Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Beethoven in the rain

This week I am working to three deadlines: a journal submission, and two different talks, to be delivered Thursday in New York, and then Friday here in Philadelphia with Tom, my collaborator.

So I am working like a demon in my little apartment, and haven't done the reading for David's graduate class today, and think I will probably call by his office later on and become an apology.

I'm writing up the paper I gave at ANZAMEMS last year to be one of three responses to Bruce Holsinger's The Pre-Modern Condition. Oh. Yes. I posted it on the blog. But I'm making it a bit longer, and have also realised I have left all my photocopies of Umberto Eco at home. There are various versions of the essays I want to cite, so I will have a messy day in the library trying to untangle them all for the footnotes.

Anyway, I worked at my desk all day yesterday, from 9.00 in the morning when mist hung low over the city, till about 6.00 when the sun was shining and it was about 18C. I went out for a walk and bought myself a little present (it was my birthday, though it was actually already over in the land of my birth; and I'm really saving up the celebrations for New York, when Paul and I can celebrate both our birthdays together): Lang Lang playing Beethoven's Piano Concerti #1 and #4. Absolutely wonderful, fluid rich sounds. I'm playing it through the ipod but can't wait to get it home and through the proper amp. and the big speakers.

I'd walked south along Broad St till there were not that many people walking around, stopping at a very imposing building that turned out to be yet another Philadelphia college of the performing arts — this is a very cultured city. I turned round, and almost at that point, the wind picked up, and the sky started to go that pale duck-egg green of a storm with fast-moving grey clouds against the westerly sun. I picked up my pace, and felt the pressure drop. Would I get home before the rain? No! Suddenly all hell broke loose in an immense hail storm. I took shelter in a car park: no one was leaving for fear of the stones beating up the cars, let alone people. I guess it lasted about ten minutes: even when it stopped hailing, the streets were white with the rain.

Then suddenly it was over, and I scurried home the last few blocks, water still pouring off awnings and car parks above street level. This morning? Blue skies again, and fluffy white clouds.

And congratulations to Meli at Northern Lights, who is handing in her PhD thesis today. Let's hope she's going to have the energy for some celebrations herself!

5 comments:

Pavlov's Cat said...

Well, that sounds like a properly dramatic day for a birthday. I hope your workload is going to let up a bit after Friday (*thinks: what would her doctor say?*), and that your birthday virtual flowers arrived after the date jumped out at me off the calendar.

LanglandinSydney said...

Stephanie, that was University of the Arts, home of Camille Paglia!

Karen (miscmum) said...

Hi Stephanie, Forgive me for contacting you in this fashion, but I was wondering if an email I sent via your unimelb address got through or not? It was in regard to blogging. Thanks a lot, Karen

Stephanie Trigg said...

Point taken, Dr Cat. I guess I'm just happy I'm able to concentrate all day: it's been quite a while...

Langland, I think this was past that one, which I have already registered. Didn't know it was Camille's house though!

Karen, email following...

Pavlov's Cat said...

Sorry, my dear, did not mean to sound like a bossyboots, but you do push yourself hard, and it just is not good for a person. On the other hand you seem to enjoy it so it probably is good for you, and I take your point absolutely about not often getting the chance to settle down and concentrate purely on work. But I hope the treats ratio goes up after the boys arrive!

WV: cationa. It can definitely read.