Greg stopped at the vet's and picked up Doogie's ashes a few nights ago. It never fails to astonish me how such a huge presence can fit into a little wooden box. The box has a nice little engraved brass plate on the front with his name on it, and it came with a little bouquet of yellow silk roses.
We always joked about how Doogie thought of himself as the biggest dog in the world (he did). He was a regular Doogasaurus Rex. Eventually, we would compare anything of a large size to Doogie and decide that he was still bigger: whales, tractor-trailer trucks, people's egos... You get the idea.
Even in death, Doogie is still huge. His little wooden box of ashes is the same size as Duncan's, and it weighs much more. The old boogerhead is still large and in charge.
Mr. Hall's Halling
Apparently a halling is a type of Norwegian dance. Greg's been working on a halling this week, orchestrated for two cellos or violin and cello. He's long been fascinated by the timbres of traditional Scandinavian music, especially the Norwegian Hardanger fiddle. (That's the plaintive-sounding solo violin you hear throughout the movie "Fargo" and in portions of the "Lord of the Rings." It has additional strings underneath the strings you play that serve as "drone strings," and which resonate when the other strings are played.)
Greg has written another piece called Hardanger for solo violin. It's scored for "regular" violin, but is open-stringed sound recalls that same plaintive Hardanger fiddle sound. He sent a copy of the piece to a violinist he knows up north, but hasn't heard back from him yet.
Greg did get some more positive news this morning. The music director from one of the local Congregational churches called and asked him to please apply for a full-time organist/choir director gig that will be opening up at the church in a couple of months. He was only too delighted to comply, and sent off his resume and his letters of reference this morning.