Starting with the very interesting…
Today was a very full and remarkable day – at least it seemed so from the vantage of my relatively small and unremarkable life. I started it as many second Sundays of the month – playing bells and other assorted instruments, including my voice, in church. Come to think of it, even that was unusual! Instead bells and choir during the first service, bells only with the organ in the second – we had a lot of fun, the bells playing along with Carol D on the flute, Mike M on his fiddle, Barry E on the drum and yours truly hitting the tambourine. During the second service, the eight of us remaining also sang as we played our respective instruments. What a blast! To top it off, there were about a gazillion baptisms and the little kids were adorable – even the screamer at the second service:)!
As I left church, the prudent thing would have been to go straight home, maybe practice some of the Radetzky one more time, knit a little, get ready for tomorrow’s hearings (already done, boss!) or even take a nap. However, I was in dire need of some therapy – the kind only available through some yarn and sticks. So I toddled on over to the Cloverhill Yarn Shop in Catonsville, where a big old knit-together was going on. I saw people I hadn’t seen for awhile from the Columbia Sip ‘n Knit – I consider to be “my” group – and one I met in person for the first time today! Sam Barsky (above) is a very talented knitter whose work has been featured in at least two magazines -one from the UK and the other from Hungary (I think). He and his wife live in the Baltimore area. He took up knitting a number of years ago and realized he had quite a knack for it. His second project was a sweater! Sam does “intarsia” knitting – using balls of yarn or bobbins to create “pictures” with his yarn through knitting. The sweater pictured above is a depiction of Sam and his wife’s trip to Hong Kong. Sam tells me his only regret is not having knitted the sweater before going there. Reason: Sam takes pictures of sweaters he’s knitted of places to which he travels and then poses in that sweater in the very place he’s knitting about. He has a Stonehenge sweater, I think a couple of New York sweaters (Times Square) and 90 more. His goal is to create 100 sweaters and then he will celebrate. Sam doesn’t knit with a pattern – he figures it out in his head. My goal is to find him a tech editor to help him put his work into words and charts for the average schmo like me. Anybody know of such a person in the Baltimore, Merlin area?
Well, it was a delight to meet Sam. We had been Facebook friends for a while, bonding over the knitting thing and he was just as nice in person as he is online. Nice chatting and knitting with you, Sam!
And now for the sublime…
You didn’t think I’d ignore that concert, did you? Above are a few of the Columbia Ballet, excellent performers who seemed to sail on air to the strains of Strauss (Johann and his brother, Josef.) Though the Strauss family does seem to corner the waltz market, they got quite a bit of competition from Josef Lanner, Iosif Ivanovici, Antonin Dvorak, Fritz Kreisler, Franz Lehar, even Arnold Schoenberg, along with one of my favorite composers, Johannes Brahms.
Ron Mutchnik and the Orchestra were tremendous. Don DeGeorge, the man behind the scenes videographer, provided a beautiful larger-than-life backdrop of scenes from Vienna, Prague and Budapest. A very talented Jonathan Palevsky of WBJC fame provided a succinct and witty narrative to it all – and his German pronunciation was outstanding.
There is something almost magical in hearing the opening strains of On the Beautiful Blue Danube. You feel the awe, the love that Strauss had for his homeland. Changes in tempo, reminiscent of the ebb and flow of the waves of that beautiful river; the melody, both familiar and mystical, conspire to create an experience impossible to contain in a recording. It was beautiful.
The last piece was the Radetzky. After a brief introduction, we were off! Won’t tell you about the mistakes. We ended at the same places, accompanied by the claps and stamping feet of the audience – a good thing:)!
After the magic of that concert, I came home, had some supper and finally finished something I’ve been working on. Ashby.I want to say it like Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara said, “Ashley,” but that would be a little weird coming out of my mouth;). Off the needles, blocked, and photographed. Put a fork in it. It’s done.
Time to sign off. Court tomorrow.
God be with you ’til we meet again.