I’m still coughing and sneezing, feeling a little better each day. I tried to pace myself yesterday. Prepared information for the Advent IV bulletin and the Christmas Eve bulletin. Met with my boss and we reviewed stuff. I think we’re set for these services. I plan to submit Christmas I Sunday today.

After meeting with Jen I spent time on the organ bench with upcoming music. By scheduling interesting and challenging music, I am keeping my interest high in my work. The challenge in the choral music has been the spotty attendance. When people are there, they do pay attention and respond. And so far we have not given any embarrassing performances, far from it. We are a good little church choir. But the work is making sure people are feeling prepared more than concentrating on the musical aspects of performance which is more rewarding to me.

I picked up some stuff for my Mom at the grocery store and delivered it to her. I took care to stay back from her due to my illness, so no kisses and only a brief final hug. She seems to be doing pretty well.

Later I met with the soprano who booked me my upcoming guitar gig. She seemed to think that my Leo Kottke (the most challenging thing for me we will perform) was good enough. It is getting better. I’m planning on restringing both guitars I will use Saturday at the gig. I hope that will both make the slide guitar easier to play and the classical guitar sound a bit better.

My soprano (Laurie Van Ark) had no idea how to convert YouTube videos into mp3s to listen to on her phone, so I did that for her. She brought my attention to a song we are supposed to do that I had missed in a recent email: “Seasons” by Heart. At least that’s what I think the title is.  If I can find a tablature version online, I will probably write out the melody for Laurie as well. If not, maybe we’ll can this one.

I am continuing my morning read of The Gentrification of the Mind by Schulman (pictured above). Here are some interesting passages.

Speaking of the devolving theater scene in New York, she an quotes unnamed friend:

“Everything is [now] based on where you sit on the totem pole. It has nothing to do with how interesting your vision is, how good an artist you are, or even if they like you or not. People are brutally cruel to you if  you have less currency, and repulsively solicitous if you have more that’s the operating principle.”

She goes on: “He was describing the heart of supremacy ideology, in which people get ignored and disrespected, or attended to and praised based entirely on their social positioning

“Looking really closely, the most significant factor differentiating the disappeared avant-garde, destroyed by AIDS and gentrification, and the replacement artists, more closely aligned with the social structures necessary to be able to pay contemporary real estate prices, is professionalism… I came of age in the East Village in the 1980s [surrounded by]… the freaky, faggy, outrageous, community-based, dangerous, ‘criminal class’…. many artists I knew had an outlaw quality. They had illegal sex, took illegal drugs, hustled literally and figuratively for money, lived in poverty, and said fuck you to dominant cultural values, all of which made it possible for them to discover new art ideas later enjoyed by the world.

1. How Truro created Christmas musical history | Music |

First Lessons and Carols in 1880 in Cornwall. They sang an anthem we will sing at our Christmas Eve service, “For unto us” by Handel.

YouTube to mp3 Converter

This is the web site I used to make mp3s yesterday.

3. America’s Best Unknown Writer by Jonathan Raban | The New York Review of Books

Article on William Gaddis’s letters to his mom. I have read most of his books. He is difficult but excellent.

4. Why You Can’t Say ‘I Voted!’ in Chinese—at Least in China – James Fallows – The Atlantic

This is an old article. I was cleaning out my browser bookmark folder called “When diggolet doesn’t work” and ran across it. Sadly reminds me of the optimism America briefly felt when Obama was elected.

5. Spotify Music-Streaming Service Comes to U.S. –

Speaking of old articles, it’s only been two years since Spotify hit the states. My, my.

6. 10 Chrome tricks to improve your browsing experience – TechRepublic and Windows keyboard shortcuts – Chrome Help

I was thinking it would be so much more helpful if bookmarks went to the top of a list instead of at the bottom. Don’t really see a way to do that with Chrome.

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