Mar 31, 2006


(originally posted at

So Emilee had an orchestra concert last night. I went alone which is nice because when there's no one there to keep me in check, somehow I always get really emotional and end up weeping. This concert wasn't really one to weep at, either. Every piece they played was pretty famous, and when you've heard a piece a million times, it's not moving unless you're either listening to the best orchestra in the world (which, I'm sorry, but...the BYU Symphony isn't) or you've just had the most emotional experience of your life and somehow everything you hear or see or smell brings you to tears if you think about it long enough. And most of it, Brahms’s Hungarian Dances No. 5 and 6, for example, I just kind of sat there and went, “meh, nothing special.” But, of course, The Moldau really got to me somehow.

I was almost sure that the best part of the concert was going to be when the old guy sitting in front of me blew his nose so loud during a particularly quiet bit of Dance of the Hours that everyone in the immediate vicinity kind of looked at each other and tried not to laugh. But that was before we met Jean.

After the concert, this random Asian guy comes up to Emilee. Maybe 30-ish…hard to tell, though. From his English and mannerisms, I’d say his boat landed in San Francisco yesterday. Towards the end of the conversation we find out he goes by Jean. We call him Jean Linchia Kung. (Hey, it was Emilee’s idea…don’t get all offended, okay? But I’ll admit, it makes me laugh really hard.)

Jean: You play violin tonight?

Emilee: Yeah.

Jean: Wowww. You were really good. That was such a good concert.

Emilee: Thanks.

Jean: So how long you been playing?

Emilee: Since kindergarten.

Jean: Wowww. And where you from?

Emilee: Nevada.

Jean: NEVADA??!! Wowww. That’s close to California, right?

Emilee: Yep.

Jean: So do you have to learn all the instruments?

Emilee: What? Oh…no, I’m not a music major.

Jean: No way! Then what are you studying?

Emilee: Chemical engineering.


This goes on for minutes and minutes. He asks for her life story and becomes more and more amazed with her. (“Why didn’t you go to Julliard?” “Oh, I’m not thaaat good.” “Yes you are!!!!”) And I’m standing there centimeters away from Emilee, but he doesn’t acknowledge my presence the entire time. I wish I could properly convey the intensity of this man. And Emilee and I occasionally glance at each other with the, “This guy can’t possibly for real…this isn’t happening” look. And then:

Jean: Are you Mormon, too?

Emilee: Yep.

Jean: You going to general conference this weekend?

Emilee: No, I’ll watch it on TV, though.

Jean: Well I have an extra ticket! They hard to get, but my bishop gave me two.

Emilee: Ummmm…well, you’d give it to me? That’s not too much trouble?

Jean: Oh, no trouble at all! You give me this fabulous concert! I cannot even tell you what a good time I had tonight.

So they exchange email addresses and a couple hours after we leave she gets a message that starts off “Thank you for the concert you contributed for free tonight. Your work is so much appreciated that I'd like to deliver a Conference ticket to you by myself.” I don’t know if you can feel at all how passionate this guy was, but, just trust me when I say it was probably the funniest thing I’ve witnessed all year. I mean, it was a nice concert and all, but…he was out of control in raptures about it. And the way he talked to Emilee, you’d think the whole concert was her idea or something. I wish I had it on video. Or at least someone that is really good at impressions could’ve been there to witness it.

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