Thursday, September 30, 2010

such a howardian slip

Last night I made up a packing list for an upcoming trip. And yes, I have to make a list to remember to bring my toothbrush. Just you shush, you ladies will all be menopausal, too, one day.

Hair dryer. Check.
Toothbrush. Check.
Glasses. Check.
Wait. What? Non-stinkum? Where did that come from?

I chuckled. My Dad. Sigh. Another Howardism. He called deodorant non-stinkum all the time.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

oh, that Cate

Yesterday morning Kenz brought the girls by. Cate came with Nephi and Tarzan, her latest imaginary friends. And woe be unto anyone who eats their portion of candy corn!

At naptime Kenz put her into the spare room crib. She’s quite familiar with this as she has spent countless sleepovers and naptimes here. She did the usual talking to herself but for whatever reason wouldn’t settle down and nap.

Pretty soon we hear her holler:
Here’s da deal, k?
I clime outta my kib (crib) and din I turn into a REAL LIVE BOY!
Okay, Mom?

Yup, we have been reading Pinnochio around here lately. Is it any wonder my grand daughter and I get along famously? She reads stuff and makes the most randomly odd connections.

possibly TMI

Note: I never wanted this blog to be my personal diary and in fact 90% of my life is not shared online. I use my blog to record random insights, links, happenings, pics, projects, etc. It’s a place to sort out and store many things. Sometimes though, I reveal too much. I am opening myself up to the craziness in my head today simply because owning up to our lives is a pretty universal thing. When we look honestly at ourselves and try to uncover what is at the root of our unproductive or less worthy behavior, it hurts. I don’t expect comments dear family, it’s nice when you do, but this blog has never been about that. Rather, by posting this, may you knowingly smile and feel less alone. There is a shared familial bond between those who feel emotional pain and struggle and I provide the genetic link to Arnett craziness. On any given day I am a holy mess.

I am working hard at keeping my emotions in check. For the past few months I have been slipping into…I don’t know what. I believe the closest psych jargon is called ‘despair thinking’. Patterns of thinking that automatically go to the worst-case scenario. I have always had a tendency to do this but lately, well, it’s causing me to tear up more than once a day and the rational CS, the one who knows better, is using up a lot of energy in her private lectures and self-talk in trying to shake this off. This is what comes when we give up on denial and make a commitment to start facin' it. Where to put all that inevitable pain, eh? When we quit stuffing our feelings and emotions and DEAL, well, expect difficult days. My old ways of distracting myself or reaching for a cookie (more like 20), I miss that because as harmful as it was, it allowed me to live in denial. And denial, what a luxury. It allows me to pretend that I don’t see what is evident all around me.

Standing tall to all these feelings and the reality of my life without my knees buckling is tough, tough stuff. Hence, the weepiness.

But being depressed much of the time is really getting old. I am sick of my mopiness because in my better moments I know that despair and denial aren’t the only options available to me. There are other ways of thinking and feeling through all this facin’ it stuff that offer much more promise.

Sunday in Sacrament meeting a boy in his testimony said:
A friend once asked me 'What is your favorite thing about the Gospel?” And I thought about it for awhile and said, ‘It’s hope. Hope that I can change. Hope in Jesus Christ, that there is a reason and a plan’.

I love that too about the Gospel. I am still trying to work out how reality and optimism and hope jive. Is it an act of will or a gift of the spirit? Both?

This then:

Despair is a luxury. If I despair, I can drive a Yukon and watch bad television. Despair makes no demands on us; Hope demands everything.

The easy thing is to feel sorry for myself. But how do I be and do hopeful when I feel helpless? It's the helpless part that makes me feel hopeless. You see my dilemma.

Sometimes we get stuck in our thinking. Sometimes we need someone to listen to our convoluted or tortured thoughts and breathe perspective on them. Yesterday, when mine came tearfully tumbling out, someone listened and heard. He made it better and bearable by really listening and telling me to take up golf. Oddly enough, I'm better today. Thanks, brother #4.

