Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Holidays on the Farm

My brothers and I spent our formative years growing up in New England, where we were separated from our extended families in Utah and North Carolina by more than just geography. Visits to my mother’s childhood home “down on the farm” brought on a case of culture shock. Long car rides to points below the Mason-Dixon line exposed us to a whole different society, giving us a glimpse of one that was a bit more polite; one where our family roots went back generations upon generations to the founding of the local communities. Sunday services at the local church needed to come with a history lesson and genealogy chart—because somehow you were kissing cousins with just about everyone in the congregation. Beyond the trips to the Pancake House, Piggly Wiggly, and hush puppies at Wilber’s (where you could get the BEST North Carolina vinegar-based barbeque), there were other culinary delights like Moonpies and Grandma’s scratch biscuits. You learned not to adopt the local accent for fear of offending your grandmother and being kicked out on your butt for being a “damn Yankee.” And more importantly, you learned to absolutely, positively NOT mock the signs on restaurant and bank doors that invited you to check your gun. Trust me.

Mom grew up on a working farm and literally was raised in a barn while the family house was being built. The house was set way back off the road and was surrounded on three sides by fields and by woodlands on the other. There were always various crops in rotation on the land. Grandpa raised tobacco while he was alive, and the farm had an allotment right up until a few years ago. Grandpa died when I was very young, but to this day the smell of pipe tobacco conjures up the feel of his worn denim overalls and a glimpse of his tired face in my mind. Mom remembers picking cotton in the fields, so she really knows what a “cotton pickin’ pain” that was. Even now, she still manages to glean some sweet potatoes from her fields after the farmer who rents them out has done his harvest. She claims they are the best sweet potatoes she’s ever eaten; I don’t doubt it.

The house lot itself had plenty of room for little “town” kids like us to play. There were packhouses and smokehouses and triple-decker barns to play in, though we weren’t supposed to play in the barn bays that housed the farm equipment. Back in one of the sheds, there were old gnarly corncobs in bins, years-old leftovers of the corn that was grown to feed the farm hogs, back when my mother still lived there. While I was little, there was a coop and penned-in area that was the home to real-live chickens. (To this day, I still can’t quite manage to wrap my head around the image of what farm-fresh eggs really look like.) There was a genuine, usable outhouse on the farm that both bemused and befuddled us. The outhouse and “behind the barn” were never options I wanted to utilize when the indoor facility was otherwise occupied. My brothers and I played “treasure hunt” under the huge oak trees that were near the house and carport, and ran around their roots collecting the acorns and pecans that fell out of the huge, old trees. Where we didn’t want to help at home, on the farm it was an adventure to help Grandma hang laundry on the line out near the weathered cypress tree. Some of our best memories from those visits were of being taken up on the big green John Deere tractors for drives down the lane or through the fields. Sometimes we even got to drive the tractors ourselves, though it was more that we got to hold the steering wheel and pretended to drive while the grandparent holding us did all the work.

Life was slower at the farm because there were fewer distractions. Grandma had a television, but it was an old black and white with only aerial reception. The two or three channels she did get were fuzzy, so it wasn’t on much. She didn’t really listen to the radio, but usually had music tapes that she listened to while she quilted or read. While people did call her on the phone, folks usually came by the farm to “sit a spell” with Miss Ollie and visit a bit. We’d all sit in the front room, rocking in the old chairs, listening to the elders chat or cackle with laughter, especially when all the female relatives got together. The large black wood stove would pump out heat, and the snaps and crackles of the logs would make everything very cozy. In true farm fashion, Grandma would stack and split the wood for the stove herself. Until about a decade before she passed, that woman could still outwork three generations of her extended family and had no problem making you feel guilty when she felt you were slacking off.

As my brothers and I got older and the weather got colder, there wasn’t much to do outside. We were too mature to play “treasure hunt” and the chickens had either been sold off or eaten. A walk around the block wasn’t always feasible, as it would literally mean a walk around acres and acres of fields. A walk through the woods might scare up a bobcat or two, so that was out, as none of us were really rifle-qualified at the time. With no television and only so many places to visit, my poor Grandmother was often at a loss what to do with us. I am sure this very independent woman valued her quiet routine and as much as she loved us, she needed something for us to do to keep us out of her way. Grandma was very, very thrifty, having grown up in a large farm family, having lived through the Depression, and being on a fixed income. She kept everything, and I mean everything!

