Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What a great poem on Verse Daily today.

And just for the hell of it, the one on Poetry Daily
: not bad, but I couldn't help but here this in my ear as I read it, and what I heard sounded so much more authentic, and to my taste (apologies to the poet), than what I read. Derivative or coincidental? I don't know.

Friday, November 14, 2008

So I was driving my daughter to the supermarket yesterday, and I ask her, already knowing the answer, if she wants to listen to Mr. Ray or Yo Yo Ma. Listening to Mr. Ray (a children's singer, I'm not sure how well-known he is or isn't outside of central Jersey) we drive and talk, mostly about what I don't really remember. I'm driving to a farther-away supermarket because really I want her to fall asleep, but she isn't, we're almost there and she says "I hate Yo Yo Ma!" She's three, and she hates/loves a lot of things very passionately and very quickly. I laugh and say, "Is he boring? Aren't you glad we're listening to Mr. Ray?" and she says "I love Casals!"

I like to listen to different cellists play Bach's Cello Suites. We recently got the Ma version; I don't like it as much as the Casals, while Dara likes it more. Jonah had asked my why I like one and Dara likes the other, I thought about it and explained that in one sense there's two approaches to art on display here. Casals is playing what he knows by heart, but he sounds like he's surprising himself as he moves through the music, and reacting to that surprise by moving into it--it sounds rough because he really doesn't know exactly how it is going to go, or at least makes it sound that way; it is very passionate and romantic. Yo Yo Ma, on the other hand, has studied the music intently and practiced it to perfection, and you can hear his mastery in that sense in every measured note. Which isn't to say, I explain, that I always like the first kind of art, but that that is the quality of the Casals I find so attractive. The first thing is to like what your ear likes, and then you can figure out why, following that. All this on the way to Best Buy, a few days before.

I had no idea Halcyon was listening to that conversation, but I guess she was. It was just really really funny to hear my 3-year-old daughter say "I love Casals!" Anyway, then she fell asleep, so I got to turn around and go home and take a nap too.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008



I've been meaning to post, but the velocity of my days precludes too much thought, so my ideas pass. I really really mean to again, at least semi-regularly, and hopefully the few of you with rss feeds waiting will still be reading?

Anyway, tonight, wow. Just wanted to say, I'm probably not the only one who feels this way:

Now I can stop reading fivethirtyeight.com obsessively. I'd like to even stop paying attention to politics very much. I know that's not what this should be about, but the whole public-face thing isn't really something I found interesting before the horror-show that came along--well, first with Reagan, so it's been there my whole life. I remember his ketchup-as-vegetable thing, that was the same year I read Animal Farm and I don't think I connected them two thematically then, though I did by the time NWO was popular (remember that video?), and I was reading stories of 100,000 iraqi soldiers dying in the tanks they'd been chained within. I'm sure that was a glorious war and all, but by then I think I was aware that there was no such thing, and the spectacle was revolting. I was resolved to move to another country, but then having kids and being near their grandparents took priority, and besides Clinton was in the white house, it felt different, bad as some of his decisions were.

But that's all backstory to what happened in 2000, when the freakshow came to the Florida recount. So I've been watching the whole thing since then almost obsessively. It's nice to see someone I respect in the white house. Let's hope for some sanity in the years to come.

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