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A sultry afternoon coupled with a line of thundershowers coming in juuuuuust after ol’ Robbo finished grilling the evening cheeseburgers put this particular piece in mind.  I am not, as a rule, particularly fond of programmatic musick, but sometimes it is the note juste.

This is an outstanding performance, by the bye, and illustrates an argument Robbo was recently making to the Mothe about Baroque musick in general.  There are people of a certain age (mostly seniors, although there are also those younger persons who have never actually heard the musick but are willing enough to ape conventional disdain) who often say that they don’t like Baroque musick because it’s too stuffy, lifeless and la-di-dah, and doesn’t have enough feeling about it.  (Or, to put it in another, more cringe-worthy way, isn’t authentic enough.)  I firmly believe this is because of the performance practices of the mid-20th Century, which, when dealing with the Baroque, were stuffy, lifeless and la-di-dah, and which were, often, either the only or the primary source of exposure to such musick for these people.  (Can one even imagine, say, Furtwangler dealing with Bach? The thought is unbearable.)  Said performances were, almost invariably, over-instrumented, slow, stodgy and, for lack of a better word,  lifeless.  If that’s the way I was exposed to it, I probably wouldn’t have liked it either.

Fortunately, such was not the case.  I consider myself positively blessed to have grown up with the period instrument movement, to have been exposed to the Baroque as performed by this and other historickally informed groups.   I often say (well, to myself at any rate) that I would much rayther listen to the most ordinary, conventional Baroque musick than all but the best of any other genre.

Ol’ Robbo does love him some  closely-reasoned polyphony.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo spent his Saturday morning out working in the yard and is now sitting down to a tall, cold glass of iced coffee (aka the Sweet, Blesséd Nectar of the Gods), smug and complacent in the knowledge that he got all of the mowing, weed-whacking, raking and blowing over and done before the rains come in later today and tomorrow.   There’s still some weeding to be done, but we’ve been suffering a bit of a drought ’round here and the ground is getting rayther hard, so I feel it’s best to blow off put on hold the weeding until after the skies let loose.  At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

The port swiller yard has, I’m afraid, deteriorated a great deal over the course of the years, now consisting more of weeds – clover, dandelion, that little low-growing, round-leafed, blue-flowered thing – than of grass.   However, I have become quite comfortable with this: So long as the stuff is green and can be cut neat and trim, I no longer really give much of a damn what it’s composition may be.

Whilst laboring in teh vinyard, so to speak, I heard my first catbird of the season.   As much as I like catbirds (and they are among my favorites), I can never compute how the expression “sitting in the catbird seat” can possibly mean the same thing as sitting pretty or being on top of things.   To me, catbirds sound fussy and neurotic, and always seem to be working themselves up into some kind of tizzy.  “Eeeeeh! EEEEEEeeeeh! EEEEEEEEEeeeh!!” they say.  After a while, I find myself answering.  What? What do you want? What can I do?  I can only think that the expression “sitting in the catbird seat”  is a bit of mellifluous nonsense and was never meant to be any kind of observation on the bird’s apparent character.

Now, had it been mockies, then it would make sense.  But I suppose “sitting in the mockingbird seat” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Speaking of sitting in catbird seats, how does the paterfamilias properly reply to the eldest gel’s, “Dad! Can I take my friends to see the Nats game this afternoon? Pleeeease!!”?  Like this: “While I’m out working in the yard, I want this house cleaned top to bottom, or not a smell of the game do you get, even if it means calling your friends at the last second to tell them your dad banned you.”   That’s how.  And it works.  Leverage.  It’s all about leverage.

 So Mrs. R and teh gels, together with their friends, are off to Nat’nals Park even as I blog.  I’ve got a few more jobs to take care of and decided to stay behind, but will probably flip the game on teevee myself later.

Speaking of ballgames, may I just note here that the younger gels’ softball team has roared out to a commanding 4-0 record to start their spring season?   Last evening, the middle gel got two doubles, a walk and 4 ribbies.  And these weren’t your little league Keystone Kops defense doubles either, but a pair of ropes that she positively crushed to deep center.   Then she ended the game by deftly one-handing an awkward grounder to short and gunning down the runner at first.   Proud? Moi?

Well, I suppose I had ought to go and finish up my chores so that I can spend the shank of the afternoon loafing in good conscience.   And I do need a bit of R&R.   Although I normally don’t post much about politics these days out of prudence, I must say that my nasal passages have been rubbed absolutely raw by the volume of beverages – hot and cold – I’ve been snarfing up over all those Dog Wars photoshops that have been appearing around the intertoobs.  Hi. Larious.

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