The Day My Brakes Almost Didn't Work, VEXATIONS, and Miss America.

On my way home from church, I handed Cora a water bottle because she was thirsty. After she took a drink, she handed it back to me, and I put it in my lap. I was in our neighborhood, and I turned down a street near our park, only to find cars parked on both sides for nearly the entire block making it essentially a one-way street, and there was a car coming towards me. I quickly pulled over so he could pass. When I pulled over, I heard the water bottle slide down to the floor. When I got to the end of the block, I turned onto our street. Two blocks later, I pulled up to a stop sign, and when I pushed on the brakes nothing happened. I wondered how I could have lost all power in just two blocks.

I pushed harder, and in an instant, I was transported back to my childhood in-front of our silver Sylvania television set watching Rescue 911. One episode showed a truck pulling into a convenience store parking lot. As she was approaching her spot, she couldn't stop. She was coming from the grocery store, and somewhere along the way, a two-liter of pop had rolled under her brakes. She crashed through the front windows of the store.

I pushed on my brakes hard enough that the bottle (luckily much smaller than a two-liter - a 24 ounce CamelBak, if you must know) slid up far enough that I came to a stop. I'm happy I was in a neighborhood and only going twenty-five miles per hour...and that there wasn't a car in-front of me.

Moral of the story: Using a cup holder could save your life.

On Friday the 13th, one of Jake's dreams came true. He organized a performance of Erik Satie's VEXATIONS to take place on the 50th anniversary of the piece's first public performance. VEXATIONS is a single sheet of music that is to be repeated 840 times. 20 musicians, mostly pianists took thirty minute to an hour long shifts. There were two pianos set up in the atrium. When it was getting close to the time of the exchange, the one taking over would go sit at the empty piano, and the one playing would signal that they were finishing their last repetition and was passing the torch. It went on seamlessly.

I believe the first public performance took over 18 hours. The 50th Anniversary performance took 14.5 hours. It started at 6AM and ended at 8:28PM. Jake was there for the whole thing. I was there on and off for 3.5 hours, and was glad to be able to be there when the 840th repetition came to an end. It was nice to sit and think. To be fully in the moment. As I sat for the last hour, the sun was setting, and the large chandeliers in the music school were reflecting in the windows in front of a backdrop of interesting clouds. I thought about how much I love the Built Environment. Buildings, parks, public art spaces, how sewer systems work, homes, everything we've built to live in. I also love the Natural Environment, and I loved how both of them seemed to marry in front of me as I listened to Satie's piece.

Here are a few other pictures from the event:

And last, but not least, or maybe least...

I just watched my first Miss America pageant in its entirety since I was a teenager. Kelsey Griswold is Miss Oklahoma, a student at OCU, and one of Jake's former students. We [Jake and I] both watched, and after the question portion, we both thought it was definitely between Miss Oklahoma and Miss California. When it was down to Oklahoma, California, and New York, we were both shocked that Miss Oklahoma was called as 2nd runner-up, and even more shocked when Miss New York was crowned Miss America. Aside from that, it was fun to watch someone we know, and there is a definite sense of pride at how well she did. I mean, for real, she made a legit "twerking" joke. 


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