Thursday, May 27, 2010

Poem for Thursday and Middle School Concert

A Night Out
By Bob Hicok

I told the waiter there was schmutz
on my machete. He informed me
I wasn't sitting in the Yiddish section.
Being bilingual, I told the waiter
there was gunk on my machete. Oh, he apologized
then and brought me straight away
a new machete, with which I sliced
the brisket as if clearing a path
through a forest to a temple in a life
more glamorous than the four dollars
and thirty-two cents in my pocket
with which I couldn't possibly pay
what I owe Jean-Paul Sartre for writing
"No Exit," since walking out on that play
introduced me as if for the first time
to the moon. Try feeling crushed
by the void of existence while staring
at a waxing moon with or without
a full stomach before or after
cleaning your machete on your sleeve.
Yes, that's a dare, a double-dog dare,
to talk as kids used to talk in a time
of innocence that certainly never existed.


Another from this week's New Yorker. Hicok's 2010 book is Words for Empty and Words for Full.

Most of my day consisted of working on an article and doing laundry. We had dinner early and went with my parents to Adam's final school concert of the year -- and possibly ever, since he has been lobbying to take drama instead of orchestra in high school next year, though it will depend on whether he can take the honors academic classes, Chinese and journalism and still fit it into his schedule. This year the program was entirely strings -- the band will play tomorrow night -- so we heard the intermediate orchestra playing some of the same pieces that son played in previous years with them, then two excellent chamber quartets playing Haydn and Mozart.

The advanced orchestra, in which Adam plays viola, started with a piece from The Nutcracker, then played William Hofeldt's beautiful "Lullaby" and a Celtic piece before performing an arrangement of "Viva La Vida," which was awesome, and ending with the upbeat "Orange Jam." There were also some award acknowledgments (they don't actually give awards at this ceremony since most of the kids had received them either from the county youth orchestra or in class for participation), and the teacher, who has been teaching in the county for more than 20 years, got flowers and a gift. Here are a few photos:

One of the chamber groups plays the Allegro Moderato movement from Haydn's Quartet in G Major.

The orchestra teacher introduces the intermediate orchestra, where the sixth and seventh graders play.

One of these girls is our neighbors' daughter. Adam often walks home from the bus with her.

Here he is waiting for the advanced orchestra to play...

...though this is the best photo I could get of him on the stage, since the violas were smushed between the huge second violin section and the cellos.

Still, the advanced orchestra sounded great.

Here is Adam standing for the group bow...

...and the music teacher receiving a gift from the students.

Adam is debating purchasing Adobe Premiere Elements 8 vs. Cyberlink PowerDirector 8 Ultra when he gets birthday money in July. Anyone here have advice/suggestions (particularly if you know of a good cheap alternative)?

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