Which bring us to a particular holiday memory at the farm, when my family learned the real price of pecans. Those games she had us play as children, where we collected the nuts from the yard? It was part of Grandma’s battle strategy, you see. Even though the War Between the States was long over, she was waging a Civil War of her own with the local squirrels. She fought those “nasty little buggers” for every pecan that fell out of her tree. She then saved them for special occasions—like when her daughter, son-in-law, and teen aged grandchildren came to visit her and she needed to keep them busy!

One holiday visit, after all the bird and biscuits, we were all sitting around digesting. Mom was probably cleaning up the kitchen, and my father must have especially been missing football. I don’t remember what I was doing, but I remember that Grandma suddenly disappeared into the back of the house. Finally, she reemerged with bushels upon bushels of pecans that she had been waiting to shell and shuck. Like the matriarch of the family that she was, she got us all organized in short order, and made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that it was pecan-shelling time. I can still see my father and youngest brother at the kitchen table using hammers and files and other medieval forms of technology to crack open the shells of those nuts. Mom, Grandma, and I sat way over in the living room using forks, knives, and picks to extract the meat from the shells.

The pecan-plucking party went on for days, even involving unsuspecting cousins when they came a-calling. Dust and debris coated our hands, and shards under our fingernails left us bleeding all over the fruits of our labors. (Once you’ve had a pecan shell shoved into the quick of your nails, you don’t complain about small slivers ever again.) Many a choice word was muttered under my easy-going father’s breath when his hammer came down at the wrong angle. Cries of “incoming” preceded a pecan projectile about to be embedded in the pine panel walls. After about the second or third day of shucking pecans and dodging missiles, we all started cracking up when nuts went flying across the house. Even years later, on subsequent visits South, bits of pecan shells were found under furniture and in random corners – bringing smiles to our faces.

Grandma has been gone for a while now, and the lot with the farmhouse and all the barns and trees has been sold. Mom guards the remaining stash of the farm-harvested pecans with a ferocity that is understood by all the family members that were there that fateful vacation. We don’t argue with her, because we know why those pecans are so treasured.

The moral(s) of this story?

1) At the core of every nut is something worth working and waiting for. You might end up with a tale for the annual of family lore and a delicious pie.
2) Auntie Nettie is nuts for a reason. It’s all because of her family.

May you and your family have a very Happy Thanksgiving.

I’m off for a few days to visit some of the nuts on my family tree and will return with more tales for Auntie Nettie’s Attic.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Obama+Les Miz = Les Misbarack

I think I've talked about how I was a chorus and theater geek in high school. I came of age during the apex of the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Claude-Michel Schönberg/Alain Boublil era, with large casts, sweeping sagas, crashing chandeliers, hovering helicopters, and tear-jerking arias galore.

My theater buddies and I ate up this stuff. We collected Playbills, read the theater rags, and ran out to buy the sheet music as soon as it was available in the stores. [Remember, this was pre itunes, ipods, internet, youtube, Twilight, etc, so this was Great Stuff for the teen set back in the (ahem) 1980s and early 1990s. It was a different time, my friends. Different times!] We sang (or in my case, played) those songs and medleys ad nauseum. One of the highlights of the year was the theater bus trip to the Great White Way. One memorable excursion had us taking in a double-header: Phantom of the Opera as the matinee and Les Miserables as the evening show. (Or was vice versus? Doesn't matter! It was a long Broadway day!) Of the two shows, Les Mis was the more memorable and continues to get me right in my little emo-heart to this day.

So, imagine my amusement when someone forwarded the following clip on to me. A drama about a revolutionary political campaign plus a little office romance, just like the original: Obama+Les Miz = Les Misbarack


Again, I am NOT endorsing any candidate, political party, or platform. I am simply finding joy and the delight in the talents and creativity of other people who have time to come up with these things, all the while enjoying a blast from my past and one of my favorite numbers from one of my favorite musicals. Thank you. (**stepping down off soap-box, NOW!**)

Playing around

Mystery Piano in Woods Perplexes Police

So that's where I left it ...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Ironic Commentary

What is the proper attire for having a "break-up" lunch? I'm pretty sure it wasn't this outfit.


