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.
jan_andrea: (happy sgl)
Stephen just came upstairs to tell me a leprechaun had gotten into our house and ran around and ate lots of colors (what he calls those little fruit snack packs). Yuh huh. I blame school -- they are very creative, but sometimes I wonder what they're thinking. Today they found leprechaun footprints, a wee leprechaun hat, and little green plastic "gold" coins left by the leprechaun. A little late, but sounds fun. Trouble is, he believes these things implicitly -- as with the gingerbread man who "really really came to life" a couple of months ago -- and we're either left in the position of lying to him (Oh, yes, absolutely that's true!) or making his teachers out to be the liars. Very awkward. But clearly all the kids enjoy it... I'm not really sure what to think :P

Since it's been so long since I wrote, I'll mention that David came back a week earlier (yay!) on the 13th instead of the 20th (um, yes, that would be today), so we have had a much nicer week than we otherwise would have. It's such a relief to have another adult in the house, not to mention the other obvious benefits :)

Sophie is finally on track for language development, and I expect her to catch up to her peer group within 6-10 months, based on her current explosion. She repeats words with regularity now (it's funny to watch her watch Thomas videos -- they'll show a bee and she'll say "A bee?! A bee?!" Or my favorite, "Percy puffed out as easy as pie." "PIE! PIE!") and has rudimentary sentences -- "Jehjeh (Stephen) gwan gwy" -- "Stephen [is going to/has been/will] cry!" Granted, most other 2.5 year olds passed this stage months ago, but it's a relief to me :)
jan_andrea: (wow)
So, it's been nearly a month since I posted a real entry. Not for lack of stuff happening -- although there was a dearth of real news between the end of November and the holiday season -- but because I get into the no-LJ-inertia groove and then it's hard to pull myself back out. Similarly, I haven't uploaded pictures to Flickr out of similar lack of inertia. Today, I will remedy both of those.

The holidays were great, with the exception of the happy virus orgy in my gastrointestinal tract. Dad and Ann came to visit on Dec. 31, and we had a grand time -- Ann picked up a gorgeous wooden sled for the kids, just the kind I had been wanting. Plus lots of Kitty stuff for Sophia (along with the Kitty stuff Leslie and Joel got for her, she's got quite a stash now) and a great set of tinkertoys for both of them. They always get classic toys for the kids, which I love :) We did a small version of the Italian xmas dinner that David's grandmother does, beginning with pasta and sauce, artichoke hearts and mushrooms, and salad, and then a marinated pork roast with potatoes and carrots; then cheeses and fruit for a finisher. Very tasty! Mom and Bob came the next day, and it was great -- there had been some trepidation, but the day itself was marvelous. We went to the pizza place for dinner. Bob got Stephen a huge remote-control dump truck, which both kids really enjoy; Mom brought lots of books, including I think everything on my wishlist, and books for the kids, too. I'm sure there are things I'm forgetting because I was bad and didn't write anything down, and still have not written thank-you notes, though Stephen wrote one yesterday.

We went to bed early on the 31st, and loafed around on January 1st. On the 2nd, Robyn and I had planned to go to the J.L. Plum clothing outlet in Nashua, but just before we left I remembered that it's always closed on Monday and Tuesday, so we went to Boston instead! (That makes sense, right?) Eryk, having just moved, was happy to see us visit, and I took pictures of his new place. Then we all went to Chinatown for lunch, quick stop at my favorite fabric store, and then Filene's basement to try to find work clothes for Roby, but it was kind of disappointing. I'm sure $25/blouse is a good price if it's originally marked $250, but we're cheaper skates than that. We had fun visiting with Eryk, though, and also went to Trader Joe's and Home Despot, because Eryk's room has only one outlet, and it seems to date from the early 40s or something, and won't take a polarized or grounded plug!

On the 3rd, I reopened my business, and have had a steady stream of customers since. I sort of hope this is just a result of not taking orders in December and people catching up, because it's been kind of crazy! I've had 26 orders in the 11 days since then, which may not seem like a lot for a bigger business, but it is for me. I've stayed on top of them by sewing at odd hours, though I do hope it slows down somewhat. I still want this to be a hobby, not a full-time business!

We made the trek to the new Ikea in Stoughton last Sunday (the 8th). It was PACKED full of people -- we had to circle several times to find parking, and the sheer crowds were something of an impediment to our fun, but the kids still had a good time and I did, too. We got some ideas for what we'd like to do with our living room as it is, and I bought this lamp for Stephen's room, and this canopy for his bed. I totally want to get more of those to put around my bed, too, but that would add up $$wise. They have so much fun stuff! I think we're going to plunk down a big chunk of change for shelving in the living room, to replace our college-era wire shelves and faux-antique hutch and whatnot. David's thinking of getting a Yamaha electric piano so we'd be getting shelves to go over and around it. Not that either of us can really play, but I've always wanted to learn, and it would be great for the kids, too. (UNH has a sale on them every year -- they buy a bunch at the beginning of the year, they get used by music students, and then they sell them at the end of the year, so we'd not be paying retail!)

Not much else going on. We're visiting David's parents tomorrow (edit: they're coming here -- his brother's recording studio is in their house, and he's got a band there which is going overtime into tomorrow -- must clean!), and I keep meaning to call Mom and see if she has Monday off, so we could meet in Concord or something. (Mom, if you're reading in time, do you have Monday off?) Weather has been wretched, far too warm (40s and 50s) for January, and we're getting rained on instead of the snow we so richly deserve. I had built a snowman with Stephen last week, but it melted in the most pathetic way :P Today we're making gingerbread cookies -- they read the gingerbread man story (you know, "Run run run as fast as you can, can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man") in school so he's a little obsessed right now. Just waiting for the dough to firm up. Mean to get to JoAnns sometime today, too, as they have Guterman thread at 50% off. Simplicity patterns are $1.99, too, but I splurged and bought this program which makes custom-fitted, self-designed patterns, so I no longer need Simplicity! Yay! I'm looking forward to making clothes for myself that don't fit the commercial plus-size model of "Fat women only want boxy, square stuff" and that actually make me look like a woman instead of a bag of flour. I just need to set aside some time to sew for myself :)

January 2017

8910 11121314


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 26th, 2017 07:25 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios