I figured out that I’m over half through the bio of Mao I am reading by Alexander Pantsov and Steven Levine. Once again the design of the Kindle has been unhelpful. It indicates I am only 33% into the book. This is because it counts the collection of photographs, the appendixes and copious footnotes found at the end as part of the text. They begin 59% of the way through. Sheesh. I guess I’m pleased that I’m as far as I am.
The story Pantsov and Levine have told so far is about Mao’s complex and long rise to power within the Chinese Communist Party. They document how Stalin controlled and led this process, eventually ordaining Mao as his choice as leader for the party and consciously creating a Stalinesque cult of personality around him.
Yesterday my lagging spirits were shored up by reading through Mozart piano trios and violin sonatas. I told my trio I needed some Mozart joie de vivre since two members of my extended family have funerals this Saturday. Two MALE members (see yesterday’s whine).
This was after playing a funeral. It was very odd because I also drew on Mozart for the prelude for the funeral. It was unusually quiet. I have a tendency to use piano at funerals and weddings since people relate more readily to a bad piano sound than a bad organ sound. I may change this after I get a good organ sound in couple years.
At any rate I do understand Mozart as a burst of human joy. The piano trio we read through yesterday was pretty dam amazing.
My niece, Emily, and her husband, Jeremy, were sitting in my living room with Eileen when I arrived home after rehearsal. We all had a nice chat and then they set out for home. Unfortunately, they ended up in a ditch not too far down the road. Eileen texted back and forth with them and offered to go get them, but they forged ahead due to responsibilities at the other end of the road.
Eileen seemed cheered up by their visit. She has been a bit down lately. At least it seems that way to me. She did the grocery shopping for us yesterday which is unusual. This is usually my task. After Emily and Jeremy left she was smiling much more than I have seen her do so lately.
Of course, we did find out that her Mini is seriously sick and will need some serious work done. This will hit our meager savings hard. And she is scheduled for a colonoscopy next Tuesday. So I can see why she might be a bit down.
I tease her that my life is better than hers since I get to live with her which is a pleasure for me while she has to live with me. And I know I can be difficult.
The Lame-Duck Dynasty – NYTimes.com
I found this Gail Collins column on US politics pretty witty. Of course I am a brain dead far left liberal.
Campaign Contributions: Does Money Equal Speech? – NYTimes.com
Letters to the editor, one particularly poignant from FRANCES MOORE LAPPÉ author of Diet of a Small Planet.
“In a crowded hall of bellowing voices (some with electronic megaphones!), those speaking normally can never be heard, even when they are the majority. That’s America today. It is not democracy.”