Saturday, January 21, 2006


Custer, Messiaen, Monastrell

Saturday's to-do list:

1. Custer.

I am doctoring an article I started two years ago, for resubmission to a journal for publication. Scholarly publishing is a nightmare for one whose daily bread comes from daily newswriting.

Here's the thesis:

The prospect of having removed Sioux as warring neighbors, coupled with worries over the nature of the Five Civilized Tribes’ own land title, gave Choctaw newspaper commentary on the Plains wars and Custer’s demise a decidedly, and perhaps surprisingly, “anti-Indian” tone in 1876.

Researched and wrote it spring 2004. Submitted it to one journal that summer and had it rejected out of hand that fall. One of those you-did-the-wrong-article-do-the-following-instead kind of rejections.

Hubris runs amock, of course, in scholarly publishing. Pbhth.

Fall 2004, I was wrapping up my master's thesis and in the throes of the single hardest class I've ever had, on the Reformation, so I didn't mess with the Custer article again until spring 2005.

Doctored it up, and submitted it to the second journal in May. Last August, I got it back, marked up -- they actually sent it out for review! Woo hoo.

Between other projects, continued decompression from grad school and other distractions, I've just TODAY started to work on it again.

With any luck, I'll be able to resubmit it in February, and with even better luck, it will be accepted for publication, which means 2007 or 2008 or later.

For an article started in 2004. I must be crazy. :-)

2. Messiaen.

On the way home from work the other night, I caught the last movement of Olivier Messiaen's "Quartet for the End of Time." Astounding. I almost rear-ended someone, the music so ARRESTED me and TOOK ME AWAY. I cannot express how awesome it is.

And that was before I heard the story behind it. The local college has it on CD. I will be checking it out later today. Dr. ER has never heard it, which is surpising since there is a cello involved and she was a high school cellist and lover of all things strings.

3. Monstrell.

I am no wine connoisseur, although I am fairly knowledgable for a redneck. But somehow this blind redneck hog has stumbled onto this excellent Spanish acorn, Carchelo's Monastrell from Jumilla.

Dude. It screams to be consumed with steak or ribs or other barbecue -- or anything meaty and tangy. Had some with some Dr, ER-made gumbo the other night. Excellente.

There is a sirloin with "ER and Dr. ER" on it at the local grocery store, and some mushrooms and garlic cloves, and a veggie of some sort. ER is cookin' tonight!

So there. I'm exercising my mind with Custer, my spirit with Messiaen and my tastebuds with Monstrell today. What's cookin' over y'all's way?


We must both listen to NPR courtesy of OSU. I just heard that Messiaen too, and I think it was last Saturday on The Splendid Table I heard a wine expert expound on monastrell. Apparently there is some domestic production of that grape at a considerably more favorable price over the Spanish.

But I picked up some for just more than $10 per, which ain't bad atall for good vino!
That's not bad. I think he was saying domestic was $8. What's a $2 difference for good imported wine? We'll need a review!
Retire the R, ER. You don't deserve the R for talkin' 'bout music other than Hank, Hank Jr. and Hank III, or drinkin' anything but Lone Star Beer.

You "R" pathetic.

Hey, balance and moderation in all things. Least that's my goal! E's and R's included.

Trixie, I'm on my second bottle (and I don't mean today, Teditor.) :-)

It's almost thick on the tongue, compared even to a shiraz. It's smoky to the point of I-want-to-pour-it-on-my-steak. And there's no doubt that it comes from a grape. (The grape is supposed to have a particularly thick skin, which is, I guess, where all the heavy flavor comes from).

Wines usually strike my in one part of the mouth, whites at the tip of the tongue, reds more on the sides and middle (I used to know more about where certain tastebuds reside, but that knowledge, has, ahem, ah, gone away with the brain cells sacrificed in my quest for good wine).

This is a full-mouther. Bold to the point of brashness. Got to have flavorful-spicy-hearty-meaty food to balance it.
I'm on my second bottle ... of Schlitz. :-)

I had to go to a Web site that has domestic beers to find something other than them popular brands, though Schlitz had its popularity in its day.

Wine with steak. How ... erudite of ya. :-)
I think you're thinking of "effete" -- "marked by excessive self-indulgence and moral decay"

Hey Trixie I heard Fly Lady was a comin to the burg on Feb 11th.
Drlobojo, that's cool! I will have to find out the particulars! I actually do some work for her -- I moderate her prayer group which has more than a thousand members.
Go over to my blog -- I just finished cleaning my kitchen and posted photos. You'll see a little Fly Lady right above my sink!
OK. I definitely should not drive while listening to "Quarter for the End of Times."

The first movement made me think of the Star Wars cantina band, if it was tuning up -- while they were all drunk. Whoa.
ER your not making a hero out of Custer are you?
I do bet the "Civilized Tribes" were a bit worried about the Sioux neighboring up to their West. They already had the "wild indians" like the Comanche, Kiowas, Cheyennes, and Arapahos out in the Oklahoma Territory. Putting the Sioux, everybody's enemy, out there would have pushed the others in towards them in Indian Territory or started inter-tribal wars that would have spilled over into their back yard.
As far as music goes check out Vangelis's Heaven and Hell.
No, Custer is not one of my heroes. ...

Favorite site I saw on a trip to the Black Hills, up to Montana and back through the Pine Ridge Rservation the back way summer of '04 was a hand-painted sign stuck up on a corner post:

"Custer was a Republican."
Plug it up, ER.......Keep them monkeys in.

I'm still laughing over your response on this one.
So I went to Amazon and they let me listen to a minute of each movement of Messiaen's "Quartet for the End of Time." The composer sounds like he is clinically depressed to me, crawling from one emotion to another and working hard to maintain inbetween. Of course I didn't hear the climax or the resolution of the work, so maybe I should hear it all, but from the 8 minutes I heard, it seemed tedious; but then I'm just a poor boy off the Red River, son of a share cropper, and poor white trash at that, what would I know?
The composer composed it while in a German prison camp during World War II. I'd say he was a mite depressed, and it might be a tad tedious.

It hits me in some primal way. Not emotionally, per se. And wouldn't say I *like* it, exactly. But I find it captivating.
Oh yes, and on the wine. My all time favorite is Cribarie Rose' at $3.00 a bottle with an alluminium screw cap. It goes best with speghetti and meat balls, the really big meat balls.
Try Vangelis's "Heaven and Hell" it is not tedious and grabs you by the huevos.
I just listened to the Vangelis snippets on Amazon. Yikes. Sounds scary.

With the Messiaen, I think I actually emphathize with the confusion, and awe, depicted in what was meant to be a musical depiction of The Revelation.

Don't mind bein' confused. Don't mind bein'' awed.

I don't think I'd need to be driving, for sure, when listenin' to that Vangelis piece, not if it's gonna scare the crap outta me. :-)
I was listenin' to Toby Keith this afternoon. Sounded like a goat in heat.

After a few days now, I have developed enough tolerance for the Messiaen piece that I can drive safey while listening to it.

But it is still an awesome piece of museum.
Piece of MUSIC, I meant.
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