Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Backsliding, sort of

I was just looking back over my reading journal, which has slowly gone from an actual physical journal I keep, to being supplemented by this blog, to being almost entirely electronic. I'm not sure I like this transition, but I find it hard enough to keep up even online, plus my reading seems to dwindle more each passing year. For one thing I am reading books that tend to be much longer and denser, and I've had a lot less free time on my hands since this spring, when I started doing music writing on the side.

I spend many evenings doing research, listening to new music, and going to shows and writing reviews. I've seen some pretty cool stuff and got a chance to talk to some musicians that I really admire. It was surreal to chat with Gordon Lightfoot, for example. I've also discovered some great singers and songwriters (for myself, I mean, not "launched their careers") like Joe Pug and Vandaveer. I also enjoyed getting to see and review all of Kentucky Opera's season this year -- I Pagliacci/Cavalleria Rusticana, The Elixir of Love, and Madame Butterfly. Speaking of surreal, I also found myself in the photo pit snapping pictures of Justin Bieber. That was weird. But.. I digress.

I've been meandering through my anthology of classical lit -- I'm only up to Aeschylus -- and although I'm moving pretty slowly, I enjoy it when I get to settle down long enough to read through a section. I definitely would enjoy reading Herodotus more thoroughly, and Pindar's verse. But, I think I'm ready for another novel, and the only question is whether it's going to be something I've had lying around for awhile or embarking on the big winter project of Musil's A Man without Qualities. It may not be time for that one quite yet. I could join my brother in tackling Anna Karenina. Tolstoy always seems right for winter...or I could make myself finish Helprin's Winter's Tale, which I sputtered out on in July. It was obviously not a good match for the season.

This week, however, I'm all about food, so it won't be decided. I'm hosting a holiday party and I spend an inordinate amount of time planning my dishes, my shopping, my prep, and getting all crafty like Martha Stewart (in my dreams).

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