Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy Christmastide

The Feast of the Nativity of our Lord has come and gone. It's still Christmas, and will be, until January 6, which is the Feast of the Epiphany.

It's been a quiet break period in Casa Mattes. The Tulsa Symphony Orchestra office is closed until January 5, so I've got quiet time at home for the next week.

I really haven't done much of anything-just lounging around home, and having a lot of cuddle time with my cat. Phoebe is very happy! I've been spending a lot of time on Facebook, and fighting boredom.

I have seen one move, Doubt, which I recommend highly. Strong performances by two well-established actors, Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman, as well as Amy Adams and Viola Davis, who display their considerable dramatic skills. See my mini-review on Facebook. Anyone reading this post will get to help me decide which movie to take in at the end of this post. Keep reading!

Yesterday I took in the Ansel Adams exhibit at Gilcrease Museum. The photography (all black and white) was nothing short of incredible. The exhibit included a lot of information about Adams' formative years in San Francisco, his musical background (at one point he was pursuing a career as a concert pianist), his friendship with Georgia O'Keefe, and his involvement with the Sierra Club (Adams was an environmentalist long before it was fashionable to be one). If any Tulsan is reading this and hasn't yet seen the exhibit, get yourself over to Gilcrease pronto. The exhibit closes January 4.

Tomorrow a group of us from the Trinity Choir are going to sing for Mary Matthews at St. Simeon's. Mary is convelsecing following a hip replacement after she broke her hip on November 30. I hope we get a good turnout. I know it's very hard for Mary not only to be in the health care center, but to be away from her beloved Trinity choir at this time.

Now, as promised: Here are some movies I'm considering for next Friday. Post a comment as to which one you think I should see next weekend:

*Slumdog Millionaire
*A Christmas Tale (at Circle Cinema, Tulsa's indie house)

Monday, December 15, 2008

An Ice Day at Home and Facebook

Thanks to sleet overnight, the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra office was closed today. So, I sat home in my bathrobe today, doing not much of anything. I don't apologize-with three Nutcracker performances and two church services to play over the weekend I felt I deserved a day of "down time."

Things don't look any better, weather-wise, tomorrow. Tulsa Public Schools, and most of the surrounding districts, including Broken Arrow, have already called classes for tomorrow. I just took a look at the radar on NewsOn6, and as of 9:10 pm the radar is showing light snow tracking north of Tulsa. We'll see what transpires overnight . . .

The conversation with Mother did not go well last night. I never had to tell Mother I would rather not come up for Christmas, given the circumstances. Once I told her what the cost of the cheapest air fare was, she realized she couldn't afford it, either. She didn't take it at all well. She alternated between crying and yelling at me. She's completely oblivious to the fact that her behavior only serves to drive people away. She said she'd just sit at home and mope on Christmas Day, then told me I should try to get together with friends on Christmas (while she makes absolutely no effort to try and get together with friends of her own, of course). Need I say that this is all my fault-if I wasn't such a spendthrift good-for-nothing who blows my paycheck at Whole Foods and eating out "all the time" (her words) I would be absolutely flush with money.

There's no reasoning with Mother.

John suggested Mother take a look at her local Consumer Credit Counseling and see folks who are in danger of losing their homes, of having their cars repossessed. Perhaps Mother can visit Iron Gate Ministry and meet some of the guests-many employed, many families-who have absolutely nothing.

Well, I took the Facebook plunge today. We'll see what comes of it. Think I'll find new friends? Here's my Facebook profile.

Back to Keith Olbermann now!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas, Nutcracker, and a Meddling Mother

The post-Thanksgiving period has been quite busy, with Nutcracker performances coming out the ear. As a Tulsa Symphony Orchestra musician, I'm in the pit, along with my colleagues, for Tulsa Ballet's annual production. This year we did three performances at Rose State College's Performing Arts Center in Midwest City (a suburb of Oklahoma City), and (by the end of this year's run), eight performances in Tulsa. This morning I also played two services at Carbondale Assembly of God, the church of my longtime stand partner, Raymond. I'm more than a little disappointed that I'm not playing the annual Messiah for Boston Avenue Church. I used to play that job every year when Rod (our then principal bassoonist and member of that church) hired the orchestra. Since Rod's departure Steve (our second trumpet) has taken over hiring the orchestra, and he rarely calls me. I can always hope for a last minute cancellation in the violins and that Steve will give me a call. The money sure wouldn't hurt.

Speaking of money-we all know money is tight for everyone these days. I'm no exception. I count myself lucky that I am employed, that I still have health insurance, and while I have to watch my money, I'm still able to pay the bills, keep my lights on and eat. True, my car needs some work, which I have been putting off for some time now. If I didn't have to give up the first opera of this season-and its income-due to my surgery, and if I hadn't had my medical expenses of the past six months or so, the car probably would have been taken care of. So, while things are far from perfect, I think I'm doing okay.

My mother doesn't think so.

Prior to Thanksgiving I made the mistake of mentioning that my car needed work (in response to her question about whether or not I would be coming for Christmas). On Thanksgiving Day (one week later) she asked me if I had my car repaired. When I replied that I hadn't yet, but I would get to it, she started hectoring me about how irresponsible I was, what a spendthrift, and (her favorite refrain when she needs to put me down) how I was "just like my father." (In my mother's eyes, my father is the epitome of "good for nothing.")

Long story short-Mother is talking about helping me purchase a plane ticket to visit her over Christmas. She also insists "we need to talk" about my finances. As much as I would like to get away and spend some time in Chicago (especially in light of the fact that our next President is from Chicago), I am leaning strongly against going. My personal finances are none of my mother's business, and I do not want to be put in a situation where she starts asking nosy questions about how I choose to live my life. I see this as a blatant attempt to control me. She has never learned that she cannot control me, and that she has to butt out of her daughter's personal finances.

On the other hand, I could make matters worst by staying away. But at this point I've had it with her meddling. After one conversation I was so frustrated I did a Google search on divorcing one's parents. Believe me, at times like this I would welcome the option to divorce my mother so I don't have to put up with her controlling games any longer.

Okay. End of rant. Have to talk to Mother again tonight. Sigh. I'm not going to change her, so it's probably better for both of us if I just remain in Tulsa for the Christmas period.