As I was saying a minute ago, the Cavaliers will not be coming to the Seattle Bowl after all. I realized part way through posting about it last Friday that I was probably jinxing the chances for Virginia to come out here just by writing about it, but it was too late. Maybe another time. It’ll be fun to watch the carnage with West Virginia, though.
Quick and necessarily incomplete keiretsu check-in:
- Esta just got back from a weekend in Charlottesville (lucky dog!) and has been writing again. I haven’t raved enough about her poetry in this space. Check out “First Snowfall.”
- George will be on the job market again shortly, as his consulting gig is almost up. There must be someone out there who needs the services of a biotech startup veteran with a top-five MBA and tons of expertise in technology strategy…
- Craig has taken up the bowl watch (about which more in a moment) and notes that his alma mater will be playing local favorites the U-dub Huskies, and that Virginia is going to the Continental Tire Bowl to play West Virginia. That sound you hear is the unleashing of 140+ years of resentment of West Virginia jokes…
- Greg comments on the irony of appointing the CEO of a railroad to take over Treasury, following in the footsteps of another heavy-industry guy, when the US economy is now heavily service based. He’s also collecting followups to Trent Lott’s asinine comment that the country would be better off if then-segregationist presidential candidate Strom Thurmond were elected in 1948.
Not much blog yesterday because I was pooped. After Friday night’s housewarming party (good crowd, good food—Lisa made an amazing ragu Bolognese for gnocchi with melted mozzarella, and I made a pan of meatballs which we served with a plain tomato sauce and more mozzarella, plus wine), I dragged myself out to the Sammamish plateau for the dress rehearsal for the Cascadian Chorale’s guest appearance with the Sammamish Symphony. The music? Messiah.
I had never sung the Messiah all the way through before, though I had sightread parts of it many years ago in my Glee Club days and had done individual choruses. I soon found that my experience was as close to singing the whole piece as catching a connecting flight in Rome’s Fiumicino Airport is to seeing Italy. If there are no other signs of the presence of a higher power, consider this: not only did Händel take the time to write this hulking monstrosity of a piece (in twenty-four days), but it’s performed every year—and people still come to hear it, though sitting through the entire performance must be exhausting even as an audience member.
I can attest that, as a performer, it’s a bit like what I imagine running a marathon must be. Pacing is key, for instance, so as not to blow out one’s voice totally before the final Amen. There are long stretches where one, exhausted, wishes for the kisses of nubile young Wellesley students—or anyone, for that matter, so that blood flow will leave the vocal chords and be restored to the feet and to the left arm, which has lost all feeling about an hour ago from holding up the score. And after the final fugue on “Amen,” a curious euphoria descends, at least if one has hit the notes correctly. It feels like entering heaven. Or just extreme relief that one has escaped the piece with vocal cords intact.
So that was Saturday. On Sunday after church I drove back out to do it again.
And we have another concert next Sunday, with music of Tavener, Górecki, and Pärt as well as some more Messiah. Can hardly wait…