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September 2009 - Chris Schuette

Silly Goose

September 29, 2009 | By | No Comments

Photo taken by Patricia Schuette

So I’m getting out of my car at work this morning, and I literally miss planting my clean dress shoes into a conveniently-placed pile of goose-droppings by mere millimeters.  Seriously, millimeters!  (I had a tape measure with me.)  Let me explain something.  If I HAD stepped in goose droppings the second I stepped out of the car, I would scrape off what I could. I would then get back in the car, drive home, put my Incredible Hulk PJs back on (Bixby, not Bana,) climb back into bed, sleep for two more hours, get up, eat another breakfast, get dressed, go back to work and try this all over again.

 The way I see it, if you step in goose droppings the instant you get to work, you get a do-over.  No questions asked!  Because THAT day ain’t getting any better unless you do a reboot.

Assuming that you’re still reading, you’re probably asking, “what about your supervisor or co-workers?  How are they going to feel about you going home and ‘starting over?'”  You know what, I think they’d be cool with it.  That’s right, I work with nice people and I am confident that they would back me up on this.  “You stepped in goose-droppings?  You get a do-over! And put on a nicer shirt!”  (They actually say that…and it always hurts.) 

Somewhere at this very moment, there is a goatee-wearing “evil” Chris in a parallel universe who is sleeping peacefully while his still kinda-smelly shoes are airing out on the front step.

He also owns a rocket car, ’cause Man, I was so TOTALLY close to getting one of those.

Fall-Type Music Thing

September 28, 2009 | By | No Comments

smallwonderI have always loved Fall in MN; the way it comes bursting in unannounced and proceeds to drunkenly tell stories about when you used to set your VCR to record every episode of “Small Wonder” back in the 80’s.  Oh sure, you can deny it all you want in the hopes that Fall decides to go away and pass out in the corner until Spring.  But the truth is, you’re stuck.  Fall is going to draw all of the room’s attention and tell the embarrassing stories while being completely oblivious to the small amount of spittle at the corner of it’s mouth.

I do like it when the leaves change, though; that’s always kinda pretty.


Now that my CD is done (available here at my online store, of course) I actually have time to work on some other musical projects that haven’t been getting the proper amount of Schuet-tention lately (yeah, I make up words now.)  I spent a few hours yesterday afternoon recording the li’l piece I’m posting below.   Since the Fall wind & rain were conspiring outside my window while I worked on it, I decided to call this piece “Equinox.” I also called it this because I’m fairly certain I haven’t used that song title yet.  It runs 3:00m, but you can listen longer if you like.

Oh, and if you would like to get my future audio clips automatically downloaded to your iPod thingie, you can subscribe to my FREE podcast by clicking this link:

Chris Schuette

Thanks, Dad

September 22, 2009 | By | 5 Comments

Exactly twenty years ago this past weekend, my dad died. Sorry, that’s easily the least cheerful way to begin a blog post, but I’ve found myself thinking about dad a lot lately. Dad was diagnosed in April 1989 with lung cancer and it quickly became evident that there was nothing the doctors could do. He died, peacefully at home, on September 19, 1989 surrounded by family. I held his hand when he died. Everything for several years after that is a bit of a blur for me. When I started paying attention again, there was this new thing called “The Internet.” dadjenme

My dad was an incredible man who always had an easy smile and an positive outlook.  Even after my sister Karla died of leukemia in 1974, he never became an angry or bitter man.   Dad and I got along great…even when we didn’t. (Anyone who has ever raised a teenager will know what I mean.) My only regret is that I never got to know dad as a friend as I progressed into my 20s and 30s. There were times I could have really used his advice.

Shortly before he died, dad told about something that mad him feel good. This surprised me since the chemotherapy pretty much made him feel quite the polar opposite of “good.” He knew he wasn’t going to make it, but he told me that it made him feel good to know that in the early part of the 21st century, there would be a man who kinda looked him and kinda sounded like him. He knew that man would work his ass off to be the kind of husband and father that he always tried to be. That was a hell of a thing for my 18 year-old brain to process, but I never forgot that conversation.

The reason I bring this up is that 2009 also saw some some unexpected challenges in my family. Patty had a miscarriage earlier this summer. Unfortunately, there were complications that took several months to work out. Patty wrote a nice post over at her own blog. During the difficulties, Patty needed my help. At first I wondered what I could do.  Let’s face it, when people are facing adversity, they don’t immediately start looking for a keyboard player who watched too much TV as a kid.  Then I considered how dad would have handled a similar situation and the answer became clear: I would do everything.  Everything I could, plus a few things I couldn’t. I would drop whatever I was doing to be the kind of husband…the kind of person my dad would have been proud of.   Patty is doing great now, and I’m just glad I could be there when she needed me.

Nice to know the old man can still teach me some things 20 years later.  Thanks, Dad.


