Category Archives: Music

Bad Funeral Music

My father-in-law was buried in a large Presbyterian Church in Littleton, CO.  We met at the church at 10:00 am for the service to place his ashes in the Columbarium in the church yard, and then trooped inside for the memorial service. My father-in-law and mother-in-law had chosen the music for the funeral a couple of years ago. Neither of them knew a whole lot about church music or the pragmatics of congregational singing.  There were issues.

The first hymn we all had to sing was “The Lord’s Prayer”. It is very difficult for a congregation to sing, being better handled by a soloist. (Our daughter-in-law has a beautiful voice and sang it at my parents’ funerals. )  It really doesn’t have a set tempo, and the tempo changes as the song progresses. Then we had to sing “How Great Thou Art”. That went a little better, but the whole thing was made worse by the piano player.

The piano player was an elderly man who played the grand piano in the sanctuary like Liberace. I was surprised there was no tip jar.  He is the main keyboard player for the church, and he is a soloist, not an accompanist,  who seemed to not care a bit if he helped the congregation get through the hymns. He was loud and bombastic. and played with lots of arpeggios and ornamentation.  It was all about him and how flashy he could play. I would find attending regular services there really annoying.

I suppose I have been spoiled by the wonderful  music I have been exposed to in the Lutheran churches I have attended in my life.  This experience made me decide to to write down  what music I want at my funeral.

What music do you want to celebrate your life when you are gone?

 

 

My Little Rock Star

My company does a fun summer program that includes concerts out on the big lawn between two of our buildings. On Thursday it was Chris Kroeze.  As I was tapping my toe I noticed a toddler towards the front of the crowd, not more than four.  His folks and younger sibling were sitting on the grass behind him but there was no sitting for him.  He had a small electric guitar (probably not real) and he was wailing on it.  Non-stop.  And he had moves; he looked like he would have been right at home up on the stage.  I stayed out on the lawn for about 30 minutes and this kid was playing his heart out the entire time.   I thought about going over and introducing myself and asking his name, because I’m sure in 15-20 years, he’s going to be famous and I would be able to say I knew him when.

Have you ever met a famous person? Was it what you expected?

Strange Performance Opportunities

In November, Husband and I and four other members of our handbell choir are going to New York City to play in a massed handbell choir of 300 ringers at Carnegie Hall.  We have been invited to play a separate concert in Central Park, and last week, the silliest ringing opportunity thus far came from the Carnegie staff, who have arranged for us to play at Radio City Music Hall with the Rockettes.  We can sign up to perform in  one of three shows on November 29 and 30.

I just don’t know if I am up for the Rockettes. We don’t have to dress like the Rockettes, which is a blessing.  Husband  would look pretty silly in tights and high heels!  This trip is getting stranger and stranger!

If you could perform anywhere doing anything, where would it be and with whom?  

What Will The Neighbors Think?

We live in a very quiet neighborhood. When our windows are open, sounds and smells often waft out to the curb.

Our son liked to guess what we were cooking when he pulled into the driveway, just by sniffing.  We cook food that would be considered  pretty exotic by most people in town. We often hope that homesick Pakastanis and East Indians will follow their noses to our house so we can give them a good meal that  tastes like the old country.  Tonight we are cooking Stifado, a garlicky Greek beef stew, and Turlu, a Turkish version of ratatouille. (We had leftover Eye of Round, and we were hungry for spicy vegetables). I can smell both in the driveway.

When husband isn’t home, I like to crank up the classical music. He loves classical music, but at a reasonable decibel level. On Thursday night I had a strange compulsion to hear the 1812 Overture. Really loud. Especially the cannons. Maybe it was because it was Midsummer’s Eve.  When it came to the first cannon shots at 12:43 into the recording, I stopped it and replayed it multiple times. Then there are the cannons at the end, about two minutes later.  I played and replayed that part. Both cats were hiding under the dining room table. I then saw two people walking their dog past our house. Oh, my, what must they have thought about us?!

What could people surmise about you by walking past your home? What smells and sounds waft into your neighborhood from your home?

Harold Hill’s Plaid Suit

Husband usually puts away all the clean laundry, but this weekend there was so much I helped him.  I am always chagrined when I compare the quality of his clothes with the quality of mine. It isn’t that he purchases nicer clothes than I do. Men’s clothes are just better manufactured than women’s clothes. I used to sew almost all my own clothes, and by the time I was in high school I was a pretty accomplished seamstress. I know what goes into making clothes well.

When I was in Grade 11, our school put on The Music Man. We had a very strong Grade 11 baritone for Harold Hill ( he is now a high school band director in Rochester). We had an even stronger Grade 12 soprano for Marion (she just retired as a high school vocal teacher and composer in the Cities.) I didn’t audition for a part, as I would be needed in the pit orchestra, and I knew, as a second alto, that there were very few exciting parts for me. In addition, though, I was the student director, which meant that I had to find costumes and props and generally keep things organized.

We decided that the male leads, Harold and his buddy, Marcellus, needed to wear gaudy, plaid suits. I volunteered to sew them.  You can see the finished suits in the photo below. Harold is in the yellow and green plaid suit with the yellow vest. Marcellus is in the  cream and brown suit with the brown vest. The photo quality is typical 1975, but you can get the general idea.

