Category Living

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

dinner time
A nice evening to sit by the firepit
Ready for halloween!

This has been a wonderful visit, with lots of time spent with Jackson (and his parents), and some productive time helping out with some home repair matters. What a joy. The only thing missing was Pattie and Frankie, and hopefully we’ll all visit next month, as Joe, Cristin, and Jackson make their way south to visit Greg and Kathy in Florida.

Today, driving back home, and looking forward to seeing my loves there before the night arrives.

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Saturday, October 10, 2020

Drove up to Scarsdale yesterday, a few days of watching Jackson while his folks attend to some social obligations. [We’re all disappointed that Frankie’s really not doing well in the car-ride department, with quite regular car-sickness. I think we’ll really have to start over from scratch on that; training her to just like getting into the car, etc., as now she runs away from the car. Perhaps when she gets a bit more weight on her, it’ll be ok to use some medication to ease the ride, but right now she’s still a little nothing (8 lbs). So, Pattie stayed in NC with Frankie, and it’s a solo weekend for each of us.]

Can’t bear to sully the wonderful mood of spending the evening with Jackson by even bringing up the absurdity of political matters...

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Thursday, October 8, 2020

Yesterday’s main event was selling the Honda (to finance the Triumph). The Honda, which Pattie and Tim found/got me in Jan, 2019 as a starter bike, was an absolutely perfect starter bike. On that bike, I put on about 2000 miles, and gained a ton of confidence in riding, putting everything learned in the rider safety course I took Dec., 2018 into practice. The bike’s been up for sale for about a month, since i got the Triumph on Sept. 6. And I’m happy to have made $600 on the sale of the Honda.

The woman who bought it came up from Wilmington, and I enjoyed getting to know her a bit over the few hours she was here–test-driving, getting $, notarizing title, loading bike onto a trailer, etc...

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Tuesday, October 6, 2020

The little anatomy student:

And that little boy has far more going for him than the combined intelligence in the White House right now. This 4-year nightmare continues, worsening every day in ways far exceeding the worst we imagined a few years ago. Just astounding. As the conservative NYTimes columnist Bret Stephens wrote, “my prevailing feeling is that I’m so sick of it. Sick of living in Donald Trump’s Clownverse, or Dramaverse, or Bullyverse, or I-Can’t-Believe-This-Guy-Is-Actually-the-President-verse.”

So I try to steep in the distraction of tending to a puppy. It often works.


Welcomed a guest to our Composers Colloquium last Friday, as i’ve invited a series of guests to speak to our students over this semester...

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Monday, October 5, 2020

As challenging as the week just past has been in our larger world, it’s been more positive and interesting in my local sphere.

I received some incredible responses to “momentum,” and how that idea is manifest if different areas of peoples’ lives. There’s so much wonderful to digest and process, and I thank you for sharing your ideas. I’ve a file building now, with comments properly credited to you, and imagine this a longer-term project. That includes posting your ideas in the future, as that digestion takes place…

Last week brought a wonderful meeting with John Dixon, a colleague in ECU’s School of Theatre and Dance. John has a project in mind.

–John and Teal Darkenwald worked with The Machine Is Neither on a collaboration-commission I put together as part of NewMusic Initia...

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Sunday, October 4, 2020

Quite a week, this one just past. The world saw the U.S. deeply embarrass itself in so very many ways. Now, with profound irony, those who fought against the most logical of steps to prevent corona virus’ spread are, not at all surprisingly, falling ill. And the messages coming out of the Houses and Senate are truly shameless, on all sides.

Seriously, think about the logic here, and then make noise to your Reps/Senators. Posting on FB spreads the word, but change comes when pressure is felt by lawmakers:

Let’s see what people pressure is all about.
Salary of retired US Presidents .. . . . .. . . .. $180,000 FOR LIFE.
Salary of House/Senate members .. . . . .. .. $174,000 FOR LIFE. Nonsense
Salary of Speaker of the House .. . . . .. . . . . $223,500 FOR LIFE. NONSENSE

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Saturday, September 26, 2020


Something about this word, this concept, this range of meanings has been on my mind over the past week. The variety of definitions is a bit daunting, and that’s actually appealing to me, in a way.

After so very many years teaching the first year of music theory (species counterpoint, diatonic harmony, small forms, then the beginnings of chromatic harmony, larger forms), and a few years of more advanced theory, as well as years of ear-training at all levels–and especially years of composition at all levels–I talk alot about energy. I talk alot about tension, resolution, suspension, maintaining levels of energy, accumulating energy, building to arrival points, allowing energy to dissipate.

There’s nothing particularly new or remarkable about this, of course...

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Thursday, September 24, 2020

A younger colleague/scholar/friend sent me this link, with a note that they found hope in it. At this moment, the prospect of finding hope anywhere is attractive, of course. I did find it both hopeful and reassuring; perhaps we can channel our creative imaginations towards betterment.


Joe’s home improvement project yesterday was a fire pit for the yard. They’d enjoyed the “sitting around the fire” part of camping a few weeks ago, and wanted to bring that to their home. Clearly, fire or not, the job was well done and being enjoyed!

While being productive at home, Joe also got another encouraging email from an attorney/firm that wants to hire him–just waiting for the hiring freeze to end...

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Wed., September 23, 2020

A smile to get the day started right.

Thank goodness for children and pets, whose unfiltered desire for love and attention allows a few moments of distraction. If we just give in to their needs, we can live in the moment, however briefly…and then we’re pulled back with the realization of why it’s so very important to fight for what’s right, to struggle for their future.

We took a bicycle ride yesterday, and tried to introduce Frankie to something new. She did fine for five minutes, and we’ll try again soon…it’s a process.


Months ago, at the start of COVID-19, the daily barrage of bad news, the bungling in Washington and elsewhere, the deaths, the unemployment, the loss of any normalcy, all took a very real toll on my mood, at the least, if not my me...

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