Sep 23, 2008

Meet the Viola

Photo: Tomayto, tomahto.

I received the most disturbing call ever. There I was, minding my own business, when my son's father called. The conversation made no sense to me then, and makes less sense to me now.

SS: Did Oren call you? (lots of background noise)
Me: No. What's up? ...hello?
SS: He didn't call you and tell you about the *muffled noise*?
Me: What? I can't hear you.
SS: Did he tell -- about -- th -- stra?
Me: You're breaking up, what?
Me: What?
Me: ....
SS: He wanted to play the violin, but they were out of those, so we got a viola.
Me: ....a WHAT?! I'm sorry, WHO?
SS: Here, talk to him.
Oren: Hey, Mom.
Me: Hi buddy. So... the ORCHESTRA? And... the VIOLA? ...really?
Oren: Yeah.
Me: So you've always wanted to play the viola? I didn't even realize you were aware of the viola. The only thing Mom is sure of is that the viola is NOT a violin, but it walks and talks like one.
Oren: Pretty much.
Me: You really want to play that?
Oren: I don't know, but I've always wanted to be in orchestra.

To which I wanted to reply, HAVE WE MET?

It's like I woke up today and realized I have an overachieving Asian child. To me, children who play the viola (THE VIOLA) should also be doing calculus for fun and making me breakfast. Thanks to Wikipedia, I have found out that the viola is basically the middle note of the string section; it's used to round out the harmony, and add richness and depth to the music. I think that's a lovely description--and if an adorable, 9-year old Chinese girl was playing it for me, I might actually weep from joy. But when I think about my goofy, brown, 10-year old halfbreed playing the viola, it just makes me weep. From unbelievable laughter. And the strange pride that comes from discovering your child is a person for the very first time.

If I had to assign an instrument to Oren, the viola would make the bottom of the list, right next to the flute, piccolo, and ALL string instruments; Oren seems like more of a--I hate to say it--tuba kid, or even percussion of some sort. Maybe the keyboard, but I don't think the $38 Casio I have in mind gets a lot of stage time in the orchestra. So the viola threw me off--WAY off. I was kind of in shock. I called my mother four times. I thought the sky was falling.

Of course I think it's amazing--that HE'S amazing for even coming up with this shit! the fucking VIOLA!--but I was just so surprised. Oren could have called up and said MOM I'M GAY AND ADDICTED TO INHALANTS, and I would have been all DUDE I'M IN THE MIDDLE OF BLOGGING, CAN I CALL YOU BACK and then I would have forgotten. But THIS? The ORCHESTRA? Around this time last year he was playing football, albeit begrudgingly. (Favorite football convo I had with him: "Hey Oren, how's football?" Answer: "Daddy likes it!") Maybe he's finally jumping into the Nerd category with both feet; I hope so. I mean, he is a little computer geek who looks up to the ultimate computer geek (the Esq). I'd much rather that than some fey, Abercrombie-wearing, Jeep-driving, backwards cap-sporting douchebag football player. Not to be too specific.

In other sky-falling news, Snotty has a new hairdo. It's kind of like Katie Holmes' old haircut (old=3 months ago), the one she had before she and Tom Cruise started looking like creepy twins. LIKE THEY WEREN'T CREEPING US OUT ALREADY. The Esq's sister (KJ) and I got our hair done yesterday at the Bellevue Gene Juarez (something I said I would never do, which is a testament to how accurate this sentence is: everything I say I will never do is done within six minutes after public declaration), and then had dinner at Joey's (another something I said I would never do--I rest my case) which was pretty good; I will be going back for the gorgonzola toast, for sure. When it arrived, the toast was the shape of a cake-slice and the size of a Buick; I felt like we were at Claim Jumper's. After the first tentative bite, however, I was inclined to take that toast to the ladies' room and rub it all over my body--I just couldn't find a little Mexican spectator to stand by the door.