They were three piece suits that I formally tailored with the special stitching on the linings of the lapels so that they lay flat, full linings in coats and vests, pockets, perfect fly zippers, and belt loops.  There had to be pockets in the vests for pocket watches. It isn’t easy to match plaids, but I did. The boys were sort of embarrassed when I had to measure them (especially the inside leg), but by golly this was serious and I wanted those suits to fit. The boy who played Harold was somewhat hard to fit in the pants as he had a childhood orthopedic issue making the length of his legs out of proportion to his waist, and I had to adjust the pattern for the pants before I cut them out, and elongate the coat.

I admire tailors and people who  sew and create. I wouldn’t want to make all my own clothes again. I just wish women’s clothes were better made.

Why do women put up with shoddily manufactured clothing? What is the most elaborate thing you have created?

 

Lucky Duck

We ate out a lot in Los Angeles early last month, and our wait staff were all very friendly and inquired about the reason for our visit. Every time we explained were in in the city for Daughter’s graduation from USC,  she got something free. She received several lovely gratis desserts and one free breakfast.

She traveled to Iceland last Saturday, and was informed earlier in the week  that she had won some sort of Icelandic Air lottery for a free upgrade to First Class seating. She bought her original round trip ticket for $500. She said the First Class lounge at Seatac was “quite the place” with an open bar and a buffet.  (She was too sophisticated  to take a photo of it for her curious mother! ) Once boarded,  she drank free champagne and slept in great comfort on the flight to Reykjavik.

She is in Iceland with her best friend.  Today they sent me a video of them belting “All We Like Sheep” from Handel’s Messiah, as they sped down an Icelandic road lined with flocks of sheep. They have been best friends for 19 years, They are staying in a country inn-a four star hotel called the Hotel Grimsborgir. When they checked in on Monday,  they were given a free upgrade to a fancy suite because it was Best Friend’s 25th birthday.   How lucky, both in upgrades and friendship!

When have you been lucky? Where would you like to travel with your best friend?

Decade on the Trail – Pictorial

Today’s post is Part Two from Barbara in Rivertown

Today we have a pictorial history to go with Tuesday’s written one. Thanks to all baboons who sent me photos – I’ve used only those that have two or more baboons in them.

I think this is the earliest one in my collection – taken with Dale Connelly at the MPR booth at the State Fair (in 2009? 2010?) Not all in it became baboons, but I do see Sherrilee, Beth-Anne, and Linda in the middle row, and Jim and thigh (that guy in the hat) in the back.
The above is a smaller group in the Seed Art room, maybe 2011
Below was taken at our first meeting, at a picnic table in Wabun Park, by Minnehaha Falls in S. Mpls. BiR, Jacque, and Anna in the background. Also present were Sherrilee, Linda, and Steve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t know whose idea it was to start going to museums – the first one I attended was, I think, the Russian Art Museum in S. Mpls – Anna, tim, Joanne, BiR, VS
Then there was the Swedish Museum circa 2012… extra points if you can remember what the exhibit was. VS, tim, Linda, Lisa, BiR, PJ
There have been gardening adventures – at PJ’s yard.  The group shows Bill, Robin, Lisa, Krista, PJ in back; ljb (Edith), BiR, Linda, VS

 

…. and in PJ’s kitchen, where Lisa modeled her prom dress
At Steve’s – well, at Steve’s we took down a tree limb in the back yard of his darling bungalow.
Chain Saw Gan – madislandgirl and S&H(son & heir), Lisa, tim, YA (VS’ young adult), Bill, Robin, BiR, Linda, Michael, and Ben!

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had Steve’s surprise birthday party, also at Wabun Park – tim managed to get him there after some ball game, I think. VS, Steve, tim
There have been several trips to Rock Bend Folk Festival. Here’s City Mouse, with the Morning Show’s producer Mike Pengra on the drums.
It’s a dirty job but somebody’s gotta do it… And admission is still FREE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Linda, BiR, Krista, and I think Holly, at Rock Bend – not sure which year…?

There have been a number of events that didn’t get photographed: PJ organized a Guthrie outing for, was it? H.M.S. Pinafore? There have been game nights at tim’s, a painting party at Steve’s before he moved, Pi Day at Sherrilee’s.

But we do have one of a Solstice Parties at Sherrilee’s – Steve, Linda, tim
A few made a weekend trip to Steve’s cabin, up by Cornucopia, WI: Linda, Steve, tim, Krista, Jacque

 

 

 

 

 

 

and a few went south to Donna’s cabin at Spirit Lake, IA – but no photo!

North Dakota Renee made it to a BBC at tim’s when she was in town, of which we have no photo. But Steve provided one of her and husband Chris, taken when they were visiting near Steve’s place in Portland.

There have also been sad times… not only the ending of The Late Great Morning Show, but also the memorial after

Jim Ed Poole’s (aka Tom Keith) death in 2011. This proves that you can get baboons to smile for anything: TGith?, PJ, tim, Joanne, Anna, mig’s S&H in back; Linda, VS, madislandgirl.
A quick meet-up of Barbara and Joanne of Big Lake after the 100-Mile Garage Sale.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I didn’t have my camera back in April when I met another baboon Linda at baboon Chris’ book signing at the lovely Fair Trade Books in Red Wing. But here’s a photo taken at another of Chris’ signings:
And here is from Chris’ FIRST book signing!

And we even had a congratulations gathering when Beth Ann won the Kemps State Fair Ice Cream contest

No baboons in this shot, but here are the fixins!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s been your favorite Baboon gathering or outing? What/who got left out here? (I’m sure I’ve left out some baboons…)

What field trip shall we do next??