I would not trade my brothers for all the pineapples in Hawaii.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Part IV. Theatre

The summer I turned 15 I attended BYU's Theater Workshop. It was my first real exposure to teeny bop thespians and big time OA's*. I was introduced to budding opera singers, ballerinas, intense playwrights and Bardolatry. It was all so exciting and dramatic. he he he. We each had to do a scene from Shakespeare, mine being a dialogue between Desdemona and Emilia from Othello. How our drama major/student coach kept a straight face is life's greatest wonder. We were terrible.

Here's the list for Theatre. I have yet to understand why the Fantasticks was included. Sweeney Todd however, is a personal fav. The demon barber of Fleet Street, what does that say about me? In my defense, underneath all the horror is a very moral story and the music is incredible. Borrow my copy.

20th Century
Benny Andersson and Tim Rice, Chess
Jean Anouilh, Antigone; The Lark; Becket
Alan Ayckbourn, Absurd Person Singular; Absent Friends
Samuel Becket, Endgame; Waiting for Godot
Alan Bennett, Forty Years On; The Madness of George III
Robert Bolt, A Man For All Seasons
Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, Les Misérables
Alexander Blok, The Fairground Booth
Bertolt Brecht, Caucasian Chalk Circle; Mother Courage; Three Penny Opera; Good Woman of Sechzuan; Life of Galileo
T.S. Eliot, Murder in the Cathedral
Dario Fo, Accidental Death of an Anarchist; We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay!
Horton Foote, Roots in a Parched Ground; Courtship; Valentine’s Day; 1918; Trip to Bountiful; The Midnight Caller; Tender Mercies
Maria Irene Fornes, Drowning; Mud; The Danube; The Conduct of Life; Sarita; Promenade; Tango Palace
Michael Frayn, Copenhagen
Brian Friel, Dancing at Luhgnasa
Athol Fugard, My Country; My Africa; A Lesson From Aloes
Jean Genet, The Balcony; The Maids; The Blacks; Francis of Assisi; The Death of Dr. Faust
Michel Ghelderode, Barabbas; Chronicles of Hell
James Goldman, The Lion in Winter
Loraine Hansbury, Raisin in the Sun
Vaclav Havel, The Garden; The Memorandum
Lillian Hellman, Little Foxes
Beth Henley, Crimes of the Heart
DuBose Heyward and George Gershwin, Porgy and Bess
Peter Handke, The Ride Across Lake Constance; My Foot My Tutor; Offending the Audience
Eugene Ionesco, The Bald Soprano; The Lesson; The Chairs; Jack, or The Submission; Rhinoceros
Alfred Jarry, Ubu Ro
Tom Jones, The Fantasticks
Tina Landau, Floyd Collins
Arthur Laurents and Leonard Bernstein, West Side Story
Alan Lerner and Frederick Lowe, Camelot; My Fair Lady
Federico Garcia Lorca, The House of Bernarda Alba
Maurice Maeterlink, The Intruder; Pelleas and Melisande
David Marmet, Oleana; The Water
Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman; The Crucible; After the Fall; All My Sons; A View from the Bridge
Marsha Norman, ‘night, Mother
Eugene O’Neill, Ah Wilderness; Hairy Ape; Long Day’s Journey Into Night; Desire Under the Elms; The Iceman Cometh; Mourning Becomes Electra
Harold Pinter, Betrayal; The Birthday Party; The Room; The Homecoming; No Man’s Land; The Caretaker
Luigi Pirandello, Six Characters in Search of an Author; Henry IV; The Rules of the Game
J. P. Sartre, No Exit; Flies
Peter Shaffer, Amadeus; Equus; Lettice and Lovage
Wole Schoyinka, Euripides the Bacchae
Neil Simon, Barefoot in the Park; Brighton Beach Memoirs; Broadway Bound; The Odd Couple
Stephen Sondheim, Sweeney Todd; Sunday in the Park with George; Into the Woods; A Little Night Music
Gertrude Stein, Four Saints in Three Acts; The Mother of Us All; A Play Called Not and Now
Tom Stoppard, Rosenkrantz and Gildenstern are Dead; Travesties; Jumpers; Arcadia
Dale Wasserman, Man of La Mancha
Andrew Lloyd Webber, Cats
Peter Weiss, Marat/Sade
Thornton Wilder, The Matchmaker; Our Town; Skin of our Teeth
Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire; The Glass Menagerie; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; Night of the Iguana; Suddenly Last Summer
August Wilson, The Piano Lesson
Witkeiwits, The Crazy Locomotive; The Water Hen
Susan Zeder, Step on a Crack


