Saturday, December 31, 2005

Season Seven

Buffy was given to me for Christmas. All of season Seven. Yesterday I got my order of cute-but-not-cutesy iron-ons for spicing up the kid's onesies, so I had some crafty time to put in.

Buffy got me through the wedding invite making, too.

I didn't expect this season (the last) to be as good as it is. I can't believe past Buffy folk like Alyson Hannigan and Seth Green are on such crappy shows now.

Anyway, see you at the end of disc II.

Soggy Ending

2005 is almost kaput. It has been quite a year, if I remember to straighten up and look back over it- most of the time I sort of feel like I'm trudging ahead, letting my eyes roam only over the next few steps ahead. If you do that while hiking, your neck gets sore and you miss all the good scenery.

It looks like New Years Eve will be a soggy one here. It may in fact be quite similar to the time I was visiting Grandma English and we watched the ball fall on TV. I say we, but she had dozed off in her chair.

Things are flooding all around here- I find that oddly exciting. It's mean of me, really, because I know if we didn't live on top of a hill then I'd be worrying like the folks around us must. A few miles down the road there's the little sad town of Turner. It features a train track, several stuffy pubs, two run-down mini markets and all of it tends to flood. There's a huge Tabernacle church building- pretty, really- and already the entire lot it's on is a lake.

Something about water overrunning boundaries makes me feel all biblical. The bridges around here are low and quaint- mostly cement with neat shapes cast in them, from earlier times. Since it's an agricultural area out here there are probably more chemicals being washed around with the silt than can be counted, but it LOOKS like nature gone wild. Everyone is talking about winter of '96, when the floods were the worst and bridges were washed out entirely. Mom and dad were surrounded by flooded roads- all 3 routes between them and town were covered.

Despite the chance of getting socked in, I am still taking herbs and pumping whatever I can get out of my boobs. Even in '96 they were able to get out because they drive big rigs, so I refuse to let up on my labor quest. It seems somehow appropriate to labor in a deluge.

Friday, December 30, 2005


I have found it. I will do everything I can (don't remind me it's not much) to get the kid ready to pop on out. I've bought the breast pump (there's two potentially hot words you can combine to take the sex right out of them), the double-blind scientifically tested herbs, the treadmill (thanks J!) and the gym membership with a pool included.

It's hard not to get my hopes up or to get dismal.

Right, then. It's about time for my morning nap. Someday soon I know I will look back on this freedom and curse my ungrateful little taking-for-granted self. So let's savor- c'mon, Simon. We'll stack up a pile of frivolous parenting books & pillows and listen to the rain fall outside. Maybe we'll even go wild and hook up the old pump, lulled away to the land of nod by its peaceful zzzt zzzt-ing.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Hello, my name is Miriam and I am a raging hormone-aholic.

Yesterday I wanted to get out of the house. So we went birthday shopping for a certain sister and also Christmas gift exchanging. And then I realized that wasn't what I wanted to do. Have you ever seen a toddler ask for and recieve something, only to shriek Noo-o---ooo? That was me.

It is a very strange thing to go from school/work/practice/church/things to do with friends any day of the week to.... Salem. And I like Salem, and my parents are amazing and gracious and kind as always. (Here comes the dreaded However) However, I am going nuts.

I have no friends, and no prospect of encountering any, and sometimes (yes, like now) I fully and completely indulge in self pity. No wonder I am so ready for the kid to arrive, just to have a purpose. Normally I would look at the situation, come up with some solutions, start to DO something about it and buy myself a Starbucks. There just really isn't much I can figure to do just now, except... what was it other people have.... Patience? Yeah, learn that.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Veni, veni Emanuel!

Merry Christmas!!

Wishing you and yours the best evening and warmest time.

Playing in church yesterday we had a great time with the band. Mom and Dad drove up (first time they've heard me play for ages, and J ever!) and the service included tons of little kids with candles. That way we get the thrill of wonder- wondering if any of them will set any one on fire.

None were ignited, and Rick gave an excellent message- I like him more and more, and respect his depth of knowledge. We also went to Mom & Dad's church and got to say Hi to Pastor Moody.

Our tricky present wrap jobs worked and there were real surprises all around. J got a little keychain baby that poos gel when you squeeze it, courtesy of his Dad. Huge an extravagant gifts were spread liberally about, and we all feel blessed (not to mention fed) into a state of grateful shock. Lovely!

Sweet love to you all, internet people.

Friday, December 23, 2005


Less than a month. A day less than four weeks.

Milk purchased now expires right around my Estimated Due Date.

Things that take 4-6 weeks to arrive would not be here by then.

If I started a Write a Book in 28 Days! course, I wouldn't quite get to The End.

I'm trying to encourage myself, because I really can't believe I've ever not been pregnant, or ever will be done being pregnant. 40 weeks is longer than it seems. About 27 days longer.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Becoming a Dad

It's at least a little funny that right now I am reading a book called Becoming a Dad. It's a slightly Christianese book with a more contemporary spin written by a couple of psychologists. It's a good read, except when they start in with the Find Yourself descriptions (are you a Mr. Nice Guy or a Joe Quarterback? Did your family tell you You Were Loved? Did you Always Get Your Way? etc.) complete with horoscopian predictions of what this will mean in your own parenting style.

I do like the verses they chose to throw in. This one from Deuteronomy 4 reminds me a bit that my whole life up to now does still count for something:

"Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them."

Another translation:
"Just make sure you stay alert. Keep close watch over yourselves. Don't forget anything of what you've seen. Don't let your heart wander off. (I LOVE THAT!) Stay vigilant as long as you live. Teach what you've seen and heard to your children and grandchildren."

I also like that they talk about this whole thing being preparation for a mystery. We really have no idea what the baby will be like, how the birth will go, what he might need, how we will feel.

One thing they talk about a lot that seems unbelievable to me is that new dads often feel left out- that the mom has everything the baby will need. I cannot even IMAGINE doing any single little tiny part of this without J. I would be even more of a crabby wreck, and I don't think I'd even bother trying to hide it. My requirements for housing now absolutely include SHORT commute times, because I am selfish. Some of the time I imagine needing him to do stuff for the kid, but for the most part I want him for me. Me me me me me.

Last night I played for a guy who proposed to his girl at our church- we (string trio) were in the balcony and he had the whole place decked out with candles, stained glass lit and nothing else. They came in and we started Be Thou my Vision while he took her up to the altar and got down on one knee. It was a little like watching a silent film- she even had a cute little flapper-like outfit on. It must have gone well, because they smooched a bit and ran out. Folks at our church like drama, creativity. And, lucky for me, string players.

Here's where I was rudely reminded I am pregnant.

But after that, when J and I were finally driving home we got a little turned around as to where exactly I-5 was. I knew I didn't want to go home through all the little puny towns just south of Portland because I was already exhausted and it was raining hard and I wanted me some cruise control. But of course, we did indeed tour quite extensively through hill and dale, knowing the freeway was RIGHT THERE all along, just past that winery or those Stepfordian developments.

When we finally found a freeway feeder road, J zipped past me (I had missed an increase in the speed limit and was zoning out, which he thought meant I wanted him to lead). Because I am now officially in the ninth month and drunk on hormones, I of course assumed he was annoyed with me for crabbing and for wandering around in the Explorer like a lunatic and started bawling. Nothing purtier than a pregnant lady snuffling along in the slow lane feeling sorry for herself, squeezing all the blood out of the steering wheel and unable to find a comfortable temperature for the heat/AC/heat/AC.

What a dork. Can you see me being somebody's primary caretaker????. Hmph.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

They have classes for everything these days...

We are now officially aware that I am an anal nut.

Tonight I have us signed up for a breastfeeding class. I think it's funny that a class is required in this, but it comes highly recommended by every book in the Obsessive Preparations for Parenthood aisle.

See, this way, if parenthood is hard or if I am not suddenly transformed into a perfect person by giving birth, I can at least say I did everything I could to try.

My man- he's a good one, going with me to all of this stuff.


Monday, December 19, 2005

Six days later...

And still not a ton to report.
We are under seige. Germs and icy roads. My parents are both wretched with yucky viruses and/or bacterial grossness and feel lousy. I have just gotten over a fun two-week cold, but it really wasn't that bad except at night.

Today I discovered the kid clothes resale shop and bought a bunch of cute stuff. Not a pastel in the bunch- lots of stripes, several orange items. I think this was the first time I had a good time shopping for His Impendingness. Is that sad? It might have something to do with the fact that I feel as though we might actually be sort of in the realm of readiness now, and shopping no longer presents itself as desperate and futile. J went WITH me and we got a car seat. This made me deliriously happy- wierd, huh.

I started reading another Don Miller book- I remember liking Blue Like Jazz and I sort of felt I should read this stuff since it has in part made our new church what it is. It's a very popular, very hip church. The other day after playing a totally not church-related gig (which was packed with folks from the church) J and I made some observations.

There is a breed here, the Pretentious Hippy Front (affectionately known from here out as the PHF- could less offensively be called the Portland Hippy Front) who dominate the scene. To attain PHF-ness, it appears necessary to either pay no attention to your hair (IE, let it grease, dread, or mat at will) or pay a lot of attention making it look like you don't (die it intricately but then cut it in such a way that it looks untouched by adult hands). They are passionate about Christ but like to throw out the worst curse words (like writing them in glitter on stockings on the wall of the gig venue) to prove they understand that Jesus said "shit" and that they are above religiousity. Most of the men have beards and are called Nate, most of the women have neat names and are careful none of the cool stuff they wear matches. I have seen more shoes I like in a church service than in any store on the planet.

