panic is exhausting


I drove home last night since Eileen was a bit tired. I had the energy so it was no problem. We arrived home around four. Sunday when we were on our way out of town, we stopped at the grocery store. When I went to reach for my credit card it didn’t seem to be in my purse. Eileen loaned me hers. I was pretty sure I had left it on the stand next to my chair at home. The last time I could remember using it was to purchase pizzas online.

So when we came home I of course checked for it on the table next to my chair. It wasn’t there. Yikes. Eileen and I began scouring the house for it. Forty minutes later Eileen found it in my purse tucked into my Mom’s checkbook. By that time I WAS exhausted. I still had to drag myself to church to rehearse the organ music for this Sunday. I chose music that did not rely on pedals that much and practiced the manuals (keyboards) on Leigh’s piano while we were visiting. I probably could have skipped the rehearsal but went for it anyway. I like being prepared. And I must say after adding pedal parts, the pieces did need rehearsal.



I love the  OED. I was reading a poem by Derek Walcott this morning and he used the word, “babel.”



I noticed the spelling of “babel” and decided to check on it in the OED. “Babel” is an upstanding word that means “A confused or discordant medley of sounds, esp. of voices; a hubub, a din.”

It does come from the name of the Tower of Babel of Biblical fame.

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Briefly, the story is that after the great flood, humanity came together to build a tower to reach the heavens. God strikes them all and creates languages in their wonderful diversity. Since they can no longer understand each other the project is abandoned. It’s a neat  story of the origin of languages.

Babel means “gate of god.” The “el” is related to “Allah” and other names for god. Hebrew and Arabic share the syllable, “bab,” meaning “gate” in both languages. “Babble” shares a meaning but not an origin with “babel.” The “ba” in “babble” is “characteristic of early infantile vocalization, this syllable being taken as typical of childish speech, and hence of indistinct or nonsensical talk + -le suffix. The OED suggests that these two words did indeed influence each other. I think it is cool that they have different origins.

Speaking of panic, during the last paragraph Eileen got up and told me she found a bat in the house last night and it was probably still in the house. I found it and shaking with stupid irrational fear of bats managed to get it out of the house without hurting it. I used a broom to coax the sleepy bat into a small box and put it outside. The janitor at church kills them when he finds them. I think bats are our friends.

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last day in unadilla michigan


Today we go back to Holland. I think we are going to wait until Mark has finished a step in his weaving. I canceled my cello rehearsal so we have no specific time to return.

I finished Testimony: Memoirs of Dmitri Shostakovich this morning.

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I couldn’t tell if I was tiring of his  bitterness toward the end of the book or whether it gets more bitter at  the end. I do remember that at the end of The Noise of Time, Julian Barnes recommends Elizabeth Wilson’s Shostakovich: A Life Remembered Second edition. He used it and the Memoirs to write historical fiction about Shostakovich. I should check the bio out.

Despite the sadness and bitterness in the Memoirs I continue to find myself drawn to the music of Shostakovich.


We watched “The Dresser” last night. It was excellent. I love both of the main actors. The screenplay was originally a play and was adapted in a wonderful way. I can’t say too  much good about it. Seeing something this good makes me think I should be a bit more proactive and find other good things like this for Eileen and I to watch.

Irving Fields, Composer Who Infused Songs With Latin Rhythms, Dies at 101 – The New York Times

Bagels and Bongos. What’s not to like?

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Toots Thielemans, Who Won Jazz Renown With the Harmonica, Dies at 94 – The New York Times

Then there’s this guy. He played on the Sesame Street Theme.


And on the Midnight Cowboy theme.

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This is him doing it live. Cool stuff!

On Demand | Watch & Explore | Stratford Festival

Like I was saying above, I need to take more advantage of what’s available online. It only $4.99 to watch one of these on Amazon.

Acorn TV – New & Featured | The best British TV streaming on demand, commercial free.

Mark recommended this. I think it’s more in Eileen line than mine, but still, I’m interested. Thanks Mark!

 This is a dark chapter in American history. I know not everyone agrees with me, but I’m certain that is the case.