Archive for October, 2007

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October 26, 2007

Hans*, there is now a comments RSS feed – check the bottom right corner.

Comments moderation is automatic on the wordpress.com site, presumably for good reason, socomments won’t show up until I’ve had a chance to moderate them. Most days I’m at the computer all day, of course, and there are very few comments anyway so it’s not really a problem.

*CMC address alert

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October 26, 2007

Tonight, I’m going to go to my first-ever Hallowe’en party. Miranda and Anna are hosting it, and I’m really looking forward to it. I won’t tell you what I’m going to dress up as, but I think I can promise photos afterwards. (I considered going as an opponent with Johan as the review committee, but we decided against it.)

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October 22, 2007

My first post using WordPress – all the previous posts are imported from Blogger. (Although over 200 posts were not imported, so I’ll have to do that by hand, yay. I will do it, though, even if those posts are five years old – I want the complete thing to be here.)

It feels nice to be here though. Clean, somehow.

[added later: And things work!]

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October 21, 2007

I am not a big movie goer, but this week I’ve been to the cinema twice. (Which makes it four times this year, I think.)

On Thursday, we went to see Stardust. It is, as you hopefully know, an adaptation of the excellent book by Neil Gaiman, which is a kind of fairy tale for adults. It has received very mixed reviews in Swedish papers, but it seems as if a lot of the reviewers had no idea it was a book to begin with, and it’s obvious they hadn’t read it. Big surprise there. Movies should of course stand on their own and be enjoyable to people who haven’t read the book (which is one reason why I think most books shouldn’t be adapted), but if you are going to get paid for reviewing a movie in a newspaper, it should be part of your job to find out the basic facts about it.

In any case, I love the book, and I also loved the movie. It was fun, and beautiful, and although they had changed the story around a lot I didn’t feel they had ruined it; the actors were good, and as usual I didn’t recognise any of them, even the ones I’ve probably seen in other movies. An added bonus – for all of us in the theatre if not for anybody else – was the fact that the cinema was virtually empty. There were very few people there, and no children, which meant no loud talking or running around or kicking my seat from behind or any of the other things that tend to make movie going an annoying rather than an enjoyable experience. This experience was very enjoyable indeed.

Yesterday, we went to an afternoon showing of Bergman’s The Magic Flute. I have always loved the adaptation – we had it on four or five LP records in a large, square box when I grew up, and I read and re-read the libretto and listened to the records over and over. I thnk I’d seen the adaptation three times before, never on the big screen, and it’s been any number of years. So it was a good reunion, with equal parts nostalgia and re-discovery. The story of the opera is a bit thin and silly, but the film is much more than that; I hadn’t appreciated the meta parts of it before as much as I did this time. The film is about The Magic Flute being produced as an opera, with glimpses of the audience, the props and scenery very much belonging tto a theatre, and between the acts, we see the Queen of Night smoking a cigarette, Pamina and Tamino playing chess and one of Monostatos’ slave boys reading Donald Duck. And of course I love the music. There is nothing difficult or challenging about it, a child can appreciate it (as indeed I did as a child), but I’m not afraid of saying I like it all the same. A few of the arias, such as Sarastro’s In Diesen Heil’gen Hallen (I dessa helga salar) almost bring tears to my eyes, they are so beautiful (and Ulrik Cold’s voice is just wonderful). The copy of the movie was old and rather scratched in places, occasionally, between scenes I even think there were a few seconds missing. Which made me wonder if I’m ever going to be able to see it again. I should get it on DVD before it’s too late, perhaps.

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October 16, 2007

POOR CATS! This has been a thoroughly miserable day for them. No food since last night (well, I removed the bowls at midnight), not allowed to go out this morning, and then being shut into the cages which they hate, having to travel by car which they don’t like much, either, and finally being pulled out of the cages (which by then seemed like havens of safety) by some unknown woman who listened to their hearts. They left damp footprints all over the vet’s desk (cats sweat through their paws).

And then I had to leave them there and pick them up a couple of hours later. By then they had been anesthetised and woken up again, and lay in the cages like little uncomprehending balls of fur. Bonadea had quite a lot of tartar to remove, but no infections in the gums or anything – though it is possible that she might develop FORL, which there is no treatment against and no way to prevent or halt. On the other hand, she might not develop it at all. The vet and the nurse both admired the cats and said they were in great health as well as really cute; I soaked it all up, of course. They also told me to brush the cats’ teeth – this could be a problem, we’ll see. I bought a tube of cat toothpaste (with liver taste, yech).

And then back home again in the nasty car, but this time they were quiet, pushing their noses into my hands through the cage doors. “Let them rest somewhere warm and dark, where they can’t fall down and hurt themselves”, the vet said. Well, the cats didn’t want any part of that. I shut them into the bathrooms, but after two minutes they were scratching the door for me to open. They almost couldn’t walk, but they would not lie still; I put down blankets and towels by every radiator in the house, but they persisted in hobbling around, falling over every so often, trying to get on the window sills and failing, trying to get on the furniture and failing, throwing up a few times (not that they had anything to throw up), and just looking really, really miserable. It was rather pathetic and sort of scary, even though I knew it was transitory.

After a few hours they calmed down, Cassandra went to sleep on my lap and Bonadea on my feet on the floor. And at eight or so they started to eat a little again. By now they seem almost back to normal, just a little unsteady on their feet. And with gleaming white teeth.

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October 15, 2007

I spent the weekend singing, mostly. The choir travelled out in the semi-countryside on the outskirts of town, and practiced Rheinberger, Back, the Christmas programme and the hymns for the CD we’re about to record, until we were basically blue in the face (and not only because the house was cold). It was fun, though. I needed to get away from thinking only about the thesis, and managed to keep the computer in its bag the entire time. The Rheinberger we sing is his Cantus Missae, which we’ll sing on the All Hallows weekend; I know I’ve sung it before, probably nine or ten years ago. Beautiful music anyway, and fun to sing. Bach’s Christmas Oratory is also fun. It has been performed in Uppsala Cathedral on the first Sunday in Advent for years and years. This choir has performed it once, two years ago; then we started preparing much too late due to a rather pressed schedule earlier in the term, although I think it went well in the end (I caught a cold that weekend, two years ago, and rehearsed in the morning of the performance but had to go home after – and missed all concerts in December, always a heavy month for singing. (This year we have four concerts in December, I think, and three at the end of November, including the Christmas Oratory.)

So that was not particularly interesting to anybody except myself, I guess – be grateful I don’t start talking about the thesis. I just might, though I should really be writing it, not about it.

And tomorrow the cats have an appointment with the vet, to have their teeth cleaned from tartar. Poor fluffballs have no idea what’s in store.

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October 14, 2007

And today is Rebecka’s birthday – she is 2, and she is in Kingston, Ontario, so I won’t even get to say happy birthday in person.

Grattis på födelsedagen, Becka.