It is cold and nasty here in Western Michigan. East and north of us many schools and even entire sections of the freeway are closed. I had my bi weekly therapist appointment today. I called and left him a message to say that I was still planning to come. I set out fifteen minutes early. The roads south of Holland on the way to Glen where Dr. Birky my therapist lives were pretty good. I didn’t go over 55 on the way down. There were white outs with blowing wind but as far as i could see the pavement was not icy.
I had a good session with Birky. It does help to chew over stuff with a good listener.
I had emailed Mary at the office to ask her if she could do the program for this weekend’s recital. She ended up getting locked out of the office for half a day due to frozen locks. She emailed me back and said that she would be too busy to get to this for me. This is not a problem. I’m just trying to ask for help where I can get it. So now I have that little task to do tomorrow. It’s very easy.
I had a good piano trio rehearsal yesterday. I limited it to 45 minutes so I could accompany Eileen and Edison on the monthly visit to the vet. We are working on a movement of Clara Schumann’s piano trio in G minor. She has based it on a motive that is identical to the beginning of the Lutheran chorale Aus tiefer not (the first five notes of this:)
I have schedule the choir to sing a four part Bach chorale harmonization of this melody on March 24th. I proposed to the piano trio that they come to church that Sunday and we will play the Clara Schumann as a prelude. It would be cool. They are considering it.
Our rehearsal went well yesterday. We are digging deeper into Clara Schumann’s lovely piece. Here’s an embed. If you just listen to the first little bit of the piece you can clearly hear the motive.
Eileen and I went to the library yesterday. I checked out some interesting stuff.
Every once in a while I will attempt to read a Manga graphic novel. The Ghost in the Shell by Shirow Masamune looked interesting to me yesterday. These books are set up to read from right to left sort of mimicking the Japanese layout. So far I’m enjoying this. There’s a blurb on my copy about it now being a major motion picture.
It came out in 2017.
In her January 24th NYT interview, Elizabeth McCracken mentioned that her favorite villain was the Stupid Wolf in the Clever Polly series. Eileen and I were both a bit intrigued and each of us interlibary loaned some of the books. They came in yesterday and I have read a couple of the stories. Eileen doesn’t like the “stupid” in “Stupid Wolf.” She noted that the books were originally written in the 50s and British. As she was looking over subsequent titles in the series she was satisfied to note that they dropped the “stupid” and made him the “Hungry Wolf.”
I have been noticing collections of stories in other languages sitting on the new shelf at the library. Yesterday after glancing at some of the prose and satisfying myself that it didn’t look completely undoable I checked Short Stories in French by Olly Richards and Richard Simcott. I like the attitude of this series. The authors encourage high-beginner or low intermediate level French learners to dive in. There is an interesting section about “how to read.” Readers are encouraged to not look up words they don’t know at first but to keep reading for the sense of the story. Apparently when we learn a second language we are aprt to abandon some of our reading “microskills” (as the text calls them) like scanning and skimming and getting meaning from context. Instead when we are in an less familiar language we tend to get very literal and not move on from a word we don’t recognize. This is how I do Greek. But I like the idea of having texts designed as they are in this book to be read through quickly for sense and then double back and read again and then finally start to use the glossary.
I read the first story last night. Wow! I made it through and understand most of the meaning of the story (the goal). At the end of each of story is a synopsis for the reader to check his understanding. It is in FRENCH. How cool is that? I was able to use it to do this checking. This is fun for me.
Chabon is an author I admire and read. This is a little book he has written about books. What’s not to like?
Finally, the Moosewood people whose vegetarian cookbooks I have used for decades have published their 14th cookbook. Great recipes and some beautiful food porn.