war and piecemeal

I 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...

Musings Past