Okay. It was Halloween mind you, and the t-shirt was under my cardigan and scarf. I took off the half-glasses and let my hair down out of the bun, but I knew that t-shirt was there under the surface.

For long-time readers, Yes. This means I broke up with the gym. It's been a good run at this particular little library, but it is time to announce that I'll be stepping down at the end of the semester so I can do other things. Like "hook," blog, sleep-in on Saturdays, and travel. You know? Have a life or something that resembles it. Why should the Shushing Librarian have all the fun?

I'll still technically be a librarian (that's why I paid so much in grad. school loans), just not a "practicing" one for a bit. I'll still use this blog to "shhhh" you lot when you get unruly and school you in proper shelving techniques.

Now, stop reading this and go out and use your library card!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fish Tale

I’ve talked about my fake names on this blog before, but I realized I hadn’t talked about the other reason I was known as “Juanita.”

Before I escaped to work at the Big J, I spent 12 years toiling for my last employer. Don't get me wrong. It was a lovely place to work. The staff was a small and very motley crew. We spent a lot of time in the trenches (some times 18-20 hour days and many weeks in a row), and we bonded like family. Some times we would burst into hysterical laughter for no reason, or end up singing very silly songs. To relieve stress, a previous executive director liked to sing Pasty Cline songs, and another distinguished member of senior management liked/likes to sing the old cowboy Western “Blood on the Saddle." One day Paolo* came into work and began to serenade me with this little ditty, to a “tune” of dubious origins. Thus my nickname was secured for years to come.

Juanita the Spanish Lobster
(Caradoc’s aria)

Oh Juanita, Juanita beloved,
Turn not your anger on me, I implore,
You are the ocean’s rarest crustacean.
You are the shell fish that I adore.
You are the shell fish that I adore.

Oh Juanita, Juanita beloved,
Why are you sullen, why so enraged?**
I love you, I want you, I need you forever,
Say you’ll be mine, and we’ll get engaged.***
Say you’ll be mine, and we’ll get engaged.

The crabs, they have not claws like thine,
And jellyfish, no shell no spine;
You dance far better than the conger,****
You’d be the pride to any rich fishmonger.

Oh Juanita, Juanita beloved,
Be peaceful, be gentle, be savage no more,
You are the ocean’s rarest crustacean.
You are the shell fish that I adore.
You are the shell fish that I adore.


Now, oddly, I think lobster is highly overrated. Give me a good platter of shrimp and scallops and I'm your girl. Hopefully I can get some good seafood next week on a visit to the Cape during Thanksgiving break. If seafood was good enough for the natives and the Pilgrims, it's good enough for me.

*Name changed to protect the innocent
** Have you met me?
*** No thank you.
**** I have two left feet, so that’s not saying much.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Don't Mock the Pro/Con List!*

Thanks to a combination of suppressed immunity, exhaustion, commuting, and an office-mate who's been sick for the last three weeks, I finally succumbed to some germ warfare and was/am ill. I stayed home from work the last two days and had too much time to contemplate the state of being home sick.

In honor of Rory*, here's my Pro/Con list, or what I can remember from my semi-delusional drug-enhanced state.

Pro:

  • Sleeping in;
  • HGTV;
  • Morning naps;
  • Repeats of Gilmore Girls on ABC Family;
  • Staying in jammies or sweats all day;
  • Food Network;
  • Long hot showers;
  • The Create Channel;
  • Afternoon naps;
  • No deadlines;
  • No one in laundry room;
  • Watching free stuff via cable provider;
  • Evening naps;
  • Being home to talk on phone when old friend calls instead of at 1 of 4 jobs;
  • Drug highs.

