working on balance


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I can see that adjusting my schedule and my attitude toward work is going to take some fine tuning. I have tasks at this point that I need to keep remembering. Yesterday I did some emailing about Sunday’s Grace Notes Recital. Emailed my student, Rudy, and offered him a lesson this week. I am planning to go over today and put in for the check for the recitalist Sunday. I’m hoping they can cut it rather quickly so that I can have it hand, the way I prefer.

Eileen and I do a thing we call “Check In.” We make a schedule for upcoming days and review everything in the “In Basket.” We did that yesterday. We have scheduled a Grand Rapids day today. This means a meal and movie. That should be nice.

The guy who was reupholstering a chair for Eileen called yesterday and wanted to come by and drop it off (and get paid). We scheduled that for 10:30.

On Sunday afternoon, I continue to play with my books, putting them in a usable order. I worked on that some more yesterday.

Eileen ambushed me a bit by insisting on running down the $6.02 that Xfinity owes my dead Mom and keeps snailmailing us about. She thought she could handle it without me, but that turned out not to be the case. I am abashed that jumping in and working on this threw me off emotionally and mentally so easily. The rest of the day was rubbish and I decided to end it with a martini and wine.

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I have decided I want to more clearly put together the cast of characters in Alan Moore’s Jerusalem. Weirdly, I couldn’t find one online. So I started working on one this morning. I think it would be fun to more clearly see how the story hangs together. I think I can go a long way with this by making a google doc about it. I have it in a searchable Kindle book. Even though I am reading a hard copy, it is handy to be able to search the Kindle version.

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I decided yesterday I wanted to study both Anglican church music and American Black Music. The former is under control. For the latter I pulled out my copy of Readings in Black American Music by the scholar, Eileen Southern. I discovered that it is a companion book of resources for her larger history, The Music of Black Americans: A History (Third Edition). I ordered a copy of that yesterday.

The flavor of Anglican Church Music when combined with African American influence on American worship sounds like a good combo for study for Jupe.

I see my therapist, Dr. Birky, this Friday and am hoping to continue to work on integrating my life better.

Islamophobia and structuring the post-Cold War new world order – Hatem Bazian – Daily Sabah

I continue to try to expand the way I find stuff online. Lately, I have been doing more Twitter. I also have increased my Google Alerts. This article came up under Salman Rushdie.

I got it bad (and that ain’t good)


You might think from today’s title I was going to complain about my hives. But instead I’m thinking of the fact that this morning finds me immersing myself in church music reading. I have beeni enjoying reading about hymnody and the history English parish congregational singing, not to mention iJerusalem, n Alan Moore’s does a lot of referring to hymn writers and hymns (who knew?). This morning after Greek I pulled out my 82 Hymnal Companion and read up on the hymns I will play next week. In doing so, I ran across a reference to Temperley’s article in the Hymnal Companion, “The tunes of congregational song in Britain from the Reformation to 1760.”

This is a useful short summary of his work on this subject and ties in nicely with my reading. I enjoyed checking out next week’s hymns. If I found something fascinating I would write a bulletin note. The reading was interesting but not fascinating. I am beginning to see the  history of hymnody especially Anglican and related hymnody in a clearer way.

Last night I was unable to concentrate and do too much reading. Instead I fired up my Roku and re-watched the first show of Diarmaid MacCulloch’s History of Christianity.

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I am not that good at watching images these days. I started out interested. The scenery of places in the world related to the Christian Church is one of the strong points of this series. MacCulloch bravely looking at stuff, with his hair ruffling in the wind and sincere passion in his eyes, is not. I admire his writing, but as I say I am not that patient with moving images at this stage of life.

After watching the silly weekend PBS newshour, I queued up some videos from my YouTube subscription.

What Misko does in his guitar arrangements is amazing. This was released this month.

I then randomly listened to another new video.

I quite like it.

Church went fine yesterday. Many people greeted me and welcomed me back. They sang up a storm which is always fun. The idea of using improvs for preludes and postludes seems like a good one. People aren’t looking for repertoire and frankly most of them aren’t listening that closely which is fine. A little improv works well and is super easy for me to prepare and execute.

I still have my hives. They vary in intensity of itchiness. They weren’t a problem at work even with the choir robe that I routinely wear. However, I am a bit skeptical that this second round of prednisone will do the trick. I had a friend at church say that she took this drug for something similar but longer and presumably in larger doses.

The good news is that despite still having high BP my weight is going down. I expect this to help with the BP. But it’s good news because we are eating so good due to fresh fruit, cheese, and newly made jams (Blackberry AND Pepper Jelly). I told Eileen yesterday that if I can lose weight eating like this then there truly is a god.

David Quammen Turns Tough Science Into Page-Turning Pleasure – The New York Times

This book describes a mind boggling discovery in the late 20th century that I had never heard of:

“Genes, as it happens, do not merely flow vertically from parent to child. They can move horizontally (known as horizontal gene transfer). They can move between species. “Roughly 8 percent of the human genome consists of the remnants of retroviruses that have invaded our lineage — invaded the DNA, not just the bodies, of our ancestors — and stayed,” Quammen writes. The gene that gives us the human placenta came to us from a retroviral infection. ”

Get that? This explodes many notions of how evolutionary changes happen. Way cool.