DeanMail -  February 2012 - Happy Groundhog's Day!



DeanHey Folks,

I just wanted to take a minute to wish you all a warm and fuzzy Groundhog's Day.

I can imagine you all now, sitting expectantly around your holiday tables, laden with scrumptious goodies, surrounded by family and friends, dressed in your Groundhog's Day best, about to partake of a magnificent Groundhog's Day feast. But first, the youngest among you poses the traditional Groundhog's Day question. Smiles all around as the youngster innocently tilts their head up and asks, "Can someone please tell me, why the &#%@ are we celebrating a nearsighted, pudgy rodent that lives in a hole in a ground? Seriously! Anybody?"

Kids, what do they know?

Meanwhile, let me just take a quick second to mention a recent and timely development that occurred during a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland of the International Telecommunication Union. Everyone's familiar with the leap year - a day added to the end of February every four years to keep the seasons where they oughta be. Well there's a leap second, as well.

You see, the problem is... our planet, Earth, is, er, uh... wobbly. That's right, wobbly as Lindsay Lohan at her own Bat Mitzvah.

I know, I was dismayed to learn this embarrassing truth. Apparently, our wobbly irregular spin on our axis, combined with an overall slowing down of our orbital rotation results in a discrepency between our super-precise atomic clocks and our 24-hour (sunrise to sunset) days. It means that if nothing is done, eventually - a few million years from now - summer will be freezing cold and winter, sweltering hot. Kinda like living in Australia - but without the Kangaroos or Wallabies.

The US, France, Italy and Germany want to keep the leap second. The UK, Canada and China don't. The tiny island of Samoa is on the fence about it.

I suppose if you consider every single moment of life to be precious, you gotta love the leap second. On the other hand if you've got loads of time to kill, what are a few lost seconds here or there?

These weighty questions were debated in Geneva, last week, and time-keepers everywhere were anxiously awaiting the meeting's decision as to whether to keep or discard the fleeting leap second. As it turned out, before they were able to reach a decision, they ran completely out of time and were forced to postpone their momentous decision until 2015. According to my calculations that's about 94 million seconds from now, give or take a few million. More than enough time to clean out the living room closet, get my car brakes fixed, record a new album, play a few gigs...

Speaking of gigs, I've got another instrumental jazz gig booked at, The Winery, in Mohegan Lake, NY on Wednesday, February 22, 8:00pm. Tickets are $10 on the door. I do a handful of my regular tunes and a lot of original and traditional jazz and jazz-fusion, working with a terrific group of musicians. It's a fun night, and if you enjoy cool music in a unique venue with great ambience, come join me.

Also, I'll be crossing the Bear Mountain Bridge and heading south to NJ for a regular Dean Friedman gig at The Record Collector, in Bordentown, NJ on Saturday, April 21, 7:30pm . So, if you're anywhere near the middle of the Garden State, make sure to mark it on your calendar. ORDER TICKETS HERE.

A week later, I'll be crossing the Tappanzee Bridge to play a gig at one of my favorite NY venues, The Turning Point, in Piermont, NY on Sunday afternoon, April 29, 4:00pm (early show). It's always an intimate, friendly gig. Stop on by. You're sure to have a good time! ORDER TICKETS HERE.

Which brings us right back to Geneva. Personally, I'm with the tiny island of Samoa - I could go either way. My main concern is the thought of some poor groundhog a few million years from now, poking his head up from out of his burrow thinking it's mid-day, wary of seeing his own shadow, only to discover it's actually five minutes past midnight, all because of some stupid missing leap seconds.

These issues are not trivial. No one can really predict the future - except, as they say, death and taxes - but even the semblence of predictability can be reassuring, especially in a wobbly world.

I find it heartening to know that the trash gets picked up every Monday morning, the mail gets delivered every day 'cept Sundays (for now), our cat Murray predictably jumps on my keyboard every afternoon (demanding to be fed), that Newt Gingrich will utter something mindbogglingly idiotic*, every time he speaks, and that for absolutely no explicable reason, every February 2nd some poor groundhog gets scared half out of his wits by seeing his own shadow (unless, of course, it's cloudy, in which case we have 6 more weeks 'til spring, or something like that.)

Why does he do it? (The groundhog, not Newt) Why does he bother? Why not stay warm and cozy in his carpeted burrow? Who knows? But something in him compells him to poke his head up out that hole and face his groundhog destiny.

Life's scary enough without surprises. And yet, there are times a person needs to confront the unknowable future, acutely aware of its untold dangers and risks. It's times like that - in the face of potential chaos - it helps to get in touch with the groundhog in all of us, to pause for just a moment, shake off our paralyzing anxiety and fears, and take a tiny... leap... of faith.

Then hope we don't get bopped on the head!

Happy Groundhogs Day, Everybody!


PS: I'm starting to book my itinerary for my 2012 Tour, so anyone out there involved with programming for concert venues, theatres, clubs etc... that would like to consider a booking, give me a shout! Sponsors welcome too. Anyway, enjoy your February - especially leap day. All the best! DF

PPS: *BTW, I actually quite like Newt's proposed moon-base idea, so long as he personally conducts the onsite ribbon cutting ceremony along with like-minded lunatics, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump and the Koch brothers as his VIP guests.



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