So Not a Rondo

Right. It's my blog. Craig Ferguson once said that a book is like a blog only bigger. Well, I could write a book, because I have so many stories. So I thought I would wander cheaply into the world of blogging.

You won't be able to comment here. On the other hand you are probably here only because I posted a link to this page on social media - and THERE you certainly can comment.

July 11, 2018 - Molded Plastic Seats

I ran across No. 1 in the Book of Psalms. The first verse there is one I have spent a lot of time on because of its impact on some of my former "ways of life" and what I see tearing up around us today. I'm not going to quote the verse: this is the Internet, you can Google it yourself - or not. But there is a word that needs to be used.

First, though, let me note the three verbs in each line of that verse: walk, stand, and sit. The first verb implies that I'm going somewhere, moving ahead, taking action. Think of the various "walks of life." The suggestion there is that as I move forward, I be careful to draw on information - content, advice, counsel, etc. - that will bring me closer to goals I desire to achieve. There is much counsel and advice, conventional wisdom, that we can get from so many sources, many of which may not go to the purposes and goals for our lives that we, in our better moments, would consciously choose.

Standing implies that I am not going anywhere at the moment, but that I am still on my feet. I might be pausing or resting, or may have had my attention arrested by something going on nearby. Whatever the reason for standing, I'm no longer moving, but others clearly are. When I've thought about this verse, I often imagine a mad rush by a crowd toward some thing or some place; brings to mind my mother's admonition: "If EVERYONE was going to jump off the bridge [cliff], would YOU jump, too?"

The third verb involves serious break-taking. Somehow I always see the company break room in my mind when I think of this. Sitting in the break room in those molded plastic seats means I'm not "on the clock," that I'm free for a brief time to do, think, or even say whatever I want. We all experience those moments at work when things do not go as we would prefer, which may be putting it mildly! When that happens and we get to the break room, there's bound to be some complaining, even if it's about nothing more that one's feet or lower extremities. But these moments can - and often do - include complaining, griping - OK, "scoffing" - about equipment, facilities, rules, paperwork, customers, co-workers, management, even those molded plastic seats! The list goes on. There's something about being in the break room that almost demands that one air our honest and sincere reaction to a disagreeable thing.

This bring me to the "So Not a Rondo" concept. It's that word "scoffers". There are so many "wonderful" words that are similar to "scoff" - mock, deride, ridicule, sneer at, jeer at, jibe at, taunt, make fun of, poke fun at, laugh at, scorn, laugh to scorn, dismiss, make light of, belittle (Thanks to the staff at Merriam Webster, online, of course). There does seem to be a lot of that going on these days. Some of it is funny, much of it is just whining and complaining, but we have to admit that, lately, too much of it goes too far. The mere fact that "scoffers" is in the Psalm causes me to segregate myself. I would rather never be "guilty" of being a scoffer - and yet I have done it. If the aliens finally do come and they inform us that they know all about us because they've been monitoring our abundant media...well, that would not be a good thing, would it?

True confession: As much as I would like to declare firmly that scoffing was merely a part of my "former way of life" and is not who I am today, the reality is that I have found myself sitting in those molded plastic seats, and my mouth is not always silent. I have purposed - and I renew that purpose here - that I will choose not to even "sit in the seat of scoffers". But I can make no claims to high marks for achievement in that category. No, "the Oscar goes to..." someone else.

Indeed, it would've been "nice just to be nominated."

Good Day!

July 9, 2018

I have to begin my blogging journey by telling you about a friend of mine, a former student with one of the sharpest minds I've ever encountered. I HAVE to tell you about her because she's the original author of the phrase "So not a Rondo." It's not MINE, it's HERS. Well, actually hers was more like "Sooooo not a Rondo," but that doesn't look nearly as good in print as it sounds out loud, "live" and in person.

I first heard the phrase when she was in Sophomore Music Theory at Wayland Baptist University. She and some of her classmates created a pretty special theatre piece for the class. At some point, when (obviously) the "cast" was discussing the form of a certain composition, she dropped that sentence - and I remember just losing it. It was one of those perfect lines at the perfect moment. I've never forgotten it.

It was almost as perfect as when, in a show called "Musical Mayhem," one of three students who were playing roles having to do with criminal justice (sort of), suddenly froze and asked the other two, "Wait. You didn't see LaFors out there, did you?" "La Fors? No." "*Whew* For  moment there I thought we were really in trouble." That not-veiled-at-all reference to "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" powerfully coerced a fit of laughter out of me. It was hilarious. And (if I may take a moment just to boast a bit about my own intellectual capacities, seein' as how I'm about to denigrate them a bit!) I was the only one laughing. And that surprised the live actors who remained frozen, unsure as to why, after 5 other performances, someone was finally laughing at that line: someone - just ONE - but someone.

I laughed as much at "So Not a Rondo," maybe more because at least others got THAT punch line and I didn't feel so all alone and awkward this time!

I considered calling this page "So not a Blog" but, well, obviously it IS a blog. Then I thought about "So Not a Form" or "So Not a Formal" and then went much further into weirdness after that. So let's give credit where credit is due. Rachel's line is far more betterer than my brain can come up with. In fact she could no doubt improve on the grammar of that sentence betterer than me. Rachel, I hereby ("form"ally! lol) appropriate your intellectual property. Your intellect is so far superior to mine. I yield, and I confess: "Yours is the superior intellect." (Name THAT "veiled" reference, right?). You continue to prove it with your successes up there in the north. You go girl! I'm happy I got to share in your development in our discipline.

Finally, let it forever be noted that I am not above extolling the brilliance of brains that are greater than mine. And I apparently will gladly appropriate any brilliance that I believe could suit my own purposes, right?

Good Day!