What I Did for Love

It struck me that I don’t believe I’ve ever written about one of my favorite Broadway songs, “What I Did for Love.”

If you’ve seen A Chorus Line on stage (forget about the horrible movie version, please) you know that “love” is the love of the dancer’s craft. The song comes right after a dancer has injured himself and is taken off to the hospital. Zach, the choreographer, asks, “If today were the day you had to stop dancing, how would you feel?” The Diana Morales character then sings “What I Did for Love.”

Kiss today goodbye,
The sweetness and the sorrow.
Wish me luck, the same to you.
But I can’t regret
What I did for love, what I did for love.
Look my eyes are dry.
The gift was ours to borrow.
It’s as if we always knew,
And I won’t forget what I did for love,
What I did for love.

It’s all about the love of one’s chosen vocation and the gratitude for having had the opportunity to live that, for however long or short a time. No wonder I get tears in my eyes whenever I hear the song.


baseball 2013

It was a delight to listen to Jon Miller and Duane Kuiper broadcast the first Giants spring training game of the season while we were out running errands on Saturday. I’m glad baseball is back.

I’m going to pay attention this season, but I’m not going to be a fanatic. There was a time when Terry and I would watch pretty much every home game on weeknight evenings, and often stay up too late to see how a game came out. I think our routine of listening to jazz while reading the paper and surfing my iPad makes a lot more sense, and means far less aggravation when the game is tense.

I don’t expect the Giants to be able to repeat their World Series run of 2012 again this year, but they should be fun to watch.

It’s always nice when baseball is back.

the way I feel

I got a couple of renewal notices in the past couple of weeks that made me think how different my emotional state is than a year ago.

First, I got my renewal notice for tricycle, the journal of Buddhist thought. Then I got a renewal notice for my Calm Radio subscription.

It was just over a year ago that I bought my Internet radio. That has turned out to be a very useful and practical purchase. I use it every day. When I was setting it up I noticed that the service that provides the audio stream for my model listed something called Calm Radio. It was just a sample stream, but had channels for symphony, solo guitar, solo piano, etc. It also had channels for choral and Gregorian Chant. At the time I was seriously stressed at work and looking for anything to sooth my nerves. So I shelled out sixty bucks (Canadian) for a year’s subscription.

The same with tricycle. I thought some Buddhist philosophy would help my stress.

When tricycle came up for renewal, I realized that I hadn’t been reading my online issues, and that I wasn’t nearly as stressed as I was a year ago. I cancelled the automatic renewal. Same thing with Calm Radio. I noticed that I hadn’t been listening to the Calm Radio stations, and it didn’t make sense to spend $60 (CDN) for another year. I cancelled that too. Listening to our Bay Area classical station, KDFC, is more than sufficient.

Saving money and less stress. Good things.

corporate video star, that’s what I are (not)

When I was at the conference in Las Vegas last week we had arranged to shoot a short video with a corporate partner who uses our technology. Our marketing guy was to ask me a couple of introductory questions, we’d go to the partner for the bulk of the video, and then back to me for a couple of concluding questions. I thought we’d just meet the video crew somewhere, we’d shoot the video in ten minutes, and then we’d be done. I was wrong.

We were told the recording would be at the portable studio on the show floor. When I got there I discovered this was really a production. It started with makeup. Yes, makeup. I went into the makeup booth and they spent several minutes putting makeup on my face. They gave me some hair gel, and trimmed my nose and ear hair. Then, sitting on our director’s chair-like stools the technicians gave us lapel mics and we did a sound test.

We started the shoot and it went smoothly. I thought it went well, but the crew asked us to do it a second time, because of some sound problems and to make sure we had sufficient good footage. Then the partner and I were excused and they asked our marketing guy to stay and ask the questions one more time looking at empty chairs.

I have to say, that was a new experience — something I haven’t done before. My counterpart on the engineering side asked me if I was still going to talk to the “little people” when I made it big. I told him I wasn’t going to quit my day job until I’d seen the edited video.

And probably not even then, I would expect.

Sacred Music Friday: Stay With Us

The National Lutheran Choir, “Stay With Us” by Egil Hovland, recorded live at the Basilica of St. Mary, Minneapolis MN on Dec 9, 2010, David Cherwien, Music Director.

