pacing myself or not

Found it difficult to pace myself yesterday. I had some energy and did quite a bit of piano practicing before going to my three hour ballet class. I quite enjoyed the time I spent at the piano practicing. After scanning The Boston Musical Intelligencer » Phenomenal Sheng on Chopin’s Favorite Piano I was motivated  to carefully play through Chopin’s first two Ballades for piano. Then his F minor Nocturne. All mentioned in the Boston article. Such lovely stuff, really.

Friedrich Chopin and Birthplace

And though my new visiting ballet prof for the week was a study in clarity and calmness, I found myself tiring toward the third hour.  I’m hoping this is a Monday phenomenon that follows on the heels of my weekly pouring myself into my church work on Sunday mornings.

Speaking of… Sunday went very well. Despite the fact that I only had the actual group of singers who were to perform the anthem  for only about 15 minutes before church. This was due to the fact that singers trickled in one at at time well after the 9:45 call time. This was pretty stressful to the director (that’s me) since we were singing a more difficult piece that was very under rehearsed (“Loving Shepherd of Thy Sheep” by John Ruttter).  I managed to keep the group morale up but stay challenging despite this.  And we actually sounded pretty musical in service. At one point in the pre-service rehearsal I had to ask the group if everyone in the room had been through the anthem with me at least once that morning. Heh.

An interesting thing happened in the middle of this rehearsal. That was the point I spent a good five minutes or so on vocalises  (choral technical exercises to improve relaxation, resonance, breath support and vowel formation).  Then I went back to the beginning of the piece to improve the musical shape and sound of the initial phrase. I was astonished that it was suddenly about ten times more beautiful and well sung. Hey. I guess that vocalise stuff works, eh?

A few of the other musical highlights from Sunday’s service for me were the singing of the opening hymn (a classic historical hymn to the tune, Christ ist erstanden), dropping out of the last stanza of the closing hymn (“Savior, like a shepherd lead us” sung to the usual tune, Sicilian Mariners) and listening to my congregation sing enthusiastically in four part harmony, and managing not to murder my Bach postlude (I give myself 95 out of a hundred on this one, it wasn’t quite as solid as I wanted but still pretty good).

I’m going to once again attempt to pace myself a bit today, but I have to pick hymns and organ music for Sunday today.


The Daily Climate

I was listening to’s podcast this morning and Miranda Spencer mentioned the The Daily Climate as a good aggregate website of links to green news stories that are missed by the US mainstream media.


Here’s a sample about airships.

Floating into the future — The Daily Climate

I think this is a very cool idea and have wondered more than once why this is not being developed more.


Chris Hedges: The Obama Deception: Why Cornel West Went Ballistic – Chris Hedges’ Columns – Truthdig

Cornel West rips on President Obama in this article. I respect West quite a bit and find his criticisms interesting.


Held Hostage Over the Debt Ceiling by Paul Krugman-

Krugman is mentioned in the Hedge article on West above as someone Obama could have appointed to his cabinet as a compromise person who would at least factor in the needs of the weakest in our society.

In this article he continues his observations about the weaknesses of Obama’s caving in over the extension of the Bush tax cut. I have to admit that I thought it was the lesser of two evils when Obama caved, but Krugman has a point.


Obama and Immigration Reform –

These are letters to the editor. I like this one:

“By targeting the wrong immigrants and pushing them into the shadows, and distracting police from their real job, Secure Communities is a misuse of taxpayer dollars. Furthermore, rather than making us safer, Secure Communities undermines the trust-based police-community relationship our neighborhoods need.

This is just another example of the failed Bush-era enforcement-only measures that do nothing to secure our borders while worsening conditions across the country.

Rounding up the people who clean offices, take care of the sick, baby-sit and do a host of important jobs does not make us any more secure or help our struggling economy, and it runs counter to everything we aspire to as a community.”

from Hector Figueroa, secretary treasurer of Local 32BJ S.E.I.U. representing building service works in New York city.


Options for Bringing Down the Cost of Health Care –

More letters.  Scroll down and you’ll see that Aaron Isaacs writes from The Netherlands and describes a health care system that is working. Read it and weep.


As Libya Buries Airstrike Victims, Mourners Hint at Deception –

Another well written report by John Burns. He looks beneath the propaganda purpose of a funeral and sees a bit clearer than the intentions of the Qadaffi regime.


Kate Swift, Writer Who Rooted Out Sexism in Language, Dies at 87 –

I have thought a lot about the inherent ideas in our language (the word “woman” has it’s roots in the phrase “wife of man.”) Interesting to read about this person and her work in this area.


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2 thoughts on “pacing myself or not

  1. What is amazing to me is that you do this daily. I don’t know how much time you spend on blogging, but I surely couldn’t whip this out in less than hour. I do read every day and am pretty clued in on what is happening in the Jenkins household. I do appreciate the time that you devote to this.
    It allows me to reflect.

  2. And thank you for reading and commenting. My little counter at the bottom of site tells me I get about fifty hits a day. Not sure that’ exactly indicative of actual people viewing, but what the heck. I find the writing of it therapeutic and think that it’s definitely a way for fam and friends to keep up with me conveniently.

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