Don't get me wrong- we do like it, and them. So far there are lots of these folks who are geniune and sweet and seem to remember us from week to week. Occasionally it just seems we may not be quite cool enough, or young enough, or from-Portland enough, you know? Probably that's because I've been feeling a little frumpy, old and out of place lately. It may be that the PHF is innocent, and will love us and keep us and call us George. Can't wait to see- can't wait to move up there and get into it all seriously.

I feel amazing lately. Could just be that non-fat decaf eggnog lattes are in season. There are little arms and legs tumbling around and except for the practice contractions (Braxton-Hicks is just about onomatopoetically the right name for those) during which I could swear he has snuck himself a shank in there, it's not half bad growing a life.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Waiting for the big event now is almost exactly like that time DeeDee Spooner helped me get a loose tooth out in Darcy Elementary in Helena, Montana. She tied a string carefully around my wobbler (she MUST have had younger siblings) and fastened the other end to the bathroom door handle.

It didn't hurt, but it seemed like it was going to.

Waiting for her to count, One Two... was kind of like this. When I think about labor, I feel a little shot fo adrenaline jump around from my legs to my lungs somewhere. When I think about having a kid (like yesterday when I was folding ridiculously small onesies and putting them in a drawer) who depends on me I get a Venti jolt with about 15 shots in it. Also, I think that despite being all cumbersomely bumpy and having every woman in a 50-yard radius smile knowingly at me, I am still harboring a little kernel of denial. Who's pregnant? Yeah well, you're pregnant. Your mama's pregnant.

I'm not sure if I'm nesting or if I'm just indulging every crafty-cleany anal impulse that sprouts in my sleepy little brain stem. Mom and I spent hours yesterday putting up big creamy curtains (which I sewed! I'm a sewer- oh, that doesn't sound quite right...) over the closet in our room. The closet was previously concealed by those bending metal door things which A) are a little noisy, B) had something against me and staying in their tracks and C) protruded into the room when open. So of course that meant they were threatening precious baby-space and had to be dealt with.

I was so overzealously punching holes in cards and paper last night that I managed to break a brand new hole punch and make my right shoulder sore. It might have had something to do with the fact that we were watching Nanny 911 (remember, no cable out here= limited viewing choices) and the dad was a horrible schmoe. Plus they kept showing what kept him away from home (and his SIX kids) every night- the worship band at church! (I am sparing you multiple abundances of exclamation points from here on out, but feel free to imagine them anyway.) Every time they showed him with his group he was literally singing... no.. I can't say... Kum ba Yah. While his bratty little kids at home were acting out in every possible way to get some attention and to show the mom that they would treat her just like he was.

So somewhere in there, I must have over-punched the paper puncher.

I haven't practiced in 3 1/2 weeks. I also have not exercised (other than marathon shopping days with mom) in 2 weeks.

Assign me some rosaries, anoint me with holy water- confession complete.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Merry Kitschmas!

The craft fairs were, as expected, kitschful kitschfests. I took a picture with my phone of a toilet seat cover booth at the high school that had white knit ones with little black poodles embroidered on them. The maker had also displayed a photo of her own real-life poodles. She had them in holiday fabrics. If I was any good at blogger I could get the picture up here.

Another booth consisted entirely of brooms with the handles colorfully painted, right next to one full of crocheted afghans in the full range of 70's colors.

We did get a tree after some confusion and a bit of rain. It's resting in the garage just now in preparation for The Decorating tomorrow. I love that in Oregon you can get a great tree from a neighbor's farm for $15. Watching them harvest the bigger operations with helicopters is kind of cool, too.

Small towns make Christmas even better. Being shaped like a snowman in the middle also helps.


I have no job just now. I'm not a mom yet, though every time the kid decides to press on the exact same spot for an entire morning- not kicks per se, but a methodical bruising of several sections near my ribs (little prodigy already)- I try to convince him to come outside and play already.

Yesterday and the day before Mom and I shopped from dawn to dusk. We have Christmas to get for! Today we're headed to the local high school (Turner, OR- population about 10) for the craft fair, and then maybe to Portland for an outdoor weekly craft market and tonight we're getting our tree. I am living a Norman Rockwell life. Sweet.

I wonder if housewifery is pronounced funny like midwifery.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Be afraid...

Portland is. They are preparing for a Winter Storm- a Snow Storm. It has been on the news for about 4 days now, dominating. (Yesterday, "Our top story today; no snow in Portland.") Obsession, people.

Meanwhile the midwest looks like it's getting actual weather but of course not much changes or closes there. Out here, even J's office said to check the website and see if he should come in or not. (He gets snow days!!!!)

I like the little newscasters in their brightly colored Columbia gear, hoods tightly squinched around their little faces. They are generally shown standing somewhere with a slight breeze and 40 degree temperatures. I imagine when the cameras stop rolling they remove the jacket and light up a cigarette or something. Cutie pies.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Guess who's back. Back again.

No really, you can all stop emailing, calling and texting my agent- I have returned to Blogger after a brief but unavoidable hiatus. I hate it when blogs I like do this- but in my case, despite the vast unmeasurable silence left behind I just had to go for a while.

We are home now for the indefinite future. I am doing two things.

1. Reminding the bratlet that he is now fully formed (34 weeks) and can come on out any time he likes. Also reminding him that that's my RIBCAGE he's trying to rearrange, if I could move it I would have done two months ago.

2. Christmas shopping. It's not that I'm all Martha Stewarting, it's just that we have to send 90% of our gifts away to folks this year, so it's do or die.

Since I'm not sure anyone on the male half of this family tree has ever or ever will read this, I'm going to jump right in and say it intimidates me to buy presents for them. We've decided on a big number as our Total Present Financial Output Limit, and I'm confortable sticking to that. It's just that they are a gift-card, gift-receipt group- eminantly practical but different than my experience thus far. They generally will KNOW how much we've spent on each of them.

Shopping for me has pretty much always been an exercise in getting the best or most elegant seeming thing for a bargain. I hope I'm not cheap- I like to buy stuff for people, but I rarely get ANYthing full price, and until now I never thought about including gift receipts. If I found a cool something or other that looked new and I knew you liked it- and I just happened to be standing in Goodwill at that moment, then that's what I'd wrap up and give you. If you were R---- and like antique kitchy crap like me, then it wouldn't even need to look new. You know who you are.

So that's my challenge right now- growing baby bits and spending money, yet finding ways to kvetch about it. Truthfully, I'm feeling fortunate about both.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Pregnant quotes.

Takemitsu was such a 60's kind of guy. He liked Buckminster Fuller (I like that name- repeated several times while trying to think of a synonym for "perform" it can become kind of funny), and especially the idea of human cultures coming together to create a "universal egg of humanity."

So since I'll be the USS Miriam when I'm delivering this lecture-recital, I included this quote from Takemitsu about the first time the NY Phil played his stuff:

"When you see the swollen stomach of a pregnant woman, it seems at once both very serious, of course, and yet somehow humorous. So perhaps it wasn't irresponsible of the New York Philharmonic members to burst into laughter at this birth."

The committee will either smile indulgently while inwardly rolling their eyes or just roll their eyes, right?

Friday, November 04, 2005


Here's the photo that caused the dream that inspired the piece that became the mother of the other piece that is my thesis topic.
It's a Man Ray photo of the shaved head of Marcel Duchamp which Takemitsu saw before writing A Flock Descends into the Pentagonal Garden. He thought it looked like one black bird leading a flock of white birds into a star-shaped garden. He was a little kooky about gardens. I hope someday I will be done writing this paper.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Hail Rushmore, reflect upon it.

We went to Rushmore on our trip out here. You can just barely see the four of us- mom, dad, j and me- in the bigger pic. You can also see that when I told J to hold still, he had to put his camera up and work on getting a shot, so you can see his lens and mine. And you can see that he has fabulous thick hair, but that's mine so back right on off, chikas.

After ridding the dang madison (still not sold) house of cardboard and garbage and goodwill items- literally countless trips in 2 cars- we finally got on the road just 6 hours after we had planned.

If we had rented our own recycling/dumpster we would have been fine. But you'd think that two little humans wouldn't need that much space for WASTE.

I'm in the Governor's Cup Coffee shop again. If you are ever near Salem, come here. The guy behind the counter is wearing cat-eye contacts today for halloween. At first glance he looks like an off-duty marine, but then he's sporting these wacky eyes. Kinda cool. Plus the bagel, steamed milk and bottle of water I bought cost less than a single drink as Fartbucks. (But still, God bless corporate America. How else could you count on the coffee driving through Kennewick, Washington?)

Are you circumcized?

Yesterday at Imago was excellent. We learned several things.

They do communion every week.
The kids ministry is amazing- lots of science and art projects and a very enthusiastic director.
The pastor here has got stuff to say.

He spoke about Romans again, starting with 2:17 about the Law and who has it and circumcision, both literally and figuratively. I love these passages because my Intervarsity bible study did them and we had several physicists who doubled as budding theologians leading it who really prepared every week. The discussions were not of the surface, they tried to explain several different views and since it was also my first real study I asked a lot about the nature of God and our relationship to him. I never felt they gave the Christianese answer.

What I loved about Pastor Rick's schpiel yesterday was when he started talking about how for the Jews, this outward sign of circumcision- given to Abraham as a mark of love- became instead an "I'm safe from Hell" pass. It should go from inner reality to outward sign, but they began going only as far as the outward display, relying on that alone.

