PRATIE PLACE

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I am sick of the internet.

I've been in hiding for a week working on a new wedding music website and Pratie Head videos. I've been joining wedding directories...

... and converting stupid JVC Everio .MOD video files of recent performances.

(I like my new JVC camcorder but I HATE that JVC invented its own proprietary video extension which only works with its own extremely crummy software - so crummy I'd think a high school sophomore could do better, except when I said that to Ez he said doubtfully, "I dunno, I wrote some pretty lousy programs when I was a sophomore in high school." So the upshot is, it takes hours to convert the .MOD files to something ordinary programs can use, like .AVI for goodness' sake...)

I stayed up till 4 in the morning two nights in a row because I had three gigs in a row and the second one was four hours away and Jim and Beth and I blabbed all the way there and all the way home and I was so jazzed I couldn't think of anything better to do than struggle with css (cascading style sheets) for my new site until it was almost morning...

And the next night, I couldn't sleep again after our local Yom HaShoah Holocaust memorial service on Monday night. This year's speaker was a Romaniote Jew who was shipped from Ioannina, Greece to Poland in a cattle car during the war and who did not die in the crematorium on her arrival at the concentration camp because she decided to walk with her girlfriends when her family stayed on the truck. Only she, of all of them, survived Birkenau and Bergen-Belson - but just barely. Monday she was too upset to give her talk in person, so they showed a video of her while she sat in the audience.

And that made me think, soon the remaining Holocaust survivors will be so elderly they won't be able to talk to us and share their stories any more - and then, they'll be gone.

And so I was so upset that I stayed up again working on "Triangle wedding musician" fol-de-rol. I really want to do more weddings: everybody is in such a good mood and if there are not a lot of people present I don't have to feel guilty about it!

But I forgot to mention, another reason the Yom HaShoah memorial was so meaningful to me this year is that I've decided to quit conducting the Triangle Jewish Chorale as of next month. It's been fourteen years, time for somebody else to do it. So this was my last year of doing "Ani Mamin" with them and that made me feel weird and sad...

But also, this was the first time - in the quarter century I've been singing for this memorial service - that the music was not Ashkenazic (from Eastern Europe). Since our speaker was Greek, we did a Greek song, and because there were many Sephardic Jews in Greece, we did a couple of Sephardic songs, one of which I sort of wrote.

But that will be for another day; I have to get away from this computer now...

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