A Glass of Chianti

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Who will be Richard Halley

to Angelina's Dagney? I'm less concerned with the edits that will have to be made in The Speech than how many of Francisco d'Anconia's middle names they will leave on the cutting room floor...

But, most importantly, will this film usher in a whole new generation of latter-day Whittaker Chamberses? The Yankee, set up an office and then call them. (I can take care of the farm....)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


A test where I score higher than The Yankee. (Honestly, I'm the wrong person to ask about tea preferences as I take mine iced but unsweet. If I want a sweet drink, I go for some lemonade or a coke of some variety.)
Dixie Royal
You are 91% true Southern!
You are pure belle or gentleman! You know your Jones Soda, Nehi and RC colas, your Moon Pies and sweet potato pie; you'd absolutely die without air conditioners in the summer, and you've seen Steel Magnolias and Fried Green Tomatoes (or read the book!). Your grandmother lives in an antebellum home and has a cook who makes the best fried chicken and asparagus casserole and summer squash and everything else in the world. And you know the taste of honeysuckle and the feel of grass between your toes.
You are blessed.

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 85% on Southerliness
Link: The Southern-ness Test written by gwennykate on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Alas, no grandmother with a casserole-baking cook is in my family tree, but my great-grandmother had one hell of a red velvet cake recipe...

Monday, April 24, 2006

The entertainment question

A post over at Patty's (home of the oboe) containing inter alia an opinion of orchestral Pops concerts raises an interesting point about programming. To often, a Pops concert seems to me to be a pretty miserable attempt at a Troy McClure impersonation.
"Hi, I'm Richard Wagner. You may remember me from such films as Apocalypse Now and Beetle Juice. You liked me then? You're going to love this medley of my greatest hits."

I don't have any problem with the Pops models per se. I do, however, think they present problems when an organization thinks that they are going to grow an audience for classical music by programming a pops concert or two. The Greatest Hits method doesn't work for that (as I think the subscription record for orchestras around the country with a regular Pops series has shown) and it leaves a bad taste in the mouth of orchestra administrators hoping to boost the attendance rolls of traditional concert series and audiences who (for the most part) don't want to be bothered with the serious music (they're there for fun! And they recognize the pieces!). There are good, entertaining ways to program a Pops concert; the "Greatest Hits" model isn't one of them.

Orchestras around the country concerned about subscription rates should take a page from the "institutes of higher learning" model of advertisement. Try selling membership in a club under the guise of education. That's where the money is and people will line up around the block for that.

Friday, April 21, 2006

What very important thing happened on this day in 1836?

By legend, it has to do with this.
More on this great day in history after I'm back from lessons!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

RPG Cliches

"Kingdoms are good. Empires are evil." (No. 74)

Also, I'm glad somebody else has noticed the overrepresentation of single-parent households in RPG-land (No. 8)...

Monday, April 17, 2006

Yes, yes it is miserable here

Over 100° today. It's 10:00 and it's still 90° outside.

There are places I'd rather be... just sayin'.


It only took them 21 hours to finally get the correct answer...

(Via a great man with some great taste in music)

Where has all the music gone?

Spring is a funny time for lessons teaching. On the one hand it's great - it's where we can work on the nitty-gritty things that really improve technique without the distractions that come with all those contest auditions that have all already taken place. On the other, though, it's tough because it isn't easy to get all jazzed about yet another finger exercise. I write my own exercises a great deal of the time (clarinetists don't have a real library of great method books as other instruments do - we're still one of the new kids on the block in many ways) which does tend to help with the variety problem, but it is still sometimes difficult to negotiate with the call that Summer* has on a young person's mind.
Add to this the fact that I might, myself, be a little distracted by my own...stuff.. lately and you have a recipe for really strange lessons.

All of that is a long way to say, well, that I'm just in a weird funk lately. I've long cut out many of the political blogs and news stories that I used to read daily and even the majority of the members of St. Blogs and the various artsbloggers are just not able to hold my attention. I can see there's interesting stuff being written, but my mind is just someplace else so it's more my fault than theirs, anyway.

In the CD player now: The overture to Der Freischütz... which is just the kind of mood I'm in.