Paul's point was that you are a "Jew" if you are inwardly- no matter your race, appearance, lack of other jewish things. This relationship is open to all mankind but it's for God alone.

And here's where it got even better: he started answering the "so what" question in our lives/times.

Religion can be just as dangerous as straight-up immorality.

Here's some tokens of it- in place of circumcision, these determine today in our religion whether you're in or out:
Have you prayed the sinner's prayer? Rick led tons of people in this who had never been and never did go to church or talk about God stuff afterward. Like the words themselves are magic- outward sign of inward nothing.
Are you "SAVED"? Focus on this puts our attention on the next life, not on the difficulties of living this one in a true relationship with God.
Do you know your Bible? Knowledge of the bible's great- with the purpose of knowing God. This one spoke to me, because I can so see myself feeling like I know some Greek root of something, or some cool interpretation of a verse and just deciding I've got that part "down"- no need to check in with what depth of knowledge God actually wants for me.
Do you take communion every week? Is it a hoop, a display, a sign your faith is all done?
Are you being busy for Jesus? This one has gotten a little more attention lately even in the more Dobson-y circles. Jesus doesn't want you busy- he wants you attentive to Him, which sometimes might mean lots of stuff on your plate- but not because it looks good, and not because then you're safe.

All of these have one thing in common: the aim is to keep you safe from God.. As in, I'm saved, I tithe, I'm busy, I know me some Greek: God can't touch me- I've done all the religious tasks and am in the clear.

Rick's answer to this kind of thinking was a simple concept, difficult for me to achieve. Honesty.

That includes prayer for God's work in your life- even when that might not be safe.
Maintaining focus on your purpose in life- to know God.
Asking constantly, "why would I rather have X than you?"

This changes every single one of the religious dangers into beauty and creates an honest journey.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Saturdays are for lazing.

I love Saturdays. J's home (but I can work around him) and there are as of yet no obligations here. We have plans to go to a park. That's it!

Takemitsu research actually happened this morning (that's like 3 days in a row- a new record) and I have some hope of actually writing this thing.

It's a little overcast today, but not pouring. The light is luminous on the trees leaves, which have turned and are falling into a mess on my parent's yard. One linguistic difference we noted in news weather folk is that they say "today we'll see some cloud breaks" rather than the "partly cloudy" we're used to. Emphasize the positive, good ol' northwesterners.

I'd post more of our trip pictures, but I'm at home now and the computer will basically grind away for a few promising minutes and then flip me off if I even try it. Maybe we'll spend some time in an internet-capable cafe today. The Cup (mentioned yesterday) is my dad's haunt- on weekend mornings it's packed full of runners who go from there to Minto Park which is a gorgeous place right on the Willamette river. If we go, we'll walk and then sit in the car & drive from the park and most likely also sit and eat cookies as big as our heads.

It's sort of a bifurcated group- those who run and take up very little space on the chairs and those of us who... don't. For now. But I'm much better about all that today. I did a prenatal yoga video yesterday and the 2nd and 3rd trimester models were actual people with boobs, bellies and everything. I felt better just looking at Britta and Poppy (hey, Betsy- another Poppy!) in their body suits.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Things we like about PDX- PICS!!

Simon and The Belly (looks a bit apprehensive, doesn't he?)

Bar-code rock on Mt. Hood

Holey Mt. Hood

Peas in a Pod.

Last weekend we went to Mt. Hood. Our top choices were Astoria and Hood- see, Goonies was filmed in Astoria and parts of The Shining were filmed at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood. Astoria, however, is quite a drive and Mt. Hood is only an hour or so from Portland so it won.

We took all the back roads- and I was really helpful with telling J where to go at all times.

The drive really was beautiful. I missed the smell and light from those huge forests of pine. And climbing in elevation- what a thrill compared to Wisconsin. (sorry wisconsin)

There will be pictures here shortly. I have to drive to civilization this afternoon in order to upload things. Done! The Governor's Cup Coffee shop is the best. There is a huge machine actually roasting beans next to me and something else smells a bit cinnamon-y, but not too much. Lovely!!

On a brighter note, the septic tank people are coming in about half an hour. Joy!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

blahhhh and woe

I am finding myself without much to say. Unusual for me, I know.

I'm here at my parents' house- they are out of town for another 10 days or so and have been gone a week. J is gone for about 12-13 hours a day. I have a lot to get done; 2 papers and a lecture recital, plus preparing (yeah- right- prepare for that...) for a new human being to arrive in a few months.

I had a not-so-great couple of visits to the Midwives clinic at OHSU. It is a really cool program, reknowned and all that, and I really like the doc I've been seeing there. The problem is that I think I'm gaining weight too fast. Last week she said I was right within the range pounds-wise, but when she measured the bump- okay, mountain- she said it was large for gestational age. So this week we did the glucose-tolerance test and some other blood tests to see how things are, and I had also gained another 3 pounds (IN ONE WEEK!) and was measuring even bigger.

The sick thing is, I find myself hoping something comes up positive because then I'm not to blame.

Losing control is what becoming a mom is about, at this point. So my weight is sort of the symbol of all that, and I can't seem to stop feeling embarrassed. Yesterday some one asked when I'm due and I lied and said, "in a month" just because I didn't want him to think, wow- she's huge.

Weight and my self-image are so closely tied, it's hard to separate them, even for something as obvious as pregnancy. The midwife says not to diet, and I'm trying to eat well- like I did before- but it doesn't seem to matter.

We've been looking at apartments and houses in Portland just to see what's available. I don't know now whether I want to move away from Mom and Dad's before the baby comes or not. It would be nice to have decorating/nesting to do and to start trying to meet some people, but that would mean living really on my own every day, without my mommy.

I think some of this has got to be hormonal.

OH- perfect timing, the doc's office just called and said I passed the tests and am normal. So what do I do? I choke out, "thanks. Bye" and burst into tears.

I feel like a jerk- shouldn't I be all, wow- there's life growing here, gift of God, blah-blah-blah?? I am excited about this kidlet- I just don't know what anything will be like and I've got a bit of culture shock. I don't want to be a weird depressed huge pregnant juggernaut of a person.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Plunging into Dei.

The word "plunge" is looking entirely too strange on the screen.


We checked out Imago Dei last night. I think I expected NOT to like it, because... it's famous and young and could be pretentious. It's definitely very hip. Rachael would have loved the clothes on at least 60% of the chicks there, and that's very high for a Rachael.

The worship was good- they had a sort of rock/bluegrassy feel and did 3 great hymns. One of them they did in 4/4 instead of 3/4, which ironically was exactly what I had wanted to try on our last day of worship at Blackhawk. Because we were in the sanctuary that day the idea was shot down as too radical. This place, though, is like the Cafe at Blackhawk on steroids. White girls with oddly tasteful dreds, little kids in stripey tights and lots of carefully aged dark denim. Not a hugely diverse population, but we went to the 5 o'clock- probably the service favored by college brats.

So there was that hymn, just the wacky way I like it, and then in the sermon (seems the wrong word in this context- need something hipper) "Pastor Rick" played my favorite Sara Groves song, about the troubled girl laying in her backyard wondering if there's a God. Then the kids ministry must have gotten out because all these young hot things went and got their Gap-ad cute kids and brought them back to the service. I swear every one of them was smiling and adorable. It was a younger, gooder Bedford community.

We talked to the worship guy after the service and they do it differently than Blackhawk. (We knew we were leaving something unique and amazing, but different can be good...) They have 4 teams whose members don't really change and they rotate through the month. We've got our names on the list.

There are two things about this church that impressed me- on paper, anyway. One is the School of Theology they have where you can attend classes for free, and they even have daycare. The other is that beauty, art, and creation are a big part of their thing. Before going there in person I thought maybe that was for show- look at us, we're so cool we can even make God art- but I really got the impression they want the whole creative God, creative people thing.

Blackhawk was not esthetically pleasing. I have my doubts as to the new Blackhawk achieving that goal. It's just not a focus for them- and I'm sure there are other things they did well that this church might miss, but Dang! It's nice to see these things valued here.

So we are going for it. Why shop around further? The pastor was intelligent- not a hugely intense message, but a good "unpacking" (that's Christianese) of Romans, which by the way was what Pastor Chris was preaching on Jonathan's first day at Blackhawk. He had good ideas and I liked his illustrations. Like Chris, I did sometimes wish for a little more meat packed in to the time spent, but his theology is sound, he preaches from the bible and I am looking forward to what he's got for next week.

J and I were thinking afterward that corporate gathering is really not where we should expect to get our study anyway. It might provide over-arching interpretive spins and occassional morsels of deep study put in by the pastor, but its main purpose seems to be coming together as a body meditating on the same passages and publicly worshipping God. The serious consistent study part is our job.

So, looks like we go to the Blue Like Jazz church. That still grates on me- and I even mostly liked the book. I guess it's a superiority & individuality thing. I promise to get over myself any second now.

Monday, October 17, 2005

October the 17th

We are tucked in to my parent's place surrounded by fields of cows, rolling hills covered in hay and old oak trees. From where I'm sitting I can see 10 of my Mom's bird houses, and the little valley below their land is blurred with smoke from the neighbor's fall burn piles. Actually those are a little smelly, but don't let it ruin your mentally idyllic image.

Simon's curled up snoring on the office chair next to me- we went for a long walk this morning, the four-mile route up to Lloyd (as we've christened him) the Llama's field. He makes me hold the chair so it doesn't swivel when he jumps in or out.

