failed xmas package, xmas music & recent reading

Dang. The package I mailed to my daughter, Elizabeth, in New York was just returned to my back porch.

I mistakenly sent it to her old work address. Poop. Just chatted back and forth with her on Facebook and got an address update and a quick check-in.

So Christmas is looking pretty calm and good from the church music job point of view.

I am playing three pieces by Bach and one by Messiaen in the next two days for services. I have been working hard on them and also preparing a couple of more extensive organ accompaniments to choral anthems for this evening.

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I just finished working on some of the more tricky sections in the Messiaen piece I want to play next Sunday (Le Verbe). I can do this on the Electric Piano with headphones so I don’t disturb my lovely wife who is still resting.

Also threw in some Schubert this morning. I have been playing through a bunch of piano pieces by Schubert, Prokofiev, Beethoven and a piano reduction of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. I find  Tchaikovsky unnervingly tricky even though the music is familiar. It’s about time I added it to my playing repertoire, I guess.

I am reading Auden’s Age of Anxiety. It’s a long poem about four people in a bar in New York. They seem to be expressions of his personality and speak in alliterative un-rhymed verse.

I plan to then listen to Bernstein’s Symphony (no. 2) based on this poem.

Finishing up reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

I think this book is better written than Stephen King’s 11/22/63 which I recently completed reading. Have been contemplating a re-reading of Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, but I can’t lay my hands on my copy of it.

I would like to re-read my copy because I tend to put notes in my reading copies.  If I can’t find it, I will eventually purchase a cheap used copy. I don’t think this particular book is one I want to read as an ebook. It has lengthy convoluted footnotes to footnotes which might make an ebook copy cumbersome.


Chicago Democrats Obeyed Law During Redistricting, Court Says –

Gerrymandering makes me crazy.


Bradley Manning Awaits Decision on WikiLeaks Trial –

Transgender issues seem to be figuring prominently in the coverage….  Also,  it looks like Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame got kicked out of the courtroom during this hearing. The future is fun.


Washington Monument’s Damage Is Detailed –

Remember when they were rappelling on the Washington Monument? This is what they found out.


Arlington National Cemetery Markers May Have Errors –

Inefficiency always fascinates me.


Michigan City of Troy, Led by Tea Party Mayor, Rejects Federal Dollars –

The Tea Party Mayor is also on record that since New York recognizes same sex marriages, she will no longer carry her New York bag and referred to the gay people as “queers.” Nice. Good old Troy Michigan. God forbid they should be the ones to get Federal dollars. The monies they rejected will not go to pay for the deficit or anything. Just to another community. Hopefully one a bit more interested in investing in itself (although there was  no initial local cost involved here and according to this article maintenance required a minimal amount of city monies).


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