Lenten reflections, part 2

More reflections on Lent while I staff a booth at a trade show

Today I’d like to quote my own rector, Fr. Phil of St. John the Divine Episcopal Church. He has some very useful thoughts on Lent.

The season of Lent is meant to be a time of readjusting priorities as individuals and as worshiping communities. We may despair about our abilities to initiate changes in our lives but perhaps that despair is driven by our view of life that is dominated by cinematic time lapsing, viz., we want change to be evident within a short time frame. How about adapting a view more like the drop of water that over time erodes hard stone? How about being an incrementalist and do the small mustard seed deeds of faith that add up over time? Lent is no time to initiate quick fixes unless we can really consolidate such fixes as our permanent rule of life. We are locked in by some overwhelming social problems and instead of despairing about things we cannot change we need to tend to what lies at hand in our day to day lives where we should not minimize the importance or the cumulative effect of our acts of repentance.

Lenten reflections, part 1

Thoughts on Lent while I’m doing booth duty in Las Vegas

Ann Fontaine made the following suggestions in her sermon for the Last Sunday after the Epiphany. She reflects on what we might fast from and what we might feast on during Lent. I found this quite thought provoking.

Fast from judgment, Feast on compassion
Fast from greed, Feast on sharing
Fast from scarcity, Feast on abundance
Fast from fear, Feast on peace
Fast from lies, Feast on truth
Fast from gossip, Feast on praise
Fast from anxiety, Feast on patience
Fast from evil, Feast on kindness
Fast from apathy, Feast on engagement
Fast from discontent, Feast on gratitude
Fast from noise, Feast on silence
Fast from discouragement, Feast on hope
Fast from hatred, Feast on love
What will be your fast? What will be your feast?

keeping cool

Dealing with changes to one’s cable or satellite television service is rarely easy or fun. Sometimes it is necessary, though. We’ve been very happy with our cable provider in the last two years since we switched from satellite TV and phone company internet DSL to get a faster internet connection. But this month our two-year locked-in bundle rate expired so I had to do something.

In going over the choices the agent told me that I should swap out my old cable modem for the current model as it would increase my internet speed. Dangling a bauble like that in front of me means I’m guaranteed to reach for it. So I took my modem/wireless router to the cable company office to exchange it. The new device was just a modem. No router. No wireless. The company no longer provides wireless, I was told.

There was a part of me that thought I should flip out. But the part of me that prevailed stayed calm. After all, there was something in the back of my mind that told me this was going to happen. The fact that the agent used the word “modem” and not “router” was a clue. I even had the thought that I should take with me the credit card I normally use for buying non-everyday purchases. Staples was just a few minutes from the cable office, so I headed straight there. Of course there was a wide selection of wireless routers and it took me a while to make a decision. I ended up with not the cheapest and not the most expensive, but one that I thought would do the job.

I got home with modem and router, and set to work. Of course it was not just a simple swap out. The cable company insisted I verify my legitimacy by providing the ID of the old modem, and the router would not let me set up security as I have had it as long as I have had a wireless router. Terry, being very wise about such things, left the house to run errands.

It took a little bit of time, but with much concentration, and, interestingly enough this time, no cursing or swearing, all computers, my iPad, and iPhone were once again connected. And our internet speed is now faster than it has ever been.

And all without my going ballistic. Not so bad.

doing the needful

I’ve worked with colleagues in and from India for many years now. I have gotten used to their speech patterns. Since English is not their native language, many phrases to not conform to standard American English usage. One phrase I hear periodically is one colleague telling another, or a manager telling a team member to “do the needful.” That’s what I’m doing this week.

I’m not big on business travel, and I avoid it whenever possible. But I am the product manager for my project, and if my project is being shown at a trade show it’s really good for the product manager to be there. Hence my trip to Las Vegas this week for a partner conference. And anyway, it will be good to have a break in the routine and meet some of my colleagues in person.

Thanks to the miracle of modern blog technology, this blog will continue on its regular schedule while I am away. And I’ve got a number of thoughts for blogs in the weeks ahead.

In the meantime: Las Vegas in Lent. That’s an interesting concept.

Sacred Music Friday: Holy Holy Holy

Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir; Dr. John L. Wilson, Conductor. Please forgive the time counter. It’s annoying, but this is a fine rendition, they have a marvelous pipe organ, and I always love a procession. And you liturgical types will no doubt note the minister’s Protestant black robe, rather than the vestments in the color of the season.