Sunday, February 13, 2011

Love Is In the Air . . .

Our first married Valentine's Day is Monday, a day on which FryDaddy and I will both be at our respective schools, a couple of hours apart. (My responsibilities that day include teaching about 1950s Cold War fears in movies with a viewing of Siegel's Invasion of the Body Snatchers which isn't a particularly "heart day" movie, but hey! pods. Oh, oh - since the pods are there to take over people - does that make them the original [wait for it] - IPods?? Okay, you can groan now.)

Bad jokes aside, we took Saturday as Valentine's Day - or at least the second part of the day. There were errands to run and so forth at the start of the day, some of which I found quite frustrating - I mean, when did it become unreasonable to expect that you could buy stamps at a post office? But we got ourselves all slicked up and set out to paint the town.

The object of our "date night" was the semi-local symphony, which was featuring an evening of passionate Russians. First up was Tchaikovsky's take on Romeo & Juliet, followed by his only violin concerto (a piece that is now much beloved, but was savaged when first produced - read about the vicious review in the link) then, after an intermission, selections from Prokofiev's Romeo & Juliet - c'mon, it was Valentine's Day! (By the way, it took years before the score was performed as a ballet - companies kept breaking the contracts, claiming the music was "undanceable," to which Prokofiev replied, "I know what you want! You want drums, not music!" Fiery Russian.) The selections were beautiful and our seats were up close and personal.

We noticed one viola player had an instrument that was very different from the others and at the intermission, we asked her a few questions, which she graciously answered. Her instrument is made from carbon fiber which keeps it from whipsawing in tone with changes in temperature and humidity. She told us about this video and it's worth the minute and a half it'll take you to see it (the other half is outtakes of the filming) - you really can't hurt these things!

However you choose to celebrate Valentine's Day (or, as one of my waggish friends terms it, "Single Awareness Day"), may you be happy in your choice!

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