The day between the Ides of March and St. Patrick's Day

Happy Birthday to Lauren and Celia!

I told Lauren in a birthday email this morning that I was singing "Happy Birthday" to Celia this morning when I woke up, and then when I went to pet her, she bit my hand. Note to others: it is impolite to bite someone who has just sung to you. She doesn't bite in a mean way--she always just wants to play--but it hurts when it comes out of nowhere like that!

I've been very happy today, mostly because I stayed up late last night to finish the baby quilt! Huzzah! It's in the dryer now, but I promise to take a picture of the finished product (even though it looks a great deal like it did in my previous picture but with a red border). The binding wasn't hard to do at all, once I found a good web site with pictures to help me visualize the task. I was so excited to finish, and I can't wait to get it in the mail! Joanna may even get it before her son's birth, though his due date is tomorrow so I won't hold my breath. =) I'm going to take a short break from quilting before I start on Jeannette's baby's quilt. Her husband, Chris, is really into boats and wants to pass that along to his heir, so I may be inventing my own sailboat pattern for theirs. Before that, though, I need to actually do some work on my thesis!

The thesis work has been slow going, mostly because there's a lot of background work involved before real writing can begin. I've written small chunks, mostly fleshing out specific ideas, and those will have to be organized into a coherent outline. I've also been doing some Schenker-types reductive analysis, which is basically boiling down the actual music to larger-scale events in an attempt to understand the song's organization. It's a neat process, and it tends to go rather quickly for well-behaved music, but, as I've mentioned before, this song is wacky (hence its fruitfulness as a thesis subject), and the musical organization (e.g., keys and cadences) isn't very traditional. The organization stems a lot from the text of the poem by Goethe, which doesn't have any sort of meter or stanzaic structure, so I'm having a great time dissecting the poem itself as well. Armed with my knowledge of German, I was even able to come up with my own translation this week. Most theorists like to show off by presenting their own translations of texts, especially if it's in German (because we all have to learn German), so I really feel like one of the club now.

The weird part is that I was translating poetry for the first time; whereas translation of something factual or objective is pretty easy, translating art from one language and turning it into art in the second language makes me feel a bit like I'm shunning Goethe. It'd be better if everyone who would ever want to read my thesis had enough of a knowledge of German that they wouldn't need a translation, but such is not the case. Of course, I'm kidding myself if I think that anyone besides my committee will EVER read this, but it's a habit I have to develop for later research. Plus, there's the slight possibility that I can turn this into something publishable.

I forget the point I was trying to make. Let's all pretend to be shocked. Anyway, life plugs along, and small accomplishments of late have made me happy.

Oh, and I saw a bumper sticker in the parking lot today that made me smile. It said "Democrats are sexy." Yes, we are.

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Awwww, I feel special and loved! Thanks for the happy birthday to me on your blog! I got your card today too (the 17th, a day late but that's ok), very cute. :-)
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