Saturday, November 22, 2014

Napster nostalgia


Random thought for a Saturday night: do you remember Napster? Wasn't it just the best? It was. I remember going on a Napster spree the summer after my freshman year of college. I downloaded All the Songs, especially the obscure ones I couldn't get elsewhere - Japanese hits from when I spent the summer of 2000 there, German songs we learned in class at the BYU, Papermoon songs that, to this day, I haven't found anywhere else.

Napster was THE BEST.

Widening the shot a little, Napster brings to mind something that is lacking from all our digital media consumption these days: shareability. It is annoying to me that when I read a book on my Kindle and want others to read it, I can't just pass on a copy like I would a regular ol' paperback. If we buy a movie from iTunes and a friend wants to borrow it, they have to borrow our laptop, too (this happened last week and it was so old-fashioned I couldn't believe it).

In conclusion, I miss Napster, it was awesome, and I think it's a crying shame that digital media is so hard to share in general, and hard to pass along among friends in particular.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thirteen

Today is our 13th wedding anniversary. I'm going to veer away from a traditional post about our anniversary and muse for a moment on what I wish I had done differently thirteen years ago.

Jeremy and I were engaged for only six weeks. I wouldn't change that, but I sometimes wish I had paid more attention to the planning of the wedding itself. At the time, I didn't really care/didn't have time to care, so while our wedding was lovely, I'm not sure that it was really my style. But I'm also not sure I really have a style. So maybe it was my style, in that I didn't have a style and neither did my wedding.

What am I trying to say? I guess I just mean that looking back, I wish that maybe I'd worn my hair down instead of up. I wish we'd left out all the traditional flowery language on our invitation about whose parents were giving away who to someone else's parents. I wish we'd have considered not having an awkward handshake/hug line at the reception, because who even likes those? I wish we'd eaten ice cream, or possibly ice cream cake, instead of delicious but expensive actual wedding cake.

That said, most of the details of our wedding day were just right - a small group at the ceremony and luncheon, a reception at home with real food, a honeymoon on the cheap at the Oregon Coast. And I am so grateful to my mom, who picked up the slack every time I couldn't be bothered to decide this or that thirteen years ago. I wonder if I'll get my chance to care about hair being worn up or down when it's Miriam getting married - is that how it works?

I also realize that the passage of time has an effect on these opinions. I mean, most of those women who got married in the late 80s/early 90s regret wearing those huge puffed-sleeve dresses, right? But that doesn't mean it was the wrong decision at the time. I suppose our weddings are the product of, you know, the era in which we got married.

Which for us, was thirteen years ago, today!

Have you ever thought about stylistic changes (or other, deeper changes - I don't know your life) you would make to your wedding day?



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ghosts of music past

Thanks to my new accompanist job, this is what my piano looked like yesterday and today. Turns out, six- and nine-year-old daughters are good at helping collate, color-code, and plastic-sleeve-ify (thanks for the tip, Janice!) pages and pages of sheet music. I have four pieces to learn for choir, but there was a master class tonight and I accompanied four soloists there. It was quite a stretch to see the music for the first time yesterday, and perform it tonight, but it was also exhilarating. A crazy straw kind of day, for sure.

I realized tonight as I played for an audience of musicians that I have been living on fumes of the ghosts of music past for years now. I was in a youth choir in the late 1990s and the director was one of the most gifted musicians I have ever met, and likely will ever meet - Paula Reeve. She had such a way with conducting, and I can still remember the general methods she taught me as a singer and an accompanist, as well as specific phrasings for certain songs.

I have used that knowledge for years and years as I've played the piano at church. But it's hard, since I know that most of my precious, heartfelt musical nuance is lost like so many pearls before swine (why is there not a more beautiful metaphor than that one? Sorry!). A hymn is a hymn and there's something inherently perfunctory about it, no matter how much of my soul I put into it.

So tonight, as I played, I reveled in the feeling of being understood, of conversing in a language with fellow native speakers who can respond in the same tongue.

Of course, I also made mistakes, because these pieces were dang hard, and that took away a little from the magic of it all. But oh, it was still magic, you guys!

Here are the four pieces I played tonight. It was so helpful to listen to the accompaniments to get an ear for the the overall oomph of it before attempting it myself. I know YouTube is true, amen.

The Daisies.
Geduld. So lovely, so sad, so angry, almost.
Il mio bel foco.
The Vagabond. Punchy and pirate-y - super fun! I made the most mistakes on this one, though :(.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Desert Stinker

Jeremy ran a 40k race (Desert Stinker) the other weekend - 20k in the desert one evening, then a campout, then another 20k in the dunes the next morning. He got third place overall. Yeah.

They posted the professional photos today and I am smitten with this one:


Yes, my husband looks awesome, but don't you just want to dip a spoon in those creamed-butter-and-sugar dunes?

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