Siege Diaries 5/28/2020

As days during this siege go, this one wasn’t bad.

I spent part of my day touring several Frank Lloyd Wright houses I’d never seen before virtually, including one that was designed for a paraplegic man back in the 50s, back when the idea of a major architect designing a house to be accessible was revolutionary. Apparently even today it’d be 90% compliant with ADA requirements. I clicked on other videos showing Shostakovich talking the year he died (you’d never have guessed how sick he was) and playing his second piano concerto (no video on that one, but better audio on that particular recording than I’d heard before).

Friends came by to pick up 16 bags of donated clothing and the like that are now now longer in our house.

I had Swiss Chalet chicken noodle soup (picked up with takeout last night) and a pretzel roll for lunch.

I chatted with Dave a little about our YouTube video thoughts, and we think we finally have a name for the channel that we both like. We also discovered that Union Chicken—which I brought home with me the last day I was in the office back in March—has a sister restaurant in Hamilton that is open for takeout and features the same tasty chicken. Looks like we will be making an order in the near future. And our favourite place for turkey dinners, Betty’s in Chippewa, is now doing takeout on Fridays and Saturdays. No turkey dinners quite yet, but hopefully their offerings will expand.

I found out I was one of the week 1 winners in the trivia challenge at work, and entered week 2. The questions aren’t easy—you’re allowed to Google but they’re still tricky. (I knew 3/5 right off the bat, though.)

Two good Toastmasters meetings. In my work-based club, we’re now jut one additional member away from regaining charter strength—which means we will qualify for the Distinguished Club program and might even reach President’s Distinguished again—which is a rather amazing comeback in just a couple of months’ time, all of it as we moved to meet virtually.

I practiced the viola. I’m now going through my second workbook for a second time, making sure that I am happy with the way I play everything, and I’ve officially started my Wohlfahrt etudes book. There’s still a third workbook to go through as well, but I am definitely improving and feeling good about things. It’s nice to think that someday I might be able to join a community orchestra and have something truly positive come out of this stressful time. But the most important thing to me is that I’m playing music again. I’ve very much missed that, and even though none of it’s very difficult yet, it’s the act of actually doing it that’s important. Music makes my heart, mind, and soul sing.

And I saw today that Tafelmusik will be running online live concerts for the next four Wednesdays—not the whole ensemble, of course, but soloists and duos. It’s a pay-what-you-can format, and I’ll happily chip in to support such a wonderful group.

This all despite waking up, as I often do, feeling the weight of the situation on my shoulders. But somehow today, I found joy in the things I love despite it all.

May there be more days like this.

Today in 1964, Dmitri Shostakovich completed his 9th Quartet. This was the last Shostakovich piece I saw live before the lockdown, and it’s become one of my favourites.

In 2006, Barry Bonds hit his 715th home run, officially passing Babe Ruth. He went on to hit 762 home runs before retiring, surpassing Hank Aaron’s record of 755, but he’s not in the Baseball Hall of Fame because of his implication in the steroids scandals not long after he surpassed Ruth’s record. He still has two years of eligibility left.




  1. Not sure about the date that Bonds hit that homerun to pass Ruth, but I know for certain that Hammerin’ Hank Aaron was the all time leader,at 755 (41 more than Babe’s 714). Of course, Bonds did eventually surpass his godfather (gotta check the accuracy of that relationship) and ultimately finish with 762.


    • You are, of course, correct, and I’ve fixed the entry. I blame Corona brain for not heeding that intuition that was reminding me that Ruth’s record wasn’t the whole story.


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