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

matthew 22:42

Last week.

Cate: (Excitedly) Hey, gamma! ‘Dere Jesus! She tugs on my arm and points to the fridge.

Cate: Gamma, gamma. ‘ook! Jesus.

I look in the direction she is pointing. Sure enough there is a 4 x 6 magnetized picture of the Savior on the fridge.

Me: Oh yeah, Cate. You’re right. It is Jesus.

Cate: Yeah. (pleased with herself, she sighs and asks) You know him?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Part III. Music

Iconic fam photo. My brothers performing Mustang Sally or was it Come on Baby Light my Fire. Either way our musical roots run deep, eh? he he he. Time to shake up the play list.
If you're looking for where to listen, try Pandora: There's always youtube, too. Again, this list is far from exhaustive. So much worthy stuff missing. A good start, though.

III. Music
A Gregorian/plainchant mass for Christmas or Easter
Hildegard of Bingen, Ordo virtutum; any two sequences
Leonin, Alleluia Pascha nostrum (organum duplum)
Perotin, Viderunt omnes; Veni creator spiritus
The Play of Daniel
Machaut, Messe de Notre Dame; Ma fin est mon commencement

William Byrd, Mass for Four Voices; Great Service; Fantasia for Strings
Dufay, Nuper rosarum flores; Vergine bella
(Petrarca) Farmer, Fair Phyllis or another madrigal
Heinrich Isaac, Innsbrück ich muss dich lassen
Josquin des Préz, Ave Maria; Absolon fili mi; Missa Pange lingua; Missa L’homme armé; Milles Regretz; El Grillo
Orlandus Lassus, Salve Regina; Bonjour mon coeur
Monteverdi, Vespers; any madrigal
Ockeghem, Missa Fors seulement
Palestrina, Pope Marcellus Mass; Stabat Mater
Thomas Tallis, Spem in alium; Lamentations of Jeremiah; English anthems
Victoria, O Magnum mysterium; Tenebrae Responsories
Weelkes, As Vesta was from Latmus hill descending

J. S. Bach, Mass in B Minor; St. Matthew Passion; St. John Passion; a cantata (e.g., BWV 4, 61, 80, 140, or 147); Well- Tempered Clavier; Art of the Fugue; a Brandenburg Concerto; Orchestral Suite 3; Musical Offering; Passacaglia & Fugue in C minor; Toccata & Fugue in D minor
Corelli, a Trio Sonata (opus 1, 2, 3, or 4); a concerto (opus 6)
Couperin, Vingt-cinquième ordre
Handel, Messiah; Samson; Jeptha; Giulio Cesare; Royal Fireworks Music; Water Music; Alexander’s Feast
Lully, Armide et Rénaud
Monteverdi, Orfeo; Coronation of Poppea
Purcell, Dido and Aeneas
Scarlatti, any three sonatas
Schütz, Christmas Oratorio; O quam tu pulchra est
Vivaldi, The Four Seasons (Op. 8) or another concerto

