Bela Bartok

Bela Bartok (1881-1945)

So, I have been getting more and more into contemporary classical music lately. First there was this thing with Maurice Ravel, that actually started several years ago. And then I became obsessed with Prokofiev for a while (topic for another post), and most recently Martinu. And lately I have been becoming better acquainted with Béla Bartók, a composer whom I had always thought kinda dry and academic. Where I got that idea I can’t imagine. Because listening to Bartók is as close as I’ve ever come to experiencing true synaesthesia. His music is that evocative. The first time I heard these Romanian Dances I actually experienced a smell and a color to go with it: smoky dusty old leather, and a deep rich red. They are so incredibly, eerily haunting. Bartok originally wrote this piece for piano, by the way, but it is absolutely stunning on the violin. This isn’t something that you can have on quietly in the background: this sucks you in and holds you captive for the duration.

Enjoy!

My little guy

My 7yo had a fantastic violin lesson this morning. He played his little pieces beautifully and got tons of praise from his teacher. And even better, he was as attentive and polite as I’ve ever seen him. He never once interrupted or plucked his strings while the teacher was talking.

This is not typical for him. We had him evaluated for ADHD last year. The test results were inconclusive, mainly, I think, because his classroom teacher blew off the forms. We didn’t pursue it after that, but now we are thinking about it again. Although he is doing well academically, he doesn’t get along well with other kids and he causes his siblings untold grief because of his impulsivity and general obnoxiousness. I think life is only going to get harder for him. We’ve been doing behavior mod for… years… and nothing changes. The idea of meds kinda scares me, but I also think it can’t hurt to try. So we are filling out the forms all over again, and we’ll see what happens.

Hello, world!

Heh, post number four with this title.

Soooo, here I am again. This time, sporting a new theme called Mystique. So far, I like it. My one complaint is that the main navigation under the header is a little off with the padding — it doesn’t look vertically centered, at least in Chrome. But it gives you the full content instead of just excerpts for the archives and that makes me very happy. And it gives you text in Myriad Pro (if you have it installed on your computer), and that makes me even happier.

Anyway, it’s been about six weeks since my last “daily” post. Since that time I have been busy indeed. And the thing is? Since I mostly telecommute? And I write emails all day long? I am writing every day. Writing lots. Just not here.

There is so much going on at work, on so many different levels. I am learning a ton about how to run a nonprofit — because that’s basically what I am doing even though my job title doesn’t (yet) reflect it — everything from budgeting to managing volunteers to event planning to fundraising…

Fundraising! I had no IDEA how amazing fundraising could be. My previous experience with fundraising consisted of paying the fifty bucks to opt out of having to sell pizza kits and cookie dough for the co-op preschool. Ugh. But when you are passionate about your mission, and your donor shares your passion, why, it often turns out that they are even happier to give than you are to receive. So I am obsessing now about “donor stewardship” — a phrase I’d never heard until just a few weeks ago. Very cool.

Other than that… well… there hasn’t been much other than that. I haven’t read any good books lately, except re-reads. Not that there’s anything wrong with re-reads — au contraire! — but honestly what is there to say about The Chronicles of Amber except that I like it enough to be reading it for the third or fourth time. Well, I guess I could say that what I like about Amber is that although it is fantasy it’s not high fantasy, and not a heroic quest. It has swords & sorcery but it’s also gritty and a teeny bit psychedelic and the writing style is a tad unusual. Best of all the fantasy world has (sort of) a rationale for its own existence. Authors who attempt to give an explanation for the existence of magic, however goofy, always get lots of bonus points in my book.

Ok, that’s it for today. I hope to be back tomorrow. We’ll see.