keeping jupe challenged


I have another full day planned so I am blogging this morning before shit hits the fan.

After church yesterday I slipped into a bit of a mood. Church went well, but choir members are having difficulty adapting to the new robes. They are finding them too hot. Some are doing what I am doing and adapting what they wear under them for better comfort but most just seem unhappy.

Managing people’s wardrobe is not in my skill set. I found it mildly discouraging that what is in my skill set, namely making music, takes a back seat to such trivial shit. But it is of a piece of aging and finding my own interests, perspective, and concerns increasingly irrelevant to others.

This was not helped by a visitor who made his interest in the new organ obvious. After church he told me he wanted to hear more Bach. He was visiting from Blachburn Cathedral despite his Amurican accent. He was not an organist but professed to be friends with this or that dude.

He kept mention huge organs he had seen recently. By the time he was done I wondered why he was so interested in our modest little instrument since he had never heard of North German organ building much less Martin Pasi. Sigh.

A couple approached me at coffee. They were expressing dismay that it was time for them to return to their winter abode and would miss my music especially my jazzy piano improvs. I asked them if they were from Florida. No, they were from Ann Arbor. Well, I said with a bit of confusion, “you have lots of good stuff there.”

Despite fatigue I had to return for some time on the bench yesterday. Today Eileen and I are performing the organ demonstrator, “Hiker’s Gear,” for some residents of my Mom’s nursing home who are being bussed over.

I neglected to put it on the church calendar and there wasn’t a whisper of announcing it yesterday. In fact, my boss was supposed to bring hiking gear for Eileen and forgot it entirely. She didn’t remember it until after I sent out a spammy email to AGO members and locals about it and next Sunday’s Grace Notes 2017 recital, “Fall Improv.”

She’s stuck at home but is sending the gear for Eileen via her significant other. it will arrive about an hour beforehand.

I haven’t decided exactly what other organ music to perform for this crew. I went over some top ten tunes yesterday like “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,” “Air on a G string,” and “Hornpipe” by Handel. I am a bit torn about this. I like to do classy piano stuff when I play for nursing home people. On the other hand, the world of pipe organ is such a disjunct place from most listeners much less a captive audience  like the elderly that I will probably do well to play something they might recognize and enjoy.

Whose a whore?

I continue to practice stuff for the October dedication recital. It is on October 18th which is exactly a month from today. I am on my way to having the Hampton piece learned but it is far from finished.  Recently I figured out that I need to consistently practice it slowly which is what I did yesterday with the help of mister metronome.

I also spent time with the unfinished “Mental Floss.” I am getting quite pleased with the direction this composition is taking. On the other hand, it’s a bit terrifying that both pieces I plan to play are in such provisional state at this point, the Hampton unlearned and “Mental Floss” uncomposed.

Oy. Why do I do this to myself?

They say keeping oneself challenged and learning is a good thing to do in life and especially old age. I guess I’m doing that.

Probably the high point of church yesterday was when my Republican bass playing friend commented that he enjoyed this album, Jesus Rocked the Jukebox,  which I passed along on Facebook. It’s helping me this morning.

 Think Beet and Goat Cheese Salad Is a Cliché? A New Recipe Proves It’s a Classic – The New York Times

 Alice Waters’s Grilled Cheese Is Not Like Yours and Mine – The New York Times

 Roasted Summer Vegetables Tucked Into Tartlets – The New York Times

I’m cutting back on booze and snacking. I guess this leads to reading more food articles and thinking about making veggie food for Jupe.

When the Rescuers Come From Across the Country – The New York Times

This good on-the-ground report some of the cynical shit I’ve been reading about FEMA.

Roald Dahl’s Widow Says ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ Hero Was Supposed to be Black – The New York Times

Dahl’s widow is still alive. Wow.  The book would have obviously been much better with a black Charlie Bucket. Too bad.

A Prison Sentence Ends. But the Stigma Doesn’t. – The New York Times

Interesting point in this article about not having to be a bit of a genius to get redemption. You know regular people are in trouble when these exceptional people have trouble.




a biblio birthday tour


Another quick early morning post. I received a nice gift from my brother, Mark, and my sister-in-law, Leigh, in the mail yesterday.

Image result for hainish book set le guin

The American Library two volume set of Ursula K. Le Guin’s so called Hainish Novels and stories with a new introduction from last year by the author.

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I love this author and I love the the Library of America editions.  So many thanks to these two people!

Image result for jerusalem moore

It was odd at first walking around the bookstore yesterday. I’m out of the habit of browsing I guess. Also, they didn’t have several books I was interested in. Then I remembered Alan Moore’s new book, Jerusalem. Thirty-five bucks for the paperback set. Sold!

Image result for salman rushdie the golden house

Then I remembered that Rushdie had a new novel out. Sold!

Image result for george saunders lincoln in the bardo

George Saunders has made a big splash with his first novel. I have read two collections of his short stories and think he’s amazing. Sold!

Eileen and I had a nice lunch at Schuler bookstore and then drove home.

But wait! Jupe’s greed for books was not sated. I ordered two more books as well. The first, I saw at Schuler’s. It is a beautiful little book about Schubert’s Winterreise song cycle. This is a set of songs that I admire greatly.  With a name like Schubert’s Winter Journey: Anatomy of an Obsession I couldn’t get the book out of my mind, so just ordered the dam thing on Amazon.

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It’s available as an ebook, but the book itself is a work of art, so what the heck!

Image result for saddest summer of samuel s donleavy

I have been thinking about J. P. Donleavy’s The Saddest Summer of Samuel S. I checked at Schuler and couldn’t find a title by Donleavy. I came home and looked for any titles by him in my own library. If I have them they are not where they should be in alphabetical order. I read a paperback edition that looked a lot like the one in the picture above. You guessed it. I ordered a used copy to reread.

This last title seems salient since the book is about a relationship between a shrink and his client, Samuel S. I have been pondering whether my therapy is a self indulgence or something more. I have decided it’s probably self indulgence but an activity I would like to continue.

Donald Trump Is the First White President – The Atlantic

I think that this guy is onto something.

“…not every Trump voter is a white supremacist, just as not every white person in the Jim Crow South was a white supremacist. But every Trump voter felt it acceptable to hand the fate of the country over to one.”

He repeats this twice in the article, the part about feeling “it acceptable to hand the fate of the country over to” a white supremacist.

In every category of polling, Trump won the white vote. Not a coincidence.