C. P. E. Bach, Sonata 4 in A; Symphony in D
Gluck, Orpheus and Eurydice
Haydn, The Creation; The Seasons; a string quartet (e.g, Lark, op. 64, 5); a symphony (e.g., 6-8, 45, 93-104)
Mozart, Così fan Tutte; Magic Flute; Marriage of Figaro; Don Giovanni; Requiem; Piano Concerto 18, 21, or 23; Symphony 40; Eine kleine Nachtmusik
Beethoven, Symphony 3, 5, 6, 7,or 9; a string quartet (e.g, op. 130-135); a piano sonata
(e.g., Pathetique; Waldstein); Emperor Concerto; Archduke Trio; Missa Solemnis; Fidelio

Berlioz, Symphonie fantastique; Requiem; Les Troyens
Bizet, Carmen
Brahms, Symphony 4; German Requiem; Clarinet Trio (Op. 114); Horn Trio (Op. 40); Intermezzi (Op. 118); Vier ernste Gesänge or three other lieder
Bruckner, Symphony 7; Violin Concerto; Motets
Chopin, Piano Concerto 2; any three solo piano works (Ballades, Etudes, Impromptus, Mazurkas, Preludes)
Dvorák, Symphony 9 (New World); Cello Concerto
Gilbert and Sullivan, Mikado; Pirates of Penzance
Grieg, Concerto for Piano and Orchestra; Peer Gynt
Liszt, Transcendental Etudes; Faust Symphony
Mendelssohn, Elijah; A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Mousorgsky, Pictures at an Exhibition
Nicolò Paganini, Violin Concerto No. 2
Rimsky-Korsakov, Scheherazade
Rossini, Barber of Seville; William Tell
Dmitri Shostakovich, Symphony No. 7
Schubert, Symphony 8 or 9; String Quartet 14 (Death and the Maiden); Winterreise or any three lieder (e.g., Erlkönig, Gretchen am Spinnrade, An die Musik)
Clara Schumann, Piano Trio 1; Quatre pièces fugitives
Robert Schumann, Dichterliebe; Symphony 3; Carnival
Sibelius, Finlandia; Symphony 2 or 5; Violin Concerto in D
Smetana, The Moldau
Verdi, La Traviata; Rigoletto; Otello; Falstaff; Il Trovatore; Requiem
Weber, Der Freischütz
Wagner, Tristan and Isolde; Tannhäuser; Die Walküre or another opera from the Ring cycle
Tchaikovsky, Piano Concerto in B flat minor; Violin Concerto in D; Symphony 4, 5, or 6; The Nutcracker

20th Century
Armstrong, West End Blues
Barber, Adagio for Strings
Bartók, Concerto for Orchestra; Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta
Beach, Gaelic Symphony; Piano Trio; Canticles of the Sun
Berg, Wozzek; Violin Concerto; Lyric Suite
Bernstein, West Side Story; Candide; Mass
Britten, War Requiem; Peter Grimes
Copland, Appalachian Spring; Rodeo Crumb, Ancient Voices of Children; Black Angels
Debussy, Prelude to ‘Afternoon of a Faun’; La mer; Three Nocturnes; Nuages; Pelleas et Mélisande
Elgar, Cello Concerto; Enigma Variations; Sea Pictures
Ellington, Black & Tan Fantasy; Mood Indigo; Sophisticated Lady; Black, Brown, and Beige
Fauré, Requiem
Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue; Porgy and Bess
Holst, The Planets; Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda
Ives, Symphony 2, 3, or 4; Three Places in New England
Mahler, Symphony 1, 2, 5, 8 or 9; Das Lied von der Erde; Kindertotenlieder
Messaien, Quartet for the End of Time

Orff, Carmina Burana
Pärt, Litany; Tabula Rasa; Trisagion
Prokofiev, Romeo & Juliet; Scythian Suite; Symphony 1 or 5
Puccini, La Bohème; Madama Butterfly; Tosca
Rachmaninov, Piano Concerto 2 or 3; Preludes; Vespers
Ravel, Le Tombeau de Couperin; Daphnis et Chloé
Rutter, Requiem
Schoenberg, 5 Pieces for Orchestra; Pierrot Lunaire; Verklärte Nacht; Moses and

