Friday, December 26, 2014

Help- The Herald Angels "Sing"...

My particular little corner of Purgatory has been enhanced this year; resulting in even less brain function available for positive uses.

Smidgen- now to my horror 9 years old - has become an enthusiastic singer.  This is much my doing, since I have worked for multiple years to teach her "how".  She was not a "natural".  That doesn't bother me; many "non-natural" singers can and do learn, and sing beautifully.

I, unfortunately was a natural.  One of those sometimes despised individuals who learn new long melodies almost instantly; and correctly.  And my sense of pitch, inherited from my mother; was such that our very meticulous high school band director - would have the oboe give the A to tune the band- and use my ear to indicate flat/sharp - for the entire band.  Thank god I never thought that was anything to be snooty about; I'd have been killed quickly.  Just physics and dumb genetic chance.

Smidgen, to my very great joy as a parent, has reached the point where she enjoys her music.  And she loves learning new songs.  She now sings- constantly.  And only semi-conciously; yesterday was "Silent Night".  All day.  Erupting repeatedly in inattentive moments; being suppressed, then re-erupting.  Even the periodic "Look, kid!  Go outside and sing to the dogs and cats for the next half hour, ok?", once performed; does not result in any decrease in the internal pressures driving the eruptions.

Many of you know what comes next; there are multiple aspects of "music" that she has not mastered- or even noticed, yet.  Her internal sense of relative pitch is ok; but what ever key you are singing in, when she joins in she will bring her own key with her.  She'll stay in a key, once found; but her sense of melody is unique, in my experience.  She learns melodies ( like phrases and variations in Silent Night) - not sequentially, but by gestalt.  She knows, truly, the entire gestalt of the entire Silent Night.  When she sings; she reproduces the gestalt accurately - and completely at random.

The outcome for the onlooker is jarring.  It works ok if she's singing the same song (in the same key this time) with 2-3 other people, then you're likely at the end to hear "My, Smidgen; you sing harmony beautifully!  However did you learn?" which will result in a baffled, and growling, Smidgen.

Oh, the sanity!

Happy Everything; Anyway.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Ah, the news.

Wanna talk about the news?   You're crazy.  Ick.  Wow.  I don't think I'm imagining it- my impression is that the news, in particular the "Big News" has gotten just astonishingly horrifyingly worse in the past few months.  Not one thing after another; but 10 things, after another, all life-threatening for the planet and/or our species, and/or any remaining shreds of what we used to call "civilization".

So; I want to share this with you; I'd encourage you to go to YouTube, see it full screen, and maybe turn your screen brightness up a bit, as this clip is a little dim (it's supposed to be dusk in the movie, for one thing.)  I've sworn that one day - I'm going to DO this.  On a crowded street.  The time is ripe.

I think- it would be good to start a movement of THOUSANDS of people DOING this - around the world.  The world is revolting yes?  This would fit right in.

And it is by far the most cogent comment on the world and news I know of.  And Steve Martin had it nailed in 1987.