Merry Christmas


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Merry Christmas!  :)

 

We are a cold, brown oasis - surrounded by a sea of white.   <_<  Very unusual for our neck of the woods this time of the year.  But they are predicting flurries today and tomorrow.  So we might still have a white Christmas.

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A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND RELIGIOUS CELEBRATIONS TO ALL.  AND MAY OUR 2017 BE A FULFILLING ONE.  Hey!  Let's get to the bottom of this violin thing, whadda ya' say?!

 

My little offering here is because I still can't post pictures of my violins or bows to give everyone a laugh; but in keeping with the classic, "A Christmas Story," by Jean Shepard:

 

Since my grandfather played Cajun fiddle, I decided I had to have a violin.  I begged for months. For a year or so my parents kept getting me toy instruments to hopefully shut me up.  One was a little electric organ with about an octave and a half range.  Another was a tin trombone with reeds in the slide, like a harmonica.  Each time I was bought off with a new toy I became more frustrated and unhappy.

 

Finally it was hinted that Santa might have something for me, but there were no promises. Santa, as we all know, works in strange ways.  I could only hope and count the days, and Christmas seemed like a mirage which would never be reached.  Yet Christmas eve did arrive, and in our family's way we opened all of the presents we had except for what Santa might bring if he could still go through a key-hole.  (It was explained in our house that homes without fireplaces could still be accessed by the very flexible old fellow.  Some said he possessed an art learned at the foot of Chinese masters, others that he lost a lot of weight going down chimneys of all the homes that had them, then made another pass around the world hitting the harder targets.)  So I went to sleep with the traditional "dreams of sugar plum fairies."

 

Before dawn I awoke to a quiet house and tiptoed into the living room.  And there, under the glowing warmth of the most magical light any human can hope to see this side of heaven, was an object of such sublime beauty that I was stunned.  I spent a few moments sorting out how to hold it and then took it and the bow into the farthest room from my parents, the kitchen.  

 

It wasn't a big house so I very quietly took violin to chin and bow to string.  And I attempted the first of several trillion notes I would eventually make over a period of years.  But, to my misery, no sound came from the violin.  I would not have expected to sound like Heifetz, especially since I had yet to hear him, but I expected at least a squeak or a peep.  No.  Nothing came forth.

 

Because of my previous sad experiences with the organ, trombone, and several other toys, I felt I had been had again.  I thought this was another toy and never felt so cheated either before or since—and by those who loved me most, for goodness sake!  What a world!

 

I was so upset I cried.  Rather noisily, I suppose, because I brought the parents to life and they came to me wondering why such a lovely creation as that violin would cause such anguish.  Between sobs I showed them that I wasn't a crybaby for nothing.  I couldn't make a sound.  Then they tried, and neither could they.  I at least felt vindicated for my hysteria. 

 

My parents were as ignorant as I about violins.  But they calmly read some instructions that came with the kit, finally figured out that one has to put something called rosin on the bow, and peace was restored...except that within a few weeks I was able to produce enough bad sounds loudly enough to irritate my grandmother.  A major achievement for which I will always be proud.

 

I wonder how many children around the world are going to have a violin under their tree tomorrow morning.  I wish them as much joy with theirs as mine gave me...well, once I discovered the miracle of rosin.

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Was White Christmas as big a seller down there as it was in the northern hemisphere?

Do you mean Bing Crosby or the AngloSaxon Faith? :)

Sadly in today's politically correct ideology we are no longer allowed to teach/learn/sing carols in schools, for fear of disappointing the other faiths. Can't say "Ch..." anything, haven't seen "Yule..." mentioned anywhere of late... very sad I tells Ye. 25th Dec has just become a big shopping excuse.

Today in Melbourne Australia its forecast to be 36degC. Santa's definitely in shorts :lol:

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Merry Christmas to all!

 

My wife is preparing the traditional twelve meatless dishes for our Christmas Eve supper. The aroma is driving me crazy because I haven't eaten yet today! We have lots of the white stuff coming down right now; perhaps I can courier some to Rue.

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I wonder how many children around the world are going to have a violin under their tree tomorrow morning.  I wish them as much joy with theirs as mine gave me...well, once I discovered the miracle of rosin.

Great story, love it! :D

Ours received fractionals earlier in the year... nice ones too with nice strings, nice bridge, properly prepped bows... and gets magically tuned daily by a mysterious house elf.

Yet it might as well been trying to get them to eat brusselsprouts :( past weeks we've been bribing them to scratch out a tune everyday, before they can open a door on their Advent calendars. Much procrastination & Resistance... current tally they're about Twelve days of tunes in deficit.