Con:

  • Being sick;
  • Daytime t.v. on major broadcast channels (How many “Judge” shows do we need anyway? Oh, and 4 hours of the Today show? Why?!);
  • Stuffy head;
  • Endlessly repeating commercial blocks on every channel;
  • Being sick;
  • Neighbor who plays #%(@*) electric bass and acoustic guitar at all hours of the day and night … Hello? 1 a.m. is NOT the time to be playing your guitar, nor is 8 a.m.! For that matter, just STOP PLAYING ALTOGETHER!;
  • Sinus headaches;
  • Neighbor who can’t shut his door without shaking entire apartment building;
  • Wracking coughs;
  • Neighbor who can’t walk across apartment without shaking entire apartment building – and who lets his dog run back and forth across the apartment and chase things;
  • Brain oozing out of ear after three days of sleeping, drugs, and television;
  • Diet Coke withdrawal headaches;
  • Claustrophobia after staying in studio apartment for 72 hours straight.

*Rory, Gilmore Girls, Season 6, Episode 17 "I'm OK, You're OK"

Friday, November 14, 2008

Holiday Boutique

Today was the first holiday boutique of the season. One of my crafty colleagues, along with a composer colleague, held a lunchtime sale for selected departments at the Big J. (It's a big place, but a small room, so we couldn't invite everyone.) I did manage to get some shots from the set-up. We were hopping for about 45 minutes.

Auntie Nettie's tree ornaments and mini-frames
Tree of scarves and hats
Basket of Puzzle Ornaments
Assortment of scarves and holiday wreathes
The table of goodies:
on left, handmade tea towels, aprons, button bracelets, etc.;
in middle, CDs with original compositions;
on right, my stuff.
Post-sale pickups by satisfied customers
Scarf by Auntie Nettie (#58), modelled and purchased by Rebecca
Eco/Beach Bag (#55), modelled and purchased by Evie
Thanks for shopping!

Although it's a lot of work and I sacrificed my lunch hour, I'm happy. I made my goal for the day. Now that people know what we have, when we have the other sale after Thanksgiving, maybe they'll be ready to buy more holiday stuff.

Remember, if you need holiday presents, please contact Auntie Nettie.
Many items may have sold today or will be at the boutique next month.
Trunk shows can be arranged, on a very limited basis.
Prices will go up in 2009 as we hopefully migrate to an on-line retail space.

Quote of the Day

Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by
the things you did not do than by the things you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.

~Mark Twain

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Quote of the Day

I simply believe that some part of the human self or soul is not subject to the laws of space or time.

Carl Jung

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Impulse Writing

You know how therapists and anger management counselors often advise their patients to write letters to purge negative emotions? How there’s something about the act of putting pen to paper, or more modernly, banging away at a keyboard, that lets out the frustrations and negates the stupidity that you may have to encounter?

I wish I could take credit for this one, but it comes courtesy of a usually very mild-mannered colleague. This is the version of the follow-up letter that she did not send to a donor. I can’t imagine why; all of us in the office felt better after reading it and then cackling with glee.

Dear Dr. X:

Thanks for your recent letter. I am sorry you took up your cranky pen and stopped me from doing some worthy and real work today.

I should let you know that I personally monitor all of the airline and Amtrak schedules as well as the performance calendars of every single performing arts organization in the United States, and then highlight all of the concerts that feature students on scholarship. I then invite all donors to hear their scholarship recipients perform in their local venues. Alas, this is not true. I am not clairvoyant, nor omniscient and omnipotent. Additionally, I do not know who will get a particular scholarship before he or she performs in your local performing arts theater.

In the future, when our students perform at the Kennedy Center or Carnegie Hall, I will ask them to give you, and just you, a “shout out” from the stage, just in case you are in the audience or on the off chance that they are lucky enough to receive your scholarship sometime in the future.

I do hope you will make up for your cranky letter with a huge check. Perhaps you meant to enclose it?

Sincerely,
Jane Doe


Next time we get "cranky" letters, I'm tempted to send the first version of our reactions and not the second "polite" one. Who's with me?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day

As a veteran of many artistic and academic wars, I am not entitled to a day off today. Me thinks that Athena, the goddess of heroic endeavors, would not be pleased.
My thanks to those veterans of war and of war-era service (Thanks Dad!) for the Freedoms I enjoy, including the freedom to have to earn a buck on a national holiday.


Happy Veterans Day!


