2000.12.07 =>

first snow in alsace

Tap. Tap.

Is this thing on?

So launch day is, coincidentally, the first day Iowa City has had any snowfall to speak of. Woke up, opened the window, and there it was: white dusting over the ground, specks drifting downward like ticker tape. It's eerie. I'm from Arizona, therefore unfamiliar with the stuff, therefore inclined to believe it's caused by ice demons in the clouds.

It felt epic, so while I was making coffee I put on Rachmaninoff's melodramatic First Symphony. At the end of the score Rachmaninoff wrote "Vengeance is mine; I will repay!" Apparently nobody knows if he was referencing the epigraph to Anna Karenina or if he was just mad. The Russian composer C├ęsar Cui reviewed the piece as follows:

If there were a conservatory in Hell and if one of the students were given an assignment to compose a programmatic symphony on the theme of "The Seven Plagues of Egypt" and composed a symphony like Rachmaninoff's he would have fulfilled the assignment brilliantly and thrilled the inhabitants of Hell.

Cui was one of the group of Russian nationalist composers known as "The Five." The other four were Balakirev, Borodin, Mussorgsky, and Rimsky-Korsakov. Their work is still performed today. Cui's isn't.

Salon names likely members for Dubya's Cabinet. They predict Condoleezza Rice, former provost of the alma mater, back in the saddle as National Security advisor. Between this and the Hoover Institute, Stanford's turning into a regular incubator for right-wing Pod People. Though honestly, about all I remember of Condi is a surreal email announcement from last year:

Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 09:54:21 -0800 (PST)
From: Ruxandra Mihaela Dorobantu
To: maison_francaise@lists.Stanford.EDU
Subject: Condi Rice at La Maison
I invited Condoleezza Rice to come speak she is former National Security advisor to George Bush and former Provost of Stanford. The talk will be mainly directed at Sophomores, but others might find it of interest too. She will talk about what motivated her career choice, things that are of importance to her (if any of you have been to the What Matters to Me and Why series, this will be kinda like that) and probably some foreign policy issues. She will play the piano at the end.  
Ce message vous a ete envoye via la mailing list de la Maison Francaise.

It's still snowing. I believe this will require me to make some sort of adjustment to my car.

2000.12.07 =>

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