day off

Today I plan to take a day off.  First one in a while.  Yesterday’s service went pretty smoothly. I played the Parry postlude pretty well.  The violin teacher from Hope(less) college chatted me up at the coffee hour.  I have a sneaky suspicion I have aroused his pity somehow.

Eileen was ill. She volunteered Saturday at the Children’s Garden at the library and once again no patrons showed up to help. She came home and went to bed and has pretty much stayed there all weekend with a sore throat.

I checked on Mom and half-heartedly volunteered to take her for a ride or something. She also took pity on me and declined. She is looking a bit better every day. Depression does cycle. We agreed to do lunch today.

Before church, I treadmilled to some videos.

This one is very interesting. 6 ways we look at time and what it does to our lives….

I like what David Byrne says in this video about how rooms affect the basic notions of what kind of music we compose and make….

Finally, daughter Elizabeth turned me on to Johana Blakely’s synopsis of what the relatively copyright free fashion industry can teach other industries bogged down in intellectual prop protection.

I spent some time with Mendelssohn and Brahms at the piano yesterday. Then did some reading.



Besides reading in Mao: the unknown story by Change and Halliday and The Doctor is Sick by Burgess, I read in the New Yorker Summer Fiction issue.  I especially liked “Dayward” by Z. Z. Packard. The theme for this issue is “20 under 40”. A few of the stories are online.

Finally Eileen came downstairs to Farmville on the mainframe (no wireless…. makes me crazy) and then joined me watching “A Time to Kill” on our new stupid cable tv.

I read this book years ago but never saw the movie. It’s Grisham’s first. I remember being so shocked when the main lawyer character, Jake Bergance, has a moment of undiluted pleasure when he realizes the case will thrust him into the spotlight and most of all TV coverage.

I couldn’t understand how anyone would look forward to that. Still don’t, for that matter.

I neglected to go practice organ yesterday afternoon. I have in mind performing one of the Schubler for the prelude next week and a loud section from the Hindemith first organ sonata for the postlude.

I desperately need to get back to doing some writing and contacting musicians for the August fifth gig.  Time marches on.

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Day Off

Today I rest. I need to take some time off. It’s been kind of a crazy week for some reason. I guess it’s partly the extra service on Wednesday evening. Also I had musical rehearsals on Monday and Tuesday evening. Last Sunday, I had a dinner engagement which left my head spinning a bit. This was all extra stuff in an already hectic (for me) schedule.
I got up more rested today than I have been. Still very tired but a bit better. I put Pablo Casals recording of the Bach Cello Suites on to sooth me a bit.

I first heard these while watching an old Inmar Bergman film. This would have had to have been in the late sixties or possibly early seventies. I mention this because I have a poignant association with these pieces. I subsequently became interested in Casals and read his autobiography. He influence my understand and love of Bach quite a bit.

So sitting in my kitchen years later listening to a dead man play music written hundreds of years ago and sipping coffee has a soothing effect.

I sat down and played through several movements of Bach’s first English suite this morning as well.

Elizabeth called from China. She and Eileen chatted until it was time for Eileen to go to work.

Then I got to talk to her awhile.

While sipping coffee this morning I was working my way through the New Oxford Begginer’s Chinese Dictionary exercises. It got very interesting this morning as the exercises walked me through understanding how Chinese words sometimes mean combinations of other words or syllabic meanings and sometimes they are adaptation of Western sounds.

For example: the word for train is really a combination of the words for fire and vehicle….. the word for the chinese violin, er hu, simply means “two strings.” The er hu has two strings. Whereas the chinese word for internet combines the word for network with two syllables that sound like the first two syllables of the english word [yin(1) and te(4) + wa(3)ng network or netting ] And so on.

It got me so interested that I started looking up words that weren’t in my little dictionary and ended up finding a very good online resource. Unfortunately, I think it combines traditional and modern characters….. but still very interesting. This dictionary also shows the Chinese (mandarin?) pronunciation and also the Cantonese and the Japanese Kun and Japanese Kin.
Not sure exactly what the Kun and Kin are but can surmise they are Japanese variants.

So when I looked up the chinese for piano, I found that the characters really mean “steel lute.” Glancing over the “lute” character information I see that the Japanese Kun pronunciation for this same character is “koto.” Koto! Hey I know what a koto is…. it’s one of them thar Japanese zithers….

Anyway. I am finding this fun if not rententively informative.

Elizabeth and I chatted about this kind of thing and other stuff like the bombardment of western culture in China and how it is often misunderstood in funny ways.

I am beginning to really look forward to this trip. Not the least of it will be conversations with Elizbeth, Jeremy and Eileen.

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