Saturday, May 25, 2019

not a day of rest

Friday. First I had to await the late morning arrival of the cable company technician. Our old DVR box had been glitching, so after much unsuccessful online rebooting, they sent us a new one. Which set up fine, but then proved not to work at all. We couldn't even watch TV as it just sat there and pouted. The guy on the phone thought it was my cable, but the visiting tech quickly proved that false by running a long bypass cable from the modem upstairs down the stairwell and directly into the box. Then he said, maybe it's your modem which is really old (trans: over five years). So now we have a new one, plus wi-fi which I had dreaded ordering. But that wasn't it either. Turned out the DVR was refurbished but the old account had never properly been deleted, so there was an authorization conflict. So now we have yet another new DVR, and a new remote which glows in the dark too.

Then, to UC Berkeley for some library research, looking over Mythopoeic Scholarship Award nominees and finishing touches in the Tolkien Studies bibliography. Didn't arrive until 2 pm, but finished up, to my surprise, in less than 3 hours, which is good because on intersession Fridays they close at 5. Here's an annual journal volume that says it's the 2017 issue in one place and the 2018 in another. (The previous issue was 2016, and I guess they were just running late: they're not the worst offender.) Applied library cataloging rules to determine priority.

Had driven in to save time over the "last mile" issue on public transit, so had time to dart down to the Oakland hills to try out a restaurant I'd seen reviewed, before heading back up to a convenient BART station on the direct line to the City for an SF Symphony concert. Krzysztof Urbański returned with his bounding manner and big shock of hair, to conduct only one section of the orchestra at a time, as is his wont, bringing along another piece from his homeland, this time the nominal curtain-raiser of an Overture (that's the whole title) by Grażyna Bacewicz (1909-69), Poland's greatest woman composer, slowly emerging from international obscurity. It had the bustling energy of Bernstein's Candide without sounding in the least like it. Followed by an equally bustling and energetic rendition of Mendelssohn's Italian Symphony.

Also on the program, Elgar's enormous (55 minutes in this performance) Violin Concerto. This at least sounds more typically Elgarian than his Cello Concerto, but it's equally rambling. Doesn't speak to me at all. Beautiful harmonies, though, with silky playing from soloist Vilde Frang, who's very tall and very thin and from Norway.

Ignoring several BART trains headed in various wrong directions later, finally back to my car and home about 12 hours after I left, i.e. very late.

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