You decide which is which.
Story the First: I dreamt I had moved to a small town somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Not so small that it couldn’t support a community orchestra, however. Because I joined the group when the organizers came around.
Our first concert–some indefinite period the future–was going to be an all-Bernstein program. We all show up for the first rehearsal, and it’s obvious that, while some of us might* be accomplished musicians, as a group we don’t have Clue One what the heck we’re doing.
* Strong emphasis on the “might”.
So we start setting up our instruments, looking over the sheet music, and all the things that occupy musicians’ time while they wait for the conductor: calling our loved ones, making dental appointments, playing Wordle, and so on.
Someone steps onto the podium and taps his baton for our attention.
There’s a mass intake of breath. Our conductor is none other than Leonard Bernstein himself*.
* For the record, I’m well aware Mr. Bernstein died more than three decades ago. Tell that to my subconscious.
In some little Podunk town. For a community orchestra that had never played together before.
Leonard Effin’ Bernstein.
We all clearly knew disaster awaited us, but when Leonard Bernstein tells you to play, you play.
I consider it a blessing that I woke up just as the baton swept down to launch us into West Side Story.
The moral here should be obvious. Should be.
“Don’t reach for the stars; they’ll come to you.” Nah. “Follow your leader.” Nuh-uh. “Practice? Who needs practice?” Uh…
Story the Second: As I’ve mentioned before, I have mixed feelings about Google Assistant’s Commute notification feature. A couple of days ago, I was leaning decidedly toward the negative, thanks to a notification foul-up of epic proportions, but unimportant details.
So I was ranting in a generally Maggie-facing direction; a rant which began “Have I mentioned how much I hate Google?”
When I ran down, I picked up my book and flopped on the bed next to Maggie and started to read. And then, because I do have my occasional episodes of mush, I turned to her and said, “No matter how much I hate Google, I love you more.”
There was a second of silence, perhaps a sliver of a second more, as she prepared to say, “Aww,” and then a voice was heard from the bookshelf where my phone sits while charging.
“I can’t feel romantic love but I think you are wonderful.”
Yes, my phone had misinterpreted “hate Google” as “Hey, Google” and thought I was addressing her*.
* Yes, I do consider my phone to be female. And I have no intention of analyzing why.
While I suppose it’s a relief to know that my phone has no desire to supplant my wife in my affections (yet), I’m not entirely sure I needed to know that I am a figure of wonder and (I suppose) awe.
Talk about inflating one’s sense of self-worth.
And, no question about the moral here: Big Brother is, in solemn truth, always listening.