- The bass clef
For a long time, I was mad at the bass clef. As a beginning piano player, I could see no reason for the bass clef other than to confuse me, which it did brilliantly, since the bass notes don’t look like their treble counterparts. Because the bass clef had been invented by cruel musicians in a distant past to confound me and thousands of other innocent people, I refused to memorize it. Snubbing the bass clef made learning the piano difficult until my piano teacher explained that the bass clef was not a separate from the treble clef; it was, in fact, a continuum!
- Nonconsensual operating system updates
I get pissed off at nonconsensual operating system updates on “smart” phones and computers. For months I studiously avoided updating the operating system on my cell phone, then I accidentally sat on it and bingo! It updated itself. Since then I’ve had nothing but grief.
- People who make dumb remarks in the presence of genius
I get annoyed at people at museums who contemplate Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus or the original letters of Jane Austen and make stupid comments. Actually, I get mad at people who say anything in the presence of overwhelming magnificence. I was very fortunate at the Uffizi in Florence to find myself alone in a room with The Birth of Venus and I swear I didn’t say a word.
4. Cultural clichés
Tired wisdom, like “live in the moment” and “don’t look back!” is echoed ubiquitously. Everyone seems to have a grudge against the past, which after all, was the present until a moment ago. And, unlike the present, the past is amenable to revision, a highly laudable trait.
- The Mozart card – when you don’t get it
I’m still mad that my brother always hoarded all Mozart cards when we played Composers. I always got stuck with Rossini who was not nearly as cute.
- People who do not appreciate primal terror
I get annoyed with people who say my arachnophobia is the result of a traumatic childhood experience; trust me, it’s primal. There are a certain number people who carry the fear-of-spiders gene from prehistoric man, who was smart enough to understand that some spiders were life-threatening. And speaking of genes…
I’m mad at myself because I didn’t get the merging traffic gene – a recent evolutionary development. I can’t merge and there’s not a single thing I can do about it.