Class of 1989

September 19, 2009 | By | No Comments

Not Pictured: Peter Gabriel

Not Pictured: Peter Gabriel

Patty & I attended my 20-year high school reunion yesterday.  Patty is a bit younger than me, so she wasn’t quite sure what to expect.  I assured her that despite what the 1989 yearbook would suggest, the school hallways did not smell like hairspray & Copenhagen. The cafeteria? yes, but not the hallways.  I also warned her that if we walk in to the reunion and hear music by Faster Pussycat, it’s OK, it’s intentional, not some horrible, horrible mistake.  She also gave me that odd look she always does when I use words like “Faster Pussycat” and “hallways.”

I don’t have any snarky remarks about the reunion.  Quite the contrary; I was so grateful to reconnect with people I used to see every day.  Sadly, I almost forgot how many kind and wonderful people I knew at that time in my life.  They’ve all gone on to be teachers, parents, authors, businessowners, beer-drinking contest winners…you name it.  I did think the music was a little loud, however.  Of, course, it’s possible that the music wasn’t loud and I’ve simply reached the magical stage of life somewhere between “fuddy” and “duddy.” Yeah, that’s probably it. 

All in all, it was a fun night.  Oh, and I love  that new nickname people were giving me: “Kohmofer.”  Hmm, sounds German.

One last thing:  if anyone has any photos from last night where I’m NOT stuffing my face full of lasagna & cake, that would be awesome. Later.

The New CD!

September 18, 2009 | By | No Comments

Good News, Everyone!  The new CD, All You Know, has arrived and is available right here.  I’ve included a Store link at the top.  And yes, I am reacting with the enthusiasm of a beloved cultural icon:

"The new relaxing, yet accessible solo piano CDs are here!"

"The new relaxing, yet accessible solo piano CDs are here!"

 Thanks to everyone who supported me and expressed interest in my first-ever piano CD, which is especially odd since I’ve always thought of myself as a bassoonist.

I’ve also re-booted my FREE podcast on iTunes, so I’ll be posting out-takes and other audio tracks there as well.  Did I mention the podcast is free?  Well, it is.

Swift Response

September 14, 2009 | By | No Comments

At the risk of being informative, I just wanted to point out that Kanye West might be insane.  During the normally reserved and uneventful MTV Video Music Awards ceremony yesterday, Kanye West ran from his seat near the front row, onto the stage, where he then grabbed the microphone from an understandably shocked Taylor Swift, who was in the middle of her acceptance speech for the Best Female Music Video award.  Kanye proceeded to go on a rant about Beyoncé Knowles should have won the award rather than Ms. Swift.

I have worked with a lot of professional musicians over the years.  Let’s just say that I feel sorry for the poor soul who thinks its a good idea to rip a microphone out of the hands of anyone I know.

I’ll be honest, I know nothing about Taylor Swift or her music.  My guess is that she is probably very, very talented.  But I do know from the article that she is a nineteen year-old professional singer who was accepting an award;  an award she presumably worked very hard for.  Suddenly, this psycho runs onto the stage and proceeds to steal her moment.  And let’s face it,  the rant had nothing to do with Beyoncé and everything to do with Kanye West.  Assuming he is not mentally ill, this is probably just another attempt to keep his name out there.  Either that, or he’s looking to be cast in an upcoming re-boot of  The Wedding Singer:


Hello, I'm Kanye West

Oh, and the best part of the story was the classy way both Ms. Knowles & Ms. Swift handled the situation.  Ms. Swift in particular responded with absolutely no drama, “I was excited to be onstage because I just won the award. And then I was excited that Kanye West was onstage. Then, I wasn’t excited anymore.”

That’s how a professional behaves, and that how an adult responds.  At least, that’s what I’ve heard.

My Advice To Your Kids

September 8, 2009 | By | No Comments

In light of President Obama’s speech to America’s students earlier today, I’ve been inspired to offer some advice of my own . Obviously, I’m not as gifted a communicator as the President…ANY President, but here goes.

First, I’ve learned that if you want to demonstrate your maturity, be sure to add the word “the” when referring to social media; as in, “the Facebook,””the YouTubes,” and, ohh! “the Friendster!” Work it into a sentence like, “The kids sure loves ‘The Friendster!'”  That works pretty well for me, if eye-rolling is a teen’s way of showing approval.

Photo Courtesy of the Patty Schuette Collection

Photo Courtesy of the Patty Schuette Collection

Second, If you somehow manage to get your hand stuck in a can of soup (and you will,) try to act cool and behave like you meant to do it. Also, try to parlay the experience into a really boss nickname like “Can-Hand,” or “Soupcan Schuette.” It may also help you in the super-competitive Hobo Music Scene.

Third, no matter what your political affiliation, make sure to accuse anyone who doesn’t agree with you of being a “communist,””socialist,””right-wing whackjob,””knee-jerk liberal”…something like that. We live in a fast-paced world and there is no room for respectful discussion of the many complex issues that affect our common future. After all, if we all think alike, we’ll be just like the Borg on Star Trek. And everyone loves Star Trek, don’t they? Well, DON’T THEY?!?

And finally, learn to do something you love…something beautiful and amazing, whether it’s music, photography, writing, drawing, painting, dancing…whatever. Learn to do it so well that you’d never dream of ever giving it up, and learn to do it while you’re young and have the time. And after you’ve learned it pretty well, share it with the world.

Because the world will probably need it.