J is up in Portland, working his first day at Sparkler. It's not really what the firm's called, but a mashing together of bits of parts of the name. He called me after driving the hour up there this morning to say he was walking in, and about to hit the Starbucks in the lobby. You have to hand it to Portlanders and their caffeine habits- they take it very seriously. He looked so hot in his dark suit this morning- even Dad noticed and joked that he "cleans up well".

Yesterday we were in Seattle at the Pikes Place Market and bought fish from the fish throwers. There's a famous seafood place there where they throw the goods back and forth when they're purchased. The guys were great- personalities like characatures of friendly fishermen. The lady in line in front of us was a nut-job proseletizing with Christian tracts and harassing the one Asian guy, screeching, "Buddha can't save you- Jesus can!!!!!!" She creeped me right out, and them too. When she moved on, the guy confided he's a devout catholic, and we fessed up to being Christians- but apparently not her brand. I think she was just a psychotic who happened to fixate on religion. Wonder if she saw that VeggieTales video about the fish-slappers in Ninevah and confused that with the fish-throwers of Seattle. Odd.

Gillian Welch was a great show. Crystal Ballroom's a neat venue with a floor that bounces when people move around and old fashioned decor with funky Venician glass chandaliers. They played two guitars, sometimes also a banjo and harmonica, for close to three hours with a twenty minute break. We were in the front row, tapping on the carpeted stage and drinking in every single thing they did. I like them even more now- they sound exactly as good as they do in studio recordings. I want to be a groupie. (Or is that how you spell that for the fish?)

So many fun things happened in the last week. We saw Rachael! and Tim (her Very Serious Boyfriend)! and we broke the Explorer's $2500 tranny! and the movers laughed at our snow shovel! and people now smile knowingly and ask me how I'm feeling! and my favorite pregnancy skirt is getting tight! and I broke a bra! Geez!

Thursday, October 13, 2005


We have arrived in the great Northwest.

It's beautiful here, and our stuff is all ready to be loaded into storage from the truck. We made it in one piece, visited so many generous relatives I'm afraid to start thanking them because I'll be sure to leave one out.

We are going to a concert tonight. A NON-CLASSICAL concert involving no one I know personally. Yep, Gillian Welch is in Portland, at a cute-looking venue called the Crystal Ballroom. See, this town is being good to us already. We thought a trip to Nashville would be required to see her/him, but nope! I realized I don't think I've ever really been to a legit concert (rock! or rock-like!) ever.

I'll post more from the trip with pictures. We have to go to wireless friendly places because mom & dad's place is out in the dial-up-only boonies.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Lasts...and firsts.

We are packing. Now, most people would think well, yeah- you move in 3 days. But those who know us well are singing hallelu. We will actually prepare for this move. There won't be drawers full of stuff and boxes half jammed with things falling out.

We have labels. That's how serious we're taking this whole thing.

All of the junk- it should really just go away in a nice shiny truck like this one.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Shostakovich Memoir

Here's me in my first year of my doctorate. The quartet got to go to Norway and play for an alumni thing. Fjords ho, ho.

Tonight the Pro Arte quartet played Shostakovich's third quartet, which we had also played that year in a concert in Stoughton's Opera House and a few other places. It brought back memories- funny how they've been cleansed of 90% of the not-so-stellar moments. It must be like that with childbirth for most folks too- and pregnancy- otherwise how would we end up with folks signing up for a second tour of duty? Lets not forget the folks who insist they loved every second of being pregnant.

Although... I did have a moment of that tonight. We arrived late (shocker, I know) to the concert and stood at the back of the hall. I was standing there, belly sticking out in a new sparkly particularly pregnant shirt with the passenger pummelling away and for all I know rearranging the furniture in there during the third movement; guess he likes Shostakovich, too. And suddenly I realized that I wanted every person in that hall to know that I am growing a KID in there (and they most likely did).

The Shostakovich was the best part of the recital last night. One of my students- a high school boy from my hometown- said he just sat there with his eyes closed. It's that kind of piece. Almost all of his stuff is like that. I wonder what he would have been like to know- maybe like most traumatized sorts he would have been miserable. It's funny to say that one person's music is more personal or revealing than another's, but it is, and I would have so valued a conversation with him.

Ralph my luthier (Man, I love that word- he's my dealer. Y'know. Violas and other hardcore stuff.) told me today that he met Fjodor Druzhinin, the man Shostakovich wrote the sonata for, and he was "very dapper" and talkative. Hope he was a true friend.

He passed away in his sleep, having asked the nurses to wake him for a soccer match. Hope his team won.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Some lasts are better than others.

I played in studio class today... I know I've complained about this before, but this was the last time, so here it goes again.

It has been an interesting relationship between me and class in the last couple of years. I have never (NOT ONCE) felt like I really performed in class. My last big hurdle in my playing (for now) is what goes on in my head while I play. Thing pop in and out, like what people are thinking, what goofy thing I just did, how much better it could have been- and do the people listening know that?, etc.

It makes sense I suppose that playing in class for violists- who notice what fingering I choose, and have suggestions for me with my bow, have played these same pieces- brings out the critical in me.

If the room had one or two others in it, anyone... just some one I don't know- and who may not know the pieces inside and out- then I can forget about all of them as specific people. It's easier for me to just try to communicate as directly as possible, without filtering for who's listening.

Anyway... the Shostakovich is such a great piece. It's really fun to perform- which may sound strange if you know its darknesses. The Arpeggione is also a masterpiece- so many perfectly coifed phrases and neatly polished little twists and turns.



Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Flight Plan

Jodi Foster can hold tears in her eyes, on the brink of spilling down her perfect little bony cheeks for longer than should be humanly possible. I love her.

The movie itself has a great premise but it seemed as if the writers ran out of time or lost the love in the second half a bit. The first half is suspenseful in the old hitchcockian style, the second seems to have standard modern thriller written right in. Still watchable, though.

J's pilot friends were in town this weekend. They fly a jet owned by some guy who happened to have business in Madison. In retrospect, it made sense that they shied away from a movie about planes- if you have to get in one every day and you have to be the guy who knows everything that goes wrong, no sense in watching some one else's nightmare.

If you are looking for a movie to rent, see Crash. (The one made recently, I think there's an older unrelated one.) It is an excellent outworking of multiple creative plot ideas on race and culture in LA. I want to own it, and loan it to all my friends, like a good book.

Monday, September 26, 2005

A Plea for the End of Spurs to Violence.

Financial Aid Office, and School of Music.
Hear me.

I will not take to the bell tower with ammunition. I will not hire graffiti artists to redecorate the pathetic recital hall. I won't even take a "trophy" music stand from your fine institution.

Just please, SOMEBODY decide which department will approve my loan and GIVE IT TO ME. I did not plan time for this part time job, this "application process". I am not flattered and impressed that in a school this size the people at the financial aid desk know my name, and who I will be wanting to see as I walk up. It is no consolation that you hope to "streamline the process" for future applicants.

The matter is in your hands now. I have filled every line, gotten each signature and donated blood. Please...

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Google monster- Updated!

I just googled one of our favorite name choices for the gentleman currently kicking at my spine with the occasional nod to my bladder region. I found a candidate for senate in South Carolina, the head of drug enforcement in Belize, several CEOs, an architect and some scholarly types. There were also a few lawyers, but you can't have it all.

Naming things- first job we were given, right?

It's funny the reactions we get from folks to the names we like. I have to say, most people like them, at least to our faces. I like them a lot, though I feel more interested than usual in what other people think. This despite telling J we should just name him Starbuck if that's what we like and to hell with practicality. (And, hey, Dad would HAVE to like that one.)

I was talking with the ladies today about how name preferences seem to be highly generational. Not just what people name their kids, but what they like for others.

There are the funny regional things, too. I liked Dexter, maybe, and threw it out in a list of possibles at my parents. Turns out, on the west coast, Dex is a phone book- complete with funny ads about "let's ask Dex" with a guy dressed like a yellow book. But then again, if we had really liked it, who cares? Maybe that company would have died by the time he's 6 and no one would have remembered beyond that. Barring names that double as male body parts, I think they should all be fair game.

I found another hit on his name: A nobel peace laureate, lawyer AND doctor, he was behind the start-up of the Hague. Unfortunately, his last name was Asser. Be happy we aren't working with that one, eh.

Recital 9/29

Betsy, Tiffany and Chloe just came over. I already miss Tiffany, since she's got that whole career thing started and doesn't actually live in Wisconsin and such. And Chloe- what a gorgeous rockstar she is, just like her mama. She charms everyone within reach of her glorious hair. Except for that rude thing the linoleum floor did to her forehead, I think a good time was had by all.

My last recital for this degree (except this wierd one where you give a lecture-recital and only invite your committee because... did I mention? Lecture.) will be Thursday at 8:30pm in Morphy Hall in the Humanities Building. I'm playing the Schubert Arpeggione and the Shostakovich Sonata and probably something else if my teacher Sally tells me to in my lesson today.

I had myself a serious freak-out yesterday when I first started really looking at the music. Now I've had a little more time and a rehearsal with Ilia, my new pianist, and I'm thinking maybe the audience won't feel too bad for me. I may be able to look Sally in the eye today in my lesson. I might even get by without tearing up like a freshman. (Unlike half of my lessons last year. Poor Sally.)

