Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Positive spiral

Gradually things seem to be righting themselves. We attended a wonderful concert in which one of our bandmates played, with a group he's been in for twenty five years. It's a wind symphony, small, about fifty people, just brass and woodwinds and percussion. It's the second concert of theirs I've seen, and I'm increasingly impressed by their skills and repertoire. They tend to perform pieces that aren't in the meat and potatoes mainstream. Our bandmate had a lovely clarinet solo in the final piece, "Angels in the Architecture", which had been commissioned to be performed in the Sydney Opera House. It was an interesting and challenging work.
It has been a whirl of hanging out with shutins, now that I'm out of that category. Besides my mother, another bandmate, a trumpet player and newly-minted family practice doctor, needed help after she got thrown off her horse and sustained a concussion, or, as she puts it, "I had my jello shook." Most fortunate that she was wearing a very good helmet. Scary, very bizarre symptoms occurred for a bit, but she appears to be on a good healing trajectory and will be able to start her first job as a physician soon.
Productive and heartening sectional, in which I hope our leader heard the results of my hard work. I felt much more at ease, anyway.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Unplanned slam

Into a wall of virus; the week started so well, climbing with friends, band rehearsal, and then some little thing invaded and threw everything off. Had finished the Woolf short fiction and passed it to the bandmate who loves her work; started The Waves , but found that a virus-addled brain can't take it in. Crashed on a couch, and when conscious, ambled along in Zadie Smith's collection of nonfiction pieces, finding her sharp, bracing like a witch hazel blooming.
"An American in Paris" cycles through my head, along with its numerous key changes and the required recall of all those sharps.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Melting away

Time and snow; we'll have no mountain pack at all come summer. These mild spritzy days are fine for walking about. We already saw the first snow drops last weekend, and I'm watching the patches nearby, which are starting to bud. One or two crazy daffodils are about to pop.
Unbeknownst to me, someone scheduled a woman to do the exercises with the LOLs, so I audited them and learned a few things. This person said she volunteered for ten years in nursing homes before starting her own service; it takes a special personality to be able to do that. I'd do a few days in my mom's place, but not sure about years...
Well along in Woolf's collected short fiction, and finding an increasing number of passages that somehow hit the heart. For a while I'd been growing impatient with the neurasthenic, hothouse flowery women characters, but my appreciation for Woolf's sensibilities is growing.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Grab bag

A week's flown by; we're threatened by snow for tomorrow night, Tuesday, which may cancel band rehearsal. Dang, I was just getting the unison clarinet melody down in "Bolero."
We had a swell walk over the weekend, about nine miles up to a conservatory on Capital Hill; beloved spouse hadn't been there for ages, took his camera, and got some wonderful images. It was sunny and very cold, so we still appreciated the heat and humidity of the big old greenhouse. It's a comforting place on the absolutely gray wet blanket days we have here for months on end in the winter and early spring. The old steam pipes gave off groans and thumps like the radiators in an old apartment building, only on a much grander scale.
Hope the inclemencency holds off past noon tomorrow, as I have volunteered to lead the ladies at the home in some chair exercising. I don't drive if the white stuff is sticking, since people go insane and have accidents all over the place.
Onward in Woolf's short fiction...

Monday, January 03, 2011

Climbing fool

Training like crazy already indoors; perhaps I'll get to use the fitness eventually. Seems as if 2010 was a year of leaving for many people, whether via break-ups or new places to live; I hope not many of them wind up out of town permanently.
Concert band rehearsals started again this week, and we were handed a pile of music by French composers; hilarity ensued when everyone got lost in the minisculely-printed "Bolero" score. We must overcome its new set of challenges, which include keeping track of repeating notes for measure after measure after... it has always sounded not too difficult to the ear, but when you're trying to learn it, that's a whole other bowl of beans.
Back to the soggy gray of real winter, and the ladies up north were dozy and bemused this morning. Maybe they need some anti SAD lights. I'll take chocolate.