Friday, April 02, 2010


Let me start of by saying that today has not been a good day. Some days are better than others, and today is just one of those days when ordinary stuff is just intensely irritating. Like oversleeping, then just missing a bus to work, then having to stand all the way on the bus this morning (one hour trip), then finding out that the lunch container I thought was filled with chicken teriyaki and rice turned out to be filled with radishes. And to top it off, I’ve been almost non-productive in the office because no one is in to answer any of my questions. Honestly, I could have stayed home.

It’s also really, really windy today, and I can hear my work building creak in the wind. Intellectually, I know...well, I am reasonably sure…that nothing is going to happen but I am on the 23rd floor, so the gloomy, disaster-fixated part of my brain is dreaming up tragic scenarios. The good thing is that I do work around a lot of structural engineers and none of them are acting worried.

Ok…focus on the positive…several good things did happen this week. Last Sunday, I went to a pipe organ concert held at a local church. A friend of mine is an organist and I’ve learned a lot about pipe organs this past week. And I say that in a good way. I’ve always enjoyed pipe organ music but I’ve never understood how the instrument itself was played. It’s fabulously complex but it’s this complexity that allows the musician a wide range of expression. (I also found out that there are such things as “organ shoes” that organists can wear for playing the foot pedals.)

Also a good thing this week…I got a full night’s sleep, and woke up feeling fabulous. To celebrate, I bought some music. I listen to Classic KING radio (Motto: “Our music will lift your soul but our ads will remind you of this mortal coil.”) and the station has its playlist up on the website. I often hear something that makes me stop in my tracks and just listen, and then I have to find out what it is. The playlist links to ArchivMusic, listing the CD featuring the piece selected. This site has a “wish list” feature so I have a steadily growing list of items. (Sadly, only a few items are available at the Seattle Public Library.) Well, that morning, I felt good, and another “drop everything” piece came on the radio so I bought it, as well as two other items off the wish list. One was a CD that SPL did actually carry but I loved each and every selection on it, and have been listening to it at work endlessly, so I decided to buy it. (“Divenire” by Ludovico Einaudi, if you are curious.) All of my limited spending money has gone toward music recently. My only regret is that $50 per pay period doesn’t go as far as I’d like. I received the first part of my order yesterday and the good thing about being at work today is that I have been able to listen to it all day, and happily, the entire album is good (The Winged Lion by the Palladian Ensemble. The CD is devoted to Venetian music of the 17th and 18th centuries and the musicians played on period instruments. I bought it for the selection “Le scatola da gli agghi” by Marco Uccellini (1603-1680). No, I don’t know that the title means.)

Hey, I’m feeling better already. I’ve gotten so out of practice writing on this blog that I admit that I’m rather rusty, and actually erased a few posts that I’d planned on putting up earlier this week. Ok, blog writing is public, and I don’t read blogs looking for high literary style, but I do admit that my favorites tend to be really well-written (e.g. Crazy Aunt Purl, Yarn Harlot, Accidental Hedonist. It’s probably no surprise that each on these bloggers got book deals because of the popularity of their blogs.) Although my own approach to my blog is informal and serves the purpose of a personal journal, I don’t want to post insipid crap. Nor do I always want to spend a lot of time word-smithing something. In those cases, I just don’t post. But I had forgotten how cathartic writing can be, even if the topics are so mundane and perhaps aren’t even interesting to anyone else. Maybe I just feel better because of the Venetian Baroque music I’m currently listening to. :D

Later...good moods are fragile and can be easily shattered by an asshat on the bus. The bus was full and I asked him to move his backpack so that I could sit down. He gave me this wounded look and rolled his eyes, and I glared at him. It must have worked because he moved his backpack--oh, the tragedy, to have to sit with your backpack on your lap! Hell, I already had to stand on the morning commute.** At least he wasn't yakking the phone the entire way.

Another good thing is that my other two CDs arrived today. I'm currently listening to Glass Reflections by the Cello Octet Conjunto Iberico (conducted by Elias Arizcuren). This is Philip Glass music arranged for eight cellos. I'd heard Facades and it was stunning. I don't really consider myself a Philip Glass fan but this music does work wonderfully played on cello. I love the cello, so I think that perhaps has biased me? :D

**the particularly irritating thing about the morning is that I gave up my seat for a woman on crutches who was standing in line and asking the driver if there were any available seats. I told the driver she could have my seat (because none of the people in the seats reserved for people with mobility issues were budging), and got up and moved toward the corridor in the back to make room for the others still coming on. By the time we got to Seattle, and some passengers had gotten off, I'd found out that the woman on crutches had elected not to take the bus and the seat I'd vacated was being warmed by the butt of a perfectly able bodied person. I held on to the handle on the back of her/my seat, which ended up jostling her seat every time the bus hit a bumpy spot on the road. (Another irritating thing about having to stand is that the buses at this time of the morning are cruise buses, and not transit buses. There's only one door, the aisle is only about one foot wide, and there are no rails for standing passengers to hold onto. The only handles are on the seats, and they are really meant to aid the seated passengers out of their seats). I truly wasn't trying to irritate her, but was glad anyway. She turned around and gave me the look each time her seat jostled so I finally shot her a look back. "Hey, you're sitting, I'm standing. Want to switch?" My friend Katze has a real spine; she'd have told the woman off instead of giving her a look. Ah, Pacific Northwest passive-aggressiveness. In any case, my glare must have worked because at least she didn't look at me anymore.