Great Day

May. 14th, 2017 04:59 pm
sartorias: (Default)
Perfect Mother's Day! Son too me out for banh mi and to see Guardians of the Galaxy--which was only six smackers a head!

What a fun movie! We were cracking up right and left. The villains were even fun, instead of boring, like the first movie.
sartorias: (handwritten books)
Every year I try to find holiday music that is not Santa rocking around the Xmas tree, Chestnuts roasting, or Dreidl Dreidl Dreidl.

Noel Nouvelet is a favorite, but it's difficult to find an arrangement online that has all the polyphonic, and female and male voices blended.

It's difficult to find Chanukka songs that are not the same three, the equivalent of Rudolph and Jingle Bells, but I always come back to Ernst Bloch's gorgeous From Jewish Life.

And here is his beautiful violin piece Nigun. (I wish I could find a real Chanukka night)

And for Christmas I hope this works--a children's choir singing "Pat-a-pan."


And here is Riu Riu Chiu, written by Matteo Flecha, who wrote the Ensalada "La Bomba" that I love so much. This is the Gondwana Chorale.

The only rendition of "Betelemehu" that I could find. (I've heard it livelier, but this is pretty, especially toward the second half)

Small gems

Dec. 20th, 2015 07:42 am
sartorias: (desk)
If you don't mind heartwarming holiday ads, these German commercials via Cora Buhlert are tiny stories, with different feels to them. Most have little dialogue, and one has subtitles, so I think anyone could follow.

The Edeka one I'd already heard about a couple times--it has some bite to it.
sartorias: (desk)
I was listening to some Ernst Bloch while on the way back from the grocery store (and there was rain! A whole two minutes of it! And there I was having forgotten how this car turns on its wipers), and realized I had not wished a happy Chanukah to my friends who celebrate.

Thinking about branches of candles as well as holiday lights, wondering if the light symbolism takes on extra meaning in the Southern Hemisphere, where the longest day of the year is coming soon.
sartorias: (candle)
This amazing story of team effort to save lives is cast as a Christmas post, but really, it could as easily have gone up last week during Chanukah, or over the weekend to celebrate the return of the sun, or in acknowledgement of the better nature of human beings, whether couched in terms of spiritual uplift or not.

When I was a kid in the fifties, this time of year was all about Christmas, though even then the Christian elements were gradually being separated away into what Harry Connolly calls 'Giftmas'--Santa and elves and reindeer and snowmen and it was all about prezzies.The relatives played glutinous music like "Chestnuts Roasting" and of course a zillion different versions of "Jingle Bells," each more teeth-gritting than the last. There sometimes was a very brief nod to Chanukah (usually limited to the Dreidl song) and then it was mainstream quasi-religious Christmas all the way, with all the hyperbole about "Christmas spirit."

As a half century has passed, I've seen a shift away from that unthinking WASP assumption that everyone must go along with the majority because it's the American Way, or shuts up about it. I didn't really understand how non-majority people felt until my 20th year, when I was in London, staying with a non-religious family in Golders Green, that had few churches around. Nothing was open. Nothing to do. Nowhere to go that was not freezing cold. People busy with one another. I walked the early-dark, deserted streets of London, feeling a profound sense of isolation; the rest of the world was happily involved with one another and there was no place for me. It was then that I began at last to comprehend the importance of diversity if we are to begin to find harmony and peace with one another.

Seeing an acceptance of diversity slowly come to pass (too slowly for some, I know, but for others a sharp regret at the speed of unwanted change, as cultural evolution does not go at the same speed for everyone ) has therefore been a relief. Because even though I personally begin listening to the most glorious Christmas music I can find around Advent time, and I'm happiest when I can attend a midnight service (I'd go alone but my eyes cannot be trusted for driving that late at night) I would so much rather see everyone around me in a celebrative mood, whatever the impulse: Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, Emperor's Birthday, Dongzhi Festival, or just getting together with dear ones because winter is here and we need human warmth.
sartorias: (Default)
I have a real weakness for flash mob musical surprises. Via [livejournal.com profile] mckitterick comes Darth Vader directing Carol of the Bells..

Another odd, and somewhat dark holiday related story told by [livejournal.com profile] azdak here about the "Schlager," which word in German means hit or beat, but signifies to Germans a certain type of extremely treacly, sentimental songs. One of the longest enduring of these songs has a strange story.
sartorias: (Default)
I have a real weakness for flash mob musical surprises. Via [livejournal.com profile] mckitterick comes Darth Vader directing Carol of the Bells..

