Thursday, February 22, 2007

Musical Ruminations...oh look, there's a chicken!

I have found that it is much easier to compose my posts in Word, then copy and paste them into Blogger. I don’t have to worry about the formatting as much and my freaking double spaces stay where I put them…call me shallow, but that is the best thing about it!

Composing the posts this way also frees up my time. I will be a whiney-baby (and I’ll take some cheese with my whine, thanks, Petit Basque if you can afford it) and confess that I have not been posting regularly because I have not had time. Now, I can compose at home on my laptop (as you see here) and post this “heartbreaking work of staggering genius” (thanks, Mr. Eggers!) bright and ugly tomorrow morning. Does everyone else do this and I’ve only just now thought of it?

I was perusing some of my RSS feeds and noticed how many had not posted in several days, then the guilt crept in as well as a saying “the pot calling the kettle black.” How can I be irritated that they don’t post enough when I don’t make time for my own blog? So, here we are…

I rushed out and 1-clicked the Pan’s Labyrinth soundtrack off of Amazon and have been doing my best to wear the little sucker out since it arrived on my doorstep. The score for this film is just as wonderful as the movie. I know I have kicked this dead horse into a gory mess, but

I do believe I’ve got K hooked into wanting to go now too. I must admit that there is a certain amount of trepidation in taking someone to see a movie that you love. What if they don’t like it? What if their opinion of you is irrevocably changed for the worse? What if they hate it so much that they want to leave during and you’re not willing to go? These are the questions that keep me up at night and the medicine doesn’t touch….I liken it to my obsession with Deuce Bigelow, Male Gigolo when it first came out. I remember M and I had ended up seeing it just because it started near the time we arrived at the theater. The shock value you get on that first viewing is not repeatable, but I craved it. I ended up taking I-don’t-know-how-many people to see this movie and I would watch them instead of the screen in an attempt to get back that “OMG, that did NOT just happen, did it?” feeling. I will attempt to defend myself and say that the sequel to DB, like most, was horrible and I myself wanted to get up and leave during the middle of the movie. Thank goodness it was a sneak peak, thus free!

On the subject of music, I have discovered over the course of my educational career that I write better with some good instrumental music in the background. Not just anything will do, it has to be really good. It’s like I have two distinct parts of my brain: that which can concentrate and that which is thinking about glitter, chicken livers, and the price of gold in Angkor. When I find a good CD for writing, it allows the glitter, chicken liver, Angkor gold part to listen to the pretty music while the other part can think. I do the same thing in class except the music is replaced with doodling in my notebook. If I can scribble my little drawings, I hear and retain more of what the teacher is saying than if I maintain eye contact and try to listen. I can’t begin to tell you how many teachers have called on me and asked a question thinking to catch me daydreaming and I’ll shoot the answer right back to them. I don’t know what that quality is, but I bet it’s hard to pronounce. Anyway, I now have about 5 good CD’s that will do the trick to get me through the rest of my classes. My favorites:

  1. Tchaikovsky (Berlin Radio Symphony conducted by Peter Wohlert) Sleeping Beauty/Swan Lake/Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture
  2. Pan’s Labyrinth soundtrack
  3. The World’s Most Beloved Melodies including Mozart, Dvorak, Chopin, Brahms, Listz, Mendelssohn, Pachelbel, Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Gounod, and Boccherini
  4. Chopin (Istvan Szekely, Piano)—Piano Sonatas Nos. 2 & 3, Barcarolle Op. 60, Fantaisie-Impromptu Op. 66, and Berceuse Op. 57 (I’m pretty sure I started listening to him after Val Kilmer’s memorable line in Tombstone where he played Doc Holiday.
  5. Smetana—I don’t have the CD right here at hand, but I love the piece about the river. We listened to and critiqued it in my music appreciation class at Montevallo when I was an undergrad and I have never forgotten it.

I read in that book, The Rough Guide to Blogging, that you should not mix topics in your blog entry. Instead, you should maintain different blogs for different topics. Tell me, who has time for that?


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