Sunday Salon 1-4-15

Time: 7:30 a.m., right after my brisk (27 degrees) but satisfying morning run of about 2.5 miles.

Place: At my main computer at home.

Listening: My life ground to a halt right after Christmas when the Nevada Chamber Music Festival, a series of concerts (eleven in six days) that my employer, the Reno Chamber Orchestra, presents annually between Christmas and New Year’s, began. During that period my existence was tied to the Festival, and fourteen-hour workdays were the norm. Occasionally a meal was allowed, but I didn’t make a habit of it. By all accounts the Festival was a success, and what I heard of the music, which wasn’t much, seemed excellent. While I have a continuing gripe about being such an outsider-menial during the Festival (there are musicians that have been coming for years that I’ve still never met or spoken to), if the audiences had an excellent time, it really isn’t important that the staff does. In any event, music listening and movie watching and reading and eating regularly and other normal activities are only just now getting restarted in my life, and I’m very pleased about it.

Reading: I used to be dedicated to the concept of reading one book at a time, but that has long since gone by the wayside. Currently underway are: Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown, and Ten Years in the Tub by Nick Hornby. Orfeo by Richard Powers is calling strongly to me, and that may get added to the in-progress list this morning. Also, the to-read stack has gotten larger as I kept rewarding myself during the Christmas season for getting presents purchased by buying myself more books.

Viewing: My only film viewing in the last couple of weeks came last night, when I finally watched Jules et Jim (1962, directed by François Truffaut). It has been a hole in my viewing that I’ve long regretted – I confess that I didn’t even know that the film was set in the 1910s and 1920s! Now I have a notion as to why this film is so loved. The love triangle frame of the story in itself honestly doesn’t interest me too much. But the complexity of the emotions, the acuity with which Truffaut and the actors bring them to life, the way they are underscored and commented on by Georges Delerue’s lovely music, and the beautiful cinematography (Raoul Coutard comes through again!) completely won me over. Now it’s time to explore all the extras that the Criterion Collection so kindly provides.

Blogging: My main recent feature was yesterday’s look at my Top Ten Blog Posts of 2014. To my surprise, it was a fairly productive year.

Pondering: I’m doing my best not to do too much thinking these days. It only makes life more complicated. But I am keeping something of an eye on my New Year’s resolutions – they’re pretty simple ones, like losing some more weight and doing more reading and blogging.

Anticipating: Resuming the normal course of my life again.

Gratuitous Shakespearean New Year’s Resolutions: by Mya Gosling.
Shakespeare Resolutions part 1
Shakespeare Resolutions part 2

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