the end of Just Jot It January 2019

Linda gave the final prompt for this last day of Just Jot It January: “your favorite thing/part/blog post of last year or last month.” I thought I would write two brief responses.

My favorite blog thing for the last month is that I actually managed to post every day this month. Given that my posting has been so sporadic for so long, this feels like an accomplishment. Bonus: It means that I am writing again, which had definitely fallen by the wayside over the last couple of years. I even have managed to write a few poems recently. Can I keep it up? Probably not the posting every day part, but I’m hoping to carve out some writing/revising time on a regular basis.

My favorite in-person thing of the last month was the return of daughter E and granddaughter ABC from their four week visit with our son-in-law L in London UK . Sometimes in the past when ABC travelled, she would not immediately want to come to us, but this time she broke into a big smile, called out to us, and wanted hugs and kisses. This gives me hope that, when she and E re-locate permanently to the UK later this year, we will be able to keep our relationship alive via videochat. I knew this was possible if chats happened on a daily basis; ABC definitely knows that L is her daddy when they videochat. I doubt we will be able to orchestrate daily calls once they are all together in London, but it seems that weekly ones may be enough to keep us in ABC’s memory bank.

Thanks to Linda for Just Jot It January and thanks to all the other participants! Write on!
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Join us for Just Jot It January! Today’s pingback link is here:  https://lindaghill.com/2019/01/31/jusjojan-2019-daily-prompt-jan-31st/
More information and prompts here: https://lindaghill.com/2018/12/31/what-is-just-jot-it-january-2019-rules/

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One-Liner Wednesday: Frost quote

“A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom.”
– Robert Frost
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Join us for Linda’s One-Liner Wednesdays and Just Jot It January! Find out how here:  https://lindaghill.com/2019/01/30/jusjojan-2019-daily-prompt-jan-30th-and-one-liner-wednesday/
More information on JusJoJan and prompts here: https://lindaghill.com/2018/12/31/what-is-just-jot-it-january-2019-rules/

 

 

singing again

Last night, for the first time in over a year, I went to a (Binghamton) University Chorus rehearsal.

I have written posts before on the changes in the choral program* and the University which necessitated the transformation of what had for decades been a large chorus of community members, students, and staff which sang a major concert every semester into a much smaller ensemble that sings when needed to help the student groups perform larger works.

This semester, we are preparing to sing Ralph Vaughn Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem, which I performed once before with University Chorus in 2003. This piece is being programmed a lot this year because of the bicentennial of the birth of Walt Whitman, whose poems comprise most of the text of the work. As luck would have it, the Smith College Alumnae Chorus is also singing the work this year; I will be joining our July tour to Slovenia, where we will sing two performances.

Most of my singing for the past year has been either in church services or with ABC, whom I can sometimes sing to sleep. Not exactly the caliber of singing required for Vaughn Williams. Fortunately, our director, Bill Culverhouse, is very good at getting our bodies and brains engaged, so I actually managed to acquit myself quite well, helped by the fact that we worked on the third movement, “Reconciliation”, in which we second sopranos get to sing a lovely, lyrical passage twice. It’s also one of the movements that stayed with me over the last decade and a half since I learned it. Some of the other sections are going to be a bit harder to get back in my head.

It is also hard to get used to rehearsing with a much smaller group. I was used to University Chorus being 80-100 voices and being one of about fifteen second sopranos. It’s somewhat more daunting to be one of five seconds in a group of about thirty. I anticipate doing a significant amount of preparation at home, as I did when we sang music related to St. Mark’s in Venice in December 2017.

I was very happy to see some of my singing friends again. And even happier to be singing together again.

* In looking back at this post, which explains a lot of my experience with the transition itself, there are several things that didn’t happen in the way I had anticipated. My mom, who had then been in hospice care, was decertified in October of 2018, and, while continuing to suffer from congestive heart failure, is happily still with us. The visa process for daughter E has been a much longer slog than we had thought. She and ABC are still living with us, probably until August of 2019. Lastly, the University Chorus hiatus was longer, as this academic year we are singing in the second semester rather than the first.
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Join us for Just Jot It January! Today’s pingback link is here:  https://lindaghill.com/2019/01/29/jusjojan-2019-daily-prompt-jan-29th/
More information and prompts here: https://lindaghill.com/2018/12/31/what-is-just-jot-it-january-2019-rules/