Things are finishing up. The kid, he's kicking more and more and reminding me that recitals, house selling and boxing every single thing I own are just the incidentals: the filler pieces on a program that's already nicely full.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

"Sell This House" Madison Edition

Have you seen the cable show where people walk through a house and comment to hidden cameras on what they really think is good/bad/ugly, the owners then do a little work on the place with the help of professionals, and the same folks walk through again? I wish we could do that.

We had a family stop by today and they seemed to really like it, even though we were just starting to clean and it was a wreck. The tub had a smudgie looking floor, there was all sorts of pillows, laptops and detritus all over the living room, my STILL unpacked luggage was in the bedroom and the kitchen was a mess of cook-out leftovers from this afternoon. But their 5th-grade boy loved Simon (one situation where having your dog around isn't bad for a walk-through) and the mom said her bedroom is the exact shade I painted ours. Wild. Or lies, who knows.

Did they get in the car and say, "Who are they KIDding?" Or are they actually going to consult their realtor/advisor?? Real life could use more hidden cameras and long distance mics.

Tires for Tots

Did you know that 70% of new car smell is in the tires? I didn't either, until we replaced ours this weekend. Yummy, and hey- the things that the whole car sits on actually do seem to make a difference in the ride.

We saw an ad for a beautiful apartment complex just west of downtown portland. It looks like a craftsman home and actually has a Max metro station entrance INSIDE the building. Even with the poshness we could save up for a house with a little bit of land, as soon as we're done mooching off the impending grandparents. Hope our house here sells and we can live somewhere like that for a bit. We saw it in one of them free apartment finder books. By the way, does anyone know what the heck a "Tot Lot" is? Daycare? Lockers with little pastel straight-jackets, juicy juice and legos inside? A free tater-tot stash? I like that option best, gosh.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Psalm 4

Here's how my friend Kent Duit lived his life:


Even in the midst of great pain, Lord,
I praise you for that which is.
I will not refuse this grief
or close myself to this anguish.
Let shallow men pray for ease:
“Comfort us; shield us from sorrow.”
I pray for whatever you send me,
and I ask to receive it as your gift.
You have put a joy in my heart
greater than all the world’s riches.
I lie down trusting the darkness,
for I know that even now you are here.

He passed away Tuesday night and I'm heading back to Madison tomorrow to play at the funeral Saturday. I wish everyone could have met Kent and his wife Carol. They make everyone feel like family.

It's hard to describe a person. But I remember one of my first conversations with him was about marriage. He said, You're going to love it. I mean, I'm not sure how my wife might feel (twinkle in his eye)- but it has been amazing. That's so neat that you met here in Madison. You're going to just love it. People say the transition is tough but we really didn't have that at all. It's been incredible, and yours will be too.

Pretty much any time he talked about Carol was like that. And she's the kind of person who would be with Kent in the hospital for 12 hours and then come play piano for a picnic that night. I talked to her on the phone yesterday and she seemed so calm. And I will miss his funny comments at Stephen Ministry- he always cut in with something when it was getting too self-serious there. You could tell where he sat by the perimeter of giggling.

I'm awestruck by them.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Comin' right at me!

Yesterday mom and I were walking back home after having a drink with Molly and Gary down the street and there was a fawn in the road. He just stood there for a bit, flicking his impossibly big ears, then headed into mom and dad's yard. He was in fact headed right for me (south park fans?...) even though I was talking to him and calling him a dummy the whole time. He stopped about 15 feet from me and finally turned back to where he'd come from- probably his ma was somewhere over that way. Mom gave him a hard time for eating all her tomatoes and he slunk off in shame.

We went to the gym last night and I swam laps for the first time in 97 years. Molly's daughter gave me a maternity suit which looked too cutesy (it's white & blue tiny squares with a little row of daisies sewn where cleavage would normally go) but didn't look half bad once I was actually wearing it.

There was a little Chinese (Hmong maybe? Definitely Mandarin speaking) boy in the hot tub quietly scooping up bubbles with his hands. I hope we get one like that. His brother was running around the pool, striking weightlifter poses and yelling for his mom to watch. I suppose that'd be alright, too- though like J says, a Kenny-G loving, raging progressive school hater would be poetic justice for us. I do notice more kids now- as I'm told I'm destined as a pregnant human- but a lot of the time it's not necessarily in a wistfull, awwwww kind of way. It's more like Man, I hope ours doesn't talk to us like that obnoxious brat over there.

But then, J and I were always such angels- surely this one will follow in our perfectly behaved, quietly endearing footsteps. Surely.

Monday, September 12, 2005

This place is idyllic.

I love my parent's place- I'm typing by the window that looks over their field (no cows just now) and past that to a stand of black oaks below. The way this little draw is shaped the silver morning clouds gather at the bottom and sift through the trees. Very Oregon.

In the afternoon the sun covers the whole view with shapes of clouds and shadows of bigger birds floating by every now and then. Nothing better than sitting out back with a tall glass of well-water after a nice long jaunt.

We went to church on Sunday (another Lyle Lovett song jumps to mind...) and I love their pastor John Moody & his wife Gail. Dad runs with him and we get to hang out on non-church stuff pretty often. We will have to visit their church every once in a while. We'll probably find another place to call our own, just because of... well... the music (think hymn-style piano and the occassional soprano sax). But it's a sweet church, and John & Gail are the type you'd want to have live next door, have over for a beer and grill up a little bit of the cows.

Hey- a stellar jay just landed outside. If I was back in the land of real internet (there is only dial-up in the paradise-boondocks) I'd find you a picture and put it here. They are cool birds.

Well, missing all of Madison already. I'm soldiering on, though- got to get ready for the next audition and also make time for napping and mom's oatmeal raisin cookies. I went for a little walk with some running thrown in yesterday and it weren't too bad a'tall. We're about to go for a swim- it's so nice to be pregnant in a swimsuit several state lines from anyone I know.

The gory audition details. Zzzzzzzz.

Here it is, it's boring:

The audition went well. I think it was the calmest, most accurate audition I have played to date. The first round was fine, except a small glitch in the Shostakovich and I was happy to be asked to play that again. I used to always ask the moderator if I could repeat stuff (it's behind a screen so you can't talk or see the actual committee) but have learned that it's not the best plan. Half the time they didn't hear the original error and it just annoys them to listen twice. But this conductor asked for exactly what I wanted to re-do anyway and I made it to the finals.

The finals were fun. There were only 3 of us- the chick who had been doing the job- I'll call her K, and the chick who had been sitting second chair- S who was very sweet and will also be at the audition on Sunday. The finals are not screened, so when I went out on the same stage I could now see the whole audience. There were at least 20 folks out there. You could tell the brass players by the way they were sitting on the backs of chairs or draping their arms over chairs next to them. When I first looked out it was like I had interrupted a wine tasting or something.

The finals went well, and then came what's always the worst part- having to wait for the results. So many backstages look the same- cement floors, drop ceiling. K played and then S and then they seemed to deliberate for what seemed like hours. In the meantime S told me that the audition was pretty much a formality- which I suspected. When the manager finally came down, he took K back to her dressing room to talk with her for a bit. Then he came out and told S they were offering her the chair she already had- 2nd, and that K had won the position she had already played last year.

He turned to me then, with the most apologetic look, and introduced himself. He said I played well but, "sometimes this is the way they have to do things." That is pretty much the most validation I've ever recieved from an audition that I haven't won, so I'll take it. They'll put me on the sub list. So, no tears, no cringing disappointment or lapses of concentration- just a straight-ahead audition. Here's hoping they go that way forever more.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

20 weeks, 6 days.

What a day. The ultrasound technician, she should get a medal and a lollipop.

She was in all black scrubs, which if I were forced to wear those things is what I'd like. Looked classy instead of ineffectually juvenile. She was on time, too- a treasured and rare trait at Dean Health, Madison.

After dimming the lights and getting me ready (blessings on the inventor of the gel-warming machine) she took lots of looks at our kid. Started with placenta, cervix, then out of the schmudgie grey a big black pool emerged with feet in it! Feet! and legs! and a penis! A BOY!

We got to see all sorts of parts- heart parts, spine sections, brain globs. When she focused on the upper lip for a while (checking for cleft palate) he put his hand near his mouth and sucked on the index finger. Show off.

Once when he was moving a leg on the screen I could feel one of those little vague poking sensations that have happily come more and more often lately.

Dude, a boy! I need more books.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Hi ho, hi ho, it's back to work he goes....

We were on the internet lounging around pretty much in jammies all day yesterday. Normally that would have driven me nuts by then end of the day and I would have been blowing fire out my nostrils at J for no reason, but yesterday it seemed to make sense. We did go for a nice long walk in the evening.

Which reminds me, what is with my bladder? It was shrieking the whole time we were out there, then I get home and it's like, "oh- nevermind. Pass the ice cream." (bladder, stomach, whatever) Preparing me for a toddler already?
Finishing novels is always a little sad, like waking up from a pleasant dream. I recommend the Time Traveler's Wife as a sweetly romantic book with just enough grit and pain to keep it grounded. I hope Audrey Niffenegger writes more soon. What a last name, eh?
Today I'm mostly just waiting for tomorrow. We have an ultrasound at 1:30 and plan to discern the baby's sex. How nice to stop using the word "it".
I went to school and rounded up info on testing and dissertating and every professor I spoke with was kind and accomodating. For all the complaining I do and indignation I feel toward the administration at this school, the professors have been nothing but inspiring. Hope I grow up to be like them.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Another surprisingly pretty spider.

