Loser/Not Loser

Sometimes I stay in all day to work. Like today. It’s a beautiful day, there’s a wonderful spring scent, I can hear the birds, but I’m going to stay in and fact-check. I was contemplating swimming for a while, but I made the decision to get straight to work instead.

I just now changed out of my pajama bottoms and into my exercise pants. There was no reason to really, but never getting out of pajama bottoms all day feels loser-ish to my so I changed. Pajama bottoms=loser, exercise pants=not-loser.

I took this on my way to the Virtual Choir 3 premiere at Lincoln Center. I was taking a picture of the Virtual Choir 3 name scrolling by in lights on one of the lower steps.

Virtual Choir 3 in lights at Lincoln Center

Things I Meant to Post About

– The recent Masterpiece Theatre production of Great Expectations. It was absolutely amazing. Gillian Anderson’s Miss Haversham was the most haunting Miss Haversham to date. I have to also credit the set and costume design people, and the camera people. The increasing mold on the walls, brilliant, and that last scene of her coming down the stairs! Download it, find it, watch it, everyone was great in it.

– The composer Nico Muhly. Anyone familiar with him? Where should I start? I listened to one piece, now I forget the name, but I’ve never heard anything like it, it was brilliant. The singers didn’t sound human (in a very good way).

– The guitarist Brady Cohen. Are you watching American Idol? That amazing lead guitarist who frequently plays on stage? His name is Brady Cohen.

– Speaking of American Idol, I’m sorry, and I know she was raised that way, but I can’t abide Skylar because of all the animal-killing lust. She can’t wait to get home to kill a deer. Some day we will have evolved enough and we won’t do this anymore. Maybe for entirely selfish reasons, as people slowly accept that they can live longer and better with different diets. Until then, I can’t warm up to someone who not only thinks it’s necessary to kill, but enjoys it.

A pigeon spa.

Pigeons in New York City

Concert Tonight!

Which means: automatic good mood! We had our first rehearsal with the full orchestra and all the soloists. It’s a huge orchestra, with incredible pounding drums. So dramatic. Man, Verdi can write! From our conductor’s email to us last night:

“Verdi KNEW how to compose, for the voice, for the chorus, for the orchestra and all the players in it. All we need to do is tune in to the instructions he left for us, and the performance will reveal itself. He is the most profoundly human of performers, and to understand him merely requires you to channel your humanity – well that, plus a bit of virtuosity.”

I wrote my friends and family who are coming tonight to be on the lookout for a particular moment (actually three). But the Verdi Requiem is wonderful from beginning to end.

Grace Church Choral Society Rehearsal

Truth and Integrity

The other day someone said something he knew wasn’t true about President Obama. I knew it, I know he knew it, and yet he said it. (IE, the claim that it’s Obama and not the republicans who support ending Medicare.) Paul Krugman wrote an op-ed about this.

Not long ago, Rick Santorum got angry when a New York Times reporter did something similar when asking Santorum a question about a speech Santorum had just made. Santorum had said Romney was the worst republican in the country to go up against Obama on the health case issue. He phrased it in an awkward manner, but it was clear what he meant. But the reporter asked him about saying Romney was the worst republican in the country, period. The thing is, the reporter was doing what Santorum does probably a dozen times every hour, and a mild version of it.

Santorum and others don’t just routinely mischaracterize Obama or spin his words in a direction they know isn’t true, they make things up and encourage people to believe outrageous things about him. When did we come to this? People care more about winning than the good of the country. I mean if they had real issues with what Obama was doing they would refer to the things he is actually doing and not resort to making stuff up.

You could argue that both sides do it, but nothing to the extent that one side is guilty of.

This is looking towards the World Trade Center site from the burial ground of St. Paul’s Chapel.

Looking Toward World Trade Center Site for St. Paul's Chapel Burial Ground

Bliss is in My Future

Last night, our choir sang with the soprano soloist who is going to be singing with us at our Verdi Requiem concert on Friday. I just emailed a bunch of people about it. She was so astounding our conductor left the podium, walked up to the piano, and looked at her and just smiled and said, “thank you.” I’ve never seen him do anything like that before.

It was just so thrilling. She was up in the stratosphere and the choir does this thing underneath her, and it was so beautiful—this is Verdi’s writing after all—sometimes it’s hard not to burst into tears or start clapping right in the middle of it. Actually, I think I almost started laughing.

This is her, Mary Elizabeth Williams.

Cherry blossoms at Grace Church.