Another odd, and somewhat dark holiday related story told by [livejournal.com profile] azdak here about the "Schlager," which word in German means hit or beat, but signifies to Germans a certain type of extremely treacly, sentimental songs. One of the longest enduring of these songs has a strange story.

Holidays

Dec. 21st, 2011 05:37 pm
sartorias: (Default)
Happy Chanukah!

I have been switching between my Chanukah and Christmas Pandora soundtracks. It has taken me some years to train Pandora not to play the horrible Xmas jingles that I hate so much. My Chanukah playlist had almost none of those.

Below is my Christmas tree. I have a photo because this is the first time ever that I didn't decorate it. (The kids used to help, then when they got to the teen years, they just liked to see it done, and as I've always enjoyed decorating the tree, especially if there is cool enough weather to put a fire in the fireplace, this has been fine.)

But! I arrived home from Horse Camp the other night to discover that the others had bought and decorated the tree, and that made me smile.

So at dawn this morning I took a picture at a time when the light outside in the patio sort of balanced with the light in here, so that the lights reflected in the glass door. Howsomeever, I discovered that the flash sort of negates that--and otherwise: dark pic. Ah well. So much for my attempts at arty photography.


Holidays

Dec. 21st, 2011 05:37 pm
sartorias: (Default)
Happy Chanukah!

I have been switching between my Chanukah and Christmas Pandora soundtracks. It has taken me some years to train Pandora not to play the horrible Xmas jingles that I hate so much. My Chanukah playlist had almost none of those.

Below is my Christmas tree. I have a photo because this is the first time ever that I didn't decorate it. (The kids used to help, then when they got to the teen years, they just liked to see it done, and as I've always enjoyed decorating the tree, especially if there is cool enough weather to put a fire in the fireplace, this has been fine.)

But! I arrived home from Horse Camp the other night to discover that the others had bought and decorated the tree, and that made me smile.

So at dawn this morning I took a picture at a time when the light outside in the patio sort of balanced with the light in here, so that the lights reflected in the glass door. Howsomeever, I discovered that the flash sort of negates that--and otherwise: dark pic. Ah well. So much for my attempts at arty photography.


sartorias: (Default)
Today's post is pretty low key, about the stories people tell about holiday traditions. I would love it if any readers with a couple extra minutes would talk about what their older relatives told them about celebrations of holidays in days past.

Does anyone have relatives who grew up in Stalinist Russia? New York city boroughs? Hawaii? These traditions do not have to be solely about Christmas.
sartorias: (Default)
Today's post is pretty low key, about the stories people tell about holiday traditions. I would love it if any readers with a couple extra minutes would talk about what their older relatives told them about celebrations of holidays in days past.

Does anyone have relatives who grew up in Stalinist Russia? New York city boroughs? Hawaii? These traditions do not have to be solely about Christmas.
sartorias: (beyond the world)
When I was a kid, I really, really hated Thanksgiving. The main reason was because the adults would hammer us with extra speeches about patriotism and gratitude.

One of the most pernicious weapons we use on one another is the guilt obligation. To be told what I should be grateful for just sparked resentment.

So loving Thanksgiving came to me late. One of the tougher things about old age is that regrets can overwhelm hopes, and that's a balance we have to work to find, but one thing for sure: I have come to be grateful for all the little things. It gives me such joy to observe the quality of light slanting through the leaves, to catch the dogs cuddling, my son's smile when I enter a room, my daughter sending me a funny text message, to sit beside my spouse on the couch and chat. Little stuff, but so very precious.

Have a great day, whatever you celebrate or do.

And in case you might have missed it, a discussion of Delia Sherman's THE FREEDOM MAZE and realism, verisimilitude, and authority in fiction..
sartorias: (beyond the world)
When I was a kid, I really, really hated Thanksgiving. The main reason was because the adults would hammer us with extra speeches about patriotism and gratitude.

One of the most pernicious weapons we use on one another is the guilt obligation. To be told what I should be grateful for just sparked resentment.

So loving Thanksgiving came to me late. One of the tougher things about old age is that regrets can overwhelm hopes, and that's a balance we have to work to find, but one thing for sure: I have come to be grateful for all the little things. It gives me such joy to observe the quality of light slanting through the leaves, to catch the dogs cuddling, my son's smile when I enter a room, my daughter sending me a funny text message, to sit beside my spouse on the couch and chat. Little stuff, but so very precious.

Have a great day, whatever you celebrate or do.

And in case you might have missed it, a discussion of Delia Sherman's THE FREEDOM MAZE and realism, verisimilitude, and authority in fiction..

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