Looks like we won't have to worry about a drought this year, with all the rain we've been getting. We are in some danger of all growing mildew if this keeps up, though. Someone told me yesterday that we've had five (count 'em!) days of sunshine -- or at least, non-rain -- in the past month. No wonder everyone is so crabby. Hey, weather forecasters: Seattle called, and they want their climate back!
Living here in New England means that you have to get used to the Forrest-Gump's-chocolate-box climate we have here, but this is extreme even by normal standards. Last time I checked the calendar, it said that this upcoming weekend is Memorial Day weekend -- a weekend that marks the start of summer in the latitude. Usually it's 80 degrees out and 90% humidity, but it still gets into the high 30s at night these days. Unless something drastic changes in the next few days, I'm guessing that sales of suntan lotion are going to be mighty scarce in the tourist traps this coming weekend.
Greg made his plane reservations for the Composers' Symposium at the Oregon Bach Festival in June. I'm really looking forward to this festival, and I'm not even going! Not only will this give Greg a place to consort with like-minded composers and to network, but he'll also get to do a little hiking before he gets home. In the meantime, I'll be working long, back-breaking hours in the word mines, trying to meet my June deadlines, but as soon as he gets back, I'll be on vacation for a week! Can't hate that.
You have to like the URL for the Symposium, too: I Wage Music, dot com. Sure beats the heck out of waging war. (Those folks ought to sell T-shirts.)
Turns out that an old friend of Greg's (who is also a fan of his music) will be singing the soprano part when his suite Water for soprano voice and wind quartet gets performed at the ACA concert in NYC next month. That was a nice surprise. Apparently Nancy Ogle has wanted to sing/record this song cycle for a while, and now she gets her chance. Greg gets the satisfaction of knowing that the singer for Water both knows and likes the material. Everybody wins!
(Well, almost. The ACA site has his name listed as Gregory Hall Sunset. Yes, he did grow up in California in the '60s, but...)
Apparently there's going to be quite the contingent of Mainers at this year's concert, though Nancy's the only one who will be at the festival on the same day as we are. Beth Wiemann is having an electronic composition performed at the same festival, but on a different day. Elliott Schwartz will also have a piece performed, but on yet another further different day of the festival.
I've been updating Web sites like crazy, including Greg's. The neatest update I made today is adding an excerpt from the Wind Quartet in One Movement (Double Fugue) to the classical downloads page.
Ooh, and here's a goodie: Greg has finally discovered the wonderful world of blogging. He's joined up with a group blog called Sequenza 21. It's apparently a portion of the Sequenza 21 portal, and it's a wicked fun read. Check out the "Playing Favorites" list in today's entries. As with all those lists of "The Top 100 Rock-and-Roll Songs of All Time" that every rock radio station on earth is bound by law to release at the end of each calendar year, you'll get some fun out of this list.
(Between you and me and the Internet at large, I wouldn't have heard of more than 5 or 6 of those composers if it hadn't been for Greg, and I've tried to keep up with musical current events. That's really a shame -- all that work, and it largely passes unnoticed, even by fans of classical music.)
I updated my Web site to include a home page for Seamus.
In spite of the fact that the dog yard looks like a shallower, muddier version of Lake Superior, Seamus and Charlie have been settling in together nicely in the past week. Charlie had started out by mostly ignoring the youngster, except when Seamus did something that required a show of alpha-dog authority. This past weekend, though, we heard the sound of Beardie feet skidding all over the kitchen linoleum, punctuated by the occasional woof. They were playing their first game of Beardie Tag! The two bounced and skidded and play-boxed around the house until both ended up panting and grinning. I'd say this new family member is going to work out just fine.
Seamus's breeder is pleased to hear how well he's been doing here. She's going to start the transfer of his Canadian registration. Once that comes through, I can register him with AKC and enter him in some dog events. We've already signed up for a beginning obedience class that's really beneath his abilities, but going there will give us a chance to start working together as a team. At the end, he can earn his first American title: a Canine Good Citizen (CGC). The Canadian equivalent is CGN (Canine Good Neighbor); that sounds much folksier to me.
I've been making some progress on the knitting front, though I'm still a good ways from having a completed object to brag about. In the five or so minutes of free time I have in a given day, I've made some good progress on the Fletcher sweater. (Who are these people who can crank out a sweater a week? I want to meet them and discover their secrets.) I've made it almost all the way up the back. There were a few tense moments when I misread the instructions and started knitting the left front instead, but I was able to rip back to the place where I went astray with no problems.
My current "no-brainer project" is another scarf, this one made with the Lion Brand Incredible ribbon. It's a nice ribbon, wide with good texture, and it knits up pretty well. It comes in some pretty neat colorways, too. It's going to make a Wicked Fun scarf, and it's a heck of a lot easier to handle than Eros Extreme.
Progress on the yarn diet: I blame the weather. I have reached a plateau at 7 pounds lost, and I refuse to go out and exercise until I can do so without having to wear a frickin' wet suit and flippers. No matter. My five-pound prize is on the way. I selected a 1-pound cone of Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky in Old Sage for another felting project, and I added a couple of the new extra-long cords for Denise needles.