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I’ve played bassoon since I was 12 years old and in 7th grade, wait, scratch that. I played bassoon starting when I was 12 years old and in 7th grade and had to abandon it at the tender age of 23 when I graduated. That was almost 4 years ago. I have not played since. To say I “played” it might be a bit of an understatement. It was pretty much everything I did.

Band was everything to me in high school. All of my friends were in band, my favorite memories were from band, my first boyfriend (and 2nd) – you guessed it, from band. I went on to major in music at the University of Texas at Austin. I started out in Music Studies (future band director) and later changed to a BA in Music with an emphasis in Musicology (future college professor). I continued to play the bassoon throughout the entire 5 years that made of my time in college.

You could say that I was a band nerd and the bassoon was more than a hobby, but a way of life. While at UT, I had the opportunity to play on a bassoon far more expensive than I would ever be able to afford. Why buy one when I had that one? There was no need, I would always have that one.

Always just as long as always ended when I graduated. I’ve since been without a bassoon and have not touched my lips to a reed since May 2004. I’ve looked into purchasing one, but without financing, it wasn’t an option. You see, a good bassoon starts around $5,000 for a student model. The one I played on in school was around $18,000. I had resigned to the fact that I would simply have to go back to playing piano, a bassoon was not in my future.

I have recently been giving the opportunity to purchase a bassoon (thanks Mom!) and have been shopping feverishly. I must get the right one, affordable, yet of good quality. The good ones are hard to catch when they are for sale unless you want to buy new and I’m interested in used. I’ve found a few I’m going to look into further and I hope to have one within a few weeks.

This really is a dream come true – owning my own bassoon.

When R and I rented the house we’re in now, we rented it along with a garage that had work benches, electricity, windows, and place to stow things.  I was stoked.  I had been wanting space for a gardening bench and R wanted some space of his own to do some work as well.

That didn’t last long.  Our landlord had evil intentions of tearing it down and building some boring house pretty much on top of us.  Since that point in my renting life, I have been longing for work space to call my own.  I found new space for gardening, so that was solved, but I didn’t have work space with electricity and room for messes.  I’ve needed to remedy that.

A couple of years ago, a property with two houses went up for sale out near the family farm.  One of the houses was the original store in that community (Habberton) and had since been converted into a three bed/1 bath house.  The other house is pretty old and has always been a house.  It’s on an acre of land and could not be more perfect.  Problem was, it was WAY out of my budget.  So, it sat on the market, and sat, and sat.  Perhaps it was waiting for R and I to be in the right place to make a purchase?

While browsing the housing market recently, I noticed the price on it had dropped, significantly.  It was now resting in our budget – 2 houses, 1 acre of land, in our budget.  Is this possible?  I’ve gone to look at it twice and will be taking R out tomorrow to see it.  It has some work to do but the main house is quite livable and the old store would make perfect studio space.  In fact, you could carve a few studios out of it and even have room for a store front.  I’m quite giddy with the potential and hope that R doesn’t hate it, if he does, I’ve got some persuading to do.  I can’t let this one pass me up.

It’s funny how we seem to blog about things that are spectacular or things that really get on our last nerve and ride it into the sunset.  If I could change that, I would, but I can’t, so I won’t.

I’ve run into about 3 minor irritations today while shopping for a bassoon.  Yes, I’m shopping for a bassoon. I shall list the below for your reading pleasure:

1.  Bassoon.org runs some classifieds both for people selling and people looking for bassoons.  It’s a great listing of some really great instruments (mind you, some cost as much as a small house, but still, a good resource).  I found a few that fell in my price range (a small used car instead of a small house).  I emailed the posters and waited patiently.  The first reply I got “Sorry, this sold a few months ago”.  Hello?  Months ago??  Do we not practice good classified etiquette in the world of bassooning?  If our house sold would we not take down the for sale sign in the yard?  Same rules apply to this, take your listing down please.

2.  Same set up as before, bassoon.org, a few emails, waiting patiently (remember that story?).  This one replied with pictures.  Yay, I’m excited, BUT wait, upon closer inspection, this instrument does not have the high D key that the listing said it did.  Is this some lucky person who stumbled upon a bassoon at an auction?  Perhaps their grandmother was a bassoonist and passed away so they are left to have to get rid of this instrument.  After they did a bit of research, they realized the high D key adds a bit of value to their new found item to sell.  Assuming bassoonists don’t know any better, they list it with “high D key” in the ad.   Thanks, but I’m not that stupid.

3.  Not the same situation as before.  This bassoon I found on a website selling used instruments.  Well, okay, same situation as before, the bassoon has sold.  Again, do we not remove these things from your “for sale” section?  Are you offering a rain-check with that “we don’t have this item to sell”?

Of course, buying a bassoon is nothing something you just decide to do and, bam, it’s done.  It takes time, lots of shopping, lots of emails with information and pictures.  I understand that, but I can’t get the process going if people can’t have accurate and up to date listings!

*steps off soapbox*

I am sick and tired of deciding that tomorrow is going to be different.  That tomorrow I’m going to shove my head in a bag of veggies and only eat those.  That tomorrow I’m going to head to a gym and not come back out until I’ve lost the weight/toned the muscle/gained a healthy lifestyle.  I am sick and tired of having the good Erin vs. bad Erin playing in my head at all times.

Mostly I’m tired of being sick.

I’ve caught another bug this week.  I’m not quite sure why I’m catching bug after bug, but I am betting it has to do with the fact that I’m just not as fit as I used to be.  I’m no slug, but I’m also not the active healthy eater that moved to Arkansas.

That will change.  I’m not fooling myself this time.  That will change.

I’ve been doing Weight Watchers FOREVER and while I know it works and it has worked for me in the past, it’s not the only thing I need right now.  I need some activity and it seems I need forced activity.  I won’t voluntarily jump up and take a run around the blog.  I need someone in front of me telling me to do this and to do that and I need a group of people making me go with them to do this and do that.

That activity is Jazzercise and that group is some ladies from work.  Laugh, if you must, but it’s worked for a few people I know.  It’s high activity and if I combine that with the healthy eating that Weight Watchers has taught me, then I know I can get healthy.  My pants will be to big for me, I’ll be able to pull out my favorite pair of jeans (a pair of Lucky Brand jeans I found at Buffalo Exchange in Austin for $13!) and wear them, without squeezing.  I want to get back to that.

I will get back to that.

We must take a moment to congratulate The NY Giants on one GREAT game. I went in to tonight not really caring who won and honestly thinking the Patriots were going to smoke the Giants on a stick for dinner BUT I was a bit wrong. Good job boys, good job (and that without Mr. Tiki Barber).

I must say that even though some pretty good football was played, some even better commercials were aired. My favorite advertiser this year was eTrade closely followed by Bud Light/Budweiser… oh, and Audi at number three. If you were a good crafter and didn’t watch the festivities, then you can catch the commercial highlights here:


and the follow up

I’d look for my other favorites, but the baby just can’t be followed up. Goodnight all.