… I’ve heard from a number of readers. Some write to ask a question. Some fill me in on their orchestra or their private website so that I’ll add them to one of the pages that list double reed players. Some are writing about one of the universities where I teach.

And most never respond when I write them back.

I find this a bit frustrating. I like to know if I’ve answered a person’s question. Heck, I’d like to know that they received my response! I also often ask a question in return. Still no answer from most readers. Hmmm. I’m not sure what this means. Being the insecure oboe player that I am I think, “They don’t like me! They really don’t like me!” But I’m trying not to go there.

A bit Thank You to those of you who have responded. I do appreciate that!

Today, like yesterday, has been a “do nothing day” for the most part. I’ve been feeling a bit poorly. Not sick enough to stay in bed, but not well enough to want to get a thing done. Fortunately I didn’t have anything that I had to do, so I’ve been able to baby myself. But I have to feel better tomorrow. There is no choice.

Tomorrow I’m at UCSC. If I don’t go, I have to reschedule, and that’s a pain. The next day I’m back with Cats and I don’t want to leave them in the lurch. If I had paying gigs I wouldn’t get paid if I didn’t show up. (We get very little or even no sick leave for groups I’m in.) Cats isn’t a real paying gig (although we did get Jameson’s costume paid for), but I committed to it and I don’t back out of commitments. (Doing so in this case would sure set a bad example for all those high school students!)

Later: Which leads into the jury duty issue. I’ve been called to jury duty in June. I’m self-employed. If I don’t work, I don’t earn. If I happened to get called for a show I’d be in deep trouble; we can’t take off rehearsals and we can only take shows off after the first week. Fortunately (well, sort of) I’ve not been hired for anything in June, but it does make me wonder … if I had been hired to do a show (and we only get called one month in advance, at the most), would I forfeit the entire run because of the possibility of jury duty? The last time I was called I sent a letter explaining my somewhat unusual situation and they let me off. This time no such luck. So let’s say I had a gig that would have paid $4,000. I’d be out that much money! Something is dreadfully wrong with this system. It certainly doesn’t work for us little folk.

Oh well. It’s a moot point since I have no weekday work coming up. None. Zilch. Nada. So far. (Except teaching; I’ll lose all that income if I end up sitting at the courthouse.)

Of course if an employer calls at the last minute—San Francisco Opera has done that—I’d be forced to turn down a hunk of money. Unless I just ignored the jury duty summons. (Do people do that?)

Such is life. At least this life.

Ah … the stomach is telling me to lie down again. Stupid stomach.


  1. terminaldegree

    You can NOT ignore jury summons. Bad idea. You can be held in contempt of court, get fined, or even (eek!) get a short jail sentence!

    But you CAN tell them that serving at this particular time would create a huge economic hardship for you, and bring documentation (such as your gig calendar or a list of your previous gigs and your busiest season). Then ask to have jury duty deferred until a time of year when you are least (hahaha) busy. It’s worth a try.

    Yes, it is bad for the self-employed. For a couple of years when I was at my worst off financially I’ll confess that I didn’t register to vote, because missing a single day would have made it hard to buy groceries. Something is WRONG with a system in which this is the best solution for the self-employed. Very wrong. And yet, I know that if I were accused of a crime, I’d want someone like ME on that jury. Tough situation.

  2. Patricia Mitchell

    No, I do realize I can’t just not go … only dreaming. And this IS my least busy time. So far. But if I were called by an employer it would be last minute and I’d have to turn down work. I could lose thousands if it involved a musical theatre sort of gig. Of course I realize that is very unlikely, but it still sucks big time. I will lose my teaching income. My only income for summer. Sigh.

    Thing is, I have been summoned a good number of times before, and twice I even made it into the jury box to be questioned. I’ve been thrown off immediately. Why? Because I’m a musician! We are considered too liberal by the prosecution. So I know how to get kicked off right away; I simply tell them my profession!

    Oh … and last time I did get excused when I wrote a letter to explain my job situation. This time someone else must have read my letter. Sigh.

  3. terminaldegree

    Dang. This is so frustrating. It’s so ironic that the penalty for registering to vote, which is supposed to be free, is that you could lose thousands.

    I think I’d have to go in and say that I believed in life sentences. For misdemeanors.

    Or I’d say that “gut feelings” are more important than facts and evidence.

    {evil grin}

    Where I live you get a whopping $20 for the entire day, as it is assumed that your employer will pay your regular salary. (Did I mention the self-employment tax here is really bad, too? And so is the business license. I do NOT live in a part of the US that encourages small business.) Oh, and you’re expected to take public transportation (which stinks), as parking isn’t reimbursed.

  4. Patricia Mitchell

    Well, they DO provide free parking, but I believe we are paid $5 a day, and only if we are chosen to be on the jury. If we sit there for the day waiting to be interviewed we receive nothing.

    Ah well. I’ll do my civic duty and be resentful. I can handle that. ;-)