So, count me as a person who doesn't really enjoy the Spring and who kind of wishes that Winter would return. I seem to get a lot more accomplished then and it's easier to stop and smell the roses when there aren't a billion and a half competing for my nose's attention.

*which is what happens when you don't live in a place where you have Spring. (grumble...grumble....)

Friday, April 14, 2006

The things you find when looking for cakes

Michael, I found your groom's cake! (What? You didn't know there was a picture online?!)

Chocolate + South Carolina = Something magical

What every clarinetist you know wants for Christmas

or, you know, some special day coming up relatively soon...

The Cambridge Companion to Hayek!

All of us clarinetists are closet (or, in some cases, not-so-closet) Austrians, you know.

(Link. I had a very good Good Friday depression going and then that Jonah Goldberg has to go on and ruin it for me. What a jerk!)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Geegaws galore!


Why you should be reading the comments at open book.

Monday, April 10, 2006


The Yankee has some great news!

I would just like to clear the record and say that the "highly compensated indentured servitude" program that he will be starting later this year under my supervision doesn't require a passing grade on the New York bar exam (or, indeed, any bar exam) nor is there a graduation requirement.

I'm a little confused as to where he's getting his admission information, to be honest...

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Terry Teachout: On middlebrow culture (and more)

I'm in the middle of reading Terry's collection of essays. I hope he will let me excerpt a little bit and then riff (if you're displeased, Terry, you know where to find me ;-)). In a 1997 Weekly Standard essay on David Brinkley's retirement (et alia, of course) he writes:
"Still, I know better than to pretend that once upon a time, TV was nothing but Peter Pan, Playhouse 90, and The Bell Telephone Hour. The point of network television in its heyday wasn't that it served up masterpieces around the clock; rather, it was that anybody could partake at will of the wide-ranging fare it did serve up. It was because CBS broadcast both Gilligan's Island and Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts that some people discovered the latter, and profited thereby. Watching Ed Sullivan on Sunday nights, you saw a little bit of everything, and so did your neighbors. Such shows were an important part of the cultural glue that helped hold this country together. Now they are gone, and I miss them, the same way I miss the slow-moving America of my small-town youth, back when the word "everybody" was more than an abstraction."
That phrase "back when 'everybody' was more than an abstraction" has been rolling around in my head for a couple of days. If I were a writer, Terry's one of those who would inspire me to just give up, knowing that I could never get that close to a perfectly distilled observation. Good writing is not what you say or how you say it - it's both. This, of course, is why I'm a Terry Teachout cheerleader in my non-lessoning time. (Pom-pom pictures available upon request)

Later: a post on this quote and how it relates to Family Guy. (I'm on medication and I can't write no mo'.)

This is a first

I just received a text message from a student telling me she won't be able to make her lesson this evening at 5:00 (reason: nail appointment).

I can't decide if I'm more shocked that a student is canceling via text message, or that she is canceling because of a manicure appointment.

So. Sick.

This is what I am. Ugh! I woke up around 2:30 with an upset stomach which led to a little vomiting which led to my crawling back in bed with the desire (but not the means) to go back to sleep.

What an uncool way to spend a Thursday morning! Hopefully it clears by lunch - I really don't want to cancel my afterschool lessons...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Curling penguins

who laugh vaguely like Burgess Meredith's Batman villain? Yay!
(Except for the fact that they look to be stuck in a pretty awful movie.)

-From Disputations, who keeps my curling addiction fed.

Monday, April 03, 2006

What you miss by not living in the Metroplex

Newscasters who just ignore air horn-bearing naked men and those who inspire lemur mating calls.

Why aren't you people just flocking here?

Thanks* to the MonkeyWatch (he's not just watching monkeys, you know) for the lemur pointer.

Also, I assume you noticed the penguin cuteness.

*I think

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Welcome to our newest Texans

Res Publica et Cetera has the story. Governor Kaine will not only be surprised to learn of the new tax rate but also the fact that we have our own King.

It's Nunavut's territorial birthday

Which, if The Yankee is to be believed, means it's Nunavuday... so,

Happy Nunavuday!

Is there a better way to celebrate than making yourself a new Nunavut virtual license plate? I think not.