Monday, November 27, 2006
I like Global Warming
My S.O. had dragged me out there, to visit a potter friend who has a little shop in the country. One of those shops that only women can love, full of unreformed hippy smells and incense, thousands of ceramic objects that are lovingly handmade and of no use to anyone at all, things you would only buy if you already have everything you need.
Men are only seen in these shops in the tow of women. And the kind of man that does venture in is invariably weak and pathetic. I wandered around happily for nearly an hour.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
More Household Hints
If you are like me and have far too many cables of various sorts lying around, copulating like snakes, you can never find the one you need, try this:
Before you stuff that cable in the back of a drawer, first fold it in half (so the two ends are together, so you can see what kind of cable it is). Then spread your left hand and wind the (doubled) cable around it in a figure 8 pattern (not round and round). Then put a rubber band around it. The figure 8 procedure insures that not only will the wires not twist internally, but when you release the rubber band the cable will unroll without tangling!
With long cables, do the figure 8 around hand and elbow.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Householt Hints from an Abominable Housekeeper
For example, if you rip the scroll and fingerboard off a violin, it makes a dandy handle for the cupboard door.
Slight word of warning though: try not to use the Stradivarius or Guarneri violin because they are probably worth more than your house.
Ever wonder how to store those pesky plastic sacks of which you have a million and a half? When you need one, you have to make a huge plastic pile on the floor to find one the right size...
Try this method: fold each bag in half and then roll it up, and fasten the bags together with a rubber band or a cut-up bike inner tube (they last longer than regular rubber bands). They take up less space, you can instantly choose one of the right size when you need it, and the bundled bags make an attractive bouquet for a loved one.
Another dandy solution to a pernicious problem: your laptop has too many keys squeezed together on a tiny bit of real estate, and you are a touch typist of adequate ability-- even so you keep hitting the cursor keys rather than the shift key, which are located ever so close together! And your pride precludes you from using the backspace key? Try this elegant solution: a bit of double stick tape on the keys, and stick on squares of rubber matting (like you put in the back of your car to keep things from jumping around)...Hey voilà! your fingers know where they are!
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
I was touched, though, by Tony Blair's performance yesterday at the annual Lord Mayor's Banquet. He was (I think) close to tears as he attempted to justify his postions over the past few years, his accessing to the excesses of the American interventions because he felt it was in Britain's best interests to stay in step with American policy. He made it clear that he was personally not always completely in agreement with Bush, but he felt it was better to join forces with him (and at the same time privately trying to curb the most blatant excesses) than to let the Americans do it on their own.
Of course, I instinctively feel that Blair should have talked more to European leaders, who have more knowledge of the situation than Bush ever will, and made a position that would have perhaps represented a compromise view. But he made a considered and conscious decision to stick with America, and on this he will be judged by history. There are no unequivocal right answers, and it is Blair's right to make his own judgement. He is even now hopeful that his view of the situation is correct, but admits (I think) that at this point, no one knows what the outcome will be.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
A New Record
This definitely the shortest rehearsal I have experienced in this orchestra.
What to do with all the extra time? SHOPPING!!! I bought myself a nice sweater. Most of my favorite sweaters were discovered in the summer by a particularly virulent swarm of moths.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Slow Demise of the Kiosk..
The only things open were little one-room kiosks, which mostly catered to alcohaulics, it seems, but you could get juice and the odd tinned soup and (if you were on your way to a party, or intended to have one at home) wine. There are two of these places just a few yards from my apartment, and I counted about a dozen within 200 yards of my front door.
But Germany is liberalising, up to a point-- the shops can now stay open until 8 pm, and on Saturdays too, but Sunday is still sacrosanct.
I haven't been to the kiosk in a while (mostly due to the new liberalisation) but went just now because I had been teaching and by the time I finished it was after 8-- and I realized that the kiosks are doomed. My nearest place, which has always had a lively clientele, and had always had a great selection of wines and spirits, has become dingy and empty. They had ONE kind of wine, and a few tins of unidentifiable vegetables, and some mass-market magazines, and a fridge full of beer... and that was it. The owner, who I had known as a popular and cheerful young man, has become quiet and fearful. His arch-rival, the Greek across the street, doesn't even bother to stay open in the evenings.
This means that the end is neigh, I predict that within a year there will be not 12 but 2 or 3 kiosks in my neighborhood.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Actually, the neighbors didn't come but looked on balefully because Petra's house has completely ruined their view.
It was nice to have something to celebrate because we had a premiere last night which was loudly booed by the audience. Not a pleasant experience when you have been working for weeks on a production!
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
I hate the sun
It is a pity because I am working on some compositions that are going quite well, but composing is very time-consuming and requires a lot of concentration. The damn sun is distacting me.