Cloister Commentary, Day 242: Way Up in the Fall

I got with the program early and did some more yardening, as we have some young friends coming over to sit by the fire and sip beverages with us at a safe distance. We are always conscious of setting a decent example for the yutes, though this particular couple does that spectacularly themselves. A reminder that pandemic time can seem fleeting (though I am under no illusions that it won’t extend far into the future) was Deven La Vere and Company making one of their final appearances of the year to further clean up our yard for the winter; it seems like it was only yesterday that he arrived for the first time in 2020. LaVere Lawn and Landscaping rocks–we’ve been with them since Deven, Justin, and Linda were our next-door neighbors and the men started the business, and we strongly recommend them.

I finished two books (I am in the midst of an additional three), so, hey–I’m up for a recommendation! Not that I’m not surrounded by stacks, but it’s nice to get a tip from a friend once in awhile. I’m not much into romance, fantasy, or pop-up books, so you might keep that in mind.

My main excitement was that yesterday was Nicole’s last official day doing in-person instruction, at least for awhile. The CPS rolling two-week average of new district COVID cases per day is around 110–good reason to be relieved your spouse can work remotely.

In case you thought my interest in the early days of disco was just a fad, down in my lab, by crackle-candlelight I constructed the equivalent of a 3-CD set of dance floor gems recommended by the adept Vince Aletti in his “Disco Files” column during May ’75 alone–and I’d previously heard not a one of them. Maybe I should put together a YouTube playlist to go with my own files?

On the way to pick up some curbside eats, I happened to be playing some sublime jazz on the truck jukebox, when Nicole popped a question she and many other folks who find themselves in my orbit tend to avoid, as spontaneous educational monologues expanding beyond 15 minutes are not everyone’s conversation cup of tea:

“Who is this we’re listening to?”

I thought it was quite sweet of her to ask, and I kept the presentation to 10 minutes. Who were we listening to? It was the classic pianist whose classic album follows…

Streaming for Survivors:

Straight out of Watts, aided and abetted ably by Cecil McBee on bass, John Carter on clarinet, and Andrew Cyrille on drums….

Cloister Commentary, Day 159: How Many More, How Much More?

Finally, I weeded and trimmed around the front yard and sides of the house and hauled the detritus to the mulch site. I’m almost to sore to write this morning. Where is this sudden burst of diligence coming from? It scares me. I was accompanied by the neighbor’s passel of unfed cats, who were clearly entertaining me in hopes of morsels.

Nicole and I checked a few items off the get-‘er-done-‘fore-school-starts list: we set up a safety deposit box and corresponded again with two prisoners on death row in Missouri in league with the Missourians Against the Death Penalty program. It’s a trademark of the pandemic that two actions taking us a little less than an hour total felt like major accomplishments.

The NBA’s choice to suspend the playoffs was more inspiring than watching a great overtime game. It’s on the back of Dame’s and Donovan’s jerseys: how many more? And how much more?

We finished the first season of Unforgotten, which ended a tad soft with an overload of redemption. But I also found myself asking, from a critical perspective, what’s so wrong with that? Is it that much of a pipedream? Well, probably.

My English friend David requested Top 10 lists from some of his fellow music mavens, and rather than rearrange the same basic list I’ve probably posted for a decade, I decided to go off-canon. For your perusal:

  1. Carmen McRae: As Time Goes By – Live at the Dug
  2. Dead Moon: Trash & Burn
  3. Armando Garzon: Boleros
  4. Doris Duke: I’m a Loser (Kent UK Reissue)
  5. Jorge Ben: Africa Brasil
  6. Various Artists: It Came from Memphis, Volumes 1 & 2
  7. CH3: Fear of Life
  8. Sonny Criss: Sonny’s Dream (Birth of the New Cool)
  9. Johnny Bush: 14 Greatest Hits
  10. Lynn August: Sauce Piquante

Streaming for Strivers:

A taste? I have probably listened to this somewhat forgotten album 10-15 times in the last year.