Yes yes yes, the obvious "turbo catchup" piece has been offered. :lol:

(Sigh)

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Do you mean Bing Crosby or the AngloSaxon Faith? :)

Sadly in today's politically correct ideology we are no longer allowed to teach/learn/sing carols in schools, for fear of disappointing the other faiths. Can't say "Ch..." anything, haven't seen "Yule..." mentioned anywhere of late... very sad I tells Ye. 25th Dec has just become a big shopping excuse.

Today in Melbourne Australia its forecast to be 36degC. Santa's definitely in shorts :lol:

What I still don't get is who is allowing who to what?  And why do we all bow in obeisance to this non-who?  Each one in this country is meant to be free to sing the songs of the heart, and if it offends other faiths or non-faiths, they are probably not secure enough in their own beliefs.

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Great story Will.  I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!  We moved to our "new" house on Thursday.  Piles of packing boxes in every room to do a hoarder proud (without the smell). :)   Today we ignored the rest of the house and set the family room up.  Put up a tree and decorated the one room.  My wife just finished our families tradition of making clam chowder for the family gathering tomorrow afternoon (not at our house) and a breakfast casserole for the morning.  With sore knees and an aching back from moving I'm off to bed and looking forward to a relaxing Christmas spending time with family and day dreaming how my new shop will be set up.

 

Cheers!

Jim 

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Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, or a Happy Christmas and a Very Merry New Year, depending on your location.

I love all the food prep you guys are doing... 12 meatless dishes, clam chowder, casserole... wow! I want to hear more! :)

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What I still don't get is who is allowing who to what?  And why do we all bow in obeisance to this non-who?  Each one in this country is meant to be free to sing the songs of the heart, and if it offends other faiths or non-faiths, they are probably not secure enough in their own beliefs.

 

Very excellent questions.  I think the only answer must be that we've all become mama's boys and weenies and snowflakes, all slaves to political correctness.

In the past I've been called to task for not capitalizing the "B" in black.  I suppose if you're black (small "b"...) you should be entitled to have your race spelled the way you want.  Not for me to say, but then I've never been black in a lily white professional orchestra.

Whatever.

I need another drink.

But first, as a player, I want to wish everyone here a very merry and blessed Christmas, totally irrespective of your gender, race, age, religous affiliation, (or not...) I like to go thru life treating everyone with respect, at least until I discover they're unworthy of it.  Thank you for your collegiality, and your willingness to suffer my dumb questions, the answers to which I should have learned in cello college, but apparently "skipped" that class.

May Santa* fulfill your every wish, as he does for me every 365 days (one more in leap years).

* - but only if you believe...

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What I still don't get is who is allowing who to what?  And why do we all bow in obeisance to this non-who?  Each one in this country is meant to be free to sing the songs of the heart, and if it offends other faiths or non-faiths, they are probably not secure enough in their own beliefs.

Public Schools, city councils, publicly funded activities... we live in a Nanny state/islandContinent.

We have kids in primary school who have forgotten the lyrics to the common carols - HOW SADLY DEPRIVED is that?

Had to make strong remedial action this year to stop the rot!

Painful exercise though... beginner violins 8(

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Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, or a Happy Christmas and a Very Merry New Year, depending on your location.

I love all the food prep you guys are doing... 12 meatless dishes, clam chowder, casserole... wow! I want to hear more! :)

You want to hear more about the food? In the Ukrainian tradition Christmas Eve is considered sort of a day of fasting, the day before the big Christmas feast.

We start the evening meal with Kutya, a dish made made with boiled whole wheat kernels, poppyseed, walnuts and honey. This is followed by Sauerkraut soup with green peas, pickled herring, various types of fried fish, salmon poached in white wine, perohy: dumplings filled with potato and shredded sauerkraut, sour leaf cabbage rolls, Kolach, a special braided ring shaped loaf of bread, mashed beans topped with sauteed onions, and a tossed salad.

 

I hope I can somehow hold out for the big turkey dinner feast tomorrow. I am feeling a little bit weak from all this fasting...

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Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, or a Happy Christmas and a Very Merry New Year, depending on your location.

I love all the food prep you guys are doing... 12 meatless dishes, clam chowder, casserole... wow! I want to hear more! :)

 

Merry Christmas to all from Cremona!!

 

Tonight I am going to enjoy the classical Cremonese "cotechino con lenticchie" (a typical pork sausage with lentils, not recommended for vegans.....).

My stomach will complain after dinner, but we have to die for something.... :D

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