Here's a new friend I made while harvesting one million hundred thousand cherry tomatoes in our backyard garden. It's the biggest spider I've seen in Wisconsin.

The bottom picture of the spider's underside was taken by the man who knows his cameras.

JMW adds: For anyone curious, it's a yellow and black garden spider (seriously, that's what it's called), a type of orb weaver. And no, it's not poisonous.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Change: Rilke's "Will Transformation"

Will transformation.
Oh, be inspired for the flame.
In which a thing disappears
and bursts into something else.
The spirit of re-creation
which masters this earthly form
Loves most the pivoting point
where you are no longer yourself.

What tightens into survival
is already inert;
How safe is it really in its inconspicuous gray?


There's more, but I like that bit. I love Rilke. Transforming's going on: Moving, Babing, Gradu(maybe)ating... also, I cut my hair.

Here's my 8 week picture, taken in June.

And here's my 20 week, taken last night.
The pants are buttoned with the assistance of a rubberband. The shoes killed, and I was sucking it in for all I'm worth- maybe that's why I forgot to smile.

Need some gas?

The recent unfortunate events have caused a slight increase in gas prices:

Now, is that per gallon, or for a full tank?

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Green olives are very very good.

But! They're just not the same without the martini around them.

20 weeks left, and I'm back to my typical raging drunkenness. Gotta give the kid something to blog about, after all.

And while I'm at it...

Does anyone else find the little pregnancy counter thingy creepy?

I don't think you should remove it, Mr. Stud who put it on here, and it was Sweet (capital S) to put it on, but as you know I'm easily creeped out.

It follows you with its eyes.

You know what would be funnier is if I were a computer person and could put little fangs growing out of its mouth, or maybe horns from its head... hmmmm.

(*) (*)
v v

Doing what I do Best.


I said earlier today that I would only complain about this to J. Then I whined to Mom and if I had more time before that student showed up, then Rachael probably would have had to listen, too.

I'm just going to say this:
If I grow up and get a real job and there is ever a situation where I have people running about, getting things for me and pampering me while I rehearse chamber music, here's my solemn prayer: That I may NOT be the type who requires "calmness no matter what she says" and that I would NEVER request food from one particular (Whole Foods a.k.a. Whole Paychecks) store and then have some one pick up said food and drive it to my home in the middle of NOWHERE because there is a concert that night. (Incidentally an in-town concert. Like yesterday. Yes, very near Whole Foods, now that you mention it.)

Musicians, we may be artistes, but we're not actors, for goodness sakes. We can indeed drive ourselves places, complete mundane tasks, and run errands the same week as a concert.

*ATTENTION* none of this may be used against me later.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Laughing AT you.

There was a nice little placard in the middle of west washington street pointing to the Holiday Inn. It said, "Psychic Convention". Would they really need directions?

I'm reading the Time Traveler's Wife. So far so good, except that one of the character's fathers is a violinist in the Chicago Symphony, as the narrator says, because he just never really *made it*. I laughed out loud at that one.

My friend was sympathizing with me the other day for having to work with a woman known to be a bit difficult to play with. The difficult chick also happens to have a female spouse. My friend recalled working with her this spring and concurred that she can be "a real dyke." I've never heard anyone use that word in conversation, and since it came from my reserved, liberal friend, master of the double meaning, I so got the inappropriate giggles in the middle of rehearsal.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Going, going...

We sold the couch!! My new love is Craigslist- check out the madison site or the one for your city. It's this supercool FREE classified.

I put the couch and a few other things (even the house) up on it yesterday and right away there have be callers/e-mailers. I responded to one lady and picked up a bunch of FREE moving boxes- the wardrobe and china ones they don't generally stock at Liquor Town.

I even sold Jonathan! To Brent for the weekend. All he had to do was provide some Packers tickets and off went my bread and butter, my sugar daddy, J to the M to know the rest.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Concert in the Parking Lot

Well, the official title is concert in the Park- as in Business Park, not green-grass park. Last night the chamber orchestra played a concert that is the 4th year of what is essentially an anniversary gift from a very romantic man to his wife of 31 years.

We had the Tchaikovsky competition winner and his billion dollar violin playing some pyrotechnic tunes. He gets to play it for a while as a prize from the competition. It really is the instrument in the guinness book for having the highest price paid at auction. There are probably some more expensive owned by the Smithsonian et al, but still. I knew the guy, sort of- I know for sure we've been at a party together, before he was the big cheese. I think it must have been in Aspen, and I remember him being friendly. Monday we have another concert and I'm looking forward to hearing him play some real music (sorry, Wienawski fans).

At the end of the concert there are fireworks (they start them up in The Stars and Stripes). The best thing about that- besides that they were quite pretty- was that there were about 15 little kids gathered up near the front and at every single explosion, they would yell and scream at the top of their lungs. One boy kept screeching, "Did you SEE that one? That was the best one."

Also, there was a guy with a kite that had a camera on its string and a remote control box so he could get stealthy pictures of the orchestra and crowd. The thing was such a phenomenon, I imagine most of his shots are of performers gawking with their mouths open and necks craning to see it.

Monday night is my last night with the orchestra, and I'm kinda sad. It isn't a bad group. And who knows when I'll be playing with people like that next. Speaking of which, audition excerpts are calling....

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Pregnancy Jeans

...suck. They are hard to find and the ones I bought are fine when I first put them on, but by the end of the night they're all baggy and unflattering in the butt/front areas. Plus there's nothing quite like playing a rehearsal and every time you lean forward to turn the page or mark something on the music, you just know the maroon undies you're wearing are saying hello to the bass section and half the brass. Fetching.

The main problem, however, is that if you wear jeans, they are the base upon which you must build your outfit ambience. A cool pair of darks that hug the right spots and flare just the right amount can make me both taller and cooler (like the liquor boxes!! But not free...). A frumpy pair of loose- getting looser that hug no where except my thigh and still somehow threaten to fall down make me look shorter and cluelesser.

Maybe a belt? (Of whiskey. I think the kid likes it.)

Tuesday morning.

The weather has shifted and I feel about a billion times better. Too bad there had to be a tornado involved in the exchange. Our friend Phoebe and her family were there and saw kayaks flying across the windows. It's sad that the Stoughton Country Club, where I played the Willy Wonka song for a wedding earlier this summer, is no longer.

I'm getting into the audition preparation. I've decided that for these auditions, I'm going to not worry too much about the actual performance days. I'd like to enjoy the process more. And I feel like, hey- I'm having a kid. Anything I do this year in addition to that is... well, in addition to that.

I love our house all cleaned out and more sparse like this. The amount of stuff in my music room shrunk by half, and it's so much nicer now. It doesn't seem coincidental that the weather is good for open windows now, too- clear rooms, clean air. It's good stuff.

By the way, that arm 'n hammer powder stuff you put on the carpet before vacuuming is grody. It still smells like a pediatric ward in here, and I've had the windows open for two days. Maybe I'll try vacuuming again. Oh, the toil. The toil!

ps. I keep having these dreams where I can see the baby moving in my stomach. It's like I'm silly putty- the baby's facial features and everything are visible, and I can put my hands around just about the whole thing. I swear it's not as gross in the dreams as it sounds here.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Sunday, bloody Sunday.

While no blood was drawn, except for when I scratched my toe on the edge of that box, today was a battle of sorts. I won.

Here's the fruit of our labor:

Soliciting advice...HELP!

Yesterday was a very long, intense day for me. I played a wedding ceremony and two receptions with my quartet, which was fun but also physically very tiring. We sat on glorified folding chairs with a little bit of padding, and since I'm the "manager", I carry the music bag, etc- they all help once I get there, tho.

Now that I'm just starting to "show" (18 weeks= 5.5 months!) I notice that sitting in one position for too long starts to make me uncomfortable. When I stood up for breaks, I could really feel the blood move back down toward my feet, all tingly. Changing posture in the chair didn't seem to make much difference.

By the time I got home, around 9pm, all I wanted was some dinner and to have hubby rub my feet. (I am soooo spoiled.) Right about then, however, my legs decided to start going NUTS.

It was like the thigh muscles were almost cramping-tense, but also wanted to be tensed up and stretched at the same time. Even when I laid down to sleep, they were bugging me and I had to keep fidgeting until I finally fell asleep. (pity the man who had to sleep next to me.)

I drank tons of water all day, we take breaks once an hour, and I've been taking my vitamins. I even ate a banana at lunch (potassium?)
Any advice?

Friday, August 19, 2005

Coolness quotient given out for free!

At your local liquor store, you can walk out anytime with an armfull of cool. Did you know? Not the kind you buy, of course, because we are of puritan stock, but the kind they gave me free in the form of BOXES. Perfect for books and imprinted with lots of groovy logos and slogans.

So when we arrive in Portland and begin unloading a truck full of boxes, people will think, look at the new neighbors, honey- now THESE are the kind of people we want to be friendly with. Bring on the booze (boxes), baby!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Unmitigated Self-Advertising!!

Our house, it is officially and in every way FOR SALE.

Here's its little listing on Madison's For Sale By Owner site.

Isn't it just perfect?? You want it. You want your friends to have it. Your relatives. Any one you see, you must tell about it.

Only one person will win- get your offer in now!!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Is this nesting?

That whole instinct thing- it's kind of funny how some of it is true. They say pregnant folk have an urge to work on the house, "nesting".

