Tag Archives: violins

facebook is sometimes a little incestuous and so is this post

yesterday, i went to a concert performed by f2fb #158 david yonan, who is a protege of elizabeth stein.  it was wonderful, he’s really talented, and i learned a lot afterwards about violins, their construction, and music.  i hadn’t realized that sometime during the concert the two hundred thousand dollar violin david borrowed for the concert occasionally had gone out of key. i just thought it was modern classical stuff.  you know, like mahler goes wild.

then i went out with f2fb friend #159 richard gordon.  he’s the sort that if the impossibly handsome and debonair louis jourdan was not available, mr. gordon could step in. 

louis jourdan or richard gordon, you pick!

how do i know richard?  well, he’s the ex-husband of elizabeth stein.  david yonan’s mentor.  i was supposed to have lunch with elizabeth (AND get a violin lesson because she’s a stradivarius dealer) but she cancelled.  how do i know elizabeth?  uh, actually, she went out with my ex-husband stephen.  may still be going out with him.  and i’m sure i don’t know the half of it.  and really, it’s none of my business.  except to say that she has three men i know who are in love with her:  my ex, david, and richard.

i met richard at the union league club in chicago.  i was very late because most of the traffic lights on the way were down because of a storm.  but he was forgiving. 

richard was once a member of the university club too.  but the courtship of stephen and elizabeth largely took place in the university club and i think richard feels the desire to put some distance to that.

chicago has a lot of private clubs.  like every other big town.  but after one drink at the union league club (sorry, no pics or film, they would have tackled me), he proposed a different sort of club. 

a smoke-easy.

during prohibition there were speakeasies in which one could purchase illicit alcohol.  this club allowed for illicit smoking. 

i can't hold a beer and blow smoke rings at the same time

the joint was managed by a dude in a tom ford suit, white polyester shirt, and velvet ralph lauren evening slippers.  he picked out a smooth, sweet davidoff cigar for me.   no socks.  of course.  i chatted with a young man who is taking divinity classes at yale and wants to be a priest but has a predilection for smoking and johnny walker black.  i asked him about women but he says he doesn’t like women of his generation because they don’t concentrate on the important things in life.  i don’t either, so i would suggest to him the carthusian monasteries.  they at least have great food and wine.  and no women.  i then asked him about the vow of poverty.  not into it.  and not every priest is.

richard, a.k.a. louis jourdan, was a witty bon vivant.  i really had to tear myself away–but he folded me into a cab and told me i was welcome to see him anytime.  i appreciate that.  this morning, i have as a souvenir of our time together a box of matches advertising the Iwan Ries Lounge and a hacker’s cough. 

the place has been around for five generations but i understand the recent heir does not want to continue the business!

#158 david yonan and the failure rebound

the stench of failure still hung over me when i woke up in ohio yesterday morning at seven.  i couldn’t stop replaying the conversation in my head:  my friend saying “you had to have known you were going to fail.  you just aren’t going to be able to meet every facebook friend you have.” 

that’s sort of true.  i figured somebody would go to jail or flee the country or maybe take part in a space expedition.  but i wasn’t expecting my friend’s analysis of WHY i would fail. 

“not everybody is willing to see you.  in particular, i happen to know three people who are dead set against it.”

“not at all?”  i asked.

“not at all.”

“then how are they my friends?”

which was sort of what i asked myself.  in order to get back to chicago to see f2fb friend #158 david yonan’s concert at the music institute of chicago at three o’clock i would need to leave oberlin, ohio by seven.  much as i adore the partita in d-minor by j.s. bach (uh, actually i had never heard of it) and ilya levinson’s elegy–crossing the bridge (ditto), the drive was daunting.  particularly if there was no point to it. 

still, i was intrigued.  i had never actually met david.  he was JUST a facebook friend, but he had invited me to his concert.  so i dragged my ass out of bed, made for starbucks, drove one hour in a circle around oberlin because i screwed up the directions for how to get on the turnpike, and then set sail for the music institute of chicago, nichols hall in evanston.  i made it with fifteen minutes to spare.  i might have smelled pretty bad.  and, yes, that was ketchup on my dress because i can’t eat and drive more than ninety miles per hour.

afterwards, david was so nice as to invite me to lunch.  at four o’clock.  what can i say?  he’s a cosmopolitan guy. 

i told him about some of my concerns about failure, about this project.  i told him also about my f2fb friend #157 todd stiles who perserveres in his quest to become a doctor even when he–as i–gets a case of the heebie jeebies.  david took a long term approach to it all.  he told me that nothing is impossible if you break it down into little bits.  and nothing worth doing does not at first seem impossible.  

then i had to ask him–how does he make it sound like there’s fifteen violins going on all at once?

you can learn more about the day’s events and david’s participation at http://makemusicchicago.com