am slowly recovering from the flu, or whatever it is. I have had this
thing since Christmas Day, when it began as a stomach flu, with a
fever, and, of course, the rash... Then it either morphed into a chest
cold or else I caught a different bug immediately following the first
one. During most of the day, the symptoms go into hiding, but they're
there in the early morning and late night, just to remind me that I'm
still sick. Each day I get in maybe five or six productive
coughs. At this rate I'll have my chest cleared out by
mid-March. Also I still have the strange underweight,
trembly-leg, weakness thing going on. This morning I was
practically down to 160 pounds... which is 20 pounds less than I was
just a year ago. Oh, and I also have the chronic
back/shoulder pain that is making the whole right side of me miserable,
and is probably a repetitive stress injury brought on by me sitting on
the couch and typing at the laptop on a snack table. Not the
best ergonomics. Yesterday, I learned to use the computer
with only my left hand. No, not for *that* reason...
sheesh! You have a dirty mind.
I started reading War And Peace... again. I don't read so
many novels, but when I do, it's almost always War And Peace.
I've read the whole thing maybe three times, and the
beginning parts (like I'm doing now) dozens of times. Cara's
been deep into her vampire books; I was getting book envy.
And so, once more unto the tome... It was so good to check in with my
favorite Russians--right where I left them! Prince Andre at
the soiree... Dolokhov out on the window ledge... Natasha spying on
Nicholas' and Sonya's kiss. Last night I got up through the
part at the Rostovs, where the Countess gives Princess Anna the money
she needs for her son. The moment is so sweetly described it
made me tear up. The thing about Tolstoy is that you don't
even notice how good he is. Except that you do because the
storytelling is so compelling. But it isn't about the style;
it's content, content, content. It's what he tells you.
In describing a scene, he is always focused on what's
important and he always catches the telling detail.
I sold two copies of "The Lady Must Be Mad" today. As
promised in the previous blog, I was *very* excited when I sold my
first sheet music online. That was yesterday... "Highway
Miles," sold to Mr. Benj Pasek. Thank you, Benj!
Benj also advised me to charge more than $2 for a song... which I took
to heart. So today's copies of "The Lady Must Be Mad" went
for $5 a pop - one to an NYU student, and the other to a dude in
Australia. I would imagine that down under it would need to
be translated as "The Sheila Must Be One Shingle Short." But
I totally need to write some more songs for tenors. That
stuff sells. Cara said I should advertise songs-to-order on
my website... like if someone paid me $100, I'd write them a
custom-made audition song.
Oh, my other small triumph today was an adventure in overdubbing.
So I had the audio from Prospect's 10 th Anniversary
concert, but unfortunately the balance in the recording was terrible:
you could barely hear the orchestra... just lots of vocals.
And that was a pity because there were all these great
Broadway folks singing some songs of mine. Like Malcolm Gets
singing the Caveman song, which he's sung for going on 10 years now and
yet I still never had a recording of him singing it. Well
today I had the thought: could it be salvaged?
How hard would it be to add some accompaniment back into the wonky
recording of the concert? Answer: not that hard.
I used Garage Band (!) Garage Band's sounds are
actually kinda better than the ones on the sound modules and keyboards
at the Prospect Office. And besides, my New Year's projects
must be such that I never have to leave the apartment.
Anyway, it turned out fairly well, I thought. So I decided
to at long last replace the Mike Shaieb recording of the Caveman song.
The Malcolm Gets version is, for now, the definitive one...