Cloister Commentary, Day 234: Is There Life on Mars?

Well, it was nice to have two anxiety-free days. I have never seen a regime like this–gambling their dignity and credibility on kleptocratic success. This stuff just makes me wonder if there’s life on Mars.

Anyway. I had a nice morning at work editing. It’s so enjoyable when what you’re editing is interesting. A writer friend asked me to edit the syllabus and statement of philosophy for his course proposal, and I was very humbled to have been asked. Both documents made me want to take the class (on avant garde jazz), and they were so skillful I had to bear down to make any substantial suggestions (nothing’s perfect–the editor’s mantra). After I’d returned the documents, my friend informed me the school in question is Princeton! Holy sh*t!!!

Nicole and I grabbed a Shakespeare’s pizza curbside (green olives, red onions, fresh mushrooms, pepper cheese–the veggie Overeem Special), then spent the evening reading and relaxing to the musical inventions of Horace Silver, Ray Charles, Skip James, and The Southern Tones.

We awakened at 3 this morning to learn the Columbia Public School Board was wise, given our current COVID explosion: virtuality til January 19, 2021.

Streaming for Strivers:

As the kids and Charles Young say, “Mood.”

Cloister Commentary, Day 68: Steppin’ Out

I have written here before about Love Coffee, a shop in Columbia that supports its citizens with disabilities by training and employing them. Like many small businesses, the enterprise is struggling under the heavy hand of the coronavirus. We dropped in again and ordered a mess of delicious offerings (I highly recommend the brioche cinnamon rolls and the pecan rolls and the muffins and the quiche and the chai). If you are in Columbia, you might think about dropping by, too.

We will be getting tested for COVID-19 next Tuesday at Hickman High School courtesy of the state health department. If you’re interested, you must register. I also made my first blood donation appointment since we started staying home, so I guess you can say I’m steppin’ out.

I’m almost done writing material for my summer comp class. I hope it doesn’t drive us all mad. Are they all gonna know to Zoom in via Canvas at 9 Monday morning?

Do you ever catch fire with an artist? I’ve loved Miles Davis since before I turned twenty, but an outstanding bookmy friend Phil Freeman wrote and sent me a copy of has me aflame with Milesmania. Yesterday was the anniversary of Davis’ birth, and I probably listened to 3-4 hours of his exciting and still surprising electric music. I also had my nose in the last Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings for an hour, even though I purt-near have the book’s 1,646 pages memorized. I miss those guides, dammit. They had a slightly European-skewed perspective that one just couldn’t get anywhere. Check out their recommended core jazz collection, helpfully extracted by the hard-workin’ Tom Hull.

Nicole and I drove out to Capen Park to hike up to a spot George Frissellonce showed us. As we began to get out of the jalopy, the skies poured down rain. Maybe this weekend, as part of a bigger hike?

I am grateful for neighbors like Dave Huggler and Shireen Razavi. Just talking to them makes you feel like you can weather any local storm.

This is the first commentary I’ve written on computer–the rest I’ve thumbed on on my smartphone. I think we’re all lucky I’ve been doing that, as with this trusty keyboard I feel I could just peck on til noon.

Streaming for Shut-Ins:

What I’m listening to right now. I have WORN this album OUT.