formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Monday, January 26, 2009

Music and Man-books...

So, tonight was my first book club meeting... you know, the book club I joined recently which is made up primarily of men (like I said, who knew they read?). I actually wasn't going to go because I joined late and didn't finish the book for this month. It was a man-book. A big book. Definitely not a fluffy, girly, mommy-book-club book (no offense to any mommy-book-clubbers out there... I'm just speaking from my own past experience). And though I wanted to read it, I was busy these past two weeks. Blogging. As you all know.

I debated all day... should I go? Should I skip it? Do I want to sit there with nothing to contribute? Should I just just make an appearance? It was decided for me, however, when Ryan got home. Today, in music class, she was issued the Instrument of Pain... also known as a recorder. For those of you who have never had a fourth grader (and who actually like music), a recorder is the retarded cousin of the flute. Even when played well, it makes a squinchy noise (that's the expression you get on your face when you hear it... all squinchy... like when you hear fingernails on a chalkboard and the fillings in your teeth hurt). It's high pitched and whiney (much like Troll Guy's elf voice) . Anyway, after about an hour of non-stop Hot Cross Buns played on said instrument (and I use that term loosely), I knew I had to get out. So off to the book club meeting I went.

There were 6 guys and me. I like being the only girl, honestly, and I'm quite used to it. I grew up in a family of boys; most of my career has been spent working in groups of men; most of my closest friends are guys. I'm comfortable in that setting. And I was tonight. They're a good group... a college professor, a high school teacher, a banker, a social services case worker, and 2 restaurant managers... all really nice, well-read, and articulate. It was the quietest I've ever been and will likely ever be at a book club meeting, but I didn't feel out of place for not having finished the book (Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond, by the way).

Oh, and there was beer.

Yeah, it was a good evening. Very good.

28 comments:

Heather said...

I need to find a book club like that! :)
And I feel for your ears. I, too, put my parents through the dreaded recorder days in 4th grade. I guess it's a requirement for that age?? Who knew that Hot Cross Buns was such a piece of musical genius that every child across the country should learn it before the age of 10.

Mel said...

hahahahahahaha! Another good reason to be the godmother and not the mother!!

I don't know about this book, but you know I'd be all about some man books normally! Too bad you live so far away. Well, you wouldn't want me there anyway since you like to be center of attention. I mean the only girl in a group of guys.

sherri said...

My son (that, by the way, was in ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE IN OCTOBER!!!!!!!) started playing the sax in 4th grade. He actually wasn't too bad, but the same song being played over and over at incorrect tempo and off notes here and there was driving me batty!

Our home has 3 stories thank goodness. SO I could escape, until he wanted to "perform" for us. Very sweet but hard to take for a long period of time. BIg AL and I would both smile and nod lovingly and start applauding and he'd say, Wait...I'm not finished!"

You just wait--she'll never be "finished" until she's really good - then you'll ask her to play for you and she won't!

Have fun. Enjoy your men readers.

HLiza said...

Yeah..the recorder is the only musical instrument that I could ever played..and I managed to play a few nice songs including our national anthem..about 20 years ago! And I don't agree when you says it sounds awful..he he..to me that's the nicest musical sound I can come out with..LOL
So, what did you guys talk about? Book club meeting is something I think I will not attend..

Maithri said...

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!

You had me on the floor with 'the retarded cousin of the flute bit'... lol... That must a universal fourth grade experience... recorder lessons... playing hot cross buns.... each note a little 'sharper' than the next....

My parents used to tell me 'stop playing that... you'll bring snakes to the house'...

I never quite worked out... whether it was my playing...or whether in srilanka snakes actually do come out when people play the recorder...

Suffice it to say... I gave up the recorder in the fourth grade... and took up the oboe... which is the incestual child of the flute and clarinet...

Apparently that brought snakes out too ;)...

Much love my friend,

M

PS Jared Diamond... didnt he write the third chimpanzee.. ? very cool... Yes i'm a 'sensitive new age guy' who reads man books too ;)

Coachdad said...

Yes...we read Diane!

Diane said...

Heather... I highly recommend the all-guy + beer book club!!

Mel... you know I'd let you into my 'inner circle'.

HLiza... the discussion was interesting... it made me want to finish the book!

Maithri... I pegged you for sensitive (even if you do bring snakes with your playing ;)

Coachdad... you do know I'm kidding, right? All my guy friends are readers :)

Diane said...

Sherri... sorry I missed your comment! We've established practice parameters... I voted for basement but we settled on her room (with the door closed! ;)

blognut said...

I've lived through the 4th grade recorder bit twice now, and I know you will get through it.

Glad you had a good book club experience. As they say, anything with beer is a good thing. I'm just so sorry there was a banker there. I look at those poor banker boys all day in their navy blue suits and power ties, they do nothing for me. I think the professor, the high school teacher or the social services case worker are probably going to turn out to be more interesting.

