Cello variations

In listening to Bach’s Cello Suites, like I mentioned in this past Weekly Rundown,  I’m reminded of when I purchased my first copy of this album. I was in Chicago, I think February of 2010. I was there doing an audition for an MFA program, which I didn’t get into, but the night before I walked around the City.

I love Chicago. It has all the things I like about New York, with a little more organization. Strange that I should value organization in urban planning, but it was nice to walk a city block and know that the next block would be equidistant.

In a Barnes & Noble downtown, I purchased two CDs – Bach Cello Suites performed by Ralph Kirshbaum from Virgin Classics; and La Boheme, Puccini’s opera with Tebaldi, Bergonzi, Bastianini, and Serafin, from Decca’s Compact Opera Collection.

That same trip I saw Tracy Letts, Patrick Andrews, and Francis Guinan, in Mamet’s American Buffalo at the Steppenwolf Theatre.

I’d only been to Chicago one other time before that when I was very young, and I’m not sure when I’ll go back.

Weekly Rundown

A Valentine’s Day rundown. Mostly worked this week. But, some things:

Reading: The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle. This had been on my to-read list for a couple of years, and I couldn’t remember why I originally put it on. What started as a novella on a Harlem street-hustler (in a moderately magic-filled world) spiraled into Lovecraftian horror. I enjoyed it – a fun, quick read – though I still can’t recall what was it that made me jot it down originally…

Listening: Bach’s Cello Suites. My favorite is 1, which is a ubiquitous piece, but all of them are lovely. I’ve always enjoyed cello music. I’ve been told it’s because the cello makes a sound closest to the human voice of all the instruments. I don’t know if that’s true, but I wanted to revisit some cello music, particularly Bach.

Learning: About Alaska. Currently looking over some information regarding the 1899 Harriman Expedition. Apparently, Teddy Roosevelt was an admirer of the reports of flora and fauna being assembled by the team of the expedition, but it didn’t stop Roosevelt from dismantling Harriman’s railroad company in 1904 in antitrust litigation.

And more on personal libraries, following up from the earlier post:

Week’s Highlights

Some of the things that caught my interest this week.

  • Stu Larsen’s “I Will Be Happy“. This may be my new travel anthem for a while. I had listened to George Ezra’s Wanted on Voyage, especially on my last trip to Europe. (Barcelona was a particular favorite.)
  • Fountain Pen usage. After listening to Neil Gaiman’s interview on the Tim Ferriss Show, where he talked about Moleskine and Leuchtturm notebooks, and the fountain pens he uses, I decided to look into breaking out some pens that I’ve had stashed away for quite a while. I usually use Uni-Ball Vision Micro, but I’m always willing to try something new.
  • “How Not to be Boring”. This was an interesting video that I think came to me from one of the few newsletters I didn’t unsubscribe to. There’s a lot going on here, and I think it touches on charisma, introversion, honest and truthful exchanges with others, and self-discovery.
  • Godel, Escher, Bach. This is a book I came to through Seth Godin’s blog some years ago, and I started reading it but never finished. While perusing a used book store a couple of weeks ago I found a well-thumbed copy, and I decided to give it a go. It’s been my go-to nonfiction for the past week, and I’m excited to make a dent in this tome.