The last time I was in Bellevue, LIKE FOR REALS, was when my viola-loving offspring was still chillaxing in utero. There's no need to go there, really. Unless you want to spend a ton of money and feel shiny for a few hours; now I understand why Bellevue exists. I had a lot of fun with KJ, though, and if you're looking for a killer haircut, JAKE at Bellevue Gene Juarez was the NIT to my SHIZ.

Anyways, I have bangs. BANGS (Me 3-months ago: I WILL NEVER EVER GET BANGS). I'll need to become a Flat Iron Warrior in order to keep this haircut viable. Will upload pics later on, but right now, I have a date with my mother, my two nephews, and the Seattle Science Center. Viva la science!


LilRed said...

You need to publicly declare that you will never find a job you enjoy going to every day.

Buttercup said...

a of all) I want hair pictures. Did KJ change her hair or just trim it?

b of all) I was totally pegging Oren for a cymbals kind guy. Big noisy bull in a china shop type. Not a viola.

Carrie Gunnnnn said...

I drive a jeep. Jerk.


I recently (like, last week) got my hair cut at Gene Juarez at Tacoma. I asked for someone who knew what they were doing when it came to Bobs. I paid the extra $$. Two hours later I was at Hair Masters in GH having it whacked again to get the CORRECT style. I paid $20, which included a $3 tip. I'm no longer a fan of GJ.

I thought you could appreciate that little story. Thank you.

p.s. Orchestra ROCKS!

Snotty McSnotterson said...

LOL LILRED, you know me too well.

Buttercup: KJ got a trim.

Also,'re not a guy. Girls driving Jeeps are fine by me.

Manthony said...

(But does Carrie wear Abercrombie and backward baseball caps in addition to driving her jeep?)

And I recall something about running across a mention of "Jewish String Quartets" at one point. Remember, Oren isn't ALL brown...

konichiwa, bitches. said...

i also have the problem of doing something, nearly anything, that I publicly declare I will never do. And I should also take lilred's advice...

As a flute/piccolo/alto sax playing band nerd who doesn't know your kid from Adam: tell his dad, or whoever is going to foot the bill for his new instrument to RENT TO OWN, because at least he/you will not be out $1200 when the kid decides in a few months that orchestra is boring and that he'd rather golf than play viola. In my experience very few 10 year olds have staying power when it comes to instruments. More unsolicited advice: the kid will have to be ridden like a pack mule to practice for a couple of YEARS. Dad shouldn't expect not to have to force him to practice. If he does do it the kid might actually begin to like it and keep up with it. But just like you don't buy a 10 year old a dog and be surprised when he forgets the dog even exists two weeks after he's gotten it, that instrument will collect dust unless you treat it as if it were your own instrument.

that said, try not to get sucked into helping out with the payments on the thing. :)

Snotty McSnotterson said...

WENIGLUCKICHEGRHGKRGHERGtii2874S: I had all of your comments ready to publish and then went to delete someone else's twice-posted comment, and deleted yours instead. That's why they aren't showing up! :) Not because I don't like them. FYI.

Snotty McSnotterson said...

Konitchiwa: Totally. I dated a band nerd in high school, and who knew they had to work so hard to BE band nerds? It was expensive. I don't really expect my kid to become a viola master, no one but the Chinese do that. They're so FOCUSED.

WenigGluckliches said...

For shame!

*Takes away your cheese.*

Snotty McSnotterson said...

*dies without cheese*

konichiwa, bitches. said...

maybe he wants to become Chinese. When he joins the Chess club it will be time to sit down and have a heart-to-heart about identity: "Oren, sweetie, you can be white or you can be Samoan but you can't be Chinese. If you want a new hobby you could try something more appropriate to your heritage, like singing in a choir, cooking huge meals but never inviting anyone not related to you to eat them, or making airbrushed tshirts..." what do white people do? Stupid fuckers, they're so hard to stereotype.

Snotty McSnotterson said...

LOL how about "YOU MIGHT AMOUNT TO SOMETHING, BUT YOU WILL NEVER BE CHINESE." Then comes a life of drugs and pain, and then finally: acceptance. Hopefully!