Sunday, January 31, 2010

"Not fair"

Sir, I'm sorry that life has you so beaten down; I can tell you're having hard times. But I promise that, when I refuse to give you money from my case while I'm working, standing in front of me mumbling about how it's "not fair", repeatedly, will not make me give you money.

Catch me when I'm not working, and odds are I'll find a dollar for you, but not while I'm actively trying to get people to give ME money.

And I'm sorry that you don't have a place to shower (I truly am; that has to be awful), but if I have to hold my breath because you won't go away, you're affecting my quality of life. And won't get a dollar.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Summer Memory #2

I don't mind dogs. I don't mind that people let their dogs frolic in the fountain I'm playing near. I do mind a bit when they let their dogs shake their wet coats all over other people and their violins. It's just not good for the instrument. Or my serenity.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A summer memory

Walking through the Boston Common on the way to the Public Garden, there's an area that's often the subject of chalk art. This time, there was poetry.

Haikus are silly
They often don't make much sense

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Reminder: I'm the adult

Since many of my students are quite young, many of them don't have total control over their phonemes yet. When this takes the form of a lisp, I have to laugh on the inside only when they tell me they're going to play "May Thong" or "Thong of the Wind". They're. So. Cute.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

T Cop Tip

I was busking at Porter, and an MBTA Transit Police Officer was on the platform with a clipboard, apparently just tracking numbers of how many people were using the station during that time period.

(I assume that's what they're doing. I figure if it were anything important, like an unauthorized LED, there would be at least five police officers and three police cars using all kinds of cop equipment that they had hanging around the police officer's station. I don't know why other T employees can't do this type of work, but I know little of the ways of the T.)

Anyway, when the officer was done, she walked over and tipped me a couple bucks. I always like when T employees tip me. Makes me feel like I probably won't get kicked out of that station that day.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hygiene on the T

I rode the Red Line after I finished busking at Davis, and next to me was a young woman who filed her nails all the way from Porter to Central.

Granted, I keep my nails short to the quick most of the time, so can someone tell me, how long does it take to file one's nails to satisfaction, and is there any reason it needs to be done in public? I mean, I can understand having a ragged edge one needs to deal with immediately, but I'm pretty sure that should only take a few seconds. I didn't know until then that the sound of someone else using an emery board grates on my nerves like it does.

Now don't get me wrong, I generally wish more people would practice hygiene before getting on the T, such as showering and wearing deodorant, and then controlling certain bodily functions when in a small space with dozens of other people and little, if any, fresh air. But I think nail filing can wait.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


15 degrees is not enough degrees for me to busk, even in the subways. Porter and South Station might be warm enough that I don't get frostbite, but still.

Mad problem-solving skillz

A student gave me and one of her other teachers each a cookie-ornament-thing with our respective names on them in icing. It's a thin, crispy (delicious-smelling) cookie, and I ride the T, so I was concerned about getting it home intact.

I went to the kitchen at the school to see what I could find to protect it and encountered the other teacher there.

Me: I'm trying to figure out how to get this home safely.
Her: Oh, I already ate mine.

Problem solved!

(I ended up using a lot of paper towels and a Ziploc baggie with air in it. Worked fine.)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I have two students who are sisters, seven and five years old. I ask that my students with long hair pull it back for their lessons, just so it's out of their face. The seven-year-old was trying to put the five-year-old's hair in a ponytail.

Seven: Did you brush your hair today?
Five: Daddy brushed it.
Seven: *put-upon Daddy-doesn't-know-anything-about-hair sigh*

Thursday, January 07, 2010

So not a sports type

Re: My last Green Line-related post:

Turns out the Bruins were in Ottawa that night (I didn't read the schedule that closely), so now I really have no idea why so many trains were heading to Riverside in such a short amount of time.

MBTA, thy ways are not to be comprehended by mere mortals.

How cheesy

Me: OK, so the next Twinkle variation is "Beautiful Butterfly".
Student (age 7): *thinks* I'm gonna change that to..."Very Strange Cheesy Guy".
Student's Mom: His favorite word right now is cheese. Which is kind of funny, because he doesn't actually like cheese.
Student: *giggles*

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

That may have been a new record

While waiting for a D Line train last night around 6:30, no fewer than eight...eight!...Riverside-bound trains went by before the first Government-Center-bound train showed up. Eight trains in 12 minutes was rather amazing.

I see there was a Bruins game at 7:30 last night, so they were probably sending a bunch of trains to Riverside for Bruins traffic, but still. EIGHT.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

To the gentleman with the cane

Dear Sir:

I know that the T is very difficult to navigate when one has a mobility problem, especially at Porter Square. I also know that sometimes it's important to chat with the newspaper vendor about recent sports news, and that's all well and good. But is it entirely necessary to have this discussion with you planted blocking access to the up escalator?

Granted, it was the shorter escalator from the mezzanine to outside, but still, I didn't want to walk up the stairs, and I felt churlish shoving past you. I did say "excuse me", and I don't think I actually made physical contact (I hope), and I completely understand if you needed to hold onto something to steady yourself, but I would think that something more stationary than a moving escalator rail might be more useful for that purpose.

Thank you,

The Fiddler

Sunday, January 03, 2010

And slightly belatedly...

A Happy New Year to all.

I took this whole past week off from doing anything musical (or productive); tomorrow, I begin anew. May we all have the chance to pursue our passion this year, whatever that may be.