Sunday, November 18, 2007

unrelated rants

I don't normally broadcast my religious views with the zeal and fervor that some do. My spirituality is private, emotional, and something I only discuss with my most intimate friends. I will say, however, that I firmly believe our elected officials should not legislate theology, nor should the government barge into our church sanctuaries, temples, or mosques.

I have a real and definite problem with uber-conservative, right-wing fundamentalists who call themselves Christians. I think they miss the point. It seems their primary agenda is conversion by attack, judgment, and condemnation rather than all-inclusive compassion and love.

So I bet you're wondering what prompted this mini-rant. This did. The small article from today's newspaper is about the church where I work part-time as the music director. After the dedication of the new sanctuary, visitors to the church were so impressed with the music program that I was told I may have a few job offers. I guess I resent the fact that no mention was made of the music program anywhere in the article whatsoever.

I know these are two separate issues, but I just had to get that out.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

to play or not to play: f-minor piano variations

Darn you, Joseph Haydn.

Ok, so it's been eight years since I've had your F-minor Piano Variations in my fingers, and even longer since I have performed it in front of actual people. When I slap the Urtext up on the rack, it seems familiar enough. The notes and hints I scribbled all over the music help to jog my memory:
No accent here.
More precise rhythm here.
Close your hand.
Free but not "floaty".
Keep the integrity of the two voices.
Be gentle.
Half pedal.
Shape this phrase more.
Less detached here.
Hang on.
No mercy.

Slowly it comes back but I have trouble executing the turns, the mordents, the trills, the grace notes - all those Mozart-wanna-be ornaments. Oh, I can hear them in my head, elegantly blending in perfectly with other notes in the phrase. I just can't seem to make my fingers do what I want them to do, and I realize that eight years is plenty long enough to lose one's skill.

After two hours of practicing, it has become apparent that my hand span has shrunk considerably and the tendonitis in my right bicep has indeed not faded away with time.

Will this piece make the final cut for the recital I have to give in five months? Maybe. Maybe not, if I do better on the Brahms Intermezzi. Or the Debussy Suite Bergamasque. Or the old, reliable Chopin Nocturnes and Preludes.

Excuse me while I go hunt down some ibuprofen.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

tagged again

Julia tagged me, so I suppose I have to comply....

List 5 things that certain people (who are not deserving of being your friend anyway) may consider to be “totally lame,” but you are, despite the possible stigma, totally proud of. Own it. Tag 5 others.

Ok, here goes:

1. I. Love. Yarn. I must have it. I covet it, crave it, horde it. Even when I'm not working on any particular project, I buy it. I buy it when the various craft stores have sales, thinking, oh I might use this for a project some day. I love the way yarn feels, I love the colors, I love imagining all the things I could make with it. If only my crochet skills were as advanced as I pretend they are.

2. I have a bed-making compulsion. It's true. I have to make the bed before I get into it at night. The pillows must be properly fluffed, the sheets must be straightened out and tidy. There must be the same amount of sheet and blanket hanging off each side of the bed. If, for whatever reason, my bed-making ritual is not performed each night before I climb in, I run the risk of a seriously restless night.

3. I've been known to drink wine out of a box, but only if there's nothing else in the house.

4. Books. See #1.

5. I am secretly in love with Tom Jones (the Welsh singer, not the Henry Fielding novel). I know all of the words to all of his songs.

Friday, November 02, 2007

plug for the local girl

Sui Generis, the law blog written by a colleague in my office, has been nominated for best law blog in the 2007 Weblog Awards. So, all my blogging friends, please go vote for Niki!