Today I removed everything from the fridge, washed the shelves, dumped the year-old olives, and put it all back in supreme organization. Then I took the last of our garage sale to Goodwill (I won the How much can you stuff into your Honda? contest), returned $50 worth of random stuff we haven't used from Home Depot WITHOUT buying anything else, and took our bags of pennies & garage sale take to the bank. Felt danged good.

So, if people choose a new home by looking in the fridge and judging how responsible we are with our pocket change, then we're all set.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Sunday in the sticks.

Did you know that there's a little shop on Rural Route 1 that sells only popcorn? I didn't, but J did and he has had it in mind to take me there for more than a year. Today we were out for a Sunday drive and he did it!

It sells only popcorn, and all different flavors. Popcorn! is one of my favorite things ever. We bought sour cream cheddar popcorn and something called RC Snakle- it's got raspberry flavored white light coating stuff and cranberries in it. It was goooood. Then we went next door to a little cheese factory and bought J some fresh blue cheese.

We checked out the Mustard Museum and J bought some good stuff with Habenero in it.

We then rounded out our little adventure by stopping in Mount Horeb. And (this is big) J went in several antique stores with me. He was actually into the little metal fans, the opthamometer, the $12,000 roll top desk. The best discovery of the whole day was that the hideous sticky grease pool Schubert's restaurant has closed and been replaced by our favorite little Blue Sky Cafe. It used to be stuffed into a little shop 2 doors down from Schuberts, and now they've got room for all their cool art and groovy pictures. Highly recommend!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Make me an offer...

I'm a motivated seller. I don't know what we even really sold, but so far people have paid us $175 to cart away our unwanted crap! Yay! I am so happy every time I see stuff go. Sometimes I'll just give them cheap stuff, and then they like me and feel they should buy something. The Free! boxes are overflowing and that brings them in like honey.

You can tell a lot about the way a kid has been raised by how they act at a garage sale. There are the grabby ones, who pick up everything, wave the japanese fans around like they're the flagger at the end of the Indy 500, swirl around in the chair that's for sale. Then there are the sweet quiet types, who find one thing and are enchanted by it. One boy played with a box of transformers in a corner for a good 10 minutes. His mom had armloads of stuff, so I asked her (quietly- I'm not completely evil) if he might want that box of old toys for free. He couldn't believe it- and he gave me the nicest thank you I had all day, looked me right in the eye with a shy smile.

There are interesting adults, too. Some ask what every single thing is and if it works, jauntily disregarding the fact that I write on the tag, "works". One woman seemed so lonely- she told me about her job, her chemo, how she was weighing each purchase decision. She practically apologized for not buying our house. (We put a sign on the door from the garage to the kitchen, just for laughs.)

I'm optimistic that we can clear out a good part of our junk by Saturday. My dream is to get the detritus down to one load in the Explorer to Goodwill.

A girl can dream, people.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Finishing and getting things together.

Karl! Karl played a recital today, and it was lovely. He was the cellist in the graduate quartet for four years, two of which overlapped with yours truly. He is pretty much done with his degree. Done. I love hearing about people who have made it through. It's like hearing about people who win the lottery or raise non-violent children.

This next month is piling up busier and busier. I think there may be two auditions in September in Oregon. And we are selling our goods on the street (A.K.A. a garage sale) next weekend, and there's much crap to be gone through.

I should have a paper on Takemitsu ready for my committee at the end of the month.

Then there's building a complete human being in my abdomen. That seems to be taking a certain amount of time and concentration. I know it seems like one of those body things- like the noggin' wouldn't be involved like this. But it must be, because something is slowing down my hard drive and the processes are...uh...well...see, I can't even think of anything to describe it.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Ain't he purty?

Don't be skeeerd. He's only the size of a sunflower seed. Without the hull.

Imagine behind him is a whole field of men concentrating on a little white ball and a thousand more folks halfway paying attention to the score. Didn't bother him a bit.

And they won!!

My husband, eet ees a genius.

The computer appears to be back to its cheerful self. Plus, this means I'm the next one to get a shiny new thing. I don't think we'll need one for a while.

We went to a Mallards game last night. As I'm sure everyone knows, they are Madison's minor league baseball team. I liked the game because they seemed to admit right off the bat that it can be a bit slow and provided little distractions every ten minutes or so. Kids did a cover yourself with ice cream contest (the girl won over the boy because she smeared it all in her long blonde hair), a mascot zipped around the field in a jeep throwing t-shirts at the crowd, and they rigged up a huge slingshot for water balloons to be aimed at another mascot carrying a tire as the target.

But the best thing was the spider who decided to spin his web right there on the railing. I was playing with J's macro lens, and at first he was zipping around the web so quick it was hard to keep up with him. He had already made a big open structure, and was going around and around, sort of leaping from spoke to spoke to link up the new layer.

This lens is really cool- but things go in and out of focus if you even breath too hard because you're in so close. After spinning a groovy web, the spider decided to take a little siesta- or that's what I assumed. But the next time I looked there he was right in the middle of the web with two green gnats. He was much easier to shoot then, holding still and eating his dinner. Incredible.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Computers can fly. Duck!

My computer, eet broke. A client sent me an e-mail attachment (schedule of a wedding gig) that turned out to be a virus. Why my computer didn't catch that while J's did, I don't know. Turning it on this morning was like going back in time to that computer we had in the basement in Alaska- it was all DOS commands, baby.

Between this and Cynthia's experience, I'm becoming convinced of the save-it-on-the-internet M.O.

Wouldn't you all just be thrilled to read each update on Toru Takemitsu, the Japanese composer? I'm not even thrilled. Hoops are for jumping, though.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


I'm thinking I could just hang out at Powells Books or one of the schools out there and abduct people to feed them dinner and make them fill the friend-shaped holes. This is my plan.

Alternately, I could sit in the hippie-laden Pioneer Square downtown with a bullhorn and $5 for anyone who would let me buy them Starbucks and pretend we are kindred.


Lately in my dreams I'm like fourteen times my current size. In the best dreams only my watermelon is big. My arms are long and lean, my toenails are painted red. Hey, it could happen!


When the harmonica dude plugs in and goes all honky-tonk sounding, it is very very good. So for those four minutes, the concert will be fun. There will be some nice verdi and mendelssohn moments, too. I think I've gone on enough about it- but wait, no, I do have to add something. He looks exactly like a brown-haired version of the german villain guy in the first Die Hard movie, with stringy hair and a skinny face.


I need to whip up a recital in 4 weeks, and a concerto to record with Suzanne in 3. What am I doing on the couch with my laptop?

Monday, August 01, 2005


Well, the harmonica arrangements, they were pretty gross. Yeah, big shocker, right? So unless I'm unknowingly in love with the sound of harmonica, I don't think the arrival of the soloist (tonight) will redeem this one for me.

It's not that I am a classical snob- not this time, anyway. I was thinking about this carefully- it's that, you know, I actually really like Elvis- sung by Elvis- and I even like some of the folksy Stephen Foster stuff done the way he intended. Taking a classical orchestra and trying to write out all the swing rhythms... come on. It sounds like french toast with no butter- maybe even with no skillet. (I'm on a little french toast obsession just now.)

The conductor, I like him, but when we get into a "swing rock" section of an arrangement he's doing this funny little hitch with his right shoulder. I think he's trying to channel Sinatra or one of those types, but he looks like he's working up a neurological disorder instead.

Ah, well. It's not like I'm cleaning cages in a pet store for a living. (Though at age 15 that was my wildest dream.) I will play any sort of schlock for money. Now I have that Lyle Lovett song in my head. MMMM-ohh-en-ee-why, I said MMM-oh-n-e-y.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Harmonica is....?

We've got Wisconsin Chamber dorkestra rehearsal tonight- it involves a harmonica player. Harmonicist? I can't say I'm excited about that part of it, but hey- we'll see. The program also includes two things I like, Verdi's Forza del Destino and Mendelssohn 4 first mvt.

All four normal violists are here, also might be interesting. I really like sitting with Janse, though- hey, if you're the praying or good-vibing type, she and her husband have gone through some grueling fertilization treatments (is there any other kind?). Funny, I totally expected them to be pregnant before us.

Yesterday's Bach Dancing and Dynamite chamber music concert was way cool. They played this complex/creepy/rockin' piece by Jolivet- The Mask of the Red Death, based on the Poe story. It had both harp and viola- and I love modern works for harp. Took a year of lessons, and if I'm ever rich with both free time and funds, I want one. They also did the Debussy Harp/Viola/Flute trio, but I have to say it was sort of just a straight-ahead performance of it. I wanted more viola.

Well, other than a freak run-in between my stupid stomach a glass of grape juice this morning, it has been a fabulous day. (Juice! It's good for you, so what is your deal, body?)

Hope the fab day continues that way right on through rehearsal.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Maybe they mean "mile high" literally?

Denver has fallen off the map of the US into the clutches of fascism.

Read this article.

Then if you're into it, read this book by Vicki Hearne , an animal behaviorist.

I found this little snippet about Hearne written by Elizabeth Hollander:
"In the late 80s Hearne took up the cause of the much-maligned American Staffordshire Terrier (or pit bull). These dogs, known to cognoscenti as being among the bravest, most loyal and reliable of breeds, have suffered from having been exploited as fighting dogs.

When Hearne became the owner of a pit bull, Belle, she found herself demonized along with the breed. She was already becoming an expert witness in dog-biting cases, and in 1987 she became associated with one particular cause célèbre, a dog named Bandit who was slated to be executed by the Canine Control Division of Stamford, Connecticut for having bitten a visitor. Bandit wasn’t a pit bull, but having been mistaken for one didn’t help his case. Hearne ended up with custody of Bandit, whom she trained and found unusually mannerly. Stamford relented and allowed Bandit to live, but would not permit him to appear in public unmuzzled.

