West Coast Living

snow07aHello, good morning, and welcome to the Saturday Morning News Post!

Sorry this post is a bit late, I flew from Montreal to Vancouver a few days ago and not just in the nick of time. The day I left, Montreal had its first snow storm of the season, and to my friends who live in Montreal and said it was a “little snow storm,” I said “You’re out of your goddamn minds!” A snow storm is a snow storm, when you get over a half foot of snow in a few hours and it’s blowing up, down, and sideways at the same time, well, that’s mother nature trying to tell you something,… Get out! Pack your shit and take your delicate sensibilities elsewhere!

And so I listened, but as usual, a certain contemporary Canadian jazz clarinetist left his packing to the last minute (fyi: last minute packing often leads to packing 2/3 of your closet and 1/3 of what you actually need). Only this time I also left apartment cleaning to the last minute and my piece de resistance, as I was about to leave the apartment for the airport, I remembered I had numerous CDs and large books to return to the school library.

Now let me explain, the first snowfall of Winter is a special, almost magical moment for Quebecers. You’ll see children playing merrily in the snow and folks sweeping off their front steps with content, saying Bonjour! to passers by. They know Winter, they know how to deal with it, but more than that, they know how to embrace it, nay, even enjoy it.

And then there’s me…

Bundled up with numerous layers including a wool cardigan and a down ski jacket, frantically running 12 blocks through a snow storm to the subway station, cradling a clarinet case under one arm, carrying the weight of 2 heavy suitcases (Oh, those little wheels? They don’t work so well in the snow.) and the possibly heavier weight of personal regret due to my own idiocy for leaving all travel preparations to the last minute,… again.

Of course the fun part, once at the station, heart near ready to explode, is taking the escalator down into the ridiculously over-heated Montreal subway. It feels like something out of Indiana Jones And The Temple of Doom, slowly descending into a fiery hell, heart pounding (admittedly, in my own body), sweating profusely through winter layers which, greatly appreciated only a minute earlier, now feel like they’ve turned against you.

In the end, the library materials were returned, I had to spend an extra $30 to take a taxi instead of the bus to the airport and here I am on the West Coast. Lesson learned?… probably not.

Since getting back into town I’ve had a couple of little gigs, one included pulling the tenor sax out of the closet to record some Christmas tune backing tracks for a vocalist in town. (Ah saxophone, just like riding a bike,… so forgiving.) Besides that, I’ve also been visited by a couple of friends who were insistent on giving my liver what for, and have been working away on a Christmas related list of chores for the Danderfer household. ‘Tis the season to be folly, tired, merry!

And now, I’ve still got lots of work to do on the CBC commission for the Jelly Roll Morton tribute show/recording, a paper to write for Jazz Pedagogy class, more work to do on the electroacoustic project, AND a comprehensive 2-year financial plan, which I will tell you all about next Saturday. I know, I’m excited too!

Until then, have a great week and enjoy the winter weather!

  • http://www.johndoheny.com John Doheny

    Two suitcases? Plus horn? I hope you’re not one of those “I never check a bag cause the airline will lose it” bastards I’ve been running into lately. You know, the ones who fill up all the overhead bins with their crap so there’s no room for your horn, forcing you to take a later flight because there’s NO WAY that horn is “getting checked” and put under the plane.

    I actually discovered a new strategy for dealing with this while coming home from Boston last Thursday, if you’re interested. Most airlines now have ‘special’ preboarding categories of passengers they let on along with the ‘passengers needing assistance or travelling with small children” set. I was flying Continental, and they call this “Elite Access.” Ask for it at check-in, and you get on ahead of the hordes, while there’s still plenty of overhead-bin space to stash the horn.

    Takes the anxiety out of getting a seat assignment that boards last.

    Oh, and isn’t it, like, ‘snowing’ in Vancouver right now? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  • http://jamesdanderfer.com james

    Hmmm, that’s a very clever way to do it John. I’ll ask West Jet about that next time I check in. Thanks!

  • megan

    Hey there, playing a little bit of blog catch-up here. This post gave me the belly laughs James! I can picture your sprint through the snowy city so clearly! we must find a way to publish your adventures! hilarious

  • http://jamesdanderfer.com james

    But what would it be called? “How Did I Make It This Far?” or something?