steve's morale improving and bookstores

Instead of blogging this morning, I cleaned the kitchen. Last night I made some good food: BBQ chicken for my carnivore, homemade potato salad, roasted veggies and Jasmine Rice. But I was too lazy to clean up afterwards.

At church this morning, the local college violin teacher chatted me up quite a bit. I admit that this raised my sagging morale a notch. He and I seem to have quite a bit in common in how we look at music even though he has to be ten or more years younger than me.

The closing hymn was the gospel tune, “Sweet Sweet Spirit.” This is one of those tunes where I play gospel piano on and it’s quite showy.

He began by complimenting me on that. I told it was a relief to hear that he wasn’t offended. He looked surprised. I didn’t tell him that some of his colleagues had expressed the idea that sometimes my piano playing is more about itself than the music whatever that means.

Actually I figure that means they think I’m overplaying it when my intention is to play within a certain style. One that I’m not sure my critics know that much about.

Anyway, Mihai (that’s the violin teacher’s name) is apparently not one of them.

After we chatted for twenty minutes or so about Debussy (he’s researching whether Debussy ever put paint to canvas) and Beethoven (Mihai is sure that his last piano sonata op. 111 is full of jazz), he invited me to give a lecture in a cross discpline class at the local college.

As he described the series, I thought it sounded interesting and before he invited me to lead a session, I thought he was going to suggest that I come and sit in on it.

Go figure.

Another parishioner handed me a clipping of this article “Beleagured Bookseller Knows Who’s at Fault” by Michael Kimmelman. It appeared in Thursday’s NYT. It mentions Cecil Court which is where I found an excellent used music shop in the U.K. when I was there this year. Cool beans.

I also went to a bunch of Oxfam used book stores. Oxfam is a U.K. thrift shop organization that gets money from the government. This article is about a bitter used book seller who is sure that Oxfam is driving him out of business.

I went into several of these Oxfam used book stores and enjoyed them as well as more traditional used book stores in England.

Like the Oxfam guy in the article says if they are driving used book stores out of business with their more pedestrian type books then the used book stores are quite precarious business-wise anyway.

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