Monday, November 10, 2008

Kewl Krippy

Auntie's dear friend Krippy was down for a very short, but VERY overdue visit this weekend, as she was en route to visit some of her new blogosphere friends. We figured out that it had to be at least 5 years since we had seen each other in person. Without e-mail, digital photos, and the blogs it would have felt much longer, indeed.

Krippy and Auntie Nettie met way back in college. Auntie remembers that they really met the first day of classes -- English I, the course with all the Beowulf and Faerie Queene, Chaucer, Milton, and Old English. We sat next to each other because we were the only freshmen who were so early and because we didn't know anyone else in the room. Once our professor walked in and started talking a mile a minute, all the while dispersing a tome of a syllabus, the gargantuan reading list, and expounding about her academic expectations, our eyes met in a mutual look of sheer, unadulterated, panic. (At least that's how I remember it).

Four years passed, with many an English Lit. and American Lit. class, dire dating debacle, loquacious long-distance relationship-dishing dissection, laborious library shifts, and many mutual friends.* We got our own catch-phrases: "Seagulls on the QUAD!" "What is a kiss?" (Yeah, John ... You turned bright beet red!), and "On the shelf, behind the tuna, next to the peanut butter." We found out that you can sing every Emily Dickinson poem to the tune of "The Yellow Rose of Texas." We decided that we had personalities based on classics from American Lit. [Krippy is Hawthorne's Hester Prynne and I am Poe's Spirit or Imp of Perverseness.] We survived six hours of comps thanks to costumed colleaques and pounds of m&ms, the parties in the dorms, my driving adventures (Which way are the Cloisters?), a visit to the Hacienda Parental-types, and our exploits in the backwoods of Purchase in the haunted cemeteries and the desecrated chapel. (Remember the tractor?!) We also spent many a semester torturing our music professors, (Krippy on flute, me on keyboards), harassing Claudio the Cardinal, telling Martinu to F.U., performing "modern" dance routines during ensemble class (thanks for the assist Jane), and then performing with Janey as Trio Non Sacra** during pre-graduation ceremonies- - whereupon we surprised ourselves with our professionalism and our classmates with our theretofore unknown musical abilities.

We survived M'Hell and went on to our various lives of work, graduate school, more work, and ever expanding and extended families. There have been very infrequent trips to Boston, New York, and Maine over the ensuing 10+ years that have brought their own set of highlights for me: including getting lost in the dark and driving down the wrong side of Boston streets late at night, Krippy's cats sleeping on my head when I had the flu on a visit, throwing Krippy's bridal shower in Maine during a three-day MONSOON!, Krippy's wedding and the crazy disappearing Made of Horror/Honor during the first dance, many phone calls about pregnancies and babies, the sobering visit to the Trade Center site a few years after that fateful day, and the more recent quiet hours of just talking in my tiny studio and trying to cram 5 years into a few hours.

As is customary with Krippy and Nettie, the following photograph was taken to mark the occasion. It's tradition.

I know I'm "it", Krip. I'll try and get up to Maine before the twins are old enough to enroll in the alma mater. Miss you already!

* (aka Tati and Amy. Thus we were Krippy and Nettie).
**Yes, that's right. We were called The Unholy Trio. (Insert evil cackling here!)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Chocolate-Covered Bacon

(Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. I should be working, but it's Friday, it's raining, I'm leaving early to go play with Krippy, and the Grey Lady has lots of fun articles today.)

I already blogged about this subject ... back in April. Looks like I'm not the only one who wished the ratio of bacon to chocolate in those Vosge bars was different.

Mmm … Bacon! (Of the Chocolate-Covered Variety)

"The creation was offered by Rhonda Kave, a chocolatier who started her shop, Roni-Sue, a year ago in Essex Street Market. She started selling it two months ago as part of her salty-and-sweet line, inspired by the chocolate and bacon bits bar offered by Vosge. That product, she said, did not have the right bacon-to-chocolate ratio for some people’s tastes. So they decided to dip the whole bacon strips. ... But so far, the chocolate-covered bacon, which sells at $38 a pound, has been among her biggest hits. One man comes in every week to buy half a pound for his daughter."

$38 a POUND!? That's crazy!