New “About” page

Why, yes, I am using Just Jot It January to catch up on things I have been meaning to do, such as start a new blog series and create a new About page.
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More information and prompts here: https://lindaghill.com/2018/12/31/what-is-just-jot-it-january-2019-rules/

JC’s Confessions #1

On The Late Show, Stephen Colbert does a recurring skit, now a best-selling book, called Midnight Confessions, in which he “confesses” to his audience with the disclaimer that he isn’t sure these things are really sins but that he does “feel bad about them.” While Stephen and his writers are famously funny, I am not, so my JC’s Confessions will be somewhat more serious reflections, but they will be things that I feel bad about. Stephen’s audience always forgives him at the end of the segment; I’m not expecting that – and these aren’t really sins – but comments are always welcome.
~ JC

Given that this is the first in what is meant to be a series of posts, I thought it should be a confession that relates to blogging.

So, I confess that, at a time when I have not been a model blogger for months on end, I am trying to start a blog series of my own. To illustrate how slowly my blogging-wheels have been turning, I had the idea to do this over a year ago and wrote the above introduction, which is meant to recur each time I post a confession, last May. It’s been sitting in my drafts folder until I dragged it out to be today’s Just Jot It January post.

And to illustrate how I am not being a model blogger, while I have been posting every day in January, thanks to Just Jot It January and a bit of a stubborn streak, I have not been following through as one should. I think I have only visited all the other blogs that posted one day this month, and a few others haphazardly here and there. With the time constraints of care-taking/daily life, I have been using my limited blogging time for writing posts and responding to comments, leaving little time for reading and commenting on others’ blogs, and for that I am very sorry.

JC’s Confessions is not meant to be a bloggers-join-in series, like Linda Hill‘s Just Jot It January, One-Liner Wednesdays, or Stream of Consciousness Saturdays, although people could choose to do their own “confessions”, if they were so moved.

How long will it be before I post a second installment in this series? With luck, soon…

PS In deference to today’s JusJoJan prompt, I will point out that confessions are often cathartic.
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Join us for Just Jot It January! Today’s pingback link is here:  https://lindaghill.com/2019/01/27/jusjojan-2019-daily-prompt-jan-27th/
More information and prompts here: https://lindaghill.com/2018/12/31/what-is-just-jot-it-january-2019-rules/

SoCS: avoiding ads

I try to avoid as many ads as possible – and to ignore the ones I can’t avoid.

Most of the television I watch is through DVR, so we can skip by the commercials. I use ad-blockers on my computer, although I do still wind up dealing with some. (I’m looking at you, Words with Friends.) I nearly always listen to public radio, which only has brief sponsorship messages and the occasional ad for local concerts, which I like hearing about anyways.

Ironically, the ads I see and hear the most are those that stir controversy, such as the recent Gillette ads highlighting toxic masculinity. I’m sure I will see some of the Super Bowl ads in the coming week. The most inventive ones tend to make the news programs. I’m not sure if or how much watching I will do of the game. Football is not really my thing. I prefer baseball. Even though it does have ads every time a half inning ends or there is a pitching change…
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Join us for Just Jot It January and/or Stream of Consciousness Saturday! Today’s prompt is “ad/add/AD”. The pingback link is here: https://lindaghill.com/2019/01/25/the-friday-reminder-for-socs-jusjojan-2019-daily-prompt-jan-26th/
More information and prompts here: https://lindaghill.com/2018/12/31/what-is-just-jot-it-january-2019-rules/


balance

I’m opting to use the Just Jot It January prompt today, which is “balance.”

A large company in our area used to promote the concept of work/life balance.

They don’t anymore.

Now it is work/life “integration.”

This seems to mean that the employee is supposed to squeeze the rest of their non-work life and responsibilities into gaps in their work life. It also means that work can lay claim to what used to be personal/family time, such as evenings, weekends, and vacation, expecting monitoring of work email and helping to address problems over the phone.

I don’t think this is good for the employees, their families, or the business. It’s easy for workers to burn out and that is not good for anybody.

Let’s try to get back in balance.
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More information and prompts here: https://lindaghill.com/2018/12/31/what-is-just-jot-it-january-2019-rules/