butt kicked and lucky


This weekend kicked my butt. By the time Sunday afternoon arrived I was exhausted. I’m not exactly sure why. I did have a wedding on Saturday afternoon. I made cornbread that morning as well. In between, I went and bought a phone. I had one on order but discovered that Verizon had back ordered it and it wasn’t going to be sent out for a couple weeks. I canceled that order and walked through the door at my favorite locally owned Verizon franchise store (much better than the idiot company stores). I had a phone by noon.

My trio played yesterday and it went well. In between our regular Sunday morning stream of the Liturgy of the Word and the outside Eucharist, weather permitting, the trio sits outside and plays. I schedule a piece and put the title in the bulletin (online pdf),  but that’s not enough. So yesterday I asked my string players to bring the Episcopal hymnal, Wonder, Love, and Praise out with them. I have an extra accompaniment edition for the cellist. I had them play a few hymns and interspersed improvised piano stuff in between.

I think my trumpet/organ piece is essentially finished and in the hands of the performers. This is a freeing feeling.

On Saturday my old friend, Bob Hobby, called me up. Bob and I were good friends in Grad School. But after that, we drifted apart as people do. It was flattering that he thought of calling me and we had a lovely chat.

This morning I managed to get  a contractor to look at our garage situation. His assessment was a bit startling. He said the original installation was so bad that we could consider a lawsuit. He said it was unsafe the day it was installed. What was installed was a garage opener anyone could buy at Menards (the contractor’s words). But, my little garage was not exactly set up for it and the installer had cut away at the main beam to make room for it. This had weakened to the point, the opener quit working. The contractor pointed out numerous badly done parts of the installation. He recommended a garage door installer to come do the work.

He’s coming tomorrow morning to assess the situation. The guy today said it’s likely that our typical little Western Michigan garage (again, his words) might be too small for an automatic door opener. The installer coming should be able to not only decide that, but re-do the beams that the old installer ruined.

Apparently we were very lucky that the original installation hadn’t come crashing down and hurt someone.

Lucky again.

I went over to church today and picked out a prelude and postlude for Sunday. I am doing two gorgeous pieces by Buxtehude: Vater unser im Himmelreich BuxWV 220 and Von Gott will ich nicht lassen BuXWV 330. They sound excellent on my Pasi and are not too much work. I have already filled in the bulletin for this Sunday. So that’s done.

Oddly, we had a Trump person come to our door this weekend as well. She was an elderly white lady lady with no mask. I went to the door and she said that she could see what our politics were from all the signs, but were there any people in the house that might not be of that ilk. I was cordial. Apparently, she wanted to interview people she agree with. I wished her luck.

There was an article in this weekend’s Sunday New York Times called “What Does It Mean to Love a Country?” by Marilyn Robinson. Independently of that, I ran across a nice passage  by Ursula K. Leguin along the same lines. Serendipity.

“How does one hate a country, or love one? …. I lack the trick of it. I know people, I know towns, farms, hills and rivers and rocks, I know how the sun at sunset in autumn falls on the side of a certain plowland in the hills; but what is the sense of giving a boundary to all of that, of giving it a name and ceasing to love where the name ceases to apply? What is love one’s country’ is it hate of one’s uncountry? Then it’s not a good thing. Is it simply self-love? That’s a good thing, but one mustn’t make a virtue of it, or a profession…. Insofar as I love life, I love the hills of the Domain of Estre, but that sort of love does not have a boundary line of hate.” from The Left Hand of Darkness by Urusla K. LeGuin



Tchaikovsky and South Park


Here’s a long overdue blog post. I have been one busy camper. This morning before Eileen got up, I finished the final touches on my trumpet organ piece and emailed it to the players. Sunday, Rhonda told me that she and the trumpet player were planning to meeting this Friday (tomorrow). I freaked and worked all evening on finishing up what I could and emailing it to them. Unfortunately, there was one section in the first movement that I had to mark “Still under construction.” This was an extended organ section which I wanted to add to give the trumpet player enough breaks in the movement. Plus I did have several ideas about how to write it, but it wasn’t ready to send off.

I have been remembering the first time a teacher commented on my composing. It was at Ohio Wesleyan in what they called a Theory Zip class. In other words, a no credit required class to bring people up to speed in theory. We had an assignment to write a piece. I wrote one (something I still think is a good piece). Mr Lawrence, the teacher, asked me what my procedure had been, what was my theoretical rationale. I stumbled and told him I didn’t really have one. I just wrote what I thought sounded good.

I now know that a smart rejoinder to that would have been to ask me why it sounded good to me. I don’t know if I could answer it then but I could answer that question now about my writing.

Monday I did other stuff including working on some organ music. Playing Distler this past Sunday inspired me to get back into playing some decent organ music. I’m working on some Buxtehude and some Elgar. I think my people would like Elgar.

Yesterday, I went to the IMSLP site and printed off so much music for my piano trio that I went through an entire cartridge of black ink. Sheesh. It was work it. I found nine volumes of selected movements for piano trio. We are playing from this stuff on this Sunday. The trio was fired up about doing some different stuff including Tchaikowsky, Corelli, and a goofy French romantic pizzicato piece.

Here’s a recording of the Tchaikowsky arr. by some young people.

And here’s the goofy French piece. We don’t play quite as drunkenly as this group. But it is a fun piece.

We have a couple nice Corelli pieces ready to play outside weather permitting.

I made bread this morning also. I’m a tired dude this afternoon. I recently finished Emily West’s translation of The Odyssey. I have been working on reading it in the Greek using some cool new resource books. I also returned to reading Don Quixote recently.

My son in law bought me a new tablet. I (ahem) broke the old one a while back. He also purchased insurance on it so if I abuse it and ruin it, I can get a new one.

My phone is dying. I have ordered one and it should arrive in the mail very soon.

I discovered that I may be the only person in my house that still likes South Park. My boss mentioned that it’s one of her guilty pleasures. She  described a recent episode that she found funny. It was not the one below.

It turns out there is a nice rejoinder to the insane comment that China sent us Covid 19. Actually, Randy did it when he and Mickey Mouse fucked a bat in Wuhan. You have been warned. Despite the slight disapproval from Eileen and Jeremy, i think this is hilarious.