One of these days I'll make to the Chocolate Show. To a chocolaholic, it's like Valhalla and Neverland all wrapped up in cacao.

(Photo: Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times)

The Rest Is Cylons

I wish I could take credit for that title, but alas, no. Again with the Grey Lady credit:

Arts, Briefly
The Rest Is Cylons: Auction Helps Bid 'Galactica' Farewell

Compiled by DAVE ITZKOFF
Published: November 7, 2008


As viewers of the science-fiction television series “Battlestar Galactica” prepare to bid farewell to the show again, the studio that produces it will offer fans an opportunity to purchase memorabilia at a two-day auction in January, The Hollywood Reporter said. NBC Universal, which produces the contemporary remake of “Battlestar Galactica” (which had two short-lived incarnations between 1978 and 1980), will begin the auction at the Pasadena Convention Center in California with a preview on Jan. 16, to coincide with the start of the final season of the show that night on Sci Fi, and continue for two days. Hundreds of props and costumes will be offered, including the desk used by Admiral Adama (the character played by Edward James Olmos) and a distinctive red dress worn by the actress Tricia Helfer.

A version of this article appeared in print on November 7, 2008, on page C2 of the New York edition.

Santa? I'd like that infamous towel please. Or at the very least one of the log books.

'Kay? Thanks!

In the Heights -- In the Works

From today's Grey Lady:

November 7, 2008, 11:10 am

‘In The Heights’ Movie In The Works
By
Dave Itzkoff

For fans of “In The Heights” who have yearned to see the hit underdog Broadway musical turned into a motion picture, it won’t be long now: Universal Pictures has acquired the film rights to the show, the studio announced Friday. The story of a community in Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood, “In The Heights” won four Tony Awards this year, including best musical, as well as best score, for Lin-Manuel Miranda, who also stars in the show. Mr. Miranda will be a producer of the film adaptation, and Quiara Alegría Hudes, who wrote the show’s book, will write the screenplay. Universal scored a blockbuster hit this summer with its film adaptation of the musical “Mamma Mia!”, and is also working on a film of the Broadway show “Wicked.”

Click here for my review.

Literal Retro Video of the Week

This video for the 1985 hit song “Head over Heels” by Tears for Fears centered around Roland Orzabal’s attempts to get the attention of a librarian, played by Canadian model Joan Densmore (right). It was filmed in the Emmanuel College Library at the University of Toronto.

You've got to listen carefully to the voiceovers. They are hysterical!

(The embedding is not working, so click here.)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Busy Bee

It's either feast or famine with Auntie's social calendar. Part of that is due to her work schedule and part of that is due to the normal cycle of the performing arts world. In the last week or so, she's been busy just about every night -- what with one thing or another. The rest of the month is getting booked in just as fast, and one suspects that December will be a dazzling array of busy-ness.

Last night Auntie was at a work-related function at the New York Historical Society, a beautiful little gem of a museum on the Upper West Side near the Park. The function celebrated a worthwhile charity's 150th Anniversary, and Auntie needed to go and "represent." A cocktail party was held in a large portrait gallery and she spent most of the time looking at paintings from the Hudson River School of Artists and catching up with former colleague from the Big J. The event then adjourned into a recital hall where there were presentations of a scene from Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, a discussion of fashion from the 1850s, and a mini-recital by a soprano that works at the library where Auntie also works. It's a very small musical/non-profit world in the Big Apple. (Now that Auntie knows where the museum is, it's on the list of places to visit again this summer. Museum + a/c + heat and humidty = good times.)

Last Thursday night, thanks to another work-related contact, Auntie got to attend her first New York Philharmonic concert. She can't remember the last time she went to the symphony and actually was an audience member, without having to worry about running around to do something work-related! It was a nice change. Auntie took a colleague to keep her company, and they both got to relax a bit out of the office. The evening was a program of all-American music and was part of the Leonard Bernstein celebrations going on around the City this year.

This was the first time that Auntie's associate was able to hear Copland's Appalachian Spring in this full orchestration. Both were moved by Philharmonic’s interpretation, especially the “Simple Gifts” passages. You know you've heard the tune, but until the music swells up from a full world-renowned orchestra, you don't know what you are missing. It literally can bring you to tears.

