Category Archives: Boot to the Head


Welllllll, there are plenty of Boots to the Head to give out today.

First — it’s blowing up Twitter and Facebook. After George Zimmerman goes free after killing a kid, Marissa gets the book right in the face. BOOT to the head of that judge.

Second — I belong to a Facebook group called “Badass Teachers Association.” (Sorry if the title offends. They said that they previously were called “Dump [US Sec. of Educ. Arne] Duncan,” but they could only get 1,000 members. The “BATs” now have over 22,000 members. Names matter.) It’s basically a fantastic bunch, dedicated to the repeal of the Common Core in the high-stakes testing debacle in this country, financed by billionaires who’ve never taught a day in their lives, and who think (moronically) that a school should be run just like a business. Anyway, as I feared, it is filling up with whiny crybabies who give the bad guys TONS of ammo against teachers. Shut up already. BOOT.

Third — I’m in a sour mood today, and I hate it. Someone make me laff!!

Fink out (of sorts)


Neck – stop hurting!

Tribe – stop losing!

Girls – stop being mean!

Humidity and temps – stop rising! I have a gig tomorrow afternoon in an un-air-conditioned high school gym!

Body – stop makin me mad!

Tempus – stop fugiting!

Brain – stop overthinking!

School district – stop scheduling graduation over Memorial Day weekend!

OK, had to get that overwith. You’d think that since school is done (all that remains is my contract day on Tuesday) and the Js are coming over tomorrow night, I’d be happy. Well, I am. Time for an attitude adjustment, but it’s fun to get all yer digs in before you turn the corner, ja? Lots of good things coming down the pike this summer, so let’s have at it.

That is all. I need some fruit.



Aaaaand here we go again.

Wrap your brain around this little drama:

Back in August, I wrote an arrangement of a beautiful song, as I could not find an existing arrangement of it. Through one miracle or another, the chart sounds pretty good. So, I figured I’d better get permission to use it on a concert before I got too heavy into rehearsals.

Located the two composers, contacted their people for permission to perform. It took me a week of bothering them to get them to tell me who owned the print rights. It’s like it was classified information on a national security scale. (???) Once I jimmied that info out of them, I appealed to the Daddy of All School Publishing Companies for permission to arrange the song and for it to be (hopefully) published for sale for school and church use.

Two weeks later, they issue me a Permission to Arrange contract. Wait a minute, though…it’s not for print publishing. It’s just so I can make copies of my own arrangement to use for my choir alone. And to use my own chart, I get to pay $40 upfront, then pay these people $1 for every copy I make for rehearsal.


OK, that’s not what I asked. So I emailed the gal back, and asked her to give me the what-what on the printing rights. She wrote back and told me exactly what was on the contract she just sent me. Ooo, hey, guess what? I CAN READ. So I wrote her back and clarified — calmly and politely, but to the letter, and as if I had to make a 10-year-old understand it — exactly what information I was after.

No response.


I have no idea why the doors slam shut when I get to this one issue. I mean, almost nobody takes unsolicited works anyway, so I’m likely screwed regardless, but I honestly want to get to the bottom of this.

I emailed my friend Jerry in Georgia, who is a published arranger (many, many times over), and he wrote back and said he has over 30 of these kinds of things in print, and has never run into this.

I’m beginning to think I’m cursed.

So, I’m putting a call into the Great White School Music Throne today. Any wagers on how many desk droids I’ll have to wade through to be connected with someone who knows jack about this? Cripes.

Oh, and Honorable Mention today goes to CitiMortgage, for sending me a statement with the wrong amount on it for the fourth time. Thumbs up, yeah!


Ya know…

What do you think would happen if I just decided that I didn’t want to take care of business? For instance, how about if I didn’t show up for a concert? Or if I blew off going to a gig to accompany a student and left him hanging with nothing? I’d never get away with it, that’s what. Yet, people apparently do just that on a regular basis.

I trusted one “professional” person to make sure the escrow account on my mortgage is overfunded (and of course, I pay extra to make it so), and for the second straight tax billing period, I look at my statement to see huge late fees because I didn’t have a sufficient balance to make my escrow payment. So I call them. AGAIN. I say, politely, “Um, remember the last two times we dealt with this? Could you check your records and see where I paid extra so this would be taken care of?”

Then I get the “Oh, yes. I see that here. Well, we have to charge the penalty this time, but we’ll be sure to adjust it for next time.” The double-talk, the end-runs around me, the quoting of rules and guidelines that make no sense: they love to lay it on in hopes that if they baffle you with enough BS, you’ll just say OK and go away. That’s about when I lost it last night. Dragging home at 9 p.m. after a decidedly less-than-stellar rehearsal which followed a day full of bad news on one front or another, only to find this familiar friend staring me in the face — it was about all I could take. Mama Fink went on the warpath. And I have the 3.5 hours of sleep to show for it.

The absolute bottom line is this: they don’t listen. You can explain your issue to them as if they were toddlers, after which they puke out hollow epithets like, “Yes, I’ll notate that in your account,” and “It’s all taken care of!” — then they forget they ever heard of you.

Someday, I am going to just let stuff like this go. Meh, it’s just inefficient people. No biggy…

Welp, today is not that day. BOOT to the head.


Crabby? Me?

Do you ever finish a yummy breakfast and your stomach is full but your mouth is still hungry? I hate that. Had a fantastic strawberry-pineapple-mango-vanilla yogurt smoothie this morning, drank it all down (a huge cup and a half serving for about 150 skinny calories) — and then it was over. I wasn’t even nearly done tasting it yet. Well, that tends to make me a skosh tetchy. So naturally, I have to make everyone around me tetchy as well. I’m just awesome like that. :-)

This morning I happened on a site that seems to be run by a young gal who asks people to submit quotes to her, after which she puts them on interesting pictures and offers them as graphics for your website, Facebook page, MySpace profile, cubicle, desk, bedroom wall, etc.

Is it just me, or does anyone else find these incredibly heavy, deep sayings a trifle annoying? A little over-dramatic, mayhap? Heaven knows we’re all (even I, gasp!) given to histrionics and lengthy rantings now and then, and even the occasional lofty discourse, right? I generally try to avoid all three. But sometimes the situation becomes untenable, and I have to, well, tetch. It’s Snark Week, after all. :P

I mean, look at these. Seriously.


How about we elect this guy to the school board.


a n d then, i ran o u t of meth




Shut up, hippie. I will cut you.


As I am cloaked in failure.


daisyrifle daisyrifle daisyrifle daisyr


The only thing worse than quoting Jerry Maguire? Quoting Olivia Newton-John.


As outer Mongolia leads to China.




OK OK. I’ll quit. Actually, I’m not feeling that surly anymore. Writing to you has cured me. Besides, today is a good day; I’m going to get a lot done this morning after getting lots done last night. Then, this afternoon, the Js come for a sleepover, and there’s a Browns game on tonight. A good Saturday indeed. Hope yours is fab!