Category Archives: 100 Words

Potentiality

My brain knows that English is a flexible language and I know that all the words we use today were at some point made up. But when I saw the above banner, I don’t know what upset me more – that there is a banner with a made-up word hanging on the side of a school or that it was going from down to up!

Anything outraging you today?

Smokey and the Patent

Today marks the anniversary of two important happenings in history: The patent of the phonograph by Edison in 1878, and the birthday in 1940 of Smokey Robinson.

I was a little young to really appreciate Motown  in the early to mid 1960’s, but I liked the sound once I was in high school in the mid 1970’s. We had a big stereo with a turntable in the living room. It was mostly used as a piece of furniture.  On Halloween in 1973 my dad bought my first stereo in components that I kept in my room-two big speakers, a receiver/amplifier and a turntable.  I listened to Elton John.  I thought I was in heaven.

What Motown vinyl did you like to spin?  What kind of sound equipment did you have?

Traveling with Bells

We are finalizing the details of a trip we are taking next November to play in a massed hand bell choir at Carnegie Hall. We will also play in Central Park for a short concert the day before the main concert on December 1.

We have our bell assignments, and are figuring out if we will rent bells there or travel with the bells we have here. The organizers assure us that bells do pretty well in suitcases as long as they are thickly padded, and that TSA is prepared to find bells in our luggage.  I sure hope so. I have traveled with some odd things, but I think bells will be some of the oddest.

What are some of the more unusual things you have packed in a suitcase while traveling?  What are your experiences with lost or destroyed luggage?

Rhapsody in Blue

Today is the anniversary of the 1924 premiere in New York City of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue by Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra. As a clarinet player, I always loved the opening clarinet slide, and was always so frustrated when I couldn’t replicate it.  I recently learned that Gershwin initially wrote the piece for two pianos, and it was orchestrated for Whiteman by Ferde Grofe, yes, he of the Grand Canon Suite.  Grofe was considered quite a jazz composer and arranger, which I also find surprising.

I love Gershwin’s music, especially his popular songs.  I wonder what would have happened if he hadn’t died so tragically young.

What is your favorite Gershwin music? What contemporaries of Gershwin do you like?

The Bad Dream

I had a nightmare last night. Don’t need to go into it but it combined two things I’m not crazy about and I even know what I’ve seen/thought recently that most likely triggered it.  However at 3:25 in the morning, you just want to go back to sleep.  I turned on the TV and pulled up Laura with Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews and Clifton Webb.  I know the first 10 minutes by heart because that’s about how long it takes me to fall back to sleep with it playing.  I didn’t make it 10 minutes in this time.

How to you deal with bad dreams?

Riled Up by Language

Yesterday I got all worked up (again) when “pescatarian” defined as a vegetarian who eat fish. If you eat fish you are not any kind of vegetarian.

So I was happy to read this footnote in Death From the Skies by astronomer Phil Plait:

“One of the best ways to tick off an astronomer – and it can be fun sometimes just to see how he reacts – is to mix up the terms meteor, meteoroid, and meteorite.  The very best way to tick off an astronomer is to call him an astrologer.”

Guess I’m not the only one who gets riled up by language.

What are you NOT?

Holiday Highlights

Well, the holidays are just about over, and we are still in the thick of celebration. Our holidays started over Thanksgiving when we spent the week with our son and daughter in law.  Daughter arrived on the 26th. My best friend is due today, and we will have  feast on New Year’s Eve with her and daughter’s best friend. Then everyone heads back to Minneapolis, and we are left with the remains of the feast. I think I will be ready to face the new year.

What have been the highlights of your holidays? What have been some of the most memorable of your holidays?