jan_andrea: (exist)
Or anytime, really. I'd read the book a few years ago, and swore off fast food for a year. After that, we'd stop for FF only sporadically, and rarely at that. But reading about something, and seeing it re-enacted on the screen are two entirely different things. I don't think I'll ever eat FF again, and am certainly off red meat for a long, long time. Not quite as much for the way the animals are treated (which is pretty awful, but they're also pretty stupid, and even a huge feedlot is not a terrible life for a cow), but for the way the processing plants treat their workers. That was what really struck me when I read the book, and again when I saw the film. I'd still have a steak if I knew it had been processed by a facility that didn't also treat its employees like disposable meat, but that really rules out pretty much anything from the grocery store. I'll have to see where "The Meat House" gets its meat. It's pricey, but maybe they don't get it from a huge corporation. I'm sure the chicken processing places are even worse, which is a pity, since chicken breasts are so easy. But then, we buy it only when it's $1.99/lb or less, and of course, if the price is that low, then the workers probably aren't getting what they should be.

I finished watching the movie at 11 last night, and then spent the next 2-3 hours tossing and turning, thinking about how the majority of our food is probably produced this way -- cheap labor, which means someone is getting the shaft, whether it's poor hours, no healthcare, or hiring illegal immigrants who have no recourse to the law if the working conditions are inhumane. I have a box of strawberries in the fridge, and I know they were picked by migrant workers who probably got $.50/bushel if they were lucky, and of course no health care and 12 hour days. I have oranges, probably the same deal. Lettuce? Check. Bread? Who knows? Did the farmer get a fair price for his wheat... or was it farmed by a giant agribusiness? I wish I could buy all-organic or just shop at co-ops when I think about things like this. How else do you know where your food comes from or if it's humanely-produced?

I'm always more stressed about things like this at night, and it was particularly bad after seeing that movie. It gets really gruesome towards the end. I lay awake wondering how I can bring another child into this world when there's so much evil around. Alas.
jan_andrea: (hmm)
Okay, even if you don't like classical music (philistine...) you absolutely MUST go find a copy of the Mendelssohn Octet.

Because, OMFG. It's just amazing. AMAZING.

I downloaded a copy of the score (and parts -- score! -- free!) and have been reading along as I listen, and holy farking crap, it is pure fucking genius. I mean, no question, Mendelssohn was just incredibly gifted, esp. with chamber music -- I love his orchestral works, sure, but he really shines in chamber music.

And the kicker in the Octet is that he was 16 -- six-teen! SIXTEEN!!!! -- when he wrote it. Never in a million years could most grown adults pull off something like this, but he was a KID. I remember listening to it when I was 16 and being impressed; now that I'm nearly twice that old (and almost as old as Mendelssohn when he died -- he was only 36), I'm absolutely blown away. It's a piece I've "known" for half my life, but I hadn't seen the score before, and wow -- it really makes a difference in my appreciation :)

I thought maybe our little chamber orchestral ensemble might be able to play it, but no way. It's wicked. And while it's scored for 4 violins, 2 violas and 2 cellos, no one has an easy part. Granted, the first violin part is the hardest, but even the 4th violin player has to be really good. We might be able to hack the Andante, maybe, but never in a million years could we do the rest. Just amazing.

It is one of the great tragedies of the world that he died so very young (him, Mozart, and Schubert -- I bet Mozart would have broken out of the Classical mode and done some really great work if he'd lived longer), and I wish there were a way to bring them back and see what they could have done if they'd lived longer. Well, them and Jimi Hendrix, as he was pretty much the Mozart of the 60s.

I really want to get a quartet together over the summer -- a good quartet, with four strong players (inasmuch as I can dream and call myself a strong player :). I already have a second violin (though she's not quite as strong as I'd like; maybe the pressure will force her to get better?) and possibly a violist, but we need a cellist. Not sure where to look for one outside of UNH. Anyone in the area on my FL who knows a cello player, let me know!

And choral people, what would you recommend of Mendelssohn's choral works? I really don't know much of anything about them.



Watched "Junebug" last night. It was better than I'd expected, but the ending really, really bothered me. Spoilers )

Kids are good. Sophie got over her cold and is fine, Stephen is still enjoying school, though perhaps not as much now that the novelty has completely worn off. I hope he likes it next year, but if not, I'm thinking it mightn't be bad to move to homeschooling. Not sure though. I don't want him to hate school and therefore hate learning; I'd rather be teaching him myself, subjects he enjoys, and make sure he loves learning even if he doesn't like schooling. We'll see. Sophie really wants to go to school -- often when we drop Stephen off, she goes and sits in the line behind him :) Wicked cute. His original teacher is now on maternity leave, as she and her husband recently adopted a baby girl (I made them a sling :) and so he's got a new teacher -- she seems quite nice and very eager, like the previous one, which is good. We're off to the library shortly; it's been ages since we've been, since Stephen started school, but we'll certainly do the summer reading program this year, which means at least weekly visits. Can't wait until the weather is nicer -- I love winter and spring, but mud season, yuck. And we've had stupid temperatures lately -- 30s and 40s, instead of the 50s I want. Could use a lot more sun, too. It ought to be spring!

Wonder what the summer will bring in terms of orders. I had 25 this week (!!!!) which is way more than I usually have in a week, and which is kind of crazy. I don't advertize or anything; it's all word of mouth, mostly on www.thebabywearer.com but also on other boards because of the sewing patterns. I like sewing, but would also like more time to play with Sophie and Stephen, practice violin/viola, etc. Maybe I'll let my stock run down a little and see what happens.

Rambling now, should be going.

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