Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Just for fun

To take a break from the never-ending and tedious process of editing music and parts, I decided to pick out random books from my shelf and open them up to random pages to see where my eye fell, randomly. For fun. And because I'm bored.

"Rather than mouth 'some invented cliches' in place of a 'poetic' correspondence, she explained to Cornell that she preferred to stay silent. Even so, she remained close in his reverie, as he jotted in his diary in 1946: 'dream of D [orothea] in bare feet and saw-dust,' a notation cryptically appended to a reminder to write Ernst."
--from "Joseph Cornell: Gifts of Desire" by Dickran Tashjian.

"We've all heard that the unexamined life is not worth living, but consider too that the unlived life is not worth examining."
--from "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron

"Then Jesse saw something that made her pause. A light in the garden flickered in and out of the bushes. Someone was out there with a flashlight."
--from "Undercover Girl" by Christine Harris

"Ken looked up and was more frightened than ever. His father's face looked appalling. It was swollen out of all shape, one eye was closed by purple and black lumps above and below, and the white dressing on the cheekbone was surrounded by an inflamed, angry circle."
--from "My Friend Flicka" by Mary O'Hara

"Mr. Bigger frowned. 'Tell him to wait,' he said irritably. He coughed and turned back to the Lord of the Manor. 'If I had any capital to spare, I'd put it all into late Venetians. Every penny.'"
--from "The Portrait" by Aldous Huxley (from an issue of Cicada magazine, May/June 2004)

"After they had driven the counter girl into a state of despair, the children took their purchases and went for a walk along the main and only drag. They tried, as always, to peer into the frosted windows of the saloons to see what kind of degenerates were inside at one in the afternoon. As always, someone came by and scolded them for hanging around a saloon."
--from "An Occassional Cow" by Polly Horvath

"'If a kiss could be seen I think it would look like a violet,' said Priscilla."
--from "Anne of Avonlea" by L.M. Montgomery

"We now have an inkling of the unbelievable fertility of the universe, of the constant birthings of atoms and molecules, eggs and spermatozoa, of cells and living organisms in water and on land in this so-far-unique of all cosmic places, the Earth."
--from "Original Blessing" by Matthew Fox

"The writer Annie Dillard once observed that 'the way we spend our days is the way we spend our lives.' The way we live our lives also depends on the questions we ask."
--from "Callings" by Gregg Levoy

"Don't be afraid to answer the questions. You will find endless resources inside yourself. Writing is the act of burning through the fog in your mind. Don't carry the fog out on paper. Even if you are not sure of something, express it as though you know yourself. With this practice you eventually will."
--from "Writing Down the Bones" by Natalie Goldberg

"The function of descriptions in fiction is generally to deepen the illusion of person and place--to recreate their substance in the imagination of the reader, so that he is willing to believe he is in the presence of reality."
--from "Writing Fiction" by R. V. Cassill

"Yet there are thousands who have pondered the question of reality, and to the above statement their response might be, 'Not so fast!' Plato, remember, believed that only the Forms were real, because the Forms, being universal abstractions and never having had material substance, could therefore never change. Plato believed things that changed--the familiar world as well as the people in it--could not possess reality, because if they did, we would have to say that real things could come into and pass out of existence. How can they be real one minute and not real the next?"
--from "The Art of Being Human: the Humanities as a Technique for Living" by Richard Paul Janaro and Thelma C. Altshuler

"Physicists describe these two properties of physical laws--that they do not depend on when or where you use them--as symmetries of nature. By this usage physicists mean that nature treats every moment in time and every location in space identically--symmetrically--by ensuring that the same fundamental laws are in operation. Much in the same manner that they affect art and music, such symmetries are deeply satisfying; they highlight an order and a coherence in the workings of nature. The elegance of rich, complex, and diverse phenomena emerging from a simple set of universal laws is at least part of what physicists mean when they invoke the term 'beautiful.'"
--from "The Elegant Universe" by Brian Greene

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

what I've been doing lately

Highlights of the last few weeks:

1. We got to eat two Easter dinners! One monday night and one sunday afternoon: 2 hams, several deviled eggs, some with salmon and dill, asparagus, scalloped potatoes, roasted potatoes, creamed corn, green bean casserole, iceberg salad, buns, lime jello fluff, chocolate cake with purply tasting frosting, no-bake cheesecake with gingersnap crust, lots of wine, and a shot of Ukranian vodka. The sunday afternoon dinner was had with Nancy and Brian, after which we played a game of Pit and sat around watching Zuzu sniff around their lovely huge backyard and chew on a block of wood. The monday night feast was celebrated with oodles of people at Remi and Jen's condo, where we gorged on the above foods, which come to think of it, were very midwestern. Some of the guests had never heard of or seen creamed corn or jell-o fluff. Imagine!

2. On saturday, K and I worked (well K did most of the work--I helped) on the back patio. He rented a truck for the day and hauled several loads of gravel, sand, and mulch that went into beatifying our ugly, mostly dirt and weeds, backyard. The weather here was gorgeous: 62 degrees and sunny. I put a kerchief on my head, rolled up my short-sleeved tee-shirt so I wouldn't get a farmer's tan, and raked sand and shoveled mulch for a few hours. The experience was actually cathartic? I felt my brain relaxing while my muscles burned from repetitive shoveling and raking motions. It's exactly what I needed too--Do you ever notice that your brain hurts from thinking too much? I've been writing so much music that my head literally feels bruised and achey. It felt good to get dirty and sweaty and concentrate on physical tasks, which made me realize how separated I am from what my farming ancestors did everyday. I'm such a pathetic city girl that I have no idea where most grocery store food comes from, how to grow flowers in my backyard, or how to start a compost pile. My grandparents and great-grand parents would be ashamed! The best part about saturday was riding around in the pickup truck. We drove to K's coworker's house to haul some old wooden fencing away, in hopes we might use it for our own backyard (right now we have chain-link with white plastic slats. Ick!). I can seriously see why people buy trucks--you feel a sense of power being up that high and rocking out to the classic rock station (c'mon, you can't listen to NPR in a truck!). I haven't ridden in a truck since high school, or earlier (not counting the big fancy white truck my dad drives around). I used to ride in my cousins' truck on their farm in eastern NE, which smelled of shit and dirt and gasoline. Is it possible to miss smells like that?

3. A few weeks ago I played in my first rock show ever. I made my keyboard debut with the T.R.'s, which consists of friends of ours. It was a total blast. The venue was full of K's work people, so they helped out with the drunken screaming and clapping and dancing to our songs. I had always wanted to be in a rock band, and now I am! It's totally a just-for-fun band but we're going to try to play more shows this summer and fall. We're also looking for a key-tar, so if you see one, send it our way. That's the only thing the last show was missing.....

4. Books read: Jane Eyre, The Bone People by Keri Hulme (loved it!!!), and Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver (good! but a little preachy.). Want to start on the new Sherman Alexie novel, Flight, which is about a time-traveling Indian. We're going to see Alexie at The Bing on the 22nd. Can't wait!

5. I've been chained to my computer. The agony isn't over yet--I still have to finish a few things, edit everything, and edit parts (which is the most awful boring thing ever). Then comes finding people, rehearsing, and trying not to go crazy in the process. The first person to hand me a bottle of gin after my recital gets a gold medal.