Heinous said...

Beer at a book club? I'm in. That sounds way less crappy than most of them.

Diane said...

Blognut... the banker was cool... and not all buttoned-down :)

Jim... yes, beer. We met at one of my favorite restaurant/bars... it was cool. Very cool.

Coachdad said...

I was on the phone with Aunt Linda as I wrote and caught it before I saw you responded. You are too quick for me.... damn. How do I link????

J Cosmo Newbery said...

You wouldn't read about it!

creative kerfuffle said...

ah the dreaded recorder. love your description of it : ) the boy is just now doing the recorder thing (though insanely we are also letting him take ELECTRIC guitar lessons) and the girl has moved from the recorder to the viola in 6th grade. oy vey!
beer at a book club sounds perfect.

Henry the Dog said...

Mum said she subjected her parents to a year of hell when she started on the recorder, so she can sympathise. Beer is better:)

blueviolet said...

Ah, the recorder. It IS a melodic instrument, isn't it? I have two of those things in my house and the kids were in a recorder club too. Can you imagine sitting through a recorder concert? I don't have to imagine it. I lived it over and over. You were wise to choose the book club but come on...try to have a little say in the book choice next time. Make them girl it up a bit.

Protege said...

Good for you Diane; sometimes I too prefer the company of only men. They are more relaxed and I can relate to then in a more comfortable way then with women. They seem to judge me less.;)
Glad you had a good evening; sometimes things are better than we expect them to be.;)

mo.stoneskin said...

At least it wasn't the tin whistle, the evil baby brother of the recorder.

Michelle said...

Diane when i read the title of this post i read it as

Music and Man Boobs!!!!

I got very excited thinking you were going to talk about man boobs!!! :O)

I remember the recorder!!! Is that even a "real" instrument???? Or something they just invented for 4th graders???

Thanks for making me giggle!!!!

theoddduckling said...

Haha, I still have my recorder from 4th/5th grade. And it doesn't sound bad at all once she learns how to play it. And "Hot Cross Buns" brings back memories, along with "Frere Jaques".

I wonder if I had to go to a women's book club whether I'd be comfortable. I grew up around pretty much nothing but women and my close friends (barring four) are of the fairer sex so that wouldn't be a problem. The problem would be that the only "girly" books I've ever really read were the Twilight series and Stephanie Plum.

Diane said...

J Cosmo... ummm... read about what?

CK... I have to admit, I'm quite happy Ryan isn't 'musical' :)

Henry... beer is much better (and I suspect lots of beer will make the recorder better, too ;)

Blue... a recorder CONCERT?! NO!!! And I like the man-books. Believe me, they don't want to girl it up and I'm cool with that!

Zuz... I like the company of men, too. Sometimes you just need your best girlfriends, but in general, groups of guys are loads of fun!

Mo... No tin whistles in this house!

Michelle... when I re-read it, I saw 'man-boobs' too! But I seriously don't want to talk about them!! ;)

Kendall... no... it will never sound good. Never.

Stu Pidasso said...

Glad it was nice. Beer....manbooks.....hmmmmmm....think I'll stay at home with Mary Jane and curl up by the fireplace. She and I will watch a movie and enjoy the evening. Still it sounded like a club of Conservatives and two liberals.....but these things can be overcome at a bookclub meeting.

Diane said...

Stu... who's Mary Jane (and should I be jealous? ;). I think there were a couple of conservatives there, but my guess is most of us sit on the liberal side of the fence.

Sometimes Sophia said...

Great description of a recorder, although Maithri's of an oboe was also very drole. I attended an outstanding recorder concert in Cambridge once at the Longy School. Duets, quartets... early music, but very pretty. Of course, a bunch of Harvard professors was making the music, so I suppose it had to be extra-musical. They held their noses quite high. Tell Ryan to pretend she's a blueblood and point her schnoz skyward. ;)

Also, I recommend Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen for a light-hearted man book. Goes good with beer and nuts.

namaste said...

I think that sounds like a great book club! And, after you spotted that recorder... you needed a beer or two!

hebba said...

Oh, but wait... the recorder is also know as the "penny whistle" and if you listen to a band called Rusted Root, you can clearly hear melodious notes coming out of a penny whistle. Unfortuneately, it takes a lot of bad playing to get to the good playing. Listen to an ipod!

Jenners said...

Oh...the recorder. Why is that still around? I wonder if I will face this scourge when the Little One gets older. Thanks for the heads-up.

Are you joking about that book title? It just sounds SO CLICHE for a man's book club meeting. It sounds made up, in fact. What are you reading next, I must ask?

swenglishexpat said...

On my desk next to me I have "Collapse" - How societies Choose to Fail or Succeed- by Jared Diamond. It is interesting but I find it "heavy", so perhaps I'm not much of a man? BTW Will somebody write a similar book in the future about Greedy Bankers? What do you think?