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Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Ya’ll

If making a decision (any decision) is hard for you, please raise your hand. Anyone? Am I all alone here? As I’ve grown up and sat in adulthood for a while, I’ve noticed something. Making decisions is not all it’s cracked up to be. Most decisions are based around money, or so it seems in my case. “Do I buy those shoes that will surely get me a promotion?”, “Do we buy the expensive grill that might last a while or the cheaper one that we’ll have to replace in a year?” “Do I blow my savings account on a trip to Nova Scotia and have a ton of fun doing it or do I play the responsible game and save it because rainy days may soon be around the corner?”. See, all hard decisions.

The result of these difficult decision making times will be three days off of work this week. It’s spring break here in NW Arkansas and while it’s been a few years since I’ve called myself a student, I still like to take some time off to enjoy whatever spring break brings. A couple of years ago, it brought a trip to Gatlinburg, TN. Last year it was camping at Roaring River with a grand finale shopping at every outlet mall/center Branson, MO has to offer (we found some killer deals). This year it will be spent organizing my closet (i.e. yarn collection), planting my herb garden, hanging out in the garden center at Lowes, doing some crafting, playing the bassoon, and learning how to make Risotto. I have to say, I’m really looking forward to my spring break. It includes tons of things that don’t require a ton of decisions based around money… except for the trip to Lowes. I’ll leave the wallet in the car!

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.

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*