Being 50

Now that I’m 50, I have a perspective on my perspective on life that I never had before. It’s almost like reaching a summit. I can see all around for miles. It’s the most symmetrical age. Halfway to 100. Excuse me…….
… life flashing before my eyes………
…………Where are my new superman glasses. ……~0.o~……..Ok, I’m back.
Things I’m suddenly pondering:
Age 50, divide by 10 = Dollars per day spent on pills
Age 50, multiply by 6 = Dollars per year spent upgrading perscription on glasses
Age 50, multiply by 20000 = Amount that should be in retirement account($1Million)
Take that($1M) and multiply by -1 = Actual amount in retirement(Relative to $1M,$0)
Age 50, 300 good nights sleep per year
Age 50, 365 good naps per year
……

Surprisingly, I feel less old than I would have thought. I have pictures of long dead relatives from decades ago that really looked old at 50. And it wasn’t just the wacky old clothes or the Post-WWII hair-do’s. They still look old to me in pics. Perhaps I benefit from an easier life. I don’t work in the fields, never been to war myself, I don’t work in a factory, I write software at a desk in my home for factories. My water is clean, good healthy food is at my fingertips, my house is automatically regulated for temperature and is fairly bug free with non-lead based everything. My wife showers me with girly ointments, oils and bath salts for my wrinkle-free look. I breathe clean air, except for allergies to my 3 cats that are killing me.

The fact that I’ve always been on the cutting edge of social immaturity, probably gives an illusion of seeming young. Other than that, my lifestyle, I think, keeps me feeling young.

I have a great job that I love, I play music everyday, most days with other musicians, my family is amazing, awesome, supportive, encouraging, healthy, fun and endlessly entertaining. I have my moms impeccable genes.

Life is good.

At 50, I have all I need.

Jon

Trumpet Rennaisance

On Mar. 2nd 2010, after 20 something years of not playing, I decided to start playing again. Of course, I played some long tones to get in shape. The first night out was awkward. I felt like a little kid with a lunch box going to kindergarten for the first time. I seriously was scared to death. But, I even more seriously want to do this. I sat in with a trio at the Pourhouse Jazz Jam in Loveland CO. made up of grad students from UNC. I had 3 songs memorized. I had to read Freddie the Freeloader. My solo chops were probably about as good as they were back in college. I pretty much sucked but had moments of not sucking. The difference was, I had a new ambition to be good that I didn’t really have back in college.

My lips were somewhat in shape(partially due to long tones), so I could actually last through a couple songs.

So, with renewed confidence, the next night, I showed up at Jay’s Bistro in Fort Collins CO.. Mark Sloniker, piano, has been headlining Jazz there for years and always asked me if I had brought my horn in. (I think just to tease me. I don’t think he ever seriously thought I would.). That night, at the time, it seemed as if I didn’t suck. They let me play the 3 songs I had memorized. Mark Raynes was on drums, Roger Barnhart on bass. It was frightening but I did it.

Now, it’s been almost a year of playing every day and I’ve played out live close to 150 times. I’ve had some horrible nights where I’ve felt I really sucked and times where I felt that maybe I can’t do this, but, I’ve also had nights where I surprise myself. I’ll play beyond what I thought I could. I feel like I’m getting it. I can improvise. I can play jazz.

I took a few lessons this past year. Hugh Ragin is teaching me Autophysiopsychic music method(google it). Because of Hugh, I play from the Omnibook daily. Peter Sommer taught me to play space, practice space, hear space. He taught me new ways to practice chords and learn songs. Sitting in at Jam Sessions has been an amazing learning experience, especially the Brad Goode Jazz Jam in Boulder. I go in there for a butt kicking every Monday night. That’s my school of Jazz. It’s been really helpful for me listening to and playing with great players.

My biggest challenge is listening. Oh, and coming up with good ideas and getting them out my horn. I find that good ideas are directly proportional to how much I’m listening.

Site Opening Comment

I would like to dedicate this site to my biggest influences in my trumpet life: My Mom – for buying me a trumpet at age 9 and putting up with most of the long tones I’ve ever played, Miles DavisClifford Brown and Lee Morgan – for their sound that I admire: cool, lyrical and funky/bluesy, Don Barrozo and Dean Arnold – for inspiration and keeping the fire burnin’ and Gordon Richards – my trumpet teacher when I was a teenager. He always knew when I skipped a day of long tones.