aaahhhh …. a day off


Today is Eileen’s last day of work. Tomorrow she is retired. She and I both got up in a good mood.

She told me that when she turned off her alarm this morning, she thought, now I don’t have to turn it back on again. Ever. She is looking forward to doing all kinds of things with her time. She has ordered wool to weave. She has been crocheting already. Her only misgiving has been worrying about money. But I think that she has come to terms with that anxiety and put it largely behind her.

It’s interesting because she is feeling much the way I felt when I quit my Roman Catholic church job to do other music stuff. This time our roles are a bit reversed. My income is more important now since her early retirement lowered her pension. But I (like Eileen was when I quit my job) am quite happy in my work (church music and ballet).

I have been lazing about this morning. Got up later than usual. Just finished my usual reading. It’s about ten after nine. Usually I discipline myself to start blogging at 7:30 or earlier.


But today I definitely need some rest.

By the time I reached choir rehearsal last night I was exhausted and my brain was not working well. I felt it as I rehearsed. I wasn’t as sharp and creative in helping my singers sing better. It was a productive rehearsal but one in which I continually felt I could have been more effective. Ah well. Sometimes you eat the bar, sometimes the bar eats you.

It looks like I might get a chance to work with a young student composer at Hope after all. Even though I emailed a  Music department prof I respect at Hope and he passed my request on to the right teacher, I haven’t heard back and probably won’t. I continue to be mystified that I seem to be off people’s radar.

But the dance department, via Julie Powell, does seem to value me as a resource. It’s Julie who asked me to write a character dance piece for a class last term. We decided it would be very cool to have a student composer write such a piece. It was then that I contacted the music department.

Julie recently spotted a young musician in one of her beginning ballet classes. She is going to connect me with him with the idea that he and I would work together devising a piece for her class to use this term.

I, of course, will try to get the student to do the creative work. I would really love this. I do love teaching even though I basically do not find the educational institutions of the society I live in to be about learning. I did some adjunct work for a while and enjoyed it. But somehow I worked my way out of the position by not being cooperative enough (I think that might have been it….. GVSU wanted me to drive over to Allendale in the morning and then also teach evening classes. When I said no to that, they never asked me again. I think the new chair saw adjuncts as something all teachers just have to do to pay dues. What a ding dong.).

Anyway, it would be fun to work with another musician on a composition project.

1. Marinara Worth Mastering –

I skimmed through this article, but it convinced me to try the approach to marinara outlined. No onions, no cheese, short cooking time. All good. We’ll see if I can find decent canned tomatoes like the person in the article recommends.

2. Pete Seeger, Champion of Folk Music and Social Change, Dies at 94 –

I have never been a fan of Seeger. But his obit helps me see that I didn’t seem him clearly. I knew that he was banned from TV at one point, but didn’t realize how  much harassment he suffered in his career. I’m not sure I knew he wrote the songs the obit gives him credit for. I’m still not terrible attracted to his persona that he sold for years, nor his music, but now I think I respect him more.

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