Friday, July 13, 2007
We went to bed fairly early and there were three interruptions: a rainstorm, a middle of the night phone call that turned out to be a wrong number and a big ruckus from my cat that woke Fritz but not me. He told me in the morning and I got up, walked around the foot of the bed, and found the mouse cadaver that Starr had carefully laid right in the geographic center of the little rug on Fritz's side of the bed. I disposed of the remains and we both praised the Great Huntress.
On Thursday morning we heard activity up at the house site and went up to find the excavator clearing shattered rock from the second blast. It was a huge success. The hillside is blown out about twenty feet or so behind the house's back wall, just low enough to allow the grading and drainage backfill necessary to guarantee the proper management and routing of water coming down the hill during heavy rains.
The rest of the day was devoted to my finding essential records and files, setting up an office in a guest room of the house and catching up on bill paying and other pressing business.
Today, I'm off to New York City for the first half (Das Rheingold and Die Walkure) of Wagner's massive Ring of the Nibleung (the last two are next weekend). The Kirov Opera from St Petersberg, Russia is presenting its interpretation at the Metropolitan Opera. There had been a great Wagner tradition in Russia until the 1930s when the Hitler-Stalin accords went sour and Wagner was effectively banned from performance in the Soviet Union for a good forty years or so.
Russia's horrible sufferings at the hands of the Nazis took a long time to overcome. This Ring production is apparently based on a Slavic view of the interaction of myth and nature and is extremely Russian in both philosophy and visual presentation.
Saturday morning, I'm driving down to Whiting, New Jersey to visit a 94 year old lady in a retirement home. She and her husband had run a gift store in Rego Park, Queens, New York. While I was in high school, they provided me with my first job and enough in earnings to keep me in Broadway and opera ticket money. They were childless; I think that the fact that they kept in touch with me through the years meant that they had in some sense "adopted" me. While I was in college they sent cards and sometimes a modest bit of money to help me through. I sent pictures of the girls as they grew up and we traded cards at the important holidays,
He's gone now and I thought that before it was too late I would make an actual visit. The woman who cares for her needs wrote me how excited she was that I was coming down to visit. She's apparently extremely active, goes out to dinner with some frequency and enjoys being taken to the local library to pick out books and CDs. I'll spend at least two hours there, probably more, and take her out to lunch, then back to the City for the evening performance. I'll be back here in New Hampshire Sunday afternoon.
I am eager to hear what you think of it.
And now, on to the next steps... good luck with everything!