2019’s “Monday Steakhouse Blues“:

I’m writing today’s post on my phone at one of the few surviving Western Sizzlin’ steakhouses in America. Yep, it’s been that kind of day.

Yesterday’s post marked the 70th consecutive daily post on this blog. That means I’ve posted at least one post a day for ten weeks.

I don’t have much to say today. I’m taking a group of roughly forty student-musicians to a “Solo and Ensemble”-style music festival tomorrow, and today report card grades were due. Without Internet at the house, everything had to get done today in a compressed time.

As such, the only interesting thing I’ve had a chance to hear about today was Tucker Carlson saying a bunch of controversial, awesome stuff on a radio show a decade ago—and, instead of kowtowing to the Left, he invited folks to debate him on his show:

More to come tomorrow and Wednesday. I couldn’t blow a 70-day streak.

Happy Monday!


Midweek Update

It’s crunch time here at Portly HQ.  As such, today’s post will be very brief.

I’ve been writing a lot about Christmas and music lately—’tis the season, after all.  You can catch up on yesterday’s post about “Joy to the World,” as well as Sunday’s look back at my Dokken album reviews from Christmas 2018.

One reason for the Christmas music focus is that my students have their big Christmas Concert this Friday.  It’s always a great deal of fun, and we try to go for a homemade Trans-Siberian Orchestra vibe (if only I could get the administration to spring for some laser lights and pyrotechnics).

As an independent musician and a music teacher (I also teach history), I find myself playing the role of concert impresario quite a bit.  One lesson I’ve learned is that the money people—the producers—will always have their notes and revisions, often last-minute.  Your well-oiled, tried-and-true concert formula can often get totally upended with changes.  Learning to roll with the punches is hard, but necessary.

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Rationing and Abundance

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Thanksgiving and related observations have been a running theme this week.  Thanksgiving reminds us of how much abundance we truly have.  It’s hard not to recognize when there are tables full of fattening, succulent dishes, enough to rival the feasts of medieval kings.

In spite of that marvelous abundance, however, rationing is still very much a reality.  The inescapable fact of economics—indeed, the whole purpose of the field—is that there are only so many resources to go around, and societies struggle to figure out how best to allocate those resources.

This problem is particularly true when it comes to our most valuable resource:  time.

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