Trying to make sense of the Minnesota Orchestra situation

I have been trying to figure out what the administration and board of the Minnesota Orchestra think they are are doing. The lockout of orchestra musicians has been going on for the better part of a year. For what it is worth, the Orchestra Association is being advised by the law firm that advised American Sugar in its lockout of workers up in Moorhead and advised the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in its lockout of musicians. The SPCO musicians finally settled. Their base pay has been cut 19% and the number of musicians in the orchestra has been reduced. Continue Reading

Silence, please

Ta-Nehisi Coates has a lovely post at The Atlantic on the Amtrak quiet car and the kind of people who make noise in a car reserved for quietness. I enjoyed the post and the long series of comments, which went through many kinds of rude public behavior. One of the commenters said that he or she believed many people — possibly most people — could not handle silence. Continue Reading

Lunch and a bus ride and love

I had lunch with an old friend yesterday and had a long bus ride home after. The ride was good, because I wrote a poem about two young people, a Somali woman in traditional clothing and a Euro-American man in backpack and jeans, standing at a bus stop, obviously very much in love.They were an amazing sight, just standing facing each other, but with love shining out of them. Continue Reading

Dental work and retirement

I had a busy — for me — day yesterday: an exercise class in the morning, then a visit to the dentist in the afternoon and finally a meeting of the Wyrdsmiths writing group in the evening. The exercise class was enjoyable, and the Wyrdsmiths were really fine. But the dentist told me I need two crowns. My share, after my dental insurance pays its part, will be $2,100. This is disturbing. Continue Reading

Minicon at 48: Science fiction, aging attendees, and reverse shoplifting

From facebook:

I was wearing a bright red turtleneck and black pants from J Jill yesterday, and I felt I was too talkative and assertive. I even talked through a guy in the audience, which I never do. So today I am wearing a dark brown turtleneck, jeans and pearls. I feel the pearls will induce decorum, and the dark brown turtleneck with mute my mood down to morose and withdrawn. Unfortunately, I have no panels, so won’t find out if this makes me a better panelist.

Along with the pearls I am wearing a 40-year-old Yves St. Laurant silk scarf that is brown, tan, green and bright reddish-pink. So the costume has a certain amount of cheer. The scarf is there to provide color and elegance. Continue Reading