Thursday, September 12, 2013

Please be kind if I'm a mess.

Cigarettes and chocolate milk
These are just a couple of my cravings
Rufus Wainwright

Okay, I'm craving neither cigarettes nor chocolate milk, but the chocolate in Homemade In The Shade by BlueBell is a frequent flier, and I have thought wistfully of nicotine patches of late.  Love love love this superb composition by Rufus Wainwright about things for which we long that are maybe a little less than entirely healthful. 

About 8 or 9 years (or 10???) ago I quit coffee cold turkey.  I was addicted.  I would drink a whole pot and clean like a domestic fiend.  Yes.  Cold turkey.  My house has turned for the decidedly messy these intervening years.  Went to an Italian eatery with Himself a couple of years ago and the lovely North Italian waiter brought us a complimentary cafĂ© Italian with our dessert.   This turns out to have been a gateway coffee, as I've been off the wagon and consorting with the demon bean ever since to varying degrees.

Yes, I'm drinking so much coffee lately that I'm referring to it as the demon bean.

Um. I sort of have to.  I have metric butt-tonnes to read and do for school, and still working one day a week at the salt mine.  It's sort of not a question of whether or not to drink coffee.  I do try to stop at noon.  The first couple of weeks with school, insomnia was a problem, but I seem to be settling into a bit of a routine and sleeping more soundly and for more of the night.  When I feel I have my mud in more of a ball (after the 3 tests I have next Monday and Tuesday), I'll return to yoga and that will surely help.

For now, though, I'll keep fires on the shrine of the demon bean burning.

The song above is one of my all-time favorites.  You can see the absolute mastery of Rufus' playing.  Rufus is obviously a classically trained musician, and both his parents are famous singer/songwriters in their own right, as is his sister, Martha.  One startling thing about Rufus is the exquisiteness of his voice production, an absolute rarity in the non-classical realm.  You can hear that his voice is very even, and you can always tell it's the same voice from the top to the bottom of the range, and this is a hallmark of good quality singing. In fact, I expect that if he lives to be geriatric, he'll be able to sing in this sublime manner well into old age.  This is why you have many opera singers performing well into their 60s and 70s - the instrument is well cared-for and properly used.

On the songwriting, this number is structurally superb.  The minor modulation and oom-pahpah underpinning is almost like a carnival calliope, giving the song a sort of melancholy sweetness. Nostalgic.  Each new passage of the melody climbs a beautiful arpeggio to leap to a top interval that astounds and is tonically delightful, wonderfully unexpected.  This is, in my opinion, one of the finest songs composed in my lifetime.

So... I'm getting through my days, trying to concentrate on what I have to learn, but I am sustained by coffee, ice cream, the attendant talisman of beautiful perfume and the thought of music which delights me. 

Here's to coping mechanisms. Long may they keep us waving.


drjim said...

What, no new shoes?!?

Evyl Robot Michael said...

Through a zany twist of events that I'll tell you about in more detail at a later date, I wound up with some e-cigarette equipment. We discovered that the juice that powers that stuff doesn't have to have nicotine in it, and can actually be caffeinated. So, Jennifer actually has a licorice-clove flavored caffeine vape with no nicotine. When her butt is dragging, she'll puff on that thing.