Shostakovich, Symphony 7 (Leningrad)
Richard Strauss, Rosenkavalier; Ariadne auf Naxos; Don Juan; Death and Transfiguration; Four Last Songs
Stockhausen, Kontakte; Der Gesang der Jünglinge
Stravinsky, Rite of Spring; Petroushka; Symphony of Psalms; Chamber Symphony; Variations for Orchestra
Varése, Poème électronique
Vaughn Williams, London Symphony; Pastoral Symphony; Fantasia on a Theme by Tallis; Lark Ascending; Hodie
Webern, 5 Pieces for Orchestra; Concerto for 9 Instruments
Weill, Threepenny Opera

Monday, September 6, 2010

tinko tinko 'iddle 'tar

Whoo whee. Two posts in one day. What can I say? I've been meaning to post this for a long time, just never got around to it. This poem was first introduced to me by my mother. It remains a favorite. And yes I am aware of the analysis by scholars that the poem was written in response to Keat's Bright Star and also that Frost himself was making reference to T.S. Eliot and modern poetry throughout the poem, sort of a dialogue between poets. Whatever. It's still inspiring on any level and speaks truth. The man has a way with words, eh? The imagery and advice in his poem is worthy and profound.

It asks a little of us here.
It asks of us a certain height,
So when at times the mob is swayed
To carry praise or blame to far,
We may choose something like a star
To stay our mind on and be staid.

When Cate sometimes sleeps over I like to lay down beside her crib on the floor. We tell stories and talk and sing songs. There is a glow-in-the-dark star stuck on the ceiling directly overhead (leftover from when the kids where small and once occupied the room). She always looks for it. Ld gave her a little flashlight that she loves to shine in her search. She gets so excited when she finally locates it and then we sing, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. It's magical and one of my favorite moments.

That always-looking for-the-star stuff, it resonates with me.

Set to music by Randall Thompson, (part of his Frostiana series) Frost’s poem can be seen by many as a metaphor for how we come to know truth. However and on what level you interpret the poem, it's simply beautiful. The music is too. (Turn up the volume, the audio is a little weak)

Or if you prefer the MoTab version here:

Choose Something Like a Star
by Robert Frost

O Star (the fairest one in sight),
We grant your loftiness the right
To some obscurity of cloud—
It will not do to say of night,
Since dark is what brings out your light.
Some mystery becomes the proud.
But to the wholly taciturn
In your reserve is not allowed.

Say something to us we can learn
By heart and when alone repeat.
Say something! And it says, 'I burn.'
But say with what degree of heat.
Talk Fahrenheit, talk Centigrade.
Use language we can comprehend.
Tell us what elements you blend.

It gives us strangely little aid,
But does tell something in the end.
And steadfast as Keats' Eremite,
Not even stooping from its sphere,
It asks a little of us here.
It asks of us a certain height,
So when at times the mob is swayed
To carry praise or blame too far,
We may choose something like a star
To stay our minds on and be staid.

what kind of mormon are you?

It goes without saying I have Liahona leanings. Ld is an Iron Rodder (shocker, I know.) Just different mindsets, both needed and useful in the kingdom.

Here's another. I am a huge Eugene England fan. I first read this years ago and it really turned the page on my thinking. Made me less critical and much more tolerant of fellow members.

And then this. Robert Kirby. You know, the humorous newspaper columnist that writes for the Tribune. This column, written years ago, is hilariously biting.

Despite the low number of certifiable GMs, nearly all Mormons think this is the kind of Mormon they are.

All the above reading is good stuff. But even after reading it all I don’t think any of us can really categorize or label one another or ourselves. Working out our own salvation is such an individual thing. The only real label worth striving for or that really matters is still the scriptural one: Disciple.

By posting these links you might question my devotion. You needn’t worry. My commitment remains solid. I am posting them because each of these essays/articles, read at a crucial time in my life, helped me. I want to remember. That’s all.