The second piece was a work by Elliott Carter, who is six weeks shy of his 100th birthday. While Auntie is not a fan of some 'modern' classical music, and this piece didn't do much for her, Mr. Carter’s appearance on-stage after his Rewakings was completely inspiring. The audience gave him a standing ovation, some for the music, and some for just walking out on stage under his own power. One can only hope to be as spry and acute when one reaches his advanced age.

Auntie particularly enjoyed the second half of the concert. The Bernstein Jeremiah was new to her; the movement, Profanation, resonated especially. The program notes explain that Mr. Bernstein intended the movement to express “… a general sense of … destruction and chaos. …” Being that the building where Auntie works and Lincoln Center in general, are in a constant state of construction, with drilling and hammering an extremely audible part of daily activities, the movement struck a chord with her. Auntie's colleague and she both agreed, however, that their favorite work of the evening was Christopher Rouse’s Rapture, which had its New York premiere. It was a remarkable piece that that must be heard again to understand all the nuances. Be sure to listen to the rebroadcast of the concert on WQXR 96.3 FM on Thursday, November 13 at 9:00 p.m. in order to do so.


This was a wonderful evening of music, with appearances by TWO living American composers. What a treat indeed!

Auntie just LOVES free cultural activities and loves New York!

Next on the immediate calendar ... aside from work, work, and, oh work, Auntie has visits from Krippy, Auntie's Mum and her friend, Friends of the Library events, and Auntie's second annual Holiday Boutique --and that's just next week!! Whew! Is it vacation time yet?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Political Humor -- Battlestar style

First a Disclaimer:
Auntie Nettie's Attic is in no way endorsing a political party or candidate with the following clip.
It is solely for entertainment purposes only.
If a variation on this theme with the other political party or candidates comes to light, we will post that clip as well.

Proceed to clip with sense of sci-fi humor.*


Happy Election Day!
*Thanks to Scifi.com's ScifiWire, who got it from sleepytron on YouTube.com.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy Birthday to Bro!

Happy Birthday to the biggest of my "little" brothers

-- the man of many faces ...


and names. (What do we call you now exactly?)
I know the name he's proudest of is being
Drew's Dad!


As your big sister, I remember many things about you ...

I remember when Dad used to nap with you like this.

I remember when you/we were younger.


I remember lots and lots of semi-embarrassing things about you.
Silly sibling stuff like:
  • how we were best buds and used to play marine biologist;
  • how much we enjoyed messing with people's heads in the drama department;
  • enduring scary car trips to Church (you didn't really believe I'd pull over, did you!?);
  • rare quiet family moments watching the Bob Ross, the Happy Painter;
  • how kids used to LOVE you at Church and want to hang out with you (and NOT me);
  • how proud we were of your your well-deserved sportsmen awards;
  • your panicked face and fight to the school nurse when you shattered the window in my face;
  • your mad saxophone skills;
  • why exactly you should always listen to your brothers when it comes to dating;
  • how you liked to rock the canoe when we went out paddling with Dad;
  • how excited you get about UCONN basketball, the RedSox, and other New England sports teams now that you are out West;
  • why exactly, you shouldn't wrestle with the vacuum cleaner and then lie to your parents about it, (call me Scarface);
  • and our school trip to Puerto Rico and whyyou should never mess with these here siblings,
  • to name just a few.
Despite all the teasing, razzing, lecturing, whining, and oh, did I mention teasing?,
I mostly remember how glad I am that you are my "big" brother.
Even though you weren't exactly the present I had hoped was on lay-away for my 2nd birthday, I'm glad that the stork made her delivery 9 months later.
(Thanks Mom and Dad. I guess he is exactly what I wanted after all.
But really, did you have to celebrate my birthday THAT way. Really?)
Happy Birthday litte brudder!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Scarey Sights

You know what's scary?

Not the hundreds of high school students dressed up in costume roaming the streets of Manhattan on Halloween day;

Not the sight of trick-or-treaters at your door;

Or even the evidence of gremlins who t.p.'d the building and left trash all over the streets.

What's really scary is the sight of Halloween revellers in costumes stumbling off the 7:27 a.m. train as you are getting on it to go to work the next morning!