Goings On

I logged into this blog in the last week and found out I had written posts 82 days in a row before completely falling off the face of the earth. Not too shabby. A lot has happened since the last post.

In August we took a whirlwind trip to St. George to attend the last Utah Symphony Concert in which my brother-in-law would be performing for a while. He’s been a substitute percussionist for them for years now, but he went to the University of Michigan this fall to pursue super-advanced degrees in music things.

In August we also took a quick trip to Park City to explore and celebrate my husband’s birthday. It was also nice to let our daughter swim in the hotel pool as much as she wanted.

We spent the month of July building bookshelves, another birthday present for Reilly. It’s nice to have a place to put a lot of our books.

The beginning of school happened for Reilly and Z in the middle of August. Z brought home a cold at the end of August, and we all felt so crappy that Z and I got covid tests. Z never got her results back, but I tested negative. Being sick is so scary in these weird times.

Speaking of, a friend of my brother passed away from covid this week. Truly horrible.

More horribleness: In the last month a church leader gave a speech to some university faculty about taking up muskets against the evils of homosexuality. All of my LGBTQ+ friends were gutted, once again, by the hate the church spews. I don’t know how much longer I can try to reconcile this religion and their dangerous rhetoric with my staying in the church.

Last week I saw Hilary Hahn twice. The first time she performed at a nature center, just before a group of musicians from underserved communities. It was cool seeing her in a really intimate setting by the river with fewer than 100 people. She performed solo Bach. The second time was on a date with my husband at the Noorda Center for the Performing Arts at Utah Valley University. That night she performed the Brahms Violin Concerto. Every note was glorious. It was great seeing her play live again, with the last time being November 2012.

Oh, I cooked pork chops tonight. Started them on the stove in a cast iron pan, then threw them into the oven. They were amazing. But whenever I do a fluky awesome job cooking, I always wonder if it’ll be just as good the next time. I suppose that’s the fun of it.

Autumn has made its presence known. The morning chill, the leaves turning in the mountains. Autumn’s nice, but winter: can stay the hell away.

I may write more later on these individual subjects later. I might not.

Piece of Cake

Last night we finished my birthday cake. I got it on May 22 and it only took just less than 2 months for us to eat all of it.

It was an ice cream cake. And kept really well in the freezer this whole time. It tasted good up through last night.

It was a quarter sheet, meant to serve about 24. Even after having a party then giving some away, we still had a lot of cake. We worked through it slowly, a little bit at a time.

It’s now all gone, and I’m a little bit sad about it.

Like I Said

We’re working on some things around the house, which is pretty exciting in the summer doldrums. Or dog days of summer. July might be the February of this time of year, as far as long stretches of meh go.

It’s nice to have a goal to work on, and it’s especially cool when an actual product arises, materializes, from that goal. There was a plan, which took the longest to nail down. And now we’re following the plan. Seems to be coming together nicely.

A thing I love about home painting: peeling dried paint from the roller tray. Like, when the paint all comes out in one layer. SO. SATISFYING.

God Save the Hymn

During our worship services, in between speakers, we sometimes have an intermediate hymn–or rest hymn as they’re sometimes called, so that we don’t feel too restless, because listening to people talk for 40 minutes is a long time. So yeah, we sing a hymn in the middle to break it up a bit.

Today the rest hymn was “My Country, ’tis of Thee.” I get that last week was the Fourth of July, and it’s totally fine to keep celebrating our country.

But for some weird reason the congregation stood up to sing this hymn. Which isn’t “The Star-Spangled Banner.” It’s the exact tune of England’s anthem, “God Save the Queen.”

I don’t know, maybe we have English nationals in the congregation? Which might explain the seeming random standing. But wouldn’t we be singing the words to “God Save the Queen” and not “My Country, ’tis of Thee”?

I was confused.

Anyway, there are four verses to this American rip-off hymn. At the end of the third verse Reilly whispered that he was stepping out to use the bathroom. So I sat down with Z while everyone else stood up and sang.

Interesting.

Sibling Voices

Last night before the movie I was introducing my brother to some friends. Sisters, actually.

They were chatting with him when I asked, can you tell we’re related?

And one of the sisters chuckled, “Yes, and you even sound alike!”

Such a phenomenon.

If you listen to Reilly and his siblings talk, you’ll notice the same thing.

I can think of other families where this happens.

It’s fun.

I’m glad we look different enough to not be confused with each other in other ways.

We like being our own person, too.

Trees and Bees

This evening I went outside to take a picture of our apple tree, which currently has 77 billion little apples on it, and just before took the photo, a friend texted me, saying that the National Spelling Bee was on.

YES.

I did take a picture, then I ran inside and talked into my remote control to turn the tv to the spelling bee. The first result was on ESPN3, a Zoom type situation with 16 boxes with a different kid in each of them. I couldn’t tell if they were watching the bee or this was an earlier stage of the bee or whatever. I finally asked my friend which channel it was on, and she said ESPN2.

When I got to that channel, they had declared a winner, but I got to see the confetti explosion and the immediate post-bee interview.

It was amazing. The young lady was incredible. Made history. From the five minutes I saw her it was easy to see how cool she was. A bright personality. I’ll have to catch a rebroadcast of the bee soon.

I’m glad they had it, even if it was six weeks later than usual. And that they were safe during the event. And it was good they didn’t have it last year.

What a fun night.

Radium Girls

You hate a story about a corporate coverup. And you hate it the entire time because you get to know the humans who suffered, and you don’t know if they’ll be around to see justice served. You don’t know how people running these corporations are ok with concealing evidence and deceiving employees and the public about how dangerous working conditions were.

Many, many women suffered.

But they persevered. And they were loved and had tireless lawyers who did not stop until justice prevailed. Until regulations changed.

Their families and friends supported them. Loved them. Spoke fondly of them. And wistfully.

Heartbreaking.

And then other corporations can’t learn from the past and try the same shit.

Infuriating.

You hate it.

(But you love it because the story is so important, and its effects extend to our day. And your heart opens to the families of these sufferers.)

I guess there’s a Netflix movie about it. The review this photo came from said the movie could have been better.

Media Consumption And Stuff Update

TV: Mad Men Season 6; Superstore Season 6

Music: Birds of Chicago

Books: Radium Girls

Podcasts: Cold, Season 2

Clarinet: About an hour of practice that included reed adjusting.

Exercise: Digging around and chopping at some stumps in the yard with an axe for about 30 minutes

I wonder if I can keep this up. I mean, I even squeezed in a nap.