Having saved the dog’s life and successfully challenged Connecticut Canine Control, Hearne wrote Bandit: Dossier of a Dangerous Dog (1991), which brought both her and her cause a lot of publicity – there was a even a documentary film, A Little Vicious (1992) made about the episode."

Does no one remember this happening with Dobermans and Shepherds when they were the meany du jour?
If it were Simon, I'd move. And picket and protest and be noisy. Maybe I will fit in in Portland.

Thursday, July 28, 2005


It was a sparkly concert- beautifully played and excitedly recieved.

It was Beethoven who wrote that Romanze, not Brahms- sorry to have confused. I bet there are some great Brahms things for violin, though- they get all the good stuff. We violists just shamelessly steal.

Also- they let her play 2 movements of the Tchaik (middle and last), not just one. That last movement has got to be one of my favorite concerto movements ever written. If you ever get a hankering for a good cd of that, Viktoria Mullova has the most incredible recordings (of that and anything else, IMHO). Suzanne likes her best, too.

Instead of bringing her flowers- which I thought she'd get lots of and also can be a pain to preserve if you go out after the concert, we wanted to find something less perishable. So I wandered on State street and happened upon Twee & Luliloo. Madisonites, you have to check this place out. It's a candy shop in the old tradition with little celophane bags to fill and ribbons to tie them with. Definitely the kind of stuff to be savored- and it was all really cool looking. Little candy fruits, gummy items, chocolate covered cookie dough, they had it ALL. This was the kind of indulgence that makes you slow down and enjoy each little item.

Well, better get getting. The Bach Dancing and Dynamite chamber music festival continues...

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Suzanne's Tchaikovsky

So the notice, it's pretty late. But tonight's Concert on the Square will be my favorite for the summer.

My friend Suzanne's playing a movement of Tchaik, and also a Brahms romance. She's got a sweet, singing sound and amazing bow technique just perfect for that concerto. My only wish is that they were letting her play the whole thing.

So, after complaining to T and B earlier today about not connecting with the kidlet and whining about not feeling any movement- I keep feeling this little whirring sensation right about at the top of my pubic bone. Feels wierd. Like when you've forgotten that your cell phone is on vibrate in your purse and it starts moving.

I suppose it could be the garlic from last night's incredible Italian Summer Feast at Betsy's, but it feels more otherworldly than that. Speaking of the feast, when was the last time a friend of yours ground up corn to make a veggie tart crust? Or how about putting lots of yummy alcohol (vodka and kahlua, I believe) in a dessert so the pregnant folk can eat it and enjoy the flavor without fear? FRESH whipped cream with just a touch of sugar in it- perFECtion. Plus, we got to see Chloe the hair model baby for a second when we arrived- she is divine, I tell you.

Oh... was I going on and on about food? And strange functions deep within my biology? I told you I was a stereotype.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Hello, I'm a stereotype.

I should just stop watching ER. I've always liked this show, since the days of living in Manhattan and meeting Flo and Raiha on Thursdays to paint our nails and order in. (Raiha taught me how to be a girly girl.) It's the first/only show I watched weekly.

But lately... it's that pregnant thing I think. I'm so fascinated and involved with these characters, I almost cried when one of them got crushed by a helicopter. I am outraged at the calous behavior of the playboy characters, and sympathize with the hardworking but misunderstood nurse.

It isn't quite the crying-at-an-AT&T-commercial pregnant stereotype, but it's a little too close for comfort.

We've been a little busy with the Bach Dancing and Dynamite festival going now and for the next two weeks. Picking up artists, schlepping stuff to the Farmer's Market, data entering, and then, oh yeah- actually going to the concerts. Hey Tiffany! Those Russian Tea Cake cookies we made got a review in the paper!! "And at last the crowd was rewarded with dessert as they left the opera house: a platter stacked with delicious Russian tea cakes." Here's the whole article.

So there's been that.

And the cars have needed work, so J's went in. Have you ever noticed that when you take something in- a car, the dog, your teeth- more and more seems to turn up that is in dire need of fixin'? Sooooo, after redoing the brakes for a million billion dollars, now we need new ball joints. We thought we'd wait, but then I had to go and snoop around on the internet and found out that if the joints fail so do the brakes. That just wouldn't be any good at all, what with J being my sugar daddy meal ticket day laborer and all.

We're getting ready to get the house ready to sell. Mental preparation is like 90% of the game, right? We're thinking of selling absolutely everything we're not attached to. Couch, table. Who knows, maybe the doorknobs. Definitely the ball joints.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


It's pouring! Finally...
If I didn't have to go to work with the nonprofits today I would go for a run and jump in every single puddle. It hahs been WEEKS since a real rain.
I have a real post planned for later.

RAIN RAIN! Maybe it's because of that speedy black spider I hunted down and mercilessly squished yesterday. He had the audacity to set up house- webs and all- in the tissue box in my teaching room. He was darting out and in in a most frightening way. If they're the pretty kind, I take them outside. Beauty=life. Seems fair, no?

Do PETA freaks go for spiders, too? Gee, I hope so...

Monday, July 18, 2005

Hey Punkin!

It's hot out today, as it has been for what must be seven years now, and I've been telling everybody that the temperature outside is matched by my own perceived age lately. Today I'm 87.

Strangely, I decided to make a pumpkin pie. It looks normal- I baked some of the filling seperately and that was good- hey, I *had* to test it because I put in condensed milk instead of evaporated milk. But what am I going to do with a whole pie? Anyone know if they freeze okay?

I went through tons of wonderful maternity clothes collected by my mom's cool neighbor and tried some on for J. He said they looked wierd, but that may have been due to the pillow I had strategically placed. I can't believe how big I will get, if the yardage of fabric is any indication.

Ready or not....

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Summer Music

Would you like a free bookmark with all Madison's Summer Classical Music Events?!?

Sorry, that just came out. We handed out thousands this morning at the Farmer's Market on the capitol square. It was actually pretty fun- lots of super cute kids, great weather and a docile crowd of folks. In fact, midwesterners are so polite, if they didn't want the bookmark but had caught my eye they almost always said, "No, but thanks." Some even explained they were not from Madison. One girl said, "no, but you look beautiful." Sweet, huh?

Hey- here's the link to the non-profits I'm working for. The concerts really are going to be excellent- it's nice to promote something you really like.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Churches and Weddings

Number of people in the portland area: 1.9 million
Number of people who go to church there: 60,000
Number of Evangelical Free churches (our current brand): 0

Actually, I find this strangely encouraging. I know there are some interesting places, good writers, accomplished thinkers. We'll find a community there, and maybe the challenge will further distill our beliefs. Maybe our friends will not all be from church. (no offense, friends from church)

Lenny's gettin' married tomorrow! Tonight is the rehearsal & dinner (one rehearsal I don't have to be in- just J in a TUX. Mmmmmnnn.) How awesome. I love Lenny- he's sweet and funny and Mary is such a great match. Lenny's one of those guys who if you smack his arm to say hello he yells, OW! and almost convinces you you've injured his formidable arm. I remember when I first wished they'd get married- the 4 of us went to a park near a lake (mosquitoes, anyone?) swinging on a tire swing. Mary gave him guff the whole entire time. We are also nauseating, and so enjoy immunity from the effects of a smited (smitten, I know) couple.

Anyway, bless them, love them, congratulate them. They're gettin' hitched!!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Just give me the details.

I wonder if at some point in the next 5 or 6 months I will develop maternal instincts. Or maybe by the time the critter is heading off to college those'll kick in and I'll be sad to see them go at least.

Tiffany saw a knee on her ultrasound. I dreamt last night of a little boy with a mop of dark hair and crumbs on his face, and was almost relieved that I cared for him.

It's like the whole moving thing.

If I had the specifics, details, a date or an address, a toe or an elbow or lip... Don't we ask those same things of God? A detail, specifics, proof. I definitely did, still do.

Deitrich von Bonhoeffer says about the life of a disciple of Christ:
He wants to follow, but feels obliged to insist on his own terms to the level of human understanding. The disciple places himself at the Master’s disposal, but at the same time retains the right to dictate his own terms. But then discipleship is no longer discipleship, but a program of our own to be arranged to suit ourselves, and to be judged in accordance with the standards of rational ethic.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

What Huw Said

That's the conductor. He spells it h-u-w instead of h-u-g-h, but still it's just such a brit name.

I could only remember one bad under-the-breath joke from tonight.

It's about the Tick Tack (German, so it's really pronounced "tic-toc") Polka.

He said:

Let's hope this one goes well, the tic-tac. Yes, it's a bit sticky, isn't it?
Well, let's see if we can't *nail* it.

Obviously, it's funnier when he does it. Then he told us a bit about the composer George Butterworth, whose stuff really isn't half bad. It sounds like Elgar/Vaughn-Williams/tinged with Ravel's classical stuff. Apparently the guy died at like 28 because he went off to war. He had just finished studying with Ravel in france and war broke out and he promptly enlisted. I think he would have been something.

So, Huw tried out one of the jokes he'll use on the audience tomorrow. It's even badder, so brace yourselves.
He says:
I think you might just like this so much you can't believe it's Butterworth.

I wonder if he's tried the syrup? Seems like there'd be some material there to work with, but what do I know, over there in the viola section...