A. Since a certain number of my beloved readers come here for the Covidiocy bashing, we’ll start there before moving on to the more mundane stuff. One note on Fauxvid: no disease in history has ever been tracked like this. If we followed the same exact instructions for reporting deaths ‘involving’ COVID, except we substitute ‘stress’ for the kung flu, fairly confident we’d show 300K-400K deaths ‘involving’ stress since the lockdown.
I’m not kidding or exaggerating in the slightest. More on this later.
B. Not saying anyone in particular may or may not do this, but it would sure be a nice tidy little protest if a group of people more or less spontaneously gathered in the town plaza one of these Christmas Season evenings and sang some carols for the joy and enlightenment of passers-by, who, if they were following orders, most certainly wouldn’t be out on a public plaza on a Christmas Season evening in the first place. Lockdown! Curfew!
Would have a bit of that ‘show me the coin with which you pay the tax’ gotcha to it.
C. Will be decorating today, tree & house. Typically wait to the last minute because a) Christmas starts AFTER Advent, and b) historically, that’s when the strapping young college age people return home to do the roof-clambering part of the festivities, which I, an old guy, would rather not do anymore.
But nobody is coming in from college this year. Our three older surviving children are married off, living on the East Coast, or already live with us, as does the 16 year old. So, it ain’t getting any better.
And, I am happy to report, the Christmas lights in our neighborhood came out earlier and with more vigor this year than any previous year I remember. I think people are trying to find a way to express their unhappiness with the lockdown, even if they don’t know that’s what they’re doing.
We will of course leave ours up through Epiphany.
D. Piano hack – as in, I’m a hack piano player -alert! I’ve been working on the Sonata Pathetique for maybe 2 and half or 3 years now. Started out as a burn off frustration from work thing when I wasn’t inspired to throw bricks out front. So I took on what is, for me, a very difficult but beloved piece.
I spent 18 months just getting the notes, so I could stomp and stumble my way through it. Since then, have whiled away many hours trying to master the many ‘hard’ parts, so that they sound like music and doesn’t sound so much like a poorly-trained monkey working out his frustrations (however accurate that last image may be).
What I’d like it to sound like (in my dreams):
Three or four weeks ago, I started looking for something else to play, some Beethoven maybe not quite so hard, and much shorter so that I could conceivably play it decently in my remaining lifetime. I chose the 2nd movement of the Moonlight Sonata:
2 minutes long, and only maybe 2-3 sections that push my feeble chops. So I now have that one down to the point where I wouldn’t be too embarrassed to play it when other people were listening. Now I need to find some more.
Searching around, found this site, which lists a boatload of classical piano music and ranks them by difficulty. This sort of thing is probably common knowledge among real piano players, but I’ve only had a couple years of lessons spread out over the years from age 15 to maybe 25, so I’ve no doubt missed a lot of details (for example, how to actually play the piano).
So now I know that the Bach preludes and fugues that have been killing me since college are rated 3.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 – on the hard side of the scale, but not really hard. So are the 1st and 3rd movements of the Sonata Pathetique. You evidently have to be able to play arpeggios, scales, chromatic rifts and such to pull these off – who would have thunk it?
So it seems the hardest things I’m likely to able to play in a reasonable amount of time are in the 2.5 range – provided they are not too long. Thus, settled on this little ditty, the 2nd movement of Beethoven’s Sonata 13:
There are a number of not too easy features here. Syncopations abound; there’s that one trill that needs to be played with conviction if it is not to sound lame, and that finish, with the hand 1/2 beat off from each other, ought to be fun.